Friday Food: Peach Melba Inspired No-Bake Cheesecake

Peach melba no bake cheesecakeThis week, in honour of the incredibly hot weather, I made a no bake cheesecake. I am not a big dessert fan, but I ate this and it was delicious. I saw a no-bake 4 ingredient cheesecake in the  Jan/Feb Taste magazine and was inspired, by the beautiful juicy in-season peaches, to create a Peach Melba no-bake cheesecake. Peach Melba is named after a famous Australian Opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, and it is scoops of vanilla ice-cream, topped with fresh peaches and a raspberry sauce.

The no-bake cheesecake part is flavoured with some citrus juice and zest. The ideal fruit is an orange, but I am allergic to oranges so I used a lemon, but I will imagine it is an orange in this recipe. I used Butternut Snaps (oat and golden syrup biscuit) as the biscuit base, but ginger biscuits would be nice or a plain sweet biscuit. You could go the extra mile and make a raspberry sauce, but it was Just Too Hot. This took all of 5 minutes and an hour chilling in the fridge. I filled individual glasses, but you could make one large dessert too.

All in all, a good idea brought to a very successful and delicious conclusion.

 

Peach Melba Inspired No-Bake Cheesecake      serves 4

  • 8 (about 75g) Butternut Snap biscuits
  • 1 orange, finely zested and juiced
  • 250g Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 fresh peaches
  • fresh raspberries
  • whipped cream, if desired

 

No bake cheesecake

Cube the cream cheese and place in a bowl with the condensed milk, the orange zest and 40ml of the juice. Beat until smooth. You can use a mixer or processor, or even a fork.

Biscuit base

Crush the biscuits to make a fairly fine crumb.

Cheesecake assemble

And now it is all about assembling. I bought some nicely shaped tumblers for $2 each at The Target. Spoon 1/4 of the biscuit crumb into the base of each glass. Then, careful not to sully the sides of the glass, spoon in 1/4 of the cheesecake mixture and then smooth it out.  I used two teaspoons, one to scoop and one to push the scooped cheesecake into the glass. It was like a game of Operation.

Fruity

Remove the stone and then slice the peach or peaches. Arrange the slices on top of the cheesecake and add raspberries. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, up to overnight. Embellish with some whipped cream and/or an extra raspberry. The cheesecakes will keep, covered or in an airtight container, for 2 or 3 days.

Peach melba inspired no bake cheesecake 


Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Gilly's Nine......

Gilly's birthday

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore, eighteen months ago we weren't sure you'd make it to eight, so nine years old is pretty wonderful!!! She'd had a dip in the paddle pool after her special birthday breakfast. (And nicely obscured Hedy Lamarr with her tail) Their breakfast today was chicken breast, carrot, celery and a little rice.

Gilly's birthday breakfast 2018

Here is baby Gilly, she was so cute!!

Baby gilly

Do not think that Hedy Lamarr was missing out. She likes to stand on your lap, dripping with paddle pool water, showing you that she really wants to play with her Billyball.

How close is hedy

In celebration of Gilly's birthday we are giving away a shopping bag, Labrador-ified. It is bag #134 and the second bag of 2018. Please leave a comment, and then in a week we will draw out a name from a hat. And we promise to send everyone a card with Gilly and Hedy's photo!!

Gilly birthday bag 2018 #134

It is a polypop bag in my favourite lime green colour with a strip of the Labrador fabric I "created" last year on The Spoonflower.

I am feeling a little more like myself again. Antibiotics are a wonderful discovery and without them I would be dead. Thank you, scientists, for all your life saving discoveries. I know doctors counsel against the overuse of antibiotics, but because I have a compromised and suppressed immune system, any small health issue can become serious very quickly. I am allowed ALL the drugs!!!

Here's a quick review of last year's craft and cooking. I didn't knit very much at all, basically because I was poorly, had a chewed finger that needed plastic surgery and had my eye operation. I made hats and cowls and small things. And only one pair of socks.

