Market Update – December 2018

View from the hill

As we move toward the festive season respite for investors may be coming given developments on trade with China, as discussed below, combining with some clarification from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell where he indicated that rates are “just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy.”

Click here to read the article.

Snickers Trifle

Snickers trifle

For an indulgent Christmas dessert that the whole family will love, you can’t go past this showstopping Snickers trifle


  • 535g pkt rich chocolate cake mix
  • 2 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup (70g) salted peanuts
  • 900ml thickened cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) chocolate-flavoured liqueur (optional)
  • 1 cup (280g) smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup (250ml) salted caramel topping
  • 4 x 50g Mars Snickers bars, chopped
  • 50g Mars Snickers bar, extra, thinly sliced lengthways


Step 1  Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease the base and side of a 20cm (base measurement) round cake pan and line with baking paper.

Step 2  Prepare cake mix using eggs, butter and 175ml water, following packet directions. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3  Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper. Place sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 5 mins or until sugar melts and caramelises. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanuts. Pour over the lined tray. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.

Step 4  Break the peanut brittle into large pieces. Reserve one-quarter. Finely chop remaining peanut brittle pieces.

Step 5  Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream and 1/4 cup (60ml) liqueur, if using, in a bowl until soft peaks form.

Step 6  Use a large serrated knife to cut the chocolate cake into 3 even layers. Place 1 cake layer in the base of a 20cm (base measurement), 12-cup (3L) glass serving dish. Drizzle with one-third of remaining liqueur, if using. Spoon over half the peanut butter and spread evenly over the cake layer. Top with one-third of the cream mixture and one-third of the caramel topping. Sprinkle with half the chopped peanut brittle and half the chopped Snickers. Continue layering with the remaining cake layers, liqueur, if using, peanut butter, cream mixture, caramel topping, chopped peanut brittle and chopped Snickers, finishing with cream mixture.

Step 7  Decorate the trifle with sliced Snickers and reserved peanut brittle. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping.


+ cooling time.  GET AHEAD…Make the trifle, without the extra Snickers and reserved peanut brittle, up to 1 day ahead. Cover and store in the fridge.

Source:  Author: Sarah Hobbs Publication: Coles

Link to recipe on


Maxie’s Pan Pacific Masters Games

Max recently returned from the Pan Pacific Masters Games held in the Gold Coast at the beginning of this month and came away with:

Gold Medals in:

  • 400m Individual Medley
  • 200m Individual Medley
  • 400m Butterfly

Silver Medals in:

  • 200m Butterfly
  • 100m Butterfly

Bronze Medal in:

  • 50m Butterfly

What a huge effort Maxie, well done!!  We are all so proud of your achievements.  It’s really hard to tell if you are happy in this photo 🙂

Market Update – November 2018

View from the hill

Concerns around slowing economic growth, Trump’s trade wars and the outcome of the November US midterm elections as well as increasing interest rates from the US Fed all weighed on the market. With their stretched valuations, the brunt of the fall was seen in Tech stocks as the NASDAQ lost nearly 9% over the month.

Click here to read the article.

Cacao Pavlova

Cacao pavlova

There’s no need to deny yourself the pleasure of a Summer pav with this lower-cal version. It has less sugar, but with the same texture and flavour as the traditional version.


  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 75g (1/3 cup) raw caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao, plus extra, for dusting
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 130g (1/2 cup) thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 125g punnet raspberries
  • 250g punnet strawberries, sliced
  • 200g red cherries, halved
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional) (see tip)
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil, to fry (optional) (see tip)


Step 1  
Preheat the oven to 140C /120C fan forced. Trace a 20cm circle onto a sheet of baking paper. Turn over and place on a large baking tray.

Step 2  Use electric beaters with the whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites in a small bowl. Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar, 1 tbs at a time, beating well after each addition until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar has almost dissolved. Add raw sugar in the same way. Add 2 teaspoons cacao and beat until smooth.

Step 3  Spread the mixture over the circle on tray. Bake for 55 minutes or until meringue is crisp and pale. Turn oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven to cool.

Step 4  Transfer the pavlova to a plate. Place cream in a large bowl and whip to firm peaks. Fold in yoghurt and vanilla. Sift in the remaining 2 tsp cacao and gently fold through to give a marbled effect. Spoon cream mixture onto the pavlova. Top with berries and cherries to decorate. Scatter with small fried mint leaves, if you like.

Notes:  For an unusual crunch, lightly fry mint leaves to scatter over your pavlova. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add mint leaves, a few at a time, and cook for 30 seconds or until transparent. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Source:  Author:  Louise Keats Publication: Taste Magazine

Link to recipe on


Event risk roadmap

Website Image

A large part of the market weakness since early October has been the number of event risks that have been hovering in the political and economic landscape for some time that are now coming to a head. Some have been resolved in recent weeks, while others are yet to be resolved.

Click here to read the article.

Weis bar cheesecake

Weis bar cheesecakeThis easy recipe sees your favourite summer Aussie treat – mango and ice-cream Weis bar – reincarnated into a no-bake cheesecake, perfect for entertaining.


  • 200g Arnott’s Butternut Snap Cookies
  • 35g (1/2 cup) shredded coconut
  • 100g butter, melted, cooled


  • 4 medium mangoes
  • 2 Mango and Ice Cream Weis bars
  • 3 teaspoons gelatine powder


  • 250g cream cheese, chopped, at room temperature
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream (or coconut cream)
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder


Step 1  Process the biscuits and coconut in a food processor until biscuits are coarsely crushed. Add the butter and process to combine. Use the back of a spoon to firmly press the mixture into the base and sides of a 12 x 34cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until firm. Wipe the food processor clean.

Step 2  Meanwhile, for the mango filling, cut the cheeks from the mangoes and remove the skin. Cut the Weiss bars to separate the mango from the ice-cream. Transfer the fresh and frozen mango to the bowl of the food processor (reserve the ice-cream in a small bowl in the fridge until needed). Process the mango mixture until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Measure out 375ml (1 1/2 cups) mango mixture and return to the processor. Reserve any remaining mixture for another use (see notes).

Step 3  To divide the tart base in half, lengthways, and give a neat two-toned filling, take a 32cm length of foil and fold in half, lengthways. Fold lengthways again and smooth flat. Fold in half one more time to make a crease line the length of the foil. Place the foil along the length of the tart base so that the crease line sits at a long right angle. Place a ruler along the vertical foil to hold it in place. Use more scrunched up foil to hold the flattened foil and ruler in place (don’t worry if it’s a bit wobbly, it will stabilise once the filling goes in).

Step 4  Place 60ml (1/4 cup) water into a small wide microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over. Set aside for 2 minutes to allow the gelatine to soften. Microwave the gelatine mixture on High for 20 seconds, then whisk with a fork to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly before adding to the mango mixture. Process to combine. Transfer to a jug. Pour the mango mixture into the divided tart shell, on the side opposite where the ruler is. Carefully place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

Step 5  Meanwhile, for the cheesecake filling, use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, cream, reserved ice-cream, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons water into a small microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over. Set aside for 2 minutes to allow the gelatine to soften. Microwave the gelatine mixture on High for 20 seconds, then whisk with a fork to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly then add to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.

Step 6  Remove the tart from the fridge and carefully remove the foil. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the empty half of the tart shell and use the back of a spoon to gently spread it and smooth the surface. Return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

Step 7  Remove the tart from the fridge and stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften the crust slightly. Cut into slices to serve.

Source:  Author:  Tracy Rutherford  Image credit: Nigel Lough  Publication:

Link to recipe on