16 Favourite Boozy Desserts for Any Season

16 Boozy Desserts for Any Season
It’s no secret that I like to make Boozy Desserts and I have posted about a lot of them over the years. In fact I usually visit the bottle shop with dessert recipes in mind, not cocktails or after work drinks! I have long been fascinated by the way that different spirits can pair so well with certain ingredients, like peaches and bourbon, chocolate and muscat or berries and moscato. And a sticky date pudding is nothing without a bourbon caramel sauce to go with it.

So I thought I’d take a trip through the archives to show you some of my very favourite boozy desserts – sixteen, in fact – from the last several years to hopefully inspire you to try out one or two for yourself. These are recipes from all seasons, from boozy popsicles for summer, to warm puddings for cold winter nights.

Chocolate Espresso Mousse with Peanut Pretzel Bark

1. Chocolate Espresso Mousse with Peanut Pretzel Bark

Chocolate pairs well with so many different kinds of booze. This Chocolate Espresso Mousse contains a relatively new favourite of mine – Mr Black Cold Pressed Coffee Liqueur. If you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely should. It makes a mean espresso martini. Actually, I can’t believe I don’t have an espresso martini inspired dessert!

boozy candy cane spiders

2. Boozy Candy Cane Spiders

If you need a fun, boozy Christmas-time treat, here it is. My delicious No Churn Candy Cane Ice Cream is turned into a boozy ‘Spider’ or ice cream float with white chocolate liqueur. The combination is delicious, especially because Christmas falls during the summer here in Australia.

boozy desserts bourbon cherry cheesecake

3. Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Cheesecake

Bourbon is probably the most common spirit I use in baking because it goes so well with everything from fruit to chocolate to caramel. But don’t worry, the flavour is subtle and lovely in this cheesecake and pairs perfectly with the cherries.

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July

4. Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts

Your whole house will smell delicious and spicy while you simmer the mulled wine for this delicious syrup. And if you bottle it up nicely, it makes a lovely Christmas gift. Or you can use it to make the most amazing doughnut glaze.

boozy-desserts-brownie-cookies-maple-bourbon-buttercream

5. Brownie Cookies with Maple Bourbon Buttercream

Still one of my favourite cookie recipes ever, and one that I make often. They also makes great ice cream sandwiches. The maple flavoured buttercream is enhanced with a hint of bourbon. I told you I used a lot of bourbon! The flavours are really great and some salt helps to balance out the sweetness.

Boozy Desserts - Moscato and Berry Trifle

6. Berry & Moscato Trifles

I think Christmas is always a fun time to experiment with boozy desserts. It just adds some festive cheer, don’t you think? Moscato and berries are a match made in heaven. I love how pretty these Trifles look as individual servings, but I’ve also made this as one big trifle in a beautiful glass bowl.

Boozy Desserts - Churros with Boozy Hot Chocolate

7. Churros with Orange Spiked Hot Chocolate

If you’re eating doughnuts and hot chocolate, you might as well go all out with a shot of Cointreau in your boozy hot chocolate! This is equally perfect for breakfast like they do in Spain or dessert.

Sticky Date Bourbon and Cola Pudding

8. Sticky Date Bourbon and Cola Pudding

This recipe called to me from the pages of the Pitt Cue Co. Cookbook and it was just as delicious as it sounds. Sticky Date Pudding is one of my favourite desserts ever, and practically demands booze to keep you warm on those cold winter nights. I was intrigued by the Bourbon & Cola twist and it turned out great!

Boozy Desserts Lychee Raspberry Gin Popsicle

9. Lychee, Gin & Raspberry Ice Blocks

These Lychee, Gin & Raspberry Ice Blocks are like a cocktail but in popsicle form – something I can definitely get behind. I love taking a treat I loved as a child like ice blocks and turning it into a boozy grown up version. I used Hendricks gin because it’s infused with rose petals and cucumber, delicious with the flavours in these pops. Perfect for summer.

Boozy Desserts - Salted Caramel & Bourbon Milkshake

10. Salted Caramel & Bourbon Milkshakes

Is a milkshake technically a dessert? I don’t know, but this one sure knows how to party! This is one of my most popular posts ever – my Bourbon Salted Caramel sauce is turned into a very decadent boozy milkshake.

