Black Forest Tim Tam parfaits

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With the weather cooling down and a newborn on the horizon, I’m spending more time snuggling up at home than ever. And you know what? It’s actually pretty amazing.

While not needing to set an alarm, having the option of wearing pyjamas all day and watching the rain rather than trekking through it are all definite bonuses, that’s not why it’s so great. What I’m really loving is having time to settle down and spend time with friends and family – and really appreciate it.

After all, there’s not much better than throwing on the kettle and spending time with your loved ones, right? Especially if you pop open your favourite Tim Tam bikkies at the same time.

Well, it turns out there is a way to make those moments just a little bit better – by making your Tim Tam treat even more indulgent with these Black Forest Tim Tam parfaits. Yip. Tim Tam parfaits!

This recipe is based around one of my favourite flavours from the new Tim Tam Gelato Messina range – you guessed it, Black Forest. With a rich dark chocolate coating, creamy Tim Tam filling and just the right Black Forest tang, these biscuits are as good as the ice cream – if not better!

That’s what makes them the perfect base for this gorgeous dessert – they’re packed with flavour, so all you need to do is combine them with a few simple ingredients to really make them pop. And like all good desserts, they’re an absolute breeze to make – which means you can spend less time making dessert and more time enjoying them with your friends, family, partner, kids…

Because we all know that a Tim Tam is better when shared, right?

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Black Forest Tim Tam Parfaits
Serves two

Ingredients

  • 4 Tim Tam Black Forest biscuits, crushed
  • 205g (half a can) tinned raspberries, drained
  • 210g (half a can) canned pitted cherries, drained
  • 220g (half a tub) vanilla bean custard
  • 2 Tim Tam Black Forest biscuits, halved

Method

  1. Place 4 Tim Tam Black Forest biscuits in a sealed bag and crush with a rolling pin until broken into small pieces. Open bag and spoon into serving dishes (stemless wine glasses work beautifully) – aim to pop around 3 Tbsp in each glass.
  2. Spoon around 1 Tbsp of pitted cherries into serving dishes. Repeat with approx. 1 Tbsp of raspberries.
  3. Divide vanilla bean custard evenly between the two dishes. Top with more cherries and raspberries.
  4. Carefully cut 2 Tim Tam Black Forest biscuits in half diagonally and stand them in serving dishes. Finish with remaining crushed Tim Tam.

There are four beautiful flavours in the new Tim Tam Gelato Messina range in-stores now – Choc Mint, Salted Caramel & Vanilla, Coconut & Lychee and Black Forest.

This post was made possible thanks to Tim Tam. All words, photos and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

Berry and chocolate mousse cheesecake

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Summer is made for cheesecakes, right? Those cool, creamy desserts are just the thing to wind down with on a balmy (or sticky!) summer’s evening. But let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do on a hot day is spend hours in the kitchen preparing dessert – and cheesecakes are time-consuming, right?

Well, not this one!

This delicious berry and chocolate mousse cheesecake is so easy you’ll be making it over and over again – regardless of the season. And while it’s packed with the beautiful flavour of summer berries, they don’t need to be in season (or even in the freezer) for you to make it.

Like all my favourite cheesecake recipe (head over to the recipe index to find more), this cheesecake is completely bakeless – that means no turning on the oven, no bake time and no concerns about your beautifully baked cheesecake cracking as it cools.

While the layered look of these cheesecake makes it look a little complicated, the chocolate mousse really is the easiest part – it’s all thanks to Chef de Can Chocolate Mousse! Seriously, why complicate things with homemade chocolate mousse when you have this light and creamy chocolate mousse made with fresh Waikato cream available at the push of a button?

The best part is, Chef de Can Chocolate Mousse tastes so good no one will ever know you didn’t make it yourself. Each 250g can makes a massive 1.3 litres of velvety chocolate mousse, so there’ll be plenty left to enjoy as a sneaky after dinner treat even once you’ve impressed your guests with this recipe. Perfect, huh?

So check out the recipe below and get baking – I’m sure you’ll love it!

