Tuesday, October 17, 2017

TWD - Crumb-Topped Apple Bars

When I was in Grade 5 at school, we started doing lecturettes for assessment in class.  Sometimes, our teacher (whose name really was Wally) would select a theme and hand us each a random topic in keeping with that theme.  For example, when the theme was famous people in history, I drew Houdini and inexplicably swapped him with a classmate for the far less exotic George Stephenson.  Other times, we could choose our own topic.  I was most impressed by a lecturette given by a boy named David, who chose to deliver a lecturette on the Australian apple industry.  He stood there calmly peeling an apple the whole time, and managed to peel it without breaking the chain.  Some might find that distracting, but I thought it was the cleverest device ever, and I wanted to emulate it (but never did get the chance).

David's lecturette on apples came to mind while I was peeling apples for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Crumb-Topped Apple Bars (or in the Australian vernacular, apple crumble slice).

This slice comprised a biscuit base, made easily in the food processor, topped with chopped Granny Smith apples, sultanas and chopped walnuts.  The sultanas and nuts were optional, but being a streudel loving girl, there is no way that I was going to leave them out.  The bars are then topped with a shortbread crumb made from the same dough as the base, and baked until golden brown. 

These bars are not 15 minute wonders - the baking time alone was over an hour.  However, the end result is well worth it for these buttery, fruity, scrumptious bars.  For me, we were back onto a winner this week.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TWD - Moka Dupont

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Moka Dupont, a type of chocolate biscuit cake.  It is named after a Madame Duponte, who apparently first made this cake, and the "moka" is from "mocha" for the coffee flavoured syrup that the biscuits are dunked in. 

I used Arnott's Milk Coffee Biscuits, as they seemed the closest match to those that Dorie used in the recipe.  The coffee soaked biscuits are coated with a grainy chocolate buttercream that is firmed up with an egg.  It chills for three hours after assembly before serving.

This dessert tasted OK.  I didn't love it, as it was just syrup soaked biscuits glued together with buttercream, but it was OK.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

TWD - French Snacklettes

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is French Snacklettes.  That is the polite term for them - Dorie describes them as "nuggets".   I'll leave it up to you how to describe them, but they are little sandy chocolate cookies containing ground up almonds and chunks of chocolate.

The full recipe makes 60 cookies - I opted to quarter the recipe and got around 18 cookies.

These cookies are OK - not exciting, but very easy to make.  All you need is a food processor and your own two hands to fashion these cookies for baking.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Felicity Cloake's Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake

I love Felicity Cloake's "The Perfect ..." baking columns in The Guardian, and look for them each Thursday.  Last week, Felicity's recipe was for The Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake.

For those not familiar with Felicity's column, she chooses a different baked (or in this case, non-baked) good each week, and tries out different recipes.  Felicity then selects what she thinks are the best elements from her experiments with other recipes, and puts together her own recipe which she deems to be "the perfect" version of that item.

This no-bake cheesecake unusually has a cornflake crumb crust, which I have never worked with before.   I really enjoyed the cornflake flavour, but did find that the base became a little soggy over time - this is definitely one to be eaten as soon as possible.

The ricotta and cream cheese filling was silky smooth, but a little blander than the no-bake cheesecakes that I am used to from the Philadelphia cream cheese packets.  It really is a vehicle for the topping - I used Duncan Hines cherry pie filling just because I had it, but fresh fruit would be lovely.  I was surprised that the cheesecake set very nicely without gelatine. 

I enjoyed Felicity's cheesecake recipe, but I don't think it will replace my usual no-bake recipe based on cream cheese, which is denser but has a bit more tang.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TWD - Simplest Plum Tart

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Simplest Plum Tart.

It is what it says on the tin - a tart shell sprinkled with biscuit crumbs to soak up the juices from the plums that fill it, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

I had to use tinned plums as it is a long time before plum season here.  This meant that my tart was not as pretty as it would have been with fresh fruit,  but it was still good.

I found this tart perhaps a little too plain to be a favourite, but it disappeared promptly at work, so I'll take that as a tick of approval.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the Tuesday with Dorie website.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wattleseed Blinis - Red Tractor September

This month's recipe from my Red Tractor calendar is Wattleseed Blinis.   As the name suggests, these blinis are flavoured with wattleseed, from the native wattle tree.  Wattleseed gives a mild coffee flavour. 

Here is the calendar quote for this month, appropriately referencing the wattle:

These blinis were easy to make, but don't taste as good as my favourite blini recipe.  The wattleseed is a novel flavour that you could add to any blini recipe.

To make these blinis, you will need:

1 tablespoon wattleseeds 
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg 
50g melted butter
mashed avocado and smoked salmon to top the blinis

Toast the wattleseed in a frypan and grind in a mortar and pestle.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and wattleseed in a large bowl.  Combine the egg and milk in a jug, then whisk into the dry ingredients, then half the melted butter.

Rest the mixture for 30 minutes to soften the wattleseed.

Heat a large frying pan, then brush the pan with some of the remaining melted butter.  Drop two teaspoons of batter into the frypan for each blini (don't overcrowd the pan), and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.  Gently flip each blini and cook the blinis on the other side, and repeat with the rest of the batter.

Top the blinis with mashed avocado, smoked salmon and ground pepper to serve.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TWD - Graham Cracker Cookies

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Graham Cracker Cookies.  Graham crackers are not something that is sold in Australia, but to me, the taste and texture of these cookies resembled Arnotts Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits.

These cookies were simple to make.  I made a half batch and only froze them for an hour before cutting and baking (instead of three hours).  

I am pleased to have them as next week's Dorie recipe is a tart with a Graham cracker base - that worked well.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.