Tag Archives: desserts

february-march: kerri’s instant chocolate mousse

It was the little man’s third birthday earlier this month. Since moving to London, he’s found himself a little best friend, and we’ve made some good friends too. So we threw him a little party! I love planning, styling and DIY’ing as much as I can – a bit of a creative outlet for me which I enjoy and find therapeutic. This year, though, we planned a holiday 2 weeks before the party which meant I only had one week to do everything if I didn’t forward plan and prep. So I did as much decorating as possible, and chose recipes which would freeze well, and was able to get quite a lot done before we went away. I left the birthday cake decorating and just a few things to finish off during the week before the party, and thankfully I did, because the birthday cake decorating took probably double the time than I anticipated!

Dino-lunch set up!

So I could have really posted any of the recipes I chose for this celebration. We had the birthday cake – chocolate and vanilla cakes layered with vanilla buttercream, brownie cookies, Thomas Keller’s white cupcakes with vanilla frosting and fondant dinos, and strawberry stegosaurus hand pies.

But I chose the T-Rex instant chocolate mousse teeth because, well, I could not believe how easy and how instant and how good this chocolate mousse is – I felt I really needed to share it with you! And because it’s instant, it’s easily pipe-able if you want to use it to decorate a cake, fill a cone (as I did), or just make it look pretty!

Seriously, this is so good (thanks Nigella!). There’s a pack of marshmallows in there but don’t worry, if you use 70% chocolate, it’s actually not sweet. And as an added bonus, there are no eggs in the recipe, so it’s perfect for those with egg allergies! (Note: it does contain dairy.) So go ahead, make it for dessert tonight.

You can find the recipe here.

september-october: kerri’s malteser cake

I thought I would find this challenge easy as I have had a few ‘deconstructed’ desserts in restaurants, and thought about recreating those experiences. However, as I was choosing exactly what to deconstruct, I couldn’t think of much that really wouldn’t be like not putting the components together like in a pie, and just presenting them separately. Maybe it was a lack of creativity on my part…

But then my Malteser-loving hubby’s birthday rolled around. I had seen a recipe a few months ago for a Malteser Pie, but when I looked for it, I googled ‘Malteser Cake’ instead and voila, found a perfect birthday cake for him!

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It is deconstructed in the sense that you have chocolate cake, malt frosting which tastes exactly (in my opinion!) like the malt ball, then finished off with some chocolate ganache for more chocolatey goodness.

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The original recipe uses the whole cake, which has quite a dome on it (as you can see below), maybe to make it look more round like a malteser. The cake was super easy to make, not even needing a mixer (though you do need one for the frosting). But I think next time I would prefer a more crumb-y cake, a more cakey cake. This one was fine, still tasted good but I just prefer a different texture.

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The original recipe is also wholly covered in ganache, then wholly decorated with Maltesers! I decided to change it up a bit so it was a bit of a surprise on first bite, and also to make it look a bit more ‘mature’ :).

For our little family, I decided to make a mini version, using 10cm springform tins instead of a 20cm tin. I cut the domes off, each cake became a layer (instead of slicing into thinner ones), left the frosting exposed and dripped the ganache over. One of the best compliments from the hubby – he thought I bought it!

And here it is, the finished cake.

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You can find the recipe here.

july-august: kerri’s raw caramel slice

I must admit, I found this challenge a bit difficult. Mainly because all the raw sweets I had tried, I didn’t really like all that much. I combed through the internet, reading up recipes and looking for something I thought might turn out somewhat yummy to me. On the bright side, though, I was looking forward to something that, if yummy, would be a healthy dessert and / or snack that I could enjoy every once in a while, an indulgence without any ‘should I have’s?’ later.

The end of the month was coming up quickly, and I had spent too long trying to find something to make. So I turned to a trusted source, and voila, found a recipe where I could find the ingredients easily, as well as being quick and easy to make. So thanks, Donna Hay!

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This recipe comes in 3 short steps, which made it perfect to do in between other things. A bit like a multi-tasker’s dream recipe. The first two steps use the food processor, and I didn’t even bother to clean the bowl in between. Just as I was finishing the 2nd step, my food processor decided to die. Thankfully, the mixture was processed enough!

DH recommends freezing the slice for 10 minutes before slicing, but that was not enough time for my top layer to set enough to cut without making a sticky mess. So I decided to just leave it in there and try the slice the next day.

