Beat the Heat

In Australia, February is the hottest month of the year. Obviously, I’m inclined to keep the oven off as much as I can. Enter superb panna cotta recipes. What is a panna cotta? This cream based Italian dessert seems simple to make, the basic recipe includes cream, sugar, vanilla and gelatin. Seems easy enough, right? Well, sort of… A perfect panna cotta jiggles on the plate and melts in your mouth. So you need the perfect ratio. That’s what I’m here for today.

I will share with you my recipe for raspberry panna cotta today. I use raspberry puree and I add a touch of vanilla to the mix too. You can serve this in a lovely dessert glass or you can use dariole moulds to set them and turn them out. I like mine simple with a little sprinkling of pistachios, a couple of fresh raspberries and some dried rose petals give it a hint of another flavour. It’s light and enjoyable and won’t leave you feeling guilty for having dessert.

This is also a perfect dessert to serve on a Valentine’s Day dinner or any romantic dinner, really. You can make it the day before and just focus on flowers and the rest of dinner on the day. Add a chocolate heart to make it extra romantic!

Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy

Raspberry Panna Cotta

Serves 4


0/9 Ingredients


0/7 Instructions
  • Lightly oil, 4 200mL panna cotta moulds or 4 nice dessert cups.
  • Blend the raspberries and water until super smooth then push through a fine sieve. You should yield 150mL. Set aside.
  • Bloom gelatin in cold water. In a saucepan, bring cream, vanilla and sugar to the boil. Turn off the heat and add 150mL of raspberry puree. Stir until incorporated.
  • Squeeze off excess water from gelatin and add to cream mix. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. If you want to make the panna cotta more pink, add a drop of red food gel and stir until it blends together.
  • Strain panna cotta using a fine sieve and divide between 4 moulds. Set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or longer if turning out.
  • To serve: you can turn out the panna cotta onto a plate by breaking the seal between the panna cotta and the mould by pressing the panna cotta edge lightly with your finger until you create an air pocket. Then turn it over onto a plate. Otherwise, you can serve them in the cups you have set them in.
  • Decorate with crushed pistachios and fresh raspberries.

So you made my Lemon Drizzle cake but didn’t finish it? You’ll be the first, but don’t throw out your leftover cake just yet, make it into another dessert that you could enjoy!

Now, if leftover lemon cake isn’t your problem and you’re simply looking for a trifle recipe, that’s fine too! You can bake 1 recipe of my Lemon Drizzle cake in a large loaf pan and skip the syrup and glaze.

Mrs. Fancypants Lemon Drizzle cake, who could resist??? Click on the photo for the recipe.

Today I’m sharing with you my Raspberry & Lemon Trifle. This dessert has 4 components:

  1. Lemon cake
  2. Raspberry compote
  3. Lemon curd
  4. Plain natural yogurt

So we have the lemon cake recipe covered, now the raspberry compote is pretty straight forward. You’ll need frozen raspberries, sugar and water. Bring to the boil in a pot until the sugar dissolves then turn the heat off. So that’s easy too.

Most trifle recipes call for custard, to be honest, I used lemon curd because I have plenty of lemons and I wanted to make my trifle colourful and I definitely achieved that. This trifle is so pretty it looks like Christmas! The best part is, it takes less than 15 minutes to make this lemon curd, plus 5 minutes for the compote, all this while your cake is in the oven, and if you already have leftover cake, then this dessert will take you less than an hour to assemble. No one would think that when they see it though, I mean how pretty is it???

So when you have everything ready, it’s time to layer. I recommend dividing the cake, curd and compote into three. Then take 2 generous spoons of the compote out and into a bowl and reserve for later. Then you start layering the cake, lemon curd then raspberry compote, you will have 3 layers with the lemon curd on top. Let it set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Divide your cake, lemon curd and compote into three to make layering easy. You should end up with lemon curd on top just like above.

