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Passionfruit Butter Cake

This would have to be one of the easiest cakes to make and it looks pretty nice too!

It’s an all in one cake. I’m a huge fan of these kinds of cakes as Mary Berry the “Queen of Cakes” advocates this method.

So this is a simple butter cake, given a bit of zing by adding passionfruit to the batter and in the icing. But you could just as easily substitute lemon or orange as the flavouring or chocolate or coffee.

I made the cake in a bundt tin, but an ordinary cake tin is fine. A bundt tin makes a cake look special, a tip given to me by another good cook, my sister!

Ingredients

200g softened butter

200g caster sugar

200g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 free range eggs

3 tablespoons milk

Juice of half an orange

4 passionfruit

100g icing sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C fan forced, 180 degrees C non fan forced. Butter a large bundt tin or a 22cm cake tin. If using a bundt tin make sure you really butter it well to ensure the cake comes out successfully.

Place the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, orange juice and the juice and seeds of two of the passionfruit in the bowl of a food processor.

Whizz until all the ingredients are well blended.

Spoon the mixture into whatever tin you are using. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes for the bundt tin or 30-35 minutes for the regular tin. The bundt tin takes a bit longer as it’s deeper.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.

For the icing, mix the icing sugar with the juice and seeds of the remaining two passionfruit. Depending on how juicy the passionfruit are, you may need to add more icing sugar.

If you think the icing needs more liquid, add another tablespoon of passionfruit juice or lemon juice. You want the icing to be able to drip down the sides of the cake.

Specialise in liberally over the top of the cake.

I think the cake is lovely just served on its own for morning or afternoon tea. But by all means serve with cream or Greek yoghurt if you think it needs it!

Passionfruit Mini Cakes

These little cakes are full of passionfruit in the cake mix and in the icing. I love the fragrance and flavour of passionfruit. I will buy them up while cheap and freeze the pulp – great when I want to make a passionfruit sponge or these little cakes!

Cooking with buttermilk gives a great flavour to cakes so that’s what I used here. You can make cheat’s buttermilk if you haven’t any on hand by simply adding lemon juice or vinegar to milk, or even lime juice. You now have a pretty good substitute!

Here is the recipe for these passionfruit mini cakes. You can make them in fancy molds as I did or make them in an ordinary muffin tin.

Ingredients

Cakes

200g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

125mls buttermilk 0r cheat’s buttermilk ( I added the juice of half a lime to regular milk)

Pulp from 4 passionfruit

Passionfruit Icing

250g icing sugar, sifted

Pulp from 2 passionfruit + 1 passionfruit for the optional fondant icing

1 tbs passionfruit fondant creme (optional)

Method

Cakes

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C fan forced or 170 degrees non fan forced.

You can make this little cakes in any fancy molds you have on hand. The cakes pictured were baked in my Silverwood three tier muffin molds. I buttered and floured these molds. You can use any standard 12 cup muffin tin. Line the muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Put all the ingredients except the pasionfruit pulp in a food processor and blitz till smooth.  Stir the passionfruit pulp into the batter.

Spoon the mixture into the molds or paper cases. If you’re using fancy molds like mine you will get 6 sizeable cakes. Using a regular muffin tin,  you will get 8-12 cakes, depending on how big you want them.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes are cooked and golden on top. Check after 15 minutes, by seeing if a skewer inserted comes out clean. They may need a couple of minutes longer.

Cool the cakes in their molds or muffin tin for 5 minutes, then carefully remove from the molds or muffin tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Ice with a generous amount of passionfruit icing, letting it drip down the sides of the cakes.

Passionfruit Icing

In a bowl, mix together the icing sugar and passionfruit pulp and beat well. If the icing is too soft, or runny, then add more icing sugar to get the desired consistency.

Optional –  I mixed a tablespoon of passionfruit fondant creme (warmed gently in the microwave for a minute or two) with the pulp of 1 passionfruit. This made a very yellow icing which I drizzled on top of of the other icing. More for effect than anything else!

Lemon Ricotta Cake with Italian Meringue

 



I love cakes that utilise dairy ingredients such as ricotta, yoghurt or sour cream to make a very moist and slightly fudgy style of cake. This cake has ricotta and Greek yoghurt to give that great texture, plus soaked in lemon syrup for added moistness as well as added zing.

You can top this cake in a lot of ways – drizzle with more lemon syrup, ice with buttercream or as I did, swathe with beautiful cloudy Italian meringue!

