Category Archives: dessert

jerusalem artichoke-cake

Another desert using vegetables. But Jerusalem artichokes? Yes! This is a retro-engineered recipe after a dish we had at the beautiful restaurant BIEN in Bergen, Norway.

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fruit and vegetable bouillon

Vegetables for desert? Here is a surprising combination of fennel, parsnip and pineapple that works beautifully. Fennel, quince and pear are an alternative combination that is equally great.

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Russian fudge

A New Zealand staple using distinctly NZ ingredients. When done properly this is the ultimate sugar bomb.

100 g butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 c golden syrup
1 400 ml can regular condensed milk

Put everything in a heavy saucepan over low heat for 8 – 10 min until ‘soft ball’ stage, stirring continuously. Start testing for ‘soft ball’ stage after 6 minutes; drop a small amount in a cup of cold water and see if you can gather the mixture into a soft ball. Once off heat beat hard for 3 mins. Line a 180 x 200 mm tray with baking paper and pour in.

From: Ollie’s mum

Thai red rice with coconut milk and plums

175 grs Thai red rice
100 grs palm sugar
200 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
250 grs plums, figs or ripe mango
pink peppercorns

Soak the red rice in cold water for at least three hours. Wash and rinse four to five times. The water will never be completely clear. Using equal parts of rice and water, boil the rice until done but still firm to the bite. Add the palm sugar and stir. The result should be slightly moist and glistening. Fry the cored and halved plums or figs in a little bit of butter until soft, add a bit of sugar if necessary. (If using mangoes slice and use uncooked.) Mix the coconut milk with the salt.

Place mounds of warm rice in bowls, pour cold coconut milk around it, place warm plums on top and sprinkle with pink pepper.

Sublime and very satisfying. The health conscious can reduce the amounts of sugar and salt.

Possible additions: Vanilla to the plums, rosewater to the rice.

Hot chocolate

As the Parisians make it. A drink for a king! This could be the ultimate way to take chocolate.  (yields 4 x 175 ml cups)

550 ml milk
50 ml good quality water
60 g caster sugar
100 g dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped
28 g cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona, sieved

In a good-sized saucepan, stir together the milk, water, sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chocolate and cocoa and bring to a boil again, whisking until all has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Reduce heat to very low and blend with a barmix for 5 minutes until the chocolate is thick and foamy. Allow guests to sprinkle ground cinnamon over if they wish.

Source: ‘It must have been something I ate’

Viennese Topfenstrudel

This is the real thing from Vienna. Topfen, called Quark in Germany, is an unsalted curd cheese that’s used a lot in sweet and savoury dishes in Austria. You could use cream cheese or ricotta as a replacement.

60 grs butter at room temperature
50 grs sugar
2 eggs, separated into
yolks and eggs whites
250 grs unsalted fine curd cheese
125 ml sour cream
finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
40 grs raisins

additional butter to brush the outside of the strudel
1 package of filo pastry

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare the filling: Whisk the egg whites until very stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter until soft, then add sugar, yolks, strained curd cheese, sour cream, zest and raisins. Mix well, then carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the rest of the mass.

On your counter-top, place a slightly moist kitchen cloth, then open the package of filo pastry (it dries out in minutes, so wait until the last minute). On the towel, place one sheet of pastry on top of a second sheet. Spread the filling on one fifth of the pastry sheets, leaving space on the sides around it. Then fold in the sides and start to roll up the strudel with the help of the table cloth underneath it. Place on a greased baking tray, brush with melted butter and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden

Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. For added richness, the strudel can be served with hot home-made vanilla custard.

Source: Hess, Wiener Küche

postmodern apricot dumplings

A postmodern deconstruction of an Austrian dessert classic that is much lighter than the original.
50 grs breadcrumbs
50 grs almonds (optional)
50 grs butter
pinch of salt

6 tbsp brown sugar 
8-10 apricots, ripe but firm
a few dashes of apricot schnaps or vin de liqueur (optional)

200 ml yogurt
200 ml mascarpone or whipping cream
3 tbsp  linden honey or elderflower syrup
2 cream chargers (optional)

Mix the yogurt, mascarpone and honey into a smooth cream. For a lighter texture, replace mascarpone with whipping cream, put everything into a syphon and charge with two cream chargers. Keep cool in the fridge. Melt a big knob of butter with a pinch of salt in a non-stick frying pan and on low heat, let the breadcrumbs and almonds slowly toast to a golden brown colour. Keep warm. Cut apricots into eights, caramelize sugar in a non-stick pan, coat the apricots in the sugar and deglaze with a dash of apricot schnaps or vin de liqueur. Keep warm.

To assemble, layer the ingredients into a tall, thin glass in the following order: Start with 1 cm of breadcrumbs, then 1.5 cms of yogurt, 3 cms of apricots , 1.5 cms of yogurt and finish with 1 cm of breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

Peaches can be substituted for the apricots. Vanilla can be added to the fruits if they are not ripe and fragrant enough.