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DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS


For a Quick Shortcut, Click on the Recipe Below;

Shortbread Cookies:
Pecan Melting Moments
Hazelnut and Espresso Shortbread
Croatian Honey & Spice Shortbread
Macadamia & Ginger Shortbread
Iranian Cardamom Shortbread
Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Cumin & Black Pepper Shortbread

Chocolate Cookies:
Quadruple Chocolate, Walnut and Sea Salt Cookies
Thomas Haas Chocolate Sparkle Cookie
Chocolate Macaroons
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Almond Mocha Sandwich Cookies
Mocha Hazelnut Tuiles
Chocolate & Peppercorn Cookies
Chocolate Wafer Treats
Chocolate French Macarons

More Cookies:
Angel Wings
Jewish Rugelach
Lemon Madeleines
Canadian Whiskey Maple Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies
British Flapjack Biscuits
Berner Haselnussleckerli (German Nut Cookies)
German Lebkuchen Cookies
Ginger Pumpkin Cookies
Poppyseed and Walnut Swirl Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Peanut Butter Clouds
Chewy Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Chewy Anzac Oatmeal Cookies
Croatian Peach Cookies w Walnut & Apricot Filling
Pecan Goody Cups
Stained Glass Cookies
Lemon Ginger Cookies (GF)

Squares & Slices:
Pecan Pie Squares
Mini Lamington Bites
Glossy Lemon Bars
Kiwifruit Squares
Lemon, Coconut and Cranberry Squares
Raspberry & Coconut Slice
Raspberry & Coconut Oat Bars
Festive Fudge & Smarties Bars
Cheesecake Swirled Brownies
Old Fashioned Macademia Brownies
Rich Banana Chocolate Brownies
Scottish Oat Scones
Lemon Passionfruit Slice

Muffins, Sweet Buns & Friands:
Hazelnut Carrot Muffins
Kick-start Bran Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Orange Almond Rich & Moist Cupcakes (Flourless)
Lemon & Rosemary Mini Cakes
Orange & Poppyseed Friands
Cinnamon & Raisin Buns
Coconut and Pistachio Friands (with coffee syrup)
Savoury muffins can be found in the Breakfast section

Pies & Crumbles:
Key Lime Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Canadian Maple Pie
Canadian Butter Tarts
Lemon Meringue Pie
Apple Slice Galette (with glazed apple slices)
Covered Breton Apple Tart
Ravioli Apple Pie
Yorkshire Cheese & Raisin Tart
Rhubarb, Apple & Raspberry Pie
Sour Cherry & Almond Crostata
Coconut and Passionfruit Custard Pie
Fruit Mince Mini Pies
Banoffee Mini-Pies
Apple & Sour Cherry Strudel
Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry
North American Apple Custard Crumble
Rhubarb Oatmeal Crumble
American Shoofly Pie (Coffee Mousse)
Rose Apple Pie

Donuts & Other Pastries:
Middle Eastern Baklava Rolls
Lebanese Znoud El Sit
Banana & Chocolate Dumplings in Maple Caramel Sauce
Profiteroles with Chocolate Cream (Inspired by Mendl)
Chocolate Eclairs with Patisserie Cream
Brandy Snaps
Italian Lemon & Pistachio Cannolis
Italian Sfogliatelle Pastries
French Almond Croissants
French Caneles from Bordeaux
North American Sour Cream Glazed Doughnuts
Indian Gulab Jamun (Donuts)
Polynesian Banana Fritters
Cantonese Sesame Seed Balls
Dark Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry

Bliss Ball Snacks:
Banana, Walnut & Tahini Bliss Balls
Turkish Bebek Almond Truffles
Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

Chocolate Truffles:
Classic Rum Balls
Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
Christmas Candy Cane Truffles
Amaretto Truffles
Praline Truffles
Hazelnut & Nutella Truffles
Caramelised Coconut Truffles
Whisky Maple & Walnut Chocolate Truffles
Popping Candy Chocolate Truffles
Hot & Cold Truffles
Chocolate & Marshmellow Truffles
Bloody Good Halloween Truffles
Coconut Snowball Truffles with Hidden Red Velvet

Mostly Fruit Treats:
Classic Fruit Salad
Coconut-glazed Baked Nectarines
Poached Pears with Caramel and Honeyed Pecans
Pink Poached Quinces
Dark Red Oven-Roasted Quinces
BBQ Grilled Pineapple Skewers with Bourbon Glaze
Sous Vide Strawberries and Coconut Sugar
Banana Rum Raisin

Cheesecakes:
New York Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis
Ricotta & Marsala Cheesecake
Chocolate Cappucino Cheesecake
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake
Passionfruit Mascarpone Cheesecake
Passionfruit Yoghurt Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake with toffee'd strawberries
Glazed Ricotta Cheese with Figs and Port
Dark Chocolate Coconut Mini-Cheesecakes with Pomegranate Syrup
Cardamom Cheesecake Topped with Rosewater Rhubarb
Coconut Caramel Swirl Cheesecake
Italian Baked Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Mini Mojito Cheesecakes
Coconut & Pandan Cheesecake
Feijoa Cheesecake
Orange Blossom Mediterranean Cheesecake

Chocolate Cakes:
Molten Mocha Lava Cakes
Opera Cake
Self-Saucing Coffee and Chocolate Puddings
Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Rich & Moist Cake (Flourless)
Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Mini Cakes (Flourless)
Aussie Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Chocolate Beetroot Mousse Cake (Vegan)
Chocolate, Hazelnut & Olive Oil Cake
Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Beer Cake
Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise

Other Cakes:
Hummingbird Cake
Russian Honey Cake
Rum Savarin Cake
Sticky Date Pudding and Butterscotch Sauce
Caramel Prune Cake
Coffee Syrup Hazelnut Cake
Persian Love (Nutmeg) Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecan and Cinnamon
Old-Fashioned Apple-Cinnamon Coffeecake
Halva Coffee Cake
Sour Cherry Cake (Eastern European Specialty)
Hungarian Palacinta Csustatot (Layered Pancake Cake)
Orange Almond Rich & Moist Cake (Flourless)
Raspberry & Almond Cake
Lemon Yogurt Crown Cake
Pistachio & Lemon Syrup Cake
Lemon Polenta Cake
Fresh & Tangy Summer Lemon SpongeCake
Mango Yoghurt Jelly Cake with Jelly Fruit Top
Australian Pavlova
Pavlova Roll with Rose Cream and Strawberries
Australian Steamed Christmas Pudding
Mexican Pastel de Tres Leches (Cake of Three Creams)
Burnt Caramel & Ginger Steamed Pudding w Calvados Custard
Hot Toddy Warm Lemon Pudding Mini-Cakes
Banana Salzburger Nockerln
Steamed Banana Cakes with Coconut Custard
Lebanese Sfouf Cake
Swedish Caramel Almond Cake

Icing, Toppings & Fillings for Cakes and Cookies :
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Lemon Sour Cream Cake Icing
Firm Chocolate Glaze
Chocolate & Sour Cream Spider Web Cake Design
Chocolate Ganache for Cookie Sandwiches
Sour Cherry Compote
Rum & Caramel Poached Pineapple
Brandy Apple Slices & Brandy Caramel
Creme Patisserie
Chilli Syrup

Ice Cream, Granitas & Semifreddos:
Blood Orange Granita
Watermelon Granita
Raspberry & Lime Granita
Double Amaretti Semifreddo
Chocolate & Raspberry Baked Alaska
Ice Cream Base
Cinnamon Chocolate Gelato
Creamy Lemon Marscarpone Ice Cream
Jasmine Sherbet
Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream
Mexican Deep-Fried Ice Cream
Jackfruit Custard Ice Cream
Super Smokey Frozen Marshmellows
Raspberry Frozen Druplets
Fizz Fruit (made with dry ice)

Creme Brulees, Puddings, Jellies & Desserts Served in Pots:
Decadent Tiramisu
Five Layer Pudding with Sherry Jelly, Chocolate and Caramel
Classic American Bread Pudding
Creme Brulee
Creme Caramel
Vietnamese Coconut Creme Caramel
Zesty Lemon Syllabub
Lime & Coconut Panna Cotta
Irish Whiskey Chocolate Mousse
Indian Saffron & Rosewater Cream Pots
Chilled Columbian Lime Pudding Treat
Jelly Fruit Cups
Berries or Nectarines in Champagne Jelly
Almond Jello
Coconut Jello
Vietnamese Faux-Pomegranate and Coconut Milk Sweet Cold Soup
Sicilian Watermelon Jelly Pudding
Ginger-Infused Watermelon Balls
Malaysian Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar
Rice Pudding (Not Runny)

Candy:
Strawberries with Crushed Lollies
Hazelnut & Almond Chocolate Crunchy Toffee
Brazilian Caramels (Brigadeiros)
Passionfruit Soft Jelly Candy
Lollipops
Classic Chocolate Fudge
French Canadian Fudge 'Sucre a la creme'
Vanilla Marshmellows
South American Caramel (Dulce de Leche)
Italian Smoked Almond & Cranberry Panforte
Home-made HoneyComb (aka Hokey Pokey)

More Treats:
Walnut and Raisin Semolina Halava
Lebanese Knafeh (Sweet Cheese Treat)
Japanese Mochi Sweets
Vietnamese Pandan Sticky Rice
Indonesian Pandan Crepes with Caramelised Coconut (Kuih Dadar)
Whiskey Cake


Pecan Melting Moments (Melts in your mouth, not in your hand!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of soft butter
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • Icing sugar
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate
Instructions:
  • Set oven at 350 F (make sure there are no pans in the oven!!)
  • Cream butter and brown sugar thoroughly
  • Add flour to creamed mixture, and mix well
  • Stir in nuts
  • Shaped dough into moon crescents
  • Bake at 350 F on an ungreased cookie sheets for about 20 minutes
  • When cooled, sprinkle icing sugar and dip in melted chocolate


Hazelnut and Espresso Shortbread (Always a crowd pleaser and easy to make too!)

Makes 2 Trays

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 Cups Plain All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Instant Coffee diluted in 1/4 Cup of Hot Water
  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup of unsalted softened (but not melted) Butter
  • 1/2 Cup ground Hazelnuts
  • Icing Sugar for dusting
Instructions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar until well blended.
  • Once the hot water has cooled, mix in the diluted coffee.
  • Gradually, while mixing, add the flour and ground hazelnuts.
  • Working quickly use your hands to create a dough 'log'. Place it in Cling Wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Cut 1/2" slices and place on baking paper on the trays. Space out cookies by 1".
  • Dust the top of the cookies with caster sugar and bake for 10-12 mins or until the edges are golden.
  • Dust with the icing sugar while hot and set aside to cool completely onthe trays.


Croatian Honey & Spice Shortbread

Makes 24-36 Cookies
Prep 20 mins + overnight resting + Baking 15 mins x 3-4 trays
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 wk if they last that long.

Ingredients:

  • 250g (1.5 Cups) Plain Flour
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
  • 100g Ground Walnuts
  • 90g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg + 1 Yolk
  • 1.5 tbsp Honey
Instructions:
  • In a blender, combine half the flour, the butter, spices and salt, until the mixture resembles a sandy texture.
  • Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix in the remainder of the flour.
  • Then add the ground walnuts, sugar, egg, extra yolk and honey. Mix to combine.
  • Shape mixture into four logs of 3cm in diameter and place in plastic wrap. Set to chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Unwrap the first log, let sit at room temperature for 5 mins and then gently cut 1/2 inch slices.
  • Place slices at least 1/2 inch apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake, 2 trays at a time, for 15mins, swapping trays from top to bottom at the 7-8 min mid-point until edges JUST start to turn golden. (Do not overbake)
  • Set aside to cool.

Macadamia & Ginger Shortbread (Awesome flavour)

Makes 20 cookies
Baking Time : 20 mins Prep + 35 mins Baking

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 100g Macadamian Nuts
  • 250g Butter, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Rice Flour
  • 125g Glace or Crystalised Ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar, to sprinkle on top
  • Icing Sugar for dusting
Instructions:
  • Spread nuts on a baking tray and cook for 7-8mins, or until lightly golden. Cool and chop.
  • Use electric beaters to beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Add 1/2 sifted flours (plain flour and rice flour). Mix in chopped Macadamias and Ginger.
  • Add in remainder of sifted flours.
  • Create a ball of dough, split it into two or three. Roll each into a log, wrap each log in plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 mins or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 150C.
  • Cut 2cm slices from dough log. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper or greased. Maintain a distance of 2 cm between other cookies.
  • Place a sprinkle of sugar on top of each and bake for 15-20 mins or until lightly firm.



Iranian Cardamom Shortbread (GF)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Ghee or Butter or Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 4 tsp Ground Cardamom (Make sure this is a fresh pack of ground cardamom in this case)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Orange Flower Water (optional)
  • 3.5 - 4.5 Cups Chickpea Flour, sifted (also called Besan Flour)
  • Pistachio slivers, ground pistachios or silver balls for garnishing (Optional)
Instructions:
  • Combine the ghee/butter/oil, sugar, cardamom, salt and orange blossom water in the mixing bowl.
  • Mix for 2 mins until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually blend in 3 cups of the chickpea flour. Slowly continue to add flour until the mixture is no longer sticky (make sure to use at least 3.5 cups). Mixture will form a crumbly dough.
  • Knead the dough with your hands until it is soft and pliable. It is ok if the dough still falls apart a little.
  • Cover one baking tray (ideally use a baking tray with a 1cm high ridge) with baking paper. Place dough on top of the baking paper and place another sheet of baking paper over the dough.
  • Using the rolling pin, create a flat rectangle with the dough covering the entire surface of the baking tray, ensuring that the full surface of the dough and edges are evened out. Dough should now be about 1.5-2 cm thick.
  • Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1 hour or as long as 24 hours.
  • Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Line other baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Cut chilled dough into vertical strips, about 2 cm wide, along the long edge of the tray.
  • Then cut parallel diagonal lines from one end of the pan to the other, to make diamond / lozenge shaped cookies.
  • Once all the cuts have been made, place cookies onto the lined baking trays 2 cm apart.
  • Decorate with pistachio slivers at this point (if using ground pistachios, sprinkle them right after they come out of the oven).
  • Bake for 20 - 30 mins or until the cookies just start to turn colour (they should not really brown).
  • Let cookies cool for 5 mins then place onto a cooling rack. Be gentle as these are beautifully crumbly cookies.


Quadruple Chocolate, Walnut and Sea Salt Cookies (Lots of chocolatey goodies inside)

Ingredients:

  • 125g Butter, chopped
  • 200g Dark Chocolate 70%, roughly broken
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g Dark Chocolate 70%, chopped into small 'chips'
  • 1/2 Cups Cocoa Nibs
  • 3/4 Cup Plain Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • Good quality sea salt, about 1/8 tsp per cookie
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Lightly grease 2 baking trays or use a sheet of baking paper.
  • Over medium heat, melt butter and 200g of roughly broken chocolate in a bain marie (in a small pan, which is sitting in a larger pan which has boiling water. Water must not enter the small pan at any point.).
  • Blend well and transfer chocolate mixture to a glass or metal mixing bowl. Set aside to cool.
  • In a separate bowl mix eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add the walnuts, 'chipped' chocolate, and cocoa nibs.
  • Sift the flours and cocoa powder directly over bowl. Mix until just combined.
  • Put dough in a log form, wrap with GladWrap, and leave on a flat surface in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
  • Cut 1.5cm slices and place on greased baking tray.
  • Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a small pinch of sea salt.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins until ready. Don't worry if they are soft, they will firm up.


Thomas Haas Chocolate Sparkle Cookie (The best chewy chocolate cookie I have ever made!)

Make 20 cookies
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb semisweet chocolate, chopped.
  • 3 tbsp Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 3/4 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 2 tsp Cocoa
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • Coarse Sugar or Granulated Sugar for Rolling
Instructions:
  • Melt chocolate in a bain-marie (bowl set over simmering water). Stir in butter. Blend both ingredients well once melted. Set aside to cool.
  • Separately, with a mixer, beat eggs and gradually beat in sugar and honey. Beat until eggs are light yellow - 5 mins.
  • Then add almonds, cocoa and salt.
  • Fold in chocolate mixture.
  • Shape dough into 1.5 inch diameter logs, wrap with GladWrap and refrigerate four hours to overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 160C.
  • Slice 1.5cm thick pieces and roll each into a flattened ball.
  • Place sugar in a small bowl and roll each ball in the sugar so it is covered completely by sugar.
  • Place each sugar-covered flattened ball onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.
  • Bake for 10-12 mins until firm but still chewy inside.


Jewish Rugelach

One of my fave all time cookies!
Makes about 3-4 dozen
Prep = 20 mins. Waiting time = 1.5 hrs. Baking = 15 mins x 3 or 4 trays.

Ingredients:

  • 250g Cream Cheese, preferably at room temperature
  • 250g Unsalted Butter, preferably at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar + 9 tbsp
  • 1/3 Cup of Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Raisins
  • 1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Apricot Preserves (if not smooth, puree in a food processor)
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten, for the egg wash
Instructions:
  • With a stick blender (or the bowl of an electric mixer), cream the cream cheese and butter until soft.
  • Blend in 1/4 cup of white sugar, icing sugar, salt and vanilla to the cream mixture.
  • Mix in sifted flour until a smooth dough is formed.
  • Roll the dough into a ball (on a lightly floured surface) and cut the ball into 6 or 7 pieces. Roll and flatten each piece to make a very flattened ball. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
  • In the meantime, make filling by combining 6 tsp of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, raisins and walnut pieces.
  • After chilling, take one ball from the fridge and place it on a sheet of baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper over it and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a circle (an approximate circle is fine) until the dough is 2-3mm thick.
  • Spread the dough with 1-2 tbsp apricot preserves (just enough to coat the whole area).
  • Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of filling (try to avoid the center area, about a 1 inch circle to make it easier to make the cookies).
  • Press down on the filling lightly so it is pushed into the dough.
  • Cut a line across the middle of the dough, from end to end. Then cut a perpendicular line. Then two more lines in between to make 6 triangles of equal size.
  • Starting with the wide edge, roll up tightly each triangle of dough so that the filling is inside the cookie as much as possible.
  • Place the rolled cookie on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Turn the ends slightly inwards to shape the cookie into a crescent.
  • Repeat with the remainder of the triangles and cookie dough. You can place the cookies fairly close to each other on the tray, about 2cm apart as they don't grow much.
  • Chill the cookies for 30 mins before baking.
  • Preheat oven at 180C.
  • Before baking, brush each cookie with the egg wash. Then combine 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsbp cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each cookie (make more cinnamon sugar if needed).
  • Bake for 15 - 20 mins, until golden brown.


Lemon Madeleines

Simple and delicious. Best when served right out of the oven !
Makes 1 madeleine tray (about 10)

Ingredients:

  • 40g Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • Zest of 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 Egg
  • 30ml Milk
  • Cooking oil spray or butter for madeleine baking pan
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C and grease madeleine baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and sugar.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg, lemon zest, vanilla bean and milk until smooth.
  • Fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture (don't stir too much).
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, melt the butter until nutty brown.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool.
  • Add to mixture very slowly while whisking quickly so that the egg does not cook into clumps due to the still hot butter.
  • Spoon mixture into the prepared madeleine pan until each mould is 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 12 mins or until golden.
  • Enjoy while still warm !


Canadian Whiskey Maple Cookies

Inspired by Momofuku's Christina Tosi's recipe, but with less sugar
Difficulty Level : Easy-Medium
Time : <30 mins
Makes : 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 225g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 100g Caster Sugar (originally 140g!)
  • 120g Light Brown Sugar (originally 175g!)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tbsp Maple Extract (originally much less)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Whiskey (originally much less)
  • 385g Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bi-Carb Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
Ingredients (Whiskey Sugar Coating)
  • 1 tbsp Whiskey
  • 100g White Sugar


Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and the two sugars until smooth and blended thoroughly.
  • Add egg, maple and vanilla extracts and whiskey. Blend thoroughly until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture gradually, taking breaks to mix two together until just blended, being careful not to overmix.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the whiskey sugar ingredients.
  • Scoop the cookie dough, making small round balls about 2/3rds the size of a golf ball.
  • Take a handful of the whiskey sugar and one of the formed dough balls. Coat the dough ball with the whiskey sugar and place the dough ball on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining dough balls, placing each about 5-8 centimetres apart.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 mins, just before turning golden brown.


Angel Wings

A beautiful, delicious and unique pastry treat.
Yield : About 3 dozen
Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Cold Butter, cubed
  • 1.5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 10 tbsp Sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon, divided
Instructions:
  • In a bowl, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Stir in the sour cream.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead 6-8 times or until mixture holds together.
  • Shape into four balls; flatten slightly.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Unwrap one ball. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar on waxed paper, coat all sides of ball with sugar.
  • Roll into a 12" x 5" rectangle between two sheets of waxed paper.
  • Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle dough with 3/4 tsp cinnamon.
  • Lightly mark a line down the center of the dough, making two 6" x 5" rectangles.
  • Starting with the short side, roll up jelly-roll style to the center mark, peel waxed paper away while rolling.
  • Repeat with other short side, so that it looks like a scroll.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze for 30 mins.
  • Repeat for remaining 3 dough balls.
  • Place remaining sugar or colored sugar on waxed paper.
  • Unwrap one roll. Cut into 1/2" slices.
  • Dip each side into sugar.
  • Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375F/190C for 12 mins or until golden brown.
  • Take out of oven, turn cookies over and bake for 5 more mins. Remove to to wire racks to cool.


Gingerbread Cookies (Ooooh, how could you not like ginger!?!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking sode
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1 teaspoons of vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
Instructions:
  • Cream butter in a large mixing bowl, then add brown sugar and egg
  • Add molasses and vinegar while beating
  • Stir in dry ingredients
  • Wrap dough in stretch and seal overnight (or at least for a few hours)
  • Set oven at 350 F (make sure there are no pans in the oven!!)
  • Roll dough to 1/4" thick and cut into shapes
  • Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes


British Flapjack Biscuits (Sweet Oat Cakes)

Makes about 16 biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 Cup packed Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Golden Syrup
  • 2 1/3 Quick-Cooking Oat (not instant or rolled oats)
  • Pinch of Salt
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350C.
  • Grease a medium-sized square baking pan (approx 8x8 inches). Add a square of baking paper to the base of the pan.
  • In a heavy saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar and golden syrup.
  • Stir constantly until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Blend in oats and salt.
  • Transfer mixture into the prepared pan and spread out in an even layer.
  • Bake for abot 15-20 mins until the top is golden (edges will be a little darker).
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan for 5 mins (very important).
  • Cut into 4 squares. Then cut each square into 4 triangles while mixture is still soft.
  • Then set aside to cool completely in the pan before serving (very important here too - otherwise it can come out in smaller pieces than intended)


Chocolate Macaroons (Very, very chocolatey!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup of coconut (in flakes)
  • 7 tablespoons of cocao powder (Careful, this is not the same as chocolate milk powder!!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix the oats, coconuts, and cocao
  • In a heating saucepan, mix the sugar, butter and milk
  • Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture -- combine well
  • Place spoonfuls of the combination onto a cooking sheet
  • Place filled cooking in fridge to cool for 1 hour
  • Serve immediately (better to not leave it in the sunlight!)


Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Delicious and Gluten-Free
Prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 17 mins.
Makes 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Hazelnuts, Roasted, skins removed and ground
  • 1 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 5 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Espresso Powder liquified in 1/8 Cup boiling water.
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 tsp Hazelnut Extract (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and treat with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and liquified espresso powder.
  • Add egg whites, hazelnut extract and vanilla extract.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix until well combined and wet, around 2 mins.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the batter. roll into a small ball of dough.
  • Sprinkle the top of each ball with a bit of the sea salt.
  • Bake for 15-17 mins until the top of the cookies crack.
  • Serve warm if possible.

Almond Mocha Sandwich Cookies

Makes two dozen.

Ingredients (Cookies):

  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 2 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1.5 tsp Pure or Double Cream (Double preferred)
  • 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 tbsp Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1-2 tbsp Boiling Water
  • 2 tbsp Sliced Almonds, toasted and finely chopped
Instructions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sifted icing sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.
  • Combine flour and cornstarch. Gradually add it to the cream mixture and mix well.
  • Make foot-long logs out of the dough, with about a 1.5" diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling. Start by combining, in a small mixing bowl, butter and sifted icing sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add in cream and almond extract.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine cocoa, coffee and 1 tbsp boiling water. Stir to combine until coffee granules are all dissolved. Then add to cream mixture and mix well.
  • Set aside for at least 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Cut 1cm slices from the logs and press lightly on the edges to smooth them out.
  • Place cookie dough slices 1" apart on a baking tray, lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for 10mins or until just before they start to turn golden.
  • Set aside on wire racks to cool completely.
  • Once cookies have been cooled, put filling in a piping bag and pipe some of the filling around the botton of a cookie, working from the outside to the middle.
  • Place another cookie on top of the filling and squeeze cookies together gently (twist the top cookie while holding the bottom if the filling seems to come out more from one side).
  • Store in the refrigerator if not serving right away.

Berner Haselnussleckerli / German Nut Cookies (Sweet, chewy, and zesty!)

Ingredients:

  • 300 g of ground hazelnuts
  • 200 g of ground almonds
  • 50 g of orange zest (finely chopped) - 3 Oranges
  • 50 g of lemon zest (finely chopped) - 3 Lemons
  • 300 g of sugar
  • 3 egg whites (no need for yokes - this is a serious dish)
  • 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water
Filling:
  • 5 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
Instructions:
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Create one inch balls of dough, and place onto a cookie sheet
  • Bake at 300 F for about 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, for icing, mix icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth
  • When cookies are ready, apply icing


German Lebkuchen Cookies

Makes 24 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 40 g (1 1/4 oz) Chopped Mixed Peel
  • 155 g (5 oz) Plain Flour
  • Large Pinch of Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Large Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 85 g (2 3/4 oz) Ground Almonds
  • 1 Egg
  • 60 g (2 oz) Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 180 ml (5 3/4 fl oz) Clear Honey
  • 3 tbs Milk
  • 125 g (4 oz) Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Brandy
  • 3 tbs Melted Butter
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400 F.
  • Brush a 20 x 30 cm swiss roll tin with melted butter, line the base with greaseproof paper and brush with butter. Dust the tin with flour, turning to coat the base and sides thoroughly.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with flour, place the mixed peel on it, toss lightly in the flour and then chop finely using a large sharp knife. The flour will stop the peel sticking to the knife.
  • Sift the flour, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Add the mixed peel and stir in the almonds.
  • Place the egg and brown sugar in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until increased in volume and pale in colour. Whisk in the honey and then the milk. Pour onto the flour mixture and stir briskly until the mixture resembles a batter.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and spread evenly to the corners. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 20-25 mins, or until just springy to the light touch of a finger. While the lebkuchen is cooking, prepare the icing.
  • To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add 1 tbs water and the brandy and mix with a wooden spoon to a thick coating consistency. It should run but leave a trail as it falls back. If it doesn't fall from the spoon, it needs a little more water.
  • Loosen the sides of the Lebkuchen and turn it out of the tin onto a tray, then invert onto a wire rack, crustside up. Brush the top with the icing while it is still warm - it will run to give a thin glaze. Leave to cool and then cut into 8 slices lengthways and 3 across to make 24 pieces. Remove from the paper.
  • Lebkuchen will store in an airtight container for at least one month.


Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp Finely Ground Early Grey Tea Leaves (from about 4 bags)
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Finely Grated Orange Zest
Instructions:
  • Whisk flour, tea and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, thoroughly mix butter, sugar and orange zest until pale and fluffy.
  • Divide dough in half and roll into 2 narrow long logs to 1-1.5 inches in diameter. Transfer each log to a sheet of plastic wrap (eg. gladwrap) and leave in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Cut log into 1/4 inch slices. Space slices 1 inch apart on baking trays, lined with baking paper.
  • Bake cookies until edges are golden, for 13-15 mins. Let cool on the sheets for a few mins before transferring cookies to a wire rack.


Cumin & Black Pepper Shortbread

Makes 12 biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Ghee (or Butter)
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup Superfine Semolina
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Instructions:
  • Line a 28cm square cake pan with baking paper.
  • Measure out the ghee and place it in the freezer for at least 30 mins before using.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, semolina and salt until well blended.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix the sugar, cumin seeds and pepper. Rub the sugar and cumin seeds together in between your fingers for a couple of minutes. (Important)
  • Using a food processor, blend the chilled ghee with the sugar mixture until smooth.
  • Stir in the flour mixture in two batches until you get a texture like coarse sand.
  • Dump the mixture into the prepared tin and place a sheet of cling wrap on top. Using your hands, over the cling wrap, spread the mixture to about 1/2 cm thick.
  • Place the cling wrapped mixture in the freezer for at least 30 mins until firm.
  • Remove from the freezer and immediately bake for 25 mins until light golden.
  • Quickly, as soon as it comes out of the oven and using a sharp knife, cut the baked dough into rectangles. The shortbread will be very soft when it comes out of the oven but it will harden as it cools down.
  • Let it cool completely within the tin, then take out the individual biscuits.


Chocolate & Peppercorn Cookies (chocolate cookies with a little extra kick!)

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp finely ground pepper (can be replaced alternatively with 2 hot peppers, finely chopped, for a different spicy taste)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp good quality instant espresso
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
Instructions:
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, pepper (or chili), espresso powder and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix butter and granulated sugar until pale, smooth and fluffy.
  • Add flour mixture to wet mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Turn out dough onto a piece of parchment paper and roll into a 2 inch diameter log. Completely cover the log with the parchment and place in the fridge to cool for an hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove parchment paper from log and let sit for about 5 mins at room temperature to soften a little.
  • Roll log into sanding sugar to adhere sugar to dough and create a tasty border.
  • Transfer log to cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place rounds on a cookie baking sheets lined with parchment paper (or baking sheets that have been greased), spacing the rounds at least 1 inch apart.
  • Sprinkle each round with finely ground pepper
  • Bake cookies at 350F until there is slight resistance when you lightly touch centres, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Note: Cookies can be stored in air-tight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
  • Alternate flavours include chocolate chili (substitute ground peppercorns with finely chopped fresh chili) or hot masala chocolate (swap pepper for chili and add 1 tablespoon of hot masala spices).



Chocolate Wafer Treats

Makes 30 Wafers
Delicious and easy ! (The hard part is finding the wafers - I got them at a polish grocer in Sydney right by Ashfield Station)
Time : 15 min Prep + Few hours or up to overnight to set

Ingredients:

  • 395g Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 250g Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 200g Dark Chocolate (70%), melted
  • 110g Walnuts, roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Packet of Large Square Wafers (at least 4 large wafers)
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except wafers.
  • Take 1 wafer and spread 1/3 of the mixture across it until spread evenly.
  • Take another wafer and carefully but firmly place on top, applying light pressure across the wafer to remove any open areas between the mixture and the top wafer.
  • Repeat with remaining wafers and mixture until all 4 wafers are used. The top wafer should not have any mixture on top.
  • Enclose full wafer with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Unwrap the giant wafer and cut into diamond shapes by cutting parallel horizontal lines with 1 inch spaces in between, then cut parallel diagonal lines with 1 inch spaces in between to make the diamond shapes.
  • Serve cool or at room temperature.



Chocolate French Macarons

Well worth the learning curve and once you master the technique it's fairly easy to make!
Trickiest parts are getting the consistency of the cookie dough right and not over or under baking them.
YouTube how to videos can help you master this too!

Ingredients (Cookie Part):

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Cup (55g) Caster Sugar
  • 200g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 90g Ground Almonds
  • 25g Cocoa Powder, sifted
Ingredients (Ganache):
  • 60ml Pure Cream
  • 155g Dark Chocolate, chopped roughly
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Add caster sugar and continue beating until the sugar has dissolved (if not yet dissolved, you can feel the granulated sugar between your thumb and forefinger).
  • In a separate bowl, combine and blend sifted icing sugar, ground almonds and sifted cocoa.
  • Fold in a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture. Mix well.
  • Carefully and gradually, fold in half the remaining egg whites, then once it is well blended, fold in the remaining
  • beaten egg whites. Fold only up until the mixture just starts to smoothen out when dropped.
  • Spoon mixture into a piping bag (no nozzle needed).
  • On a lined baking tray (greasing the tray here won't be enough), pipe 4 cm rounds about 2.5 cm apart.
  • Tap trays on the bench to remove any air bubbles and prevent cracking. Macarons can spread out a little here but should spread just a little bit (not too much).
  • Let trays stand for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150C and make the ganache.
  • For the ganache,...
    • Place chocolate in a medium-sized bowl.
    • Heat the cream until near steaming.
    • Remove from heat and pour in bowl onto the chocolate. Let sit without stirring for 2 mins.
    • Stir until you arrive to a creamy chocolate consistency.
    • Place in a piping bag and set aside to cool.
  • Bake macarons for 10-15 mins. Check macarons at 10 mins to see if they twist off the paper lining easily enough (some of the macaron may stick to the paper, which is ok if it's not too much). If not, return them to the oven until they are ready.
  • Let them cool completely before piping in the ganache, starting with the outside of the macaron and piping in a circular motion towards the center, then topping the ganached macaron with a similarly sized macaron.
  • Press gently to sandwich macarons.
  • Set aside in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.



Ginger Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 4 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups pumpkin pure (14 ounce can)
  • 3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Raisins (Light Brown Sultanas ar best)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  • In another larger bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in eggs.
  • Add pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Mix in raisins and walnuts first, then flour until well combined.
  • Create small 1" flattened balls of dough and place onto a greased or parchment paper lined cookie tray, spacing each about 1" apart.
  • Bake cookies until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie tray for about 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack or room temperature plate.
  • Recipe makes about 6 dozen.


Poppyseed and Walnut Swirl Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1 3/4 Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup PoppySeeds
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp Grated Orange Peel
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and salt until mixed in smoothly, then add flour slowly while blending.
  • Shape dough into a ball, wrap with plastic saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix poppy seeds, walnuts, honey, orange peel, cinnamon, and 4 tsp butter. Mix well.
  • Roll 1/2 dough into 10x8" rectangles.
  • Spread half of the poppy seed mix evenly on top of the dough.
  • Starting at the 8" side, jelly roll the dough.
  • Wrap the roll in plastic saran wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  • Repeat above steps for the other half of the dough.
  • Preheat oven at 375F.
  • Slice roll crosswise into 1/4" slices and place slices 1/2" apart on a greased cookie tray.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.
  • Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well.
  • Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips.
  • Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (Soft & Chewy)

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Old-fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a separate larger bowl, blend brown sugar, caster sugar, butter, and peanut butter. Mix for about 5 mins until well blended.
  • In the large bowl, mix in vanilla and eggs.
  • Gradually, add dry oat mixture from medium bowl into the large bowl. Mix until just combined.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place medium sized dollops of dough, 2 inches apart, until the tray is full.
  • Bake for 13-15 mins, until the cookies are golden brown, rotating the tray midway through. Let cool for a few mins, transfer to wire racks to fully cool.


Peanut Butter Clouds

Delicious & Light Gluten Free Cookies!
Prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 10 mins.
Makes 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jar (18 Ounces) Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Light or Regular Brown Sugar
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 100g Dark Chocolate, chopped in very small pieces (Chocolate chip sized)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Stir together the peanut butter, sugar, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.
  • Once blended, add chocolate chips to the mixture.
  • Roll in small balls and bake for 8-12 mins.
  • Let cool for 5-10 mins before picking up.

Chewy Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 3 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 Cup Dried Apples, chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven at 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
  • Stir in oats and dried apples.
  • On a baking tray lined with baking paper, drop rounded tablespoons of the cookie dough, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 mins in batches, until golden brown.
  • Let stand for 5 mins before transfering to a wire rack for further cooling.

