February 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
It is February already and things seem to be progressing rather slowly with the bakery. However there is no shortage of planing to do while we wait for architects, engineers and builders to pull together the bits they need to do so we can truly get under way. The other day when I was having one of those “my brain doesn’t want to think about spreadsheets, costing or invoicing any more” days, I streamed a couple of episodes of Nigella Lawsons new Italian cooking program Nigellissima. In one of the episodes Nigella made a frozen chocolate meringue ice cream. This inspired me to procrastinate a little further and make an ice cream cake with some of the meringues left from my stall at the markets.
Each week we make a huge batch of meringues that I put in a large glass bowl and perch on top of my market stall. Most of them are sold to people who munch on them straight from the bag looking for an instant Sunday sugar hit. Though some of my customers buy a bag of them when they are having a dinner party to turn into a trifle or Eaton Mess. I thought this frozen dessert was another incredibly simple way to use meringues.
Adapted from Nigella Lawsons Meringue Gelato Cake featured in Nigellissima
For the meringue ice cream
400 ml cream
60 ml rum
2 x Chocolate pistachio meringues broken into pieces (approx 180 grams)
65 grams chopped pistachios
(If you only have plain meringues also add chopped dark chocoalte)
Whip the cream until it holds medium peaks then whisk in the rum. Then fold through the meringues and pistachio nuts. Spread into a rectangular cake tin (110 x 350mm) lined with baking paper or cling wrap and freeze for several hours.
You could stop here and serve the ice cream with Chocolate sauce and berries like Nigella did, but I sandwiched my ice cream between two slabs of brown sugar chiffon cake.
For the brown sugar chiffon cake
155 grams flour
150 grams brown sugar
5 grams baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
60 grams sunflower oil
60 grams egg yolk (approx 3)
80 grams water
5 grams vanilla extract
150 grams egg whites
2 grams of cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius. Place two rectangular cake tins (110 x 350mm) onto a tray lined with baking paper. Do not grease the side of the tin as you want the cake to stick so it doesn’t collapse too much when removed from the oven.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together half the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and water. Whisk this into the flour and mix until well combined. Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until they hold soft peaks and then add the cream of tartar. Then slowly add the sugar and continue until they hold stiff glossy peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in two batches. Spread into the cake tins and cook in the oven for 25-30 min.
65 grams of water
65 grams brown sugar
30 grams of rum
Boil the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly and then pour in the rum.
When the cakes have completely cooled brush the top of one with the rum syrup then place the ice cream slab on top. Brush the top of the other cake with the remaining syrup and invert onto the ice cream. Place the whole cake back into the freezer until it is ready to be served. Dust with icing sugar and slice.
October 6, 2010 § 7 Comments
I had no ideas for Wednesday. Ben suggested I make something that may be served in a french bistro, perhaps a chocolate mousse. The main meal is going to be pork. I suggested a few things which we ummed and arred, nothing sounded good. I said lets leave it for a few hours and I would come up with something to go with chocolate mousse.
I picked up a few cook books nothing jumped out as inspiration. A new cook book was sitting next to the shelf at III Bean; I flicked though and I saw a picture of brioche french toast with poached fruits, and because I want to turn everything into a tart I though I could make a strawberry and brioche tart and the chocolate mousse. Originally I was going to just poke the strawberries into the dough then bake. Then I remembered a Nancy Silverton “youtube” video I had seen with her making a creme fraiche brioche tart, we dropped the mousse and the tart became a “Creme fraiche and strawberry brioche” served with cream. I have no idea if you would be served it in a French bistro but tonight you can have it at III Bean.
I also made creme fraiche for the first time
1 cup of 35% fat cream
2 tbs of buttermilk
Combine and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.
I read a few recipes that suggested I heat the cream to blood temperature like when making yoghurt then stir in the buttermilk and I would do this in winter. Seeing as my kitchen is about 20 degrees C at the moment I just stirred the two together put in a glass jug and sat on the bench for about 16 hours by morning it was thick and tasted divine. I had to stop myself from pouring it all over my bircher muesli. It makes a great alternative to straight cream for a baked custard, and seems less oily.
