» Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

Passionfruit cake

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 by Tina

I have become obsessed with this cake, after testing it for the CWA challenge at work. It is a delicious and moist cake with the refreshing flavour of passionfruit to lighten it up. I have made a few changes to make it my own as the original had a tendency to crack. I bake mine at a lower temperature for longer which helps it not to crack as much, it still cracks a little, but settles back to almost flat with just a gentle dome. I’ve also cut the raising agent by replacing some of the self raising flour with plain flour.

Passionfruit Cake

(adapted from a CWA recipe)

Cake

250g butter, softened
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs (room temperature), separated
200g self raising flour
100g plain flour
180ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
1/4 cup passionfruit pulp

Passionfruit icing

1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon full cream milk
1 to 1 ½ tablespoons sieved passion fruit pulp

  1. Pre heat oven to 160C conventional. Grease a 20cm aluminium round cake pan with softened butter, line the base with a round of greased baking paper. Dust base and sides lightly with flour and firmly tap out any excess flour.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a scraper paddle until light and fluffy, this can take 5-8 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time until combined.
  3. Add passionfruit pulp to buttermilk, combine sifted flours in a bowl. On low speed, add buttermilk and flour alternately to mixer bowl until just combined.
  4. Beat egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cake mixture with a large kitchen spoon or spatula in two batches.
  5. Spread mixture into prepared pan, level the top and tap firmly on the bench. Bake in oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 or until cooked in the centre and golden on top. Stand for 5-10 minutes before turning onto a clean tea towel on a baking tray. Remove baking paper from base of cake if it has come out of the tin. Leave upside down to cool for 10 minutes if you want a flattish top. To invert, place a serving plate or baking tray on the cake and use the baking tray to support the cake. Hold together and carefully flip so the serving plate is on the bottom.
  6. For passionfruit icing, stir icing sugar, milk and enough passion fruit pulp to form a thick icing. Keep bowl of icing covered with cling wrap until ready to use so it doesn’t form a skin.
  7. Once cake has cooled, ice top with passionfruit icing. You can ice while warm but the icing will run down the sides of the cake.

N.B.

If you don’t have buttermilk you can replace it with 140ml full cream milk mixed with 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

This cake is really good straight out of the oven, and it looks quite pretty when the icing runs down the sides 🙂

 

Peanut and salted caramel macarons

Saturday, May 19th, 2012 by Tina

I’ve just tested a recipe for macarons. They worked perfectly first time, so need to share…

The recipe is from Ottolenghi. If you want a fabulous in depth discussion on macaron making… visit this page: http://bravetart.com/blog/MacaronMyths

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Pipe the mixture onto baking trays and allow to ‘skin’ or set for 15 minutes to half an hour.

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Bake at 160-170C fan forced for about 12 minutes until golden and the macarons release from the tray when lifted with a palette knife. Allow to cool completely before moving.

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Fill with peanut and salted dulce de leche (caramel) filling and sandwich macarons together. Allow to set for a few hours.

Munch!

Lemon & almond syrup cake or Rose’s ‘Golden Dream Cake’

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 by Tina

Roses

Candied lemon peel roses

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Lemon and almond syrup cake with white chocolate buttercream

There was such a delicious feast at Iain and Jules’ engagement party that we didn’t get through all of the cake, what a shame, we had to divvy the rest up to scoff at home.

Jules, I need recipes for the adobo pork and chicken, and the vermicelli noodles, yum!

This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s amazing book, ‘Rose’s Heavenly Cakes’. I picked up so many great tips from her perfectly tested and detailed recipes. Everyone loved the lemon peel roses. One small person was heard asking ‘can you eat them?’. Cute. Of course you could, but mine were a little on the firm side. Next time I would try to take a little less white pith with them as I peeled them as I think they were a little stiff.

Doughnuts

Saturday, August 27th, 2011 by Tina

Doughnuts

A weakness of mine is a trip to Haberfield for cheese, salami, prosciutto, olives, passata, Italian bread – that’s the official list; and then there’s those few items that always seem to make their way into my bag, sometimes for sharing, sometimes not. Custard filled doughnuts, amaretto-soaked cherry-filled almond biscotti from Sulfaro, cheesecake from Pasticceria Papa… but the doughnut has to be my favourite.

