Iced VoVos

 

One of my favourite biscuits is the Iced VoVo (below). They have a biscuit base, two lines of marshmallow and a line of jam with a light layer of coconut on top. While watching Masterchef a couple of years ago I learnt that these biscuits are Australian, and not sold elsewhere, which means that sadly the rest of the world does not get to enjoy this delicious biscuit. Until now! So this is pretty much a giant Iced VoVo, a delicious vanilla crumbly biscuit base, a layer of jam, topped with toasted marshmallow and coconut. Seriously tasty, and pretty easy to make. Enjoy!

Iced VoVo

(prep and cooking time 45minutes – makes 9 squares in an 8-inch square pan)

 

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pressing dough into pan

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon raspberry or strawberry jam

1/4 cup shredded coconut

15 marshmallows, cut in half

 

Method

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 180C.  Line an 8-inch square pan with baking paper (leaving some overhanging paper flaps on two ends).  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in vanilla bean scrapings (or vanilla extract) and egg yolk.  Beat until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and add flour.  Beat on low speed until completely incorporated, (you may need to pat it together with your hands).

Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with flour.  With clean fingers, press the dough into the bottom of the pan.  Use a bit more flour as necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.

Bake crust for 20-24 minutes until golden brown around the edges, but still slightly soft in the center.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Run a thin butter knife around edges of the pan.  Use the two parchment paper flaps to carefully remove the crust from the pan.  Run a butter knife between the crust and the paper and carefully slide the crust from the paper and onto a unlined baking sheet.

Top crust with a thin layer of raspberry or strawberry jam.  Arrange marshmallows on top of jam.  Return to the 180C oven for about 4 minutes.  This will warm and soften the marshmallows.  Remove from the oven and turn the grill onto high.  Use the back of a spoon to gently press and smash the top of each marshmallow.

Once all the marshmallows are smashed, place in the grill.  Keep a very very very very close eye on the marshmallows.  They’ll toast in seconds.  They’ll burn in seconds.

Remove toasted marshmallow cookie from the oven.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Cookies can be served slightly warm or at room temperature.  Cookies can be left, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

Frangipane and Lemon Tart

This tart comes from Donna Hay’s “A Cook’s Guide”. It’s one of my favourite books as it has plenty of basic recipes such as sweet shortcrust pastry, sponge cake, roast beef, frittata etc. This is a family favourite now as it has a very subtle flavour that does not overpower thus allowing you to add extras like berries or ice cream without making the desert too sweet. Its also a very quick and easy one to make.

If I was making it for family dinner I would make it in a large loose-bottomed tart tin, however as it was just the two of us I decided to try out some new smaller tart tins. The original recipe also doesn’t have the lemon juice or the berries, but I really like the added flavour. I think this is a recipe that can be easily altered to suit your tastes.

Frangipane and Lemon Tart

Ingredients:

Sweet shortcrust pastry

1 1/2 (225g) cups plain flour

125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tbs iced water

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

Tart

100g butter softened

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk (extra)

1 tbs lemon juice

1 cup (120g) almond meal

1/4 cup (35g) plain flour

1/4 cup (20g) flaked almonds

1/4 fresh or frozen berries

Method:

Pastry

Place the four, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

While the motor is running, add the egg yolks and water. Process until the dough just comes together.

Turn onto a floured surface and gently bring together to form a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Roll the dough out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper until it is about 3mm thick.

Line a loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry. Trim edges and prick the base with a fork.

Line the case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking weights. I didn’t have any so I just used rice.

Bake like this for 15minutes, remove the weights and baking paper and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is light golden.

Tart

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and using an electric mixer beat until light and creamy.

Gradually add the egg and extra egg yolk and beat until just combined.

Stir through the almond meal, flour and lemon juice until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and top with the flaked almonds and berries. Bake for 30-35minutes or until set. Allow to cool in the tin.

 

Enjoy!

Willie and Ethan’s El Tesoro Mousse Cake

About a year and a half ago Craig and I got hooked on a show on ABC called Willie’s Chocolate Factory. It’s about a guy named Willie living in England who decided that all the chocolate that was currently on the market was to full of milk and sugar and decided to make some pure cacao chocolate. The series went through the whole process of buying a cacao farm in Venezuela, starting up a factory back in England to produce 100% cacao chocolate and marketing and selling his chocolate around the world. You can buy Willie’s chocolate online and read his story at http://williescacao.com/index.php?rid=home and check out his facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/WilliesCacao?ref=ts.

Craig and I bought Willie’s recipe book online and since receiving it have made some really delicious main meals and deserts with Willie’s cacao. One of my favourite recipes is his El Tesoro Mousse Cake which I made today. I’ve made this one a lot and I’ve made it with a lot of chocolate variations. Willie’s chocolate isn’t sold in too many places here (however Jones the Grocer at Chadstone is one place to get it) and so at times I’ve just used good quality dark chocolate (at least 70%) from the supermarket.

The reason that it’s called Willie and Ethan’s El Tesoro Mousse Cake is because two days ago my sister Kimberley and her husband Jess just had a beautiful new baby boy! His name is Ethan Max and he is gorgeous. So to celebrate I made this cake and ate it with my parents Trevor and Kim who are grandparents for the second time, my wonderful Auntie Jessie who I was named after (my middle name is Jessie) and my Grandmother Barbara who is a great grandmother for the second time! I’ve also added a photo below of beautiful Ethan. I couldn’t share the cake with Kimberley and Jess because they live in Darwin in the north of Australia, but i’m sure they would have loved the cake too!

 

El Tesoro Mousse Cake

(serves 12)

Ingredients:

180g cacao finely grated

250g unsalted butter

5 eggs

200g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan). Line a 25cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the cacao and butter by placing them in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until pale yellow and fluffy.

Pour the cacao mixture into the eggs and beat to combine.

Stand the lined tin in a roasting tray and fill the tin with the mousse mixture. Pour enough boiling hot water into the roasting tray to come halfway up the side of the tim. Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool in the tin.

Willie’s looked a lot better than mine , but here is mine anyway! I had a little ice cream with mine and it was deliciously light, just like chocolate mousse!

 

 

Dad put cream and ice cream on his, not because it needs it, just because he is addicted to it.