Thursday, January 24, 2013

Raspberry Mango Yogurt Slide

Some have claimed to have put on pounds looking at this blog.
It's hazardous.
It's wicked.
It's to be had in moderation. For sure.
There's no harm in looking, in dreaming and drooling.
I say don't touch what you can't afford, but it's hard sometimes, especially when somethings dripping with chocolatey goodness and it's been one of those days!
Trust me. I know what it's like. I get to that stage several times during the day, where a quick sugar fix is super tempting, just to pick my energy up, even if only momentarily.
But considering I'm about to gain about 15-20kg in the next five months, I don't really need any help with extra delights adding to the grand total. (Just so you know, I'm expecting a wee one, and my last two pregnancies have resulted in whopping, healthy babies).
So where do I now turn? In the discovery of this chilled yogurt and fruit blend, that both satisfies my sweet tooth, while remaining nutritious and delicious. It's also a super refreshing snack to have on these hot summer days...I personally don't know anything quite as refreshing.
I make my own yogurt with an easi-yo flask. Just so you know, it's totally amazing with no added sugar, unless you want it--so you know what's going into it. Yogurt is really healthy for you and contains lots of live bacteria cultures, calcium, aids in nutrient absorption, aids in weight loss, helps prevent infections, and is said to reduce the severity of PMS. Worth a try, right?
Combined with my one of my favourite berries, the raspberry, and my favourite tropical fruit, the mango, this is a to-die for blend that you laze back and scoop from the glass. It's not quite a smoothie, it's not quite frozen yogurt, but it's a gorgeous in between.

For the mango version (which is equally as divine) visit here.


1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Combine the fruit and yogurt in a food blender. Blend until all the fruit has been pureed and well incorporated into the yogurt. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chocolate Cointreau Ganache Crepe Cake

My father in law had his fifty somethingth birthday on the weekend. Most people don't like to think about how "old" they are past thirty it seems, but I think that there's little need to worry unless you're cheese--and chances are you aren't. If you were, we could probably smell you.
So anyway the birthday forced me out of my non-cooking rut (all I can think of these days is salads!) and I put together this extraordinary cake made of crepes. It was so like me to choose the hottest day to make this cake, with its twenty or more layers wedged together with chocolate cream and cointreau chocolate ganache. As you can imagine it was like a muddy landslide as I built it up higher. The cream began to melt and I had to transfer it to the freezer with multiple props supporting it upright, just to finish the cake off. Hence, it was a little messy to put together and I highly recommend making this on a cooler day or in an air conditioned house, if it's a warm one.
All is well that ends well however, and after 20 minutes in the freezer, the cake was nicely set and ready to ice with more cream, lavish drizzlings of ganache and cointreau laced truffles rolled in cocoa powder.
The car trip is always eventful, and it did begin to look a little melty on the way. When we arrived it looked as if a few sheep had passed over the cake and left their droppings on the top--I kid you not! The ganache truffles had suffered in the summer heat and melted into oval pebble shapes, the cocoa having dissipated somewhat.
But despite what difficulties may have arrived due to that hot summer's day, the cake was delightful and quirky, surprising everyone with its brown and white layered effect on being cut. It was scrumptious too, the perfect balance of textures and flavours without being overly sweet, and held a subtle hint of orange liqueur. You can flavour it with any liqueur or essence as desired. Chocolate mint sounds mighty tempting to me.



1 cup heavy cream
250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp cointreau or triple sec

Place the cream in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. When it just begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until well combined and incorporated. Add the liqueur. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate. This ganache will thicken the longer it is cooled. If it is too thick when it comes to putting it in the cake, microwave briefly to thin out the mixture. The remainder of the ganache that is not used on or in the cake will be used to form the truffles. To get the ganache thick enough to roll into balls, you will need to refrigerate this for at least a day or overnight. I took 1/2 cup of the mixture and set it aside for truffles before putting any in the cake, just to make sure I had enough for the truffles.


