Showing posts with label Autumn and Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Autumn and Winter. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sticky Date Bourbon and Cola Pudding

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

In an almost annual Spicyicecream tradition, I present to you Sticky Date Pudding… again. It's one of my very favourite winter desserts so I've shared quite a few recipes over the years, each one better than the last. Even if I think I've hit pudding perfection, I can't seem to help myself - I've never made the same sticky date recipe twice.

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

Predictably, I couldn't let August slip away without trying a new take on the classic - a version containing bourbon and cola from the Pitt Cue Co cookbook. What makes this version so special? The pudding uses both dates and prunes, which are simmered in Coca Cola, which breaks them down perfectly. The pudding bakes up perfectly with a layer of caramel underneath, not too dense or cake-like.

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

The sauce is epic too, it has milk chocolate and bourbon, as well as the usual suspects of butter, cream, brown sugar and sea salt - a winning combination. I made a half batch of the pudding (amended quantities below) but I'd recommend making a full batch of the sauce, because you'll want to drizzle it on everything. Seriously. It's a pretty big call, but I think this might be my favourite Sticky Date Pudding recipe yet. Until next year, that is…

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Tipples 10 / Boozy Hot Chocolate 3 Ways

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

Along with polka dot scarves and a steady rotation of slow-cooked dinners, hot chocolate is an absolute necessity at this time of year. Everyone knows how to make a basic hot chocolate, but I've taken it a couple of steps further. For this month's Thursday Tipples I bring you not one, but three tasty and boozed up ways to serve it. The winter blues are totally a real thing - and these drinks will help to brighten your cold nights and warm you up from the inside out.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

There is something so comforting about wrapping your cold hands around a warm mug. Out of the three versions, I honestly couldn't pick a favourite - I really loved all of them for different reasons. Of course the chocolate that you use is really important here because it's the dominant flavour, so pick one that you love. I also have to thank my sister Beth who helped me make, style and photograph all three recipes in one afternoon - and drink them afterwards ;) Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

1. Nutella and Frangelico Hot Chocolate

This is great for a hot chocolate emergency - if you have no chocolate in the house but can scrape around 2 tablespoons of Nutella from the jar, you're in luck. The almond milk and Frangelico help to make it a little special.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
  • 2 large tablespoons Nutella
  • 30ml Frangelico
  • Whipped cream, to serve

Place the almond milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Nutella until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and add the Frangelico. Serve with whipped cream.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

2. Birthday Cake Hot Chocolate

This one is just plain fun. How can you not love anything with sprinkles on top! It's pretty sweet, as you would expect, but it's delicious. Kids would love this too - just leave out the booze!

  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons dry vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30ml Cake flavoured vodka
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles, to serve

Place the milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the white chocolate, cake and vanilla extract until chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and add the Cake vodka. Spoon a layer of melted milk chocolate into the serving glass. Pour the hot chocolate over the back of a spoon into the glass. Serve topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

3. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

This is a pretty and tasty version of hot chocolate spiked with a white chocolate liqueur. I love the red colour and the addition of cream cheese icing and crumbled cake on top really bring it all together. 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup milk or dark chocolate
  • A few drops red food colouring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30ml white creme de cacao
  • Cream cheese icing and red velvet cake, to serve

Place the milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the chocolate until melted. Add the red colouring (one drop at a time until you have the colour you're happy with) and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and add the white creme de cacao. Pour into a mug and serve topped with cream cheese icing and crumbled red velvet cake.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Baklava Waffles (Gluten Free)

Baklava Waffles | spicyicecream

I feel like a whole new world has opened up to me, and breakfast as I know it will never be the same. I bought a stove top waffle iron a while ago but I was a little nervous to actually use it and then it sat in a cupboard for close to a year. Should I use a yeasted or un-yeasted recipe? What if they stick? What if I can't get the temperature right and end up with a pile of burnt waffles? Turns out my worries were completely unfounded as the waffles were super easy to make and turned out golden brown, crispy and perfect! Now feeling slightly foolish that we could have been enjoying amazing homemade waffles all this time.

