Sep 17, 2013

Chocolate Pavlova with Nutella and Strawberries

You can’t beat a classic pavlova with crunchy white clouds of meringue and cream, or can you? How about a chocolate pavlova? With Nutella? Now we’re talking! I made this a double decker pavlova purely to have an excuse to fit more Nutella, strawberries and cream between the layers :)

Chocolate Pavlova with Nutella and Strawberries
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 4 egg whites (room temp)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • ¼ cup Nutella (or more if you want, no judgement)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg-whites until soft peaks form.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, beating well until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the cornflour, vinegar and cocoa powder and fold through.
  5. Spoon mixture into 2 18-20cm circles. Using a palette knife, shape into a circle with high sides.
  6. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 120°C and cook for 45 minutes.
  7. Then turn the oven off and allow the meringues to completely cool in the oven (at least an hour).
  8. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form.
  9. Gently transfer first layer of pavlova to a cake stand. Spread half the cream over the top, followed by half of the Nutella (microwave it for 10 seconds to help make runny).
  10. Chop half of the strawberries into a rough dice and sprinkle on top.
  11. Carefully put on the second layer of pavlova and repeat the cream and Nutella process. Garnish the top with halved strawberries.
  12. To serve, a dusting of icing sugar.

Here we have the first layer of the chocolate pavlova, covered in a generous layer of whipped cream, Nutella and chopped strawberries.

Then gently sandwich the second layer of pavlova on top, spread the whipped cream across using a spatula and then Jackson Pollock away with your Nutella! I like letting a few bits drip down the sides of the pavlova. Decorate with halved strawberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar and you’re in chocolate-pavlova heaven!

Oh! And the kind folks at Kitchenaid kindly loaned me my dream mixer – a pistachio stand mixer!

The whisk attachment made whipping my egg whites and cream a breeze. In fact it was so efficient I nearly over-whipped my cream as I wasn’t expecting it to get the job done so quickly. Oops!

I was so impressed with its performance (and looks) it even got to guest star in the background before the pavlova was promptly devoured.

 

A big thank you to Claire for hosting this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop with the brilliant theme Meringue Mania! I am looking forward to salivating over everyone else’s delicious meringue-themed desserts.

Sep 11, 2013

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Is there anything better in life than salted caramel? Possibly kittens but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. My love for salted caramel is well documented and I knew I had to translate this obsession into the perfect cupcake.

This salted caramel cupcake is a triple threat – the cupcake is filled with a salted caramel centre, decorated with salted caramel buttercream and receives a final salted caramel drizzle at the end.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
Brown Sugar Cupcake
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tsp sea salt
Salted Caramel buttercream
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 6-8 cups icing sugar
  • ¾ of the salted caramel

Instructions
Salted Caramel
  1. Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it bubble away over a medium heat.
  2. The mixture should turn a golden caramel colour after around 5 minutes. DON’T stir the caramel mixture – the sugar will crystallize.
  3. Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, take it off the heat and add the salt and cream. Stir furiously as the caramel will want to harden quickly.
  4. Pop the caramel cream mixture in a small bowl and put it in the fridge to help cool down quickly.
Brown Sugar Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and salt into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
  7. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. When cupcakes have cooled down, put approx 3-4 tablespoons of salted caramel into a small piping bag with a thin tipped nozzle attached.
  9. Insert the tip into the cupcake and pipe in a small amount of caramel into each cupcake.
Salted Caramel buttercream
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar for 5 minutes until fluffy.
  2. Add ¾ of your caramel mixture and continue beating until well combined. Remember to save enough to drizzle over the cupcakes.
  3. Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.
  4. Finish the cupcakes off with a drizzle of the remaining salted caramel.

We start off with a brown sugar cupcake, which acts as a subtle yet delicious base to our caramel fiesta. A delicious salted caramel buttercream is piped on top, giving us lovely, slightly golden roses. (Side note – loving my new Wilton #1M piping tip!)

And then HELLO SURPRISE! A deliciously gooey salted caramel filling. Hooray! Instead of laboriously cutting a small hole out of the top of each cupcake to fill, I simply put the caramel into a small piping bag with a nozzle attached. See here for a guide.

