December 24, 2012

Baby it's cold outside


Greetings from Sweden. It's been a chilly few days. Making the change from summer in sunny Sydney to wintery Lapland has been a bit harder than usual. Either I'm really a Sydneysider now or I'm getting weak. 


Anyway. Seeing as it was -34 again today I opted for a brisk walk while it was still light and then spent the rest of the day indoors with the fire going. Life has been quiet, which is good, and we've been playing a lot of board games.... and of course there's been some baking and cooking traditional Christmas foods. 


December 13, 2012

Review: Lorraine Pascale's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food

lorraine 1

This is Lorraine Pascale's third cookbook and although you'd think there wouldn't be much more to write with such a quick succession of books, you couldn't be more wrong.

This is even better than Baking Made Easy. The recipes are fun, colourful, look tasty and  - best of all they actually are. She is the queen of baking and the dessert and baking recipes do not dissapoint either.

gingerbread pancake 2

Among many we trialled the incredibly tasty Gingerbread pancakes for breakfast and the utterly divine Doorstop Vanilla cheesecake.

doorstop vanilla cheesecke 2

I can't wait to try the Watermelon Jello Shots this summer.


December 12, 2012

Doorstop Vanilla Cheesecake

doorstop vanilla cheesecke 2

I love unbaked cheesecake and this recipe from Lorraine Pascale is my new favourite. It is incredibly dense and rich, but at the same time it is quite light and not too cloying. It also makes one massive cheesecake. I think it could definitely feed 20 people. The slices really are like a doorstop so smaller is better. Can't wait to play around with this recipe. It's begging to be made into a strawberry version.

75g butter
250g digestive biscuits
2 tbs light soft brown sugar
800g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
1 lemon
1 vanilla pod (or vanilla essence)
800 ml fridge cold double cream
75g icing sugar

1. You will need a 23 cm springform that is at least 8 cm deep. Melt butter slowly. Place digestive biscuits in foodprocessor and blitz to smitherenss. Tip biscuit crumbs into butter and then press into the base of the  springform tin. Place in the fridge to chill while you work on topping.

2. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and finely grate zest over. Halve the vanilla pod, scrape out seeds and add them or vanilla extract too. Mix together well to loosen mixture slightly.

3. Pour the double cream into a large bowl and sift in icing sugar. Whisk it, by hand to almost the same consistency as the cream cheese just a little looser.

4. Tip the cream into cream cheese mixture and mix everything gently with as few stirs as possible. Tip onto biscuit base and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.Or set in fridge for 4 hours.

5. Cover with cling film and put in freezer for about 30 minutes until just set.

doorstop vanilla cheesecake

December 11, 2012

Dreaming of a White Christmas


Every year I plan to make edible goodies to give as gifts for Christmas. And evey year as December comes around I find myself feeling royally buggered and not at all interested in spending time in the kitchen. With Christmas shopping, functions every weekend and trying to wrap things up at work before I leave for a holiday in Sweden... (yes Sweden!) let's just say I haven't been feeling it this year.

I had however promised a friend I'd make some treats for her party. Inspired by Lyndey Milan's fabulous White Rocky Road recipe I thought I'd whip up a quick batch before the party.

Although these took a bit longer  to make than planned, they are utterly delicious.

And since I'm heading off to a white Christmas in just a few days time, here's my take on White Chocolate Rocky Road.


600g white chocolate, chopped

120g marshmallows chopped

420g rose flavoured Turkish delight, chopped coarsely
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

1 cup (140g) shelled pistachios, lightly toasted

1/2 cup pomegranate flavoured, dried cranberries

Silver cachous balls, to serve

1. Place 20-30 cupcake wrappers of your choice on a tray or oven tray.

2. Toast coconut on the stovetop in a pan and then pistachios. Leave to cool on a plate.

3. Chop marshmallows and Turkish delight into smallish bits.

4. Combine marshmallows, Turkish delight, coconut, pistachios and cranberries in a large bowl.

5. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20-30 second burst stirring in-between.

6. Pour white chocolate into the dry ingredients and stir quickly until evenly coated. Time is of the essence my friend, so don't be slow or it will start clumping together as it sets.

7. Dollop 1-2 heaped tablespoons into each cupcake wrapper and decorate with silver cachous for a festive touch. These can also be dolloped straight onto baking paper if you like them smaller.

8. Leave to cool in the fridge for a few hours.