Chocolate Donuts

Some days you just feel like chocolate, and it’s days like these that these “Death by Dark Chocolate Donuts” come in handy!

donuts-for-blog

Using simple, everyday ingredients, you can whip these babies up and satisfy those chocolate cravings in a matter of minutes.  This easy recipe is from Bottom Left Of The Mitten and you can get the recipe here.

more-donuts

8 Things You Never Thought To Do With Your Kitchen Scissors

 

 

Are you getting the most out of your kitchen scissors?

If you're like most people, you probably just use them to cut open packets, but, there are so many more uses for your shears, especially if you have multifunction ones like Checkered Chef Multifunction Kitchen Scissors.

Here are 8 examples of things you might not have thought to use them for:

 

 

 

 

  1. Cut up bacon!  Whether it be trimming off the fat or cutting into small pieces to add to pasta or pizza or baked potatoes, the job is so much easier with your scissors.

Cut up Bacon

Herbs

 

 

 

 2. Cut fresh herbs.  You don’t need fancy herb scissors for this - any kitchen shears will do the job - cut straight into the bowl so you don’t leave any leftovers behind on the cutting board.

 

 

 

3. Cut up a chicken.  Raw or cooked your kitchen shears can really save you time when cutting up chicken - much faster than with the traditional knife and board.

IMG_3834_c

cutting friute

 

 

 

4. Cut up dried fruit - whether it be dates for a sticky date pudding or dried apricots for your fruit cake, the job is much faster and neater with your kitchen scissors.

 

 

5. Cut pastry to size - pre-cooked or freshly made, pastry can easily be cut to the required size using your kitchen scissors.

scissors cutting pastry

crust off bread

 

 

 

6. Cut the crust off bread!  Got a fussy eater?  Or just trying something fancy?  Cutting the crust off bread has never been so easy.

cut icing

7. Cake decorating!  Your kitchen scissors can be your best friend when you need to cut fiddly bits for your cake or cupcake creations.  Use your scissors to neatly trim the edges of rolled ready made or fondant icing, or use them for snipping marshmallows  to create beautiful flower petals.

marsh mellows

Loosening a lid

 

8. And, finally, check your scissors to see if they have other functions.  Most well made kitchen shears have at least 1 or 2 other functions such as bottle opener or nut cracker - make sure you are getting the most out of your shears.

Use as bottle opener

The more you use your kitchen scissors, the more uses you will discover for them.  If your shears aren't up to scratch or if you're just in the market for some new ones, click here to buy Amazon's best selling pair of multifunction kitchen scissors.

How to Make an Orange Choc Chip Cake

photo (7)

 

Like all of our favorite Checkered Chef recipes, this one is super easy!  All you need is a blender or food processor and you can whip up this cake in no time at all.  And yes, it’s not a typo, the whole orange gets thrown in, skin and all!

Here’s a quick video to show you just how easy it is:

Orange Choc Chip Cake

Orange Choc Chip Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 Orange
  • 9 oz (250g) Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 9 oz (250g) Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C)
  • Cut orange into pieces and place in blender or food processor.
  • Add butter and sugar.
  • Blend/process until smooth.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, blend/process after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
  • And add to mixture.
  • Blend/process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add chocolate chips and combine.
  • Place mixture into a greased ring or kugelhopf tin.
  • Bake for 40-45 mins.
  • Remove from oven when cooked. Stand in tin for 5 minutes, then tip onto cooling rack.
  • When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
  • Enjoy!
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/11/06/how-to-make-an-orange-choc-chip-cake/

Best Banana Bread Ever

Banana Bread

Not only is this the best banana bread you are ever likely to taste, it’s also, like all of our recipes, exceptionally easy to make!  Here’s a short video to show you just how easy it is:

Best Banana Bread Ever

Best Banana Bread Ever

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1.7oz (50g) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F)
  • Mash the bananas.
  • Add the melted butter and mix.
  • Add the eggs and mix.
  • Add the milk and mix.
  • Add the brown sugar and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture into a loaf pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked.
  • Tip onto cooling rack to cool.
  • Serve warm or cold, with our without butter.
  • Enjoy!
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/10/22/best-banana-bread-ever/

The Best Banana Choc Chip Muffins You Have Ever Tasted

Option 3

This recipe is a staple, go-to recipe in our house.  We use it probably far too often, but a batch of these delicious muffins never lasts long.  Especially good when nice and warm, fresh out of the oven, but also great the next day, if they last that long!  I don’t think you could call them healthy exactly, but you might notice that there is no sugar added to this recipe (the bananas, honey and chocolate chips take care of the sweetness), and the bulk of the flour is wholemeal, so that’s got to be a good thing, right?

