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The blogging community is an amazing thing. I've met so many incredible people through blogging and some have become life long friends. I was really excited when bloggers, Sara of Belly Rumbles and Amanda of Chew Town announced that they were hosting The Sweet Swap for Australian food & lifestyle bloggers!

The concept behind The Sweet Swap is that each blogger is matched with three other bloggers who each mail off parcels of homemade sweets to their matches. I loved the surprise factor involved. None of us knew who had us, only who we had to send sweets to!

What hooked me onto The Sweet Swap though, was that it was partnering with ChildFund, an organisation which works to eliminate the effects of poverty for children in developing countries. One of the focuses of their work is nutrition and food security. Our registration fee for The Sweet Swap was donated to help improve nutrition for children and their families.

I'm not very good at making sweets at all, as it often involves measuring ingredients and following a recipe with careful precision. I'm the type of carefree home-cook who likes to cook on a whim. Things have been crazy on my end lately, so the last thing I wanted was a dessert flop in the kitchen. It wouldn't be fair if my three matches received no sweets at all! Paired with my recent weight loss success (I've lost 10kg since my heaviest last year!!), I decided to try a few recipes from Raw Food by Erica Palmcrantz and Irmela Lilja and spread the joy of eating super healthy. Healthy doesn't have to be boring.

The Sweet Swap by Australian food bloggers - raw protein balls

I couldn't decide between three recipes so ended up making them all! My trio of raw vegan truffle balls were:

  • Cashew, lime and coconut (my fave of the three!)
  • Black sesame, anise and carob "licorice"
  • Ginger, cinnamon, fig and walnut

Raw vegan balls

I can't stress how easy these are to make. Once you have all the ingredients laid out, it's just a matter of throwing them into the food processor!

They're so nutritious and really do hit the spot when you reach three-thirtyitis.

Cashew, lime and coconut raw truffle balls

Black sesame, anise and carob licorice-style raw vegan balls

Cashew Balls with Lime and Coconut
Recipe from Raw Food by Erica Palmcrantz and Irmela Lilja

Makes 6 - 8 table tennis sized balls

Ingredients
1 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup raisins
Pinch of salt
Zest from 1 lime
1 or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Coconut flakes, for rolling

Method
Coarsely chop the cashew nuts in a food processor.

Add raisins and mix until the ingredients congeal.

Add the salt, lime zest, and lemon juice.

Mix thoroughly.

Roll the dough into balls, and roll them in coconut flakes.


 

Ginger and Cinnamon Balls
Recipe from Raw Food by Erica Palmcrantz and Irmela Lilja

Makes 6 - 8 table tennis sized balls

Ingredients
4 dried figs
4 fresh dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Chopped walnuts, for rolling

Method
Put the ingredients in a food processor, mix until it becomes like dough.

Add extra lime, ginger and cinnamon if desired.

Make small balls, and roll them into walnuts.

Freeze the extras and you've got a quick fix for the next time you want something sweet!


Licorice Balls
Recipe from Raw Food by Erica Palmcrantz and Irmela Lilja

Makes 6 - 8 table tennis sized balls

Ingredients
1 cup tahini (Blend 1 cup raw sesame seeds in a blender, then add 1/2 cup of either canola or flaxseed oil until you achieve a consistency like peanut butter)
4 tablespoons black sesame seeds, ground
Pinch of sea salt
4 teaspoons carob powder
2 1/2 teaspoons anise
Whole black sesame seeds, for rolling

Method
Coarsely Blend all the ingredients in a bowl. Use a little more or less carob and anise, depending on your taste preferences.

Roll the balls in the whole sesame seeds.


Surprise sweets delivery from Jenius for The Sweet Swap

My packages were loosely wrapped with gold paper, paper doilies and twine and posted out.

In return, here's what I received:

The Sweet Swap - fudge
Chocolate, rum & raisin fudge, and vanilla fudge, by Nic Cooks

The Sweet Swap - moustaches
Chocolate and peanut butter moutsaches, raspberry and white chocolate ganache moustaches, and dark chocolate freckle moustaches by Natasha of Playing House

The Sweet Swap - caramelised nuts
Sweet and salty bites...caramelised nuts by Shari of Good Food Week

Click on The Sweet Swap logo below to see all the sweet treats other bloggers created!

The Sweet Swap


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To celebrate the launch of the new additions to the Tefal Heritage range, I was recently invited to cook with award-winning chef and Tefal ambassador, Guillaume Brahimi!

If you haven't heard already, Guillaume will be leaving the Sydney Opera House at the end of the year, so this experience at Guillaume at Bennelong was definitely once in a lifetime!

Much like my wardrobe, I always say it's worth investing in a few classic designer pieces. Practical and durable, these new Tefal Heritage additions are under $200 each and would make the perfect housewarming or wedding gift! Having quality basics really does set the foundation for a chic outfit or cooking restaurant-quality effortlessly at home.

Guillaume Brahimi and Tefal Heritage at Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume comments, "I have grown up using Tefal cookware and what I love about the brand is that it inspires the everyday chef. I have created these new recipes to highlight the benefits of using quality cookware in the kitchen and show that you too can prepare delicious, healthy meals in the home. It is with Tefal pots and pans that I have gone from cooking at home to cooking in some of the best restaurants in the world."