July 22, 2010 § 6 Comments
When I was about nine-years old my parents took me on this wonderful trip to Europe. We spent christmas in a castle that has been converted into a hotel, which I am sure there are a lot of in Europe but it was pretty magical for a nine-year old. That year for christmas I got given my first camera, and a bottle of rose perfume. The bottle of perfume had a slow leak and the smell of rose permeated everything in my suitcase for the rest of the trip. Even now when I smell rose I am taken back to this holiday. Most of the recollections are of food. Having bocconcini for the first time in a packed lunch, while walking the ruins of Pompeii after my mum had been out shopping and seen people making this strange fresh cheese in a deli. Minestrone soup in Rome after the waiter dropped the first attempt at delivering our meals all over us. Garlic snails in a Greek restaurant Paris while we shared a table with friendly group of people, and at the other end of the table and a little band played. The first time I had polenta was in Venice, and I loved to order oxtail soup and stuffed potatoes in the pubs in country England. The whole time everything smelled of rose. Last stop was America, I rember it beeing so bitterly cold in Washington and the perfect antidote was a huge urn of hot mulled apple cider in the hotel lobby. In America I must of bought some lollies and chocolates becasuse I rember when I got home eating these sweets that were all infused with my rose perfume. The best rose combernation was with the lemon jubes.
A couple of months ago I bought some dried rose buds from the Essential Ingredient, I wanted to make something for a Wednesday night at III Bean inspired by the rose and lemon combination. I didn’t make a tart which was my initial thought. After several failed attempts I decided to make a vanilla mousse cake with a lemon centre and a rose jelly top, I soaked the almond sponge at the base of the cake in a lemon rose sugar syrup. It is a pretty cake and quite different from anything I have made before, but I am very happy with the outcome. Mum and dad; thanks for the holiday all those years ago, and if you are reading this and you feel like revisiting my memory of this holiday I have some spare cakes in the fridge at home.
June 24, 2010 § 1 Comment
About a year ago some friends sent me a picture on from their mobile phone of a strawberry tart they bought after breakfast at Fratelli Paradiso in Sydney, it was topped with a crumble and icing sugar having never got around to going there to buy one this is my interpretation of that little picture on my mobile phone.
February 27, 2010 § 1 Comment
I love to bake with seasonal fruit, I suppose that is why I have been making so many tarts and simple buckle cakes. I do use chocolate and nuts as the basis of some of my cakes and tarts, but it is summer and there is so much beautiful fruit to celebrate. All I feel I need is a fresh fig , a handful of blueberries or a strip of rhubarb and I have a hero, no need for food colouring or fancy cake decorating techniques just a reliable cake batter or tart shell to fill or top and I am all done.
Fruit curds are another favorite, I have been lucky; the little lime tree I planted three years ago has given me such a huge crop of limes that I have been making a very popular lime and white chocolate tart. I just didn’t expect it would sell so fast. What will I do when I finally work through the crop? Lemon and white chocolate, or leave the tart in the season it belongs, and try a lemon and dark chocolate combination?
September 16, 2009 § 1 Comment
I love cardamon whether it is used in an Indian currie, a Moroccan ras el hanout spice mix, Scandinavian mulled wine in winter or Arabic coffee but most of all I like it in cakes.
August 17, 2009 § 1 Comment
Perhaps this is the cake where it all began, back when I was at university in Canberra doing an visual arts degree. I made this cake for a picnic when my boyfriend (K) and his friend decided to ride from Canberra to Braidwood, while we followed in the car with the beer and food. I wanted to make a cake from a new recipe book I had just been given, but didn’t have enough self raising flour and no spring form cake tin. What resulted was a cake batter made from combination of almond meal and flour (to make up for the lack of flour in my pantry) topped with peaches made in a large flan tin. We devoured it in minutes, and then went skinny dipping in the creek like all good art school students do. I have been refining the recipe ever since (while dressed), and making it with seasonal fresh and frozen fruit, scented with vanilla and a citrus glaze.
It turns out since reading some American cook books recently, it is probably what is referred to as a “buckle cake“. I like the name more than almond fruit cake (which is what I had been calling it) so from now on it will be my seasonal fruit Buckle Cake.
Oh and what is a buckle cake? It is a cake made with a batter topped with fruit, the weight of the fruit causes the cake to buckle when baked. Cute.