Raspberry and Pistachio Brownies

I’m all for a little indulgence, albeit in moderation. And what could be more indulgent that a chocolate / nut / berry combination – in the form of a homemade brownie. Inspired by a recipe I came across in My Darling Lemon Thyme’s cookbook (ps how gorgeous are her photos!), these luscious brownies made an appearance after dinner a little while ago.

Filled to the absolute brim with dark chocolate, pistachios and raspberries, they were far from “healthy”, but ticked all the boxes when it came to satisfying my sweet tooth. The raspberries added a nice touch of tartness too, meaning the end result was not sickly sweet, while the pistachios gave the slices a little texture.

On this occasion, we served the brownies warm for dessert, with a little vanilla bean ice-cream on the side. The remaining brownies kept well in the fridge for the next few days, becoming more fudge-like (with no complaints there either!).

So, if you are looking to satisfy a craving for sweets, may I suggest you make a batch of these! Be warned, though, they were hard to stop at just one piece…

Print Recipe
Raspberry and Pistachio Brownies
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Baking
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 22 x 30cm slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the oil, 200g of the chopped chocolate, sugars and salt in a small saucepan. Melt, stirring often, over a low heat. Add the vanilla, remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture, one at a time, ensuring they incorporate well. Add the almond meal, and sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  4. Add half of the raspberries and pistachios, and 25g of the chopped chocolate, and stir until just combined. Spread into the prepared slice tray, and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate, raspberries and pistachios.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then slice.
Recipe Notes

These brownies will keep at room temperature in an air-tight container for 2 to 3 days. You can also keep them in the fridge for a week or so, where they will become more fudge-like.

Share this Recipe

Easy sweet tartlets

IMG_2111_thumb “Bring a plate to share”. I am sure you know the brief. I am sure that you also know that it can lead to days / weeks of deliberation as to what you should bring. On this particular occasion, we were invited to an afternoon cocktail party. I knew there would be lots of good food to share, so I didn’t want to go overboard. But I also wanted to try something new. I was limited on time, but not on inclination, and so these easy sweet tartlets came to be. IMG_2126_thumb But I have to confess, I opted for store bought pastry tartlets to cut down the preparation time (and, let’s be honest, my pastry making skills are still in their novice phase). I found these ones at The Essential Ingredient, and although they were a tad on the expensive side ($29.95 for 60 or so), the lady at the shop assured me they freeze well. IMG_2107_thumb All I had to do was think of the fillings. The first one was rather simple. Chocolate orange mousse with candied orange peel. Sounds fancy yes – but it really was rather easy. IMG_2103_thumb2 I made some candied orange zest – by poaching finely sliced orange peel in boiling water for 5 minutes twice, then simmered it in a mixture of sugar and water for another five. Then it was into the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to develop and the orange to lose any residual bitterness. IMG_2104_thumb1IMG_2105_thumb1 As for the mousse, I cheated (again!) and made up a packet chocolate mousse with the addition of orange essence. IMG_2108_thumb1IMG_2116_thumb The second variety, again, was really simple. Just lemon curd topped with a blueberry. On reflection, if I had had more time I would have topped the curd with some meringue, but time was short so the lemon / blueberry combination was a tasty alternative nonetheless. IMG_2109_thumb1IMG_2117_thumb The third and final variety was a bit of a flop. I had intended to make caramel tarts with a chocolate garnish, but my store-bought caramel was too runny. Instead, I combined it with some whipped cream, topped with a sliced strawberry and a sprinkle of grated chocolate. IMG_2118_thumb And I think the finished result, when the three varieties were put together,  was rather cute… IMG_2110_thumb1 From the right – chocolate orange, lemon curd and caramel. IMG_2114_thumb1 Tasty little morsels that I was pleased to see disappeared rather quickly at the party! IMG_2115_thumb1 A fancy little plate – with fairly minimal fuss… IMG_2121_thumb1 That’s my kinda ‘bring a plate’! What about you? What are your favourites when asked to ‘bring a plate’?