Ingredients

4 large free range eggs – approximately 200 – 220g in weight

200g caster sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

175g butter

175g ricotta

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

75g Greek Yoghurt

200g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bi carbonate of soda

Lemon syrup

Juice of remaining lemon left over from zesting

50g sugar

Italian Meringue

225g caster sugar

120 glucose syrup

90ml water

150g free-range egg whites

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 20cm springform tin with butter. Line the base with a circle of baking paper.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in an electric mixer, starting on low and gradually increasing speed to maximum. Whisk till mixture is pale coloured slightly increased in volume.

Melt the butter and cool to room temperature. Break up ricotta roughly with a fork to help in mixing it in.

Add the lemon juice, vanilla paste, ricotta, yoghurt and butter to the bowl and whisk on low speed until just amalgamated. You don’t want to mix too long and knock the air out.

Combine the plain flour, baking powder and bi carbonate of soda, stirring with a fork to mix. If you want to, you can sift these ingredients.

Very carefully fold the flour into the cake mixture in 3 or 4 lots. Again, be careful not to overmix as you will lose volume. The mixture will be slightly lumpy because of the ricotta, but don’t worry, that doesn’t affect the baked cake texture.

Carefully pour into the cake tin. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake come out clean. Check the cake after 30 minutes – you may need to cover the top with foil if it’s browning too quickly.

Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup by putting the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan  over a low heat and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for a minute to reduce the syrup slightly.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, and leaving the cake in the tin, pierce all over the top with a skewer.

Pour the lemon syrup over the cake and then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the spring form tin onto a plate.

To make the Italian meringue: first reserve 3 tablespoons of the caster sugar. Put the remaining sugar, glucose syrup and water into a small saucepan and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Have a cooking thermometer ready to test the temperature.  Without further stirring, cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches 117 degrees C on your thermometer.

Put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk  on a low speed. When the egg whites become loosened and slightly foamy, add the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon at a time.

Now you need to do this last action during the heating of the sugar syrup, which can be tricky. The idea is to pour the sugar syrup when it has reached 117 degrees C, onto the whisked egg whites and sugar. Pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl, not onto the whisk.

Whisk on medium speed for several minutes until the mixture looks like meringue and is glossy and stands in peaks, and has cooled to room temperature. This will take at least 5 minutes – maybe more.

You can add any flavourings and colours at this point – stir in carefully by hand. I added the juice and seeds of a passionfruit for my cake, as passionfruit goes well with lemon.

To finish the cake, pile the thick luscious Italian meringue onto the top of the cake, using a palette knife.

Serve in thick slices, with more passionfruit, some lemon curd, whipped cream, ice cream, I could go on… this cake is a truly magnificent dessert cake however you like to serve it!

Summer Fruits Celebration Cheesecake

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230B2880-DC61-4C1A-9967-B46A8C4CFF36It’s Australia Day 2018. On a hot and humid Friday, I’m off to Palm Beach for a lunch with my friends the Architect and the Delegator.

Australia day is the last of the summer holidays: 26 January, a day for family and friends to have a barbecue or go to the beach.

There is much discussion in our country at the moment about the timing and relevance of this day.  Whatever one’s views, it was lovely to catch up with old and dear friends in the beautiful  environs of the northern beaches.

The Delegator requested I make a desert!  So thought I’d make a cheesecake which celebrated the wonderful summer fruits which are so plentiful in our markets.

The cheesecake is my go-to recipe from a 1960s family recipe, blogged here before. So here is the cheesecake with its “celebration of summer fruits” theme. I made a passionfruit curd as a topping, then scattered summer fruits, crystallised ginger and some white chocolate over the cake.

Ingredients

Crumb Crust
230g sweet biscuits (half plain, half ginger nut)
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
85g butter

Cream Cheese Filling
500g cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 free-range eggs

Topping
1 carton (280ml) sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
1 level tablespoon sugar

Passionfruit curd
4 tbls sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Pulp of 3 passionfruit
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tbls butter

Summer fruits – pawpaw, passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries

Crystallised ginger

White chocolate

Method

Crush biscuits very finely in a food processor and add the nutmeg and cinnamon. Melt butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and quickly stir in biscuit crumbs.

Press firmly into greased 22cm springform tin* bringing mixture at least half way up the sides of the tin.

Put cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in the food processor and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, whizzing after each addition.

Pour mixture into uncooked crumb crust and bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Beat together the topping ingredients and pour over hot cheesecake. Return to oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Cool, then store in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the passionfruit curd,  place all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, making sure all the ingredients are amalgamated and the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Put aside to cool.