Knitting

I sewed a lot of shopping bags: thirty. I love sewing these. Someone asked if I would make them for their cool and trendy little shop, but I am not only unreliable health-wise, but I could not bear to have to make bags under pressure. I only make them when I need them, and I enjoy it immensely. I like to try and match the bag fabric to the person and it is fun looking and choosing.

Bags 2017

I sewed a variety of other bags too.

Other bags

I sewed some garments, which I was very pleased with. Two dresses for me and one for MrsDrWho's sister in Supernatural fabric.

Garments

I made a table runner, wall hanging and the final of three cat beds:

Cat bed wall hangings

And finally the "other" category, a baby quilt, a cross stitch and some tiny bunting.

Other

I was not very consistent with Friday Food last year, for obvious reasons. Here's what I did make:

Baking 2017

So all in all, in spite of being chronically poorly and having extra medical happenings this year, I was very productive. I like to keep as busy as possible and to be useful. Since I can't be a teacher any more, I have to find ways to make myself productive and useful.

Today I am baking some biscuits for Gilly, going to The Eye Hospital because I have an errant stitch sticking out of my scar, I think if there is a hole big enough for a stitch to poke out then germs can find their way in, and possibly baking a cheese and spinach slab quiche.

And we shall be resting after yesterday's heat. It wasn't 47*C / 117*F, but it was too hot for us.

Run labradors run


Friday Food: Layered Crunchy Noodle Salad

IE0C340CE-7627-4D13-AF08-7B0C12DB8C9E think I shall adopt, as my personal motto: better late than never. I am starting the year as I mean to go on, ie eventually getting around to things. It is far too hot to cook and so this week I am assembling a layered crunchy noodle salad from the Jan/Feb Taste magazine. 

There is a fair bit of slicing and dicing, which a machine or device would do more quickly, but I don’t mind cutting and chopping. In an amazing turn of events, I managed to follow the recipe precisely, all except for the optional black sesame seeds. Mine were the ordinary pale kind.

I think a lot of this salad’s wow factor rests in choosing the correct serving bowl. Mine is too wide, it needs to be tall and narrow with a 2 litre capacity. The dressing is on the bitter, rather than the sweet, side but it pairs well with the salad.

If you are looking for an alternative, I can recommend the Layered Garden Salad. There is a little more work as you actually have to turn on the stove and cook bacon etc, but it is a sweeter salad. I think all layered salads improve with time, and are best prepared a day ahead. I know this is at odds with the current advice not to dress salads until right before serving, but the layered salad is a different beast.

Of course, you can substitute and add to your heart’s content.

 

Layered Crunch Noodle Salad        serves 4-6

  • 1/2 wombok cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 100g snow peas, sliced thinly lengthways
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled into ribbons. I cut mine into chunks
  • 100g packet crunchy noodles
  • 3 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • black sesame seeds, optional

for the dressing:

  • 1 cup Kewpie dressing
  • 40ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tspn hot mustard
  • 1/2 tspn sesame oil

 

Prepare the dressing first. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Refrigerate and let the flavours develop. I left it for half an hour.

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And now it is just a case of assembling the salad.

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First the wombok cabbage.

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next the carrot,

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and then the snow peas.

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now drizzle the dressing over the salad.

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Add the cucumber,

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and radish, and finally the spring onions, crunchy noodles and sesame seeds.

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I think this is best eaten the day after it is made, though if refrigerated carefully it may keep another day without becoming soggy.

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Still Crazy After All This Year

I saved this post as a draft on New Year's Eve, at  12/31/2017, 8:56:48 PM, but my tiredness and annoying little cough turned into a raging throat infection and temperature, so my draft continued to just sit there: unrealised. I saw the Nurse Practitioner and she prescribed the giant antibiotics and I have been getting better. It no longer feels like a thousand swords when I swallow and I don't have to sleep almost all of the day and night.

