Category Archives: Dessert

Orange and Cardamom Syrup Cake

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A moist sweet cake bursting with citrus flavour and the undertones of the exotic cardamon spice.

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There is no arguing the natural marriage of these two flavours, a match made in heaven…..

Dress this cake with sweet fresh strawberries covered in the orange and cardamon syrup.

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Cut a generous slice and serve with vanilla cream. Mmmmmmm dessert time.

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This recipe is adapted from the cookbook; Delicious, Simply the best by Valli Little

RECIPE: 

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 250g fine semolina
  • 250g almond meal, pushed through a course sieve
  • 120g this Greek-style yoghurt
  • 250g punnet strawberries, halved or quartered

SYRUP

  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 6 cardamon pods bruised
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 275g caster sugar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC and Grease a 23cm round springform pan, line the base with baking paper and lightly dust sides with flour, shaking off any excess
  2. Beat butter and sugar until thick and pale, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by the orange zest, almond meal and semolina
  4. Add orange juice and yoghurt and stir until combined
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre
  6. cool n pan for 5 minutes
  7. Meanwhile, for syrup, place all ingredients in a saucepan with 375ml water
  8. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened
  9. Prick surface of the warm cake all over with a skewer, slowly drizzle over half the syrup, then allow to cool
  10. Toss strawberries in remaining syrup, then drizzle over cake

Lemon curd and Strawberry Pavlova

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So I made some lemony deliciousness the other day, that deliciousness being lemon curd. I made the lemon curd to fill some sweet little cupcakes, (recipe for lemon curd cupcakes coming soon).

So having made lemon curd I had quite a few left over egg whites,  and the first thing that came to mind was Pavlova. I love Pavlova it’s one of my favourite desserts, sweet but at the same time light. Its topped with yummy fresh fruit so it almost makes it healthy WELL ALMOST :-).

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I also had left over lemon curd, so a lemon curd and strawberry pavlova it was to be, plus I added some mascarpone cream, whats a pavlova without cream right!!!!!!

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LEMON CURD RECIPE( recipe from POPSUGAR food)

  • 2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

METHOD:

  1. Add the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together to combine.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it has jelled up slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Take the pot off of the heat and add the butter cubes one at a time, whisking until they have melted completely.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into whatever container you plan to store it in, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd so that it doesn’t form a skin. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes about 2 cups.

PAVLOVA RECIPE: (Recipe from Donna Hay)

  • 150ml eggwhite (approximately 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
  2. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.

MASCARPONE CREAM RECIPE:

  • 300ml pure cream
  • 250ml mascarpone cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl , using whisk attachment whisk cream until soft peaks form.

To put Pavlova  together spread mascarpone cream on top, then spread on a layer of lemon curd, then dress with chopped strawberries.

Little Custard Tarts

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So it has been awhile since my last post…………. busy busy busy studying.

But alas I have made some time to bake, albeit that my floors are still dirty, oh well they will still be there tomorrow unfortunately………. it would be so nice if the cleaning fairies came to visit me tonight…(yeah yeah I know I’m dreaming!) Any how this post is not about my lack of time and dirty floors it is about these amazing little custard tarts I made and yes I know I may be bias as made them but truly they are amazing 🙂

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I have been studying pastry at tafe this week; puff, short, choux and sweet so with pastry fresh on my mind I though custard tarts would be a yummy sweet treat.

These yummy custard tarts can be made with both puff or sweet pastry, the puff pastry making them more of a Portuguese custard tart. You can also make one large tart or little ones I made mine in a muffin tin.

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The custard  is quite flexible as well as you can use just milk or just cream or a combination of milk and cream in what ever ratio you like, just knowing that the cream will make your custard much richer. I used 300g of cream and 100g of milk. You can also play around with the sugar making your custard to suit. So have a play around with the ratios and see what works best for you.

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RECIPE:

PASTRY

  • 190g caster sugar
  • 300g butter
  • 2.5g salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g bakers flour
  • 225g cake flour or plain flour

METHOD:

  1. Mix sugar, salt and butter until well blended but not creamed
  2. Add eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition
  3. Add the sifted flours and mix until dough forms
  4. Knead lightly together on bench, shape into a a oblong shape and place in fridge to rest

CUSTARD

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 Tsp cornflour
  • 300g cream
  • 100g milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean spilt in 2 and seeds scraped out

METHOD:

  1. place egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together till smooth
  2. place cream, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the bowl
  3. slowly pour boiling milk/cream into egg mixture making sure that you are stirring continuously
  4. pour mixture back into saucepan over medium heat stirring continuously until custard boils and thickens
  5. pour custard into a bowl , cover with plastic wrap pushing down onto the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool
  • Preheat oven to 200º C
  • roll out pastry to 2-3mm thick using a circle cutter cut out circles the appropriate size to fit your muffin tin
  • lightly grease muffin tin and line with the pastry circles making sure to press out all the air from the edges
  • fill with the cooled custard and bake until pastry is golden and custard has set

Hamburger cake and biscuit fries

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Well another week has been gone by, time goes so quickly……

This week it was my youngest son Alex’s 9th birthday, I can’t believe my baby has turned 9. So exciting to watch them grow, but I wish I could slow it down just a little!!!!!! I remember when I had my first son Aden and so many people said to me, enjoy every second because it will be gone before you know it, man they weren’t kidding……………..

