Toasted Pavlova Roulade with Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream

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When I heard that Bulla Dairy Foods thickened cream have added vanilla and chocolate flavours to their product line, I was excited to try, especially the chocolate flavoured cream.  However, when I went to the supermarket, the vanilla one was the only flavour available.  That was ok, I wanted to try this one too.
I decided to make Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s Pastry Chef, Anna Polyviou’s recipe for a pavlova roulade.  The recipe is available online but I’ve included it below for your convenience.  The original recipe didn’t state the measurements of the baking tray and I chose one too small ( around 23cm x 30cm) which made the pavlova too small and thick.  For better results use a bigger tray so the pavlova is thin and easier to roll.
I also didn’t have some of the toppings on hand, like the popping mango, so I used fresh mango pieces instead.  I guess you can top your pavlova roulade with any topping you desire.
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Toasted Pavlova Roulade with Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream, Popping Mango and Tropical Fruit Compote Creation courtesy of Anna Polyviou, Executive Pastry Chef, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney Serves 10-12
Ingredients:
  • 8 free range eggs (whites only)
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 10g cornflour
  • 10ml white vinegar
  • 5ml vanilla essence
Filling:
  • 200ml Bulla Vanilla Flavoured cream
  • 5 passionfruits (de-seeded)
Garnishes:
  • 1 pineapple (diced)
  • 100g popping mango pearls
  • 1 punnet baby basil
  • 3 passionfruit
Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160degC. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine 250g caster sugar and cornflour in a bowl.
  2. Using the whisk attachment of your electric beaters (or Kitchen Aid), whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks are formed; then reduce to a low speed, gradually adding in the caster sugar and cornflour mixture. Once mixture is glossy and firm peaks have formed, add in the vanilla essence along with the vinegar.
  3. Spread the meringue evenly onto the baking paper, taking it to the edges. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden in colour.
  4. Lay a sheet of fresh baking paper on the bench and sprinkle 20g of the caster sugar over it. Once meringue is cooked, turn out onto the sugar dusted paper – gently peeling the baking paper away and allowing to cool.
  5. Pour the Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream into a clean bowl and whisk with an electric whisk/beater until it’s semi-whipped. Remove and fold in the seeded passionfruit. Spread the Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream evenly onto the meringue sheet.
  6. Gently roll the meringue into a tight roulade.
  7. To serve: Place the roulade onto a rectangle dish then place the pineapple, passionfruit, popping mango pearls and baby basil on top to finish.
Bulla Vanilla Flavoured thickened cream and ingredients courtesy of Bulla and Mkt. Communications.
Bon appetite,
Cherrie

A Cake Decorating Class and an AppliancesOnline.com.au 8th Birthday Competition

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As many readers may know, I love baking and decorating cakes for family and friends.  I’m far from being an expert so any tips and tricks I can get is always welcomed.

I was invited by AppliancesOnline.com.au to attend a cake decorating class at Let Them Eat Cake in South Melbourne.  Owner Christopher Montebello and staff demonstrated their decorating skills and answered all the questions we had.  And trust me, we had plenty.

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Australia’s largest online retailer of appliances is celebrating it’s 8th birthday by launching a national cake decorating competition to find it’s official birthday cake.  The national competition encourages Australians to get creative by baking and decorating an appliance themed cake, to celebrate the birthday.  Entrants will go in the draw to win one of eight sunbeam food processors valued at $399.

To enter, create your cake and upload a picture via Appliances Online Facebook, instagram or twitter. Tag @appliancesAU and use the hashtag #AOLbirthday

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During our class, we were shown how to decorate cake to make it look like a blender. CakeDecoratingClass1

Doesn’t it look real?!

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Christopher also showed us how to write with royal icing.

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Not bad huh?

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Here are some cake decorating tips:

1. Buy fondant pre-made.  It can be difficult to achieve the right consistency when making fondant from scratch.

2. Sketch your concept before you start decorating and keep it simple.  The simplest ideas are often the best.

3. Use fruit or mud cake.  Fondant works best with firm cakes such as fruitcake or mud cake.  Make sure you don’t use sponge cake as it won’t support the weight of the icing.

