Monday, 27 August 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I got the idea for these from a friend of mine who was printing recipes for his wife to try.  Thanks Graham as I think this was one of my most challenging efforts so far in the kitchen.  I merged the recipe somewhat with another I found from the internet which used mashed potato as the primary ingredient.  You've read that right, mashed potatoes.  The thought that mashed potatoes can give you that gorgeous cinnamon roll was enough mystery for me to try it and sure enough it is fabulous!

If you're trying this one, my tip is be patient, allow the dough to rest for sufficient amount of time and let the yeast do it's thing on giving the body to your rolls.



  1. 1 cup mashed potatoes (peeled Russet potatoes, about 3 medium sized ones)
  2. 1 cup potato water
  3. 1 cup half water, half milk hot
  4. 1/2 cup water hot to combine with yeast
  5. 4 1/2 tsp yeast
  6. 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  7. 3/4 cup castor sugar
  8. 9 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 2 eggs


  1. 1 cup castor sugar
  2. 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  3. 1/2 cup butter soft


  1. 1 tbls peanut butter
  2. 3 tbls cream
  3. 1/3 cup icing sugar


In a small bowl combine the hot water and yeast and let it rest for 5 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl beat the potato, water, milk, butter, sugar and salt until all the butter is melted  (let the water cool).  Add the yeast and eggs and 2 cups of flour.  Continue beating adding flour one cup at a time until smooth dough forms.  Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes and then put the dough into a grease dish and cover with a tea-towel for an hour or so until the dough doubles in size.

Mashed potato folks!
After resting, flatten the dough and then separate into two pieces.  Roll one out into a 12" x 18" slab about 1/2" thick.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the slab of dough.  Roll it up so becomes a 12" log.  Cut into the desired thickness (anywhere from 6-12 pieces) and place onto a line baking sheet.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes as the rolls will broaden.  Pre-heat the oven to 170C (160C for fan-forced) at this stage.

After 30 minutes pop the cinnamon rolls in the oven for 35 minutes until golden brown.  Then take them out of the oven and allow to cool on the tray or wire rack.  Continue with the 2nd batch.


Glazed topping is really a matter of choice.  I have two here.  Peanut butter, made by combining 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter with 3 tablespoons of whipping cream and 1/3 cup of icing sugar.

Alternatively a combination of normal butter with milk or cream and icing sugar will give a nice buttery glaze.

Trickle the glaze over the roll and serve with a hot cup of coffee.


Simply gorgeous

Allow to rest before putting into oven

The smell of fresh cinnamon rolls is like a bakery

This one with a buttery glaze

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Almond, Macadamia and Coconut cookies

Found this recipe at a fantastic blog on the internet.  Suggestion was to add 75 grams of shredded coconut and i'm glad I did.


- 125g softened unsalted butter
- 150g packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of white castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 100g chopped macadamia nuts
- 100g chopped almonds
- 75g shredded coconut
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 150C and toast the nuts for 10 mminutes.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars until creamy.
  3. Separately sift the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and sugar and beat well.
  5. Add the flour and mix well.  Mixture should be a bit stiff.
  6. Combine the nuts and coconut into the mixture
  7. Increase oven heat to 180C.
  8. Using a ice-cream scoot scoot spoons of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet and press down with a fork.

  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Roasted shoulder pork with Crispy crackling

To get a crispy crackling layer on this shoulder pork I tried deep frying the pork for a couple of minutes prior to slow-roasting in the oven.  I was happy with the result a crispier crackling resulted.

I roasted it covered in al-foil and lathered in honey, BBQ sauce, rosemary and salt and pepper and then used the juices as a sauce for the pork and the roast potatoes and onions.  I cooked the pork uncovered at the end till the internal temp reached 65C and it blackened a bit in the process.

Nice for a weekend and leftovers for sandwiches.


Friday, 10 August 2012

White Choc Cranberry and Macadamia Cookies


I wanted to use reduced fat sweetened ondensed milk and less sugar to try and make a nice cookie.  It turned out ok, a little bit too cake-like and maybe not so sweet.  2 tbls more of brown sugar might do the trick.  The combination of white choc, macadamia and cranberries is very good.