 

The time before, during, and after Christmas has been much cooler, and we have used the time to sleep. Just sleep really. Sleep in the cool breezes coming in the window. There’s one right now.

We had a lovely Christmas, even though I didn’t finish everything I wanted to. In true tradition I am now doing one thing every day. Starting yesterday, I baked a batch of the most excellent chocolate biscuits. Today I am puffy painting the General Grievous I appliquéd on a bag for MissSingapore. I may even cut out her kimono jacket ready to sew tomorrow.

General grievous

I am very grateful to have such wonderful family and friends, who accept the reality that I am always late with most celebratory gifts.

I have not given over blogging to The Instagram. I intend to blog again next year, perhaps more frequently. This year had a huge chunk taken out of it, from August to the end of November, with a chewed finger and then an eye operation. Everything turned out well. Hurray for our medical system.

MrsDrWho gave me some little notebooks she thought would be good for blogging notes. Oh my word they are. I have not written in them yet, but I have a list of things including: errant apostrophes and people in the 12 items or FEWER queue with 24 items, or the ABC radio presenter who said 'arch'-ipelago. They are my Little Books of Not Calm!!!

Little books of not calm

We always spend New Year’s Eve at home. I always fill in my diary and have a glass of cider and nibbles. This year I have a different kind of diary, not the usual Buffy Diary. My psychologist suggested a Passion Planner, recommended to her by a friend. We will see how it goes. I don’t have to fill in dates and I photocopied the cover of the Buffy Diary so I feel a comforted by its familiarity.

New years eve

Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr are both well. They hated the hot weather before Christmas and have so enjoyed the coolness. This does not mean they have not been in the paddle pool morning noon and night. Especially night.

First paddle pool for 2018

I managed to sew my Captain Kirk Star Trek dress and wore it in the middle of the night to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I did not know three hours had gone past. I sat entranced for the entire film. People complain, but they did not live through the long dark teatime of the soul when there was no science fiction or fantasy on TV. There was no streaming, no way other than buying VHS tapes. But this is not why I liked the film, I liked it because it was an excellent tale, told well.

Captain kirk dress making

I need to tweak the toile and shorten the bust darts, add a sway back adjustment, trim the front armhole and maybe fiddle with the forward shoulders?? I love the v-neck at the back and now I need a dress with a v-neck at the front.

My captain kirk dress

I finished the year sewing a lot of shopping bags:

Last bags of 2017 up to 132

And I am sad I forgot to take a photo of all the slices I made for food gifts. My plan worked very well and I shall do it again in 2018.

Gilly and Hedy had a lovely Christmas and they had a special walk with Rafa and the returning Paris the Guide Dog in Training. Here they are, assembled, walking up the hill together: The Four Dogs of the Christm-apocalypse.

4 dogs of the christmapocalypse

Lorelai Gilmore is very happy, she sometimes looks a bit sad, but she has the hay fever and her eyes are yucky. She very much enjoys a special treat on our walk.

Gilly wants a treat

Hedy Lamarr has learned to drop on command. She is recalcitrant. I am working on 'come'. She comes when she likes, if she likes, unless I say "Here you are" in my treat voice. Then she comes. Here she is being very annoyed when the Billy ball won't co-operate.

When the billy ball won't cooperate with hedy

Here are two happy, wet Labradors in the backyard.

Happy wet labradors

And here endeth the draft.

Tomorrow or the next day I plan to post a review of all my crafting and baking during the year.

Gilly and Hedy wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2018. We hope it is not interesting at all!!!

 


Sunday I’ve Got Friday Food On My Mind

An excellent chocolate biscuitsYesterday I baked 75 biscuits. The biscuits I baked are from the Australian Women’s Weekly Celebration cook book. I make these biscuits every year now for MrsDrWho and her sister. Everything else I baked had to fit into a slice tin, but these are extra special. They are very easy to make and take only 12-14 minutes to bake. I used pistachios because I thought I bought pecans, and I totally failed to add the raisins/sultanas. They taste fine, I was assured. I used my new tiny ice-cream scoop, 20ml, to make the biscuits the same size. I dipped it into very hot water every few scoops.

