National Doughnut Day: Raspberry Sugar Doughnuts

Leave a comment
Baking / Dessert / Food

Krispy Kreme are coming to Adelaide. Catch a flight here from the eastern states and you’re sure to see a few overhead lockers filled with their familiar boxes. The new store–a doughnut drive through–is opening on July 15th on Port Road in West Croydon, it’s a shame they didn’t get their opening to coincide with National Doughnut Day.

I, on the other hand, was all over National Doughnut Day. Let’s ignore the fact that I didn’t know it was National Doughnut Day, or the fact that National Doughnut Day isn’t even an Australian celebration. It’s a day, and it also happens to be the day I made doughnuts.

Now I’ve technically made doughnuts before. But this time I made genuine, round-hole-in-the-centre doughnuts.

pictures of making doughnuts


I was making ‘sugar lips’ from Adriano Zumbo’s Zumbo cookbook and I had some left over dough. I bought myself a doughnut cutter in preparation for my housemate’s ‘C’ party. The idea was to make cronuts, but time got the better of me and it’s been sitting in the cupboard unused. These doughnuts were deep fried and dusted in a mix of caster sugar and freeze dried raspberry powder. You can obviously substitute it for the classic mix of sugar and cinnamon.

I wasn’t sure how well they’d turn out. Doughnuts are yeast based, so they need to prove. It’s cold in Adelaide and I certainly don’t have a proving cabinet. Instead I followed Zumbo’s instructions of leaving them in a switched off oven with a tray of hot water. It seemed to do the trick.

These raspberry sugar doughnuts are like regular doughnuts on acid; fluro bright and bursting with a sweet but slightly tart raspberry dusting.

Doughnut Dough

10g fresh yeast
125g water
175g plain flour

225g lightly beaten egg
150g milk
700g plain flour
7.5g salt
150g caster sugar
125g chilled unsalted butter

Sugar Dusting
25g freeze dried raspberry powder
200g caster sugar

1. Mix your yeast with the water, then add yeast and flour to a stand mixer and beat until the mixture just comes together.

2. Wipe oil around a large metal or plastic bowl. Transfer the starter to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave somewhere warm until it doubles in size (about an hour).

3. Add dough ingredients to the stand mixer with a dough hook. Mix until it forms a smooth dough. Add the starter and mix for about 5 minutes. It should be smooth and a little shiny. Transfer this to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure there is enough room in the bowl for the dough to double in size, this should happen in about 2 hours.

4. Knock back the dough and then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight.

5. Roll out the dough until it is about 4mm thick. Use a doughnut cutter to cut out your shapes. Keep the ‘doughnut holes’, they make a tasty bite-sized treat once dusted with the raspberry sugar mix.

6. Put the doughnuts on trays lined with baking paper, and place in the oven with a roasting tin of warm water on the bottom shelf. This is supposed to help keep the oven warm and moist, like the environment inside a proving cabinet. Leave them in there for around 1-2 hours until they have doubled in size. Replace water if it cools.

7. Combine the raspberry powder and sugar.

8. Heat a deep fryer to around 190º. Deep fry doughnuts until they are golden and puffed up. Fry one first to check that the inside is cooking properly, and then continue with the rest.

9. When you remove a doughnut from the oil, roll it in the raspberry sugar mix.

10. Enjoy!


Now that I’ve mastered the doughnut, perhaps it is the time to try my hands at a cronut or two.

Peel Street Inspired Pear & Quince Crumble

Leave a comment
Baking / Dessert / Food / Restaurants

A few weeks ago I had a great dinner at Peel Street with some of my local blogging friends. After I got the dates wrong and only managed to turn up for the last few minutes of pre-drinks at Clever Little Tailor, we moved on to Peel Street for our 6:30pm booking.

