january: anna’s $500 cookies

A lot of people claim to have the best choc chip cookie recipe, but this one is my favorite. There are two types of chocolate in it, choc chips as well as grated chocolate – I prefer dark chocolate but you can use any kind you like. My mum isn’t much of a baker, but this is one of her staple recipes that we made countless times when I was growing up. She brought her old recipe book with her when she visited me in New York last year, and we ended up whipping up a batch (well actually not one batch, but two!). I still had some ingredients leftover in the pantry, so I decided to make some for our Super Bowl party this weekend!$500 Cookies Choc Chip Oatmeal

The story behind the “$500 Cookies” is that a lady ordered the recipe from a magazine (in the days before people used the internet!) thinking that it cost $5.00. When the recipe and invoice arrived in the mail, she realized her mistake, and it actually cost $500! She was so furious that she gave copies of the recipe to everyone she knew, and asked them to do the same. We were given the recipe by a family friend and who knows how many people it had been passed through. What better way to spread the recipe than a food blog?! Be sure to share this one with your friends!$500 Cookies Choc Chip Macadamia Oatmeal

Find the recipe here

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january: lisa’s chocolate meringue and mousse cake

One of the things I love about chocolate is that it can be used in so many ways, and you can create so many different textures using it. And really, who doesn’t like chocolate!

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I created this dessert because it’s something that can be made well in advance, it’s relatively simple, but the taste is sweet and rich. And it will keep fresh in the fridge for around 4 days. So if you’re short on time for your next dinner party, make this a day ahead and you’ll be set for dessert.

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Inspired by the classic French chocolate concorde, it’s the perfect combination of crispy meringue on the outside, chewy on the inside, and surrounded by a smooth, rich chocolate mouse. The ultimate chocolate indulgence.

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This Chocolate Meringue and Mousse Cake is decadent on it’s own, however it can also be dressed up with fresh fruits in season, served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, or topped with shaved chocolate for a more fancy finish. I must admit, when I served this to my friends, they just wanted to get into it as quickly as possible so it was basically cut and served right away. I guarantee this is plate-licking good! Enjoy!

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january: jasmine’s double chocolate cookies

IMG_4198This month’s theme inspired me to bake some early Valentine’s Day treats for K as K will be home on his own for most of February.

We are all headed to Canada next week to visit my parents but because of work commitments, K will only be away for 2 weeks while baby A and I will be in Canada for a month. K and I normally don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, but given that he is going to be on his own for a couple of weeks I thought that it would be nice for him to have some home-made treats for when he is back in Sydney :)

Chocolate is K’s favorite sweet indulgence! When we go out for dessert, K always orders the chocolate item and he also always makes sure that we have a variety of chocolate treats at home ranging from chocolate fudge ice cream and frozen Sara Lee chocolate cake to bars of dark chocolate and chocolate covered biscuits.

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Given how much K loves chocolate, I wanted to make something that was really rich and chocolate-y! These double chocolate cookies are inspired by a chocolate chip cookie recipe that my mom made when we were growing up. The original recipe is for a soft, melt-in-your-mouth type of cookie. These double chocolate cookies have the same texture but are a bit more dense and a lot richer! To the original chocolate chip cookie recipe, I added melted dark chocolate, lots of chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

I hope K enjoys these :)

january: kerri’s chocolate shortbread ice cream sandwiches

I must confess that I made these as a belated Christmas present as I was too busy before Christmas to get myself organised. Our friends received a card with a ‘gift coming in January 2013’ slip inside. And since this month’s theme is chocolate, it was perfect timing.

I think I’ve said it before – I love ice cream sandwiches. My favourite of all time is the Monaco bar – a soft chocolate biscuit sandwiching creamy vanilla ice cream. Simple, but the best! Popular in Australia during the 80s, it was sadly discontinued at some point, only living as a nostalgic memory of the ‘good ol days’. But sometimes Aussies can be persistent – after a petition campaign lasting at least a couple of years, it was finally brought back into the ice cream cabinets of Australia in 2008!

I’ve been looking for a cookie recipe that could replicate the Monaco bar – mainly the soft-but-not-too-soft texture. I think this is the closest I’ve found. Chocolate shortbread by Thomas Keller.

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You can use any flavour ice cream you like for these. I made TK’s coffee ice cream to go with these but you can also use store bought ice cream.

choc shortbread3I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe up my sleeve – even without the ice cream, the shortbread on it’s own is really good. An indulgent snack, a great gift or with ice cream for a yummy dessert – you can’t go wrong :)

choc shortbread4You can find the recipe here.

december: lisa’s cherry pie

Firstly, I need to apologise for the lateness of this post. As usual, Christmas/New Year was a whirlwind of activity, and I didn’t get a chance to sit down and upload my December creation until now. Not an excuse, I know, but better late than never right?

December = Christmastime and for me, when I think of Christmas, I think of all the gorgeous Summer fruits that come into season. I’m thinking mangos, berries of all sorts and most of all, cherries! There is not one Christmas party that we go to where there is not a bowl of luscious looking cherries on the table.

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This year was no different. A week prior to Christmas, I had a family BBQ at my place. Of course someone brought a huge box of cherries, too much to be eaten on the day of the BBQ. So I thought, here’s my chance to make a cherry pie! Much talked about, especially in North America, but not around their Christmas.

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This pie is best eaten still warm after baking, with a dollop of really good vanilla bean ice cream. So if you’re short on preparation time on the day, the cherry filling can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Also, if you don’t have a cherry pitter, it’s just as easy to split the cherries in half to remove the seeds. I hope you enjoy this cherry pie dessert! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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january: chocolate

chocolate bakingHappy New Year! Welcome to BSS 2013!

We’re starting with an oldie but a goodie this year – chocolate! Decadent, rich, simple, comforting – chocolate holds any number of adjectives and emotions for so many.

We may also give you some ideas for baking that special something for your special someone next month for Valentine’s Day! So watch us this month as we bake away in the new year!