Orange Spiced Rum Balls

Orange Spiced Rum Balls

I’m taking a break from blogging about our adventures in Japan to bring you this super simple, ultra snazzy recipe for orange spiced rum balls. Just in time for the coming Christmas dinner party you’re gonna be throwing, yes? Continue reading “Orange Spiced Rum Balls”

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

I think we’ve all had the occasional dream where everything that happens in it is really odd, even downright creepy, but we don’t feel at all threatened or scared while it’s happening. In fact, we’re mostly not too concerned and frankly, quite apathetic. And it’s only until after waking up that we think “why was I so calm in that dream? It was terrifying!” Well, that was me when I woke up this morning.

In short, my dream consisted of a global pandemic whereby people who were infected by a virus became crazily aggressive. And even though there was this viral outbreak happening and apparently 68% of the city was infected, everyone still went about their daily lives like nothing bad was happening. I went to work as a mechanic and I liked my job. Some people from high school figured prominently. Life was actually pretty normal, up until I decided to visit a friend on Tamborine Mountain in the middle of the night, who just so happened to be Andrew Garfield. When I got to his house, I discovered that he and a bunch of incredibly creepy babies (!!!!) were infected, but everything turned out okay because Emma Stone saved me, and then we found the cure to the virus (in the form of a magical purple flower that had butterflies flying around it). The dream ended pretty abruptly after that.

Honey and Coconut Oil Chopped Bananas Whittaker's Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate Bars Whittaker's Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate

So yes, that was actually what I dreamt about last night. I don’t usually have many epic dreams, but when I do, they’re pretty memorable. I might make myself a dream diary, just for the fun of it. Or maybe I’ll just keep a record of my dreams on this blog, and you guys can figure out what my subconscious is trying to tell me. Anyway, all this talk of dreams has reminded me of an interesting article I read a few weeks ago: The Science of Dreams and Why We Have Nightmares. You guys should totally check it out.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Righto, back to baking. If you need some inspiration for breakfast this weekend, try this recipe. Seriously, it’s good. We had heaps of spelt and coconut flour just sitting in the pantry, plus an outrageous number of jars of honey and lots of bananas at various stages of ripening at our disposal. Key ingredients for a healthy loaf of banana bread, you say? Indeed. We also had an abundance of Whittaker’s Classic Bittersweet Peanut Slab Dark Chocolate Bars at home, so I chopped these up and used them in this recipe. They’ve obviously got chunks of peanuts in them, but plain dark chocolate will also do nicely here.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate ChunksSpelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

You can make this recipe vegan-friendly by substituting the honey with maple syrup and using dairy-free chocolate (Pana Chocolate and Sweet William offer some awesome dairy-free chocolate products that don’t compromise on taste). No eggs, butter or milk was used in this recipe, mainly because we didn’t actually have any at the time. Good thing we had flaxseeds and coconut oil on hand! I have to say, this is probably one of my favourite things I’ve baked so far. With its perfect cake-like texture – firm, yet spongy and crumbly – and a strong banana flavour interspersed with generous amounts of dark chocolate, there is no way anyone could turn down a warm slice or two.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients:

2 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseeds mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water)
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a 7″ x 4″ loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a small heatproof bowl, melt the coconut oil and honey together (you can do this in a microwave for a few seconds) and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas and flax egg together, then add the coconut oil and honey mixture and mix well.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently stir together until everything is just combined.
  6. Add the hot water and mix well, then carefully fold in the chopped chocolate chunks.
  7. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring loaf to a wire rack to cool. Best served fresh and still slightly warm.

Spelt & Coconut Honey Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Anzac Biscuits (Coconut Oatmeal Cookies)

Anzac Biscuits

The 25th of April marks one of Australia’s most important national events. Anzac Day is an occasion that commemorates the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) who fought the fierce eight month campaign at Gallipoli during World War I.

Rolled Oats Desiccated Coconut

The history behind the Anzac biscuit is an intriguing one as it has long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Apparently, the biscuits were sent by the mothers, wives and girlfriends to the soldiers abroad because they were made using ingredients that did not spoil easily. Indeed, being eggless confections, they were less likely to go bad during the long journey by ship.

Organic Honey Unbaked Anzac Biscuits

These homemade Anzac biscuits are a real traditional treat, with chewy rolled oats and fragrant shredded coconut standing out as key ingredients. While the individual components you need to create these modest-looking biscuits are fairly ordinary, you’ll be delighted by how absolutely heavenly they taste. Brought to life by a deep caramel flavour, these sweet, buttery biscuits are beautifully crisp around the edges and slightly chewy in the middle. My boyfriend is convinced that the best way to eat these is with a tall glass of cold milk.

Anzac Biscuits Anzac Biscuits

One arguably traditional step left out of this recipe is the use of baking soda mixed with boiling water. This step allows for the cookies to rise a little more, but because I had self-raising flour on hand, I figured that it would make a decent (and much more convenient) substitute.

Anzac Biscuits Anzac Biscuits

Also, one of the best things you can do to give these biscuits a real boost in flavour complexity is the generous addition of salt. Give it more than a pinch; up to a half teaspoon, even. It really sets these biscuits apart. The salt melds with the concoction of melted honey, butter and dark brown sugar to create the most luxurious of blends. I mean, who doesn’t like the rich, heady, mouth-watering taste and aroma of salted caramel?

Anzac Biscuits Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits (Coconut Oatmeal Cookies)

Ingredients:

1 cup self-raising flour
a generous dash of salt
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey*

* I used Organic Outback Honey made by the Australian Organic Honey Company.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, desiccated coconut and oats. Mix well, set aside.
  3. Melt the cubes of butter, dark brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth and fragrant.
  4. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking tray. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a deep golden.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on baking tray until slightly firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Anzac Biscuits Anzac Biscuits