Boozy Hot Chocolate

11. Boozy Hot Chocolate

Three delicious ways to make your hot chocolate way more fun this winter! Frangelico is added to a dairy free Nutella Hot Chocolate. Cake-flavoured Vodka goes in the sprinkle-happy Birthday Cake White Hot Chocolate and some white chocolate liqueur makes an appearance in the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. Just don’t ask me to pick a favourite…

Boozy Desserts - Peach & Bourbon Pie

12. Peach and Bourbon Pie

There is something about peaches and bourbon together that works so well. These pies are a celebration of that and all things summer. This is also one of my favourite pastry recipes that I use all the time.

Boozy Desserts - Pimms Trifle

13. Pimms Trifle

When I’m catching up with the girls, we usually order a jug of Pimms to share. This dessert is inspired by those happy memories  with a focus on the flavours that go into a classic Pimms Cup – cucumber, strawberry and lemon. You can really taste the Pimms in this dessert.

Boozy Desserts - Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

14. Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Now this is one of my favourite boozy desserts ever. The flavours of chocolate, whisky and passionfruit are just perfect together. It’s actually pretty easy to make and the epitome of winter comfort food. One of my whisky-loving friends made this recently and loved it too.

Boozy Desserts - Nectarine, Raspberry and Chambord Pie

15. Nectarine, Raspberry and Chambord Pie

Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur that pairs perfectly with almost any summer fruit dessert. Of course I had to add a generous splash into the fruit mixture for this pie and it was delicious.

Boozy Desserts - Negroni Poached Pears

16. Negroni Poached Pears

This recipe is of course inspired by the classic Italian aperitif, the Negroni. I remember how good this made my apartment smell as I was poaching the pears in the Vermouth, Campari and Gin mixture for a sophisticated take on the boozy dessert.  It’s a great way to finish off a dinner party because it’s not too heavy or too sweet.

I hope you’re inspired by this roundup of Boozy Desserts. If you do try any of them please make sure to tag me in your photo on Instagram so I can see it too!

Thursday Tipples 14 / Sticky Date Bourbon Smash

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know how much I love a boozy dessert. In fact I have a round up of my very favourites coming up here on the blog next week, so stay tuned. Not only do I love to make desserts that are inspired by cocktails, but I also love when I can make drinks that are inspired by desserts. And sticky date pudding is definitely one of my favourite desserts. One of the best things about winter, in my opinion! I’m actually just surprised I didn’t come up with this cocktail sooner.

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail
Ever since I made the date caramel filling from my Sticky Date Doughnuts, I’ve had dates on the brain and was looking for other interesting ways to use them. I was recently reminded that jam could be a great cocktail ingredient, with a nice concentrated fruit flavour and sweetness. Mostly the recipes I found on Pinterest used fruit jams like blueberry and strawberry – delicious, and perfect with vodka or gin – but I thought that a date jam would be perfect in this bourbon based cocktail. I always add a glug of bourbon to my salted caramel sauce, so I thought it would be the perfect spirit here.

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail
I paired the date jam with other ingredients that reminded me of a Sticky Date Pudding. The combination of caramelly date jam (I have seen some store bought brands, but it’s very easy and quick to make it from scratch), fresh figs, brown sugar and bourbon is definitely delicious, and a little ginger never goes astray either. To me, this feels like one of the most perfect winter drinks. Okay, it’s not served warm like a mulled wine or cider but it has all the flavours of a classic dessert and a healthy swig of bourbon that will warm you up from the inside out.

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail
Smash cocktails are some of my favourites because I don’t have a lot of fancy bar equipment and they’re super easy to make with whatever you have on hand. You basically can’t go wrong with muddling delicious fruit together with booze – like pomegranate, lime and gin or raspberries, peaches and bourbon. You can use whatever is in season with your favourite spirit. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use the end of a wooden spoon. Even if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can totally make this drink in a large mason jar! Serve it in almost any glassware you like. I like that they’re so versatile.