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Berry and chocolate mousse cheesecake
Makes one 9 inch cheesecake

Ingredients

Base

  • 400g superwine biscuits (or similar)
  • 200g butter, melted

Filling

  • 300ml cream
  • 375g cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tsp gelatine
  • 3 Tbsp berry jam

Topping

Method

Base

  1. Place biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb. Add melted butter and pulse until well combined.
  2. Grease a 9 inch springform pan and cover base with approx. half of biscuit mixture. Press until firm.
  3. Scoop remaining biscuit mixture around the edges of the pan, pressing up the sides. Place in the fridge to set.

Filling

  1. Pour cream into a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine cream cheese and caster sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a glass, combine water and gelatine. Mix until gelatine has dissolved, then add to cream cheese mixture. Beat until well combined.
  4. Place jam in a small bowl and warm gently in microwave for 10 seconds until slightly runny. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined.
  5. Add cream and beat until well combined, being careful not to over mix it as you don’t want to push all the lightness from the cream out of the mixture.
  6. Pour cheesecake filling into prepared base and place in fridge to set for approx. 2 hours.

Topping

  1. When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from tin and place on cake stand or serving dish.
  2. Shake Chef de Can Chocolate Mousse well, then spray spirals of chocolate mousse onto cheesecake. Spirals should be high enough that they sit in line with the top of the base. Continue until entire cheesecake is covered.
  3. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth the chocolate mousse over the top of the cheesecake until level. Add freeze-dried berries if desired. Serve immediately.

This post was made possible thanks to Tatua. All words, images and recipes are my own.

Lemon, Raspberry and elderberry layered jelly (+ WIN)

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When you think summer desserts, what comes to mind? If you’re anything like me you’re picturing something cool and refreshing that you don’t need to switch the oven on for!

That’s where these delicious layered jelly cups come in. Made using Hansells beautiful new Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry fruit syrup, these summery desserts are not only packed with a beautiful fruity, lightly tangy flavour, but they’re also an absolute breeze to make. All you need is four ingredients and a little time on your side.

If you’re not a big cordial drinker, then Hansells new range of All Natural Fruit Syrups are sure to change your mind – the flavours aren’t what you might expect! Think Mandarin, Lime and Bitters, Old Fashioned Lemonade with Key Lime Extract, Blackcurrant, Cranberry with a Hint of Basil, and (of course), Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry. Sounds delicious, right?

They’re so good that I just had to make the most of their beautiful flavours in a simple summer dessert – and because they’re concentrated, they’re perfect for giving the humble jelly an upmarket twist.

While I used Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry for my jelly cups, any of the new Hansells range would work beautifully – it all depends on what your favourite is. The fruit syrups are designed to be less sweet than other options and each bottle has a handy scale that shows you how sweet (or not!) each flavour is, making it easy for you to balance this dessert to suit your own tastes.

Grab the recipe for this simple dessert below – and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom on the post!

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Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry layered jelly
Serves four

Ingredients

Fruit syrup layers

  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatine
  • ¼ cup Hansells Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry All Natural Fruit Syrup

Creamy layers

  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 5 tsp powdered gelatine

Method

  1. Combine boiling water and gelatine in a measuring cup and stir until gelatine has completely dissolved. Add Hansells Fruit Syrup and mix.
  2. Divide into small glasses, pouring around ¼ cup of liquid into each. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or until set.
  3. Combine sweetened condensed milk and boiling water in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together cold water and gelatine. Stir until gelatine is dissolved. Add to condensed milk mixture and stir well.
  5. Pour 1 cup of condensed milk mixture into a measuring cup. Divide into prepared glasses, pouring approx. ¼ cup of liquid into each. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or until set.
  6. Repeat steps above until you have the desired number of layers. Finish with fresh or freeze-dried berries to serve.

Recipe notes:

 

  • Leave remaining condensed milk mixture on the bench for additional layers. If mixture begins to set, simply warm over low heat until liquid again.
  • If using a glass that widens in the middle, you may need to double the recipe to ensure even layers.

giveaway_HTWD

Thanks to the team at Hansells I have a Hansells All Natural Fruit Syrups gift box to giveaway to two lucky readers! Each pack contains two of the gorgeous new flavours (Mandarin, Lime and Bitters and Lemon, Raspberry and Elderberry ) and a fantastic mixer stick.

