Dulce de Leche Pionono Recipe

The upcoming recipe club dinner is themed Argentina, so I’ve been looking into Argentine desserts. It seems that the key ingredient is Dulce de Leche – basically a thick, sweet caramel sauce – so it was a given that this sweet ingredient would feature.

Helping me along, I came across a great website called From Argentina With Love that had an interesting-sounding recipe for Pionono (an Argentine dessert roll), from which this recipe is heavily based. I also had some assistance from this other Pionono Recipe.


  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • extra caster sugar
  • 200mL whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g dulce de leche (I used Nestle Top-N-Fill Caramel)

NB. The Nestle Top-N-Fill Caramel is basically caramelized sweetened condensed milk, and was available as a 380g tin in my supermarket in the section along with cooking chocolate and vanilla extract.


  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. Take a shallow tray, 25cm x 38cm (I think it’s sometimes known as a swiss roll tray), grease it, line the bottom and sides with a sheet of grease-proof paper, then grease the paper.
  3. Sift the flour into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Put the eggs, sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl, and beat with a mixer on high for at least 8 minutes, until the mixture expands to several times the original volume and forms a marshmallow consistency.
  5. Add the flour into the mix, and continue to beat for another minute until well combined.
  6. Pour the mix evenly across the tray (even the corners), spreading with a flat knife if necessary.
  7. Place in the oven, and cook for 8-10 mins. It will be done when the cake springs back at a light touch. You may want to rotate the tray after 6 mins to ensure it cooks evenly.
  8. While waiting for the cake to cook, get a clean and dry (non fluffy) tea towel. Lay it out and sprinkle lightly with caster sugar. Use your fingers to ensure it is covered evenly.
  9. Take the tray out of the oven, invert it onto the tea towel. Remove the tray, and gently peel off the grease-proof paper.
  10. While still hot, roll up the cake in the tea towel, and set aside to cool for a couple of hours.
  11. During this waiting time, prepare the filling. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks have just formed.
  12. Add the dulce de leche and vanilla and stir to combine. Then beat for another minute or so, until the mixture thickens. Place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge.
  13. When the cake is cool, unroll it, spread the filling across it, and re-roll. Ideally, serve immediately, but it will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for another day or two.

When serving, slice into generous chunks. Serves 6-8.

Almond Praline Recipe

This is the last part of my “Icecream with Nuts and Ice Magic (but fancy)” recipe from Recipe Club. It’s not particularly novel, but it did complete the dish. Together with the crunch of the white chocolate in the icecream and the crunch of the chocolate shell from the ice magic, the praline added extra crunch that went really well with the smooth icecream, creating a bit of a play of textures and sounds.

I took this recipe from the MasterChef Australia cook book which I got for Christmas. Really, it’s been a book that is more about the reliving of great moments from the TV series, but there are some cracking recipes in there as well. The praline is part of the sticky date pudding recipe (which I can also vouch for).


1/4 cup (~35g) of slivered almonds
1/2 cup (125mL or ~110g) of caster sugar
2 tablespoons (40mL) of water


Start by roasting the almonds. The way I do this is to put them on a piece of foil under the grill, and mixing them around every 30 seconds or so. Within a few minutes they should be smelling good and lightly browned.

Put a piece of baking paper onto a baking tray or sheet, and scatter the almonds onto it, over an area of roughly 20cm x 20cm. Let them cool while continuing with the recipe.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan, and cook over a medium heat. Instead of stirring (the candy will stick to a spoon), swirl the syrup regularly. The sugar will disolve, and begin to bubble a lot. Keep going until the syrup becomes a deep golden colour, like honey. This will take a few minutes.

Remove the saucepan and immediately pour over the almonds, and then tip the tray from side to side to cause the candy to cover all of the almonds.

Wait until it sets, and break into shards. They can be stored for a couple of days in an airtight container.

Serves 6-8.