4. Heat the marzipan.  If you’re using marzipan, take it out of it’s foil package and microwave for about 10 seconds to make it easier to work with.

5. Applying the fondant.  Knead on a clean board that’s been sprinkled with icing sugar.  If adding colour, apply sparingly and knead into the icing.  Roll out with a rolling pin and keep applying sugar throughout the rolling process.  Drape fondant carefully over the cake and then smooth gently with dry hands, starting at the centre of the cake, moving outwards.  Make sure to get rid of any air bubbles. Trim any excess fondant with a sharp knife.

6. Experiment and have fun with leftover marzipan and fondant icing which can be used to create simple figurines and flowers.

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Don’t forget to enter Appliancesonline.com.au’s competition.  Ends December 8th. So get on it now!

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

Celebration Carrot and Pistachio Cake

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I love baking for my family and friends be it for an occasion or for the joy of baking for them.  This time, it was my mother in law’s birthday.  We went out for dinner but came home for a slice of this delicious carrot and pistachio birthday cake.

It looks simple but elegant.  It’s a celebration cake because it’s luxurious in flavour and texture.  It’s moist and most importantly, damn delicious.  For a family that does not like eating carrots, I had them eating this cake to the very last crumb.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard PR co, I had a bag of Wonderful Pistachios in the pantry and I was dying to bake with it.  I came across a carrot cake recipe and I thought to add the pistachios to it.  It was a great idea! It gave the cake a little character.  I love eating pistachios on it’s own so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to shell them without scoffing them all down.  LOL

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Recipe:

  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla paste/extract
  • 450g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 400g can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 125g Wonderful roasted unsalted pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 1/4 shredded coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 180degC (160degC fanforced)
  2. Oil and line 2 x 18cm round baking tins
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir well.
  4. In another bowl, add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract together and then add to the dry ingredients.
  5. Using an electric whisk, blend until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Stir in the carrot, pineapple and chopped pistachios.
  7. Divide evenly between the two baking tins and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes our clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
  9. When cool, divide the frosting (recipe below) between the two cakes and layer one cake on top of the other.
  10. Sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut.

Frosting:

  • 175g softened cream cheese
  • 50g softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbs milk (if needed
  1. Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla paste together until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the frosting is smooth.
  2. Add a little milk if it needs loosening it a little.

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Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

Bolognaise Rotolo and a Perfect Italiano Giveaway.

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My family loves pasta and finding new and interesting ways to cook it is always welcomed in my household.  I was given the opportunity to try the new ‘Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes’ cheese blend. I jumped at the chance to try to create a dish that I knew my family would love.

I remember seeing a recipe in a food magazine a while back that was a cross between a lasagna and a cannelloni.  So I’ve used that recipe as an inspiration.  The recipe involved stuffing lasagne sheets with bolognaise and bechamel sauce and baking it in the oven in a tomato sauce.  I added more vegetables but diced them finely so my children didn’t know they were eating it (hehe…) It’s cheesy and packed full of flavour.  It was such a hit with the family that there were no left-overs.  If you have left over bolognaise sauce you can of course freeze it . The sauce can be kept frozen and then reheated and eaten with cooked pasta for a quick meal.

The use of the ‘Perfect Italiano perfect Bakes’ in this dish meant that I didn’t need to buy three different packets of cheese.  It is a full flavoured cheddar blend with a little mozzerella for stretch and parmesan for bite.

You can re-create my dish using The Perfect Bakes or visit their website here for more recipes.

