Monday, September 28, 2015


Brigaderio recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

Brigadeiro is so simple and easy to make!  Brigadeiro is a Brazilian treat, which is apparently eaten at most major celebrations in Brazil.  To me, it’s kind of like a chewy fudge, and looks like a chocolate truffle.  Yum!
I only found out about Brigadeiro a month or two ago when I headed along to an event for NutriBullet.  While I was drinking my delicious smoothie I was talking to Alisa from The PR Shop and she was telling me how she would make this with her friends back when she was in school.  How did I not know about Brigadeiro?
I’ve since made this recipe a number of times, it’s really quick to whip up and goes down a treat.  Whenever we have condensed milk in the pantry I’m tempted to make it!  This would be great to make if you have friends popping over as it would go well with a warm cup or tea or coffee.  Or, if you’ve got kiddos, get them in the kitchen giving it a go – with only a few ingredients and simple recipe, this one is a winner.

Brigaderio recipe - Baking Makes Things Better

395g can condensed milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon hot chocolate cocoa (just use another tablespoon of normal cocoa if you don’t have hot chocolate on hand – I only used this for a little bit of sweetness)
1 tablespoon butter
Optional: desiccated coconut, chopped nuts (I used pistachio) or sprinkles for decoration

Brigaderio recipe on Baking Makes Things Better

In a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat, combine the cocoa, butter and condensed milk together. Cook, stirring, until thickened for about 10 minutes (the mix will thicken to a fudge-like consistency and you should be able to run a mixing spoon through it show the bottom of the pan during cooking). Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.  With slightly damp hands, form the mixture into small balls.  Roll the balls around in your chosen coating, if using.  Eat at once or chill until serving.

Brigaderio - recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

Monday, September 21, 2015

Chocolate Crunch Slice

Chocolate Crunch Slice by Baking Makes Things Better

I has taken me ages to get this recipe!  My Grandma used to make this Chocolate Crunch Slice when I was a little girl.  I think it is delicious and I find it hard to stop at just eating one piece.  In fact, I remember sneaking pieces out of the tin when she used to look after my brother and I during the school holidays.

I’ve been after the recipe for years.  I think she sent me a copy once (when I was about 10, my grandparents moved to Australia) but I lost it and then years later when I asked for it again she wasn’t too sure what I was asking about.  She sent a really old cook book over with a similar recipe in it, which I made, but it wasn’t quite the same.  Sadly, my Grandma isn’t very well anymore and has recently been moved into a care facility, so the days of sharing recipes have ended.

Chocolate Crunch Slice recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

But, a few months back, our flatmate Harry came home from work with some different bits of baking one of his colleagues, Marta, had made.  This slice was amongst the treats and it is exactly how I remember it.  Marta was kind enough to pass on the recipe to Harry for me, so now I can make the slice whenever I want.  It puts a smile on my face as it brings back memories of my Grandma and school holidays spent at her house.  The plate in the pictures is one from her old tea sets.

Chocolate Crunch Slice by Baking Makes Things Better (2)


3 Weetbix, crushed
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
180g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

50g butter, softened
3 - 4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 cups icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the melted butter and vanilla essence and mix well.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
To make the icing, combine small amounts of the water with the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium sized bowl, mixing until you have reached a smooth consistency. Spread the icing over the top of the cooled slice and sprinkle the coconut over the top.
Once the icing has set, but into pieces and serve.  Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Crunch Slice recipe by Baking Makes Things Better (2)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 Non-essential kitchen items that are essential to me

This is just a little list I’ve put together of my most loved kitchen tools.  None of them are really needed in the kitchen, you could do without them, but I use these so often that if any stopped working, broke or went missing, I would definitely replace them asap.

Silicone Spoon:

Silicone Spoons

I purchased one of Silicone Spoons from Stevens ages ago, and now have a few in different colours.  They are awesome for mixing as they scrape down the sides of the bowl really well and if you are making something like fudge, the mix doesn’t stick to it.  We use these all the time for general cooking too.

Kitchen Aid:

Black Kitchen Aid

Back when I first started getting quite into baking I treated myself to a Kitchen Aid, which I put on lay-by as I had only just started working.  It felt like it took absolutely ages to pay off and finally take it home.  But, I love it.  Stand mixers make baking a breeze – chuck everything in the bowl and it mixes it for you.  Clean up is easy too.  Simon loves using the Kitchen Aid to make pizza dough too.  I got mine in black to match our toaster and jug and the colour works well in most kitchens, but there are so many gorgeous colours available.

20 cm Square Cake Tin:

Square Tin

I have a 20cm square cake tin, with a removable base which I don’t ever make cakes in.  But, I use it for all my slices and when I make fudge.  I love using it instead of an actual slice tin as the removable base makes food easy to get out of the tin.  Also, I like that it has taller sides – I don’t need to guess a tin size when I am experimenting with a new recipe as I know the mix isn’t not going to spill over the sides.


Soda Stream

Simon and I were given our SodaStream machine as an engagement present and it has been the best gift!  We love it when guest come over and want to try it, and can choose what flavour they want.  I’ve also used it to make up some lemonade to make Lemonade Scones with.  I also like being able to have sparkling water on hand when I want something refreshing to drink.

