This week Semra Lee-Smith, Christine Reitzenstein and Melanie Pearn share some delicious recipes for those of us craving a sweet treat.

Semra Lee-Smith, A/Associate Concertmaster - Chocolate Brownies

From Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. Makes approx. 48.


  • 375g soft unsalted butter
  • 375g best quality dark chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300g chopped walnuts
  • Tin measuring approximately 33 x 23 x 5.5cm


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line your brownie pan (I think it’s worth lining the sides as well as the base with foil or baking paper).
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan. In a bowl or large wide-mouthed measuring jug, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.
  3. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, and then the nuts and flour. Beat to combine smoothly and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined pan.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes. When it’s ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown speckle, but the middle still dark and dense and gooey. And even with such a big batch you do need to keep alert, keep checking: the difference between gungy brownies and dry brownies is only a few minutes, remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.

Christine Reitzenstein, Double Bass – Dutch Speculaas

My mum is Dutch and we love this recipe and anything sweet with spice!



  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoon Speculaas spice (ingredients below)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 330g brown sugar
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 egg white
  • Flaked almonds
  • Speculaas Spice:
  • Grind all spices in coffee mill.
  • 30g cinnamon
  • 10g cloves
  • 10g nutmeg
  • 5g fennel seed
  • 5g white pepper
  • 5g coriander seed
  • 3g cardamon


  1. Cream soft butter and sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add milk.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.
  3. Flatten the dough, cover and chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
  4. Scatter bench top with extra flour. Roll dough out and cut shapes with a cookie cutter.
  5. Transfer biscuits to a tray lined with baking paper.
  6. Use a pastry brush to paint lightly beaten egg white over the biscuits and scatter with flaked almonds to decorate.
  7. Bake in 170 degrees celcius oven for 20 minutes.

Melanie Pearn, Violin – Chocolate Bliss Balls


  • 180g (1 ½ cups) dates
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds (50g)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (20g)
  • 3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (30g)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa or Cacao (30g)
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla or peppermint extract
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut for rolling


  1. Soften the dates with 2 tablespoons of water for 2 minutes in the microwave (at 100% power).
  2. Food process all the ingredients.
  3. Roll into small balls.
  4. Roll in coconut and leave to set in the fridge.

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