22 February 2012

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Made these today, i used honey instead of sugar and thanks to Sonya for this recipe she uses
Makes 16 Servings

  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed very well
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (i dont use canola oil so used sunflower)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract as desired, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth.  Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

20 February 2012

Slow Cooker Country Beef & Herb Bread

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots scraped and sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 750g (1½ lb) stewing beef, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2½ cm (1 inch) cubes
  • 400g (14oz) can tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Topping

  • 40g (1.5oz) butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 6 thick slices of French bread


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, carrots and celery and fry until they are lightly browned. Transfer to the stoneware pot, draining well.
  2. Add the beef to the frying pan and brown on all sides. Transfer to the stoneware pot.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock and salt and pepper to taste to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Pour into the stoneware pot and add the bouquet garni.
  4. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 4-5 hours.
  5. To make the topping, cream together the butter and herbs and spread on one side of each piece of bread.
  6. Thirty minutes before the cooking time is completed, remove the bouquet garni. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Press the bread, buttered side up, into the liquid. (If your slow cooker has a removable stoneware pot the bread can be crisped before serving by placing under a hot grill for a few minutes.)

Slow Cooker Thai Red Chicken Curry

  • One kilogram of trimmed and cut in half chicken thigh fillets
  • 120 grams of Thai red curry paste
  • One cup of chicken stock
  • One and a half teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 150 grams of halved fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 230 grams of sliced bamboo shoots
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 140 ml of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of basil leaves
  • Steamed jasmine rice
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan using medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches for about 1 to 2 minutes until each side turns golden. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  • Reduce heat on frying pan to low. Add the rest of the oil into a pan. Add curry paste and cook while stirring for about two minutes until an aroma is released. Add stock then stir until the curry paste dissolves. Add the bamboo shoots and mushroom. Pour the mixture over the chicken and stir.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3.5 hours. Use a jug to combine sugar, coconut milk and fish sauce. Stir the mixture into curry. Cover and let it cook for 30 minutes on high.
  • Stir the food in basil and spoon over rice.

Slow Cooker White Bread

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 (8 g) package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • milk

    1. Pour 1/2 cup of water into crock pot and preheat the slow cooker/crock pot on High with the lid on.

    2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water or milk with the sugar and set in a warm - not hot - place.

    3. Put the flour in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt.

    4. Make a well in the centre.

    5. When the yeast is bubbly, pour the rest of the water or milk, the yeast mixture, and the oil into the well.

    6. Stir with your fingers (I use a soup spoon) until all the flour has been absorbed.

    7. Grease a deep metal or glass bowl and place the bread in it. (You can use a coffee can, a casserole dish or a loaf pan, whatever will fit inside your crockpot).

    8. Brush milk with a pastry brush over the top of the bread.

    9. Cover loosely with a plate and let stand for 5 minutes in a warm place.

    10. Place on a trivet in the slow cooker, cover the cooker, and bake on High for 2 to 3 hours.