Adventures in making honeycomb

IMG_9459 As I mentioned here, I have quite the fear when it comes to cooking with melted sugar. Perhaps it is because my style of cooking is rather ‘bit of this, bit of that’, and sugar generally requires more precision. Or perhaps it is because that once heat is applied, it doesn’t take long until the little innocent sugar granules turn into a pot of molten lava. Which is scary in itself for this rather clumsy gal. But Mr BBB loves honeycomb. And one afternoon I was feeling particularly adventurous, so I decided to make my own. Or at least try to. Sugar + water + honey + golden syrup. Finished with the magic bubble ingredient (aka bicarb soda). Couldn’t be that hard right?! Wrong. Two attempts in – and all I had to show for my efforts was burnt fingers (and the story of Goldilocks running around in my head). For my first batch of honeycomb was too soft… IMG_9403 And my second batch was too hard bendy… IMG_9404 Something just wasn’t right. Frustrated, both batches went into the bin. But the memory of my honeycomb failure lingered and I decided to give it another go. This time I ignored the instructions as to the length of time the sugar should simmer for. I pulled out a meat thermometer (hey – I don’t have a candy thermometer so I improvised) and let the sugar cook until it had reached 154C. Turns out this took waaay longer than the 7 minutes called for in the recipe. With dubious anticipation, I added the bicarb, and watched as the sugar turned into something resembling honeycomb. IMG_9405 I spread the mix onto a tray, and allowed it to cool. Then it was the moment of truth. Was it set? Would it break as honeycomb should do or just bend like my previous attempts? IMG_9407 Success! Suddenly I had a full tray of crunchy, aerated honeycomb! Made even better with the addition of melted dark chocolate. IMG_9458 Ahhhh lovely sweet honeycomb! IMG_9459 Just like a whole plate of homemade violet crumble. Firm on the outside, and soft / aerated in the middle. IMG_9461 Moral of the story – use a thermometer to get the sugar temperature just right. This could take a lot longer than the cooking time mentioned in the recipe. IMG_9464 With this new found sugar skill, I’m already thinking of what I can make next. Honeycomb ice-cream perhaps??? IMG_9466 You can find the recipe I used here. What about you? Have you ever made your own honeycomb?

Rolling in rhubarb

IMG_8652 Remember when I mentioned that I impulse bought rhubarb? Well I had one thing in mind… IMG_8654 Stewed rhubarb and apple. Although wanting to avoid the too-common overuse of sugar that generally features in the dish (presumably to cut through the tartness of the rhubarb), I stewed the rhubarb and apple slices in just a sprinkle of stevia and water. And, after 15 minutes or so, the pot went from this… IMG_8655 To this! IMG_8658 Vibrant rhubarb and apple. IMG_8687 Still tart, and with just a hint of sweetness from the apple and stevia. IMG_8688 A lovely wintery dessert, that kept my sweet tooth happy for days. IMG_8689 Particularly when paired with a coop of vanilla ice-cream. Although next time, I am going to use it in a crumble! What about you? Are you a fan of rhubarb?

Birthday crumble

Thankyou all for your well wishes and congratulations about my birthday and yesterday’s post. It truly was a wonderful day. And, although there was no birthday cake for me this year, there was indulgence of another kind. A sweet, crumbly kind. IMG_7181 Apple crumble! I have been meaning to make apple crumble for a while now. I think it has something to do with the chilly temperatures outside. Then, when a large amount of apples showed up in our weekly fruit / vegetable box, it seemed the apple crumble gods had spoken…. IMG_7152 And I was only to happy to comply. IMG_7155 I simmered the apples in a mixture of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla bean until caramelised. IMG_7159 Spooned into ramekins… IMG_7162 And topped with a mixture of oats, GF flour, butter and a little more sugar*. IMG_7167 * This is where I think I went wrong… IMG_7168 Baked in the oven for 20 minutes or so… IMG_7183 Until golden brown and the crumble became ‘crumble’. IMG_7185 Warm, rich and oh so comforting. The apples were delightful, but  sadly when combined with the crumble, it ended up being a little too sweet for me (*gasp* is there such a thing?!). But  not to be deterred – we promptly added a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top – which cut through some of the sweetness. IMG_7186 Thereby correcting sweetness with more sweetness?! but it worked. So let’s call this one a work in progress. And I am more than happy to continue my quest for a perfect apple crumble! What about you? Are you a fan of fruit crumbles??