12 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup icing sugar

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Beat on high with your electric beaters until the mixture comes together in a batter as thick as heavy cream.
Place a 9 or 10 inch fry-pan on the stove, put at high and grease with a little butter. (I like to have a brush and a pot of melted butter by my side to speed this whole part up significantly). When the pan is hot and smoking, ladle a scant 1/4 cup into the fry pan and swirl a little if need be to cover the whole base of the pan. The crepe will rapidly lose its glossy sheen, then it's ready to slide out onto a plate (no flipping required). Brush the fry pan with a little melted butter and repeat the process until you have approximately 22 crepes. (To help speed the cooling process, you can set the crepes out on cooling racks for a few minutes. The crepes tend to get a bit sweaty sitting on top of each other when they come out of the pan)


2 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 tbsp cointreau or triple sec

Whip the cream on high in a large bowl. When the cream begins to thicken, gradually add the granulated sugar. Then add the cocoa. Gradually add the liqueur. Whip into stiff peaks.


To assemble, place one crepe in the centre of your serving platter. Spread it scantly with ganache, then spread it will a spoonful of the cream filling. Place another crepe on top of this and repeat until all the crepes are used up. Refrigerate the crepe stack to add some stability. If it is a warm day and begins to slide, prop up with some kitchen bits and bobs in the freezer for half and hour to stabilize.
You may wish to trim some edges if the cake is not as even as you would prefer.
Using the remaining cream filling, coat the sides and top using a butter knife.
Take the remaining ganache and set a little aside for truffles if you have not already done so. Refrigerate until thick and able to be rolled into balls and coated in cocoa powder.
Heat the last of the ganache slightly until fluid enough to spread on the top of the cake (make sure it is not warm enough to melt the cream!) Let a little drizzle down the sides of the cake.
Decorate with truffles if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jamie Oliver in My Kitchen

I'm one of those women who gets to the end of the day and feels exhausted. Who on earth doesn't? The kids have become ratty and are swinging from your legs hungrily wailing, the house is hot with the summer heat, and you turn to the stove reluctantly.
Must it be so? Must it?
If it wasn't for the children and my husband, I'd look to a plain old cup o' soup sachet and a jug of boiling water. I know. I've never been a very good eater, especially when just thinking about myself. The joy in cooking comes through creating for others, for me. Then things get gourmet.

You know those businesses called Hire A Hubby? It's one of those services where a handyman comes around to potter about your place fixing things. Well, I'm about to tell you how you can "Hire A Hubby" Jamie Oliver to come and let you put your feet up while the meal is magically cooked for you.

It sounds too good to be true. Does he bi-locate?
Sort of.
I had the honor of reviewing a prodcut brought out by Phillips and Jamie Oliver. Its called the Jamie Oliver Home Cooker.
It's a dream come true. Jamie, you're winning mother's hearts all over the country with the Homecooker!
Seriously, I didn't know what to do with myself as the Homecooker set to work stirring my risotto--I was actually able to leave that hot kitchen, sit on my red leather sofa with my children and sip a glass of bubbly while I read a story to those grumpy souls. I didn't even have to get up to check to see if the risotto was done--the timer made its perfect little chime to tell me dinner was served!

Okay. Lets get down to facts and business.

First of all, this is me just after my Homecooker arrived by courier. Weeeeeeeeeeeee! I am super excited to get this all put together. As you can see it looks like there are lots of parts, but it's really very simple to put together. You don't even need the manual. 


A Jamie Oliver Cookbook "Jamie's Homecooker Recipes" featuring mouthwatering dishes including
-Chicken Cacciatore
-Home made toasted Granola
-Cream Chicken Korma
-Butternut Squash Risotto with sage and prosciutto
-Classic Pan Cooked Breakfast
-Smoked Fish Chowder with spicy grilled prawns

just to mention a few!

A Homecooker, featuring

-Pasta/rice Insert
-Steaming Basket
-Glass lid
-Stirrer Insert
-Large Stainless Steel Pot with handles

The Homecooker all ready to plug in
The stirring arm fitting
Digital temp control panel and clock/timer

A Chopping Tower, featuring

-An extra large feeding tube
-A selection of 5 different stainless steel blade inlays for chopping variety (fine grating, coarse grating, thick slicing, thin slicing and Julienne)
- Spout that allows chopping directly into the Homecooker
- Easy to clean parts
-two chopping settings

WHAT IT DOES: (What doesn't it do?)

The Homecooker:
Stirs for you
Keeps time
Has digital screen with digital time, temperature and clock
Keeps warm

Bonus features: Made in Europe, also has 2 year global warranty. Has easy to assemble and understand labels for setup.

