Tag Archives: chocolate

Chilli Cherry Ripe

Chilli Cherry Ripe

It’s coming to the time of year where I always like to have a few little things around the house that can make nice little gifts for people…dropping into neighbours houses, drinks parties and the like. It’s probably not the best idea for my waistline, but most of the time I like giving edible gifts – that way, if you don’t use them, you get to eat the spoils!  Or, in this case, I got to taste the odd shaped ones that didn’t look so good in their bags…

Master just turned 6 is just about to finish kinder and become a big Prep boy next year.  We held him back last year for a variety of reasons – best thing we ever did.  His teachers have been truly phenomenal so to express our thanks I always like to create a little something for them at the end of the year.  Last year I did a hamper with body products – salt scrubs, bath salts, sugar scrubs, and a few food items – some vanilla sugar and a fabulous All Purpose Spice Rub, along with a bottle of bubbles for good measure.  This year I’ve gone all food – pastilla, dukkah, vanilla extract, some home grown bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves, nougat and the delicious Chilli Cherry Ripe. Oh, and a bottle of bubbles as well.

For my overseas followers, a Cherry Ripe is an Australian confectionery item. In fact, one I owe the grand sum of $58,000 to.  You see, last year I was on “Million Dollar Minute”, and one of the final questions for me to win was “What is the colour of the writing on a Cherry Ripe pack?”.  Luckily I have downed enough of these bad boys in my life time to be able to tell you what it is…  I had to choose from either Red, Yelllow or Green.  Do you know what it is? So, naturally, the Cherry Ripe now holds a very special place in my heart.  And when I saw the recipe for Chilli Cherry Ripe in In The Mix 2, I had to try it.

This is the easiest recipe ever!  Some dark chocolate, some desiccated coconut, some dried cherries and a small amount of chilli flakes.  That’s your ingredients right there. My only hiccough was finding the dried cherries – which I eventually ended up getting at a Health Food store.  I bought the tart ones as I like the way the sourness cuts through the dark chocolate.

Anyway, you blitz your chocolate buds.  I used the Yarra Valley Chocolate Company chocolate this time, which comes in little nibs.  You blitz them for a while and then heat at 50 degrees until all the chocolate is melted, then whiz it around with no heat until the temperature drops to 37 degrees, throw in your dried cherries, coconut (I used shredded rather than desiccated) and chilli flakes.  Whizz it around a bit more, and pour into a lined tin to cool. Bam!  That’s it.  Takes 10 minutes tops and then a couple of hours to harden and set enough for you to break or cut into pieces… taking all the ones you couldn’t possibly put in a nice cellophane bag for your neighbours and eating them yourself!

I used the full two teaspoons of chilli flakes.  It definitely has a warm aftertaste but not too much. I made two batches, which was enough for 8 small bags with a few sneaky pieces for the cook!

Chilli Cherry Ripe makes a great little gift!!

Chilli Cherry Ripe makes a great little gift!!

And.. if you want to know – the answer is yellow!

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Recipes


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Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse with Passionfruit Curd and Coffee Crumb

Quite possibly, this is the best dessert I have ever made!  Certainly it was voted so at family dinner on Sunday night.  It took a while to make, but the good news is that you can make each of the components separately and assemble them once you’re ready to eat – and you can pre-prepare and make this a couple of days before you need it – so it’s a great dinner party dish, that you could even prepare over a few days if necessary.

This recipe is from Darren Purchese, from Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne.  I’ve never been, but I am going to have to get there one of these days.

I’d be lying if I said this was the easiest dish I’d ever made – in fact I had one aborted attempt at it a few months ago.  Nothing went terribly wrong, but I must have used old cream which went to soft peaks in a matter of seconds, so once I added the caramelised white chocolate to it and mixed it in, it almost went to butter and sort of split.  It still tasted amazing but it didn’t look so good. Hence, this attempt.

It’s not difficult as much as it can be time consuming, and making the mousse you need to watch, watch, watch that cream.  I heard just the other night at a thermomix cooking class that the older the cream (that is, the closer it is to its’ use by date) the quicker it turns to butter.

What got me started on this recipe again was seeing passionfruit down at the greengrocers the other day.  When I had been going to make it before, they were not available, so I had bought two small tins of the John West Passionfruit Pulp.  I tried to find the passionfruit puree Dani mentions, but could only find it in large quantities – now I know this recipe is so good I’m tempted to buy it – but waste not, want not – I used the tinned pulp and scaled down the added sugar component in the curd recipe.  It still tasted fantastic.  My only criticism of it was that the seeds didn’t keep the lovely golden orange bits around them and ended up looking a little like mouse poo – hence why you don’t see them as a garnish in the photo.

Caramelised White Chocolate

The caramelised white chocolate is pretty easy – a bit of powdered milk and lots of white chocolate.  I was momentarily thrown about how I would work out what the fat content was of the powdered milk, but somewhere in the back of my mind my mathematic skills returned and the easy way is to look for one that has about 3.5 grams of fat per 100 mls of milk.  I used the Sunshine Full Cream Milk Powder and it was fine.  It goes without saying – the better quality white chocolate you use, the better the result will be.  I skimped a bit on this recipe, not because I’mm cheap, but because the supermarket had run out of the really good white chocolate.  The result was still sublime, so I can only image how good it would taste if you used amazing chocolate as a base. I had a few hard lumps in my caramelised chocolate, but nothing that caused any issues.

I left my caramelised white chocolate to cool but not to go completely cold.  Likewise, I don’t think I’d be adding it to the cream mixture if it was too hot – I think this might have played a part in my downfall last time.  So be prepared to do the caramelised white chocolate and the subsequent mousse within a few hours of each other, or you could be courting disaster (well, maybe not disaster, but something that may not look so great).

Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse 

When it comes to whipping the cream in the thermomix, remember less is more!!  And do pay attention to the use by date on your cream – and watch it like a hawk.  Even if it doesn’t look like it’s thickening up, it us – so stop the thermomix every little while and check on the progress of the cream.  I really erred on the side of caution this time and took it very slowly – even slower than the speed 3 that was recommended.  It took some extra time, but it was time I was willing to take as I didn’t want to repeat my previous mistake!

Passionfruit Reduction

As I mentioned before, I had a bit of a cheat in this recipe and used (gasp!!) the John West Passionfruit Pulp.  It worked perfectly, but make sure you reduce the sugar content in the curd component otherwise you’ll end up with it being far too sweet.

Even after reducing, mine was a lot more than 75 grams, so I have put the remainder in a zip lock bag in the freezer, as I know I’ll be going this again before too long.  I think it should freeze ok.

Passionfruit Curd

This is almost like lemon butter, but it’s just passionfruit butter without the seeds.  It tastes absolutely incredible.  The fat in the butter means that the flavour stays in your mouth, and it’s such a beautiful flavour.  I can imagine it would be fantastic too in between layers of sponge – yum!!

Be careful with the leaf gelatine and don’t let it soak too long in the cold water, and make sure the water is pretty cold, or the whole thing will disappear before your eyes.  Three minutes was just about perfect for the leaf I used.

Once you pour the curd into a container and put it in the fridge, you let it cool for a few hours.  It really sets quite firmly.  Once it’s like this, the you put it back into the TM bowl with the butterfly in, and it whips it up to a beautiful light fluff and smooths it out completely.  I bet you find yourself licking the butterfly!!

Coffee Crumb

Our whiz bang coffee machine that grinds the beans for us was going to be the death of me – I couldn’t work out how to just get it to grind the beans, but not to make the coffee.  Derrr – I just grabbed 10 grams of coffee beans, threw them in a clean TM bowl, and ground those bad boys up in a matter of seconds.  Perfect!!  All the other components of the crumb are really straightforward and the recipe makes a lot more than you’ll need for your desserts.  It stores quite nicely in an airtight container, and is quite delicious sprinkled on ice cream.

I didn’t pipe the curd or the mousse into the glasses I served it in – but it still looked ok and of course tasted absolutely phenomenal!

So, in summary – one of the best – if not THE best dessert – I’ve ever made.  Do give it a go!!


Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Sweet Things


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Chocolate Honey Truffles

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Oh, what a lovely treat for Easter!  I had to make something choclatey – just wish I had the courage to do it before I did – they are – as my niece would say – Ah Mazing.

The chocolate honey truffles are a snap to make.  You do need to set aside a bit of time for the ganache to set in the fridge, but the actual making of the ganache and the dipping in chocolate part is a breeze. And tempering the chocolate could not be easier in the thermomix.

I actually made the ganache one day, and did the dipping the next day, and that was fine.

I gave some little bags of them to older nieces and nephews for their Easter treats, and some to neighbours as well.  I would have eaten every single one of them myself if I had been given the chance, so I thought the safest bet was to get them out of the house before I burst out of my clothes! My sister had some last night and described them as a really upmarket Caramello Koala – and on reflection – she’s spot on!

Make sure you use great chocolate for this recipe.  I used the Yarra Valley Chocolate Company chocolate – which is a Belgian style coverture chocolate, which produced a really good result. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it!

The recipe made about 70 little truffles – each one as lovely as the next!

The ganache

The ganache is soooo easy to make. Chocolate, cream, vanilla bean seeds, and honey.  I used the honey that I had in the cupboard – and when I make these again I’ll try a different kind.  Not that there was anything wrong with the taste, but I know that honey connoisseurs will disagree!  I put in in a plastic tray to cool on the bench for a few hours, and then transferred it to the fridge to make sure it was really well set. I had ideas of using a melon baller to make perfect little balls, but my idea didn’t work, and I didn’t want to risk ruining the ganache by continually dipping the melon baller in hot water. In the end I just used a teaspoon and wet hands and moulded little spoonfuls into balls. I made all the balls first and put them on silicone paper and stored them in the fridge – it was a warm day here – while I made the tempered chocolate.  They did stick to the paper a little, but all in all I think it was easier to do it like that than making the balls and then dipping them one by one.

The tempered chocolate

It did take longer than the suggested two and a half minutes to melt – which I was a little worried about until I checked Dani’s page on Facebook and saw that some chocolate takes longer than others – and the trick is to make sure it’s completely melted before you mix it to cool it down. The chocolate gets thick again pretty quickly, so the method to my madness was to have the balls already done as I’ve described above, which worked pretty well.  I tried putting the balls on a toothpick and dipping them, but they were too big, so I ended up using a little cake fork, and it worked beautifully.

I put the dipped balls back on the silicon paper and then scattered flaked almonds over the top while the chocolate was still setting.  When I do it again, I’ll have a little bowl of the almonds to dip them in again, and see how that goes.

I did end up with a little (and it really was just a little) of the tempered chocolate left which is still in the fridge.  Not sure if I can re-melt it or if it’s gone… but I wish I had have downloaded the In the Mix App and watched the video about it first…! Dani’s suggestion is to tip it over peanuts sprinkled with a little salt…it looks divine!!

The “In the Mix” App is available through iTunes – and it’s free! It’s only for iPhones at this stage.

Want the recipe?  Check the recipe category on my home page!

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Sweet Things


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