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Recipe:

  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery stick
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced mushrooms
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 700g bottle passata
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 16 small lasagne sheets (or 5-6 large sheets)
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup ‘Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes’ plus extra for serving
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

bechamel sauce

  • 30g butter
  • 3 tbs plain flour
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Sweat the diced vegetables for 2-3 minutes then add the mince.  Keep stirring until browned.
  2. Add the passata and 1/2 cup of stock, sugar and salt & pepper.  Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid evaporates.  Set aside to cool a little.
  3. Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the flour for 1 minute then gradually add the milk a little at a time, stirring in between each addition, making sure it’s well combined before adding more.  Cook until mixture thickens slightly.
  4. Preheat oven to 180degC.  Spread 1 lasagne sheet with about 3 heaping tablespoons of the mince mixture then drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the bechamel sauce.
  5. Starting from a short side, roll up to form a log and cut into 2 (or 3 if using large sheets).  Place cut side up in a 20cm round ovenproof dish.
  6. Repeat with remaining lasagne sheets.
  7. Combine the tomato puree and remaining stock and pour over the rotolo.
  8. Sprinkle on the Perfect Italiano Perfect Bake cheese over the rotolo and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  9. To serve, sprinkle more of the Perfect Italiano Perfect bake cheese over the rotolo.

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OK, So, I have also a give away for 2 lucky readers.  I have 2 Perfect Italiano cheese graters to give away.

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All you need to do is leave a comment simply telling me what bake you would cook using the ‘Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes’.

Competition is open now until Monday 30th September midnight and is only open to Australian residents.

Please make sure to leave your email address so I may be able to contact you.

Ingredients and giveaway courtesy of KeepLeft PR and Perfect Italiano

Good luck!

Bon Appettite,

Cherrie

Lemon Curd Meringue Cake

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I love lemon curd.  It’s so easy to make.  Sometimes, I just whip it up and serve it in a jar on top a biscuit crumb base and topped with whipped cream.  Like my recipe here.  It can be used as a topping on top of cupcakes as well. Lemon curd can be used in many ways but I think the best way, I found, is in this cake.

I found this recipe in a women’s weekly cookbook and it may look hard to make but it’s actually quite simple.  This is definitely a show stopper!  It can be served as a dessert after dinner or as a sweet treat for afternoon tea.

The cake is best eaten after being  chilled overnight but, hey, who can wait that long?  Not my family, that’s for sure!

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Recipe:

  • 4 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 125g white chocolate, coarsely grated.
  • 1 1/4 cups thickened cream
  1. Preheat oven to 160degC and grease a 24cm springform pan and line base with baking paper.
  2. Beat egg whites and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small bowl until firm peaks form.  Add remaining sugar and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Fold the chocolate and ground almonds into the meringue mixture.  Spread mixture into the pan and bake for about 40 minutes.  Cool meringue in the pan.
  4. Beat the cream until soft peaks and fold in the lemon curd (recipe below)
  5. Spoon the curd mixture onto the meringue and refrigerate several overs or overnight until firm.

Lemon curd:

  • 250g cold butter, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. Place the butter in medium saucepan.  strain the egg yolks into the pan.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir over low heat, without boiling for about 10 minutes or until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Transfer curd to medium heatproof bowl.  Cover, refrigerate until cold.

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I need to make this again very soon!

Bon appetite,

Cherrie

Filipino Fiesta Party with Style

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It was party time!  What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than to share it with family and friends and plenty of delicious food.  I invited over my food blogger friends and asked them to bring along a Filipino dish of their choice.  Some of them have eaten Filipino food but certainly not one of them have ever cooked or baked it before.

I have held many parties and dinner parties before but I have to say, most of my focus is usually on the food.  This time though, I wanted to have more style and pazzazz at my do.  As this fiesta, the guests were bringing a dish (or two or three) each, I didn’t have to worry whether there will be enough food.  As food bloggers, we tend to over cater.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard PR company, I was provided with a party kit which included fun retro straws and napkins, deco tea light holders and candles for ambience and a stylish wine bucket to keep the wine and drinks cold.

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candles are a great way to create an ambience

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Use a stylish ice bucket to keep your drinks cold

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Wonderful Pistachios are a wonderful addition to the nibbles

The food my friends brought along were amazing.  I was really impressed at their effort, most especially because they have never cooked Filipino food before.  We also ordered a HUGE lechon.  The meat was so tender and moist and the skin/crackling was so crunchy.  It was amazing.

