Banana Cupcakes with Butter Cream Icing

 

What to do with a batch of over-ripe bananas that have been sitting on the counter for way too long? Why, use them to make some banana cupcakes, of course! And adding the butter cream icing on top makes them even more delicious.

I recently finished my course in ‘US Foreign Policy’ at Flinders University in Adelaide; after sweating through the exam, I no longer have to think about concepts such as the Cold War or ‘communist containment’- thank goodness I can comfort myself with these banana cupcakes instead!

Banana Cupcakes with Butter Cream Icing
Yields 9
Cupcakes flavored with real banana pulp and topped with a delicious butter cream icing.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
For the Banana Cupcakes
  1. ½ cup sugar
  2. ¼ cup (60 g) softened butter
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. ½ cup mashed banana pulp
  5. 1 ¼ cup white flour
  6. 1 tbsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. Sprinkle of cinnamon powder
  9. 1 tbsp poppy seeds or chia seeds (optional)
  10. ½ cup milk
For the Butter Cream Icing
  1. ½ cup (125 g) softened butter
  2. 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  3. 2 tbsp milk
  4. 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cream together the sugar and softened butter using electric beaters. Add the egg yolks and banana pulp and continue to beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and cinnamon. Add this dry mixture to the banana pulp/egg mixture, then add the milk and combine all ingredients using electric beaters.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with patty pan (cupcake) liners. Fill each liner ¾ full with the cupcake mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown on top. Let cool while preparing the icing.
For the icing
  1. Combine the softened butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl; mix using electric beaters until smooth. Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake. Optional: sprinkle a few poppy or chia seeds on top of each cupcake.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Strawberry Chocolate Box

Chocolate Box

I haven’t posted anything for awhile since I have been busy finishing up my French paper on Émile Zola’s book The Belly of Paris (Le Ventre de Paris). The story is set in mid-19th century Paris in the old market of Les Halles, the giant iron structure that housed meat, poultry, fish, flowers and charcuterie for sale. In his book, Zola uses vast descriptions of the market- whole pages to describe the vegetables, cheeses, ‘stinking fish,’ and freshly-killed calves ‘swaddled in blankets with just the four bloody stumps sticking out.” If I were to die tomorrow, I feel like those images would still remain in my brain into the after-life.

Unfortunately, Les Halles* was torn down in the early 1970’s and I never got to see it. My husband got to visit there and Julia Child describes the market in her biography. Now, the old market has been replaced by a multi-level sterile shopping center, although new renovations are happening there now.

* For those of you wondering how to pronounce the words Les Halles, the ‘h’ is silent, so you would pronounce it as ‘Lay Alles’.

The old Les Halles– Paris

Les Halles

To celebrate my marathon experience of reading and writing about Zola’s book, I made (and ate) a dessert called Strawberry Chocolate Box. Melted chocolate is first formed into a square box-shape, then filled with some chocolate mousse and then dotted with cointreau-glazed strawberries and whipped cream.This dessert would have fitted in well at the old Les Halles market! It’s not too difficult to make- just getting the edges of the ‘chocolate box’ to form a straight line can take a little bit of effort.

To make this dessert, first you place two pieces of foil cross ways inside a square pan (this makes it easy to lift the dessert out of the pan at the end). Then the pan is lined with a thin layer of melted chocolate, coming to about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan.The chocolate mousse filling is then poured into the chocolate ‘box’ and placed in the fridge until set. After removing the foil, glazed strawberries and whipped cream are then added.

Adding the chocolate mousse to the chocolate-lined pan

Chocolate Box

I don’t mind getting my face smudged with this chocolate dessert!