The biscuits are fudgy, and I used 70% cocoa chocolate and three kinds of choc chips. I also used all of the packet because otherwise it is a waste.

And that’s about it, I was determined to finish the year with a Friday Food. I blogged this recipe way back in 2005, but it deserves a new outing.

 

Excellent Chocolate Biscuits    makes about 70

  • 250g butter, cubed
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 375g brown sugar, I used dark because it was what I had
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 375g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa, I used Dutch processed
  • 150g nuts, chopped
  • 100g milk choc chips
  • 100g white choc chips
  • 100g raisins or sultanas

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Line trays with baking paper ready for the biscuits. You'll also need a cooling rack if you have one.

Melting

Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute on High, then stir, and repeat for 30 seconds, and 30 seconds more.

Eggs

Whisk the eggs and vanilla together.

Sugar eggs dry

Stir the brown sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture, and then add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk the plain flour and cocoa together, then add to the chocolate batter.

Choc chips  nuts  raisins

Finally add the nuts, choc chips and raisins/sultanas. I forgot the raisins. Combine very well, so there is no flour left loose at the bottom. I had to swap bowls, it is a big mixture.

I used a 20ml ice-cream scoop to make the biscuits. I didn't cool the dough in the fridge, but I did heat the scoop after 2 or 3 biscuits so as not to make it work too hard.

Bake

I did a test tray, and found that the biscuits hardly spread at all, so I fitted 15 on my trays. I baked them for 14 minutes, swapping and turning the trays half way through.

Cool on the tray and then a rack. These keep for about a week in an airtight container. They seem very extravagant and special for Christmas, but they are easy enough to make for everyday eating.

Excellent chocolate biscuits

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr: that's Hedy on the left and Gilly on the right!!!

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Friday Food: Frosted Gingerbread Slab

Frosted gingerbread slabThis year is my year of Christmas-ing smarter: so I sought out recipes that could all be baked in a 20 x 30cm slice tin. Here is the first, and it was very popular at the Leukaemia Support Group Christmas BBQ. It is so pretty with the teeny tiny gingerbread men and Christmas coloured sprinkles.

What I especially love, is that this is a melt and mix recipe, and the frosting too. It can be made in the saucepan, but you do need a fresh bowl for the frosting. I will not lie, there is a 10 minute wait while the hot melted mixture cools, but I used that time to pre-heat the oven!!!

The dark brown sugar and treacle make this extra special, and I did think I might even add a little freshly grated ginger next time. I have made 5 slabs already and don't know why I haven't thought of it before now.

The frosting is just beaten with a fork or spoon, smoothed on, and decorated. I used some red and green M'n'Ms on one version.

This recipe is from the December 2017 Super Food Ideas magazine. And the very best thing about this gingerbread slab?? It has no chocolate and so I can taste it, and it is gingery and dark and delicious!!

 

Frosted Gingerbread Slab     makes 24 (they say 35) pieces

  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup treacle
  • 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tbspn (20ml) ground ginger
  • 1 tspn ground allspice

 

Frosting:

  • 4 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 40ml milk
  • 40 ml lemon juice
  • sprinkles, various, for decorating

 

Melt and bicarb

Choose a large saucepan and add the treacle, butter and dark brown sugar.  Cook over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is smooth and melted. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the bicarb soda and then set aside to cool for 10 minutes. The mixture will froth up and turn a lighter colour. This is where I greased and lined a 20 x 30cm slice tin and pre-heated the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced.

Egg and dry ingredients

Add the egg and whisk to combine. Sift together the flour and spices.

Add dry and mix

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until well combined.

Bake and cool

Pour evenly into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. I have found 25 minutes to be the time I needed, and I turned the slice tin half way through as well. Cool completely in the tin and then remove to a cake rack.

