Chicken and Leek Pot Pies

Now the weather is gradually but finally getting colder, winter type meals are starting to become more common in the household. Soups, stews, curries, casseroles, roasts and pies. The sort of meals that felt far to hot and heavy to eat weeks ago are now desired to chase the chill away.

These pot pies are one of the most simple meals of the bunch. They don't require any pastry knowledge or blind baking so they're perfect for anyone intimidated by making pie crusts.

Let’s begin…

12 Days of Christmas :: 10 Chocolate Ganache Tartlets

Mince tarts are so pretty. So festive. But so unappealing to all of us. I don’t know what it is, but we just don’t like them. I always stare at them in the supermarket wishing that were different.

So I decided to pinch the aesthetics and substitute the taste. These sweet tartlets make for a delicious and festive dessert for the chocolate-lover.

Moar…

Cook Book Challenge: Week 32

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…

Daring Bakers :: Layering Up: Mille-feuille/Napoleon

I've been on a bit of a baking hiatus over the last few weeks. My thesis was due on the 26th and so I needed to cut out all forms of procrastination. Even so, I still ended up pulling two consecutive all-nighters in the days before it was due, spending every waking moment sitting in front of my computer typing like a mad woman. It was an absolute relief to get that done.

Now that my Masters degree is over, it leaves me with a lot more free time. Not a concept I am yet used to, but I am sure I will soon acquire a taste for it.

The thesis deadline left me with a day to fulfil the Daring Bakers Challenge, so I eagerly set about baking it. My sleep deprivation and general lack of looking after my health for the two weeks prior quickly caught up with me and I fell sick soon after baking this and so I am posting this late. But this dessert was so good it will be worth the wait.

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!

Have you ever baked home-made puff pastry?

Cook Book Challenge: Week 30

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…

Vanilla Cheesecake Slice

Here's for some more Father's Day bakerage. I spent dinner on Father's Day with my dad, but for lunch we spent it over at my boyfriend's place with his dad and immediate family.

Occasions with his family are often a food-centred affair, but particularly so if it's a celebration. If we go out for the meal, there's usually more food and hot drinks waiting to be consumed at home. If it's all home cooked food, you can be sure that there's going to be more food than you could dream of finishing, and then some. All of it is as delicious as it is plentiful and you will find yourself lamenting the appetite required to try it all. Or at least I do. The boys usually find a way to squeeze most, if not all, of it in. Us girls can seldom match their appetite, but we all still insist on making an enormous amount of food.

When we're dining at his place, I seldom bring things along mainly because there's so much already. I'm often caught somewhere in between feeling like I should contribute, and being too self-conscious about doing so. For this occasion, I decided to bring something. Knowing there would be an abundance of food already, I settled for something small.

After a delicious lunch, there definitely was an abundance of dessert. His sister-in-law brought a delicious ginger cake she'd baked, and his mum provided a hummingbird cake as well as platters of different biscuits, nuts, chocolates and other sweets. In between these two courses, we all had this vanilla cheesecake slice:

Care for a slice?

Daring Bakers: Filled Pâté à Choux Swans

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge filled me with excitement the second it was posted. Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pâté à choux shapes, filled with crème pâtissiére or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

For me, there was no choice other than swans. I have been wanting to make these for a while but never found the excuse. What a perfect excuse this was.

“But calm, white calm, was born into a swan…”