Sunday, November 11

Lemon macaroon tarts


Every year J and I take a trip down the coast and come back with kilos lemons from his parent's coast house. The trees are magical, they get very little love and attention but every year around August they become covered in lemons of all shapes and sizes so every year I have to come up with new ways to use lemons.

So when I saw this recipe on Evan's Kitchen Ramblings I knew I had to make something similar. I couldn't make the exact recipe as I had the intention of making these for a celiac friend and, well, pastry is gluten central.


Sure, I could have made gluten free pastry but I've tried that before and it was, to be completely honest, a disaster. I won't doubt that the issue was me but I wasn't game enough to try again.

Instead I opted for a macaroon base which was perfect as it was extremely simple and an excellent way to use up the egg whites I had stashed in my freezer.

As the base is macaroon it is extremely coconut-y tasting if you don't like coconut this isn't for you. However I would definitely recommend making the filling and using it in something else as it's seriously good.

Lemon macaroon tarts

Adapted from Simple Essentials: Chocolate by Donna Hay and Desserts by Pierre Herme

makes six 10cm (3 1/4") x 2.5cm (1") or seven 10cm (3 1/4") x 2cm (3/4") tarts

Macaroon base
  • 3 egg whites
  • 165g (5 3/4oz) sugar
  • 255g (7 7/8oz) unsweetened, dessiccated coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 140°C (280°F). Grease and line the bases of 8 10 tart tins.
  2. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and coconut in a large bowl. Once thoroughly mixed divide evenly between the tart dishes. Press mixture firmly over the base and up the sides, using the back of a spoon if necessary.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until macaroon shells are firm and lightly golden. Cool then remove from the tins.
Lemon filling
  • 240g (1 cup) castor sugar
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 330ml (3/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 295g (10.5 oz) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  1. Place a saucepan of water of heat and bring it to a simmer. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl. Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
  2. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking gently, until the cream thickens and reaches 82°C (180°F). You will see the cream turn from light and foamy in the beginning to thick and smooth as it nears the correct temperature. When the whisk starts to leave tracks the cream is nearly finished. Be patient, it could take as long as 10 minutes for the mixture to cook.
  3. As soon as the cream reaches the correct temperature, remove it from the heat and strain it into a blender or food processor. Cool the cream to 60°C (140°F), or for about 10 minutes.
  4. Working with the blender or food processor on high speed, add the pieces of butter about 5 at a time. Blend until combined, scraping down as required. Continue until all the pieces of butter are combined, then blend on high speed for another 3-4 minutes to ensure the cream is perfectly smooth.
  1. Spoon the lemon cream into the cooled coconut shell. Transfer to the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until set.

Tuesday, August 14



I am utterly in love with spiced biscuits and breads. They're so warming when it's awful and cold outside. They remind me that winter isn't so bad and summer is just around the corner.

These gingerbread where supposed to be rolled with a patterned rolling pin but, I don't know about you, but I'm just not fancy enough to own one. So, instead I just cut them into boring circles and flicked the glaze over the top. They're not nearly as pretty as they would be if they had a cute pattern all over them but you can't have everything.

This recipe is probably my new favourite. They're quite spicy and very clove-y. Which is fine, if you like cloves. If you don't, I'd use a bit less than the recipe suggests or leave the cloves out altogether. If you're after a more subtle spiced taste these are not what you're after. if you're after warming winter-y gingerbread this recipe hits the nail on the head.

I also swapped out some of the treacle for golden syrup, as treacle is a bit too strong for me in such large quantities. I'm sure these biscuits are great either away. I'm glad I finally moved this recipe off my "to make" list and on to the "to make again" list.