Icing

Make the frosting by putting the butter, icing sugar mixture, lemon juice and milk into a bowl. I cheated and microwaved it all for 15 seconds. It makes it easier to combine. Whisk with a fork, or beat with a spoon, for 1 minute.

Iced

When the icing is lovely and smooth, spread over the cold gingerbread slab and then decorate as desired. I would consider using 3/4 of the icing, I think it is too much frosting when I use it all. The recipe says the icing will take about 20 minutes to firm up, so make sure you add your sprinkles before that happens. There is no information about how long this will keep, but un-frosted it should last for at least a week in an airtight container. Merry Christmas.

The frosted gingerbread slab


A Week Is A Long Time In Christmas-tics

I have made it through the week. The mind is intact though the body is weak and totally worn out. The days have been packed with activity, one, two or sometimes even three things, for seven days: in spite of all my planning, it just happened.

Also, there is a smudge on my camera lens, I breathed on it just now and gently cleaned it with some soft fabric. This is probably the wrong thing to do, but the smudge went away. I can feel the lens is scratched. I may need a new camera.....

I have had so many Christmas occasions and appointments and my mum came to visit for three days for her birthday: we did so many things and had a wonderful time. I baked lots of things for my mum and sewed her nothing. I did take up her new trousers. We ate curry and toasted sandwiches and a delicious meal at a posh restaurant where I even had a tiny dessert. It was a passionfruit meringue sundae, served in a tiny glass with shortbread crumbs then passionfruit curd, passionfruit ice-cream and a caramelised meringue shard. It was so delicious but I felt far too full!! Mum had the frozen lemon parfait with caramelised mandarin and a scoop of lemon curd icre-cream.

The Labradors have felt neglected. They went for a walk with mum and Hedy is in love with her. She wiggled and waggled and carried on a treat. They both ran very fast as they were so excited. It is good to see Lorelai Gilmore running and being well.

Gilly and Hedy running fast

Gilly is far more sensible. You can tell she is more sensible because she is poking out her tongue!!! We had a lot of rain after the heatwave broke and Gilly and Hedy took every advantage and were totally wet all the time.

Hello we are very wet

Though they may have felt neglected, they were not and there were games and paddle pool adventures at ten o'clock at night.

I have been sewing for my friends. I sewed some Project Bags by By Annie for our Sewing group. I made the third biggest size, there are four, and they measured 35cm square. The back is quilted and the front has vinyl and a zip. I made them to easily hold layer cakes and our Moda Cake Mix papers.

By annie project bags

I made two needle rolls for our Knitting Friend who is going to live overseas. One is for Double Point needles and the other for interchangeable tips, and I left a space for some cables.

Dpn needle roll

Interchangeble needle roll

I sewed Christmas shopping bags for my friends. I didn't go to our 2017 Christmas because my mum was here, so I sent them all off to good homes!!

Christmas 2017 bags1

Christmas bags 2

And finally I sewed some zippy chip/popcorn bags as well. These are always popular and they are well used. The children wear them out so I am happy to make them a new one every year.

Zippy chip bags

Consequently there was no Friday Food, but I made a gingerbread traybake for Leukaemia Christmas BBQ. It was so easy, and though I didn't taste it, I had so many requests for the recipe I sent it off to our nurses for them to email to the group. I can highly recommend it and I will post the recipe this Friday. I did have tiny gingerbread decorations but I could not for the life of me find them so I used festive M'n'Ms. I forgot to take a picture of the bags I sewed for our fabulous nurses, they look after us all so well.

Gingerbread traybake

MrsDrWho has bought an aviary,

Aviary

and furnished it with love in anticipation of finches. The finches are being re-homed and they arrived this week. I am looking forward to seeing them.

Birdies are here

And finally, I managed to take a reasonable photo of The Labradors for our Christmas card. Someone had their eye closed, or was looking away, or would not sit close enough to the other dog!!! This is not the photo, but it is pretty good. I was holding a seaweed rice cracker to entice Hedy Lamarr to look my way. Lorelai Gilmore is a super model, she needs no encouragement.

