Tag Archives: raspberries

Recipe: Lemon and Raspberry Tarts with Ruby Chocolate

Yes, I went to the Ruby Chocolate demo, and yes, I pre-ordered a big bag of ruby chocolate, so there are probably going to be a few ruby chocolate recipes on this blog in the near future.  For those unfamiliar with ruby chocolate, it’s being hyped as The Newest Chocolate – an entirely separate sort of chocolate to dark, milk or white chocolate, made from a particular variety of red cacao bean, and treated in such a way as to keep its pink colour (though, alas, this denatures pretty fast when exposed to heat – you can’t really use this chocolate in baking and have it retain its colour).

We were informed at the demo that when the first ruby chocolate recipe was tested – this is the recipe for manufacturing the chocolate itself, not recipes made from the chocolate – they decided to reduce the sugar by 9%, because ‘people are more health-conscious these days’.  I find this hilarious, because certainly, when I am feeling health conscious, the absolute first thing I do is focus on the sugar levels in my chocolate…

The demonstrator, Kirsten Tibballs, told us that ruby chocolate was more like milk chocolate in its manufacture than other chocolate types.  Myself, I find that it tastes closer to white chocolate – but a very tangy, acidic sort of white chocolate.  It supposedly has berry overtones, and I can certainly taste that, but I think it also has citrusy overtones, hence my tendency to use it with lemon, a flavour that I normally think tastes terrible with chocolate.

Having said all that… much as I want to love ruby chocolate, I don’t think I’m ever going to be a big fan of it.  I like it, in moderation, but it’s a little sweet for my taste, and I’m not sure acidity is what I look for in chocolate.  Basically, I’m a dark chocolate girl all the way.  But it’s definitely an interesting flavour to play with, and I think it works well here.

This recipe is adapted from a Savour recipe for a Ruby PB&J Tart.  I don’t like peanuts, so I replaced them with almonds in the pastry and the crunch, and I took out the peanut and ruby chocolate cream and replaced it with lemon curd, because you can’t really go wrong with lemon curd in a tart.  The ruby chocolate whipped ganache is entirely theirs, however. 

The results were pretty good – I’ve reduced the sugar in the pastry here, because I found it to be a little on the sweet side (nothing to do with being health-conscious, though, I promise!), and I think if I were doing this again, I’d find smaller tart shell moulds, or give people half a tart each – this made for a pretty enormous dessert.

Having originated as a Savour recipe, this recipe has a lot of parts to it, but the good news is that you can make most of them well in advance.  The pastry shells are basically a biscuit crust – you can make them and bake them a couple of days ahead.  Lemon curd is happy in the fridge for several days, and you can make the whipped ganache up until the point it needs whipping a day or two in advance, too.  The only thing you really have to make just before you use it is the chocolate crunch, but that’s a five minute job. And you should whip the ganache just before putting it on the tarts, but it will sit quite happily on the tart once done – I mean, I have one tart left in the fridge from yesterday, and it’s still fine, so you can safely make this in the morning and serve it in the afternoon.

If you are making the tarts all on the one day, I’d recommend starting the whipped ganache first, because it needs to cool in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or more.  Make the pastry while the ganache is cooling.  Or, if you are me, take a nap and then make the pastry (it’s been a very long few weeks at work). The pastry needs to sit in the fridge for half an hour, so you can use that time to make the lemon curd, and then get that in the fridge.  Then you make the pastry tartlet shells, which are probably the most difficult part of this recipe and definitely the part that takes the longest.  Then you make the crunch and spread it over the tart shell bases.  Then you put on the broken raspberries.  By this time, if you are lucky, the lemon curd will be cooled and set, so you can spoon it over the broken raspberries and add some whole ones.  Finally, you whip the ganache and pipe it onto the tarts, hopefully more successfully than I did.

