Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

You know how some people have white kitchens?  Everything is white and stainless steel and elegant.  That is so not the case at our house. Sure, the benches are white, and we serve dinner on white bone china, but the advent of silicone and plastic has added glorious colour to the room.  On a dull and overcast day, just opening the kitchen drawers can put a smile on my face.  I thought you might enjoy seeing the colours of my kitchen.

Here are the browns – chocolate, dutch cocoa, and more chocolate.

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Pete’s magnificent jams are always jewel-like and luminescent. If they didn’t taste so good, I’d keep them on the shelf as decorative pieces.

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I have a pair of Emile Henry tagines in flame red which I am completely besotted with.  Food always tastes better cooked in these – I’m sure the colour makes a difference…

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My friend Robyn gave me a Herbie’s Spice Kit for my birthday, and Pete V brought  back saffron for me from their trip to Spain.  I find the colour of  the spices appealing – particularly the red and terracotta toned ones.  The saffron is so alluring that whenever I need some for a recipe, I have to spend ten minutes admiring it first…

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And finally, here are my customised Fig Jam and Lime Cordial Welding Gloves.   You know you’ve hit the big time when you have branded merchandise, although it’s a little sad when you have to make it yourself.  I found these welding gloves at a great price, and can you guess why?  How many welders do you know who would front up to a construction site wearing bright orange welding gloves?  Which is a shame, because these are day-brighteningly gorgeous!

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This recipe is a family standby.  It is almost universally loved and yet so very easy to throw together.  I make it as a lunch treat, send it in with Big Boy for “Feed the Friends Friday”, and every year bake enough to feed the school orchestra before their major performances.

As Small Man is allergic to walnuts and pecans, we’ve excluded the nuts specified in the original Mrs Field’s recipe and substituted more chocolate instead.  I have to admit that I do get a little obsessive about the chocolate in my butterscotch bars.  I like to have at least three different sorts in the mix, and have occasionally had as many as five.  It has to be the best chocolate you can manage – that’s what elicits the oohs and ahhs on tasting.  These days we always use Callebaut chocolate, but I’ve also used chopped up bars of Lindt with great success.  One year I had a large supply of Lindt Christmas balls, which went in whole, producing round orbs of milk chocolate within the finished bar.  I always use a mix of dark and milk chocolates, but never white (I’ve tried it, but the end result is too sweet for our tastes).  Often I’ll use three different sorts of dark chocolate – broken up baking sticks (which don’t melt in the oven), 54% callets (which do melt) and 70% callets (which give the bars an extra depth of flavour).  It does get a little over the top at times…


  • 2 cups (300g) plain (AP) flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) – sifted
  • 1 cup (215g) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large (59g) egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (360g) mixed chocolate chips (I use Callebaut dark and milk)

1. Preheat oven to 150 C (300F) with fan. Grease or line an 8″ (20cm) square pan with Bake.

2. Combine flour and soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a wire whisk.  Add the chocolate chips, and stir to combine.

3. In a large mixing bowl, blend the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer, then add the egg and vanilla.  Beat until light and smooth.  Scrape down the bowl, then add the flour and chocolate chips.  Blend at low speed until just combined – do not overmix.

4. Spoon the finished mix into the baking pan and level the top off.  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a thin sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean of cake mixture (ignore the melted chocolate).  Do not overbake.


5. Leave the bars in their pan and cool the whole thing on a wire rack.  When cool, cut into bars and serve.  These freeze very well and defrost perfectly by lunch time, making them an ideal school treat.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe


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