This was my third time at Peel Street, but the only time I’ve been with friends. I find it’s a great spot to pop into when I want a sightly more indulgent lunch. Dinner was fantastic, as was to be expected… I haven’t had a bad meal here since. We ummed and ahhed over the dessert menu and decided on getting two to share between the five of us.

quince panna cotta and poached pear

There was the quince panna cotta and the poached pear with chocolate sorbet. I’ll admit, this was my first time eating quince in any form other than quince paste. I learnt quite a few things including how sweet they can become, and the fact that they turn a magnificent shade of pink once cooked. Everyone round the table assured me that I had to cook something with quince ASAP because as well as tasting beautiful, the smell fill your kitchen with a fantastic aroma.

Initially I’d planned on a pear and quince crumble to try and woo a potential beau, but that fell through and I was looking for a new opportunity to whip out this crumble and try my new ice cream maker. Thankfully the situation presented itself when one of my housemates and I invited Tyson from Tempting Tyson. Romance was not in the air, but at least we were good friends after a good feed.

Pear and Quince Crumble Pie

pear and quince crumble

When I mentioned to my housemates I was going to be making either a crumble or a pie, they shouted “pie!” simultaneously. Instead I combined the two. Using a sweet pastry tart shell and a crumble topping. Pastry & crumble… the best of both worlds. I served the crumble (after consultation with Twitter) with David Lebovitz’s cinnamon ice cream–I feel it may become a regular addition to our freezer. 

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry)
125g unsalted butter
63g icing sugar
2 eggs
250g plain flour
1/4tsp baking flour

Make your pastry in advance. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

Add eggs one at a time, making sue they are well incorporated. Keep eggs at room temperature and they’re less likely to separate the mixture.

Once all eggs are added and well incorporated, add the flour and baking powder and then beat briefly until mixture is combined. You don’t want to over-mix.

Gather the dough together into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (it will last up to a week).

Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into a circle 3mm thick. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and then place it onto your tart tin. I use a tart ring without a base. The dough is so buttery that I don’t need to worry about baking paper and it’s so easy to remove.

The tart tin should be already on a baking tray that is lined with baking paper.

Carefully press the dough into the tart ring and remove any excess dough. Sweet paste is a very forgiving dough to work with. If you end up with any holes, just fill them in with a bit of extra pastry. This recipe makes more than enough dough, so you can save some for another tart or pie, or you can even use the left over dough to make biscuits.

Return the tart shell to the fridge.

Pear and Quince

1kg quince
300g cater sugar
3/4 cup water
1 vanilla bean
750g pear

Peel, core and quarter your quinces.

Place them in a pot with the sugar and water.

Slice open a vanilla bean pod and scrape the seeds into the pot, add the remaining bean as well. You can add other spices if you like.

Simmer the quinces in the sugar mix, partially covered, for about an hour and a half. Check occasionally to stir and check the liquid has not completely dissolved.

Meanwhile peel and core your pears, and slice them into wedges.

When the quinces are soft and are lightly pink, add the pears and cook for a remaining 10-15 minutes. You do not want the pears completely soft, as they provide an varied texture in the crumble.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Remove your tart shell from the oven, and spoon in the pear and quince mix. You will probably have a bit of liquid left in the pot. Don’t add this as it can make the tart too wet.

Bake for around 30 minutes–do not turn the oven off.


100g plain flour
120g brown sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
60g rolled oats
120g unsalted butter

While the pie is in the oven. Combine all the dry ingredients for the crumble.

Rub in the butter. It doesn’t matter if the crumble isn’t particular fine.

Once the pie has been in the oven for 30 minutes, remove it, sprinkle on the crumble, and then bake for a remaining 30 minutes.

The crumble forms a biscuit like topping.

Remove the pie from the oven, and transfer to a platter or cake stand.

Valentine’s Day Brownies

Leave a comment
Baking / Dessert / patisserie

The last time I celebrated Valentine’s Day was the year that my high-school boyfriend broke up with me. He didn’t break up with me on Valentine’s day; it was a bit before. I was suitably devastated. His Valentine’s Day present–two tickets to Ross Nobel–would go to waste and I would spend the day as any lovestruck 16-year-old would–heartbroken.