Baklava Waffles | spicyicecream

I wanted to combine the flavours of sticky-sweet Baklava with a waffle - walnuts, pistachios, and a warm honey-rosewater sauce with lots of fresh pomegranate on top. To enhance the nuttiness, I used a waffle recipe based on almond meal and almond milk, which incidentally makes them gluten and dairy free, if you serve them without the whipped cream of course!

Baklava Waffles | spicyicecream

I love the way this breakfast turned out and the flavours were really amazing. There are a few different elements but whole shebang took maybe 40 minutes from start to finish which makes it a perfectly achievable weekend breakfast. The waffles themselves weren't too sweet, which let the candied nuts and honey syrup really shine and bring the dish together. The pomegranate added a burst of freshness and tartness, and made it look stunning. You could also use strawberries and raspberries if they're in season where you are, or even roasted rhubarb.

Baklava Waffles | spicyicecream

Monday, June 8, 2015

Winter Recipe Wishlist

Winter Recipe Wishlist | spicyicecream

This official first week of winter has been cold and the urge to hibernate is rising. I have been spending a fair bit of time snuggled up (boy, cat, fluffy stuffed toy, blanket - it doesn't matter) but at the same time dreaming about warm comfort food and hearty winter cooking. So I decided to scour Pinterest and make a little list of a few new things I really want to try before the season is over. There's some drinks, savoury and sweet dishes in the mix. I feel like 8 is achievable between now and what I am calling the 'official' end of winter - my trip to Manila in August. I'll share the results on Instagram and here on the blog.

1. I've certainly drank enough Espresso Martinis over the years but I've never tried making one at home. It's dark, strong and sweet - the perfect cheeky tipple on a cold night.

2. Making Homemade Chai from scratch has been on my list for the last several winters, and this will be the year for sure! It's a great opportunity to put your own spin on it - maybe pink peppercorns, some coconut or cocoa nibs for something unique.

3. Pull Apart Bread looks like so much fun. I will probably try a different flavour combination, but I love the look of this Baklava version from Sprinkle Bakes.

4. I can't get over how amazing the flavours would be in these Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies from Designlovefest. I've had this recipe on the list for a few months but winter will be the perfect time to try them, along with a hot cup of tea of course.

Winter Recipe Wishlist | spicyicecream

5. These cheesy Baked Lamb Meatballs from Donna Hay look like a fantastic easy weeknight dinner high on the comfort factor, and sure to warm you up from the inside out. Done! Twice! Total delicious comfort food. A layer of cheese is a must.

6. I have a great Malaysian restaurant down the street and they deliver! But I've always wanted to try making Beef Rendang from scratch from scratch. I think I'll use my slow cooker for this one.

7. This Sticky Bourbon and Cola Pudding recipe is from the Pitt Cue Co. cookbook from the restaurant in London, which I bought a few months ago. I have to try this recipe before winter is over, there is no doubt about it. Done! Recipe here

8. It seems criminally easy to have a fresh Gooey Molten Chocolate Mug Cake in just a few minutes. What could be better on a cold night? Recipe and beautiful photos by Half Baked Harvest.

Do you have any recipes you're dying to try before the end of winter? Leave a comment below or on Instagram #spicyicecreamrecipewishlist

Friday, June 5, 2015

Negroni Poached Pears

Negroni Poached Pears | spicyicecream

It's no secret that I love creating boozy desserts, so I'm sneaking in just under the wire with a recipe to celebrate Negroni Week. If you're not familiar, the negroni is an aperitif with just three ingredients - campari, gin and vermouth. Sophisticated and a little bit bitter, it's a great way to start your Friday night and stimulate your appetite for dinner. Like all the classics it has been reinvented and reinterpreted by inventive bartenders, although it never went out of style, it's definitely having a moment right now. Negroni Week is a celebration of that, with over 3500 bars all over the world selling traditional or signature negroni's and donating money to a good cause.