I am holding a biscuit  Gilly and Hedy want it

If you have read this far, well done and would you like a Christmas card from The Labradors?? There is an Email Me button at the bottom of the side bar, or you can leave a comment and we will email and ask for your address. We sent cards last year and it was lots of fun. We can't promise they will be there before Christmas, but that's par for the course in our lives.

This week I am going to try and sew a dress to wear to the Star Wars The Last Jedi at a quarter past midnight on Thursday morning. Wish me luck. I have my back up Star Wars dress, so we shall see. After our walk tomorrow we plan to sleep ALL DAY.

And finally, The Parliament said Yes, and same sex marriage is now law. People can be married from January 9th I think. I do think it rather rich that some politicians smugly congratulated themselves on the passing of the Bill. I say that we did their job for them and they could have saved the $122,000,000 and done their jobs. We did it for them and they should not steal the credit. Happy New Marriage Year!!!


Friday Food: Raspberry Swirl Pavlova Wreath

Rasp swirl pav wreathI am very pleased with the way this pavlova wreath turned out. It looks so festive and marvellous to the eye, and according to my sewing friends: it tastes delicious. Seconds were had!!! This is Donna Hay's Raspberry Swirl Pavlova Wreath.

 

 

 

 

I love baking pavlovas and I am lucky enough that they seem to like me too: I can whip one up with no trouble at all. I have some helpful hints:

  • always make sure the eggs are at room temperature
  • separate the eggs separately, that way if any yolk creeps through, it only affects one egg-white
  • wipe the bowl and beaters with some vinegar to make sure they have no oil on them
  • add the caster sugar slowly, spoon by spoon
  • whisk the pavlova until it is glossy (not gloss!!), and when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingers it is silky smooth- no gritty sugar
  • I use malt, white or even apple cider vinegar, it doesn't seem to matter
  • try to be prepared and make the pavlova the day before, or early in the morning of the day. That way it can cool slowly in the oven

I usually use 50g of caster sugar for each egg-white, Donna Hay weighs and measures far more specifically. I just went with eggs that were 700g per dozen and used 6 egg-whites and 300g of caster sugar.

I tried to push the raspberry mixture through the sieve, and it was not fine enough so lots of the seeds went through. I gently smoothed it through again with a silicone spatula and it was better, but not perfect. I always add vanilla extract to a cooled mixture, as I believe that it is wrong to cook the extract. I don't know why!! Ah, I searched and if you boil the extract, which has alcohol in it, it burns off most of the flavour.

I used freeze-dried strawberries because they were easier to find than freeze-dried raspberries. Nobody cared.

If I was going to bake this for Christmas, and wanted to get ahead, I don't recommend using the raspberry swirl. The pavlova won't keep well. I would recommend just making the pavlova wreath and then swirling the raspberry swirl on the whipped cream topping.

I traced a circle with a permanent marker on the back of the baking paper and then folded it into quarters and then it was easy to make thirds: and ergo, twelfths. I extended the lines so I could make my wreath sections as easily as possible. I didn't have a square enough tray, so I made five extra little pavlova sections separately.

You should definitely make this: wreaths are trending this year for Christmas, and there will be a dessert wreath to suit everyone!!!

 

NB An Australian tablespoon is, very sensibly I think, 20ml.

 

Raspberry Swirl Pavlova Wreath    serves 6-8

 

For the raspberry swirl:

  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbspn (8 teaspoons) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

For the pavlova:

  • 225ml egg-white (about 6) at room temperature
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tspn white vinegar ( I used malt)
  • 2 tspn cornflour

To decorate:

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 250g fresh rapsberries (I used some my friend froze from her garden last year)
  • 2 tbspn pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tbspn freeze-dried raspberries, crushed

 

Preheat the oven to 150*C.