Chocolate Box

And by the way, if you haven’t already done so, please do ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Strawberry Chocolate Box
Serves 4
Cointreau-glazed strawberries placed inside a chocolate 'box' filled with chocolate mousse
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Chocolate Box
  1. 5 ounces (150g) dark chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp butter
  3. 1 punnet strawberries
  4. 1 cup thickened cream (to make whipped cream)
For the strawberry glaze
  1. ¼ cup strawberry or cherry jam
  2. 2 tsps Cointreau or brandy
For the Chocolate Filling
  1. 2 ounces (60g) dark chocolate
  2. 1 tbsp Cointreau or brandy (optional)
  3. 2 eggs, separated
  4. ½ cup cream
To make the chocolate mousse filling
  1. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl placed on top of pan of simmering water (i.e. double boiler). Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in the two egg yolks and Cointreau or brandy (optional). Beat until mixture is smooth and thick. Whip the cream lightly with a fork, then add to the chocolate mixture. Using electric beaters, whip the two egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Set aside.
To make the chocolate box
  1. Place two sheets of foil in a square pan, overlapping cross ways. Bring the foil up over the top of the pan to allow easy removal of the chocolate case when set.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl placed on top of a pan of simmering water. Pour into the foil-lined pan and spread thinly along the base and sides; the chocolate should come about 1 ½ inches up the sides of the pan. Try to keep the top edges of the chocolate as straight as possible to form the box shape. Place pan in fridge for a few minutes until set.
  3. Remove from fridge and then pour the chocolate filling into the pan and spread evenly. Place back in fridge until the mixture sets. Remove from fridge and gently peel the foil from the chocolate- you should now have a square box-like shape. (Don’t worry if the edges of the box are not real straight- try to smooth down the edges by running your wet finger along the edges).
  4. In the meantime, heat the strawberry jam and Cointreau (or brandy) together on the stovetop until the mixture becomes like a syrupy glaze. Hull the strawberries and then coat them with the glaze. Whip 1 cup of cream using electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream inside a piping bag.
  5. Place the strawberries inside the chocolate box and then pipe in some of the whipped cream around the sides and center of the chocolate box.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

‘Little Black Dress’ Chocolate Cake

 

I’ve frequently read that a ‘little black dress’ is an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe- something that can easily be dressed down or up according to the occasion. I must admit I always felt a little intimidated about wearing a little black dress, preferring a knee-length skirt with perhaps some ‘sensible shoes’ instead.

But no more! I’ve come out of the shadows and now proudly parade my special ‘little black dress’- Chocolate Cake– that is! This cake is almost like eating pure fudge with a chocolate ganache icing. And you can add some bling to your cake (little black dress, that is) by adding a dash of edible silver or gold leaf- which you can find at specialty cake decorating stores.

I found this recipe in Delicious Indulge cookbook by Australian author Valli Little. I was immediately attracted to the title of her cake recipe (Little Black Dress Chocolate Cake) as well as the recipe of her delicious-looking cake. But of course, this recipe is not intended only for women, but for all those who love the taste of chocolate.

Chocolate Cake.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 
  

'Little Black Dress' Chocolate Cake
Serves 10
A rich fudge-like cake and ganache icing turns this dessert into a sexy 'little black dress'!
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Chocolate Cake
  1. 3 cups (500 g) dark baking chocolate
  2. 9 Tbsp. (125 g) butter, chopped
  3. 6 eggs, separated
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. ½ cup thickened cream
  6. 2 tbsp. dark rum or brandy (optional)
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. Edible silver or gold leaf to serve (optional)
Chocolate Ganache
  1. 1 ½ cup (250 g) dark baking chocolate
  2. 6 Tbsp. (85 g) butter
  3. ½ cup thickened cream
  4. 2 Tbsp. liquid glucose (glucose syrup)
For the cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Butter the insides of an 8-inch (21 cm) springform cake pan and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water- stir until the mixture melts. Set aside and let cool slightly. Whisk the 6 egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture turns a pale yellow color. Add the thickened cream, rum and vanilla extract and cooled chocolate mixture.
  3. Whisk the 6 egg whites in a clean, dry bowl using electric beaters- continue until soft peaks form. In 3 separate batches, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, using a spatula or large spoon. Do not over-mix; try to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water- stir until the mixture melts. In a separate pan, heat the cream and glucose until almost boiling; combine with the chocolate mixture and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the cake from the pan; spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake and garnish with the silver or gold leaf (optional).
Notes
  1. Edible silver or gold leaf decorations can be purchased at specialty cake decorating stores.
Adapted from 'Delicious Indulge' cookbook by Valli Little
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Orange Spice Cake

Ornage cake

I would like to dedicate this recipe to my blogging friend, Maureen, whose grand daughter just passed away. Sometimes we get sad news from friends or family and blogging about another recipe at this time just doesn’t seem right. However, dedicating this recipe to her might just help her to ease her sadness, as well as mine.