We use coconut milk because I tried it that way once with some left over coconut milk I had and they were fluffier and more delicious than ever, so now we always use coconut milk, but, as it says in the recipe, you can use any milk you choose.

You also won’t believe how quick and easy these are to make – just a few simple steps:

Mash the bananas

Mash the bananas

Add oil, cinnamon and honey

Add oil, cinnamon and honey

Add the milk

Add the milk

Combine flours and baking powder

Combine flours and baking powder

Add flour to mixture

Add flour to mixture

Add chocolate chips

Add chocolate chips

Spoon into muffin cups

Spoon into muffin cups

Remove from oven when golden brown

Remove from oven when golden brown

The Best Banana Choc Chip Muffins You Have Ever Tasted

The Best Banana Choc Chip Muffins You Have Ever Tasted

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • Shake of Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup of Coconut Milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup Wholemeal Flour
  • ½ cup White Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ cup of Chocolate Chips (more if you like lots of chocolate!)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 160°C (350°F)
  • Mash bananas in large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
  • Add Sunflower Oil, Honey and Cinnamon and combine.
  • Add Coconut Milk (or milk of your choice)
  • Mix
  • Combine flours and Baking Powder and add to mixture
  • Add Chocolate Chips
  • Mix
  • Spoon into muffin trays or cups
  • Put into oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown
  • Cool on Cooling Rack
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/10/07/the-best-banana-choc-chip-muffins-you-have-ever-tasted/

The Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

chocolate cake

We’ve called this the “Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Cake” because it really doesn’t get any easier than this!  All of the ingredients are simply added to your electric mixer and mixed!  Pour it into the cake pan and your job is done! One of the yummiest ways to try our Checkered Chef Coconut Flour. We added a chocolate ganache (which is also simple to make) but you could eat it plain if you prefer.

all in bowl

 

All the ingredients ready to go.

mixed

Mixed.

cooling

Cool it on your Checkered Chef Cooling Rack

ganach ingredients

Add chocolate and cream to your Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl

mealt

Melt together over a saucepan of simmering water.

melted

Refrigerate until thickened/spreadable.

iced

Spread on cake and enjoy!

The Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

The Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • A Shake or Two of Cinnamon
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Macadamia Oil (Could also use Coconut Oil if you prefer)
    For the Ganache
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) Dark Chocolate Pieces/Chips
  • 1/3 Cup Cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 160°C (350°F).
  • Add all of the cake ingredients to a mixing bowl or electric mixer.
  • Mix well until smooth and combined.
  • Pour into small cake tin (we used a 7" tin), lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.
  • While cake is cooling make the ganache by adding the cream and chocolate to a stainless steel mixing bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and combined.
  • Refrigerate until thickened/set.
  • Spread over cake and enjoy!
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/08/14/the-easiest-gluten-free-chocolate-cake/

collage chocolate cake

The Easiest Gingerbread Men You Will Ever Make

In our house we love gingerbread men.  But, we don’t really like all the work involved like rubbing the butter in.

So we created the easiest and quickest gingerbread man recipe you have ever tried – using a food processor!

Gingerbread Men

 

For the ingredients and full recipe see below but here’s a few shots of just how easy it is step by step:

Add flour, bicarbonate soda, ginger and butter to food processor

Add flour, bicarbonate soda, ginger and butter to food processor

Pulse a few times to combine

Pulse a few times to combine

Add brown sugar

Add brown sugar

Pulse again

Pulse again

Whisk egg and golden syrup together in Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl

Whisk egg and golden syrup together in Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl

Pour into the food processor

Pour into the food processor

Mix until dough has formed

Mix until dough has formed

Tip onto floured surface and roll with Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Rolling Pin

Tip onto floured surface and roll with Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Rolling Pin

Cut out gingerbread shapes

Cut out gingerbread shapes

Place on a lined baking tray and cook for 9-10 minutes

Place on a lined baking tray

Transfer to Checkered Chef Cooling Rack to cool

Transfer to Checkered Chef Cooling Rack to cool

Decorate as desired!

Decorate as desired!