Negroni Poached Pears | spicyicecream

I have already put a little spin on the drink last year with a Sparkling Blood Orange Negroni. Being an aperitif, it usually begins the meal so this time I thought I would combine it with the classic poached pears to finish the night instead. To add flavour to the poaching liquid I had to use the classic accompaniment, orange peel. I also couldn't resist adding a couple of spices to the mix to make this a little more winter appropriate. I used star anise, cinnamon and vanilla bean, however feel free to use any that you love - juniper berries could be an interesting twist.

Negroni Poached Pears | spicyicecream

I really really loved this dessert and it made my whole apartment smell incredible as the pears were cooking. It does taste like a negroni and the bitterness works well with the natural sweetness of the pears. It would be a great way to finish up a dinner party because it's not too heavy or sweet. It's easy to prepare and can also be made well in advance - bonus! I hope you'll go out and participate in Negroni Week and drink for a good cause. For more information about participating bars in Sydney go here or here.

Negroni Poached Pears | spicyicecream

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Simple Dinners 13 / Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup

Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup | spicyicecream

I wrote about soup way back in 2008 and called it an Intrinsically Good Thing, which I still think is so true. Different cultures around the world have been making and eating soup for millennia. Some of our favourite dishes these days are what the peasants would cook to make do - using every part of the animal (like the bones for stock) and the seasonal vegetables available. Soup is a great way to make limited ingredients stretch further. Most importantly, it’s a comfort and a remedy for the things that ail you. From the bright fresh flavours in a Vietnamese pho to a hearty bowl of Italian minestrone, soup is a Good Thing.

Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup | spicyicecream

I was struck down by a bad cold a few weeks ago when the autumn weather started to turn chilly, and my lovely housemate K made me a chicken soup that was heavy on the turmeric and ginger. Both are super spices - turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and ginger is fantastic for your immune system. Since then I’ve been thinking that adding them to a pumpkin soup would not only be good for you, but also delicious. Pumpkin is in season - cheap and delicious right now, so the timing was perfect. 

I think roasting the pumpkin first is an essential step, which gives it an enormous depth of flavour and brings out the natural sweetness. I used homemade chicken stock. It’s really easy to make - would you be interested in a step by step recipe? If you don’t have time for homemade, use a good quality store bought one. I also added some other spices that are best friends with turmeric and pumpkin like ground cumin and some fennel seeds and sumac to garnish. This soup is a delicious and simple dinner packed with so many great ingredients for keeping healthy through the long winter.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

The weather here in Sydney has been crazy. We've had record amounts of rain, a freak weekend hail storm that had the inner west building snowmen, and winds that got downright scary up here on Heartbreak Hill. Luckily save a broken window and a few umbrellas, we had no damage, but thousands of people did. The amazing volunteers at the SES deserve so much credit and appreciation for all of their hard work helping those affected. I wish I could give them all a hug and some pudding.

Chocolate self saucing pudding, one of the ultimate comfort foods. It's the perfect thing to make you feel toasty and warm on autumn nights. It's a little bit magical too - how the boiling liquid that goes on top somehow becomes the rich sauce under a layer of cake-like pudding.

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Whenever I make it now, I can't help but think of my Nan and all the times I helped her make it when I was a kid. It was a favourite then, but now I like it even more. Nan didn't use whisky in hers! You already know how much I like chocolate and passionfruit together. If you're not yet convinced of this magical flavour combination, believe me it works, and it is definitely something you've got to try out for yourself.

I've used the flavour combination before in brownies, birthday cake and s'mores - and now I've made a wonderful no-churn ice cream to go with these warm and saucy puddings. With winter seemingly starting early this year, you've got a good few months to try out this delicious recipe. I hope you do!