I recently saw this recipe for Orange Spice Cakes in Better Homes and Garden magazine. These spice cakes are small and compact, but full of flavor as the candied tangerines, figs and orange syrup yield lip-smacking goodness. If you’re looking for a cake recipe that tastes good but doesn’t require oodles of layers and gallons of icing, then this may be for you!

For this recipe, you can use either fresh figs or dried figs that have been re-hydrated. I found that thinly sliced tangerines work best for the ‘oranges’ because they are small and sweet, although you could also use clementines.

So here’s to you, Maureen- your tears will be slow to dry but in some small way, may this help to soothe you.

Orange Cake

Orange Spice Cake
Small and compact orange spice cakes, served with warm syrup
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For the candied oranges
  1. 3-4 tangerine oranges
  2. 1 ½ cups sugar
  3. ½ cup water
For the cake batter
  1. 1 cup dried figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  2. ½ cup water
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1 ½ cups sugar
  5. 2 tsp allspice
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)
  9. 3 eggs
  10. ½ cup milk
  11. 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the tangerines (do not peel first). Bring 1 ½ cups sugar and ½ cup water just to boiling, add the tangerine slices, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the mixture becomes like syrup. Remove the orange slices and set the syrup aside to cool. Grease 6 custard cups or muffin tins with softened butter; arrange several candied tangerine slices in the bottom of each and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  3. Over medium heat, cook the figs and water together on the stovetop for 10 minutes, or until the figs soften. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, allspice, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth using electric beaters. Fold in the figs and liquid. Add the batter to the prepared cups, filling each ¾ full. Place the cups (or muffin tin) in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool for several minutes, loosen sides of cakes and invert onto serving dish. Spoon reserved syrup over cakes and serve warm.
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie

 

 

Pie (1 of 1) (1 of 1)

Salsipuedes, Baja California

Last week, I went on a drive from San Diego to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and stopped at a beautiful spot called Salsipuedes, located about 60 miles south of the U.S. border. This spot has beautiful cliffs and stunning coastal views – stopping for a few minutes to drink in the panorama, I wondered at the irony of the name Salsipuedes- which means “Get out, if you can!” in Spanish.

Salsipuedes

What has this got to do with my recipe for Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie? Not much, except that when I sit down to eat this delicious pie, I keep on thinking, “Stop eating this, if you can!” Not an easy thing to do when pumpkin pie happens to be my favourite pie, especially when you add a splash of bourbon and some tasty pecans to the recipe.

A few tips on making the pie crust (see detailed recipe below):

  • Roll out the dough so that about 1.5 inches of dough overhangs the edge of the pie pan. Trim the edge of the dough with kitchen scissors so that one inch remains hanging over the edge.
  • Tuck the ends of the dough under to form a thicker crust edge.
  • To form the fluted edges of the pie crust, pinch the dough together using the thumb and index finger of your left hand- then push your right thumb inward to form the fluted edge.
  • Pour the pureed pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and bake until the mixture sets.

 Pie (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

 P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day!

Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie
Serves 8
Creamy Pumpkin Pie with a splash of bourbon and topped with pecans. Makes one 10-inch pie.
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For the pie crust
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white flour
  2. 11 tbsp. (150 g) butter, cubed
  3. 1 1/2 eggs
  4. 2 - 3 tbsp. cold water
For the pumpkin pie filling
  1. 1 15-ounce canned pumpkin purée (or fresh pumpkin)
  2. ½ cup brown sugar
  3. 1 ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1/4 cup bourbon
  5. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  6. 2 tbsp cinnamon
  7. 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  8. 1 tsp ground cloves
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 5 eggs
For the pecan topping
  1. 1 cup pecan halves (approximate)
  2. 3 tbsp molasses
  3. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  4. 1 tbsp butter
To prepare the pie crust
  1. Place flour in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and rub mixture with palms and finger tips until mixture resembles fine sand. Alternatively, place flour and butter in food processor bowl and pulse until mixture resembles texture of fine sand. (See following link for detailed instructions on how to make pie crust http://www.gdaysouffle.com/2014/01/12/quiche-lorraine-back-to-the-french-basics/).
  2. Add 1 1/2 eggs and stir until mixture starts to form a ball. If required, add 2-3 tbsps. of cold water and mix until dough hangs together in firm ball shape.
  3. Knead the dough several times on work surface and form into firm ball. Roll out the dough until it measures about 1.5 inches larger than the dimensions of your pie pan. Trim the dough using kitchen scissors so that 1 inch of dough overhangs the pie pan. Tuck the edges of the dough under at the edges and then form into fluted edges. Set the dough aside.
To make the pumpkin pie filling
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, condensed milk, bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, cloves and salt. Stir in the eggs until combined.
  3. Place mixture in a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover edges with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until edges begin to puff and center is almost set. Remove from oven.
For the pecan topping
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the molasses, brown sugar and butter until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the pecans and stir until they are fully coated- arrange the pecans decoratively on top of the pie and bake for a further 15 minutes until the center of the pie sets. Cool and serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Profiteroles Re-visited

