Dessert, Vegetarian

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Serves: 6 – 8

We are still on the homemade ice cream train and after a very successful strawberry ice cream with a side of balsamic strawberries, we are much closer to a favourite I used to make when I was a kid.

(My parents also had an ice cream machine.)

Maple and walnut.

(I used to make honey and walnut.)

It is a sweet ice cream though that is the point: the boys of course, absolutely love it.

Serve it however and with whatever you want. This is the American dream.

Ingredients

1 ½ cup walnut halves
¾ cup maple syrup
1 ⅓ cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cup whole milk
5 large egg yolks, beaten
¼ salt

Method

  1. Over a medium heat, toast the walnuts in a fry pan, stirring and toasting for about 5 minutes until they are fragrant and turning golden. Set aside to cool and chop.
  2. Put the maple syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil and then simmer until reduced to ½ cup: 8 – 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cream, milk and salt to the pan and stir.
  4. Drizzle a cup of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add another cup and then return to the saucepan and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Do not boil.
  5. Strain through a fine mesh into a bowl and cover with glad wrap. Refrigerate until completely cold.
  6. Process the chilled mixture according to your machine’s instructions and add the walnuts during the last minutes of churning.
  7. Enjoy.
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Dessert

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter

Makes: 1.5 liters

So, we’re on the ice cream train with the recent acquisition of a proper ice cream maker.

And so where do you start?

Personally, I think that Rum and Raisin or Pistachio are the creme da la creme though I am dismissed by Nat and the boys as being old and old-fashioned.

Which meant opening the floor to alternative ideas.

The boys adamantly want a Coke Sorbet which we might try; though that left Nat’s suggestion of chocolate and peanut butter the sole entry and winner on our first bout of ice cream making.

And here it is.

She is a rich one this one and if you paired it with some salted caramel, you would be sent to sweet heaven.

As an accompaniment to a dessert fitting of such an extraordinarily rich and opulent ice cream, this is definitely a recipe you should try.

I guess I can do my Rum and Raisin late at night when everyone is asleep.

Ingredients

Rich chocolate ice cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
7 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
200gm bittersweet chocolate (70% or above), chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup icing sugar
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp heavy cream

Method

    1. For the chocolate ice cream: in a heavy saucepan, combine the cream and milk. Warm over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until you have a simmer.
    2. Separately, in a heatproof bowl over a water bath, combine the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture doubles in size: 2 minutes or so.
    3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the combined mixture back into the remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly and heat over a medium heat; add the chopped chocolate and vanilla to the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined. Cook until it forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, ensuring it does not boil.
    4. Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool.
    5. For the peanut butter: in a bowl, combine the butter, icing sugar, peanut butter and cream. Using an electric beater on medium, beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
    6. Churn the rich chocolate ice cream until almost done. Pour the peanut butter mixture in just before setting and allow to churn.
    7. Kaboom.
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Dessert, Vegetarian

Apple and Sultana Muffins

Makes: 12

We went on a bit of a muffin crave a few months back.

Every Sunday, we would whip up a batch for lunches and snacks, usually doubling the recipe on account of Tom (6) hoovering six (6) of them as soon as they could be handled.

These muffins are pretty down-the-line muffins though the boys whole-heartedly helped cut and mix all the ingredients. And any recipe that the boys participate in is one to type up; because getting participation and having fun in the process is half the point.

Our craves move on and the muffin ship has sailed for the moment, though if I did a batch of these one night as a treat, I have no doubt the ship would be back in port.

Keep it simple, treat yourself and enjoy.

Ingredients

200gm self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
50gm wholemeal flour
100gm caster sugar
2 eggs
125ml skim milk
4 tbsp sunflower oil
2 apples, grated
100gm sultanas

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180c.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well and then fold in the apple and sultanas.
  4. Divide between 12 greased muffin cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and hand them to your Tom.
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Dessert

Simple strawberry cheesecake

Simple strawberry cheesecake

Serves: 12

We had a request in the house for cheesecake last week.

