>Black Bean Brownies

So I want to be a pastry chef, right?

And I’m pretty sure I go to culinary school, where I study patisserie. And I go to classes, where I like, bake stuff.

And last time I checked, I worked at a cupcake shop, where like five times a week, I bake stuff.

And I think I have a blog, which I bake stuff for all the time.

And I want to work in a bakery, even own my own one day, yeah? Pretty sure I’ll have to bake stuff for that, too.

Well. I am totally on the right track in life. Because I am so smart, and so amazing at baking, that I totally forgot to put the chocolate chips in the mixture for these brownies.

HOW does that even happen?!?

I was wondering why it looked like there was hardly any batter when I poured it in the pan. And I didn’t realize what I’d done then. Nope. I put the pan in the oven anyway.

It was only 7 minutes into baking, when I was looking over Maura’s photos, that I realized this thing is supposed to have chocolate chips in it. Ugh!

So I pulled the pan out of the oven quick as I could, dumped a bag of chocolate chips on it and sort of swirled them in with a knife.

This is real life, people.

Luckily for me they worked out anyway. Even though half the chips melted.

So here we have some gooey black bean brownies. WITH chocolate chips inside. Just remember to stir yours through BEFORE you put the pan in the oven. Like a normal person. Okay?

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie via My Healthy ‘Ohana.

1 x 400g (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup quick oats or rolled oats processed fine
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp strong black coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with baking paper.

Put the beans in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the maple syrup and canola oil and continue to process until smooth and there are no lumps of beans left.

Add the processed oats, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, baking powder and salt and process until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand (don’t forget!).

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the center is set. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 16 brownies.


Filed under Bars and Brownies, Chocolate, Gluten Free, Vegan

>Peanut Butter and Banana Healthy Breakfast Muffins

So I cannot sit still.

I am incapable.

Like, I think I may actually have a problem.

I am incapable of simply doing nothing. And I am addicted to technology.

I cannot just be. I have to be doing, all the time. And it’s becoming ridiculous.

Picture this:

Tuesday night. Girl on couch. Watching Suits on TV and drooling over Harvey.
Laptop on knees. Blog, Facebook, Foodgawker, Pinterest, email, recipes and online shopping sites all open in tabs.
Skype on. Chatting to a friend from overseas.
iPhone in hand. Simultaneously texting and using Instagram.

Yep, that’s me.

How is that normal?

See? I have a problem, clearly.

And because I am abnormal and constantly doing, I made some healthy muffins the other night. While I was watching Revenge. And talking on the phone to my girlfriend. And taking food photos to post on Instagram.

Adapted from Cait’s Plate.

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips or blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, milk and vanilla.

Add the plain flour, wholemeal flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips or blueberries.

Divide the mixture between the muffin holes, filling each liner about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

These muffins are best eaten on the first day. Microwave any leftover muffins for 20 seconds or so before eating to make them yummy again.


Filed under Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Cupcakes & Bites

>Rolo Bars

Life is funny sometimes.

Like when you make an effort and spend time doing your hair in the morning and no one comments on  it.

But then you don’t wash it for a few days and twist it back haphazardly to hide that it’s dirty and everyone tells you it looks great.

Like when you really really like a boy but he doesn’t even realize that you exist.

But then a boy really really likes you and you’re totally not interested in him.

Like when everyday that you’re at work its warm and sunny outside and you know that summer is coming and you want to go and play in the sun but you’re stuck inside.

But then on the one day you have off it gets as cold as winter again and rains all day.

Like when you bake something new and complicated and time consuming just for fun and it turns out beautifully.

But then you try, really try, to make something you’ve made a hundred times before for someone for a special occasion and everything goes wrong.

Life is funny sometimes.

Like when I made these bars. I was making them for a friend. Which means I was trying. So I stuffed them up (of course!).

I forgot to set the oven timer for the chocolate cookie base. And I had no idea how long it had been baking for when the smell of chocolate wafting out of the kitchen reminded me that I had it in the oven. So it ended up over baked. And crumbly. Ugh.

Point of the story is that it’s totally not supposed to look like that. So don’t over bake your cookie base, okay? Good.

Adapted from Roxana’s Home Baking.

For the chocolate cookie base
170g unsalted butter (12 tbsp)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line an 8 x 8 pan with baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar, flour and cocoa in a food processor or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on a low speed until a soft ball of dough forms.

Press the dough evenly into the base of the prepared pan. Prick with a fork several times.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the caramel topping
110g salted butter (1/2 cup)
1 x 397g (14oz) cans condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
30 – 40 Rolo chocolates, halved

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat.

Add the sugar and the condensed milk.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly so it does not catch and burn. This will take some time.

Once the mixture has come to the boil, cook for a further 5 – 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and changes colour slightly.

