Wednesday, 29 August 2012

milo cupcakes w condensed milk icing

I love Raspberri Cupcakes. It’s a colourful, whimsical blog that reminds me of falling down the rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland.

Steph, the author, is brilliant. Such a young woman so dedicated to experimenting with her favourite sweet flavours and achieving perfection. It’s beyond impressive.

I think most of her creations have made it onto my Pinterest account. And who can blame me with offerings like Pretzel and M&M Chocolate Cheesecake, Shamrock Macarons with Baileys Chocolate Ganache, Popcorn Fudge, Balsamic Toffee Strawberries and the spectacular Purple Ombre Sprinkles Cake.

One of the things I love about her blog is that she experiments with Australian candies and cookies, including my all time milk flavouring, Milo.

Milo is a malted chocolate powder and it is wonderful. Amazing. Life changing even.

This recipe of Steph’s was great. The maltiness came through in the cake and the frosting was decadently sweet and almost caramel from the addition of condensed milk. Heaven.

Milo Cupcakes w Condensed Milk Icing

Steph’s brilliant recipe. Makes 10-12 cupcakes.


200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
100g Milo (add more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g sour cream
170g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs

150g slightly salted butter (or unsalted + a pinch of salt), softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk


1. Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease or fill cupcake tray with liners.

2. Sift flour, bicarb and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl and then beat in eggs one at a time until combine.

4. Add sour cream, vanilla and milo and beat until just combined.

5. Add flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.

6. Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full and bake for approx 15-20 mins or a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. For the best texture, the cakes should be dark golden brown on top and firm to the touch and after cooling for 1 minute out of the oven.

7. Cool on a wire rack.

8. To make the icing, remove butter from the fridge 30 mins ahead of time.

9. Beat butter until light and fluffy and then beat in icing sugar until combined.

10. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined.

11. Pipe or spoon over the top of cupcakes when they are cooled and drizzle some extra condensed milk over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of Milo.

Note: Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

snapper ceviche - ceviche de pargo

 Ceviche de Pargo

Ceviche is a dish I often crave because it combines some of my favourites things: sour citrus, spicy chilli and seafood.

It hails from the coastal countries of Central and South America with the Peruvians claiming to be the originators, spreading the word from their busy port-town of Lima. There’s also evidence that ancient Peruvians (Incans) made similar dishes from fermented liquors prior to the arrival of Europeans, who brought with them the precious citrus.

Polynesians also have their own ceviche, often including coconut milk, which seemed to evolve independently of the South Americans.

To make ceviche, I prefer to use firm white fleshed fish like snapper, swordfish or ling. If that’s not your thing, you can always use tuna, salmon or ocean trout.

Just make sure you use the freshest fish possible. Ask your fishmonger for very fresh fish (tell them what you're using it for) and make the ceviche on the same day you buy it.

Many recipes call for leaving the fish in the lime juice for hours, but I think this makes the fish quite tough. To ensure the fish is firm but still soft under your teeth, don’t “cook” it in the lime juice for any more than an hour.

The milky liquor that the fish has marinated in is called leche de tigre (tiger milk) or leche de pantera (panther milk) and in Peru it’s drunk in shot glasses as an appetiser. It’s rumoured to be a natural Viagra. I’m a bit sceptical about that claim, but it certainly tastes good so don’t throw it away.

Ceviche de Pargo (Snapper Ceviche)

Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 4 as a small starter.

300g snapper fillets, deboned
½ cup of fresh lime juice (about 3 large juicy limes)
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, deseeded & chopped into small pieces
1 small jalapeño chilli, finely sliced

To serve:
Chifles (plantain chips) or tostados (tortilla chips)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Fresh jalapeño chilli, sliced
Avocado, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Cube the fish into 3cm pieces.

2. In a non-reactive dish (plastic or ceramic), mix the raw fish pieces with the lime juice, jalapeño, red onion and tomato pieces.

3. Ensure all the fish is covered in lime juice and refrigerate for up to one hour before serving.

4. At this point you can either drain away the liquid to serve separately, or just keep them together.

5. Serve with fresh coriander, slices of avocado and jalapeño chillies.

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