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Easy to make and look really tasty as they are coated with cinnamon sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup Cinnamon Sugar for Rolling Cookies
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs and mix in vanilla.
  • Blend sifted flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Blend well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls. (I place the dough in "dough logs" in plastic cling wrap so it is easier to cut into small balls.)
  • Shape dough into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter.
  • Roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar to coat.
  • Set cookies 1" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 350F for 10 mins or till the edges are very lightly browned.
  • Cool slightly on the pan, then remove from the baking and place onto a rack to cool completely.


Chewy Anzac Oatmeal Cookies (Best Anzacs I've tasted yet!)

Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Moist Coconut Flakes (or dessicated if you can't find moist flakes)
  • 125g Butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C (140 Fan-forced). Line baking trays with baking paper.
  • Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl.
  • Separately, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, syrup and 2 tbsp cold water. Stir for 2 mins or until butter has melted.
  • Then stir in bicarb soda.
  • Pour butter mixture into oats mixture.
  • Create small spheres of the combined mixture, about the size of a tablespoon. Place spheres onto baking trays, 5cm apart. Flatten slightly.
  • Bake for 10-12 mins or until light golden.
  • Stand on trays for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool them all around.
  • Note : If you prefer them crispy, bake for 15-16 mins instead.


Croatian Peach Cookies with Walnut & Apricot Jam Filling (Breskvice)

Takes time, but very worthwhile in the end!

Makes 24 (really!)

Ingredients:

  • 250ml (1 Cup) Milk
  • 375ml (1 1/2 Cups) Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 440g (2 Cups) Caster Sugar
  • 900g (6 Cups) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 120g (1 Cup) Ground Walnuts
  • 320g (1 Cup) Apricot Jam
  • 1 tbsp Bourbon or Rum
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 60ml (1/4 Cup) Milk
  • Pink and Yellow Food Colouring
  • 60ml (1/4 Cup) Peach Brandy
Instructions:

Make the Cookie Shell

  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • In a large bowl, lightly whisk together oil, milk and eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract and half the sugar.
  • Add sifted flour to form a soft dough.
  • Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into 48 balls and bake on a lined oven tray for 15 mins. The cookies should be pale in colour and not at all golden.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using a small, sharp knife, carefully cut a circle in the bottom of each cookie, leaving a 1cm edge, and scoop out the crumbs with a small teaspoon.
Make the Filling
  • Place cookie crumbs into a food processor and blend for several seconds until it resembles coarse sand.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup cookie crumbs, ground walnuts, jam, bourbon and cinnamon, and mix well.
Fill the Cookie
  • Using a teaspoon, place 3 tsp of this mixture into the cookie sheel,cavity-side down, to sandwich them together.
  • Gently squeeze together until both cookies touch. If any of the filling squeezes out just wipe it away with your finger, making sure there's no filling residue at the join. Set aside.
Colouring the outside (Make it look like a peach!)
  • Place the milk in one bowl and add about 2 drops of pink and 1 drop of yellow food colouring and stir to combine (you want a very light colour).
  • In another bowl, mix the peach brandy and 1 drop of yellow food colouring.
  • In a third bowl, place the remaining sugar.
  • Take each filled cookies and carefully dip one half into the coloured milk, then the other half into the coloured brandy.
  • Quickly and gently remove any excess liquid by dabbing the cookie onto a clean sponge or paper towel. (Remember you're using food colouring, so make sure your work bench is protected from splashes.)
  • Place the damp cookie into the sugar bowl and toss around the coat the entire cookie, shaking off any excess.
  • These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Mocha Hazelnut Tuiles (aka Sweet Crispy Light Thins)

Makes 26 tuiles.

Ingredients :

  • 1/3 cup (45g) Hazelnuts, roasted and skins removed
  • 1/2 tsp Instand coffee granules
  • 2/3 cup (150g) White Sugar
  • 60g Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tbsp Liquid Glucose
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 1.5 tbsp Dutch Cocoa
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Ground the roasted hazelnuts.
  • Mix the instant coffee granules with 1/8 cup of boiling water (or less) until coffee is fully dissolved.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, coffee, milk, glucose and vanilla seeds. Set to medium heat.
  • Stir until the butter has melted and bring to a boil.
  • Cook for 2-3 mins or until the temperature reaches 100C on a candy or digital thermometer.
  • Remove from heat and add the hazelnut mixture and cocoa. Stir well to combine and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  • On a baking paper lined baking tray, drop 1 tsp of the mixture at a time, allowing for lots of room to spread. You should have 4 dollops of mixture on a tray at a time.
  • Bake for 6-8 mins or until flat and golden.
  • Allow tuiles to cool on the trays for 5 mins before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Tuiles will keep in a cool container for 4-5 days.


Pecan Goody Cups

Makes 4 dozen.

Ingredients (Cups):

  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
  • 500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Plain Flour, sifted
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 1.5 cups Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 48 Pecan Halves
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add flour, mixing, until the dough forms a ball.
  • Flatten ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 175C and grease a tin of miniature cakes. Set aside.
  • To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, eggs and butter. Set aside.
  • Roll dough into small 3cm balls (should make 48).
  • Make a small cup with a dough ball and press it into the mini cake cup tin.
  • Spoon a teaspoon of filling into each dough cup and top with a pecan half.
  • Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown. Cool for 2-3 mins before removing from tin to wire rack.


Stained Glass Cookies

Makes 36 to 45 Cookies
Prep Time 1hr + Cook Time 1hr

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2.5 Cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 50g of Coloured Hard Candies / Lollies, such as lifesaver (or Gummy Worms can also be used)
Instructions:
  • In a medium bowl, mix sugar and butter until fluffy and light. Then mix in the egg, vanilla and salt.
  • Add sifted flour, mixing until just combined (don't overmix).
  • Divide the dough in half, shape into flattened discs, wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours, until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 175C and lined 2 baking sheets.
  • On a lightly floured surface, take out 1 of the dough discs and roll out until 1/2 cm thickness.
  • Cut out the dough into shapes with cookie cutters (circles, squares, flowers and stars work well) and place the cut outs onto the lined trays.
  • Then using a small round cookie cutter (or other shapes, though the simpler shapes work best), cut out a bit of the centre of the cookie to display a hole inside.
  • Crush and split the hard candy into separate small bowls (ie. red candy goes into a bowl with only red candy).
  • Sprinkle some of the crushed candy to fill the cookie holes.
  • Bake for 5-7 mins and take out cookies just before they become golden so that they are still a little soft.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Store cookies between layers of baking paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Lemon Ginger Cookies (GF)

Time : 20 mins Prep + 30 mins Cook
Makes 40 cookies.

Ingredients :

  • 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Raw or Cane Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cups Gluten Free Flour (Try to find one that has Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum)
  • 1/2 tsp GF Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 ounces of Crystalized Ginger, finely diced
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in egg and lemon juice until fully combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt).
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  • Add lemon zest and crystalised ginger.
  • Make 1 tbsp balls out of dough for medium sized cookies and place them 1 inch apart from each other on a lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 10-12 mins per tray until the edges are just turning golden. Transfer to a cooling rack 5-10 mins after they have been removed from the oven.


Pecan Pie Squares

Rich and sweet - Absolutely delicious. And really easy to make!
Makes about 30 squares.

Ingredients :

  • 2 Cups Chopped Pecans
  • 1 Cup Butter, cubed
  • 2 1/4 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Icing Sugar Mixture (optional)
Instructions:
  • Prepare baking tray. Add a lining of baking paper to the bottom of a 13 inch x 9 inch x 2 inch baking pan, and grease edges well (spray baking paper as well if you have an oil spray).
  • In a large saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Separately, in a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and butter mixture.
  • Combine flour and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans.
  • Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350F for 20-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs and edges are crisp.
  • Cool on a wire rack for approx 15 mins until cool, then leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Dust with icing sugar if desired. Cut into squares.


Mini Lamington Bites

Makes 36
Prep Time 50mins + overnight + 1hr to set
Baking Time 30 mins

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 125g Butter, room temperature
  • 140g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup (150g) Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 50g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup (250ml) Buttermilk
  • 4 Cups Moist Coconut Flakes, blended into tiny pieces
Ingredients (Icing):
  • 125g Butter, room temperature
  • 140g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup (150g) Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 50g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup (250ml) Buttermilk
  • 4 Cups Moist Coconut Flakes, blended into tiny pieces
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 4cm deep large rectangle cake pan.
  • Line the base and sides with baking paper, allowing the papers to overhang.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until combined.
  • Add half the combined flours and half the buttermilk.
  • Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  • Smooth to even out the top.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Let stand in the baking pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and stand overnight.
  • Cut the ends off the cake, then cut the cake in 2cm square pieces.
  • For the icing, sift icing sugar and cocoa in a heatproof bowl. Add the butter, rum and boiling water and stir until smooth. Let cool.
  • Place coconut flakes in a deep bowl.
  • Use a fork to carefully dip each piece of cake into the icing mixture.
  • Shake off excess and toss in the coconut, ensuring it gets fully covered.
  • Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Chill for an hour.

Glossy Lemon Bars

Makes 16 squares. Time to make : 2.5 hours.

Ingredients (Pastry Base):

  • 130g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 60g Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1.4 tsp Salt
  • Zest from 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • 115g Unsalted Butter, cold, cut into 3 cm cubes
Ingredients (Lemon Filling):
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 8 Egg Yolks (Large Eggs)
  • 270g White Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Zest from 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • Juice from 8 Lemons
Instructions:
  • Start with the pastry base. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with removeable base with baking paper.
  • In food processor, combine sifted flour, sifted icing sugar, salt, lemon zest and cold butter. Blend until you get the texture of coarse sand.
  • Scatter mixture into the lined base of the baking pan. Press into an even layer.
  • Bake for about 30 mins, until dough is gold and firm. Set aside.
  • To make the filling, combine whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Then mix in lemon juice.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly but not vigorously, for about 3 mins, until warm.
  • Increase heat to medium-low and continue cooking while stirring slowly until temperature reaches 170F, for about 8 mins.
  • Immediately strain the mixture into the prepared crust. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake until smooth and firm, for about 10 mins.
  • Remove foil, cool to room temperature, recover with foil and refrigerate for an hour.
  • When serving, remove from the fridge at least 20 mins prior to eating. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares, rinsing your knife in between each slice.
  • Serve dusted with powdered sugar or with chantilly cream.
  • Keeps for up to 1 week.


Kiwifruit Squares

Note : Need to test the base a little further to ensure perfect consistency.
Makes 16 squares

Ingredients (Base):

  • 1 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cold
Ingredients (Topping):
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Kiwifruits, peeled and pureed
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Grated Lime Peel
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp Flour
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C and line a 9" square pan with baking paper.
  • Combine flour and 1/4 cup icing sugar. Cut butter and blend into flour mixture until mixture looks like sand.
  • Pat flour & butter mixture into the square pan.
  • Bake for 15 mins and then set aside to cool.
  • Combine sugar, kiwifruit, eggs, flour, lime juice, lime peel and baking powder.
  • Pour over baked crust and return to oven for 25 more mins.
  • Cool then sprinkle with remaining icing sugar.

Lemon, Coconut and Cranberry Squares

Ingredients (base crust):
  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Icing sugar
  • 1 Cup Margarine
Ingredients (filling):
  • 4 Large Lemons
  • 7 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cups Margarine, melted
  • 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 Cups Finely Chopped Almonds
  • 1 Cup Coconut, flaked
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
Instructions:
  • For the crust, mix all the ingredients together. Press mixture in the bottom of a greased pan 13x9".
  • Bake 350F (180C) for 15-20 mins until the top is lightly golden.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Then, zest all lemons. Separately obtain 3/4 cups of lemon juice from the lemons.
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients in the topping mixture. Blend well.
  • Pour into the crust and bake at 325F (170C) for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is set and golden.
  • Lightly powder icing sugar on the top of the squares before serving.
  • Makes 3 dozen squares.


Raspberry & Coconut Slice

Absolutely Scrumptious
Ingredients (Base):

  • 1 3/4 Cups Plain Flour
  • 3 tbps Ground Almond
  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, chilled
Ingredients (top layer):
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 300g Fresh or Frozen (thawed) raspberries
  • 1 Cup Moist Shredded Coconut
  • Icing Sugar, for dusting
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Lightly grease a square pan (20x30cm) and line with baking paper (across base and sides of pan).
  • For the slice base, sift the 1 3/4 cup of Flour. Bend in almond meal and sugar.
  • Press butter into flour mixture until it forms a granulated mixture like bread crumbs.
  • Lightly press mixture into the base of the pan.
  • Bake at 180 C for 20-25 mins until the corner start to become golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Change the oven temperature to 150 C.
  • Next prepare the top layer. In small bowl, mix together nutmeg, baking powder, and flour.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and remaining sugar with electric beaters for 4 mins, or until light an fluffy.
  • Fold in nutmeg mixture.
  • Stir in lemon juice, raspberries and coconut.
  • Pour over the base.
  • Bake at 150 C fo 1 hour or until golden and firm.
  • Chill in the tin for 5-10 mins before cutting into pieces. Dust with icing sugar.


Raspberry Oat Coconut Bars

Delicious!
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Self Raising Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 180g Butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oat
  • 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries, crushed slightly
  • 1/4 Cup Raspberry Jam
  • 1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut, extra
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 170 Celcius. Grease and line a 27cm x 18cm pan, lined with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and softened butter. Beat with a wooden spoon for a minute, then incorporate the flours, coconut and rolled oats until well blended.
  • Reserve and set aside 3/4 cup of the dough.
  • Press the remaining dough flat into the pan, over the baking paper.
  • Spread the raspberry jam on top of the slice then evenly scatter the crushed raspberries over the jam.
  • Crumble the remaining dough over the top, then sprinkle over the extra coconut.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cut slab into pieces while leaving the dough in the pan as it is otherwise. Let cool completely in the pan.


Festive Fudge & Smarties Bars

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Quick Oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can (14 Ounces/Oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 Packet (16 Ounces / Oz.) Smarties
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
Instructions:
  • Combine oats, flour, hazelnuts, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  • Add melted butter. Mix well.
  • Take out 1 1/2 cup of the mixture.
  • With the remaining portion, press mixture onto the bottom of a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch pan (that is about 1" deep).
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile... slowly melt shortening in heavy sauce pan.
  • Add 1 1/2 cup of smarties and continue cooking at a very low temperature. Break up the candies against the edge of the pan with a spoon. Don't let them melt completely.
  • Remove from heat, stir in condensed milk. Stir well. Spread over partially baked crust to within 1/2 inch of the edge around the perimeter.
  • Add coconut and remaining candies to the remaining mixture. And pour this mixture on top of the melted milk / cookie goo in the pan, going all the way to the edges of the pan.
  • Press in top mixture lightly.
  • Bake at 375 F for another 20 - 25 minutes until the top is lightly toasted.
  • Cool for a few minutes and cut into small rectangle pieces before it gets too cool and hardens.


Cheesecake Swirled Brownies (Heaven!)

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 package (250 g) of Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 2/3 cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp of rum extract
Brownie:
  • 125g cooking chocolate chocolate
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups of Caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • Icing Sugar, to dust
Instructions:

  • Set oven at 175C.
  • Grease a large and deep set baking dish.
  • Beat together the ingredients for the filling : cream cheese, caster sugar, two eggs and rum extract.
  • Melt butter and cooking chocolate together via a bain marie so as not to burn the chocolate.
  • Mix the nuts into the chocolate mixture.
  • Beat remaining four eggs and sugar together, then add to chocolate mixture.
  • Add remaining brownie dry ingredients (pre-mixed together) into the chocolate mixture.
  • Spread half the chocolate mixture on the base of the pan.
  • Then spread the full amount of the cheesecake mixture on top. Spread evenly to the corners.
  • Finally, top with the second half of the chocolate mixture on top of the cheesecake mixture.
  • USe a knife to gently swirl and mix the 3 layer. You should be able to see swirls forming from the top view of the 'cake'.
  • Bake for 45 minutes (or until top is firm and springs back when touched -- do not bake until dry)
  • Cool and then cut into squares.


Old Fashioned Macademia Brownies (Moist and Chewy!)

Makes 24 Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Macadamian Nuts, Chopped in Half
  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 250g Cadbury Dark Cooking Chocolate Bar, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
Instructions:

  • Preset oven at 160 C conventional or 140 C fan forced (make sure there are no pans in the oven!!)
  • Line a 20x30 cm slice pan with baking paper
  • Combine butter and chocolate in medium sauce pan; stir over low heat until cholate has just melted. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, sour cream and nuts.
  • Stir well until combined.
  • Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until brownie forms a crust on the outside.
  • Allow to cool and slice.


Rich Banana Chocolate Brownies (Delicious!)

Makes 1 Square Pan or 24 Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 175g Dark Chocolate
  • 175g Butter
  • 150g Brown Sugar
  • 2 Medium sized Bananas (The bananas need to be very ripe)
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tsp Cocoa
  • 1 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C conventional. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
  • Combine butter and chocolate in medium bain-marie sauce pan (so that you heat up the ingredients indirectly) over medium heat until cholate has just melted. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, mash up the ripe bananas and mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture then stir to blend well.
  • Mix in the chopped walnuts.
  • Then stir in the sifted flour and cocoa.
  • Spread mixture into prepared lined pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until brownie forms a crust on the outside.
  • Allow to cool completely in the pan and slice.


Scottish Oat Scones
(The best way to start your day, if you have 1/2 hour to spare -- good for Sunday brunches and sleepovers!)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups of oats, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (Craisins are good too here!)
Instructions:
  • Set oven at 425 F (make sure there are no pans in the oven!!)
  • Mix butter, milk, eggs in a large bowl
  • Seperately, mix oats,flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl
  • Combine dry mix to wet mixture (into the large bowl)
  • Mix well and then add raisins
  • Pat mixture out on a lightly floured pan to 1/2" height, accross the pan
  • Bake at 425 F for about 12 minutes, or until the sides turn to a light brown
  • Serve warm, with butter or jam, and plenty of milk!!


Lemon Passionfruit Slice

Ingredients:
  • 125g Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 cup Dried Shredded Coconut
  • 400g tin Condensed Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Rind
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
  • 165ml (approx 1 cup) Passionfruit Pulp
  • 2 Tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a slice pan with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl combine the self raising flour, sugar, coconut and melted butter. Mix then press lightly and evenly into the slice pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • While the base is cooking prepare the top layer of the slice. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • When the base is ready, remove from the oven and pour over the top layer. Return to the oven to cook for a further 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


North American Apple Custard Crumble

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups Sliced Peeled Apples (about 8; Granny Smith give the best flavour)
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbs All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • Grated Rind of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
Crumble Mixture:
  • 2/3 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour (for the crumble)
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tbs Butter, Cubed
  • Whipping Cream, whipped.
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Lightly grease or spray 8 inch (2L) square glass baking dish.
  • Layer apple slices into dish
  • In bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Whisk in eggs until frothy. Whisk in milk, lemon rind and vanilla.
  • Pour mixture over apples. Spread evenly on top and press to flatten apples.
  • In bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. With fingers, mix in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apple mixture.
  • Bake for about 50 mins or until apples are tender, custard is thickened and topping is golden.
  • Serve warm or cold with a dollop of Whipping Cream.


Rhubarb Oatmeal Crumble

Serves 6

Ingredients: Filling

  • 200g Rhubarb, chopped
  • 250g Apples, slices
  • 1/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 Squeeze of Lemon
Crumble
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Quick Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 60g Butter, warmed up until soft but not melted
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven at 400F/200C.
  • Cook, in a saucepan, the fruit, sugar, water and lemon juice until soft but not mushy.
  • In a deep pie dish, place the soft fruit mixture.
  • Separately, mix together the crumble ingredients.
  • After the crumble mixture is well blended, spread evenly over the fruit.
  • Bake for 20 mins in the hottest part of the oven (near the top) or until the crumble is brown and crunchy.


American Shoofly Pie (Coffee Mousse)

Tastes like a delicious coffee mousse pie.
Prep 20 mins + 1/2 hr Chilling + 1hr Baking.

Ingredients:

  • 250ml Warm Espresso Coffee
  • 285g Molasses
  • 2 Eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Double Cream or Ice Cream, to serve (optional)
  • 1 Sweet shortcrust pastry
Ingredients (Cinnamon Topping):
  • 185g Plain Flour
  • 190g Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, chopped
Instructions:
  • Prepare and blind bake the shortcrust pastry in a large pie tie. Set aside to let cool completely.
  • To make cinnamon topping, in a food processor, blend flour and butter until you achieve the texture of grainy sand. Mix sandy flour mixture with the brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk coffee, molasses, beaten egg and bicarb soda until smooth.
  • Place tart pan on a baking tray (to capture any spills and leaks).
  • Pour molasses mixture into the tart shell and then scatter over the cinnamon topping without stirring.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until pastry is golden and pie is firm in the middle (if pastry is starting to get dark during cooking, lightly place a sheet of foil paper overtop to prevent burning).
  • Cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.


Rose Apple Pie

Better to do with two people as rolling apples takes quite a bit of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Shortcrust Pastry
  • Jam Glaze : 80g Jam + 1 tbsp Water
Ingredients (Apple Roses):
  • 16 Red Apple (Choose the reddest apples for the best results)
  • 125ml Fresh Orange Juice
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 110g Hot Melted Butter
Ingredients (Custard):
  • 200ml Milk + 1 tbsp
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 3 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour
  • 100ml Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Paste
Instructions:
  • Make the shortcrust pastry pie shell. Blind bake and bake it until cooked through. Let it cool completely.
  • Make the custard by whisking, in a large bowl, the yolks, sugar, cornstarch and a tbsp milk.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium heat, bring the remaining milk to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  • While stirring quickly, pour the hot milk over the yolk mixture.
  • Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook on low, stirring slowly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cream and vanilla.
  • Cover and let custard cool for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge.
  • Once the custard is cool, heat the jam glaze ingredients in saucepan. Strain through a sieve and brush onto the base of the pastry using a pastry brush.
  • Spoon the custard evenly on the pie base, to cover the jam glaze.
  • In a very large bowl, combined hot melted butter, sugar and orange juice.
  • Slice apples thinly (1mm) with mandolin. Place in bowl with the butter mixture in batches as you go.
  • Leave the slices to soak for 10 minutes until they are very flexible. If they need to be more flexible, place them in the microwave for 10 seconds to be heated up again and let them rest for 10 more minutes.
  • Assemble the rose apple by starting with the thinnest smallest slice, curling it onto itself. Place another slice, slightly bigger, over the seam area and around it. Continue until you have a medium rose.
  • Place the rose in the custard, against the wall of the pie shell. Hold it closed by placing 1-2 knives against it while balanced across the edges of the pan (but not touching the pastry cream).
  • Repeat with the remaining apple slices until the pastry cream is covered in apple roses.
  • Place the pie in the fridge until it is ready to serve. The apples will not brown if served on the same day, even hours later (due to the orange juice).


Key Lime Pie

Ingredients (base crust):
  • 16 Graham Crackers Crushed
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 pound of butter
Ingredients (filling):
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14 Ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approx. 12 key limes)
  • 2 tsp grated lime peel
  • whipping cream for garnish
Instructions:
  • Mix the base crust ingredients and press them into a 9" pie plate.
  • Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 - 12 mins until lightly browned.
  • Place on a rack to cool.
  • Meanwhile, for the filling, use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix.
  • Turn the mixer speed to low and add the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Mix in half of the lime juice.
  • Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and the zest.
  • Continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds more).
  • Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350 F for 12 mins to set the yolks and kill any salmonella in the eggs.
  • Add whipped cream to individual slices, as desired.


American Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (base crust):

  • 16 Graham Crackers Crushed
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound of butter
Ingredients (filling):
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions:
  • Mix graham crust, with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Bake crust for 10 minutes until lightly hardened. Set aside to cool.
  • Separately, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs; mix well.
  • Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture on top of pie crust.
  • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer, or until center is set.


Canadian Maple Pie

Ingredients (base crust):

  • 1 Pie Dough Shortcrust Base (9 inch round)
  • 1 3/4 Cups Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2/3 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 5 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 3 Large Eggs + 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
Instructions:
  • Prepare shortcrust dough for the pie, ensuring it has 30mins - 1 hour to rest in the fridge.
  • Grease 9" pie tin. Roll shortcrust dough into a 12 inch circle between two sheets of baking paper. Transfer dough to the pie tin, clean up dough ends around the edge (stick extra dough ends under itself around the edge and crimp edges), cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge to chill for 20 mins.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Cover the pie with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights to blind bake for 15 mins. Remove the parchment paper and weights and continue baking for 10 mins being careful that the edge of the dough doesn't get dark. Set aside to cool for at least 30 mins.
  • Adjust temperature to 350F.
  • In a medium saucepan, while mixing intermittently with a spatula, boil maple syrup, cream and salt.
  • Whisk in the butter as it melts.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Extract a quarter cup of the mixture and blend in the cornstarch. Once you've created a smooth paste with no lumps, return paste to the mixture and whisk thoroughly.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute while whisking frequently.
  • Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl to cool for at least 30 mins.
  • Once cooled, whisk in eggs, extra yolks and vinegar until smooth.
  • Pour filling in the cooled crust.
  • Bake until just set, about 35 to 45 mins. Let pie cool on wire rack, about 30 mins - 1 hour. Then place cooled pie into the fridge to chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Can be served cold or at room temperature.


Canadian Butter Tarts

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Shortcrust Pastry Base
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 175g Brown Sugar
  • 100g Raisins
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Butter, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp Pure cream
  • 50g Walnuts, chopped
Instructions:
  • Grease small fluted pie tins. If you run out, you can use mini-muffin trays. Set aside.
  • Roll out the shortcrust pastry a little thick. Cut out 18-20 rounds, a few at a time, with the flutted tart tin. Then roll each of them out a little thinner. Place in the flutted tart tins. Place the finished tins in the fridge to chill.
  • To make the filling, in a medium-sized pan, beat the eggs and sugar until combined.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients except the nuts. Then warm up the mixture over medium heat, while stirring, until it bubbles and starts to thicken. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chopped walnuts. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Spoon filling into the empty pie tart shells.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until set and pastry is just golden.
  • Leave in the tin to cool for a few minutes before lifting out to a wire rack to cool completely.


Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients:
  • 250g (2 Cups) Plain flour
  • 1/4 Cup Icing Sugar Mixture
  • 125g Butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tbsp Iced Water
  • 50g (1/3 Cup) Cornflour
  • 125ml (1 Cup) Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 430g (2 Cups) Caster Sugar
  • 60g Butter, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Eggs, separated into whites and yolks
Instructions:
  • To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl.
  • Use your fingertips to quickly rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and the water and use a silicone spatula or round-bladed knife to stir until a soft pliable dough forms.
  • Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl, into a ball.
  • Turn onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper and roll out to a 5mm-thick disc / pie base.
  • Grease the bottom of a 23cm diameter (measurement of the base) pie dish. Trim excess pastry.
  • Cover the pastry with baking paper and place in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Fill the lined dish with pastry weights or rice (on top of the baking paper covering).
  • Bake in oven for 15 mins.
  • Remove the paper and pastry weights. Bake for a further 15-20 mins or until crisp and very lightly golden. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the lemon filling. Combine the cornflour, water, lemon juice and half the sugar in a saucepan. Use a whisk to stir over medium heat for 4 mins or until the mixture boils and thickens considerably.
  • Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a further 1 min. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in butter and egg yolks, stirring quickly. Once blended, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until cooled completely.
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Spread the chilled filling over the base of the pastry case. Spoon over the meringue mixture and spread to the edge of the pastry. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks.
  • Bake in oven for 5-10 mins or until the meringue peaks are light golden.
  • Set aside to cool completely in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Fruit Mince Mini Pies

Makes 3 dozen
Prep = 30 mins + 2 days to macerate. Cooking = 35 mins.

Ingredients (Filling):

  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Brandy + 2 more tbsp
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, coarsely grated
  • Rind of 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • Rind of 1 Orange, finely grated
  • 85g Raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 85g Currents
  • 85g Sultanas
  • 60g Glace Cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 115g (1/3 cup) Apricot Jam
  • 1 tsp Allspice
Ingredients (Pastry):
  • 600g (4 Cups) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 80g (1/2 cup) Pure Icing Sugar
  • 300g Chilled Butter, chopped
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • White Sugar, to sprinkle
  • Icing Sugar, to dust
Instructions:
  • In a large glass bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tbsp brandy, grated apple, raisins, currents, sultanas, cherries, apricot jam and allspice. Set aside for 2 days in the fridge, covered, stirring occasionally.
  • In a food processor, place flour, icing sugar and butter and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in a large mixing bowl, add egg yolks and water, and blend until the dough just comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended. Form a flattened disk, cover in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
  • Add 2 more tbsp of brandy to the fruit mixture approx 30 mins before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Use a round 6.5cm diameter pastry cutter to cut 40 disks from the pastry. Line forty 30ml (1.5tbsp) capacity mini cake moulds with the pastry. Use a fork to prick the bases. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  • Re-roll left over pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Cut out 40 small star shapes to fit 1 on top of each of the mini pies once filled with fruit mince. (Alternatively, you can put a whole circle on top instead and dust a star shape onto it.)
  • Spoon 1 heaped tsp of fruit mixture into each pastry case.
  • Top with star shaped (or circle shaped) pastry. Press edges lightly to seal.
  • Sprinkle with white sugar. (Make air vents if using circle shapes). Consider brushing with a milk and/or egg wash.
  • Bake for 30-35 mins. Set aside for 15 mins to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dust the pies with icing sugar once cooled to serve.
  • Note: Can freeze after baking for up to 6 mths in an airtight container. Thaw overnight at room temperature. Allow 2 days macerating and cooling time.

Banoffee Mini-Pies

Ingredients:
  • 250g Digestive Biscuits
  • 125g Butter, melted
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 Extra Ripe Banana, for garnish
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • Butterscotch Liqueur (optional)
Ingredients for the Caramel Banana Filling:
  • 395g Can Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 50g Butter
Instructions:
  • Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor until finely crumbed.
  • Mix in the butter and cinnamon until well combined.
  • Divide the biscuit mixture among six round 8cm (base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases. Use the back of a metal spoon to firmly press the biscuit mixture over the base and side of each tin. Place in the fridge for at least 1hour or until required.
  • To make the banana caramel filling, place condensed milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10-12 minutes or until caramel thickens (do not boil).
  • Mash the ripe banana and mix it in the hot caramel.
  • Pour the hot caramel evenly among biscuit bases. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  • Peel and thinly slice the extra banana, and arrange 1-2 pieces over the caramel filling. Top pies with a dollop of cream (mixed with 1-2 tbsp of Butterscotch Liqueur) and serve immediately.

Sour Cherry & Almond Crostata Pie

Prep Time 20 mins + Rest Time 30 mins + Baking Time 30 mins

Ingredients (Filling):

  • 80g Butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 + 1 Egg
  • 80g (2/3 Cup) Almond Meal
  • 50g (1/3 Cup) Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1.5 x 670g Jars of Pitted Sour Cherries
  • 1 tbsp Flaked Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Raw Sugar
Ingredients (Pastry):
  • 125g Chilled Butter, chopped
  • 225g (1.5 Cups) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 Cup Icing Sugar Mixture
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tbsp Chilled Water
Instructions:
  • Make the pastry by placing, in a food processor, sifted flour, butter and icing sugar. Blend until mixture resembles sand grains.
  • Place in a larger separate bowl and mix in egg yolks and chilled water until it just comes together.
  • Knead gently on a lightly floured surface and then cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray (round if possible).
  • In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and beat until just combined.
  • Then blend in the almond meal, flour, liqueur, cinnamon and chinese five spice.
  • Roll pastry on a large piece of baking paper to a large flat circle, 35cm diameter.
  • Spread almond mixture evenly on top of the pastry, leaving a border of 1 inch all around.
  • Distribute the cherries over the almond mixture.
  • Fold pastry wedges in, pleating in the pastry as needed.
  • Once done, brush lightly whisked egg across the pastry, then sprinkle with flaked almonds and raw sugar.
  • Place on the baking tray and bake for 30 mins or until pastry is golden.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Coconut and Passionfruit Custard Pie (Delicious served warm or cold)

Cooking Time : 1 hr and 10 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 125g Butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup Moist Coconut Flakes (tastes much better than dessicated coconut, but in a bind, you can use the latter)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 170ml Passionfruit Pulp (about 8 passionfruit. Alternatively, the canned pulp works quite well.)
  • 4 Eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar for dusting
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large 24cm diameter pie tin with baking paper on the base and grease the edges.
  • Blend butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Mix in sifted flour, coconut, vanilla and passionfruit.
  • Stir in the eggs, and then the milk. Make sure that the whole mixture doesn't have any large clumps (small clumps are inevitable but not an issue).
  • Bake pie for 1 hour or until set.
  • Let sit for 10 mins, then serve warm, dusted with icing.

Apple & Sour Cherry Strudel

Ingredients:

  • 3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin bite sized pieces.
  • 1 Jar (680 ml) of Pitted Sour Cherries
  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp kirsch (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 10 Sheets Filo pastry
  • 50g-100g almond meal
  • Whipped Cream, to serve
  • Icing Sugar, to dust
Instructions:
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine apples, cherries, caster sugar, lemon juice, kirsch and cinnamon. Set aside for at least 30 mins (or, if possible, for as long as 2hrs).
  • Drain juices.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degres.
  • Place a baking sheet on a baking tray.
  • Separately, place the filo pastry on a clean and dry surface. Cover with first a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel to keep the pastry from drying out.
  • Place 1 filo pastry sheet on a separate baking sheet that is larger than the filo pastry size (I cut 1/5th off the length as my filo pastry sheet was getting too long).
  • Brush sheet with melted butter, particularly around the edges.
  • Place another filo sheet on top of the first and brush with melted butter.
  • Repeat until you have 10 sheets in total, buttering up the last one as well.
  • Sprinkle the top with almond meal.
  • Place filling along the long side of the sheets, 1.5 inches away from all edges.
  • Fold in the ends and roll up firmly to enclose.
  • Move the strudel roll to the baking tray, seam side to the bottom.
  • Brush full strudel with melted butter.
  • Bake for 25 mins or until golden.
  • Prepare more strudels if you still have filo and filling remaining. I made a total of 2.5 strudels (0.5 one was just smaller).
  • Serve warm with whipping butter and dusted with icing sugar. Also delicious served cold the next day.


Apple Galette Tart (with glazed apple slices)

Ingredients:

Base Pastry:

  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 12 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
  • 7-9 tbsp Ice Water
Apple Topping
  • 1.5 Pounds of Apples (3-4 medium or 4-5 small)
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apricot Preserves
  • 1 tbsp Water
Instructions:
  • Combine flours, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until butter is the size of large pebbles, about 1/2 inch.
  • Add 1 tbsp water over the mixture and pulse once quickly to combine; repeat, adding water 1 tbsp at a time and pulsing, until dough begins to form small curds that stick together when pinched. Dough should be crumbly and not form a cohesive ball.
  • Empty dough onto work surface, forming a rectangle with the dough. Use heel of hand to smear small amounts of dough against the counter. Work through full dough amount, little by little. Gather dough and repeat until a cohesive ball can be formed.
  • Flatten ball into a 4 inch square and cover in plastic wrap. Place in fridge to chill until cold but still malleable, about 30-60 mins.
  • About 15 mins before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400F.
  • Place dough on floured 16 x 12 inch piece of parchment paper and dust with more flour. Roll dough until it just overhangs all four sides of the baking pan and is about 1/8 inch thick, dusting top and bottom of dough and rollingpin with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
  • Trim dough so edges are in line with the edges of the rimmed baking sheet. Place dough on the baking sheet.
  • To form pastry border, roll up 1 inch of each edge and pinch firmly to create a 1/2 inch thick border.
  • Peel, core and halve apples. Cut apples lengthwise into 1/8 inch thick slices.
  • Starting in one corner, shingle sliced apples to form even rows across the bottom of the dough, overlapping each slice by about one-half. Continue to layer apples in rows.
  • Dot apples with butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake ntil bottom of tart is deep golden brown and apples have caramelised, 45-60 mins.
  • Glaze tart. While galette is baking, combine in a small saucepan over medium heat, apricot preserves and water, until mixture begins to bubble.
  • Pass through fine mesh strainer to remove any large apricot pieces.
  • Brush baked galette immediately once it is out of the oven with glaze and cool on wire rack for 15 mins.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into individual portions.


