Category Archives: Desserts – Hot

Desserts – Quick Steamed Golden Syrup Pudding

Hungry days are the most nostalgic. Perhaps my stomach connects to my heart via memory, but it always seems to be the food of memory that tastes the best. Strawberries don’t taste as sweet as those I pilfered in my father’s garden when I was little. They don’t grow tomatoes that taste they way they once did.

And so it goes.

Thank goodness they haven’t messed around too much with the taste of Golden Syrup. Continue reading Desserts – Quick Steamed Golden Syrup Pudding

Christmas – Chocolate Christmas Pudding

This is part of the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.


Not everyone likes Christmas Pudding. There, I said it.

It can hurt my pride to see people turn their noses up at something I’ve so lovingly prepared, but it happens every year whenever I try to persuade my family to eat Christmas Pudding. They don’t like it, preferring pavlova, trifle or mince pies instead. Continue reading Christmas – Chocolate Christmas Pudding

Christmas – Berry Clafoutis

This is the dessert for the $50 Christmas lunch for four.

Click here for the full menu plus step-by-step guides.

If you stick to traditional Christmas desserts, it’s likely you will spend a lot to get something worthy of a special occasion, so when thinking of a terrific but budget-priced dessert for this menu I went with something a lot less traditional.

Continue reading Christmas – Berry Clafoutis

Dessert – Quince Crostada

Quince are related to the apple and pear family and the only reason they are not as well known as their cousins is their plug-ugly looks. They are hard, lumpen, as big as a baby’s head, furry. No wonder novices walk straight past them, despite their cheap price, having no clue what they are or what they taste like. Continue reading Dessert – Quince Crostada

Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

It’s an oldie but a goodie, and found in just about every western country who then claim this recipe as their own. This is an absurdly simple thing to make. Layer chocolate biscuits with cream and refrigerate.

Sooner or later, someone will bring this as their dessert offering to your next barbecue or party. It never goes out of fashion. It’s also a great dessert to make when you’re a teenager and learning dessert cookery – it’s a great boost to the ego as everyone loves it. Continue reading Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

Dessert – Peach and Coconut Cobbler

Coconut is one of those ingredients I always have in the pantry and yet, in culinary terms, I run hot and cold on it. Often it will sit there undisturbed for months, then I get a yen for it and before I know it, I will have used it in two or three recipes within the space of a week.

I’m going through a coconut time at the moment.

I have a tin of coconut cream in the pantry, which I’ll use in another dessert recipe in the next week or two – you have been warned – but for now, my mission is to add some flaked coconut with a half-used jar of breakfast fruit which is sitting in the fridge. Continue reading Dessert – Peach and Coconut Cobbler

Desserts – Shaker Lemon Pie

Never one to say no to a lemon pie, I have to say this recipe intrigued me. Combine whole sliced lemons with sugar and egg. Could such a simple recipe really be that good?

To answer this question, one has to look at the origins of the pie. From early settler American origins, the Shaker religious movement is known for its simple and straightforward style of design in everything from furniture to household implements to recipes. Quite simply, this form of lemon pie is well-known for its purity of flavour and for its reliability- so why change it?

Yet change it I did. Continue reading Desserts – Shaker Lemon Pie

Desserts – Vincotto and Thyme Roasted Pears

I  love pears at this time of year and perhaps more than any other fruit in their extended family, they offer much more in the way of subtlety and nuanced notes in whatever dish they are put in. When we think of desserts, we know pears go well with honey, with butter, with red wine, with dark chocolate. But thyme?

I saw this recipe a while ago on Sprouted Kitchen and was taken with the idea of throwing a lot of thyme into a dish that was essentially a sweet dessert. I added some vincotto in place of vanilla and a few almond biscotti also found their way onto this plate rather than a sweet cream or ice cream on the side, but goodness me, the thyme shines through without overwhelming the dish or reminding you of a pork roast. Continue reading Desserts – Vincotto and Thyme Roasted Pears

Desserts – Peach and Ricotta Quesadillas

You can use tortillas in much the same way as crepes with one obvious advantage – they are egg- and dairy-free. With this in mind, I cast around for some alternate ideas when using up the stash of tortillas I made for this post, steering away from anything that could remotely be confused as an authentic Tex-mex meal.

Which is how I included vincotto. A lush and thick syrup from the Italian region of Puglia, vincotto is made from the must of grapes. It adds a molasses-like depth and cuts through the sweetness of say, peaches and honey. It’s hard to find a decent substitute but a little (and I do mean just a little)  caramelised balsamic vinegar mixed with some port would work.

Do look out for it at good Italian delis, as it’s an incredibly versatile product. You can drizzle it on figs, prosciutto, ricotta, ice cream, caramelized onions, honey carrots, fennel or duck for a brilliant lift to each flavour. Continue reading Desserts – Peach and Ricotta Quesadillas

Dessert – Steamed Apple Pudding with Cinnamon Butter Sauce

I love a good steamed pudding but it’s a fine art to navigate the way between lumpen coma-inducing stodge and airy, light and fluffy cake. In addition, the inclusion of apples, and in this case, some rather delicious syrup, makes it especially important that there be a lightness of touch. A steamed pudding-lite, if you will.

So, to apples. There are a number of ways to go when pairing apples. With blackberries. With a rich, almost burnt, toffee syrup. Or with cinnamon.

In the end I included a cinnamon butter sauce in this mixture because as much as we all love toffee, making a sugar syrup tends to terrify most home cooks. Also, blackberries are out of season for now.

I made this, put it in the steamer, then walked away from the kitchen for almost two hours. It’s the perfect dessert for slow cooking or lazy weekend foods and it can then be sliced and re-heated in the microwave later in the week when you need speed on your side. Too easy.

Continue reading Dessert – Steamed Apple Pudding with Cinnamon Butter Sauce