Category Archives: Fillings

Macadamia & Wattle Seed Butter

Macadamia Wattle Seed Butter_6089_wm_1x1

I have not posted anything in a couple of weeks and for this I apologise.  I have a number of things I would dearly love to bake, make, and post for you but life has again placed itself in my path.  But I will return to baking very soon.

As some of you know, I have attended some fantastic courses in making chocolates and pralines at the brilliant Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne.  I have had the time of my life and I have learned so much.  It’s been so great, I have signed up for some more classes!  If you would like to see some of the amazing chocolates and pralines we made, you can view them on the Facebook page.

But it has taken me away from baking and playing in my kitchen and posting new recipes.  Over recent weeks my father has been unwell and so I’ve been distracted by that too.  But I will be getting back to business as usual this week so there should be some posts coming through very soon.

I had some wonderful ideas for recipes to post for Australia Day, which is today.  Some wickedly good and some wickedly healthy too.  But as I’ve not had time to make them in time, I thought I should at least post up something to commemorate today.

Unlike some, I do not think of Australia Day as a commemoration of our early European (English) settlers arriving by ship over 200 years ago.  I think of it as a day to celebrate the coming together of Australians as a nation.  Strictly speaking, Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901 so this anniversary is a few weeks behind, but hey, what’s a few weeks between friends?

Like any nation, there are moments in our history of which we can be proud and moments that make us hang our heads in shame.  There are some who claim that those who migrated here from other parts of the world since the 1780s are not truly Australian, that only the indigenous people of our nation have the right to call themselves Australian.  I believe that all of us who call this beautiful country home have the right to call ourselves Australian, for even our indigenous Australians crossed over from other lands, albeit thousands of years ago.  We are essentially all migrants and yet all Australian, and all fortunate to live in such a beautiful country.   As is often said, we are all different but underneath it all, we are human and we are all the same.

It occurred to me earlier today that although the recipe I’m sharing is simple, and hardly even worth a blog post … it brings together two quintessentially Australian foods.   Macadamia nuts and wattle seeds.
Both foods are indigenous to Australia.  They are both amazingly delicious as well as being healthy.  Macadamia nuts are fully of healthy mono-unsaturated fats and nutrients while wattle seeds punch above their weight in protein and micronutrients.  Together they are nothing short of divine.

Whether you process the macadamias raw or lightly roasted is purely up to you, and a matter of personal taste.  I prefer to process them raw as the flavour is delicate and beautiful, and a pinch of sea salt really adds depth.

Anyone who has trawled through the recipes on this site will know that I love roasted wattle seeds.  That magical chocolate-hazelnut-coffee flavour they impart is sublime.   They are available online for those of you outside Australia.  If you cannot find them, you could substitute a little pure vanilla.  Use vanilla seeds or vanilla bean paste for the best flavour.

This literally takes only a few minutes to prepare.  It is the shizz on toast, on vegetables, on fish, on fruit, or eaten with a spoon.  It makes a fantastic alternative to butter, or other nut butters 🙂

Wishing you all a very Happy Australia Day.  I will see you all really soon with some new recipes!

Makes 1 x 250 gram jar

Ingredients
250 grams macadamias, raw and unsalted
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted and ground wattle seeds
sea salt q.b.

Directions
If you wish to roast the macadamias first, lightly roast them for 5 – 8 minutes at 180℃.  Keep an eye on them and move them about on the tray every couple of minutes.  Allow to cool completely before proceeding.  This step is optional and unnecessary but it’s a matter of personal preference for flavour.  I like to make my macadamia butter raw as I like the flavour.

Place the macadamias in the bowl of a food processor and process until it is processed to a smooth paste.  Add a generous pinch of sea salt, to taste.  Add the wattle seeds and pulse briefly to distribute.  Transfer the butter to a clean jar.

Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for a long time.  I doubt that will be necessary though 😉

10 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Fillings, Jams & Preserves, Low Carb, Nuts, Special Diet

Cho-co Truffles with Anti-Ganache … say what?

Captain Kirk: “Wow, I can’t believe it’s not ganache!”
Bones McCoy: “It’s ganache, Jim.  But not as you know it”  😛

Well, that’s what I think the exchange would be on the starship Enterprise, had Captain Kirk been presented with one of these chocolately delights.  Hot damn, if you’re a star graduate of the Starfleet Academy, you’d be wanting to keep in great shape.  But no-one should miss truffles.  Who better to appreciate the matter-antimatter complexities inherent in creating a lighter version of the classic truffle, without sacrificing the creamy lushness we all adore?  Mixing chocolate with non-fat (aka anti-matter) ingredients?

