Malted Chocolate Muffins



I think the last time I ate Maltezers I was probably 12 years old out at the movies with a bunch of friends.  We thought it was hilarious tossing them down the old wooden steps, much to the irritation of all the adults in the theatre.  So with such silly memories awakened when I came upon this recipe I just had to give it a go.

These muffins are rich in flavour and moist and light in texture. Very more-ish!

  • 150g malted chocolate balls (such as Maltesers)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 1 T baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 120g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 90g melted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 200c.  Grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Roughly crush chocolate balls, reserving 12 whole ones for decoration.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix in sugar and crushed chocolate balls.

I a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs, add buttermilk and butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.

Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once fully cooled, spread with icing and top each muffin with a reserved chocolate ball.


  • 60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 110g softened butter

220g icing sugar

To make icing, melt chocolate.  Add butter and icing sugar and beat well until smooth, light and creamy.

Adapted from Muffins: Simple and Delicious.  Paragon Books, c2010, p56.


Cashew Honey Squares


Cashew Honey Squares Today’s recipe is adapted from one in one of my newer cookbooks: The Baking Collection from The Australian Women’s Weekly.  Like so many Women’s Weekly cookbooks this one is a winner – sweet treats of every description from simple cakes and cookies to decadent pastries and fancy holiday delights.  An excellent collection of old fashioned Aussie favourites with some modern interpretations. These squares are soft and moist – more like mini cakes than a slice.  The honey works so beautifully with the cashews.  To top it all off they are SO easy.


  • 1 c (150g) SR wholemeal flour
  • 1 c (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 c (90g) rolled oats
  • 1 c (80g) desiccated coconut
  • 2/3 c (70g) cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g butter melted, cooled slightly
  • 1 T honey
  • ½ c chopped cashews, extra

Honey Icing

  • 1 ½   c (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 60 g butter, melted
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T hot water, approximately

Preheat oven to 160C. Line 23cm x 32cm (9” x 13”) swiss roll pan with baking paper. Combine dry ingredients and mix. Add eggs, butter and honey and mix well. Press firmly into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slice in pan. Meanwhile, make honey icing. Mix sugar, butter and honey well. Add enough water to make runny enough to pour. Spread over the slice, and top with remaining cashews. Adapted from Honey Walnut and Oat Squares, in The Baking Collection / The Australian Womens’ Weekly, 2013.

Book - TheBakingCollection

Mexican Red Chicken


Mexican Red Chicken

Autumn has begun wet and chilly. Lots of rain and cold winds – and muddy sports grounds!  Days like these you crave big warm flavours and a cosy room to savour them in.  And the kids come home from training damp, dirty and ravenous so they need something hearty and filling.

This dish is the current house favourite. I don’t know if this really is a Mexican recipe, but it is rich and full of flavour, and very easy to whip up.      


  • 4 red capsicums
  • Olive oil
  • 8 generous chicken thigh fillets
  • 3 T plain flour
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 t chilli flakes (adjust for your hotness preference!)
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 t sweet paprika
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 3 T flat parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 200C.

Lightly oil oven tray.  Roast capsicums for about 35 minutes or until starting to blacken. Transfer to a bowl and cover, and set aside to cool. Remove skin and seeds, then slice flesh.

Dust chicken in the flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large lightly oiled frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add chicken in batches, cooking each batch for about 3-4 minutes or until sealed. Transfer to a casserole dish.

Add spices, oregano, tomatoes and tomato paste and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to low, and cook for a further 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. Fold in capsicum and parsley. Serve on rice with steamed green vegetables.

Serves 6

Adapted from “Pollo rojo”, in Better Homes and Gardens, May 2010, p109.

Milk Bread


Milk Bread

I bake a fair bit of bread.  Homemade bread is just so much nicer than store bought.  Lately I have been baking a lot more of it than usual.  I am going to credit this current bread baking fad to my Thermomix (my new and most beloved toy) for making the whole process so much quicker and easier – it makes it so easy to whip up a loaf.

However, even without the Wonder Machine this is an easy yeast bread to make. This is a Swiss sweet bread. It is delicious plain, but also works well with dried fruit added.


  • 300 g milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 60 g sugar
  • 550 g bakers flour
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 egg, beaten in a bowl
By hand

  1. Place   milk, butter and sugar in medium saucepan and gently heat until sugar has   dissolved and integrated into milk and butter. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Add   yeast to milk mixture and mix. Leave allow yeast to react and become foamy –   about 7 minutes.
  3. Place   flour and salt into a large bowl and mix.    Add milk mixture and mix until a dough forms and starts to pull away   from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn   dough onto a floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and   elastic.  This is a soft dough so it   will only take a few minutes of fairly gentle kneading. Place dough in a   large floured bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in   size (~ 1 hour).
  5. Turn   dough out onto floured surface again and divide into 3 equal portions.  Roll the portions into 30cm lengths to be   braided.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes,   then join the lengths at one end and braid them together. Join at the other   end.
  6. Place   in a large floured loaf pan, or onto a lined baking tray and leave, covered,   to rise until double in size (about 30 minutes).  Preheat oven to 180 C.
  7. Brush   with beaten egg and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting.
By Thermomix