Aside

 

Profiteroles (7 of 7) (1 of 1)

Several years ago, I did a post on Profiteroles which has turned out to be my most popular post. I guess I’m not the only person who loves these delicate cream puffs, topped with a lovely chocolate sauce. Thousands of people seem to be surfing the net, searching for a good Profiterole recipe.

Because I’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback and questions regarding my recipe, I thought I’d share them with you and offer some ‘tips and traps.’ The feedback from my beloved readers has ranged from comments such as “my profiteroles turned out so hard I could have bounced them off the wall” to a an admission that one reader had used tequila instead of vanilla flavoring for the custard cream. I would have liked to taste that one!

Here is the profiterole photo from my original post of July 2013:

Here are some of the comments I’ve received, plus my suggestions for overcoming any problems (see below for the original printable recipe):

COMMENT:

The dough for my choux pastry was too runny, like pancake mix- they went ‘splat’ when I spooned them onto the baking tray!”

SOLUTION:

Try using less eggs for the choux pastry dough. The recipe calls for 3-4 large eggs. Start by beating in one egg at a time and then stop and re-evaluate after beating in the third egg. If the dough is smooth and elastic and falls easily off of your spoon or spatula, then you don’t need to add the fourth egg. If your dough is still a bit stiff, then add another 1/2 egg or 1 full egg. It all depends on the size of your eggs; if you add four jumbo eggs at once, then your dough will probably turn out too runny, like pancake mix. The trick is to stop and re-evaluate after adding the first three eggs.

The choux pastry dough should be smooth and elastic, not runny.

After adding the eggs, the dough should be smooth and elastic- not runny.

S- not runny.

 COMMENT

” My puff balls weren’t crisp on the outside when I took them out of the oven and then deflated quickly.”

SOLUTION:

The trick to getting crisp puff balls is to first bake them in the oven at a high temperature of 425 F for the first 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 F for the remaining 10-15 minutes. I use an oven thermometer to ensure my oven has reached 425 F before putting the puff balls in the oven. If it looks like your buns are browning to fast, then reduce the oven temperature sooner. If using a convection oven (fan-forced), then reduce your  oven temperatures by 20 degrees (for 425 F reduce your temperature to 405 F, etc.).

If you follow this method of first baking at a high temperature, then your profiterole buns should not deflate soon after removing them from the oven. Store in an air-tight container if not serving right away.

 The puff balls should be crisp on the outside when finished baking

 
COMMENT

” My custard cream filling was too thick, like a paste.”

 SOLUTION

Try using less flour for the custard cream. The recipe calls for adding 1/3 cup flour to 3 egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar, so try reducing the amount to say 1/4 cup flour. Also, you should gradually add small amounts of the egg/flour/sugar mixture to the milk/cream so that it gradually thickens. The custard should be able to still pour easily after it’s cooked, but not be too runny.

The custard should still be able to pour easily; if too thick, add a bit more milk or cream.

 COMMENT

“My chocolate sauce seized up – became hard and grainy, instead of smooth.”

SOLUTION

If your chocolate gets too hot, it may seize up and get hard. Make sure you heat the chocolate, butter and cream together over low heat, preferably placing the ingredients in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water.

COMMENT

“My profiteroles turned out hard as rocks- I could have bounced them off the wall!”