Interestingly enough, it’s not just a massive KABOOM with only a spray of photons (aka light or cacao powder in this case) to show for our efforts.  Like water for chocolate … it’s all in the order in which you do things … which sea of yummy atoms is kept warm, which is kept cool, and which is added to which, in what order, before they fuse in a plasma (ok ganache) of chocolatey creamy mmmmmm …

So I’ve created my own anti-ganache to use for truffles, or as a filling for cakes, tarts, muffins … or to eat with a spoon perchance 😀

It defies the laws of ganache making but the result is a perfect ganache texture but with a flavour that is lighter and more tangy than a traditional ganache.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of making ganache with creme fraiche, you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about.  So maybe you don’t have to stop at just one …

I know what Spock would say:  “Fascinating … ”  but he’d follow that with “It’s logical“.   Yeah, he would.

I’ve given two amounts for the yoghurt in the ingredients list.  The lower amount is perfect for making truffles.  The higher amount is perfect if you want to use the ganache as a frosting or filling for cakes, cupcakes or desserts.  It’s the perfect consistency for piping or spreading and won’t set as much as the truffle mixture.  The frosting version is also great to serve as a fast, easy alternative to chocolate mousse.  It’s takes all of a few minutes to make and serve.

I used Chobani 0% Greek yoghurt for its fabulous thick creamy texture and flavour.  It’s a lot like creme fraiche, without the calories and fat.  I’ve also made the truffles and lighter ganache with the Chobani 2% yoghurt.  Both are wonderful, the latter has a slightly richer flavour.  If you are unable to find Chobani yoghurt, choose the best flavoured plain yoghurt you can find and strain it.  You will need roughly double the amount of yoghurt to get the amount in the recipe after it is strained (i.e. 240 – 400 grams or so).

The possibilities are endless in the chocolate universe, are they not?

I’ll be posting some more ganache “alternatives” soon …

Macros are included below for anyone, like me, that needs to know.   The plain ganache, without coating or flavourings added has around 2/3 the kCals, two times the protein, and only half the total and saturated fat of conventional truffles.  Sobering 🙂

Makes about 20 truffles (220 grams of ganache)

Ingredients
Yoghurt Anti-Ganache
100 grams good quality dark chocolate (70% – 100% cacao)
120 – 200 grams thick 0% Greek yoghurt (I used Chobani 0% Plain)
pinch of Fleur de Sel or other sea salt

5 grams unsweetened shredded coconut**

** you can use anything you like to coat the truffles.  I would avoid cacao powder as the moisture in the truffles tends to absorb the cacao powder after a while, spoiling the appearance (but not the flavour).  Good options are finely chopped nuts, cacao nibs (oh mamma!), even colourful sprinkles if that’s your thing!

Directions
Chop the chocolate into small even-sized pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.  I find a glass or Pyrex bowl is the absolute best for melting and tempering chocolate.  It retains the heat evenly so the chocolate melts evenly and keeps its temper.  We don’t need to worry about tempering the chocolate for these truffles this time, of course.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that no steam or condensation gets into the chocolate.  Let the chocolate melt and remove the bowl to a bench and stir until smooth.  Alternatively, place the bowl into the microwave for 60 seconds.  Remove and stir until the chocolate is evenly melted.  There should be no lumps in the chocolate.

Now grab yourself a hand-held wire whisk.  Don’t own one?   What???  *breathes deeply to calm herself*  LOL.  OK, get one.  No kitchen is complete without a whisk.

Have whisk, will travel.

Trust me.  You can’t drag your bench top appliances around the globe but you can go anywhere with a whisk.  You’ll never be caught out.

So grab that whisk!  Add the yoghurt to the chocolate.  Don’t panic.  There will be no seizures here today.  Whisk 120 grams of the yoghurt into the chocolate.  Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth.  If you have used a higher percentage chocolate, particularly above 90%, you may need to add a little more yoghurt to achieve a thick, smooth ganache.  If so, add a little more, as needed.  As a guide, I’ve made this with 99% cacao chocolate and I used up to 140 grams of yoghurt in that case.

If you are making the ganache to use as a filling, use the full 200 grams of yoghurt for a lighter texture, perfect for piping or spreading as a frosting on cakes, cupcakes, etc.

At this point you can add any flavourings that you wish.  Whisk gently to incorporate them.

Cover and refrigerate for about 20 – 30 minutes.  Form into truffles and coat in the coconut.  Store in the refrigerator.

These truffles will keep for several days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  I do think, though, that they are at their best if eaten within 24 hours.

If you are making this to eat as a mousse, serve immediately.  If you refrigerate it, it will set to some extent.

Macronutrient Profile
I’ve provided macros here for anyone for whom they’re important (that includes me!).  I’ve used macros for the Chobani 0% plain yoghurt.  For the chocolate, I have used values based on the Lindt Excellence 70% and 99% chocolates.  I’ve done this for two reasons.  Firstly, Lindt Excellence (plain) is a good quality dark chocolate and secondly, it’s both affordable and widely available.  It is also fairly indicative of the macro values for chocolates of these intensities.

I’ve also included macros for a standard truffle ganache based on the same quantity of cream (35% fat) substituted for the yoghurt.  This shows the difference in protein, fat and calories.

19 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Chocolate, Confectionery, Fillings, Protein, Protein Chocolates, Special Diet