Related: Apple Pie Pimms

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash

Serves 2

  • Large dollop date jam or date caramel
  • 1 fresh fig or Medjool date, cut into quarters, plus extra for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 50ml your favourite Bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • Ginger beer, to top up
  • 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme, to garnish
  • Ice
Fill 2 glasses with ice. Place a date jam, fresh fig or Medjool date and brown sugar into the glass of a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add bourbon and ice cubes and shake hard, until the shaker is too cold to touch. Double strain between 2 glasses, top up with ginger beer and garnish with sliced fig and a rosemary sprig.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Skillet with Hot Fudge Sauce

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce
When I started baking almost 10 years ago now, I used to completely ignore recipe instructions to preheat the oven. I had no idea what mise en place was. I’d never bring my butter or eggs to room temperature before baking a cake. I hardly ever measured dry ingredients accurately. I was often so eager to start baking that I didn’t take these steps… and often didn’t read the recipe all the way through either.

More than once I had to run to the supermarket in the middle of baking, because I realised I didn’t have enough buttermilk or something. I’m totally cringing as I tell you this. I realised that all these weird instructions in the recipe were there for a reason and researched what those reasons were. It’s through practice (hundreds of cakes and cookies over the years) and some serious baking fails that I learned my lessons and ditched these bad habits!

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce
But, I’m still learning all the time, and until recently I had no idea there was a difference between baking chocolate and ‘eating’ chocolate. I always use quality chocolate that I’d be happy to nibble on in my cooking, but specialty baking chocolate has been formulated with heating, melting and pouring in mind. And while normal chocolate obviously tastes good, it sometimes doesn’t pass the test for baking. Nestlé is re-launching their new and improved Bakers’ Choice products and I was invited to test them out in a fun baking challenge.

The range includes products I was already familiar with and use often – Cocoa Powder and Choc Bits – my go to for chocolate chip cookies because they hold their shape when baked. But there are also Chocolate Chunks that can be melted and poured on top of slices and Chocolate Melts that melt beautifully and set hard and glossy without the need to temper or even refrigerate your chocolate. Tempering chocolate scares me, so I call this a win!

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce
To road test the new products, I decided to make some individual Triple Chocolate Brownie Skillets with homemade no churn chocolate chilli ice cream (already sitting in the freezer) and a quick and easy hot fudge sauce to take this to pure decadence. Why are they triple chocolate? The brownie has a mixture of milk and dark chocolate chunks, with white chocolate chips stirred in and sprinkled on top.

I have to admit, I had to have a bit of a think about what I was going to do in each step of the recipe to make sure I picked the correct product for the job. If you aren’t sure, just know that the most versatile of the bunch is the Chocolate Chunks as they melt wonderfully or taste good as they are, perfect for stirring into brownies, cookies or muffins.

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce
I might only ever bake brownies in skillets from now on. I love how the edges get crispy while the middle remains gooey and molten. Underbaking slightly is encouraged with brownies like this, especially when you can just pile ice cream and fudge sauce on top and dig straight in with a spoon.

They look so cute as individual servings in these mini cast iron skillets. These brownies are a blank canvas – you could of course add your favourite nuts, chopped up candy bars or a swig of your favourite booze but I love the contrast of white and dark chocolate.

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce
For the hot fudge sauce I used the dark chocolate Melts, and you can see that perfect drizzle consistency when it’s warm, and then it sets just slightly once it hits to cool ice cream. I would usually use a really high quality chocolate to make this sauce since it’s the dominant flavour, but I’m happy to report that it still tasted amazing. Since the recipe makes a little more than you need, I also tested how well it re-warms in the microwave later on and it was perfect.

Thank you again to Nestlé for letting me test out these new products and create something delicious with them. I am looking forward to using the products in my every day baking – I think the Melts would be excellent to make Sprinkle Bark!

This is not a sponsored post, but all Nestlé products were gifted to me. All opinions are my own.

Triple Chocolate Skillet Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce

Double Chocolate Brownie Skillet with Hot Fudge Sauce

Serves 2

Brownie Skillet (adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g milk chocolate chunks
  • 20g dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate bits
  • Ice Cream, to serve

Hot Fudge Sauce

Note: This recipe will make more than you need, but it will store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

  • 90ml thickened cream
  • 100g Nestlé Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt the butter, milk and dark chocolate chunks chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Set aside for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and stir through to distribute evenly. Spoon the mixture between the mini cast iron skillets and place them on a sheet pan. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

In the meantime, make the Hot Fudge Sauce. Place ingredients into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal or wooden spoon until chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until chocolate melts. Serve warm or transfer to a clean airtight jar or container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Serve brownie skillets warm with a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge sauce on top.

