Recipe Roadtest: Chorizo and Spinach Muffins

Finding healthy savoury snacks has been something of a holy grail for me. My snack of choice: a pack of Kettle’s chilli chips (or really just about any chips!) is probably not something to be included in your daily intake, and with my wedding coming up, I’ve really been trying to clean up my diet. I stumbled upon David Lebovitz’s recipe for pistachio and chorizo cake which looked amazing, but as I was without a loaf tin, I decided to tweak the recipe and re-create it in muffin form.

Chorizo and spinach muffins - wanderluxelife

Chorizo and spinach muffins

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Recipe Roadtest: Sans Rival

When my brother requested Sans Rival for his birthday this year, we thought he was joking. While Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert, its name means ‘without rival’ in French and I can tell you that there are not many desserts that can rival the richness of this cake. Layers of meringue and buttercream are slathered with even more buttercream and chopped cashews to make an incredibly indulgent dessert. Having eaten Sans Rival frequently in the Philippines, my sister and I were unsure of whether we could faithfully recreate it in all its glory, however we did find this relatively simple recipe and decided to give it a go.

Sans Rival

Sans Rival

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Recipe Roadtest: Donna Hay’s Carrot Cake

One of my family’s birthday traditions is for my sister and I to bake any cake requested by the birthday boy/girl. For my mum’s birthday over the weekend, she asked for carrot cake and just about every person I told instantly questioned whether I would be adding walnuts. Another friend insisted that the Donna Hay carrot cake recipe came out perfectly every time. Not a huge carrot cake fan myself, I bowed to the advice of these enthusiasts and attempted the Donna Hay recipe and made sure we had plenty of walnuts at home.

Carrot cake

Carrot cake

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Recipe Roadtest: Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

Readers will remember my mention of Jonathan Phang’s epic bread and butter pudding bake-off on his show Gourmet Express that inspired the baking of our sultana bread pudding. Ever since I read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, I have been entranced by the old world glamour of long-distance train travel to exotic destinations (minus the murder, of course!). So when I stumbled across the first episode of the series featuring the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, I was immediately hooked – the behind the scenes look at luxurious, iconic trains, fabulous food and the effervescent humour and enthusiasm of Jonathan Phang made it a must-watch for the next five weeks.

So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when Jonathan himself commented on my post, with an offer to send over his revised bread and butter pudding recipe! The pudding he made during the bake-off looked incredible, so on receiving his new recipe, my sister and I were eager to try it out. Thanks very much for sharing Jonathan – I hope we did your recipe justice!

Jonathan Phang's Bread and Butter Pudding

Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

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Recipe Roadtest: Mum’s Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

One of my mum’s go-to desserts when we were growing up was apple and rhubarb crumble. She would make this quite regularly during winter, and the crunchy crumble topping combined with the simultaneously sweet and tart filling, served with a dollop of double cream, is still one of my favourite bakes. With the days in Sydney getting shorter and colder, it was time for Mum to bring out the baking mitts (and a taste.com.au recipe) and show us how it’s done:

Mum's Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Mum’s Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

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Recipe Roadtest: Alfajores

I first learned of alfajores on the Fearless Kitchen blog. I was intrigued by this Argentine version of melting moments, with a rich dulce de leche filling sandwiched between buttery biscuits. I love dulce de leche, so of course I had to try making these! Coincidentally, a week later, Donna Hay published a recipe for alfajores, which I tested out today.

Alfajores

Alfajores

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Recipe Roadtest: Sultana Bread Pudding

In deciding what to bake this weekend, our main consideration was that the finished product be soft, as my sister had just gotten braces put on her teeth. Fortunately, earlier in the week, we had been watching an episode of the highly entertaining Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Express, and on one of his train stops, he embarked on a bread and butter pudding bake-off with a Michelin-starred chef. Inspiration struck and we came across a sultana bread pudding recipe in my Margaret Fulton Baking cookbook. We’ve adapted it slightly, but it still came out golden and delicious.

Sultana Bread Pudding

Sultana Bread Pudding

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Recipe Roadtest: Banoffee Pie

Before Brangelina, TomKat and Bennifer, the only celebrity couple that mattered was Banoffee – that classic combination of banana and toffee. The subtle flavour and texture of the banana is a perfect foil to the sticky, indulgent caramel and, combined with a biscuit crumb crust and fluffy whipped cream topping, make one of the greatest desserts of all time.

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

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