Baking with Mrs Bouw: Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



Who doesn't love sticky date pudding, right?! It's hard to pass up a slice of this yummy dessert any time of year but there's just something about the word 'pudding' that screams 'Christmas' isn't there?! I have made two in the last week! I love this recipe. Like most of the recipes I post, it is super easy and so convenient to be able to make it a day or so in advance with minimal fuss when it comes to serving it! And that part is almost as good as eating it... scooping the ice-cream (scoffing a few sneaky spoonfuls as you go) and drizzling the sticky, sweet butterscotch sauce over the pudding... yum yum yum! Happy baking my friends! x 

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups deseeded dried dates
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g butter, roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar

Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup (firmly packed) brown sugar
300ml cream (but be at least 35 to 40 percent fat)
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
25g butter 


Method

- Place dates and water in a small saucepan over high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, add bicarbonate of soda and butter, and remove from the heat. Stir and then set aside for 20 minutes (or until cooled). The butter will melt during this time.

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

- Grease a 20cm diameter round springform pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

- Place cooled date mixture in a food processor. Pulse mixture a few times to form a chunky paste.


- Add eggs and vanilla to date mixture and pulse a couple of times until just combined.

- Stir flour and 150g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Use the back of the spoon to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add date mixture to the flour mixture and gently fold the ingredients together until just combined.

- Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake the pudding for about 50-60 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. The pudding should spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. Note: if the pudding starts to over-brown whilst baking, loosely cover it with greaseproof paper or piece of foil.

- Begin making the sauce (see instructions below) about 10 minutes before the pudding has finished baking.


- Leave pudding in the pan and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a skewer, pierce several deep holes in the pudding. Pour about 125ml (1/2 cup) of the hot butterscotch sauce over the pudding. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.


- Set the remainder of the sauce to the side until right before serving. The sauce can be stored in the fridge (or freezer) and easily reheated.

- To serve, cut a slice of pudding, place it on a plate and drizzle with the butterscotch sauce with a scoop of vanilla icing on the side.

Butterscotch Sauce
Place sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the mixture comes to the simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Home Made Falafels!

Thursday, December 5, 2013



I remember the very first time I made these for Mr B he was rather sceptical. But now, months later, he considers it a treat meal and last night he even said they're just as good as eating a burger! This says a lot coming from a meat lover! My take on the tasty and wholesome falafel is a little healthier than some versions as I only lightly fry them as opposed to deep frying. I like to cook them in advance as they taste even better once they've had time to sit a little. They can be kept in the fridge for a number of days and I can't see why you couldn't freeze them but they never last long enough in our house! Falafels make such a great lunch or dinner (and a super quick one if you've prepared them in advance!) and you can really serve them with whatever takes your fancy. My favourite way is in a wholemeal wrap with baby spinach, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of tzatziki (pictured below)... yum! Happy falafel making my friends :)
 

Home made falafels

Ingredients

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup fresh continental parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup plain flour
1 eggwhite
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Yoghurt or tzatziki, to serve.

Method

- Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, cumin, flour, eggwhite, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss ingredients together.

- Place mix into food processor in batches (I find it's much quicker this way and stops your food processor from clogging up) and process until smooth.

- Using floured hands, shape the mixture into 2cm thick patties and place on a plate. I usually get about 10 patties out of this recipe but I guess you can make them as big or as small as you please.

- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook patties for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and slightly browned.

- Serve with salad and yoghurt or my favourite way is in a wholemeal wrap with baby spinach, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of tzatziki.

- Enjoy!
 

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Zucchini Spaghetti!

Monday, December 2, 2013



Some of you may have seen my posts on Instagram earlier today featuring tonights dinner... zucchini spaghetti! Well, after a big week of celebrating both Anya and Allegra's Birthdays (and perhaps indulging in too much cake!), I thought it best to get us Bouw's back onto some healthier foods! My girls are generally good eaters but I'll take any opportunity I can to try and make fruit and veggies even more appealing to them (as I know some kiddies are scared of the green stuff), so tonight I thought I'd be sneaky and disguise zucchini as one of their faves... spaghetti! This recipe is honestly ridiculously easy and super quick, so easy that it's almost a joke! And don't limit yourself to the two quick sauce recipes below, just treat the zucchini spaghetti as normal spaghetti and add YOUR favourite sauce :) Tonight the girls had the 'Tomato and Tuna' version and Mr B and I had the 'Avocado and Pesto'... both were seriously yum (and both are pictured below)! Most importantly, this dish was a winner with my girls. Anya scoffed her entire bowl and whilst Allegra took a little convincing (ok, I may have told her it was mermaid spaghetti hee hee) she ate 3/4 of hers. So here you go my friends, knock yourself out... and good luck with the kiddies!
 