Makes 8 x 12cm tartlets

Your shopping list


250 + 325 g thickened cream
25 g glucose syrup
150 g ruby chocolate
red or pink food colouring


160 g unsalted butter, softened
90g icing sugar
35g ground almonds
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
250 g flour, plus flour for dusting (trust me, you want the flour for dusting, this is sticky)

Lemon Curd

You need about 1.5 – 2 cups of lemon curd.  So you can either make a double batch of my lemon curd recipe, which will leave you with a LOT of egg whites to play with, or you can make a whole egg lemon curd with the following ingredients:

2/3  cup caster sugar
2 eggs
4 lemons (you want 2/3 cup of lemon juice and as much zest as you can get away with)
80g butter

The rest

125 g ruby chocolate
40 g roasted almonds, finely chopped (salted is nice, but I forgot that bit)
40 g almond spread, or any other nutty spread of your choice – mine had almond, cashews and brazil nuts)
300 g raspberries

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Recipe: Pistachio Raspberry Muffins with a hint of Roses (and Zucchini)

You know how I spent about a month obsessively baking recipe after recipe after recipe from Red Velvet, Chocolate Heartache?  Well, I’m pleased to say that I seem to have internalised the book thoroughly enough that I can now create my own goodies along those lines.  And will undoubtedly start doing so obsessively at the next practical moment…

I really love these muffins.  They came out light and fluffy and nicely rose-flavoured, with a lovely pale green crumb from the pistachios and the zucchini.  The pistachio flavour is fairly subtle, but the raspberries and roses are definitely having a happy, muffiny party in your mouth.

Definitely one of my better efforts.

IMG_7946 copy

Your Shopping List

40 g pistachios
90 g almond meal
100 g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
160 g caster sugar
2 medium zucchini (you need to wind up with 220g once you have peeled them, topped and tailed them, and finely grated them)2 tsp rosewater
150 g raspberries (frozen actually work better here)


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Recipe: Raw Raspberry Truffles of Extreme Yumminess

doneYeah, I think we all knew that I wasn’t going to miss Raw Food Day just because I’m not supposed to stand or walk much on this silly possibly-broken toe.  Besides, I needed chocolate.  And I had freeze-dried raspberries!

Like tinned snails on Bastille Day, some things are inevitable (though I still blame the person who threatened to come to dinner wearing an Eiffel Tower hat for that particular inspiration).

These raspberry truffles are based on Amber Shea Crawley’s Cacao Truffles, but as usual, I’ve messed with the proportions and changed the flavours, and now they are mine, mine, all mine, my precious!

Really, though, all you need to know is that they taste like raspberries and chocolate, take about five minutes to make, and are vegan, gluten-free, and almost good for you.  What more could you want from a truffle?

Your shopping list

1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa butter, melted
1/4 cup agave nectar (but maple syrup will work, too)
scant 1/2 cup (about 100 ml) cashew butter or almond butter
1/3 cup cacao powder
30 g freeze dried raspberries

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Recipe: Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Rosemary and Raspberries

closeToday was Mothers’ Day, and we therefore planned to have afternoon tea at my brother’s house.  My sister-in-law was doing something decadently chocolatolicious, so I figured I’d complement this with a nice, tangy lemon and yoghurt cake. 

Then, of course, they had raspberries at the market, and I’m now out of vegetable oil, so I had to use extra virgin olive oil instead, and as I was getting that out, my eye fell on the dried rosemary. My mother’s name is Rosemary, rosemary goes well with lemon, the rest was inevitable…

Speaking of inevitable, I made this cake in a rose-shaped Bundt tin.  Getting it out was a nightmare wrapped in a disaster inside a very, very bad idea.  Do not do what I did!  Use a plain Bundt tin, or a plain ring tin, or, in a pinch, a perfectly ordinary round tin (just bearing in mind that it may take a little longer to cook through, because there will be nothing conducting heat in the middle).  Trust me, your life will be much easier.  And this cake is such a lovely, simple thing – why traumatise yourself by having it come out of the tin with bits missing?

Your Shopping List

80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
zest and juice of two lemons (save the juice of one for the icing)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
280 g Greek yoghurt
250 g caster, white or icing sugar (basically whatever you can find in the pantry, but I don’t think brown would be ideal), plus 200 g icing sugar for the icing
200 g self-raising flour
100 g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
125 g fresh raspberries


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Recipe: Raspberry and Lavender Lemonade

drink2We are having an extended heat-wave in Melbourne just now, with temperatures above 30 for the last week and a bit, and continuing until late next week.  Combine this with grant applications at work, a broken food processor, and the fact that I’ve just been generally unwell this week, and the result is rather unimaginitive cooking by yours truly… when I can bring myself to cook at all.  I’m actually really desperate to do some baking, but I just can’t cope with this heat, and by the time I get home from work, I’m really too tired to consider it.