- 150g softened butter
- 2 tbls black sugar
- 1/2 can 90% fat free sweetened condensed milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup cranberries


  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C. 
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth.
  3. Add condensed milk and egg.
  4. Separately sift together the flour and baking soda and then combine with butter mixture.
  5. Mixture should now be a bit stiff.
  6. Add in the chocolate, cranberries and macadamia nuts and combine.
  7. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop 2 inch white scoops of mixture onto a grease baking sheet.
  8. Press the balls of mixture down a little and then bake for 16 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Need to consume with a hot coffee.  Batch makes about a dozen cookies the size above.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Rum Balls

Rum balls are a great treat for a festive occasion.  But why not make them just any time?  Dead easy to make, only takes 20 minutes and a great tasting snack.  The only problem is stopping at just 1...


- 1/2 packet Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits
- 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 tbls cocoa powder
- 2 tbls rum
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 3 tbls dessicated coconut for coating


  1. Put the biscuits in a sealable sandwich bag and gently crush with a rolling pin
  2. Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl and add the next 4 ingredients.  Use a sieve for the cocoa to remove lumps.
  3. Stir and combine into a stiff mixture.
  4. Use a spoon to extract enough mixture to roll into a ball a bit less than 1 inch diameter.
  5. Coat with dessicated coconut and then place onto a baking tray.
  6. Repeat for all the mixture (this quantity makes about 20 rum balls).
  7. Place the tray in the freezer for several hours and then transfer to containers for storage in the freezer.
  8. Can keep for weeks in the freezer but put them in the fridge on the day you want to eat these.
Perfect any time.


Friday, 3 August 2012

Yam Cheesecake with Glazed Almonds

Made this cheesecake for my friend's birthday.  The yam, or Japanese sweet potato as it is called here, gives a beautiful purple coloour to the filling.  There is a peanut butter fudge layer separating the crust and the filling and it is topped with glazed almonds!  The filling is deliberately made a little less sweet since the fudge layer and the topping are sweet enough.


For the base
- half a packet of Arnotts biscuits (crushed)
- 150g of melted butter

For the Fudge layer
- 50g butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbls white sugar
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 1 tbls creamy peanut butter

For the Filling
- 2 x 8 ounce packets of cream cheese
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 3 medium Japanese sweet potato (boiled.  Makes about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup of whipping cream

For the Glazed almond topping
- 2 tbls butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup whipping cream or sour cream
 - 3/4 cup of chopped toasted almonds


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C.
  2. Combine the melted butter and crushed biscuits and press into the bottom of a greased 8" springform pan.
  3. Bake the base for 8 minutes then remove from oven to cool
  4. For the fudge layer, in a medium saucepan combine butter, sugar and cook on a high heat.
  5. Stir constantly as the mixture bubbles away.  The mixture will become hot enough that a teaspoon of it put into cold water stays in a ball.  When this happens take the mixture off the heat and stop stirring
  6. Put the peanut butter in the middle and let it cool naturally till it loses gloss.  Then stir with a wooden spoon mixing in the peanut butter.
  7. Pour into the spring-form pan and let cool or freeze for 20 minutes.
  8. Now you can make the cheesecake filling by beating together the cream cheese, sugar and add 1 egg at a time, the vanilla essence and cream to make a smooth filling.   Separate 1 cup of the mixture that we will use later for marbling.
  9. To the main mixture add the softened yam and cinnamon.  Continue to combine the ingredients.
  10. Pour half into the springform pan (The fudge layer should now be hardened).
  11. On top pour half of the separated mixture and with a metal spatula make streaks combining the two giving a marbling effect.  Continue to add and layer and marble the rest of the mixture.
  12. Reduce the heat to 140C and bake for 45 minutes surrounded in a tray with 1 inch of water.
  13. After that let the cheesecake cool with oven door ajar for a further 45 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile make the glazed almonds by combining the first 3 ingredients of the topping until well combined over a low-heat.  Once thickened a little remove from heat and stir in the almonds.
  15. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan. 
  16. Pour the topping atop the cake and refrigerate for 6 hours or over-night (i usually cook at night).
  17. In the morning carefully remove the springform pan.  The topping should now be hard.
Great with a cup of coffee for breakfast, after yoga of course :-)

The base after cooking
The fudge layer after refrigeration