I like to bake all year round, not only in winter. In summer my baked goods are quicker and lighter but at any time of year there are occasions to celebrate. I love Australia Day and am proud to have been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2003. Invariably I choose to go to rural NSW on Australia Day because our food comes from the land. I also like to celebrate in a particularly Australian way and so this month my sweet recipes do just that.
My chocolate brownies have two iconic Australian products in them: native pepperberries and macadamia nuts. I was delighted that using the Billington’s Dark Muscovado sugar with its higher molasses content than standard brown sugar gave my brownies a more intense richness, stickiness and flavour. Finishing off the top by sieving together a combination of cocoa and Billington’s Golden Icing Sugar gave the topping an alluring caramel/chocolate finish. Moreover, as there is no cornflour in the icing sugar, it has a more pure flavour and I’m sure you will find the combination makes for an indulgent Australian treat.
Meringues are also quintessentially Australian and whether you want to make a traditional pavlova or my brown sugar meringues with passionfruit curd, your choice and use of sugar is crucial.
Sugar not only sweetens the egg whites but also helps to create a stronger, more stable structure as individual sugar molecules help support and stabilize the proteins in the delicate egg whites. Superfine sugar dissolves more readily than granulated and is preferable so for a pavlova choose the Billington’s Golden Caster sugar.
However, brown sugar meringues make a lovely change and here I find using equal quantities of Billington’s Golden Caster sugar and Billington’s Light Muscovado sugar gives my meringues some appealing toffee notes without making them too brown. Of course, I used the Billington’s Golden Caster in the passionfruit curd, again because of its extra fine granule size and the slight honey sweetness it added to the passionfruit flavour.
Do try the Billington’s unrefined sugars in these recipes and all your baking for more complex and intriguing flavours. If you missed my recipes in November and December, check these out:
Raspberry Ripple Nougat Parfait
Honey Glazed Ham with Mustard Fruits & Cranberry Relish
Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce, Spiced Carrots & Asparagus
Little Christmas Cakes with Eggnog Buttercream
Happy summer baking!