For the next five days, I am a lady of leisure! And what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail (or two)! And this Goose in Spring Cocktail fits the bill perfectly!
After three years, I am leaving the amazing team at Protiviti in Melbourne for pastures new. It was so hard to say goodbye; I have made so many friends there and worked for three amazing bosses. But new challenges beckoned and I am moving on.
But not until Monday.
So, in the meantime, while I am unofficially unemployed, I am as free as this little bird.
If being free means:
Cleaning out my pantry
Clearing out my wardrobe
Clearing out my bookshelves
Putting my car in for a service
A visit to the dentist
A visit to the hairdresser
Catching up with a girlfriend for lunch
A visit to the beauty salon for a mani & pedi
Getting the broken strap on my favourite handbag fixed
Trying to cook as many recipes from Persiana as possible
Vintage Shopping with my mum
Writing at least three blog posts to schedule for when I am on holiday next month
Writing that novel I’ve been thinking about for years
Yep, totally absolutely free!
The Goose in Spring cocktail was the winner of the May 2012 Vodka Cocktail Contest, where it was created by Elijah Venanzi.
Goose In Spring
A delicious fruity and floral cocktail. Perfect for Spring!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
The Goose In Spring combines all the delicious floral flavours I love – lavender and elderflower with some fruity deliciousness from raspberries and lime! The original recipe used lemon instead of lime but I didn’t have any – and you know, when life doesn’t give you lemons, a girl’s gotta improvise! My lavender vodka was also VERY lavendery so I needed to adjust the other ingredients around it. The original ratios are per the link in the recipe.
Have a lovely week! I’ll be thinking of you while I’m doing all that nothing!
Back in….oh I don’t know, JULY my mum posted a recipe on my Facebook page and said, “This is what you are making for Christmas Day Lunch”. Which is fine, it certainly stopped me from disappearing down the rabbit hole of suitable dessert recipes – which is all too easy for me to do.
There was one minor problem though. The recipe was a Tim Tam Cheesecake. So what’s the problem I hear you ask?
I love chocolate.
I love cheesecake.
I do NOT like a chocolate cheesecake. I really do not like chocolate cheesecake. Even the thought of it makes me a little nauseated.
Luckily I had a good 5 months to think about how I could fulfill the brief of both a Tim Tam Cheesecake and something I would want to eat.
Eventually, I came up with the idea of using the White Chocolate Tim Tams. I also substituted raspberries for the chocolate in the filling.
People loved this. And, having the biscuits like that around the outside, made it super easy to cut and serve!
Oh, and if you noticed a familiar name on the plate, it was painted by my mum. If you didn’t, here it is again:
And yes, we may have some fancy pants hand painted serving platters but when it comes to dishing up, we’re not afraid to use disposables. Life’s too short to be doing dishes on Christmas Day right?
The Tim Tam Cheesecake is easy to make, looks very special, and tastes deee-licious!!!!
If you are not averse to a regular chocolate cheesecake, here is the recipe I based my cheesecake on:
Ok, now that you have your Tim Tams, and you will need three packs of them, put a pack of them (after removing the wrapper) in your food processor and grind them down. The original recipe called for some butter to be added to the crumb crust. I did not need any. Between the cream filling and the white chocolate on the outside and possibly that I made it on the hottest day of the year, the processed Tim Tams did not so much make a crumb but, for want of a better word, a thick sludge, that could be pressed into the pan base without adding butter. And believe me, this is rich enough without more butter.
Spread your Tim Tam “crumb” mix into the base of your prepared tin. Open another pack of Tim Tams and press these into the base, standing them up to line the sides of the tin.
The filling is a fairly standard cream cheese, white chocolate, and cream affair. The raspberries not only add colour but they help to cut through the somewhat cloying sweetness of the white chocolate.
An additional bonus of this wonderful dessert is that you need to make it the day before. So, on the day of your festivity, all you need to do is slice and serve. One less thing to stress over on the big day is a huge bonus in my book!
250g raspberries, frozen are fine just thaw them out beforehand
Line a 24cm round spring form pan (base measuring 22cm) with cling film, extending over the outside of pan.
Process 1 pack of Tim Tams in a food processor until finely crushed. If you need to add butter to help the mixture stick together (I didn't) add it a teaspoon at a time until the mixture holds together.
Press evenly over base of prepared pan.
Line side of pan with Tim Tams.
Beat cheese and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Beat in cooled melted white chocolate.
Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled, keep beating and it will come right. Continue to beat until smooth. Fold in cream until just combined.
If using frozen raspberries, drain off any excess liquid from the frozen raspberries. Lightly fold the raspberries through the cheese mixture.
Spoon into the prepared pan. Smooth over top.
Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Remove side of pan. Slide onto a serving plate.
Cut between biscuits into slices.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
I left the top of my cheesecake unadorned because I liked the swirly, splotchy look of the raspberries. If you wanted to be really fancy you could decorate with more cream, raspberries or crumbled Tim Tams.
All right, Stop. Collaborate and listen, I am back with a brand new invention….
Thanks to my lovely friends at the Spice Peddlers we are mixing up the flavours of Mexico with an Australian icon to create a dessert that has more contradictions than a Katy Perry song.
This baby is hot and it’s cold, it’s sweet and it’s sour,it’s crunchy and gooey, it’s pretty in pink but it packs a wicked punch and it’s fruity and boozy…ok, technically, those two aren’t opposites but this is awesome and fucks with your head in the best possible way. Et voila, the Ice Iced Vovo.
But first, for those of you not familiar with the Iced Vovo, it is probably the most legendary biscuit in Australia.