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The table was laden with wonderful and delicious Filipino food. My friends rock!!

My birthday cake was the highlight of the night.  My very good friends (aka #CakeSquad) Shellie and Thanh, made me a ube, pandan and coconut ombre cake, topped with macarons.  AMAZING!

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If you follow me on istagram and/or twitter, you will know that I share my birthday with my little boy.  We celebrated his birthday with family.

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Thomas with his spider man birthday cake I made for him

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photos taken by my bro @epu3on

Here are a few tips from Style and Fashion Host Melissa Hoyer to keep guests and yourself happy whilst entertaining,.

  1. Parties are all about the people so get the guest list right.  Aim to have groups of people with common interests and that you know will “gel” together well.
  2. Three week rule: I suggest inviting your guests at least 3 weeks in advance.  Hosts should give an email address for their guests to RSVP to, that way, the confirmation is saved and you can go back to it when you finalise the guest list.
  3. Be present and available.  This can be hard when you’re constantly refilling the buffet table and justling trays of food.  More importantly, everyone has come to see you and if they see you stressed then they will become uneasy
  4. To theme or not to theme: Themed parties puts a gimmick in every guest but really gives your guests the opportunity to talk about something to other people at the party.
  5. No one goes hungry on your watch: I’m always thinking about my guests, making sure they are having fun and are relaxed.  Keep an eye out for clinking ice cubes.  Offer to refill drinks, as you carry around platter of delicious nibbles such as cheese, pistachios and gourmet dips.
  6. Provide light nibbles that are easy to serve and source: I’m pretty sure that generally people love going to parties because of the sheer hospitality they recieve.  I’m also sure that hosts put on parties to have fun too.   My typical platter of nibbles includes bowls of flavoured Wonderful Pistachios, brie, Camembert cheddar and Jarlsberg and lots of dip flavours like chili crab, guacamole baba ghanoush and beetroot.
  7. Is it OK to ask people to bring something?- Of course! Most people will want to bring something.  I often tend to ask to bring a bottle of something they like drinking.  As a host, be confident to put the request in the invite subtly.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard for the party kit and for the Wonderful Pistachios,

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

Yorkshire Brack – Hubby Bakes!

Yorkshire Brack3 OMG! My Hubby baked!  My Hubby is an eater, not a baker. So you can imagine my surprise when he came up with this.  He did a great job and I was so proud of him :) He saw the recipe for Yorkshire brack on “Ade in Britain”, an English cooking show featuring Ade Edmondson.  You’ve would’ve seen him in shows such as “Young ones” and “Bottom”.  He hosted this cooking show which is one of Hubby’s favourites to watch.  Ade travels around Britain learning about local produce and of course, cooking along the way. Yorkshire Brack is a fruit cake with a tea infusion and is usually eaten for afternoon tea with a nice pot of tea but honestly, it can be eaten anytime you like.

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He decided to make this one day. It’s so easy to make that even a non-baker can make this.  It only has a handful of ingredients and basically everything is thrown into a bowl and mixed together.  The only thing is though, you need to plan ahead as the dried fruit need to soak in tea the night before.  No offense to Hubby, but if he can make this, anyone can. Yorkshire Brack4 I’m not really a fruit cake fan but I have to say, this cake is probably the only one I have enjoyed eating.  It has a treacley, caramely flavour and the sultanas and raisins give it a real sweetness.  You can play with the type of tea you use to give the cake different flavours. Recipe:

  • 150ml of hot tea
  • 454g of mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and currants)
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 175g demerara sugar (can also use raw sugar)
  • 1 egg, beatened
  1. Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea overnight
  2. Next day, Preheat oven to 160degC
  3. Drain the dried fruit into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine. If mixture is too dry, add another egg and mix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake for approximately for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean
  5. Best served warm with butter and a slice of cheese.

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