Chocolate Fondants – Soulful Baker – Julie Jones

Soulful Baker

Soulful Baker by Julie Jones (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)


Chocolate Fondants

“The trick to getting chocolate fondants right is knowing your oven as they can difer so dramatically. I recommend using an oven thermometer for all of your cooking and baking, but especially when making these. It can be quite surprising how diferent the thermometer may read to that of which your dial is set. If you don’t have a thermometer it would be a good idea to test bake one fondant before cooking the whole batch – you 
can then adjust the baking time if needs be. And remember, peering into the oven biting your nails really isn’t necessary, they will work! “

makes 8 fondants

Use 8 small 180ml (6 oz) non-stick pudding moulds

150g (51⁄2oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

200g (7oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces

50g (13⁄4oz/31⁄2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

140g (5oz/scant 3⁄4 cup) caster (super fine) sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)

60g (2oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all- purpose) flour

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas 7 and place a baking sheet inside. Grease the insides of each pudding mould and place a disc of non-stick baking paper in the bottom of each.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl sat upon a pan of simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat and start to make the batter.

Cream together the butter and sugar using a free-standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the eggs in a separate jug, adding the vanilla if using. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar, continuing to mix as you do so, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needs be. Once all of the eggs are in, sieve over the flour and give a very brief mix, just until the our has been combined. Add the melted chocolate, then stir together using a spatula until all of the chocolate has been evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour or spoon the batter equally between the moulds, place each on the pre-heated baking tray sheet and cook for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the fondants in the moulds to rest for 1 minute.

To turn out, place an inverted plate on top of the mould and carefully turn over, lift off the mould and remove the piece of baking paper that will be on top of each fondant. Serve straight away.



choc fondant

Who Would Have Thought…

Who would have thought that tahini ( ground sesame seed paste) and maple syrup could  taste this good?  Today I made my first raw food dessert – raw caramel slice from  Vladia Cobrdova’s “A Whole New Way To Eat.”

I love the base- dates and almonds, the caramel – basically tahini, coconut oil and maple syrup and the choc top –  mostly just cocoa and coconut oil. YUM.  A little goes a long way – but  make sure you keep this in the fridge.  The recipe  states this will keep for up to three weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, which is good because this recipe made a huge amount.  If you are down this way – pop in for a coffee and a taste.


raw caramel slice

Banoffee Pavlova Roulade: Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook – Julie Goodiwn


Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

You can sweeten the cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon icing sugar if you wish. I choose not to as the pavlova itself is very sweet.
Banoffee Pavlova Roulade
Serves 10–12 Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
8 eggwhites
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
600 ml thickened cream, whipped
4 ripe bananas, sliced ½ cm thick
For the caramel sauce
125 g butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup thickened cream
For the candied macadamias
½ cup macadamia nut pieces
¼ cup icing sugar
1 Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 26 x 34 cm baking tray with baking paper.
2 In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar a little bit at a time, whipping continually, until the sugar is
dissolved and stiff peaks have formed.
3 Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and gently fold through the
egg whites until combined. Do this very gently so as not to knock the air out of
the mixture. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes
or until just firm.
4 When the meringue comes out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle a fresh sheet of baking paper with cornflour and lay over the top of
the meringue. Lay a clean tea towel on the bench, and carefully invert the
baking dish so that the meringue comes out on top of the baking paper and
on top of the tea towel. Carefully remove the baking paper from the bottom
of the meringue.
5 Spread half the cream in a line along the long edge of the meringue closest to
you. Press half the sliced bananas into the cream. Now the fun part: carefully,
using the tea towel as a helping hand, roll the meringue over the cream until
it looks like a log. Carefully lift onto the serving plate, putting the join at the
6 For the caramel sauce, heat a large frypan over medium heat and melt the
butter and brown sugar together. Add the cream to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring, for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool (at room temperature – don’t refrigerate).
7 For the candied macadamias, place the nuts and icing sugar in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the icing sugar melts and turns golden. Stir to coat evenly and tip the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to cool and bash gently with the base of a glass or a rolling pin to crush just a little.

8 Immediately before serving, spread the remaining cream over the roulade. Spread the remaining banana over the top, drizzle generously with caramel sauce and sprinkle with the macadamias.