Hence, drinks.  The drinks section of this website has been a bit scant up until now, because my drink of choice is water, or if pressed, milk or occasionally orange juice.  But in this weather, I’m willing to venture further afield – and drinks, at least, don’t heat the house up too much.  True, this one involves making a syrup, but I promise you’ll only have the stove going for fifteen minutes, and if you do this in the morning, it won’t have much effect on the heat of the house…

Also, this is a lovely variation on lemonade.  For one thing, it’s pink!  For another, it is sweet, but not quite too sweet, and has a lovely herbal perfume from the lavender, which blends brilliantly with the raspberry (I know that sounds like bragging, but I’ve never achieved quite such a good synergy of flavours before).  For another, it’s cold and it’s liquid and have I mentioned that this weather is absolutely ghastly? 

Drink.  And then go for a swim, or find some air-conditioning.  Libraries are often good for this.  So are cinemas.  Even the supermarket will do in a pinch.  Whatever it takes to stay sane…

Your Shopping List (this makes about 2 litres of lemonade)

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp dried culinary lavender (or fresh, if you have a bush)
2 cups of water, plus 3 more cups later on.
1 cup lemon juice (from 5-6 lemons)
200 g raspberries (frozen and defrosted are probably best here)

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Recipe: Pistachio, Raspberry and Rose Cakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Today was the VegMel Vegan Pot-Luck Picnic, to which I was invited by the lovely Steph from VeganAboutTown (who made some of my recipes!  How cool is it when people actually make your recipes?  And change them?  And then you get to taste them?  Very cool, that’s how cool it is…).  And I got to meet Cindy from Where’s the Beef (who had been bemused at the number of seemingly-unrelated people on Friday tweeting about eating raw tacos at the cricket), and hang out with Hailey from Ballroom Blintz, which was wonderful.

Anyway, after writing all those variations on my chocolate, raspberry and coconut cake on Friday, I realised that I haven’t invented a new cupcake for a while, though I’m not sure it actually counts as inventing, when you basically have one cupcake recipe and just play an advanced version of Swap The Ingredients.  These cupcakes were inspired by the Persian fairy floss and the pistachio and cardamom sugar that turned up in the hamper my Aunt J gave me for Christmas.  And who can resist the combination of roses and raspberries?  They are part of the same botanical family, and really fresh raspberries always have a hint of rose about them, I think.  Not that I used fresh raspberries here – the frozen kind is perfectly fine for cupcake use…

I am, in fact, quite serious about this being the same as yesterday’s recipe – if you swap out the coconut milk for almond milk and the cocoa for ground pistachios, if you keep the raspberries whole and use rosewater and cardamom as your flavours rather than raspberry essence, and if you then swap out the wheat flour for a mix of gluten-free flours, this is what you get.  And it’s really, really good – moist and sweetly-scented and raspberryish and not too rosy.

But beware the fairy-floss!  My finished cupcakes looked like I had decorated them with muppet scalps, and ten minutes after that, the muppets began melting until my cakes looked a little sadly hairyPistachio fairy floss may be an excellent source of inspiration, but as a cake decoration, I fear it is only for those who can make use of the last possible minute (and are better at making fairy floss look good on cakes than I am).

Your Shopping List

500 ml almond milk
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
100 g pistachios
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 cup of raw caster sugar or caster sugar
1/3 cup sunflower oil (or canola or light olive)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
40 ml rosewater
200 g raspberries 
Icing (somewhat approximate, as I was in a hurry)
2-3 tbsp raspberry juice (ie, raspberries pushed through a sieve)
1/4 tsp rosewater
300 g icing sugar
enough lemon juice to make a good paste – about a quarter of a lemon

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A menu for the cricket, with chocolate, coconut and raspberry cupcakes (revisited)

http://cooksjoy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/BakeFest.jpgMy brother and I did a gift swap this year for Christmas – he bought me a ticket to the cricket (in the Members’ Stand, no less), and I catered lunch for his party.  Vegan lunch, because one of his friends is vegan and it is of course absolutely necessary to cater for the most interesting / challenging set of food requirements in the bunch.