That’s why I was so excited to find a feature on doughnuts in my newly favourite magazine, Feast. Love the food features and the background stories. There’s so much info, it seems like a bargain. I had to try their version of custard doughnuts, Bola de Berlim, from Portugal, but I’ve twisted it slightly. The dough I’ve made the same as the recipe but for the creme patissiere I used Stephanie Alexander’s version which uses cornflour instead of plain flour, and I used tonka bean instead of vanilla bean for something different. Yum. You can buy tonka beans at Herbie’s Spices in Rozelle. Credit goes to Olivia Andrews and Jerrie Redman-Lloyd for a flawless recipe that’s easy to follow.

This seems dangerous, to be able to make doughnuts on a whim. 🙂

I’m off to Marrickville organic markets tomorrow to check them out. Maybe I can ease my conscience with some nice fresh produce.

Guava, Strawberry and Custard Apple Snow Egg

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 by Tina

They say it’s good for kids to have to self esteem right? But what happens when they grow up and start to think they can take on the world? When they boast quietly to their friends about what they can do? Their friends call them on it, that’s what. This is what happened to me recently, after torturing my friends with tales of testing the snow egg recipe and how delicious it was, and what time I had made it in, they decided I should consider bringing it to our next party. No, no, I said, are you mad? And anyway, my Sunbeam ice cream maker has died again, for no apparent reason. Oh. Disappointment reeks. ‘Well, maybe…’, I think, I could get that Kitchenaid mixer with ice cream making attachment I’ve been dreaming about for my birthday. After all, Grandma’s lovely old Kenwood mixer is about to stop mixing any day now, plus I can’t find the dough hooks and it would be so nice to make bread at home…ah the justification.

So yes, I agreed to the madness that is bringing snow eggs to a dinner party. Saner to do it at home, but only marginally. Let me just say this. Yes, I tested this recipe under competition conditions and did it in a short period of time, but this is nigh impossible to replicate at home. Who wants to cook under that kind of pressure at home? You want to relax, have some music on, do it properly.

If you, like me, have had your ego stroked and are considering the task of snow eggs for dessert- give yourself a few days in advance to shop, prepare the components ahead of time (I’ll tell you which ones) and you will make your life easier. Let me tell you that you will still be scared about ruining the maltose tuile on top but you get to play with a blow torch so it’s worth it.

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Strawberries and Guavas give this granita its coral colour

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The Guava Fool (a mixture of vanilla custard, double cream and guava puree)

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A small scoop of ice cream is placed in the centre of two meringue halves and the tuile is melted on top with a blow torch. Btw, I used glucose here instead of maltose as I had run out and it worked really well as a direct substitution.

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Oh Snow Egg, you look so easy on youtube…

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If you are working during the day and only have evenings to prepare, I would recommend doing the shopping 3 days before, the ice cream, granita and puree 2 days before, the vanilla custard and maltose tuiles the day before (keep in an air tight container between layers of baking paper). The meringue you should make on the day as it has a tendency to deteriorate if left around for too long- it is not a fully baked meringue, it is only poached for about 15 minutes so is still softish.

Remember, you can always just make the custard apple ice cream, which is delicious. I won’t put the recipe up as it already on several sites on the web. Just do a search for Peter Gilmore’s snow egg and you’ll find it.

Billy Kwong

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 by Tina

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The salted peanuts whet our appetites. I’d love to know if these are cinnamon sticks or cassia bark…

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Lightly steamed oysters with ginger, shallots and soy

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Chinese pickled vegetables, sweet, salty and sour with crispy wonton skins sprinkled with schezuan pepper & salt

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Bugtail wontons with schezuan chilli oil

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Crispy prawn wontons with a sweet Vietnamese style dipping sauce

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Slow roasted lamb pancakes- peking duck style. The home made sauce was tasty but a little too thin for the application, it dripped everywhere! I am not a big fan of ‘thickened’ sauces (apart from gravy) as a general rule, but here it needs it.

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A standout crispy pork belly dish. Salty and moreish, with a refreshing coleslaw packed with fresh herbs to balance the richness of the meat.

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The silken tofu was delicate and beautiful with a poached egg in the centre of the plate.

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Crispy skin duck with citrus sauce

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Stir fried mushrooms, fresh, flavoursome, delicate and a wonderful foil to the rich meats we ordered.

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Pears poached in red wine with sour cream and almond praline- cleansing and light

Darwin Dreaming

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by Tina

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As soon as the balmy sea air at Mindil Beach hit my face, I relaxed. Sustained by treats from the stalls at the Mindil Markets, there was too much to choose from; Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Roadkill stalls all competed for my attention. Do try the Ice Kachang dessert if you can find it.

