Tag Archives: dessert

Little Stacks of Heaven

11 Nov

Despite pavlova being a traditional Australian/New Zealand dessert I had never actually tried it until a few years ago. It is a favourite of my husband’s and he often has me whip one up for him.DSC_0972

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with pav it is basically one big pile of meringue which is crunchy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside, topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. We are not too fussed on the fluffy middle, to me it has a slight raw egg flavour so I make a variation on the traditional pav by making several thin rounds of meringue and layer them with cream and strawberries to make a pavlova stack.  These thin layers are mostly crunchy with a bit of chewy gooiness in the middle and no raw egg flavour.DSC_0968

As it is my husbands birthday this week (and this happens to be my 100th post)  I thought I would make these cute individual Mini Pavlova Stacks.

The recipe I use is simple and super easy.

6 egg whites, (I can’t bear the waste of throwing away the yolks so they are in the freezer and there may be some ice cream in my near future)

1 1/2  cups of caster sugar

3 tsp cornflourDSC_0949

Whip whites and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thick and glossy, I did it for about 5 minutes.DSC_0952

Line several baking trays with baking paper and sprinkle with cornflour. I also draw circles on the paper to use as a guide when spreading the meringue.

Spoon or pipe equal amounts of meringue onto the paper and spread it out using the circles to ensure they are all an equal size and shape.

Pop them in an oven preheated to 120 degrees Celsius for roughly an hour, they should sound hollow when tapped. Turn the oven off but don’t remove them just yet, leave the oven door ajar and let them sit in the oven for another hour or so to dry out.DSC_0964

If they don’t readily come away from the paper then they haven’t dried out enough, I just put mine back in the oven for a little longer. However, it is my experience that some meringues just don’t want to play nicely. Out of the 18 rounds I made 2 were not interested in behaving correctly and consequently were smashed.DSC_0963

Now it is time to put the stack together!

Whip up some cream layer one meringue, cream, fruit of your choice, berries, tropical fruits like mango, kiwi and passionfruit or stone fruits like peaches or nectarines are definitely the best, repeat layers twice.DSC_0971

You should definitely serve this fresh and with a scoop of very good quality vanilla ice cream!

Now go and enjoy this heavenly little treat!DSC_0973

Ginger and Lime Layer Cake

1 Jun

Friday night dinners are a tradition at my work. To make the pain of having to work a Friday night bearable we order take out, sit together and have a chat and laugh, and often someone brings a little sweet treat to share after our meal.

While looking through my trusty Women’s Weekly Baking Bible last week I spotted a gorgeous little number which I thought would be just perfect for this weeks Friday dessert. For something a little different I decided to stray from the ever popular cupcakes I am known for and make a whole cake.DSC_0675

The picture of the Ginger and Lime Layer cake is what caught my eye, it looked so moist and delicious I just had to try it out.

For the cake you will need

250g butter

1/2 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar

2/3 cup of golden syrup

60g grated ginger

3/4 cup cream

1 cup plain flour

1 cup S.R. flour

1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda

To start, melt the butter in a pan and once melted add the sugar, syrup and ginger, stir until the sugar has dissolved.DSC_0640

Next whisk in the cream, flours and bi-carb and definitely have a taste of the batter, it is just like gingerbread!

Pour into a 22cm lined tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius. The recipe says to bake for 40 minutes, which I thought was not long enough for a cake this size….and it wasn’t. Due to all my oven opening to check the cake mine took around an hour, but if I were to bake this again I think that I would check it at 50 minutes and it might be ready.

While the cake is baking prepare a lime syrup using

1/2 cup lime juice

!/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup water


Bring this to the boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves, allow it to boil for a couple of minutes and remove from heat.

After removing the cake from the oven leave it in the tin and using a skewer poke holes all over then pour the hot syrup over the hot cake, cover and refrigerate until cold.DSC_0654

While waiting for the cake to cool make the marscapone cream which is used between the layers and as the frosting.

Whip 300ml cream with 250g marscapone and 2 teaspoons of lime zest until stiff, refrigerate until needed. DSC_0651

This is the part I hate…cutting the layers. This cake needed three layers so I inserted a skewer and cut along that twice to end up with three layers.

