Sunday, February 28, 2010

Coconut (and Lime) Ice Cream

Ok, I know I post infrequently but that's because I'm a student. hey, study's gotta come first right? But I will try to post 1-2 times a week 'cos that's how many recipes I can make per week. My mum says that I make the kitchen all messy and stuff. >=(

So today I went to a local store called Victoria's Basement. It's full of kitchenware, bakeware, dinnerware etc. and at a fraction of their retail price. Guess what I bought? A footed cake stand, with a cover, a fluted tube pan (it's easier to say bundt pan, but because it's not from Nordic Ware, I can't), and two square plates. The first thing that I will be making with my fluted tube pan is monkey bread. You know, the bits of dough which you have to pull apart that's cinnamon-flavoured and sticky. Well most recipes I've found need refridgerated biscuits. WTF? My first reaction was how on earth do you refridgerate biscuits? Are they cooked? Are they frozen? What's the deal? Then I discovered that they 1) are canned and probably full of preservatives and other nasties and 2) are not found in Australia. Ok, so that's 3 things we don't get in Australia that Americans have at their fingertips. Wonder what else I can add to that list...

Anyways, I made ice cream a few days ago and well... I didn't like it. I've had a bad relationship with limes from an incident a few years back, and still haven't warmed up to them. This recipe for coconut ice cream had barely no coconut flavour and a hell a lot of lime..

Maybe the lack of coconut is because I used only 300mL instead of 400, because I ran out, and used milk for the remainder. I tasted it while it was in the ice cream machine and thought, nah-uh this ain't gonna do. So I soaked some shredded coconut and dropped them in. Baaaad move. In the end, it was super grainy from the still hard coconut pieces and much more liquidy than other ice creams I've made. I also strayed from the recipe by omitting the ginger. I thought, coconut, lime and ginger? I don't think my family's gonna like this. Well turns out they don't like it even without the ginger. It was icy, and sour... yeck. Oh well, you can't always succeed can you?

Recipe obtained from here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New York Cheesecake

Feels like an eternity since my last post. Things have been hectic, what with Chinese New Year and people coming to my house etc. etc. Our family celebrate the New Year with tons of dumplings and watching the New Year Gala. It starts at 11pm here in Sydney and goes 'til 4am the next day. I've never been able to stay up for the whole show. Also, some family friends came over and we went to the Blue Mountains, and my god was there fog.

There's this place called Echo Point where you can see the Three Sisters, but it was completely white. Not sure whether to be amazed or freaked out.

Anyways, yesterday I made cheesecake. Cheesecakes rank up there with my all-time favourite desserts, along with fried ice-cream and mango pudding. I can bet that there are thousands, if not millions of cheesecake recipes out there, including baked, no-bake, new york, roman, french etc. etc. I was browsing Kraft's online videos when their New York cheesecake caught my eye. It was simple enough so I decided to make it.

It definitely needed some tartness, in the form of lemon juice and/or lemon zest. It was too simply too rich. I think I aerated it too much because there was this giant ugly crack down one side and it was not dense like good cheesecakes should be. The recipe calls for cherry pie filling as a topping but we don't get that in Australia, nor do we get cool whip, which sucks, so I grated some dark chocolate over the top. It has an oreo base, which is 20 oreos bashed together, but it doesn't say to srape away the white filling inside. As a result, the white filling stuck to the sides of the plastic bag along with alot of the cookie crumbs. Aside from that everybody thought it was nice. Nice, but not fantastic.

Recipe obtained from here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marbled Cheesecake Brownies

As you know, I live in Australia and, according to studies like this, this country has the most number of overweight and obese adults in the world. Of course, with overweight adults come overweight children and teens. Although I love eating the occasional butter-rich cake and sugar-filled(stuffed) dougnut, there comes a time when you have to go down the low-fat alleyway. But being low-fat or low-calorie doesn't mean food has to taste crap, so I went on the hunt for delicious low-calorie desserts.

At that time, I was also browsing around the Kraft website and my eyes fell instantly on their marbled brownies, but they asked for a brownie mix and did not have a nutritional table. So I set off to find a low calorie marbled brownie recipe and found multiple results, but the one I settled on was a recipe from the recipe section of Each serving claimed to have only 140 calories, which was encouraging.

The brownie mixture was unbelievably thick. It took alot of effort to coax it to the sides of the pan and smooth it out evenly. This was also the reason why the cheesecake mixure did not marble enough with the brownie - it was just too thick. The taste was good, with the brownie dense and the coffee added to the richness. I think I will be experimenting with other non-low-fat recipes to compare it with.

Of course, replacing one dessert with a slightly healthier alternative is simply not enough to turn someone's life around. You need an all round healthy diet, as well as regular exercise. Still, if you are health-conscious, you should seriously try this recipe.

Recipe obtained from here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


To start things off, I shall post a recipe that was made not-so-long ago... Christmas! We don't celebrate Christmas the same way as Westerners. Sure we eat turkey (those store bought frozen ones *ahem* lazy), and we do have a Christmas tree, but we don't give presents nor have friends or family come over for a big Christmas Day lunch. But this year, I did make dessert for our Christmas dinner. This dessert is a wonderful twist on the -Aussie- Chocolate Ripple Cake.
For those of you who are not familiar with Chocolate Ripple Cakes, they are possibly the easiest 'cakes' to make. Instead of -cake- use plain chocolate buiscuits. Whip some cream with sugar and vanilla and sandwich the cream between the chocolate biscuits, and continuing to make a log. Then cover it with the rest of the cream and refridgerate. The biscuits will absorb the moisture from the cream and become cake-like.

This time though, instead of just cream covering the chocolate biscuits, a portion of the cream was mixed with chopped cherries and cocoa. Then the whole ensemble was topped with chocolate curls and remaining cherries.

Now, what do you get when you cross chocolate, cherries and cream? Black Forest Cake! So this year for Christmas, I made Black Forest Ripple Cake, acquired from - it's a wonderful site which compiles recipes from Australia's food magazines.

I added some chocolate leaves and shaved some chocolate to represent leaf litter, to add to the whole 'forest' theme. Don't do what I did, and soak the biscuits in the liquid from the canned cherries. Yeah, it didn't look very nice when brownish reddish coloured liquid started seeping out the bottom.

All in all, it was very delicious. I love black forest cakes, and this is ok. Personally I wouldn't mind making traditional black forest cake as opposed to this, but it's perfect for those who want a simple yet amazing dessert.

Recipe obtained from here.