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls – Healthy Homemade Snacks!

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls Healthy Snack
After a few too many weekend pizza binges and really late nights working, I decided it was definitely time for a season of healthier eating and self care. Nothing too radical, no crash diets, but small easy to stick to tweaks to my routine that will hopefully turn into long term lifestyle changes.

More vegetables, less sugar.
More cooking at home, because I find such pleasure in doing it.
Less grabbing an unhealthy lunch on the run purely out of hunger and desperation. 

Mostly I’ve done really well. I am waking up more easily and feel like I have more energy. The main time I struggle with eating healthy is when I haven’t been organised. I tend to make poor choices when I’m really hungry! For me, the key to following through on any new habit is definitely planning. If I forget to get groceries, or don’t have a shopping list, it’s a disaster. It’s really simple – when I have a fridge full of healthy food, I eat healthy!

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls Healthy Snack
And it’s for all of those reasons that I love these little Bliss Balls. They are so easy to make in advance – basically all the ingredients are dumped in the food processor! They make a fantastic snack with the bonus of  being easily portable for when you’re on the go. No more chocolate bars, or store-bought ‘healthy’ granola bars that are actually packed full of sugar and weird ingredients you don’t recognise.

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls Healthy Snack
They are absolutely delicious. I mean that! I’m now a bliss ball convert. It’s the perfect snack that makes you feel like you’re treating yourself after dinner, but really isn’t too naughty. Naturally sweet because of the dates, which also help in binding everything together. Next time I’m going to try them with Medjool dates because lots of people recommend them for their taste and texture.

These bliss balls are vegan, gluten free and contain healthy fats and protein from the nuts, chia seeds and coconut oil. Cacao has a whole lot of health benefits too, like balancing your hormones and reducing blood pressure – plus it’s a proven mood enhancer! There’s nothing artificial. No ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s all good stuff in here.

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls Healthy Snack
You can definitely use this recipe as a jumping off point to experiment here too. Use cashews, hazelnuts or brazil nuts instead of macadamias as they all have different healthy properties. Maybe some high quality protein powder or matcha instead of the cacao. You could add some tahini or peanut butter. Try different dried fruits like mango or figs – just watch out for the sugar content. The possibilities are literally endless. I definitely have some ideas to try out for next time too, because this batch is all gone!

Related Post: Cacao & Coconut Smoothie Bowl

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls Healthy Snack

Cacao Chia Bliss Balls

Makes 16
Adapted from Donna Hay

  • 1/2 cup (80g) almonds
  • 1/2 cup (70g) macadamias
  • 1/4 cup (20g) shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder (not cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 16 fresh dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Place the almonds, macadamias, coconut, vanilla, cacao and chia seeds into a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Add the dates and coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts for Christmas in July

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July
This year is flying by so fast, it feels like Christmas was only just here… and will be here again real soon once the malls put their decorations in September. But it’s time to dig out your ugly sweaters and fruit mince pies, because we like to celebrate Christmas twice a year! The usual Australian Christmas is very different to what you’re used to in the Northern Hemisphere.

December falls right in the middle of our summer, and there are much more likely to be cold salads, prawns and a swim in the pool after lunch. Celebrating Christmas in July means we get to indulge in all of the traditional dishes and everything else that goes with a winter Christmas when we can truly enjoy them – when it’s cold outside!

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July
I’m thinking hot roast turkey and ham, mulled wine, steamed puddings and fireplaces. And I hope that on the other side of the world, you guys can experience what it’s like to have a Christmas celebration in summer with fresh seafood, cherries and pavlova.

Of course I had to make a little something inspired by the faux-festive season.

I’ve taken the warm, spiced mulled wine we love in winter and turned it into one of the most delicious doughnut glazes ever. But the best part is, I think these babies could be enjoyed no matter which hemisphere you live in.

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July
I used extra dough I had leftover from making the Sticky Date doughnuts, so it already had a hint of spice. As I said in that post, I loved working with this dough. Don’t be scared of working with yeast. You don’t need any fancy equipment. I used my hand mixer with the dough hook attachment, but you could easily make it by hand if you feel like getting a workout at the same time.

Then I reduced down some mulled wine to a sticky syrup – just like in this post. You will have some leftover, which you can use for so many different things – drizzle some over roasted stone fruit, add to a red wine sangria, as a glaze for roast ham or duck, or simply over a few scoops of ice cream. Delicious.