Pour half the caramel mixture over the cooled cookie base. Top with the chopped Rolos. Pour the remaining caramel over the top and smooth out the surface with a spatula.

Allow to cool completely.

For the chocolate topping
100g milk chocolate, chopped (4 oz)
2 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp milk

Place the chocolate, Nutella and milk in a small saucepan over a low heat.

Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny.

Pour over the caramel layer and smooth over with a spatula.

Allow to set completely at room temperature before cutting. Makes 36 small squares.


Filed under Bars and Brownies, Chocolate

>Easy Nutella Brownie Oreo Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

So let’s talk about culinary school.

It’s pretty awesome. And I kind of love it.

We have lots of different classes, each of which run for a term. There has been cakes, pastries, bread, basic cooking, restaurant classes, hot and cold desserts, yeast goods, petit fours and more.

I absolutely loved hot and cold desserts, and pastries, and yeast goods. Basically I love the classes in which we make great food. And the classes in which we have good teachers.

Making croissants and danishes in yeast goods were my favourite classes. Hot, buttery pastries fresh out of the oven are amazing.

And in hot and cold desserts, we had an amazing teacher, who won the world championship in bread and pastry sculpture last year. Learning how to plate up desserts from him was awesome.

Then there are theory classes. Like hygiene, hospitality and food safety.

Those classes are ridiculous. And boring. there are only so many times you can be taught the same thing without starting to fall asleep on your desk.

One of the theory classes we had this semester was coaching. All we did the whole term was plan a coaching session, where in 10 minutes, we had to coach someone how to do something. Anything.

So I taught my friend how to frost cupcakes.

I’m completely and utterly over cupcakes after having to bake and ice them at work in the morning, so I made these Nutella brownies into cupcakes, stuffed them with an Oreo, and whipped up an easy Nutella frosting to teach her how to ice them with.

They were great! I loved them with frosting.

I taught her the basic technique I frost with at work, just using a star nozzle instead of a round one. Once we finished, everyone got to eat Nutella brownie cupcakes and they were a hit!

And my friend has been nagging me for the frosting recipe ever since.. so here you go Maddison!


For the easy Nutella brownie cupcakes
Adapted from Abby Dodge.

1 1/2 cups Nutella (420g, 15 oz)
3 eggs
3/4 cup + 3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
12 Oreos

Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place an Oreo in the base of each liner.

In a medium bowl, mix together the Nutella, eggs, flour and salt until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin holes. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Nutella buttercream frosting
Adapted from Kitchen Treaty.

250g unsalted butter, softened (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
2 cups powdered sugar (240g)
2/3 cup Nutella (100g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp + 1 tsp milk

Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter and sugar on a low speed until they are combined.

Add the Nutella and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla and the salt, and beat for 30 seconds.

Slowly add the milk, while still mixing, and beat for a further minute.

Fit a piping bag with a medium star nozzle, fill with buttercream and frost as desired. Makes 12 cupcakes.


Filed under Bars and Brownies, Chocolate, Frostings & Sauces, Muffins, Cupcakes & Bites, Nutella

>Blueberry Crumble Pie Bars

Spring is here!

It’s going to be warm soon! Here’s how I can tell:

1. Mosquitoes are back. And biting. Love them.

2. I no longer have to layer up like an onion with jumpers and knits and coats and two or three pairs of socks and scarves and beanies just so that I can go outside. Maybe I can even pack up my winter coats for the year? That’s probably wishful thinking.

3. Today, when I left the house at 5.45am to go to work, there was some daylight outside. The sun was rising. It wasn’t pitch black. I could actually see where I was going on my way to the car. It blew my mind.

4. When I got to said car, it didn’t have a layer of ice on the windscreen.

5. Among all the rainy, cold, miserable Melbourne days, there have been a few warm ones this month. Gorgeous days where you can actually wear just a t-shirt when you go outside. It’s amazing.

6. It is not absolutely freezing and bitingly cold at night anymore. Most of the time.

7. I can smell spring. I’m not sure if it’s the freshly cut grass, or the blossoming flowers, or just the promise of warmth in the air, but it smells like spring outside. I love the smell of spring.

8. My eyes are itchy itchy and I am sneezing all the time. I have hay fever! It’s so attractive.

9. I have actually been motivated to go running recently. Which definitely did not happen at all during winter. No, no it didn’t.

10. I have started baking with summer fruit. Actual fresh summer fruit, not frozen summer fruit. Like blueberries. Yum! Bring on summer


For the shortbread crust
Adapted from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson.

1/2 cup icing sugar (55g, 2 oz)
1 1/2 cups plain flour (215g, 7 1/2 oz)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (170g, 6 oz)
pinch of salt

For the blueberry filling
This pie filling calls for tapioca flour. If you can’t find this, try using extra cornstarch or some flour as a replacement thickener.

