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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Carrot and Apple Ice BlocksSeveral years ago I attended the Newtown festival on an incrediblly hot day and was blown away by a stall selling 100% pure fruit ice blocks. I immediately went home to experiment with my own version. After a little trial and error I realised that the secret to making a good ice block was to create a mixture that doesn’t ‘separate’ as freshly juiced fruit is prone to do. The trick I came up with was to puree the fruit to mix with vegetable juice. This ‘fluffs’ up the mixture and creates lovely even ice blocks. With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I’d share my simple instructions for homemade ice blocks. These are pure wholesome goodness and the kids love them. The only drawback is the amount of equipment you need in comparison to your available bench space, but it’s well worth the time and mess to stock your freezer for summer.

Carrot and Apple Ice Block CollageEquipment Needed

Juicer

Steamer set

Food Processor

Ice Block Moulds (these are a few dollars in K-mart or discount variety stores)

Ingredients

2-3 Carrots

4-6 Apples

1/4 cup of water

Instructions

1) Peel and chop apples.

2) Steam apple pieces on stove-top until soft (approx 15 minutes)

3) Place apple pieces in a food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Set aside.

4) Juice carrots.

5) Combine pureed apple with carrot juice. Add water to dilute a little.

6) Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.

Makes approx 6-8 ice blocks depending on the size of your moulds.

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Not Ice Cream

Recently I’ve been visiting Little People Nutrition and was intrigued by a recipe for Dairy Free Banana Coconut “Ice Cream”.  Feeling curious, I decided to experiment with a combination of Banana, Raspberry and Coconut Cream. After trying this a couple of times now, I can honestly say…I can’t believe it’s not ice cream. This iced dessert is sugar-free, preservative free, additive free and colouring free. It has only three ingredients, can be made using completely organic products and is only sweetened by the natural sugars in the fruit.

Ingredients

1 can of coconut cream

2-3 ripe bananas

A cup or so of raspberries (or pre-packaged frozen raspberries)

Instructions

1) The night before, or early in the day, you will need to pour coconut cream into a couple of ice cube trays to freeze. You will also need to chop and freeze the bananas and the raspberries. Once these have set, you have your three ingredients. I used about a third of each.Ingredients

2) Place the three frozen ingredients into a food processor and blend. It may be difficult to blend at first if it’s frozen hard, but it will gradually break up. Stop every few moments to use a spatula to scrape down the sides and scoop off the base, then continue blending.

Food ProcessorThere’s something quite magical that happens during this process as air is whipped into the components. The end result is a lovely, light, ice cream-tasting dessert.  I am so looking forward to trying this with other fruits. Mango would be sublime…with some crushed macadamias included at the end. If you try this dessert at home, let me know what you think.

Pink Iced Dessert

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Warning: There is a confession at the end of this post.

I had never made a carrot cake up until recently. I always thought there was a token gesture of carrots in a carrot cake, but was amazed to discover that this cake has five whole carrots in it! That’s no token gesture…that’s dinner. This is the tastiest, most moist, addictively delicious cake I have ever made. It was so good I made a second one a few days later…which turned out just as great.
Here is the recipe, from Donna Hay’s website:

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  •  1¼ cups (220g) brown sugar
  •  ¾ cup (185ml) vegetable oil
  •  3 eggs
  •  1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  •  1½ teaspoons baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon ground ginger (see my confession below)
  •  2½ cups grated carrot (about 5 carrots)
  •  ½ cup (60g) chopped pecan nuts (I didn’t include these)
  •  ½ cup (80g) sultanas (I didn’t include these)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  •  250g cream cheese, softened
  •  ⅓ cup (110g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  •  1½ tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

Place the sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2–3 minutes.

Add the eggs gradually and beat well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger over the sugar mixture.

Add the carrot, pecans and sultanas and mix until just combined.

Pour into a greased 22cm-round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 55–60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Cool in tin.

For the cream cheese frosting, process the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth.

Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and process until smooth.

Spread frosting on the cooled cake.

Serves 8.

Confession time

Now…cough…this is the part of the post where I must make a small confession. When I made this cake, I kinda made a little mistake. I used ground coriander instead of ground ginger. Both times. The two jars looked so similar except that a few days later I realised the ground ginger still had its seal on it! Now it may sound crazy…but this was cake was un-freaking-believable with ground coriander. And hopefully there is some foodie out there that can explain to me why these flavours worked so well. So while I can completely vouch for this cake with ground coriander…I have yet to make it with ground ginger.

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This recipe is adapted from a Chocolate and Coconut Slice recipe I discovered a while back on taste.com.au. Using home-brand ingredients, the total cost of the slice is $4.00, or $0.22 per piece based on 18 pieces. (Add an extra $1 for optional walnuts.) The best thing about this recipe is it’s tasty, cheap to make, most of the ingredients can already be found in your pantry/fridge and it’s simple enough for a toddler to help you make it.

Ingredients

3 Weet-Bix (blitzed in the food-proccessor or very finely crushed)

1 cup (85g) desiccated coconut

1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar

1 cup (150g) self-raising flour

2 tbs cocoa

150g butter

1 tsp vanilla extract or essence

Handful of lightly crushed walnuts (optional)

For the topping

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

2 tbsps cocoa

1-2 tbsps hot water

Dash of vanilla extract or essence

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Place coconut, sugar and processed Weet-Bix into a mixing bowl. Sift over flour and cocoa. Add walnuts if desired and mix together.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then pour over dry ingredients.
  4. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Scoop mixture into a lightly greased shallow pan.
  6. Press down very firmly all over until the slice is well compressed and flat.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Remove slice from oven and let it cool on the bench.
  9. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add a dash of vanilla and stir in a little water until you reach a nice consistency.
  10. Spread icing on slice and sprinkle with coconut.
  11. Place slice in the fridge and let it cool thoroughly (even overnight) before cutting it into pieces. Allowing it to cool thoroughly will prevent crumbling.

Serve on a fancy plate and enjoy!

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Hard to believe this cheesecake is the work of a total novice! I baked this Donna Hay cheesecake on the weekend for Sunday’s Easter lunch.  It featured on a Masterchef masterclass and a video tutorial can be found here.  It has a subtle lemon flavour and beautiful texture, and I thought it was really easy to make. I let it refrigerate overnight before serving.

Here is the recipe:

Classic Baked Cheesecake

Ingredients

Filling

330g cream cheese, softened
500g ricotta
4 eggs
1⅓ cups (295g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1½ tablespoons water

Base

⅓ cup (40g) almond meal (ground almonds)
¾ cup (105g) plain (all-purpose) flour
¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
90g butter, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 150°C (350°F).

To make the base, place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until a rough dough forms. Line the base of a lightly greased 20cm-round springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and rind and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and add to the cheese mixture. Process the mixture until smooth. Lightly grease the sides of the tin and pour the filling over the base. Tap the tin lightly to remove any air bubbles.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and stand the cake for 1 hour, leaving the door closed. Refrigerate until cold and serve with fresh berries. Serves 10.

Enjoy!

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