 

Here is the recipe:

The Easiest Gingerbread Men You Will Ever Make

The Easiest Gingerbread Men You Will Ever Make

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cups of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1.5oz (45g) of butter
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 160°C (350°F).
  • Place flour, bicarbonate soda, ginger and butter in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add sugar and pulse again.
  • Place golden syrup and egg in your Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl and whisk together.
  • Pour it into the food processor and mix until a dough is formed.
  • Tip onto a floured board or bench top, roll it out with your Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Rolling Pin and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Place on a lined baking tray and put in oven for 9-10 minutes.
  • Leave on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to your Checkered Chef Cooling Rack until completely cool.
  • Decorate as desired!
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/07/15/the-easiest-gingerbread-men-you-will-ever-make/

Orange and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

Where it all began – the Checkerboard Cake!

Our journey began watching television!

As a family we sat watching a cooking show on TV, and as we watched contestants on the show struggle with collapsing cakes and failing frostings, our then 10 year old son decided that he too would like to attempt to make a checkerboard cake!

enjoy

He googled the recipe and I gathered ingredients and that very weekend we managed between us to create a near-perfect replica of the orange and chocolate checkerboard cake we’d seen on the TV show.

Like every proud mother I showed my Facebook world just what my amazing son had achieved and, before we knew it, he was getting orders from friends and family to make this spectacular treat for birthdays and parties all over the neighborhood.

This, coupled with his propensity to wear checked shirts, quickly earned him the title of the “Checkered Chef.”

Fast forward a couple of years and we now have a family business selling top quality kitchen products around the world!

The chocolate orange checkerboard cake is very impressive and actually a lot easier to make than you might think.  It simply involves baking 2 orange cakes and 2 chocolate cakes, cutting them into rings and assembling them with layers of delicious chocolate ganache in between.

There are special kits you can buy to cook your cakes into rings but, quite frankly, we tried one of these and it didn’t work – much better results are achieved by cutting the cake into rings after baking.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch a video and see how easy it is.
Here is the recipe we use:

Orange and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

Orange and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

Ingredients

    For the Orange Cakes
  • 2 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 100g(3.5oz) of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • red and yellow food dye
    For the Chocolate Cakes
  • 2 1/4 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 100g(3.5oz) of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • a few drops of parisienne essence
    For the Ganache
  • 375g (13oz) of butter
  • 45g (1.5oz) of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water
  • 600g (22oz) of chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

  • Serious bakers out there will probably have their own ideas of the best way to make the mixture for the cakes but, I can honestly say that this very simple method is the way our Checkered Chef does it and we’ve had great results every time.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
  • Grease and line 2 round cake tins - ours are 8” diameter and 2” deep.
  • Place all the ingredients for the orange cake into a large bowl or benchtop mixer. Use hand held electric beaters or benchtop mixer and mix until smooth and glossy.
  • Divide the orange cake batter evenly between the 2 tins.
  • Put them in the oven for 40 minutes (turn cakes halfway through baking time).
  • Repeat the whole procedure with the chocolate cake ingredients.
  • Once all 4 cakes are cooked and cooling on your Checkered Chef Cooling Rack start making the ganache:
  • Place the butter, sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Take saucepan off heat and stir in chocolate.
  • Transfer mixture to stainless steel mixing bowl and put in freezer until spreadable - check and stir mixture every 10-15 minutes
  • When cakes are cool cut off the pointed tops and cut around the template
  • When the ganache is spreadable use the ganache and cake rings to assemble the cake
  • Start with a chocolate center, cover the edges in ganache. Place an orange middle ring around the chocolate center and cover the edges with more ganache. Finish the layer with an outer chocolate ring.
  • Smother the top of the layer with ganache then build the next layer by starting with an orange center.
  • Repeat until cake is 4 layers high and all pieces have been used.
  • Finally cover the whole cake with remaining ganache
  • Decorate with more chocolate if desired.
http://checkeredchef.com/2015/07/06/orange-and-chocolate-checkerboard-cake/

Welcome to Checkered Chef!

We’re so excited to finally have our website and blog up and running!

Follow us here for great recipes and kitchen tips and tricks.

Our first recipe is amazing – your friends and family will be in awe of your cooking talent when you slice in to this cake!  Here is a picture…..wait till you see what’s inside!

 

Looks great - but wait till you see the inside!

Looks great – but wait till you see the inside!

Stay tuned for our next post when we’ll teach you exactly how to make this masterpiece.