Tonight we had a special little visitor sleeping over so we had a traditional Sunday night dinner in his honor…lamb roast and chocolate self saucing pudding. I must admit, my preference is a gooey centred pudding over a self saucing pudding but self saucing is so simple to make and you’re sure to have the ingredients in your pantry.
I found this recipe in the Women’s Weekly and you can find it here.
I have found the most deliciously dense little cake recipe, served coated in cinnamon sugar. The best part is they freeze well, and are really quite versatile…read on!
Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes
from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 44
2.5 cups (375g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup
6 red apples, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine. Spoon into 12 well-greased one cup-capacity (250ml) Bundt tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn out immediately. Place the extra cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Coat the cakes in sugar and cool. Makes 12.
Now for the explanation on their versatility. I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for the Dessert Tasting plate at our Dinner Party. The Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes shared the plate with Lemon Posset, Passionfruit Cheesecake Slice with Raspberry Coulis, Lemon Sorbet and Vanilla Wafers.
But…I’ve also had a little stash in the freezer that I pop into the kids lunch boxes or warm up and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar to enjoy with a cup of tea. This is a recipe well worth trying.
As the weather warms up here in Brisbane, it’s time to stock the freezer with refreshing, zingy icy cold sorbet…don’t you think!
Home-made sorbet is quite easy to make if you have an ice-cream maker. And the best part is when you serve this up to your kids you know exactly what they are eating – and for that matter you’ll know what you are eating too! Goodness knows what is in store-bought ice-cream! So, if you don’t have one already, get yourself an ice-cream maker this summer.
from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 7
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup water, extra
Place sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 1 minutes. Set aside to cool. Combine lemon juice, extra water and cooled sorbet syrup in a bowl and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions until the sorbet is just firm. Makes 3.5 cups.
Some time back my sister introduced me to the most fabulously simple dessert – lemon possets. Little pots of set lemony cream. Rich, delicious, and just so simple to make.
from Jill Dupleix’s Totally Simple Food
450ml double or whipping cream
125g caster sugar
60ml lemon juice
Combine the cream and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and bubble for three minutes, stirring constantly, without allowing the cream to boil over.
Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, stirring well. Taste, and add a little more lemon juice if you so desire. Leave the posset to cool for 10 minutes, then stir once more and pour into four 100ml ramekins, Chinese tea cups or espresso coffee cups.
Cool the posset and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving, with tiny spoons.
I’m suspecting that when you try this it will become a hit in your home so if you tire of the lemon variety, why not try a different citrus twist – lime, mandarin or orange? Mmmmm….I love possets. What’s your favourite dessert?
Another delicious dessert treat tonight…this time for the grown ups! The best part was – I was the only grown up at home.
This sticky little treat leaves the oven with flaky pastry hiding sweet pears coated in a gorgeous caramel sauce. As I turned it out onto the plate the maple syrup sauce had caramelised slightly to create small strings of toffee. Yum!
Maple Pear Tarte Tatin
based on recipe from Donna Hay’s Seasons
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 sheet of puff pastry
Vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Finely slice the pears.
Place the butter in a 20cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat until melted. Add the maple syrup.
Arrange the pears in the base of the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until just soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut out a 21cm circle from the pastry to fit inside the pan over the pears.
Bake the tarte for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
Allow to stand for two minutes then invert onto a plate.
Serve the tarte tatin warm or at room temperature, with ice-cream.
Back to reality…work…school. And, by the end of the day we needed some cheering up.
I can guarantee this will put a smile on any child’s face!
Tonight I revisited an old favourite recipe – Bill Granger’s gooey-centred chocolate puddings. A fabulous winter pudding…an absolute hit every time. Fast and simple to make with amazing results. Best of all, if you are entertaining you can make the pudding batter in advance and pop it into the ramekins. Then, just before you are ready to serve dessert you can pop it in the oven for 15 minutes (or a little longer if it has been in the fridge).
Soft-Centred Chocolate Puddings
from Bills Open Kitchen by Bill Granger
200g good-quality dark-chocolate, chopped
100g unsalted butter, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
115g caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
thick cream or ice-cream
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water, and stir until just melted.
Place the eggs, sugar and flour in a bowl and mix until just combined. Gradually mix in the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into four 250ml ovenproof ramekins and place on a baking tray. Bake until the edges are set, about 15 minutes. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serves 4.
I recently had a Tupperware party and, as a special deal for the host, received the new Tupperware MicroSteamer at a heavily reduced price. The concept seemed great – a water tray sits below a steamer base that has an inner shield protecting the food from microwaves. The water heats up and gently steams the food that sits above it. For $35 what did I have to lose.
Thankfully the steamer came with a little recipe book full of ideas. I still have to get my head around steamed ‘Chinese Pork Ribs’ and ‘Coconut and Coriander Chicken’ (cooked in a microwave!) so I decided to start with a dessert – ‘Coconut Creme Caramel’.
The prep involved firstly making a caramel using 140g caster sugar and 60ml cold water. While this was bubbling away 180ml of coconut milk and 50g of palm sugar were gently heated on the stove before adding 180ml of milk and 3 eggs. The caramel was poured into 6 little Tupperware ramekins and then topped with the custard. The bottom tray was then filled with water and the ramekins placed in the steamer base. The lid was popped on and the whole steamer placed into the microwave to cook at 800w for 12 minutes.
The end results were quite good. Whilst the creme caramel was not necessarily the prettiest dessert I’ve ever made it was quite delicious. Of course – my caramel was set quite hard in the bottom of the ramekins but this happens when I follow the traditional method too.
Looking forward to testing out the steamer on some savoury food tomorrow night. Maybe I might even try some dim sums.
The Tupperware MicroSteamer retails for $134.90.
Tonight, after dinner, I had a little splurge…
Ice-cream & milo. So, what’s your favourite ice-cream topping?
A special little treat at the end of the week. Banana split with little lady finger bananas, mini scoops of vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Mmmmmm.