Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Poh’s Orange and Passionfruit Curd Tart

Recently, I obtained some gorgeous fresh passionfruit, and my first thought of what to make with them was Poh Ling Yeow’s recipe for Orange and Passionfruit Curd Tart in the Harris Scarfe newsletter.

This gorgeous tart has a macadamia crust and is filled with orange and passionfruit curd:

To make this gorgeous tart, you will need:

Tart shell

1/2 cup ground macadamia nuts
130g plain flour
90g sugar
100g butter, softened and cut into 2cm cubes
1 egg


1 cup sugar
150g butter
4 eggs
1/3 cup passionfruit pulp
Grated zest of an orange
1/3 cup orange juice


For the tart shell:

Put the ground macadamias, flour, sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture has a sandy texture.  Add the egg and pulse until the pastry starts to form a ball.

Remove the dough from the food processor, form it into a disk, wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

In between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm.  Grease a 9” tart pan with a removable base, and fit the dough to snugly line the tart pan.  Roll your rolling pin over the top edges of the pan to remove any overhanging dough.  Put the pan into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Line the tart shell with Alf oil sprayed with cooking spray, oiled side down, and fill with baking weights or rice.  Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake the tart shell for another 5-10 minutes until the tart shell is golden brown.  Allow the tart shell to cool completely on a wire rack.

In the meantime, make the curd. Put all of the curd ingredients into a large microwavable bowl and whisk to combine. Microwave the curd for 2 x 2 minute periods, whisking in between, then microwave for 1 minute periods until the curd thickens. Press cling film onto the surface of the curd, and allow it to chill completely before using.

Just before serving, fill the tart shell with the curd. Slice and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Chocolate Caramel Bars with Salty Sprinkled


For Substitution Cooking School for Quarantine with Jam and Clare on Saturday, we made Chocolate Caramel Bars with Salty Sprinkles from the Beatrix Bakes cookbook.

These decadent creations start with a crisp biscuit base, that is topped with a dark rich caramel (I added minced fresh ginger to mine), and layered with a chocolate-butter mixture. Finally, crushed toasted walnuts and sea salt are sprinkled on top.

They look good, don’t they:

The good news is that if you fancy trying these luscious bars yourself, the recipe is available online here, here and here.

The recipe makes 14 bars.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Chidi’s Blueberry Muffins

I recently finished watching all four seasons of The Good Place, a comedy series about the afterlife, on Netflix. It is funny, and each episode is only 22 minutes long.

My favourite characters are Janet, a cheery personal assistant, and Chidi, one of the humans who is in the afterlife.  To celebrate my finishing The Good Place, I wanted to bake something. As Janet does not eat, I decided to make blueberry muffins, which have a pivotal role in a number of episodes set in Australia, where Chidi is teaching moral philosophy at the fictional St Johns University. 

Chidi’s biggest problem is his indecisiveness, to the point where he has trouble choosing a muffin from the wonderfully named coffee cart, We Crumb From A Land Down Under. 

Through various events, he becomes confident enough to choose a blueberry muffin each day. However, Chidi’s confidence is subsequently thrown into disarray when he is told that blueberry pickers are subjected to cruelty, which makes blueberry muffins against Chidi’s moral code.

 In honour of Chidi, I made these blueberry muffins from the Sarabeth’s Bakery cookbook (minus the streusel topping).   I only made 3 muffins, but the full recipe makes 10.

To make them, you will need:

1 orange
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tbspn milk
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup blueberries

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease 10 holes of a muffin tin with butter.

Finely zest and juice the orange. You need 1/3 cup of juice.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, eggs, juice and zest.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold in gently.

Divide the batter evenly between the 10 muffin tin holes, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to 180 degrees Celsius and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes or until the muffins are cooked through when tested with a skewer.  Remove the muffins from the oven and turn out carefully onto a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Berry Breakfast Puddings


During the very long cold lonely winter here in Melbourne, I have been mostly eating porridge for breakfast. It was time to mix things up, so when I was sorting through a pile of supermarket magazines, my eye was drawn to a recipe for Berry Breakfast Puddings.

These breakfast puddings also contain oats, but  also a bunch of other super healthy things that together make for a bowl of deliciousness. Even better, they are naturally sweet, so you don’t need any sweetener.  It is also super quick and easy to make, and you make it the night before so your morning brain doesn’t have to panic about breakfast.

This recipe makes 2 serves - you can make more as you need.

You take:

125g fresh blueberries

1 banana

1 cup skim milk

1 cup Greek yoghurt

2/3 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Put half the banana and half of the blueberries into a small food processor with the milk and yoghurt, and process until smooth.

Stir in the oats, chia seeds and vanilla. Divide between 2 bowls, cover and chill in the fridge overnight.