Well….right behind the Tim Tam. And the Anzac.
We are a nation of biscuit lovers.
Anyhoo..it’s right up there.
According to the Arnott’s Biscuits website:
An Iced VoVo is a lovely biscuit topped with two strips of pink fondant and a strip of strawberry jam, all sprinkled with coconut – a symphony in pink!
A much smaller symphony in pink than what I remembered from my childhood but a symphony in pink nonetheless. Anyway, forget about them for a while. Think of this as a play. Australia has exited stage left.
Because we need to talk about sorbet. More specifically this sorbet which I made from some ancho chillies (sent to me by my friends at the Spice Peddlers), some raspberries, tequila and lime. Enter Mexico stage right….
So I whipped up the sorbet. And it was delicious Mind you, with those ingredients how could it not be?
It is really good just on it’s own.
But anyone can have ice cream in a cone. It tasted great, but I was feeling a bit blah about the presentation. I actually made this ages ago but because I didn’t love it, I found it really hard to write about. When I feel that way about most things, I just don’t write about them. But this one haunted me, I had to write about it but the cone just seemed so boring.
So, after pondering about it for a few weeks, I thought maybe an ice cream sandwich would be a bit more interesting. So I hightailed it down to the supermarket to buy some biscuits. I had in my head something like a shortbread or those cats tongues? And then I saw the Iced Vovo’s.
So I had my components. My first idea was a very simple ice cream sandwich:
This looked great and was pretty much what I wanted. However, the main problem with it was that when you bit into it all the sorbet oozed out over your hands.
But it was good, it had the flavours and a normal person would have probably left it there. Luckily for you, I ‘m not normal. I liked the sandwich better but was still not absolutely inspired. Then, this morning I was writing my journal and it came to me….
The strip of jam down the middle of the vovo was the same colour as the sorbet….so what if…..you took a biscuit, any biscuit and you put a little line of sorbet down the middle? Then instead of fondant what if you took some of those little baking marshmallows….hmm…how would you stop them rolling off? What if you toasted them?
If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my djay revolves it.
Ice, Iced Vovo
These are best eaten straight away, when the marshmallow is still gooey and before the sorbet melts…so good…and once you’ve made the sorbet it takes about 3 minutes to make. Super easy, super good. Seriously the hardest part is making sure the marshmallows don’t fall off the biscuits as you put the tray in the oven!
I ‘m going to be thinking up some more kooky recipes for the rest of the month of crazy. Have a great one whatever you do. Meanwhile, enjoy the duclet tones of Mr Robert Van Winkle AKA Vanilla Ice.
Ice Iced Vovo
An Australian classic heads to Mexico for a cheeky twist!
I was recently strolling around my local purveyor of fine alcoholic beverages (or as we like to call it, our second home) when a retro looking bottle caught my eye. A very glamorous Elke Sommer looking woman is being draped in a fur coat by a man who looks like a 1970’s tennis player or a porn star (possibly both). The label promised “an experience of elegance and lingering pleasure” which only further reinforced the boom chicka wah wah soundtrack that was going through my head. The name: Kellermeister Sable. According to the back of the bottle, Sable is a
“base of ruby tawny into which we have steeped dark German Chocolate, special spices and three year old brandy”
You know those moments when Homer Simpson goes into the donut fugue state? I think I lapsed into something very similar. Standing there mumbling to myself “Ruby Tawny…dark chocolate….special spices….brandy…ruby tawny…..” Ruby Tawny may well become the name of my first-born child. I hope it’s a girl.
The bottle, in all it’s gorgeous retroness did give me pause though. I honestly wasn’t sure if it was meant to be retro chic. Or it just came from South Australia. If anyone from South Australia wants to dispute the implication of this statement I suggest they first go and count the people with mullets walking down Rundle Mall. They can lodge their complaints when they have a number less than ten.
Ok, we may have lost South Australia forever so the rest of us might as well get on with it. Sable is meant to be retro chic and forms part of the Kellermeister Retro Range which includes this and two Moscatos which I am very keen to try. One is called Pink Minx. This may become the name of my second born child. Again, a girl would be good.
The Sable is great on it’s own as a little tipple – rich, silky, porty, chocolatey loveliness in a glass. If I was prone to swooning I would. However, as I do not live in a Jane Austen novel I will remain upright and advise that this is utterly delicious and is likely to become a staple on my drinks trolley for some time to come! This will be my go to product for those days when you just want a little something sweet and lovely after dinner! Or mid afternoon….or…you know…whenever….
The loveliness of the Sable does not stop with drinking though. It is equally good in food.
I’ve now made three recipes with it and they were all gorgeous (even if I do say so myself). If you cannot get Sable, your liqueur of choice can be substituted in all of these.
First up was a Raspberry Meringue Roulade which I adapted from a Bill Granger recipe.
Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
Raspberry Roulade and a glass of Sable – a lovely afternoon tea tipple
I then made a Strawberry and Mango Zagablione where I used the Sable instead of marsala. This tasted divine! The zabaglione was also lovely swirled into some plain yoghurt the following day.
Finally, I used some Sable in my version of the Australian Gourmet Traveller Chocolate and Caramel Tart. I adapted the original recipe as I am not that good with pastry and I used a bought caramel. This is a truly decadent recipe and tastes like heaven! My only word of caution is give yourself plenty of time to make this. I started mid afternoon. I added the final layer at midnight. This takes a LONG time to make as you have to let each layer chill before adding the next one. It is worth it though as this is absolutely delicious!
I love the ombre effect of the four layers!
If you really want to make your own pastry and caramel, the original recipe can be found here: