~Faran's Cookbook~

Apple, Butterscotch and Fig Pudding

Apple, Butterscotch and Fig Pudding




  • 1 small apple (such as gala), unpeeled, cored, cut into 8 slices
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 firmly packed cup (150g) dark brown sugar*
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste* or vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (185g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) almond or hazelnut meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 dried figs, finely chopped
  • Pure (thin) cream, to serve
  • Butterscotch sauce

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 firmly packed cups (320g) dark brown sugar*
  • 300ml pure (thin) cream


  1. For the butterscotch sauce, place all the ingredients in a pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer rapidly for 5-8 minutes or until thickened, taking care not to let it boil over.

  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease eight 1/2-cup (125ml) metal pudding moulds. Place 1 tablespoon butterscotch sauce in the bottom of each mould and top with a slice of apple.

  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla bean paste until pale, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the flour, almond meal, baking powder, milk and fig, and mix until combined. Divide the mixture among the moulds, place in a small baking pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Bake for 35 minutes, until almost set.

  4. Stand for 3 minutes, then remove from water bath. Run a hot paring knife around puddings and invert onto plates. Serve immediately with cream and remaining butterscotch sauce.

(Source: taste.com.au)

Caramel Date Pudding

Caramel Date Pudding

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 200ml pouring cream
  • 250g fresh dates, pitted, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g butter
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • Vanilla ice-cream, to serve


  1. Place sugar, lemon juice and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then boil without stirring until mixture forms a deep-golden caramel. Add cream (take care as mixture will spit) then stir until well combined. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, place dates and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda then remove from heat. Process mixture in a food processor until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a hand whisk, fold in date mixture, flour and a pinch of salt until well combined. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup butterscotch sauce into each of 6 greased 1-cup capacity ovenproof tea cups or dishes. Divide date mixture between cups (don’t worry if the caramel mixture seeps up the side of the date mixture). Place cups on an oven tray and bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve immediately, with ice-cream.

(Source: taste.com.au)

Christmas Plum Pudding with Crème Anglaise

Christmas Plum Pudding with Crème Anglaise

Cooking Time

360 minutes

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup CSR Brown Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 750g Sunbeam Mixed Fruit
  • 1/2 cup chopped Sunbeam Pitted Prunes
  • 3/4 cup pitted, chopped dates
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup White Wings Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp MasterFoods Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp MasterFoods Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp MasterFoods Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup Lucky Slivered Almonds
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Creme anglaise (see related recipe), to serve
  • Fresh raspberries, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to serve


  1. Beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add all fruit, brandy, sifted dry ingredients, almonds and breadcrumbs, and combine well.

  2. Grease a 2-litre-capacity pudding basin. Spoon in mixture, cover with baking paper and secure with string. Cover with foil and basin lid.

  3. Place pudding in a large pot with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of basin. Cover pot and simmer for 6 hours, ensuring water level remains constant by adding more boiling water as necessary.

  4. Carefully remove pudding basin from water and set aside to cool. Cover basin with foil and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

  5. On day of serving, re-boil pudding as above for 2 1/2 hours. Pour over creme anglaise, top with raspberries and dust with icing sugar, to serve.

(Source: taste.com.au)

Pizza Burgers

Pizza Burgers

  • 1   egg
  • 1/4 cup  rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons  catsup
  • 3/4 teaspoon  dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4 pound  lean ground beef
  • 4 ounces  reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced
  •   Lettuce leaves (optional)
  •   Tomato slices (optional)
  •   Catsup and/or other condiments (optional)
  • 4   whole wheat buns or Kaiser rolls, split and toasted

In a medium mixing bowl beat egg slightly with a fork. Stir in the oats, 2 tablespoons catsup, dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Add ground beef; mix well. Shape mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
Place patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 12 to 14 minutes or an instant-read thermometer inserted in side of patty registers 160 degrees F, turning once. Top with cheese; broil about 1 minute more or until cheese is melted.
Serve hot pizza burgers on toasted buns or Kaiser rolls with lettuce, tomato slices, and additional catsup and/or other condiments, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

(Source: recipe.com)

Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken Recipe

If you don’t have fresh apricots, you can use a combo of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them, with a half cup of apricot jam, to the stock in step 4 (skipping steps 1 and 5).


  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (can sub olive oil)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (use gluten-free stock if you are cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (you can add more if you like)
  • Black pepper


1 Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.

2 In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

3 Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan.

4 Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.

5 Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions.

6 Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-20 minutes.

7 When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with rice.

Yield: Serves 6.

(Source: simplyrecipes.com)

Spicy Beef-Noodle Bowl

Spicy Beef-Noodle Bowl

  • 1 lb.  boneless beef sirloin steak, cut in thin strips
  • 1 Tbsp.  cooking oil
  • 2 14-oz. cans  reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup  bottled peanut sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups  medium egg noodles (3 oz.)
  • 2 cups  broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup  bias-sliced green onions (optional)

In Dutch oven brown beef strips in hot oil over medium-high heat. Add beef broth and peanut sauce; bring to boiling.
Stir in noodles; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate noodles. Add broccoli; return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes more or just until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.
Divide beef and noodle mixture among four bowls. If desired, sprinkle servings with green onions. Serves 4.

(Source: recipe.com)

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger.

Makes 5 to 8 cups.


6-quart slow cooker
apple wedge slicer
potato masher
immersion blender (or a jar blender)


16 medium to large Gala apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into wedges (Might be slightly more or less, just enough to fill your slow cooker.)
2 cups (220 g) light brown sugar or raw sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (240 ml) apple cider
pinch of salt


1. Add enough apple slices to cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar and some of the cinnamon over the slices. Repeat until you’ve used all of the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add a pinch of salt and pour the apple cider over the  apples. Toss the apples with a wooden spoon.

2. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or overnight. Remove the lid, mash the apples down with a potato masher, and stir to mix. Leave the lid off and continue cooking on low, mashing and stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about 1/3 and is thick. Turn off the slow cooker and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

3. Use an immersion blender (or jar blender) to puree the cooled mixture until it’s very smooth. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You may also process jars using the boiling water method.


Use 1 cup maple syrup and 1 cup brown sugar to sweeten the apples.

Try this spice mix: 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.

If using a 4-quart slow cooker, adjust the number of apples (about 8 medium to large apples), and reduce the sugar to 1-1/2 cups.

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serves 12.


food processor
9-inch springform pan
large mixing bowl
hand mixer
small saucepan


16 ounces (454 g) chocolate sandwich cookies, filling removed
8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted

3 (8-ounce/227 g) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces (227 g) strawberries, cleaned and pureed
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1-1/4 (219 g) cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (60 ml) light corn syrup
1 cup (175 g) semisweet chocolate chips

sliced strawberries


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C.

2. CRUST: In the bowl of the food processor, process the chocolate cookies to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times until the mixture starts to clump. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, then remove.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° F/150° C.

4. FILLING: In the large mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, strawberry puree, flour, and salt until it is smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and beat for about 1 minute, then add each egg one at a time, mixing just until blended. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are set and the middle is only slightly wobbly when the pan is jiggled, about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

6. CHOCOLATE SAUCE: In the saucepan, warm the cream and corn syrup over medium heat just until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they are completely melted.

7. Serve slices of the cheesecake with strawberry slices on each with a drizzle of the chocolate sauce.


Adapted from Great Cakes, by Carole Walter.

Makes 1 (10-inch) cake, serves 12.


small bowl
stand mixer with wire whisk attachment, or hand mixer and large bowl
saucepan with a shape that will hold the mixer bowl 2 inches above the pan bottom
fine mesh strainer
medium bowl
10″ x 2″ cake pan, generously buttered, lined with parchment, and floured
wire cooling rack, coated with cooking spray
small saucepan
medium saucepan
thin serrated knife or cake divider
cake stand or serving plate
pastry brush
large pastry bag or plastic freezer bag with one corner cut off
large star tip and plastic coupler
offset spatula
cake comb


3/4 cup (85 g) sifted cake flour
1/3 cup (30 g) sifted Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (153 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup (160 ml) water
1/3 cup (58 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons kirschwasser, or 1 teaspoon cherry extract

2 pounds (908 g) pitted cherries (fresh, frozen, or canned), sweet or sour depending on your taste
1/4 cup (44 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 4 tablespoons (60 ml) cold water, divided
4 tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups (720 ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
1/3 cup (43 g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

12 red candied cherries or drained maraschino cherries
2 ounces (57 g) semi-sweet baking chocolate, shaved



1. Place rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350° F/175° C.

2. In the small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda 3 times to completely remove any lumps.

3. Fill the saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep at a simmer.

4. In the mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and yolks with the sugar, just enough to blend. Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir the egg mixture slowly until the color turns deep gold and the sugar is completely melted and the temperature of the mixture should be between 110° and 120° F, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove the mixing bowl and wipe the bottom dry. Using the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg mixture on medium high until it triples in volume and is light colored, about 4 to 5 minutes. If you run your finger through the mixture, it should leave a indentation that stays without collapsing.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the vanilla. Whip to stabilize the eggs at medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes. Take care not to mix too long or fast or it will deflate.

7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Pour the flour and cocoa mixture into the mesh strainer and sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons over the egg mixture. Use the rubber spatula to fold it in, reaching all the way to the bottom of the bowl, about 10 to 12 times. Continue adding the flour mixture a little at a time until all the flour is folded in.

8. In the medium bowl, fold about 1/2 cup of the batter with the melted butter until the butter is completely suspended in the mixture and doesn’t separate. Quickly fold that mixture back into the rest of the batter and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles and put it in the oven. Speed is important because the heat of the butter will activate the baking soda and you want to get it in the oven fast.

9. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is springy and completely pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 to 35 minutes.

10. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to stand in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, then release the cake onto a wire rack coated with nonstick spray. Remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool completely. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and store in a plastic zipper bag. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.


While the cake bakes, combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When mixture is boiling and sugar has totally dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the kirschwasser. Allow to cool about 5 minutes. You can make this up to 3 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator. If chilled, warm it before using again.


In the medium saucepan, cook the cherries (drained if using canned) over medium heat with the sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the lemon juice. Stir together the cornstarch and 4 tablespoons cold water until it makes a slurry, then slowly pour it into the cherries and stir. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture thickens and starts to glisten. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. You can make this up to 3 days ahead and store in the refrigerator.


Make sure the bowl and the wire whisk attachment are both well chilled. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until the mixture forms soft peaks, then whip for about 1 more minute. The cream should stand with tall peaks. Don’t whip for too long or the cream will curdle. Use immediately.


1. Use the serrated knife or cake divider to cut the cake into 3 equal layers. Place the bottom layer cut side up on the serving plate and brush with the warm sugar syrup. Add 1/2 cup of the whipped cream to the pastry bag and pipe around the edge of the cake.

2. Spoon half of the cherry filling onto the cake, spreading it all the way to the edge. Smooth the cherries with the spatula.

3. Add the middle layer of cake and repeat with the syrup, whipped cream, and remaining cherries.

4. Lay the top layer of cake cut side up on a board and brush the cut side with the syrup. Gently, carefully, lift the moistened cake and place it cut side down on the cake. Frost the top and sides with a thin crumb layer of the whipped cream and put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to help the cream set. Chill the remaining whipped cream while you wait. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and cover with a thick coat of whipped cream, reserving 1 cup for decorating.

5. Run the cake comb carefully around the sides, taking care to not go too deep into the whipped cream. Pipe stars or rosettes around the top edge of the cake and then around the bottom edge. Place the cherries around the top edge of the cake, evenly spaced. Sprinkled the shaved chocolate on top.

6. Chill the cake uncovered for at least 3 to 4 hours, then remove from from the refrigerator 30 minutes (in warm weather) or 60 minutes (cold weather) before serving.


The cherry layers may be a little slippery when cutting and some cherries may fall out when you transfer the slices to plates, and that’s okay. Use a thin serrated knife and wipe it clean between cuts. To remove the pieces neatly, cut two slices then remove the first.

(Source: andreasrecipes.com)


Hawaiian Pineapple Banana Bread
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
 Yield: Makes 2 Loaves
3 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or macadamia)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups mashed bananas
1 (8 oz.) can of crushed pineapple (well drained)
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon; stir in nuts. Set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in another mixing bowl; blend well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just moist. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Check center of loaf with toothpick or cake tester (I use an uncooked spaghetti strand) and if it comes out clean, its done. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.Then hire armed guards to keep the loaves safe until it is time to eat. Happy baking!


Hawaiian Pineapple Banana Bread

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

 Yield: Makes 2 Loaves


  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or macadamia)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 (8 oz.) can of crushed pineapple (well drained)


In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon; stir in nuts. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in another mixing bowl; blend well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just moist. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Check center of loaf with toothpick or cake tester (I use an uncooked spaghetti strand) and if it comes out clean, its done. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Then hire armed guards to keep the loaves safe until it is time to eat. Happy baking!