Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baked Cheesecake with Passionfruit Topping

Teena loves cheesecake, so for her Birthday this year, I made her this Baked Cheesecake with Passionfruit Topping.  We've decided to only make one cheesecake per year because after a week of eating a whole cheesecake between the two of us... it felt like we put on a few kgs.  Luckily, this year Teena's parents visited her for her Birthday and helped us eat it, so it wasn't so bad.  I had meant to get a few more pictures of the cake after it had been sliced, but it just didn't last long enough :)  This recipe is based on a recipe found here.

2 cups ground Arnotts Choc Ripple Biscuits
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

900g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon, strained
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup heavy cream

Passionfruit Topping
1 tbs cornflour
1/3 cup water
4-5 Passionfruit
1/4 cup caster sugar, extra

Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To Make the Crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the biscuit crumbs and the melted butter with a fork until evenly moistened. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the prepared pan and, using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Chill crust in refrigerator until ready to fill.

To Make the Filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute, until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined, then beat in cream. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the strained lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Beat until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy (the batter should be well combined but not overmixed).

Using clean electric beaters or a balloon whisk, whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, fold beaten egg whites into cream cheese mixture until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the chilled crust. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until just set in the center. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to overnight to set.

To Make the Passionfruit Topping:
Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the passionfruit and extra sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Set aside to cool slightly. Pour over cheesecake. Place in fridge until set.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I'd never even heard of Moussaka until after I met Teena.  She told me her dad had made it all the time and that it was delicious.  So she bought me some eggplant, found me a recipe and asked me to make her some.  The recipe I use is from  I've since made Moussaka several times and Teena was right, it is delicious!  I have also discovered recently that there are several versions of Moussaka. This one that I make is the Greek version with layered egg plant and white sauce, although I use beef mince instead of lamb mince.  There is also a Turkish version which is not layered, but sautéed instead.  And other versions which use zucchini or potatoes instead of eggplant.

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Thinly slice eggplants, then cook in olive oil until golden brown.

Brown mince and onion. Add allspice, tomatoes and water. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley.  Layer eggplant on the bottom of an ovenproof dish.  Top with a layer of mince.  Repeat until you have used up all your ingredients, finishing with a layer of eggplant. 

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour, stir for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and stir over medium heat until it boils. Add nutmeg and egg, stir well.  Pour mixture over the top of your layered eggplant dish and top with cheese.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.

 The only thing I would do differently next time is perhaps bake the sliced eggplant as it really absorbs a lot of olive oil when you try to fry it.  I'll have to it with lamb mince one day as well.

See more great recipes at Foodie Friday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Passionfruit Kisses

We had a handful of passionfruit to use up, and came across this recipe for Passionfruit Melting Moments, although we prefer to call them Passionfruit Kisses.  They looked so good we just had to try them!


250g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup pure icing sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup cornflour

Passionfruit filling
60g butter
1 large passionfruit
1 cup pure icing sugar

Preheat oven to 160°C.  Line two trays with baking paper.
Cream butter, vanilla and icing sugar with an electric mixer (or a hand mixer like the one above if you're feeling energetic!).  Once mixture is light and fluffy, add flours and continue to mix until it forms a soft dough.

Roll  small teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on trays.  Use a fork to flatten each biscuit.  Bake for 15 minutes or until firm.  They don't change colour much so don't go off that.  Cool them completely before adding icing.

To make the passionfruit filling, beat butter until light and fluffy. Stir in passionfruit pulp and icing sugar.  Spoon 1 tsp of the filling onto the flat side of a biscuit and top with another biscuit.  Repeat with remaining biscuits.  Dust with icing sugar.

For us the icing texture was not quite right.  It wasn't fluffy enough, perhaps I didn't beat it enough or something.  It still worked ok and tasted great, but it should have been thicker and creamier.  We will make these again for sure, but I'll try something different with the icing.  The biscuits could have been a bit thinner as well, as when you put them together they can be quite thick.

