Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

TiramisuIceCream
This recipe is one that I have converted from an old cookbook written by Ian Parmenter. Some of you may remember Ian Parmenter – he was was a common sight on our television screens in the 1990’s as chef and host of the show ‘Consuming Passions’
This recipe is in the back of  a little book he put together called “L-Plates, Learn to cook the food you love to eat”
My sister-in-law gave it to my husband (then boyfriend!) not long after he moved out of home. And it has served him (and I) well.

But I digress! The recipe is easy to make and looks quite beautfiul when dressed with berries and chocolate shavings. Lovely to enjoy at Christmas time in Australia when the weather is hot. It is quite decadent so small serves are suggested, and it is not very child friendly – with both coffee and alochol in the list of ingredients. You can substitute the cream for marscopone cheese if you like – but this would give a much richer result. To be honest, I think the the cream is just fine for this ice-cream version. The flavour of the Tiramisu is honoured but the cream makes it a bit lighter.

One of the best things about this dessert is that it can be made in advance. Make sure you have it covered to prevent freezer burn and you can make it several days or even a week ahead of when you need it – perfect for Christmas or New Year entertaining when you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all day.
I use a pasty brush to cover the sponge biscuits with the coffee, just paint it on. You can buy the sponge fingers in the supermarket, often in the international food section, or at Christmas time sometimes in a separate display at the end of an aisle.

 

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake
 
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Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) black coffee - cooled (either made from instant coffee or use freshly brewed - fresh is best)
  • 2 Tbsp Tia Maria liqueur
  • 395g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 600g cream
  • 65g (1/4 cup) milk
  • 1 packet sponge finger biscuits (also known as lady fingers or savoiardi)
Method
  1. Line one 20cm x 20cm square cake tin with glad wrap OR line two loaf pans with cling wrap. Make sure the cling wrap extends a long way over the sides for easy removal once frozen.
  2. Combine coffee and Tia Maria in a mug and set aside.
  3. Place butterfly into mixer bow and add sweetened condsensed milk and cream. Beat for 2 minutes speed 4 until thick. Add HALF of the coffee mixture and combine at speed 3 for a further 20 seconds.
  4. Add milk to the remaining coffee mixture.
  5. Pour ⅓ of the cream mixture into your prepared pan. Brush sponge fingers with remaining coffee/milk mixture and place in a layer over the cream. Add another layer of cream, followed by another layer of sponge biscuits and a final layer of cream.
  6. Cover and freeze until set.
Notes
I use two silicone loaf forms to make this dessert. Not only does it provide me with two desserts, which is handy at Christmas time, but the silicone forms also make it much easier to remove the frozen cakes.

 

Cookies in a Jar

Cookies copy
I can’t claim this idea as my own, but it is a good one! I have seen several variations on this theme on the internet. You can use whatever recipe you like, the overall quantities just need to be about 4 cups. I have seen some nice examples that use colourful lollies such as M&M’s as ingredients which makes the jar look very nice. I have chosen a slightly less sugary recipe as there is already so much sweet stuff in my pantry at the moment I didn’t want to add any more (and then have to resist eating it!)
These are great for gifting not only at Christmas but any time of the year when you need a small home made gesture to give someone. They are really quick to put together too.

For this recipe I used a 1 litre mason style jar (purchased from my local discount store for about $2). Mine measures about 15cm high and about 10cm in diameter (just to give you an idea of the size).

Wash the jar in hot soapy water thoroughly dry. I sat mine in a warm oven after it had air dried just to be double sure!
Use a rolled piece of paper to create a cone shape to help funnel the ingredients in. Tap the jar lightly on the bench between the addition of each layer, to settle the ingredients.
Place the ingredients in the following order:
Flour
Oats
Coconut
Sultanas
Sugar
Choc chips

Note: I have given the ingredients in cup measurements and weights. If you are cooking this recipe for yourself in the Thermo you will find the weights measures easier to use. But the cup measures are easier if filling a jar. The instructions are given for non-thermo cooking, in case your recipient doesn’t have one!

You could swap the order of the sultanas and sugar if you like, as the sugar does filter down through the sultanas a bit, but I like the look of the two darker layers being separated. Have I mentioned before that I am slightly OCD?! 😉

Then just seal the jar and decorate with the recipe print out (you can find it here) and twine or ribbon or whatever else you like.

The recipe makes a batch of approximately 30 oat and sultana cookies, you can also use the same recipe and cook it in a slice tin, it works just as well.