The cupcake clearly needs more salted caramel, so I end with a drizzle from above. Ah the joys of being a one-woman photography team, I am sure you can appreciate how difficult these types of shots are to get. DSLR camera in one shakey hand, pouring salted caramel seductively with the other, attempting, HOPING, to get the caramel to actually hit the cupcake. This was like my 5th shot. Caramel everywhere.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I enjoy eating them! :)

Aug 30, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #4 Banana

This is the last (but certainly not least) addition to my Microwave Mug Cake series – banana! First we had dark chocolate, then salted caramel, followed by S’mores. I like to refer to this mug cake as “breakfast in a cup” as it combines two of my favourite breakfast items – banana bread and coffee! But I guarantee you will want to eat this any time of day.

The banana ensures this cake is super moist and dense, and it’s literally like eating a hybrid banana bread-pudding in a mug! I was about to say it’s a healthier version than cafe-bought banana bread due to the relatively low amounts of butter/sugar/flour, but then I remembered I covered it in ice cream. Sorry.

**Make sure you use a large mug or the mixture can overflow!**

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 Banana
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 scoop of coffee ice cream to serve

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add mashed banana into the mug and continue stirring with you fork until mixed through.
  4. Finally, add dry ingredients into the mug and beat with your fork until combined.
  5. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  6. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  7. Serve with a generous scoop of coffee ice cream.
  8. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my Microwave Mug Cakes series! Are there any other series of baked treats you would like me to trial?

Aug 19, 2013

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate

I was very excited to hear this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme was COOKIE MONSTER and hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet. I love cookies (or biscuits as they’re more often referred to in Australia) and I knew I wanted to make a cookie sandwich – what’s better than 1 cookie? 2 cookies sandwiched together!

Ever since I saw David Lebovitz’s recipe for Caramelised White Chocolate I knew I had to attempt it myself. I ended up adding some heavy cream to make it into a spreadable ganache and it was the perfect accompaniment to my coconut cookies.

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 12 filled cookies

Ingredients
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  • 250g white chocolate
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Coconut Cookies
  • 115g butter, room temp
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1⅓ cups flaked coconut

Instructions
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 120ºC.
  2. Put white chocolate in an oven-proof dish (I used a pyrex bowl) and heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove dish with oven mitt and stir. Return dish to oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this process for approximately 30-40 mins, or until your white chocolate is the colour of peanut butter.
  5. Allow to cool and add in your salt. When the chocolate cools down to room temperature, beat in the heavy cream until smooth and spreadable and set aside.
Coconut Cookies
  1. Turn up oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt mixture, then the coconut and mix until just combined.
  4. Dollop dessert spoons full of dough onto the baking tray, you should fit approx 12 per tray.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.
  6. When cookies are cooled, spread caramelised white chocolate mixture onto half and sandwich the cookies together with the remainders.
  7. Enjoy!

This was my caramelised white chocolate after 40 minutes in the oven – it had reached a gorgeous golden brown colour.

Once room temperature and blended with the heavy cream, it reaches the perfect spreadable consistency for your cookies. If the ganache starts to harden up, pop it in the microwave in 10 second bursts on medium and stir until spreadable again.

Whenever I bake cookies, I always feel compelled to make a cookie mountain – exhibit A, B and C.

The chewy coconutty cookies pair perfectly with the caramelised white chocolate and I must admit I have eaten more than my share this weekend. Enjoy!

Aug 15, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores

I’m stepping up my game in my Microwave Mug Cake series. First we had dark chocolate, then salted caramel… and now S’MORES! For those who don’t know what a S’more is, it consists of marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker and roasted over a camp fire into a gooey mess. Heaven.