From Tartine by E. Prueitt & C. Robertson

Makes about 24 biscuits

  • 525g (3 3/4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 225g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 70g (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoons) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 75g (1/4 cup) molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 75g (1/4 cup) golden syrup
  • 40ml (2 tablespoons) light corn syrup
  • 115g (1 cups) icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons water
  1. To make the dough, sift the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugars and continue to mix on high until the mixture is smooth and soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl if required. Add the egg and beat on low until combined.
  4. Add the molasses, golden syrup, and corn syrup and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture and beat on low until the mixture forms a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Turn the dough out on to a piece of plastic wrap; flatten it into a rectangle about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  7. When you are ready to bake the gingerbread, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a tray with baking paper or a non-stick liner.
  8. Roll the dough out to be about 1.5cm (2/3 inch) thick. Using cutters, cut the dough into the desired shapes. Transfer the shapes to the baking tray, spacing them about 2.5cm (1 inch) apart. You may need to make multiple trays, if so - store the trays in the fridge until required.
  9. Bake the biscuits until they are golden around the outside but still soft to touch on in the centre, about 10 minutes.
  10. While the biscuits are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.
  11. When the biscuits are baked, remove them from the oven and cool on the tray for about 5 minutes. Then, while the biscuits are still warm, flick the glaze over the top and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Monday, June 25

Orange profiteroles

orange profiteroles

I'm a sucker for anything that contains custard and pastry, and in you add caramel to the combo I'm pretty much in heaven. So, it's no secret that I love profiteroles.

That being said, I don't make them quite as much as I would like. There's a good reason for this and it's not because they're complicated, it's because when I do make them I can't resist eating them. All of them. In a very short period of time.

For this reason, I only make them for friends. Sure, I still devour the delicious morsels but instead of eating the whole batch I only get 2 or 3. Sure, I'd like to eat them all but there aren't enough hours in the day to work off all those eggs or enough toothpaste to brush away all that delicious caramel.

orange profiteroles

Essentially what I'm saying is there's nothing good in a profiterole but it's okay because they're delicious. These ones are especially delicious as they have a subtle orange flavour. Essentially they're just a variation of these ones with a slightly better pastry cream recipe.

And yes, my bottoms got a little brown - hopefully yours won't do the same!

Orange profiteroles

adapted from Gourmet Traveller, July 2007 and The Art and Soul of Baking

Makes about 16

Orange pastry cream
  • 170ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 60ml (1/2 cup) orange juice
  • 35g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

Combine the milk and orange zest in a medium saucepan and heat until the mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let it steep for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the milk and zest mixture and return to a clean saucepan. Heat the milk just below boiling point and remove from the heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar until well blended. Add the flour and orange juice and whisk until very smooth. Pour 1/2 a cup of hot milk into the yolk mixture, making sure you whisk constantly. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk, whisking all the while

Heat the mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumping, until it reaches the boil. Continue cooking for a about a minute or until the pastry cream is very thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Stain the mixture into a clean bowl.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the surface of the hot pastry cream. Set the bowl in a bowl of water and cool to room temperature. Once cool, use or store in the refrigerator until required

Choux pastry
  • 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • caster sugar
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F), line a large tray with baking paper.

Combine butter, salt, water, and sugar in a large sauce pan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in the centre of the pan. Remove from the heat and stand for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with the wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture will become matte when the egg is fully incorporated.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large 1cm (1/2 inch) nozzle. Pipe 5cm-diameter mounds about 4cm high on the paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 180°C (350°F) for another five minutes. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

Orange caramel
  • 140g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 50ml (1/8 cup) lemon juice
  • 75ml (1/4 cup) water

Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and bring to the boil, cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture in a caramel colour. Remove from heat.

To assemble the profiteroles

Before cooking the caramel, fill a piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm (1/4 inch) plain nozzle with pastry cream. Insert the nozzle into a profiterole and squeeze the bag to fill. Set aside on a plate or wire rack.

Cook the caramel, careful dip the tops of the profiteroles in it and arrange the finished profiteroles on a plate. Serve fresh.

Friday, April 20

Honey cheesecake with walnut biscotti


Unfortunately, for this post I only have part of the recipe to offer up. It's also the least featured part in the pictures. That's right, it's the biscotti recipe. The bisoctti that you can see only a tiny portion of on the right handside of the above picture. Opps.

You see, I lost the cheesecake recipe. Which is kind of upsetting because it was pretty delicious. I'm a big fan of unbaked cheesecake so if anyone can recommend a recipe that'd be great as I don't have one anymore.