Chocolate Whisky Pudding with Passionfruit Ice Cream

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simple Dinners 10 / Beef and Shiraz Pie

beef and shiraz pie

Winter and comfort food intrinsically go together. It can remind you of a different time and warm you up from the inside out, what could be better? For me personally, the best comfort food is anything meaty and cooked slowly for hours - or containing pasta and cheese, obviously! Recently I spent a wonderful relaxing Sunday just chopping, simmering and baking. It was so nice to take the time in the kitchen and slow down, with the rain falling outside.

This recipe is actually very close to my heart, as it takes me waaaay back to my very first blog post. Which is actually somewhat appropriate, as Spicyicecream celebrated its 7th birthday recently! I made a few slight changes to the recipe to simplify it, and thought about how much I've learned about cooking and baking since I started this blog.

beef and shiraz pie

At the beginning, I wanted to try as many new ingredients and techniques as I could, but now I get the most joy from cooking the kind of things that I really love the most and putting fun new twists on the classics. I have discovered so many favourite dishes from sharing them here first, and then making them over and over in the time since. And I've learned everything I know about photography and styling from practicing and practicing for the photos here. But geez, looking back on some of my early photos really makes me cringe!

I never in a million years thought that blogging would take off as it has, let alone that I'd still be doing it after so long, given my short attention span! It really has been a tasty little journey, and I hope it continues. I know I haven't been posting as much this year, but I truly can't imagine life without taking photos of every cake I make.

I like this recipe, because once the prep is done, you can almost leave it alone (save for a little stir here and there) for an hour while the meat simmers away. This time I made one large pot pie rather than several small ones just used store-bought puff pastry for the top to save time. Next time I would add some mushrooms, but if you like you could add other veggies too. Enjoy on a cold night with a big glass of Shiraz!

beef and shiraz pie

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Caramelised Banana and Rum Cake

caramelised banana cake

After a very busy July, I've been thinking a lot about the whole work/life balance thing. Ask anyone you know how they've been and 'busy' or even 'crazy busy' seems to be the default answer, a badge of honour for the ambitious. I know it's true for me!

We pack our schedules with work or self-imposed obligations, check our emails before we even get out of bed in the morning, and feel guilty, bored or useless in any moments of idleness. To me, finally being 'busy' came as a relief that my business was growing and my services were beginning to be in demand.

I took every opportunity that came my way, worked around the clock and didn't take a day off in months. I pushed aside the things I really loved to do - from reading to blogging - as less important. And then I wondered why I felt burned out and uninspired...

caramelised banana cake

The more I tried to endlessly multi-task, the more scattered and forgetful I became, and then I saw a quote that really resonated with me - "The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still".

Of course! Why do your best ideas always come when you're in the shower, walking somewhere, mixing cake batter or about to fall asleep, just as you let go of your thoughts? Down time shouldn't be a indulgence, it's an absolute necessity to recharge creativity and inspiration!

caramelised banana cake

I've gotta say, it was so nice to get back into the kitchen and bake something amazing after a month of throwing dinners together haphazardly or eating unhealthy take out when I was too busy to cook.

A few overripe bananas in the fruit bowl were the inspiration for this cake. I decided to caramelise them with brown sugar in the oven before adding them to the cake to really concentrate the flavour, and then added a big splash of spiced rum to the mixture for good measure. When the cake was cooked, I piled it high with more caramelised banana slices and oozy boozy salted caramel sauce. It looked and smelled incredible!

caramelised banana cake

The cake itself is a winner, but the caramelised bananas and spiced rum gave it an extra dimension of flavour. It was super easy to make in the food processor with minimal washing up, and I loved it served warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream, a perfect comforting dessert on a chilly winter night!

caramelised banana cake

Friday, April 11, 2014

Plum, Blueberry and Thyme Galette

plum, blueberry & thyme galette

Happy Friday! I'm thankful for a great week filled with work, but also some laughs, good food and exciting opportunities. There is the slightest chill in the air and with daylight savings ending, it's starting to feel like autumn is truly setting in. Truth be told, autumn might just be my favourite season in Sydney. Since I generally make these lists of the things I'm loving about once every season, I thought the timing was right for the Autumn edition. Here we go...

