Valentines Day Heart Shaped Marshmallow Slice (makes 25-30)

This heart shaped slice is the perfect Valentine’s Day treat and with only 4 ingredients, it is so quick and easy to make.

I’d love to hear what your favourite Valentine’s Day treats are so please post below with what you would love to give or receive!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups rice bubbles or rice puffs
  • 3 cups pink and white marshmallows (generous cups)
  • 1 cup white chocolate melts
  • 3 Tbs butter

Method:

1. Measure out rice bubbles into a large mixing bowl.  Also grease a large flat and rectangular baking tray with butter.

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2. Melt butter, marshmallows and white chocolate over a medium heat until they begin to dissolve, stirring frequently to stop the mixture sticking to the pan.

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3. When marshmallows start to dissolve, add a couple of drops of pink food colouring. You can add as little or as much as you like to get the desired colour.  You could also use red, or, if you use only white marshmallows you can use blue, green, yellow or whatever colours you like!

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4. Stir in food colouring and mix (still on medium heat) until mixture is smooth.

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5.Pour mixture over rice bubbles and stir until they are fully covered then pour into the pre-greased baking tray.

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6. Press down until flat.  Leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes then turn over onto a greased board or flat surface.

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7. Use cookie cutters to cut the rice bubbles into shapes, pressing the mixture into the cutters before pushing them out.

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8. Allow to cool further then enjoy! Slice will be sticky yet soft and chewy!

You can put a sheet of baking paper in a box and wrap them up, ready to give to your Valentine (or enjoy them yourself for a super sweet treat)!

Kataifi Prawns (serves 3-4 as an entree)

This simple and quick recipe is great for entrees or just a light snack.

It is healthier than tempura prawns or prawn cocktails as it does not involve any frying and looks interesting on the plate.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packet kataifi, kept out for a few hours until it is room temperature
  • 500gr prawns
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used an African-style rub mix)

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Peel and de-vein prawns, leaving the tails on.

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3. Take some kataifi out gently and put it in a small bowl. Separate some of the strands so it is easier to work with.

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4. Beat the egg with a fork and add salt, pepper and your choice of seasoning.

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5. Lay the kataifi strands out in a long line. Place the prawn at the top of the strand and roll it down to the bottom until covered. Place on an oiled tray.

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6. Once all prawns are covered in kataifi, place tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden and crispy.

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Enjoy!

Red & White Meringues (makes 16-17)

Looking for a different take on the usual summer pav? Or do you want a quick and easy dessert option which looks unique and Christmassy?

Well look no further, TCFB has your back!

This recipe was made using left over eggs from my mum’s annual Sri Lankan Christmas Cake. It is best to make it on a day that isn’t too humid as moisture could affect how they turn out.

I thought I would add some red food colouring to mix it up a little and also added almond flavouring for something different, but you can add whatever flavour you like (peppermint is popular too).

Try it out yourself and let me know how you go!

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Ingredients:

  • 12 egg whites, kept at room temperature
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Red food colouring (or you could use green)
  • Almond essence (you could use any flavour you like)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 120C (fan forced).

2. Spray trays with olive oil.

3. Place egg whites in a large bowl. Add salt and beat with an electric mixer until “soft peaks” form (about 4-5 minutes).

4. Add half a cup of caster sugar then beat incorporate it into the egg white mixture.

5. Repeat step 4 until all the caster sugar is mixed in and “stiff peaks” form.

6. Add a bit of red food colouring and gently swirl it into the mixture (do not mix).

7. Dollop onto trays in large mounds.

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8. Bake in oven for about 50-60 minutes.

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9. Open oven door but leave the trays in there while the meringues cool.

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Brandy Chocolate Truffles (makes about 24)

An easy and festive Christmas treat, these brandy truffles are super neat!

Try your hand at making them and let me know what you think. I think they are great as a post-dinner dessert or just for a little snack with a mug of eggnog.

20131215_19492020131215_194927Ingredients:

  • 230 grams chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dessicated coconut

Method:

1. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl.

