Just as delicious as it is beautiful, this dessert is always a wonderful centerpiece for a Christmas holiday celebration.
I cannot decide which I like better, the French cuisine for its delicate foods and desserts or the Australian for its wholesome, unique foods. So I tend to sample both often. I teach an Australian class during the summer for a local school district and prepare damper, pavlova and laminations whenever I teach it so that the kids not only learn about the land and its culture, but also their cuisine. The food is always a hit.
French dishes are often made with butter, cream, wine and liquors, so many can be weight producing, but taste light and dreamy. It is best to eat these as intending; in European sized portions. The pastries and chocolate desserts are absolutely heavenly.
Australian dishes range from Chinese influences to foods used by the first settlers from England. I love to search out unique foods and Australia was no exception. I had Moreton Bay bugs in Queensland, which tasted like lobster and sampled kangaroo in the outback. My palette, along with my heart, longs for the taste of Oz food on the shores of that country once again, especially their seafood, which is always a great idea.
This is one dessert that I have made countless times. It is light and extremely delicious and can be adapted to many different holidays. The base is a meringue and is topped with either whipped cream, or in this case, a combination of whipped cream and mascarpone. It is always covered with a generous helping of fruit. My favorite it passion fruit and kiwi topping. (A tribute to the two countries who claim it as their own; Australia and New Zealand.)
One of the iconic Australian desserts, lamingtons are made with a vanilla scratch cake dipped in chocolate syrup and rolled in shredded coconut. Also called "Wombat Cakes", lamingtons are a treat usually served at parties and showers. Kids love them!!!
I have made this dinner many times, usually at Christmas or Easter as lamb can be quite pricy here in Wisconsin. But when it is made correctly, it is oh so yummy! (Always use lamb, not mutton.) I use the recipe I got from an Australian cooking book I picked up in Australia the first time I visited, but the recipe below is very similar. Just add fried squash and carrots, along with potatoes at the end to make this delicious meal!
This is a rich, yummy dish using chicken, brandy, and burgundy wine. Very easy to make and can be whipped up very quickly. I would suggest using burgandy instead of just a good red wine for this as it tastes richer.
This is a staple of the Australian diet. During my time in Australia in 1988 while student teaching, I was introduced to this treat by my fellow art staff. After being shown how to eat it properly, I bought it many times from the school cafeteria.
I continue to make damper at least once a year for my Australian "G'Day Mate class in the Pulaski School System. This soda bread is a staple for the Australian rancher as it is easily baked over the campfire and can be readily stored.
Everyone has heard of ratatouille, especially if you had kids growing up in the early 2000's. If you have not, it's a quintessential French vegetable dish made with eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini, with a number of herbs and other veggies. This dish is yummy, is a great dish for those who are vegans, and a great way to use up extra squash and tomatoes from the garden.