The Chopping Tower:
Chops in 5 different ways
Chops straight into the Homecooker saucepan
Chops both hard and soft foods
Simple to assemble and dismantle and clean


-Stirring arm fitting makes life so easy...just let it cook and leave, return when the alarm goes off.
-Easy to assemble
-Easy to clean all parts
-Homecooker heats quickly
-Does not heat up the whole room
-Can be used anywhere that there is a power point
-Digital settings make for an accurate temperature and accurate timing.
-Large style saucepan for big meals
-Compact arrangement for chopping tower sitting along side
-Quality appliance, made in Europe with a warranty of 2 years worldwide
-Suitable for most cooking, including desserts and sweets
-Can cook something in saucepan and steam veggies etc at the same time with stackable steaming basket
-Stays at temperature you desire
-Shuts down automatically
- Chopping tower spout allows chopped food to shoot directly into the Homecooker
-Mess free chopping tower with efficient, sharp blades
-Chopping tower gives you five different chopping blade options


- Rissoles stuck to the base on one occasion--I had to soak the pot overnight. I have had no other sticking or cleaning problems at all.
-The price may be a problems for some people's budgets.
-Plastic inside the chopping tower had some discolouration after chopping onions--however, this disappeared after washing and drying it.
-Some substances caught in the chopping tower around the blade when in use, but did not slow or stop the process.


There is very little I have to say in criticism of the Homecooker and Chopping Tower. In short, they have both been a lifesaver to me and my little family, giving me extra time and less stress and happier children at the end of the day.
I had a few small teething problems I suppose, but it is really quite easy to use. Like any new equipment, it takes a little time to get used to and master, but it's the appliance for every busy man or woman in any home, it requires no special skills. It is also suitable for a cooking wide range of foods--almost anything! Jamie Oliver's cookbook gives an introduction to cooking with the Homecooker to get you on your way, and then you're need no further instruction, and this becomes everyday, easy to use, hassle free, time-freeing equipment.

One thing I would change:
Some markings imprinted onto the Chopping Tower blades so I can remember what vegies to chop with it and whether its the thin or the thick slicing blade, for example.

Favourite thing about it: 
Stirring arm. Hands down. There is no standing over a hot stove, no heating up of the house. I don't have to worry if something's burning when I'm bathing the kids, because I know it's being stirred and it's being timed and will buzz when it's ready.

Would I recommend it?
Absolutely and without hesitation. I believe every household should have one!

Where can I buy it?
Places like Myer, The Good Guys and such stores will stock Jamie Oliver's Homecooker for about $529.95

I reviewed the Jamie Oliver Homecooker to Mouths of Mums, so pop over and see more of my reviews for the Jaime Oliver Homecooker on their site! A sample follows:

No more Tears Thanks to Chopping Tower!

Last night I set up the new chopping tower. It was easy to put together, and the manual diagrams are very straightforward and quite good. I was very keen to have this set up, because I was to make Jamie Oliver’s onion soup, and it requires plenty of onion chopping and I don’t fancy crying over the dinner! I did have a small problem, but having said that, it was the first time I had used it, and you have to expect some teething problems. Everything new will take a little time to get used to, regardless of what it is.
I had trouble getting the cutting blade into the chopping tower. It took a little figuring out trying to get the blade to lock in—and the removal afterwards was quite difficult. I ended up with a few small cuts (not from the blade, from just trying to pull it out.) The chopping feature is fantastic though! What would have taken me 15 minutes took a maximum of 5 minutes, and there was no snagging of food on the blades, it all ran very smoothly. (Having the blades marked might have been useful, as it’s a bit hard to tell some of them apart from each other) Then I skittled off while it was all cooking and did my hair and makeup for a night out, while the home cooker did all the stirring and timing for me. I love that you don’t even have to pop back to check on it—you’re guaranteed it’s all cooking perfectly without any burning or sticking! Here I have to say how wonderful the stirring mechanism is. It runs very close to the bottom of the generously sized pot, and is like having another set of hands. Fabulous.

To read more of my reviews on this items, check out my page at MoM

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meringue Rave Swan

You know what makes me tick? Art. Food. Art and food combined. You can enjoy it visually, you can feel it, you can taste it, you can smell appeals to all the senses.  It's practically perfect.
I know that visually unappealing food can be delightful to the taste buds. You know me--I think any really "good" food has to have two of three things to be truly successful:

Great Appearance
Great Texture
Great Taste

I believe any dish or dessert or edible can get away with only two of these three, and be a winner. For example, avocado. It  looks divine, and has a wonderful buttery, smooth texture, but doesn't really have much of a taste. I love it! (especially halved and paired with a large dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of lemon pepper) All the better if something looks amazing, tastes amazing and has great texture.
So here we have it, my signature dessert. I call it a Meringue Rave Swan because, well, not to blow my own horn too loudly, but it has got rave reviews every time it's been served. The name actually comes from a drink that is served at a quirky Melbourne bar called Madam Brussels. Mind you, if you're ever in Melbourne, do try and locate it. It's one of those bars that people only know about by word of mouth, and is an awesome terrace, garden-party style place on Bourke St. Anyway, we went there on my Hen's night, after a lovely time at a jazz bar, and we lovely ladies were served a giant cocktail in a porcelain swan. It is The Rave Swan. I don't know if they still sell them, but it has ever been impressed in me, and thus, the meringue swan has also taken on its name.


2 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar
3oz flaked almonds, lightly toasted
6 generous ice cream scoops

Preheat oven to 150C.
Beat the egg whites on the highest setting until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar, beating well in between, until sugar dissolves,  and the mixture is thick, smooth and glossy.
Draw 12 tear shapes onto two sheets of baking paper to use as guides for the swan's bodies. Pipe meringue mixture onto these sheets to fill in the shapes, making the meringue thicker at the widest part of the tear. Insert the tips of almonds at a slight angle over the tops of these tear shapes to resemble feathers. Bake for one hour, alternating the trays at the end of the first half hour. Cool with the oven door slightly ajar.
With the remaining meringue, pipe S shapes onto another lined baking tray. Pipe a few extra in case of breakage. Bake in the oven until golden, and cool with the door ajar.
Just before serving, wedge two teardrops together with a generous ball of ice cream to assemble the body and insert the S shape to form the swan's head.

Makes 6 Swans

NOTES: Do not assemble swan and then store in the refrigerator, as the meringue will soften and the swan will not stand. Store meringue in an airtight container until ready to serve, then pair with ice cream on the serving plate.

Drinking The Rave Swan on my Hen's at Madam Brussels, Melbourne

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oreo Cheesecake Swirls

I did it. I ignored my queasy stomach, listened to my heart and mind and set about to create in the kitchen again, determined. It's probably been a month or more since I ventured in to make something I didn't have to make.
It was great, because I had an idea in my mind and just went with it, and within 15 minutes it was all completed before me. Except for the washing up, of course.
The cook should never have to clean up.
Unless you're a cook like me, and it appears a bomb has gone off in that room after you've finished. No one should have to deal with that sort of explosion. So I guess it's up to me. I'm beginning to think I ought to hire cleaners of some sort. Housework gives me blisters. Seriously. My baby hands probably need to do a bit more of it, I'm guessing.
Anyway, nothing worthwhile comes at an easy price, they say. We had some dramas, however not with the cooking (actually, there's no cooking involved in this recipe, it's bake free and summer friendly!) The drama came in the transportation of these gorgeous little morsels. We were headed to my parents in law's house, and I brought dessert. My husband is an exceptional driver, but the Oreo Cheesecake Bites did not stand much of a chance in my hands on that glass plate, with frequents stops at traffic lights and crazy drivers on the road. I figured there's a technique to keeping them on the plate--after we had several go zooming across the car, cheesecake flying and smearing in unimaginable, unreachable places like aircon vents and smooshing into the carpet. We can't wait for that creamy substance to start rotting in the summer heat in that oven like vehicle. Not.
When we stopped at the in-law's place, I promptly opened the door and tossed out the ruined Cheesecake bites, in a truly "un-epic" manner. I tossed them so badly, that the cream simply splattered straight onto the side of the car (where it remains). My husband couldn't believe it. We later found cheesecake smeared over the Christmas presents in the car on the way home. Don't ask!
Anyway, drama aside, the Oreo Cheesecake bites where a hit. The recipe makes approximately 25 (give or take a few depending upon the quantity you pipe on the top), and it's one of the quickest, simplest recipes you'll ever impress your guests with. It's a smooth swirl of cookies and cream cheesecake atop a decadent dark chocolate and vanilla Oreo biscuit.
Life doesn't get much sweeter.