Covered Breton Apple Tart

Ingredients:

For the Breton Dough:

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dark Rum
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 2 3/4 Cup Plain Flour
  • For Egg Wash : 1 Egg beaten with a pinch of salt
For the Apple Filling:
  • 2 Pounds Golden Delicious Apples (6-7 Medium Apples)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Dark Rum
Instructions:
  • To make the dough, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and pale.
  • Beat in the rum, vanilla, then egg yolks, one at a time. Beat until the mixture is very smooth and light.
  • Beat in the flour until it is absorbed. Do not overmix. Cover and set aside.
  • To make the filling, peel, core and slice the apples into a large saucepan. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and rum. Mix and turn the heat to medium, cover, and cook the mixture until the apples exude their juices.
  • Uncover, turn the heat to low, stir and continue cooking, allowing the juices to evaporate. Remove from heat and saucepan. Cool the filling.
  • Final Assembly. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 10 inch cake pan (or long rectangular pan with removable base) by greasing and lining it with baking paper.
  • Divide the dough in half. Roll one half so that it is spread evenly into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
  • Spread the cooled filling on the dough base. Dust the other piece of dough with flour and shape it to fit on top of the apple filling.
  • Press the edges into place, making sure the sides are straight and even.
  • Brush the top with egg wash and poke a decorative pattern on top with the tines of a fork to allow air to escape.
  • Bake for 40-45 mins, cool on a rack in the pan for 20 mins, then unmold and cool completely. Slice the tart and serve.


Ravioli Apple Pie

Ingredients:

    Ingredients (Pasta Dough):
    • 500g all-purpose flour
    • 5-6 Large Eggs
    • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive Oil
    • A Pinch Salt

    Ingredients (Apple Filling):
    • 4 Green Granny Smith Apples
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar
    • 2 tbsp Butter
    • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp Dark Rum

    Ingredients (Crumb):
    • 40g Butter, chilled and coarsely chopped
    • 60g Plain Flour
    • 50g Caster Sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    • Pinch of Sea Salt

    Ingredients (Butterscotch Caramel Sauce):
    • 100g Butter
    • 2 Cup Brown Sugar
    • 2 Cup (500ml) Cream
    • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

    Ingredients (For Assembly):
    • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
    • Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving
Instructions:
    Instructions (Dough):
    • Start with making the pasta dough as it needs to rest for an hour.
    • Place flour on a board, and create a well in the middle. Crack and add 5 of the eggs into the well, add a pinch of salt and the oil to the mix.
    • Slowly using your fingers to incorporate the eggs into the flour, until it comes together to form a ball.
    • Tip : If dough is a little dry add the remaining egg. The oil makes the pasta dough smoother and easier to roll out.
    • Knead the dough for 3-5 mins, or until dough springs back when pressed with your thumbs. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest it for an hour.

    Instructions (Filling):
    • To make the filling, peel, core and slice the apples into a large saucepan. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and rum. Mix and turn the heat to medium, cover, and cook the mixture until the apples exude their juices.
    • Uncover, turn the heat to low, stir and continue cooking, allowing the juices to evaporate. Remove from heat and saucepan. Set aside and cool the filling to room temperature.

    Instructions (Crumb):
    • Place all cinnamon crumb ingredients in a bowl and rub butter into dry ingredients with your fingertips until a coarse crumb is formed.
    • Spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake on the oven's lowest shelf. Stir occasionally.
    • Remove when golden (about 10-12 mins). Don't let it get too dark.
    • Cool, coarsely crumble and set aside until required.

    Instructions (Sauce):
    • Prepare the sauce by heating up all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat until reduced to a thick sauce, for about 5-10 mins.
    • Keep the sauce on low so that it stays warm for serving.

    Instructions (Assembly):
    • Fill a large soup pot halfway with lightly salted water. Set to medium-high to bring water to a boil.
    • Meanwhile, to make the ravioli, take 1/4 a recipe of the pasta dough and pass it through a pasta rolling machine. Start at the lowest setting and slowly work towards #6 or until you have a sheet that is 3" wide and only about 2mm thick.
    • Lay the sheet down on a floured table and place a teaspoon of the apple filling in two rows along the front, approx. 2" apart.
    • Use a pastry brush to brush some of the lightly beaten egg onto the dough to make it stick together, ensure that areas between the spoonfuls of mixture are lightly moistened with the egg wash.
    • Fold the second half of the sheet pasta over the mixture and gently press down, squeezing as much air from each ravioli pocket as you can.
    • Cut the ravioli into square pieces (Use a pizza cutter if you have one to make the edges look nice).
    • Place individual raviolis on a plate. Cover fresh pasta with a towel to keep from drying out.
    • Continue to make the rest of the dough and filling.
    • Once the ravioli is finished and the water is boiling, cook the ravioli pieces in batches for 3-5 mins, or until tender. Set 4-5 individual raviolis in each serving plate
    • Moving quickly to prevent raviolis from getting cold, top the raviolis with ice cream, then cinnamon crumb and finally butterscotch sauce. Serve immediately.

Yorkshire Cheese & Raisin Tart (with Marsala Wine)

Best eaten the day it's made.
Prep & Cook Time : Need to start the day before serving. 2 - 2.5 hours for the pastry + 25 mins (Plus cooling).

Ingredients:

The Filling :

  • 1.25L (5 Cups) Milk
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 50g Currents
  • 50g Seedless Raisins
  • 60ml Apera or Marsala Fortified Wine
  • 100g Softened Butter
  • 70g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Fine Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Sweet Pastry :
  • 250g (1 2/3 Cup) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 60g Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 120g Cold Butter, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Egg Yolks
Instructions:
  • Bring milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat, add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and stir slowly until curds start to form (1-2 mins).
  • Remove from the heat, set aside to cool, carefully spoon curds into a muslin-lined sieve placed over a large bowl, to allow whey to drain, and refrigerate overnight (discard drained whey).
  • For the sweet pastry, blend flour, icing sugar and 1 tsp fine sea salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until fine crumbs form, then add yolks and pulse to combine.
  • Turn the pastry dough onto a work surface, bring the pastry dough together with the heel of your hand, form into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Roll out chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to a 24cm diameter pie tin. Trim edges and refrigerate for 40 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake pastry (aka with a baking paper top covered with pie weights) until edges are golden (10-12 mins). Remove paper and weights, and bake until base is golden (6-8 mins). Set aside to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, combine currents, raisins and apera in a small bowl and set aside until fruit is plump (30 mins).
  • Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Fold in curd, currant mixture, breadcrumbs and nutmeg.
  • Spoon mixture into pastry case and smoothen top.
  • Bake until golden (20-25 mins), cool to room temperature and serve.


Rhubarb, Apple & Raspberry Pie

Ingredients:

For the Filling :

  • 50g Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 3 Small Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 3cm pieces
  • 700g Rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 3 cm pieces
  • 200g Frozen Raspberries
  • 1 Cup (220g) Raw Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Rind
  • 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (or essence)
For the Ginger & Vanilla Pastry :
  • 3 1/3 Cup (500g) Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 4 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 360g Cold Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Water, chilled
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (or Essence)
Instructions:
  • To make the pastry, place flour, baking powder, ginger, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add water and vanilla, and pulse further until the mixture comes together to form a smooth dough.
  • Split the dough in two portions, roll each between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 4mm thick and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Roll out 1 of the two chilled dough balls on a lightly floured surface to a 24cm diameter pie tin (preferably with removeable base). Trim edges and refrigerate for 40 mins.
  • Blind bake pastry (aka with a baking paper top covered with pie weights) until edges are golden (10-12 mins). Remove paper and weights, and bake until base is golden (6-8 mins). Set aside to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 mins or until softened slightly.
  • Add the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, lemon rind and juice, vanilla and cook, stirring occasionally for 15-17 mins or until the fruit is tender and the liquid has thickened.
  • Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
  • Spoon the mixture into a the cooled pie dish. Warp the bottom of the pie dish with aluminium foil to catch any leaks.
  • To prepare the top layer of pastry, roll pastry dough flat then using various-sized fluted round cookie cutters, cut about 22 rounds from the pastry, re-rolling as necessary.
  • Layer the rounds over the top of the rhubarb and sprinkle with the extra raw sugar.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve warm.


Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry

Makes 1 pie shell only (double recipe if you want top and bottom shells).

Ingredients:

  • 250g (1 2/3 cups) Plain Flour
  • 40g (1/4 cup) Pure Icing Sugar
  • 140g Chilled Butter, coarsely chopped
  • 120g Sour Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg for eggwash
  • Demara sugar for decoration
Instructions:
  • Process flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until you only have a coarse crumb.
  • Turn onto a work surface, bring together with the heel of your hand, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2hrs.
  • When ready, roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick.
  • Brush with eggwash and sprinkle lightly with demara sugar.
  • If using as a cover, bake for 35-40 mins at 180C.


Hazelnut Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 4 tbsp of molasses
  • (optional : 1/4 cup sunflower seeds)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven 375 F.
  • Mix together dry ingredients (sugar, white and whole wheat flour, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, nuts, raisins and sunflower seeds). Blend well.
  • In a separate - bigger - bowl, mix together wet ingredients (eggs, milk, oil, molasses and carrots). Blend well until smooth.
  • Mix dry mixture into wet mixture and blend well.
  • Pour mixture into greased muffin tray or deep bread loaf tray.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 375 F until golden brown on top and knife comes out dry.


Kick-start Bran Muffins

Makes 1 dozen muffins.
Prepare batter the night before (if possible)
Ingredients:
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Strong Coffee
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/4 Cups White Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 tbsp Oat Bran
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
Instructions:
  • Mix the egg and sugar until well blended and pale yellow.
  • Then blend in oil, coffee, buttermilk and salt.
  • Separately, sift together flour and baking soda. Stir in the bran.
  • Add to the liquid mixture, the bran cereal and mix well.
  • Pour dry mixture into liquid mixture. Stir only until just blended.
  • Fold in the raisins.
  • Refrigerate batter overnight.
  • Pour into greased muffin tray. Bake at 400F for 20 mins.


Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Healthy & Delicious
Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Grated Orange Zest
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt. Blend well.
  • in a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, carrots, buttermilk, honey, egg, vanilla, butter and orange zest.
  • Gradually stir dry mixture into wet mixture into a thick batter.
  • Add chopped walnuts and raisins. Mix well.
  • Fill muffin cups with batter allowing room to rise.
  • Bake for 20 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in centre of muffin comes out clean.
  • Let cool, then remove muffins.

Orange & Poppyseed Friands

Makes 10 Large or 24 Mini Friands

Ingredients:

  • Oil, to grease
  • 180g Butter, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1.5 Cups Icing Sugar Mixture
  • 2 Oranges
  • 150g Almond Meal
  • 3 tbsp Poppyseeds
  • 5 Egg Whites
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Lightly oil friand pans.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, then simmer for 5 mins until golden brown (take care not to burn). Cool slightly.
  • Finely grate the rind from 2 of the oranges.
  • Combine the flour, icing sugar, the rind, almond meal and poppy seeds.
  • Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients, with the butter. Stir until just combined.
  • Spoon into the pans and bake until golden brown. Let cool for 10 mins before removing friands from the tray.


Cinnamon & Raisin Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

Makes about 18 buns.
Prep = 4 hours. Cooking = 20 mins.

Ingredients (Dough):

  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3.5 cups Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 7g or 1 Packet of Instant Yeast
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Vegetable Oil Spray
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Raisins, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
Ingredients (Glaze):
  • 125g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 30g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions:
  • Combine milk and butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120C, about 20-30 seconds.
  • Pour into a large bowl and add in the sugar, yeast, salt, egg and 1 cup of the flour. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add additional 2.5 cups of flour in batches. Mix until flour is absorbed and dough can begin to form a ball.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding a little mre flour if sticky, for about 8 minutes. Form into a ball.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, make filling by mixing brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and pinch of salt in a small bowl.
  • Press down dough and transfer it to a spacious lightly floured surface. Roll out 15x11 inch rectangle.
  • Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2 inch border.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter.
  • Starting at the long side, roll dough into a log, pinching gently at the end to keep it rolled up.
  • With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven.
  • Cut remaining dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 inches wide).
  • Grease two 8" or 9" square baking dishes (or 1 long rectangle pan). Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (tuck rolls against each other).
  • Cover baking pans with plastic wrap,then kitchen towel, and let dough rise in a warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, for 40-45 mins (take longer if needed).
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Position rack in the bottom of an oven with top and bottom heating (center if top only). Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 mins.
  • Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combining cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Use electric mixer to beat until smooth. Then put into pipping bag and pipe onto hot cinnamon rolls as soon as they are out.
  • Serve hot ! (Best served on the same day made but still good when heated up in the microwave the next day!)


Coconut and Pistachio Friands (with coffee syrup)

Makes 10.

Ingredients (Friands):

  • 150g (1 Cup) Pistachio Nuts
  • 60g (1/2 Cup) Flour
  • 155g (1 1/4 Cup) Pure Icing Sugar
  • 30g (1/3 Cup) Grated Coconut (Use moist flakes if possible)
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 185g (3/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Ingredients (Syrup):
  • 55g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Espresso Granules diluted in a 1/4 Cup of Boiled Water
Instructions (Syrup):
  • Place the sugar, diluted coffee in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Simmer for 1-2 mins, or until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Instructions (Friands):
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Grease ten 125ml (1/2 Cup) capacity friand tins.
  • Roughly chop one-third of the pistachios and set aside.
  • Place the remaining pistachios in the bowl of a food processor and process to fine crumbs. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Stir the ground pistachios and grated coconut into the flour mixture. Blend well.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until frothy, then stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour in the melted butter and mix well.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared tins and sprinkle the reserved chopped pistachio on top.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a friand comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool in the friand moulds for 5-10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  • Place a baking tray under the wire rack and spoon the warm coffee syrup over the top ofthe friands. Allow to cool before serving.

Molten Mocha Lava Cakes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 150g Quality Dark Chocolate, Finely chopped
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 3 tsp Instant Espresso Coffee
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Extra Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • Fresh Strawberries, to serve with cakes (optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Grease individual tart pans (or if not avaiable, a muffin pan will do, just trickier to invert individually).
  • In a medium-sized saucepan (placed in another larger saucepan with boiling water), place chocolate, butter and coffee.
  • Stir until the mixture has melted and is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for 10mins.
  • In a separate bowl, use electric beaters to beat the eggs, extra yolks and icing sugar together until thick and pale.
  • Gently fold in the flour and cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Spoon mixture into the greased tart pans / muffin holes. Bake for aprox 10 mins until the cakes look firm on the outside but are molten on the inside when pierced with a toothpick. Watch closely to not overcook.
  • Set aside for 2-3 mins then invert onto plates and serve immediately. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with strawberries.
  • Alternative flavours: Place something tasty in the middle such as a tsp of raspberry coulis or drizzle of peanut butter. Simply fill the tart pans to 1/2, add the flavouring, then continue to fill the pans with the base mixture.


Self-saucing coffee and chocolate Puddings

Makes 6

Ingredients (Pudding):

  • 125g (1 Cup) Self-raising Flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 115g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 125ml (1/2 Cup) Milk
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 50g Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • Vanilla Ice Ceam, to serve (optional)
Ingredients (Sauce):
  • 140g (3/4 Cup) Soft Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Tia Maria
  • 1 Cup Freshly Made Hot Epresso Coffee, or 2-3 tsp Coffee Espresso Granules diluted in 1/2 Cup of Hot Water
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Grease six 200ml (or 8 150ml) capacity oven proof dishes / ramekins and place them all on a baking tray.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa and sugar into a bowl. Blend well.
  • Place the butter, milk and egg in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dry mixture onto the wet one and stir until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate until just combined and spoon the mixture into prepared dishes.
  • To make the sauce, combine the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over each pudding.
  • Stir the Tia Maria into the coffee and carefully pour about 2 tbsp over each pudding.
  • Bake for 20 mins, until the puddings are puffed in the centre and firm to the touch.
  • Serve immediately with the ice cream.

Chinese Five Spice Flourless Chocolate Mini Cakes

Optional: Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce
Makes 2.5 dozen mini cakes
Prep = 20 mins. Cooking = 30 mins.

Ingredients (Cakes):

  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Hot Water
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 100g (1 cup) Hazelnut Meal
  • 140g (2/3 cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Frangelico Liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 Eggs, separated
Ingredients (Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce):
  • 100g (1/3 Cup) Nutella Hazelnute Spread
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) Thickened Cream
  • 100g Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
Instructions (Cakes):
  • Preheat oven to 180C (not fan forced).
  • Grease 2 trays of mini cupcakes (with cupcake papercup, if available).
  • Combine chocolate, butter, water and cocoa in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, while stirring, for 5 mins or until mixture is melted and well-blended.
  • Remove from heat and add sugar, hazelnut meal, five spice, liqueur.
  • Then mix in egg yolks quickly so that they are blended well as soon as possible given the chocolate mixture is still a little hot.
  • In a separate large bowl, use an electric egg beater to whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
  • Fold in a quarter of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Loosen the mixture by folding the egg whites through it.
  • Then add in the second quarter of the egg whites. Fold through the mixture. And then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined, so that it retains as much of the airiness as possible.
  • Fill each mini cake cup with the mixture until each cup is 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15-18 mins or until a skewer or toothpick comes out dry. (If making in larger 85ml cups (fits about 6), bake for 25-30 mins instead.)
  • Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly and then turnover on a wire rack to cool fully.
Instructions (Sauce):
  • While the cakes are cooling, prepare the sauce by combining the Nutella, thickened cream and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat (or in a bain marie if possible).
  • Heat mixture, stirring for 5 mins, until mixture is smooth.
  • Drizzle caketops with a bit of the sauce.


Hummingbird Cake

Two layer cake, topped with cream cheese frosting.
Serves 14-16 people.

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 1 cup (100g) Pecans
  • 3 cups (390g) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 2/3 cups White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 250g Can of Crushed Pineapple (do not drain)
  • 2 cups (400g) Mashed Ripe Bananas (about 4 bananas)
Ingredients (Frosting):
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Butter, room temperature
  • 250g Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 450g Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup (50g) Pecans, finely chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Grease two round cake pans (23cm diameter x 5 cm height) with canola spray (preferable) or butter, and line the bottom of the pans with baking paper.
  • Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 mins until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool. Set aside a dozen pecans for decoration. Then chop the remainder finely.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sifted flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. Then stir in the cooled chopped pecans.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil vanilla, pineapple and mashed bananas.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, in batches while stirring with a spatula.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 25-30 mins until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes before inverting on a wire rack. Remove the baking paper and flip again right side up to cool completely on the rack.
  • To make the frosting, use an electric mixer or a hand mixer to cream the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  • Then add the sifted icing sugar and mix until light, fluffy and fully incorporated. With a spatula, mix in the vanilla and finely chopped pecans.
  • To assemble, place one cooled cake on your serving platter and spread a third of the frosting across the top and the sides of the cake.
  • Then place the second cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting over the top of this cake. Decorate with the dozen roasted pecans, as desired (I like to place three in the middle and the remainder around the top perimeter of the cake).
  • If not serving immediately, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Russian Honey Cake

Will take a long time to make (4-5 hours) but amazing tasting.
Skill Level : Advanced
Time to make : 4-5 hours but well worth it!
Prepare 1 day beforehand to give time for the layers to absorb the icing.

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 70g Butter
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • 3 1/3 Cups Flour, sifted
  • 2/3 Cup Apricot Jelly (without fruit chunks)
Ingredients (Filling & Icing):
  • 200g Butter, room temperature
  • 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 250g Pure Cream, whipped
  • 375g Condensed Milk (option : Can be cooked condensed milk for a more caramel taste)
Instructions:
  • Start with caramelising the cake batter. Fill a medium-sized saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water. Place it over high heat with a large glass bowl (larger than the saucepan) overtop.
  • In the large glass bowl, mix honey, butter and sugar. Wait until the heat from the steaming water underneath melts the butter and sugar.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and baking soda until smooth.
  • Slow, and while whisking quickly, so that the eggs don't solidify, add the egg mixture to the sugar mixture.
  • Cook for 40 minutes while continuing to whisk intermittently, until the mixture's colour changes to a slightly darker caramel colour.
  • Remove from the steam bath and mix in vanilla. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Gradually add the sifted flour to the dough. It should not be too sticky afterwards, but just a little bit.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and set aside a few baking trays (they don't need to be lined with baking paper).
  • Cut the dough in portions equivalent to a billiard ball. Usually you'd get about 10-13 dough balls.
  • Take 1 dough ball and place it on top and centre of a baking paper sheet. Place another baking paper sheet ontop. Flatten the dough ball to a disk then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle as thin as possible (1mm). This is hard work but worth it in the end! Place a medium sized plate (about 19cm diameter) on top of the baking paper sheet to check that the dough has been rolled to at least the perimeter of the small plate.
  • Carefully separate one of the baking sheets from the dough (It will stick to the other sheet which is fine).
  • Take the remaining baking sheet with the dough stuck on it and place it on a baking tray. Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and just cooked.
  • Upon near immediate removal of the cake layer, place the medium plate over the just cooked cake layer (If you wait too long, it will become crispy and the cutting will become more uneven as a result). Using a knife, cut the cake layer to form a perfect layer round. Keep the cake bits that are cut off - you'll use those later.
  • Let the cake layer cool down a little in that spot before moving it as you want it to dry flat.
  • Then proceed to the next dough ball. Avoid placing the layers on top of each other until they are fully cooled.
  • Then make the creamy filling. Combined butter and cream cheese until very smooth and without any lumps. Add in condensed milk. Blend well.
  • Whip cream and fold into the filling.
  • Assemble the cake by covering the first layer round with the filling.
  • Then place another cake round on top. Press lightly to remove any air between the layers and try to make it as flat as possible. Repeat with remaining filling and layers. Save a little bit of filling to coat the sides of the cake and later on around the perimeter of the top of the cake.
  • In a food processor, blend the cut cake layer bits into a coarse crumb. Take handfuls of cake crumbs and coat the sides of the cake.
  • In a small bowl, warm the apricot jam just until it is liquid but not too hot. Sieve jam to remove any chunks of fruit. Use a pastry brush to carefully brush the liquid jam onto the top of the cake (over the icing).
  • Sprinkle the perimeter of the top of the cake with remaining cake crumb (optional).
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8-12 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge at least 20 mins before serving.


Rum Savarin Cake

Serves 6-8
Prep = 30 mins + resting time of 1.5 hours. Cooking = 25 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 7-10g Sachet of Dry Yeast
  • 50ml Warm Milk
  • 20g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 3 Large Eggs (55-60g each)
  • 90g Unsalted Butter, slightly softened
  • 330g (1.5 cups) Caster Sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) Water
  • 1 Lemon, rind grated
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Rum
  • Optional for Serving : 1.5 cups Whipped Cream + 400g Raspberries
Instructions:
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sifted flour, yeast and eggs for about 2 mins until the mixture is elastic.
  • Cover with a cloth and allow the mixture rise for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 200C. And grease a crown cake or ringed cake mould.
  • Add the softened butter and 1 tbsp of the sugar to the risen dough and mix thoroughly.
  • Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe into the prepared tin, tapping the tin lightly to eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Leave to rise, uncovered, for 30 mins in a warm place.
  • Bake for 25 mins.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by bringing the water, remaining sugar and lemon rind to a boil and cook for 5 mins.
  • When the cake is cooked, remove the cake from the oven and wait about 3 mins before turning it out onto a dish with a rim to capture any extra syrup.
  • Stir the rum into the sugar syrup and pour it slowly over the cake. Allow the cake to absorb all the syrup. Use a baster if needed to help the cake absorb the syrup from the top of the cake.
  • Serve the cake garnished with whipped cream and raspberries or lemon rind.
  • Alternative Flavours : You can change the flavour by swapping out the rum for another type of liqueur or flavour such as rosemary & lemon.


Sticky Date Pudding and Butterscotch Sauce

Makes 8.

Ingredients: Pudding

  • 180g Dates, pitted and chopped roughly
  • 1 1/4 Cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 3/4 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 60g Butter, softened and chopped
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Self-Raising Flour (sifted)
Butterscotch Sauce
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup (250ml) Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Lightly grease eight (1/2 Cup capacity) moulds.
  • Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat.
  • Immediately add bicarbonate of soda to date mixture, stir until dates start to break down, set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
  • Separately, beat butter and sugar in a bowl, gradually adding eggs, one at a time. Beat mixture until light and fluffy.
  • Add date mixture and stir to combine. Carefully fold through sifted flour, divide mixture evenly between the eight moulds, until 2/3rds full.
  • Place moulds in a deep baking tray. Carefully pour water in tray until it comes up 1/3 of the side of the moulds. Bake in oven for 40 mins or until golden and skewer comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the butterscotch sauce by heating up all ingredients until reduced to a thick sauce.


Caramel Prune Cake

(It has prunes but you can't tell, nor does it have any pruny effects! It's been a massive hit too!)
Time : 25 mins to prep, 40 mins to cook
Difficulty Level : Easy
Servings : 20-30 pieces

Ingredients: Cake

  • 1 Cup Prunes
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1.5 Cup Flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk (can easily be made from Milk + Lemon if you don't have buttermilk)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Caramel Topping
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tbsp White Corn Syrup
  • 1/8 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
  • In a saucepan, cover prunes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes. Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar and eggs.
  • In a separate smaller bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  • Then add buttermilk and vanilla and stir gently until just combined.
  • Throw in the mashed prunes and stir gently to combine. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour batter into greased and lined 1 inch deep baking dish.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 mins. Careful not to overbake otherwise the cake won't absorb the icing as well.
  • While cake has 5 mins remaining, make the icing. Start by combining, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, all the icing ingredients mixing thoroughly.
  • Without mixing further, slowly bring icing mixture to a boil and boil for 5-7 mins, or until icing just starts to turn dark.
  • Remove cake from the oven and pour hot icing immediately on the cake, using a spatula to spread it across the entire cake.
  • Allow the cake to rest on the counter for at least 30 mins. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Coffee Syrup Hazelnut Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Very Strong Hot Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • Zest of 1 Lemon, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup (259 mg) of Hazelnuts, chopped in very small pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • Garnish: Icing Sugar and Chopped Hazelnuts
Instructions:
  • For the coffee syrup, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil (watch the pot carefully, it has a tendency to overflow). Reduce heat to a medium simmer until 1 cup. Stir in the hot coffee and remove from heat.
  • For the cake, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. Stir in the lemon zest. Fold in the ground hazelnuts and flour, alternating with milk.
  • Spoon the batter into 9 inch (23 cm) cake pan and bake at 325F for about 45 mins or until golden.
  • Using a wooden skewer, poke holes in top of cake and immediately pour the cooled syrup over the cake. Let cool completely in pan before turning out onto a serving plate.
  • To serve, dust with icing sugar and chopped hazelnuts. Serve warm.


Persian Love Cake w Nutmeg (Amazingly unique flavour)

Cooking Prep Time : 15 mins
Baking Time : 35 mins
Ingredients:
  • 3 Cups Almond Meal
  • 1 Cup Raw Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 120g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g Greek-style Yogurt, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Cup Pistachio, coarsely chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Combine sugars and butter, almond meal, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly until coarse crumbs with no clumps form.
  • Spoon half the mixture into a lightly buttered and baking paper-lined 26cm diameter springform cheesecake pan, gently pressing to cover base evenly.
  • To the remaining crumb mixture, add egg, yogurt and nutmeg until smooth.
  • Pour over prepared base, smooth top, scatter pistachios around edge and bake until golden (30-35 mins).
  • Cool completely (Ok to serve cold too). Serve with extra yogurt (optional).


Opera Cake

Extravagant, indulgent and rich - Well worth the effort
Total Prep & Baking Time : 3.5 hours
Opera cake can be made 2 days ahead.

Ingredients (Almond Sponge Cake) :

  • 3 tbsp Plain Flour, sifted
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 2 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted and cooled
Ingredients (Coffee Syrup) :
  • 1 tsp Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 tbsp Water
  • 1/2 Cup Caster or Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brandy
Ingredients (Coffee Buttercream) :
  • 2 tsp Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 tbsp Water
  • 6 tbsp Caster or Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 125g Butter, cut into cubes and softened to room temperature
Ingredients (Chocolate Glaze) :
  • 90g Butter
  • 315g Dark Chocolate
Instructions (Sponge Cake) :
  • Preheat oven to 210C.
  • Grease 1cm deep baking tray. Then line with baking paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang on short sides. Spray or butter baking paper. Dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  • Beat whole eggs in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until eggs have tripled in volume and form a ribbon when beaters are lifted, 2-3 mins.
  • Reduce speed to low, then add almond meal and sifted icing sugar and mix until just combined.
  • Gently fold in sifted cake flour.
  • Beat egg whites with cleaned beaters at medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add sugar, then increase speed to high and beat whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold one third of whites into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaning whites gently but thoroughly.
  • Fold in butter.
  • Then pour batter evenly into baking pan, spread to ensure it is evenly distributed, and that no corner is higher/fuller than the others, while being careful not to deflate mixture (batter should be nearly 1cm thick).
  • Bake until very pale golden, 8-10 mins. Then cool in pan for 5 mins then overturn on a rack, removing lining and leave to cool for 10 mins.
  • Trim outside edges, then trim 2 squares and 2+ strips to make 3 squares.
Instructions (Coffee Syrup) :
  • Stir together espresso powder and 1 tbsp of water until powder is fully dissolved.
  • In a small heavy saucepan, bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  • Reduce heat and simmer syrup, without stirring, 5 mins.
  • Remove from heat and stir in brandy and the coffee mixture. Set aside to cool.
Instructions (Coffee Buttercream) :
  • Stir together espresso powder and 1 tbsp water until powder has dissolved.
  • In a small heavy saucepan, bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  • Then continue boiling, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals on the insides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
  • Boil until syrup registers 112C (soft ball stage) with a digital or candy thermometer.
  • Meanwhile, beat yolks in a large metal bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed for 1 min.
  • Once the syrup is ready, at the hot syrup to the yolks gradually, avoiding the beaters and the sides of the bowl, beating, then add coffee mixture.
  • Continue beating until completely cooled, 3-5 mins.
  • Then beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, until thickened and smooth. Set aside.
Instructions (Chocolate Glaze) :
  • Melt butter and all but 2 tbsp chopped chocolate in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Remove the top of the double boiler (so it is not longer heating) then add the remaining 2 tbsp chocolate to the mixture and stir until smooth.
  • Set aside to cool on the countertop and don't allow to harden.
Instructions (Assembly) :
  • Put 1 cake square on a plate, then brush generously with one third of the coffee syrup (need to soak the sponge cake with the syrup).
  • Spread half the buttercream evenly over the top all the way to the edges.
  • Arrange the cake strips to form a square on top of the buttercream. Then brush with half of the remaining coffee syrup (again, to soak the 2nd layer of the sponge cake). Then spread half the chocolate glaze on top of the second layer, spreading it to the edges.
  • Top with the remaining cake square and brush with remaining coffee syrup. Spread remaining buttercream as evenly as possible over top, to the edges. Chill cake for 30 mins until buttercream is firm.
  • Reheat remaining glaze slightly until just shiny and spreadably but not warm (if becomes warm, let cool to room temperature as you don't want to melt the buttercream).
  • Pour all but 1 tbsp of glaze over the top layer of cake and spread evenly just to the edges.
  • Place remaining tbsp of glaze in a small piping bag, snip a tiny hole in the corner and decorate cake with diagonal lines.
  • Chill cake until glaze is set, about 30 mins, then trim edges slightly with a sharp knife.
  • Bring cake to room temperature 30 mins to 1 hour before serving.

New York Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis (Delicious and fresh)

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (or any other sweet biscuit such as Digestive Cookies)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1.5 pounds (680g) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 tsp Vanilla
  • Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cups Sour Cream
  • 200g Raspberries (Frozen or Fresh)
  • 3 tbsp Caster Sugar
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Prepare the base: Mix thoroughly the Graham Crackers with 1/4 cup of sugar, the cinammon and the melted butter.
  • Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by cutting out a circle out of parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan. Place the paper inside the bottom of the pan.
  • Press mixture over the paper into bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  • Prepare the filling : Beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar until it is smooth.
  • Then add in eggs, 2 tsp vanilla and lemon zest and beat until smooth again.
  • Pour mixture into chilled crust. Bake for 50-60 mins until the cheese is set and starting to turn golden in spots.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, blend the sour cream, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. After the cake has been sitting outside of the oven for 15 mins, pour the sour cream mixture over the cooled cake.
  • Return to the oven for 12 mins until glossy and set.
  • Cool completely, cover and chill at least 8 hours.
  • Prepare raspberry couli separately at least 15 mins before serving. Blend raspberries and 3 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan (mash the raspberries as much as possible). Let it simmer for 10mins at low heat while mashing and mixing. Set aside to cool and pour over individual slices of cake when serving.
  • Variation to Test : Pour half of the sour cream mixture in the cake filling prior to the baking, then the remaining half as per above on the cake after the 1st hour of baking. I believe that the filling would be tastier this way.


Ricotta & Marsala Cheesecake (Has that delicious "special occasion" taste from the marsala wine)

Ingredients:

  • 100g Raisins
  • 1/3 Cup (80ml) Marsala (Sicilian Fortified Wine)
  • 150g Amaretti Biscuits
  • 150g Digestive Biscuits
  • 150g Unsalted Butter, melted, cooled
  • 500g Ricotta
  • 1 Cup (250g) Mascarpone
  • 150ml Thickened Cream
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup (275g) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Plain Flour
  • Finely Grated Zest
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Icing Sugar, to dust
Instructions:
  • Grease and line a 22cm springform cake pan with baking paper.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Place the raisins and marsala in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Place the biscuits and butter in a food processor and blend until fine crumbs.
  • Press into the base of the cake pan and chill for 15 mins.
  • Bake for 10 mins until just set and golden. Allow to cool.
  • Place the ricotta, mascarpone, cream, egg, sugar, flour plus lemon zest and juice. Blend until smooth.
  • Strain raisins, reserving the marsala. Stir the marsala through the cheese mixture.
  • Pour the cheese mixture until the cooled biscuit base.
  • Place the cake in the oven and after 5 or so mins in a closed oven, sprinkle the raisins over the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until the top is golden and the cake has a gentle wobble. Cool to room temperature in the pan, then refrigerate and chill completely.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar.


Lemon Marscarpone Cheesecake (Very tasty!)