SOLUTION

The first time I made profiteroles, they were also as hard as rocks, but the second time I made them, they came out perfect. Try making them again!

“My custard cream tasted too much like eggs!”

SOLUTION

Sorry, nothing I can do about that. Since the custard is made of egg yolks, they are bound to taste like eggs! (But I guess you could try adding more vanilla flavoring to mask the egg taste).

Here is my original recipe for Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce and Custard Cream, first published July 2013. I hope you continue to enjoy them!
 
4.8 from 4 reviews
Profiteroles Re-visited
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Soft pastry puffs filled with custard cream and slathered with a rich chocolate sauce
Ingredients
  • !For the Choux Pastry
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • ⅓ cup (6 tbsp.) butter, cubed
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 – 4 large eggs
For the Custard Cream Filling
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla favoring
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) flour
  • For the Chocolate Sauce
  • 113 g (3/4 cup) dark baking chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 65 ml (1/4 cup) thickened cream
  • 2 tbs. sugar
Instructions
For the Choux Pastry
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F. (220 C.)
  2. Combine water and butter in a saucepan and bring just to the boil.
  3. Remove pan from the heat. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. In one go, add these dry ingredients to the water/butter mixture.
  4. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough and falls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Beginning with three eggs, beat in one egg at a time, stirring in each egg until the dough mixture is smooth and the egg is fully incorporated. After the third egg, the dough should be elastic and fall easily away from your spoon or spatula. If the dough is still a bit stiff, then add another ½ egg or another full egg until the dough reaches the right consistency; the dough should not be ‘runny’ like pancake batter but smooth and elastic.
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a piping bag with a large tipped nozzle, pipe balls of dough onto the tray (spaced at least 2 inches apart), using about 2 tbsp. of dough for each ball. Pipe in concentric circles starting from the center and working outwards.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 425 F (220 C), then lower the temperature to 375 F. (190 C.) for the remaining 10-15 minutes. The pastry balls will be done when they puff up and become golden. Each ball should feel light and airy.
  8. Turn off oven and remove the tray from the oven; slit a small hole in the base of each pastry ball to release any steam. Return the tray to the oven for another few minutes to dry out the insides of the pastry puffs.
For the Custard Cream Filling
  1. Warm the milk, cream and vanilla flavouring together over medium heat- do not boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks for at least 30 seconds until the mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow in color, then add the flour.
  3. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in the egg/sugar mixture to the milk/cream mixture. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens- if the custard is so thick that it will not pour easily, then add a little more milk or cream. Place in the fridge until chilled; the custard will continue to thicken some as it chills.
  4. To fill each puff ball with custard, lift open the top of each pastry ball and fill with 1 -2 tbsp. of custard.
For the Chocolate Sauce
  1. Over low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter. Mix in the cream and sugar and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  2. To serve, place one or two pastries on a plate and cover with chocolate sauce.
 
 
 
 

 

 

Pumpkin & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

 Pumpkin Cheesecake This year, I promised myself I wouldn’t do another pumpkin recipe during the Thanksgiving period, especially after experiencing ‘pumpkin overload’ from previous years (i.e. Starbucks selling ‘Pumpkin Lattes’ etc).

However, this year I couldn’t help myself (again). I decided the story must be told for Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. This recipe came about almost by accident: I wanted to create a swirl effect using pumpkin puree and cheesecake, however there wasn’t enough contrast in color between the two elements. How could I create more drama and contrast in this dessert? By adding some swirls of chocolate, of course!

At first glance, it may seem that there may be too many flavors going on here; pumpkin, chocolate, cream cheese, REALLY? But everything works nicely- the pumpkin flavor is subtle with the chocolate creating a nice accent. For my recipe, I used Butternut Pumpkin (or ‘Butternut Squash’ for U.S. residents), but you can use canned pumpkin if you wish.

For this recipe, 1/2 of the pumpkin- cream cheese mixture is first added to the prepared crust and then 4-5 spoonfuls of melted chocolate are added on top. This process is repeated again and then a knife tip is used to swirl the chocolate throughout the mixture. A thin layer of the crust mixture is sprinkled around the rim of the cheesecake before baking for added decoration.