Double White Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

The other key part of the recipe from my “Recipe Club” dessert (the previous part being the Ice Magic) was the ice-cream itself. The main problem here for me is that I don’t currently have an ice-cream maker; the last one exploded in the pantry when it got too hot one summer. So, I needed to find a recipe that explained how to make it without one.

I was rescued by a recipe book called Ice Cream (of course) by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. Sadly, this book has been in my possession for several years now without ever being used. It survived several house moves when other books were culled, and clearly there was method to the madness since it turned out to have exactly the sort of recipe that I was looking for.


4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon (5mL) corn flour
300mL milk
250g white chocolate (happily Whittakers still makes good chocolate in 250g blocks)
2 teaspoons (10mL) vanilla extract
300mL whipping cream (~35% milk fat)


With the egg yolks, caster sugar and corn flour in a large bowl, stir with a fork until it is well combined and slightly bubbly.

Then pour the milk into a saucepan, place over a medium heat on the stove, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and drizzle into to egg mixture, stirring all the while, and you’ll end up with a basic custard mixture in the bowl.

If you’re like me, you’ll have ended up with milk cooked onto the bottom of the saucepan, and will need to get another one or do a quick clean.

Pour the custard mixture back into a saucepan, place over a low heat on the stove, and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, perhaps to the consistency of a pouring custard. It will also get really smooth at that point, which is another good indicator. Don’t try to over-thicken the custard.

Remove the custard from the heat, and pour into a large, freezer-proof bowl.

Break 150g of the white chocolate into small pieces. Then gently stir those pieces into the hot custard, along with the vanilla extract. Leave it to cool for 20 mins or so, and then place in the fridge to chill. This should take about another hour.

Put the cream into a bowl (yes, another one), and whip it with an electric beater until it has thickened, but “still falls from the spoon”. You should see the cream beginning to form little lumps at this point, and it will have doubled in volume.

Remove the bowl of chilled custard from the fridge, fold the whipped cream into it, and put it in the freezer for three hours.

Remove it from the freezer. Using a fork, pull the icecream away from the sides of the bowl. Then, using an electric beater, blend together the frozen and unfrozen parts of the mix for about a minute. The ice cream mixture should be the same consistency as a good milk-shake. Return to the freezer again for another two hours.

Finely chop the remaining white chocolate, so that the pieces are about the same size as choc bits.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer again. Follow the same approach as before with the fork and electric beater, and this time stir in the white chocolate as well. The ice cream mixture should be the same consistency as a thick-shake. Return to the freezer again for another two to four hours, or until firm.

Makes about 1L of ice-cream, so will serve about 8 if presented in cones or about 4 if presented in bowls.

Ice Magic Recipe

I’m in a “Recipe Club”, where we get together once a month for dinner, to share food on a particular theme, and try out favourite recipes or those we hope will become favourites. This month, the theme was chocolate, and I had volunteered to make a dessert.

Towards the end of summer, I had gotten into Cottee’s Ice Magic again (although, to be honest, it was the Woolworths’ brand version). It had been years since I’d had it and was surprised that it was still good. And, as you do, I’d been wondering how it works and whether you could make some yourself that tasted *really* good.

So, this was in the back of my mind when I was trying to think up a chocolate dessert, and so I decided to see if the Internet knew the answer. And it did.

The main trick was finding refined Coconut Oil. It is the essential ingredient, as it is liquid above ~24 degrees Celcius but solid below that. Hence, it is liquid at room temperature (at least, in summer) but sets when poured on ice-cream.

I easily managed to find a jar of Melrose Organic Refined Cocout Oil (Butter) in a random health food store in Melbourne city. Unless you really want a coconut taste, make sure you get the refined variety rather than the virgin variety.

My final dessert was home-made double white chocolate ice-cream with almond praline and this recipe for Ice Magic over the top. However, that’s for another post.


