I love Phoodie. She is brilliant. A baking and phood goddess, if you will. That’s why, I made two of her phabulous recipes today. And man oh man, were they phoodielicious.
One of my jobs is being Mary Poppins; I nanny a gorgeous girl Beca who I adore. I got to look after her for the whole day today and so decided we should bake, because she likes doing that and I do too, kind of. Ok, a lot of.
I thought we could do a picnic, do a bit of baking first and take it to the park and have a mini feast with some crackers, dips and veggies, whilst also letting my gorgeous pup have a run around. Baking with kids, taking the food for a picnic and then spending a good couple of hours at the park is such a fun way to kill time and just relax in the glorious sun (when it actually decides to shows its face).
I wanted something quick and easy to make, and checked out Phoodie’s website for some ideas. And disappointed I was not.
First came the Mint Chunk Rocky Road. I love rocky road. And I love mint. So of course I just had to make this. And it is SO easy and SO scrumptious, I shall not tell a lie.
400G Mint Slice biscuits roughly chopped into large-ish pieces
10 x Peppermint Crisp chocolate bars (or similar) roughly chopped into large-ish pieces
2 cups of baby marshmallows – I couldn’t find baby marshies so I used the standard pink and white ones and chopped them up.
400g good quality dark chocolate – Lindt 70% is tops
1) Place chopped Mint Slices, Peppermint Crisps and Marshmallows in a bowl. Mix well.
2) Gently heat and melt the dark chocolate.
Ok so you’re going to want to listen to this. My rocky road didn’t stick together very nicely as it’s supposed to. After refrigerating it for an hour or so, it came out crumbly – gobsmacking delicious – but not melded enough to cut into squares. The gorgeous mum Caroline, who happens to be Beca’s mum, who was once a chef, told me this: when you’re melting chocolate over a, shall we say, hot water bath, never let the saucepan with the chocolate touch the saucepan with the boiling water. Try use a metal bowl and sit it on top of the saucepan with boiling water, also known as traditional double boiling. That way you’re letting the steam melt the chocolate and the chocolate won’t separate and become oily or too crumbly.
Some of you more experienced foodies will know this, but for those who don’t, well your cooking life is about to get a whole lot easier.
3) Pour melted chocolate over the biscuit/chocolate bar/marshmallow mixture and stir through well. I actually use my (very clean, and dry) hands to do this to ensure that EVERYTHING gets coated in chocolate.
4) Quickly transfer this mixture to your pre-prepared baking paper lined dish and place in fridge to set (dish should be approx 25 x 44 cm and about 4cm deep). Set for 30 mins or longer.
Because I wasn’t aware of this whole ‘saucepan with the chocolate can’t touch the boiling water saucepan’ my chocolate separated and therefore didn’t meld very well after refrigeration.
HOWEVER, it was still utterly delicious – the amazing pepperminty crunch combined with the gooey marshmallows is just such a tongue pleaser you’ll wonder why you’ve never made it before! Try adding chopped jelly snakes in it too for an even more interesting texture and flavour combo.
And while I was waiting for the rocky road to set … we made these beauties by Phoodie – Banana and Coconut Muffins. Banana + Coconut = a tropical delight in your mouth.
Well, almost. These muffins are flavoursome and sweet and thick and moist and perfectly crunchy on top and just everything a muffin needs to be. For real. Definitely make sure, as Phoodie says, the bananas are ripe – they look a bit rank, but the flavour of them is just that much sweeter and powerful. Yum.
4 large ripe bananas
1/4 – 1/2 cup of coconut (depending on how much you like it!)
1/2 cup butter – unsalted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1) Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Mash the bananas in a bowl, leaving them kind of chunky.
2) Melt the butter and pour over bananas, combine.
3) Add to this mix the coconut, sugar, beaten egg, milk, vanilla and salt – stir to combine well.
4) Sift the flour with the powder and soda over the top of the bowl of combined wet ingredients. Move the sieve around so that the flour/sode/powder is scattered EVENLY over the top of the other stuff.
NOTE: Phoodie greatly emphasises this point: You do NOT want to OVER MIX this flour part into the wet ingredients, over stirring will cause the muffins to be stodgy and heavy and dense. It’s actually better to UNDER combine (to a level!) than over stir!
5) Fold together, create a ribbon effect to start but do NOT over mix.
6) Once combined, divide mixture evenly into a muffin tin, approx 8 muffins and bake for roughly 25 mins, until tops are dark golden and inserted toothpick comes out dry.
7) Allow to cool on wire rack and then dust generously with icing sugar!
Big, thick, gooey muffins that are bursting with sweet banana and coconut. Throw some mango in and you could pretty much think you’re in the Caribbean. I’m kidding, but a girl can dream. Perfect afternoon tea delights, or have them for breakfast, cut in half with butter and a cup of tea. Ha, thanks me, good idea! I now know what’s for brekky tomorrow.
Hope you enjoyed this mammoth post with two cracking recipes and kudos for you if you made it to the end of the page!