Tag Archives: berries

Recipe: Italo-Franco-Australian Berry Trifle

It is no secret on this blog that I am very fond of Josephine’s beautiful French tea shop in Brunswick.  What I have perhaps not mentioned about Josephine’s is that in addition to her beautiful macarons, crème brulées, tarts, savouries and other handmade goodies, she also stocks a small collection of imported French goodies.

Among other things, these include Rose de Reims biscuits, which are a pink biscuit, rather like a small, elegant sponge finger, designed to be dipped in champagne.  They do not, alas, taste like roses, but they did instantly inspire in me a desire to make a pink version of my berry-mi-su trifle (which I could have sworn I wrote about here, but can no longer find anywhere on this site), spiked with rosewater and champagne.

So I did.  I dipped the pink biscuits into champagne from a tiny bottle I was given a few years ago, combined mascarpone and ricotta with a little sugar, and layered the whole lot with mixed berries tossed a little rose syrup.

And it was delicious – light and fresh and unexpectedly alcoholic, a delicious meal for a hot day.


Your shopping list

600 g mixed berries (prepared weight, any kind)
2 tsp rose syrup
250 mascarpone
250 ricotta (light ricotta works and then you can pretend this is healthy!)
50 g sugar
200ml champagne or chardonnay or any sparkling white
125g rose de renne biscuits (or sponge fingers)

Continue reading

Recipe: Vegan Cheeseburger Cupcakes

This is the time of year when bloggers do their retrospectives, but I don’t feel like doing a blog retrospective for 2015.  For one thing, I did hardly any blogging, and barely kept up with reading other blogs.  For another, the end of 2015 was made absolutely horrible for us by the disappearance of our beloved cat, Mystery.  She slipped out on the evening of December 22nd, and has not been seen since.  We’ve letterboxed and doorknocked and rung vets and visited shelters, but to no avail, and at this stage, we hold out little hope.  It’s been a painful and distressing way to end an exhausting year, and it’s very hard to look ahead and come up with plans, resolutions, or even hopes for 2016 at this point – because right now we are all too aware that life is uncertain and cannot truly be planned for.


So no perspectives from me, just a remarkably silly recipe, inspired by Rosanna Pansino’s Nerdy Nummies Cookbook.  She has a very fun recipe for a cupcake that looks like a cheeseburger, with a brownie patty, coconut lettuce, and buttercream piped to resemble cheese, tomatoes.

It’s very cute, but it also looked terribly sweet.  Also, I was cooking in part for Steph, so I needed a vegan recipe, and frankly, I found the idea of a vegan cheeseburger cupcake absolutely hilarious and thus irresistible, so off I went.

To avoid the excessive use of buttercream, I decided it would be more fun to give the burger a fruity sort of theme. Mango fruit leather strips make an excellent (and truly revolting-looking) substitute for plastic cheese, jam makes a fine substitute for tomato sauce, and tinned plums replace the beetroot that is a necessity in any Aussie hamburger. Mint leaves made a delicious substitute for lettuce, and at that point, you’re done.


Continue reading

Recipe: Berry and Chocolate Crumble to Remember Summer

dessert2Hello!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  This is because it turns out that if one has had a horrible cold for a week and a half, it isn’t actually a particularly brilliant idea to then walk and cycle more than 65,000 steps over the long weekend in a bid to up one’s step count.  She says, with the sad wisdom of one who is *still* coughing like Violetta in Act III of La Traviata at random intervals and who has, moreover, been dog-tired and reduced to trudging around the living room every night just to reach 10,000 steps every day since…

Anyway.  This evening turned out to be a surprise night off from choir, which is rather glorious, not because I wanted to avoid choir, but because I learned this *after* I had prepared dinner in advance.  Better still, it’s cold and rainy outside, I already have a respectable total on my pedometer – so tonight I can be as self-indulgent as I like!  I can lie on the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice on DVD!  I can curl up in bed with a cat or two and a good book!

…or I can make desserts involving chocolate *and* berries!  Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a tired Catherine in possession of a shiny new P&P DVD must be in want of dessert.

This dessert, too, is rather perfect for the weather.  I basically took a whole pail of frozen berries that I bought at the farmers’ market and combined them with a little lavender sugar – summer in a bowl.  But winter is the time for hot, comforting desserts, so I covered the whole lot up with an almond and chocolate crumble topping, and baked it until it was bubbling and sweet and gorgeous and almost cakeishly puddingy (I defy you to try to convince me that these are not proper words) and basically everything one could want in a winter dessert.  The pleasures of winter with the memories of summer on a lazy, rainy evening.

Life is good.

Your Shopping List

500 g mixed fresh or frozen berries.  Frozen is probably easier to work with, assuming they haven’t turned into a brick.
2 teaspoons of lavender sugar (but plain caster sugar would do, and if you have a few dried lavender buds, you could crush them into the mix)
2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar (or, again, plain caster sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
50 g butter, softened
50 g caster sugar
20 g cocoa, the lovely dark reddish Dutch kind, if possible
175 g almond meal, the unblanched kind, if possible
30 g plain flour or coconut flour or any gluten-free flour you like, really

Continue reading

Recipe: Apple and Berry Crumble

This is my favourite weeknight dessert.  It’s hot and fruity and tastes healthy and the leftovers are lovely for breakfast.  And it makes heaps, which means you have breakfast for *days* afterwards.  It’s not really a standard crumble recipe – I think it started off as my mum’s recipe and then developed all the Anzac Biscuit sort of elements in a bid to convince Andrew to eat fruit crumble.  Andrew now claims he always liked fruit crumble, but that’s not what he told me when I first tried making it for him eleven years ago.  I think what he actually meant is that he doesn’t like the kind of fruit crumble people write recipes for, which means that he’s pretty safe because this is definitely not how most people make fruit crumble.

You see, while I make this crumble about once a week,  never make it the same way twice and I never measure anything.  This is a problem, because people ask me for my crumble recipe probably more often than they ask for any other recipe I’ve made, and I don’t know what it is.  Tonight I actually resorted to weighing the boxes containing things like oats, flour, sugar, golden syrup and so forth before and after making the recipe, and then finding the difference.  And then when it was all done and in the oven I realised I had forgotten the almond meal (which was not something that used to go into this recipe, but has become a frequent and valued participant of late), so I’ve guessed that part…  So this is not a perfect recipe, but it is probably as good as I’ll ever get it. If you’ve ever asked me for my crumble recipe, this is a good starting point.

Your shopping list

2 kg apples (a mix of cooking and eating apples is nice)
50 g raw sugar
250 g berries – I used strawberries today, but blueberries, raspberries or blackberries all work.
75 g butter
100 g golden syrup
50 g flour
50 g brown sugar
100 g almond meal
300 g rolled oats
Continue reading