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July
Just a quick note on the mulled wine syrup. Next time I make this – because oh yes, there will be a next time – I would not add sugar to the mulled wine syrup itself. When it gets mixed into the icing sugar to make the glaze, it does become very sweet, so I feel this would help balance it out and make the flavour of the mulling spices more prominent. I’ve allowed for this change in the recipe below.

Look at that super shiny glaze!! I decorated them with fresh raspberries, cherries and orange zest. I loved the tartness and hint of citrus that helped to offset the sweet glaze, and I think they turned out super pretty.

Related Post: Mulled Wine Marshmallows

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts Christmas in July

Mulled Wine Glazed Doughnuts

Doughnuts (Adapted from The Sugar Hit)

  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 75ml warm water
  • 60g butter, softened
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Mulled Wine Syrup

  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • Zest of 1 orange, removed with a vegetable peeler

Mulled Wine Glaze

  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons mulled wine syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Raspberries and extra orange zest, to decorate

To make the doughnuts, place all the ingredients except the butter into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until combined and elastic. With the mixer still running, add the butter one piece at a time until it is fully incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.

To make the mulled wine syrup, place ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes or until liquid is syrupy. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Use immediately or strain into sterilised bottles or jars to give as gifts. Lasts indefinitely in the fridge.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place onto a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic or tea towel again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.

Place about 5cm of oil into a saucepan or use a deep fryer and heat over a low flame, until it reaches 170°C ( °F). To test, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature. Fry the donuts a few at a time (don’t crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Drain the donuts on paper towels and allow to cool slightly.

To make the glaze, place icing sugar in a bowl with mulled wine syrup and vanilla extract and whisk to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze and place onto a cooling rack with a tray placed underneath to catch stray drips of glaze. Decorate with raspberries and orange zest. These doughnuts are best eaten on the day they’re made.

Simple Dinners 17 / One Pot Moroccan Chicken

One Pot Moroccan Chicken
Are you one of those people who finds washing dishes therapeutic? These days I don’t mind so much but as a kid I absolutely hated it. My sister and I would always argue over whose turn it was to wash or dry, and it truly was the bane of our lives. I had no idea a family of four could go through so many dishes in a day. And how many pots and pans could be used to make a single meal?!

One of the reasons I started this Simple Dinners column is to share more recipes just like this and inspire you to maybe try something new for dinner this week.

Everything cooked in the one pot. Not too much washing up. Not too time consuming. Easy for weeknights. Maximum deliciousness.

One Pot Moroccan Chicken
This dish is actually the combination of two recipes I really like and make pretty often – a chunky chicken and vegetable soup with risoni and a Moroccan chicken stew that is usually served with cous cous. One night, I didn’t have the ingredients to make either recipe properly, but had the idea to merge them together. It was really delicious and I’ve been making it this way ever since.

The best thing is that it’s all very easy. You get a big return on investment in terms of comfort and deliciousness for just a small amount of effort. Throw a bunch of super flavourful things into your food processor to make a paste. If you have time, you can marinate your chicken for a few hours or overnight, but if we’re being honest, I always forget this step and it still tastes amazing.

One Pot Moroccan Chicken
Then you brown your lemons, and then the chicken, and add the flavour paste and everything else to the same pot for a nice simmer with the lid on. The risoni is added last to take on all those amazing flavours that have been developing. I like to serve it family style in the same pot it was cooked in with a scattering of fresh herbs and a green salad on the side and everyone can help themselves.

This dish truly does pack a punch with Moroccan flavours – saffron, turmeric, ras el hanout (a medley of North African spices) and preserved lemons, which I just love with chicken. The bold spices pair perfectly with green olives and the brightness of fresh lemons and herbs.

One Pot Moroccan Chicken

One Pot Moroccan Chicken

Adapted from this recipe
Serves 4-6

Spice Paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup coriander
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Thumb size piece of fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • Thumb size piece of fresh turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • Salt & white pepper, to taste

Moroccan Chicken

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 pieces preserved lemon, thinly sliced
  • Splash of white wine, optional
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup risoni
  • Pitted green olives
  • Fresh coriander and parsley, for garnish

To make the spice paste, place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined. If you have time, you can marinate the chicken thighs with the spice paste in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but it is still delicious without this step.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep frypan. Add the lemon slices and cook until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken pieces (reserving the extra spice paste marinade if you did this step) and cook skin side down for about 5 minutes until browned. Turn the pieces over, Add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the fresh spice paste or reserved marinade, 1 cup chicken stock and the preserved lemons. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover with the lid to simmer for about 40 minutes.