Ingredients

'Avocado and Pesto'

4 medium-large zucchinis, washed (this amount fed the four of us... x2 adults and x2 children).
1 avocado
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 tsp basil pesto (I know some people find too much pesto a little over powering so add as little or as much as you like)!
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, to finish (if desired)

'Tomato and Tuna'

Diced tomatoes (either fresh or tinned)
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tin of tuna (I always use Sirena brand)
Salt and pepper to taste

* If you're really pushed for time you can always cheat and use a jar of sauce of your choice ;)

Method

- Take your grater (or slicer if you have one) and lay it down with the side that has the largest grating holes on it facing upwards.

- Chop the ends off your zucchini then holding it length ways, push along the top of grater, using long strokes in order to create long, thin spaghetti ribbons of zucchini.

- Heat your frying pan over medium heat with your olive oil, then gently fry the zucchini with the garlic until slightly tender.

- If you're cooking the 'Avocado and pesto' version, once the spaghetti is heated simply stir through your pesto and avocado, a squeeze of your fresh lemon, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. If it takes your fancy you can top with parmesan cheese.

- If you're cooking the 'Tomato and tuna' version, remove the heated spaghetti from the fry pan and place in a bowl to the side. Quickly fry the onion, throw in your tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes. I prefer to add the tuna towards the end of this cooking time. Once your sauce is done, you can either throw your spaghetti back in the fry pan and toss through the sauce before dividing between serving bowls, alternatively, you can place the cooked spaghetti in serving bowls and then top with sauce. This all depends on how you and your family like to eat their spaghetti as I know some people prefer loads of sauce and others just a smidgen.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Fool-proof Chocolate Mudcake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing!

Sunday, December 1, 2013



Described last week as 'the most delicious cake I have ever eaten' by one of Mr B's colleagues, I thought it would only be fair that I share with you my recipe for a Chocolate Mudcake that is guaranteed to turn out delicious and moist EVERY time. After Allegra put in her special request, I whipped up this baby last Monday on the eve of her 3rd Birthday. I then used off-cuts from the girl's wrapping paper and left over straws from the party to make the cake bunting. PLEASE NOTE: I halved the below recipe (which is designed to make a 23cm cake) as I wanted a smaller but taller cake so I used a 15cm tin instead. Also, if your cake is a little higher it may take slightly longer to bake so once you get to the 1 hour and 15 minute mark, test it every 5 minutes there after until the skewer comes out relatively clean... don't panic if the mixture still appears gooey as it will set more once cooled. This cake is suppose to be super dense so is pretty forgiving if you do go a few minutes over the suggested baking time. Happy Baking my friends :)

Fool-proof Chocolate Mudcake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Ingredients

250g chocolate (I use 100g dark chocolate and 150g milk chocolate)
250g salted butter
3/4 cup water
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you can’t find butter milk, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to your ½ cup of milk)

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
250g butter, softened
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoons milk

Method


- Preheat oven to 150°c for fan-forced oven, or 160°c if not fan-forced.

- Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.

- Place 250g chocolate, butter, and water in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

- Once chocolate and butter have melted, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a very large bowl.

- Add the caster sugar to the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir the ingredients together until well combined.

- In a medium bowl, place eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until well combined.

- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.

- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mixture in a three batches, stirring until combined after each addition.

- Pour mixture into prepared tin.

- Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

- Important note: This cake is designed to be super moist so if the skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not gooey batter) attached, the cake is ready. If not, return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes before testing again.

- Once cooked through, remove cake from the oven, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Tip: I always cover my baked goods with a clean tea towel and allow to cool. This helps prevent it drying out.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

- Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.