Raspberries and sugar

Make the raspberry swirl by stirring the raspberries and caster sugar, in a pan,  over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. It will slightly reduce and thicken.

Raspberry swirl

Smooth through a sieve, add the vanilla extract and refrigerate. It needs to be cold before being spooned over the unbaked pavlova.

Egg white and sugar

Beat the egg-whites until stiff peaks form and then add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time every 30 seconds. It took about 10 minutes, I got bored at the end. Then beat for a further 6 minutes or until you feel no grit when you rub a little of the mixture between your forefinger and thumb. It will be very glossy and white.

Vinegar and cornflour

Mix the vinegar and cornflour together and pour over the pavlova mixture, whisk for another 2 minutes.

Make the wreath

Prepare the wreath shape on the baking paper, always on the underside, and then spoon the pavlova into each section, making a wreath shape.

Swirl and bake

Carefully pour a little of the raspberry swirl on top of each wreath portion. I used a 1/4 tspn spoon. Then swirl with the end of a teaspoon. Turn the oven DOWN to 100*C and bake the pavlova wreath for 60 minutes. Then turn the oven off, and leave the wreath inside until it is perfectly cold. I left mine overnight.

Just before serving, spoon a little whipped cream over each section and top with the fresh raspberries. Then sprinkle on the freeeze-dried raspberries and the chopped pistachios. And then it is a special Christmas treat for your mouth!!

Rasp swirl pavlova wreath

An plain pavlova wreath, baked without a raspberry swirl, will keep for at least a week in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.


There Is A Season (Burn Burn Burn)

We are melting, like The Wicked Witch of the West from OZ. Oh the weather has been so hot, so hot that it has broken all records for high temperatures in November for all time. I checked last year's November statistics at the BOM and the hottest day was 26.5*C, and the rest of the month was in the teens or low twenties. My brain won't work and my illness makes it much harder for me to endure the heat. Tomorrow it will be 31*C, which is really like 36-39*C on The Mainland. Wish us luck, if we can make it to Saturday it will be only 20*C.

Backyard Labrador fun

The Labradors have remained cool. Gilly spends a lot of time in the paddle pool, and Hedy is young, so she copes far better. They went to the Vet because they had conjunctivitis. Lorelai Gilmore hasn't totally recovered. I think because she is immune suppressed, it takes longer for her to fight things off (like me!!) Hedy is fine now, though she hates me if I have a tube of ointment in my hand. We came to a compromise: she would tolerate the ointment in her eyes if it was just before she ate breakfast and dinner. Phew!! She was in denial at the Vet. Gilly's eyes were red and sore. Poor Gilly.

Sore eyes

I caught up with my friend TinkingBell last week. We had a lovely day of chatting, drinking cups of tea and browsing the shops. It is too hot to stop and take a photo of my lovely Dalek necklace. I love it, so wait on tenterhooks for that!!! I sewed a Doctor Who bucket bag and a drawstring bag. I used this pattern for the bucket bag and I can recommend it. It's free and has only a few pages to print out and tape together. It sews up really easily and quickly. I just made up the drawstring bag. I used my Doctor Who fabric. And my photos are worse than usual.

Doctor who bags

My photo of when a woman walked into a bar was so terrible that Onyi took over. Look at her photo: marvellous!!

A woman walks into a bar

The Darksideknitter has a new job and so we went to a "bar" for drinks. I had 0.9 of an alcoholic ginger beer. I ordered a small ginger beer with ice and the bartender filled the glass almost to the top, added ice and then charged me less than the full price for a less than full glass. I have never come across this before. But ask me how many bars I have been in in the last 28 years?: that would be one, this one. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken with Korean chilli dipping sauce. There was so much chicken I had to take half home. Women let other women have just one chip, and the chips were very good. They were crispy and salty on the outside and fluffy and hot on the inside. Yum.