Cookies in a Jar
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 80g (1/2 cup) SR flour
  • 80g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 90g (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 60g (2/3 cup) dessicated coconut
  • 100g (2/3 cup) raw sugar
  • 90g (2/3 cup) sultanas
  • 80g (1/2 cup) choc chips
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Melt butter, 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 3.
  3. Add all dry ingredients, then egg, and mix reverse speed 4-5 for 20 seconds until combined.
  4. Place dessert spoon sized balls on baking tray and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

 

 

 

 

Shortbread Biscuits

ShortbreadBiscuits copy
I made these biscuits with the same recipe as I used for fruit mince pie cases. It is a simple shortbread mixture,  roll out and cut whatever shapes you like, then bake until golden.

These will keep well for up to two weeks in an airtight container, but they also freeze well.

To serve you can simply dust with icing sugar, decorate with cashous before cooking, sandwich two together with jam, or decorate with icing and other cake decorations once cooked and cooled (let the kids loose on them!)

Lots of possibilites with one simple recipe! Perfect as a gift for Christmas or anytime of the year packaged up in a tin, box or jar.

You can find the recipe and instructions on my fruit mince pie post here.

 

 

Fruit Mince Pies

FruitMincePies copyI have been so excited about sharing this recipe, because fruit mince pies are one of my favourite Christmas foods. Everything about them just says ‘Christmas’.
I previously shared the recipe for my fruit mince here. I make this in advance and keep it in the fridge until I need it.

In past years I have used a sweet shortcrust pasty to create my pie bases, but this year I have tried something new and I am totally converted! I used a recipe that Perth based food writer Gina Hughes (of the Passionate Pantry) suggested on her Facebook page. You can find Gina’s page here – definitely worth having a look. She will be expanding into a blog soon. Gina has kindly allowed me to share her recipe.

Gina suggested using a shortbread mixture to create the fruit mince pie crusts, this makes a firmer pie that is deliciously short (it melts in your mouth) and sweet. I followed her suggestion and used half the mixture to make pies, and half to make shortbread biscuits. I made 12 pies and about 25 heart shaped shortbread biscuits from the recipe. I have lots of fruit mince left over so will make another batch or two before Christmas is over :)

The cooked pies (and shortbread) can be frozen.

If you have never made fruit mince pies from scratch before, I urge you to give them a go. They are much nicer than the shop purchased ones and the process of making them is very rewarding. Plus the house smells divine when they are cooking!

Fruit Mince Pies
 
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Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 24 pies
Ingredients
  • 120g raw sugar
  • 120g cornflour
  • 320g plain flour
  • 250g soft butter (but not melted)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees and grease and line two baking trays if making shortbread biscuits, plus lightly grease patty pans for fruit mince pies. You won't need very much butter to oil the patty pans, just a smidge. The butter content in the crust will prevent the pies sticking.
  2. Place sugar into Tmx bowl and mill for 10 seconds, speed 9.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix for 10 seconds, speed 6.
  4. Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 10 seconds.
  5. Open lid and scrape sides of bowl down if required and knead for a further 10 seconds.
  6. The mixture will look crumbly but don't worry.
  7. Work with half the mixture at a time. Place the mix onto a large piece of baking paper and press together to form a ball. Place a second sheet of paper over the top and roll the mix between the paper until it is 1cm thick.
  8. Cut the mix into circles to fit your patty pan tray, and cut shapes to use on top of the pies (I used stars, but you could use any shape you like)
  9. Gently lift off the paper and press the rounds into the tray, if you get any cracks when pressing in, just patch them by squeezing the dough together.
  10. Fill with fruit mince and place shape on the top - be careful not to overfill, I have learned this lesson the hard way! If the fruit mince bubbles over the top when cooking it is very hard to remove the pie without ruining it.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, turning part way through the cooking time. Remove when light golden brown in colour. All ovens vary, so check after 20 minutes.
  12. Let the pies cool slightly in the tray and then remove gently using a knife to ease them out. When cool dust with icing sugar.
  13. If making shortbread biscuits follow the same method but transfer cut shapes to prepared baking trays to cook.

 

Florentines

Florentines copy

Florentines  are very rich and decadent in both appearance and taste. But they are such a lovely treat to enjoy with good coffee, good company or both!
I made a batch of these recently and packaged them individually in little cello bags, then gave one each as a small Christmas gift to a group of special running club friends.

They are very simple to make, but give an impressive result. I made quite largish sized biscuits and got 12 from this recipe. You could make them smaller of course, and stretch the recipe to more serves. I am slightly OCD and used a cookie cutter to shape the mixture into circles before I baked it. You can just plop it onto the trays though if you are happy with a more free form look.