Serve topped with chopped up fruit or berries of your choice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

TWD - Olive Oil and Wine Cookies


This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Olive Oil and Wine Cookies.  

Dorie said you had to use white wine but I was not going to open a new bottle of wine for the small amount required in these cookies.  Instead, I used the red wine that I already had open.  That is why my cookies are pink.

I liked these cookies - I did not have high expectations, but they are really quite nice.

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

Monday, September 21, 2020

Lemon Brownies with Winter Berries

A while back, Helen Goh published a recipe in Good Weekend magazine for Lemon Brownies with Winter Berries.  I kept the recipe to make, but it has taken me some time to get around to it.

I am glad that I did though - these "brownies" are lemony, buttery and juicy from the berries.

I used red currants that I had stashed in the freezer - they looked very pretty in this slice: 

To make Helen's lemon brownies, you will need:

200g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
250g butter, diced
300g sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
100ml lemon juice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
120g fresh or frozen berries (not strawberries)
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper, leaving an overhang on two sides to lift the brownies out of the tin.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant.

Place the butter into a medium saucepan and melt it,   then add the sugar and stir until the mixture us smooth and shiny.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice, followed by the eggs. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to just combine.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking tin, and scatter the berries on top.  Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin on a wire rack until completely cool.

Remove the brownies from the tin, dust with icing sugar, and cut into squares or bars as desired.  

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rayleen’s Wattleseed Date and Macadamia Cake

 For my recent birthday, I made Rayleen’s Wattleseed Date and Macadamia Cake from The Cook and The Chef.  This recipe was made by Maggie Beer for the bush food episode, and I vaguely remember that Rayleen is a lady she met in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

I was attracted to this recipe because the combination of ingredients sounded fabulous, and I wanted a birthday cake that wasn’t all buttercream frosting and fluffy white cake. There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but I wanted something different.

This cake is based on whipped egg whites, so it is like a large pavlova studded with chocolate, chopped macadamias, chopped dates and wattleseed (a coffee flavour). The wattleseed was the hardest ingredient to find - I eventually tracked it down at Source in Malvern (a big shout out to Erin, who helped me find it in the shop).

This is the cake pre-decoration with cream:

I halved the recipe and made it in a 6” tin. To enable me to lift it gently out of the tin (it is a delicate cake and I don’t have a small springform tin), I not only lined the base of the tin, but I put down cross-ways long strips to overhang the sides of the tin to use as handless lift the cake out.

The cake is decorated with whipped cream flavoured with wattleseed:

I was surprised at how rich this cake was - I think it was the chocolate:

I enjoyed the cake, but it was a little too rich for me. I gave some of the cake to my friend V’s partner - he said it was “good rich”, so I will take that as a tick of approval.

If you would like to try Rayleen’s Wattleseed Date and Macadamia Cake (full size), you will need:

1 1/2 cups castor sugar
8 egg whites
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
120g dark chocolate, grated
1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup finely chopped Medjool dates
2 teaspoons ground wattleseed


350ml pouring cream
2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground wattleseed

For the cake, grease and line the base of an 8” round springform pan (or use my handle trick above for a regular pan, noting this cake is delicate and will collapse if you just try and turn it out). Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip to soft peak stage. Gradually whisk in the sugar, whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the whites form stiff, glossy peaks.

Switching to a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, dates, nuts, wattleseed and chocolate by hand.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the cake is firm when lightly pressed on top.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

Just before serving, unmould the cake (gently), and whip the cream and fold through the sugar and wattleseed.

Serve slices of the cake with the cream on the side, or spread the cream on top before slicing.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Beef Goulash and Braised Cabbage

One of my more recent cookbook purchases is Just Add Love, by Irris Makler.  The byline is "Holocaust survivors share their stories and recipes".  The recipes come from Jewish women from all over Australia, and includes not just recipes, but the stories of the people behind them. It really is a fascinating and inspiring read.

As it is still quite cold in Melbourne, and I wanted to find a way to use the stewing beef I had in the freezer, I turned to this book for recipes.  I wasn't disappointed - Annetta Able, a woman of Czech origin, had contributed a recipe for beef goulash.  The goulash was thick and rich and hearty - perfect for a cold night.

I bought cabbage to go with the beef goulash, and Just Add Love has a recipe from Rita Ross for braised red cabbage that intrigued me because it contains apple.  I had a green cabbage - no matter - and a single Granny Smith apple, so this seemed like the perfect recipe for me.  Rita says that the juxtaposition of the sweet and sour make this braised cabbage, and I agree - I really enjoyed the freshness of the braised cabbage which resulted from the sweetness of the apple with the  tartness of lemon, both of which help to lift the cabbage out of the realms of the mundane.

