Tag Archives: ice cream

Chocolate Chip Cookies or if you can’t wait, edible cookie dough


Ice cream or chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies. There are so many recipes and variations! Crispy, chewy, crunchy or soft… This particular one is based on my favourite kind – with slightly crisp edges and a chewy, buttery interior. They are great for keeping in the freezer as prepared cookie dough. I love to eat them warm!

Ice cream or chocolate chip cookies?

As I used an ice cream scoop to portion them out, they were all evenly sized with little effort and ready at a moment’s notice. I often throw in a tray to bake after the dinner roast comes out of the oven. Remember to adjust the oven temperature though. With the even sizing, they bake into perfect round discs for those ice cream sandwiches too.

Since this recipe does not contain eggs, you can safely eat them “raw”, or added into ice cream as edible cookie dough. Think about that next time you are having ice cream 😄

Ice cream or chocolate chip cookies?

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, unsalted and melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup (I used Noble, but you can also use golden syrup)
  • 3 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate drops

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180c bake or 160c fan bake.
  2. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Mix all wet ingredients and sugars together in a standmixer, until combined.
  4. Sift in flour and baking powder, mix until combined. The dough should just come together. If not, add up to 2 tbsp of water till it binds. Add in chocolate drops.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place balls of dough on prepared trays and press down lightly with a fork. (Freeze extra on a sheet and transfer to an airtight box for better storage. The picture above features the New World Fresh PODS with a pump to remove air from inside the box. No more lost bags of freezer-burned cookie dough in the freezer!)
  6. Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes, till brown on the edges and slightly puffy in the centre. Cool on trays for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ice cream or chocolate chip cookies?

The Auckland Food Show 2018 experience


The biggest foodie event of the year in Auckland – the Food Show – is here again. I look forward to it every year and start planning the day once the first list of exhibitors is out.

It’s a time to see my favourite brands, discover new products and be inspired by all the design work in the food industry. Thanks to the good people at the PR Shop, I went along as media this year, on the first day of the four-day event, which is the preview day with less crowds.

Here are some of the highlights of my day.

Fresh As – They are renowned for their freeze dried fruit powders, used by bakers and executive chefs worldwide. I’ve come back for their ready to make Panna Cotta mixes – Just add milk and follow the recipe. Each packet makes 2-4 servings. There are two flavours – Doris Plum and Raspberry. $10 for 3 packs. Don’t forget to stock up on your freeze dried fruit for your desserts. (I’ll soon be running a giveaway on my Instagram for these goodies!)

Proper Crisps

I discovered these new popcorn that is unlike any other – it is first soaked with water and then partially popped – perfect crunch!

Ghiotti

Gelato 800ml, 2 for $5 (yes that is correct!!) We picked Vanilla and Chocolate flavours.

They also have delicious cheese bites, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano wedges.

The Apple Press

Beautiful apples from Hawke’s Bay – they are hand-picked at their peak ripeness, cold pressed and bottled. The juice are variety-specific – meaning you get the singular flavour from varieties like Braeburn, Jazz and Royal Gala in the one bottle.

Home Grown Farm Fresh

Dion and Ali’s Wairarapa farm produces amazing lamb and beef. They offer half and full lamb boxes, tomahawk packs and also 13kg Angus beef packs.

I learnt that the lambs in the boxes are always female, and that the breed is Charollais ram. As fat’s laid down intramuscularly, the lamb tastes more tender and juicy than other breeds.

Last year J and I stood at their stand for a long time, listening to their stories and eating the juiciest lamb. It was just like we were hanging out at a neighbour’s barbecue!

Living Goodness

I like their sauerkraut – our favourites have been the Naked kraut (I’ve been adding them to my breakfast, on top of toast even!) and beet kraut.

They’ve now released two new products – freeze dried beetroot and kimchi – they add the perfect texture and crunch to dishes. I couldn’t hand over money fast enough for these LOL. Think sprinkling over poke bowls…yum!

