Peaches and Cream

I’m not sure where the weeks keep disappearing but they sure are flying by.

It was another 4 day week at work this week. This time due to ANZAC Day.

I did something different to our normal routine this year and I quite enjoyed it.

Usually we head into the city for around midnight for breakfast then from there head into ANZAC square to help where we can.  After dawn service we head back to our suburb for some breakfast and then the local march.

This year though our scout group helped out at both local services by doing a sausage sizzle so I skipped the city and just went along to both local services.

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It was nice not to have to get up so early and to help feed the masses after each service. And even though I didn’t get up anywhere near as early as normal I still spent the afternoon sleeping.

This weekend is also another long one (labor day) and the plan is to cook (of course).

I’m hoping to make a few batches of marshmallows and some biscotti. The only problem may be the weather but so far its holding out for me.

On to this weeks recipe

Peaches and cream pastry

This is a simple dessert that can be made reasonably quickly. It’s one of my many ‘what do I have in the cupboard’ inspired recipes.

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Makes:

6

Ingredients:

1 Puff pastry sheet

3 fresh Peaches or 1-2 tins (18 slices)

1 cup cream

2 tbs Icing Sugar  + extra for dusting

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Oven:

180C

How To:

Cut 1 sheet of  puff pasty into 12 pieces. Bake between two baking tray until brown so that the pastry only lightly puffs.

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For this recipe you can use fresh or tined peaches. If using fresh you will need to remove the seed and cut into eighths.

Heat up a medium fry pan.  Grill the pieces of peach until lightly browned on each side and warmed through.

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While the peaches are cooking whip  the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence.

To construct spread a thick layer of the whipped cream onto the pastry.

Layer the peach slices on to three of the pieces of pastry and cream then top with another piece.

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Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

 

So that’s my peaches and cream pastry. You could of course use different fruit depending on what you like and what’s in season. I think it would work well with strawberries or caramelised banana.

Let me know if you give it a go.

Lil

A Recipe For My Cousin – Pavlova

Well technically a recipe for my future cousin-in-law.  But more on that later.

B is back!! What a lovely valentines present for him to come home. I made him a cute card. He bought me a super cute (and super soft) toy camel from his travels. I’ve named it Alfred.

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In other news I spent my Saturday baking and was fortunate on of my friends was able to come over and help me eats some of what I made.  Between the two of us we demolished the Pav and while we only had one or two I think it may have been the best batch of brownies I have ever made.

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On Sunday I made a cute variation on the Raspberry Nutella Blondie’s to take to work for morning Tea on Monday. I added red food colouring and cocoa powder to turn them pink and I used a cookie cutter t cut them into hearts. They where quite cute.

So… on to the story behind the recipe. One of my cousins is getting married in March to a lovely lady who loves to cook. So for her kitchen tea we were all asked to send in a recipe rather then a card for her friends to put together in a recipe book.  I struggled to work out what recipe to send.  What recipe could I send that she wouldn’t already have and was worthy of such a gift. I finally settled on my signature dish. A pavlova.

 Pavlova is one of my all time favourite desserts and it became a specialty of mine when I was in high school as it was my favourite thing to procrasti-bake. While I have the base recipe perfected (for me) I do like to change up my toppings so for this recipe I drew my inspiration from valentines day and came up with this Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate pavlova.  I hope My cousin and his soon to be wife enjoy it and I hope you do too.

My Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate Pavlova

Well technically a recipe for my future cousin-in-law.  But more on that later.

B is back!! What a lovely valentines present for him to come home. He bought me a super cute (and super soft) toy camel. I’ve named it Alfred.

In other news I spent my Saturday baking and was fortunate on of my friends was able to come over and help me eats some of what I made.  Between the two of us we demolished the Pav and while we only had one or two I think it may have been the best batch of brownies I have ever made.

On Sunday I made a cute variation on the Raspberry Nutella Blondie’s to take to work for morning Tea on Monday. I added red food colouring and cocoa powder to turn them pink and I used a cookie cutter t cut them into hearts. They where quite cute.

