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Friday Food: Chocolate Berry Brownies

Chocolate berry brownieWhat to bake, what to bake? I picked up a tin of cocoa and there was a recipe on the label and I decided then and there that that was what I would bake. I have made the brownie three times, once with gluten free flour, and it has been extremely well received. Success!

The cocoa is Dutch processed, and it is best if you use this kind of cocoa for the recipe. Ordinary cocoa can react differently with the other ingredients. I used blackberries in this brownie.

It is a bonus that the recipe is also as easy as pie, and can be whipped up in just ten minutes. I love a good melt and mix recipe. I was also chuffed to find local, spray-free berries freshly frozen at the local healthy food shop. I’ve used both blueberries and blackberries, and I have yet to try raspberries. I think strawberries would not be quite right. The brownie is quite squidgy in the centre and firmer on the edges. The berries have a tartness that contrasts well with the rich chocolate. 

I served the brownie with an easy chocolate sauce, and I will link to it here. The recipe lends itself to doubling and halving. 



Chocolate Berry Brownies        serves 9-16

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup berries or 1 punnet or 125g: fresh or frozen


Preheat the oven to 160*C/140*C fan-forced. Grease and line a 20cm square tin.

And here is the method: combine the first five ingredients.


Gently fold in the berries.

Spoon into the tin and level the top.


Bake for about 50 minutes or until the brownie is firm to the touch in the centre. Cool in the tin and then serve with chocolate sauce, cream, ice-cream, berries or any combination of the same!



Friday Food: One-Pan Chicken

One pan chickenMrsDrWho is not well, so I shall save my new brownie recipe for next week when she feels more like eating chocolate: Though I am sure she would eat brownie, just to appease me!! This week I am making the cover recipe from the August Coles Magazine: One-Pan Chicken with Bocconcini and Olives.

It is heralded as a 15 minute meal, and though it does take a tad longer for normal hot plates to heat up as opposed to a gas stove-top, I think it is a 15 minute meal. Today is rainy, dull and almost properly wintry, and this looked to be a perfect dinner.

I cut my chicken breast fillets very poorly, but this recipe serves four. I used baby bocconcini because they are cute. I dolloped on some basil pesto at the end and served the chicken with garlic bread. I think it needs some salad or greens to make it a proper dinner.  I can highly recommend this recipe, I love the combination of the saltiness of the olives and the smoothness of the cheese.


One-Pan Chicken with Bocconcini and Olives      serves 4


  • 2 large chicken breast fillets
  • 2 tspn dried oregano
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (120g)  pitted mixed olives
  • 180g bocconcini, coarsely torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • garlic bread to accompany


Cut the chicken breast fillets in half horizontally, sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper.


Heat a pan on the stove over a high heat, add half the olive oil, and fry the chicken for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Onion and garlic

Add the rest of the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for a minute, or until it is softened.

And simmer

Pour in the two cans of tomatoes and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling add in the chicken breasts and any juices on the plate, as well as the olives and bocconcini. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for a further 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce slightly thickens.

Serve with basil pesto and garlic bread.

Cheesy one pan chicken

Friday Food: Donna Hay Spelt Flour Pancake Mix

2F0BAB12-7497-4382-BDB8-3E796D26E07EThis week I am test driving Donna Hay’s relatively new pancake mix. I normally make my own pikelets/pancakes/hot cakes, but just for the thrill of it I thought I would give these a whirl. MrsDrWho thinks because they have spelt flour and vanilla bean in the mix they might be almost like a home made version.

The pancake mix comes in quite a posh looking bottle, much classier then the usual supermarket  versions, though it is stocked by Coles supermarket here. You simple undo the lid, add milk, butter and an egg and give it a jolly good shake: with the lid on!! And you are ready to go. 


The verdict? They are pretty good. I think the spelt flour and vanilla bean raises it to the next level and if I didn’t have the time to make my own, I would definitely use this. At around $6 I think this is good value.

The instructions say it makes 8 pancakes @60ml or 1/4 cup each. I made two 40ml pikelet size for my trial run. 

I whipped up a quick strawberry sauce by dicing some strawberries and adding sugar to taste, then microwaving them on High for two minutes. Best to use a deep container, and yes I did, so it didn’t overflow. Of course you can serve these with whatever accompaniments you desire. They are not overly sweet so you could also go savoury: bacon, banana and maple syrup would be my choice.



Donna Hay Spelt Flour Pancake Mix        Makes 8

  • 1 container of pancake mix
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 egg


For the strawberry sauce:

  • 2-3 strawberries per person
  • caster sugar to taste

To serve:

  • vanilla bean yoghurt



Preheat a non-stick pan to medium high. My pan is not so non-stick anymore, so I added a knob of butter when it came time to cook the pancakes.


Whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter and pour into the bottle of pancake mix. Don’t lose the lid, because now you are going to replace the lid and shake the bottle until you make a smooth batter. Take care when you open the lid as mine went “pop”.


Pour 60ml, or 1/4 cup, portions into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. You can sneak a look at the underside to see if it is golden, or check on top that bubbles have formed. Turn the pancakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes and they are done. I find they take less time on the second side.

Make a quick strawberry sauce by finely dicing the strawberries and adding about 1 tspn caster sugar per person. Place in a high sided container and microwave for about 2 minutes on High. It will be jam hot, so be careful! Cool slightly before serving with some yoghurt, cream or ice-cream and maybe a strawberry as garnish.



Of course someone had to taste the pancakes, so I stepped up, and they were delicious: light, tasty and without the tang I usually associate with pre-made mixes. I am glad I only made two, because if I had made more, I would have eaten them all!!