Banoffee pavlova roulade p.275





Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble: The Dinner Ladies – Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood


Images and recipes from The Dinner Ladies by Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood (Murdoch Books) Photographs by Ben Dearnley RRP $39.99 available September 1st in all good bookstores and online.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Sml

Basic Crumble Topping
Makes 1 x 275 g (93/4 oz) quantity   Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time none

The combination of warm, slightly tart fruit and crunchy, biscuity crumble is universally loved – and how about those bits where the fruit’s juices have bubbled up around the edges of the topping and gone jammy and toffee-ish? Oh, stop it right now. With a few different crumble recipes up your sleeve, you’ll never be at a loss for a fail-safe, make-ahead dessert at any time of the year – we’ve often used frozen fruit when there’s been nothing else available and it’s been just fine.

Make ahead: Both the fruit filling and the topping can be made ahead and will keep for 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Just keep the filling and topping in separate tubs till you are ready to fill your ovenproof dish for baking.” (p.247)




75 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) self-raising flour

100 g (31/2 oz/1/2 cup lightly packed) light brown sugar

pinch of salt

50 g (13/4 oz) cold salted butter, diced into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes

50 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) rolled (porridge) oats



In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Rub the butter into the mix with your fingertips till the mixture resembles clumpy breadcrumbs. Stir through the rolled oats.

Set aside in a covered container in the fridge.


Strawberry and  Rhubarb Crumble
Serves 6   Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes resting


1 quantity Basic Crumble Topping (above)

45 g (11/2 oz/1/3 cup) slivered almonds, toasted

400 g (14 oz/1 large bunch) rhubarb, trimmed and chopped

100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

400 g (14 oz) strawberries, hulled, halved if large


To serve:

cream or ice cream




Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Combine the basic crumble topping with the almonds and set aside.
Place the rhubarb and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and cook gently over low heat for about 15 minutes till the rhubarb is completely soft. Add the strawberries and bring everything up to heat. Pour your filling into a greased ovenproof dish of about 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) capacity. Scatter the topping over your filling to cover.
Cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes till the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling up round the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with cream or ice cream.






Lemon Tart – BakeClass – Anneka Manning

When I first got the BakeClass cook book I was attracted to the picture and recipe for Lemon Tart, I just needed an excuse to make it. As the lemon tree is  offering up a few lemons at the moment and with visitors coming over for dinner I thought this is a great opportunity to try this recipe.


I made the sweet shortcrust pastry in my food processor – so easy and quick.  Next bake blind – then pour the lemon mixture in and finish cooking- easy- and the taste – tangy lemon – perfect with cream or vanilla bean ice cream.


Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Rose & Raspberry Tiramisu – Dolce: 80 Authentic Italian Sweet Treats, Cakes and Desserts – Laura Zavan


Recipes and Images from Dolce by Laura Zavan (

Rose & Raspberry Tiramisu


“Here is a variation on the mascarpone cream usually used in tiramisù — a light, rose-scented sabayon. Very girly! It’s made here with pretty Roses de Reims biscuits, a French biscuit coloured pink with cochineal, but ladyfingers are an ideal substitute.” Laura Zavan



20 minutes preparation time

10 minutes cooking time

2 hours refrigeration time

Makes 6 glasses


250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) rose syrup

100 ml (3½ fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream

12 ladyfinger or savoiardi biscuits

100 ml (3½ fl oz) rosewater

200 g (7 oz) raspberries, to decorate


For the sabayon

3 egg yolks

50 g (1¾ oz) raw (demerara) sugar

100 ml (3½ fl oz) rosewater


To make the sabayon, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and rosewater. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering (not boiling) water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, and beat for about 10 minutes using an electric beater, until the mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Let the mixture cool, stirring from time to time.


Combine the mascarpone with the rose syrup, then gently fold the mixture into the sabayon. In a separate bowl, whip the cream and add it to the sabayon mixture.


Place 2 tablespoons of sabayon cream in each serving glass. Moisten the biscuits with the rosewater and place them on top (about 2 biscuits per glass). Cover with more sabayon cream.


Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Decorate with the raspberries before serving.


Rose and Rasperry Tiramisu

Coffee Panna Cotta – Dolce: 80 Authentic Italian Sweet Treats, Cakes and Desserts – Laura Zavan


Recipes and Images from Dolce by Laura Zavan (

Coffee Panna Cotta


The coffee–lemon pairing is a souvenir of a drink enjoyed in the Apulia region in summer: caffè in ghiaccio, an espresso poured over a glass of ice cubes with an aromatic twist of lemon peel. I love rediscovering the flavours of this very refreshing iced coffee in my panna cotta.” Laura Zavan



20 minutes preparation time

7 minutes cooking time

2 hours refrigeration time

Makes 4–5 glasses



500 ml (17 fl oz/ 2 cups) thickened (whipping) cream

10 g (¼ oz) instant coffee granules

finely grated zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped

50 g (1¾ oz) sugar

1 teaspoon agar-agar (see below)

1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

good-quality dark chocolate shavings, to decorate

tuile-style biscuits or ladyfinger or savoiardi biscuits to serve

Place 400 ml (14 fl oz) of the cream, the coffee blended into a very small amount of water, the lemon zest and the vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over a low heat.


