Think the end of the working week and a hot stinker day. Think of sitting on a chair on your deck and staring out into nothing, praising the weekend ahead. You could be resting a cold beer on your belly, or cracking a bottle of chardonnay, but by far far far and away better is to herald in the weekend with this glorious concoction. Continue reading
My son had this idea for this spectacular dessert. He wanted a fresh berry cheesecake and I thought white and dark chocolate layers combined with different berries. This dessert was inspired by his triple layer icecream cake.
White chocolate cheesecake formed the bottom layer over a ginger-tinted biscuit base and I started thinking it might work to have a milk chocolate mousse over the top. In the end I decided on a bavarois because well, it sounded fancy and I wanted to try it, and it is supposed to result in a creamier and airier texture. You may well ask what a bavarois is? Well it is Bavarian cream….. basically a crème anglaise with gelatine and whipped cream folded through. Light and airy and very creamy. For the fruits I used raspberries in the white chocolate (as it’s a great pairing) and blueberry with the milk chocolate – frozen because they behave better. Fresh strawberries on top to really bring out the colour. You could use dark chocolate for the top layer (my son prefers milk chocolate) and you could top it with fresh whipped cream, but honestly, I don’t think it needs it. Continue reading
White chocolate and raspberry are a perfect combination. I made these when I had cream cheese to use up. I adore carrot cake with cream cheese icing but wanted to try something different. I remembered I had frozen raspberries (and I always have white chocolate!) so this was a bit of a no-brainer. I’m not a huge fan of squidgy fruit in cupcakes, so this is basically white chocolate chip cupcakes topped with raspberries, which sink slightly into the mixture during baking. Continue reading
My son requested an ice cream cake for his 11th birthday. My mind immediately ran to all things exotic and fancy. But he just wanted three layers of coloured ice cream with sprinkles on top. So, we compromised. This cake was so easy to make – it took a bit of time and planning, but we had wonderful fun developing the recipe and deciding what extras would go in each of the layers. We landed on chocolate bottom, strawberry middle and vanilla top with white chocolate shards to decorate the sides and milk chocolate on the top. Of course you can make your own ice cream, but with all the palava of a kid’s birthday party, I didn’t need the stress of making my own. So, I used store-bought Neapolitan ice cream. Continue reading
It’s hard to describe the taste of tonka beans. The smell of the beans is reminiscent of sweet marzipan with something else…. One article referred to them as vanilla on steroids, and being a big fan of vanilla, I knew I had to try some. They are a baking little secret and have a distinct, wonderful and unforgettable flavour. Tonka beans take the humble panna cotta to a new level, and combined with a rich and slightly tart raspberry jelly: dessert heaven. I used caramelised pecans for texture and given I made the panna cotta with Greek yoghurt, I served it with a white chocolate sauce for some extra creamy sweetness. I don’t think the white chocolate is strictly necessary, as the tonka bean-flavoured panna cotta is sweet enough by itself. Continue reading
I’m a sucker for a Tim Tam. I just don’t suck Tim Tams.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the marketing of the Australian Tim Tam biscuit. It was inspired by the UK ‘Penguin’ biscuit. When I lived in the UK, I went out of my way to find Tim Tams, but never Penguin biscuits. The same was true for vegemite – I guess it comes down to what you grew up with.
….aka the mega flourless chocolate brownie meringue cake. I was inspired to make this as a summery dessert for a gluten-free friend, who thankfully is not shy of chocolate. This cake is rich, but remarkably light, with a crisp outer and slightly chewy centre. The cream filling makes the cake go down so smoothly and the raspberry cuts the rich intensity of the chocolate. Ideally make and assemble a day ahead, so the cream and raspberries can meld into the meringue. The cake is much easier to slice for serving when it is allowed to come to room temperature and it tastes so much better too than straight from the fridge.
Chocolate, hazelnut and raspberry torte
- 200 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 200 g dark chocolate (I use 70% Lindt)
- 150 g hazelnut meal
- 4 eggs, separated
- 225 g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 300 ml thickened cream (35% fat)
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 punnet fresh raspberries (200 g approximately)
- Icing sugar to dust
- Pre-heat oven to 160 °C (140 °C fan-forced).
- Lightly grease two 18 cm round loose-bottomed cake pans and line with baking paper.
- Melt butter and chocolate in bowl over simmering water (or in microwave – using low power), stirring often until melted and smooth.
- Remove chocolate from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and half the caster sugar until pale and thickened.
- In a separate bowl (or using a stand mixed with the whisk attachment), whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue whisking while slowly adding the remaining caster sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy and all the sugar is dissolved.
- Slowly add chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and thoroughly mix to combine. Fold in the hazelnut meal and a pinch of salt.
- Gently fold in the egg white mixture, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour mixture into prepared tins and bake for 40 minutes until the top is firm and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in their pans
- Carefully remove cakes from pans and place on a wire rack.
- Whip cream with icing sugar until sugar is dissolved and cream has stiffened (it should hold a shape when the whisk is removed).
- On a serving plate, place one cake top side down and layer with half the cream.
- Add a layer of raspberries and top with the remainder of the cream.
- Place other cake on top (top side up) and dust liberally with icing sugar.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Allow to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.