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JULY- AUGUST: GRACE’S “FERRERO ROCHER” BLISS BALLS

It was with some hesitation that I ventured into the world of raw desserts… sceptical about recipes raving about how beetroot and chocolate mud cakes were interchangeable, or the virtues of cashew cream pies (unbaked and grain free of course). My adventurous side was up for a challenge, but I wanted something that would actually get eaten by my even more doubtful family and friends, so I thought I’d tackle the well trodden path of the humble bliss ball- especially since they seem to be at every cafe about town these days. 

I contemplated quite a few of these recipeshowever in the end, the words “ferrero rocher” caught my eye… and with a simple 4 ingredient list, it was off to the shops I go. 

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What these recipes should warn you though, is that the recipe may call for only four ingredients, but the cost of said ingredients would end up being as much if not more, than the sum of their counterparts! Im happy to pay more for organic, and believe in good produce, but I can’t lie, part of me wanted to just go down and grab actual ferrero rochers and be done with it! 

Pressing on though, the recipe itself was simple- toast of nutty meal here, chops of dates there and a good old pulsing of the blender was pretty much all that was required. Initial smells and tastes were also incredibly promising – with a hazelnut chocolateness building in the air, my hopes rose, perhaps there was something to these bliss balls! 

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However I did find the mixture much crumblier and therefore, messier than anticipated when I attempted to roll the mixture into balls in my hand. I needed to add a bit of honey and about a spoonful of additional slightly melted coconut oil in order to coax the texture to combine together. Other recipes call for coconut cream instead of oil and I could see the virtue in that.

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So, the verdict? The initial bite was definitely a pleasant surprise and they do satisfy the desire for a nutty chocolate fix. I have even decided to try a few more of the bliss ball recipes I came across in my search. However, I think for me it will always be Ferrero Rocher over Ferrero RAWcher. 

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You can find the recipe here.

MAY- JUNE: GRACE’S COINTREAU BRIOCHE PUDDING

Change was clearly in the air here at Buttersweetsymphony because just like Kerri, I’ve also had a change in international postcodes… although for us it was moving to our hometown of Sydney, Australia. It might have been a move home, but we sure did it the least straightforward way possible- fitting in a trip in the opposite direction to Croatia (via Helsinki, and no, that is not on the way), and ending with such a complicated 4+ days worth of travel that to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure where I am, let alone where my baking supplies are!

With that in mind, boozy infusions may have been just what the doctor ordered, yet I was definitely likewise challenged as to what I could make in our “home” (aka temporary apartment). Then, one chilly* Sydney winters night, as I hugged a mug of tea, half a brioche leftover on my kitchen bench, it hit me- bread and butter pudding. The sweet salvation of hearty comfort food is surely one of the great things about winter, so with a few tweaks here and a few sips of cointreau there (for taste testing purposes of course), we found ourselves with a crowd pleaser.

 

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There’s nothing not to love about this super simple recipe. It won’t win any contests for its lumpy looks but that intoxicating smell well draw you in and that custardy sloppiness is just perfect for dipping a big spoon into again and again…

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Winter calls for indulgence so it’s not necessary but highly recommended to serve this with some cream whipped with vanilla beans/essence .

You can find the recipe here.

*I am well aware that compared to most of the world, Sydney has no place complaining about any winter “chills” but having been in Singapore the last 3 years, anything under 10 degrees is COLD (and I’ve loved it!)

March-April: Grace’s Lavender and Lemon Friands (with Earl Grey Drizzle)

I am a grazer. When I was young, feeding me would last an entire day as I nibbled my way through meals and even as an adult, I’m such a serial snacker. Big meals intimidate me, but I’ll happily feed like a rabbit all day long, just give it to me bite-sized. So this challenge was one I relished! So much in fact, that I had trouble deciding what to make- cake pops, the wonderful world of cookies and biscuits, scones, muffins, truffles… it’s a dangerous rabbit hole to fall down! 

In the end, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Tea blending is another passion of mine, and since I’m on the journey to perfect a lavender infused earl grey, I figured I’d make the most of the fragrant lavender buds and earl grey teas I had on hand. Staying inspired by those glorious summers in Provence, I decided on friands, an essential in any french high tea set. 

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Warning: the intoxicating smell of lavender as it infuses with the melting butter is seriously seductive.

Happy sweet sweet snacking, these definitely didn’t last long in our house!

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Flavours that just work: home blended earl grey with lavender, fresh lemon zest and the deliciousness of almond meal.

You can find the recipe here.