Christmas Fruit and Nut Fudge

Christmas Fruit and Nut Fudge Recipe
This post was promised last week…so I’m hoping that Sunday still counts because as per usual life has gotten in the way and what should have been easy to do took me forever.

I love making handmade gifts but am not a crafter or a DIYer so in place of glitter, mason jars and twine I go with good old chocolate for making gifts for those people who can be a little awkward or tricky to buy for. This fudge I came up with last year and then made recently for our #brunchclub goodie bags, and it seemed to go down a treat!

Christmas Chocolate Fudge Recipe

It uses my pretty standard chocolate fudge recipe and throws in some extra bits and pieces to bring in the festivity. Along with the rich dark chocolate and sweet condensed milk I add some nuts (what ever is handy but my current favourite combo is almonds and pistachios) as well as some dried cranberries and some dried ginger/candied peel stuff that I found and that looked mildly appropriate. The result are rich little morsels of smooth chocolate, crunchy nuts and chewy fruit. The overall objective: Christmas in every mouthful.

Ingredients for Christmas Fudge

Ingredients for Christmas Fudge

  • 375grams of dark chocolate (or thereabouts, use milk if dark chocolate isn’t your thing, although I totally recommend the dark variety, as in my humble chocolate loving opinion, it goes perfectly with the sweetness of the fruit)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (around about 250g)
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup slivered almonds that you have tried to hack into smaller pieces but in reality have just turned into a giant mess
  • 1 cup of crushed pistachios (not too crushed, just not whole? See above)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or some other form of delicious dried fruit pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of candied peel/ginger mix

Method for Christmas Fudge Recipe

  1. Put the butter, condensed milk, vanilla essence and chocolate all into a saucepan on a low heat. I put the chocolate in last and keep this pretty low in temperature as chocolate can be one fussy ingredient and the fear of it seizing on me makes me unusually cautious. Not cautious enough to use a double boiler, which you can totally do. Im cautious but also lazy I guess this indicates.
  2. Wait for this to all melt but stir it until your arm hates you. Or get someone who loves you to stir it. It needs pretty consistent stirring, again so that the chocolate doesn’t turn on you and ruin a perfectly delicious gift idea.
  3. Once everything is smooth and combined, take the mixture off the heat and throw in half of all your delicious extras (as in half a cup of each nut, 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/4 cup of the candied mix). Mix this all through then pour into a lined baking tray.
  4. Smooth the whole thing down with a spatula (not too smooth ’cause rustic is totally what we are going for) and then sprinkle the rest of your extras over the top, attempting to be even but in the end, this is an unrealistic expectation to set upon yourself so just go wild. Press this all down gently otherwise all this good stuff will go rampant when we cut it up and bag it.
  5. Set in the fridge for as long as you can, at least a few hours then take it out and slice it!Chocolate Fruit and Nut Christmas

Tips – If the mixture with the chocolate starts to get too thick or its not smooth enough add a little liquid. I use baileys (because I love to add this to everything) but you could just use a little cream.

Christmas Fruit and Nut Fudge RecipeToppings for Fruit and Nut Fudge

Being Lizzy, I forgot to take a shot of these all bagged up with Christmas ribbons, but a recipe post wouldn’t be complete without me forgetting a step. You can buy little resealable bags from places like Looksharp, which make life a lot easier. I then added some twine and ribbon to make them worthy of all the lovely bloggers but you could just eat it all with the purpose of saving all your friends and family the calories.

Christmas Fruit and Nut Fudge Recipe

The great thing about this fudge is that you can totally change it up as much as you want. You can go with white chocolate, macadamias and cranberries (this actually sounds like a good idea for my next fudge post…), chocolate and coffee liqueur with hazelnuts, peppermint chocolate (just add a small amount of peppermint essence and voila!). The opportunities are almost endless! Let me know if you end up making this or if you have any other amazing fudge recipes to share!Christmas Fruit and Nut Fudge RecipeChristmas Fruit and Nut Fudge Recipe

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Marshmallow Chocolate Mud Cookies

So today I found out I would never be able to have a cookbook because I just can’t name recipes. I can’t. I don’t know how people come up with creative yet still descriptive titles. Mine are all either too abstract that they could be anything or just downright boring. For the sake of clarity I stuck with the boring because these cookies are so delicious that they don’t need much creativity to sell. DSC_2325

I am not a cookie person, but if I am going to eat cookies I prefer them homemade (who doesn’t) and these cookies are the only recipe I come back to over and over again when I want something delicious to tackle my ever-present craving for chocolate but not waste a whole day in the process. I almost always make these with my two little brothers which demonstrates how easy and fun they are to make (and even more fun to eat).