Be sure that the biscuits are completely cooled before spreading the chocolate on the base, they are bit delicate so handle gently :)

Keep them in the fridge, and they will last for up to 2 weeks (but of course, in all honesty, they don’t actually last that long in my fridge because we eat them all in a matter of days!)

Florentines
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 12 large biscuits
Ingredients
  • 50g Brazil nuts
  • 50g slivered almonds
  • 65g sultanas
  • 70g glace cherries
  • 30g dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 200g sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g dark chocolate
Method
  1. Pre heat oven to 170 degrees and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place Brazil nuts into bowl and chop speed 7, 2 seconds.
  3. Add all other ingredients except chocolate and combine reverse speed 3, 10 seconds.
  4. Use an egg ring or cookie cutter to help shape the mixture into rounds onto the baking trays. Or you can 'plop' it on if you prefer a free form look.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until just golden.
  6. Once the biscuits have cooked and cooled, wash and thoroughly dry the bowl and place the chocolate in, grate speed 8 for 8 seconds.
  7. Melt the chocolate for 4 minutes, 50 degrees, speed 3.
  8. Spread the chocolate on the base of the biscuits and rest them upside down while it sets.
  9. Store the Florentines in the fridge if the weather is warm to prevent the chocolate melting.

 

Onion & Red Wine Jam

OnionJam copy
Onion jam can be used in many ways. We had some with home made burgers this week; we spread it on like relish and it added a lovely flavour. I also served a small bowl of the jam with a plate of chicken and corn sausage rolls  at a shared supper – yum!

It is a great accompaniment to eat with any meat dish, and can also be used as a base in tarts or quiches. It is also wonderful to serve in a ploughman’s style platter with cheese, crackers and cold meats.

I have made some to give as gifts this Christmas this year. Store the jam in sterlised jars in the fridge, it will keep for up to three months. If you don’t have a thermal cooker you can adapt this recipe to the stove top. Slice the onions by hand and cook stirring over a medium to low head until reduced and caramalised. I would suggest using a heavy based pan.

The batch in the photo was made with brown onions (which is what I had on hand at the time), but you could use red onions as an alternative for a slightly sweeter flavour.

Onion & Red Wine Jam
 
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Recipe type: Dips & Condiments
Serves: 2 x 250ml jars
Ingredients
  • 5 large onions (red or brown) peeled and quartered
  • 20g olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 70g red wine
  • 40g balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt, pepper to taste
Method
  1. Place onions, garlic, salt, pepper and oil in the Tmx bowl and chop 4 seconds, speed 5. Be careful not to overchop and turn it to mush!
  2. Cook at Varoma temp for 8 minutes, reverse speed 1.
  3. Add sugar, wine and balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 20 minutes at 100 degrees, reverse speed soft, with the measuring cup off.
  4. Store in sterlised jars

Lemon Curd

LemonButter copy
You can use any citrus to flavour this buttery treat, lemon is of course perfect, but I have also used lime juice or a mix of lemon and lime. You could try orange also, which I am sure would be lovely, but I prefer the sharp tang that lemons (and limes) offer.

I have been making this since I was a teenager, because I like to eat it (!!) and also because it makes a sweet gift.
The curd can be used as a topping for desserts such as ice-cream, a filling for cakes, stirred through yoghurt, spread on sweet pastries (such as croissant or brioche), as a tart filling, or simply spread on toast! I like it very tart, but you can adjust the citrus content to suit your own taste.

I used to make this on the stove top (stirring it in a basin over a saucepan of boiling water) but the Thermomix makes this an absolute breeze to create. It almost seems ridiculous that this is made in just 9 minutes with no fuss or stirring by hand, and the results are consistently excellent.

At the end of the cooking time check the curd, if it coats the back of a spoon it is ready. If not, extend the cooking time by a minute or two. Pour into sterilised jars and keep in the fridge.

 

Lemon Curd
 
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Recipe type: Dips & Condiments
Serves: 4 medium jars
Ingredients
  • Juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes
  • Rind of 1 lemon or 2 limes
  • 220g sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 4 eggs
Method
  1. Cut the rind from the lemon (or limes) I use a potato peeler to do this.
  2. Place rind and sugar in Tmx and blitz speed 9, 20 seconds until finely milled.
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl down.
  4. Place butterfly into the Tmx and add all other ingredients.
  5. Cook for 9 minutes, 80 degrees, speed 2.
  6. Pour into sterilised jars. It will thicken as it chills.
Notes
To sterilise jars I suggest one of these four methods:
1. Wash jars and then heat both jars and lids in a 120 degree oven for 20 minutes, then remove and fill immediately with filling (use tongs to handle them!)
2. Wash and rinse jars and pour a small amount of water in each (1-2cm) place jars in microwave and heat until boiling (1-2 minutes). Remove, empty water, let air dry then fill. To sterilise lids pour boiling water over them.
3. Place jars and lids into the dishwasher, wash on the hottest setting, remove and let air dry then use.
4. Place jars and lids into a saucepan of cool water. Fully submerge jars and bring to the boil on the stove top. Boil for ten minutes. Remove carefully with tongs and air dry.