On Valentine’s Day my best friend gave me a stuffed toy puppy dog holding a love heart. Another friend had bought me a teddy bear. Another friend made me a Valentine’s Day card. They were all just trying to make me feel better.  It was my best Valentine’s Day ever.

brownies with a gold background

I’ve been itching to bake ever since I moved back into this rental house. The kitchen is puny and there’s barely room to butter your toast let alone bake something. When my housemate asked me if I felt like baking I was all over it. She went to the shops and stocked up on unsalted butter and chocolate, and I started thinking about brownies.

I prefer my brownies packed with chocolate, so I don’t ever use any nuts. I also mixed icing sugar with red food colouring to give these a Valentine’s Day twist–you can obviously just use normal icing sugar.

Valentine’s Day Brownies:

180g butter
180g dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
250g caster sugar
110g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
At least 200g mixed chocolate (white, milk & dark)

  • Preheat oven to 180*C.
  • Melt butter and dark chocolate in a bain marie.
  • Whisk eggs, vanilla bean paste, and caster sugar.
  • Sift flour and salt into the butter and chocolate; add egg mixture and the 200g chocolate.
  • Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
  • Add to a greased and lined brownie pan, and bake for 25 minutes.
  • When the brownies are cool, cut them up as you like. To make coloured icing sugar just blitz some icing sugar with red food colouring in your food processor. Dust over the brownies and serve.

For a slightly fancier approach to Valentine’s Day check out The Hungry Australian’s possible Valentine’s Day menus .

Mangoes, Mangoes, Mangoes

comments 2
Baking / Cooking / Dessert / Food

jar of mangoesI went a little mango crazy the other day and bought a whole crate of mangoes. Despite knowing that I really don’t have much need for 15 mangoes all in one go, I’m a sucker for fruit discounts.

Summer is my favourite time of year when it comes to fruit. All of my favourites come out in full force; specifically juicy, sticky mangoes, peaches and nectarines. I feel like I need to carry around a wash cloth with me half the time because I end up with so much of them oozing down my face and all over my hands.

So now I have 15 mangoes–well I’m probably down to about 11 now–and I’m not sure what to do with them.

mangoesWhat are your favourite mango desserts? Mine has always been mango with coconut sticky rice. I had it for the first time when we were travelling somewhere through Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos. The first and only time I’ve ever cooked with sticky rice was during my mochi catastrophe, so I’ve never recreated this recipe at home.

I’m contemplating smoothies or ice blocks, or maybe even a cheesecake. For now I’m just enjoying devouring them one by one.

If you’ve got any ideas for mango-centric desserts, let me know! I’m very keen for some inspiration.

cut open mango



Steven Ter Horst Chocolatier – Rundle Street Launch

Leave a comment
Cafes / Dessert / Events / patisserie / Patisseries

media launch steven ter horst

chocolates steven ter horst

cake display at steven ter horstLast night I went along to the launch of Steven ter Horst’s new Rundle Street store. The old Unley store was great, but it was really limited by its size. I think the Rundle Street store will help introduce the chocolates, cakes and pastries to a much wider audience.

One of my favourite things from Steven ter Horst is their salted caramel–whether in tart or chocolate form. I still remember one night after I’d just eaten dinner at Apothecary 1878 with the lovely Champagne Duchess. I noticed the salted caramel chocolates were on the menu, so I ordered one as an after dinner treat. After watching my face as I ate mine, Catherine promptly ordered her own.

salted caramel at steven ter horst

Luckily there was an entire tower of salted caramel chocolates last night. We also got a chance to try miniature versions of some of the other cakes and pastries available. It was great spending the evening with my fellow dessert lover, Berny from I Only Eat Desserts, as well as some lovely ladies from Glam Adelaide and Style Story. It was also great seeing Dan & Rob from Burger Theory, Aurélie from La Waffle and The Naughty Spot–where I also had lunch yesterday–and one of my old TAFE lecturers.

