Bonjour tout le monde, I am finally back! After a slew of incredible guest posts, it is nice to be back behind my screen typing away! And today, I feel a bit like Santa as well so throughout this post, I may be belting out HO HO HOOOOOO periodically! 😀
Now as you all know, the holiday season is quite literally looming on the horizon. The christmas wreaths adorn every corner of every shopping centre, along with giant trees dripping in baubles. Candy canes and advent calendars are all I see when I shop, and in every cafe, there are hunking pieces of christmas cake being sold, some so hard you could break your teeth.
Aaah… classic holiday season. 🙂
But the month of December, at least here down under, also means heat. Temperatures exceeding 40 degrees C (AC time anyone?) and humidity that wraps around you to almost suffocate you at times, till the rain comes down and washes it away for a few hours. But along with the heat, comes the summer holidays. And everyone knows summer holidays means going out, into said heat, and busting out the picnic table, the golden gaytimes, the cricket bats and the aeroguard protection.
Australians, why do we this? 😛
Along with summer and the heat and the picnic-ing, also comes the barbecue. Fling away any winter covers, the barbie comes out in full force when it comes to summer. The beers are cool, the meat is hot (or in my case, the veggie patties) and the tomato sauce is dripping everywhere while the sun goes down at 8:00 in the evening.
Now, here in lies my dilemma. Ever since I started stalking food blogs, especially American food blogs, I have developed a natural affinity with their incredible invention: The Smore. Beautiful sticky marshmallow, graham cracker (though I still don’t know what that is and just use digestives) and melted chocolate just dripping all over the place.
Naturally, being the foodie I am, I decided to spread the word around with my friends and at our picnics, at our barbies, we thought it would be a great idea to try making smores for dessert. Um, nada, don’t try this at home guys.
Second problem? Traditionally, you make smores by the heat of the bonfire. A large crackling bonfire whose flames leap and dance into the sky, and you avoid them while hoping your marshmallow does not fall of its stick into the fire. #firstworldproblems
Um, guys this is Australia. One bonfire, in our type of heat, could spread without warning, within the blink of an eye. Obviously therefore, making bonfires is well… banned. I respect that but basically, it is another obstacle against making smores easily on the go, at picnics, with friends and all that.
This is why my over-smorish imagination really kicked in when Crazy Sales asked me to collaborate with them, and offered to send me a Maxkon 2000W Portable Induction Cooktop. This website is an Australian website that focuses on cheapening deals for all sorts of appliances, and with their summer christmas sales coming up, they really deliver a bargain on lots of different products.
The Maxkon Cooktop is a considerably light weighted, flat topped and compact take-with-you stove basically and with only requiring a single outlet of energy, it is one of the easiest appliances to use. With 5/5 average rating on their website from 38 reviews, this cooktop has many safety features to recommend it and is simple and clear in instruction as well.
The design of this cooktop is basically a flat micro-crystal ceramic plate, with a clear LED screen underneath. The appliance is elevated, and underneath, it has a strong fan to expel any excess heated air to prevent overheating. This simple design is what I found made it easy to understand, but also easy to wipe down after using it and keeping it clean.
When I used this cooktop to toast my marshmallows, it took a little bit of getting used to no doubt. Firstly, I found that while it was easy to turn on and begin heating, this cooktop responded much better to steel utensils (pots, frypans etc.) than iron, which I need a significantly heavier weight for it to register. Due to its safety features, the oven showed an error if a light iron pan was placed, but thanks to the handy error guide (e.g. E1 = Utensil not placed), I eventually discovered the problem.
According to the instruction manual, it does say it responds equally to enamel wear, iron and steel pots as long as the bottom is flat and there is sufficient weight, but after my experience in that way, I would say that is something to be a bit prepared for.
At the same time however, when I pressed the toasting function, the heat started at 160 degrees C, and it heated up incredibly fast. Within 2 minutes, the marshmallows on the skewers were toasting away, and as I increased the heat, it continued to hotten nice and fast. Considering this cooktop would be used at picnics where there are outlets at the barbecue stations, this is important, as eating is quick, easy and lazy in those situations.