fairy floss cloudsepic french toast at Three Williams • getting ready to launch my new business Lulu & Bee - stay tuned! • beach picnics with champagne at sunset • pickles • facing my fear of dinosaurs • polkadot tights • exciting opportunities • oh, Daisy! • missing Malaysia, especially Penang • cooking dinner with my housemate • strawberry and gin punchKaren & Shaun's beautiful weddingand the invitation suite I designed for them • homemade pulled pork sandwiches • finishing my web development course • fabulous new maxi dresses • working with my sister • shooting cocktails at The Rook and The Winery • purple glitter manicure • rewatching Buffy • cuddles • late night flower arrangingBeth's 21st party • a slight chill in the autumn air

plum, blueberry & thyme galette

This galette straddles the line between summer and autumn, which makes it just perfect for this time of the year. It is the kind of dessert that looks impressive even though it was a breeze to make, shows off seasonal produce and has a stunning combination of flavours.

The thyme may seem like a slightly unusual addition, but I can assure you it is what makes this dessert special. It ties the sweet plums and tart berries together beautifully. With a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (or even ginger ice cream, which I have been making on and off for the past few years) on top, I can't imagine a more perfect dessert for right now. Make it this weekend!

plum, blueberry & thyme galette

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chocolate & Stout Puddings with Ice Cream

chocolate stout pudding

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with winter. I love coats, scarves, boots, scotch, red wine and winter comfort food, but I seriously dislike rain, wind and cold - all of which we have unfortunately had in abundance! It's been a while since I made one of these lists, so I thought it was time to get my grateful on and share a few things that have been making me happy lately...

epic birthday festivities • a pledge for this year - do fun shit! • lots and lots red wine • my favourite new apple toy •  planning my america trip (new york, san francisco, los angeles and honolulu - only 2 weeks away!) • the xx • this view • slumber parties with the girls • chantelle grady's amazing photography • sunny winter days • polka dots and red lipstick (again) • scotch on cold nights • dreaming about visiting morocco (thanks to kay) • epic homemade lasagne • searching for a turquoise couch • writing a 30 before 30 list • warm winter desserts!

chocolate stout pudding

A few people (you know who you are) were sceptical about this combination when I mentioned it, but I never had a doubt that it would turn out beautifully. It just feels perfect for this time of year. Self saucing puddings are a favourite of mine if you haven't noticed. They're so easy to make, and of course I couldn't resist boozing it up. I used Coopers Extra Stout, which has chocolate and coffee aromas, making it a perfect match.

I reduced the stout to a syrup to really concentrate the flavour, and although it was noticeable, it was quite subtle in both the pudding and the ice cream. Feel free to adjust the ratio of boiling water to stout syrup in the recipe below if you're a big fan!

chocolate stout pudding

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pepitas

pumpkin pie

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

My mum has a huge recipe archive. But unfortunately it has got to be one of the least organised collections in history. I remember poring over it as a kid, in the days before food blogs, Pinterest boards and dedicated recipe websites, going through hundreds of scraps of paper, magazine cutouts, handwritten notes and carefully saved labels from cans and boxes - in no particular order. Quite painful if you were looking for one particular thing!

How things have changed! We are now completely spoiled when it comes to sourcing quality (and most importantly reliable) recipes online. Over the years, some of my favourite recipes have come from chefs, like this Chocolate Tart from Matt Moran, which is why I have been using for the last few months. The online arm of Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food, it features recipes suited to all skill levels from some of Australia’s top chefs like Frank Camorra and Neil Perry, plus news, restaurant reviews, drink guides, helpful recipe collections and also great photography.