See more great recipes at Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Missing Comments

Apparently Blogger is having issues at the moment with comments.  I've noticed some comments have gone missing on my blog and some other blogs today.  Hopefully they can fix it soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Margherita Pizza

It's the middle of winter here in Australia. The nights and morning can get fairly cold, but when the sun comes out, the days can be quite warm.  On the weekend, Teena and I spent a lot of time sitting out in the courtyard in the sun to warm up a bit.  Teena did some crocheting, as I looked through some cookbooks for ideas.  I came across a page about pizza and it's history.  The Margherita pizza's history in particular caught my eye.

"The Margherita, topped with modest amounts of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil is widely attributed to baker Raffaele Esposito. Esposito worked at the pizzeria "Pietro... e basta così" (literally "Peter... and that's enough") which was established in 1880 and is still operating under the name "Pizzeria Brandi." In 1889, he baked three different pizzas for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen's favorite was a pizza evoking the colors of the Italian flag — green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes). This combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honor." - Wikipedia.

As Teena was feeling a bit queasy, she requested some simple food (i.e. no fancy ingredients).  So I decided to make her a Margherita pizza.  We didn't have mozzarella, so I just used tasty cheese.  Normally when I make a pizza I load it with onion, capsicum, mushrooms, and other yummy ingredients.  So making a pizza with only three toppings was unusual for me.  The base was covered with tomato paste, then topped with cheese and basil leaves.  So simple.

I have to admit though, it was very good.  You can really taste the basil, which was picked fresh from our garden, and it's always nice to be able to use fresh ingredients you've grown yourself.  I ended up making four pizzas, eating two and freezing the other two, ready to be cooked next time we feel like pizza. 

What's your favourite pizza topping?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baked Apple Chips

Whilst looking at other blogs I came across a method of baking slices of apple to make apple chips.  It was so easy that I thought I would give it a go.  Teena also commented that she liked apple chips and I was curious to see what they tasted like.  You can see the original recipe from Patricia at ButterYum.

Step 1. 
Preheat Oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Slice and core apples.  I wanted to do a heart shape in the middle but was having trouble carving it out with a knife.  Then Teena came along showed me the easy way to do it using the apple corer. 

Step 2.
Arrange apples on a lightly greased baking tray.

Step 3.
Pop the tray in the oven, reduce heat to 75°C / 170°F.
Bake for 2 hours.

Our chips came out very crunchy.  You should be able to make them chewier by taking them out of the oven sooner.  I used a sweet apple, Pink Lady, and it was very tasty.  You could really taste the flavour of the apple still.  We might try it again sometime with a different type of apple, probably baking it a little less to make them a bit more chewier and a little less crunchy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

What do you do when you have too many potatoes?  Well, there's a lot of things you could do actually, but we decided to stuff them and bake them!

Most recipes for stuffed baked potatoes have you wrap the potatoes in foil and bake them for an hour before scooping out the flesh and stuffing them.  I didn't have that much time though, so I steamed my potatoes for 10 minutes, let them cool slightly and then scooped the flesh out.  You could also microwave them if you wanted.

For the filling, I just fried up some onion and garlic, added some white butter beans and smushed them up a little.  Spooned the filling into the scooped out potato, added some shredded cheese and baked them for another 20 minutes until the cheese was melted and browned.  They were really tasty too.  Will have to try them again with some different fillings.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

When out shopping one day we visited a little cafe and ordered some soup.  Teena had Cauliflower and Chilli soup and I had Pumpkin and Coconut soup.  Or maybe it was the other way around...  either way they were both delicious.  Of course we found some recipes to make our own and these are now two of our favourite soups!  So when Teena bought a lovely big head of Cauliflower the other day, she requested I make some soup with it.  The original recipe for this was a Cream of Cauliflower soup, but we rarely have any cream as it's not something we use very often.  We prefer our soups to be chunky and cream free anyway.  There should be some dried chilli flakes in there as well but I had run out of those and didn't have any fresh chillies handy.


1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 large head of cauliflower
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water

Heat oil in a large stockpot or saucepan.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add cumin and coriander, cook stirring for 2 minutes.  Add the cauliflower, stock and water.  Cover and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is soft and breaks apart.

Use a potato masher to break up the cauliflower slightly.  This gives it a nice chunky but soft texture, but you can blend it if you prefer it smooth and creamy.

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