Monday, 26 March 2012

Salted Dulce De Leche Brownies

Yes, I know I'm obsessed with salted caramel, but I can't help it!!!!

These little treasures are a hybrid of two recipes.  The first is David Lebovitz's oven baked Dulce De Leche (recipe can be found here) which I also use for my ice cream found here.  Without turning my little blog in to a David Lebovitz shrine, I must say I can not speak highly enough of his recipes!!!  If you are a keen ice cream maker, or want to be, you must check out his blog and his book "The Perfect Scoop". My absolute favourite (so far!) is his Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream - AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!  Anyway, back to brownies for now...

David has a recipe for dulce de leche brownies which you can find here. I made them once and they are dark and divine!  I, however, am quite partial to a "trashy brownie"!  By this I mean one that is less dark and a bit more sweet and a bit chewier and gooier!

So, for my actual brownie recipe, I used this one as a basis.  I really like this recipe and it was different to other brownies I've made before. Especially creaming the butter rather than melting it.  I changed the recipe a bit, mostly the chocolate components, so I will outline my version below, but purists, please feel free to go directly to the source for an excellent brownie!

Salted Dulce De Leche

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a pie dish, cover with foil and place in a large baking pan and fill half way up with hot water.  Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours - remember to check regularly that the water level is still half way and top up as needed.  See more details on this process from the master here.
  • When the milk is dark and caramel, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt flakes.  Allow to cool completely.


  • 200 grams of best quality chocolate (I used half milk and half dark, but each to their own!!!)
  • 250 grams of unsalted butter - at room temperature
  • 250-300 grams of golden caster sugar (if you use more milk than dark, you can use less sugar if you like)
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 80 grams of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 40 grams of cocoa powder
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  • Grease and line the base of a 23×33cm baking tray
  • Melt the chocolate gently over a pan of hot water, take off the heat and set aside to cool

  • Beat together the softened butter and the sugar until really creamy and fluffy

  • Slowly and gradually add the eggs while the mixer is still going. Only add more egg once the previous one is fully incorporated. Go slowly as you don't want the mixture to split!
  • Continue beating for 5 minutes until the mixture is very fluffy and has increased in volume 
  • With the beater on low, add the cooled melted chocolate and then the flour & baking powder - do not over mix at this point, but ensure the ingredients are all combined 

  • Pour 2/3 of the batter in to the prepared tin
  • Add tiny dollops of the cool salted dulce de leche all across the batter

  • Pour over the remaining batter and smooth out gently (the photo below makes the mixture look lighter than it was, but you the gist!)

  • Prepare a shallow ice bath - I just use my kitchen sink.  Make sure it's not too deep, otherwise when you plunge the pan in, the water will over flow in to the brownie and we do not want that to happen!  There is more information about the reasons behind the ice bath in the original recipe, but trust me, it was worth it!!!
  • Cook for 25 minutes and then check with a skewer. If the skewer comes out just a bit sticky, then it's done, but if the skewer is coated in raw mixture, then put back in the oven for 2-5 minutes. Check again. If needed, cook for another 2-5 minutes.  You don't want the mixture raw, but you definitely don't want it cake like, so do allow the skewer to be a bit sticky when you pull the pan out of the oven.
  • Plunge in to ice bath and leave for 1 hour...if you can resist it for that long!  

I packaged some up for gifts using regular brown lunch bags folded over and trimmed with a mini doily to fasten the tops. I heart doilies!!!!

I have another chocolate post coming this week, but after that, I will try to switch back to savouries...well, at least one! ;-)

Happy Baking!

Love Amy xoxo

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Roasted Cauliflower and Baby Carrots with Hazelnuts, Crispy Sage & Goats Cheese

Hi there lovelies,

Apologies for the sporadic posts, but that's kind of the way I think this blog will be!!!

This is a dish I LOVE to make. It's an excellent accompaniment for meat dishes for carnivorous guests, but very yummy and substantial for the vegetable loving folk too.

It was originally inspired by dishes from two of my favourite casual but lovely Melbourne restaurants - Rumi and Birdman Eating.

Again, this is more of a set of directions rather than a proper recipe, but I hope you try it and love it!

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bunch of baby carrots
  • a handful of hazelnuts
  • a small bunch of sage leaves 
  • Marinated goats feta - my favourite brand is Meredith
  • Excellent quality olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Cut the cauliflower into small florets
  • Arrange the cauliflower in a large baking dish (I use my beloved Bessemer!), douse with olive oil, sea salt flakes, cracked pepper and the sage leaves

  • Roast in oven for about 15-20 minutes
  • Meanwhile, scrub the baby carrots & remove any "hairy" bits from the bottom and the long stalks - I keep a bit of the stalk on because they are pretty and I don't peel them

  • Add the baby carrots to the  partially cooked cauliflower, toss well to mix around the cauliflower - the bottom side usually is dark and caramelised. Add extra olive oil as needed. You don't want the mixture to get too dry

  • Roast for another 10 minutes, then check - give it another toss around and return to oven for another 5-10 minutes if needed
  • Meanwhile, roast the hazelnuts, rub off the skins and halve them
  • Combine the veggies in a serving bowl and scatter with the hazelnuts, the marinated goats feta and extra olive oil (or oil from the feta) if needed

  • Serve as part of a help yourself feast! I often serve it with the following dishes:
    • My interpretation of one of my favourite ever vegetarian dishes from another favourite Melbourne restaurant - The Moroccan Soup Bar - chickpea and pita bread bake with yoghurt and almonds.  I shall  endeavour to blog this shortly. This is my ultimate comfort food and I adore it!!!! I love this restaurant soooo much!
    • Warm eggplant & buckwheat salad - a variation of the lovely Emily & Saskia's dish that you can find here.  These ladies have some delicious recipes on their blog - one of our family favourite's is my version, of their version, of Jamie Oliver's cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni. So yummy!!!
    • Crumbed lamb cutlets for the carnivores  
    • Rocket salad (which missed out on being in the photo below!)

Thanks for reading and checking out one of my fave dishes.

Love Amy xoxo