Best made a day before serving.
Prep Time : 30 mins
Baking Time : 1 1/2 hrs

Cookie Base Ingredients:

  • 225g Digestive Biscuits
  • 100g Butter, Melted
  • 1/4 Tsp of Cinnamon
Filling Ingredients:
  • 250g Tub Marscarpone Cheese (room temperature)
  • 600g Philadelphia Cream Cheese (2 Packages)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Zest from 3 Lemons
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 4 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 175g Caster Sugar
Icing Ingredients:
  • 140ml Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp Lemon Curd or Lemon Butter
  • Handful Strawberries
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C w Fan (or 160C without the fan).
  • Pull out a sheet of baking powder, set the Cheesecake pan mold ontop, draw a tight circle with a pencil around the perimeter and cut out the circle to place in the inside of the cheesecake pan.
  • Mix biscuits and melted butter thoroughly.
  • Lightly press mixture, on top of the baking sheet, to fill the bottom of the pan evenly.
  • Set aside in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the filling. Start out with smoothening the cream cheese with sugar, and add the rest.
  • Mix thoroughly until batter is smooth (there should be no lumps)
  • Pour in the pan and then bake for 30-45 mins until the edges are slightly set and the full cake wobbles.
  • Turn off heat altogether and leave cake in the oven (door closed) for another 30 mins.
  • Take the cake out and set aside for another 10-20 mins until the cake has cooled. Once the cake has cooled, top with sour cream and swirl lemon curd or lemon butter across the sour cream to give it a nice swirl effect on top.
  • Decorate the top with strawberry halves and quarters.


Chocolate Cappucino Cheesecake (Family Recipe - My favourite cheesecake recipe!)

Best made a day before serving.
Prep Time : 30 mins
Cook Time : 2 hrs

Cookie Base Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Biscuit Base (Preferably Graham Cookie Crumbs)
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 2 Tbsp of White Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp of Cinnamon
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 Packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8 ounces each), softened
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 8 x 1 ounce squares Semisweet Chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2-3 tsp Instant Coffee dissolved in 1/4 or less Cup of hot water
  • 1/4 Cup of Coffee Flavoured Liqueur
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract (Optional)
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Coffee Flavoured Liqueur
  • 1 Ounce or Square of Semisweet Chocolate
  • 1-2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 360 F / 175 C.
  • Butter a 9 or 10" diameter Cheesecake springform pan.
  • Combine the Cookie Base Ingredients and mix thoroughly. Press mixture in the cheesecake pan. Set aside - do not pre-cook.
  • In a large bowl, soften the cream cheese with a mixing spatula until relatively smooth.
  • Add the White Sugar gradually. Blend well.
  • Add each egg while mixing at a low speed, one at a time. Note: Slowly beat eggs in just until smooth - avoid overbeating, which will incorporate too much air that may result in a cracked top. Continue until smooth.
  • Melt the 8 ounces of chocolate in a Bain-Marie (in a pan set over boiling water). Add 2 tbsp of Whipping cream and stir until completely smooth. Set aside to let cool.
  • Once cooled, slowly add chocolate to the cream cheese mixture while stirring.
  • Mix in sour cream, salt, coffee, coffee liqueur, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into cheesecake pan on top of biscuit base.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 45 mins.
  • Turn off the oven heat and leave the cake in the oven for 45mins more.
  • Open oven door 1-2 inches and leave the cake in for another 45mins.
  • Cool the cake out of the oven for 10-15mins and put into the fridge to become chilled, preferably overnight.
  • 1.5 hour before serving, prepare the icing. Blend the sour cream and sugar, then spread on the cake. Set in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool. Blend in liqueur and oil until smooth.
  • Use chocolate to paint top of cheesecake. For a great spider web design, draw circles, 2cms apart, with a medium sized dot in the center. Take a toothpick and draw lines from the center to the edge of the cake, all around the cake, to create a spider web look.


Passionfruit Mascarpone Cheesecake

Delicious and extremely light and fluffy.

Ingredients :

  • 150g Digestive Cookies
  • 40g Butter, Melted
  • 500g Mascarpone
  • 100ml Creme Fraiche
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 165ml Passionfruit Pulp
  • Icing Sugar, for dusting
  • Optional : 150ml Double Cream (to serve whipped with the cake)
  • 20cm Spring form cheesecake tin
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven 200C and grease the springform (line the base with baking paper).
  • Use a food processor to crush the cookies into a fine crumb.
  • Pour into a bowl and mix in melted butter. Blend well.
  • Bake for 7 mins, then set the base aside and let cool completely.
  • Beat together the mascarpone, creme fraiche and sugar until smooth. Sift the cornflour into the mixture and add the beaten eggs a little at a time.
  • Mix in the passionfruit pulp and pour into the tin containing the biscuit base.
  • Bake for 30mins then lower the heat to 180C and cook for a further 15-20mins until golden (it should still have a wobble in the centre).
  • Turn off oven heat, open the oven door only by a few inches and let the cake sit inside for 30 more mins.
  • Then let cool on the wire rack for 20mins before putting in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • To serve, dust with icing sugar and add whipping cream.


Passionfruit Yoghurt Cheesecake

(fresh tasting and delicious!)

Ingredients:

  • 200g Digestive Biscuits, pulsed in the blender to a fine crumb
  • 100g Butter, melted
  • 500g Cream Cheese, at room temperature (not a must but makes it easier to work with)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 + 1/2 + 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 250ml Natural Yoghurt
  • 65ml Passionfruit Pulp (4-5 large passionfruits or 1 small can)
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon, cut finely
  • 1 tsbp Icing sugar
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C and place oven rack on the lowest rung. Grease a 20cm diameter springform cake pan - base and inside edges. Line with a circle-cut sheet of baking paper.
  • In a bowl, blend the crumbed biscuits, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and melted butter until combined.
  • Press the crumbs onto the base and slightly up the sides of the cake pan, so the base is curved up towards the edges a little.
  • Chill base in the fridge for 30mins to 1hr.
  • Process cream cheese in the food processor or with a blender wand until smooth.
  • Mix in 1/2 Cup of caster sugar - blend well.
  • Stir in 200ml of the yoghurt and 2/3rds of the passion fruit pulp until well combined.
  • Pour the yoghurt mixture onto the biscuit base.
  • Place the cake tin on the low oven rack. Bake for 50 mins, or until the sides are set and there is still a slight wobble in the middle when the cake pan is jiggled.
  • Turn the oven off and let it continue to sit in the hot oven for 45min-1hr further. Then open the oven door slightly by about 2-3 inches and let sit for another 30 mins - 45 mins. It is important to let the cheesecake cool slowly to reduce cracks on the surface. Remove from oven and let cool on oventop before putting into the fridge to chill.
  • Meanwhile, prepare topping. Blend 50ml Yoghurt with 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar, lemon zest, remaining passionfruit pulp and sifted icing sugar. Prior to putting the cake in the fridge, once cooled, poor the yoghurt icing on top of the cake. Spread evenly and cover any cracks.
  • Serve chilled, with a sprinkle of additional lemon zest on top is available.



Strawberry Cheesecake with toffee'd strawberries

Time : 30 mins Prep, 40 mins Baking, 3 hours Chilling

Ingredients:'

  • 150g Amaretti cookies
  • 50g Shortbread biscuits
  • 100g Butter, melted
  • 250g Strawberries, hulled, chopped
  • 100g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 375g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 60ml (1/4 Cup) Sour Cream (Lite sour cream in Australia)
  • 100g White Chocolate, melted
Toffee Strawberries
  • 155g Caster Sugar
  • 160ml Water
  • 2 tsp Liquid Glucose
  • Pink Food Colouring
  • 150g Small Strawberries
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 150C.
  • Process the two types of biscuits to a crumb in a food processor.
  • Mix in the melted butter.
  • Line a baking tray (12x35cm) with baking paper cut to fit the base only. Grease the remainder of the baking tray.
  • Spread the crumb mixture on top of the baking paper and press down on the mixture with a spoon or the bottom of a glass. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries and 1 tbsp of the caster sugar.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 mins or until tender.
  • Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push the pulp through. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, process cream cheese and remaining sugar until soft to a malleable cream. Then mix in the sour cream and the egg. Process until smooth.
  • Mix in melted white chocolate and strawberry puree.
  • Pour over chilled biscuit crumb base and bake for 30 mins or until just set (dont let it brown).
  • Turn off oven heat. Cool cake in the oven with the oven door slightly ajar for 1 hour.
  • Place in fridge for 2 hours to chill completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the toffee strawberries by lining a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar and glucose over low heat while stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Then add a candy thermometer and increase heat to high. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 155C hard crack stage. Remove from heat.
  • Add a little pink food colouring. Swirl the pan to combine the food colouring (do not stir).
  • Dip the strawberries, one by one, into the toffee carefully. Transfer the dipped strawberry to the lined tray.
  • To creat spun toffee, dip two forks in the remaining toffee and pull apart.
  • Keep toffee strawberries in the fridge until the cheesecake is ready to serve.
  • Then, just before serving, cover the cheesecake with toffee strawberries and spun toffee.
  • You can also serve the toffee strawberries separately on each serving plate for an extra wow factor.


Dark Chocolate Coconut Mini-Cheesecakes with Pomegranate Syrup

Makes 6.
Full of flavours.

Ingredients (Coconut Base):

  • 3 1/2 Cups (265g) Shredded Moist Coconut
  • 2/3 Cup (150g) Caster Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, Melted
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 150g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 50g Ricotta
  • 50g Light Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup (110g) Caster Sugar
  • 150g Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Ingredients (Syrup):
  • 1 Pomegranate (Press 2/3rds of the seeds to make juice and 1/3rd just as they are. Keep them separated. To remove the seeds, peel the fruit within a large bowl full of water for the fastest and cleanest results)
  • 1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
Instructions (Base and Cheesecake):
  • Preheat oven to 150C.
  • Place the coconut, sugar, egg whites and butter in a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into greased 6 x 3/4 cup capacity (180ml) muffin or cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper (preferably ones with the removable base. Alternatively, line the tins in a criss-cross fashion with strip of baking paper, leaving the paper hanging over the sides. This will help you lift out the cheesecakes after they are baked.).
  • Bake for 15-20 mins or until very lightly golden (as they will go in the oven again with the filling). Set aside to cool.
  • To make the filling, first blend the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Then mix in ricotta, sour cream, sugar, chocolate, eggs and vanilla. Blend until well combined.
  • Pour into the shells and bake for 20-25 mins or until just set.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour.
Instructions (Syrup):
  • Place the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase heat to high and bring to boil for 5 min or until thickened slightly.
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • Spoon the syrup over the cheesecakes and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3rd pomegranate full seeds to serve.

Cardamom Cheesecake Topped with Rosewater Rhubarb

Serves 10.

Ingredients (Base):

  • 150g Digestive Cookies
  • 1/2 Cup (45g) Pistachio Meal (If you can't find this, just put the pistachio through a blender, without the shells of course)
  • 40g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 500g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 200g Ricotta
  • 150g Lite Sour cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup (220g) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2-3 tsp Ground Cardamon
Ingredients (Rhubarb):
  • 300g Rhubarb (1 bunch), trimmed and cut into lengths that fit the width of a bread tin (about 7 cms)
  • 1/3 Cup (75g) Caster Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Rosewater
Instructions:
  • Mix base ingredients together.
  • Press in the base of 2 rectangular bread tins (32cm x 7.5cm x 8cm), lined with baking paper.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 150C.
  • To make filling, cream the cream cheese until soft.
  • Then add ricotta, sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cardamom. Blend, and whisk if necessary, until smooth with no lumps.
  • Pour the mixture over the base and tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Then turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven with the door closed for 30mins. Then open the oven door by 1-2 inches and let it cool for a further 30 mins. Finally, refrigerate it for at least 1-2 hours to serve it chilled.
  • Meanwhile, make the rhubarb. Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, toss all ingredients and stir to coat the rhubarb evenly.
  • Line a deep baking tray (with at least a 1 inch high border) with aluminum foil.
  • Line up coated rhubarb one next to each other one wide row. Pour over rhubarb any remaining liquid from the bowl.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins or until softened. Set aside to cool.
  • Top the chilled cheesecake with the roasted rhubarb and drizzle with any remaining syrup to serve.

Coconut Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

Prep and Cook Time : 1 Hr 40 Mins (Plus 4 hours to chill in the fridge)

Ingredients :

  • 250g Digestive Cookies
  • 125g Butter, melted
  • 2 x 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 270ml Coconut Milk
  • Butter & Sugar for the Caramel (hmm, I'll need to work out the proportions, sorry)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 150C (130 Fan forced).
  • Grease a deep 20cm x 30 cm baking pan. Line base with baking paper.
  • Prepare the cheesecake base : Place biscuits in a food processor and blend until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • In a bowl, mix processed biscuits and butter until combined.
  • Press biscuit mixture into the base of the baking pan and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth.
  • Mix in eggs, one at a time. Do not overbeat.
  • Spoon the thick top layer of the coconut milk from the can (1/2 of the can) and add this to the cream cheese mixture.
  • Reserve remaining milk.
  • Pour cream cheese mixture on top of the chilled biscuit base.
  • Make the caramel by heating up sugar and butter in a small saucepan until dark.
  • Then add in reserved coconut milk in the caramel, a little at a time as it will bubble. Set aside to cool a little.
  • Once cool, place spoonfuls of caramel ontop of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Then, using a butter knife, swirl mixture through the cream cheese mixture being careful not to touch the biscuit base.
  • Bake for 50 mins or until just set (it will wobble still a little in the centre).
  • Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the oven door open for 30 mins - 1 hr. Then sit on the countertop to cool for a further 30 mins before placing in the fridge to chill for 4hrs or overnight.

Italian Baked Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake (Encased in Pastry)

Ingredients :

  • 2.5 Cups (500g) Fresh Firm Ricotta
  • 250g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 Cup (165g) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Finely Grated Lemon Rind
  • 1.5 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup (60ml) Pure Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • Icing for dusting
Ingredients for Vanilla Pastry:
  • 150g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup (165g) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/3 Cup (80ml) Pure Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 3 Cups Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1.5 tbsp Baking Powder, sifted
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C.
  • Line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
  • To make the pastry, place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat for 6-8 mins, or until light and creamy.
  • Add the egg and extra egg yolk and beat until combined.
  • Add the cream, vanilla, flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to form a smooth ball.
  • Divide the pastry dough in half.
  • Roll one half of the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper into a 45cm x 25cm rectangle. Cover and set aside to chill in the fridge.
  • Divide the second half of the dough in half again. Roll each piece between two sheets of baking paper to make 2 x 22cm rounds.
  • Place one of the rounds in the fridge and the other in the base of the lined springform pan. Refrigerate for 5 min.
  • Prick the base with a fork and bake for 8-10 mins or until the pastry is dry to touch and golden around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 mins.
  • Then make the ricotta filling, place the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar and lemon rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 2mins or until smooth.
  • Place the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl, mix to combine and set aside.
  • Add the eggs to the ricotta mixture and beat on medium until just combined.
  • Add the cream, vanilla and lemon juice mixture and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overbeat, otherwise your cheesecake will have cracks.
  • Lightly grease the insides of the springform pan.
  • Remove the rectangle of pastry from the fridge and cut it in half length-wise.
  • Line the side of the pan with the pastry strips, pressing the dough gently into the base to join.
  • Trim any excess pastry using a small knife.
  • Pour the ricotta mixture into the pan and fold the pastry edges over the filling.
  • Press the remaining pastry round on top of the filling.
  • Bake for 45 mins. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for a further 30mins, or until pastry is golden.
  • Allow to cool completely at room temperature, over 20-30 mins. Then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Mini Mojito Cheesecakes

A unique & tasty no bake recipe!
Ideally for mini individual serving portions as this mixture is too soft to be served and cut from a full cake form.
Time: 20 mins Prep + 0mins Bake + 4 hours Chill

Ingredients :

  • 150g Shortbread Biscuits
  • 25g Butter, melted
  • 4 Limes, zested and juiced
  • 100g Raw Sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp White Rum
  • Big Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 150g Sour Cream
  • 250g Mascarpone
  • 150ml Cream, whipped to serve (mix in 1-2 tbsp extra rum and lime zest in the cream for extra flavour)
Instructions:
  • In a blender, break up shortbread into a rough crumb. Remove from blender and mix in the melted butter.
  • Place the mixture at the base of individual serving dishes, pressing down to compress it in the dish. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  • In a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar in 5 tbsp of water, while stirring. Then, without stirring, simmer the mixture for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and add zest and mint leaves. Set aside to cool for ten mins.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, soften cream cheese with a blender. Then mix in sour cream and mascarpone.
  • Strain the mint mixture and add the lime juice and rum.
  • Mix rum mixture into the blended cream until well combined.
  • Spoon mixture onto chilled crumb base in individual dishes.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour.
  • To serve, prepare whipping cream with extra lemon zest and rum. Place a spoonful of whipped cream, 1-2 mint leaves and a twisted thin slice of lime.

Coconut & Pandan Cheesecake

Ingredients (Cheesecake Base):

  • 160g Digestive Biscuits
  • 1 tbsp Sugar (optional)
  • 80g Unsalted Butter, melted
Ingredients (Cheesecake Filling):
  • 500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • 200ml Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 2 tsp Pandan Essence + 1/2 tsp extra for reserved filling
Instructions:
  • Line an 18cm cheesecake tin with baking paper on the base and grease the inside walls. Set aside.
  • To make the base, blend the biscuits until you have a fine powder.
  • Stir in melted butter and sugar.
  • Spoon mixture across the base of the lined cheesecake tin. Press down to form an even base. Place in the fridge to chill until needed (preferably an hour).
  • To make the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar until fully softened and smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 140C
  • Blend in pandan essence and eggs, gradually, ensuring that there are no clumps in the mixture.
  • Then mix in the cornflour until smooth. And lastly, fold in the coconut milk.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese filling. Blend in 1-2 drops of pandan essence so that the colour of the reserve filling is markedly greener from the main filling.
  • Pour main filling into chilled cheesecake tin, over the biscuit base.
  • Drizzle droplets of the reserved filling over the top of the main filling. Then, using a toothpick or knife, cut through the middle of the drops to create a stylised pattern.
  • Bake for 40 mins. Keep an eye on the cake to ensure it doesn't brown (if it starts to, place a sheet of foil paper over the cake)
  • Turn off oven. Place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it open just a crack. Let the cheesecake cool down very slowly for 1 hour like this.
  • Then place the lukewarm cheesecake in the fridge to chill for at least 3-4 hours.


New Zealand Feijoa Cheesecake

Ingredients (Cheesecake Base):

  • 220g Digestive Biscuits
  • 1 tbsp Sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 80g Unsalted Butter, melted
Ingredients (Cheesecake Filling):
  • 9 Just Ripe Feijoas (about 800g)
  • 2/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 340g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 250g Sour Cream (Light Sour Cream in Australia)
  • 1 Lime, zested
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste or Extract
Instructions:
  • Line an 18cm cheesecake tin with baking paper on the base and grease the inside walls. Set aside.
  • To make the base, blend the biscuits until you have a fine powder.
  • Stir in melted butter and sugar.
  • Spoon mixture across the base of the lined cheesecake tin. Press down to form an even base. Place in the fridge to chill until needed (preferably an hour).
  • Preheat oven to 140C
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fully softened and smooth. Add sour cream and continue to beat, ensuring no lumps in the mixture.
  • Blend the peeled feijoas until a puree is formed.
  • Whisk in the cheesecake filling, the lime zest, vanilla paste and eggs until smooth. Then fold in the pureed feijoas.
  • Pour the filling on top of the chilled base.
  • Bake for 40 mins. Keep an eye on the cake to ensure it doesn't brown (if it starts to, place a sheet of foil paper over the cake)
  • Turn off oven. Place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it open just a crack. Let the cheesecake cool down very slowly for 1 hour like this.
  • Then place the lukewarm cheesecake in the fridge to chill for at least 3-4 hours.


Orange Blossom Mediterranean Cheesecake

Ingredients (Cheesecake Base):

  • 220g Digestive Biscuits
  • 1 tbsp Sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp Ground Cardamon (fresh pack if possible)
  • 80g Unsalted Butter, melted
Ingredients (Cheesecake Filling):
  • 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 150g Sour Cream (Light Sour Cream in Australia) + 100ml extra to use to fill in the cracks after baking if needed
  • 250g Curd Cheese or Cottage Cheese
  • 5 Eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste or Extract
  • 2 tbsp Orange-Blossom Honey (plan honey can be a substitute) + extra if needed to fill in the cracks after baking
  • 2 tbsp Orange Blossom Water
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon + 1 tsp for garnish
  • 1 tsp Cardamon
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 250g Pistachios, shelled, roasted and coarsely chopped
Instructions:
  • Line an 18cm cheesecake tin with baking paper on the base and grease the inside walls. Set aside.
  • To make the base, blend the biscuits until you have a fine powder.
  • Stir in melted butter and sugar.
  • Spoon mixture across the base of the lined cheesecake tin. Press down to form an even base. Place in the fridge to chill until needed (preferably an hour).
  • Preheat oven to 160C
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fully softened and smooth. Add the curd cheese and sour cream. Continue to beat the mixture, ensuring no lumps remain.
  • Once smooth, add in the vanilla paste, honey, orange blossom water, cinnamon and egg yolks.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until you reach firm peaks. Then, delicately fold the whipped eggs whites into the cheese mixture until it is just combined.
  • Pour the cheese filling on top of the chilled cheesecake base.
  • Bake for 50-60mins. Keep an eye on the cake to ensure it doesn't brown (if it starts to, place a sheet of foil paper over the cake)
  • Turn off oven. Place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it open just a crack. Let the cheesecake cool down very slowly for 1 hour like this.
  • Then place the lukewarm cheesecake in the fridge to chill for at least 3-4 hours.
  • If there are any cracks in the cake, blend 100ml sour cream and 2 tbsp of honey (or until it tastes a little sweet). Then use the blend to fill any cracks and cover the top of the cake.
  • Mix 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamon and 1 tbsp sugar until blended. Then evenly sprinkle the top of the cake with the spiced sugar.
  • Lastly, place coarsely chopped roasted pistachios around the perimeter of the top of the cake and the outside walls of the cake for styling.
  • Return to the fridge for chilling until ready to serve.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecan and Cinnamon

Ingredients :
  • Vegetable shortening for greasing
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecans
  • 3/4 Cup Firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Sour cream (not fat free)
  • You can also add a light Kalhua syrup by boiling until thick all these ingredients: Kalhua (3 tbsp), brown sugar (1/2 cup), butter (3tbsp), and water (1/2cup)
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Grease the bottom of a 10 inch Bundt Crown cake. Be sure to coat every nook and crannies. Dust generously with flour, shake the pan to coat all over, invert, and tap out excess flour. Set aside.
  • Toast the pecans in the oven on a cookie tray. Finely chop, transfer to a bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy, and then add the sugar. Add the lemon zest and continue mixing until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Slowly mix in the eggs and vanilla, and beat well.
  • Slowly fold in about one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the sour cream, then half of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining sour cream, and finally the remaining flour mixture.
  • Scrape just a little of the topping (pecan and sugar) around the bottom of the prepared crown pan, then half of the wet doughy batter. Then sprinkle 2/3rds of the remaining pecan mixture evenly down the center of the batter, preventing the mixture from touching the sides of the pan. Cover with the remaining batter and then dust off with the remaining pecan mixture. Take a knife and make loop-de-loop swirls moving the knife up and down into the batter, to ever-so-slightly mix the pecan mixture within the batter. Only go around once.
  • Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the thickest part with your fingertip and a wooden skewer comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
  • Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Run the blade of a dull knife around the insides of the pan to loosen the top edges of the cake. Invert a wirerack over the cake pan and turn the whole lot upside down. Lift the pan off the cake carefully and let cool a little before serving.
  • Dust with powdered sugar (optional).

Old-Fashioned Apple-Cinnamon Coffeecake

Ingredients (Caramelised Apples):
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
Ingredients (Cake):
  • 1 tbsp Dry Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup White Sugar + 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 10 tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Large Egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Ingredients (Crumble Topping):
  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions (Apples):
  • Peel, core and dice the apples into small cubes.
  • In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp butter over high heat until foamy.
  • Mix in the apples, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until they are dry and very tender for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat. Sprinkle sugar over the apples and toss to coat. Set aside.
Instructions (Cake):
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper. Spray cooking oil on top.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the bread crumbs and shake lightly to coat.
  • In a small mixing bowl, blend the flour, butter and salt until mixture resembles a coarse crumb.
  • Set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture.
  • Add baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder into the remaining flour mixture.
  • Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Mix until batter is smooth.
  • Fold in the caramelised apples. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Take the cup of the flour mixture and add in the chopped nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss until blended.
  • Sprinkle the nut crumb over the cake batter, pressing lightly so that they adhere.
  • Bake the cake for 50-55 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature for 30 mins and then place it into the fridge for at least 1.5 hours (Otherwise it falls apart too easily).
  • Remove the cake from the fridge at least 30 mins before serving.



Halva Coffee Cake

Amazing, unique, sweet and delicious.
I've adapted one of my favourite coffee cake recipe (
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecan and Cinnamon) and incorporated large chunks of Halva. It's worked wonderfully.

Ingredients :

Instructions:
  • Make the cake batter as per the recipe here
  • Instead of using a crown cake mold, prepare a baking paper-lined wide 1-2 inch deep rectangle baking pan.
  • Cut the halva into large 2.5 cm cube chunks (Really! They shrink when baking. If the pieces are too small, they will be fully absorbed into the cake and you'll miss out on the goey deliciousness.)
  • Place all the halva cubes into the cake, 2.5 cm in between, with it still poking out of the batter.
  • Bake as per the standard coffee cake recipe.



Sour Cherry Cake (Easter European Specialty)

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Shortening
  • 6 Eggs, divided into whites and yolks
  • 4 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Cans or Jars of Pitted Sour Cherries
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • Lemon Peel (1-2 Lemons)
  • 2 Enveloppes of vanilla sugar
Instructions:
  • Mix sugar and shortening until well blended.
  • Add egg yolks, flour, baking powder, and sour cream.
  • Carefully fold in beaten egg whites into the mixture.
  • Spread dough in mold 8 x 12 (or larger).
  • Put cherries on evenly and sprinkle with vanilla sugar on top.
  • Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.



Aussie Beetroot Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown dark sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 60g dark chocolate chopped
  • 2/3 cup self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon (15ml size) unsweetened cocoa
  • 100g cooked grated beetroot
Instructions:
  • Melt the chocolate over a bain marie or on the lowest setting of your microwave.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together with and electric mixer until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then add the sour cream and cooled melted chocolate mixing well.
  • Fold in the flour and cocoa and then add the grated beetroot and mix well to combine.
  • Place spoonfuls of the mixture into muffin tin sized patty pans or a full cake pan and bake at 180C for 15 minutes.
This is a heavy, moist and sweet chocolate cake. I had no idea that beetroot could go so well with chocolate.


Chocolate Beetroot Mousse Cake (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 375g Roasted beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 450g Firm Silken Tofu
  • 70g Unrefined Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 350g Chocolate (Vegan, if making it so)
  • Chocolate shards for garnish (optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Line a 24cm diameter baking pan with baking paper (but don't grease it).
  • In a food processor, blend the beetroot, tofu, sugar, vanilla and baking powder to a smooth puree.
  • Melt chocolate and combine with beetroot mixture.
  • Pour mixture into the lined pan and bake for 30 mins. The cake will be a moist mousse so it won't help to test it with a toothpick.
  • Leave to cool completely then remove the cake from the pan. Store in the fridge until needed. Remove the cake from the fridge at least 20 mins before serving.
  • Garnish with chocolate shards (optional).


Chocolate, Hazelnut & Olive Oil Cake

Light but moist cake, rave reviews
Prep 15 mins + Baking 40 mins

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 4 Eggs
  • 270g (1 1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 150ml Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 175g Hazelnut Meal
  • 50g (1/2 Cup) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Ingredients (Icing):
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 60g Roasted Hazelnut, roughly chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Grease and line a 21cm round or square tin (line the sides too)
  • In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually pour in olive oil and blend well.
  • Then stir in milk, vanilla, hazelnut meal, sifted cocoa and baking powder. Blend well.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the tin for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack, remove paper lining and let cool fully.
  • Prepare icing by beating mascarpone, tickened cream and remaining sugar for 50 seconds or until thickened.
  • Cover the completely cooled cake top with the mascarpone mixture. Dust with cocoa and sprinkle with chopped roasted hazelnuts. Serve immediately or place in fridge for the icing to firm up for 30 mins.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Delicious dense chocolate cake
1.5 hours of prep and baking time

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1.5 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 160ml (2/3 Cup) Dry Red Wine
  • 90g Dark Chocolate, grated finely
Ingredients (Syrup):
  • 2 Cups Caster Sugar
  • 1.5 Cups (375ml) Dry Red Wine
  • 1.5 Cups Water
  • 250g Dried Muscatel Clusters
  • (optional : 1-2 tsp Cornstarch to thicken)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C and grease a 22cm crown cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat Butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  • Stir in sifted flours and cocoa.
  • Then add the water, wine and grated chocolate.
  • Spread mixture in the greased cake pan and bake for 50 mins.
  • Let cool in the pan for 5 mins before turning over onto a wire rack to fully cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the red wine syrup. In a small saucepan, stir in sugar, wine and water. Set heat to medium and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Cut muscatels into small bunches, add to syrup, bring to a boil.
  • Boil, uncovered, for about 15 mins or until syrup is reduced by 1/3 and is slightly thicker. (Note: In the past syrup was still quite thin, so I suggest trying to thicken it some other way eg. cornstarch, despite that it will lighten the colour. I tried to reduce it further but it just eneded up making a hard toffee, so need to play around with this one further.)
  • Top the cake with muscatels the pour the remaining syrup on top.

Chocolate Beer Cake

Light chocolate cake, very slight beer taste
Prep Time 15 mins, Baking Time 30 mins

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 1/4 Cup (60g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 225ml Stout Beer
  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 300g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 180g (3/4 Cup) Flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 8 Walnut Halves, for decoration
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder, for dusting walnuts
Ingredients (Icing):
  • 1/2 Cup (125g) Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 Cup (60g) Butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Stout Beer
  • 125g Dark Chocolate
  • 30g Walnut pieces, finely chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Prepare 2 x 20cm cake tins (4cm deep) by greasing them and then lining their bases with non stick baking paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually mix in the eggs, a little at a time, mixing between additions.
  • In a separate bowl, blend sifted flour, sifted bicarbonate soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a third small bowl, place the cocoa and gradually mix in the stout beer until well combined.
  • In the egg mixture, gradually fold in the flour and beer mixture, alternating between the two mixtures.
  • Divide the cake batter between the two tins and tap the base of the tins on the below counter a few times to level them out and remove any bubbles.
  • Bake the two tins for 30-35 mins. The cakes should feel springy.
  • Cool them in the tins for 5 mins then turn out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully removing the baking paper.
  • Make the icing by beating the sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, combine when after each addition.
  • Melt the chocolate either through 30 sec sprints in the microwave or through a bain-marie on the stovetop. Once melted, let cool to room temperature (so it doesn't melt the butter) then carefully fold chocolate into the icing mixture.
  • Remove a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir in chopped walnuts.
  • Spread walnut icing onto one of the two cakes then top with the second cake. Then spread the remaining icing on top of the second cake with a palette knife.
  • Mix the walnut halves with the cocoa powder until fully covered and arrange dusted walnuts on top of the cake.
  • Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up the icing before devouring.


Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise

Assemble a day or two before serving to help the buttercream soften the meringue.

Ingredients (Meringue):

  • 3/4 Cup Blanched Almond Slices, toasted
  • 1/2 Cup Hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
Ingredients (Buttercream):
  • 1 1/8 Cup Whole Milk
  • 6 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Amaretto or Water
  • 2 tbsp Instant Coffee Powder
  • 24 tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
Ingredients (Ganache):
  • 9 Ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped finely
  • 1 1/8 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 tsp Corn Syrup
  • 18 Whole Hazelnuts, tasted and skins removed
  • 1.5 Cup Blanched Almond Slices, toasted
Instructions:

Start with making the Meringue (4 hours)

  • Preheat oven to 250C.
  • On a rectangular sheet of baking paper draw with a pencil a rectangle 13 x 10.5 inches.
  • Place parchment paper on a baking tray, with the pencil markings side down (so it is not on the side where the meringue will sit).
  • In a food process, blend toasted almonds, halzenuts, cornstarch and salt until the mixture is finely ground. Add sugar and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat eggs until glossy stiff peaks form and thesugar is fully dissolved.
  • Fold nut mixture gently into the meringue in a few batches to keep the meringue fluffy.
  • Spread meringue evenly onto the parchment paper within the drawn rectangle lines.
  • Using a spray bottle or your fingertips tips, evenly MIST surface of meringue with water until glistening. Bake for 1.5 hours. (You can start the buttercream in the meantime.)
  • Turn off oven and allow meringue to cool in the oven for 1.5 hours without opening the oven door during the full process. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Make the Buttercream
  • Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until smooth.
  • While stirring the egg mixture constantly and quickly, pour in half the heated milk.
  • While still whisking, pour in the egg milk mixture into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan.
  • Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens (3-5 mins).
  • Transfer to a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set (or up to 24 hours).
  • Before using, take out of the fridge to warm the mixture to room temperature.
  • Take butter out of the fridge to soften to room temperature.
  • In a small bowl, stir together amaretto and instant coffee powder. Set aside.
  • Beat butter until smooth, light and creamy.
  • Add room temperature pastry cream, in several batches, mixing well after each addition.
  • Blend in amaretto mixture until smooth.
Prepare the Ganache
  • Place chocolate in a glass bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer.
  • Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let site for 1 min. Stir mixture until smooth.
  • Set aside to cool and thicken slightly, about 5 mins.
Assemble the Dacquoise
  • Very carefully remove the parchment from the meringue.
  • Place meringue on a cutting board and, with a sharp serrated knife, slowly and steadily trim the edges of the rectangles to form a 10 x 12 inch rectangle.
  • Using a ruler, score both of the long sides of the rectangle at every 3 inches.
  • Cut the meringue along the score marks to make four long rectangles. (Any meringues that break during the process should be used as middle layers.)
  • Space out the rectangles and spread 1/3 cup of the ganache evenly over the surface of three meringue rectangles. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 mins until firm. Retain remaining ganache at room temperature.
  • Spread the top of the remaining meringue rectangle with 3/4 cup of buttercream.
  • Invert 1 ganache coated meringue rectangle, ganache side against the buttercream. Press gently to level.
  • Repeat with another meringue rectangle.
  • Invert final ganache meringue on top.
  • Ensure all meringue rectangles are as aligned as possible.
  • Spread remaining buttercream to form a light layer across the top and sides of the cake to make a rectangular box.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours until the buttercream is firm. Once buttercream is firm, cake can be enclosed in plastic wrap for up to 2 days.
  • Warm remaining ganache over a bain-marie until mixture is fluid but not hot, barely warm.
  • Pour ganache over the top of cake and with a spatula, spread ganache in a thin, even layer across the top and sides.
  • Garnish the top with a line of toasted hazelnuts.
  • Holding the bottom of the cake in the palm of one hand, use the other hand to press handfuls of toasted almond slices into the sides of the cake.
  • Chill on baking paper for at least 3 hours (or up to 12 hours).
  • To serve, let sit for at least 30 mins out of the fridge. Then cut in slices, cleaning the blade in hot water and/or a wet paper towel between each serve.



Orange Almond Rich & Moist Cake (Flourless)

Moist and full of flavour
Ingredients:

  • 2 Oranges
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 tbsp of Orange Blossom Water (or Almond Essence)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Blanched Amonds, coarsely ground
Instructions:
  • Wash the oranges and boil them whole for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until they are very soft.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Beat eggs with the sugar.
  • Mix in orange blossom water, baking powder and almonds.
  • Cut open the oranges and remove the seeds. Puree in a food processor.
  • When the orange puree is cooled, fold in the egg mixture.
  • Pour into a 9" oiled cheesecake pan lightly dusted with flour.
  • Bake for an hour and let cool before serving.



