Saturday, 31 October 2015

Fruit Tart

This is more an assembly job than a recipe, I love a fruit tart they are very French and a treat from my childhood.  It's a very spring like recipe that is great for a party.  Make this ahead it can be prepared ahead the day before and assembled the morning of your party.

1 blind baked pastry shell, Pate Brisee Pie Crust
2 to 2 1/2 cups Creme Patissiere or Custard
Fruit of choice.  I used 4 kiwi fruit sliced and 1 punnet of strawberries, halved.


1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon water

Heat the jam and water in a saucepan until the jam has liquified, then set aside to cool slightly before you assemble.  While this is heating slice your fruit.

Assemble your cast of careters, tart shell, creme patissiere, fruit and glaze.

You will need to whisk your creme patissier or custard to ensure no lumps.

If your creme patissiere or custard are too thick loosen with 1/2 cup of whipped cream.

Gently pour into your tart shell.

Decorate with fruit as desired.

Your glaze should be cool by now if not wait till cool so you don't melt your filling.  Gently brush over your fruit topping being generous.  Place in the fridge to allow the glaze to set or until ready to serve.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Creme Patissiere (French Pastry Cream)

I have always been reluctant to try making Creme Patissiere as it looks so complicated.  As usual I don't know what I was worried about!

I do have a cousin or two who are chef's and one who is currently doing a Pastry Chef's course,  I was going to get Rachel to show me how to make it while I was visiting my parents in Melbourne recently, however with Rach working and me visiting just about everyone else, I didn't even get time to spend with her.  Sorry Rach!

I am going to give you the measurements for 2 amounts here, one for 500ml and one for 1 litre, you don't always need to make a full litre of Creme Pat you can make a nice reasonable amount.

Creme Patissiere can be used in many things, in Eclair's lightened with a little cream, in Profiteroles or a nice Strawberry Tart.

500 ml

125 gm caster sugar
500ml milk
50 gm plain flour
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped out

1 litre

250 gm caster sugar
1 ltr milk
100 gm plain flour
2 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped out

I found it best to get all your ingredients together and have everything measured and ready to go before you start, once you get going it can be a quick process, if you have to leave what your doing you could end up with scrambled egg!

In your saucepan place your milk and vanilla seeds and pod.  Heat milk until just boils.  Remove the vanilla pod.

In your mixing bowl place your eggs, yolks and sugar.  Whisk until light and fluffy and doubled in size.

Add the flour to the egg mix and whisk again.

With your mixer running at about 3/4 speed in a slow steady drizzle add the hot milk mix.  When you have added all the milk transfer back to the saucepan you heated the milk in, I personally strain the mixture back into the saucepan


With a whisk ;you need to whisk the mixture over a medium heat.  It will take about 5 minutes to cook off the flour and eggs and for the mixture to thicken.  This is a good way to get rid of the old Tuck shop lady arms, if like me you have them!

The mix will go thick quickly but don't worry this is correct.

Transfer to a shallow dish and cover with cling film, this is to stop a skin forming on the Creme Pat while it cools.  Scott's Auntie Marg did remind me the other week that you can sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top and this will do the same thing.  Allow to cool to room temp then refrigerate until needed.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Chocolate Glazed Baked Doughnuts/Donuts

There is some contention around the world as to how you spell the word Donuts.  So how ever you spell it this is a fantastic recipe to try at home.  You can pick up a Donut pan at most kitchenware shops these days for very cheap and most people have the basic ingredients in their kitchen to begin with.

In the last couple of weeks I have seen so many variations of these baked donuts across the web.  I think the cupcake craze has turned into a baked donut craze!  These donuts are easy enough to whip up for desserts mid week or even just as an afternoon treat for the kids, that is if they last long enough for the kids!

1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bi carb soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice
4 tablespoons cream

Grease your donut tin, I gave mine a light spray with olive oil.

You will need a piping bag for this, quick tip stick your piping bag or ziploc bag in a jug and pull the sides over the edge, makes for easier filling.

Place egg, milk, yogurt/sour cream (note here you can substitute a 1/2 cup of butter milk for the milk/yoghurt) brown sugar, vanilla and melted butter, in your mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

Place your dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and bi carb in a bowl and set aside.

Your wet mix may look lumpy but that is fine as the butter has just solidified again.

 Gently fold your wet ingredients into your dry, don't over mix.

Your mix will appear quite thick.

Spoon into your piping bag.

I use a clip on the end of mine to make sure nothing spills out.  Cut the tip off the end of your bag about a centimetre wide.

Pipe a nice ring of mix into your pan.  The mix should come no more than half way up your pan or you will have muffins with a dent in them.

Bake in a 180C pre heated oven for 8 to 9 minutes.

Now when cooked you can tip out and allow to cool or if doing a cinnamon sugar version tip them straight into your cinnamon sugar while hot to coat them.

While your donuts are cooling and the second batch baking (if you only have a half doz pan) melt your chocolate and cream together in the microwave in 30 second bursts.

Once your glaze has cooled slightly (otherwise it will slide off the donuts) you can dip them in the chocolate ganache.

If you are like me you enjoy a sprinkle on your donut.  I couldn't make up my mind so I did both coloured and chocolate sprinkles.


They didn't last too long!

NOTE:  I have substituted 1 mashed banana for the egg as well.  This made a very yummy chocolate glazed banana donut.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Chocolate Cream Pie

Both my boys like chocolate so when I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman I knew I would have to try it one day.  As I am trying to feed Scott up for want of a better description, I thought I would give this a go.

A couple of tips....  your eggs must be VERY cold!  Stick them in the fridge the day before.  If the mix starts to get a little runny/sloppy stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes between eggs.

115 gm dark chocolate
225 gm butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 whole eggs, cold
300 ml thickened cream, whipped
1 pastry shell, pre baked.  Pate Brisee Pastry

Melt your chocolate and set aside to cool.

In your mixing bowl with a whisk attachment whisk your butter and sugar until light and fluffy and pale in colour.

Add your cold chocolate and whisk again.

Next you need patients!  Take your first egg out of the fridge and whisk on high into your butter mix. Leave the mixer on for 5 minutes and walk away.  YES I SAID WALK AWAY!  Put on a timer to remind you.  Repeat with each egg fresh out of the fridge and another 5 minutes.

Cooled pre baked pie shell.

Between eggs 2 and 3 if it looks a little sloppy like this put the mixer bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes.  It just means your mix warmed up too much.

Pour your chocolate mix in the shell and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, it is better to do this for 6 to 8 hours.

A little Lala cuteness while you wait.

Just before serving top with your whipped cream.

Take your pictures quickly or there won't be anything left to take a picture of!