Reline the pan you baked the cake in, lay the first layer into the pan and spread with a layer of the cream, place the second layer on and spread with cream then place the last layer on. At this point I put mine back in the fridge just because I didn’t have time to finish it off, but it could also be removed from the pan if you want, I used a spring form pan to make it easy to get it out.


Cover the cake with the remaining cream and then coat top and sides with a layer of flaked coconut.

This cake had a lot more steps than my usual cakes and I was nervous taking it to work without having taste tested it first, I was worried about the flavours being too strong, especially the cream being too limey, but hoping the coconut would mellow it out.

And would you believe it I never got to taste it! I went home sick from work last night and left my cake for everyone else to enjoy, so I cannot give you a taste review. You will all have to make it and let me know how it was!


Fruitsicles….perfect for hot weather

24 Mar

These week I made some delicious fruitsicles for the Minimen.

  I have been wanting to make home made ice blocks for a while. This week was the perfect opportunity as it has been stupid hot and the supermarket had these super cute ice block molds on sale.


  I asked Mr4 which fruits he would like in the ice blocks and his reply was “strawberries, grapes and orange”

So this is what I used

  • about 6 strawberries cut in half
  • 9 grapes
  • 1 orange
  • apple juice


I used my stick blender to puree the fruit.

First I did the strawberries and I added a small amount of juice, then I did the grapes, to which I also added a little bit of juice. You probably don’t need to add juice but I thought it would make the texture more suitable for ice blocks.

Then I juiced the orange.

When putting the fruit into the molds I tried to layer the fruits, but without freezing in between layers they weren’t very well defined.

I put them in the freezer until frozen. To free them from the mold just run them under warm water.

These were a big hit with both the Minimen. They are so easy to make and such a great alternative to store bought ice blocks which are full of sugar, flavours and colours.


These will definitely be making a reappearance in our house!

Going green!

16 Mar

As it is St Patrick’s Day on Sunday, my friends from work and I decided to have a little green party last night (we pften have little themed parties, it makes working Friday nights bearable). My offering to the party was green velvet cupcakes. I googled green velvet cupcakes and couldn’t find a recipe that I liked, most of them used oil and I prefer butter for baking, I think the taste and texture are better when you use butter, so I adapted a red velvet cupcake recipe. Image The ingredients are

  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 200g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 bottle of green colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own, to do this you add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and allow it to sit for a few minutes. The recipe couldn’t be easier, you combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wisk wet together in another then add wet to dry and mix until just combined.


I was nervous about adding so much food colouring, but I just closed my eyes and poured! I mixed it well then filled my patty papers.


I baked them for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. I had seen on Pinterest an easy alternative to icing where you placed a marshmallow on the cupcakes a few minutes before taking them out of the oven so they melted. I wanted to try this so I put white marshmallows on half of the cup cakes.


Once they had cooled I iced the other half with just normal icing, I wanted it quite thick so I added a lot of icing mixture to a couple of spoons of butter and a splash of milk and piled it on top.

The ones at the top of the following picture are the ones with icing and the ones on the bottom are the marshmallow ones.


So, the verdict…..they are light and fluffy which is great, like their cousin the red velvet cup cake I find them lacking in the taste department. I have never understood the obsession with red velvet cakes I find their flavour to be non-descript, quite sweet and not nearly chocolately enough, this is easily fixed with the addition of more cocoa though. The marshmallow icing, although easy is not pretty enough for me, while flavour is the most vital aspect of baking I do also love great presentation. Also not being the biggest fan of marshmallow I found the flavour to be a little overpowering, but if you like marshmallow you will love this. I much prefer the taste of the more traditional icing.

These have not disappeared as quickly as my watermelon cupcakes disappeared the other week either, I think the colour is too daunting for everyone.

I can’t see these making it into the regular baking rotation, they aren’t a bad cake just not to my taste, but if you like red velvet give them a go, they do have a wonderful texture.

Have a great St Patrick’s day tomorrow!


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