Last week I went out to dinner with mine and my boyfriend's immediate family to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. We went to one of my favourite local restaurants, Azurea's and had a lovely time together. While Azurea's have a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts themselves, I wasn't about to let go of an excuse to bake! Between mine and his family, everyone's preference for cake is many and varied, so choosing one is always a difficult task — someone is always not going to be happy! I eventually settled on this cake I had been wanting to try for quite a while now.
Jumping back into the cook book challenge this week, I turned to a book that fills me with indecisions like few others. As the name suggests, Dream Desserts is filled with dreamy recipes for every occasion. From winter warmers to light summer desserts, from the simplest of cakes to decadent desserts that require a bit of know-how, this book has it all. What's more is that this book has a lot of desserts that are quite different from what I would usually do, or create, or crave, myself, so it encourages me to try some new things.
This week I decided to try a dessert I've always heard about but had no idea what it actually was: Banoffee Pie…
This week is the final installment of the Cook Book Challenge taken from this mini-series (because I am a genius and did #10 weeks ago). Next week we shall return to your regularly-sized version.
Gary Mehigan is another well-known Melbourne chef. He was well known before becoming a judge on MasterChef, but since has become a household name. He began his cheffing career in London before moving to Melbourne and opening a plethora of award-winning restaurants. This book is named after, and full of, my favourite types of eats: comfort food. It's particularly comforting during this cooler part of the year. Choosing a recipe was almost impossible.
Winter, or any time, warmers…
Croquembouche is a word that conjures fear in the hearts of many. I've never understood why. Choux pastry is the easiest pastry to make, and toffee is not exactly the most challenging thing to make. Spun sugar can take some getting used to, but it's definitely achievable.
It seems to have stemmed from that MasterChef episode in Series 1 where Adriano Zumbo brought one for the pressure test. Everyone freaked out and it's since been viewed as the penultimate challenge. Many challenges since have been much more difficult, but still everyone dreads the mighty croquembouche.
It's really quite simple. If you've never tried one before, here's a mini version to help you ease your way into it.
Step-by-step after the jump…
Every year when Father's Day rolls around, I often find myself looking to reinvent my family's favourite mudcake recipe, as mudcake is my dad's favourite cake. While my family are more than content to keep demolishing their favourites, I get bored of repetition and am often looking for new skills to learn. So this year, I started trying to come up with something out of the ordinary. Given how picky my dad is, this is a harder task than usual. If it's not mudcake, his next favourite is a fruit cake, but almost no one else in my household likes fruit cake.
I found a middle ground to strike. Pears are one of my dad's favourite fruits. Like me, he prefers them really soft. Our perfect pear is what others feel is overripe. A cake involving poached pears was going to be a hit.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
One of my biggest kitchen dilemmas is working out to do with the leftover halves of the eggs when a recipe requires only one part of it. Egg whites aren't as bad as you can freeze them, but egg yolks only last a few days and don't survive the freezer so well.
After making the Pavlova Roulade, I had 6 of them to use up. The easiest way to use a large amount up, other than giving them to my puppy, is to make something custardy. I also had plenty of cream leftover from party baking so I decided a crème brûlée was in order. I'd made a chocolate one before, but I've never even so much as seen a white chocolate crème brûlée before.
Time to experiment.
Crack the toffee open…
Chocolate crackles have such a power over me. They're one of those food items that can reduce me to giggly fits of glee at the thought of making them. You're never too old to enjoy that simple treat, but this slice offers a way to deliver them with a little more class than usual.
I've been waiting for the perfect excuse to make this. So when I threw a get together this weekend just gone these were the first thing on my list of party food.
Much more on these spheres of crackley heaven…