Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TWD - Canistrelli


This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Canistrelli.  These are little biscuits from the Corsican region of Italy.  

While these biscuits don't look like much, don't be fooled - they are absolutely delicious.  The biscuits are flavoured with licorice flavoured liqueur - in my case, Ouzo, as I did not have its Italian cousin.  The Ouzo was given to me many years ago by Ivy, and it came in handy.  Thanks Ivy!

The biscuits are rolled in sugar just before baking, giving them a crunchy coating.  

These biscuits are definitely a keeper.

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

TWD - Parm Toasts


This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Parm Toasts.  These are best described as the savoury cousin of biscotti - a dough formed into a log, baked, cooled, sliced and then baked again.

If you are not a fan of the pungent flavour of Parmesan, you will not like these Parm Toasts, as the most pronounced flavour is the parmesan.

I thought these toasts were OK, but not being a huge fan of Parmesan, I could take them or leave them.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Persimmon Pudding

"Of course I know what persimmon tastes like." I bit into the fruit. It had the texture of a firm heirloom tomato and a heady, semisweet taste as though infused with a tiny drop of honey.
Meg Donohue, How To Eat A Cupcake

Quite some time ago, I found some persimmons in the supermarket.  I had never tasted a persimmon and really didn't know what to do with one, but I decided to buy some to try anyway.  I am so glad that I did.  The ripe persimmon is really quite delicious, and unlike anything else I have ever tasted. 

I think that I was put off persimmons because I was led to believe that they were bitter, and that may well be true of the unripe, old fashioned astringent persimmon, a heart shaped fruit.  However, the supermarkets seem to sell only non-astringent persimmons, which are larger and sweeter than their old fashioned cousins.

As well as eating the persimmons, I decided to try cooking with them.  Recipes for persimmons are not that common in my cookbooks, but Stephanie Alexander came through with flying colours in The Cook's Companion.  I chose to make Stephanie's recipe for persimmon pudding, a steamed pudding.  Stephanie's pudding is incidentally based on a Maggie Beer recipe, so I was able to cook from two of my favourite Australian food experts in one hit.  Doesn't it look super:

I ate my pudding with lashings of homemade custard, just the way I like it:

If you are lucky enough to come across some non-astringent persimmons, do try them as they are; however, if you have enough, I also recommend this wonderful steamed pudding.  To make it, you will need:

120g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup persimmon puree
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup dried cranberries, currants or raisins

Melt 100g of the butter and let it cool a bit.  Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water in a cup, and set aside.

 Using the remaining 20g of butter, grease a 1 litre pudding basin and sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar to coat the insides of the basin.

Mix the melted butter with the eggs and remaining sugar.  Sift in the flour, salt and cinnamon.  Add the persimmon puree, bicarbonate of soda mixture, brandy and dried fruit, and mix well.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pudding basin.  Covert th basin with its lid or with a double layer of alfoil secured with string.

Put a wire rack or upended tart tin into the bottom of a stockpot or very large saucepan.  Put the pudding basin on top of the rack or upended tart tin, and pour in hot water to come half way up the sides of the basin.  Cover the stockpot or saucepan with a lid, and steam the pudding for 3 hours (check to ensure that the pudding does not boil dry and top up the water as necessary).

Remove the pudding basin from the pot, and check the top of the pudding, which if cooked will be dark and springy, and a skewer inserted into the pot should come out clean.  If not, return the pudding to the pot and steam for a little longer.

To serve the pudding, unmould it while warm onto a serving plate, and slice into pieces to serve with icecream or custard.     

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TWD - Double-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and Gelee


“Open the whiskey, Tom,” she ordered, “and I’ll make you a mint julep.”  The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald  

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe combines the freshness of mint with the richness of chocolate in a single dessert which highlights both - Double-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and Gelee.

As a child, I used to think that After Dinner Mints were the height of grown up elegance. This dessert takes that elegance and converts it into a dessert that is so sophisticated, it could nearly be classified as a cocktail - just add booze.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like the gelee, which highlights fresh mint, as mint has never been one of my favourite herbs. However, I was pleasantly surprised - it made a fresh clear foil for decadence of the chocolate mousse, made with mint-infused cream.

I thought this was a lovely, elegant looking dessert, more Jordan Baker than Daisy Buchanan.  I am not a huge mousse fan because it is so rich, but still enjoyed this dessert.

As Dorie suggested, I served my mousse and gelee topped with a splodge of Greek yoghurt and a mint leaf to add a touch of colour.

To see what everyone else made this week and their thoughts on it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Peach and Almond Cake

My Mum recently sent me a recipe for  Peach and Almond Cake.  It looked so pretty, and I adore fruity cakes, so of course I had to make it

The recipe comes from Woman's Day magazine and uses canned peaches, so it can be made in winter.  It was super easy to make and used ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry, so that is a bonus.  It is also egg free, which is terrific if eggs are scarce where you are.

If you would like to make this delicious. light, fruity cake, you will need:

2 cups self raising flour 
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
800g tinned peaches, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
toasted flaked almonds and icing sugar to serve

 Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 22cm round springform tin.

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and almond meal in a bowl.

In a large jug, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.  Arrange the peaches in a fanned design on top of the batter.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before unclipping the rim from the tin and leaving the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.  

When ready to serve, scatter the toasted flaked almonds on top of the cake and dust with icing sugar. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

TWD - Biarritz Cookies

Today’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Biarritz cookies. These are flat little cookies flavoured with almond meal and coated on the bottom with a ganache style filling, and Dorie suggests sandwiching the cookies together with a generous amount of filling.

On day 1, these cookies have a nice snap, but they are soft and chewy by the second day.

While I enjoyed the flavour of these cookies, they are messy and labour intensive to make because they are formed by piping the batter onto baking sheets. 

When I spread on the dark chocolate filling, the cookies were reminiscent of vegemite on toast in appearance, so I preferred the sandwich cookie variation.

To see what cookies everyone else baked today, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.