Team work

Team work

Let me give you a quick sales pitch (although you could just glance at the photos and I am quite confident you will be sold). These cookies hit all the right spots for me, chewy and moist on the inside, crispy on the outside, rich chocolate taste as well as extra little bites of chocolate pieces and topped with some gooey caramelised marshmallows…because if you are going to indulge you may as well have it all (I haven’t mastered moderation at this point in life).

ingredients

  • 1 – 1 and a half cups of chocolate chips (I love a mixture of dark chocolate and white chocolate but hey, go crazy)
  • 1/2 cup more of chocolate set aside (this can be in any form as you’re going to melt it anyway/eat it)
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla (I really love vanilla essence so just add 1 tsp if you aren’t such a big fan)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows (don’t worry, there will be plenty for snacking on)

method.

  1. Microwave your half cup of chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl until smooth. I check the chocolate every 30seconds and give it a good stir before continuing because too many times have I been fooled when microwaving chocolate and there is nothing more disappointing than ruining perfectly good chocolate. Whilst microwaving set your oven to bake at 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl and ignore all the dishes that will need to be done after this is over.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Make this easier on yourself with a electric mixer unless you enjoy the challenge of doing this by hand. Once this is creamy add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg is added. Lastly beat in the vanilla and the melted chocolate.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the chocolate, folding in gently but thoroughly so the air doesn’t escape. Add in the chocolate pieces (after taste testing a few to make sure they are worthy of your mixture).
  5. This is where it gets messy. Roughly roll teaspoonful balls of dough onto paper lined trays (chocolate is going to get all over your hands, but don’t worry the mixture tastes almost as good at this point as it does in approx 15 minutes). DSC_2267
  6. You can add your marshmallows now or in around 5 minutes depending on how well done you want the marshmallows to be. I add mine after a little bit of cooking just so that they don’t get too brown. Put roughly 3 mini marshmallows on top of each cookie or 4 if there is space and you haven’t already eaten too many.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for around 15 minutes or until they look evenly cooked/set. They will be pretty soft so once out of the oven leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy your hard work with a well earned cookie and glass of cold milk.

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Let me know if you give these a go (preferably in advance so I can come over and eat some) and if you have any amazing cookie recipes please throw them my way so I can expand my very narrow cookie repertoire. Link me up in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook 🙂

 

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Flick doesn’t understand why we bake things which she cannot eat and is thoroughly disappointed because these smelt so good.

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Moist Chocolate Cupcakes (that time I fell in love with a recipe)

You know when you meet someone again after a really long time, and you should remember their name but you don’t. You feel uncomfortably awkward because they act like they know you (and they seem to have remembered everything about you including your hatred of asparagus and your second-cousin’s ex-wife’s love of water-polo) and yet you remember nothing and have no idea how to interact with them.

Ok so maybe I am the only one.

Well thats what I feel like now. Coming back after a several month long hiatus of blogging where I was in a bit of a transitional period of life, busy with work, family and friends (but not busy enough that I can really use that as an excuse for abandoning myfoxycorner as well as myfoxytravels; two blogs=twice the guilt).

I am trying to pretend like I remember how to do this, when in reality I don’t think I ever really got the hang of blogging in the first place. So instead of just awkwardly dancing around the fact that I have been missing for a while, I will just be upfront with how hard it is to try and re-introduce myself to this little corner of the world.

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I could give you a rundown of all the exciting for me, mundane for you, updates in my life. Or I could fall back on an easy yet delicious cupcake recipe and save all that for when I can be bothered.

This cupcake recipe is one I have wanted to blog about for ages and for some reason never have. The reason why eludes me; these cupcakes are my soul-recipe. They are fool-proof (or rather Lizzy-proof). The evidence in this lies in many failed attempts at following a half remembered recipes, forgetting to set timers and then forgetting about the oven contents, and a couple of accidental grillings (how hard is it to make sure you set the oven to bake?, you ask).

Throughout all of these mistakes, these cupcakes have been like my parents. Supportive, forgiving, persistent, reliable and (end of parent comparison) just down right delicious. They are speedy and don’t use anything fancy that isn’t normally lying around my well-stocked cupboard (when it is well-stocked and not just full of pasta and chickpeas). They are the recipe I fall back on for anything and everything, including the ever common scenario I find myself in where I have to (want to) make something delicious and impressive for the next day but it’s already 9pm at night.

These chocolate cupcakes have everything I could want in a chocolate cupcakes. They are moist but still fluffy, rich but I can still eat several at a time, chocolatey but not overly sweet. Satisfying and reliable, like an old episode of the Simpsons.