Once the cream is warm, add the sugar. In a small bowl, combine the agar-agar with the cornflour and blend this mixture with the remaining cream. Combine this mixture with the warm cream, whisking to avoid lumps forming. Bring the mixture to the boil, continuing to stir.


Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool down until just warm, stirring regularly. Pour the cream into serving glasses and let it cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the cream to set before serving.


Decorate with shavings of chocolate and serve chilled with a few biscuits.

Note: A plant-based setting agent I use agar-agar in my panna cotta recipes, mixed with cornflour for a smoother texture. Agar-agar, a red algae extract, melts at 80°C (175°F) and starts to set at 25°C (75°F).


Coffee Panna Cotta

Chocolate Soufflé: Dude Food – Dan Churchill

Cover Dude Food

Chocolate Soufflé

Serves 4


1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for the ramekins

2 teaspoons icing sugar, plus extra for decorating

170 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons milk

4 egg whites

1/4 cup caster sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Butter the insides of 4 ramekins (small round ovenproof dishes) and dust each with ½ teaspoon of icing sugar. Rotate the ramekins so the sugar evenly coats them.

Bring a few centimetres of water to a boil in a saucepan. Set a heatproof bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Place the butter and the chocolate in the bowl to melt, stirring occasionally to incorporate. As the chocolate begins to melt, add the milk and continue to stir. Keep a careful eye on the mixture—you don’t want to overcook it. As soon as it becomes smooth, take it off the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form (when you pull the whisk out, the mixture should fold over on itself, not stand up straight). While whisking, gradually add the caster sugar in three parts, making sure each addition has been incorporated before adding the next. Whisk until the egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form (when you pull the whisk out, the mixture should be left standing tall like the peaks on a mountain).

Back to the chocolate sauce: Using a metal spoon, add one egg yolk at a time and stir until completely mixed in before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Here is the tricky bit: The egg white mixture is full of air, and the more you mix it, the more air is lost. Air is important for the soufflé to rise in the oven. Pour the chocolate sauce into the egg whites, and using a flat spatula, fold the mixture gently from the outside in. Do not stir through the centre. Continue to gently fold until completely mixed. Then, spoon the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Remember, the mix­ture will rise, so do not fill the dishes up all the way. Set the ramekins on a baking tray, carefully transfer to the oven, and bake for 8 minutes.

Immediately dust the soufflés with icing sugar, and serve hot.


chocolate souffle

Cherry Clafoutis – Maggie Beer’s Summer Harvest- Maggie Beer

Cover Image

Extract from Maggie Beer’s Summer Harvest Recipes by Maggie Beer,

photography by Mark Chew, published by Lantern on 18 November 2015, RRP AU$29.99

CHERRIES         p47

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS                                                                                      Serves 6

“I prefer not to pit cherries when making a tart such as this, as the stone helps keep the shape and flavour of the fruit intact. Be sure to warn your guests, though, before they tuck in.

Cherry clafoutis



500 g fresh dark cherries

1 tablespoon castor sugar

2 tablespoons kirsch




2 large eggs

¼ cup (55 g) castor sugar

¼ cup (50 g) plain flour

½ cup (125 ml) crème fraîche or sour cream

½ cup (125 ml) cream

grated rind of 1 lemon


butter, for baking

icing sugar, for dusting



Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the cherries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle the castor sugar and kirsch over them. Bake for 5–6 minutes or until the cherries are cooked but still firm. Set the cherries aside and reserve the cooking juices.

For the custard, beat the eggs in an electric mixer, then add the castor sugar and beat until frothy. Carefully add the flour and combine, then add 1 tablespoon of the reserved cherry cooking juices, the crème fraîche, cream and lemon rind.

Dot a gratin or small baking dish with a little butter (I use a 30 cm oval copper baking dish), then spread half the custard over the base of the dish. Spoon in the cooked cherries to cover the custard, then add the remaining custard. Bake for 25–30 minutes; the top will be golden and the cherries will appear as little mounds in the custard. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.”