Guillaume Brahimi and Tefal Heritage

The advanced technology of the 'Thermo-Spot' tells you when the pan is at 180 degrees - the perfect temperature to start cooking. The 'Thermo-Spot' takes the guess work out of cooking and allows you to cook like a chef in your own home.

We're split into teams; the first group prepares scallops with artichoke and balsamic beurre noisette. I have a terrible habit of over-cooking scallops but the Tefal Heritage Grill Pan here seems to be making all the difference.

Guillaume instructs the team to heat the pan over high heat. Once the pan has reached 180 degrees, the writing on the Thermo-Spot disappears so you know the temperature is ready to go. Add oil, cook scallops until golden brown on one side (approx 40 seconds) then flip them over and cook for a further 10 seconds. That's all that is required.

scallops with artichoke and balsamic beurre noisette

The next group prepares a rib eye of beef with crispy kipfler potatoes and horseradish cream. The meat is seasoned with olive oil, half a bunch of thyme, some bay leaves and half a head of garlic. It is sealed on the stove-top then finished off in the oven for 15 minutes on each side. The beauty of having these Tefal pieces is being able to throw them into the oven without worrying about plastic handles or whatnot!

rib eye of beef with thyme, bay leaves and garlic on Tefal Heritage grill pan

The fragrance from searing this rib eye was incredible! Isn't it amazing what 5 ingredients can produce if you do it well?

The potatoes are then tossed in duck fat, batons of speck, garlic and parsley.

rib eye of beef with crispy kipfler potatoes and horseradish cream

It's time for dessert and I'm paired with the lovely Nikki from Bellamumma. We undoubtly have the easiest task of serving roast pineapple with coconut sorbet.

roast pineapple with coconut sorbet

The sorbet has been prepared in advance so it's just a matter of pan frying the pineapples in caramel and plating up.

Hosting a dinner party should be this easy.

Roast Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet
Tefal Heritage Recipe from Guillaume Brahimi

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 x pineapple- peeled and cored then sliced into 1.5 cm think slices
1 x vanilla bean- scraped
30g clarified butter
100g caster sugar
1TB dark rum

1200ml good quality coconut milk
300ml sugar syrup
300g glucose

Method
Make the sorbet (preferably the day before) by bringing the sugar syrup and glucose to the boil over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and mix. To combine, pass through a fine sieve then churn according to manufacturer's instructions.

In a Tefal Heritage 26cm Frying Pan, melt clarified butter over medium high heat. Add pineapple slices and cook on both sides until golden brown and slightly soft in the middle.

Remove pineapples from pan, wipe clean, then add sugar, return pan to medium heat and allow to melt. When caramel is brown, place the pineapple back into pan. Add rum, vanilla seeds and cook for five more minutes.

Place pineapple slice on plate. Top with caramel/ rum sauce and a scoop of coconut sorbet.

roast pineapple with coconut sorbet recipe by Guillaume Brahimi and Tefal Heritage

Jennifer Lam of Jenius and I Ate My Way Through and Guillaume Brahimi

Since the masterclass, the Tefal Heritage Grill Pan has become a key member in my home kitchen. I've butterflied and grilled large banana prawns and served it with a whole roasted cauliflower, we've grilled wagyu steaks like pros, and even grilled chilli and garlic prawn skewers and served it with grilled potatoes and a simple fennel and orange salad.

Tefal Heritage Grill pan

Tefal Heritage Pot Roast

The Tefal Heritage Grill pan $159.95 and the Tefal Heritage Pot Roast $199.95 are available exclusively at Myer stores. For more information on the Tefal Heritage cookware range, go to tefal.com.au

JENIUS dined at Guillaume at Bennelong and received a Tefal Heritage Grill Pan with compliments of Hausmann Communications and Tefal Heritage


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It is packed full of delicious awesomeness! You can expect to find a behind-the-scenes look at JENIUS, plus a re-cap of recent eats and fresh stories, and sometimes we throw in exclusive giveaways!

Here is the latest issue:
Issue#28 December 2012
ABOUT

JENIUS is Jennifer Lam's gourmet logbook covering restaurant reviews, thoughts on trialled kitchen appliances & gadgets, tested and tasted recipes & cookbooks, travel stories and her quest to discover and preserve her family heritage and its cuisine.

Jennifer is a twenty-something Sydneysider living the dream - having switched her successful career in advertising for the life of a Gen-Y entrepreneur. Her current business interests include I Ate My Way Through food tours and The Bamboo Garden boutique digital agency.

More about JENIUS »

Tours for food lovers around Sydney and beyond - I Ate My Way Through guided culinary tours

Buy my book - I Ate My Way Through Singapore and Vietnam, by Jennifer Lam, editor and photographer of JENIUS

As mentioned in The Age Epicure and SMH

As seen in SBS Food's Featured Foodie and Featured Recipe

I Ate My Way Through Granville featured in Parramatta Advertiser's article on A Stroll to Lebanon

Jennifer Lam, Editor of JENIUS, a nominee in Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Female Women Of The Year Awards 2010 - Blogger Category

As seen in The Address magazine - Insider's Guide to Sydney food

As seen on Sunrise on 7

As featured in 9to5's Cover Story

As featured in CLEO magazine: gastro porn article

As Seen In Nine to Five Magazine

As Seen In Ciao Magazine

As Seen In mX Newspaper

JENIUS featured in We Be's top five Australian restaurant bloggers

Featured in City Hub and City News




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