So without further ado, here it is, the 1 recipe I would take with me to a desert island (or a more appropriate dessert island).

The easiest but most delicious chocolate cupcakes (adapted from hersheys.com “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake):

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  • 2 cups of Sugar (I like using mostly white with a little bit of brown sugar thrown in for some giggles)
  • 1 3/4 cup standard flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water (I add a tsp of instant coffee but this is optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prep your muffin tins with some appropriately beautiful cupcake liners
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl except the boiling water (and coffee). Sift in some stuff if you want but there is no need to get flour all over the sifter and then hate yourself afterwards.
  3. Beat by hand until the batter is completely combined, smooth and lump free.
  4. Add the coffee to the boiling water and then the coffee/boiling water to the mixing bowl. Whisk until this is just blended in. I’ll be honest here and warn you that its going to look like a chocolate soup (which does not look as delicious as it sounds). This is normal and great so just carry on, you’re doing an awesome job.
  5. Evenly pour the mixture into your liners, 3/4 full maximum to avoid spillage and angry regretful tears. Bake for around 20 minutes but around 15 minutes I start testing with a skewer. Once it comes out clean, take them out.
  6. Try to not eat them long enough for them to cool and then ice with what ever takes your fancy. My favourite icing for these at the moment is a baileys and cream cheese concoction, but a simple vanilla buttercream is also a perfect accompaniment. As is peanut butter. Or a dash of icing sugar, so that time that could be used for eating isn’t wasted on icing.

So there they are, deliciously simple and forgiving, these cupcakes are always a star at the workplace as well as with friends, family and even enemies. These were the first cupcakes I ever made and were so easy that I thought I must be amazing at all cupcakes. This misconception was cleared up when I tried to follow a different cupcake recipe (poorly) and realized I was not the natural cupcake superstar I had envisaged. But damn, these chocolate cupcakes do a good job of helping me pretend I am.

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With Baileys and Cream cheese icing (plus some Malteasers). I think this is when I realized I had fallen in love with a cupcake.

Give them a go and let me know how much you love them. Just remember to turn the oven to bake (or don’t, they will still taste amazing).  And hey, I’m very happy to be back. Sorry I can’t remember your name.

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Not Your Average Brownie (Gluten-Free)

Hey Guys!

So just a quick post today featuring one of my favourite gluten-free recipes ever. I am a big fan of brownies and my ultra-rich recipe is one I turn to a lot but when I was doing my gluten free trial I tested out this recipe and found it to be equally as delicious and just as easy to make. Compared to the my usual brownies these aren’t quite so rich but still chocolatey with less cocoa, more chocolate and the addition of cranberries and caramel drops (which add a little bit of a black-forest spin to a simple brownie recipe). This recipe makes about 18 little muffins (which I think are kind of adorable) or you can make about 18 slices using a tin.

The recipe is taken mostly from a Julian Lelerc recipe for GF brownies (which I cannot find online and which I have a cut out article of which gets increasingly dirty and damaged each time I make these)  and really is incredibly easy whilst being wonderfully tasty and full of chocolate goodness.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g Butter cubed
  • 200g Dark cooking chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • I C Gluten-free flour (available at Supermarkets)
  • 2Tbsp Cocoa powder
  • Roughly 1/2 Cup of craisins and 1/2 Cup of Nestle Caramel Drops (but you could add/substitute with mini marshmallows, almonds, chocolate drops, or anything else that takes your fancy

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180.C and either line your muffin tin or baking tin with muffin cases/baking paper.
  2. Place butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Or if you are lazy like me just pop it directly in the saucepan over a very low heat/microwave with 30 second bursts with heaps of stirring in between. Melt until everything is smooth and combined (i.e. the chocolate is melted..)
  3. Sift in the flour and cocoa and stir into the chocolate mixture,
  4. Add in the extra ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Pour into your chosen baking receptacle and bake for around 10-15 mins in the muffin tin (test after ten mins quite often with a skewer, or in my case a piece of spaghetti past (uncooked!) to test. These will be best if the skewer/pasta comes out almost clean, moist but not completely dry). If using a rectangle brownie tin bake for approx 45-50mins. Remove to cool then enjoy! Or if you can resist long enough sprinkle with icing sugar cause it looks pretty

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These are delicious and moist, rich but also complex with the taste of tart craisins/cranberries and delicious morsels of caramel. These also last really well if you store them in a airtight container. I am sure you could substiture the GF flour for normal flour but I have no idea if it turns out the same. I think the dense nature of GF baking really works for this recipe and creates the perfect little lunchbox treat for work, firm on the outside but deliciously chocolatey on the inside. Definitely give it a try, they are basically fool proof. The only real warning I have is to make sure you  don’t overcook them. These are 100x nicer when they are still a little under on the inside. This is harder to acheive in muffin form but with a little careful testing can still be done.

