Tag Archives: dessert

mini christmas treats

I packed up some cute boxes of mini Christmas treats to give to my friends at an early Christmas dinner this week. Every year my best girlfriends and I go out to celebrate the silly season, and we have fun giving each other Kris Kringle gifts, cards and small sweet treats.

These desserts are very easy to make, which means you can make lots to give away to friends and family, and still have some left in the fridge to share with friends who pop over. I hope you enjoy making and enjoying them as much as I did.

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christmas pudding

Melt 200g dark chocolate and 1tbsp butter. Crumble 400g shop bought plum pudding into the mixture, add 2tbsp Grand Marnier and stir everything together. Use your hands to roll into small balls (about a small spoon size) and place on tray in fridge to set. When set, melt 100g white chocolate. Drizzle over the tops of the balls, and add slices of glace cherries to decorate. Pop back in the fridge to set.

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white chocolate rocky road

I don’t remember the quantities I used, but the ingredients are white chocolate, white marshmallows, red glace cherries, cranberries and almonds. Melt the chocolate and some of the marshmallows in a saucepan together. Stir in the remaining ingredients and spread out in a lined pan. Allow to chill in the fridge before slicing into small squares (it is very sweet).

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candy cane chocolate

Crush about 10 large candy canes in a plastic bag with a mallet or rolling pin. Melt about 200g dark chocolate, and spread over the base of a large, lined, baking tray. Sprinkle the candy cane shards over the chocolate. Allow to set in the fridge before breaking into pieces to eat.

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my first gingerbread house

I have always loved gingerbread houses – edible desserts that you could only dream of living in – and as much as I appreciate the beauty of a fully iced gingerbread house, it’s the lollies that really attract me!

My boyfriend and I decided to create our own gingerbread house on the weekend. We had never made one before, and thought we were being a bit too ambitious for a first attempt, but we figured if we were going to put the effort in we may as well throw ourselves into it! Luckily we managed to pull it off, and if we may say so ourselves, we think it looks pretty damn awesome.

cupcakes and cookies

 Looking for something special to make your baking extra sweet? Perhaps some pretty cupcake liners or cute cookie cutters from sweet estelle are just what you are looking for. I’ve previously bought from this lovely store and everything went so successfully that I placed another order today (so hard to resist).

passionfruit puddings

This passionfruit pudding is very easy to whip up, making it perfect for a lazy weeknight on the couch. The recipe comes from bills food by the lovely Bill Granger and it was perfect for the current weather. It’s just about to hit summer in Melbourne so I’m craving the taste of fresh tropical fruits, but the weather is still chilly enough to need a comforting pudding and I am never one to resist a warm dessert.

Recipe adapted from Bill Granger

Ingredients

  • 1 small spoon butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/3 C plain flour
  • 1/4 C passionfruit pulp, plus extra to serve
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease 4 ramekins.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the flour, milk, passionfruit and egg yolks.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold the egg whites into the mixture and then pour into ramekins.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.
  6. Serve with extra passionfruit for a really strong taste.

rocky road cupcakes

I love making food for friends and family, so when I read that the recipe for these cupcakes only made 12, I knew I would have to double it! My sisters and I always use our trusted cupcake recipe but I thought it was time to step up and try something new – these marble cupcakes with rocky road topping looked like they might actually be worthy competition to our favourites.

I was excited to find that everybody that tried them loved them. The cupcakes are moist and colourful and the rocky road topping is so deliciously rich (you really can only eat one of these at a time).  Have fun baking them!

I’ve split the following recipe into two components – the marbled cupcake and the rocky road top.

Recipe adapted from Classic Cupcakes by the Australian Women’s Weekly. Makes about 24 cupcakes.

Marble Cupcake

Ingredients:

  •  250g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1+ 1/3 C caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2+ 1/2 C self raising flour
  • 2/3 C milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp milk, extra

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C (fan forced) and line muffin tins with paper cases.
  2. Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sifted flour and milk to the mixture in three batches, stirring between additions.
  3. Split the mixture into three bowls. Add the cocoa and extra milk to the first bowl and stir to combine. Add a couple of drops of pink food colouring to the second bowl and stir to combine. Leave the third bowl as is.
  4. Add one spoon of each coloured mix to each cupcake case. Use a skewer to swirl the batter slightly to create the marbled effect.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool before decorating with rocky road topping.