The Fresh Grower

The Fong family have been growing vegetables since 1948 in Pukekohe. They have long become part of the local landscape. I like their quality produce and will soon be sharing with you tips on how to cook kailaan (Chinese broccoli), choy sum and wong bok properly. Watch this space!

Mitchells Bone Broth

I’ve been looking into increasing J’s nutrition intake through broths lately. When I saw them from half a show-hall away, I walked straight over to sample their broth. Turns out it’s quite easy to make: simply add 2 teaspoons of Bone Broth powder to a cup of hot water, mix and add fresh ingredients to make your version of broth: a pinch of salt and a slice of fresh ginger for a warming, spicy drink.

The powder is made from New Zealand grass fed beef bones and onions, carrots, celery, parsley, apple cider vinegar, black pepper corns, bay leaf and rosemary.

Full of amino acids, these are indeed good for you.

Farmland Foods

Premium European streaky bacon – they are thinly sliced and there is no extra liquid in the packs. This means it crisps up beautifully and quickly.

I learnt some tips from chef Mark Southon in preparing a bacon butty: Toast the bread with the bacon oil straight in your griddle pan!

Serve it with your own Brown Sauce (ie. HP sauce) by cooking: dates (giving a fruity tang); Tomato sauce; Tamarind; Molasses; Chilli; Garlic; Apple juice and Orange juice. Simmer for an hour. Cool and blend.

Keas cookies

If you are in need of great tasting gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free baking, look no further than these. Their range includes Chocolate Chip; Double Choc Chip; Macadamia; Vanilla; Hokey Pokey; Gingernut; Almond; Peanut Brownies, Lemon Coconut and Coconut. They also have an organic chocolate cookie.

Simon Gault

I always stock up on their beef and chicken stock and Morrocan and Indian spice seasonings. 5 for $30. Simon’s new Chipotle Ketchup ($7) launched at the foodshow. Sweetened 100% with vegetables just like their tomato sauce, Gault’s Chipotle Ketchup has the perfect balance of sweet and heat – just a tiniest kick of smoked chipotle chilli. Gault’s Deli is their online shop where you can buy all sorts of goodies including my favourite Fruit Puree by Ponthier (I made chocolate mousse domes with these puree – you can see the photos of them on my Instagram feed).

They are also running a special with Turks chicken, $20 for 2 whole chickens with a seasoning or $20 for 4 bags of drums, nibbles, skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts. They come with a chill bag too. They also have a new product – stuffed chicken in an oven ready roast bag. These 1.5kg birds come in two flavours.

Aoraki Salmon

Freshwater King Salmon from the ice-cold waters around Mt Cook.

The salmon is gently smoked with oak wood chips following a Scottish inspired method, which uses a mixture of salt, golden syrup and black rum. This enhances the taste experience with a sweet smoky layer. The softer notes of oak, never distract from the original qualities of the salmon.

Appleby Farm Icecream

Their award winning ice cream is made in Nelson, with milk straight from their farms 15 minutes down the road. Cow to cone! What’s special about these ice creams? It’s made with A2 protein milk, so it’s better for those who are lactose intolerant.

I love the Bedford Vanilla Bean, made with Madagasgan vanilla beans, the Brown Eyed Girl (which is the coolest name for chocolate brownie ice cream) and Doubleshot Ipanema. They also have Bad Boys & Berries (Boysenberry) and Tangled Passion (Passionfruit) which both won awards at the 2018 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards.

Good Chow NZ
NZ Blackfoot Paua XO Sauce – traditional chinese XO sauce with a kiwi twist: dried scallop, chillis prepared with NZ paua (that’s abalone). XO sauce 2.0 and so good with stirfrys. This is good with traditional chinese turnip cake (law bak gao) and rice rolls (cheung fun).

They also have in their line up: Sambal Fish Roe Sauce, Kiwi Moo Beef Jerky, Fluffy Fried NZ Cod Flakes and Aromatic Chili Oil. Made in Napier, Hawke’s Bay, none of their products have any preservatives or artificial additives.

First light

Grass-fed Wagyu scotch fillet just off the pan – so tasty! They have meat packs on special too.

