Like most of us Sally Wise loves a sweet treat - at the end of the day, in the middle of the afternoon - or at any other time. In Sweet! Sally has drawn on her talents as an everyday cook and a mother of six to create a book of delicious sweet recipes.
Containing family favourites such as sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and choc-a-block cookies; to ways to make your own confectionery, like macadamia truffles and Turkish delight; to children's party classics such as chocolate crackles and white Christmas, Sweet! has something for everyone.
Sally fully believes that treats should suit every palate; so, Sweet! caters for those who need to watch their sugar and fat intake and includes a separate section for diabetic-friendlier recipes.
With 260 irresistible recipes you'll be able to indulge and keep your family satisfied.
Sally Wise is a phenomenally successful cookbook author and a regular guest of ABC Local Radio in Tasmania. She has run masterclasses at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and at The Agrarian Kitchen, and regularly holds cooking demonstrations and workshops at a variety of food festivals and community events. Sally is the author of the bestsellers A Year in a Bottle and Slow Cooker.
This is her sixth book. Find out more about Sally on her website www.sallywise.com.au
Sweet! 260 Little Slices of Heaven
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Sally Wise
250g butter, softened
90g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
300g plain flour
For the Icing:
20g butter, softened
1¼ cups icing sugar
2-4 teaspoons raspberry jam
Heat the oven to 150°C. Grease two baking trays or line with baking paper.
Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, then whisk in the egg yolk until well combined. Mix in the combined flour and cornflour with a metal spoon until a soft dough forms.
Roll the dough into 32 walnut-sized balls, place on the prepared trays, allowing a little room for spreading, and flatten slightly with a fork that has been dipped repeatedly in flour. Bake for 12 minutes, or until pale golden. Allow to cool on the trays.
Mix the butter with the icing sugar and enough raspberry jam to make a good spreading consistency that holds its shape.
Join pairs of the biscuits together with the icing and leave to set.
Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Makes 24, approximately
90g dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate buttons
150g brown sugar
180g self-raising flour
60g cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease two baking trays or line with baking paper.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate over low heat. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. Add the flour and cocoa, together with the cooled butter/chocolate mixture and vanilla and mix well with a metal spoon. Fold in all the chocolate chips. Leave to stand for a few minutes.
With slightly damp hands, roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place on the trays, allowing room for spreading, and flatten slightly, again with damp fingers. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
For the filling:
300g rhubarb stalks, cut into 1cm slices
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, approximately
300g fresh or frozen blackberries
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed to a paste with 11/2 tablespoons cold water
For the pastry:
125g butter, softened
60g self-raising flour
190g plain flour
a little lightly beaten egg white
Place the rhubarb, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, taking care that the rhubarb does not catch, then stir in the blackberries. Bring back to the boil over medium heat and stir in enough of the cornflour paste to thicken. Add extra sugar if needed. Cool.
Cream the butter and sugar, then whisk in the egg until well combined. Mix in the flours with a metal spoon to form a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 160C. Grease a 20cm square cake tin.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the baseof the prepared tin. Press the dough into the tin and brush with the egg white. Spread on the fruit mixture.
Roll out the remaining portion of dough to 6mm thick and cut into 1cm wide strips, then place in a lattice pattern over the fruit filling. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
Question: Why did you decide to focus on desserts and sweets in this recipe book release?
Sally Wise: I was asked to as people love something sweet such as a little treat now and then (because it's obviously not something you eat constantly). When I grew up I always thought of my grandmother's kitchens; in particular one grandmother's kitchen smelt wonderful as she was always baking, it was welcoming, warm and everything tasted so good! I looked forward to a warm cup of tea, a sweet and a chat. That translates through to today as there is nothing nicer than sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea and a little something sweet; it's welcoming and warming and I think that deserves a book.
Question: How does Sweet! cater for those who need to watch their sugar and fat intake?
Sally Wise: Yes, I have had a lot of people ask me for recipes that are suitable for diabetics and that's not to say diabetics can't have a little bit of sugar but the recipes in that section of the book are sugar and fat reduced. I think one of the best recipes in the book is the Apple Strudel that is in that particular section, it's absolutely delicious and I prefer it to my normal Apple Strudel.
Question: How did your children contribute to the recipes features in Sweet!?
Sally Wise: We do a lot of cooking together and I have a son who is a pastry chef - we talk cooking and food constantly; they probably did play a part!
Question: Can you share some of your families favourite recipes from this cookbook?
Sally Wise: All of my grandchildren love ANZAC biscuits and they call them 'Crunchy Wunchy Biscuits' and I post them to my daughter in Queensland for my grandchildren up there. The Gooseberry Tart with Elderflower Cream is a favourite along with the Apricot and Raspberry loaf and of course Scones with Jam and Cream. As the children were growing up, they'd come home to something sweet after school in the freezing cold winter.
There is a family favourite recipe included that is very simple, Banana Fritters. It is similar to a pikelet batter and you slice bananas into the batter and shallow fry or cook in a non-stick pan and the banana cooks beautifully, you can serve them for breakfast or dessert. My Dad started the tradition of Banana Fritters in our household, when he lived with us, and he used to spread Golden Syrup and ice-cream on them, even at breakfast time. You can modify the recipe and use blueberries or top with Maple Syrup or yoghurt and they are delicious any time of day; the Fritters are a snack you can put in the children's lunchbox as well.
Question: What are your tips for storing some of the desserts featured in Sweet! to ensure lasting freshness?
Sally Wise: As an example my ANZAC biscuits are crisp, some people like their ANZAC biscuits soft but then they don't store quiet as well. If you want softer ANZAC biscuits you need to cook them for less time and store them between layers of baking paper, in a tin. If you make the ANZAC biscuits crisp and store them in an airtight jar they will literally keep for months; I always have a jar on my bench, filled with ANZAC biscuits for that reason.
When storing a cake, put a couple of sugar cubes in the cake tin or container because that will help keep the cake fresh as well. You can always freeze a cake, especially if there is ¾ of a cake left and you don't think you'll eat it - cut it into slices and freeze it.
Some of the recipes keep really well especially the Pumpkin Cake, the recipe came from my grandmother and that will keep for weeks and weeks and the flavour will only improve with time.
Question: Who originally inspired you to begin creating your own recipes?
Sally Wise: We have six children and when they were growing up we used to love to cook together. We played with different methods of cooking as well as make different sparkling fruit drinks and I also did a lot of preserving. Then I was asked to do a preserving segment on ABC Radio about jams and preserves and people would ring in and ask "Where is your cookbook?" I would reply "Don't be silly, I'll never write a cookbook!"
The compare Chris Wisbey kept giving me a nudge, on air, saying "Where is your cookbook Sally?" and in the end I thought 'alright, alright!' and that is when I put together the preserving book and people really liked it. Then, I was asked to write a Slow Cooker book by the publishers and it went from there. I am now in the habit and love it! I love nothing better than to experiment with food.