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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Lately, I have been toying with different ideas on what to bake this season. There are many beautiful fall flavors this season that are all very comforting with rich spice and very intoxicating aroma and yet, somehow I decided to go with Nigella Lawson’s chocolate raspberry pavlova. I know that this has nothing to do with my whole fall flavor them. But for me, just one bite of this babies makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside. Which I think it’s the whole point. I just couldn’t help but make this over the weekend.

I did however make two small changes (variation):
1.  I made individual ones instead of making a whole pavlova.
2.  I substitute the whipped cream for vanilla ice cream.

 I have to say how much I love the whole chocolate and raspberry pair in this pretty little dessert. They do play very well together and I wouldn’t change that at all.

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Rainbow Cupcakes

I have always wanted to make these cuties. I guess I love the idea of having six different colors, all neatly lined up in pretty layers. I was very inspired by these from the first time I’ve set my eyes on it by checking out various cupcake photos on Flickr.

I really had a lot of fun making them that I didn’t even mind the mess I made in the kitchen.
I don’t know if it’s just me but don’t you think they look pretty retro? Maybe it has something to do with those rainbow colors, kinda reminds me of the seventies. So groovy.

There are different variations to make this;
A: you can use a package of cake mix either white or vanilla and then follow the instruction on the box.
B: you can go ahead and make your own batter using your favorite vanilla or butter cake recipe.
(I went with B just in case you’re wondering)

Then divide the cake batter in six separate bowls. Now, I used six different gel food coloring (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) Add each colors to the batter in the divided bowls. Now comes the fun part, we layer them! Starting with the first color, drop the batter neatly into a prepared baking pan or use individual baking cups for cupcakes. You need to spoon the batter one by one into the middle of the pan to create a neat circle. (If you can) I followed the order of the rainbow so I went with red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Then baked in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. But if you’re baking cupcakes then bake it for about 15 minutes. Let cool on pans and then further on wire rack before you start frosting.

As for the frosting, you can pretty much use whatever you like. There are no rules. It will taste lovely either way.

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Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Roll

When I was little, my dad would buy an artic roll frozen dessert. I am not sure if you’ve heard of it and I am not sure if they still make it anymore but back then this was a hit at my home. Artic roll is a British dessert made from vanilla ice cream and then rolled with a layer of plain sponge cake that had been brushed with raspberry jam. So, it’s kinda like a cross between a swiss roll and an ice cream cake and yeah, it was so good.

If I finished eating everything on my plate at that time, I would be rewarded with a small slice and I would eat this really slow, just to savor the moment.

So the other day I made a vanilla swiss roll sponge. Thinking that I was going to use the classic whip cream filling, but then as I was taking the vanilla sponge out of the oven I had a flash back of when I was younger and eating this lovely frozen dessert roll. Has that ever happen to you before?  Well it was pretty vivid. It made me crave for an artic roll so bad that I had to change my plans with the classic swiss roll and go with a frozen dessert roll.

I use plain non-fat frozen yogurt in place of the ice cream and I also use fresh raspberries for the filling. I gotta say that the balance of the sweetness from the sponge and the tartness from the yogurt was pretty explosive. This is definitely a nice twist to my nostalgic dessert.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Roll

Sponge Roll
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
¾ cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoon sugar, extra

Filling
¼ cup raspberry jam (seedless)
1 cup plain non-fat frozen yogurt
½ cup fresh raspberries

To finish
1 cup whipped cream
Fresh raspberries to decorate

Greased and line the base and sides of  a 9” x 12” inch jelly roll pan, with parchment paper.

Beat eggs in a bowl with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until thick and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until dissolved between each addition. Then fold in flour and butter. Spread mixture into prepared pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Turn cake immediately on to parchment paper sprinkled with the extra sugar. Trim edges from sides of cake. Spread warm cake evenly with raspberry jam, frozen yogurt and fresh raspberries. Roll up from the short side using paper as a guide. Keep in freezer until you’re ready to serve.

Before serving, spread the top with some fresh whipped cream and then decorate the top with fresh raspberries.

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The first time I tried pavlova, I feel in love. This classic Australian – New Zealand dessert is definite a hall of fame in my book. The sweetness of this soft marshmallow- meringue dessert is just to die for. Personally, I believe that this dessert should have a nice outer crust with a soft texture in the middle. If it’s dry and crunchy then it’s just a meringue not a pavlova. (but that’s just me)

So today, I woke up with a sudden need to whip up some of these. And I was happy to know that I already had blackberries and yogurt sitting in my fridge. They do make a lovely pair with just the right balance of sweet and tart. You can definitely substitute whatever fruit you have at hand. Any way you want to mix it up is fine by me.

Blackberry Yogurt Pavlova

Pavlova

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon white vinegar

150gm Fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to very slow 250 degrees. Mark an 18cm circle on baking parchment paper; place paper making side down on greased oven tray.

Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved after additions. Fold in corn starch and vinegar.

Spread meringue inside circle on prepared tray. Do not squash or flatten mixture, but shape side up and in towards center, like a mound using a spatula and level top.

Bake in a very slow oven 250 degrees for 1 and a half hours or until dry. Turn oven off; leave the meringue to cool in oven with door ajar

Set pavlova on a serving platter. Then spread the yogurt cream mixture on top and then decorate with fresh blackberries. Finally dust lightly with extra sifted icing sugar, if desired.

Yogurt Cream

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon icing sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ vanilla yogurt

Just before serving, whip heavy cream to soft peaks, adding the sugar and vanilla. Then fold in the vanilla yogurt to the whip cream mixture.

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