Besides the toasting function, which worked for my marshmallows in the end after a bit of fiddling (I’ll describe the exact times and measurements in the recipe below, no worries!), I was impressed by the range of functions possible with the cooktop. Besides toasting, it offers rice cooking, braising, soup heating, hot pot and water boiling functions. During the outdoor activities, this means it easily can provide you with a hot cup of tea, or fresh warm lunch as opposed to cold stir fry and lukewarm tea from a thermos (for the adults :P)
It’s like picnic with a food upgrade available really.
Because of its light design, it is also much better than those clunky, gaslit portable stoves that we used to lug around on picnics. I am almost 100% sure that when the 20th century hit, those became extinct. Certainly hope so!
I would rate my experience of using this appliance an 8/10. The marshmallows I toasted at 240 degrees C took a bit of getting used to, but eventually when I found out the perfect process, they became brown and melted, as well as had a great smoky flavour from their continual exposure to the high level of heat.
So here is the best part that you have all be waiting for probably since the title 😛
Because (I am sorry international lovely people), for all Australians, it’s:
That’s right! Thanks to the generous people at Crazy Sales, one lucky Aussie will be getting this Maxkon Cooktop delivered straight to their doorstep! HO HO HOOOOOOO! And even better, there won’t be any soot on it from coming down a chimney with Santa 😛
Valued at $59.95, to win this and have a summer full of gourmet picnics with smores skewers like mine, check out the details below:
In total there are 4 different ways to enter:
- Comment below with your favourite picnic food you would make with this cooktop
- Like Crazy Sales on Facebook (and leave me a separate comment telling me you have)
- Like Go Bake Yourself on Facebook (and leave me a separate comment telling me you have)
- Follow me on Instagram at chocchipuru (and leave me a separate comment telling me you have)
- Must provide a valid email address
- Only open to Australian residents
- Must be 18 and above to enter
- I will be counting up all the different entries, giving each a number, then will use the random number generator to pick one person as the winner – they will be contacted shortly after the giveaway ends.
This giveaway ENDS on
13th December 2014 at 12pm.
Please keep that date in mind, and get your entries in ASAP! I will need your details by the 14th (whoever the lucky winner is) so keep your eyes and ears totally open my lovelies!
Phew, that was a whole lot of excitement!
Smores and cooktops and all.
But I know you are still looking at me strangely, asking, how is this a smore? After all, a smore should look like this…
Well this is a smore. I promise you. It is a deconstructed smore. On a skewer. For picnic good times and all. Because it looks classy. And delicious. And addictive.
Starting off with fresh strawberries and homemade digestives (‘graham cracker’) cake, you toast the marshmallows using the Maxkon Cooktop and WAM, BAM, you have a perfectly delicious picnic dessert that people from neighbouring picnic parties will be asking to taste.
Hope you enjoy my recipe!
Deconstructed S’mores Skewers
A choc chip uru Original Recipe
‘Graham Cracker’ Cake:
Adapted from: The Country Cook
- 3 cups chocolate coated digestives, processed into crumbs
- 3/4 cup self raising flour (SRF)
- 1 cup brown sugar (I only had caster left)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)
- Large strawberries, washed and hulled
- Jumbo marshmallows
- Skewer sticks
- Chocolate sauce in a squeezy bottle
- Maxkon Cooktop
Cake (bake one day before making the skewers):
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees C
- Mix biscuits with flour and set aside
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in eggs, mixing after each one and the vanilla essence.
- Beat the biscuit mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk.
- Stir through the milk chocolate chunks.
- Spread the batter into a lined tin (I didn’t have baking paper and even heavy greasing did not stop it from breaking when I took the cake out) and bake for 28-30 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before putting onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut up into small cubes (about the size of your strawberries)
- Place steel frypan on Maxkon Cooktop and toast. Set heat to 220 degrees C.
- Place one marshmallow on the tip of one skewer and toast by gently pressing it quickly on the heated frypan all around its circumference.
- Put a strawberry or piece of cake on the skewer and push down so the marshmallow goes down too.
- Place a new marshmallow on the tip and toast it the same way. Push down with either a strawberry or cake (depending on which you used first).
- Continue this process for all your marshmallows, cake and strawberries.
- Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
- Serve 😀
Till next time mes cheris! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Disclaimer: Go Bake Yourself collaborated with Crazy Sales to review their product as well as sponsor the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are honest and her own.
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