- Add the icing sugar mixture, cocoa powder and milk and beat for a further 6 minutes or until light and creamy.

- Pipe the icing onto the cake as you please.

- Enjoy!
 

Anya and Allegra's Joint Birthday Party!

Friday, November 29, 2013



Despite a last minute change of venue (due to unpredictable weather and storm forecasts) the girls party was a success! We live in a terrace house with lots of stairs so it's not the most ideal house to entertain large groups but we managed to accommodate 60+ guests (half kids, half adults) with no real problems at all. We did some last minute furniture shifting swapping all the furniture from the lounge room into the formal dining room and vice versa (which funnily enough we quite like so we may just leave it like that for a little while!) but besides that I think it turned out to be much easier having it at home rather than lugging all the stuff to a venue! And the most important thing of all is that both girls had an absolute ball... Allegra in particular. She woke up through the night in tears and when I asked her what was wrong she muttered through the sobs 'Oh I am just so sad that everyone has left my party. It was the best party ever!' Bless :) Anyway, I thought I'd share some pics with you as well as the details of where most of the items are from... enjoy! x

The whole inspiration for the party stemmed from the absolutely stunning invitations I had custom made through Le Papier Studio. I had a vision and the amazing Vana Chupp helped me bring it to life. They were beyond perfect! Vana was such a delight to work with! Honestly, some of the best customer service I have had in a very long time.  I cannot thank her enough. Once I had a colour palette to work with I began trawling the net for goodies and fell in love with these cupcake wrappers from Dress My Cupcake and Amazon.
Just after the invitations arrived, I remembered I had bought a copy of Vana's book 'Pretty Paper Parties' months ago, long before I had even thought to engage her to create the invites for me. As soon as I opened it and saw that most of the paper in it matched perfectly with my colour theme I had a light globe moment and decided to go that one extra step and line the envelopes. Just when I thought the invitations couldn't possibly get any more beautiful... voila! :)
Vana also made the cupcake toppers for me... aren't they adorable! I made the giant paper rosettes myself (there are plenty of tutorials online if you just google) and the spotted heart paper I purchased from Etsy seller Huggable Me for... wait for it... $3.00! I was pretty happy with myself for coming up with the idea as it meant I could just print as many pieces of paper as I pleased... much cheaper than buying paper! Given I needed large pieces of paper for the rosettes it was cheaper and easier for me to have them done at a local print shop. You will see below I also used the paper for several other party items!
Up until recently I had never dressed my girls in the same outfit but have now done so a few times in the last couple of weeks... what have I started! I always said I wouldn't hee hee. Their sweet 'Limoncelli' party dresses are from Bardot Junior and as you will see below they both looked just darling! :)
Allegra Isobel @ 3 years old and Anya Lucille @ 1 year old... love them more than anything! xxx
I baked x30 of these delicious mini sugar cookies, iced them with white royal icing and then very carefully topped them with the edible icing toppers I had printed through Custom Icing. They were much easier to make than I thought they would be and at just $18 for the custom toppers, these sweet biscuits were probably one of the things I was most pleased with. They were seriously so cute! 
Here's a close up of the stunning cupcake wrappers and cupcake toppers! I kept it simple by baking my vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing as they seem to be a winner with both adults and children.
For those who didn't see the DIY Paper Bow tutorial I posted a few weeks ago, you can find it here. I am still obsessed with these super simple and super effective paper bows I used for the party favour bags. Again, the paper I used to make these was purchased as a digital file from Huggable Me and they were made complete with my custom made 'thank-you for coming stickers' from Le Papier Studio.
The super sweet mini milk bottles were purchased from the lovely Leanne of Sweet Style. I then covered with a small strip of my heart paper and finished it off with some custom stickers also from Le Papier Studio. I managed to find some matching straws to go with the one Vana used on the cupcake toppers and purchased them from Little Red Chick. Some of you may have seen my macaron crisis on Instagram, thankfully we don't live to far from the CBD so I was able to pick up some last minute replacements from Laduree. I purchased the eco-friendly forks from Wheel and Barrow and covered the front with some more of the paper from my 'Pretty Paper Parties' book.
Here'a a closer shot of the table. The white 'milk glass' cake stands were also purchased from Sweet Style. The bargain nesting jars I used to house the lollies were purchased from Kmart for just $15 each and the candy jar and clear glass cake dome are also from Wheel & Barrow.
Another purchase from Sweet Style, these Icecream pail favour cups were perfect for some yummy fruit salad which I dressed up with some more of my paper! The ones that weren't eaten at the party made for another great little take home treat!
Each year I plan on having the cake made by someone else and each year I just can't help myself. There is something about making the Birthday cake that makes me so content. This years cake was a deliciously moist white chocolate mud cake with vanilla buttercream icing. And a Bouw party wouldn't be a Bouw party without some of my infamous Rocky Road now would it :)
Here's a close up of the cake along with the DIY cake bunting I made.  I cut up a few of the cupcake wrappers to make the little flags so that the colours and patterns would tie in nicely. Again, there are plenty of tutorials available online.
To make these chocolate bars I simply removed the wrappers from a heap of Cadbury 'Furry Friends', covered them with my heart paper and again topped with my custom made stickers.
The day was so chaotic we didn't manage to get very many family photos (it's hard enough to get both girls to look at the camera on a good day) so these few will have to do! My three favourite people :)
I captured this photo as Allegra sat on the front door step and watched the last of her guests leave... bless. I think it's fair to say she had a very special day! 
So there you have it, another year, another party! I've already told myself I'm not going to bother with a party next year... give me six months or so and I'm sure I'll change my mind ;)

