It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘dessert’

Tutti Frutti, East Vic Park

Tutti Frutti Victoria Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you want a dessert, Tutti Frutti is a frozen yoghurt bar with some interesting flavours and a toppings bar that will please children and adults alike. What you have to do is choose an appropriate size cup – strangely they didn’t have any small – they  all seemed to be large or ginormous !

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Then you go to the dispensers at the wall and choose your froyo flavours. I chose coconut and strawberry, but there were plenty of other flavours like green tea, soy peanut butter, salted caramel, berries, chocolate, vanilla, lychee etc.

Next you choose toppings and sauces from the toppings bar where you can choose honeycomb, cookie dough, fruits, jazzies, jellies etc.

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Then you get the resulting sundae weighed and end up paying about $11 for it !

No wonder they don’t have small cups. The sundaes were very enjoyable, and it’s a nice dessert option, especially a favourite with children because they can design their own dessert.

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Dairy free dessert

Can you think of a dairy-free dessert ? It’s a tricky one isn’t it ? There are a few things, but most desserts contain cream, butter, milk etc.

One of my favourite weekend pastimes used to be going out for a coffee and some cake or cake-related dessert, and I used to have the pick of the whole cabinet…. but now, I’m lucky if I can find one thing that satisfies my food intolerance criteria. Even humble carrot cake (if you take the cream cheese off the top) contains carrots – and unfortunately carrots are in my next most serious batch of intolerances behind cow’s milk and guar. This weekend I had a soy iced coffee (no cream or ice cream, another little treat that has been diminished by this bombshell), and the only thing in the cabinet that looked vaguely acceptable was an apple slice – chopped apple filling between two thin layers of pastry – I just had to hope that the pastry wasn’t too butter-rich.

At home when making desserts, butter is ok – I have found Nutelex which is a suitable alternative and seems to be basically olive oil with emulsifiers added. For milk I can use rice milk or soy milk (although soy is something which I am very mildly intolerant to), but cream is a tricky one. Most things that are ‘fake’ cream are either unwhippable or contain guar E412.

So for desserts you really have to think outside the box – and one of the easiest ways to deal with a dairy intolerance is to think “what would the asians do?” because cow’s milk really doesn’t feature that much in asian cuisine. Today I have friends for lunch and this will be the first lunch for friends where I have cooked with non-dairy in mind. It’s okay because my friends are used to my ‘experiments’, but I really want the dessert to be good because Mike loves my desserts. So I thought long and hard and came up with the idea of dairy-free trifle. Sponge fingers – hmm they may contain some butter, but probably not enough to warrant me making my own right now – if I had more time, I would make some using Nutelex. Jelly – tick, dairy-free. Fruit – tick, dairy-free. Custard – oh dear – maybe I should use rice milk, but how do I make a nice rich custard with thin rice milk ? Coconut milk….mmmm…coconut milk custard – can it be done ? I think coconut milk/cream is what asians would use.

Well I did two experiments, first of all, I used the lite coconut milk – one tin with three egg yolks, a splash of vanilla, a third of a cup of sugar and a heaped teaspoon of cornflour. I heated and stirred and stirred and heated….. and it thickened, but didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked. I did the same with a tin of coconut cream and used an extra spoonful of cornflour – and this time it did thicken nicely. Rather than waste the first batch, I whisked it into the second batch, and it seems to have worked quite well and it tastes good too.

So now for the topping to the trifle – traditionally whipped cream – I checked to see if you can whip coconut cream, and yes you can. So the topping is whipped coconut cream with some gluten free amaretti biscuits (oh yes, I am mildly intolerant to gluten too), and some shaved dark chocolate.

Here is the recipe:

Take a nice large bowl, preferably glass, and put some sponge fingers or savoiardi biscuits in the bottom. Splash the biscuits with some sherry or brandy  or any other liqueur you fancy (optional) and then a few tablespoons of fruit juice (juice from canned fruit is ideal – just enough for the sponges to soak up, but not so much that they fall apart).

Now take some fresh fruit (you can mix it up with canned if you like – I put a few canned lychees in mine) – I used strawberries, mango and cherries, and layer the fruit on top of the sponge.

Make up one or two packets of jelly – I needed one and a half packets of strawberry, so I just put the leftover jelly in a separate bowl for evening snacking purposes. When you make jelly you usually add boiling water to dissolve it, and then top it up with cold. When you top it up use really cold water from the fridge so that it cools more quickly, and when it is cold enough (no more than room temperature), pour it over the fruit so that it just covers the fruit and put it in the fridge to set (approx 4-6 hours or overnight).