I served this dessert last night for a dinner party and one of the guests commented that the crust was so good, that it could have been served as a dessert in itself!

So, I’ve learned a lesson here- don’t make any promises that you can’t keep. I promise not to promise next year to avoid any more pumpkin recipes (even Starbucks’ pumpkin lattes can’t turn me away)- I just love pumpkin too much!

P.S. Would love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would make my day!

 

 

Pumpkin and Chocolate SwirlCheesecake
Serves 12
Swirls of chocolate incorporated into a pumpkin-flavored cheesecake
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For the crust
  1. 1 cup graham crackers, finely crushed
  2. 1 cup ginger snaps, finely crushed
  3. ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
  4. ½ cup butter, melted
For the Filling
  1. 3 8-ounce packets of cream cheese, softened
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 cup puréed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  6. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  7. ½ tsp nutmeg
  8. Dash cloves
  9. 1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate, melted
  10. 2 tbsp thickened cream
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Combine the graham crackers, ginger snaps, pecans and melted butter in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (removable bottom). Reserve at least ¼ cup of the crust mixture for the final decoration (see below).
  2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add one egg at a time, beating after each until just blended. Add the pumpkin and spices.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the chocolate over low heat on the stovetop- stir in the thickened cream. Add ½ of the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust, followed by 4-5 spoonfuls of the melted chocolate. Repeat the layers, then use the tip of a knife to create swirl patterns. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture around the rim of the dessert for added decoration.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center of the dessert is almost set. Let cool then refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving.
Notes
  1. You can use either fresh pumpkin or canned for this recipe
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulip Cookie with Fresh Mixed Berries

 

Tulip new 1Why not serve this Tulip Cookie with Mixed Berries at either Thanksgiving or Christmas to add some color to your table? I’m not suggesting that you give up your traditional pumpkin pie or Christmas pudding, but adding this dessert to your table may make your guests sit up and take notice!

A Tulip Cookie is made of a delicious wafer-like dough that is molded into shape right after it comes out of the oven. For my mold I used an 8-inch brioche tin (purchased online through Amazon) which produces a nice fluted pattern. However, you could also use a ramekin or custard cup to shape your cookie tulips (see instructions below).

To make the tulip cookie, you first spread the batter into a circular shape before baking it in the oven. As a rule of thumb, the diameter of your dough circle should be about the same diameter as your mold- for instance, my brioche mold was 8 inches in diameter, so I also made my dough circle 8 inches wide.

These tulip cookies are very versatile, you can fill it with almost anything, including ice cream or mousse. May your holiday table be graced with lovely food and lovely friends and family!

Makes one 8 inch wide tulip cookie or two 4 inch wide cookies

Ingredients  (see printed recipe below)

Tulip Batter

  • 4 tbsps softened butter
  • 6 tbsps confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Filling

  • ¾ cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup thickened cream, whipped
  • 3 tbsps white chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups (approx.) mixed berries
  • ¼ cup sugar

 Garnish

  • Additional whipped cream for the fleurettes (can use ready-made whipped cream from a canister, if desired)

 Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Beat the softened butter with a whisk or electric beater until creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until slightly fluffy then add to the butter-sugar mixture.
  • Add the flour and vanilla flavoring and combine until smooth (do not overmix).
  • Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet; using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into a round shape about 8 inches in diameter (or less, depending on the size of your mold) and 1/8 inch thick.

 

  •  Place in oven and reduce temperature to 350 F (180 C); bake for 7-10 minutes or until the tulip turns golden brown. Remove the tulip using a spatula and immediately press it into the inside of a brioche mold to form a ‘cookie dish’ with a flat bottom. This should be done while the tulip is still hot. Place the second mold immediately inside the first and press gently to shape it. Leave the tulip to set for several minutes then place in the freezer for several minutes to help firm the shape. If the tulip cools and becomes too brittle to shape, return to oven for 1 minute to soften. Gently remove the tulip cookie from the mold and set aside.

 Press warm cookie dough into inside of brioche mold and then place a second mold inside it  to hold the shape

Brioche tin

  • To prepare the filling, whip the thickened cream until stiff  peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese and add the melted white chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of the tulip cookie, filling it about 1/3 full.