3 packets of original Oreo biscuits
1 cup cream
250g cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar
Chocolate chips to decorate (optional)

Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and mix to combine.
In a separate, smaller bowl, whip the cream until firm peaks form.
Take one packet of Oreos and split the biscuits in half, removing and reserving the cream in the centre, by using a butter knife. Place the biscuit halves in a food processor or blender, and blitz until it all resembles fine crumbs.
Add the whipped cream, Oreo crumbs and the reserved Oreo cream into the cream cheese mixture, and fold through until well combined. Set out the remaining two packets of Oreo biscuits on a large serving platter. Fill a piping bag, set with a large star nozzle tip, with the creamy mixture. Pipe swirls of the mixture onto the top of each biscuit. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Makes approximately 25-30

NOTES: It is easy to make your own caster sugar if you don't have it in your pantry. Simply place the required amount of sugar in the blender and blitz for a few seconds until it becomes finer.For a less rich Oreo bite, you could omit the cream cheese.

Friday, January 4, 2013

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries

You roll out of bed, the kids are calling for breakfast.
A wave of nausea hits, and the last thing you want to think about is FOOD.
What you're thinking about is whether you'll make it to the bathroom in time, and what other receptacles along it's way might be suitable ports of call lest your stomach decides to wait for no one. Ugh.
Yes, that's why I've been absent so long and my posts have become less frequent.
It's not a permanent thing. My husband and I are super excited to be expecting a little wee bubba into our lives for the third time!
I am still passionate about all things food, despite having to give up delightful soft cheeses, prawns, sushi and wine. Believe it or not, sadly I've even temporarily lost my desire for sweet things. The new little baby that is on it's way is craving nothing but healthy foods (and dim sims), and I find this somewhat challenging as I want to keep posting on Lick the Spoon, and find less motivation to cook the usual culinary delights.
I think my husband's work colleagues need to start demanding food sent to their office. I'm up for requests...Bring it on I say!
For myself, I'll stick to the salads and a buffet of fruit, until this morning sickness departs me. In the meantime, keep following! I'll be forcing myself to cook, and shipping it off to anyone who wants it...and blogging more frequently than I have been in the past few months.
I have a few recipes that I prepared over Christmas. I know, Christmas has passed. For the main part anyway. But...there are 12 days of Christmas, so there are still a few days of indulgence left! Here's a quick and easy and elegant addition to any gathering requiring food with friends. It combines the sweetness of white chocolate with the delightful tartness of fresh cherries, incorporating all the traditional colours of the festive season. These white chocolate dipped cherries look fancy, and take so little time to create, and can also be made using dark or milk chocolate depending on your taste-buds. Other serving suggestions: dip the unset chocolate coated cherry in crushed nuts, coconut or contrasting shaved chocolate for something extra fancy.


80g white cooking chocolate (I recommend compound chocolate)
12 cherries, at room temperature

Place the chocolate in a small microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time, removing and stirring after each pause until smooth.  Set aside to cool a little.
Line a tray with non stick baking paper. Dip each bottom of each cherry into the chocolate and place on the paper. When all the cherries are dipped, move the tray to the refrigerator. Chocolate should set within 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12

NOTES: the bright red cherries look the prettiest, yet are have a more tart taste than the darker coloured cherries, which are sweeter.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Martha's Insane Chocolate Biscuits

I'm not going to lie to you. These biscuits are probably the ugliest things I have eaten to this date. Wait a second. I did once eat an escargot at a school function, and if you've ever seen one of those, it probably trumps these biscuits in ugliness. Only just.
But these biscuits just go to prove that you can't judge a book by its cover (although when it comes to escargot...that's another story). They're delicious, giant, double chocolate, fudge biscuits with a crackled top, and are so rich and decadent you couldn't possibly go back for another in one sitting. Or you could, because they're quite irresistible. You might have chocolate belly afterwards if you do though--don't tell me I didn't warn you! Martha Stewart is to blame--she sent me the email with this delicious recipe and I couldn't resist the temptation. Here's a good way to use up all those chocolates you were given over Christmas...why not chop them up and indulge in them inside a delicious, fudgy biscuit?



1 1/2 cups chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tbsp butter
2/3 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 180C. Gently heat the chopped chocolate in the miscowave, removing and stirring every 20 seconds until smooth and thoroughly melted. Set aside.
Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with the electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the melted chocolate on a low setting. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix through until the dry ingredients are just combined with the wet. Stir the chocolate chunks through this mixture. On greased and paper lined trays, place heaped tablespoons of the mixture 2-3 inches apart. Do not be concerned that the mixture looks more like brownie batter than biscuit dough, this is as it should be for these particular biscuits.
Bake and rotate the trays half way through the cooking process, until shiny on the top and crackly, for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the trays for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to complete the cooling process.