I am yet to find graham crackers in Australia so feel free to use any sweet biscuit (I used Arrowroot biscuits). I stumbled across a tub of Marshmallow Fluff in a city convenience store a while back and have been waiting to use it in a recipe! If you can’t find it, feel free to stick a few marshmallows on top.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2-3 tbsp cookie crumbs (if you can’t find graham crackers use any sweet biscuit)
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff OR a few marsmallows

Instructions
  1. Crush cookies and add 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave for 10 seconds to melt, stir and press into the bottom of your mug.
  2. In a separate bowl, microwave 3 tablespoons of butter for 10 seconds to melt.
  3. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir with a fork until mixed through.
  5. Pour chocolate batter into mug on top of the cookie base.
  6. Top with marshmallow fluff or marshmallows.
  7. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  8. Finish off the mug cake by toasting the marshmallow topping under the grill or use a blow torch.
  9. Enjoy!

I made a mess trying to ensure I had a bit of cookie, chocolate cake and marshmallow in each mouthful but boy was it tasty! (And isn’t making a mess half the fun?!)

Aug 13, 2013

New Shanghai, Chatswood

I’ve been living in a Surry Hills bubble for a few years now and there are now only 2 things that will make me go over the bridge – family and good food! Fortunately, New Shanghai in Chatswood has come highly recommended and I look forward to sampling their menu.

Located on the ground floor of Chatswood Chase in a rather bland looking food court, the queue snaking out the front was a good sign. I immediately fell in love with the black and red colour theme of the decor, with red bunting hanging from the ceiling, wooden stools and the odd umbrella to give you that old school Shanghai vibe.

I can never go past pork dumplings when I eat Chinese and immediately laid eyes on these pan fried pork buns. I loved the soft pastry contrasted with the crispy pan fried bottom. The buns contained a tasty pork and soup filling which squirted delicious pain if you weren’t careful!

Pan fried pork buns

I am not a huge seafood fan but I wanted to give the steamed prawn and pork dumplings a go. They were light and very tasty and I actually liked them! Yes I liked something with prawn in it!

Prawn and pork dumplings

One of the first things that caught my eye on the menu was the Deep Fried Chicken with Special Garlic & Chilli Sauce. And it did not disappoint! The skin was super crispy whilst the meat still tender and juicy and the special sauce was amazing, so good I wished I could take a bottle of it home with me.

Deep Fried Chicken with Special Garlic & Chilli Sauce

I know the description “steamed plain bread” doesn’t sound particularly inviting, but please give this dish a go! I love a bit of DIY at the table, and piling huge helpings of succulent duck, cucumber, spring onions and sauce into a freshly steamed bun was fun, delicious and messy.

Crispy salted and spiced duck served with steamed plain bread

By this stage we were bursting at the seams and unfortunately couldn’t finish the rest of our dishes – however the staff were more than happy to package them up in a takeaway container for later. Woohoo!

New Shanghai was delicious and with such a huge menu there were many more things I wanted to try. Looks like a trip back over the bridge might be on the cards sooner than expected!

Love Swah dined as a guest of Wasamedia and New Shanghai

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Aug 5, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel

This is the second recipe in my Microwave Mug Cake series (you can find #1 Dark Chocolate here) and of course I had to chose my favourite flavour of the moment, salted caramel! The brown sugar in this mug cake gives it a rich and caramelised flavour and you are treated to a delicious surprise of salted caramel in the middle. I have provided options for caramel fillings including salted caramel sauce, dulce de leche and Nestle caramel baking bits.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp salted caramel/dulce de leche (see below for recipes)

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Add a tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche to the top of the mixture, this will sink as it cooks giving you a gooey caramel surprise.
  5. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  6. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  7. Drizzle the top with the second tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is my recipe to make your own Dulce de Leche or see here for my recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. For a super quick option, throw in a tablespoon of Nestle caramel chips before you microwave for an instant caramel hit.

This mug cake is a super easy solution for a quick sugar hit, with the right balance of salty and sweet. Feel free to add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top but I love it just the way it is!

Aug 2, 2013

Food Typography by Danielle Evans

Food and typography are 2 of my greatest loves in life (after cats) and when a friend showed me the work of designer and illustrator Danielle Evans I was smitten. Using ingredients such as curry powder, chili, coffee and flour to create her designs, she sculpts the products by hand into unique typographic designs.