Choosing a recipe to review was fun. I wanted something sweet that I could share with some friends for my birthday weekend, but that wasn’t a cake! Coupled with the fact that I just booked flights to New York for mid-July (!!) this American-inspired Pumpkin Pie from Jeremy and Jane Strode seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

pumpkin pie

I used Careme Vanilla Bean Shortcrust pastry, because with my busy weekend of birthday festivities I didn’t have time to make pastry from scratch as I normally would. But unfortunately I found that it shrunk in the oven and didn’t blind bake properly. Next time I would use this recipe that I know works wonderfully!

As for the pie filling, I stayed very close to the recipe as it was written, only adding a little extra pumpkin puree (my 1.4kg piece of pumpkin made about 350g of puree), plus a little bit of cinnamon and vanilla. The filling was quite rich and eggy, and could maybe have stayed in the oven for a just a few minutes longer. I loved the idea of using caramelised pepitas for a crunchy topping, and it turned out wonderfully. I think it would be delicious served with a cinnamon or even caramel ice cream.

To find a drink match, I read this article about Fortified Wines and chose a Patina Wines Old Tawny Liqueur from Orange in NSW. A stunning match, with rich raisin and toffee flavours that complemented the spices in the pie and the caramelised pepitas on top. Delicious!

pumpkin pie

I also have five prizes to give away to five lucky readers. Winners will have the choice of these three different guidebooks from The Age and Sydney Morning Herald:

  • Good Food Under $30 (Sydney edition) 
  • Good Food Under $30 (Melbourne edition) 
  • Good Wine Guide 2013

Just leave a comment below answering the question, ‘Which recipe would you love to try from’ and nominate which guide book you’d love to win!

Entries close Monday 8th July at 5pm. For full terms & conditions please click here. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Simple Dinners 03 / Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

lamb stuffed eggplant with pomegranate

Quick little post from me today. I just wanted to pop in and share this recipe that is one of my new favourites for an easy and delicious dinner, because after I posted this photo on Instagram a few weeks ago, I've had quite a few people asking for it!

Anyone who knows me, knows I loooove eggplant in any form, so when I spotted this recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's beautiful new book Jerusalem, I knew I'd have to try it. I've now made it three times in the last three weeks, and am now totally fascinated by Middle Eastern cooking.

The lamb mince mixture comes together pretty quickly in a frypan, you can relax with a glass of wine while it bakes, and it makes for great leftovers the next day too - the kind that make your workmates jealous.

I adapted the original recipe slightly by upping the amount of spices and substituting a few ingredients for those which I had available. I also topped the cooked eggplant with a huge dollop of tzatziki (or Greek yoghurt would be great too) and some pomegranate arils for a bit of extra colour and crunch, which I think works so well.

And to keep it interesting, here are a few ways to mix it up!

  • Try stuffing other vegetable with the mixture - capsicum, zucchini, pumpkin or even figs (!!) would be delicious!
  • Add some chopped pistachios to the lamb mixture, and sprinkle on top
  • Add some chopped fresh or dried figs into the lamb mixture at the same time as the pine nuts
  • Use a different kind of mince - I think beef, or even chicken would be delicious as well

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ricotta Hotcakes with Mulled Wine Stewed Rhubarb

ricotta hotcakes with mulled wine stewed rhubarb

I didn't mean for so long to go past without a new post, but there's been quite a lot happening around here and it's taken a little while to get back into the swing of things. I'm house-sitting for a friend and living by myself for the very first time, which I love... most days, anyway...

Over the weekend, I had ricotta hotcakes on the brain. Even though I'm now within walking distance to Bills, I decided to stay in my pyjamas, avoid the inevitable Sunday morning crowds and try making them for myself instead. But I'm still getting used to cooking for one, and needless to say I ended up with quite a lot of leftover pancakes, some of which were offered to a friend, and the rest I ate for dinner last night (Hi Mum!). The ricotta, combined with the whipped egg whites gives these pancakes an noticeable extra fluffiness and great texture.

mulled wine stewed rhubarb

I also bought a huge, beautiful bunch of rhubarb from the Kings Cross organic markets and decided to stew that up with some red wine and lots of spices, now that the weather has taken a definite turn towards winter. I love mulled wine and thought the flavour combination would work very well. I was right.