To assemble the cheesecake, spoon the cooled passionfruit could over the cheesecake. Scatter the fruit haphazardly or with a design. Slice the crystallised ginger, and scatter this over the cake too. Finish by shaving some white chocolate over the whole cake.

I don’t think the cheesecake needs more adornment, but you could serve it with a little cream or some Greek yoghurt.

 

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Raspberry and Passionfruit Melting Moments

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Melting moments  – lovely shortbread style cookies filled with buttercream, jam, passionfruit, really whatever sits comfortably between two biscuits!

I made a couple of batches recently. I was experimenting with the technique of striping colour into the biscuit, by painting food colour into the piping bag before filling it with cookie mixture, an idea inspired by an episode of The Great British Bakeoff.

I made raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream melting moments and melting moments sandwiched with passionfruit buttercream.

For the raspberry ones, I used red food colour for the stripe, for the passionfruit ones, I mixed yellow and red food colour to make orange. Yellow on its own didn’t stand out as a colour.

The technique for both is the same: simply paint a stripe using a pastry brush down the side of the piping bag, add your mixture, and pipe. I used a small star shaped nozzle.

Ingredients

Melting moment biscuits – both versions

220g softened butter

100g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g plain flour

75g cornflour

Buttercream – both versions 

50gsoftened butter

100g icing sugar

For raspberry melting moments, you need enough raspberry jam to fill 8-10 melting moments and 1 quantity of buttercream plus some vanilla extract.

For passionfruit melting moments, you need the juice from 2-3 passionfruit, strained.

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C. For each batch, line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until well creamed. Add flour and cornflour and mix until the flours are incorporated. Alternatively, you could use a food processor. I have used both – purists would say the electric mixture creams butter and sugar better.

Place the dough into the piping bag prepared with your colour. Pipe small shapes onto the baking sheets, allowing room for spreading.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are a light golden colour and slightly firm, swapping trays half way through the baking. Remove from the oven, and after 10 minutes, put the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream icing, cream the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. Add a dash of vanilla extract for the raspberry melting moments. Add the strained pasionfruit juice for the passionfruit melting moments.

To assemble the raspberry melting moments, spread one melting moment with raspberry jam and pipe buttercream on top. Sandwich with another melting moment.

To assemble the passionfruit melting moments, pipe one melting moment with passionfruit buttercream, and sandwich with another biscuit.

Both are quite delicious!

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Baked Ricotta Mini Cakes

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These cakes are based on the Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan I cooked recently. The original was made by Dr Rosemary who is an excellent dessert and cake maker. This time I made muffin sized cakes. I mixed the ricotta quite roughly so that some of the curds stayed intact – unintentional – but I rather liked the texture this created.

Ingredients

200 g butter in small pieces

1 cup caster sugar

4 free range eggs, separated

350 g ricotta

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup fresh passionfruit pulp

1 cup self raising flour

Method

Pre-heat  oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 12 hole muffin mold. Beat the butter and half the sugar with an electric mixer until well creamed and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time until combined.

Beat in the ricotta and vanilla extract, until smooth, or leave it a little rough as I did.

Stir in the pasionfruit pulp and sifted self raising flour.

In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the rest of the sugar until firm peaks form.

Gently fold the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture, in 2 or more batches, trying not to lose the air in the egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin molds. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes until the the cakes are firm to the touch. Cooking time will vary according to how much mixture you put into each muffin hole.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. Serve with fresh fruit.

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Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with Lemon Cream

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My oldest  friend recently asked me to dinner. And no, she’s not 105  – I have known her the longest of all my friends – since kindy!

It was one of those serendipitous meals where everything was wonderful – lovely flavours, beautifully cooked, everything hit the right note. The wild barramundi with preserved lemon, crisp potatoes and chilli mayonnaise was amazing.

However the piece de resistance was the dessert – Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with Lemon Cream. What was unusual about this flan was that it was more “cakey” than “tarty” with a lovely texture half way between a curd and a cake crumb. The standout flavour was the passionfruit – this was an inspired ingredient in this cake.

The recipe comes from the magazine New Idea.

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My friend used her own recipe for lemon curd that she has been cooking for ever, handed down from her grandmother, a wonderful cook most fondly remembered by me.

Here it is:

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

1 free-range egg

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 oz butter (28-30 g)

1 tbls cornflour ( a heaped spoon if the lemon is a big one!)