My favourite quote from her “There is something really exciting about working really hard on something and just obliterating it at the end, it’s so much fun.” I often get that same feeling after slaving over an elegantly decorated cake for hours and then watching someone jam a knife in it and demolish it. Ok, sometimes it’s a little upsetting ;D

Jul 31, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Win a double pass to Bagels, Beers & Beats at Helm Bar

Do you like bagels, beers and beats? Who doesn’t?! Brooklyn Boy Bagels are teaming up with Helm Bar to bring a little slice of New York to Darling Harbour. Your ticket guarantees you 2 delicious Brooklyn Boy Bagels (I’ve eaten them, they’re amazing), 2 beers (or a cocktail if that’s more your thing!) plus a huge array of entertainment including DJs and live street art.

 

The kind folks at Wasamedia have given me a double pass worth $50 to give away to my readers to attend this awesome event at Helm Bar in Sydney! Please note this competition is only available to readers who can attend an event in Sydney on September 7th October 5th! (rescheduled due to the election).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And now I am wishing I had a bagel…

Jul 29, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate

I love the concept of a microwave mug cake – stir a few pantry ingredients in a mug, zap in the microwave for a minute and then ta da! (Nearly) instant pudding for one! It was a lot of fun thinking of different flavours of mug cakes and of course, taste testing each of them.

Just quickly, how cute are these mugs?! I picked them up from Woolworths the other day, down from $4 to $2 each – bargain!

The first mug cake in this series is the classic dark chocolate mug cake. I regularly make a giant dark chocolate pudding in the cooler months, and there is nothing more comforting on a wintery night. But it’s 8 servings and let’s be honest I don’t need ALL those calories. So a single serving basic choc pudding is perfect! I also love this recipe as I can get my chocolate fix even when I don’t have chocolate in the house – cocoa powder solves that problem!

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  5. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  6. Serve with lightly whipped cream or icecream.
  7. Enjoy! See below for some flavour options.

***VARIATIONS***

♥ Choc Peanut Butter Mug Cake – drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the middle of the mug before cooking for a delicious peanutty surprise.

♥ Double Choc Mug Cake – if you have cooking chocolate buttons lying around, put a few on top of your pudding mixture. They will sink as it cooks, giving you a wonderful molten chocolate filling.

♥ Vegan Mug Cake – Substitute butter for vegetable oil, milk for soy or almond milk and omit the egg. Serve with vegan icecream or it’s delicious with just a dusting of icing sugar!

♥ Bounty Coconut Mug Cake – Add in a tablespoon of shredded or desiccated coconut and mix into the batter. Stick a fun size Bounty, or 2 squares of Lindt Coconut, into the middle of the batter for an extra coconut filling!

Enjoy and stay tuned for flavour #2 next week!

Pages:«12345678...26»

Hello!

Find me

Random Posts

Things that make me happy

Things that make me happy

♥ Collecting pastel nail polishes (addicted) ♥ Matching my nail colour to my fruit ♥ Matching my nail colour to my new blog design ♥ Catsitting! ♥ Especially when the cat likes to [...]

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate

I was very excited to hear this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme was COOKIE MONSTER and hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet. I love cookies (or biscuits as they’re [...]

Girls in Design- Spotlight On: Jessica Hische

Girls in Design- Spotlight On: Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische is one of my favourite typographers and I look up to her elegant designs and typography work immensely. She graduated from the Tyler School of Art with a [...]

Facebook Feed

Latest Tweets

  • loveswahHooray I've found super cheap and cheerful Vietnamese food in Balmain! I feel I'll be coming here a… http://t.co/zWP9fcFTar - posted on 22/04/2014 19:18:48
  • loveswahThe final instalment from my amazing @tasmania trip is now live, feat Swansea & Richmond. Enjoy! #discovertasmania http://t.co/ft1bohnBLh - posted on 22/04/2014 16:33:50
  • loveswahTrying to decide where to travel this year. Have narrowed it down to Morocco, Base Camp, Malaysia, NY, China, Hawaii, Paris & Mexico. Hmmm.. - posted on 21/04/2014 21:41:06
Top Food Blogs