  1.  Place milk, butter, yeast and sugar into the   mixing bowl – warm 3 min / 37C / speed 2.
  2. Add   flour & salt, knead 3 min /  /  . Place dough in   a large floured bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled   in size (~ 1 hour).
  3. Turn   dough out onto floured surface again and divide into 3 equal portions.  Roll the portions into 30cm lengths to be   braided.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes,   then join the lengths at one end and braid them together. Join at the other   end.
  4. Place   in a large floured loaf pan, or onto a lined baking tray and leave, covered,   to rise until double in size (about 30 minutes).  Preheat oven to 180 C.
  5. Brush   with beaten egg and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting.

To add dried fruit to the dough, include about 80 g of chopped dried fruit of your choice (I prefer apricots or dates) when you add the flour and salt.

Recipe from “My Way of Cooking” / Thermomix, 2012, 4th ed.

A holiday followed by an Apricot Cranberry Slice


I’m back after another long absence from my blog. My time away has been a mixture of tedium – taxes, taxes and more taxes – and fun – a fabulous holiday to New Zealand’s South Island.

People rave about New Zealand’s beauty.  It has a reputation I thought might be hard to live up to. But New Zealand actually is as stunningly beautiful as people say it is.  The land is raw and untamed and magnificent.


And it was the whole place.  Everywhere we traveled (and we covered a good deal of the island) was just lovely.

 Milford Sound

After Australia’s hot dry flat landscape, those steep snow capped hills are wondrous.


And all those lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls are glorious!


And – it’s true – there really are sheep EVERYWHERE!

It was hard work coming home and getting back into routine. But it was nice to get back into my own kitchen, after a few weeks of cooking in a motor home!

After weeks without homemade sweet treats, the kids were keen for me to get straight back into baking.  This slice has a wonderfully soft moist cake-like texture and a lovely fruity flavour.

Apricot Cranberry Slice

  • ½ c chopped dried apricots
  • ½ c chopped dried cranberries
  • ½ c hot black tea
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • ½ c raw caster sugar
  • 1 lg egg
  • 110 g flour
  • 1 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C. Line loaf pan with baking paper.

Soak apricots and cranberries in hot tea until fruit softens and absorbs tea.

In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat in well. Add flour and beat in again.

Stir in fruit mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan before gently removing.

 Apricot Cranberry Slice

A very lovely recipe… and a wholesome muesli bar


I collect recipes.  I have magazines and folders and catalogue cards and scraps of paper with hastily scribbled recipes everywhere.  And now that I have this blog, I have my blog books – the place to record  ideas, and more recipes.

Recently I started a new book.  The other day I was surprised to discover a new recipe in it – written by my 8 year old daughter.  It goes like this (spelling and all):

“The bLovelyRecipeWriterest recipie ever

1.  cup of love
2.  worm cups of yummy enthusiasim
3.  Sprinkle of care.
Then you have your family bread”

Completely delicious!!

And for something wholesome to chew on as we ponder the words of babes, I offer this wonderful crunchy flavor-filled and easy to make muesli bar.  Perfect for school lunch boxes, work day treats, or general munchies.

Apricot Seeded Muesli Bar 2

Seedy Apricot Muesli Bar


  • 1  c oats
  • ½ c sesame seeds
  • ½ c sunflower seeds
  • ½ c pumpkin seeds
  • ½ c raw cashews, crushed
  • 2 T wheatgerm
  • 1 T linseed meal
  • 1 c desiccated coconut
  • 1 c dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 T white chia seeds
  • 125 g butter
  • ½ c honey
  • 1/3 c brown sugar

Line a 16 x 28 cm tray.

In a large frying pan, cook oats, nuts, and pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds over a medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add wheatgerm, linseed meal and coconut and cook for a further 4 minutes, stirring constantly until ingredients are just starting to brown. Remove immediately from heat and place in large bowl.  Add apricots and chia seeds.

In a small saucepan heat butter, sugar and honey until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes without stirring.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix well – but quickly.

Press mixture into the tray and press down evenly. Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing.

Easy Mixed Berry Muffins


After some time offline, I am back with news of my new website, and a new muffin recipe.

I am finally taking the plunge to my own domain, now live on  I’ll be discontinuing this wordpress site in the next couple of weeks and  I look forward to seeing you at my new place!

This muffin recipe is fantastic for those times you have to come up with something but you don’t have the time or the energy to fuss.

Mixed Berry Muffins


  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T dried corn powder or custard powder
  • 1 c raw caster sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c light olive oil
  • 3/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 185C.  Line a standard 1/3 c muffin tin with muffin cases.

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients well. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, vanilla, oil and milk until well blended.

Add berries to flour mixture and mix gently to cover well with flour.  Pour in egg mixture and stir gently with a metal spoon until just combined.

Distribute evenly into the muffin cases.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of one of the centre muffins comes out clean.