To enter, simply comment below and let me know which Hansells All Natural Fruit Syrup you’d most like to try this summer.

Entries close at 11.59pm Thursday 29 December and the winner will be drawn at random. Winner must make contact within 5 business days or they will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn. Sorry – this giveaway is only open to New Zealand residents.

This post was made possible thanks to Hansells. All words, photos and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

 

 

Berry shortbread ice cream sandwiches

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With less than a month to go before the summer holidays truly kick off, I have one thing on my mind – seriously delicious summery desserts. And what could be more summery than a cold and creamy ice cream sandwich?

These berry shortbread ice cream sandwiches are something a little bit special, right from the beautifully creamy ice cream centre through to the shortbread biscuits holding the whole thing together. There’s so much flavour in every single bite.

There’s a bit of a trick to making a truly dreamy ice cream sandwich, and it all comes down to one thing… you guessed it: the ice cream! Ice cream is (literally) at the heart of these delicious summer treats, so it’s important that you get it right. You want the best, after all!

That’s where Corner Dairy comes in. Corner Dairy is a range of delicious nostalgic ice cream flavours from the clever team at Kohu Road – and you know anything they create is going to be amazing! There are six delicious flavours in the range (think Malt Thickshake, Flat White, Chocolate Fudge, Hokey Pokey and Vanilla Bean), but these ice cream sandwiches are inspired by my favourite one – Berry Sundae.

 

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One taste of Corner Dairy’s Berry Sundae ice cream threw me right back to memories of enjoying a fresh berry ice cream at our local berry farm each summer – it’s beautifully creamy and packed with the amazing flavour of seasonal berries. So I decided to pay homage to that amazing berry flavour by sandwiching it between two ‘melt in your mouth’ berry shortbread biscuits.

While shortbread is a firm biscuit, that makes it ideal for ice cream sandwiches – not only does it make it easy to hold the ice cream sandwich together, but being a shortbread, each bite literally disappears in your mouth. Yip, both the biscuit and the ice cream just melt away in a burst of flavour. Amazing, right? Just remember: ice cream sandwiches are a notoriously messy treat, so they’re best enjoyed in the Kiwi sunshine.

So pick up a tub of your favourite Corner Dairy variety at selected New World, Fresh Choice and Pak N Save supermarkets (click here to find your nearest stockist) and get baking – I’m sure you’re going to love this recipe.

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Berry shortbread ice cream sandwiches

Shortbread recipe adapted from Chelsea Sugar

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, softened
  • ¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup cornflour or arrowroot
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried raspberries
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 30g white chocolate, melted (optional)
  • 1 tub Corner Dairy Berry Sundae ice cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Place butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until pale and creamy, scraping sides as required.
  3. Add cornflour (or arrowroot) and plain flour and mix until a dough forms. Add freeze-dried berries and mix until just combined.
  4. Scoop dough onto a lightly floured bench and roll into a log approx. 5cm in diameter. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1cm rounds and place on baking tray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, drizzle with white chocolate if desired.
  6. When ready to serve, place one scoop of Corner Dairy Berry Sundae ice cream on a piece of shortbread. Place another on top and press firmly.

giveaway_HTWD

This giveaway has now closed. 

Want to win one of five Corner Dairy vouchers so you can try it for yourself?

Then simply leave a comment below letting me know which Corner Dairy flavour you would most like to try. It’s as easy as that!

Want a bonus entry? Then pop over to our Facebook page and let me know what dessert you would make with your favourite Corner Dairy flavour.

Entries close 11.59pm Friday 16 December. Winners will be drawn at random and must make contact within three business days or they will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be draw. Sorry – this giveaway is only open to NZ residents.

This post was made possible thanks to Corner Dairy. All words, images and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

Beginner’s guide to baking: How to make the perfect pavlova

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This post is part of our beginner’s guide to baking series – catch up on the other post here and here.

Ever wondered what the trick is to making the perfect pav? Just like everything in baking, it all comes back to a bit of basic science! Here’s everything you need to know to help you make the perfect pavlova every single time.

Do I really need to use old eggs?
If you’re after the best results, the answer is definitely yes! When it comes down to it, pavs are really just made from two key ingredients – eggs and sugar – so it’s important that you make sure these are spot on.

