Archives for posts with tag: raspberry

Banana and raspberry loaf As much as I love trying out new recipes, there are always times when I prefer to bake some of my old favourites. Especially if I’ve offered to bring dessert or cakes/baked goods to an event or a friends house. I want to know that I am making something that works and tastes great. This has seen me revisit a lot of my old favourites over the past few weeks including my citrus coconut cupcakes, chocolate and raspberry fudge brownies and raspberry crumble slice, meaning I haven’t had much new to blog about.

However, my freezer was starting to fill up with overripe bananas again. Never throw out an overripe banana. Place them straight in the freezer and they will be ready to use later in baking. They go black on the outside when frozen but inside they are still great to use for baking once defrosted. That way you always have very ripe bananas, perfect for baking, ready whenever you want to use them.

With that in mind, I was browsing through some Coles magazines on my iPad and noticed this recipe for banana, raspberry and macadamia bread. I’m loving having most of my cooking magazines on my new iPad. Most of them let me bookmark favourites to try and some like the Coles one (which is also free) let me email them to friends etc. The subscriptions are a lot cheaper than the print version and they don’t take up any space at home. I still much prefer to have actual hard copy cookbooks rather than digital versions on an ebook or tablet, but find the tablet perfect for magazines.

I was sure I had macadamias at home; however once I started the mix I discovered I didn’t so I just left them out (this is why I usually measure everything out before I start cooking, so I don’t get halfway through and discover a missing ingredient!). The result was still great, although the macadamias would add more texture. This is a really easy recipe to make and the end result is wonderfully moist, lightly spiced cake. A great breakfast or tea time treat! Click here for the recipe

 Crepes with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3

Here is my contribution for pancake day, although they are crepes not pancakes.

I still remember a few years ago when I decided to cook brunch at my parent’s house for my Dad for Father’s day. I told Jerome I was making crepes (very thin, usually quite large) and he kept insisting that I was making pancakes (thicker and fluffy). Once I cooked them and he saw the final product, he had to admit that I did actually know what I was talking about and that I had made crepes.

For my birthday last year I was looking for somewhere new to have brunch and I found Toast in East Perth. As soon as I saw crepes with rhubarb and raspberry compote on the menu I was sold. It is now one of my favourite places for breakfast/brunch and they also make a great juice called the ‘beach bear’ (pineapple, apple, ginger and mint). I’m honestly thinking about getting a juice maker at home just so I can try to make that juice!

So, inspired by my favourite crepes at Toast, I decided to see if I could replicate the flavours at home and make my own rhubarb and raspberry compote. I have to say that the final result exceeded my expectation. I was so happy with the compote that I could happily eat just that. I like very tart sweets, so you may want to add more sugar if you prefer things a bit sweeter. I’ve also included the crepe recipe that I have used for years, from The Beginner’s Cookbook by Family Circle.

Click here for the recipe

Whisper cake 1

It is definitely summer here in Perth. We have recently experienced quite a few days above 40 degrees (celcius) and a lot of days in the high 30s. That isn’t the best weather to encourage baking and as a result the oven has been getting a bit of a rest.

One of the few things I have baked recently is this whisper cake. After the holiday period, I was looking for a treat that was a bit lighter and I found this recipe in the Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine. I’ve made it twice, once as a full sized ring cake, and once in my 12 cup mini bundt pan (which I’ve had for ages and had never used until now). The result both times was a delicious and moist cake. The flavours remind me of my favourite citrus (and coconut) cupcakes with raspberry frosting, but with a lot less fat/calories. This recipe is going into the favourites list! It is a very easy recipe, great for picnics and a lot easier to make in this heat than pastry from scratch, which was the other thing I baked recently for a picnic (mini quiches).

Whisper cake 2

Click here for the recipe

Frangipane and raspberry tarts

I have previously posted about the  5 week Christmas baking course I am taking with Sarah Brigden (babyCakes) through Tuart College, where in the first class we made fruit mince (see post here). We then used the fruit mince to make fruit mince tarts with a frangipane (almond cream) filling/topping.

My fruit mince is still developing its flavour in the fridge, so I decided to make these tarts but with raspberries instead, as I always have some  in my freezer. The results were delicious and very popular both at home and at work. Mum has already asked for these for our family Christmas lunch.

The cinnamon pastry brings a nice added flavour to the tart, however you could leave it out or replace it with citrus zest, ground ginger, mixed spices –  it is up to you.

This pastry will keep in the fridge for 5 days before cooking or up to 3 months in the freezer (wrapped in cling wrap and placed in a sealed container or bag), while the frangipane will keep for a week in the fridge. To make these tarts with fruit mince, you can add it either before the frangipane or on top. Don’t overfill the tart cases, as the frangipane does rise a bit when it bakes.