The menu was a great success.  The cricket, alas, less so, largely due to the fact that Sri Lanka had a lot of injuries and absolutely no confidence and (despite my enthusiastic barracking and determination that they would bat amazingly and astonish everyone) they lasted about one session before being dismissed shortly after lunch, ending the game on Day 3.

Our menu was as follows:

Since I am participating in this month’s BakeFest, and since I’ve baked these several times in the last few months (and since, I will confess, new recipes have been a little hard to come by of late, principally because I am in the Sleep All The Time phase of my holidays), it seems appropriate to re-post my chocolate, coconut and raspberry cupcake recipe today.  And why not?  They are, after all, one of the best recipes I’ve written, and endlessly adaptable, as I’ve been showing over the last year and a half since I created them! Continue reading

Recipe: Bleeding Heart Cupcakes for Halloween

I don’t really do Halloween, to be honest.  I sort of like the idea, but it isn’t big in these parts (not being a festival generally favoured by the Greek Orthodox or Muslim communities), and my mother always disapproved of it. She cunningly told us for years that we were too young to go trick or treating… until suddenly one year we were too old to go!  Which is not really playing fair, if you ask me (but as you can see, I’ve totally got past this and I certainly don’t take the opportunity to grumble about it every time trick or treating is mentioned in my presence.).

But, ashamed as I am to admit it, I succumbed to peer-group pressure.  What can I say?  I like spooky pancakes.  And skull-shaped pumpkin damper, for that matter.  Or maybe I just like an excuse to be silly…

It’s not really pumpkin weather here, which is a pity, because I’ve never tried pumpkin pie and keep meaning to and then forgetting when it’s autumn.  So that was out.  But then I remembered my little heart-shaped cupcake pan, and the idea of little pink heart cupcakes that oozed blood  when you bit into them became instantly irresistible.  I intended that they would be intensely pretty and cute, thus making the bleeding a bit more appalling, but then I managed to accidentally tint my ganache a sort of fleshy pink which looked like melting skin and seemed hideously appropriate, so I went with it.  These cupcakes, then, are not pretty (decorating never was my strong suit), but they are delicious and also mildly disgusting to look at, which is surely in the spirit of Halloween.

Be warned – the raspberry filling is quite runny and wants to go all over your benchtop, so let it cool a bit and have your finger ready to block the nozzle, or your kitchen will look like it has been visited by Titus Andronicus.  Only with fewer severed hands.  (There’s a biscuit for that, you know.)

Oh dear me, and I just thought of the most hideous pun imaginable, and you guys are just lucky that I don’t have foot-shaped cookie cutters or I would be absolutely *compelled* to make All Soles Day biscuits tomorrow.  Maybe next year…

Your Shopping List

125 g butter, softened
110 g dark brown sugar
55 g caster sugar + 25 g for the filling
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
300 g self-raising flour
50 g cocoa
200 ml milk
60 g dark chocolate
100 g frozen raspberries
1/4 cup blood orange juice
90 ml thickened cream
175 g white chocolate (either little buds or chopped) (225 g if you want a less runny ganache)
red food colouring.  Because it isn’t Halloween without food colouring…

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Recipe: Jasmine and Orange Blossom Cupcakes for Sensitive Souls

Another day, another fundraiser at work (and another cupcake recipe on this blog), and since I am now officially She Who Bakes Allergy-Friendly Foods, I had to come up with something gluten-free and vegan that my friends could eat…

The fun part about this recipe is that I actually don’t like these cakes much at all.  But everyone else did, so I have concluded that perhaps I just don’t like jasmine tea very much. You might think I would have checked this before going off and inventing a recipe based on it, but no.  You see, I’ve never drunk jasmine tea – I don’t actually like tea, though I have tried very hard to do so – but I love the smell of jasmine tea.  Love it. 