To make Annetta's goulash, you will need:

1kg stewing beef, cubed
1 finely chopped red capsicum
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion until translucent.  Add the beef and fry until the beef is browned.  Add the paprika and salt and stir to combine.

Add the stock, capsicum, tomato paste and caraway seeds,  and bring the mixture to the boil.  Turn down the heat to a bare simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.  If you need more water, add it half a cup at a time, and check every half an hour to ensure that the goulash does not boil dry.  The aim is for all of the water to be absorbed into the sauce, so don't add too much.

The goulash is ready when the meat is soft and tender.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary.

For the braised cabbage, you will need:

1 finely chopped onion
1/2 cabbage, shredded (the recipe says red, I used green)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2  green apples, peel on, roughly chopped (I used one as I only had one)
rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion in a large frypan until translucent. Add the cabbage and the vinegar to the frypan and stir to combine.  Add the lemon juice, apples, lemon rind and caraway seeds and mix well, and season to taste.

Cover the frypan and cook on low heat for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Before serving, take out the lemon rind.

I served the goulash and cabbage with mashed potato - a perfect accompaniment for me, but you could also serve with pasta, rice or nockerl, as suggested in the recipe.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Mum’s Blancmange

When I was a kid, my mum made a series of desserts on regular rotation, including apple crumble, rice pudding and lemon delicious. She made them all off the top of her head, without recipe. Another such dessert on regular rotation was blancmange, a type of custard. Sometimes Mum would leave it white, other times she would tint it pale pink.

It is difficult to get recipes from Mum because they are not written down. I eventually got the blancmange recipe from her over the phone.  Another difficulty with Mum’s recipes are that her measurements are not standard metric measurements - you have to know how Mum cooks to interpret what she means.

I am so happy to have the blancmange recipe and made it tinted dark pink (by accident) - it is just as delicious as I remember:

If you would like to try my Mum’s blancmange, you will need:

2 cups (500ml) milk
2 large metal tablespoons (~ 80g) sugar
1 metric tablespoon butter
1 1/2 large metal tablespoons cornflour, blended with sufficient water to make a thick paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 drops pink colouring (if desired)
desiccated or shredded coconut, to decorate

Put the milk, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat until the butter and the mixture is just bubbling round the edges, not boiling.

While stirring the milk mixture continuously, add the cornflour paste, and stir over low heat until thickened into a custard (ie it coats the back of a spoon). If it doesn’t thicken sufficiently, make more cornflour paste and stir in.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and colouring (if using).  Pour the blancmange into a small buttered dish, and sprinkle coconut on top to decorate.  Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

TWD - Popcorn Streusel Tops

 This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Popcorn Streusel Tops. These are buttery cookies containing triple corn - cornflour, corn kernels and popcorn. They are topped with streusel.

They are impressive looking cookies:

The cookies are delicious - the corn kernels and popcorn provided great texture. I would be happy to eat them without the streusel (although they would not be streusel tops).

I made the streusel in the food processor and it worked fine. It was a handy timesaver.

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

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Maggie Beer’s Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

I was watching a morning show on TV this week when Maggie Beer popped up to discuss the success of her online cooking videos because of the surge in home cooking during lockdown. One of the hosts mentioned Maggie’s pumpkin and chickpea soup video and I was in - I had the ingredients, it sounded delicious and I was good to go.

I am not a huge lover of soup, but I really enjoyed this soup. It had a nice kick of spice, and the chickpeas gave it body.

If you like pumpkin soup, try this:

800g pumpkin, peeled and chopped

400g can chickpeas

200g brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1L chicken stock

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon verjuice (I skipped this)

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, extra

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Mix the spices and olive oil together in a bowl. Add the pumpkin and toss to coat.

Put the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, and roast for 20 minutes in the oven. If using the verjuice, add it now to deglaze the pan and roast for another 3 minutes.

While the pumpkin is cooking, heat the extra 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Fry the onion, adding the garlic after 5 minutes. Cook until the onion is golden and translucent. 

Add the roasted pumpkin, chickpeas and stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the soup to cool for 5 minutes.

Put the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Enjoy with whatever you fancy - I used a splodge of Greek yoghurt and chopped coriander.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Courtesan au Chocolat

“... then go to Mendl’s and get me a courtesan au chocolat.”   Gustave H, Grand Budapest Hotel

One of the iconic features of the Wes Anderson’s movie, Grand  Budapest Hotel, is Mendl Bakery’s courtesan au chocolat. These were made by Zero’s girlfriend, Agatha. It has been on my list to make for a long time, so I finally bit the bullet and made it.