Click here for the recipe

Rhubarb berry lattice

Week 3 of the 6 week pastry making class I have been attending was all about chocolate pastry. We learnt how to make a chocolate pastry which was cooked and then filled with ganache. The pastry was the same recipe as the sweet pastry we learnt in week two, but with the addition of 40g cocoa in place of some of the flour.

I haven’t made these again since the class as it is just too much chocolate for me (I know, I’m strange). However the recipe for the sweet pastry (including the note on how to make it chocolate) is here and I have previously posted a recipe for chocolate ganache here.

Sorry about the photo

Sorry about the photo

Last week we made apple and berry lattice tarts which was something I was really looking forward to (I love anything with berries in it). This tart uses a very short pastry that is equal parts flour to butter. It can be used for either sweet or savoury baking and for this tart the filling and pastry are cooked at the same time. The basic filling recipe can be adapted with many different combinations of fruits, with our teacher Sarah Brigden (from babyCakes) recommending rhubarb and raspberry . I didn’t  really eat rhubarb growing up (my Dad doesn’t like it). However it is now one of my favourite fruits to use in desserts (along with citrus and berries) due to its tartness. So I had to give it a try.

The rhubarb filling is wetter when it cooks than the apple filling, so it seems to take a bit longer to cook the pastry as a result. The end result though is delicious. The tart, tangy sweetness of the rhubarb and raspberry contrast the rich buttery pastry perfectly. I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. The pastry is a bit trickier to work with than the other sweet pastry we learnt in week 2, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a first attempt at pastry. But if you give it a little time to rest in the fridge, and return it to the fridge when it gets too warm, it is easier to work with.

I have found that with practicing at home outside of class, I am getting a lot better and quicker at handling pastry. Also, with all the classes I have attended over the last year, I have found that if I try and replicate the recipes fairly soon after attending the class, I remember the specific techniques and tricks a lot better.

Click here for the recipe

It is only recently that I have become confident enough to make my own pastry, rather than using premade bought pastry, and I am really looking forward to going to a pastry making class with Sarah Brigden soon to learn some more techniques, tips and tricks. For a lot of people though, the thought of making pastry from scratch is quite stressful. And I think cooking should be enjoyable, not stressful.

These tarts are a great alternative to a pastry dessert. Instead of a pastry base, they have a macaroon tart base, made from egg whites, coconut and sugar.

The end result is a beautiful macaroon tart base, which is crisp on the outside and chewy in the centre with a rich and creamy chocolate filling. The tartness of the raspberries cuts through the chocolate filling, making it fresher and lighter. I think this is a great alternative to a pastry dessert and a great dinner party dessert as it can be made ahead for stress free entertaining.

raspberry macaroon tarts

Click here for the recipe

The older I get, the faster time seems to move. Weeks, months and years are just flying by and there never seems to be enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I suddenly woke up this morning and remembered I needed to make something to take with me to a picnic this afternoon. That didn’t leave enough time to make my usual cupcakes, which need to be started the day before. So I decided to make this raspberry crumble slice. It is a great last minute recipe, as it uses ingredients that I usually have on hand in the house and doesn’t take too long to throw together. The rich, nutty, buttery shortbread base and crumble provide a great contrast to the fresh, tart raspberries and it is one of my favourite quick treats.Raspberry crumble slice
Click here for the recipe

I have a confession to make. I am not a chocoholic. Don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate. But if I was given the choice between a chocolate and a citrus dessert, the citrus would win every time. I much prefer my citrus coconut cupcakes to the death by chocolate ones I make, I would rather a berry sorbet than a chocolate ice-cream and if given the choice between a chocolate bar and nougat, nougat would win every time. The only exception to this is hot chocolate in winter. Give me a mug of hot chocolate with a shot of white chocolate liquor in it…yum.

When I do have chocolate, I prefer it with something (chocolate and caramel, cherries, citrus, berries, coconut – the list goes on and on). Yet for the last two and a half years I have made these fudgy chocolate brownies with just chocolate (dark chocolate melted for the cake mix then with milk chocolate bits mixed through). They are incredibly rich and I cook them so they are still gooey and fudgy in the centre (as a good brownie should be in my opinion). They are great hot with ice-cream as a dessert or cold straight from the fridge (like a cross between cake and fudge).  A few months ago however, I decided to try making them with frozen raspberries instead of the milk choc bits. Wow, what a difference. I find the raspberries cuts through some of the richness, as well as  adding to the moistness of the brownie. And I love the flavour. I won’t make them without the raspberries now.

The good thing about this recipe though is you can add whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be raspberries, you could use milk or white chocolate bits, maybe some nuts. In the second picture below I used both raspberries and white chocolate. Some orange zest would make jaffa brownies. Play around with the flavours and use what you like. The most important thing though is to use a good chocolate that you like. If you don’t like the chocolate before you cook the brownie, you aren’t going to like the end result.

Bitter dark chocolate – still warm and extra gooey!

click here for the recipe

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