Homemade holiday treats – Gingerbread doughnuts

I think it will come as no surprise, that hosting events and parties for family and friends is one of my favourite hobbies. Be it Christmas, a birthday or some other party, I really do enjoy all the planning, decorating and cooking that is required (much to Mr BBB’s frustration lol). IMG_3774 Last year, Mr BBB and I hosted our first Christmas in our new family home, with a flurry of decorating and baking taking place before the big day. You can find all of my 2010 Christmas Countdown posts below:

This year, we are spending Christmas with my family in Melbourne. Christmas Eve will be with family and friends in Melbourne, Christmas Day with my Mum and little brother, and Boxing Day with my Dad in rural Victoria. And, although we are planning on keeping it pretty low key,  I wanted to put together a basket of homemade sweet treats and other nibbles to take down with me – to share amongst our guests at the various parties and mealtimes. I also have a few functions this week that call for a plate of treats to be provided. And so my 5 days of Homemade Holiday Treats begins! holidaytreats That’s right – 5 days of nothing but sugar and sweetness on BBB! I think I should probably give my dentist a call now Winking smile  IMG_3918 Starting with…. gingerbread Gingerbread doughnuts! aka. a tasty little treat to take to a work morning tea. Just whisk the dry. IMG_3927 Add the wet. IMG_3928 Stir to a batter. IMG_3929 Pipe… IMG_3931 Bake… IMG_3932 And glaze. IMG_3933 IMG_3934 And serve. IMG_3942 I am loving the baked variety of this normally-fried treat. IMG_3943 These took only 10 minutes in the oven, a few minutes to glaze, making them a morning tea that you can throw together quite easily. donuts They will keep overnight in an airtight container, but they really are best eaten on the day they are made. IMG_3950 Delish! Gingerbread doughnuts (makes 12 large) (adapted from Pinch of Yum)

  • 2 cups spelt (use GF plain flour  to make these GF)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1tbs ground ginger
  • 1tbs ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 50ml milk
  • 50g melted butter


  • 30g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 40ml milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 2 x 6 hole large doughnut pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the Centre.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon into a piping bag, and pipe into doughnut tins (to about 3/4 full).
  5. Bake for 10 –12  minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.
  6. To make the glaze – melt the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the milk, and heat (stirring) for 1 minute. Add the icing sugar, and whisk to combine until smooth and glossy.
  7. While warm, pour the glaze over the doughnuts.

What about you? Are you more of party planner or a party goer?

Coconut and pineapple friands (gluten free)

Happy Tuesday – and boy did today fly! IMG_8645 I actually enjoyed a little sleep in this morning (to 6.30am *gasp*) as I had a ‘different’ form of cardio on the agenda after work. Any guesses? Body Step! Oh how I have missed you my old friend. Heading to the class after work, I was so happy to find out that Body Step is still amazing in all its heart pumping / leg smashing awesomeness. This class is definitely my favourite ‘cardio’ group fitness class (you can keep your Attack and Zumba…thanks x) although sadly it is only on at my gym once or twice a week (and at times that don’t really suit). However, tonight Mr BBB was not available for a run so Body Step it was. And to say I loved would be an understatement!! But now – from one sweet to another… While my batch of macarons failed dismally over the weekend, I am pleased to report that the friands I made for mother’s day worked just fine. IMG_8643 Actually, now I think about it, they were probably my favourite part of the lunch all together. But when there is coconut and pineapple involved, how can you really go wrong? The inspiration for these friands came from none other than my trusty Mystery BoxIMG_8681 Coconut! IMG_8578 Did you know? The coconut palm is known as the ‘tree of life’ in many cultures perhaps owing to the fact that it is useful in so many ways. From milk, to water to coconut meat, coconut itself is nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Some people believe that coconuts are so called due to early Spanish explorers calling them ‘coco’, which means "monkey face", as the three indentations on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. When I drew out this ingredient, I immediately decided that I wanted to make something sweet to serve at our Mother’s Day lunch. Then, when I wandered past a local cafe and saw a display case filled with various friands, I was inspired. IMG_8640 And, while I probably should have gone in search of a whole coconut to properly embrace the spirit of the Mystery Box, I had a bag of shredded coconut in the pantry that needed to be used. So shredded coconut it was. And so these coconut and pineapple friands came to be.  IMG_8645 What I loved about this recipe was that it was very ‘one bowl’. Just mix… IMG_8580 Spoon…     IMG_8583  And bake…  IMG_8612   Then dust with a little icing sugar and you have the perfect sweet treat for afternoon tea.   IMG_8648 Fluffy yet moist… IMG_8647  Delish! Now I wonder what my next friand flavour should be???? Coconut and pineapple friands (gluten free) These friands are the perfect sweet treat to serve for morning or afternoon tea. Gluten free, and packed with flavour, they can also be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup GF plain flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 150g dried pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut plus extra
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a friand pan.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add butter, almond meal, icing sugar and flours, pineapple and coconut, and stir until well combined.
  3. Divide among friand pan, top with a little extra shredded coconut.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Allow friands to stand in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.