 Tulip with cheese filling

  •  In a separate bowl, add ¼ cup sugar to a combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Add these on top of the mascarpone/cream mixture.

 

  •  Add dots (or fleurettes) of whipped cream to the dessert, using a canister of whipped cream, such as ‘Reddi-wip’. (Alternatively, you can make your own whipped cream and pipe it onto the dessert).

 Cookie Tulip
Alternative to using a brioche mold

If you don’t have access to a brioche mold, you can use a ramekin or round custard dish to mold your tulip cookie dough. Press the warm cookie dough into the inside of a ramekin, let cool then fill with the mascarpone filling and fruit.

 

Tulip Cookie with Fresh Mixed Berries
A delicious vanilla-flavoured wafer shaped and filled with fruit or ice cream of your choice
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
For the Tulip Batter
  1. 4 tbsps softened butter
  2. 6 tbsps confectioner’s sugar
  3. 2 egg whites
  4. 5 tbsps all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling
  1. ¾ cup mascarpone
  2. ½ cup thickened cream, whipped
  3. 3 tbsps white chocolate bits
  4. 2 cups (approx.) mixed berries
  5. ¼ cup sugar
For the Garnish
  1. Additional whipped cream for the fleurettes
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Beat the softened butter with a whisk or electric beater until creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until slightly fluffy then add them to the butter-sugar mixture.
  2. Add the flour and vanilla flavoring and combine until smooth (do not overmix).
  3. Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet; using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into a round shape about 8 inches in diameter (or less, depending on the size of your mold) and 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Place in oven and reduce temperature to 350 F (180 C); bake for 7-10 minutes or until the tulip turns golden brown. Remove the tulip using a spatula and immediately press it into the inside of a brioche mold to form a ‘cookie dish’ with a flat bottom. This should be done while the tulip is still hot. Place the second mold inside the first and press gently to shape it. Leave the tulip to set for several minutes then place in the freezer for several minutes to help firm the shape. If the tulip cools and becomes too brittle to shape, return to oven for 1 minute to soften. Gently remove the tulip cookie from the mold and set aside.
  5. To prepare the filling, whip the thickened cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese and add the melted white chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of the tulip cookie, filling it about 1/3 full.
  6. In a separate bowl, add ¼ cup sugar to a combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Add these on top of the mascarpone/cream mixture.
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu at Home
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu at Home
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Frozen Chocolate Nougat with Sour Cherry Coulis

 Nougat
You’ll make friends for life with this recipe!

This recipe is a frozen chocolate mousse filled with some soft candied fruit, sour cherries and nougatine, a caramalized mixture of sugar and flaked almonds- a truly delightful dessert!

When you hear the word nougat (pronounced Nu-gah), you may think of the candy made of honey, sugar, candied fruit and flaked almonds- something I wasn’t particularly attracted to as a kid growing up. However, in recent years, chefs have been incorporating the concept of nougat into a frozen chocolate mousse made from whipped cream and meringue- now you can count me in!

When you bite into the frozen dessert, your senses are further awakened by the bright red cherry sauce and the sprigs of fresh mint accompanying the dish.

P.S. Would LOVE it if you’d Like my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

A few words about making the Nougatine filling:

First, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Watch carefully as the sugar can easily burn.

Nougat

Next, add the 1/2 cup (50 g) slivered almonds to the pan and stir until they turn golden brown. Transfer the mixture onto parchment paper that has been brushed with some vegetable oil and spread evenly using a spatula.

 Nougat

Let the nougatine cool, then place another piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture and crush coarsely using a rolling pin, rolling the pin back and forth across the mixture.

Nougat

Note: the recipe calls for filling the chocolate mousse with the nougatine, candied fruit and sour cherries, but you can reduce or eliminate some of the components if desired.