On the plus side, these biscotti are pretty delcious. They smell of three varieties of citrus, yum! In them there's orange, lemon, and lime. It's quite lovely. They also have walnuts, I have a soft spot for so to me they're a combination of all good things. I used them instead of store bought biscuits for the base of these mini cheesecakes. I totally recommend you should do the same next time you make cheesecakes, that is if you happen to have uneaten biscotti lying around the house. Which you probably don't because who can resist tasty, tasty biscotti?

Walnut biscotti

Makes 24 biscotti

For the Biscotti
  • 200g Plain flour, plus extra
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.

Place the flour, sugar, cloves, baking powder, grated citrus zests, and fennel seeds in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, beat the whole eggs and yolks together. Pour the beaten egg mixture into the well in the centre of the dry ingredients and mix together to form a sticky dough. Add extra flour until you are able shape the dough, I found I needed to add a lot more flour than the recipe called for. Add the walnuts and mix to combine.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the top and roll the dough into a sausage about 30cm long.

Transfer the dough to the lined baking tray, sticking any cracks back together. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and set.

Remove the log from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the log to a chopping board and, with a serrated knife, cut the biscotti into 1.5cm slices.

Put the slices back on to the baking tray and return them to the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C and bake the slices for 15-20 minutes. Remove the biscotti from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, March 31

Chocolate and nut muffins


Typically I like my muffins light and fluffy with a crispy top, but there are times when I crave something dense and packed with delicious. Something that feels wicked in a way a light muffin never could. I think for those times I found the perfect recipe.

The recipe for these muffins was originally meant for a loaf tin, but mid-way through making I realised I didn't actually own a loaf tin. I know most people check these things before they start a recipe but, hey, I thought I owned one and the recipe calls for 10 minutes of beating so I figured I could grease and line the pan then.

Not owning a loaf pan didn't strike me as a big deal, I figured I could just make muffins instead... Then I realised I don't own a muffin pan either. Seriously, what kind of kitchen do I have? Fortunately, I do own a lot of dariole tins so I figured they would do, unfortunately they don't fit any of my cute muffin papers. Muffins without cute papers wrapping their bases taste the same but they're nowhere near as cute. So I vowed to buy a muffin tin, which I haven't done yet and probably won't do.


Not one to be deterred by a lack of appropriate equipment I decided to pucker on and boy was it worth it. These are chocolate and nut central. Yum yum.

If you do own the right equipment you can of course make this in a load pan. According to the recipe you'll need a 22cm x 12 cm (9" x 5") loaf pan and you'll need to bake the load for 60-70 minutes rather than 30-40.

Chocolate and nut muffins

  • 210g (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 130 (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 140g (5 ounces) almond paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 65g (1/3 cup) almonds, blanched and chopped
  • 70g (1/3 cup) pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 55g (1/3 cup) walnuts, chopped
  • 85g (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 185g (6 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Centre an oven rack and preheat the oven to 180°C (250°F). Grease or line 12 standard muffin cups.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

Put the sugar and almond paste in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the almond paste breaks up and mixes with the sugar; it would resemble damp sand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition.

Replace the paddle attachment the paddle with the whisk attachment, increase the speed to high, and beat for 8-10 minutes, until the ingredients have formed an emulsion - the batter should resemble mayonnaise and the whisk will leave tracks.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the milk, mix until combine, and then add the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until everything is combined.

Working with a rubber spatula, fold in almonds, followed by the pecans, walnuts, and chocolate. Lastly, gently fold in the melted butter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmolding. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool to room temperature. The muffins can be served the same day, or wrapped in plastic wrap and allowed to 'ripen' for a day before serving.

Friday, February 24

Chocolate orange crème caramel


I wish I could make a perfect crème caramel, with beautiful smooth sides and the perfect amount of caramel pooling on the top and around the edges but I can't. I can make a tasty, delicious crème caramel but like most things I make it always has a certain degree of wonky-ness about it. In some ways it's quite charming but in others it's not the desired effect.

I read somewhere that having your caramel perfectly solid when you pour the custard into the ramekin helps achieve the smooth texture. So I attempted that. I poured the caramel into the ramekins, took a shower, got a haircut, and did a little bit of shopping. A few hours later, I made the custard. Surely, I said to myself, the caramel will be set by now and I'll have beautiful, smooth crème caramels.