For the custard, separate 3 large eggs and put the yolks in a bowl. Keep the whites for making meringue later. Whisk a third of a cup of caster sugar in to the eggs and keep whisking until the yolks go pale and creamy, then whisk two large teaspoons of cornflour into the eggs along with a splash of vanilla essence. Heat a 400ml can of coconut cream in a saucepan until almost boiling (you will see the bubbles rising around the edges) – pour the hot coconut milk onto the eggs and whisk them together like mad with a hand whisk – this is a delicate operation, so you may need a helper to pour while you whisk. If you don’t whisk straight away, the milk will cook the eggs and they will go omelettey. Now transfer the contents back to the saucepan and stir constantly while heating. You will feel the mixture thicken as you stir – be patient and heat it gently. When it is a nice custardy consistency, thick and luscious but not gloopy, it is done. Leave it to cool to room temperature, giving it the occasional stir, or if you are impatient like me, cool the saucepan down in cold water (don’t let the water get into your custard though). Gently pour the custard over the set fruit and jelly, and put back in the fridge to set a bit more. If you need more custard, just make a second batch and layer it on top.

Now – the plan was to whisk up some coconut cream with some icing sugar – pipe the cream onto the top and then garnish. My coconut cream didn’t whip very well (it was cold from the fridge, but had formed a few lumps), and it looked a greyish white in colour which was not very attractive – I think that I ended up overwhipping it, so I left it in a bowl on the side for guests to help themselves. I ended up garnishing the custard with grated chocolate and amaretti biscuits.  Garnish with whatever you like e.g. glace cherries, candied peel, sliced almonds, crumbled honeycomb, maple syrup etc.

Coconut Trifle

Coconut Trifle

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Coconut Trifle before the toppings

My finished trifle, no cream but chocolate and amarettis.

My finished trifle, no cream but chocolate and amarettis.

 

Tiramisu

What do you think of when you think of Tiramisu? Is it creamy, is it chocolatey, is it custardy? I imagine that every Italian home and restaurant has their own special recipe, but the one that I really enjoy that reminds me of Italy is the recipe that I devised after tasting the house speciality tiramisu at Alla Rampa Restaurant in Rome. Alla Rampa is just under the Spanish Steps, and I was so impressed with the dessert that I went back for seconds the next night. Their version is dished up from a large flat baking tray, and is coffee and sponge covered in the most delightfully light custard with marscapone and sprinkled with powdered chocolate. No creamy layers or chocolate layers in sight. I once made this for Nancy Lam and she cleaned up the dish by scooping out the remnants with her fingers and licking them, such an amazing compliment from a great lady.

If you are ever in Rome, please make sure that you pay a visit to Alla Rampa to try this amazing dessert. If you are not likely to go to Rome in the near future, follow the recipe below and let me know what you think – I hope you love it. The quantities are approximate because I made the recipe up, please feel free to adjust them to suit your taste.

Recipe

1 pack of Boudoir or Savoiardi biscuits (these are sponge fingers which soak up the coffee and liqueur)

1 coffee based liqueur miniature such as Tia Maria or Kahlua (approx 100mls)

1 cup of strong black coffee (e.g. use 3 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee, or if you prefer, make ‘proper’ coffee) cooled

4 eggs – separated – whisk 2 of the whites into stiff peaks, save the other 2 whites for when you want to make a meringue

100g caster sugar

4 level tablespoons plain flour

4 level tablespoons cornflour

600mls milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

250g – 300g marscapone

chocolate powder for sprinkling

1. Take a large shallow dish and arrange the savoiardi biscuits in the dish so that the base is completely covered. If you have an oval dish like me, you will need to line the biscuits up like soldiers and then break some to fill the gaps around the edge.

2. Pour the liqueur over the biscuits trying to ensure that each biscuit gets a splash of liqueur. Now pour the coffee over the biscuits – use half the coffee first and see how it goes. The biscuits are very absorbent, so you are likely to need all of the coffee.

3. Whisk together 4 egg yolks and the sugar until thick and pale. Beat in the flour and cornflour along with a large splash of the milk.

4. Heat the rest of the milk in a medium-large saucepan until almost boiling, and pour it onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

5. Now tip the whole mixture back into the saucepan (use a spatula to scrape every drop out of the bowl), and heat again on a low heat, stirring all the time (otherwise it will stick). When it has boiled and thickened, remove it from the heat.

6. Fold in the whisked egg whites and return to the heat for a few minutes, you can also add the vanilla extract at this point.

7. Remove from the heat, cool for a few minutes and stir in the marscapone. The marscapone should melt quite nicely into the mixture, keep stirring until it is smooth and lovely (taste a nice big spoonful just to be sure). You can add extra marscapone if you like a creamier texture, it’s up to you.

8. When it has cooled down sufficiently, it can be lukewarm, but not hot, pour it over the soaked biscuits so that all of the biscuits are covered.

9. Using a sieve, sprinkle chocolate powder over the top so that it is completely covered. Chill for at least an hour, and serve only to your most deserving friends.

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