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Chocolate Fudge Pudding (Crock Pot)

Chocolate Fudge Pudding (Crock Pot)

If you are a long time reader of my foodblog you will know that at present I don't have a working oven.  Well . . .  I can do a few things in it, but not anything precise such as baking cakes, cookies or roasts.  Not quite what I was hoping for a holiday weekend! 

I did want to cook us a bit of a special meal, including a dessert.  I have a cookbook by the Australian Women's Weekly, entitled "Slow Cooking." 

It is a fabulous compendium of recipes  to cook long and slow, in the slow cooker (crock pot), stove top or in the oven.   I had flagged this Chocolate Fudge Pudding a long time ago, and I thought to myself, there is no time like the present!

I have made Chocolate Fudge Pudding in the oven many times, and its a real favourite, but I had never considered doing it in the slow cooker.  (There is also a rice pudding recipe in there I would like to try as well as a bread pudding.  Watch this space.

I didn't want to drag out my large slow cooker however, nor did I want to have to deal with oodles of leftovers, so I threw caution to the wind and halved the recipe.

With great success I might add!  It worked out beautifully, and was done in roughly 3/4 of the time.  I would start checking it halfway through the recommended cook time just to be sure.

Chocolate Fudge Pudding has always been a real family favourite of ours.  Its the kind of pudding that goes together simply and then bakes itself pretty much, with the end result being a delicious fudgy cake type of pudding (much like a steamed pudding) 

Along with a rich chocolate sauce that bakes like magic at the bottom of the pudding.

I have never met anyone who doesn't like it, including Todd who says he hates chocolate desserts, but managed to put away two helpings!

It is best served warm  . . . 

When my children were growing up they liked it with cold Vanilla Ice Cream.  Todd, he likes his with cream.  Its delicious either way!

Chocolate Fudge Pudding

Yield: 6
A delicious gooey chocolate sponge pudding that makes its own sauce.  This cooks in the slow cooker.  You can very successfully cut this in half for the smaller family or smaller appetites.


  • 90g butter (3 ounces) (6 TBS)
  • 180ml milk (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 190g caster sugar (1 cup)
  • 225g self raising flour (1 1/2 cups + 2 TBS)
  • 2 TBS good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten lightly
  • 200g soft light brown sugar (1 cup, packed)
  • 2 additional TBS of cocoa powder
  • 625ml boiling water (2 1/2 cups)
To serve (optional):
  • pouring cream
  • vanilla ice cream


  1. Butter a 4 1/2 litre (18 cup) slow cooker bowl.  Melt the butter in the milk over low heat.  Let cool for several minutes and then stir in the sugar and vanilla.  Sift together the flour and first amount of cocoa powder.  Stir this into the milk /butter mixture along with the egg, mixing all together well.  Pour into the buttered slow cooker bowl.
  2. Sift together the brown sugar and remaining cocoa powder.  Sprinkle evenly over top of the batter in the slow cooker.  Pour the boiling water evenly over all. 
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or until firm.  Remove the bowl from the slow cooker.  Let stand five minutes and then spoon out into bowls to serve.  Pass the cream or ice cream!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and then reheat gently in the microwave when you go to serve it.  This always goes down a real treat and its nice to know that you can cook it in the slow cooker without heating up the kitchen.  Its also nice to know that you can cut the recipe in half and it will still turn out delicious!  Happy Easter Weekend!

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Marie Rayner
Baked Mushroom Rice

Baked Mushroom Rice

This recipe I am sharing today is one which I discovered on Pinterest, attributed to the blog Recipe Tin Eats.  I have had it bookmarked for a long time now.  I thought it was time I finally got around to making it.

Simple ingredients, put together simply, quick and easy, and oh so tasty.  I am so glad that I finally made this because it spelled WINNER!

A mix of rice, stock, thyme and garlic powder is put into the bottom of a casserole dish and covered with a thick layer of garlic mushrooms . . .

No need to cover as the layer of mushrooms serves as a sort of a jacket for the rice, covering it . . .  the juices running down and mingling with the stock and rice beneath it as it cooks . . .

The mushrooms are wonderfully flavoured, all garlicky and almost meaty in flavour.  I used a mix of brown chestnut mushrooms and button mushrooms.  It may look like a lot of mushrooms to begin with, but they shrink (as mushrooms do) as they cook, and you get little bits of the rice somewhat exposed and little crispy bits . . .

When it comes out of the oven you scatter on some thinly sliced spring onions, and fork them through with the cooked mushrooms . . .

Fluffing up that rice and mingling the flavours and textures of everything just nicely  . . . 

This would be perfect served with just about anything . . .  poultry, pork, beef, fish  . . .  all would go well . . .

