Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipe Wednesday - A Himalayan salted dulce de leche meringue

A good friend, Laura Solis, asked me to create a sweet for her. Laura runs 'Sol is you' where she offers some beautiful pampering services and also sells a range of Himalayan salts.  I made a variation of a dulce de leche meringue, with the added zing of her salt.  I love salted caramel like a boy loves his mother, I tell you.

This is, it must be said, a slightly epic recipe.  Set an afternoon aside, send the kids to a sitter, and prepare to create something amazing. Laura and I had a great time making these!



8 large egg whites
400 g caster sugar
1 ½ cocoa
1 block dark choc (grate and small chunks for texture)


380g Dulce de leche (Caramel)
½ tsp Himalayan salt
600ml cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 beurre bosc pears
2 cups water
2 tbsp brown sugar


100g caster sugar
Himalayan salt

Preheat the oven to 130°C
Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then with the mixer still running, very gradually add sugar. Turn to the highest setting and leave to mix for  6 minutes. Add cocoa powder, mix for another 2 minutes or until fully dissolved. Fold in the chocolate.

Line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper, then draw 24cm circle on each sheet of paper. Divide the mixture between 2 sheets and spread it out just inside your circles, then use the back of a spoon to flick up peaks and make troughes in the mixture to give your meringue a rustic look.

Bake  for 1 hour 20 minutes then turn the oven off, leaving the meringues in until the oven is cool.

Peel and cut the pears into halves then core with a teaspoon and cut into sixths, leaving some with the stem intact, set aside.

Combine water, sugar and cook in medium saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring until sugar dissolves, then add the pear and stir to combine. Cover for 10-­15 mins until the pear is tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove, set aside to cool.

Identify the prettiest meringue and set it aside (this will be for the top.) Spread the dulce de leche onto the swirly side of the other meringue and smooth it out right to the edge. Sprinkle the Himalayan salt over the dulce de leche.

In a mixing bowl whip cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form (making sure not to over whip). Dollop half of the cream over the dulce de leche place half of the pears (the ones without the stems) over the cream, bring some to the edge, so as they poke out when sandwiched with the top layer.

Place the second meringue on top, swirly side up. Spoon the remaining whipped cream over the top. Place the remaining pears with the stems if you have kept them intact, decoratively over the cream, make it look decadent and elegant.

For an extra wow factor, make the toffee floss. Melt the sugar in a medium pan with a splash of water over a medium heat until lightly golden-­don’t stir! Allow it to cool a minute till thick, using one or two forks flick the toffee over pears, the fine strands should look gorgeous, get as creative as you like.

Various sizes
Eat one, peel one
Skinning Naked pear
Apples.  Or maybe pears
A strong foundation
The best kind of sandwich
Top view of  Mount Delicious
Fancy top

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chickpea, buckwheat bread and it's gluten free.

I had posted up some photos of this loaf on facebook recently and requests came in for the recipe. This recipe is not my own but from a book called, Good without gluten.
I will warn you that you will need to visit a health food store and an Asian grocer and you may never have had the need for Tapioca or potato starch. in my house these things are just a part of my staples.
I don't suggest that you purchase the starches at a health food store as they are really pricey. I would also note that there is a difference between potato flour and potato starch, don't substitute. The Asian stores stock rice flour and the starches so try them first. Ohh and you may be asking what the heck is xanthan gum? It is a vegetable gum that will act like gluten so you cannot make this bread without it. Xanthum gum is available in the gluten free aisle in the supermarket or the health food store.

Chickpea-buckwheat bread.

Preparation time: 15 min
Resting time: 30 min

Cooking time: 35 min

435 ml (1 3/4 cups) water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 eggs
125g chickpea flour ( besan flour)
50g buckwheat flour
100g rice flour
125g tapioca starch
125g potato starch,( not potato flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp dried yeast.

Preheat oven to 180 deg c ( 350 deg f/ gas 4)

Mix together the water, oil, vinegar and eggs in a mixer.
In another bowl combine the flours, starches, salt, sugar, yeast and xanthan gum.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix for 2 minutes on a low speed.
Pour the dough into a greased loaf tin ( I use a large one)
Smooth it out with wet hands.
Cover with a dry cloth and let it proof for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, it should sound be golden and hollow sounding when tapped.
Turn the bread out immediately to prevent moisture condensing in the tin and making the loaf soggy. 
 As with any bread, the loaf should rest for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
This is so good eaten fresh, you can toast it too but you'll probably have none left.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gluten free halva truffles

rim shot

No explanations as to which face of the earth I fell off.  But I am back.

Halva truffles gluten free.

1 1/2 cups of dates
1 cup almond meal
1/2.cup cocoa
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of coconut.
optional 1 tbsp of agave,or coconut necter, or brown sugar, I could go on and on.

clusters forming

 * Want to pimp it up for some crunch.
1/4 c of rice pops, freedom brand gluten free are great.

You will need a food processor.
Process the dates till they are finely chopped, I needed a little tiny bit of water to help it along.
Add the almond meal, tahini, cocoa, and chia.
It should all come together.
Roll into little balls however small you like.
Roll them into chia or coconut or cocoa, depending on your taste.
Keep in a jar in the refrigerator, they are better cold.

together in perfect harmony

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wreath making fun

My old neighbour, old as in we have moved and therefore she used to be my neighbour, held a wreath making workshop at her house a couple of weeks back.  I keep meaning to photograph Jen at work whilst she creates her arrangements however I haven't had the chance. So on this day I seized the opportunity to make a wreath as well as bring my camera along.

Jen has been learning to be florist, she has whipped up up some beautiful floral pieces a few of which we have been on the receiving end of.  On this particular Sunday afternoon we had a go at our own after Jen gave us a demo and provided us with everything we needed.

We even had time for wine and some lovely food, thank you Jen this was a great afternoon good fun and great company.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thirteen, no way!

Our eldest turned thirteen today, I cannot believe I have a teenager all of a sudden.  I am so thankful for this girl she is a dream, she is my near miss. Beatrix was born under an emergency caesaren four weeks early, she just stopped moving. I had Cholestasis of pregnancy a nasty condition that just drove me so batty, I have had it with all my pregnacies but this one was the worst, see It went undiagnosed and therefore untreated.. I almost lost her that day but thanks to some snappy decisions by the obstetritians and the foetal monitering dept at the Mercy she made it.
After much deliberation we named her, I say much because we are known to take 64 days, Beatrix was actually lucky I think it only took us less than two weeks. She is named after a painting called Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, one of my favorite paintings.

And here she now is at thirteen, this girl puts her heart and soul into whatever she does, whether it be her friendships, her school work, an intensly intricate drawing , her guitar playing or just hanging out with her siblings.

 She is made of gold and we are keeping her.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A snapshot of our Brunch.

Sunday morning, Father's Day here in Australia, I let the Mr B sleep in.

Meanwhile I donned the gardening gloves and braved the sting of nettles for my pesto. I followed Kates at Lunchlady's recipe. I didn't have sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds worked fine. I must say I could not proceed beyond the pesto making as Mr B is the best egg poacher I know.

Mind you, no man minds being woken to be told that their poaching magic is required in the kitchen. I did have to butter him up with a kiss.

Oh pesto, where is thy sting?

Egg releif


Approach ii

Approach iii




ready for this




get the hugs you can