Passionfruit Soufflés

Last year my family and I visited the d’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale and had an incredible 3-course lunch at the award winning d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant. Everything was delicious, but a particular favourite dish was the passionfruit soufflé. While we’re looking forward to dining at d’Arry’s again soon, in the meantime we’re enjoying this copycat version that’s pretty darn close to the real thing.

Soufflés have a reputation for being difficult, but please don’t be afraid of cooking them at home – they’re really very easy. Just make sure you serve immediately as they start to ‘deflate’ quickly.

Ingredients (makes 4)
20g melted butter, for greasing
Caster sugar, for dusting
⅓ cup passionfruit pulp
1½ tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn flour
2 teaspoons water
3 eggwhites
2 tablespoons extra caster sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)


Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

Brush the inside of four ¾-cup ramekins with the melted butter, dust with caster sugar and place on a baking tray. 

Place the passionfruit pulp, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Stir the cornflour paste into the passionfruit mixture and whisk continuously for 30 seconds or until the mixture has thickened. Cool the passionfruit mixture in the fridge for 5-10 mins. 

Place the eggwhites in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Gradually add the extra caster sugar and beat until glossy. Gently fold cooled passionfruit mixture into the eggwhites until just combined. Spoon into the ramekins, smooth the tops with a butter knife and bake for 10 minutes or until risen and just golden.

Serve immediately dusted with icing sugar and with ice cream or cream. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s ‘PASSIONFRUIT SOUFFLE’ and inspired by d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant

Salted Caramel Popcorn Rocky Road

Salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy – this rocky road has it all! It only takes 5 minutes to put together and is perfect for an after dinner treat, cake stall or work morning tea.

Ingredients
300g dark chocolate melts
¾ tablespoon vegetable oil
1½ cups caramel popcorn
1 cup white marshmallows, halved
½ cup salted peanuts + ¼ cup extra, chopped
Sea salt flakes

Method
Line a 20x20cm square pan with baking paper.

Melt chocolate in the microwave in a large bowl and add oil. Set aside a quarter of a cup of the chocolate mixture.

Add popcorn, marshmallows and peanuts to the large bowl and stir until evenly coated in chocolate.

Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and then pour over additional chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and a good pinch of sea salt.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Cut carefully into serving sized pieces (approx. 24 squares). Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from donna hay magazine Christmas 2017

Easy Red Velvet Waffles

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that always gets me in the mood for all things red velvet. Over the years, I’ve posted several red velvet recipes; my favourites being red velvet crinkle cookies and red velvet cupcakes. Today, I present to you my red velvet waffles with a cream cheese glaze. These are extremely quick and easy to make as they use a boxed cake mix, although you could certainly make a cake batter from scratch if you prefer. These waffles are perfect to spoil a loved one (or yourself!) this Valentine’s Day.

z50HST3HRby17RfmnZAWzQ_thumb_2883

Ingredients (makes 6 waffles)
1 x Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix (or equivalent)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food colouring (or until you are satisfied with the colour)
Cream Cheese Glaze
115g cream cheese, softened
60g butter, softened
1½ cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
To serve
Raspberries
Sugar hearts (optional)

HzHni1R2R5aA5HLzeZzw6A_thumb_287e

Whip together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the icing sugar, vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Make cake batter according to the instructions on the box (I use the vegetable oil and milk options). Add cocoa, vanilla and food colouring and whisk until smooth.

Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Spray the waffle iron with cooking oil and then pour the waffle batter onto the iron so that the grid is covered. Cook (I use level 3-4) until the waffles are cooked through and crisp on the outside.

Repeat with the remaining waffle batter.

Serve waffles warm drizzled with the glaze and topped with berries and sugar hearts. Enjoy!

h+dcP1+%RMCpbyQOKVeFjg_thumb_2876

Inspiration from Pinterest, glaze recipe adapted from Kevin Is Cooking.