I talked a bit too much about how people are technically correct regardless of whether they say ‘macaron’ or ‘macaroon’ and we all a lot of chocolate.

palet d'or chocolate

media launch steven ter horst

cakes steven ter horst

mousse ball steven ter horst

gateau steven ter horst

cheeseburger macaron steven ter horst

cheeseburger macaron steven ter horstFor a bonus bit of knowledge: the Rundle Street store also stocks croissants and danishes from Goodwood Road’s Boulangerie 113. In my opinion they’re the best in Adelaide. Stop in at Steven ter Horst and you can enjoy one with a delicious hot chocolate as well.

I was invited to the Rundle Street store as a guest for their VIP launch party. 

Getting Tarty

Leave a comment
Baking / Dessert / Events / Family / Food / patisserie

Last year I got some great books and baking supplies for my birthday and Christmas. One of them was The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts. I judge this book by its cover every time I see it; by this I mean my heart gets all fluttery with excitement every time I imagine myself putting together the cover image. As a result this is one of my favourite cookbooks. I love it for the moment of glee I get every time I pull it out of the shelf. Thankfully I’ve finally started cooking from it and it’s actually a pretty great book.

It’s like having a TAFE lecturer patiently sitting with me in the kitchen while I bake. Sure it’s not as friendly and it doesn’t have as many stories, but it’s filled with great advice. It’s laid out in roughly the same order as the Cert III Patisserie course, so it’s a great refresher as I start psyching myself up to return to the kitchens in a couple of years.

My first foray into the books has come in the form of tarts. Chocolate tarts, apple tarts, lemon tarts (or pie, depending on how you’re classing them), and fruit tarts.

It started off with a cake ring from Ecotel–a store that gives me similarly fluttery feelings. I had a few friends and family round for my birthday last month and decided to make some tarts. A chocolate Bavarian tart and an apple tart. I made my own sweet pastry and then managed to get it stuck to the board–yes I forgot to lift it–and I couldn’t roll it thin enough. Dodgy rolling pins and tiny chopping boards do not make for happy pastry. Thankfully the fillings turned out brilliant.

dessert table

I couldn’t work out why my Bavarian was so lumpy, then I remembered that I didn’t pass the mixture through a sieve. I topped it with shaved chocolate and fresh berries. The apple tart was the crowning glory. I used pink lady apples rather than the golden delicious apples that were recommended. Pink ladies are already a deliciously sweet eating apple, so when added to butter and brown sugar they just sung. It was such a delicious homely apple pie.

We served them all with a bowl of whipped cream, fresh berries, and little meringue kisses so that my nieces who weren’t so tart-inclined could make up their own eton messes for dessert.

chocolate bavarian tart

apple pie

meringue kissesI was left with enough pastry to make about two or three more tarts, because the book can be a little clear on how much of one recipe to use for another. Thankfully pastry can be frozen for a month or so, and still turns out great results.

I’ve just moved house, so I had to make the trip back down to Moana to roll out my pastry and get to work on some new tarts for our Food Blogger’s Christmas picnic. I decided on a lemon meringue pie and a fresh fruit custard tart. I spent the train ride studying all of the recipes. Making note of which things I needed; when I was supposed to have which things on the stove and what things in the oven. Thankfully a lot of these amazing tarts come down to really simple ingredients. They take time, a bit of patience, and sometimes tears, but if you’ve got flour, sugar, eggs, and butter at the home you’re half way towards making some pretty spectacular tarts.

I made all my fillings with no trouble at all, so I was doing a little happy dance around the kitchen. My pastry was still a bit thick, and I can never get it to colour evenly. I ended up with a bowl of crème pâtissière and lemon curd left over; mum and dad and their friends happily finished them off for me.