Jersey Girl Organics – Their milk is full of Omega 3 and A2 Protein, is fully certified organic that comes direct from their farm in Matamata. When tasting, the milk is full-bodied and creamy. Pure deliciousness. You can now bring your own jar to fill up with at the farmers markets – just $3 a litre. Make sure the jars are clean and of known volume.

WaHiki
Wahiki does coconut icecream that is vegan, gluten free, dairy free and made in NZ. The new flavour, turmeric latte is pretty special.

Wild Fennel Co’s range of gourmet seasonings is naturally addictive. Dan, the creator behind the seasonings, was formerly a fine dining chef and naturally is inspired by traditional flavour pairings from different cuisines around the world. The flavours are slightly unusual but surprisingly good. They have collabed with the likes of Silver Fern Farms to create spices specific to the cut of meat.

Silver Fern Farms

Good from Scratch soup – chef Michael Van De Elzen. Loved these!

Hellers have some interesting soup flavours: Pumpkin & Smokey bacon, Sweet corn & bacon chowder, Chicken & Smokey bacon and Spicy tomato & Chorizo soup.

We also picked up some Hot & Spicy pork ribs – these have been slow cooked for 4 hours, and only needs 20 mins in a 180C oven. $8 each.

Cooking demos

Here are some of my suggested must see demos:

Annabelle White – Thursday 10.30am, Friday 11am

Jess’ Underground Kitchen – Thursday 1:45pm

Simon Gault – Friday 12:15pm, Saturday 2:45pm, Sunday 11am

Nadia Lim – Friday 2:45pm, Sunday 2:30pm

Monique Fiso – Saturday 12:45pm, Sunday 12:15pm

Brandhouse Drinks Masterclass

This is where you’ll learn the differences between your prosecco and champagne, take a brewery master class and taste Cognac! Classes are timed through the weekend. I’ll be at the brewery master class to learn about craft beer.

With over 300 stalls at the show, I know I’ve potentially missed mentioning some goodies here. However the following are my last minute dash stalls that I will have to remember to pick up goodies from on Sunday, when I return with Miss 8:

  • Amplify Kombucha – fizzy fermented tea which J also likes! I love the fact that there’s hardly any sugar in it, which makes it a healthier drink.
  • I Love Food giant cookies – 4 for $5, and sour cream pastry for home cooking
  • Top shelf – dips!
  • Perfect Pork – 3 for $25 – their range of grain-fed New Zealand pork includes sirloin and pork belly.
  • House of Dumplings – we love the Nepalese Spiced Lamb and Korean Sesame Beef dumplings. J misses them as they are no longer at the La Cigale French Market.
  • Dish magazine – I love their stories and food styling! I renewed my subscription and received a gigantic goody bag.

Top tips:

  • Register your ticket if you haven’t already done so, and have it within easy reach like in your pocket. Scan them at the stalls you visit and gain entry in the respective competitions and giveaways.
  • Get there early if you can. 11am to 2pm is the busiest at the show.
  • Keep hydrated (plenty of water coolers inside but bring a cup or bottle) and wear light layers as it’s warm in the showgrounds.
  • Keep track of time if you have a particular cooking theatre session you want to see. It can be a bit chaotic when you realise you are in Hall 3 when the cooking session in Hall 1 is about to start in 5 minutes.
  • Mazda chauffeured shuttles will pick up and drop off at designated stops around the showgrounds, making it easier to buy more. Gold coin donation for the Auckland City Mission.
  • The show is on till Sunday 5pm.
  • Here are some more photos from the show:

Honest Chocolat – I always go for their Pure Water Ganache.

Beautiful Parma Ham.

Whaiora smoothie blends – I recommend the berry flavour.

Check out Emma’s food bag – menu is viewable online before ordering and ingredients are sourced as local as possible.

Trade Aid chocolate – the dark raspberry is new!

Nata is the only Portuguese Bakery in New Zealand, and their traidtional Portuguese custard tarts are baked fresh every day. Delish!

Not that you’ll be hungry, but if you want a rest over a decent meal, there are plenty of food in the Street Food Alley. Dumplings from Akemi’s Gyoza, Clevedon Coast Oysters, juice from I Press, Vietnamese from Indochine Kitchen, fried chicken from Peach’s Hot Chicken (must check out!) and Mexican from Taco Loco.

Kohu Road – creamiest dairy-free coconut ice cream  


If I am going to indulge in a treat, my motto is to go for the best that I can afford. I reckon if I am going to use up my calorie quota on ice cream, it should be an indulgent experience in itself. One of my favourite is Kohu Road, artisan ice cream made locally, in West Auckland.

Kohu Road uses natural ingredients to make their award winning products. You might have come across their Peanut Butter ice cream that was launched earlier in 2017. My favourite is still Dark Chocolate, made with 72% cocoa dark chocolate making it the most decadent ice cream you can buy. I gave up making my own chocolate ice cream when they first launched in 2007.

For the past three years, they have been secretly developing a new range. Finally, launched in July 2017, is their new Dairy Free coconut ice cream.

“We’ve cut out the dairy to leave our customers feeling lighter, healthier and wanting more.” Charlotte Stein, Marketing Executive of Kohu Road gushed as she passed me the new 500ml packs.

Made with coconut cream, the ice creams are creamy and smooth. Look at that shine! Far superior than any other dairy-free desserts I have ever tried. After tasting these, I would in fact choose these over the normal range. Ice cream identical in both taste and texture, yet with less calories, sugar and fat. Why wouldn’t you?

This is one of the only products in the world to use monk fruit as a sweetener. Monk fruit is 200 times sweeter than sugar, meaning a lot less is required to sweeten the ice cream.

The ice creams are also 100% pure, containing no additives, preservatives or stabilisers – only natural ingredients.

So what did we think after tasting them?


Vanilla

These are so light and smooth – they picked up a gold medal at the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards: ‘Dairy-Free’ category with judges commenting “clean and refreshing, with a good texture”. Very coconuty and made with vanilla extract and seeds, this is a very nice palette-cleansing ice cream.


Chocolate

At first taste, the deep cocoa aroma fills your senses. Next the creamy coconut glides smoothly around your tongue. All the same smooth sensation of the Dark Chocolate dairy ice cream, but without the heaviness. Earlier in the year they hosted a sensory experiment with food bloggers and journalists and the majority were unable to tell that this flavour was dairy-free.


Strawberry

The burst of freshness and lightness surprised me – this flavour is our family’s firm favourite. Judges at the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards commented “creamy texture and well-balanced strawberry and coconut flavours”. This was a gold award winner and ‘Best in Category’ in the ‘Dairy-free’ category. With 22% strawberries in each tub, it reminded me of the strawberry ice creams at berry farms. Super fresh tasting and I would not have believed it to be a dairy-free dessert.


Green tea

The distinctive flavour of Japanese matcha green tea sings out, just like their dairy range. I love matcha and am very happy that I now have more ways to consume matcha.

Where to find:
Exclusive in Farro Fresh for the month of August and will be in select Countdown and New World from October 2017.

I dare say Kohu Road makes one of the best ice creams in the world. Now I have even more choices for the ‘light’ dessert days!

Baked Chocolate Mousse


Cornflake crumble with Kohu Road Ice Cream and baked chocolate mousse #momofuku #goldcutlery

Having made a delicious salty-sweet combo out of my cornflake crumble and Kohu Road Pure Vanilla ice cream, I needed something to serve it with. Cookie sandwich was an obvious contestant, but I had a particular picture in mind. I wanted something light but not cakey, rich but not heavy. I need, a mousse cake. More so, I need a Darren Purchese cake. I’ve adapted the recipe from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart as follows.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 180g dark chocolate, 70% minimum
  • 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks
  • 30g caster sugar

*this proportion when baked in a square tin will produce a beautiful but rather thin (1.5cm) cake slice. If you would prefer a thicker slice, double the amounts and bake for 1 hour 15 mins.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper with enough overhand to lift the cake once cooked. Spray the paper lightly with rice bran oil.
  2. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (2 mins should do it).
  3. Whip cream till thick and fluffy.
  4. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Gently fold half of this mixture into the melted chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Pour mixture into the baking tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave cake to cool completely before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  8. Lift cake by the baking paper and cut the cake into squares.