Not one made by me, but a limited-time cheesecake at Woolworths from the veritable Cheesecake Factory folk; the people behind the US restaurant chain and some pretty great and outrageous cheesecakes.

Problem was that when I asked an attendant at Woolworths, he drew a blank. And a good walk past the refrigerators also drew a blank.

Plenty of apple pies and orange juice and sushi rolls, though no cheesecake.

Social media was too fast for our local Woolies.

So here is a simple cheesecake alternative.

Nothing like the ‘Factory’ would produce, though a very good – and very simple – cheesecake nonetheless.

This could become a habit.

Ingredients

250gm digestive biscuit
100gm butter, melted
1 vanilla pod
600gm soft (cream) cheese
100gm icing sugar
300ml double cream

Topping

400gm strawberries, halves
25gm icing sugar

Method

  1. For the base: butter and line with baking paper a medium-to-large loose-bottom round baking tray.
  2. Put the digestive biscuits in a large plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin.
  3. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and pour over the butter.Mix until the crumbs are well coated. Transfer to the baking tray and press down firmly to make an even, firm base/layer. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
  4. For the filling: Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod.
  5. Place the soft (cream) cheese, 100gm icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until smooth.  Add the cream and continue beating until fully combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture on top of the biscuit base. Smooth the top and allow to set in the fridge overnight.
  7. When serving, puree the strawberries and 25gm icing sugar and sieve.
  8. Un-mould the cheesecake, throw on some berries, sprinkle with more icing sugar and pour over the strawberry puree.
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Dessert, Vegetarian

Chocolate Spiders

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Seriously?!

Chocolate Spiders

Makes: 15 spiders

Nat’s Oma (German for grandmother) used to make these for Nat and all the grandkids… all the time.

Five spiders down, I can assure you that the simplest things in life are the best and that you’ll need far greater self-control than I have to not eat them one they’re chilled.

Go spiders!

Ingredients

1 packet Chang’s Original Fried Noodles (100gm)
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
200gm milk chocolate

Method

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, break up the chocolate into small chunks. Add the peanut butter and melt on high for about 60 seconds. Stir the chocolate mixture and if not fully melted, heat for another 15 seconds or so until melted.
  2. Add the noodles and mix well, try not to break the noodles.
  3. On a baking paper lined tray, spoon the mixture into small mounds and refrigerate until hard.
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Dessert, Vegetarian

Energy Muffins

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Tasty, filling… energy.

Energy Muffins

Serves: 15 – 18

There are muffins and then there are these muffins: energy muffins.

I found them in Delicious Magazine.

They’re dense, they’re soft, they’re incredibly tasty. And they’re really filling. Have one at 10 and you won’t need lunch until 2.

Read the ingredient list and you’ll know where the energy comes from.

You should whip up a batch for the week.

Seriously good.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sultanas
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup, grated apple
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Use paper cases to line the muffin pans or grease muffin pans.
  2. Sift sugar, flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sultanas, carrot, apple, coconut and walnuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
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Dessert, Vegetarian

Pecan Torte

Pecan Torte

Serves: 6

She might not be happy with the inclusion of this recipe, though there are a few of them that define my mother and her cooking talents… and none comes more to mind that this torte.

Nobody that has ever had it, has thought anything differently: it is genius.

Every time I have it – and I have had it probably 600 times – I literally gasp at how bloody wonderful it is. It is literally genius.

The origin of the recipe  – according to my mother – is Mexican and my grandmother found it whilst she lived it LA many years back.

Don’t be confused.

Some freshly whipped cream, some fresh strawberries, this is the least contentious, most no-questions, shit-yeah dessert I think you can make.

I vouch my cooking heart on it.

Ingredients

6 egg whites
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
16 Sao biscuits
Whipped cream
Strawberries

Method

  1. Beat the egg whites with the baking powder until stiff.
  2. Beat in the sugar gradually, and continue to beat.
  3. Fold in the pecans, vanilla and Sao crumbs.
  4. Bake in a large buttered springform pan at 190 C for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool.
  5. Two hours before serving spread with the whipped cream and chill.
  6. Garnish with strawberries before serving.
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