 

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve always been fascinated by red velvet cake, probably since seeing the memorable bleeding armadillo groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias! Red velvet isn’t a very common flavour in Australia (although this is changing), and so finding a strong enough red food dye can be challenging. I used Wilton red no-taste colouring paste, but have heard Dr. Oetker works well too. These cakes are light and fluffy, and due to the buttermilk are not overly sweet. I served mine with cream cheese frosting, but a vanilla buttercream would also work well.

oEVw09pAQW+t51%tbpl5kA_thumb_e08

Ingredients (Makes 24)
Cupcakes
150g softened butter
⅔ cup caster sugar
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 ⅓ cups self raising flour, sifted
4 tblspns cocoa, sifted
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ tblspns of good quality red food colouring (I use Wilton’s, you may need to adjust the amount depending on the brand you use)

Cream Cheese Frosting
500g cream cheese, chopped
100g butter, softened
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tblspns milk

dgaf6Bt6QwyCBAfZ66gBCw_thumb_de6

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C. Place butter, caster sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, beating until well combined. Add the flour, cocoa, buttermilk and food colouring and beat on a low speed until just combined.

Divide mixture into cupcake tins lined with patty pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Once the cupcakes are almost completely cool, start making the cream cheese frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat for a further 5 minutes or until completely smooth. Add the milk and beat until just combined.

Top each cupcake with a thick layer of frosting and, if desired, break up one of the cupcakes and sprinkle its crumbs over the remaining cakes. Enjoy!

dbw2B4K+RySQh027I%XaBA_thumb_df2

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s recipe ‘red velvet cupcakes with sugared cranberries’.

igcIKYHeSe2XgzJgGwN%Og_thumb_e18

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Butterfly Cakes with Strawberries & Cream

4r4f+HrwRyiAVM+exY9USg_thumb_d49

Considering it’s winter, we have been incredibly lucky to have an abundance of delicious, flavoursome strawberries and these cakes take full advantage of them.

zUuD1C6uQ+O34%Yrysxlkw_thumb_d45

These cupcakes are probably the quickest and easiest to make in the history of the world;  you simply blitz the ingredients in a food processor, divide into patty pans and bake!

The cakes are very light with a soft, sponge-like texture, which makes them perfect for butterfly cakes. If butterfly cakes aren’t for you, they’re also delicious with a frosting of your choice (try my vanilla buttercream or marshmallow frosting).

reHoi07+TbijnoL2o8%4NQ_thumb_d17

Ingredients (makes 12)
1 cup (125g) self-raising flour
⅔ cup (125g) caster sugar
125g butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Sweetened thickened cream (or whipped cream)
Good quality strawberry jam
Fresh strawberries, halved (optional)
Icing sugar

BKVg8WuiQsWvmNzfzVXnNQ_thumb_d19

Method
Preheat oven to 200ºC and line a 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.

Put all of the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among the patty pans (I know it doesn’t look like much batter, but they will rise a lot).

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Transfer immediately onto a wire rack to cool completely.

If you will be serving the cakes immediately, make your thickened cream and cut up your strawberries while the cakes cool.

Using a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle, cut out a circle from the top of each cake and cut it in half to make the butterfly wings. Fill the holes with a teaspoon or so of strawberry jam and then top with cream, butterfly wings and another line of jam. If you like, you can serve them like this in the traditional butterfly cake style (below).

cK1kGHjXTt+7BZ+IryKDzg_thumb_d0b

For me though, I love fresh strawberries so I top each cake with a strawberry half and then sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!

NRowYsLGTmuyv9A1XZrSEg_thumb_d16

NB: filled cakes are best eaten with 6 hours
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s ‘Cupcakes’ in How to Be a Domestic Goddess. 

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows

As the weather cools down, I am craving hot chocolates and crisp nights around the campfire, both of which are infinitely improved by the addition of marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows are on an entirely different level to store bought. Their texture is  impossibly soft, light and dreamy with none of the powderyness that even the best quality store bought varieties have. These are perfect for eating as is, roasting over a fire, popping into a steaming mug of hot chocolate, or combining with chocolate and graham crackers (or equivalent) to make s’mores. Do yourself a favour and make some, stat! These marshmallows are so good, I am already thinking of how I can use the base recipe to make different flavours and variations (how good would Baileys marshies be?!)

thumb_IMG_0120_1024

Ingredients (makes ~30)
½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons flavourless, powdered gelatine
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 ½ cups caster sugar
⅔ cups liquid glucose
½ cup water, extra
1 cup icing sugar, sifted

thumb_IMG_0107_1024

Spray a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with cooking oil and line the bottom with baking paper.  Place the warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, add gelatine and vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the caster sugar, glucose and extra water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Allow to boil, without stirring, for 6–7 minutes until the temperature reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer. With the electric mixer on high, add the hot syrup to the vanilla gelatine mixture in a thin steady stream, and beat for 5-10 minutes or until white, thick and glossy.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Using a spatula sprayed with cooking oil, smooth the top of the marshmallow.

Refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until set. Gently tip the marshmallow, top-side-down onto a clean, flat surface dusted with icing sugar. Peel off the baking paper and sift icing sugar over the top. Dust a large knife with icing sugar and cut marshmallows into squares. Enjoy!

thumb_IMG_0099_1024

Can be stored in the fridge for ~1 week

Adapted from Donna Hay’s ‘Caramel Swirl Marshmallows’

thumb_IMG_0122_1024

Nutella “Freakshake”

Ever since the cafe Pâtissez opened in June 2015 in my home town of Canberra, I have been desperate to try one of their famous FreakShakes. Clearly I’m not alone, because their FreakShakes garnered media attention from Toowoomba to Tokyo to Timbuktu, and copycat versions have cropped up all over the world.

I feel a particularly strong urge to go there, not only because their food and drinks look almost illegally delicious, but also because we have known one of the owners, Gina, for years as she previously owned a school uniform shop and worked with my Mum to develop a uniform for Jerrabomberra Public School in 2001. It has been amazing to see her success!

f-nutz-cookie-gay-fruit-ban_6953a5d1-5cf6-420d-bd85-3e0fada94416
A selection of Pâtissez’s world-famous FreakShakes. Image: pattisez.com.au

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 5.35.08 PM.png
How flipping amazing do these doughnuts look?!?! Image: @pattisez Instagram

While I’m still hopeful I’ll get to visit Pâtissez in the not too distant future, for the time being I’ll make do with some homemade versions, starting with this easy Nutella and pretzel shake.

thumb_img_3216_1024

Ingredients (serves 1 very hungry person)
2½ tablespoons Nutella
400ml milk
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 scoop good-quality vanilla ice-cream

To decorate: 
8-12 pretzels
Whipped cream
Nutella (extra)

Method
To make the milkshake, combine chocolate syrup, Nutella, ice-cream and milk in milkshake shaker and shake until bubbly and combined.

Using a metal spatula or butter knife, spread Nutella generously on the inside of a mason jar and around the outside of the rim. Stick pretzels on using extra Nutella so they line the rim. Pour the milkshake into the prepared mason jar. Top with a generous amount of whipped cream, a drizzle of Nutella and 4 extra pretzels. Enjoy!

thumb_img_3221_1024

Inspired by Pâtissez’s ‘Pretzella’ FreakShake

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!

thumb_img_3011_1024

Recipe adapted from Sydney Market Authority

The Port Elliot Bakery – the Best in South Australia

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Port Elliot Bakery is the best in South Australia*. Yes, it’s a bold statement considering SA’s dozens of award-winning bakeries, but the Port Elliot Bakery’s consistent 5 star reviews, 4000-strong “Port Elliot Bakery appreciation society” Facebook group, and regular 50m+ queues set it apart from the rest and are a testament to its excellence. The bakery is located on the main street of Port Elliot, a small town on the Fleurieu Peninsular about an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, and is a must-visit when you’re in the area.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-3-34-11-pm
Just some of the delicious offerings from the Port Elliot Bakery. (Image: Michael Mangahas)

photo_731_1415318658
The unassuming shopfront of the Port Elliot Bakery – although you will never see it this empty! (Image: travelguide.net.au)

The Port Elliot Bakery was established in 1989 by the Gormon-Horrocks family, who still own and operate it today. However the site has hosted a bakery since the 1860s, and its tradition of using fresh produce and baking  daily on the premises is maintained, along with the original wood fired oven.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-2-58-03-pm
The original Port Elliot bakers, the Bebee family (Image: portelliotbakery.com)  

I am fortunate enough to have visited the Port Elliot Bakery regularly for over 20 years, as it is located about 10mins drive away from my family’s holiday house. I can honestly say that I have never left disappointed as the food is always delicious and the service is quick and friendly (no matter how long the line-up is).

