Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TWD - Double-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and Gelee


“Open the whiskey, Tom,” she ordered, “and I’ll make you a mint julep.”  The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald  

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe combines the freshness of mint with the richness of chocolate in a single dessert which highlights both - Double-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and Gelee.

As a child, I used to think that After Dinner Mints were the height of grown up elegance. This dessert takes that elegance and converts it into a dessert that is so sophisticated, it could nearly be classified as a cocktail - just add booze.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like the gelee, which highlights fresh mint, as mint has never been one of my favourite herbs. However, I was pleasantly surprised - it made a fresh clear foil for decadence of the chocolate mousse, made with mint-infused cream.

I thought this was a lovely, elegant looking dessert, more Jordan Baker than Daisy Buchanan.  I am not a huge mousse fan because it is so rich, but still enjoyed this dessert.

As Dorie suggested, I served my mousse and gelee topped with a splodge of Greek yoghurt and a mint leaf to add a touch of colour.

To see what everyone else made this week and their thoughts on it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Peach and Almond Cake

My Mum recently sent me a recipe for  Peach and Almond Cake.  It looked so pretty, and I adore fruity cakes, so of course I had to make it

The recipe comes from Woman's Day magazine and uses canned peaches, so it can be made in winter.  It was super easy to make and used ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry, so that is a bonus.  It is also egg free, which is terrific if eggs are scarce where you are.

If you would like to make this delicious. light, fruity cake, you will need:

2 cups self raising flour 
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
800g tinned peaches, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
toasted flaked almonds and icing sugar to serve

 Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 22cm round springform tin.

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and almond meal in a bowl.

In a large jug, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.  Arrange the peaches in a fanned design on top of the batter.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before unclipping the rim from the tin and leaving the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.  

When ready to serve, scatter the toasted flaked almonds on top of the cake and dust with icing sugar. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

TWD - Biarritz Cookies

Today’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Biarritz cookies. These are flat little cookies flavoured with almond meal and coated on the bottom with a ganache style filling, and Dorie suggests sandwiching the cookies together with a generous amount of filling.

On day 1, these cookies have a nice snap, but they are soft and chewy by the second day.

While I enjoyed the flavour of these cookies, they are messy and labour intensive to make because they are formed by piping the batter onto baking sheets. 

When I spread on the dark chocolate filling, the cookies were reminiscent of vegemite on toast in appearance, so I preferred the sandwich cookie variation.

To see what cookies everyone else baked today, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Pineapple Layer Cake with Strawberry Gloss

Here comes the sun ... (George Harrison)

I love old fashioned recipes, so I was delighted when someone recently posted a 1950s Golden Circle cookbook in the Old Shops Facebook group. For the uninitiated, Golden Circle operates a cannery in Northgate, Queensland, and canned pineapple is its flagship product.

I was intrigued by the recipe for Pineapple Layer Cake with Strawberry Gloss. This recipe involved the use of canned strawberries, which I have never seen. However, I made my own strawberry filling from fresh strawberries using this recipe.

This cake comprises 2 layers of vanilla cake which contains canned pineapple.  The layers are filled with strawberry filling, extra filling is piled in the centre of the cake, and the cake is iced with a pink tinted icing flavoured with pineapple juice.

The end result is a very sweet but delicious and unusual cake:


If  you would like to step back in time and make this cake.you will need:

1/2 cup canned pineapple pieces, drained (reserve juice)
4 ounces butter
2/3 cup sugar 
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

1 batch strawberry filling from the recipe linked above


1 tablespoon butter
Icing sugar
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice from the canned pineapple

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line 2 x 8” round sandwich cake tins.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the pineapple and salt. Alternately beat in the flour and milk in three batches, starting and ending with flour.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake tins, and bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to sit in their tins for 5 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, cream the butter in a medium mixing bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of sifted  icing sugar and the pineapple juice and mix well. Sift in just enough icing sugar to make a smooth, spreadable icing when combined with the other ingredients.  Add a couple of drops of rose pink colouring to tint the icing pink. 

To assemble the cake, put one of the cake layers on a cake plate or board. Pipe a thin strip of icing around the perimeter of the cake. Spread half the strawberry filling onto the top of the cake, being careful not to breach the icing perimeter, then place the other cake on top.

Spread the remaining strawberry filling over the centre of the top cake, leaving a border of 2cm between the filling and the edge of the cake. Cover the rest of the top of the cake and the sides with icing. (I had to make more icing to have enough.)

Once the icing sets, slice and serve the cake.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

TWD - Merveilles

Don't look for miracles. You yourself are the miracle.  Henry Miller 

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Merveilles (meaning "miracle").  They are fried dough strips that bubble and crisp up, and are coated with a sprinkling of icing sugar while hot.

I don't like frying, but these tasted quite good, I made a quarter of a recipe and shared them with my downstairs neighbours.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

African Drumsticks for Christmas in July


I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  Charles Dickens 

Yesterday was Christmas in July, and I decided to celebrate by making myself  a special dinner.

I had some chicken drumsticks in the freezer, so rather than buy something else, I decided to jazz up the drumsticks.  Looking through my cookbooks, a recipe from Nigella Kitchen for African Drumsticks caught my eye.  With a marinade of Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, mustard, ginger, apricot jam and onion, the flavours sang from the page. The marinade has a delightful sticky zing to it, sure to put the fire in anyone's belly.

Here's my dinner, ready to go, with African drumsticks, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, beans a la Sunday and honey carrots - oooh, and  cheeky glass of red, my first since March:

Here are the drumsticks fresh out of the oven:

and the roast vegetables:

To make Nigella's African Drumsticks, you will need:

80ml Worcestershire sauce
45ml tomato sauce
2 teaspoons mustard powder (I just used Dijon mustard)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon apricot jam (I used Pam's apricot an ginger jam, a souvenir of New Zealand)
1 peeled and finely chopped onion
8 chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil  

In a wide, shallow dish, mix together all of the ingredients except for the chicken and the oil.

Use the oil to coat the base of a baking tin just big enough for the drumsticks.  Coat the chicken by dipping each drumstick into the marinade, then place into the baking tin.  Pour any leftover marinade over the chicken, and leave it to chill in the fridge for 4 hours.   

When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Put the chicken in the baking tin into the oven and cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour (depending on your oven), basting the drumsticks with the marinade a couple of times during the cooking process.   

Serve the drumsticks lavishly coated with any excess marinade left in the baking tin.

No Christmas celebration is complete without pudding, so I made rum balls:

seen here with a slice of Maggie Beer's Christmas pudding (shop bought) and warm custard:   

For the connoisseurs, here's a close up of the Christmas pudding and custard:

Did you celebrate Christmas in July?  If so, what did you do to celebrate? 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Carrot Oat Slice (Vegan)

Happy Thursday! 

Today is the day that wearing a mask became mandatory in Melbourne. Given that 90% of people have admitted to going about their business even after displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the position we have reached should not surprise anyone.

If you would like a little sweet treat that is pretty much guilt free, I can recommend Johanna’s Carrot Oat Slice. It is very easy to make, and the finished product remains quite moist, but it’s a little pop of vegan sweetness to pick you up with a cuppa:

I used the optional prune add-in for an extra pop of sweetness, but also recommend adding the walnuts for some crunch, as this slice is very soft.

Have a great day all.