In the morning I had to ride down to the fruit and veg shop and at home I had to whip up the Swiss meringue.

picnic blankets with lots of food

lemon meringue pie

fresh fruit custard tart


I went a little overboard with the fruit surrounding my fresh fruit tart, but I was worried it would look a bit silly on such a large serving platter. I am a little bit in love with this new platter. I picked it up at IKEA after spotting it on Love Swah’s Sweet Swap post–she had the smaller version. They’re really cheap, but their such nice serving dishes.

It was a great afternoon with lovely people from Hungry Australian, She Cooks, She Gardens, Furikake Me, Liz Bakes Cakes, Louis Fameli, Cooking with Lucy, Sliced Food Insights, G’day Souffle, and What’s on the List.

Things I learnt: Lemon meringue pie is not a good picnic dish–or at least my sloppy lemon meringue would have you thinking so–and I need to work on my forearm strength for all my whisking needs.

What are your favourite tarts?

Raspberry Fool: A Fine Dessert

comment 1
Dessert / Food

Sophie Blackall is one of my favourite illustrators. I came across her thanks to her Missed Connections blog; illustrations to accompany people’s missed connections posts. Recently I’ve become interested in another one of her projects: a book she’s illustrating called A Fine Dessert. The book is about four families, throughout different time periods, as they each make and share a blackberry fool. According to Sophie’s blog, and in the words of the books’ author, “it is about the universality of the pleasure in cooking and eating dessert — how it goes through time and across cultures.”

Basically it’s the type of thing that makes me scrunch up my face and wave about my arms in the way that you do when so many of the things you love all come together in one big happy moment–kind of like when you introduce two friends from completely different groups and they get on so well and then you get so excited that all your worlds are coming together. Yep. That’s what it’s like. Desserts, food history, and Sophie Blackall’s illustrations. Three things I’m pretty fond of.

So today I decided to make a fool. Not a blackberry fool like in the book, but a raspberry fool because I’m lazy and found it easier to pick up a bag of frozen raspberries from the shops.

raspberries in a sieveApparently gooseberries are actually one of the most traditional fruits to use. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a gooseberry before, so I’m not familiar with the taste. You mash the fruit with a fork, and then pass it through a sieve. Some recipes call for you to cook the fruit, others forgo the sieve. I find sieving fruit puree strangely satisfying, so I put mine to good use.

raspberry fool


You whip up the cream, and then fold it through the fruit puree. I read there there should still be streaks of white showing through. I found the cream to raspberry ratio was a little off. Perhaps it’s my fault for buying subpar raspberries, or maybe I should have just used more of them. It’s funny that the fool is actually quite similar to the Eton mess, but the addition of meringue and actual fruit pieces make the Eton mess a winner in my eyes.

raspberry fool

raspberry foolI topped the fool with some fresh strawberries because I knew all the little people eating would enjoy them.

It wasn’t a wild success, but there’s still something that captivates me. It might just be the name, but there’s something very whimsical about a fool. A few recipes use custard instead of cream and others include a lot more fruit. Perhaps with a little more experimentation I’ll end up with something we all love. I’d love to hear if you’ve got a favourite fool recipe.



Strawberry Eton Mess

Leave a comment
Baking / Dessert / Family / Food

If there’s one dessert that my whole family loves, it’s the Eton Mess. My youngest niece gobbles it up greedily, the oldest tries to steal the meringues before they’re crushed in, Primrose begs me for it any chance she gets (she doesn’t quite get the seasonality of strawberries); even Daphne will have a bowl–she just makes sure she eats only the strawberries that are stirred through. It’s an almost impossible task to keep all four happy with any one dish, but the Eton Mess does it.

So when mum and dad game back from the shops with two big punnets of strawberries, I knew I had to make an Eton Mess for an upcoming sleepover. Safe to say it was eaten up pretty quickly.

picture steps for making eton mess

The Sweet Swap: Mix-Ups, Moustaches, and Mail

comments 13
Baking / Dessert

I’ve always wanted to make confectionary. There’s just something about sweets; childhood boiled up in sugar and wrapped in plastic. I remember I was always trying to make fudge. It just never worked. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory made me fall in love with old lolly shops and I still get excited when I pass one. Sweets have so many colours, flavours, textures, and sizes. Ultimately it all boils down to one thing: sugar. Nutritionally we get nothing from refined sugar but I don’t think another food product can cause so much joy.