Taste for seasoning now and add any extra salt, pepper and spices. Add the risoni, some extra stock, the olives and the grilled lemons and cover for a further 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Garnish with chopped coriander and parsley.

One Pot Moroccan Chicken

Sticky Date Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Sauce

sticky date doughnuts
Last year, on the first Friday of June, my Instagram feed was suddenly flooded with doughnuts. Deep fried dough of all shapes and sizes. Glazed and sprinkled. Filled and sugar-coated, in every colour of the rainbow. I wondered what the heck was going on – intrigued of course – before I saw that it was National Doughnut Day. I immediately added the date to my calendar for this year, and recurring every year thereafter. You know, these kinds of things are very important to remember. You don’t want to come empty handed to the doughnut party.

sticky date doughnuts
And oh boy, do I have a treat for you today. If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably know that Sticky Date Pudding is one of my very favourite desserts. It’s an absolute staple in winter – probably why I have experimented and published so many recipes over the years. This time I wanted to combine it with one of my other favourite things – the doughnut. Sticky Date Doughnuts! It’s definitely one of my better ideas… what a fantastic combination!

sticky date doughnuts
This time around I tried a new doughnut dough recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, The Sugar Hit. This recipe is technically for a Portuguese doughnut called a Malasada, but when I read that it was a luxurious dough enriched with eggs, I knew it would be perfect for what I wanted. The recipe was super easy, even though I don’t have a stand mixer these days, I easily made these with the dough attachments on my hand mixer. The dough was beautiful to handle and produced a wonderfully textured doughnut. It might just be my go to recipe from now on.

sticky date doughnuts
The filling was also easy and delicious – basically a caramel made from dates, which are already naturally sweet and have a beautiful flavour. You could use it as a delicious jam. Of course, I had to add some bourbon 🙂

You can’t have sticky date pudding without caramel sauce, so I made my usual recipe a little bit thicker and poured it over the top and it set slightly as it cooled. I don’t make sweets nearly as often as I used to, and it was so nice to get back into the swing of things, making my favourite kind of treat – a twist on a classic that I love. I hope you too are celebrating National Doughnut Day today! I’m having one of these babies for breakfast.

Related Post: Sticky Date Bourbon & Cola Pudding

sticky date doughnuts

Sticky Date Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Sauce

Doughnuts (Adapted from The Sugar Hit)

  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 75ml warm water
  • 60g butter, softened
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Caramel Date Filling

  • 150g dates
  • 150ml water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or whisky
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • Cream

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 30g salted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the doughnuts, place all the ingredients except the butter into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until combined and elastic. With the mixer still running, add the butter one piece at a time until it is fully incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.

In the meantime, make the date filling. Place the dates, water and vanilla into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Add bourbon, cinnamon, salt and icing sugar and blend again. You might need to thin out the consistency to make it easily pipe-able so add cream 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until smooth. Place into a piping bag and set aside.

To make the salted caramel sauce, place the brown sugar, butter and cream into another small saucepan and stir until combined and the butter has melted. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir through salt and allow to cool to room temperature.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place onto a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic or tea towel again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.

Place about 5cm of oil into a saucepan or use a deep fryer and heat over a low flame, until it reaches 170°C ( °F). To test, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.

Fry the donuts a few at a time (don’t crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Drain the donuts on paper towels and allow to cool slightly.

Use a chopstick to make a hole in each doughnut. Pipe the date filling inside until each doughnut feels heavy. Drizzle salted caramel on top of each doughnut (best done over a cooling rack with a tray or plate underneath) and serve immediately or allow caramel to set slightly. Doughnuts taste best on the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container and heated in the microwave.

