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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Behold the deliciousness

I got a little inspired when I found a Yumsugar article on How to Make Chocolate Salami, and went down a google-hole to discover a recipe for Chocolate Salame by my good friend who I have never met (GFWIHNM) Nigella. The Yumsugar article mentioned a recipe that used raisins for chewiness, while my GFWIHNM’s recipe revolved around different nuts and amaretti biscuits, but had nothing for fruity “chewiness”.

I idly considered what I could add to my GFWIHNM’s recipe that would give me “chewiness” but which didn’t involve raisins or sultanas. A recipe that maybe had slightly less varieties of nuts too. And what goes better with dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and natural almonds than…glacé cherries!!!!??!!!!

I love, love, love glacé cherries. I can’t keep them in my house because I will eat them from the packet, with a spoon. So any excuse to legitimately purchase a packet of glacé cherries, where there is the possibility of leftovers to be eaten with a spoon is…appealing, to say the least.

Now before I get onto my recipe, there are a couple of stipulations about glacé cherries: they have to be the luminescent red glacé cherries in syrup. There can be no green glacé cherries in syrup. Not in MY house, not in THIS recipe. I don’t care if they taste the same. They are not.

And they most definitely can’t be those sad little lumps of dried, candied cherries available in irridescent crimson or emerald green – that are often also called glacé cherries and are mostly found in fruit cakes, or crying to themselves next to the currants and the dried peel in the baking aisle. Leave them on the shelf. THOSE cherries are an abomination, so don’t even…

I cannot emphasise this enough: you must, must, must use the luminescent red glacé cherries in syrup. They provide the perfect balance of flavour, chewiness and moistness for this chocolate salami. Plus they really are the “only” glacé cherries.

See the glorious luminescent red glacé cherries in syrup?

Ingredients

Makes a shedload. Or about 2 x 30cm logs of chocolate salami.

  • 250gm of dark cooking chocolate
  • 250gm amaretti biscuits (the chewy ones) (crushed: I used my mortar and pestle)
  • 100gm soft butter
  • 150gm caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100gm raw almond flakes (crushed roughly in mortar and pestle)
  • 100gm hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 150gm luminescent red glacé cherries in syrup (roughly chopped)
  • Icing sugar (to serve)
  • You will need clingwrap and alfoil to wrap in.

Melt the chocolate  and 50gm of the butter (in the microwave, or on a double boiler) until smooth, then set aside to cool.

Cream the rest of the butter and sugar in large bowl, beat in the eggs one by one (can look a little curdled at this point, don’t worry).

Sieve the cocoa powder into the chocolate (I guess cocoa and chocolate makes it a double chocolate salami, really), then stir until combined.

Beat the chocolate-cocoa mix into the butter-sugar-eggs mix, and ensure they are combined. Once smooth, switch to a large spoon and incorporate in the amaretti biscuits, hazelnuts, almond flakes and glacé cherries. Stir until combined, taste a spoonful and raise your eyes to the skies because it is g.l.o.r.i.o.u.s. (if you can’t see the skies, raising your eyes to the kitchen ceiling is also perfectly acceptable).

Pop your bowl into the fridge for about 20 minutes, NO LONGER. It needs to be malleable enough for you to form it into a roll.

While you are waiting, lay out about 45-50cm of clingwrap flat on your counter.

Once your mix is chilled, spoon a generous line of the mix onto one lengthwise edge of the clingwrap (start about 7cm from each short end), then roll the whole thing until it’s wrapped up in that first layer of clingwrap. Twist the ends of the clingwrap like a lolly until you have a vague log shape (each log will be about 4-5cm in diameter). Do the same with a second layer of clingwrap, then follow with a layer of alfoil. The alfoil will give your salami structure. Do the same for the second roll. Then pop them both on a flat space in your freezer. They will keep up to a month in the freezer like this, if you can leave them alone long enough.

When you want to serve, unwrap and slice in 1cm segments and serve with the rounds dusted with icing sugar.

Still life in danger of being eaten

 

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Recipe: Breakfast Trifle

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Little pots of joy

Having made my toasted muesli, I swung on to making breakfast trifles for my brunch with Les Chicas. I made these trifles on the day, because I wanted the muesli to still have crunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 125 mL ricotta (I used light ricotta, because I picked it up by accident)
  • 250 mL greek yoghurt (I used light greek yoghurt, mainly because there was no non-light greek yoghurt in stock)
  • 100 mL thick cream
  • Toasted muesli (if you make my recipe, you’ll have leftover muesli for breakfasts)

I made this for 4 people, in Bonne Maman jam jars. The jars are ~7.5cm in diameter, and ~9.5cm high, to give you an idea of portioning ingredients.