Enthralled by the hard-to-find-in-Sydney Thai vegetables at Rapid Creek Markets, along with a great selection of meat and other ingredients at the Greenie’s real food store that I visited far too many times than a 10 day trip justifies.

Thai Massage, an Iyengar yoga class outdoors that bordered on Bikram’s style, local Indigenous art and music, the Darwin festival, and my new favourite clothing designer, Gita.

I can’t wait to go back to Darwin, if only to recapture that breezy vibe.

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Sunset at Mindil Beach Markets

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Even in the dry season, Darwin gives you a nice sweaty glow…

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The view from The Wharf, a great place for dinner

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Fish & Chips, Laksa and Som Tam at the Wharf

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John Butler rocked the Darwin Festival

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Deliciously cooling pools at Buley Rockhole

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Florence Falls, a deep black pool beneath a waterfall filled with amorous fish

Filicudi

Friday, October 16th, 2009 by Tina

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A few weeks ago we went to Filicudi, an Italian restaurant that came highly recommended by a colleague. So highly recommended in fact that discussion of my future firstborn arose. Don’t worry I didn’t promise anything.

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Fiore di Zucchini. These were beautiful and cheesy, but starting with garlic bread and then these was not really a good plan considering we ended up having three courses.

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Gnocchi Ragu- tender succulent gnocchi with a simple sauce studded with meat chunks.

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Penne Granchi (blue swimmer crab in a ‘pink’ sauce is how this dish was described). This was probably my favourite dish, it absolutely tests the love in your relationship- if you’re willing to share this one then you know you’re on to a good thing.

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Costolette d’Agnello. Marinaded lamb cutlets (garlic, rosemary and olive oil?) grilled to the customer’s liking (medium to medium-rare) on a bed of soft polenta that was neither dry nor bland.

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Baileys Creme Brulee. With enough Baileys added to the mix so that you can actually taste it. The top was satisfyingly hard and shattered on a firm whack of the spoon.

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Written up on the specials board quite simply as ‘Mascarpone’. Described by the waiter as a house special, it was magnificent, a rich, creamy, liqueur-laden tiramisu. I want to go back and try the Pere Filicudi- poached pears.

I also think the pizzas are worth trying as we saw several people walk past, arms laden with pizza boxes looking quite pleased with themselves.

BYO is accepted, and for $2 per person is fantastically reasonable.

Filicudi

11 Ramsay Rd, Fivedock

9713 8733

Chocolate Confession

Monday, May 25th, 2009 by Tina

I have an apology to make. I have been very tardy with keeping this blog up to date. “What have I been so preoccupied with?” you may rightly demand. Well, ever since Easter I have been eating chocolate, on my couch, in pyjamas. Green & Black’s organic, once deemed too expensive, now just politically correct and a downright pantry staple. The Maya is midway between dark and milk (around the 54% mark) and has a hint of orange and christmas spice. Not bad at all. The milk is also a touch darker than your average milk (34%) so has a little more of a cocoa hit but without the bitterness of a dark. Ok, shutting up now. Sad, but what was once a treat is now an obligatory indulgence both anticipated and satiated.

I have also been sucked into watching Master Chef, however like my friend’s 4 year old son, have an aversion to the trauma of Thursday night eviction night. “But mummy, will we ever see them again?” says a concerned little voice with watery eyes. It’s just too confrontational and drawn-out ‘biggest loser’ style. Hurry up AJ, I mean Sarah, get us to the master class. Inspiration and instruction are where these types of shows can earn credibility by doing some good as well as just entertaining the masses.

But who am I to criticise, I’ve got my chocolate to distract me 🙂

Chilli Walter’s Golden Syrup Puddings

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 by Tina

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This is a yummy little dessert made last night after being inspired by my good friend Malini’s blog.

chilliwalter.blogspot.com/2009/05/golden-syrup-puddings.html

I used an assortment of pots, two of the small ones as in the picture, normally used for olives etc. and three larger 250mL capacity pillyvut porcelain dishes I somehow managed to inherit from Grandma. That lovely lady had good taste. So all of these went into a large baking dish half filled with hot water. For the recipe see the link above.

The puddings are buttery and light with a sticky golden syrup base that you can tuck into or avoid, depending on how much sweetness you feel like. I haven’t turned them out as they looked so pretty as is. I did test one though and with a quick whip around the edge with a blunt knife, and an inversion onto a plate came out very easily.

This is a Jill Dupleix recipe from ‘Old Food’, and a very nice one at that.