So… on to the story behind the recipe. One of my cousins is getting married in March to a lovely lady who loves to cook. So for her kitchen tea we were all asked to send in a recipe rather then a card for her friends to put together in a recipe book.  I struggled to work out what recipe to send.  What recipe could I send that she wouldn’t already have and was worthy of such a gift. I finally settled on my signature dish. A pavlova.

 Pavlova is one of my all time favourite desserts and it became a specialty of mine when I was in high school as it was my favourite thing to procrasti-bake. While I have the base recipe perfected (for me) I do like to change up my toppings so for this recipe I drew my inspiration from valentines day and came up with this Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate pavlova.  I hope My cousin and his soon to be wife enjoy it and I hope you do too.

My Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate Pavlova

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Ingredients:

3 egg whites

150g Castor sugar

2tsp  of vanilla

1 cup Frozen Raspberries

1tbs sugar

150g chocolate

100mls thickened cream

200mls thickened cream

2tsp splash of rosewater

1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg

1 tbs icing sugar

Oven:

 150C

How to:

In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk 3 eggwhites until light and fluffy.

Add in the sugar and turn your mixer speed up. Mix for 10-15 mins or until the whites are shiny and no longer grainy.

Line a baking tray with baking paper (spray with a little oil so the paper doesn’t move). Spread your whites onto the paper and swirl the top with your spatula to give it some texture.

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Place in the oven and bake for an hour-an hour and a half. The outside should end up nice and crispy.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate and 100ml of cream in a double boil until the chocolate melts and mix to combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the frozen Raspberries in a small saucepan over a low heat and allow to heat through. Once mostly thawed add in the sugar and stir. Continue heating over low heat until warmed through.

Whisk together thickened cream, nutmeg, icing sugar and rosewater until cream is thick.

To serve:

Place the meringue bases on your serving tray/board. Spoon the raspberries evenly over the top of the meringue. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top then dollop the cream on top.

Nutella and Raspberry Blondies

This week has been a rather quiet one for a change.

It’s also been reasonably productive.

I got a lot of my to do list sorted which was nice.

I spent most of my weekend in the kitchen working on some new recipes and enjoying the results of some old ones.

I also discovered the food network channel. A whole free to air channel of food shows! Sufficed to say I had that on in the background for most of the weekend. It definitely helped inspire me to work on some of my recipes.

I also did a little bit of crafting and worked on getting myself more organised.

My challenge for this week is to take this momentum and work on tidying up the house. I suspect it may not go so well but trying to procrastinate from it may lead to some interesting creative projects.

Sunday marks the 1st anniversary of this blog. I’m proud of myself for what I have achieved with it and I’m working on more ideas for the future. The first recipe and proper post for my blog was my basic brownies recipe. This week I decided I would expand a little on that recipe. This week I have made my Nutella and Raspberry Blondies. I hope you enjoy them.

Nutella and Raspberry Blondies

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Ingredients:

125g butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1tsp Vanilla

1 cup plain flour

3 tbs Nutella

3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Oven:

180C

How to:

Melt the butter in the microwave or over double boil.

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Mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into a lined square baking tin.

TIP: if you crumple the baking paper it fits into the corners of tin much easier.

Dollop the  Nutella onto the top of the mixture in a few places then use a spoon or rubber spatula to swirl the Nutella through the Blondie mix. Scatter the raspberries on top.

 

Bake in oven on the bottom shelf for 40-60 mins of until the top is set and a little firm to touch.

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins the move to a rack. Allow to cool on rack for at least 5 mins before cutting up.

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You can server them warm or let them completely cool depending on how you like them. They are very nice served with a scoop of ice cream or just on their own.

This recipe is really adaptable especially for dairy and gluten allergies.

Let me know if you give them a go.

Lil

Meringue Eggs

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Happy Easter!!

What are you up to this long weekend?

I am camping with a bunch of other Rover scouts from my state, hopefully the weather stays nice for us.

I made these meringue eggs for morning tea at work and they went down a treat. I Hope you enjoy them and are having a fantastic Easter weekend like me!

Meringue Eggs

4 egg whites

200g sugar

1 cup lemon curd

50-100g White Chocolate

50g Milk Chocolate (optional)

Beat egg whites to soft peaks the add sugar.

Beat for 8-10 mins or until stiff peaks have formed and whites are no longer grainy.