______________________ Day 20 – MOVE it, TONE it, DRINK it *20 days down – and 10 to go! Still going strong, although getting enough water in each day is continuing to be a struggle for me?!

  • MOVE it – Body Step (1hr)
  • TONE it – Sit ups 150
  • DRINK it – 1.5L

_____________________ What about you? Do you have a favourite group fitness class? What about a favourite friand flavour? Happy Baking 🙂

Macaron madness

IMG_6090 Yes, you read that right …. Remember when I tried to make macarons for the first time?  And remember when I said I was going to try and perfect the recipe? Well the BBB household has been filled with all things egg whites, almond meal and sugar over the past week. Unfortunately my second, third and fourth attempts at making macarons were not so successful. Think flat and cracked….ugh That was, until the other night. IMG_6105IMG_6110IMG_6149  Feeling rather exasperated by the whole thing I was ready to give up. But with 3 final egg whites ageing in the fridge I figured ‘what the hell’. One more attempt cant hurt. IMG_6065 And thankfully, for my baking sanity, they worked! Prepare for photo overload….you have been warned. Flours were divided… IMG_5996 Ground…. IMG_5997 And sifted…  IMG_5998 Egg whites and sugar were whipped…  IMG_6000 And a macaronage was made…  IMG_6001 Macarons were piped…  IMG_6002 (hehe yes I need to work on my consistency skills….) Baked… IMG_6021 And filled… IMG_6043 And voila…. IMG_6068 macarons brought to life. IMG_6062 Filled with lemon curd butter cream…  IMG_6063   IMG_6066 So delicate…   IMG_6084    IMG_6078 So tasty… IMG_6132      And the signature feature??? IMG_6121 Feet! IMG_6135 It was the lemon buttercream, however, that took these macarons from fine to fab! IMG_6088 It had the just the right level of citrus and sweetness… IMG_6089    To provide for the perfect bite sized sweet treat. IMG_6118 Sigh – I really don’t see these lasting in our house too long! I suggest you make a batch of these… IMG_6112 ASAP! Lemon curd macarons

  • 90g egg whites (left in the fridge to age for 2 days, then brought to room temperature)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1tsp yellow food colouring
  • 2tbs lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 5og butter, softened
  1. Process icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor until fine. Sift twice, and set aside.
  2. Whisk egg whites until foamy. Slowly add caster sugar until it forms peaks – the consistency of shaving cream. Stir through food colouring.
  3. Add the dry almond mixture, and fold gently to combine. Don’t overmix.
  4. Pipe rounds onto a tray lined with baking paper, keeping 2 cm apart.
  5. Tap the tray against the bench once to remove air bubbles.
  6. Sit for 1 hour, until the rounds form ‘shells’ and feel dry when lightly touched.
  7. Preheat oven to 150C. Bake for 14-16 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, allow to cool on tray then transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Meanwhile, beat the icing sugar, lemon curd and butter until smooth. Pipe onto a macaron, then top with another.

What about you? Any suggestions for a macaron flavour? Yup I think I am addicted 😉 Happy Baking 🙂