Lemon & Rosemary Mini Cakes

Makes 2-3 dozen

Ingredients (Cakes):

  • 1/2 cup (75g) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup (150g) Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1 1.4 cups (125g) Almond Meal
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Honey
  • Finely Grated Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/4 cup (25g) Almond Flakes
  • Oil Spray for Greasing Moulds
Ingredients (Syrup):
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 2 Rosemary Sprigs
  • 100g Caster Sugar
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 190C. Lightly grease mini cake moulds then dust with flour, shaking off excess.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, sifted pure icing sugar and almond meal.
  • Add the olive oil, honey, and lemon zest until mixed thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggwhites and a pinch of salt with electric beaters until soft peaks.
  • Fold in a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the flour mixture to loosen it up. Then add another quarter. Fold well. Then the remainder. Fold through until just combined.
  • Spoon the batter into the cake shells until 3/4 full, then scatter some almond flakes over each.
  • Bake for 15 mins or until risen and golden.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Zest the lemons into long thin strips and squeeze out their juice in a small saucepan. Blanch the lemon strips into boiling water for 1 min, then drain and rinse under cold water. Then add them to the saucepan with the lemon juice. Add rosemary sprigs, sugar and 1/3 cup (80ml) of water. Gently bring to a boil, then simmer until a thicker syrup is produced and the liquid is reduced by half. Then set aside to cool slightly.
  • Once baked, let them cool for 2 mins, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and placing them on a wire rack with baking paper placed underneath.
  • Remove the rosemary from the syrup. Slowly spoon the syrup over the warm cakes (with some zest strips), allowing the excess to drip off onto the baking paper. Leave to cool slightly and serve.


Chocolate & Hazelnut Rich & Moist Cake (Flourless)

Full of flavour...you would never know it didn't have flour!
Batter can also be portioned into 2 dozen cupcakes with half the baking time.
Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp Instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
  • 200g Butter, chopped
  • 180g Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Cups Ground Hazelnut (can substitute Almond Meal)
  • Cocoa Powder, for dusting
  • Whipped Cream and Strawberries, to serve
Instructions:
  • Preheat over to 180C / 160C with fan-forced.
  • Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm diameter spring-form cake pan (or muffin trays for cupcakes). Line base and side with baking paper.
  • In a small glass, mix coffee powder and boiler water to dissolve the coffee.
  • In a medium sized sauce pan, over low heat, melt and blend butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and liquid coffee.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  • Separately, using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar for 5 mins or until thick. Set aside.
  • Clean and dry electric mixer beaters and bowl thoroughly and then beat egg whites in a separate bowl.until soft peaks form.
  • Add chocolate mixture and ground hazelnuts to egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Using a large metal spoon, gently fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining egg whites.
  • Pour into prepared pan or muffin containers.
  • Bake for 40-45 mins (20-25mins if you are making cupcakes instead) until a toothpicks inserted in centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging to the toothpicks.
  • Dust with cocoa. Serve with whipping cream and strawberries.


Hungarian Palacinta Csustatot (Layered Pancake Cake)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 14 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 packages Oetker Vanilla Sugar
  • 1 Litre of milk
  • Canola oil spray (to keep oil use to a minimum)
  • Topping: 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 pkgs of vanilla sugar (Oetker powder)
Instructions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix soft butter and sugar, add egg yolks.
  • In the same bowl, gradually blend in flour, milk and 2 packages of Vanilla Sugar.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites and add 1 tsp of sugar toward end of beating to make it harder. Fold the egg white preparation into the second mixture. Fold careful and be careful to not lose too much fluff from the beaten egg whites.
  • Heat a frying pan on high to cook pancake - spray the first lightly with canola oil spray. Fry a ladle full for each pancake only on one side. Slide off the pan when bottom is brown or solid enough to hold onto a deep circular baking pan.
  • Note: The least amount of oil used to fry each pancake in, the better! If you have a good non stick pan, you can avoid using oil altogether. You can refrigerate the pancake cake for a few days.
  • Sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar mixture (2 enveloppes of Vanilla sugar + the 1/2 cup of sugar) on top of each pancake as you stack them.
  • Once all pancakes are stacked but the last one, flip the last one or two (if you want to be extra careful) upside down to show the fried side on top.
  • Bake the pancake cake in the oven at 300° F for 1/2 hour.
  • May be enjoyed warm (richer, heavier taste) or cold (lighter flavor)... Have a mixture of sugar and vanilla sugar on hand to sprinkle on individual servings.

TIPS

  • Egg whites should be at room temperature for best meringue results.
  • Do not increase sugar amount, or pancake mixture will be more likely to stick.
  • Pancake will remain loose in pan by cooking in more oil and by gently lifting with thin spatula as it cooks. Do not break bottom skin.
  • Canola oil : Try to avoid using oil altogether if you can. If not, use canola oil spray. If you use too much oil, pancake cake will be too greasy.
  • Do not microwave.


Raspberry & Almond Cake(Moist and Delicious!)

Make sure you have enough time to bake (1.5hrs to bake!)
Ingredients:
  • 125g Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Self-Raising Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 200g Frozen Raspberries
  • 1/2 Cup Flaked Almonds
  • Icing Sugar to Dust
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C and turn dial to top and bottom element baking.
  • Grease a 21cm springform pan and line with baking paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Fold in flours, ground almonds, sour cream and berries.
  • Sprinkle half the flaked almonds over the base of the prepared pan, then pour cake mixture over almonds. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
  • Place the cake on the second-to-bottom rung of the oven. Bake at 180C for 1.5 hrs.
  • Cool in pan and then dust with icing sugar.


Lemon Yogurt Crown Cake

Ingredients: Cake:
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1.5 Cups Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • Grated Rind of 2 Lemons
  • 1 Cup Natural Yogurt
  • 2 Cups Self Raising Flour
Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Grease a crown / bundt pan, or deep ring tin.
  • In a large bowl blend the eggs, sugar, salt, oil, lemon juice and rind.
  • Then mix in the flour and yoghurt.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approx 35-40 mins, or until cooked.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool before icing.
  • In a small bowl combine Icing Sugar and Lemon Juice. Mix until smooth, then ice your cake and wait 15 mins before serving.


Pistachio & Lemon Syrup Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Pistachios, finely ground
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Meal
  • 180g Butter
  • 100g Raw Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • Syrup: 1/3 Cup Raw Sugar, Juice of 2 Lemons, 50g Pistachios coarsely chopped.
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C and grease a 20cm pan and line with baking paper.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, pistachio, lemon zest and almond meal in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy and pale. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add flour mixture and mix well until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.
  • Prepare syrup. Place sugar and juice in a small saucepan over low heat, until sugar dissolves.
  • Add coarse pistachio abd bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Place cake onto a serving tray or plate and spoon warm syrup over cake. Let cool a little, then serve.


Lemon Polenta Cake

Ingredients:

  • 200g Soft Unsalted Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Grounds Almonds
  • 100g Fine Polenta
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
Ingredients for Syrup:
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 125g Icing Sugar
Instructions:
  • Line the base of a 23cm springform pan with baking paper and grease the inside edges lightly with butter.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Beat the butter and sugar till pale and light. Do this for a while to blend in sugar as much as possible.
  • In a separate bowl, blend almond meal, polenta and baking powder.
  • Pour the dry ingredients mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with eggs, one at a time, and mix well.
  • Mix in lemon zest.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined baking pan and bake in the oven for about 40 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges of the cake have begun to shrink away from the pan.
  • Set aside, without removing the cake pan, to cool.
  • Then make the syrup by boiling the lemon juice and icing sugar. Once the icing sugar has completely dissolved, set aside.
  • Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick or caketester. Pour the warm syrup over the cake and leave to cool before taking the cake out of the pan. Serve warm or cool.


Tangy Lemon Sponge Cake

(A very refreshing treat for a hot summer day)
Credit : Jean Wisby

Ingredients:

  • 6 teaspoons gelatine
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1.5 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
Instructions:
  • Line a 1 x 23cm (9”) spring form pan with aluminium cooking foil
  • Beat evaporated milk until thick.
  • Using a beater, whip the yolks & sugar until white and creamy.
  • Dissolve gelatine in hot water and while still hot add to the egg and sugar mixture. Thoroughly blend until smooth.
  • Add to the whipped evaporated milk with the lemon juice and rind.
  • Whip egg whites until stiff and add to the gelatine and milk mixture. Thoroughly blend.
  • Pour into a prepared spring form pan.
  • Refrigerate.
  • To remove from pan: carefully release the spring and lift out, place a serving plate on top of the sponge and turnover, peel off the foil.
  • Decorate with cream and sliced peaches.

Mango Yoghurt Jelly Cake with Jelly Fruit Top

Note: Yoghurt part is a little bland, even with this hacked recipe using vanilla & honey yoghurt, so may be worth finding a stronger flavour or mixing more fruit in because the top part is quite fantastic looking and tasting.

Ingredients for the Jelly Top :

  • 1 large can of Peach slices
  • 10 Red Seedless Grapes, halved
  • 300ml Sugar Syrup from canned peaches
  • 1.5 tsp Gelatine Powder
  • Vegetablet Oil Spray or 1 tsp vegetable oil, for greasing
Ingredients for the Yoghurt Cake :
  • 500ml Mango & Vanilla Flavoured Yoghurt
  • 100ml Milk
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 15g Gelatine Powder
Instructions for the Fruit Jelly :
  • In a small saucepan, combine syrup and gelatine thoroughly.
  • Bring to a low heat, stirring continuously until all the gelatine has dissolved. Be sure not to bring the syrup to a boil. Set aside to cool.
  • Grease a crown cake mould and lay out the slices of peaches and grapes intermittently, so a grape half is always between two peach slices.
  • Then, very gradually, pour the gelatine mixture into the mould until the mixture covers the fruit without disrupting their positions.
  • Freeze for 1 hour.
Instructions for the Yoghurt Cake :
  • Combine in a medium saucepan, milk, sugar and gelatine powder - Do not yet turn on the heat. Stir well and set aside for 5 mins.
  • Bring the heat to low and wait until the gelatine dissolves, stirring continuously.
  • Remove from the heat, add yoghurt and stir to combine.
  • Let cool to room temperature and then pour the yoghurt mixture into the mould on top of the fruit jelly.
  • Freeze for 2 hours and then store in the fridge. Or, simply place in the fridge for 4 hours.
  • To serve, fill a large bowl with boiling water and dip the crown mould into the boiling water (without letting the water touch the cake itself) for 20 seconds to make it easier to release the jelly from the mould when it's ready.

Australian Pavlova

Delicious served with Spiced Sour Cherry Compote, Passionfruit and Vanilla Yoghurt
Prep = 30 mins. Cooking = 2 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1.5 cups (330g) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour or Cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
Instructions:
  • Position rack on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 120C.
  • Using a pencil, draw a 20cm diameter circle on a sheet of baking paper. Turn over the paper and use it to line the baking tray.
  • Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add sugar, while beating, then beat for 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves (touch the mixture with your fingers and rub two fingers together to see whether you still feel the sugar crystals).
  • Add cornflour, vanilla, cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt. Then whisk until just combined.
  • Using a large spoon, gently spread meringue on a prepared tray to fill the drawn circle. It should be about 4cm high and try to make the edges higher than the center in order to contain the toppings when placed on top.
  • Bake for 1.5 hours or until crisp and dry to the touch.
  • Turn off heat and cool meringue completely in oven with the door ajar.

Australian Pavlova Roll with Rose Cream and Strawberries

Serves 8-10

Ingredients (Pavlova Roll):

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 3/4 Cup Caster Sugar + 1 tsp to sprinkle
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 400g Strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 2 tsp Rosewater
  • 3 1/2 tbsp Icing Sugar + extra to dust
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 2-3 tbsp Thinly Sliced Unsprayed Red Rose Petals (optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Line a 34cm x 24cm swiss roll pan (baking tray that is 1" deep) with baking paper, leaving 3cm overhanging on all sides.
  • In a large bowl, use electric beaters to whip the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Then gradually add sugar and salt. Beat until the mixture has stiff peaks, is glossy and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Scoop the mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly with a palette knife, to form a rectangle.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the meringue is set and pale beige.
  • Once the meringue is out of the oven, evenly sprinkle the extra teaspoon of caster sugar over the top of the meringue. Then cover with a baking sheet and top with a wire rack.
  • Invert the meringue so that the wire rack is now on the bottom instead of on the top.
  • Carefully remove the pan from the meringue without removing the baking paper. Set the pan aside.
  • Roll the meringue (which has baking paper on both sides) to create a temporary roll while it cools down. Set aside seam side down.
  • Meanwhile, mix strawberry slices, rosewater and 2 tbsp sifted icing sugar in a bowl. Cover and set aside in the fridge to macerate.
  • A few hours before serving, gently unroll the meringue onto a board and ease away the top baking paper layer. Wipe away any syrup on or around the meringue with a paper towel.
  • In a medium bowl, whip cream and remaining 1.5 tbsp of icing sugar. Fold in petals.
  • Spread the cream mixture evenly over meringue.
  • Then, with a slotted spoon so they are not too wet, cover the cream with half the strawberry mixture.
  • Using the paper, roll meringue back onto itself tightly to form a log.
  • Roll the log onto a serving tray, seam-side down.
  • Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
  • To serve, dust the log with icing sugar. Cut log into 3cm thick slices and garnish with remaining strawberry mixture.


Australian Steamed Christmas Pudding

Serves 8-10.
Note : Needs to be prepared a day early and steam for 6 hours.
Worth also making a brandy custard to go with this.

Ingredients:

  • 110g (1 cup) Slivered Almonds, roasted & chopped
  • 60g (1/2 cup) Hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed then chopped thoroughly
  • 125g (1 cup) Sultanas
  • 125g (1 cup) Currants
  • 250g (2 cups) Raisins
  • 250g (1 1/3 cup) Dried Figs, coarsely chopped
  • 100g (1/2 cup) Mixed Peel
  • 2 tbsp Glace Ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • Zest from 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • 160g (1/2 cup) Plum or Apricot Jam
  • 265ml (1 1/4 cup) Brandy (or Cointreau)
  • 185g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 65g (1/3 cup) Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75g (1/2 cup) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 100g (1 cup) Almond Meal
  • 100g (1 cup) Bread Crumbs
Instructions:
  • Combine the nuts, dried fruit, mixed peel, ginger, spices, lemon rind, jam and brandy in a large bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  • Grease a 1.5L steamed pudding bowl. Line the base with a circle of baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in eggs to combine.
  • Add the fruit mixture to the butter mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Stir in the sifted flour, almond meal and bread crumbs.
  • Spoon into the prepared pudding bowl and smooth the surface evenly. Cover the mixture with a greased circle of baking paper.
  • Cover tin with a double layer of foil and secure tightly with string tied around the outside edge.
  • Place pudding tin on a saucer sitting in the base of a large soup pot. Pour in enough boiling water to come three quarters up the sides of the tin.
  • Cover the soup pot with a lid and place over a low-medium heat. Simmer for 6 hours, adding more boiling water when needed.
  • To serve, remove foil and paper then carefully invert hot pudding onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve with cream or custard.

Sour Cherry Compote

Makes enough for 1 pavlova or cake
Prep = 15 mins. Cooking = 10 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60g) Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 Cup (60ml) Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup (60ml) Grand Marnier or Cointreau (or Brandy + the juice of 1 orange)
  • 1 Cinnamon Quill
  • 400g Sour Morello Cherries, pitted
Instructions:
  • In a medium sized saucepan, combine sugar, zest, lemon juice, Grand Marnier and cinnamon in a pan over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 mins or until syrupy.
  • Add the cherries and cook for 1 min or until cherries begin to release their juices. Cool to room temperature.

Rum & Caramel Poached Pineapple

Makes about 2 cups.
Used in a lattice pineapple tart but can also be used in cakes. This mixture is moist but not overly saucy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped, pod reserved
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Rum
Instructions:
  • In a large saute pan, over medium heat, combine sugars, vanilla seeds and pod, and lemon juice for about 3 mins, until sugars have dissolved.
  • Add the rum and pineapple pieces. Simmer for about 20 mins, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and the pineapple has softened.
  • Remove from heat and discard the vanilla pods.


Brandy Apple Slices & Brandy Caramel

1 apple's worth. Great for topping cakes and pies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp Brandy
  • 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 70g Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Thickened Cream
Instructions:
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugars.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the brandy and lemon juice. Reserve 1 tbsp of this mixture in a separate bowl.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 30g butter.
  • Then cook half the apple slices, turning, for 2 minutes or until golden. Drizzle with half the main brandy mixture. Cook for 30 seconds, until almost all evaporated.
  • Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the sugar mixture. Cook, turning, for 2 minutes or until caramelised and translucent. Set Apple slices aside on baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining apple slices.
  • Once apples have been removed, add remaining butter and sugar mixture to the pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins until melted. Gradually add cream. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 min until thick and smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool for 5 mins then stir in reserved brandy.



Creme Patisserie

Great with choux pastry, profiteroles, donuts, or eclairs.

Ingredients:

  • 375ml Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (Bean Paste or 1 Vanilla Bean scraped)
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 70g Caster Sugar
  • 50g Flour
Instructions:
  • In a medium sized saucepan, warm the milk and vanilla over low heat.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar until thick.
  • Whisk flour in the yolk mixture until smooth, then while whisking quickly add in hot milk mixture.
  • Return mixture into the saucepan. Turn heat to low. Continue whisking frequently for about 5 mins while mixture heats up and thickens.
  • Once thickens, turn off heat, but keep whisking so mixture can finish cooking.
  • Then pour the mixture into a clean heatproof bowl (glass preferably) and let cool at room temperature for 30 mins. Then cover with plastic wrap with the plastic wrap touching the full surface of the creme patisserie and set aside in the fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours until use.

Chilli-Infused Syrup

Makes about 1/2 Cup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Glucose Syrup
  • 220g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Red Chilli, half lengthways
Instructions:
  • Place all ingredients in a pan over low heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 25 mins until golden. Remove from heat and stir in 60ml boiled water.
  • Once cooled, pour into a glass jar. Do not refrigerate. It will keep for a few days.
  • If syrup is too spicy, make more syrup without the chili and use it to dilute the strength of the flavour.



Mexican Pastel de Tres Leches (Cake of Three Creams)

Very moist, rich and sweet – Soaked in creamy syrup!
Best to make this cake a day ahead of serving
Ingredients: For the Cake:
  • 1.5 Cups Cake Flour
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
For the Creamy Syrup:
  • 12 oz. Evaporated Milk
  • 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp Rum or Brandy
For the Whipped Topping:
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Kalhua or Frangelico or other warm non-citrus liqueur
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, blend the oil, sugar and vanilla.
  • Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture one at a time until well combined.
  • Stir in the milk to the wet mixture.
  • Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture and blend well.
  • Beat egg whites until very foamy. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into a lightly greased cake pan or baking dish and bake for 30-40 mins or until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool until it is the same temperature as the room.
  • Take the cake out of the pan and thinly slice off the top of the cake. Flip the cake upside down onto a plate and pierce cake with a fork about 30 times. Let cool in the refrigerator for an additional 30 mins.
  • A few minutes before the cake is ready to be removed from the fridge, whisk together the three milks and rum or brandy for the creamy syrup mixture.
  • Return the cake to a presentable cake pan (with a high rim), preferably the original pan if possible. Place the cake upside down with the fork piercings on top.
  • Pour the creamy syrup evenly on top of the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Occasionally, spoon the milk runoff back onto the cake.
  • When the cake is ready to serve, prepare the whipped toping. In a chilled mixing bowl add heavy cream, vanilla, liqueur and sugar. Beat on high speed until peaks form. Spread a thin layer over the cake or over each piece that is being served.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon or garnish with fresh berries and mint.


Burnt Caramel & Ginger Steamed Pudding w Calvados Custard

Prep and cook time : 1 hr 50 mins (plus standing)

Ingredients:

Pudding

  • 220g (1 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 110g (1/2 Cup) Crystallised Ginger, thinly sliced
  • 90g (1/4 Cup) Honey
  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 Eggs
  • 110g (3/4 Cup) Plain flour, sifted
  • 110g (3/4 Cup) Self-Raising flour, sifted
  • 125ml (1/2 Cup) Milk
Calvados Custard
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 375ml (1 1/2 Cups) Milk
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Pouring Cream
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 55g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 3 tsp Cornflour
  • 40ml Calvados (or Brandy)
Instructions:
  • Make Caramel : Place half the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 3 mins, swirling the pan often, until deep golden.
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour in 125ml water - mixture will boil (watch out : hot caramel will burn skin badly).
  • Return to heat and cook for another 3mins or until toffee has been disolved. Stand for 5 mins.
  • Grease a 1.5L pudding steamer and lid. Line steamer base with baking paper.
  • Sprinkle 2/3rds of crystalised ginger onto the base of the steamer and drizzle with honey.
  • In a separate bowl, blend butter, remaining sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Stir in sifted flours, remaining crystalised ginger, then milk and cooled toffee in two batches. Blend well.
  • Pour pudding mixture into steamer. Cover steamer with lid (and baking paper if possible) to prevent water getting inside.
  • Place steamer in a large and deep saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the steamer. Then cover saucepan with a lid.
  • Boil pudding for 1 1/2 hours, replenishing the water as necessary to maintain the water level.
  • Thereafter, remove steamer from water and let sit for 10 mins before turning on to serving plate.
  • Meanwhile, to make the Calvados Custard, split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and the vanilla seeds. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat.
  • In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk yolks, sugar, cornflour until combined.
  • Strain hot milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Return combined mixture to cleaned pan and cook, stirring, on low heat for about 2 mins until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in Calvados.
  • Serve pudding hot with Calvados Custard cream.


Classic American Bread Pudding

Serves 8-10 (Possibly more!)
Cooking Time : 3 Hours
Great balance of being crunchy on top while custard creamy inside.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Loaf Brioche or Egg Bread (440g), cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 10 cups). Otherwise, a dense French bread with soft crust can work.
  • 9 Large Egg Yolks
  • 4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
Instructions:
  • Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 160C (not fan-forced).
  • Combine brown sugar and 1 tbsp sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Spread bread cubes in a single layer on 2 x baking sheets. Bake both at the same time, tossing occasionally, until just dry, about 15 mins, switching trays from top to bottom rack halfway through. Cool bread cubes about 15 mins.
  • Set aside 2 cups of toasted bread cubes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  • Whisk in cream and milk until well combined.
  • Add remaining 8 cups of cooled bread cubes and toss to coat.
  • Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9 inch deep baking pan (at least 1-1.5 inch deep) and let stand for about 30 mins, until cubes are thoroughly saturated, occasionally pressing bread cubes into the cream mixture.
  • Spread reserved 2 cups of bread cubes evenly over the top of soaked bread mixture and gently press into cream mixture.
  • Using pastry brush, dab melted butter over the top of unsoaked bread pieces.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over the buttered bread pieces.
  • Bake on middle rack until custard has just set, pressing centre of pudding with finger reveals no runny liquid, 45-50 mins.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and cool on the countertop until pudding is set and just warm, about 20-30 mins. Serve warm.


Steamed Banana Cakes with Coconut Custard

Very delish and showy comfort food, perfect for a warm winter's day!

Serves 8
Prep 1/2 hour, Baking 50 mins.

Ingredients (Steamed Cake):

  • 200g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 200g Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 350g (About 3) Mashed bananas
  • 200g (1 1/3 Cups) Self-raising Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Bicarb Soda
Ingredients (Topping):
  • 150g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Banana, thickly sliced into 12
Ingredients (Coconut Custard):
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 300ml Coconut Milk
  • 110g (1/2 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions (Coconut Custard):
  • Place Cream and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to just below boiling point.
  • Place caster sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl, whisking to combine.
  • Slowly add cream mixture, while whisking constantly.
  • Then pour into a clean saucepan over medium heat. Cook, while stirring steadily, for 5 mins or until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Cool to room temperature, the cover with plastic wrap and chill at least an hour.
Instructions (Topping & Steamed Cakes):
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 8 small oven-proof ramekins or moulds.
  • To make the topping, place brown sugar and 1 tbsp water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve.
  • Meanwhile, slice the banana and have it at the ready to put into moulds at the same time as the topping as it sets quickly.
  • Divide topping mixture among prepared moulds, then as each mould receives the sugar mixture, arrange 3 banana slices in each mould base (try to cover slices with mixture). Set aside.
  • Separately, to make the base cake mixture, mix butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, while mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  • Beat in mashed banana, then fold in flour and bicarb soda.
  • Divide batter among prepared moulds, then cover each with greased baking paper and a pleated sheet of foil, as tightly as possible, securing with kitchen string if available.
  • Place moulds in a deep baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come up halfway up the sides of the moulds.
  • Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Serve hot. To serve, loosen edges and turn upside down onto a plate. Pour coconut custard on the edge and around the steaming cake.

Lebanese Sfouf Cake (Awesomely unique flavour)

Prep 20 mins + 45 mins for cooking + 1hr cooling

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Ground Aniseed (grind full Aniseeds with mortar & pestle if ground aniseed can't be found)
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 300g / 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 80g / 1/2 Cup Pinenuts
  • Whipped Cream or Ice Cream to Serve (Optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a small saucepan, boil aniseed and 80ml water for 2 mins. Strain to reserve aniseed-infused water and cool. Discard the aniseed.
  • Whisk milk and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves.
  • Whisk in oil and aniseed water.
  • Separately, sift flour, baking powder and turmeric. Blend well.
  • Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing regularly.
  • Grease a 20cm square or round cake tin. Line the bottom with baking paper.
  • Pour in cake mixture, then scatter pinenuts across the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 45 mins or until the skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.
  • Cool in the pan for at least 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (last bit optional - I had no issue leaving it in the tin).
  • Serve with cream or ice cream.


Swedish Caramel Almond Cake

Ingredients:

  • 150g Butter, room temperature
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Paste
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 80ml Milk
  • Whipped Cream or Ice Cream, to serve
Ingredients (Caramel Crumble Topping):
  • 70g Butter, cubed
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 70g Flaked Almonds
  • 2.5 tbsp Pure Cream
  • 1.5 tbsp Plain Flour
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven 170C.
  • Grease a 22cm springform cake pan and line the base with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sifted flour with baking powder.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring as you go until just combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spoon until even.
  • Bake for 30 mins, until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, start make the topping 15 mins in by combining in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, the butter, sugar, almonds, cream and sifted flour. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 mins, until thickened slightly.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and increase the temperature to 200C.
  • Quickly pour the caramel almond topping evenly over the cake.
  • Return the cake immediately to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 mins until the cake is cooked through and the topping is golden.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 mins. Remove the cake from the tin (loosening the cake from the sides with a knife) and set aside for 1 hour, until cooled completely.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


French Caneles from Bordeaux

Challenging to make but so delicious to eat.
You need to start this recipe 1 day in advance.
You will also need special caneles molds (preferably copper though they can be very expensive).
Makes 50 caneles.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Litre of Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 60g Butter
  • 620g Caster Sugar
  • 310g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 Full Egg (about 55-60g each egg)
  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 120ml Rum
  • 200g Melted Butter or Beeswax
Instructions:
  • Pour 3/4 litre of milk in a saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds from the pod. Heat the milk to almost boiling.
  • Add the butter to melt.
  • Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and add in the remaining cold milk.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the sugar.
  • In another bowl, mix the egg with the 8 egg yolks. Add in the rum, the flour sugar mixture and a quarter of the milk mixture, mixing until smooth.
  • Little by little, add the remaining milk mixture while stirring.
  • Refrigerate the mixture overnight.
  • Meanwhile, brush the canele moulds with melted butter or beeswax) and place in the freezer overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 220C.
  • Fill the moulds with mixture to about 5mm below the rim. Place the moulds in the preheated oven and, once inside, reduce the oven to 180C. Bake for about 45-50 mins.
  • While still hot, carefully turn out the caneles (this part is tricky, so do it as soon as possible) and then allow to cool.


Lemon Sour Cream Cake Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • Couple tablespoons of Caster Sugar
  • 1/3 cup of Lemon Curd
Instructions:
  • Blend the two well and smooth over the cooled cheesecake.
  • Then mix in some lemon curd – make swirls as you mix it up on top of the cake.
  • Let rest for at least 30-60mins.


Chocolate & Sour Cream SpiderWeb Cake Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • Couple tablespoons of Caster Sugar
  • 50-70g or so of melted Baking chocolate
  • 1 tbsp of oil
Instructions:
  • Blend the two well and smooth over the cooled cheesecake.
  • Let rest for 1 hour on the counter.
  • Then, mix 50-70g or so of melted Baking chocolate with 1 tbsp of oil.
  • Use this chocolate to make nice designs on top of the semi-dried sweetened sour cream on the cake. Circles and a big dot in the middle, then use a toothpick to make the web design.



Firm Chocolate Glaze

Glaze hardens at room temperature
Great for cookies and cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 tbsp Hot Water
  • 1 Cup Icing Sugar (Pure or Mixture doesn't seem to make a big difference), sifted
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions:
  • Combine butter, cocoa and hot water. Blend well.
  • Blend in sifted icing sugar and vanilla.
  • Once smooth, you can pour or spread onto cakes or scoop into a piping bag to make pretty designs
  • Place glazed treats in the fridge for at least 15 mins to cool.


Chocolate Ganache for Cookie Sandwiches or Truffles

Makes 32 sandwich cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) of pouring cream
  • 100g Dark Baking Chocolate, cut up in very small chunks for faster melting
Instructions:
  • Place chocolate in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Heat the cream until near steaming.
  • Remove from heat and pour in bowl onto the chocolate. Let sit without stirring for 2 mins.
  • Stir until you arrive to a creamy chocolate consistency.
  • Place in a piping bag and pipe when ready OR place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until thick to make truffle balls.



Blood Orange Granita

Makes about 3 Cups of granita (for about 5-6 people)
Prep = 20 mins. Freezing time = 7 hours. Note : Needs minor attention 3hrs in, then every hour for 3-4 more hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 6 Blood Oranges, juiced (preferably without pulp)
Instructions:
  • Heat 1/4 cup of blood orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook, while stirring intermittently, over medium heat for 4 mins until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Place cooled blood orange mixture and remaining blood orange juice in a container for the freezer.
  • Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until just beginning to freeze.
  • Use a fork to flake mixture to break up the ice crystals.
  • Repeat fork flaking across the full mixture every hour for the next 3 hours, until completely frozen.
  • Granita can be stored for 1-2 weeks in the freezer.



Watermelon Granita

Can also be used for other fruits ie. Pineapple
Makes about 4 Cups of granita (for about 6-8 people)
Prep = 20 mins. Freezing time = 7 hours. Note : Needs minor attention 3hrs in, then every hour for 3-4 more hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
  • Large Seedless Watermelon, rind removed, roughly chopped in 1.5" cubes (about 1.2kg with the rind or 800g watermelon flesh, but needs not be exact)
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice (optional)
Instructions:
  • Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium or large sized saucepan. Cook, while stirring intermittently, over low heat for 4 mins until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase heat to high and add watermelon. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 mins.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 10 mins.
  • Place watermelon mixture in a food processor. Process until smooth. (You can do this in batches if it doesn't all fit).
  • Strain pureed watermelon mixture into a large 18x28 glass (preferred) or plastic container until as much is extracted as possible. Discard solids.
  • Stir in lime juice, cover (with a lid or plastic wrap) and place in the freezer for 3 hours or until just beginning to freeze.
  • Use a fork to flake mixture to break up the ice crystals.
  • Repeat fork flaking across the full mixture every hour for the next 3-4 hours, until completely frozen.


Raspberry & Lime Granita with Coconut Cream

Prep time 10 mins + Chill time 7 hrs total (need to take 5 at hour 4, then every hour for 3 hours).

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml Water
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Punnets (each ~120g) Raspberries
  • 2 Limes, rind finely grated
  • 80ml (1/3 Cup) Coconut Cream

Instructions:
  • Place a 15x25cm rectangle or 18cm square glass or plastic container in the freezer to chill.
  • In a small saucepan on medium high heat, warm up the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves, about 5 mins. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Pour the sugar mixture in the container, cover and return to the freezer for 4 hours or until partially firm.
  • While mixture is in the freezer, mash up the raspberries and mix in the lemon rind.
  • Using a fork, scrape the mixture into coarse shards.
  • Mix in the raspberry mixture in the iced mixture and return the mixture to the freezer.
  • Every hour for the next three hours, take out the iced granita mixture and, using the fork, scrape the mixture to ensure it is broken down into small crystals.
  • Then serve it, topped with coconut cream.
  • Or return to the freezer until it is ready to be served. Scrape once more just before serving.

Double Amaretti Semifreddo with Twisted Apricot Sauce

Prep = 30 mins. Chilling = 3 hours.

Ingredients (for the semifreddo):

  • 60g Amaretti Cookies
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
  • Note: You'll need either 6-7 individual 1/2 cup moulds, preferably (or a rectangular oven bread pan)
Ingredients (for the sauce):
  • 1/4 cup Apricot Preserves
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto Liqueur
Instructions:
  • Place the amaretti cookies in a resealable plastic bags and break up the cookies with a rolling pin or a heavy pot until you have a mixture of coarse and fine crumbs for texture.
  • Put the egg white in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the egg white.
  • Fold in the sifted icing sugar and amaretto liqueur.
  • Then fold in the cookie crumbs.
  • Fill 6-7 moulds, pushing in the mixture, to a flat top. Cover each with plastic wraps and place in freezer for at least 6 hour or overnight (and not longer than 1 wk).
  • To make the sauce (can be made ahead of time, then warmed up as needed), put the preserves and amaretto liqueur in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, mix well.
  • Boil for 1 minute, then cool slightly before pouring into a pouring container. Leave to cool. Cover and chill if not using immediately.
  • When serving the semifreddos, take each mould and place 3/4 of the mould in a bowl of hot boiled water for 30 seconds, being careful not to let any water into the semifreddo.
  • Wipe off the water from the mould and place a small plate on top of the open side of the mould and flip it upside down. The mould should release the semifreddo when raised. If not, reverse plate and heat up the mould again in the hot water for a little longer.
  • Pour 1-2 tbsp of heated sauce on top of the semifreddo and serve immediately.


Chocolate & Raspberry Baked Alaska

Serves 10-12.

Ingredients (for the Cake & Assembly):

Ingredients (for the Italian Meringue):
  • 155g (3/4 cup) Caster Sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Water
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 tsp of Tartar
Instructions:
  • Take 1 large metal bowl and cover the inside with plastic wrap. Ensure that there are no air pockets between the plastic and the container.
  • Let the chocolate ice cream tub sit on the countertop for 30 mins until mostly but not completely melted.
  • Pour 400-500ml of the melted ice cream into the metal bowl, on top of the plastic wrap.
  • Place the large metal bowl in the freezer for 2 hours. 30 mins before it is ready, take out the raspberry sherbet and leave on the counter for 30 mins to soften.
  • Then pour 400-500ml of the raspberry sherbet on top of the now frozen chocolate ice cream in the metal container. Return the metal container into the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, cover the frozen part with the remainder of the plastic wrap around the edges.
  • In the meantime, prepare the 1/2 the quantity of the chocolate hazelnut flourless cake, ensuring that the size of the springform tin will match the maximum width of the ice cream in the metal container, otherwise you'll need to trim it a little. Once prepared, set aside until just before serving.
  • Just before serving, prepare italian meringue. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Then increase heat to high, add a candy thermometer and without stirring, continue cooking for about 3-4mins until the mixture reaches 115C.
  • At this point, use electric beaters in a separate bowl to whip the egg whites while the syrup continues to cook. Add tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  • When the syrup reaches 120C, remove from the heat and set aside the thermometer to cool.
  • While continuing to whisk the egg whites on high, gradually add the hot syrup. Continue whisking for 10 mins or until thick glossy and cool. Set aside.
  • Take the ice cream out of the freezer, open plastic and place cooled chocolate cake on top of the ice cream. Place a serving plate on top and turn the containers upside down, allowing the cake and ice cream to fall onto the serving platter. Ensure that the cake and the ice cream are aligned. Remove plastic wrap from the ice cream.
  • Then, using a palette knife cover the cake and ice cream with the cooled meringue. Work quickly as the ice cream will start to melt and the meringue will begin falling as a result.
  • Once the meringue has covered the cake, using a torch, caramelised the meringue all around so that the caramelisation resembles that of a toasted marshmellow. This will hold the meringue in place.
  • Place a cherry or three raspberries on top and serve immediately.