Give them a try and let me know what you think! Also if you have any other great ideas for additions please share below. I will making this many more times in the near future…

Lizzy Xx

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Chocolate and Red Wine Cake aka Comfort Cake

So on this slightly cold Tuesday I have been moping at home sick (but mostly just exhausted) and not able to drag myself into work. I hope that the massive sleep in this morning helps and keeps me going for the rest of the week! Yesterday also started my gluten free trial period (of two weeks approx) to see how my body feels and if changing up my diet helps things like my skin or overall well being. After this first week I shall bring you an update on how all that is going as well as a  gluten free recipe that makes this whole exercise worth it.

Today I bring you a recipe that is not gluten free but is one that I made a couple of weeks ago for my Dad’s birthday. The recipe comes from a favourite blog of mine, hungry and frozen, and I won’t bother rewriting it here as Laura does it best her self! Instead I will just give you a little food porn and explain how much I enjoyed making this. And here is the reliable yet delicious recipe!

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Let me begin by explaining a small fear (okay more like a slight phobia) I have of making cakes. I love cupcakes and make them all the time but cakes baffle me and usually just go terribly wrong. I think this might be the third ever cake I have made. Why do they frighten me in a slightly irrational way I hear you asking? Well mainly just because I can’t taste test the cake to make sure it tastes good and is cooked right.  With cupcakes I would always eat one (or two) before sharing to make sure I am not making a huge mistake and with a cake this is a bit harder. Undercooked, overcooked, too much baking soda, who knows until the big moment where everyone gets a slice. So yeah, making a cake is a big deal for me.

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I went to Laura’s book launch up here in Auckland (which was too much lovely to even begin to describe) and bought her cookbook and then spent the night reading each and every recipe before I could go to bed. The cookbook is great and full of a variety of unique and creative recipes (there is a whole section on toasted sandwiches..this is when I knew I had made the right choice). My first chance to use it was for my Dad’s birthday dinner when I was trying to find a desert for someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. I ended up going with this because he likes wine and I like chocolate. It just made sense.

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The recipe was simple and easy to follow, the ingredients all pretty standard and nothing to crazy. The addition of cinnamon and red wine to this slightly dense but not overly rich chocolate cake brought a warmth and complexity which was very enjoyable and makes it even more comforting than a standard chocolate cake would be. I think my oven was running a little too hot, as you can see from the photos the cake got  a little carried away in the cracking department, and next time I would take it out a smidgen earlier to maintain optimum moistness (ugh). I served this up with oranges and lots of whipped cream and was really rather spectacular.  I am now thinking about which cake recipe I can try next…. Definitely give this cake a go if you like chocolate and red wine, it was pretty fool proof (if I can make it anyone can) and with a large smothering of chocolate ganache it ends up looking pretty impressive too.

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Ready for a little bit of a photo overload?

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Chocolate ganache. So easy to make and equally easy to just eat straight out of the bowl. Try save some for the cake

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Sorry for all the photos! I couldn’t resist putting heaps of them in (and this is a rather small selection, trust me!). Also thanks to Edd for being my photographer 🙂 He does such an awesome job!

Have a great week!

Lizzy xx

Some Foxy Brownies

Hi All!

So this week is proving to provide little time or inspiration for blogging. I would love to do some more wedding posts but don’t have the time or energy to plan and write them out. Small update! Invites have been sent off from the designer today so hopefully I get them soon to send off to the invitees! Can’t wait to show you all what they look like! I was so pleased with what the results were (although I haven’t seen their completed state just yet). Anyway, as I have had this recipe waiting to be blogged for ages I thought I would throw it up in my spare ten minutes 🙂 Oh and nothing makes these brownies particularly foxy… I just couldn’t think of a name other than “Brownies” 😛

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Easy Lemonade Scones!

Hi All!

So today I thought I would throw up a quick recipe! I don’t have a great track record with Scones, I love them yet despite being heralded as an easy thing to bake I tend to end up with rock hard cakes that don’t really taste that great. I’m not sure where I go wrong but after enjoying my Nana’s scones time and time again I finally asked her for her recipe and was pleasantly surprised to receive what appeared to be even easier than other scone recipes. So, don’t b e scared by the use of lemonade as these scones come out amazingly fluffy and tasty. My poor photos aren’t the best communicators of deliciousness but with such cheap ingredients I think you should just give it a try!

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