Hull and slice the strawberries, then pop in a bowl with the caster sugar and mix well. Leave to macerate for about an hour.

Whisk the ricotta, yoghurt and cream together until smooth, then add the agave syrup. Chill for about an hour.

Assembling the trifles happens in layers, and I discovered over the course of assembling that the perfect proportions for each layer is:

  • 3 soup spoons of the yoghurt mix
  • 2 soup spoons of the muesli
  • Strawberries in a layer

Order of the layers:

  • Yoghurt
  • Muesli
  • Yoghurt
  • Strawberry layer
  • Yoghurt
  • Muesli
  • Yoghurt
  • Strawberries to top

Pop back in the fridge to chill until needed. This is where making them in jars was so handy: I could pop the lid on and chuck them in the fridge.

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Et voila!

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recipe-161

Fancy High Tea For A Fancy Lady.

It was The Most Ladylike Lady’s birthday a couple of months ago, and due to an unfortunate alignment with her Mother’s Day, family birthdays, family holidays and more commitments, the little group of ladies we’re part of (The Most Ladylike Lady, The Editor-in-Waiting, Molly’s Mum and your humble writer) didn’t get together to celebrate until ~ 2 months later.

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Pretty punctuation.

But I have to say: we may not do it immediately, but when we do celebrate: we go a little all out. You might even say: we bring the fancy.

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It all started with a couple of flowers, and a cake…

And then…

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Then…there were a couple of flowers, and two cakes!

And THEN:

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Then…there were a couple of flowers, two cakes, a platter of sandwiches and a bowl of just warm scones plus champagne all round.

Yes: we bring the fancy. So apart from cleaning, arranging flowers and making the Women’s Weekly Rose & Almond Syrup Cake (from their Indulgent Cakes book):

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Rose & Almond Syrup cake meet Dear Reader. Dear Reader meet Rose & Almond Syrup cake. Now that the introductions are over, Dear Reader you missed a deluxe cake.

And frantically cleaning, polishing, vacuuming and arranging flowers (I do confess: I invite people over as an enforced regime of tidying my house, and to justify occasionally splurging on cut flowers):

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Flower arranging, recycled bottle style.

I assembled two variations on the Cream Victoria sponge, that I adapted from a Cocktail Recipe book.

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Slacker Sponge Close Up!

And this recipe is so simple, I am almost embarrassed to call it a recipe.

Technique and Ingredients

  • 2 slabs shop bought sponge cake
  • Raspberry Jam (I recommend Bonne Maman)
  • Leftover Creme Fraiche
  • Lemon Icing (Try Martha Stewart’s Lemon Drizzle): if you have icing sugar mix and a lemon: you can make this.
  • One fresh raspberry (or other berry) per portion

Lets start by talking about portions, the recipe I found calls for you to cut little circles of sponge and then turn them into a sandwich. The reservation I had about this is wastage: for every 4 perfect circles, you’d have this weird bit with 4 circular divots cut out of it.

See: weird bits with divots in them

My parsimonious and economical Australian grandmother, who grew up during the depression, did not bring me up to cut circles of sponge and leave behind perfectly cake. Oh no: Nana definitely did not bring me up that way. There will be no cake wastage in this household.

Solution: cut the two slabs of sponge into perfectly matched rectangles. I would have gone squares, but I was worried about crumblage at the edges (new word: crumblage). And crumblage means wasted cake. And you know what Nana would say about cake wastage!

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Sponge glorious sponge…

Then for half of the sponge pairs, slather over a generous layer of raspberry jam. For the other half of the pairs: a generous layer of raspberry jam and a generous layer of creme fraiche (it’s like a French Queen Victoria Sponge).

Drizzle lemon icing over both, and top with a fresh berry. Et voila: on one platter, you have two variations of a sponge!

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More pretties

FYI: the sandwiches were egg and spring onion, and chicken, walnut and apricot. They were delish, I will see if the Editor-In-Waiting will let me share the recipes. And I will try and get both the recipe and technique of the perfect scone out of Molly’s Mum. She can take 3 ingredients and turn out sconderful wonder, I take the same three ingredients and turn out…little pellets of hard.

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Close up

So an apple galette is basically a circle of puff pastry, with a thinly sliced fan of peeled apples on top, sprinkled with caster sugar and brushed with melted butter and then popped in a hot oven for about 25 minutes.

It’s very fancy, but you can do a cheaper and easier version (in both time and money), with one apple, one sheet of puff pastry cut into squares and some brown sugar and knobs of butter. After all: why melt the butter if the oven will do it for you?

The brown sugar melts quicker than caster sugar and leaves a delicious sticky caramel. Super nice.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, quartered (4 squares)
  • 1 apple (I prefer red: pink lady or fugi), thinly sliced and with the core taken out… you’ll need 8 slices (2 per square of puff pastry)
  • Brown sugar
  • Knobs of butter (about 1cm x 1cm), 2-3 per square
  • Spray olive oil

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Lay a sheet of alfoil on a baking tray (you can also use baking paper).