Rind and juice of 1 lemon

Method

Place all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until thickened. Cool before using.

 

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Serve the Baked Passionfruit Ricotta Flan with the lemon cream as topping and with ice cream!

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If you would like to see more of my friend’s recipes, (Dr Rosemary) check this post:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/03/11/breakfast-with-the-doctors/

 

 

 

Rainbow Party Cakes

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I have been experimenting with flavour essences for cupcakes as well as food colours, creating some pretty heady colours as well as flavours! I have created these for various young tasters but older tasters seem to like them too!

Raspberry, passionfruit and lime are flavourful and vibrant. The raspberry cakes are the most successful, I think. The lime cakes taste a little artificial.

The recipe is Nigella’s standard cupcake recipe, which I use a lot, as it’s an “everything in the food processor” recipe. The frosting is buttercream. Adding flavoured fondant creme is not strictly necessary, but adds more depth.

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Ingredients

Cupcakes

125g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tblsp milk

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

Buttercream Icing

125g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

A couple of drops of raspberry, passionfruit or lime essence

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

 

Method

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Put all the ingredients except the milk and food colouring in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture into 3 bowls and beat in food colouring to each bowl.

Spoon mixture into the cases, filling the cases equally.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top.

Take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ice with the buttercream icing.

Buttercream Icing

In the food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light an fluffy, then add flavour essence, food colour and fondant if using, whizzing continuously.

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White Chocolate Yoghurt Cakes with Passionfruit Frosting

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This cupcake recipe is easy as! I made the cakes, iced them and photographed them in under 2 hours. And ate a couple too! The yoghurt and white chocolate make the cakes very moist.

The addition of fondant paste to buttercream creates the passionfruit frosting. This paste comes in tubs in various flavours  – I acquired passionfruit, plus raspberry fondant paste from The Essential Ingredient, Rozelle.

http://www.sydneyessential.com.au/

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Ingredients

75 grams softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup yoghurt (full fat or reduced fat)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g melted white chocolate
Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Cream the butter and sugar in food processor. Add the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla paste and whiz until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Process until smooth – be careful not to overmix as this will toughen the cakes.  Stir in the melted white chocolate.

Pour the mixture into cupcake cases in a muffin tin.

Bake for  15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool.

Ice with the pasionfruit frosting and decorate as desired!

Pasionfruit Frosting

Ingredients

100g softened butter

200gms icing sugar

1 tblsp passionfruit fondant paste

A few drops of yellow food colouring

Method

Cream the butter and icing sugar in the food processor or electric mixer. Add the fondant food colouring and beat until really well combined.

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Passionfruit Ice Cream Slice

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Annabel Langbein has a great ice cream recipe which doesn’t require churning.

I have had a number of ice cream makers over the years, and currently have a Sunbeam Gelateria  ice cream maker which I thought would be used heaps as one can make ice cream from scratch in half an hour.

However the machine languishes on my bench top and I use it so infrequently that I have had to get the instruction book out each time I want to use the machine!

There are a number of no churn ice cream recipes that are really good. Here is the link to Annabel’s recipe: http://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/pistachio–berry-ice-cream/288

I made a passionfruit version served with fresh passionfruit.  I made a third of the quantity (pictured) which was just enough for two…or one greedy ice cream eater…

The following recipe is the full size quantity as this is probably what you would make for family or friends.

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Passionfruit Ice Cream Slice

Ingredients
3 eggs
10 tbsp caster sugar, divided in half
2 tbsp boiling water
2 cups cream, chilled
6-8 passionfruit pulp, plus pulp of 4 more for sauce.

Method
Line a large 2.5 litre container or 6 molds or ramekins with baking paper.

To make the ice cream base, begin by separating the eggs. Place the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another, ensuring no yolk gets mixed in with the whites.

Once you have separated all three egg whites, add 5 tbsp of the caster sugar and beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. This will take about 6-7 minutes.

Now take the bowl containing the three egg yolks and add the remaining 5 tbsp of caster sugar and the 2 tbsp boiling water. Without washing the beater, beat until the egg yolks are pale, thick and ribbony. You will know they are ready when they hold a figure of eight.

In the third bowl, beat the cream to soft peaks.

Gently add the egg yolk mixture and cream a to the beaten egg whites. Fold together using a large flat spoon, then add the passionfruit pulp. Pour the mixture into the prepared container or molds or ramekins.

Freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, until set. To serve, lift the ice cream out of its container/s, cut into slices and serve with more passionfruit pulp.
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