I served it simply with a fried egg on top, for a Vegetarian feast for all the senses  . . . 

Simply perfect with that golden yolk torn open so that it drizzled all rich and delicious into the rice  . . .  mingling with all those lovely flavours and textures  . . .

This made the perfect supper for the two of us  . . . with plenty of leftovers that I can fry up tomorrow as a fried rice, perhaps adding a bit of chicken, if I have any . . .

This was really quite satisfying.  In truth I would have been happy with just the rice, but men do like their protein and so I fried the eggs for Todd.

This is a dish I would make again.  It was easy and quite delicious.  I highly recommend!

Baked Mushroom Rice

Yield: 6
A fabulously tasty oven baked rice dish that is chock full of lovely flavours.  I served it with some fried eggs, but this tasty rice would go with anything, and is fabulous even on it's own.


For the mushrooms:
  • 650g mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (1.3 pounds) I used a mix of chestnut and button mushrooms
  • 50g butter, melted (3 1/2 TBS)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
For the Rice:
  • 315g raw long grain rice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 355 ml hot vegetable stock (1 1/2 cups)
  • 300ml hot water (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil, to drizzle
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Have ready a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Place the mushrooms into a bowl. Pour the hot melted butter over top and toss together with the garlic and some salt and pepper to coat.  Set aside.
  3. Pour the rice into the baking dish.  Spread it out to cover the bottom of the dish. Combine the vegetable stock, water, thyme and garlic powder.  Pour evenly over top to cover. 
  4. Scatter the mushrooms over the rice and liquid  to coat it completely. This will act as a lid and any juices from the mushrooms will drip down into the rice to further flavour it.  Drizzle the olive oil over top of all.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden brown and the rice tender.  Scatter the spring onions over top and fork through.  Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Well, the Engineer came to look at my oven today and the prognosis is that one of the elements is gone, but he doesn't know which. (It used to be easy to tell which in the old days!)  In any case he has ordered both a top and a bottom element and someone will come and fit them on Tuesday, so I guess there is no roast dinner for us this Easter weekend!  And no cakes to share with you either.  *sniff *sniff  I did get this rice dish baked, but I had to bake it at a much higher temperature and I was really taking my chances that it would turn out.  Thank goodness it did.  I don't think I would hazard an expensive piece of meat  in it. My sister says why don't I use my Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker.  I just haven't been able to master that yet either, or at least to my satisfaction!  I think it will be a Rotisserie Chicken from Costco for us!  I don't really mind as I quite like them!

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Marie Rayner
Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

One of my friends was recently in hospital, and when she got home she wasn't in any state to go shopping or  do much cooking.  I wanted to make a few meals to take over to her that she could just warm up.

She is Vegan so that presented a certain challenge, but you know me, I am always up for a challenge and I think I rose to this one really well!

When my family was growing up, I used to make a Vegetarian chili every now and then. It served two purposes. One it was fairly economical and I had a fairly large family, and two, I don't like minced meat mixed with things  . . .  so it was a way that I could enjoy chili. 

This is a slight riff on that.  The one I made for my children was more soupy with larger chunks.  This one is a lot thicker.

It has a really meaty, hearty appearance.  I have found that chopping the vegetables into smaller bits, not only decreases the amount of cook time, but it does kind of resemble chopped meat.  

Funny how that goes!

There are two cans of undrained kidney beans in this, plus a large bottle of Tomato Passata.  Tomato Passata is strained tomatoes, and is somewhat thicker than North American tomato sauce.

Garlic also adds some flavour, plus I used cinnamon and cumin . . .  both ground. Did you know that toasting your spices before using them increases their flavour?  Its true! 

Once you bring everything to the boil, you reduce to a simmer, pop a lid half on it and then let it simmer for about half an hour.  Easy peasy.

This is so thick and quite luxurious . . . I stirred in a square of dark chocolate at the very end, which added a special depth of flavour.

I served it with some sour cream and guacamole.  Of course if you are a vegan, you won't want to use the sour cream, honey or chocolate (unless designated vegan), but a simple vegetarian would use it.

Just look at how thick and delicious that looks! 

Some crisp Tortilla Chips were the perfect accompaniment!

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Yield: 6
This delicious vegetarian chili is so thick and tasty you won't even miss the meat! A food processor/chopper will come in handy as the veg needs to be chopped fairly small.


