Category Archives: sweet recipe

Strawberry and white chocolate mousse

strawberry mousse 1

This is one of those great desserts that can be made ahead and made in a hurry. It’s egg free and can be served after an hour or so in the fridge, but will firm up over night and still produce a light and fluffy mousse.

Sometimes I will make a simple crumb base to add a bit of extra texture (blitz some plain biscuits with a little melted butter and spoon into the bottom of each serving bowl before adding the mousse on top), but this is entirely optional!

For these ones, I sprinkled some grated chocolate on the top for a bit of colour.

I updated my little banner this morning – realised it was still in its ‘summer’ mode even though today is the first of August, zero degrees C outside and rain forecast! Yes, it has been THAT long since I posted a recipe. But here we go, something to lift the soul and sweeten the heart.  Continue reading


Grape gel and white chocolate coated cheesecake spheres on salted caramel sand – molecular gastronomy 101 part 2


Not one to give up after my first attempt, I ended up making frozen cheesecake balls using ice cube trays and then coating them in grape gel or white chocolate. These worked beautifully.  Continue reading

Lemon curd blueberry pancake stack with salted caramel sauce

In recognition of ‘International Pancake Day’ – or Shrove Tuesday

lemon curd pancake stack

When I was younger and growing up in country Victoria, the biggest thrill of going into the nearest provincial city was eating out. We ate McDonalds once a year (if we were lucky) and at other times, for a posh outing, were allowed to go to the Pancake Parlour. Yes, even then I thought it was a bit kooky, but I just couldn’t get over how delicious pancakes could be.

Now the point of this recipe is show. And why not? After all Shrove Tuesday, or International Pancake Day (for us gluttons) only happens once a year. This is hardly a recipe, more an assembly job. Inspired by the wonderful stacks of pancakes that make eating pancakes such a special thing.  Continue reading

Grape mousse with grape caviar on salted caramel sand


This is what to do with experiments in molecular gastronomy. Hide it in mousse. Super easy (apart from the fruit caviar part), light and with a delicious surprise of bursting ‘grapes’ in the middle. I like the added texture from the tempered white chocolate and the salted caramel sand (which also contrasted the sweetness of the grape).  Continue reading

Quadruple mega chocolate layer cake

chocolate slice

Is there anything better for a baking fiend than getting a 2.5 kg bag of chocolate for Christmas? I think there is – when the bag in question is Lindt couverture and is accompanied by a chocolate recipe book (or two).  Continue reading

Cheesecake grapes on salted caramel sand – adventures in molecular gastronomy continued


Cheesecake grapes

My youngest son and I love Ricardo’s café, especially their beautiful cheesecake spheres. One day, as he poked about in his apple cheesecake, admiring the apple caviar and white chocolate and gel coated sphere, he wondered if Ricardo’s could make cheesecake that looked like a bunch of grapes… (and bless him, he suggested it to one of the staff, then for the next few weeks, wandered in regularly to stare hopefully at the display to see if his suggestion had been created yet).

Ricardo's apple cheesecake

Ricardo’s apple cheesecake

This made me think, could I make something like that? Continue reading

Brownies – by David Lebovitz – with bonus dates


These are called ‘Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies’ and are described by David Lebovitz in his excellent book ‘Ready for Dessert’ as the best brownies. He’s right. And David Lebovitz himself admits a reluctance to stand on a soap box to say anything is the best. As with most of his recipes, it’s hard to get these wrong and that’s why I enjoy his recipes so much. These brownies are so decadent and chocolaty rich, studded with chunks of toasted walnuts. Best of all, they are a one-pot preparation and you really can whip up a batch in under an hour. I’ve added dates here to make them extra moist – though they really don’t need it.

I find freezing these work really well to stop me eating the entire tray in one sitting. Served warmed up with cream or vanilla ice cream is the best of the best.

Modified from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

Brownies by David Lebovitz with bonus dates

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Makes: 12


  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g dark chocolate (at least 45% cocoa solids)
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 100 g dates, pitted and softened in 100 ml just-boiled water with ½ teaspoon bicarb, then roughly chopped
  • 135 g walnuts (any nut will work, but I think walnuts or pecans are best), lightly toasted and roughly chopped


  • Preheat oven to 175°C (155°C fan forced) and lightly grease and line a 23 cm square baking tin with baking paper or foil (ensuring some comes up the side to help with removing the brownies after they have cooked).
  • In a large pot, gently melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and stir through the sugar and vanilla, then beat through the eggs, one at time until fully combined.
  • Add the flour and beat until the batter is smooth and glossy (it will come away from the side of the pot).
  • Stir through the chopped nuts and dates.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 30 minutes until just set.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and cutting up.
  • Try stopping at one.