Posts tagged ‘australian food’

February 14, 2011

The Sweets: Pavlova Muffins with Raspberries and Passion Fruit


Time for sweets and Pavlova is an absolute favourite of mine but this version is a tad deconstructed.

Pavlova Elements ... Side by Side

These mini pavlovas came about while I was preparing for a recent party. I baked pavlova into lined muffin tins and planned to slice the peaks off and use them as little lids once I’d added the filling. The problem came when I tried to cut the lids off … too much to handle for my clumsy hands. So in a last minute move  the decision was made to turn them into DIY pavlovas.

They looked so pretty with their perfect peaks so were nice to display just as they were. I served them alongside bowls of cream, raspberries and passion fruit syrup so people could take a pavlova and top it themselves.

DIY Pavlova

The best way to do it, I think, is to give the top a little smash and then go right ahead and load the cream, raspberries and a good drizzle of passion fruit on top.

Give the top a smash and then load your pavlova up with toppings

It worked out well and I think it’s a lot more fun doing it this way. You also don’t need to worry about your pavlova going soggy if you put your toppings on too far in advance. Super easy and the meringues themselves were the perfect combination of mallow-ey, chewy and sweet.

Digging in

So if you’re looking for a sweet and rather sexy looking treat, why not give these a go.

Sweet Valentine Pavlova

Enjoy!

Sx.


Pavlova Muffins with Raspberries and Passion Fruit Recipe

(Makes 10 muffin sized pavlovas)

Ingredients

150ml egg whites (roughly 4 eggs)

220g Caster Sugar

2 tblspns Cornflour

2 tspns White Vinegar

1 tspn Vanilla Extract

1 punnet Raspberries

1 tin passion fruit syrup

1 carton cream, whipped

 

Method

– Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line muffin tray with paper cases.

– In a deep bowl whisk egg whites until peaks are just on the verge of  forming. You can use an electric mixer to do this although I tend to do it by hand as it doesn’t take too long.

– Gradually add sugar, whisking between each addition. You are aiming for a thick and glossy mixture. Be careful not to over whisk, you want it just to the point where you can tip the bowl upside down and the meringue won’t fall out.

– Add sifted cornflour, vanilla extract and vinegar. Gently fold until combined.

– Spoon mixture into cases, dividing evenly. Using a teaspoon give pavlova a gentle swirl on top to give a nice peak. Don’t make the peaks too tiny or they will burn more easily.

– Reduce the temperature of the oven to 120 degrees Celsius. Bake pavlovas for 1 hour and ten minutes or until they are just crisp. If you notice they are starting to brown, reduce the oven temperature.

– Cool in muffin tray and then remove with care. They are very delicate.

– Serve along side bowls of whipped cream, raspberries and passion fruit syrup … or really whatever you fancy.

January 24, 2011

Australia Day: The Sweet Crunch of an ANZAC Biscuit


The smell of Australia Day is in the air. I may be in London but that isn’t going to stop me baking an Aussie treat or two. It’s an excuse for ocker baking if ever there was one.

I make ANZAC Biscuits every year around Australia Day so was actually considering giving them a miss this year and trying something different.

I couldn’t have imagined the uproar!

Needless to say, the first Aussie treat I’m baking this year, is ANZAC Biscuits. The great thing about these biscuits is  you only need few pantry staples, including that essential Aussie baking element, dessicated coconut. What would an Australian biscuit be without it? And, with only about 20 minutes from getting the flour out of the cupboard to having a hot biscuit in your hand what could be better? I shouldn’t ever have thought I’d get away with not making them!

ANZAC Biscuits ... all ready for Australia Day

So, with Australia Day day only a couple of days away, we’ve got our jar of ANZAC Biscuits at the ready. M will be taking some into work come the 26th January. And come the weekend, we’ll have some to munch on for the Australia Day BBQ.

‘BBQ?’ you say? Yes it is the middle of winter  in London but but our winter Australia Day BBQ has become something of a tradition.  It happens every year, no matter rain, snow or freezing temperatures! At least we’ll have something yummy to munch on while we gather round the barbie with our scarves and gloves on!

Hope you enjoy making these for yourself!

Sx.

ANZAC Biscuits ... the sweet crunch

ANZAC BISCUITS RECIPE

So what do you need?

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup dessicated coconut

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons water

How do you put it together?

– Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

– In a big bowl, place your flour, oats, cocunut and sugar. Give a good stir to combine.

– In a small saucepan melt butter with golden syrup and water over a gentle heat.

– When it’s all melted together remove from heat and immediately add bicarbonate of soda. Stir quickly to incorporate and you’ll get a nice foamy top to the butter mixture.

– Pour butter mixture over dry mix and stir until it’s all combined.

– Place level tablespoon scoops of the mix onto a lined baking tray. You want them to be about 4 or 5 cm apart as the ANZACs will spread during cooking.

– Press each of the little scoops down gently using a fork. You want them to be a little flattened and with a nice ridge from the fork prongs.

– Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Leave on tray to firm up for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.

The trick to making ANZAC Biscuits just the way you like them is how long you cook them for. Cook them more on the 10 minutes side and they’ll be chewy. If you do it this way, they’ll seem slightly soft when you remove them from the oven. Don’t worry about this softness, as long as they are the right colour they’ll firm up when cool. If you like crunchy ANZAC Biscuits then you want to cook them longer; 15minutes as long as your oven doesn’t start to give them too much colour.

December 23, 2010

Amazon Delivery Disappointment No More: Cooking the Presents


One of the things I love about Christmas is that it’s a good excuse for gratuitous baking.

M and I are going North to his sisters for Christmas this year and so I wanted to put together some little baked hampers for his folks up there and our friends down here. It’s a plan I’m now feeling thankful  for  as  in this snowy weather few internet orders are making their destinations in time for Christmas and I would rather avoid the Oxford Street Christmas Crush.

And so the bake-off began …

Granola with Nuts and Honey

I love making granola but it was Clotilde  at Chocolate & Zucchini that gave me the idea of making it into a present. Simple to put together you really can make granola however you fancy. I do it by eye according to what I have in the cupboard and how I fancy it at the time. Lots of oats, a little wheatgerm, a mixture of chopped nuts, some desicated coconut and a sprinkling of cinnamon and ginger. Mix all this together and stir through a splash of vegetable oil and several tablespoons of honey. Do this according to how healthy or sweet / crispy you like it. I don’t like it too sweet so I just add it very gradually, stirring really well until all ingredients are well coated. Spread it out on a baking tray with edges, and cook in a slow oven, checking and tossing ingredients every 10-15 minutes so they don’t burn. When the mixture is a nice golden brown remove from the oven and let to cool in the tray. Once cool you can add dried fruit or sultanas.

If you’re a bit unsure how to progress doing it by eye, try out Clotilde’s granola formula.

Next, Chocolate Orange Biscotti with chunks of Almonds … I’ll post my recipe for this after Christmas when I have a bit more time. If you already have a basic chocolate biscotti recipe though all you do is add orange rind to the sugar during initial stage.

Choc-Orange Biscotti with Almonds

A few smaller packets with little origami squares behind to make them look pretty. Have you noticed my obsession with origami paper at the moment?

More Biscotti!

Some of Dorie Greenspan’s Speculoos

Spicy Speculoos

And finally a few treats from our recent trip to Australia … Okay I know these aren’t homemade but they are a bit of fun. There are some Cherry Ripes, Mondo’s Crunchy Vanilla Nougat, and of course, Minties!

Aussie Treats

Now, for a bit of a rest!

S.

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