And YES, it was good! It doesn’t taste like a traditional caramel slice, more like a sweet, nutty, chewy (as in caramel chewy) snack that’s great to serve with tea or coffee. I’m actually thinking it would be a great petit four, because {even} I find it a bit sweet to have more than a bite sized serve. But if your sweet tooth is sweeter than mine, go ahead, have a big slice :)

So I’ve decided to keep the whole pan in the freezer and nibble. I think it’s a great thing to have a stash in there for unexpected guests, or for those times you crave a sweet treat but haven’t got anything in the pantry. And the great thing about it – it’s a low GI, healthy, indulgent treat. Now that’s something to smile about!

You can find the recipe here.

may-june: kerri’s whiskey-infused ice cream sundae

The past couple of months have seen quite a huge change for me – we moved from Singapore to London! It’s been quite the adventure so far, moving from our apartment to a hotel in Singapore, to temporary accommodation in London, within which we moved to a smaller apartment while we wait to move to our permanent address next week! Within a 9 week period, we would have moved 5 times!

So it’s within this framework that I did this challenge. The kitchen offerings in our temporary accommodation are quite basic (I even had to buy my own vegetable peeler, chopping board and dish rack!), so I didn’t have much to work with. But I imagine there are many of us who find themselves in the same position at one time or another, whether you are travelling, in transition, or just don’t have much.

Having less presents more of a challenge to cooking / baking, so sometimes you just have to cheat. By cheat, I mean go to the store and buy some ready made products. You could leave it at that, but if you want to add a personal touch, then condiments are your way to go.

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I found an easy recipe for candied whiskey nuts. To be honest, these are best eaten on their own, if you definitely want to taste the whiskey. It gets a little lost when added to other ingredients, but on their own, they’re quite moreish!

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And what is a sundae without {chocolate} sauce? A basic chocolate sauce is one of the easiest things to make, and with this one, you just add in the whiskey at the end.

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So you’ve got your two homemade condiments ready. Now it’s time to put everything together. And this is where store-bought becomes key. You can buy whatever ice cream you want, whatever other add-ins you want (here, we just added brownies). Put it all together and voila, you have a decadent dessert with a personal touch, indulgent and that little bit naughty with the added whiskey. Yum.

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You can find the recipes here:
Candied Whiskey Nuts
Chocolate Whiskey Sauce

march-april: kerri’s lemon madeleines

Madeleines. I’ve always wanted to make them but always thought they would be difficult. I never read a recipe, just an assumption because they’re french and light, and fiddly because they’re small.

My mum kept some madeleine pans for me which she’s had for many, many years. I decided to bring them back with me after going home for Christmas, because at the back of my mind, my increasing curiosity was getting the better of me.

So I knew exactly what I wanted to make when the bite sized theme was announced. I didn’t want to make something big into bite sized pieces. I wanted to make something that was always meant to be bite sized. And of course, I really wanted to break out those madeleine pans and give them a go.

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Madeleines, after all, are not difficult to make. Mine weren’t perfect – a few too many air bubbles in the first couple of batches, but I found that as I sat the raw mix a bit longer, it settled down a bit and the madeleines were still as light, just didn’t have as many holes in them!

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So enjoy. They’re so small, light and airy that you really can have more than one, or two, or three, or…

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You can find the recipe here.

March-April: Grace’s Lavender and Lemon Friands (with Earl Grey Drizzle)

I am a grazer. When I was young, feeding me would last an entire day as I nibbled my way through meals and even as an adult, I’m such a serial snacker. Big meals intimidate me, but I’ll happily feed like a rabbit all day long, just give it to me bite-sized. So this challenge was one I relished! So much in fact, that I had trouble deciding what to make- cake pops, the wonderful world of cookies and biscuits, scones, muffins, truffles… it’s a dangerous rabbit hole to fall down! 

In the end, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Tea blending is another passion of mine, and since I’m on the journey to perfect a lavender infused earl grey, I figured I’d make the most of the fragrant lavender buds and earl grey teas I had on hand. Staying inspired by those glorious summers in Provence, I decided on friands, an essential in any french high tea set. 

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Warning: the intoxicating smell of lavender as it infuses with the melting butter is seriously seductive.

Happy sweet sweet snacking, these definitely didn’t last long in our house!

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Flavours that just work: home blended earl grey with lavender, fresh lemon zest and the deliciousness of almond meal.

You can find the recipe here.