Fresh eggs have thick egg whites which, while great for some things, isn’t ideal when you’re whipping up a pav as it’s harder to get the right amount of volume. Luckily, as eggs age the egg whites thin and create more volume when beaten. Basically, with older eggs you can whip more air into the mixture, giving you a beautifully light and airy pav!

What type of sugar should I use?
While some recipes use standard white sugar, I always use caster sugar when making a pavlova – just like eggs, it all comes back to getting the maximum amount of volume into your mixture.

Remember what I mentioned last time about how sugar digs away at butter to aerate it when you cream them together? Well, this is pretty much the same principle.

Caster sugar is super-fine white sugar, so every spoonful of caster sugar has a greater number of sugar crystals than standard white sugar. When you whip them into your egg white, the jagged edges of the caster sugar help aerate the eggs so your finished meringue mixture is light and airy, just how it should be.

Plus, because the crystals are smaller in caster sugar, it’s easier to dissolve – saving both you time and the pav from being over-beaten.

Can I overbeat the mixture?
Absolutely! Overbeating your meringue mixture causes too many bonds to form between the egg proteins, which basically makes the mixture too tight. This can cause a range of problems like cracking, oozing and collapsing. Not ideal, right?

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Why do pavlovas have vinegar in them?
Adding vinegar to your pavlova mixture helps prevent those nasty side-effects of accidental overbeating by neutralising some of those tight egg proteins.

Vinegar is an acid which means it’s packed with positively charged particles. When added to your mixture, these seek out any charged proteins and neutralise them – helping prevent pavlova disaster!

How about cornflour – what does that do?
Just like vinegar, cornflour also helps keep your egg proteins in line by creating a buffer to help prevent them from overcooking during all that time in the oven. After all, a pav wouldn’t be a pav without being gorgeously marshmallowy inside!

Adding a little cornflour (or arrowroot) to your mixture also helps prevent the egg whites from weeping in the oven – that means no any sticky clear liquid hanging around the base of your pav.

So even though there are only a handful of ingredients in pavlova, there’s actually a lot going on, right? And with so much to keep in mind while you’re baking, it’s totally natural to feel a bit exhausted afterwards.

Fisher & Paykel totally get it, so have created a clever feature on some of their ovens that takes some of the pressure off busy bakers – the cleaning! A range of Fisher & Paykel ovens have a clever Pyrolitic self-cleaning function that takes the chore out of cleaning by naturally breaking down food residue inside the oven at a very high temperature. That means you can throw out those awful oven cleaning sprays and simply wipe out the light ash that remains with a damp cloth. Pretty impressive, huh?

To help Kiwi bakers and cooks get the most out of their time in the kitchen, Fisher & Paykel have created eight different cooking styles – if you know why you cook the way you do, you’re more likely to get the best results. Pop over to the Fisher & Paykel website and do their ‘What’s Your Cooking Style’ quiz – you might be surprised!

Now that you’re a bit of a pavlova expert it’s time to give it a go yourself. Here’s one of my favourite recipes for an awesome pav to help get you started – happy baking!

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Simple pavlova

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Draw a circle around a side-plate or small cake tin to use as a guide.
  2. Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, until mixture is thick and glossy (approx. 10 minutes).
  3. Add vanilla, vinegar, boiling water and cornflour and mix for a further 20-30 seconds, until combined. Mixture should be stiff and bowl able to be tipped upside down without anything moving.
  4. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking tray, using traced circle as a guide.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes before turning the oven off. Leave pavlova in the oven without opening the door for at least one hour – longer if you have time.
  6. Top with whipped cream and your favourite berries to serve.

This post was made possible thanks to Fisher & Paykel. All words, photos and opinions are, and always will be, my own.



Apple crumble ice cream pie

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Ever find yourself wishing that you could enjoy the beautifully comforting flavours of a good old-fashioned apple crumble without actually having to make one? I totally get it – whether you’re short on time, energy or ingredients, sometimes you just can’t make one.

Luckily Dairyworks gets it too and is celebrating winter with an incredible limited edition Traditional Apple Crumble-flavoured ice cream. Because let’s be honest, it’s never too cold for ice cream!