To form the egg shapes use two table spoons to “roll” scoops of the mixture between the two spoons. Scoop the mixture from one spoon to the other until it is egg shaped the drop each scoop onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

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Bake the meringue eggs for 45-60 mins. Meringues should be slightly crisp on the outside and still soft/chewy in the middle.

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Once Meringues have cooled poke a hole in each meringue.

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melt white chocolate and place in a piping or zip lock bag. Place lemon curd in a piping bag

Pipe lemon curd into each “egg” then pipe white chocolate over the hole to stop the lemon curd from leaking out.

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Optionnal drizzle more white or milk chocolate over the top.

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Meringue Kisses

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There is something wonderful about early mornings.

 Don’t get me wrong, I like getting out of bed as much as the next person but once I’m up and awake  I really enjoy the quiet and still of the early morning.

 I got up early this morning as I had to drop B off at the airport. He’s off to Melbourne for a few days while I stay home and pack. We’re moving house next weekend.

 I hate packing but I like getting to move to a new place and re organise everything. I’m especially looking forward to having a bigger kitchen.

 I have a massive sweet tooth and pavlova has been one of my favourite deserts as long as I can remember. It is because of this the Meringue became my procrastibaking go to during high school. Many a weekend I have spent attempting to form the perfect peaks in my egg whites, waiting for the slow baking process to work its magic, smelling the sweet sent of caramelising sugar wafting through the house and artfully arranging cream, chocolate, fruit and/or nut atop my creations.

And its just so worth it.

To me eating Meringue is akin to floating on a cloud.

So today I am sharing one of my recipes for this delightful sweet.

Meringue kisses are just small peaks of meringue sandwich together with something sweet. I’ve used caramel and lemon curd in todays recipe but you can use ganache, jam, curd, whipped cream, or whatever else takes your fancy.

My general rule for all meringue is 50g castor sugar to 1 egg white.

For these you will need 2 egg whites and 100g castor sugar.

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In a clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites on medium with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.

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Add in sugar 1 tbs at a time. Once all the sugar has been added turn the mixer up to high and whisk for 10-15 mins or until the meringue is smooth and not grainy. to test this rub some of the meringue between your fingers.

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Once your meringue is ready use a spatular to move the meringue into a piping bag or large zip lock bag with the corner cut off.

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 pipe small peaks (1-2cms in diameter)of meringue onto a baking paper lined baking sheet.

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Place in a 100-130 C  oven and allow to bake of at least an hour.

The outside should be crisp.

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Turn off the oven and allow to cool.

Once they have cooled you can store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve them.

 To serve match up evenly sized meringues. Sandwich together with half a teaspoon of caramel or lemon.

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My Favourite Basic Brownies

Many years ago I found an article that explained the different effects of the various ingredients in brownies on the end texture of them. Using this article as a guideline, I set about putting together my own recipe. After a couple of tests I got it just to my liking. And I used that recipe for quite a while but then life and work got in the way and I forgot the recipe and reverted to using boxed mixes.
One day my parents were over for afternoon tea and I had made some brownies (from a box) filled with marshmallows. They were lovely and chewy (because of the marshmallows) and Dad raved about them. I had to admit then that I’d just tweaked a box recipe.  Later that night Ben suggested I make my own recipe.
So I started looking up recipes and reading them reminded me of my old recipe. So the next time I made some brownies I used my old recipe and I haven’t looked back.I Hope you enjoy them
Lil

Base Brownie Mix
200g Cooking Chocolate
125g Butter
1 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Plain Flour
2 Tbs Cocoa
Place butter and chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl and place over medium saucepan 1/3 filled with boiling water (alternatively use a double boiler).
Stir occasionally until all melted and combined.
Stir in sugar then remove bowl from the heat (caution the bowl will be quite hot.)
Once off the heat add eggs and vanilla and stir until combined and smooth.
Sift flour and cocoa over the chocolate mix then gently fold in until just combined.
Line a square baking tin (22 cm sides) with baking paper,  fold in corners if needed to make it sit nicely.
Pour mixture into lined tin and let it spread out to the edges.
 Place in oven on the top rack.
Bake until the middle dosen’t wobble when you shake the tin (around 45 mins).
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then move to a cooling rack.