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So of course birthday means, birthday cake. I love making the kids birthday cakes some years they pick what they want and other years I surprise them. This year it was a surprise for Alex, one of Alex’s favourite foods is hamburgers, and I have seen some great hamburger cakes on the internet, So it was a hamburger cake and biscuit fries for Alex this year.

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The look on his face when he saw his cake was priceless, that look alone was enough for all the hours I spent baking and decorating. Big eyes, a big smile and a big hug what else could a mum possibly ask for.

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I didn’t really follow a recipe to create this cake, I basically made two butter cakes and one chocolate cake, the chocolate cake being for the meat patty. I used plastic icing, red for the tomatoes cut into circles and yellow for the cheese, cut into squares. For the lettuce I used butter cream coloured green, which I piped on. I then covered the butter cake in a light brown icing to make the burger roll I had two shades of the brown butter cream to add some depth. once iced I sprinkled with sesame seeds.

To make the biscuit fries, I made a simple short bread which I rolled out into squares and then scored in some straight lines the width I wanted my fries to be. I brushed with egg white and sprinkled with raw sugar, then baked. Once cooled I cut along the score lines to create my fries.

Chilli Chocolate Brownies

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Well after a little research I discovered that the Brownie is a cross between a cake and a biscuit.

One of and the most popular myths to the creation of the Brownie is that a housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat. It was said that she was baking for guests and decided to serve these flattened cakes to them. This became our beloved treat of today.

Brownie [ˈbraʊnɪ

a square piece of dense, chewy cake, usu. chocolate with nuts.

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If you read my post white chocolate and macadamia nut brownies I commented on how I don’t make Brownies often enough, well that has changed and playing around a little I came up with this recipe for Chilli Chocolate Brownies. I warmed these brownies up and served them for dessert with my Avocado ice-cream, the chilled creaminess of the avocado ice-cream work amazingly with hit of the chilli in these brownies.

I think that Chilli and chocolate are an amazing match, I love when you bite into a chilli/chocolate combination, at first you get that sweet, smooth creamy chocolate texture and then just as you are savouring this your tastes buds jump to attention with the explosion of the firey chilli ‘awesome’ :-). Now don’t be afraid you can control how much chilli hit you get by the amount and type added, so you can make to suit. So if you haven’t tried this go on give it a go its amazing.

Chilli-chocolate lovers swear it is the ultimate gastronomic experience! Quote from World of Chillies

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RECIPE;

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tsp water
  • 100g buter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup  plain flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (add more or less depending on your taste)
  • 100g dark chill chocolate, roughly chopped ( I used a great brand from my local mexican supply shop called black widow but you can use any brand)

NB: you can add both chocolate ingredients or leave one out. You can use plain dark chocolate if you like with chilli powder or hold back with the chilli powder and just use chilli chocolate.

METHOD;

  1. preheat oven to 160º
  2. place butter and chocolate into a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth
  3. allow to cool slightly
  4. place sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking  powder in a bowl
  5. add chocolate mixture, mix till combined
  6. pour mixture into a greased and lined square baking tin
  7. bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set
  8. cool in tin

Avocado Ice-cream

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I love making ice-cream I know not really a winter dessert. But  ice-cream being an amazing dessert all on its own, also makes for the perfect accompaniment to so many desserts, even in the middle of winter.

I came across this recipe in my latest edition of delicious magazine, and always wanting to try new and interesting flavours in my ice-cream making I knew I had to make this avocado ice-cream. I have heard of this flavoured ice-cream before but have never tried it until now, and just let me say it does not disappoint :-). The texture of the avocado is perfect for ice-cream and put together with the cream and lime juice AMAZING!!!!.

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RECIPE:

  • flesh of 4 avocados
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

method;

  1. blitz avocado and lime juice in a food processor until a smooth puree
  2. beat sugarand cream with electric beater to combine
  3. add avocado and vanilla, whisk until well combined
  4. place into ice-cream machine and churn as per machine instructions

nb (I like to refrigerate my mix for several hours or overnight before churning in the ice-cream machine)

Poached pears in red wine

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So as promised here is the poached pears in red wine recipe that I mentioned in my post Mascarpone and cinnamon ice-cream.

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I would love to say that this is my recipe, but it came from a great food blog I follow night quite Nigella. This dessert is De-lish, rich syrupy spiced red wine covering soft but not too soft beurre bosc pears, the ideal pear variety for poaching.

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The Mascarpone and cinnamon ice-cream match these pears beautifully, carrying through with the cinnamon, and the ice-cream being subtle enough not to take away the star of this desert that is the poached pear.

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Make sure that you use a good quality wine what’s that saying “if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it” (or something along those lines). I really think that analogy is really important in this recipe as the wine really is the main flavour ingredient, and then whats left in the bottle well you may as well drink that, then maybe open up another bottle :-). Nothing like a good full bodied red wine to warm the soul in winter :-).

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RECIPE;

  • 5 large beurre bosc , firm
  • 2.5 cups red wine
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of mandarin or orange peel or zest
  • 2 inch piece of lemon zest


METHOD;

1. Place the red wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and zests onto the heat to boil in a pot that fits all of the pears snugly upright. Meanwhile peel the pears well making sure that you get all of the skin off (the skin that remains won’t colour). By the time you’ve finished peeling, your wine should be boiling. Add the pears and cook turning three or four times for 25 minutes  (check as it also depends on how big your pears are). Remove the pears as soon as they are done to prevent further cooking (you don’t want them to become too soft).

2. Taste the syrup and if you want it thicker, then put it back on the boil and reduce until syrupy-anywhere from 5-12 minutes.