This would also be delicious with granola or porridge, or with ice cream, rice pudding or panna cotta for dessert. Or, if you reduced the amount of liquid, it would even make a great base for a crumble or pie - yum! Best of all, it can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week. If you want to get really indulgent, some extra just-sweetened ricotta on top of a big stack of hotcakes would be lovely, or try this amazing sounding homemade cinnamon butter from Raspberri Cupcakes. Woah.

ricotta hotcakes with mulled wine stewed rhubarb

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chocolate Passionfruit Banoffee Pie

chocolate passionfruit banoffee pie

Change is in the air. Last week was our first taste of autumn with my favourite kind of crisp mornings, sunny warm days and slightly cooler evenings. I've always thought that Sydney does the change of seasons really well. In the past I've always had great bursts of inspiration around spring, but I must have been too busy to notice last year because it's all happening right now. Better delayed than never! I get the feeling that 25 is going to be an interesting year.

But let's talk about this pie for a second. There's a chocolate pastry crust, a salted toffee caramel with just a hint of passionfruit, slices of banana that have been cooked in brown sugar, and on top some whipped cream and a mountain of chocolate shavings. It's Banoffee with a twist, and looks like the sort of decadent concoction that Miss Candy herself would think up. And boy, is it good!

Of course Easter is this coming weekend and this is a perfect choice for dessert. The pie crust and caramel can be made in advance, so putting it together on the day is a breeze. When making your caramel, watch the colour closely as it uses passionfruit juice rather than water and it's a little harder to tell when it's ready.

I hope you all have a lovely long weekend! If you're looking for any other Easter inspired recipes both savoury or sweet, head right over here.

chocolate passionfruit banoffee pie

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fig & Salted Caramel Meringue Smash

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

The last time I made one of these lists a few months back, I was having an absolutely terrible week and the act of thinking about and writing down the good stuff in life totally helped my mood. This time around I am realising how important it is notice the little things and to be thankful. It's so easy to take this stuff for granted, but the little details are what make life special. It's one of my goals this year to appreciate them more! So here are a few things that I'm loving lately...

• weeknight adventures • yacht club dj's mixtapes • maxi skirts • editing videos • timber chopping boards made by my dad • handwritten lists • playing with the vine app • my new favourite cauliflower salad • polka dot shoes • polka dots in general • vietnamese pho • red lipstick • tea-infused hot chocolate • going for walks • epic salads from room 10 • cardigans • writing in my 365 journal • surprising Stevie with phone calls • the best figs I've ever had!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

Eton Mess seems to be the dessert of the summer, popping up on restaurant menus all over Sydney, and I'm definitely not complaining! My favourite is the one at Sweethearts with fresh summer berries, but I think this tasty dessert should not just be reserved for summer fruit! I decided to make a more autumnal version with figs stewed with brown sugar, vanilla and dark rum until jam-like, complete with lashings of salted caramel sauce, mascarpone whipped cream and crumbled meringues. Yes, I promise that it tastes as good as it sounds!

I've used store bought mini meringues to save on time, but if you really wanted (or if figs aren't in season where you are) you could use a good quality fig jam instead of stewing fresh figs. I will say that they were the best part though! The caramelly sweetness from the brown sugar was delicious, and you already knew that rum goes perfectly with figs!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

This dessert can be as dressed up or casual as you like. With words like 'mess' and 'smash' being thrown around, it's not meant to look perfect!! Pile everything onto a large platter if serving this dessert at a casual weekend BBQ, or if you're feeling fancy, layer it up in sundae glasses or jars like I have. Preferably one with clear glass so you can see all of those awesome swirled layers!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash


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