When you’re about to serve, mix the fresh raspberries and the reserved compote together. Dollop the yogurt on top of the trifle then finish with the raspberry mix. if you have some mint handy, take the baby leaves a sprinkle on top, otherwise, it’s beautiful the way it is.

So what do you think? Isn’t it pretty? And you didn’t have to throw out leftover cake, double win! Now, servings… This is a “small” trifle, but it still serves 5-6 people depending on how much you love dessert. And don’t we all love dessert?

If you make this recipe, have any questions, or comments, please feel free to comment below. If you post photos on social media, I’d love to see them so use #mrsfancypantsrecipes or tag! Enjoy your trifle and happy baking!

Difficulty: Easy

Raspberry and Lemon Trifle

Serves 6-8


  • Lemon curd:
  • Raspberry compote:


0/7 Instructions
  • Make the cake and cut it up into small pieces or if you have leftover cake, cut it up into small pieces.
  • Lemond curd:
  • Place all ingredients except for butter in a medium bowl on top of a double boiler. Whisk continuously until the lemon curd thickens and coats the back of the spoon. If you have a thermometer, cook to 75C.
  • Take off from the double boiler and whisk in the butter one by one. Set aside to cool.
  • Raspberry compote:
  • Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan, mix together. Bring to the boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool down.
  • Assemble:
  • Divide the cake pieces, yogurt or cream, lemon curd and compote into 3. Take 2 heaping tablespoons of the compote and place it in a bowl for later.
  • Line the bottom of a small trifle bowl with 1/3 of the cake pieces. Layer 1/3 of compote then 1/3 of the lemon curd and 1/3 of the yogurt/cream. Repeat until you have 3 layers, the yogurt/cream should be on top. Let set in the fridge.
  • Before serving, gently toss the fresh raspberries in the reserved raspberry compote and spoon on top of the trifle.


  1. Here is the recipe for my Lemon Drizzle Cake, just make the cake base in a loaf pan if you're making from scratch.

If you’re looking for an alternative flourless cake, try my hazelnut chocolate cake! I made this for a girlfriend’s birthday, I wanted something more “adult” if that makes sense. Less sweet, and easy to put together but still delicious, moist and pretty. Perfect with a cup of tea or an espresso martini!

When I make this cake, I like to use whole hazelnuts and roast them then grind them in a food processor. You can use store-bought hazelnut meal for your cake, if you can find it in your local grocery store. I use real hazelnut paste with no sugar added, these are sold in specialty baking stores, but I’ve also used Nutella and it worked too. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute 50 mL of strong coffee or espresso.

You can make this cake as simple or as special as you want, I recommend finishing it with the crunchy pearls or chopped hazelnuts for texture but a few ideas if you don’t want to bother with making a ganache:

  • You can serve the cake by itself with just a dusting of cocoa powder.
  • You can top with Chantilly cream then dust with cocoa powder.
  • You can whip some cream and icing sugar together then fold in some cocoa powder to make a chocolate cream.

If you bake this cake, make sure you let me know what you think in the comments section below or tag on your social media post! Happy baking everyone!

Difficulty: Easy

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 x 20cm cake


  • Dark Chocolate Ganache


0/8 Instructions
    Make the ganache:
  • Chop chocolate and dice butter. Place in a medium bowl.
  • Bring the cream to the boil and pour on top of the dark chocolate and butter. Let stand for 2 minutes then stir vigorously until smooth and glossy. Set aside until fully set.
  • Optional step: If you want your ganache to be lighter. Whip the set ganache with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Make the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 20cm cake tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix brown butter, sugar, salt, frangelico and hazelnut paste.
  • Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Pour into lined cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Remove cake from tin and cool down completely. This will take about 1 more hour.
  • Using an offset spatula, dollop and spread the ganache on top of the cake. If you're feeling fancy, you can choose to use a piping tip. Sprinkle with crunchy pearls or chopped hazelnuts.


