Friday, August 17, 2018

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake from Dandelion Cafe

I love lemon flavoured desserts and jump at the opportunity to make a good one.  Last week's Atlantic Beach Pie fitted the bill, although it was not overly lemony. 

In the same week, I saw a recipe for Lemon Meringue Cheesecake on, which had come from a café in Lower Hutt, New Zealand called Dandelion Café.  It sounded fabulous, so I decided to give that a try too.

This lemon meringue cheesecake is like a lemon meringue pie in cheesecake form.  The lemon filling is quite tart, despite the ultra sweet addition of condensed milk.  I liked the fact that there are 4 eggs in the recipe and all components of those eggs are used - the yolks in the filling and the whites in the topping.

Things that were perhaps not my favourite were the base, which worked just fine but was a little sparse and was not in my view as good as, say, a crushed biscuit base, and the fact that this cheesecake weeped stickily and copiously for some time after it came out of the oven.  The weeping did eventually stop, but it made quite a sticky mess before it did.

If you are interested in trying this cheesecake, you will need:

1 cup gluten free flour
½  cup sugar

80g melted butter
400g cream cheese
316g condensed milk
4 egg yolks
4 lemons, juice and rind
4 egg whites
1 ¼ cup sugar
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 24cm springform pan. 
For the base, combine the flour and sugar and place in a food processor with the melted butter. Blitz until a soft crumb forms, then press evenly into the springform pan.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.  
To make the filling, place the filling ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth, then pour over the base.
For the meringue topping, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form. Carefully spread the topping over the  top of the filling, and bake the cheesecake in the oven for around 20 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack, then chill the cheesecake in the pan in the fridge overnight. 
Remove the cheesecake from the pan.  Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TWD - Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I have made a rich, decadent dessert - Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs.

This dessert comprises a mousse-like chocolate cremeaux, cherries poached in red wine, and biscuit crumbs sprinkled on top.  The combined result is very rich, so I was glad that I only made enough of this recipe for two serves.

I made the full batch of poached cherries, and enjoyed them more with vanilla icecream than with the cremeaux, as the mild vanilla flavour of the icecream helped to tone down the richness of the poached cherries. 

If you are a fan of the cherry-chocolate combination, more in an adult way than a cherry ripe, then this dessert could be for you.

To see what the others made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Laksa Bar, Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

A hidden gem for Asian food is Laksa Bar in Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.  The restaurant has both high tables and regular tables, and is decorated with typical Asian prints:

Menus are provided to your table, but you must place your order at the counter.

We decided to order both an entrée to share and a main each.

For our entrée, we ordered the crispy soft shell crab with chilli lime mayo ($9):

Tim and I both love soft shell crab, so this  entrée was a winner.

For main, Tim ordered the Chicken Curry Laksa ($13.90):

It looked very vibrant and fresh, and I know that Tim enjoyed it.

I ordered the lemon chicken (~$12.90):

This dish was rather disappointing.  I expected a lemon sauce; however, the only detectable lemon in this dish was a slice of lemon garnish on the side.  It was fairly dry without the sauce, so is not a repeat for me.

I washed down the lemon chicken with Tiger, an Asian beer ($7):

If you go to Laksa Bar, I recommend sticking with the laksa and curries, but definitely give the soft shell crab a burl.

108 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9663 1941

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Atlantic Beach Pie

I adore pies made with condensed milk filling, so I was excited when I saw a recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie in The New Times recently.

This pie contains a delightful combination of flavours - a light, slightly salted cracker crust, a subtle lemony, creamy filling, topped off with cream.

As a substitute for the US Saltine crackers, I used Ritz crackers.  For the topping, I used dollop cream instead of whipped cream because I had some that needed to use up.

This tart is also super easy to make - a big return on minimum effort.

If you would like to try it, you will need:


200g Ritz crackers
90g butter
3 tablespoons sugar


1 can condensed milk
4 egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon juice

Fresh whipped cream for topping

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease an 8" pie pan.

Blitz the crackers into crumbs in the food processor.  Stir in the sugar.  Melt the butter and stir evenly through the crumbs.  Press the crumbs into the pie pan, then bake for 18 minutes in the oven but leave the oven on. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

Beat the egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon juice together until smooth.  Pour into the pie crust, then bake for 16 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow the pie to cool completely, before topping with whipped cream.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Warming Stew - Cholent

I am a big fan of stews in the winter.  They are hearty and filling, making them a perfect shield against the bitter cold.  Even better is a stew that can be made in the slow cooker - a dish involving minimal preparation and a "set and forget" mentality.

In this vein of thought, I came across a recipe for Cholent in Allyson Gofton's Slow - Mouth Watering Recipes for the Slow Cooker and Crock Pot.    Cholent is a beef brisket stew, chock full of vegetables and hearty pearl barley.  Browning the beef before putting it in the slow cooker is optional,  so of course I skipped that step.

The resulting stew is thick and warm and comforting - just the thing to lift the soul on a dark, cold winter evening.

 If you would like to try making Cholent, you will need:

1 x 400g tin butter beans
1.5kg beef brisket
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 crushed cloves of garlic
1/2 cup pearl barley
4-5 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 turnip,  peeled and sliced
1 crushed bay leaf
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups beef stock

Drain the beans and scatter over the bottom of your slow cooker.  Scatter the pearl barley,  onion and garlic over the beans, then place the beef on top.  Add the potatoes, carrot turnip and bay leaf.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, pepper, ginger and cinnamon, add to the stock, then pour over the ingredients in the cooker.  Cover the cooker with a lid and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TWD - Rosemary-Parm Cookies

Our first Tuesday with Dorie recipe this month is Rosemary-Parm Cookies. These are savoury biscuits flavoured with fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese.  I was quite chuffed to be able to use home grown rosemary off the balcony.

These biscuits were pleasant and not at all sweet.  They would go well with a glass of wine as a starter at a dinner party.

To see what everyone else thought of this week’s recipes, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Habanero Chilli Carrot Cake

The days may be getting longer in Melbourne, but they are still chilly on the weather front, reminding us that winter is not over yet.  On a cold winter's day, what could be better than something a little hot and spicy to make you warm on the inside?  That's what I thought too, so when I saw the recipe for Habanero Chilli Carrot Cake in Libbie Summers' Sweet and Vicious, I knew I had to make it.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, habanero chillies are one of the hottest chillies out there.  If you have family or friends who cannot tolerate chilli, this is not the cake for them.  There is only one dried habanero chilli in this cake, together with some chilli oil (I used Sriracha sauce instead) and cayenne pepper, but boy, it packs a punch, especially on day one.  After the first day, the heat mellows a little, but it is still undoubtedly there. 

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after chopping up the chilli, otherwise if you rub your eyes/mouth/nose, you could be in for a nasty surprise.

Don't let the chilli put you off trying this cake.  It is definitely different from your average carrot cake, but surprisingly to me, the people at work  enjoyed it.  It is a very moist cake - I would maybe prefer it to be not so moist, but that can be remedied with extra baking time.  And of course, who could resist the cream cheese frosting studded with hot spiced pecans (with the cayenne pepper providing the heat). 

For those who like it hot, this could be the perfect cake.  If you are game enough to give it a go, you can find the recipe online here.