Do you know it’s International Ice cream month? No? well, you do now…
It just so happens July is also Deanna’s birthday month. What better way to celebrate than having an ice cream party. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of winter here in Melbourne, ice cream is always welcome with my family.
Deanna was lucky enough to create her very own flavour to celebrate. Harry’s ice cream asked us to create a flavour that they would make for us in their factory in Brunswick. After many discussions between Deanna and myself, we came up with…
Cotton Candy ice cream with marshmallow pieces and strawberry swirl. It definitely is a fun flavour with a touch of a princess :)
Along with the Cotton candy ice cream, we were also sent Pavlova and sticky date flavoured ice creams. O.M.G. that sticky date! I had various toppings that our guests were able to add.
We had our family over to help celebrate and had lots of fun doing it.
Thanks to Harry’s Ice cream, we were able to have our creation made up in a couple of weeks. It usually takes 6 months of research to develop their perfect flavours before it hits the freezer shelves of Woolworths supermarkets. You can see Harry’s full range here or you can also see my recipe of Leche Flan Ice cream using Harry’s base ice cream recipe here.
I’m happy to say that our lemon tree is now giving us constant supply of lemons. Having said that though, I need to keep finding ways of using up all the lemons. So far, I’ve managed to use them up in mostly sweets and desserts. Hey, what can I say? My family love desserts :p
I found this recipe in one of my many Women’s Weekly cookbooks. I’ve made lemon curd many times before and I usually use the same recipe but I thought I’d try this one as it also uses limoncello. I like this recipe too. It’s not as tart and it’s a little sweeter. This recipe states that you should make the curd the day before, unfortunately, I wasn’t quite so organised. I let the curd chill in the fridge for a few hours before using it. It was still a little runny but it didn’t affect the flavour or the final outcome.
I used a blow torch for the meringue on top, however if you don’t have a torch, you can place in a hot oven (240degc) for a couple of minutes until the meringue gives a nice brown colour.
- 260g plain flour
- 40g icing sugar
- 185g cold unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp iced water, approx.
- 3 egg whites
- 165g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 110g caster sugar
- 1tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 60ml lemon juice
- 90g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 tbs limoncello liqueur
Make the limoncello curd:
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium heatproof bowl until pale and thickened slightly.
- Add the zest and juice, stir over medium saucepan of simmering water about 10-12 minutes or until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat, gradually whisk in butter until combined between additions.
- Stir in limoncello; cover, refrigerate overnight.
Make the pie :
- Process flour, icing sugar and butter until crumbly. With motor operating, add egg yolk and enough of the water to make ingredients cling together. Turn dough into floured surface, knead gently until smooth. Wrap pastry in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
- Grease two 12 hole mini muffin pans. Roll out the pastry between sheets of baking paper until about 5mm thick. Cut out 6cm rounds then press into holes of the pan. Prick base of cases with a fork. Refrigerate 30mins
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220degC
- Bake cases about 8-12mins then stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
- Beat egg whites ina small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar, beating until dissolved between additons.
- Divide the limoncello curd into cases.
- Spoon meringue mixture into piping bag fitted with 1cm plain tube. Pipe meringue over curd.
- Use a blow torch to brown the meringue.
I love making little treats for the kiddies. I try to find recipe that are quick and can be made in a moments notice, provided you have the ingredients of course.
Since Easter is coming up fast, I’ve decided to make these Easter egg nests for a treat. It’s also perfect if you want to bring a little something to a friend’s place to eat after a meal.
This has only 4 ingredients and the kids can help decorate them. You can garnish these nests with anything you like, it doesn’t have to be for only an Easter treat. Use your imagination :)
- 1 tbs butter
- 100g mini marshmallows
- 2 cups Rice bubbles (rice krispies)
- Mini Chocolate Easter eggs
- Prepare a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Set aside
- In a saucepan melt butter over low heat then add the marshmallows
- Continue stirring until the marshmallow has melted. Careful not to burn the bottom of the pan
- Add the rice bubbles and stir until all the cereal has been coated with the marshmallow mix.
- Using a tablespoon that has been lightly coated in oil, spoon the mixtures into the cupcake cases.
- Use the back of the spoon to make a little dent in the centre.
- Place in fridge for about 15-30 mins to set a little
- Garnish with Easter eggs
I think you all must know by now how much I love to bake. I try to bake at least once a week for my family. It can be anything from bread to cakes and cupcakes and of course everything in between.
