Thursday, January 24, 2013

Banoffee Pie

I have to thank my sister-in-law Natasha for making a Banoffee Pie and bringing it to one of our parties over 10 years ago. Everytime I eat a slice, it always reminds me of her :)  It's one of those desserts that still makes me go weak at the knees. Even after all these years. Mmmmm my saliva glands are working overdrive just typing this post.

1 can condensed milk
200g Digestives (half a packet)
100g butter
300ml cream
2 ripe bananas
Bar of chocolate

1. Place the can of condensed milk in a saucepan filled with water. Make sure the can is fully submerged in water during the boiling process as the can could explode. Whether this is a myth or not, I don't know but I'm not willing to risk it! Boil for 2.5 to 3 hours. Allow to cool compeletely (also stores really well so you could boil up 3 cans and keep it for use later)

2. Crush the biscuits and mix in the melted butter.
NB - You could use a food processor, it would be a lot easier and faster. But I just used elbow grease - rolling pin and baking paper

3. Press the biscuit mixture down firmly into the tin (best to use a springform) with the back of a metal spoon. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or more. Just before you assemble, whip the cream up.

 4. Now to assemble. Pour the caramel over the biscuit base

5. Now for a layer of sliced banana

6. Next is the whipped cream

7. And finish off with grated chocolate.

The tense moment of removing the pie from the tin

When it's out in one piece and I breathe again

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fruit Christmas Tree Centrepiece

This year we were having Christmas at our house and I vowed to keep it as simple and easy as possible. But as I planned I found more things I wanted to try and also saw somewhere online a fruit Christmas tree I really wanted to create. It took me around an hour to assemble from start to finish. Mainly because I was making it up as I went.
You will need:
- Apple
- Carrot
- 1/2 kg green grapes
- 2 handfuls cherries
- Mango
- Small piece of watermelon
- Heaps of toothpicks
- Christmas shaped biscuit cutters

1. To start with you need to halve an apple. Place one half down and poke a tookpick at the middle on the top. Discard the other half of the apple.

2. Stick the top of the carrot down into the toothpick on the apple (ignore the other pieces of fruit in the photo. I was testing out a couple of things but it didn't work and I didn't have a photo of just the carrot and apple)

Again bear with me I know it looks fully assembled already as I forgot to take progressive shots as I was in the zone.
3. So keeping in mind, I should only have a carrot on an apple at this stage. The next thing to do is stick a toothpick at the base right down the bottom of the apple, attach a cherry to that. Work your way up in a spiral with toothpicks and cherries. When you are happy with the spiral of cherries then fill the gaps with green grapes all over. You should eventually create a cone shape.

4. I chose a candy cane biscuit cutter for the Christmas tree decorations, stamping out half a dozen little candy canes from mango. And finally the watermelon star at the top with a tiny star biscuit cutter. Attach them with 2 toothpicks. I found this more secure especially for the mango because it's so fiddly and soft.

Voila! My Fruit Christmas Tree centrepiece! 

There was loads of food, but I was distracted with hosting, preparing, cooking, and clearing/cleaning that I forgot to take photos of everything.
This years menu was:

Starters - baked brie with crackers and vegetable sticks
Entree - Prawn and avocado stack
Mains - Turkey, glazed ham
Sides - Procuitto wrapped asparagus, Parmesan Crusted Roast potato, Couscous Salad, Egg and Potato Salad
Dessert - Trifle

I think the winner this year for me was the parmesan crusted roast potatoes. Definitely going to make those again and share the recipe. The baked brie came in second. Simple because it was so easy and delicious. All you had to do was poke a few slices of garlic and sprigs of thyme into the cheese, wrap it in baking paper and bake for 30mins at 200 degrees C.
Starters - Baked brie

Entree - Prawn and avocado Stack 

 Dessert - Trifle

Thanks to Mum and Chhay for their contributions as I wouldn't have been able to pull off Christmas lunch on my own!
To all my readers, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with great food, laughter and plenty of love! I'll also take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, safe, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you all so much for being part of this blog. I know this year has been a little slow on my end so thank you for sticking around. Happy 2013!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Oh Profiteroles! These babies are baaaaaad. In a good way. I feel I'll be making these a lot more now that I've experimented and found a choux pastry recipe that is actually good and easy to do. My first trial were disasterous! Balls of dough that were hard, yet chewy and even when I overbaked them, still managed to taste doughy and undercooked. Yuck. But because I had already made the creme patissiere I decided to look for another recipe and bake another batch and much to my delight, they worked out! 


Creme Patissiere
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar 
1/3 cupplain flour


1. Warm milk and vanilla in a saucepan
(Oh Costco, how I love your large squeeze jars of vanilla bean paste! And at $25 a pop, comes out a lot cheaper than the small jar I usually get from the local supermarket)

2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sugar until thick.

3. Next whisk in the flour and then followed by the milk mixture.

4. Pour it all back into the saucepan and cook on low heat for 5mins, whisking continuously.

After about 5mins the mixture should have thickened considerably.

5. Pour it into a jug, cover and place in the fridge to chill.

Choux Pastry for the Profiteroles

40g butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs
1. Place butter and water in saucepan and bring it up to the boil.

2. Add the flour and using a wooden spoon mix it vigorously until the mixture comes away from the side of the saucepan and forms this big doughly blob.

3. Place the dough into a large bowl, along with the egg.

Beat it till you get a thick batter.

4. Spoon the mixture onto baking paper and bake for 20mins at 180C


Assembling the profiteroles

1. Pipe the creme patissiere into the pastry

2. Melt some chocolate in the microwave (I find the microwave the easiest. The whole baine marie method is a little cumbersome unless you are mixing it with cream and making more of a ganache)

3. Dip the pastry into the chocolate and place it on a wire rack to set.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jelly Worms in Biscuit Dirt

Happy Halloween!

I've never grown up celebrating Halloween, but this year the Jelly Worms recipe was going viral so I had to try it. Seemed easy enough.

The recipe I used as a guide can be found here. However, I made a few adjustments.

- 1 packet jelly crystals (best to use a red/pink flavouring like raspberry)
- 2 tablespoons powdered gelatine
- 1 cup boiling water
- 150ml cold water
- 50ml cream
- Green and red food colouring (optional)
- Plain chocolate biscuits (I used Arnott's Choc Ripple)

1. Place the packet of jelly crystals and powdered gelatine into a large jug (this is to help make it easier to pour into the straws later).
2. Pour in the boiling water and mix until crystals and gelatine have dissolved. Allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, flex out all your straws then bundle them and secure with a rubber band. Pop them(bendy side down) into a tall glass or even an empty milk carton (The higher your container is, the longer the worms.
4. Pour in the cold water and cream into the now slightly cooled jelly mixture. Stir well.
NB - Now is also the time to add green and/or red food colouring to get your desired worm colour.

5. Carefully pour your mixture into the straws and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge. 
It can get a little messy
After 4 hours
6. Crush some chocolate biscuits (I used about 5) and scattter them onto a plate.
(I crushed the biscuits by wrapping them in baking paper and using a rolling pin)
7. Pull out the straws from the glass and you should be able to squeeze them out individually. If there is too much resistance, run it under luke warm water (NOT hot water as it will melt the jelly mixture)

 My son had fun squeezing the "worms" out 

8. Place them over the crushed biscuit dirt and there you have your plate of worms!