 Nougat

Frozen Chocolate Nougat with Sour Cherry Coulis
Serves 6
A delicious chocolate mousse filled with candied fruit, crushed nougatine and sour cherries.
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For the Nougatine
  1. 1 tbsp butter
  2. 50 g (1/2 cup) flaked almonds
  3. 115 g (1/2 cup) sugar
For the Italian Meringue
  1. 200 g (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) sugar, cooked to 118 C (245 F)
  2. 2 tbsp water
  3. 4 egg whites
For the Frozen Chocolate Nougat
  1. 180 g (3/4 cup) dark cooking chocolate
  2. 450 (3 ½ cups) ml thick cream, whipped
  3. 80 g (1/2 cup) candied fruit, diced
  4. 40 canned sour cherries (‘Morello’ or other kind of sour cherries)
For the cherry coulis
  1. 125 ml (1/2 cup) juice from the canned sour cherries
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. Dash of balsamic vinegar
For the decoration
  1. Fresh mint leaves
  2. Sour cherries
  3. Flaked almonds
  4. Crushed nougatine
To make the Nougatine
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the flaked almonds and stir until they turn golden brown. Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly brushed with vegetable oil and spread evenly with a spatula. Let cool, place another layer of parchment paper on top of the mixture and crush coarsely using a rolling pin.
To make the Italian Meringue
  1. Place the 200 g sugar in a saucepan along with 2 tbsp water. Over medium high heat, stir the sugar until it comes almost to a boiling point, reaching a maximum of 118 C (245 F). In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Gradually pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites while continuing to mix with the electric beaters. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and shiny, with soft peaks forming.
To make the frozen Chocolate Nougat
  1. Whip the cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form and set aside.
  2. To melt the chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a pot of simmering water. Heat until chocolate is completely melted. Remove bowl from heat, stir in the candied fruit and sour cherries. Now gently fold in the Italian meringue, whipped cream and crushed nougatine into the mixture, keeping the mixture light and fluffy.
  3. Pour the mixture into ring molds that have been placed on parchment-lined baking trays and place in freezer for several hours. Alternatively, you can transfer mixture into several loaf pans (7 inch by 3 inches). Before serving, prepare the sour cherry coulis: heat the juice from the canned sour cherries in a small saucepan, add the sugar and dash of balsamic vinegar, stir for several minutes until the mixture thickens.
  4. To serve, remove the frozen mixture from the ring molds by running a sharp knife around the edge of the mold and ‘push through’ the mixture onto a serving plate. Place some flaked almonds and crushed nougatine on top of the frozen nougat, a sour cherry and a mint leaf. Decorate the edge of the plate with some of the cherry coulis, sour cherries and mint leaves.
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Chocolate Kahlua Tiramisu

 

 

Tiramisu 1

I think my dessert might be classed as a ‘cheat’s tiramisu’ because I left out the sponge cake or ladyfingers- but it does have a delicious blend of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese layered with coffee-infused melted chocolate and a splash of Kahlua. Oh yeah, we can forget about those lady fingers this time!

Unfortunately, I’ll have to forget about going on a diet for the time being. I gained 6 pounds on my recent 5-week road trip that took us from Adelaide, South Australia up through the coast of Western Australia to Exmouth (see my post Australian Outback Adventure: from Adelaide to Ningaloo Reef). I find it hard to maintain my weight while travelling, with long hours sitting in a car and eating many meals in restaurants. For dinner, I always ordered just one bowl of soup and then ate a few morsels from Len’s dinner in order to cut back, but the weight still kept piling on. Maybe it was all the lobster and oysters I ate on the trip!

But first I’ll eat this delicious dessert and then go on a diet. Tell me, dear reader, do you tend to gain weight when you travel?

P.S. Would LOVE it if you’d Like my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

 

Chocolate Kahlua Tiramisu
Yields 4
A creamy mixture of mascarpone cheese and whipped cream blended with layers of melted chocolate and a splash of Kahlua.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
  2. 1/2 cup (125 g) mascarpone cheese or ricotta cheese
  3. 1/4 cup (40 g) icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
  4. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  5. 100 g dark chocolate, melted
  6. 2 tbsps. liquid coffee or espresso, cooled
  7. 3 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur (or other coffee liqueur)
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and sifted confectioner's sugar, then stir until the mixture is smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vanilla extract, liquid coffee and Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur). To serve, spoon 1 tbsp. of the melted chocolate mixture on the bottom of a serving glass, followed by several tbsps. of the cream/mascarpone cheese mixture. Continue alternating layers of the chocolate mixture with the cream mixture, ending with several pieces of chocolate bits on top.
Notes
  1. You can substitute ricotta cheese for the mascarpone cheese, if desired.
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/