On to the Sweet Swap. I knew I wanted aboard as soon as it was announced. A chance to make sweets and get packages in the mail? Sounds like a dream come true. I was almost as eager waiting for my matches as I was waiting for my packages.

Like I true food studies student, I got started in the library. Tim Richardson’s ‘Sweets’ seduced me with his descriptions like this: “The aftertaste of liquorice is stronger, if anything, than that first taste–a scirocco of sweet flavour that whirls into being as if from nowhere and hotly lingers in the mouth.Swoon.

Then I moved to the kitchen and made fudge, honeycomb, and chocolate freckles. I even tried my hand (slightly unsuccessfully) and recreating the lollipops we saw when we were in Chengdu.

In the end I decided I’d go with something I knew all too well: chocolate moustaches.

trio of chocolate moustaches

Of course, things weren’t that easy.

I first made chocolate moustaches for a Movember party about 3 or 4 years ago. They weren’t quite a success. Adelaide was going through a heatwave at the time so after about an hour my sad looking moustaches dripped and dropped off of their wooden spikes.

When I started selling cupcakes at markets the chocolate moustaches were an accompaniment to my choc Guinness cupcakes. Moustaches & beer were an obvious pair. Of course I only sold during the Summer, so there were still the days where they drooped off their sticks regardless of how high we had the air conditioner in the car. That first market was when I decided that I could make food a real part of my life. Now I’m part way through becoming a pastry chef and I’m at university studying my Master of Food Studies. These chocolate mo’s helped make it happen.

They join the long tradition of sweets that masquerade as something they’re not. Like boxes of the dubious fads (once called fags), hard candy dummies, and lollipops that double as whistles; sweets are the one time you’re supposed to play with your food. So as I packaged off my chocolate moustaches I hoped their recipients would have a bit of fun too. 

photo boxes with moustaches

Unfortunately my moustache moulds were missing and I’d run out of time to order any online. So I was inspired by a chair I passed while walking to the beach. This chair had lemons for $2 a bag. Inspired by my good friend Albus Dumbledore, I decided to make sherbet lemons. Why stop at one flavour when you can have two? I popped up to our local fruit and veg shop and bought some apples too. After some juicing it was time to start boiling sugar and juice.

I boiled and scraped, and pulled, and rolled. Then I packaged the first lot of apple lollies into their little jars. An hour later two things occurred.

  1. I managed to find my moustache moulds.
  2. My apple lollies had squished themselves down to half their size to make  a solid lump at the bottom of the jars.

sweet swap apple lollies

On to round two.

I decided to fill the chocolate moustaches. One with the peanut butter mix I use for my homemade peanut butter cups, one with a raspberry ganache, and one with regular chocolate ganache. I scrapped the chocolate ganache idea in favour of dark chocolate freckles. University can do that to you.

What You’ll Need:
1 bag Nestle milk chocolate melts
1 bag Nestle dark chocolate melts
1 bag Nestle white chocolate melts
Chocolate Moustache Moulds

Raspberry Ganache
Handful of frozen raspberries
1 part cream
2 parts white chocolate

Peanut Butter Filling
Smooth peanut butter
Icing sugar

Start by preparing your fillings. For the ganache heat cream and raspberries on the stove, stirring. Add in more raspberries to suit your tastes. Once the cream begins to bubble, remove it from the stove and strain the mixture. Add the white chocolate to the hot mixture and stir until combined. Place the white chocolate in the fridge to cool.

To make the peanut butter filling scoop peanut butter filling into a bowl. Add enough icing sugar so that the mix is a little bit crumbly but can be rolled into small balls. Adjust with icing sugar or peanut butter to suit your tastes.