Remember to fill hot jars with hot liquid, and cooled jars with cooled liquid.
DON'T pour hot liquid into cool jars or cool liquid into hot jars, the glass could shatter.

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

SaltedCaramelSauce copy
This is another super simple but ultra delicious and easy recipe that makes a great gift.

Use a nice jar and some ribbon or twine, and hey presto, a lovely gift that tastes amazing too. I use this sauce as a topping for ice-cream, to pour over puddings or cakes, in tarts, to flavour milkshakes, to top or stir through cheesecakes, or to flavour muffins or cake mixtures.
Or…you could just eat it from the jar…so I’m told anyhow 😉

Store this in sterilised jars and heat before serving (as it will set and thicken when cool)

The four ingredients in this recipe are sugar, cream, butter and salt; so it is no wonder it tastes amazing! But enjoy in moderation.
Personally I really love the salt against sweet flavour combination, so if making this for myself I sometimes bump up the salt to a full teaspoon. But if gifting, keep it at half a teaspoon.

This is the same sauce that I use in my salted caramel brownie recipe that you can find here. It makes enough to fill two small to medium sized jars.
The jar in the photograph has a rubber seal, so I used the boiling method to sterilise these.

Salted Caramel Sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dips & Condiments
Serves: 2 medium jars
Ingredients
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 75g cream
  • 75g butter (salted preferably)
  • ½ tsp rock salt
Method
  1. Place all ingredients into the Tmx bowl and cook 8 minutes, Varoma temperature, speed 2.
  2. Pour into sterilised jars and let cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge to store.
Notes
To sterilise jars I suggest one of these four methods:
1. Wash jars and then heat both jars and lids in a 120 degree oven for 20 minutes, then remove and fill immediately with filling (use tongs to handle them!)
2. Wash and rinse jars and pour a small amount of water in each (1-2cm) place jars in microwave and heat until boiling (1-2 minutes). Remove, empty water, let air dry then fill. To sterilise lids pour boiling water over them.
3. Place jars and lids into the dishwasher, wash on the hottest setting, remove and let air dry then use.
4. Place jars and lids into a saucepan of cool water. Fully submerge jars and bring to the boil on the stove top. Boil for ten minutes. Remove carefully with tongs and air dry.

Remember to fill hot jars with hot liquid, and cooled jars with cooled liquid.
DON'T pour hot liquid into cool jars or cool liquid into hot jars, the glass could shatter.

 

Christmas Cake

ChristmasCake copy
We have lots of traditions that we share each year in the Christmas season, this cake is one of them. I have made this same recipe every year for 15 years. When I make this every member of the family contributes a ‘good luck stir and Christmas wish’ to the batter before I pour it into the tin to bake. I like to make this at the start of December, and let it sit for a few weeks, and we always cut the cake and share our first slice on my son’s birthday which is 2 days before Christmas Day. Did I mention how much I love traditions at Christmas?!

The recipe has a quirky Australian twist with the addition of beer to soak the fruit instead of liqueur. It gives a nice yeasty flavour to the cake. We don’t use the same beer every year, selecting the beer is my husbands job. He generally chooses a boutique beer (this year we used Boa’s Bind Amber Ale from Sail & Anchor – from Fremantle here in WA)
The ginger is the other flavour that I really love and makes this recipe stand apart, I love eating a slice of this and coming across a little gingery nugget of flavour.

The cake is made in two stages; on day one you chop and soak the fruit. You then leave the fruit mix overnight (or two nights if you like).
The second stage involves finishing the batter and then baking. Make sure you choose a day when you are at home for most of the day for this – as the baking time is up to four hours. If it is hot weather I sometimes bake in the evening. The smell of the cake cooking instantly sends me into Christmas mode.

There is a little bit of preparation time involved with this one, the Thermo does most of the hard work for you (fruit chopping and butter creaming) but the actual mixing is done by hand. You will need a really large bowl and really solid wooden spoon. Make sure you line the tin properly with three layers of baking paper. Sometimes lining the tin seems to be more fiddly than the cake making itself, but don’t skip this step! It is important to protect the cake while it bakes.