I’m always buying Andrew jasmine tea so that he can drink it, because Andrew can generally be relied upon to steep his tea for ages, and then forget about it and leave it around the house somewhere, and then reheat it, and then decide it’s too hot, and leave it to cool, and then forget about it… which may sound like a terrible thing to do to tea – I don’t know, I don’t drink tea – but it does mean that the whole house winds up smelling of jasmine for hours. Which is a win for me.  I’m not sure about whether it’s a win for Andrew, too.

(Andrew says I’m exaggerating about his tea-drinking habits, but that’s what it looks like from the outside.  And until he gets a blog of his own, he’s just going to have to live with my version of the story, ha ha!)

Anyway, all of this prompted me to look at the matcha tea cupcakes in my Vegan cupcake book and decide that they would be *even better* if I totally changed the technique and made them gluten free and, oh yes, used jasmine tea instead of matcha tea.  People who like tea tell me that they are indeed even better.

But sadly, I have once again failed to like tea.  Even jasmine tea.  Even in a cupcake.  But if you do happen to like jasmine tea, then these cupcakes are probably for you.

(I may not like eating them, but I do like the way they smell…)

Your Shopping List

2 tsp jasmine tea (loose leaf), + 1 tsp for the icing
2 cups almond milk (rice milk is fine if you can’t eat nuts)
2 tsp raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 3/4 cups rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup cornflour (the squeaky kind)
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp guar gum or xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp orange flower water
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
40 ml boiling water
2 tsp butter
24 raspberries, or marzipan flowers if that floats your boat

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Recipe: Friendly Raspberry, Coconut and Lemon Marble Cakes

Tomorrow, my workplace is hosting Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, a fundraiser for the Cancer Council.  Since a lot of my postdocs and PhD students are supported by the Cancer Council in one way or another (and because we are all obsessed with cake), we take this pretty seriously.

Because allergy-friendly cooking is what I do, and because several of my favourite colleagues have serious food allergies, I always make it my goal to bring something that is at a minimum egg-free and nut-free.  And often vegan.  Since last year, another colleague of mine has been diagnosed with coeliac disease, so this year’s cupcakes are nut-free, vegan and gluten-free. 

At this point, you might be wondering if they have anything in them at all.  Of course they do – they have sugar!!!!   (This is why I no longer work in the diabetes research lab.  They black-balled me…)   You might also be wondering if they taste of anything, so you might be reassured to know that other than sugar, they have all sorts of lovely things – raspberries, coconut milk, lemon zest, and my current preferred gluten-free flour mix, which is composed of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca and xanthum, and has the advantage of fading nicely into the background rather than singing loud songs of gluten-freedom and whole-graininess.  (There is a time and place for such songs, but I maintain that marble cake is not one of them).

Also, I have to comment that I am immensely proud of the icing.  It’s a variation on my lemon-coconut-buttercream, which is quite easy, but I’ve actually managed to marble it a little, which fills me with glee.  It’s not that difficult an effect to achieve, either, especially if you are competent with icing (I definitely am not).

Your Shopping List (for 24 cupcakes)

1 cup white rice flour (supermarket-friendly)
1 cup brown rice flour (supermarket or health-food shop)
1/2 cup potato starch (definitely health-food shop, but cornflour would work in a pinch)
1/4 cup tapioca flour (also in supermarket, frequently disguised as arrowroot)
1/4 cup cornflour (supermarket friendly)
1 tsp xanthum gum (health-food shop, no two ways about it)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt
2 cups coconut milk (I use light coconut milk, and it works fine)
2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice in a pinch
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup caster sugar
zest of one lemon
100 g raspberries (defrosted frozen raspberries are actually better than fresh for this purpose), crushed well
optional red food colouring
For the icing
500 g icing sugar mixture (make sure it’s gluten free, or all your hard work will be undone!)
125 g coconut oil or coconut butter (back to the health-food shop with you!)
2 tbsp lemon juice
optional yellow food colouring
2 tbsp raspberry juice, or, more likely, about 60 g defrosted frozen raspberries, crushed up with a fork.

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