  • 2 medium onions, peeled cut into quarters
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 green pepper, trimmed
  • 1 green chili, trimmed and deseeded
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled (about 300g/10 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBS mild chili powder, or to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 (400g) tins of red kidney beans, undrained (2 X 14 oz tins)
  • 1 600g jar of tomato Passata (about 6 cups) (strained tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • a handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 square of dark chocolate
To serve:
  • dairy sour cream
  • guacamole
  • tortilla chips


  1. Chop all of your vegetables fine.  I use my electric food chopper. Does a really great job.  (a few larger chunks are okay) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables.  Cook, stirring occasionally over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes until they are beginning to soften.  Stir in the spices and season to taste.  Cook for about half a minute, then add the kidney beans, honey, and passata.  Half fill one of the cans of beans with water and add that.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about half an hour, partially covered, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Stir in the coriander and the chocolate.  Serve in heated bowls along with some sour cream, guacamole and tortilla chips.
Created using The Recipes Generator

It makes a nice big pot of chili.  We each had a bowl of it for our dinner and I have three plastic containers to take over to my friend once Todd gets up from his nap.  I think she's going to really like this! (Or at least I hope she does!)

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Marie Rayner
Beans & Wieners Under Cornbread

Beans & Wieners Under Cornbread

This casserole is an old family favourite that I like to dig out from time to time and bake. I love casseroles like this.  Simple, using store cupboard ingredients, and delicious!

It might look a bit like a dogs-dinner, but this is a case where you really don't want to judge a book by its cover.  You would be missing out on something really tasty  . . .

The crowning glory of this tasty bake is the cornbread topping.  A buttermilk batter, it is moist and delicious! 

Light and fluffy it has chopped spring onions, grated cheddar and some chopped green chili to give it an added boost of flavour. If you don't like chilies or spring onions, just leave them out.

This is baked on top of a delicious filling of baked beans and hotdogs/frankfurters/wieners.  Whatever you want to call them.

I use tinned baked beans and doctor them up with a few things to make them taste homemade  . . . 

Molasses, dark soft brown sugar, vinegar, tomato ketchup, mustard . . . . 

And a bit of heat from the liberal use of tabasco sauce. You can use either the red or the green, and of course adjust the amount depending on how spicy you like things! 

I cut the hotdogs into pieces first and then brown them lightly, but you really don't have to do that if you don't want to.  I just think they look better  . . .

All of that gets heated together and then poured into a casserole dish  . . . 

The cornbread gets spooned over top and then a light dusting of more cheddar goes on top before popping the casserole into the oven . . .

The beans get all bubbling and yummy . . .  lightly smoked in flavour from the hotdogs  . . .  the cornbread all puffed and golden brown.

Altogether this is very tasty!  It makes a great midweek meal for a hungry family!  I like to serve it with a salad on the side.

Beans & Wieners Under Cornbread

Yield: 4
This makes a delicious and simple supper. Hearty and family pleasing. Todd really enjoys this when I make it and I can say with a certainty that the leftovers taste even better the next day, so it’s worth making the whole recipe, however you can quite successfully cut the recipe in two if you wish.


  • 1 package of smoked frankfurters
  • 2 (415g) tins of baked beans (2 (14 oz) tins)
  • 2 TBS tomato ketchup
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 TBS cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
  • (You can cut this down if you don’t like your food too spicy)
  • 1 TBS dark molasses (in the UK you can use a combination of dark treacle and golden syrup)
For the Cornbread Topping:
  • 140g plain flour (1 cup)
  • 45g  caster sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 115g yellow cornmeal/fine polenta (2/3 cup)
  • 240ml buttermilk (1 cup)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 green chilies, trimmed and finely diced
  • 90g grated strong cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Butter a  medium sized shallowish casserole dish.
  2. Cut the frankfurters into 1 inch pieces and brown them in a large hot skillet. (There is no need to add any fat to the skillet). Once they are browned add the beans, tomato sauce, mustard, sugar, molasses, vinegar, and pepper sauce. Stir it all together really well and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about five minutes, on low heat, while you make the cornbread mixture.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the cornmeal and 60g/ ½ cup of the grated cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil and egg. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just enough to combine, without over mixing. Fold in the  chopped chili and onion.
  4. Pour the hot bean mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Spoon the cornbread mixture over top. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.
  5. Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cornbread is well risen and golden.  A toothpick inserted in the centre of the cornbread should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I have oven woes again. To be honest, it has never truly worked properly since the last engineer had a go at it. It doesn't really heat up to the temperature it should do, and it is taking three times as long to cook anything in it.  Not satisfactory in the least.  We have an engineer coming again on Wednesday.  This casserole is normally a lot juicier than it looks, but because it took three times as long to cook, a lot of the juices got absorbed.  After half an hour, the cornbread was lovely and golden on top, but still raw beneath.  I had to cover it with a sheet of foil and pop it back in.  I tested it periodically over the next hour and a half that it took to cook through. Not good at all.  😢  

I really hope you will try this and realise how lovely and juicy and delicious it really is!   this is an old, old photo of it that I took over 10 years ago now, so you can see that is is meant to be much juicier.

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Marie Rayner

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