Salted Caramels with Chilli and Fennel - The Sweet Swap

I was so excited to hear about The Sweet Swap for 2014. Sadly I was so busy and missed out on last year’s registration. The Sweet Swap is organised by two amazing Bloggers. Sara from Belly Rumbles and Amanda from Chewtown. The concept is simple, you make enough sweets to send to 3 Bloggers all around Australia and in turn you will receive 3 delicious sweets back.

I decided that I was going to make a Filipino sweet called Pastillas De Ube. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out and I was left with a tray of purple goo. I was running out of time and remembered a recipe that I made in the past with my friend Trissa. These salted caramels are delicious. I wanted to change it up, so I added some chilli flakes and fennel seeds.

Rockpool’s Salted Caramels (with a hint of Fennel and Chilli)

500 grams caster sugar
250 grams liquid glucose
435 grams pouring cream (35% fat)
125 grams butter (I used Lurpak), cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes, such as Murray River pink sea salt, mixed with 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes and1 teaspoon fennel seeds

You will also need a thermometer.


1. Grease a 22cm square cake tin with cooking spray and line with good quality wax paper. Spray again.

2. In a large pot, combine the sugar, glucose and cream. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook gently until the mixture reaches a temperature of 113c. (It took me approximately 15 minutes to reach that heat).

3. Using a whisk, add the butter and continue to mix until the butter has dissolved into the mixture. From here on, do not stir. Let the temperature reach 119c and remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the vanilla paste. Pour the mixture on to the greased pan. Quickly scatter the sea salt mixture on top of the caramel.

4. Allow the caramel to rest and cool. This should take around 2 to 3 hours. Once the caramel has cooled, remove it from the tin, remove the wax paper and cut into 1.5 cm strips. Then cut each strip into 2 cm pieces. Wrap in cellophane (or baking paper) and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.

As part of the Sweet Swap, I received 3 delicious sweets. The first one arrived from Cassie from Journey From Within,  she made a delicious Rocky Road full of delicious nuts, marshmallows and she added a little rice bubbles for some Snap, Crackle and Pop.

The second package came from Gabby and Norman from Baking with Gab, Gabby made some delicate Meringues, which unfortunately didn't all make it out alive. They still tasted delicious. She made two flavours which were Earl Grey and Orange and Rose Water and Pistachio. So dainty and so easy to eat, especially with the tea blend that Gabby sent with the sweets.

The last Sweet Swap treat came from Kate from Foodies Agenda, she made a Choc Hazelnut and Banana Granola. This was delicious over the top of some light Greek yoghurt. I pretty much demolished this on the day that I received it. It was fantastic.

The Sweet Swap was a fun experience and I enjoyed waiting for sweet treats to arrive in the mail. I cant wait till next year. Not only is this a fun way to meet Bloggers all over Australia, Sara and Amanda have also done this to raise money for Child Fund Australia. Did you know that $390.00 can provide Children with clean drinking water? If you would like to donate to Child Fund Australia please go to 


My Food Bag

Have you ever roamed around the super market thinking about what you want for dinner? I often do that. I think about a meal that I want to cook and end up eating something that I didn’t feel like in the first place.

My Food Bag is a service launched in Sydney in July, it’s a meal creator and delivery service. Their main aim is to encourage us Aussies to get back in the kitchen and unleash our passion for healthy home cooked meals.

Thanks to My Food Bag and the team at Porter Novelli, I was able to test drive this service. There are 3 Food Bags to choose from. The Family Bag with quick and healthy meals, The Classic Bag, which are recipes suited to families on the go and The Gourmet Bag, which is more for the adventurous types who like to try new things in the kitchen.

I opted for The Gourmet Bag. I requested an early Sunday delivery but didn’t expect the delivery to arrive on the dot. I was greeted by a good-looking delivery driver, in my PJ’s and bed hair LOL. With a massive smile and a Good Morning, Mr Delivery Man handed me 2 big brown bags and a recipe binder.

These two bags had everything you needed for dinners for 4 days except for staples you find in your pantry like salt and pepper. It also includes a recipe from celebrity Chef Miguel Maestre and a vegetarian recipe for the middle of the week.

Five Spiced Duck, Sweet Potato Mash, Pomegranate Sauce and Bok Choy

Cambodian Fish A-Mok

Each meal took less than15 minutes to make, they were quick and the flavours were amazing. The produce was fresh and it really felt like they put a lot of heart and soul into preparing each food bag.

My Food Bag is a great concept and suits families and couples who have a busy schedule. The recipes are simple, delicious and quick. My Food Bag source their ingredients from top producers, so you know you will get amazing quality food for a reasonable price.

I highly recommend giving this service a try. All A Cupcake or Two readers are eligible for 20% off their first food bag. Simply enter the code ACUPCAKE20 when you get to the check out. For more information go to Happy Cooking...

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