Thursday Tipples 13 / Turkish Delight Mojito

turkish-delight-mojito
I don’t really have a favourite cocktail, or something I order without fail every time. Of course I love Pimms and any unique interpretation of a Pimms Cup will have my attention (like my Garden Party cocktail). I like seeing ingredients like kaffir lime leaves or pandan in a fusion drink done well (like my Passionfruit Kaffir Lime Lemonade). An interesting infusion could be the tipping point, like chilli vodka or maybe a fun novelty garnish. But I suppose it’s just a matter of the flavour combination that suits the atmosphere and my mood at the time. Maybe it’s something new that I wouldn’t have thought of that excites me, or maybe it’s a classic combo that never goes out of style. Anyone else have Taylor Swift in their head now? You’re welcome.

Turkish Delight Mojito
This cocktail is an example of that – combining two complementary flavour combinations in the one drink that really makes it something special. Lime, mint and rum, oh yeah – it’s the basis for the classic Mojito cocktail that people love all over the world. But the combination of mint, rosewater, edible rose petals and white chocolate liqueur is also wonderful and surprising – inspired by Turkish Delight – one of my favourite sweets. But before you start thinking this drink is sickly sweet, it’s definitely not. It’s actually one of the most delicious, refreshing but more-ish cocktails I’ve ever made. The lime and mint help cut through any sweetness, and I didn’t want to stop drinking it.

I love making a big shared cocktail or mocktail drink when my friends come over or whenever I’m hosting a dinner party. My go-to used to be a fruity iced tea served in a trifle bowl, but I am definitely going to make this in a large pitcher next time. The girls will totally love this. It’s such a girly and feminine looking drink.

Turkish Delight Mojito
It’s also super easy to make, you don’t even need a cocktail shaker or a muddler. I used the flat end of my whisk to muddle the lime, mint and rose petals together in a regular tall glass. Make sure you use organic, unsprayed roses for this, or if you can’t find them, skip the petals in the drink itself. If you are just using them for garnish and aren’t eating the flowers, it’s okay to use regular roses.

I was actually going to muddle in fresh pomegranate, which would have turned this drink a beautiful pink colour, but I finished taking these photos, completely forgetting that it was sitting in my fridge until I was done! It would be delicious though, so you should totally do that because it would add a lovely sweetness and tartness at the same time. Then it’s just a matter of adding your booze and crushed ice, stirring gently with a long spoon to combine all those flavours and topping up with soda. Easy!

Turkish Delight Mojito

Turkish Delight Mojito

Serves 1

  • Half a lime, end removed and cut into quarters
  • 8 fresh mint leaves (plus an extra sprig for garnish)
  • 8 organic, unsprayed rose petals (optional, plus extra for garnish)
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds (optional – I forgot to add mine but it would be lovely)
  • 45ml white rum
  • 30ml white chocolate liqueur
  • 15ml rosewater (or to taste)
  • Crushed ice
  • Dash of soda water

Put the lime wedges into a tall glass. Clap your hands together with the mint and rose petals in between and place into the glass with the lime. Muddle to release the juice, but don’t overdo it. If you don’t have a muddler, use the flat end of your whisk or rolling pin. If you are using pomegranate, muddle it together also in this step.

Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour in the white rum, white chocolate liqueur and rosewater. Stir the mix together combine the flavours. Top up with crushed ice, a splash of the soda water and garnish it with a sprig of mint, a small rose and extra pomegranate if using.

 

Simple Dinners 16 / Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa

Roasted Vegetable Salad
It must just be this time of year, but I’ve been roasting everything in sight. From the last of the summer tomatoes (which are great in this other Simple Dinner recipe) to new season pumpkins and baby beetroots from the farmers market, I just can’t get enough. I have been making big batches of roasted vegetables every few days and using them in different dishes to make a bunch of quick and easy meals. This Roasted Vegetable Salad is a celebration of all that goodness, and one of my current favourite things.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
I love the glorious transformation that takes place in the oven. How a little bit of heat and time can concentrate the flavours in a strawberry or a tomato to make it an even more intense and delicious version of itself. This salad is a work of art, and I certainly don’t mean any fussy plating! The autumnal colour palette of orange, purple and red looks so lovely and elevates it to something very special.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Served warm or at room temperature, it makes the perfect healthy dinner, with enough leftovers for lunch as well. I could eat this every single day. As we go into winter, this dish will strengthen both your body and soul – the roasted vegetables make it super comforting, but they are also packed with nutrients that will help to boost your immune system for the cold months ahead.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
I roasted pumpkin, cauliflower and baby beets with a good glug of olive oil, turmeric, cumin and fennel seeds. The warm spices are perfect with the earthy sweetness of the root vegetables. I tossed through some cooked quinoa for protein to make it a more satisfying meal, and then some feta, pomegranate and micro greens for some colour and freshness. I served it with a dressing of tahini, lemon and turmeric, which can be whisked together in just a few minutes.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Of course this dish is a total blank canvas. Here are a couple of ideas for how to mix it up.