Almada for Auntie Dutch

I finished The Seamwork Almada robe for Auntie Dutch. I took the world's worst photo and all Hedy's shredded tissue paper from my new shoes was on her cushion. I have covered it up poorly but it looks like clouds of snow, and that is very cooling. I met Uncle and Auntie Dutch on Monday for afternoon tea and then unexpected dinner. The Labradors had to wait till 8-45pm for their dinner. They coped. This is why they never know when they will be fed: guerilla dining!!! The robe would take two hours to sew, but I did French seams and made my own biased binding and then covered the cuff seam with purchased binding too. Auntie Dutch liked it, and wafted about in it when we went home for cups of tea and patting Poppy the dog. They brought me back a few things from Ikea, and refused to take my money, they are kind and lovely friends.

#114 Auntie Dutch

Forest bunting

I sewed a shopping bag, bag #114, and used the off cuts for some bunting instead of a card. I have made tiny bunting before and Auntie Dutch was chuffed. I must make more.

Iced vovo fascinator

Auntie Dutch made a fascinator to wear to a Melbourne Cup lunch, her mum enjoys the occasion and so Auntie Dutch goes with her. This is an Iced Vovo confection. She sprayed the biscuits with clear varnish of some kind, so sadly, you can't snack on a biscuit on the way home!!

Early christmas present

My mum gave me money to buy a new food mixer, but before I could spend it MrsDrWho and MrsSingapore et al bought me this!! I am so lucky and so excited. I haven't opened it yet, but I plan to make something tonight when it is cooler for Friday Food: a raspberry swirl pavlova wreath from Donna Hay. It is very Christmassy. I am going to use the money my mum gave me to buy new prescription sunglasses.

New wool  gorgeous

I have some gorgeous new wool from Knits Needles & Wool: Rose Hip Knits, a Tasmanian who hand dyes White Gum Wool. The colour is Woods. It is so soft and luxurious and I will be making something warm for my neck next Winter.

Produce box Produce list

This week's produce box makes me very happy. I love broad beans and I have already eaten cucumber and tomato sandwiches and an apple for lunch today. I shall have some kind of stir-fry for tea.

And now we have reached the point where we have been inside here too long. I think a dip in the paddle pool is called for. I may have to stand under a cool shower.....


Friday Food: Candy Cane & Brownie Ice-Cream

Brownie candy cane ice creamOh, we are melting. It is the hottest November ever here, with temperatures at least 10*C above normal. I could not turn on the oven. I was inspired by Gemma from Bigger Bolder Baking and then Donna Hay. I watched Gemma's ice-cream video and it reminded me that I made two-ingredient ice-cream as well. I had candy canes and when I searched I found Donna Hay's recipe. She uses vanilla ice-cream from the supermarket. I felt I had properly made something because I whipped up the ice-cream!! I bought the brownie, well a double choc-chip muffin......

You can add anything to this ice-cream. I chose the brownie and candy cane option, because it is festive and the ice-cream will keep in the freezer and I am a tad prepared for Christmas now!!!

The ice-cream is whipped for 4 minutes and then there is some crushing, crumbing and finally folding: less than 10 minutes in all..

 

 

Candy Cane and Brownie Two Ingredient Ice-Cream     makes 2 litres

 

  • 600ml whipping cream
  • 395g can of sweetened condensed milk, very very very cold

 

  •  Or 2 litres of vanilla ice-cream, softened

 

  • 8 large candy canes, crushed
  • 100g brownie, crumbed
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract, optional

 

Whip

In a large bowl, whip the cream with a mixer until it is thick - about 2 minutes. Pour in the very cold condensed milk and whip until thick again- another 2 minutes.

Candy canes

Remove the plastic from the candy canes and then crush them. I put them in two zip-lock bags and smashed them.

Add embellishments

Add the crushed candy canes and the crumbled brownies. Fold through. Fill a container, I used two 1 litre loaf tins, and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.

And freeze

And serve. This will keep for up to 8 weeks in the freezer, well wrapped and airtight!!

Candy cane brownie ice cream