Packed with all those warm, spicy flavours that you love in a good apple crumble, this new ice cream is so good you’ll want to have a couple of tubs stashed away in the freezer all winter long – especially when you know that you can make this delicious apple crumble ice cream pie with it too!

Imagine a chewy oat and brown sugar biscuit base, filled with flavoursome apple crumble ice cream filling and topped with super-simple brown sugar apple compote for a little extra-something. Sounds good right?

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One of the great things about this dessert (other than how delicious it is!) is that you can get everything ready ahead of time. Why not make life easy for yourself and bake the biscuit base the day before, whip up the apple compote in the morning, then pop everything together just before you want to enjoy it? How you make it is totally up to you.

Like all ice cream desserts, this apple crumble ice cream pie is best served straight from the freezer. Simply cut into slices and pop on a plate with a little extra apple compote and you’re all set. Pop any leftover pie back in the freezer straight away – you won’t want to waste a single slice of this pie!

Dairyworks Traditional Apple Crumble Ice Cream is now in your local supermarket freezer – but get in quick, it’s only around for a limited time.

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Apple crumble ice cream pie
Serves approx. eight people

Ingredients

Oat biscuit base
Recipe adapted from Not Quite Nigella

  • 125g butter, softened and divided into 85g and 40g
  • 5 ½ Tbsp brown sugar, packed and divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 ½ Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp oats
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Apple compote

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 30g butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 2 green apples, cubed

Filling

Method

Base

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 85g of butter, 4 Tbsp brown sugar and the white sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until pale.
  3. Add oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and beat until well combined.
  4. Scoop mixture onto prepared baking pan and press out evenly using the back of a wet spoon.
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool.
  6. Once cool, crumble biscuit into a medium bowl. Add 40g butter and 1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar and mix until well combined and mixture sticks together when pressed.
  7. Grease a 25cm loose bottomed flan dish and evenly press oat mixture across the base and sides. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely.

Apple compote

  1. Place brown sugar and butter in a small pot over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and ingredients are well combined.
  2. Add cinnamon, mixed spice and cubed apple, and stir until all apples are coated. Partially cover pot and allow to simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.
  3. Scoop apple compote into a bowl and refrigerate until completely cool.

Filling

  1. Place ice cream into a large mixing bowl (metal, if possible) and beat on medium until ice cream is just softened. Scoop into prepared base, carefully smoothing with a spatula until base is evenly covered. Return to the freezer for one hour.
  2. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and pop pie out of pan. Top with apple compote and slice. Serve immediately.

This post was made possible thanks to Dairyworks. All words, images and recipes are my own.

White chocolate ANZAC cheesecake

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There are a few things we always do on ANZAC Day, year after year – we get up bright and early and head along to the Dawn Service at the Auckland Museum, then go out somewhere nice for breakfast before heading home to do a bit of ANZAC baking.

Whether you’re a baker or a baking-eater, no ANZAC Day is complete without ANZAC biscuits – and what’s not to love about those sweet, chewy, oaty biscuits?

While ANZAC biscuits are delicious as they are, I decided to make something a little more indulgent this year – after all, we’re lucky enough not to be limited by war-time rationing, so why not! So this year we’ll be enjoying something a little different on ANZAC Day – a white chocolate ANZAC cheesecake.

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Dairy-free baked alaska

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Ever dreamed of finding a quick and easy dessert that would absolutely blow your friends away, all without you needing to spend hours in the kitchen? Well, you can stop dreaming! This dairy-free baked alaska is proof that delicious desserts don’t need to be difficult – you just need a trick or two up your sleeve.

First things first – what exactly is baked alaska? It’s simply ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt piled on top of light sponge cake and wrapped in a thick layer of meringue which is lightly toasted in the oven or with a kitchen torch. While the meringue gets nice and toasty, the centre of the dessert stays as chilled as ever. Pretty cool, huh?

Since all the flavour of this magical dessert comes from the frozen centre, it’s really important that you use a really good frozen treat – like Kapiti Whipped Sorbet. The team at Kapiti are totally committed to doing whatever it takes for taste and have absolutely nailed it with this dairy-free treat.

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