Rocky Road Topping

Ingredients:

  • 250g pink and white marshmallows, chopped
  • 300g red glace cherries, halved
  • 1 C unsalted peanuts
  • 1 C flaked coconut
  • 400g melted milk chocolate
  • 50g extra melted milk chocolate to drizzle over the top

  1. Mix all ingredients (except a couple of the marshmallows) together in a bowl.
  2. Use a spoon to add the mixture to the top of the cooled cupcakes.
  3. Add extra marshmallows to the top of the cupcakes and drizzle the extra milk chocolate over the top to hold it all together. Enjoy! 

polish festival

Melbourne’s Federation Square is holding the Polish Festival today and I’m so excited to be going! I went last year with my boyfriend (who is half Polish) and we had so much fun eating and drinking in the sun along the Yarra River that we knew it was a must visit when the time rolled around again. This time we are dragging some more friends along to enjoy the fun – I think the beer was the biggest attraction for them though!

To get you in the mood, here are some photos from some of the festivals I attended during my holiday in Krakow and Warsaw last year…

 

bompas & parr (pimms cup with a twist)

Jelly by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr is one of the most recent additions to my cookbook collection. It is a book filled with wondrous creations from Bompas & Parr, who decided to start working as “jellymongers” in 2007. Bompas & Parr’s creations range from fairly standard to sublime, however they are all impressive. Standard creations are jazzed up – fresh fruit jellies in the shape of architectural wonders – while the most magnificent include glow in the dark creations, layered wonders or a suspension of gold leaf.

These guys aren’t just limited to jelly though – they have other culinary skills perfectly suited to the sweet tooth. The gents have been inspired by Willy Wonka’s creations, creating chewing gum that changes flavour as you chew (blueberry pie anybody?) and scratch and sniff cards that are reminiscent of Wonka’s wallpaper. Although the recipes for these creations are not included in the gelatine based cookbook, there are so many photos and stories inside that you really get an idea of how creative and magical these guys are, making you think that jelly is simply the first food product of many that they have decided to master and reinvent.

I decided to try my first recipe from their book last weekend – it was a warm spring day so I decided to make the Pimms Cup jelly in lieu of an actual jug of Pimms. I have to admit that I have only ever made jelly from a packet of jelly crystals before so I was slightly terrified at the thought of making an alcohol based jelly with suspended pieces of fruit that I needed to unmould. However, I was so excited with my success that I have now decided to attempt many more beautiful creations from this book. I think I will try the alcohol based jellies first and work my way from Mai Tai to Bubblegum Vodka to Champagne and Summer Fruit. Delicious!

Recipe adapted from Jelly by Bompas & Parr, makes one litre of jelly for use in a jelly mould. If you choose to set your mix in glasses and do not wish to unmould them, you will only need 7 gelatine leaves.

Ingredients:

  •  300 mL Pimms
  • 350 mL ginger ale
  • 350 mL lemonade
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 punnet strawberries, sliced (you probably won’t need them all, leaving you something to snack on)
  • 10 gelatine leaves (gold strength)

Pour the Pimms Cup, dry ginger ale and lemonade into a jug, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and stir. Resist drinking it!!

Chop up the gelatine leaves and place in a heat proof bowl. Pour just enough of the Pimms mixture over the top so that the gelatine is covered. Allow to bloom for 10 minutes. Place the heat proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water to allow the mix to heat up. Stir until the gelatine has melted into the mixture. Add the remaining Pimms Cup liquid, stir, and then strain the mixture back into the jug.

Put your jelly mould (or glasses) on a tray to make it easy to transfer to the fridge to set. Pour some of the Pimms jelly mixture into the mould and add some of the cucumber and strawberries. Place the partially filled mould into the fridge for about an hour to allow it to partially set. Keep the remaining liquid and fruit at room temperature.

Repeat the mould filling and layering procedure until all of the mixture is in the mould, in the fridge. Leave for approximately two hours to ensure firm (or at least, as firm as a bowl full of jelly can be).

To remove jelly from mould, place quickly in a bowl of very warm water. The jelly will loosen from the edges of the mould, allowing you to easily flip it onto a plate and serve! You may wish to pour a little extra Pimms Cup around the edge before serving if your guests really love the taste…

Non “Pimms Cup” images are from the Bompas & Parr website