  1. Hazelnut paste is sold in specialty shops, but I have tested this with Nutella, and it works as well, its just has a stronger chocolate flavour.
  2. Callebaut also has crunchy pearls, and both Valrhona and Callebaut are sold in specialty shops, however, chopped hazelnuts can also be used as a replacement.
  3. If you don't feel like making chocolate ganache, don't fret, top the cake with some chocolate cream by whipping 1 cup cream and 2tbsp icing sugar until medium then folding in some sifted cocoa powder.

I love a good cheesecake, and a lot of people I know do too. The only problem is, they say they get disappointed each time they order a cheesecake for dessert. To be honest, I agree… The cheesecake game is not strong in Sydney, however, I am hoping to change that! My cheesecakes are my most requested dishes to bring to family and friends’ events. I am not joking when I say that since I started selling cakes online, my cheesecakes combined make up 75% of the online orders, not including bespoke events and custom cakes. So if you’re not the bake it from scratch type, check out my kitchen to see my different cheesecakes by clicking the button above or order this cheesecake below!

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This recipe is perfect for summer because it doesn’t require an oven, it is also quite easy to make, but it’s essential to use good quality chocolate. I didn’t use any gelatine in this recipe, so the ganache helps set your cheesecake. The recipe is basically mix and chill. Chilling is at least 4 hours to give it ample time to set. This is definitely not gluten-free or dairy-free but since there are no eggs, this is safe for pregnant women.

I love this with seasonal fruit, but you can have it by itself. I you make this, let me know what you think via the comments section below. This is a crowd-pleaser without being too challenging to make, all you need to do is to make sure your ingredients are room temperature! Aside from that, you can keep your ovens off and smile at the fact that there is no chance that this cheesecake would crack. Good luck!

Difficulty: Medium

White Chocolate Cheesecake

makes 1 x 20cm (8’ springform)


    For the crust
  • For the filling


0/5 Instructions
    First melt the chocolate:
  • Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small pot, bring cream to the boil then pour on top of the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool down.
  • Now make the crust:
  • In a large bowl, mix digestive biscuit crumbs and brown butter until it resembles wet sand. Take a 20cm (8in) round springform pan and press crumbs into the bottom and all the way up the sides with the back of a measuring cup. Chill until filling is done.*
  • For the filling:
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, whisk cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy then add yogurt and vanilla then whisk for 1 minute. Turn up mixer to high speed then add sugar a spoonful at a time and mix until smooth.
  • Turn mixer down add the melted chocolate and cream. Then whisk on high until smooth. Pour filling into prepared pan, then with a hot offset spatula or spoon, flatten the top. Chill to set for at least 4 hours.
  • To serve:
  • Top with fresh mango slices, berries, passionfruit pulp, caramelised pineapple, the list is endless. Use a hot knife to cut a slice and wipe it after each time you cut into the cheesecake to get a clean slice.


  • Graham crackers is not readily available in Australian supermarkets, so I have now adjusted to using digestive biscuits and Oreo cookies for my cheesecake crusts. I use the Oreo cream too, so there’s no wastage. If you don’t like a chocolate crust or if chocolate doesn’t go with your filling, you may use golden Oreos instead, or digestive biscuits are really good. When using Oreos for the recipe, reduce the brown butter to 80g because the cream helps hold the crust together.
  • Measurement of brown butter is based on yield after unsalted butter has been cooked. Please watch this video on how to make brown butter or beurre noisette.
  • If yogurt is unavailable, you may substitute sour cream. I prefer yogurt because it’s texture is lighter than sour cream and cream cheese. 
  • Pressing the crumbs all the way up the springform pan takes practice and patience, so don’t give up on it too easily if you love having good cheesecake to crust ratio. Just take your time and you’ll get the hang of it. If you do not want the crust all the way around the sides of your cheesecake, use only 1/2 of the crust recipe above. This should be enough to cover the bottom plus a few spoonfuls extra for snacking.