  • You can use any kind of roast vegetables that you like. Maybe you prefer sweet potatoes or baby carrots? Let the seasonal ingredients available guide you.
  • Serve as a delicious side for your favourite protein – chicken, steak, lamb or hot smoked salmon would all be great.
  • Use goats cheese or haloumi instead of feta
  • Top with chopped mint or parsley, or even a dollop of quick pesto
  • Stir through some baby spinach, rocket or chopped kale
  • Add a can of drained chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil to your pan of vegetables in the last 10-15 minutes of roasting time, they will crisp up wonderfully.
  • Add some roasted nuts or blanched green beans for texture
  • If pomegranates aren’t in season, add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses

Related: Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta and Tabouli

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish

  • Half butternut pumpkin, cut into 4cm chunks
  • Half cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 bunch baby beets, cut in half if large
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 50g feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 pomegranate, arils removed
  • Micro herbs or finely chopped mint

Turmeric & Tahini Dressing (from Bon Appetit)

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat your oven to 170°C ( °F). Place the cut vegetables into a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin and fennel, and massage with your hands to cover evenly. Place into a large roasting dish and cook for 1 hour or until golden and cooked.

In the meantime, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. Toss through the cooked vegetables and place in a serving dish. Crumble over the feta and scatter the pomegranate and herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric and water until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. This dressing will last 4 days covered in the fridge. Serve slightly warmed with the salad.

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float
Can we talk about my serious love for all things tea flavoured? As soon as the weather starts to cool down, my tea consumption goes way up and I start to have all sorts of ideas about how to use tea in cocktails, desserts and baked goods. You should see the document of winter recipe ideas sitting on my desktop. Or the cupboard in my kitchen that houses my tea collection. The door literally can’t close all the way. I mean, how much tea is too much?!

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float
I love Chai and Matcha, Rooibos and Chamomile, and of course French Earl Grey is a firm favourite. I’ve baked with it several times before and know that the floral tea makes an excellent ice cream and pairs especially well with lemon. It’s a pretty sophisticated flavour combination, so that’s why I made it into a fun and nostalgic Ice Cream Float or ‘Spider’ as we call them here in Australia. I used to love these as a kid, and now I love them even more as a grown up when I can add booze!

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float
A few scoops of lemon & earl grey ice cream and a quick and easy lemon curd get placed together in a tall glass and topped up with soda or lemonade. It fizzes up theatrically and creates a creamy foam on top. It’s half drink, half dessert, and very satisfying to sip with a straw and eat the rest with a spoon.

I’ve used my super easy no churn ice cream recipe, definitely my go to for consistently creamy and amazing ice cream. You don’t have to worry about egg yolks, making a custard or churning in an ice cream machine, seriously! The ice cream is also delicious on top of a warm fruit pudding or crumble. Earl Grey loves fruit, especially apples, pears and peaches. It’s the perfect accompaniment to many of your favourite autumn desserts!

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float

Makes 2 floats

Earl Grey Ice Cream (makes 1 litre)

  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 3 tablespoons loose leaf French Earl Grey tea
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

To make the ice cream, first infuse the cream. Place into a saucepan over medium heat with the tea and lemon zest. Stir to evenly distribute the tea leaves until just boiling. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for at least 1 hour, up to 3 hours. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate until cold. When the cream is cold place into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and vanilla. Fold the cream through the condensed milk until just combined. Place into a loaf pan or plastic container and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Lemon Curd (makes a little more than you need)

  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 80g chilled butter
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

To make the lemon curd, whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Floats

  • 4 tablespoons Lemon Curd
  • 4 scoops Earl Grey Ice Cream
  • Lemonade or soda to top up

Place 2 tablespoons lemon curd and 2 scoops of Earl Grey ice cream in the bottom of 2 tall glasses. Top up with lemonade slowly as it will fizz and foam. Enjoy straight away!