Just Desserts

PHOTOS BY: CATHY PROCTOR, BROOKE LARK, CRAIG LEWIS

JUST DESSERTS

Got a sweet tooth? Don’t suffer sub-par pudding just because you’ve gone bush.

I want to have a good body,” said Jason Love, “but not as much as I want dessert.” Unfortunately, that’s Jason Love—a struggling American comedian (main gig: cruise ships)—and not the former AFL player for the Swans and the Demons, Jason ‘Jack’ Love, who retired in 1992. One man is a Californian comic who likes ice cream, the other instigated a wild, bench-clearing melee as coach of the North Cairns Tigers in 2004, punched three opposition players and was banned for eight years. It’s safe to say that neither man is particularly good at impulse control. But when it comes to dessert, who can blame them?

Every meal’s finest course is its last: the sweet, irresistible nightmare of calories that divides people into two categories: people who say they love dessert, and liars. But what about when you’ve gone your own way and are parked up somewhere in the vast Outback— a million miles from the big city’s cheesecake shops and artisanal gelaterias and giant MasterChef croquembouche towers? Fear not. We have the answer, thanks to Cathy Proctor, of The Caravan & Campervan Cookbook. And another bonus: that ‘nightmare of calories’? Not so much. “This couldn’t be simpler to make,” she says, of her self-described ‘healthy’ chocolate mousse. “Sinfully rich and creamy, it is actually quite good for you, too!”

“Every meal’s finest course is its last”

Any one of this trio of recipes will see you right with minimal prep or fancy ingredients—no matter how far you are from home. You just need a chiller, a stick blender, a pie tin and, er, a jar, to create any of the three. Just be advised—some require a little more prep. “The cheesecake in a jar is a recipe that needs to be prepared in advance, but it’s so amazing I couldn’t resist adding it,” says Proctor. “It can also be frozen, as long as you defrost it for about half an hour before indulging.” Enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 ripe avocado, skin and stone removed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt
Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stick mixer and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Divide into two jars or bowls and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
  3. Serve with fresh berries.

NOTE: you can use ½ a banana instead of the avocado. Top with fresh berries when in season.

Cheesecake in a Jar

Cooking time: 5 minutes prep

+ 2 hours chilling time

Serves: 2

BASE LAYER
  • 2 shortbread or digestive biscuits, crush in a ziplock bag
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
LEMON CHEESECAKE LAYER
  • 125gm light or spreadable cream cheese
  • ¼ cup full-cream coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
RASPBERRY LAYER
  • 1 punnet fresh raspberries or ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
Method:

  1. To make base, combine ingredients and press into base of two jars.
  2. To make cheesecake layer, process ingredients in the bowl of a stick mixer and pour over base.
  3. For the raspberry layer, blend the raspberries, maple syrup and chia seeds in the bowl of a stick mixer, then pour over the cheesecake layer.

Paroo Peach Pie

  • 825g can sliced peaches, drained
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup sugar (caster if you have some)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ desiccated coconut
Method:

  1. Arrange peaches over base of a pie dish and put aside.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together and gradually beat in the egg.
  3. Then add dry ingredients and milk and mix until smooth.
  4. Spread the butter mixture over the peaches and sprinkle with the coconut.
  5. Bake in camp oven until golden and top is set. Serve hot with custard.

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