For Freckles

Heat dark chocolate in a microwave safe container. Start at 30 seconds and then repeat at 20 second intervals, stirring in between.
Add a lollipop stick to each of the moulds, and sprinkle them with 100s and 1000s.
Use a teaspoon to fill the moulds. Make sure the stick is covered. Leave to set.

For Choc Peanut Butter Moustaches

Heat the milk chocolate, following the instructions for dark chocolate. Use a paint brush to cover the entire mould with a layer of chocolate. Make sure there are no gaps.
Add lollipop sticks to the moulds.
Leave the chocolate to set completely. You can do this in the fridge or freezer to speed things up.
Roll a portion of the peanut butter mixture into two halves and then flatten them into each side of the moustache. Try and leave a small gap around the outside so that the moustache can seal.
Cover with milk chocolate and leave to set.

For White Chocolate Moustaches with Raspberry Ganache

Make sure the ganache has cooled down, it should not be completely set.
Melt the white chocolate as above, following instructions for covering the mould.
Use a spoon or pipping bag to fill the moulds with the raspberry ganache.
Cover with white chocolate and leave to set.

They’re not the most amazing sweets you’ll come across and they’re unlikely to impress a gourmand, but they’re loads fun. What more do you need? The lovely ladies who received a box of moustaches are Jen from Jenius, Cath from Confessions of a Glutton, and Prue from the Culinary Library. Hope you all enjoyed them!

Now for the mail!

My first package arrived nice and early. I was actually down at my parents place for the week–about 2 hours from my apartment thanks to the trains not running. I came back into town to grab them and was greeted by some very moist and delicious brownies from Hold the Peas.

sweet swap brownies

Next were the raw vegan truffle balls from Jenius. My favourite was the cashew, lime and coconut. It was nutty and just a little bit sour. Plus, I didn’t have to feel bad scoffing them all down because they’re healthy!

present raw vegan truffle balls

My final package was from Diamond Interiors. I got some lovely little rich mocha fudge. I couldn’t gobble these up quick enough! I’m a bit of a fudge addict, and these were a great end to the swap.

chocolate fudge

Lessons Learned

I loved being part of the Sweet Swap, and thank you so much to Sara and Amanda for organising it! It was lots of fun, but there are still a couple of lessons I learned.

  • Trust your gut. When I was making the apple candies the recipe I got my inspiration from said to boil the sugar to a hard ball. I was pretty sure that if I wanted hard candies I needed to go to a hard crack. But I blindly followed instructions and messed things up.
  • Plan ahead. This doesn’t just come to sweets, but sending them off too. I was really happy with the packages I sent, but I’ll admit that I spend a little bit too much on postage.
  • Snap, snap, snap. I wish I got some better photos of my sweets. I was in a messy kitchen and I was running out of time, so these three lonesome moustaches were all I could get.

So that’s the end of my Sweet Swap post of epic proportions. I’ve loved delving into the world of candy. I’m also heading along to a confectionary course at TAFE in November so this sweet journey is far from over.

Have you ever attempted candy in the kitchen?

Toasted Mochi with Kinako – June SABH

comments 4
Baking / Dessert

sweet adventures blog hop badge

One of my favourite meals in China was our 34-course degustation at Yu’s Family Kitchen in Chengdu. So when the June Sweet Adventures Blog Hop was announced I decided to try and mimic a dessert from Chef Yu Bo’s menu. There was just one problem… I had no idea what the dessert actually was.

See, June’s theme was Out of the Frying Pan. If you’re not sure what the blog hop is, head to the Sweet Adventures website and make sure you check out the Kitchen Crusader’s recipe for chai crepes and caramelised bananas (she’s hosting this month’s blog hop). I don’t prepare many desserts in a frying pan. In fact, I can’t think of any desserts I’ve made outside of TAFE that have required a frying pan. When I thought of frying pans my mind went straight to Yu’s Family Kitchen.