Ice Cream Base (Use this base to make all sorts of flavours)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (though you probably can decrease this a little)
  • 2 cups of heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
Instructions:
  • Whisk eggs in mixing bowl until light anf fluffy (1-2 mins)
  • Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 min more
  • Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend
  • Put the cream in the freezer for 2-3 hours (stir regularly)
  • Meantime place flavouring ingredients in the fridge to cool them down (ie. fruit, cookies, etc)
  • Once the cream base has stiffened, blend in candy / Cookies, and return to freezer


Cinnamon Chocolate Gelato(My tastiest and smoothest ice cream recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 2-3 tsb cinnamon (or alternatively 1/2 cup of peanut butter)
Instructions:
  • Melt unsweetened chocolate in very low heat, stir constantly. Gradually add cocoa, stir until smooth. Whisk in milk little at a time and cinnamon, and heat until completely blended. Let cool.
  • Whisk eggs in mixing bowl until light anf fluffy (1-2 mins)
  • Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 min more
  • Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend
  • Blend the cooled chocolate & cinnamon mixture into the cream mixture.
  • Put the final mixture in the freezer for 2-3 hours or overnight.


Creamy Lemon Marscarpone Ice Cream(Incredibly creamy - can be used as a base w/out an ice cream maker!)

No need for an ice cream maker.
Let freeze overnight.
Good base recipe if you swap lemon with other flavours

Ingredients:

  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 Container (250g) mascarpone
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 jar good-quality lemon curd (1 Cup)
  • 1/2 Cup of Caster Sugar
Instructions:
  • Beat cream and icing sugar in a bowl with electric beaters just until soft peaks form (it's important not to overbeat).
  • Mix in mascarpone until just combined.
  • Stir in zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and lemon curd with a metal spoon.
  • Pour in a 2-litre plastic container and freeze overnight.


Jasmine Sherbet(The absolute most refreshing and unique dessert!!!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Jasmin Tea, Hot and Boiling (as you would drink it)
  • 3/4 Cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbs Orange Juice
  • 1 Egg White
  • Orange Zest for Garnish
Instructions:
  • Mix the tea with the sugar and the mint until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Mix in juices and let cool.
  • Remove mint leaves by siphoning the mixture.
  • Put mixture into the freezer for two hours. Remove and mix sherbert well until smooth. Return to freezer for another hour. Remove from freezer and mix again until smooth.
  • Beat the egg white until fluffy. Add to sherbert and mix delicately.
  • Return to the freezer until frozen (usually 2 or more hours)
  • Serve with Orange Zest Garnish.


Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (though you probably can decrease this a little)
  • 2 cups of heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Instructions:
  • Start this recipe in the evening
  • Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy (1 - 2 mins)
  • Whisk in the sugar, little at a time ( 1 min )
  • Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend
  • Pour about 1 cup of the mixture into another mixing bowl and add the peanut butter and mix until well blended (this will take a while)
  • Transfer the second mixture back into the first and then ensure well blended and place mixture into the freezer (I used yogurt or sour cream containers -- best to use lots of 250ml size containers as they freeze faster). Save some room to add in the banana mixture.
  • Go to sleep overnight -- pleasant dreams!
  • In the morning, stir containers to maximize creaminess.
  • Mash the bananas in a bowl, add lemon juice (to prevent browning) and mix until smooth
  • Mix the banana mixture into the peanut butter mixture. And place in the freezer.
  • Go to work
  • Come back home and mix it all up again (if it is frozen enough at this point you can enjoy it right away, other wise you might have to wait a few more hours)
  • Hope it's clear, let me know if you have any more questions... my mixture didn't seem to freeze quickly so that's why you might need to wait a while.
  • Good tip -- put the containers as deep in your freezer as possible -- the ones along the freezer door took much much longer to freeze.


Mexican Deep-Fried Ice Cream(Really... you fry it!!!)

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. Vanilla Ice Cream (or substitute ice cream)
  • 2 Cups Cornflakes (Flake Cereal), crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbs Sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Water
  • 4 8" Flour Tortillas
  • Vegetable Oil (For Deep Frying)
  • Garnish: Cinnamon and Sugar, Whipping Cream (whipped), Maraschino Cherries
Instructions:
  • Form ice cream into 4 balls. Place in baking pan and freeze solid, 2hrs or longer
  • Mix cereal, sugar, and cinnamon. Divide equally between 2 pie plates or other shallow containers.
  • Beat eggs and mix with water.
  • Roll each ice cream ball in cereal mixture and press coating into ice cream.
  • Dipp coated ball in egg wash, then roll in second container of cereal mixture. Again, press coating onto ice cream.
  • Freeze coated ice cream balls solid, for 4-6 hours more.
  • Shape each tortilla into hourglass form (with narrow waist) by cutting off curved slice from 2 opposite sides. One end will serve as a base for ice cream. Other end will be a decorative fan. (Honestly, we didn't try this fancy part of the dessert yet)
  • Heat oil in wok or large deep fryer.
  • Place tortilla between 2 ladles or large spoons of different sizes (smaller ladle on top). Place supported by handle of larger ladle. Deep fry until crisp.
  • Drain and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
  • Deep fry frozen coated ice cream balls for about 20 secs, rotating them quickly so that they toast only the outside layer.
  • Place each fried ball in the base of the fried tortilla. Top with garnish.


Jackfruit Custard Ice Cream

Ingredients:
  • 200ml Milk
  • 50ml Water
  • 38g Trimoline (Invert Sugar)
  • 60g Egg Yolk
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 270g Ripe Jackfruit (without the pulp and seeds; frozen ripe jackfruit works well)
  • 90g Caster Sugar
  • 220g Water
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped
Instructions:
  • Start by creating the jackfruit puree. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water and vanilla to a boil. Then add the jackfruit flesh. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  • Simmer for 8-10 mins until tender. Remove from heat and discard vanilla bean.
  • Puree mixture until smooth, then pass the puree through a sieve. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, bring milk, water and trimoline to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a large glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until combined.
  • Gradually pour the hot mixture over the yolks mixture, while stirring quickly to prevent the eggs from solidifying.
  • Place glass bowl with the yolk & milk mixture over a small saucepan with boiling water to cook the mixture through the heat from the steaming water below the bowl.
  • Cook until the mixture reaches 82C. Then pour the custard into a cold container to stop the custard from cooking. Place the custard mixture into the fridge to cool.
  • After 30 minutes, combine the jackfruit puree with the custard.
  • Pour the jackfruit custard into a plastic container for the freezer and place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours, or churn in an ice cream machine, until firm.



Super Smokey Frozen Marshmellows

Ingredients:

Instructions:
  • Note : You cannot eat high-moisture foods right when they come out of liquid nitrogen. They will get stuck frozen to your tongue and cause you great pain.
  • Low moisture foods — like marshmallows however can be eaten almost right out of the liquid nitrogen. They might stick a little to your tongue still so be cautious.
  • Place marshmellows in a bowl of liquid nitrogen. Freeze until the boiling starts subsiding. Take them out and soon after, but very cautiously, place them in your mouth.
  • The best part, is that when you crunch these foods in your mouth, a plume of scented (and harmless) nitrogen fog shoots out of your nose and mouth.



Raspberry Frozen Druplets

Freezing raspberries in liquid nitrogen helps to break up the raspberry segments beautifully, so that they can be used as a topping over ice cream and other desserts.

Ingredients:

  • Handful of Raspberries
  • Liquid nitrogen (at least a cup)
Instructions:
  • Put a handful of raspberries in liquid nitrogen.
  • Wait for the violent boiling to stop. Now the berries are frozen all the way through.
  • Smash the berries with a rolling pin.
  • Plate them immediately but Wait until the rapsberry druplets thaw a little bit before eating them.



Carbonated Fizz Fruit (made with dry ice)

Ingredients:
  • A large container or cooler with a lid, 47-liter / 50-quart
  • Dry ice (about 500g)
  • A clean kitchen towel
  • A wide range of fruit! Grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, clementines, watermelon slices, mango slices, apple slices, pineapple, kiwi, etc. The amount of fruit you use will not affect the amount of dry ice needed.
Instructions:
  • In the large 47L container, arrange dry ice on one edge of the container's base and cover with a towel.
  • Place fruit on the other side, preferably not over the towel covering the dry ice. Fruit can be whole or cut, it doesn't matter.
  • Close the container and wrap the full container in plastic wrap.
  • Chill for 12 hours.
  • Cut the plastic and open the container. The container will open easily.
  • Share the amazing fruit.



Chilled Columbian Lime Pudding Treat

Sweet and delicious on a hot summer day
Thanks to Sophia for showing me this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 370ml Evaporated Milk
  • 300ml Condensed Milk
  • 300ml Cream (18% fat)
  • 4-6 Small Limes
Instructions:
  • In a deep mixing bowl, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. Mix well.
  • If you want the servings to look extra special, zest 2 of the limes and set aside the zest (Zest in a spiral, around the fruit instead of a straight line down, to make it curly!).
  • Squeeze lime juice for 4 limes on the side.
  • Pour in the lime juice slowly while using an electric beater to thicken the milk mixture.
  • If the milk mixture does not thickens within a few seconds of beating, add the juice of another lime. Repeat if needed, but I found that 4 small limes are usually sufficient.
  • Once the mixture thicken and is well blended throughout, pour mixture into a container with a lid and place in the freezer for 30 mins.
  • Serve cold. Optional : Serve with lime zest on top.


Classic Creme Brulee (Just like in the schmic restos!)

Serves 4.
Note : Need to let the creme sit in the fridge for 6hrs to 2 days before completing the recipe
so best to prepare these the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Heavy Pure Cream
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Approx 1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
  • 4 Ramekin or Gratin Dishes
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 300F with racks positioned in the middle of the oven.
  • In a heavy saucepan, use medium heat to bring cream almost to boiling point. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg yolks, salt and sugar. Avoid overbeating.
  • Gradually stir in the hot cream until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Gently pour the mixture into the ramekin cups.
  • Place the cups in a deep baking pan. Transfer to the oven. Pour hot water (not boiling) into the pan and around the outside of the cups to reach halfway up the sides of the cups.
  • Bake until the cups are set around the edges but still wobble around (as if they were jello) when shaken very gently. Between 30mins and 90mins. Start checking early to avoid over cooking.
  • Once completed, remove from oven and let cups sit on a wire rack to cool. Wait 10mins then cover with clear wrap and refrigerate for at least 6hrs or up to 2 days.
  • Before serving, blot out any condensation on the top of the chilled cream with a napkin.
  • Pour a few tablespoons of raw sugar across the top of the cream so it makes a medium layer (2mm).
  • Using a small blowtorch, let the end of the flame 'lick' the sugar. Rotate cup to ensure the full area is covered by the flame and until the sugar melts, some bubbling and caramelising starts to occur. Let rest for 1-2 mins. Then once more very quickly to finalise the hardening of the sugar.
  • Note : The crunchy caramel top will start melting after more than one hour.

Alternate Flavours :

  • Ameretto : Mix in Almond Essence or Amaretto (Almond Liqueur) instead of Vanilla Essence
  • Cardamom : Add 6 lightly crushed cardamon pods to the hot milk and leave it be off the heat for at least 10 mins. Then discard the pods and reheat before mixing with eggs.
  • Eggnog : Add to the milk in step 2, 2 cinnamon sticks bashed, 3 whole cloves, freshly grated nutmeg. Discard the solids when poured through a fish mess strainer at the point of step 6. Then add 2 tbsp brandy before proceeding to pouring the mixture in cups.
  • Banana : Reduce cream to 3 cups. Stir in 1 Cup of banana puree, 2 tbsp rum, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom into the completed custard mix. When serving, garnish with diagonal slices of banana with a few speckles of rum.
  • Citrus : Add chopped grated zest of 2 or 3 lemons, limes, oranges or tangerines to the cream before heating. After heating, let steep for 15 before straining out the zest. When serving, spoon a little warm lemon sauce (lemon + sugar heated) over each custard just before serving.
  • Coconut : Replace coconut milk for all of the cream. When serving, sprinkle custards with toasted shredded coconut just before serving.
  • Fruited : Share 2 cups of cubed fruits (banana, mango, raspberries or peach) among the bottoms of the cups before pouring the custard mixtures.
  • Ginger : Add 2 or 3 tbsp FRESH grated ginger to the cream before heating. After heating, let steep for 15 mins before straining. When serving, add just a few pieces of glace ginger to the top.
  • Lavender : Add 1/2 cup fresh lavender blossoms to the cream before heating. Remove from heat and let steep for 15mins before straining. When serving, place a small piece of lavender next to the cup for decoration.
  • Maple : Substitute pure maple syrup for the sugar in the egg mixture. When serving, pour a little warm maple syrup over each pot de creme just before serving.
  • Spirited : Add about 1/4 cup sherry, brandy, marsala, port or other fortified wine or spirit to the strained warm custard mixture.


Creme Caramel

Serves 6
Like a Creme Brulee but has a light caramel syrup top instead of a crunchy top, both are delicious.
Note : Need to let the creme sit in the fridge for 6hrs to 2 days before completing the recipe so best to prepare these the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cups Caster Sugar
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs + 3 extra yolks
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Combine 3/4 Cup sugar and 1 Cup cold water in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until sugar has dissolved.
  • Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Boil without stirring (swirling the pan is ok) for 5 to 7 mins, until golden. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 mins to allow bubbles to subside.
  • Pour sugar mixture into six 1 Cup capacity, ovenproof dishes. Set aside to set.
  • Combine cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 6 to 8 mins or until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk eggs, extra yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Slowly add cream mixture, whisking constantly. Strain mixture and divide between dishes.
  • Place dishes in a deep baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish until halfway up the sides of the smaller dishes. Bake for 30 mins or until just set.
  • Remove baking dish from oven. Remove dishes from water. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  • When serving, run a thin knife around the edge of each dish. Turn onto a 1cm deep plate (to capture the liquid caramel). Serve cold.


Vietnamese Coconut Creme Caramel

Serves 6
Prep Time 15 mins + 1.5 hours to Chill + Cooking Time 45 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 100g Sugar
  • 125ml Water
  • 250ml Milk
  • 250ml Thick Coconut Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
Instructions:
  • Bring the sugar and 3 tbsp of the water to a boil in a small saucepan over meium heat, without stirring.
  • Simmer until golden brown, about 4mins, then add the remaining water and return to a boil, stirring.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately pour the caramel syrup equally into 6 ovenproof bowls. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Heat the milk and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Remove and set aside.
  • Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Gradually add the warm milk mixture, a little at a time, whie whisking to mix well. Strain the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture equally into the bowls containing the caramel syrup.
  • Place bowls in a deep baking dish, filled 1/3rd with boiling water.
  • Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until cream just sets, for 30-40 mins.
  • Remove bowls from the oven and the baking pan, and set aside to cool.
  • When the creme caramel is cool enough, chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, use a thin knife to cut the perimeter of the creme caramel and make sure it is loosened. Place a plate over top and flip upside down very quickly so the caramel doesn't spill out.
  • Then remove the bowl so the creme caramel stands on its own on the plate, with a brown caramel top.


Zesty Lemon Syllabub

Makes for a lovely and fresh tasting summer dessert!
Serves 6-8
Prep = 10 mins. Cooking = 0 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 75ml Dessert Wine or White Wine
  • 2 Large Lemons
  • 90g Sugar (nearly 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cup Pure Cream
Instructions:
  • Pour the wine in a small bowl with the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, and the sugar. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. You may need to let it stand for 15 mins then stir again.
  • Meanwhile, zest the remaining lemon into long thin strips for decoration. Blanch the strips into boiling water for 1 min. Drain and rinse under cold water, set aside to dry on a serviette.
  • In a medium bowl, whip the cream until it just holds its shape. Add the wine mixture very slowly, whisking well after each addition to ensure that the mixture remains thick.
  • Spoon into 4 tall clear glasses. Decorate the top of each syllabub with a strip or two of the lemon zest and serve immediately.


Lime & Coconut Panna Cotta (Gluten-Free)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 600ml Thickened Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Basil Leaves
  • 6 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Fresh if possible), finely shredded
  • 1/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 400ml Can Coconut Cream
  • 3 Gold-strength Gelatine Leaves
  • 1/2 Red Papaya, diced (alternatively, kiwi and strawberries are also nice)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds (optional)
Instructions:
  • Place the cream, basil, kaffir lime leaves, sugar and 1 cup (250ml) of the coconut cream in saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat. Stand for 15 mins to infuse.
  • Strain the cream miture, discarding solids, then return to the pan and cook over low heat until warmed through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins to soften.
  • Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, then stir into the warm cream until melted and combined.
  • Divide among six 200ml bowls or cups, then chill for 3-4 hours until set.
  • Toss the papaya (or alternate fruit) with the lime juice.
  • Drizzle the remaining 150ml coconut cream over the panna cottas, topping with papaya cubes and sesame seeds.


Irish Whiskey Chocolate Mousse with Bailey's Cream

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup (15g) Quality Instant Coffee Granules dissolved in 1/ Cup (60ml) hot water
  • 150g Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped plus grated chocolate for serving
  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 150g Caster Sugar, plus extra 1 tbsp
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
Instructions:
  • Place coffee, chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set in a bain-marie ie. over a pan of gently simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water), stirring until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate bain-marie / heat proof bowl sitting over simmering water (ensuring water doesn't get into the bowl), place yolks, whiskey, vanilla, 150g sugar and 1 tbs cold water.
  • Whisk with electric beaters for 3 minutes or until thick and pale.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and immediately sit it in a larger bowl filled with iced water (don’t let any water get in the yolk mixture), then continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens and cools slightly.
  • Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until well combined.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the eggwhites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the extra 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
  • Gently fold in one-quarter of the eggwhite into the chocolate mixture to loosen the mixture, then fold in the remaining eggwhite until combined (in 2 batches of the beaten eggwhites ie. half of the remaining eggwhites first, then the rest).
  • Spoon the chocolate mousse into small serving glasses, leaving a 2cm gap at the top. Chill for 3-4 hours to set.
  • When ready to serve, whisk thickened cream and Baileys together until stiff peaks form, then spoon over the mousse.
  • Scatter with grated chocolate and serve cold.


Indian Saffron & Rosewater Cream Pots

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:

  • 450ml Thickened Cream
  • 50g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Rosewater
  • Pinch saffron strands
  • 100ml Milk
  • Chopped pistachios and edible silver leaf, to serve
Instructions:
  • Heat milk until just warm.
  • Soak saffron strands in warmed milk for 15-20 mins until milk is coloured.
  • Whisk the cream until soft peaks just start to form - do not over-whisk it.
  • Sift in the icing sugar, then add the rosewater and the now-cool saffron milk (without the strands).
  • Whisk together for 1 min until smooth and a few bubbles appear on the surface.
  • Pour gently into small serving glasses and chill overnight.
  • Decorate with pistachios and silver leaf, if you like, then serve.


Classic Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 500g Dairy Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • 30g Butter
  • 1 Can Condensed Milk
Instructions:
  • Prepare a square shallow pan lined with aluminium foil to set the fudge in.
  • Break up the chocolate into 2-3 square pieces and melt in a bain-marie (metal bowl over a saucepan boiling with water, water must not touch the chocolate).
  • While the chocolate is in the process of melting, add butter and condensed milk.
  • Stir regularly until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour mixture into the lined dish and place in the fridge to set, for about 2-3 hours.


Decadent Tiramisu

Need to prepare at least 6hrs ahead of time (or overnight, if possible)
Ingredients:

  • 2.5 Cups Strong Brewed Coffee, room temperature
  • 1.5 tbsp Instant Espresso Granules
  • 13 tbsp Dark Rum
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Table Salt
  • 1.5 Pounds of Mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Heavy Cream
  • 14 Ounces (42 to 60 depending on size) dried lady fingers ie. Savoiardi
  • 3.5 tbsp Cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1/4 Cup Grated SemiSweet or Bittersweet Chocolate (optional)
Instructions:
  • Stir coffee, espresso and 9 tbsp rum in wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks at low speed until well blended.
  • Add sugar and salt and beat at medium speed until mixture is yellow. (1.5-2mins)
  • Blend in remaining 4 tbsp of rum with beaters for 30 more seconds.
  • Add mascarpone and beat until no lumps remain. Set aside.
  • Clean egg beaters.
  • In a separate bowl, beat cream at medium speed until frothy (1-1.5 mins). Then continue beating at high speed for another 1-1.5 mins longer until cream holds stiff peaks (1-1.5 mins longer).
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone mixture to lighten. Then fold in the remaining cream until no white streaks remain. Set aside.
  • Working with one lady finger biscuit at a time, drop each biscuit into the coffee mixture (it will float), roll and quickly remove without letting it soak up much coffee (each biscuit should not be in the coffee longer than 2-3 seconds). Then transfer the biscuit into the base of a 13 x 9 inch rectangle glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Repeat until the full base of the baking dish is covered in one layer of biscuits. (Breaking biscuits if needed to fill the base.)
  • Then spread half of mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers base. Use rubber spatula to spread mixture evenly across the base including the corners.
  • Place 2 tbsp of cocoa into a sieve or strainer and lightly but evenly cover the top of the mascarpone layer with cocoa powder.
  • Then repeat ladyfinger soaking process to create a second layer.
  • Spread remaining mascarpone mixture across the second layer.
  • Strain the remaining 1.5 tbsp of cocoa over the second layer of mascarpone mixture.
  • Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.
  • Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using. Cut into square pieces. Serve chilled.


Five Layer Pudding with Sherry Jelly, Chocolate Custard and Dulce de Leche Caramel

Serves 8
Time : 20 mins Prep + 5.5 hours Chill + 30 mins Cook

Ingredients:

  • 500ml Quality Sherry or Port (such as Pedro Ximenez)
  • 4.5 Leaves Titanium Strength Gelatine
  • 1/3 Cup Raisins
  • 190g Shortbread Biscuits
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Almond Flakes, for serving
Ingredients (Chocolate Custard):
  • 250ml Milk
  • 250ml Thickened Cream
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 90g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Arrowroot Flour
  • 125g Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa
Ingredients (Dulce de Leche Cream):
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 200g Dulce de Leche
Instructions:

Make the sherry jelly

  • In a small saucepan, oven medium-heat, bring 125ml of the sherry to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, soak gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 mins. Squeeze out the water and add to warm sherry. Stir thoroughly until the gelatine has fully dissolved.
  • Stir in raisins and mix until they are separated (and no longer stick to each other). Then add the rest of the sherry. Transfer to individual clear serving cups and chill in the fridge for approx. 4 hours until set.
Make the custard
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-heat, bring milk and cream to a steaming heat, just before boiling.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate glass or heat proof bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until combined.
  • While whisking quickly and constantly, pour the hot milk mixture gradually into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan, over medium-low heat, cook for 6 mins while continuing to stir constantly until the mixture has thickened to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the mixture and the arrowroot flour until a very smooth paste forms (with no lumps). Return paste to saucepan with chocolate and cocoa.
  • Place over medium heat, while whisking constantly still, for about 6mins until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is very thick.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature, then chill for 1 hour.
  • In a blender, blend shortbread until you have a rough crumb (do not blend it too finely). Transfer to a bowl, add melted butter and mix to combine. Set aside.
Make the Dulce de Leche Caramel Cream
  • In a large bowl, beat cream until lightly thickened.
  • In a separate medium bowl, place the dulce de leche and gradually fold in the whipped cream until all the cream has been transferred.
Assembly
  • For each individual serving cup, over the jelly layer, add a layer of chocolate custard. Tap the cup lightly to even out the layer.
  • Add a layer of shortbread crumb. Tap the cup lightly.
  • Add a layer of the dulce de leche cream. Tap the cup lightly.
  • Add a layer of the chocolate custard. Tap the cup lightly.
  • Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of toasted almond slices.


Jelly Fruit Cups (with real fruit only)

2 Flavours - Watermelon and Orange-Pineapple
Makes about 12 cups
Best to start them the night before

Ingredients (Watermelon Jellies):

  • 600g Peeled Watermelon, chopped roughly and some extra
  • 1/8 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 3 Titanium-strength Gelatine Leaves
  • 300g Peeled Watermelon, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 250g Punnet of Strawberries, quartered
  • 60g Blueberries
  • 12 Mint Leaves
Ingredients (Orange-Pineapple Jellies):
  • 200ml Orange Juice
  • 200ml Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 3 Titanium-strength Gelatine Leaves
  • 1 Mango, peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 Banana, peeled and diced into 2 cm thick quartered slices
  • 60g Blueberries
  • 12 Mint Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Shaved toasted coconut
Instructions (Watermelon Jellies):
  • Puree the 600g of chopped watermelon in a blender, then strain into a saucepan - resulting in about 350-400ml of watermelon juice.
  • Add 1/8 cup sugar and place over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool just slightly.
  • Meanwhile, soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins. Squeeze out excess water and whisk the leaves into the still hot liquid until fully dissolved. Chill in a jug for no more than 1 hour so the jelly can slightly thicken.
  • Divide cubed melon, strawberries, blueberries and mint leaves in 6 small cups (to hold about 1 cup of jelly each) and pour over cooled watermelon jelly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and return jelly cups to the fridge for at least 3 hours or until they are set.
  • To serve garnish with mint.
Instructions (Orange-Pineapple Jellies):
  • Place orange and pineapple juices into a saucepan and add 1/8 cup sugar. Place over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool just slightly.
  • Meanwhile, soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins. Squeeze out excess water and whisk the leaves into the still hot liquid until fully dissolved. Chill in a jug for no more than 1 hour so the jelly can slightly thicken.
  • Divide cubed mango, bananas, blueberries and mint leaves in 6 small cups (to hold about 1 cup of jelly each) and pour over cooled watermelon jelly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and return jelly cups to the fridge for at least 3 hours or until they are set.
  • To serve garnish with toasted shaved coconut.

Berries or Nectarines in Champagne Jelly

Perfect indulgent summer treat.
Serves 8-10. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 tsp Unflavoured Powdered Gelatin
  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 3/4 Cup plus 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 650ml Dry Champagne, room temperature (if you use the full 750ml bottle, the jelly will be much softer. You can drink the rest!)
  • Topping : 1 1/2 Pints Mixed Berries (Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries)
  • Alternate Topping : 250g Punnet Strawberries, 6 medium white nectarines, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp icing sugar mixture
Instructions:
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a stainless steel saucepan and soften for 5 minutes or until well moistened.
  • Add 3/4 Cup of the sugar and place over low heat until gelatin and sugar are fully dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the champagne while stirring gently. Pour into small see-through cups or a non-stick square cooking pan and chill, covered, for at least 4 hrs or overnight. If used a square pan, cut jelly in rectangle cubes and layer the slices to serve.
  • Topping : If using strawberries, slice them up in half and stir with remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Let sit for at least 10 mins before serving.
  • Layer the champagne jelly and the berries in wine or parfait glasses, ending with the berries. Drizzle any remaining juice over the tops.
  • If preparing them ahead of time, add the last layer of berries just before serving.
  • Alternate Topping : Take 2 nectarines and use a knife to place a cross in the bottom. Place nectarines in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 1 minute. Drain. Refersh under cold water. Using a small sharp knife, remove and discard nectarine skins and seed. Roughly chop. Process peeled nectarines, strawberries, lemon juice and icing sugar mixture until smooth. Strain mixture into a bowl. Segment remaining nectarines. Divide puree between glasses, top with nectarine segments. Serve immediately.


Almond Jello

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp Gelatine
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 1/4 Cups Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Boiling Water
  • 2 Drops of Almond Essence
  • 4 Strawberries
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatine over the cold water.
  • Add sugar and then the boiling water.
  • Stir mixture until sugar and gelatine have dissolved.
  • Add milk and almond essence. Stir well.
  • Pour mixture into four individual serving dishes. Set aside until cool then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  • Decorate with sliced strawberries.


Coconut Jello

Goes brilliantly with mango and lychee for a fresh summer dessert
Serves 12.
Prep = 20 mins + 1hr cooling + 4hrs for setting. Cooking = 10 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml (2 cups) Cold Water
  • 215g (1 cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Gelatine
  • 800ml Coconut Milk (preferably high quality)
  • Optional for serving : 2 small mangoes, diced; 2 x 565g can lychees in syrup (drained, with 1/2 cup syrup reserved); fresh mint leaves.
Instructions:
  • Grease a 18x18x4.5cm square pan and set aside.
  • Place the water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir for 3-4 mins until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  • Gradually add the gelatine, stirring until combined (it won't completely dissolve yet).
  • Return the pan to low heat. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins until the gelatine has dissolved (do not boil).
  • Gradually add the coconut milk, stirring until combined. Cook, stirring intermittently, for 2-3 mins until heated through (do not boil).
  • Transfer the coconut mixture to a large heatproof bowl. Stir every 15 mins for 1 hour or until cool.
  • Then pour cooled mixture into the prepared pan and place in the fridge, stirring occasionally for 30 mins, then leave in the fridge for 3 hours or until set.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edge of a pan, to loosen. Cut squares or rectangles and serve from the pan, or invert onto a cleaned working surface covered with a sheet of baking paper (press base of the pan to loosen when pan is upside down).
  • Optional : To serve, combine mango, lycheese and reserved syrup in a bowl. Serve with mango mixture and top with mint leaves.
  • Alternate fruit options : strawberries, kiwi fruit, melon, jackfruit, etc.


Sicilian Watermelon Jelly Pudding

Serves 6-8
Prep = 15 mins + 4.5 hours chilling. Cooking = 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • Large Watermelon (1.5kg seedless watermelon flesh, chopped)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g (2/3 cup) Cornflour or Cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Suggested Garnish: Ginger Infused Watermelon Balls & Syrup OR chopped pistachios & whipped cream.
Instructions:

Ginger-Infused Watermelon Balls

Makes 3 dozen watermelon balls.
Prep = 30 mins + 3 hours chilling. Cooking = 10 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Watermelon, cut length-wise
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger, cut into several slices and lightly bruised with the bottom of a knife
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
Instructions:
  • In a small saucepan, boil the water, sugar and ginger slices. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved, then continue to heat at a gentle boil for 10 mins. Turn off heat an allow to cool completely.
  • With the rounded side of a small melon baller, press down firmly into the melon until the top of the melon baller sinks to match the height of the watermelon. Then twist the melon baller around to make a sphere and lift out melon ball. Remove seeds if necessary.
  • Place melon balls in a plastic or glass container and continue making melon balls until all the top of the melon has been scooped out.
  • Slice melon length-wise again, straight across just under the scooped out portion. Then continue making melon balls until the full melon has been scooped.
  • Once the ginger sugar syrup has cooled, remove ginger slices and pour the cooled syrup on the watermelon balls.
  • Refrigerate melon balls in syrup for at least 3 hours or overnight. Will keep well.

Malaysian Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar

Makes 2 Puddings. Easy to double or triple the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp Dried Sago (Small Pearl Tapioca)
  • 900ml Water
  • 150ml Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 70g Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) or Coconut Sugar, grated
  • 2-3 Pandan Leaves (or a few drops of pandan essence)
  • 2 tbsp Water
Instructions:
  • Preparing the sago... Rinse the dried sago and place into 900ml boiling Water in a very large stock pot (as you will need to add water as the sago mixture gets thick).
  • Maintain a medium boil, add the sago while stirring (to prevent clumping), and continue boiling for 15-20 mins until the sago is translucent and you just can no longer see white spots inside the sago pearls. Do this while stirring intermittently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom. Add just boiled water as needed to keep mixture from becoming too thick.
  • Once the sago is all translucent, rinse the sago gently with running tap water so that all that remains are the sago pearls and the starch has been fully rinsed off.
  • Pour the drained cooked sago into bowls (I could fill 2 small bowls). Level the sago in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the coconut milk by placing it in a small saucepan with the salt and bringing it to a low simmer. It will become slightly thicker after a minute or so. Pour it into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled, place in the fridge for use when serving the sago.
  • Finally, prepare the palm sugar sauce by combining, in a small saucepan, the water, palm leaves and palm sugar.
  • Set heat to medium-low, stir mixture until it dissolves. Then remove it from heat, strain out the pandan leaves and pour the sugar mixture into a bowl to cool. Once cooled, place aside for use when serving the sago.
  • When the sago is ready, use a spoon to loosen the edges and carefully remove it from the bowl upside down on a serving plate. Then spoon over a couple tablespoons of the prepared coconut milk and then the sugar syrup on top.

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce, Pedro Ximenez Raisins and Honeyed Pecans

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

Honeyed Pecans

  • 60g Honey
  • 180g Pecan Nuts
Raisins
  • 100g Moscatel or Golden Raisins
  • 60ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
Poached Pears
  • 600g Sugar
  • 2 Lemons, Zest and Juice
  • 2 Oranges, Zest and Juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 200ml White Wine
  • 2 Vanilla Beans, split lengthwise
  • 6 Pears, peeled, halved, cored
Caramel
  • 100g Honey
  • 50g Brown Sugar
  • 30g Butter
  • Optional : Mint leaves for serving along with the sauce
Instructions:

Raisins

  • Put the sherry in a small saucepan and heat until warmed.
  • Add the raisins and stir to combine.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to soak for 1 hour.
Honeyed Pecans
  • Preheat oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place the honey in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
  • Add the pecans to the saucepan and stir to combine.
  • Strain the pecans to remove excess honey. Spread pecans out over the baking paper to form one layer.
  • Bake for 5 mins then set aside to cool.
Poached Pears
  • In a large soup saucepan, combine 2L of water with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, five-spice, star anise, cinnamon, wine and vanilla beans. Bring to a boil.
  • Prepare the pears and add them to the liquid and cover with a small paper over them within the water so that they remain submerged.
  • Reduce to a simmer then cook for 30 mins or until tender.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears.
Caramel
  • In a large frying pan, add honey sugar and butter. Heat until melted and combined.
  • Bring to a boil. Add the pear halves and toss until coated in the caramel.
  • Serve the pears surrounded by the pecans, raisins, extra caramel sauce and garnished with the mint.



Pink Poached Quinces (GF)

Ingredients :

  • 2 Large Quinces
  • 2 Cups Caster Sugar
  • 3 cm Piece of Ginger, sliced
  • 1 Rosemary Sprig
  • 2 Lemons
Instructions:
  • Fill a large bowl to the 3/4 mark with cool water and the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Peel and core the quinces, then cut them into thick slices. Transfer them as quickly as possible to the water lemon bath to prevent them from browning.
  • Pare the zest from the remaining lemon.
  • Combine the sugar, rosemary, ginger and pared lemon zest and juice (everything but the quince) in a medium sized saucepan with 4 cups of water.
  • Bring mixture to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Drain quince, then add quince slices to the sugar mixture.
  • Simmer gently for 1.5 hours, until tender and rosy pink.
  • Turn 1 cup of the poaching liquid into syrup by placing it in a small saucepan (removing all the rosemary, lemon and ginger bits) and simmering to reduce until thickened to form a syrup.
  • Store quinces within the poaching liquid in the fridge. Syrup can also be stored in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week.