40g good quality chocolate (it will taste just like the chocolate)
15mL refined coconut oil


If the oil has turned solid, stand in a bowl of hot water until it returns to liquid state.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe container. Place in a microwave on a low setting (e.g. 30% of a 800W unit) for a minute or so until the chocolate sags and is beginning to melt, then remove.

Stir the oil into the chocolate until fully combined, forming a chocolate syrup.

Pour the syrup over cold icecream to serve. It should set within a minute, forming a hard chocolate shell.

If the syrup sets while you are storing it, you can microwave it back to life or rest the container in a bowl of hot water.

Serves 2-3 people.

Easter Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

If you’re anything like us, and had more Hot Cross Buns in your house this Easter than you knew what to do with, then this recipe is for you. Previously, I’ve recommended French-toasting them, but baking them into a pudding is also a very satisfying option. We served them up for a dessert at a family lunch today, and it was very yummy.

This is based on the recipe for Bread and Butter pudding from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics Book 2.


600g slightly stale Hot Cross Buns (we used an 8pk of Woolworths bakery buns)
~100g Spreadable butter
4 large eggs
4 cups (1L)  milk
1/2 cup (125mL) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5mL) vanilla extract
~1 tablespoon (15mL) raw sugar (a.k.a. demerara sugar) for topping
Water for hot water bath


Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Leave the buns in a block, and slice off the “crusts” from the sides and bottom (leave the crosses on). Then slice the block of buns in half, butter both sides and put back together.

Slice the block into thumb-width strips, e.g. 2 buns long and something like 1/3 or 1/4 of a bun wide. Butter the sides of the strips.

Grease a 6 cup (1.5L) round baking dish, and arrange the strips around the inside. A nice pattern is to put the strips in pointing up, but on an angle, arranged in concentric circles.

Place the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk briefly. Then add milk mix to combine.

Pour the liquid over the buns in the baking dish and stand for 2-3 minutes.

While waiting, boil some water. When finished, sprinkle raw sugar onto the buns, place baking dish into a baking tray, and pour water into baking tray so that it comes half-way up the sides of the baking dish.

Put the whole thing into the oven and bake for 65 minutes (or until the liquid sets).

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving with cream or ice-cream.

Serves 6-8 people.

Sour Cream, Orange and Raisin Pie Recipe

Sour cream, orange and raisin pieThis is a recipe from the most recent Donna Hay Magazine (issue 38). This is not the first recipe to leap out at you, but I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it. It’s not very sweet, and the combination of ingredients is not particularly common. It’s awesomely yum.


1 cup plain flour (for pastry)
1/2 cup caster sugar (for pastry)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder (for pastry)
100g softened, unsalted butter (for pastry)
1 tablespoon of water (for pastry)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for pastry)
1 1/4 cups raisins (remove all stems)
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange rind (equivalent to 1 small orange)
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream


Firstly, we need to make the pastry, so be aware you’ll need about 30-40 mins for this before the real cooking starts.

Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into very small pieces and mix into the dry ingredients with your fingers using a clicking motion. Or just do it all in a food processor. It should form a bread-crumb consistency.

Add the water and vanilla extract, and mix through. It should now stick together form a smooth, dough ball.

Cover in cling-wrap, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Go away and make yourself a cup of coffee, or watch an episode of Scrubs.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

Grate the orange rind. Remove the pastry from the fridge to let it soften a little (especially if you’ve left it for more than 30 minutes like I did).

Warm raisins and orange juice together in a small saucepan over low heat for about five minutes. Raisins will soften. Then add the orange rind, caster sugar and flour. Stir to combine, and cook for another five minutes until the mixture thickens a little. Remove from stove.

Blend sour cream with the eggs in a bowl, and then stir in the orange mixture.

Roll out the pastry. Grease a 24cm shallow pie tin, and line it with the pastry. Place the pie base on a baking tray, and pout the filling mixture into the base (do not overfill).

Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. Serves 6-8.