Back to the problem. I could guess various elements of this dessert but I still didn’t really know what it was, let alone how to make it. It had a crispy shell that was filled with a soft gooey centre, and coated with a powder. It wasn’t entirely sweet, and it wasn’t entirely savoury. I did my research. The powder is called kinako. It’s a roasted soy bean powder used a lot in Japanese cuisine. I figured the rest of it was made with glutinous rice.

That’s where my dessert started. I decided to make mochi, fry them, and then coat them with kinako. Of course I’d never made mochi before, and I didn’t know where to start. Potential for disaster.

mochi dipped in kinako on blue leaf plate

What You’ll Need:

Sweet Glutinous Rice
Fillings (I used homemade red bean paste & my peanut butter filling from my peanut butter cups)

You’d think a recipe with just one ingredient would be easy. It starts off simple enough. Process the rice, and then soak it in water for an hour. It is easy enough… until your stick mixer suddenly stops and starts smoking. Whoops!

processing rice with a stick mixer

Seriously, don’t try this at home.

Then you need to steam the rice for about 40 minutes in a bamboo steamer. I’d also never steamed rice using a bamboo steamer. Thanks to my ever knowing friend, Google, I set up my housemates wok and hoped that the burn marks weren’t going to tarnish my rice as the water bubbled through.

soaked rice in a steamer

Here comes the fun part. Once the rice has finished, you’re supposed to transfer it to a motar and pestle. Don’t judge me. We don’t have a mortar and pestle in our tiny apartment. I figured I’d settled for the next best thing. A marble chopping board and a rolling pin. You’re supposed to pound the mixture in the mortar and pestle for about 10 minutes. And I did.

I used to think I came up with this genius b-grade horror movie idea at TAFE. Something along the lines of the Blob, but with sour dough. That stuff is crazy. You feed it daily. It just keeps getting bigger, and stickier. In the film the sour dough mix would just get bigger and bigger until it started consuming people. I knew nothing. Sticky rice is 10x more intense.

My housemate was having a grand old time listening to me pound away. Finally it looked somewhat smooth. My arms were sore. My rolling pin was covered in sticky rice. But I did it.

sticky rice

Things get a bit easier after this. Dust your work surface with rice flour. Knead the mix briefly, coating in rice flour, until it’s not sticky to the touch. Break bits off and roll them into small balls.

rolled mochi

I’m not really a stickler for consistency

Once they’re all rolled, flatten down any that you’re adding filling too. You don’t need to add anything, but I like the added sweetness of the red bean and peanut butter. Roll a smaller amount of peanut butter mix or red bean paste and place it in the centre of the flattened circles. Then pinch up the sides and roll into a ball again.

unrolled mochi with fillings

Heat up your pan, and skip any oil. Place the balls in the frying pan, and wait until they’re golden brown. Then turn and do the same on the other side.

toasting mochi in frypan

Finally. Dust with kinako and serve straight away.

dipping mochi in kinako

Did I succeed in recreating our dessert at Yu’s Family Kitchen? Not quite. When you fry mochi the outside does go nice and crisp while the inside is warm and gooey, but it wasn’t quite the crispy outer shell we found at YFK. The kinako I bought was also not as flavoursome. I loved biting into the gooey mochi mixed with peanut butter or red bean (my housemate found it a bit of a peanut butter overload).

If you want to try this at home I’d recommend following the Serious Eats mochi recipe and Just One Cookbook’s guide to making red bean paste. While it was fun, it was also messy. I think next time I’m tempted to try toasted mochi I might just buy a box from the convenience store downstairs before popping them in the frypan. I don’t think my kitchen can handle another round of Tash Vs. Glutinous Rice Glob.

Have you ever tried making mochi at home? Lost any utensiles, appliances, or appendages in the process?

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to view the rest of the Out of the Frying Pan blog posts. Unfortunately little old doesn’t support the cool thumbnails you’ll see at the bottom of everyone else’s blogs.