Get the look: The Cape!

Monday, November 25, 2013



Whoever said capes were just for superheroes?! Not me! 'The Cape' is the perfect item to allow you to feel like a Heroine and battle a confused Mother Nature... it seriously feels like winter one day and summer the next at the moment so the cape is perfect for keeping your shoulders warm whilst not taking away from the summery look of your outfit. I purchased this gorgeous and cleverly designed Ivory Cape online from To The Max (their store is based on Lygon street in Carlton for all you Victorians) and they also ship their items internationally too! Be sure to check it out as they seriously have a huge array of stunning and affordable clothing! All other items are listed at the bottom of this post. Happy shopping my friends! x
 

Get the look:

Finders Keepers Santuary Cape from To the Max
Tony Bianco Krystle Heels from Wanted Shoes
Coral Skorts from Witchery
Gloss in 'Orgasm' from Nars Cosmetics

Gold 'Hide and Seek' bangle from Louis Vuitton
Nail Polish #361 from Inglot
Crystal Tab Earrings from Witchery
Sunglasses from Sportsgirl (they are current stock although they weren't listed on their website).

Tutorial: DIY Perfect Paper Bows!

Sunday, November 17, 2013



Those of you who follow me on Instagram would have seen these adorable paper bows I made for my girl's favour bags for their upcoming party! I've been promising for a week or so now to share this simple DIY with you all. I can't take all the credit as I found this brilliant tutorial on the wonderful How About Orange blog (do yourself a favour a check out Jessica Jones' super crafty blog, it won't disappoint!) but thought I'd share my own photos :)

You will need:

- Scissors
- Hot glue gun or craft glue
- A grey lead pencil (I used a fine liner for this tutorial as it was a little clearer for the photographs)
- Patterned paper of your choice
- Bow template downloaded here from How about Orange. I needed my bows to be slightly smaller than this template so I used the template as a guide and then used freehand to sketch to the size I needed.



Step 1: Cut out the three pieces from your bow template, these will now be your stencils (below).
 

Step 2: Turn your paper patterned side down and use the stencils cut from the template to trace your three pieces (below). The size of your bow will depend on how many you get per page. If you use the template from How about Orange you will get x2 bows per page.
 

Step 3: Cut the pieces from your patterned paper.
   

Step 4: Take the longest piece and turn is so your pattern is facing down and you are looking at the blank side. Take the two ends and bend them back into the centre and fix with glue.



Step 5: Layer the curled piece on top of the medium sized piece so they are lined up nicely. Then take the smallest piece and wrap it around the centre and secure with a little more glue at the back. Voila!!!
 

Aren't they just fantastic!
     

And they can be used in so many different ways! I love this DIY so much that I made a heap over the weekend to dress up my girls' Birthday pressies!
  So simple yet so affective right?! Now to make some for Christmas :) Enjoy! x

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