Friday, October 9, 2015

Felicity Cloake's Perfect Custard Tart

I have long adored the British version of the custard tart, with its shortcrust base and ever so slightly wibbly wobbly creamy custard filling, generously sprinkled with nutmeg.  Lionel Hardcastle, one of the main characters on As Time Goes By, is famed for his love of custard tarts. You can check out Lionel and his beloved custard tarts at the start of this bloopers reel.

Felicity Cloake recently published a recipe for the "perfect" custard tart here in The Guardian.  I was keen to make it, especially as I had cream in the fridge to do so.  Here are the results of my labours (after I had already cut it, as you can see):

My pastry was not the best, not because of the recipe, but because I originally didn't put enough butter in, then tried to fix the pastry with water before realising the problem.  However, despite the resulting pastry being very sticky, and impossible to roll (I ended up pressing it into the pan, hence it is quite thick), it didn't taste too bad.

The filling was devine; in fact, so good that I could have eaten the whole family sized tart all by myself.  However, self-restrain prevailed, and I shared it with my colleagues the next day, who also seemed to appreciate it.

If you are a fan of the British style of custard tart, do give this recipe a go.  It is quite delicious!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

EwE - Egg Noodles with Onions, Caraway, and Parsley

For Eating with Ellie this week, Chaya chose Egg Noodles with Onions, Caraway, and Parsley.  The description of this dish is pretty much what it says on the tin.

This really is a tasty dish - I ate it as a side with my main meal, but then finished the leftovers for breakfast with a poached egg on top.  Yum!

This is an unexpected keeper.

To see what the others thought, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WWDH - Simple Vanilla Cake

For Wednesday with Donna Hay this week, Peggy chose Donna's Simple Vanilla Cake.  This recipe is just as it says - a basic vanilla butter cake:

The recipe made icing optional, and referred to Donna's whipped buttercream if you wanted to ice the cake.

I thought that Donna's icing was a bit too much faffing around for a simple cake. On the day I made this, I had watched an Everyday Gourmet where Justine made cupcakes for kids.  She had iced them using a basic icing  made from 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 125g butter and a tablespoon of milk beaten together then coloured.  I thought this icing would be perfect for my simple vanilla cake: 

As you can see, my decorations were also inspired by Justine's cupcakes - simple and joyous.

This was a really tasty basic cake.  I think the icing enhanced the enjoyment of the cake by adding some colour, moistness and flavour.  Loved it.

To se what the others thought of this cake, visit the LYL section of the WWDH website.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dan Lepard's Honey Carrot Cake

I love a good carrot cake, and it is even more fun when I find a recipe that is a little different to the usual.   So it was with Dan Lepard's honey carrot cake recipe - a deep dark cake with tahini ad grated apple, among other unusual ingredients.

I like how the cake looked fresh out of the oven, brushed with a honey glaze to make it shiny.

The cake is topped with cream cheese frosting - I used a different one to the recipe that is linked to in Dan's post, but it did the trick nicely:

This cake was put out at work at 8.30am and by 10am, it was all gone I think that says it all. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sempre Pizza e Calzone, Bourke St, Melbourne

A little while ago, Tim and I had dinner at Sempre Pizza and Calzone on Bourke Street, Melbourne.  The name pretty much sums up that it is a fancy pizza place.

The friendly waitress gave us prompt service. 

We ordered the  Zucca salad ($14.50) - pumpkin, baby spinach, feta, red onion, pine nut and balsamic:

This made sure that we had a balanced meal with some greens.

Tim's pizza was the Snow White ($19.50) - buffalo mozzarella, goats cheese, potato, pumpkin and sage:

I couldn't go past the Calzone Francesco ($19.50) - tomato, mozzarella, ham, artichoke, olives and capers:

My calzone looked magnificent, but sadly was still cold in the middle:

For dessert, we ordered a tiramisu ($10.50) to share:

There were no complaints there!

We enjoyed our meal at Sempre Pizza, but next time I think I'd skip the calzone and go for the pizza.

49 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: 03 9654 9909

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekend in French Kitchen (Cafe Boulud) - Mushroom and Cheese Tart

This week's Weekend in a French Kitchen (CafĂ© Boulud) recipe is Cremini and Fontina Tart.  To translate that for the uninitiated, it's a mushroom and cheese tart.

I have never heard of cremini mushrooms until this week, which made it a pretty fair bet I wouldn't be able to buy them.  Apparently they are brown mushrooms, and might be something like Swiss browns.  However, my research showed that button mushrooms are an acceptable substitute, and much cheaper than Swiss browns, so I just used white button mushrooms.

Also, Fontina cheese was a little too fancy for my local supermarket, and I couldn't be bothered hiking to the market, so after another piece of research, I learned that Gouda would be an acceptable substitute.  Done - even the Woolies express near work had Gouda.

I wasn't sure whether I'd like this tart much or not, but was pleasantly surprised.  Despite the absence of meaty filling, it is still a very tasty tart, which I put down to the preparation of the ingredients, which seemed fussy at the time, but worth it in the end.

As this tart is awash with butter, cream and cheese, it is hardly diet food, but was tasty for a change.

To check out whether anyone else made this tart and what they thought about it, check out the LYL section of the WIAFK (CB) website tomorrow, Australian time.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Coffee Cake

Recently, my friend Sandra gave me a pile of magazines to read.  After reading them, I tore out the good recipes for a rainy day.  One of those recipes was for a delicious coffee cake, found in Womens' Day

This coffee cake was extra special because it contained a caramel swirl - yum!  I happened to have some Caramel Top'n'Fill to use up, so this was the perfect cake for that purpose.

The cake was delicious and disappeared at work very quickly - a sure sign of a winner.

To make this cake, you will need:

185g chopped butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup strong black coffee
 2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup Caramel Top'n'Fill

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 10cm x 20cm loaf pan.

Melt the butter and sugar together in a medium saucepan, then add the coffee and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the eggs and sour cream, then stir into the butter mixture alternately with the flour.

Pour half the cake batter into the prepared tin.  Swirl the caramel through the batter, then top with the remaining batter, and smooth the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, before removing from the oven and cooling in the tin for 5 minutes.  Unmould onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, combine 1 cup icing sugar and 10g butter in a heatproof bowl.  Stir through  just enough strong, hot black coffee to make a paste (~ 2-3 tablespoons).   Place over a saucepan of simmering water and heat gently until the mixture is spreadable.  Spread over the cooled cake and top with chopped nuts (they said almonds, I used walnuts).