Tropical Ice Cream

This delicious, easy dessert has all the tastes of summer and is perfect served with fresh fruit on a balmy evening. thumb_img_3009_1024Ingredients (serves 6-8)
1 litre good quality vanilla ice cream
100g unsalted pistachio nuts
¾ cup desiccated coconut
Pulp of 2 passionfruit
2 tablespoons honey
Fresh fruit, to serve

Method
Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature until just soft.

Remove pistachio nuts from shells. Cover nuts with boiling water and remove their dark skins. Dry thoroughly.

Place coconut in a dry pan and cook over a gentle heat until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.

Combine ice-cream, nuts, ½ cup of the coconut, passionfruit pulp and honey. Place in a glad-wrap lined container (I use a log tin), cover and freeze for at least 2 hours

Serve topped with the remaining toasted coconut and fresh fruit. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Sydney Market Authority

Peanut Butter ‘Pupcakes’

This may seem like an odd thing to post, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m a very devoted ‘dogmother’ to gorgeous toy cavoodle named Bailey:

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Bailey turned one on Thursday and we hosted a ‘pawty’ for her at a local dog park (check our her invitations below!!).

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To celebrate the occasion I made a batch of mini ‘pupcakes’ iced with Bailey’s beloved peanut butter. There are a huge number of dog-friendly cupcake recipes out there but this one appealed to me as it’s relatively healthy, refined sugar free & uses ingredients I had on hand.

1x the recipe made 4 large cupcakes & 24 mini cakes. The texture is very dense as the the binding agents are banana & apple sauce, but they certainly passed the puppy taste test! They also don’t brown much in the oven (even when they’re done) as there’s no refined sugar to ‘caramelise’, so insert a skewer to ensure they’re cooked.

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Ingredients
Coconut oil (to grease pans)
1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (or white flour if desired)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 very ripe banana, mashed
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup water

To decorate
Organic, smooth peanut butter
Small dog biscuits

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One of the pawty guests, GB, enjoying a pupcake
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Bailey eating a pupcake

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced). Grease a 24-hole mini muffin tin & 4 holes of a muffin tin, with coconut oil/canola oil.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream the applesauce, banana and maple syrup with electric beaters. Add a quarter of the flour mixture, followed by ¼ cup water and beat until combined. Repeat until all is incorporated.

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Bailey was more than happy to taste test!

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, filling the mini muffin trays to very near the top and filling the muffin tins ¾ full.

Bake the mini cakes for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cook the large cupcakes for approximately 25 minutes.

Once cool, “ice” with a thin layer of smooth peanut butter and top with a dog biscuit.

Watch your furry friend enjoy!

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Happy Birthday Bailey!!

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Recipe adapted from a number online; largely from Morsels & Moonshine.

Warm Cinnamon & Rhubarb Muffins

It’s that time of the year again: swot-vac. While I always have good intentions, designing elaborate study timetables and carefully planning my time,  I often find myself procrastinating in one way or another and procrastibaking is my specialty. Fortunately, I work well with a rewards-based system where I treat myself to a baked item after doing a certain number of hours of study, and so baking is useful in that it provides me with much-needed study motivation (or so I tell myself).

Coincidence? I think not...
Coincidence? I think not…

These cinnamon & rhubarb muffins are perfect for this because they are heavenly, especially when fresh out of the oven or warmed in the microwave, just the thing to reward yourself after working hard. They’re so good in fact that I had to stop myself from inhaling them all right away. So go on… treat yourself to a batch of these perfectly seasonal study treats – I can assure you, you won’t regret it!

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Ingredients
For the rhubarb mixture
1 cup bunch rhubarb, washed, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar

For the muffins
1 cup rhubarb mixture
1 ¼ cups plain flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup olive oil
1 egg

For the sugar-cinnamon crust
⅓ cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

How good is rhubarb?! Image credit: pipmagazine.com.au
How good is rhubarb?! Image credit: pipmagazine.com.au

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 muffin cases.

Chop rhubarb into small, even pieces and cook with water and sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the rhubarb is tender and the sugar has dissolved. Stand for 5 minutes to cool.

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Add flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Carefully pour in the buttermilk, olive oil and egg and gently stir to combine. Mix in the cooked rhubarb, being careful not to over-stir (note: the mixture is supposed to be very wet, don’t worry!)

Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cases & top with mixed sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Enjoy!

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Recipe from Grandma (from Sue Lowry)

Raspberry Sorbet

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums out there! Tonight, I have the honour of preparing the Mother’s Day dessert for a dinner party with my extended family. After much thought, I have decided to make a rich chocolate tart to serve with raspberry sorbet.

This raspberry sorbet recipe is one of the first I ever used when cooking by myself. In the school holidays, my sister and I would each cook one thing out of the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks we purchased in 2007. Mine would be from “Good Food: Desserts” (surprise, surprise) and Laura’s from “Potatoes”. As you can tell, it certainly wasn’t the most nutritious meal! But it was a lot of fun and helped Laura and I get into cooking.

I still love this sorbet – it’s perfectly tangy but sweet with a strong raspberry flavour. It’s also great as it doesn’t require an ice-cream machine. Hopefully it’s as useful for you as it has been for me 🙂

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Ingredients (serves 8-10 on the side or 6-8 as the whole dessert)
1 ½ cups water
1 cup caster sugar
900g frozen raspberries
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 egg whites

Method
Stir the water & sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat & simmer, uncovered, without stirring for 5 minutes.

Blend the raspberries, lemon juice & sugar syrup in a blender until smooth.

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Push mixture through a fine sieve into a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan (or 2 smaller pans) lined with clingfilm. Discard seeds. Cover with foil; freeze until firm.

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Coarsely chop the frozen berry mixture and add it to the blender with the egg whites. Blend until smoother and paler in colour. Return mixture to the pan, cover & freeze until firm.

Serve & enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Good Food: Desserts’

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