Spray each side of the puff pastry squares with olive oil and lay them on the alfoil. Place 2 slices of apple on each pastry square, sprinkle brown sugar over them and pop the knobs of butter on top.

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until apple is cooked and pastry is puffy and golden brown.

Serve with thick cream than you’ve added a dash of icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla paste to.

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Aerial view

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Parfait and Fruity Dream with raspberry (and secret cranberry) coulis

We decided not to have pudding for Family Christmas this year, so no brandy butter experiments this year (#1 and #2), instead my aunt and I coordinated for a yummy frozen dessert plate. She made Fruity Dream (in her thermomix, it’s a thermomix recipe) while I made Berry, Rosewater and Edible Rose Petals Parfait.

A dessert plate with a slice of one thing and a scoop of another was going to look a little bitsy, so I made a raspberry coulis to drizzle over the parfait and place the scoop of Fruit Dream on. It looked very pretty when plated up.

I based mine on this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 150-200g frozen Raspberries
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp cranberry juice (to taste)

Stick it all in the blender and blend, baby!

You can strain it to get rid of the raspberry pips, but I didn’t 😉

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The coulist sauce.

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Pumpkin Icecream

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Giving thanks for blenders and freezers

I was invited to my first Thanksgiving by a work buddy. It was totally amazing and I got to try some of the Thanksgiving dishes I have read about over the years. Very exciting!

Plus I got to experiment as I said I would do a pumpkin dessert. At first it was going to be the traditional pumpkin pie but as it got closer to the day, it seemed likely to be hot…so I found a recipe for pumpkin icecream  😀

Actually I found a recipe for pumpkin icecream and ginger snap bowls, then went on the hunt for a less complex pumpkin cheesecake icecream recipe which I amended only slightly. The gingersnap bowls broke my blender and were a disaster, so they are not being shared but the pumpkin icecream was a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

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4L of icecream, because I made double measures.

You will need a blender and an electric hand mixer to make this.

Ingredients

Makes ~2L of ice cream.

  • 1 425gm can of pumpkin
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 500mL tub of thickened cream
  • 250gm tub of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Put everything but the cream into the blender and blend until smooth. Blenders usually have a capacity of 1.4-1.6L, so your blender will be pretty full when this is done.

Pour the mixture into either a mixing bowl or container with a capacity of more than 2L, then add the cream. Use the electric mixer to make sure the cream is mixed into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the container(s) you’re freezing it in and pop in the freezer overnight, et voila!

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Leave no marine behind

P.S. in case you’re keen, here’s another easy pumpkin ice cream recipe.

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Q: What to do when you find the perfect recipe for a dessert but when you go shopping, you can’t find critical ingredients and flavours?

A: i.m.p.r.o.v.i.s.e.!.!.!.

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A very girlie dessert

I found an amazing recipe for Raspberry Nougat Frozen Parfait in Modern Australian Food, but when I went to the shops on a Sunday at 3pm to get all the ingredients I could find everything…except the Nougat. It was about 37°C, early in November (mostly unheard of) and I couldn’t face the idea of driving anywhere else to hunt for the elusive nougat. Plus most shops were closing…so I had to improvise on the go.

I already had rosewater, raspberries and edible rose petals at home. And the rose petals were an impulse buy that I’d been looking for an excuse to justify…so I bought extra mixed berries and decided to make the girliest, rosiest dessert in the world (so far as I am aware).

It’s pretty simple, once you mix the ingredients and line a loaf tin with alfoil, you simply pour in and freeze. Then when you want to serve, you slice and leave for a 30 minutes in the refrigerator (or 2 minutes on the kitchen counter on a 37°C day when you don’t have enough room in the fridge).

Ingredients

  • 500gm Ricotta cheese
  • 165 gm (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 300mL thickened cream
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 2 tbsp edible rose petals
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries

Line your loaf tin with alfoil (cling wrap is too annoying to get into position, trust me). You’ll need one that’s about 14cm x 21cm.

Blend the ricotta and sugar until smooth (either in the blender or use a hand mixer). Stir in the rosewater and 1 tbsp of the edible rose petals.

Beat cream in a separate bowl until it forms soft peaks. Fold cream into the ricotta mix and then fold in the berries.

Spoon the mix into the tin and then sprinkle the remaining rose petals on the top. Freeze until firm.

When you are ready to serve, slice and put on plates. Refrigerate 30 minutes so that it softens slightly, then serve. As mentioned: in Perth summer time weather, leave it for 2-5 minutes on the kitchen counter 🙂

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