Lebanese Knafeh (Sweet Cheese Treat)

Serves 10
Time : 30 mins Prep + 1 hr Cooking + 6 hrs or overnight Cooling

Ingredients :

  • 80g Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 220g Cornflakes, finely crushed
  • 2 1/8 Cups Milk
  • 1/4 Cup (55g) Caster Sugar
  • 45g Fine Semolina
  • 300ml Thickened Cream
  • 1/2 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp Rosewater
  • 250g Mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • Dried Rose Petals and Chopped Pistachios
Ingredients for the Syrup :
  • 1 Cups (220g) Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Rosewater
Instructions:
  • Prepare a deep square tray, grease tray and line base with baking paper.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix melted butter and crushed cornflakes until they are fully coated.
  • Press half the mixture evenly across the base of the tray. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  • In a large saucepan, prepare the filling by heating up milk, sugar, semolina, cream plus the cornflour diluted in 1 tbsp of warm water. Stir constantly for 12 mins or until thick. Remove from heat and stir in rosewater. Set aside to cool for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Spoon half the filling on top of the cornflake base.
  • Scatter grated mozzarella on top.
  • Spoon the remaining filling on top of mozzarella.
  • Scatter the remaining cornflakes on top of the mixture.
  • Bake for 25 mins or until it's starting to bubble around the edges.
  • Allow to cool for 1 hour on the counter then place it in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Note : You can make the syrup the night before serving as it keeps well.
  • To make syrup, place sugar in a saucepan with 125ml (1/2 Cup) water over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 mins until thickened. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Cut knafeh into squares. Place knafeh squares separately onto a lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 10 mins until the cheese just starts to melt.
  • Serve warm with rosewater syrup and scattered rose petals and pistachios.


Oven-Roasted Candied Quinces

Great as a candied treat with ice cream, mascarpone or creme fraiche
Serves 8
Prep Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 3 - 4 hours
Total Time : 3.5 - 4.5 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Caster Sugar
  • 5 Quinces
  • 1L Water
Instructions:
  • In a large saucepan, mix in the water and sugar until combined.
  • One at a time, peel the quince, remove seeds and cut into 6 slices. Warning : Quinces can be very hard to cut.
  • Place slices into the sugar water in the saucepan.
  • Repeat with remaining quinces.
  • Once all the quinces are in the pan, set heat to high and boil the mixture until the quinces turn pink and the liquid becomes thick (about 1 hour or more)
  • About 15 mins before the quinces are done, preheat the oven to 200C and prepare a roasting tray lined with foil paper.
  • Place the quince slices, standing up as much as possible, across the roasting tin.
  • Pour over a bit of the remaining syrup from the pan until about 1cm deep in the roasting pan.
  • Place roasting pan in the oven for about 1 hour.
  • Turn oven heat down to 160C and bake for another 2-3 hours, basting and turning regularly so that the quinces caramelise on all sides.
  • Remove from oven and serve with ice cream, mascarpone or creme fraiche.


BBQ Grilled Pineapple Skewers with Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes a minimum of 4 pineapple skewers.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pineapple, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 4-8 Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
  • 125ml Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Ice Cream, to serve (optional)
Instructions:
  • In a small saucepan, over medium heat, simmer bourbon, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • Thread pineapple chunks onto 4 or more skewers
  • Heat BBQ grill. Grill pineapple skewers until brown, basting repeatedly with bourbon glaze, and turning occasionally, about 6-8 mins.


Sous Vide Strawberries and Coconut Sugar

Ingredients:
  • 1 punnet strawberries, hulled (or also very good with cherries, without stems and without sugar)
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
Instructions:
  • 60 degrees Celcius for 25 mins.


Sous Vide Banana Rum Raisin

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Rum
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
Instructions:
  • Place all the ingredients in a sous-vide plastic bag. Vaccuum seal the bag.
  • In a vat of water heated to 60 degrees Celcius with a sous vide water heater such as a Joule.
  • Cook at this temperature for 25 mins. Serve warm.



Japanese Mochi with Sweet Red Bean Filling

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 220g Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 110g Sugar
  • 200ml Coconut Milk (or milk if you have to)
  • 1/2-1 Cup Desiccated Coconut or Toasted Sesame or Glutinous Rice Flour, to cover the mochi
Ingredients for the Red Bean Filling:
  • 1/2 Cups Red Beans
  • 1.5 Cup Boiling Water
  • Approx 3/4 Cup Rock Sugar, to taste
Instructions:
  • Make the paste : Soak the red beans for 3 hours. Drain well.
  • Add into the boiling water and simmer over low heat, with cover until soft.
  • When half the water is gone, add rock sugar to taste.
  • When the beans become soft but can still retain their shape, they are ready. Don't forget to taste them to ensure that the mixture is sweet enough (if not, add more rock sugar).
  • Set aside to cool, then puree mixture.
  • Make the dough : Combine the glutinous rice flour with sugar. Blend well.
  • Gradually stir in coconut milk until smooth.
  • Transfer the dough mixture into a very shallow bowl (preferably) or plate - The shallower the plate, the faster the dough will cook through.
  • Steam over high heat, covered, for 30mins, or until cooked through (when mixture is translucent). Or try inserting a chopstick - if it comes out without too much of the dough, it is ready. Remove and set aside to cool 5-10 mins.
  • Cut away small pieces of dough, enough to knead the dough into a small flat disc of about 4 inches in diameter and about 5mm thick.
  • Spoon the red bean puree in the middle. Fold the edge to seal the mochi into a ball shape.
  • Lightly roll the mochi ball into dessicated coconut, or toasted sesame seeds or toasted glutinous rice flour. And they are ready to eat!
  • (If using the glutinous rice flour, you must cook the rice flour first by spreading it evenly on a cookie tray and toasting it in the oven for about 3-5 mins until aromatic. Do not let it burn. Let it cool before use.)



French Canadian Sucre a la creme (For those with a very sweet tooth)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (or 6 oz.) of 2% Evaporated Milk
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrop or peanut butter (peanut butter is soo good!)
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
Instructions:
  • Mix in a saucepan the milk, sugar, butter and chosen flavouring (peanut or maple)
  • Heat to boil
  • Remove from the heating element, add icing sugar
  • Mix well until it is smooth (with no sugar clumps)
  • Pour in a greased (with Cisco) pan (at least 1" deep)
  • Cover with aluminum foil and place in freezer for at least an hour
  • Serve cold and in brownie pieces


Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Amazingly taste just like Reese Pieces Cups!
Makes 34
Prep = 25 mins. Chilling Time = 4 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 180g White Chocolate, roughly broken
  • 3/4 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Thickened Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, roughly broken
  • 50g Milk Chocolate, roughly broken (optional for decoration)
Instructions:
  • In a microwave safe medium sized bowl, place white chocolate, peanut butter and cream.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds. Then check if melted. If half melted, stir until smooth. Otherwise, place in microwave for another 20 seconds. Repeat stirred to a smooth mixture.
  • Stir in salt and refrigerate for 3 hours, until firm.
  • Line a tray with baking paper. Using a teaspoon, roll about 1/2 - 1 tsp of mixture into a ball (these truffles are potent so keep the peanut butter balls small). Place these on the tray and chill for at least 30 mins.
  • 10 mins before the peanut butter balls are ready, heat up dark chocolate in a microwave safe small bowl (for dipping the truffles).
  • Microwave for 30 seconds. Then check if HALF melted. If so, take out bowl and stir until smooth. Otherwise, place in microwave for another 20 seconds. Repeat until half melted and stirred to a smooth mixture.
  • Using a truffle spoon or fork, dip the peanut butter ball into the now-cooler-but-still-liquid dark chocolate.
  • Ensure they are fully covered in chocolate then remove from the chocolate bowl and shake off excess chocolate (sometimes you need to wait for as much as 20-30 seconds until all excess chocolate drips off - trust me, it's worth waiting).
  • Return truffles to the baking paper lined tray and once the tray is full, refrigerate for at least 10-15 minutes to set.
  • Optional decoration: Melt milk chocolate in an microwave safe bowl until half melted then stir to smoothen mixture. Spoon chocolate in the corner of a ziploc or sandwich plastic bag. Snip off a tiny bit of the corner to make a small hole and pipe lines on the dark chocolate truffles. Refrigerate until set, about 10-15 more mins.


Christmas Candy Cane Truffles

Makes 30 truffles.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Candy Canes
  • 300g Cream Filled Chocolate Biscuits (eg. Oreos)
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup (80ml) Pure Cream
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, for coating
Instructions:
  • Place the candy canes in a food processor and process until nearly ground. Sift out 3 tbsp of the larger chunks and set aside in a small bowl. For any chunks larger than 3mm, process again until smaller. In a larger bowl set aside the rest of the candy cane pieces.
  • In the empty food processor, process the cream biscuits until finely ground. Put mixture in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add the melted dark chocolate and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Add the cream and mix until combined. Then add in the larger bowl of candy cane pieces and blend until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for 15mins or until firm.
  • Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and refrigerate for a further 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile prepare the chocolate by placing the dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point.
  • Dip into the cooled melted chocolate (ideally with a truffle spoon or fork), let the excess chocolate drip off and place on a baking sheet.
  • Before moving on to the next truffle, sprinkle a little bit of the remaining crushed candy cane pieces on the top of the chocolate truffle for decoration.
  • Continue with remaining truffles then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Amaretto Truffles

Makes 1 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 3 tsp Double Cream
  • 1 Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
  • 10g Butter
  • 2 tsp Amaretto
  • 35g Amaretti Biscuits, lightly crushed
  • 100g Milk Chocolate, for coating
  • 2 tbsp of Almond Flakes, slightly crushed
Instructions:
  • Melt 100g of the milk chocolate (30 seconds in the microwave).
  • Warm the cream and pour it over the egg yolk, whisking the two quickly (careful that the cream is not too hot as we just want to pasteurise the egg).
  • Add the butter and Amaretto to the warm cream mixture. Do not melt the butter first.
  • Add the melted chocolate and stir well.
  • Fold in the lightly crushed biscuits gently, so as not to break them further. Leave in the fridge until set for at least 30 mins.
  • When set, scoop out pieces between the size of a macadamian nut and a walnut. Use your fingers and thumbs to make a ball (as the palm of your hand is too warm).
  • Leave to set on a baking paper-lined tray in the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Temper the remainder of the milk chocolate for dipping and roll the truffles around in your chocolate covered fingers to coat them.
  • Tempered Chocolate: Place the chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed... keep monitoring for the half melted point. This is your tempered chocolate for coating.
  • Place a few crushed almond flakes on top of each truffle for decoration. Let sit in the fridge for at least 15mins before serving to set.
  • Store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.


Praline Truffles

Delicious and beautiful crunchy texture
Makes 3 dozen truffles
Recipe will need to be started 1 day ahead of serving.

Ingredients:

  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  • 60ml Cream
  • 100g Hazelnuts, roasted
  • 2 cups (480g) Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Glucose Syrup
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, for coating
Instructions:
  • Heat up cream and pour over chocolate place in a medium sized bowl. Leave for a minute then stir until smooth. Set aside.
  • Spread your roasted hazelnuts onto some baking paper in a lipped baking tray. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, heat up the sugar, water and glucose syrup.
  • Stir the sugar until it is dissolved, then leave it to bubble until it starts to go golden. If sugar crystals start forming on the edges, use a wet pastry brush to wash them down.
  • Once golden, immediately pour it over the hazelnuts and leave it to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, break up the praline and place it in a strong bag. Smash it with a rolling pin, then process the remainder until you have a mix of coarse and small praline crumb.
  • Filter out 3 tbsp of large praline pieces for decoration.
  • Mix remainder of the praline into the chocolate mixture. And stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to firm up.
  • Then take spoonfuls and roll into balls or short logs. Return to the fridge for 15 mins to harden.
  • Dip the ganache pieces into tempered chocolate to coat, shaking off the excess chocolate before placing them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Tempered Chocolate: Place the dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point. This is your tempered chocolate for coating.
  • Place a few pieces of the praline on top of each truffle for decoration. Let sit in the fridge for at least 15mins before serving to set.
  • Store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.


Hazelnut & Nutella Truffles

Makes 2 dozen truffles.

Ingredients:

  • 180g Nutella + extra to decorate
  • 30 Hazelnuts + 10 extra, toasted and skin removed
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, for coating
Instructions:
  • In a shallow small rectangle or square pan (or preferably a silicone truffle mould!), cover the bottom and sides with plastic wrap, removing any air pockets between the wrap and the container.
  • Spoon out the nutella across the full bottom of the container (nutella should be at least 1.5-2cm in thickness).
  • Place a full roasted hazelnut in the nutella in the top right corner (1 cm away from the edges). Press down until only half the hazelnut is visible.
  • Continue dotting the nutella with roasted hazelnuts, in a gridlike pattern with approx 2.5cm between each nut, so that they can be cut into squares for the truffles.
  • Place in the freezer overnight.
  • Crush the 10 extra roasted hazelnuts into smaller pieces and set aside.
  • Remove nutella by pulling on the plastic wrap. Then use a hot knife to cut nutella slab into squares.
  • Meanwhile prepare the chocolate by placing the dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point. This is your tempered chocolate for coating.
  • Quickly dip the frozen nutella squares into tempered chocolate until it is completely covered, remove from the chocolate and shake off the excess before placing it on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Sprinkle some of the extra crushed hazelnut bits on top of the truffles before they set.
  • Finish all remaining truffles and let set in the fridge for at least 30 mins. Dab each with a tiny bit of nutella on top of the bump from the hazelnut for decoration.
  • Keep truffles cold as nutella will melt.


Caramelised Coconut Truffles

Makes 3-4 dozen truffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Glucose Syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) Caster Sugar
  • 75ml Water
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Cream
  • 25g Butter Chopped
  • 3 cups (255g) Desiccated Coconut + extra for decoration
  • 400g Dark or Milk Chocolate for Coating
Instructions:
  • In a saucepan, mix sugar, glucose syrup and water over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once dissolved, leave the mixture unstirred in the pan until the syrup starts to turn golden (approx 185C). If sugar crystals start forming on the edges, use a wet pastry brush to wash them down.
  • Once golden, stir in your cream, coconut milk and butter. Caution : Hot steam will rise suddenly so stand back and stir until smooth.
  • Add a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat witout stirring until it reaches 110C.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in your coconut.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper, covering the edges, and pour in the coconut mixture to an even 2-2.5cm height.
  • Once cooled at room temperature, remove from the tin and cut into long 1" wide slices and use two knives to shape it into a pointy triangular pyramid shape (like a toblerone bar).
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Then 10 mins before they are ready, prepare your tempered chocolate.
  • Tempered Chocolate: Place the dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point. This is your tempered chocolate for coating.
  • Then slice coconut into small bite sized triangles, about 1cm thick and dip them into the tempered chocolate, shaking off the excess chocolate before placing them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Sprinkle the top of each truffle with some coconut or coloured sprinkles for decoration.
  • Let sit in the fridge for at least 15mins before serving to set.
  • Store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.



Whisky Maple & Walnut Chocolate Truffles

Difficulty : Medium - High (as caramels keep softening)
Makes 2 dozen truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Thickened Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Skim Milk (Australian Skim Milk)
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts, roasted and chopped finely (but not ground)
  • 3/4 tbsp. Whiskey (no more as it will affect the caramel consistency)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
Instructions:
  • In a saucepan, boil maple syrup, cream and skim milk with a candy thermometer until it reaches the point in between soft ball and hard ball stages, at 216 C.
  • Then remove from heat and mix in the whiskey and roasted chopped nuts.
  • Let set in the fridge for 30 mins to harden, then make marble sized balls (as small as possible) and return to the freezer for 30 mins to harden.
  • Prepare tempered dark chocolate by melting half the chocolate in the microwave and letting the rest of the chocolate melt naturally. Mix to encourage melting. Chocolate should return to room temperature just as the last piece of chocolate is melted. If still hot, add more chocolate until the chocolate no longer melts.
  • Use dipping fork to dip caramel balls into the tempered chocolate and set aside. Place in the fridge as soon as possible to keep the truffles from melting.
  • Store in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week.



Popping Candy Chocolate Truffles

Level of Difficulty : Easy

Ingredients:

  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g + 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 1/3 Cup Thickened Cream
  • 18 Tiny Packages of Popping Candy (any flavour, adjust more or less as desired)
Instructions:
  • Prepare the ganache by heating up cream to just before boiling.
  • Then pour the hot cream in a medium bowl on milk chocolate and 100g dark chocolate.
  • The mixture should turn into a ganache. Let the ganache cool for 30 mins and then mix in popping candy. Place in the fridge for at least 30 mins to harden.
  • Make small spoonfuls of ganache into spheres and return these spheres to the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Prepare tempered dark chocolate by melting half the chocolate in the microwave and letting the rest of the chocolate melt naturally. Mix to encourage melting. Chocolate should return to room temperature just as the last piece of chocolate is melted. If still hot, add more chocolate until the chocolate no longer melts.
  • Use dipping fork to dip ganache balls into the tempered chocolate and set aside.
  • Store in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week.



Coconut Snowball Truffles with Hidden Red Velvet

Makes 2-3 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 150g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (165g) Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup (25g) Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) Buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Red Food Colouring
  • 1/4 Cup (20g) Dessicated Coconut
  • 1/4 Cup (60ml) Coconut Flavoured Liqueur
  • 300g White Chocolate, roughly broken
  • 3 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups (150g) Moist Coconut Flakes, finely chopped in a food processor
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, vanilla and sugar. Beat until light and creamy, for about 8 mins.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the sifted flour, cocoa, buttermilk, red food colouring, and mix until just combined.
  • Grease a square 20x30cm cake tin and line with baking paper.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use a knife to ensure the mixture is level.
  • Bake for 40-45mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, cool in the pan for 10 mins then invert the cake over a wire rack and cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place the cake in the food processor add the dessicated coconut and coconut liqueur and process until combined.
  • Roll tablespoons of the balls and refrigerate for 30 mins or until firm.
  • Place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof microwave safe bowl and heat until mixture is half melted. Once half melted, stir to fully melt.
  • Prepare the chopped coconut flakes in a second bowl and set aside for coating.
  • Using a fork, dip and roll each cake ball into the chocolate until it is fully covered, shaking off excess chocolate. Then into the coconut bowl. Shake to cover with coconut and set coconut ball aside on a baking paper lined tray. Repeat with remaining cake balls.
  • Place tray in the fridge for 1 hour to set the coconut snowballs.

Hot & Cold Chocolate Truffles

Level of Difficulty : Easy
Makes 30 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 200g Dark Chocolate, melted for the ganache
  • 1/3 Cup (80ml) Pure Cream
  • 2 tbsp Peppermint Essence, or to taste
  • 2 tsp Hot Chilli Powder, or to taste
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, for tempering and coating
Instructions:
  • To create the ganache, start with a bain-marie pan and melt the chocolate.
  • In a heat resistant bowl, mix cream, melted chocolate, peppermint essence and chilli powder until well blended.
  • Set aside in the fridge to chill for 30-60 mins until firm enough to make balls of ganache.
  • Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and refrigerate ganache balls for a further 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile prepare the tempered chocolate coating by placing the remaining 200g of dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point.
  • Then take the bowl out and let the remaining hard chocolate melt by sitting in the melted chocolate, stirring occasionally. Chocolate should be at room temperature when the final last bit melts away.
  • Dip a chilled ganache ball into the tempered chocolate mix (ideally with a truffle spoon or fork), let the excess chocolate drip off and place on a baking sheet.
  • Continue with remaining truffles then refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or you can leave the chocolate to harden at room temperature – which many chocolatiers prefer).

Chocolate & Marshmellow Truffles

Level of Difficulty : Easy
Makes 30 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 200g Dark Chocolate, melted for the ganache
  • 1/3 Cup (80ml) Pure Cream
  • 100g Mini Marshmellows
  • 200g Dark Chocolate, for tempering and coating
Instructions:
  • To create the ganache, start with a bain-marie pan and melt the chocolate.
  • In a heat resistant bowl, mix cream and melted chocolate until well blended. Set aside to cool on the countertop for 10 mins. Then when the mixture is at room temperature, fold in the mini marshmellows.
  • Set aside in the fridge to chill for 30-60 mins until firm enough to make balls of ganache.
  • Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and refrigerate ganache balls for a further 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile prepare the tempered chocolate coating by placing the remaining 200g of dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed.. keep monitoring for the half melted point.
  • Then take the bowl out and let the remaining hard chocolate melt by sitting in the melted chocolate, stirring occasionally. Chocolate should be at room temperature when the final last bit melts away.
  • Dip a chilled ganache ball into the tempered chocolate mix (ideally with a truffle spoon or fork), let the excess chocolate drip off and place on a baking sheet. Continue with remaining truffles then refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or you can leave the chocolate to harden at room temperature – which many chocolatiers prefer).

Bloody Good Halloween Truffles

Level of Difficulty : Medium

Ingredients:

  • 2x200g Dark Chocolate (45%), for tempering / coating
Ingredients (Fake blood):
  • Glucose Syrup (1/2 cup)
  • Coffee (1 tbsp)
  • Red Food colouring (1 drop)
  • Blue Food colouring (tip of a toothpick, not even a drop)
  • Amaretto Liqueur (1-2 tbsp)
Instructions:
  • Meanwhile prepare the first half of the tempered chocolate mixture by placing 200g of dark chocolate into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If half melted, take out of the microwave and stir until fully melted. If not ready yet, return to the microwave for another 10 seconds, or as needed. Keep monitoring for the half melted point.
  • Then take the bowl out and let the remaining hard chocolate melt by sitting in the melted chocolate, stirring occasionally. Chocolate should be at room temperature when the final last bit melts away.
  • Pour tempered chocolate into a mould set covering the base and inner walls of the chocolate moulds. Tap the moulds on the counter to ensure that all the air bubbles rise to the surface. You want the chocolate surface to be fairly thick all around the base and walls.
  • Then turn the mould upside down and pour out all the chocolate that has not coated the base and walls of the mould. Scrape the melted chocolate off the top of the mould as well. Set remaining chocolate aside. Set mould with tempered chocolate on base and inner walls aside to harden in the fridge, uncovered, for about 15 mins.
  • Prepare the fake blood by mixing all the ingredients together. Adjust taste and colour as needed.
  • Once tempered chocolate in the moulds has hardened, carefully pour some fake blood to fill the mould pockets up to 3/4 full.
  • Then prepare more tempered chocolate as above, mixing in the remaining chocolate from the first step.
  • Once the tempered chocolate is ready, pour tempered chocolate over the fake blood mixture in the mould, until it just covers the blood but does not spill over the edges of the individual mould shapes.
  • Set filled chocolate moulds aside to harden in the fridge, uncovered, for about 30-60 mins.
  • Once ready, pop out the chocolates and place them in a container to keep (in or outside of the fridge). If in the fridge, make sure you take them out at least 30 mins before serving so that they are room temperature (the chocolate tastes much better that way).

Hot Toddy Warm Lemon Pudding Mini-Cakes

Delicious and Warm for those cool winter days and nights!
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 60g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1.25 Cups Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Whiskey (optional)
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • Berry Sauce or seasonal fruit, to serve (optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Lightly grease four 200mL ramekins or small baking dishes.
  • Place the butter, sugar, egg, milk, lemon juice and zest, flour, baking powder and whisky in a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Divide the mixtures among the grease ramekins.
  • Bake for 25 mins or until lightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and leaves to stand for 5 mins.
  • Dust with icing sugar and serve with berry sauce or seasonal fruit.


Glazed Ricotta Cheese with Figs and Port

Serves 6.

Ingredients (Cheese Base):

  • 1 1/2 Cups (12 ounces) Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 tbsp (6 ounces) Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup plus 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Egg White
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Ingredients (Cheese Base):
  • 1 1/2 Cups (375ml) Port
  • 10-15 Small Ripe Black Mission Figs, stem removed, cut into very small cubes
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
Ingredients (Cheese Base):
  • 3 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
Instructions (Cheese Base):
  • Cream the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the ricotta, sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Blend well.
  • Add the eggs, egg white and cream. Mix on medium until totally incorporated.
  • Place mixture in the fridge to chill.
Instructions (Fig Port Sauce):
  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot.
  • Cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to half or slightly less. Let cool.
  • Divide the fig port sauce evenly among six 4-ounce ramekins (or across more smaller ramekins) and place them in the freezer to firm up for about 1 hour.
Instructions (Assembly):
  • Preheat oven to 275F.
  • Remove the ramekins from the freezer and pour the cheese base over the fig port sauce, filling each to the top.
  • Place the ramekins on a baking tray that has a 1-2 inch rim and pour boiling water into the space around the ramekins (making sure no water gets inside), up to halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 30mins or until set. Test by gently tapping the side of a ramekin to see if liquid ripples. If it has set, remove from the oven and cool.
  • Sprinkle the white granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheese. Melt and caramelise with a blow torch, or, watching closely, place them under an oven broiler at high heat for just a few mins until the sugar melts and browns.

Banana Salzburger Nockerln
(Chocolate Banana Souffle)

Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Ripe Bananas, roughly mashed
  • 2 tbsp Rum
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
Instructions:
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, combine the butter and sugars. Allow the mixture to caramelise to a deep amber colour (until the sugars have melted).
  • Add mashed bananas and stir to blend.
  • Add the rum (Careful, it may flame).
  • Cook for 1 more minute, the remove pan from the heat.
  • Blend in the lemon juice.
  • Let cool slightly and then puree the banana mixture in a blender.
  • Transfer to a bowl and let stand in the refrigerator until cool, for about 20 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush 8 small souffle ramekins with melted butter and coat with granulated sugar, tapping the out the excess.
  • Whip egg whites to soft peaks, then sprinkle in the sugar while continuing to whisk until medium peaks.
  • Sift the flour over the whites and fold it in gently.
  • Fold the chopped chocolate into the banana mixture until just mixed.
  • Fold the whipped whites into the banana and chocolate mixture gently. (Start with a quarter of the whites to loosen the banana mixture, then half of the remaining mixture, then the rest). Careful not to overmix or deflate the whites.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 to 14 mins or until golden.
  • Serve hot!


Rice Pudding (Not Runny!)

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cups of raisins
  • Pinch of cinnamon
Instructions:
  • Heat milk in a deep saucepan to a boil
  • Reduce heat to medium, add rice, sugar, and salt
  • Mix well and cook for 1 hour -- during cooking, stir rice occasionally
  • Stir in raisins, cook 15 minutes longer
  • Remove from heat, cool in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving
  • Sprinkle portions with cinnamon

Vietnamese Pandan Sticky Rice

Ingredients:

  • 250g Sticky Rice
  • 10 Pandan Leaves, chopped (or Pandan Essence)
  • 50g Shredded Coconut Meat
  • 20g Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 30g Sugar
Instructions:
  • Add chopped pandan leaves to a food processor with about 2 cups of water, and process until the leaves are finely ground.
  • Use a piece of cloth to squeeze the pandan juice.
  • Soak the rice in pandan juice for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  • Add the soaked rice to a steamer and steam over medium heat for 35-40 mins.
  • Add sugar to the hot cooked rice, toss to dissolve sugar thoroughly. Serve with toasted sesame seeds.

Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

Prep & inactive time 1 hour, Cooking time 1 hour.
Serves 1 dozen doughnuts and holes.

Ingredients (Doughnuts):

  • 2 1/2 Cups of Cake or Plain Flour, sifted (plus more for rolling and cutting)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (iodized)
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Shortening - But this isn't available in Australia, so used butter instead (not exactly the same but results were still tasty).
  • 2 Large Egg, yolks only
  • 2/3 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 container of Canola or Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Ingredients (Glaze):
  • 3 1/2 Cups Confectioner's Icing Sugar (Pure)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Light Corn Syrup or Golden Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup + 1 tbsp Hot Water
Instructions:
  • Blend sifted flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Seperately, mix the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture. Mix well until fully combined, light and thick.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, gradually, alternating with addition of sour cream until well combined.
  • Dough will be sticky like cookie dough.
  • Transfer to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap for at least 45 mins (or up to 24 hrs).
  • Once the dough is out of the fridge, prepare a very deep pan for frying. Using a candy thermometer, heat oil (at least 2 inches deep) to 325F/165C.
  • Roll out the chilled dough on a generously floured flat surface to 1/2 inch thick, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Use the top of glasses or coffee mugs, or cookie moulds to cut doughnut and/or hole shapes, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts.
  • Fold together remaining dough and reroll to form more doughnut and/or holes. Repeat until no more dough remains.
  • Shake any excess flour off the cut shapes before carefully adding them, in batches, to the hot oil. Make sure you don't have too many frying at the same time, otherwise they won't fry well.
  • Once the doughnuts float, fry for 15 secs more, then flip them to fry on the other side for another 1-2 mins until brown and cracked. Then flip and fry the first side again for another 1-2 mins until golden brown.
  • Transfer finished doughnuts and/or holes to a wire rack or plate lined with or set over paper towels to absorb the oil.
  • While the doughnuts are frying, prepare the glaze. Place the icing sugar, syrup, salt, vanilla and hot water in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture until smooth. If the glaze seems too thick, add more water, a tsp at a time. Set aside until doughnutd.
  • To glaze, dip each side of every doughnut (while still hot) in the warm glaze, and let dry for 10-15 secs on the racks before serving.

Banana Fritters

Makes 25 fritters
Prep = 15 mins + set overnight. Cooking = 15 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Mashed Ripe Bananas (about 4)
  • 360g (2 cups) Rice Flour (have more on hand if needed)
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 150g (2/3 cup) Caster Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying
  • Icing Sugar, to dust
Instructions:
  • Combine mashed bananas, rice flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl.
  • Set aside to rest for 4 hours, or overnight (or if in a rush 30 mins but texture will be slightly grainier).
  • Fill a saucepan or wok one-third with oil and heat to 170C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds).
  • Working in batches, drop heaped spoonfuls of mixture into oil and fry, turning for 6 mins or until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper and repeat with remaining batter.
  • Once slightly cooled, dust with icing sugar. Serve warm.


Indian Gulab Jamun Sweet Donuts (with Ricotta)

Makes a dozen.
Best eaten the day it is made.
Warning : Heating up Gee for frying certainly stinks up the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 190g Ricotta
  • 1 Cup (120g) Full-Cream Milk Powder
  • 1/3 Cup (50g) Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/3 Cup (55g) Fine Semolina
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 400g Ghee, melted for frying
  • 1.5 cups (330g) Caster Sugar
  • 6 Cardamon Seeds + 1/2 tsp Cardamon Powder
  • Pinch of Safron threads
  • Optional: Edible silver leaf, for decoration
Instructions:
  • Place ricotta in a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible from the ricotta.
  • Transfer ricotta to a large bowl. Add milk powder, flour, semolina and baking powder. Stir mixture lightly as you don't want gluten to form (otherwise the dough becomes too dense and the inside won't be soft).
  • Gradually combine milk and 1 tbsp ghee. Then mix until dough comes together.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 mins in the fridge.
  • Roll into approx 12 small balls (as they will grow in size when fried). The mixture will be sticky but smooth, so apply a little oil on your palms to prevent them from sticking to your hands.
  • Place on a baking paper lined tray and chill for a further 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, to make syrup, place a saucepan on medium heat and cook sugar, 1.5 cups of water, safron and bruised cardamon pods and ground cardamon. Stir for 5 mins until the sugar is dissolved and then allow to cook without stirring for another 10 mins until mixture has thickened into a light syrup. Remove from heat, pour into a serving dish and keep warm.
  • In a wok or a deep sauce pan, heat remaining ghee over medium-high heat to 150C. Fry the balls, in batches, for 3-4 mins until golden. Note: Turn the balls immediately and frequently after being placed in the ghee with a slotted spoon so that they don't get flat sitting on the bottom and so that they brown evenly.
  • When golden, remove and drain for just a few seconds on a paper towel. Then place in the syrup for at least 1 hr.
  • Optional : Garnish with silver leaf, if desired then serve.


Classic Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
  • 600g Pineapple, peeled and diced
  • 800g Rockmelon, peeled and diced
  • 800g Seedless Watermelon, peeled and diced
  • 250g Strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3-4 Kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 200g Seedless Green Grapes, halved
  • 200g Seedless Red Grapes, halved
  • 4 Passionfruit, halved
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice. Alternatively, instead of the lime juice, add 1 cup of orange juice.
  • 1-2 tbsp Sugar
  • Optional: Chopped Mint Leaves
Instruction:
  • Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.
  • Let sit for 30 mins to macerate and chill before serving.

Coconut-Glazed Baked Nectarines

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ripe Nectarines
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1-1.5 Cups Water
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 175C.
  • Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pits.
  • Place the nectarines in a deep baking dish.
  • Drizzle with coconut oil
  • Sprinkle with coconut sugar
  • Pour water in to the baking dish to give 1/2 inch water in the dish.
  • Bake for 30 mins. Serve warm (with ice cream if available).

Banana, Walnut & Tahini Bliss Balls (candy eyes optional)

(GF, Vegan, Dairy Free, sugar free and amazing tasting).
Makes 20 Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

  • 300g Pitted Dried Dates
  • 200g Soft dried bananas, chopped
  • 2 Cups Boiled Water
  • 130g Walnuts, chopped to a coarse small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • 100g Dessicated Coconut (my favourite is the Moist Coconut Flakes package for the tastiest option), blended finely
Instructions:
  • In a large heat proof bowl, place dried dates, bananas and 2 cups of boiled water. Let sit for 15 mins to soften dates and bananas.
  • Drain hot water and place softened dates and bananas in a food processor with tahini and vanilla.
  • Process mixture to a smooth-ish paste.
  • Mix in chopped walnuts and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
  • Place chopped coconut flakes in a medium sized bowl or container. Set aside.
  • On a tray lined with baking paper, take a heaped teaspoon of mixture, roll it into a ball, cover the ball in chopped coconut (by rolling it around in the coconut bowl) and place the coconut coated bliss ball on the tray. Proceed with the remaining mixture.
  • Place tray in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge about 15 mins prior to serving.


Turkish Bebek Almond Truffles

Makes about 10

Ingredients:

  • 50g Sugar
  • 4 Drops Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Blossom Water
  • 150g Ground Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Frangelico or Amaretto
  • 50g Dark Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 20g Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 5ml Water
Instructions:
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and the orange blossom water.
  • Remove from the heat and pour into a heat proof bowl with the ground almonds. Mix well.
  • Add the frangelico and knead the mixture for 5 minutes, until a smooth paste forms.
  • In a small bowl mix the sifted cocoa powder and icing sugar.
  • Take a tablespoon of the almond dough and roll it into a small ball. Coat with the cocoa sugar mixture and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Once the dough balls are all complete, place them in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
  • To serve, remove them from the fridge at least 20 mins beforehand so that they are at room temperature when enjoyed.


Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

Makes 36 peanut butter balls.

Ingredients:

  • 40g Butter + More if dough is not sticky enough
  • 250g Brown Sugar
  • 85g Desiccated Coconut, chopped finely + 50g extra to coat, also chopped finely
  • 115g Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 180g Peanut Butter (about 2/3 Cup)
Instructions:
  • Melt the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Then stir in the coconut, walnut and peanut butter until combined. Remove from heat. Let mixture cool.
  • In a medium-sized deep bowl, place the extra chopped coconut flakes.
  • Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and place in the bowl with the chopped coconut flakes. Roll to coat and place on a lined tray.
  • Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place the tray in the fridge for 30 mins or until firm.