1kg blueberries (2 pounds)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt

For the crumble topping
1 1/2 cups plain flour
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
3 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 9 x 13 inch pan with baking paper.

To make the crust, sift the icing sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the flour and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on a low speed to combine.

Add the butter and mix on a low speed just until a dough forms.

Put the dough in the pan and press it evenly into the base and up the sides. This will take a little time and is annoying, but keep at it.

Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 25 – 35 minutes, until it evenly colours to a deep golden brown. I had to uncover mine for the last 5 minutes.

While the crust is baking, make the crumble. In the same stand mixer, add the flour, butter, sugar and salt. Mix on a low speed for 4 – 5 minutes, until a buttery crumble forms. Set aside.

To make the filling, mix together the blueberries, sugar, tapioca flour, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

When the crust is ready, take it out of the oven. Spread the blueberry filling evenly over it, and top with the crumble.

Return to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 20 pie bars.


Filed under Bars and Brownies, Crumbles, Fruit, Pies & Tarts

>Chocolate Espresso Mousse

So I’m freaking out a little.

It’s coming to that time in my life when I am at a massive crossroads. A huge intersection. A junction.

And. I. Am. Freaking. Out.

In November, I will finish studying. I will officially be finished my Bachelor of Arts degree. And I will officially be finished my Patisserie course.

I will no longer be a student. I will no longer be able to call myself a student. I will no longer have an excuse for living at home and working a casual job and traveling all the time and not taking life seriously.

I fell like, in November, it will be time for me to become a grown up, and start taking life seriously.

But, like, whatamIgoingtodonext?! Iamtotallyfreakingout.

The easiest option would be to continue living at home, and to keep working at the cupcake shop. But that option is so safe. And somewhat boring.

I feel like it’s time to get serious. Grow up. Change things. Step out on my own, properly. And take on some more responsibilities.

The idea is daunting, but also exciting.

Problem is, I don’t know what to do.

Do I move out of home? Or do I move straight overseas? Do I look for work in a bakery here in Melbourne? Or do I try my hand at finding a job in Europe or in the States (that is the dream, people!)? Or do I work here for a bit first, then move away?

I don’t know. I have no idea what I am going to do, and November is like, not even 3 months away.

All I know for sure is that I want to bake. And I want to blog. And I made you some chocolate mousse.

It is yummy chocolate mousse. It’s very chocolate-y and mousse-y and strong on the coffee. It’s good.

I’m going to stop rambling now. I have to go and eat some chocolate mousse try to sort out my life.

Adapted from Donna Hay.

200g dark chocolate
20g unsalted butter
1/4 cup strong coffee
3 eggs, seperated
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
250ml cream

Put the dark chocolate, butter and coffee in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the egg yolks and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on a high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, slowly, and beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold a little of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Then fold all the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Fold in the cream.

Pour the mousse into 6 glasses. Refrigerate until set, preferably overnight. Serves 6.


Filed under Chocolate, Dessert

>Oreo Truffles

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes, I’m pretty damn lazy.

I’m the kind of person that makes herself scrambled eggs for dinner because she can’t be bothered cooking.

I procrastinate on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram instead of doing my assignments.

I vacuum my dog instead of brushing her (and then sometimes I can’t even be bothered doing that).

I wear creased blouses instead of ironing my clothes.

I spend hours browsing through Foodgawker instead of writing blog posts.

If I really want to bake something but don’t have all the ingredients in the pantry already then I won’t, just because I can’t be bothered driving the 2 seconds it takes to get to the supermarket.

I often grab a cookie and have a coffee instead of making myself breakfast. Or if there’s no cookies sometimes I just don’t eat.

And there are some days where I don’t put any make up on in the morning because I know I won’t be bothered washing it off later. And I’m a little obsessive compulsive so if i put it on I have to wash it off later. None of that sleeping with it on!

Yeah. So I’m lazy. And a little weird.

But these truffles are perfect lazy-girl baking.

They’re actually no-bake. They take all of 5 minutes, and you get a chocolate fix at the end.

No one could possibly be too lazy to make these, right?


Adapted from the beautiful Averie Cooks.

2 1/2 packets of Oreos (total of 375g, or 13 oz)
1 packet of cream cheese, softened (250g, 9 oz)
1 small block milk chocolate

Crush the Oreos until fine. You can use a food processor if you like. Stir in the cream cheese.

In a medium bowl, grate the milk chocolate.

Scoop teaspoons of the Oreo mixture and roll it into balls. Coat in the grated chocolate and place on a tray.

Refrigerate and enjoy being lazy! Makes 25 – 30 large truffles.


Filed under Chocolate, Truffles