The pies, pasties and sausage rolls come in a wide range of delicious flavours and always have perfect crisp, flaky pastry, and the enormous array of beautiful and tempting sweets is sure to impress the harshest of critics.

338630_134786679959935_1365775407_o
A selection of their savoury goods. (Image: The Port Elliot Bakery Facebook page)

While everything I’ve tried has been excellent, my go-to is their steak and bacon pie (so mouthwateringly tender and flavoursome) with a chocolate doughnut and a Farmer’s Union ice-coffee – perfection!

img_5256
Look at that perfect pastry…

img_5260
Melt in your mouth steak paired with bacon and a rich flavour-packed gravy… what more could you ask for?!

fullsizerender-4
With a deep golden exterior, soft fluffy interior and a dark chocolate icing, these are the doughnuts of my dreams

img_5269
Bailey is always more than happy to assist in eating Port Elliot Bakery goods!  

One of the reasons I love the bakery so much, is that it’s constantly innovating and updating its menu. The bakery offers a new “pie of the month” each month, and its recent Nutella and Oreo doughnut additions already have cult followings!

14590525_923272104444718_1839979544938360214_n
The bakery’s new Oreo cookies & cream doughnuts (Image: The Port Elliot Bakery Facebook Page)

The bakery has also developed a range of vegan options including ‘Fruchoc’, ‘Bounty’ and ‘Snickers’ slices, bliss balls, and salads.

14479703_918723174899611_4919212302071358403_n
“Fruchoc slice” a vegan option. (Image: the Port Elliot Bakery Facebook page)

Next time you’re down in the Fleurieu area, make sure you give the Port Elliot Bakery a visit. My advice is to get in early to avoid disappointment as the bakery is so popular that many items sell-out before 1pm. There is seating outside the bakery, but we like to drive to the Freeman Lookout and eat our bakery goodies with a magnificent ocean view where, between May and October, you might even be lucky enough to see whales.

horshoe-bay-lookout
Freeman Lookout

Port Elliot Bakery

Open: 7am-5:30pm every day but Christmas Day, Proclamation Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday.
Location: 
31 North Terrace, Port Elliot, South Australia
Phone: (08) 8554 2475
Price: from $2.50
Rating: 5/5 cupcakes
5-star

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-4-27-40-pm
* I’m sure if Jane Austen had tried their baked goods she would agree!

Funfetti Cupcakes

These delicious vanilla cupcakes are made even better by the addition of sprinkles! Perfect for birthdays, baby showers or any time you feel like celebrating.

thumb_img_2909_1024

Ingredients (makes 24+ cupcakes)
2 ¾ cups plain flour
2 tspns baking powder
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tblspn vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 
200g butter, softened
½ cup milk
1 tblspn vanilla extract
8 cups icing sugar
A few drops of food colouring as desired
Sprinkles, to decorate

thumb_img_2913_1024

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C (approximately 150°C fan-forced). Line two 12 hole muffin trays with patty pans.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a different bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 mins. Add the caster sugar about a third at a time, beating for 2mins after each addition. After the last of the sugar has been beaten, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 min after each addition or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.

Add approximately a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on a low speed until combined. Add half of the milk and beat until combined. Repeat this process until all of the flour and milk is thoroughly combined but be careful not to overbeat (this will toughen the mixture). Add in the sprinkles and gently stir through until evenly dispersed.

Spoon mixture into the patty pans (filling each about 3/4 full) and bake for about 18-20mins or until the top springs back when touched. Remove the cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour before icing.

To make the frosting, cream the butter for 1-2 mins in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Add the milk, vanilla and half of the icing sugar and beat for at least 3 mins (until the mixture is light and fluffy). Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 mins or until of a spreadable consistency. Add extra milk if too dry or extra icing sugar if too wet. Add colouring and beat in until combined and the desired colour has been achieved.

Using a piping bag with a Wilton 2D tip, pipe buttercream in a swirl on the cupcakes and decorate with extra sprinkles.

Enjoy!

thumb_img_2902_1024

thumb_img_2908_1024

Recipes adapted from The Crabapple Cupcake Bakery Cookbook.