This is best served warm with ice cream or milk. Perfect for Mother’s day afternoon tea or dessert.

Peanut butter parfait, chocolate feuilletine crumb, salted caramel and butterscotch sauce


Having had the most amazing dessert at The Sugar Club, I set about recreating this dish. Turns out it isn’t as difficult as I imagined it to be, albeit slightly simplified. The flavours and textures are all present though.

The parfait recipe here is an adapted version of Geoff Scott’s (Vinnie’s) and the Cordon Bleu cookbook. It doesn’t contain gelatine and I will make another one later that uses gelatine to test the difference. The rest of the elements are things I make quite often for my macarons, cakes and entremets. So while it may seem like a long list, there are often at least 1 or 2 elements readily made in my fridge at any time. I encourage you to follow suit in case of dessert emergencies.

Peanut butter parfait

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Equagold vanilla paste
  • 150g best crunchy peanut butter (I used Pic’s from Nelson, New Zealand)
  • 500ml cream

Instructions

  1. Lightly whip the cream until soft peak stage. Set aside. (I do this step first as I only have 1 bowl for my mixer. If you have alternate means, do this step after step 3 below).
  2. Place sugar and water and in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it reaches the soft boil stage at 118°C on a thermometer.
  3. While the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, whisk the yolks and vanilla paste with an electric beater until pale and thick, continue whisking and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a trickle down the side of the bowl (like making Italian meringue). Whisk till it has cooled, about 6 minutes. The mix should be thick and aerated. Mix in the peanut butter paste.
  4. Take a third of the cream and gently fold into the yolk mix. Add the remaining cream and gently fold through. This step is crucial, do it gently to maintain the lightness in the mixture.
  5. Line a large loaf or square pan with greaseproof paper then pour in the mix. Freeze overnight. Tip out onto a board and remove paper. Pre slice into thick slices and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
  6. Tip: I found it hard to cut through a deep solid block. Using a square pan would help as the parfait would not be as high as it would reach if it was in a loaf pan. Far easier to cut neat rectangular slices out this way.

Chocolate feuilletine crumb

  • 125 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Equagold)
  • 1 cup Feuilletine

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate over a pan of simmering hot water.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add feuilletine, stir to mix and pour in a baking paper-lined tray. Cool in fridge.

Salted caramel (this produces a large quantity, feel free to reduce if you have to, but I would suggest keeping to the quantity as you would *always* need salted caramel available, right?)

  • 200g castor sugar
  • 125ml fresh cream
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 5g good quality salt flakes
  • A few drops of vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. Heat the sugar in a wide saucepan until it is melted.
  2. Be really careful and wait for it to turn amber/ golden and slightly smoke.
  3. Carefully add the cream in slowly, continuing to whisk but be aware of the resulting vigorous bubbling.
  4. Add the butter in gradually until it is melted and combined.
  5. Add in salt flakes and vanilla essence.
  6. Cool in the fridge for a few hours.

Butterscotch sauce

  • 60g butter
  • 60ml glucose syrup
  • 1 can condensed milk (320g)
  • 290g brown sugar
  • 180ml cream

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add rest of ingredients.
  2. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat till it reaches 118C at the soft ball stage.
  3. Pour half into a jar for another time or onto a baking -paper lined tray to make toffee squares, like the Mckintosh Toffees.
  4. Add cream to the remaining butterscotch toffee in the pan and stir till it becomes homogenous.
  5. Pour into jar to cool.

Assemble

  1. Put a dollop of the salted caramel near the top of the plate, off centre.
  2. In a quick motion, “schmear” it straight down or across confidently.
  3. Place a piece of the parfait on the schmear.
  4. Scatter over the chocolate feuilletine crumb and pour the butterscotch sauce over.