Well, apparently not. There must be some other trick I'm missing and if you know it (or any old wives tales about perfect crème caramels) I would appreciate some insight. Because, seriously, mine are pitted like nobody's business. They're adolescent crème caramels and they really want to become smooth skinned adults.

On the plus side though, they are delicious and taste just like jaffas.

Chocolate orange crème caramel

Adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet

Makes four 125ml custards

For the custard
  • 340ml(1 1/3cups) full cream milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115g (4oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the caramel lining
  • 85ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 135gg (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
To flavour the custard

Heat the milk, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan over low heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for 1 to 1/2 hours, until the orange flavour is strong.

To make the caramel lining

Pour the water into a small saucepan and add the sugar and cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Increase the heat to high and boil the syrup rapidly until it turns a deep golden brown. Remove from the heat and immediately divide the caramel among the cups, swirling to distribute the caramel halfway up the sides. Set the cups in a roasting pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To make the custards

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) and position an oven rack in the centre.

Uncover the saucepan of lime-infused milk and place it back over medium heat. Reheat until the mixture begins to simmer.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. pour about 1/2 a cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Once blended, whisk in another 1/2 cup. Then, slowly pour in the rest of the milk mixture. Add the chocolate and continue to whisk until it is completely melted through.

Strain the mixture into a jug and discard the zest. Divide the custard among the cups in the pan. Pull out the oven rack, place the pan on it, then pout enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides. Cover the pan in aluminium foil, ensuring it does not touch the top of the cups. Push the rack back into the oven and close the door. Make the custards for 30-40 minutes or until the centres are no longer wobbly

Remove the foil and then the pan from the oven, being careful not to splash water on to the custards. Immediately remove the cups from the water bath and place them on a rack to cool. Once cool, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate or at least 4 hours, until cold.

30 minutes before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature. To unmold the custards, run a small knife around the edge of a cup. Place a serving plate over the top, then, holding the two together, invert the. The custard should slide out on to the plate. Repeat until all the custards are unmolded.

Sunday, January 22


Until last year I'd never had tiramisu. I'm not quite sure why not, I'd just never tried it. It's such a classic dessert and yet I'd never even tasted it.

Last year I made it, bu never photographed it because it was huge, and in a pie dish, and kind of fell apart when it was dished. It was also all eaten before I got the chance to even attempt to make it aesthetically pleasing.

This time, I decided to make an effort to ensure at least some of my tiramisu was dressed up enough to be photographed. As result, my photos are some what misleading. This recipe actually makes a rather large tiramisu and I didn't serve it all in cute, tiny glasses. No, that would have involved a lot of washing up and me actually having enough small, glass ramekins - which I don't.

I don't know if this is the best tiramisu recipe out there as I have no benchmark to compare it to. However,, my untainted palette thinks this is very good, extremely rich, and best enjoyed in small to medium quantities with friends.


From Goons with Spoons

Makes one 22cm x 33cm (9" X13") cake

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 250ml (1 cup) heavy cream
  • 110g (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) port
  • 250ml-500ml (1-2 cups) espresso or strong coffee
  • bittersweet chocolate, grated
  • mascarpone cheese
  • about 30 ladyfingers

Add two teaspoons of sugar to the hot coffee, set aside to cool.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks by hand until they lighten in colour, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and port, whisk until completely incorporated.

Simmer about an inch of water in a small pot, place the bowl of egg yolk mixture on top; make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Heat the egg yolk mixture, whisking the entire time. Allow the custard to thicken to ribbon stage, about 5 minutes, it should fall off the whisk when you lift it and remain on top of the custard for a moment.

In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone until smooth. Add the custard and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture; ensure there are no streaks in the mixture.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to firm peaks. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.

Pour the coffee into a medium sized shallow bowl. Place the dish you'll be putting the finished tiramisu in next to the bowl of coffee. Dip a ladyfinger into the coffee for a second, flip the ladyfinger to the other side for another second, then pull it out and place it in the serving dish. Try to avoid letting the coffee drip off the ladyfinger. Repeat until you have a layer of ladyfingers covering the bottom of the serving dish.

Spread a generous layer of mascarpone cream over the top of the lady fingers. Sprinkle the cream with a layer of chocolate. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and chocolate. Cover the tiramisu and refrigerate for 3 hours.