Sunday, September 23, 2012

Passionfruit and Orange Sweet Adventures Sauce

So are you feeling saucy? The Sweet Adventures Blog Hoppers led by The Kitchen Crusader are.

I was feeling a little saucy myself. I returned to a long time favorite of mine. Passionfruit and Orange Sauce. Perfect for crepes, pancakes, waffles or just about anything you might like to pour a little sweet sauce on. I poured mine on some Home made Vanilla Ice Cream and fresh raspberries with a little mint.

The secret to this sauce is in the making. I wanted the sauce to be hot against the cold ice cream but still taste fresh. The combination of hot and cold and cooked and fresh makes the dish more interesting to eat.
It's Spring here in Oz and the shops are full of interstate fresh fruit and vegetables and I do try to buy local. I couldn't resist some Queensland Passionfruit and raspberries though.
Nearly everything else came from our local farmers market though so I didn't feel quite so bad for lashing out on the imports.

Passionfruit and Orange Sauce

2 large serves  or 4 reasonable serves.

1 large orange - juiced
6 or 7 passionfruit
1 tablespoon cornflour
60 mls water
60 mls grand marnier or brandy

To Serve
Homemade Vanilla Ice cream
fresh mint

Place half of the juice and half of the pulp from the passionfruit in a small pot.

Blend the cornflour into the water.
Stir the cornflour and water into the juice and heat over medium flame, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens.

Reduce the heat and still stirring cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Add the rest of the fresh juice, passionfruit and liquer.
Taste and if it isn't sweet enough for your palate add 1 teaspoon of sugar, stirr to dissolve and then taste again.

Spoon some ice cream into a glass or bowl.
Top with the raspberries and sauce and garnish with some mint.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gingerbread and Pear Cheesecake


Where I work we tend to talk about food A LOT!!! Night shift can be boring and food is a hot topic. This week there was an intense and at times rather heated discussion that debated the superiority of gingerbread over cheesecake so I offered to bring a combination of both to our shared Friday night dinner. 
I give you Gingerbread Cheesecake.
I decided I didn’t want a hard base as in gingerbread man hard I was thinking of the more cake type of gingerbread. The taste combination of pears, macadamias and ginger is a match made in heaven if ever there was one. Plus I was making it so I could do what I wanted.

I don't get paid to advertise or promote anyones products but I am going to give Buderims Glace Ginger a big thumbs up. Made and grown in Australia it is delicious. Buderim in Queensland has been the home of commercially grown ginger since before World War 1. The Buderim Ginger Growers Cooperative formed during the 2nd World War with a grand total of 25 pounds of working capital to start the 5 farmers on the road to their current role in supplying ginger to Australia and exporting to 17 different countries.

Gingerbread and Pear Cheesecake.


125 grams ½ cup butter cut into smallish cubes
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
3 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon Buderim glace ginger finely chopped
185mls/¾ cup boiling water

75 g melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
4 pears peeled, cored and quartered then sliced

1 ½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon bi-carb (baking) soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup macadamias chopped
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake layer

1 tablespoon gelatine
½ cup boiling water
500 g cream cheese – allow the cream cheese to return to room temperature before use.
1 can condensed milk
Juice of 1 lemon

Line a 25 x 30 cm lamington tin with bake paper.
Preheat oven to 180° C.

Combine the butter, sugar, syrup, spices and ginger in a pan and pour over the boiling water. Stir to melt the butter and sugar. If it doesn’t melt together completely then heat the pot over a low heat until it does.
Leave to cool.

While the mixture is cooling peel, quarter, core and slice the pears.

Pour the melted butter into a 25cm x 30cm baking tin lined with bake paper.                 
Sprinkle the brown sugar over evenly.
Lay the slices of pear over the butter/sugar mixture.
Set the tray aside.

Sift the plain flour, soda and baking powder together.

Into the pot of sugar/butter/syrup and spices put the nuts, sifted dry ingredients, vanilla and the egg.
Mix it together with a spoon until it is smooth and then pour it gently over the top of the sliced pear.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Lay another piece of bake paper over the top and turn the cake out onto it. Place on a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Once the cake layer is cool put it back into the tin on the piece of bake paper.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the boiling water and stir it until it dissolves.
Combine the cream cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice in a bowl and mix until it is smooth.
Add the gelatine and water and mix again until it is smooth.
Pour evenly over the top of the cake layer.
Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the cheesecake layer to set.

It is better to leave the cheesecake at least overnight to allow the flavours of the gingerbread to develop.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bombora's @ Goolwa Beach and Jamie Olivers Stuffed Peppers

This weekend has given us two amazing spring days. Perfect to walk on the beach. Off we went to Goolwa. We found a light breeze coming in from the sea, blue,blue sky and not too many people around.  Luckily my yen for seafood yesterday prompted me to ring and book a table at Bombora's,  a small kiosk cafe on the beach because they were busy. In front of the kiosk is a dining area with plastic curtains to block the sea winds. 

Today those winds were mere breezes. It was a bit cool but the Husband and I had our wind jackets in the car and that was all we needed over our long sleeve shirts. Other patrons were colder and made good use of the blankets available. We arrived just before  midday and had coffee and excellent german apple cake, the cake had beautiful pink lady apple slices around the edge and some delicious custard in the middle. 

Next a walk up to the top of the boardwalk the photo above is the view back over Bomboras and the life guard tower. Then back down to the beach for a lesiurely 3 km stroll. No 1 Son, favorite Daughter In Law and No 1 grandson met us at Bomboras for a late lunch and it was fantastic. Bomboras is well known for its fried whitebait and it lived up to its reputation. Lightly tossed in flour and fried served with a sprinkle of parsley and a generous wedge of lemon. Grandson loved them and ate half the bowl. I did manage to grab a photo before we devoured the lot.

I had a small sardine niscoise salad that would have been better with some olives but otherwise lovely. 

DIL's Grilled Mulloway with spring salsa was pronounced excellent. 

No 1 Son had salt and pepper squid (the piece I stole was great), the dipping sauce tangy and perfect with the squid.

For me the highlight of the whole day was the best ever chocolate mousse cake. Creamy and chocolatey without being too rich, a little crunch from the toasted almonds and the crisp top served warm with a drizzle of home-made chocolate sauce, fresh cream and one of the best lattes I have had for ages. 

We were home for dinner and wanted something light and quick. Jamie Olivers stuffed peppers fit the bill. From his 30 minute meals show they take 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.

Jamie's Stuffed Peppers


70g grated tasty cheese
30g grated parmesan
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 diced brown onion
50g blanched almonds

a small bunch of fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 x 450g jar of whole peppers
1 teaspoon italian dried mixed herbs 
1 teaspoon spicey tomatino spice mix - or 1/4 tspn cumin, 1/4 cumin, 1/4 tspn dried chili, 1/4 smoked paprika 
Salt and pepper

I bought the whole roasted peppers at Hahndorf Fruit and Veg Shop. There were 5 in the jar.
Open the jar and drain off the liquid.
Crumble  the bread, cheeses, blanched almonds, parsley, a good pinch of salt & pepper, the chopped onion and the red wine vinegar into the food processor

 Whiz up until fine and stuff loosely into the peppers.

Once full, put them into a baking dish. 

Scatter any remaining breadcrumbs over the peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, then put on the middle shelf of a 200° C oven for 20 minutes. 

Served with leftover tomato and vegetable sauce.