3. Heat thickened cream over the stove on medium and bring just to the boil.

4. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until mixed in and all chocolate pieces are melted.

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5. Add butter and stir again until mixed in.

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6. Add liqueur and stir.

7. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or preferably, overnight.

8. Use a melon baller to get even sized scoops of chocolate and roll into round balls.

9. Coat in cocoa powder and/or coconut.  You can also use crushed and toasted nuts, hundred and thousands, or chocolate swirls (Flake works well).

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10. Cover and place in the fridge until firm.

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11. Serve at room temperature.

White Christmas Crackles (makes 36)

This is the perfect Christmas treat as it has a bit of crunch, a bit of squishy marshmallow, sweet glace cherries and creamy chocolate.

It is super easy to make and looks amazing.

Add whatever nuts, sweets or biscuits you like to customise this fun dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rice bubbles
  • 250gr copha, melted in microwave
  • 250gr white chocolate melts (I used Cadbury)
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries/craisins
  • The red and green glace cherries from a 100gr packet, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 10 plain biscuits, crushed (I used Scotch Fingers)

Method:

1.Line muffin or cupcake trays with patty pans.

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2. Add chocolate melts to melted copha and stir until chocolate has melted and both ingredients are mixed in.

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3.Add icing sugar and mix in, working it in with the spoon or spatula until all the chunks are smoothed out.

4. In a separate (large) bowl, add rice bubbles, coconut, glace cherries, marshmallows, cranberries and crushed biscuits.

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5. Pour the white chocolate and copha mixture over the rice bubble mixture and mix thoroughly.

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6. Spoon the mixture into cupcake tins.

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7. Allow to set, then enjoy!

Chicken, Avocado and Green Bean Salad with Tomato (serves 4)

This salad is perfect for work lunches or even as a side at a BBQ or lunch event.

Easy to make and pretty healthy for you if you add less mayonnaise!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (approx 200gr)
  • 60gr semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 handful green beans, de-stringed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 Tsp spicy seasoning (e.g. cajun, paprika, zaatar, chilli, cumin etc)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs seeded mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and rub the spicy seasoning in.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces off until cooked through.

3. Steam de-stringed beans until they go dark green and are cooked through but still a little crunchy.

4. Cut avocado into large chunks (I sliced it and then cut the slices in half).

5. Wash, de-seed and cut red capsicum into cubes.

6. Wash baby spinach leaves and put in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, cooled chicken breast pieces and beans, and avocado.

7. Mix mayonnaise and mustard in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the salad and mix well.

Enjoy!

Banoffee Pie (serves 6)

Banoffee pie is one of those recipes that is growing increasingly popular. I had heard about it from friends, seen it on other websites and blogs, and finally, a colleague made one and brought it into work.

A banoffee pie is basically a biscuit base, a caramel or dulce de leche filling, topped with bananas, whipped cream, and dusted with cocoa powder.

I decided to try making one myself and used the Carnation recipe with condensed milk to speed up the caramel cooking process.

I was surprised at how easy this was to make and I’ll definitely be trying it again as everyone loved it! Such a change from the usual chocolate or lemon tarts.

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Ingredients:

  • For the base:

100g melted butter
250g digestive or plain biscuits, crushed

  • For the caramel:

100g butter
100g brown soft sugar
397g tin condensed milk

  • For the top:

4 small bananas
300ml thickened cream, whipped
Grated chocolate or cocoa powder, to dust

Method:

1.  Pulse biscuits in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.

2. Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin.

3. Put the biscuits in a bowl and add the melted butter, mix well until combined. Then spoon the mixture into the cake tin and press into the sides to make a pie shell. Chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

4. Melt butter and sugar in a non-stick saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

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5. Add condensed milk to the butter and sugar mix and stir rapidly. Bring to the boil (for at least 1 minute) and stir until a thick caramel is formed.

6. Spread the caramel over the base, cool in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

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7. Remove the pie from the tin and place on a serving plate.

8. Top with sliced bananas, then whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

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