Jamie Oliver Frying Pan:

Jamie Oliver Frying Pan

So, yeah, I think every kitchen needs a frying pan which means this item might be a bit of a cheat.  However, I’ve included it as Simon and I used to always buy cheap frying pans.  One day when we were in Briscoes and they had a sale on frying pans (haha, a sale, at Briscoes?) and we decided to bite the bullet and get a fancy Jamie Oliver one.  There was much debate about whether to buy it or not as we could have picked up about ten cheap ones for the same price.  I’m glad we did though – it is still going strong, is still non-stick and it has a nice heavy base so it doesn’t buckle on the elements.

What are your favourite kitchen tools to use?  What would you rush out to replace, even though it probably isn’t a necessity?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dreamy Lemon Slice

Dreamy Lemon Slice by Baking Makes Things Better

I’ve made this a Lemon Slice a few times now – we have a tree bursting with lemons to be used.  It’s absolutely delicious and very easy to make.  I’ve made this to share with my colleagues and made some for Simon and Harry (our flatmate) to take to work and everyone loves it.  In fact, I met up with a friend for lunch the other day and he paid for lunch so that I would owe him more Lemon Slice as pay back!  It’s soooo good!

Dreamy Lemon Slice recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

350g packet plain biscuits, crushed (use what you like – I found Farmbake White Chocolate Chip biscuits to be the best though!)
150g margarine or butter, melted
3 eggs
395g can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons)
¼ cup desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.  Grease and line a 20 x 20cm square baking dish.
Mix the biscuits and melted butter together.  Press the biscuit mixture into the prepared tin.
Separate the eggs, keeping the yolk.  Add the yolks to the condensed milk and mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice and mix again.  Pour over the biscuit base and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until set.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.  Sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the top of the slice.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares and serving.

Creamy Lemon Slice recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

*If you thought this was really easy (because it is) try out
Dirk’s Lemon Meringue Pie, which just has an extra step added onto the end and uses up the egg whites.

Creamy Lemon Slice by Baking Makes Things Better

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Puffed Quinoa Snack Bars

Puffed Quinoa Bars - recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent a mystery box of ingredients from Food Compass, an online food shopping website with lots of great products (I actually bought some really interesting looking pasta that I am looking forward to trying and I have fallen in love with Cogo Bites – they are soooo yummy!).  In the box I received was puffed quinoa, LSA powder and coconut nectar syrup – all products I hadn’t tried out before, so I decided to use them all together in these snack bars.

I love home made muesli bars and the these Puffed Quinoa Snack Bars are a delish option to add in to the mix (I’ll link our other great muesli bar recipes at the bottom of this post – check them out for other ingredient ideas).  They are held together with honey, so they are best kept in the fridge, as they fall apart a bit if kept at room temperature.  Make them using whatever you have on hand – if you don’t have a certain ingredient, swap it out for something else.  There’s no baking either, just throw everything together and you’re done.  Easy.

Puffed Quinoa Snack Bars by Baking Makes Things Better

½ cup shredded coconut
1 cup puffed quinoa
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ almond meal
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons LSA powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon almond essence
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon coconut nectar syrup (or try golden syrup)
½ cup liquid honey

Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square tin. 
Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. 
Press into the prepared tin.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares and serving.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Quinoa Snack Bars by Baking Makes Things Better

Other great Muesli Bar recipes:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Easy Peasy Cheats Cheesecake (Peach Cheesecake)

Easy Peasy Cheats Cheesecake recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

I first tried this cheesecake while Simon and I were staying at my Nana’s place in Tauranga – she loves it and had made it especially for us (and she might even be able to view the recipe on her iPad we were setting up for her – exciting!).  It uses a pre-made cheesecake mix so there really is no fuss; just make the base, whip up the filling and you’re basically done. 
My Nana had made it using apricots, which I ate and really liked, but I’m not usually an apricot fan so in my mind I was thinking of what else it could be made with.  Funnily enough, my Nana said my Dad hates apricots too, so my Mum and her didn’t tell him what was in the cheesecake and he happily ate quite a bit when my parents visited on a previous occasion!  Anyway, I re-made the cheesecake using peaches and it was delicious.  You can use whatever canned fruit you like in this cheesecake and I am sure it will be delicious!
This is the perfect dessert to whip up if you want to receive a lot of praise without a lot of effort!

Cheats Cheesecake recipe by Baking Makes Things Better

200g biscuits (I used Arnotts Farmbake White Chocolate ones, but something like SuperWine’s or similar will work well too)
75g butter, melted
410g can of fruit (I’ve tried apricots and peaches, but any fruit will work)
500g pottle of cheesecake filling (I used Meadow Fresh)
Zest of one lemon or the grated rind of half an orange

Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until crumbed (alternatively, place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin).
Mix through the melted butter, then press into a 20cm circular loose-bottomed tin.
Drain the can of fruit and chop the fruit roughly.
Prepare the cheesecake filling according to packet directions.
Mix the fruit and the cheesecake mix together to combine.
Spread the cheesecake mixture over the prepared biscuit base.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set.  Garnish the top of the cheesecake by sprinkling the lemon zest over the top.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Easy Peasy Cheesecake by Baking Makes Things Better