Enjoy the process, bake this cake with love, and share with joy at Christmas time with family and loved ones.  It is special :)

 

Christmas Cake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: Lots!
Ingredients
  • 250 g dates
  • 125g dried apricots
  • 250h raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 60g glace cherries
  • 60g glace ginger
  • 375ml beer
  • 250g butter (at room temperature)
  • 400g honey (1 and ¼ cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups SR wholemeal flour
  • 1½ cups plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Blanched almonds for decorating (optional)
Method
  1. Place dates and apricots into the Tmx bowl and chop speed 6-7 for 10-15 seconds until diced. Remove and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, cherries and ginger to the Tmx and chop speed 6-7 for 10 seconds. Add to the dates and apricots in the large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the beer over the fruit, mix well with a spoon and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and refrigerate overnight.
On the day of baking
  1. Prepare your tin. You will need a 25cm round spring form tin. Grease and line the tin with three layers of baking paper (greasing in between each layer) This may seem fiddly but it is important as the cake has a long baking time.
  2. Put butterfly attachment into the Tmx bowl and add butter and honey. Cream together speed 4 for 15 seconds.
  3. Add eggs and combine (with butterfly still in) for a further 10 seconds at speed 4.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the fruit mixture and stir by hand. You will need a sturdy wooden spoon for this!
  5. Add the mixed spice and two flours, in two batches, stirring in between to combine.
  6. Pour/dollop the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top with your spoon. Decorate with blanched almonds if you like.
  7. Bake the cake in a slow oven - 150 degrees, or slightly less if you oven tends to run hot. The cake will take approximately four hours to cook, after 2 hours cover the top with foil to prevent it over browning. Check the cake often in the last 2 hours of cooking time. It can vary depending on your oven. Test with a skewer in the deepest part of the cake.
  8. Once cooked cool in the tin, overnight. Remove the tin the next day and store in the fridge. You can sprinkle a little brandy over the top while it is being stored.
  9. The cake will keep for up to three months. I like to wait about 3 or 4 weeks after cooking the cake before we start eating it, just to let the flavours develop.
Notes
I have provided the flour quantities in cup measures as they are measured into a mixing bowl not the Tmx bowl.

 

Chocolate Fudge

ChocolateFudge copy
In pre-Thermo days I made cheats fudge many times (using a melt in the microwave technique)   But let me tell you – cooking it this way is so much better!
It creates such a perfect texture and taste – very decadent and delicious. It is very rich and very sugary, so small portions are strongly advised! Don’t be tempted to cut them in to larger squares than suggested in the recipe, the small serving size is ample.
This freezes really well which is good if you want to make in advance. I would like to be able to tell you that having it stored in frozen form also acts as a deterrent from eating too much, but I have found that you can actually eat it almost straight from the freezer (my husband actually claims it tastes better that way!)

The base recipe below is very similar to quite a few that are floating about on the internet, I adapted my fudge by adding toppings.
I made one batch and roughly divided the tray into thirds and used three different flavours to top it before cutting:
Macadamia Nuts
Chopped Turkish Delight
Chopped Peppermint Crisp

I chose to push the toppings into the top of the fudge, but if you wanted to mix them through you would obviously have to do that before pouring into the tray.
Experiment to suit you own taste and preferred style of presentation. You could use any type of nuts (hazelnuts would be nice), cherries, coconut,  other candy/lolly style toppings, or just leave it plain.

Chocolate Fudge
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Snacks
Serves: 32 pieces
Ingredients
  • 200g chocolate (I use chocolate melts)
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 125g butter
  • 25g glucose syrup (I used Agave syrup)
Method
  1. Line a 25cm square baking tray with baking paper (extend up the sides for easy removal)
  2. Blitz the chocolate at speed 9, 10 seconds. Remove from the bowl.
  3. Mill the sugar speed 9, 10 seconds
  4. Add condensed milk, butter and glucose syrup to sugar and cook at 100 degrees, speed 3, 8 minutes.
  5. Then increase temperature to Varoma and cook for a further 20 minutes at speed 3 (MC off)
  6. Add chocolate back the mixture and stir through for 30 seconds speed 4. If you are adding nuts or cherries or something like that you would like combined through the whole mixture - add at this stage and mix through by hand with a spatula.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. If you are adding flavours by topping with extra ingredients (chopped nuts, peppermint bar, Turkish delight, Matlesers etc) then press them into the top of the mixture.
  8. Refrigerate to set. Cut into 2cm squares to serve or gift.
Notes
This is very rich, so small servings are ample! 2-3cm squares are plenty.