Wednesday, April 20, 2011

royal wedding miracle cake

Ingredients: chocolate, biscuits, butter, egg, mascarpone, sugar

No-bake cake as requested by prince william for his groom cake. The recipe calls for mcvities rich tea biscuits, which are hard to find outside of england. I used arnott's marie biscuits, which created a small royal wedding miracle when a crown appeared on the finished cake, prior to being covered with ganache icing.

                This is a delicious cake, whose beauty lies in its simplicity. There is lot of talk on the internets that mcvities digestives would be a better choice of biscuit. I disagree. Plain biscuits are what makes the chocolate stand out. I added some mascarpone to the chocolate mix and reduced the amount of icing. There is some debate whether the icing is necessary at all. It was a pity to cover up the beautiful crown shapes on the top of the cake, that's for sure.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

apricot custard tart

Ingredients: apricots, eggs, almonds, vanilla essence, almond essence, sugar, butter, flour, salt

Simple custard tart with lots of apricots. It helps to macerate the apricots in caster sugar overnight.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Ingredients: butter, eggs, milk, yeast, flour, raisins, kirsch, sugar, salt

This is the third in the xmas trio of cakes, Traditional fare which needs its own baking container, but is well worth the trouble, especially if the raisins are allowed to seep in kirsch overnight.

redcurrant chocolate cake

Ingredients: redcurrants, chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, eggs, sour cream, flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, sugar, salt

This cake was created around xmas, hence the holly motif. Baking powder is made prior to baking with 1 part cream of tartar to 2 parts baking soda.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

strawberry tart

Ingredients: strawberries, cream, mascarpone, vanilla, puff pastry, sugar

This a tart I made for my 2nd son's 1st birthday. I macerated the strawberries in sugar for a couple of days and used the resulting strawberry juice to spruce up the whipped cream/mascarpone mixture. The puff pastry is baked blind, and sprinkled with sugar to aid colour and flavour.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

12 apostles tart

Ingredients: blueberries, quark, creme fraiche, eggs, flour, butter, natural vanilla essence, sugar, salt

This was a tart made for christmas, thus the name. The 12 apostles are represented by the 12 fresh blueberries, rising above the frozen blueberry jam. The custard has quark and creme fraiche in it, making it somewhat cheesecakey. The base is basic short crumb.

Friday, February 25, 2011

bakewell tart

Ingredients: almonds, apricots, peaches, eggs, almond essence, flour, butter, sugar, salt

This is a pretty traditional bakewell tart, with home made peach jam at the bottom and home made apricot jam on the top of the filling. There are almonds throughout the tart: the biscuit base, frangipane filling and apricot topping.

Shortcrumb base (pate brisee): Grind a 100 g packet of almond flakes to a fine powder and mix with sugar and flour to taste, then add a pinch of salt. Mix with 100 g of cold butter, cut into small cubes until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add an egg yolk and 1 tbsp of cold water and turn out into a bowl. Mix into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate.

Apricot/Peach Jam: Slice 6-8 apricots/peaches in half and take out the pips. Add a cup of sugar and 1 tbsp of water and slowly bring to a boil. Cook at a rollling boil until jam is formed, about 15-20 mins. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon, both to stop the jam from burning, and to release the pectin. Put in a clean jar and use in cakes, on pancakes or on toast.

Frangipane filling: Grind 1/2 a packet of almond flakes to a fine powder. Mix 1 egg, 60 g of butter, 60 g of icing sugar in a bowl/mixer and add the ground almonds and a few drops of almond essence

Bake the base blind in a moderate hot oven until it stats to colour, then put down a generous layer of peach jam, followed by the frangipane.

Cook at 180 Celsius/360 Fahrenheit until the centre is dry.

When cooled, spread with a thin layer of apricot jam and scatter the remainder of the almond flakes, which had been lightly browned in a dry frying pan, followed by a sprinkling of icing sugar.

apple tart

Ingredients: apples, raisins, cognac, redcurrant jelly, quark, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, almonds, flour, butter, salt

This is an apple tart with filling based on paskha, a russian cheesecake, traditionally, eaten at easter. It is one of the great desserts i remember from my soviet childhood. The raisins have been soaked in cognac overnight, which doesn't hurt...

hi from bondi!