Last month, I invited a group of other food bloggers for a bake off pot luck. Everyone had to bring a savoury bake and a sweet show topper. We were all a little nervous and the flurry of tweets and instagrams ( #GFBBO) prior to the gathering showed just that. But just like every other food blogger pot luck, everyone delivered the goods (literally).
For my savoury bake, I baked Paul Hollywood’s bacon and cheddar loaves. I’ve baked them before and you can find the recipe here.
I decided to bake a Banana fudge layer cake. I got the recipe from the Great Australian Bake Off cook book but it is also featured in the Great British one. I just made a tiny change. I added whipped cream in between the layers. I thought it just lightens the whole cake. This cake is perfect for occasions as it looks spectacular but most importantly, it’s not difficult to make.
For the sponge:
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 25g brown sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste/extract
- 3 tsp milk, at room temperature
For the filling and topping:
- 175g brown sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 75ml plus 200ml double (or thickened) cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 180degC.
- In a large bowl or electric mixer beat the butter until creamy. Gradually beat in the 2 sugars until the mixture turns paler in colour and becomes light and fluffy.
- Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon. Combine the vanilla and milk and fold in.
- Evenly divide the mixture into 3 x 20cm prepared tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the fudge mixture by putting the sugar, butter and 75ml of cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir frequently until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from catching on the base of the pan. Take the pan off the heat and vigorously stir for 30 seconds. Add the sea salt flakes. Leave to cool.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks
- To assemble, spread one third of the cream on top each cake, then layer the banana slices on top of the cream. Choose one cake to be the top layer and place the banana slices decoratively on top. Now slowly pour or swirl the caramel fudge over the bananas letting some of the caramel drip over the edges. Now carefully, place each cake on top of each other, making sure it is straight.
Tip: For even cake layers, weigh the cake batter and divide evenly into thirds.
Our savoury table:
Our sweet table:
For pics of what fantastic bakes we had that day look up #GFBBO on twitter and instagram
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.
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
- 8 free range eggs (whites only)
- 270g caster sugar
- 10g cornflour
- 10ml white vinegar
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 200ml Bulla Vanilla Flavoured cream
- 5 passionfruits (de-seeded)
- 1 pineapple (diced)
- 100g popping mango pearls
- 1 punnet baby basil
- 3 passionfruit
- Pre-heat the oven to 160degC. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine 250g caster sugar and cornflour in a bowl.
- 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.
- Spread the meringue evenly onto the baking paper, taking it to the edges. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden in colour.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gently roll the meringue into a tight roulade.
- 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.
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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 180degC (160degC fanforced)
- Oil and line 2 x 18cm round baking tins
- Combine all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir well.
- In another bowl, add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract together and then add to the dry ingredients.
- Using an electric whisk, blend until all ingredients are well combined.
- Stir in the carrot, pineapple and chopped pistachios.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
- When cool, divide the frosting (recipe below) between the two cakes and layer one cake on top of the other.
- Sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut.
- 175g softened cream cheese
- 50g softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
- 200g icing sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tbs milk (if needed
- Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla paste together until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the frosting is smooth.
- Add a little milk if it needs loosening it a little.
I had an abundance of strawberries and there are so many ways to use it. It can, of course be eaten fresh on it’s own, which is the way my kids love to eat it. I have also made a fresh strawberry cake (which I’m hoping to blog soon) and this… a strawberry cheesecake. And even better, a no bake one.
I found this recipe by “Cravings of a Lunatic” and I knew I wanted to make it. I adjusted the amount of sugar as I don’t like my desserts too sweet. I also left out the almond extract. The cheesecake is refrigerated for about an hour but if you can wait longer, it’s better left a few hours so it can set a little. The actual cheesecake itself is flavourful and has a smooth creamy texture.
For the original recipe by “cravings of a lunatic” click here.
- 1 cup biscuit crumbs ( I used Marie)
- 1 tbs butter, melted
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 250g block of cream cheese, softened
- 4 large strawberries, Pureed in a food processor or blender
- 2 cups of strawberries, sliced
- whipping cream for topping.
- extra strawberries for garnish
- To make the crust, combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter then press into the bottom of 4 small jars.
- To make the the cheesecake, whip the cream using a stand mixer or electric mixer till soft peaks and fluffy
- Add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Keep whisking till creamy and slightly thick.
- Pour half of the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- In the remaining half, add the pureed strawberries and mix well until combined.
- Divide the strawberry mixture into the 4 jars, then place a layer of the sliced strawberries on top
- Pour the white cream cheese on top of the strawberries the spoon the whipping cream on top
- Garnish with more strawberries.
- Refrigerate for about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.