Cook this: Chocolate bourbon pecan pie

My contribution to our early family Christmas was chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Not a traditional Aussie Christmas dish at all, but instead I figured I’d do something a little more representative of the country I’ll be spending Christmas in. Also, the recipe I found in one of my cook books was for straight pecan pie, but I felt like the addition of bourbon and dark chocolate could only be a good thing.

IMG_4343.JPG

Ingredients
– short crust pastry
– 3 tbsp plain flour
– 150g brown sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 200g golden syrup
– 200 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
– 30g butter, melted and cooled
– 2 tbsp vanilla extract
– 3 tbsp bourbon
– pinch of salt
– 300g pecan halves – half crushed into smaller pieces, half left whole

 

Method
1. Grease a 9 inch pie dish and roll out the pastry to line it. Prick a few holes in the bottom with a knife or fork, line it with baking paper, fill with pie weights/rice/dried beans and bake for 15min or until the edges start to turn golden.
2. To make the filling which the crust is blind baking, combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Whisk in the eggs, golden syrup, chocolate, butter, vanilla, bourbon and salt.
4. Mix in the crushed pecans.
5. Remove the pie from the oven and pour in the filling. Arrange or sprinkle the pecan halves on top.
6. Turn the temperature up to 200°C and bake for 10min, then lower the temperature back down to 170°C and bake for a further 45min or until set.
7. Rest in tin until cool enough to handle, then transfer to a wire rack to cool a little longer before slicing and serving up – with ice cream or thickened cream, preferably!

Cook this: White chocolate, raspberry & pistachio brownies

IMG_4767

It seemed like a good idea at the time. How many stories start like this and end really, really badly? A high percentage, right? I’m still not sure how, because I’m usually the poster girl for these kind of stuff ups, but this recipe is somehow the exception to the rule and miraculously turned out really, really well!

 

Ingredients:
– 300g white chocolate, broken into pieces
– 190g butter, chopped
– 1 cup caster sugar
– 285g plain flour, sifted
– 3 eggs at room temperature, lightly whisked
– 1 heaped cup of frozen raspberries
– 85g pistachios, slightly crushed

 

Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line a lamington tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Stir until completely melted and smooth, and set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
3. Stir in the eggs with a wooden spoon, then the sugar and the sifted flour.
4. Gently stir in the pistachios, then the raspberries – try not to over stir or the batter will turn pink.
5. Pour the batter into the tin, smooth it out and bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and set, but still a little chewy inside as a good brownie should be!
6. Allow to cool completely in the tin before taking it out to slice up.

 

It’s like a super thick, dense mud cake/brownie hybrid. You just need to take care not to over cook it as it’ll lose its chewy brownie-like centre. I’m a big fan of white chocolate for a bit of a change every now and then, and I’m sure you could use this brownie base to mix just about anything in – it’s pretty versatile. Enjoy!

 

IMG_4773