Classic Rum Balls

Makes 2 dozen rum balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 Packet of 200g Plain Sweet Biscuits (Arrowroot, Nice, etc.)
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 1 + 1 Cups Moist Coconut Flakes, chopped finely (1 for rolling finished rum balls)
  • 1/2 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (depending on size of biscuit pack)
  • 3 tbsp of Rum (dark rum preferably)
  • 1 Cup of Almond Meal - Add as much as needed to help ensure the right consistency
Instructions:
  • Crush biscuits in a food processor until they are fine crumbs.
  • In a bowl, combine thoroughly crushed biscuits, cocoa powder, condensed milk and rum. You should have a stiff mixture. If it is a hot day, place mixture in the fridge for 30 mins to stiffen.
  • Use teaspoons to make small balls with the mixture, shaping them with your hands (wetting your hands before rolling will make it easier to handle). Then rolls the rum balls in the extra coconut flakes to coat. Place on baking sheet and put into the fridge (or freezer) for 30 mins.
  • Once hardened, you can place them in a plastic container. Keep them in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. Rum balls will last for weeks in the freezer.
Alternative Options :
  • With Roasted Nuts : Take whole roasted almonds or macadamia nuts, encase them in the rum ball mixture and roll into balls. Then dip the rum balls into melted chocolate and place in the freezer.
  • With Rum-infused Raisins : Heat 1/4 Cup chopped raisins and 1 tbsp rum in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and set aside for 5 mins to macerate before adding it to the mixture alongside of the other ingredients in step 2.
  • With Maple Syrup: Use 2 tbsp of Maple syrup alongside of the rum for a sweet twist.
  • With Orange: Add the zest of 2 oranges for a jaffa-like taste to your rum balls.


Middle Eastern Baklava Rolls

Easier to share and eat than the standard baklava squares, and just as simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 32 Sheets Filo Pastry Dough, at room temperature (keep in package until you have completed the fillings and prepared the butter)
  • 2-3 Cups Butter, melted and cooled
Ingredients for the filling:
  • 4 Cups Roughly Ground Walnuts (or a combination with roughly ground pistachio)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
Ingredients for the syrup:
  • 4 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a deep rectangle baking pan with baking paper.
  • Make the filling by combining walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir until well blended.
  • To assemble the pastry, take out the filo pastry dough and place a towel on top to keep the pastry from drying.
  • Working on a large clean and dry flat surface, place 1 sheet of filo pastry on the surface and use a pastry brush to coat it with a light layer of the cooled melted butter (it shouldn't be soaked).
  • Place a second sheet of filo pastry over top the first. Brush this second sheet of pastry with butter also. Cover remaining filo pastry sheets with towel.
  • Take a 1/4 cup of the nut mixture and spread it evenly across the bottom half (should make a square) of the filo pastry.
  • Take the bottom short end of the pastry (the end with the nut mixture) and make a tight roll all the way to the other end.
  • Cut the roll in half, then cut each piece in 3 pieces and place them snuggly next to each other in the lined deep dish pan, seam side down.
  • Repeat with remaining filo pastry sheets until the large pan is full. Pour the remaining butter (if any) over top of the pastry.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour until golden brown, keeping an eye on the baklava to ensure it doesn't get too dark (if it starts getting dark, place a sheet of aluminium foil lightly on top of the baklava dish while in the oven which will prevent burning).
  • Let baklava cool completely before starting the syrup.
  • To prepare the syrup, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan on medium heat. Boil for 5 mins then add the lemon juice, boil for another 5 mins and pour the hot syrup evenly on top of the cooled baklava.
  • Let the baklava sit for at least 2-3 hours to soak up the syrup.

Lebanese Znoud El Sit (sweetened cream-filled pastry, soaked in syrup)

Ingredients:

  • 500g Phyllo pastry roll, thawed
  • 750ml Vegetable Oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp Pistachios, toasted & coarsely ground, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp Orange Blossom Jam, optional, for garnish
Ingredients (Ashta - Sweetened clotted cream filling):
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Fine Semolina
  • 1/4 tsp Mastic Gum, optional
  • Note : Alternative more traditional Ashta recipe below.
Ingredients (Paste to seal pastry):
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Water
Ingredients (Orange Blossom Water Syrup):
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange Blossom Water
Instructions (Sugar syrup):
  • In a medium sauce, over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the orange blossom water and allow to cool down completely.
Instructions (Ashta):
  • In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk, cornstarch and semolina, to a boil, while whisking constantly and until it thickens. Set aside to cool down.
Instructions (Sealing paste):
  • When the cream filling and sugar syrup has totally cooled down, prepare the paste to seal the rolls. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water. Set aside.
Instructions (Assembly):
  • Delicately unwrap and rollout the phyllo pastry.
  • With a pair of scissors, cut the phyllo sheets into 3 equal stalks (each stalk is approx 30x7cm). To prevent drying, cover them with a kitchen towel.
  • Lay your first phyllo strip vertically on a counter top, then place another phyllo strip horizontally over the vertical strip, creating a cross-shaped form.
  • Place a heaping teaspoon of the ashta at the center of the cross.
  • Fold the ends of the horizontal layer over the ashta.
  • Then roll the vertical layer over the ashta, brush the end with the sealing paste and continue rolling, creating a cylinder-shaped roll.
  • Continue making rolls with remaining ashta and phyllo pastry.
  • In a deep pan, heat the oil to an adequate frying temperature and fry the Znoud el Sit rolls, in batches, to a crisp and golden color.
  • Remove each with a slotted spoon and dip for a few seconds in the sugar syrup.
  • Remove with a spoon, arrange on a serving dish and garnish with ground pistachios and the orange blossom jam.
  • Serve warm or cold.
Instructions (Alternative Ashta Recipe):
  • Ingredients: 1.5 Cups Whole Milk, 1.5 Cups Half and Half Milk, 1/4 tsp Rosewater, 1/2 tsp Orange Blossom Water, 1/4 tsp Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice plus more if needed, 1 pinch sugar (optional).
  • In a saucepan, on medium heat, bring the milk, half-and-half and sugar to a boil while continuously stirring. Turn off heat and mix in lemon juice - The milk will immediately start to clot. Add the rosewater and orange blossom water, stir well. Using a small strainer, start collecting the clotted cream from the surface and place them into a separate larger strainer. Continue the collection of clotted cream until the milk in the saucepan is nearly clear. You may need to add a few more drops of lemon juice to induce more clotting but don't add too much. When the collected ashta cools down to room temperature, it is ready to use in sweets or with fruit cocktails with honey and walnuts. Ashta lasts 2-3 days in the fridge.


Banana & Chocolate Dumplings in Maple Caramel Sauce

Makes 12 small dumplings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Banana, in 1cm slices
  • Dark Chocolate Bar, cut into 12 cubes
  • 6 Large Sheets of Phylo Pastry
  • Whipped cream or Ice cream, to serve
Ingredients (Maple Caramel Sauce):
  • 20g Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Instructions:
  • Cut a sheet of phyllo pastry into 6 wide long strips and 6 x 10 cm long strips.
  • Take 1 wide and 1 short strip and make a cross at the top.
  • place a piece of banana and chocolate on the cross.
  • Fold the sides of the small strip over the banana and chocolate.
  • Roll the second long strip around the banana bundle so the bundle is covered in phyllo.
  • Make the syrup. Place the sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice and 1 cup cold water in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring 2-3 mins, until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.
  • Gently add the dumplings to the syrup to partly submerge them.
  • Simmer, covered for 15 mins.
  • Serve warm with whipped or ice cream


Profiteroles with chocolate cream (inspired by Mendl's "Courtesan au Chocolat")

Makes about 25 profiteroles

Ingredients (Chocolate Creme):

  • 1.5 Cup Whole Milk
  • 50g Dark Chocolate
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 3 tsp Cornstarch
Ingredients (Choux Pastry):
  • 1 Cup Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup Fresh Water
  • 125g Butter
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
Ingredients (Icing):
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 Cup sifted Pure Icing Sugar
  • Food colouring, less than a drop (use toothpick to add colour)
  • Icing writer - for decoration (through a prebought tube or you can make your own with a very small hole in the piping bag)
Instructions (Chocolate Creme):
  • Heat the milk gently and add chocolate, stirring to melt the mixture in a rich, almost steaming chocolate milk.
  • In a separate bowl, combine whisked egg yolks, flour, sugar, cocoa and cornstarch into a smooth mixture.
  • Add half the chocolate milk mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  • Then add this mixture back into the rest of the hot milk pot, stirring over gentle heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens to a custard.
  • Remove from heat, let cool then cover and chill. Mix intermittently to prevent a crust from forming.
Instructions (Choux):
  • Preheat ovent to 180C.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the flour.
  • Return to the heat for a few mins, while stirring constantly. Cook until the dough forms a single lump.
  • Allow to cool to luke warm, to keep the eggs from cooking when stirred in.
  • Meanwhile, line 2 baking trays with baking papers.
  • Lightly beat the eggs, stir them in a little at a time, gradually, with an egg beater or electric mixer, or a strong wooden spoon (until dough is smooth and falls slowly from a spatula when raised in the air).
  • Place the choux dough into a piping bag. Pipe dough into large tablespoon sized dollops.
  • Bake each tray, one at a time for about 25-35 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and make a small piercing in the choux to allow the steam to escape and return to the tray, hole side up, to cool.
Instructions (Icing & Assembly):
  • Prepare the icing sugar by mixing milk, vanilla and icing sugar to achieve the desired consistency, a very thick opaque icing paste. Separate into 4 bowls and add food colouring (teeny amounts) eg.pink, lavender, pale green, leaving the last one white.
  • Spoon the chilled chocolate creme into a pastry bag and pipe into the pastry balls, though the pre-made hole.
  • Dip each of the pastry balls in the icing, to the midline, and place icing side up on a small tray.
  • Let dry and then decorate as desired.

Chocolate Eclairs with Patisserie Cream

Makes about 20 eclairs

Ingredients (Creme Patisserie):

  • 375ml (1.5 Cups) Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Flour, sifted
Ingredients (Pastry):
  • 1 Cup Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup Fresh Water
  • 125g Butter
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
Ingredients (White Icing):
  • 1/2 tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 Cup sifted Pure Icing Sugar
  • Small Piping Bag
Ingredients (Chocolate Icing):
  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 15g Butter
  • Small Piping Bag
Instructions (Creme Patisserie):
  • In a medium saucepan, over low heat, warm the milk and vanilla.
  • In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk yolks and sugar until combined.
  • Whisk flour into the yolk mixture.
  • While whisking vigourously add the heated milk mixture. Return to the saucepan.
  • Cook over low heat, while continuing to whisk, until thickened
  • Transfer into a clean heatproof bowl, let cool for 10 mins, then cover mixture directly with plastic wrap and chill to set for at least 1 hour or more.
  • Spoon the chilled creme into a large piping bag fitted with a long nozzle with a large circular hole for filling the eclairs.
Instructions (Pastry):
  • Preheat ovent to 180C.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the flour.
  • Return to the heat for a few mins, while stirring constantly. Cook until the dough forms a single lump.
  • Allow to cool to luke warm, to keep the eggs from cooking when stirred in.
  • Meanwhile, line 2 baking trays with baking papers.
  • Lightly beat the eggs, stir them in a little at a time, gradually, with an egg beater or electric mixer, or a strong wooden spoon (until dough is smooth and falls slowly from a spatula when raised in the air).
  • Place the dough into a piping bag (no need for a special nozzle). Pipe dough into 10cm x 1.5cm long lengths.
  • Bake each tray, one at a time for about 25-35 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and make a small piercing in each end of the eclairs to allow the steam to escape and return to the tray to cool.
Instructions (White and Chocolate Icing, Final Assembly):
  • Prepare the white icing sugar by mixing milk and icing sugar to achieve the desired consistency, a very thick opaque icing paste. Spoon the icing into a very small piping bag and set aside.
  • Prepare the chocolate icing sugar by placing the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie over medium heat until just melted.
  • While the chocolate icing is colling to room temperature, pipe the creme patisserie into the eclairs, though the pre-made hole.
  • Dip each of the eclairs in the chocolate icing until the top is fully covered, up to the midline, and place icing side up on a small tray.
  • Immediately after dipping, cut a small tip on the end of the white icing piping bag and pipe a small zigzag up the length of the eclairs.
  • Use a toothpick to make a line on the right side from bottom of the eclair to the top. Then clean the toothpick and use the same one to make another parralell line, 1cm apart, from the top to the bottom. Place the eclair in the fridge immediately to chill for at least 30 mins.
  • Serve cool or at room temperature

Brandy Snaps

Nice ginger taste in these!
Makes 1.5 dozen
Prep = 40 mins. Cooking = 25 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 50g Butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (70g) Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Golden Syrup
  • 1/3 cup (50g) Plain Flour
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon + 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) Thickened Cream
  • 2 tsp Brandy (optional - can also use another flavouring)
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar Mixture
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line a tray with baking paper.
  • In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and golden syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until butter melts and sugar has dissolved. Set pan aside for 5 mins to cool slightly.
  • Add the flour, ginger and lemon zest & juice to the mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Drop four teaspoons of the mixture on to the tray, spaced well apart.
  • Bake for 5mins and have spread to 10cm in diameter and have turned a dark golden colour.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 min.
  • Then, working quickly, use a palette knife to lift each one and wrap them around the handle of a wooden spoon. Leave to set for 1 min, then gently slip off the spoon and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  • To make the filling, use an electric mixer to whisk the cream, brandy and icing sugar in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon cream into a piping bag fitted with a flutted nozzle.
  • Pipe the cream in each brandy snap and serve immediately.


Italian Lemon & Pistachio Cannolis

Makes approx 30 cannolis.

Ingredients (Cannoli Tubes):

  • 2 cups (300g) Plain Flour, sifted. Plus extra to dust.
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Marsala Wine
  • 60g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg, separated
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil, for deep frying
Ingredients (Filling):
  • 400g Ricotta
  • 150g Marscarpone
  • 150g Thick Greek-style Yoghurt
  • 1 Cup (150g) Icing Sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (75g) Pistachios, very finely chopped
Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, combine sifted flour, caster sugar, bicarb soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the combined dry ingredients and add the lemon zest, Marsala, butter and egg yolk(set aside the egg white).
  • Mix until thoroughly combined. Then turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 mins until smooth. Cover the dough with an upturned bowl and set aside for 20mins to rest.
  • Set up pasta machine at one end of a long countertop (you'll need 1 meter of space). Lightly dust countertop from one end to the other.
  • In the meantime, prepare a deep frying dish and start heating the canola, sunflower or vegetable oil. Heat to 180C.
  • While oil is heating, divide dough into 3.
  • Take 1 piece of dough and return the other two back underneath the bowl.
  • With a rolling pin, flatten this first piece into a 5mm thick rectangle.
  • Pass the flattened dough through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold it in half and roll it through again.
  • Reduce the setting by one notch and pass it through again. Then again. Continue rolling until you've reached the thinnest setting.
  • Lay out the rolled dough on your lightly-floured surface and use a 10cm round cutter to cut out discs.
  • Wrap the discs around the metal cannoli tube and brush the joined bit of the pastry with a dab of eggwhite to seal it closed.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough until you've covered all cannoli tubes.
  • Check that the oil has reached 180C. Then gently lower the cannoli tubes into the hot oil and cook for about 1 min until golden and crisp. Prepare a plate with paper towel to drain when ready. Use tongs to carefully remove each tube, draining any excess oil back in the pan, then place them on the paper towels to drain further.
  • Once cooled, squeeze each tube and remove the tube from the cannoli pastry.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining dough, making sure that the oil remains at 180C.
  • To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the ricotta, mascarpone, yoghurt and sifted icing sugar together until smooth. Fold in lemon zest, juice and 25g of the ground pistachios (saving the rest for serving).
  • Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into each cooled cannoli shell.
  • Scatter the remaining pistachios over the ends of each cannoli. Dust the cannolis with icing sugar to serve.


Italian Ricotta-filled Sfogliatelle Pastries

This is a sneaky short cut version but the result should be just as good and plus you'll have more energy to eat it! (As there is no need to make the phyllo pastry if you can buy it in stores).
Makes 1-2 dozen pastries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Phyllo Pastry
  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Lard
  • 150ml Milk
  • 2/3 Cup (150g) Caster Sugar
  • 30g Cornflour or Cornstarch
  • 1 Egg + 2 Egg Yolks
  • Finely grated zest & juice of 2 Lemons
  • 250g Ricotta
  • 100g Glace Fruit such as Oranges, Lemon and Cherries, finely chopped
  • Pure Icing Sugar, for dusting
Instructions:
  • Start with the filling. Heat the milk and 100ml water in a saucepan until bubbles form at the edge. In a separate bowl, whisk the caster sugar, cornflour, whole egg, extra yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  • Pour the hot milk into the lemony mixture, whisk until smooth, then return it to the pan. Continue to cook over medium heat until tit's the thickness of custard.
  • Then remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl.
  • Beat in ricotta and fold in the candied peel and glace fruit (try to prevent it from turning pink from the cherries).
  • Leave it to cool, then cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill until needed.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, beat the butter and lard together until smooth, then heat it in the microwave for a few seconds until spreadable with a brush. Set aside.
  • Take the phyllo pastry out of the fridge and cut the roll into 3 rolls. Place 2 of the 3 rolls back into the fridge to keep cool.
  • Meanwhile, roll out the small roll and brush with the butter mixture until it is completely covered.
  • From one end of the pastry, start rolling it up again as tightly as possible. Stop rolling when you get 2cm from the end and set aside.
  • Brush the second roll with butter and lard (warm up in the microwave if it is getting too hard). Lay the first roll on top of the stretched pastry at one end. Roll up the first log into the second pastry portion so that you end up with a bigger roll, stopping 2cm from the end. Set aside.
  • Repeat with the third roll, so that you have one large roll.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill for only 1 hour (this is important as you don't want the butter to become too firm).
  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Cut the ends off the log to ensure straight edges. Then cut the roll into 1cm thick slices. Push your thumb into the middle of each slice and use your fingers to make a cone shape, being careful not to separate the layers.
  • Fill the cone with the ricotta filling so that you can press the open end to seal it closed. Lay it on the lined baking tray. Repeat with remaining slices.
  • Bake for 30 mins or until golden and crisp.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool then dust with icing sugar.


French Almond Croissants

Makes 20 small croissants.

Ingredients (for the croissant):

  • 1 x 7g Sachet Dried Yeast
  • 75ml Warm Water
  • 50g Bread Flour, sifted
  • 75ml Cold Milk
  • 2 Free-range Egg Yolks
  • 50ml Cold Double Cream
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  • 300g Bread Flour, sifted
  • 250g Very Cold Butter, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 Free Range Egg Yolk, for the egg wash
  • 60g Almond Flakes
Ingredients (for the filling):
  • 150g Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp Flour, sifted
  • 2 Cups Almond Meal
  • 1 tsp Almond Essence
Instructions:
  • Dissolve the yeast in the water and flour in a small bowl to make the starter.
  • Rest the starter in a warm place until bubbling (approx 40 mins).
  • Add the milk, egg yolks, double cream, sugar.
  • Blend the bread flour and butter until it makes a mixture resembling sand.
  • Fold into the yeast mixture with a spatula and work the dough into a ball with the spatula (try to avoid touching the dough as it will melt the butter).
  • Roll out the dough to a long rectangle, about 1 cm in thickness, adding a little bit of flour to prevent sticking if needed.
  • Fold into thirds, then roll out again. Fold into thirds again and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins in the fridge.
  • Give the dough a quarter turn, roll out to a rectangle and fold into thirds again. Wrap and chill for another 30 mins.
  • Third time, make a quarter turn again and roll dough to a rectangle and fold into thirds one final time. Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, make the almond filling. Cream the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then mix in the remaining filling ingredients and blend well.
  • To make croissants, roll out the dough to form another rectangle about 24cm wide by 12 cm long.
  • Cut out isocoles triangles, place a tsp of the filling at the base of the triangle and roll it up to form a croissant shape, curling the ends inwards.
  • Place each on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the trays in a warm, humid place and let the croissants rise until they have doubled in size, about 40 mins.
  • 20 mins before they are ready, preheat the oven to 170C and prepare the egg wash by lightly beating an egg in a small bowl.
  • Lightly brush the croissants with the egg wash, top with almond flakes and bake for 12-14 mins.

Classic American Vanilla Marshmellows

Makes 60 small Marshmellows
Prep = 15 mins + 3 hours of cooling. Cooking = 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 185ml + 190ml Cold Water
  • 40g (1/4 cup) Gelatine Powder
  • 430g (2 cups) Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Glucose Syrup
  • 2 Vanilla Beans, split & seads separated
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 - 1 Cup Icing Sugar (Use pure icing sugar for Gluten Free marshmellows - makes no difference in the end product)
Instructions:
  • Grease and line with baking paper a 20x30cm deep baking pan.
  • Dust with sifted icing sugar to coat the baking paper.
  • In a bain marie, place 185ml (3/4 cup) water.
  • Whisk in gelatine powder.
  • Heat the mixture over the bain marie and continue stirring, until the gelatine dissolves.
  • Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla seeds. Set aside while whisking occasionally.
  • In a separate medium sized saucepan, stir sugar, glucose syrup and 190ml cold water over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the syrup reaches 127C (hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  • When syrup reaches 120C, beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form.
  • Remove the syrup from heat once it reaches 127C.
  • Very gradually beat on high both gelatine mixture and syrup into the egg white mixture. Beat until mixture is cooler to the touch.
  • Pour or scoop mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with a wet palette knife if/where needed.
  • Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours (or overnight) to set.
  • Prepare a long baking paper sheet and cover with sifted Icing Sugar. Loosen the edges of the marshmellows by running a wet knife along the edge, then turn upside down on top of the baking paper sheet with icing sugar.
  • Prepare a very large bowl with 2 tbsp sifted icing sugar to place the cut marshmellows.
  • Then remove the baking paper from the top of the marshmellow slab and use kitchen scissors to cut the marshmellow slab into small pieces (any shape can be made.. you could also use slightly moistened cookie cutters here for more precise shapes).
  • Then place the pieces of marshmellows into the bowl to ensure you can get icing sugar all over the marshmellow so that no sticky bits remain. Remove excess icing powder and set aside in a storage container.
  • You can store these for a few days before they start getting dry.
Alternatives

  • Uses : You can also pipe the mixture over cakes or cupcakes.
  • Appearance :
    -Add food colouring to the mixture.
    -Roll in dessicated coconut instead of icing sugar for an alternative coating.
    -Mix in a thick caramel or jam. Note this option looks great but is quite messy as caramel tends to fall to the bottom. Best thing to do is to wait until mixture thickens while it is cooling (about 20-30 mins), then swirl in caramel.
  • Flavours : Swap out water for fresh juice (eg. Passionfruit or Pineapple) by reducing their juices to 185ml of liquid and then swapping out the water for the fruit juices instead.


South American Caramel (Dulce de Leche)

Prep Time 5 mins + Cook Time 3 hrs
Makes 1 Cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Litre Whole Milk
  • 340g (~1.5 cups) Caster Sugar
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Instructions:
  • In a large soup pan, combine milk, sugar and vanilla bean seeds over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Then mix in the baking soda.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent the base from burning but do
  • not reincorporate the foam that accumulates at the top.
  • Continue to cook until the mixture has a dark caramel colour and has reduced to about 1 cup, approx 2.5-3 hrs.
  • Strain the mixture and store in a sealed container for up to 1 month.

Italian Smoked Almond & Cranberry Panforte

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 Cups (400g) Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Bourbon or Brandy
  • 3/4 Cup (110g) Plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1.5 Cups (235g) Smoked Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 120g Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 160C.
  • Lightly grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round or square springform pan.
  • Top with confectionery rice paper and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over high heat, stir cranberries and bourbon frequently for 4-5 mins or until the fruit is plump.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, cocoa, mixed spice, almonds, chocolate and the cranberries mixture in a large bowl and stir until just roughly combined.
  • In a small saucepan, combine honey, sugar and vanilla seeds over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 2 mins or until the temperature reaches 118C on a sugar thermometer.
  • Add the honey mixture to the cocoa mixture and stir until well combined (until you can't see any white flour)
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared lined pan and press to ensure full base is filled and top is even.
  • Bake for 35-40 mins or until the panforte is set on the sides and slightly soft in the centre.
  • Cool in the pan for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Loosen the edges with a knife before removing and cutting into small cubes.
  • Bring to room temperature (about 30 mins) before serving.
  • Keep covered and chilled in the fridge, and it will last for up to 1 month.

Walnut and Raisin Semolina Halava

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 Cups Water
  • 3/4 Cups Raw Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 7 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 Cups Coarse-grained semolina
  • 1/3 Cup Walnut pieces
Instructions:
  • Combine water, sugar and raisins in a large and deep sauce pan.
  • At medium heat, dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and remove from the heat.
  • Melt butter in another large & deep saucepan over low heat without letting it brown.
  • Roast the semolina very slowly for 20 mins or more, with butter so that the grains don't burn. Allow the semolina to darken.
  • Add the walnuts and the raisin sugar mixture. Maintain a low heat and mix regularly.
  • Once the mixture has been fully absorbed, steam the finished halava over very low heat with a tight fitting lid for 5 mins to fluff up the grains.
  • Then allow to sit covered for another 5 mins. Best served hot with cream or custard.


Home-made HoneyComb (aka Hokey Pokey)

Makes 2 Cups (or 125g)

Ingredients:

  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1.5 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Instructions:
  • Prepare a large heatproof tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  • In a cold large saucepan (such as one you'd use for soup), mix sugar and syrup together until they are combined.
  • Without stirring further, place the pan on medium-high heat and let the mixture melt.
  • Over 3 minutes, it will start to bubble and start to become golden.
  • As soon as it starts to become golden, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the bicarb soda (quickly and with only a few turns). The mixture will turn into a whooshing cloud of gold.
  • Immediately, pour the mixture on the prepared tray trying to flatten where you can.
  • Now leave it to set for about 30 mins or more until it has fully cooled. Once cooled, break up the honeycomb slab into eatable pieces.


Cantonese Sesame Seed Balls

Makes 24 Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Starch (white not yellow)
  • 1/2 Cup + 3/4 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 400 g Bag of Glutinous Rice Flour (about 3 1/4 Cups)
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Vegetable Shortening, at room temperature
  • 500 g Can Lotus Nut Paste (sweetened! If not, add sugar), rolled into 24 small balls about 2 tsp each
  • Cold Water for dipping during preparation
  • 1 Cup of White Sesame Seeds
  • Canola or Vegetable oil for deep frying
Instructions:
  • Put wheat starch in medium mixing bowl. Add 1/2 Cup of boiling water. Mix well with wooden spoon.
  • When cooled slightly, knead thoroughly with hands into ball. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, stir sugar and 3/4 cup of boiling water until sugar dissolves. Add flour and cold water. Stir until combined. Then, using hands, work in lard, in pieces, and also add, in pieces, the wheat starch mixture. Knead into smooth dough that is no longer sticky (for about 5 minutes).
  • Divide dough in half. Roughly shape each piece of dough into 12 inch logs. Cut each log into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Place small portion of lotus nut paste in centre. Gather edges of dough around filling; pinch to seal. Roll by hand into smooth ball. Repeat with remaining dough and paste.
  • Fill shallow bowl with cold water. Fill second shallow bowl with sesame seeds. Dip each ball quickly in water, then roll in sesame seeds to cover.
  • Heat several inches of oil in wok or large heavy sauce pan over high heat.
  • Add balls, in batches of 6, or so,. Fry (and rotate) using slotted spoon to stir and flip, until the whole ball is golden brown (for about 5 mins). Suggest to taste test first one to get used to how much it needs to be cooked. (Dough should be cooked inside).
  • Serve warm.


Dark Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry

Pastry base for a 22cm round tart pan or 24cm square pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 200g plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 150g Unsalted Butter, cold and diced
  • 1 tbsp Vodka + more if needed to bring the dough together
Instructions:
  • In a food processor, blend the cocoa powder, icing sugar, flour, salt and chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  • In a large bowl, knead the cocoa mixture with 1 tablespoons of the vodka and the egg yolk until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together.
  • Press a little of the mixture between your fingers: if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more vodka. If it doesn’t, add 1/2 tbsp vodka and combine. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
  • Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool benchtop. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 30 seconds or until smooth and soft.
  • Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.


Strawberries with Crushed Lollies

An amazing tantalising sweet treat - Great for parties and big gatherings!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Punnet of Strawberries (about 250g)
  • 10-15 Hard Lollies
Instructions:
  • Cut strawberries in half vertically, leaving on the strawberry leaves for effect.
  • Blend the lollies lightly to get a granular (but not quite yet fine) sand with lots of crunchy bits.
  • Dip each strawberry half into the lolly mixture to coat the sliced side.
  • serve immediately.


Hazelnut & Almond Chocolate Crunchy Toffee

Prep Time : 30 mins
Prep + Wait time : 30 mins + 1 hour in the refrigerator
Makes 430 grams.
Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Roughly Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 1 Cup Roughly Chopped Almonds
  • 1 ¼ Cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp Light Corn Syrup (Golden Syrup)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 170g Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
Instructions:
  • Toast chopped almonds and hazelnuts on the top shelf of an oven preheated to 350F for 8-10 mins or until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • Line a 8 x 10 inch pan with baking paper. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray, then with half the chopped hazelnuts and almonds and set aside.
  • Butter the sides of a large heavy saucepan with 2 tsp of butter.
  • Cube remaining butter and place in the pan.
  • Add brown sugar, water and corn syrup.
  • Have the Baking Soda and vanilla extract at the ready to use immediately when needed.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar with a wooden spoon only. Then cover the pan with a lid for about 1 min to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any remaining sugar crystals.
  • Remove lid and clamp in a candy thermometer, making sure it is one that does not touch the bottom of the pan and cook, without stirring, until mixture turns reaches 285F/140C (soft crack stage).
  • Immediately remove from the heat as the mixture’s temperature continues to rise to 290F/145C. Add the Baking Soda and Vanilla Extract and stir to combine.
  • Immediately pour hot mixture onto prepared pan over hazelnuts. Spread evenly quickly, if needed.
  • Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly across the hot toffee. (It will melt)
  • After a few minutes and the chocolate has started to melt (5mins or so), spread the chocolate evenly across toffee and then sprinkle the remaining chopped hazelnut and almonds over the chocolate / toffee mixture.
  • Let stand at room temperature for about ten minutes until cool, then in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  • Break into bit-sized pieces. Store in a dry container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.


Brazilian Caramels (Brigadeiros)

Makes 20 small bite sized caramels
Cooking 20 mins + 10 mins prep
Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Can (395g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 150g Hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed, ground to a powder
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
Instructions:
  • Place the cocoa powder, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 mins or until mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, using your hands and a half tsp of vegetable oil to prevent sticking, shape mixture into macadamian nut-sized balls.
  • Roll in ground roasted hazelnuts. Then move to a tupperware dish, lined with baking paper.
  • Eat immediately or place in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
  • Stores in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Passionfruit Soft Jelly Candy

Ingredients:

  • 500g Passionfruit pulp (approx. 15 passionfruit), with the seeds sifted out
  • 250g Sugar
  • 100g Glucose syrup
  • 15g Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Water
  • 4 tbsp Gelatin Powder
Instructions:
  • Spray and line a square baking tin with non-stick paper (cut out a square and place it at the base if possible).
  • Place cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle over gelatin.
  • Combine sugar, sifted passionfruit pulp, and glucose and heat on medium until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 108C.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice and gelatin mixture, until gelatin has melted through.
  • Pour in to prepared pan and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours (preferably overnight).
  • Once set, cut into cubes and serve. As an option after unmoulding, roll in additional sugar for a sugary coating. For added flavour, mix the sugar with orange or lemon zest.


Lollipops

Serves Lots

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup of Hot Water
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Food Colouring
  • 1/2 tsp Flavouring (Liquid Extract, etc)
  • Vegetable Oil
Instructions:
  • Combine sugar, hot water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Place on high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until all sugar crystals are dissolved.
  • Continue cooking without stirring to 290 F, then remove from heat. Should take about 10 mins.
  • Add colouring and flavouring, as desired.
  • Lightly grease a candy mold that can take the heat with a little vegetable oil.
  • Pour mixture in the molds and let harden at room temperature (about 10 mins). Unmold and lay on paper towel to absorb the oil.
  • When completely cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap until ready to use. Store at room temperature for up to 6 weeks.


Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 small packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions:
  • Cream butter and cream cheese.
  • gradually add part of the sugar, alternating with chocolate then milk, until well blended and spreading consistency is reached.
  • Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Frosts 2 9-inch round layers.


Vietnamese Faux-Pomegranate and Coconut Milk Sweet Cold Soup

Ingredients:
  • 15 Water Chestnut, peeled and diced (canned water chestnut is absolutely fine)
  • Red Food Colouring
  • 100g Tapioca or Corn Starch
  • 80g White Sugar
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • Shaved ice, to serve (optional)
Instructions:
  • Stir a little red food colouring into about 2 cups of water.
  • Soak the diced water chestnuts in this water until they turn pink, about 10-15 mins. Drain.
  • Coat the dyed water chestnuts thoroughly in tapioca starch. Discard the leftover starch.
  • Bring a pot filed with water to a boil, add the coated water chestnuts into boiling water and cook until they float, then transfer them to a bowl of cool water. Set aside for 15 mins then drain.
  • Meanwhile, combine sugar, coconut milk and half a cup of water in a small pot, put over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for another 10 mins. Remove and let cool.
  • Divide the water chestnut into serving cups, fill the cups with the coconut milk mixture, add shaved ice and then add 2-3 tablespoons of the dyed water chestnuts. Serve at room temperature or cool.


Indonesian Pandan Crepes with Caramelised Coconut (Kuih Dadar)

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Plain Flour, sifted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Pandan Paste or Essence
  • 1/2 Cup (125ml) Coconut Milk
  • Canola Oil Spray
  • 1/2 Cup (125ml) Coconut Cream
  • 100g Dark Palm Sugar, coarsely grate
  • 1 Cup (90g) Dessicated Coconut (preferably Moist Coconut Flakes if you can find them)
Ingredients for Salty Coconut Custard:
  • 1 Cup (250ml) Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
Instructions:
  • Start with the crepe batter. Whisk the flour, eggs, milk and a large pinch of salt until smooth.
  • Add the pandan paste and an initial dash of the coconut milk, then whisk until combined.
  • Gently stir in the remaining coconut milk using a ladle.
  • The mixture should be quite watery - if you have the correct consistency, the batter will split into droplets when poured from the ladle in a slow stream. If it forms a smooth band of liquid as it is poured from the ladle, you'll need to add a little more milk.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and lightly spray pan with oil spray.
  • Pour 2 tbs of the crepe batter into the pan, swirling to coat the base to create a thin crepe. Cook for 1 min until set.
  • Carefully flip and cook for a further 20 seconds or until tinged golden. The crepe should be thin enough to see through it.
  • Repeat with remaining batter to make 8 crepes (no need to add any further oil to the pan). Set the crepes aside.
  • To make the caramelised coconut filling, place the coconut cream, palm sugar and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan .
  • Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  • Add dessicated coconut and cook, stirring, for a further 3 mins until the mixture is sticky and the liquid is all absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and spread out coconut mixture on a plate to cool.
  • To assemble crepes, spoon 1-2 tbsp of cooled coconut filling down the centre of each crepe.
  • Fold the crepes in half over the filling, then fold in the 2 sides and roll up to form long parcels.
  • To make the coconut custard, combine the coconut cream, caster sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, while stirring for 4 mins until the sugar dissolves.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature topped with the coconut custard.


Whiskey Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix with pudding in it (Pillsbury, for instance)
  • 1 3oz small box of instant vanilla or French vanilla pudding.
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • Topping: 1 Cup Butter, 3/4 Cup Sugar, 3/4 Cup Whiskey
Instructions:
  • Mix all the CAKE ingredients together except the nuts.
  • Mix until smooth and well blended. Add the nuts and stir.
  • Pour batter into 3 loaf cake pans greased with butter. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 mins.
  • While cake is cooking make topping. Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and whiskey and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour immediately over the cakes. Do not allow topping to continue to boil uncovered; whiskey will evaporate! Pour topping over cakes as soon as they come out of the over. Pour slowly so all the topping does not run immediately to the bottom of the pan.
  • Let cake soak in topping for at least 2 hours before removing from the pan. Also, you can just leave it in the pan until you serve them -- that way they can really soak!
Source: Anneliese Germain, 1989


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