The courtesan au chocolat is a fictional dessert that only exists in the movie, but has taken on a life of its own via the World Wide Web.  Slate has a good theory that the dessert was named to be the converse of la religieuse (the nun), which is similarly a stack of profiteroles filled with creme patisserie. The courtesan au chocolat is much showier, being filled with chocolate custard instead of vanilla custard, topped with a trio of pastel hued glazes (cf la religieuse, which are traditionally dipped solely in chocolate or coffee glaze), and having three layers instead of two.

The recipe for courtesan au chocolat is all over the Internet. The one released by the movie studio is here. However, some of the measurements and details are vague. I found that the pate a choux recipe did not work for me - the puffs did not rise. I therefore made the puffs over using Dorie Greenspan’s recipe.

I also used this recipe for the chocolate custard filling, as the ingredients were clearer and used all chocolate, no cocoa. 

I used my favourite buttercream recipe for the white and blue piping, and I used a chocolate coated coffee bean on top rather than a cocoa bean.

Here is a peek inside the courtesan au chocolate:

 The top puff is meant to be empty.

Although my courtesan au chocolat are not perfect, and I hated the fact that there were so many fussy steps to make them (not to mention having to make the choux pastry twice), I am glad I finally made this dessert.  Oooh, and it’s delicious!!

Will I make courtesan au chocolat again? Probably not - but as my homage to Grand Budapest Hotel, I am proud I made the effort.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Lemony Pear-Pineapple Preserves

I recently had the strange dilemma of having a bowl of pears on the turn, and a piece of sour pineapple in the fridge.  What do you do with that combination?  I thought of making pear jam after seeing Patty's post on Instagram, but found it hard to locate a recipe in my usual cookbooks.  Turning to Sarabeth's Bakery - From My Hands to Yours, a book I had owned for years but never used, I struck gold - Sarabeth had a recipe for Lemony Pear-Pineapple Preserves.  Fabulous - I could kill two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking.

The resulting preserves contain lovely chunks of pear, and might have had chunks of pineapple too, except that I suspect I processed the pineapple too finely.  It did not  matter - the end result was a wonderful, golden, sunny preserve, quite sweet, but then again, it is a preserve.

Here it is spread on a crumpet:

If you too would like to try these preserves, you will need:

1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1" cubes
450g pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4" cubes
2 cups sugar
1/2 of 1/3 cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Put the pineapple cubes int a food processor and chop coarsely.  Strain the juice into a non-reactive saucepan, reserving the pineapple pieces.

Add the pears to the pineapple juice, and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the fruit for ~ 15 minutes or until tender.

Add the reserved pineapple, the sugar and the lemon juice to the pan, together with the vanilla seeds (if using a vanilla pod), split the bean lengthwise and put it into the pan as well, and return the mixture to  a simmer.  Cook until the pears are soft and chunky and the mixture has thickened (ie when you run your finger through the mixture on the back of the spoon, it doesn't run in to fill the gap).  This will take around 25 minutes.   Remove from the heat.  (If using vanilla essence, stir it in at this stage).

Pour the mixture into sterilised jars, screw on the lids and allow to cool completely in the jars.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

TWD - Caramelized Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Caramelized Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart.

This creation is as decadent as it looks - a sweet tart pastry is filled with a milk chocolate ganache flavoured with cinnamon flavoured caramel.

 This combination of flavours was just devine. I halved the recipe and made two mini tarts, one for me and one for my neighbours.

I am not a huge fan of chocolate tarts generally, as I find them too rich, but the milk chocolate toned the richness down and the cinnamon caramel added a lovely flavour. I loved this recipe - dinner party worthy.

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

This creation is as decadent as it looks - a sweet tart pastry is filled with a milk chocolate ganache flavoured with cinnamon flavoured caramel.

 This combination of flavours was just devine. I halved the recipe and made two mini tarts, one for me and one for my neighbours.

I am not a huge fan of chocolate tarts generally, as I find them too rich, but the milk chocolate toned the richness down and the cinnamon caramel added a lovely flavour. I loved this recipe - dinner party worthy.

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

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Dutch Appeltaart

A recent recipe for Substitution Cooking School with Jam and Clare was Maria “Oma” Bowditch’s Dutch Appeltaart.  Sadly, Clare’s mum recently passed away, so the group baked this recipe as a tribute to her.

This tart is delicious, but it’s absolutely huge and it ain’t diet food. I totally understand why Alice in Frames’ husband told her she had to get it out of the house.  I gave half of  my tart to my downstairs neighbours and another quarter to a neighbour in a different part of my apartment complex. I hope they enjoy it! I am left with a quarter of the tart, which is much more manageable for one person.

You can see that this apple tart is just delicious, and it smells devine while baking. The pastry is very easy to work with and forgiving. That is just as well, as the tart is baked in a springform pan.

If you would like to make this Dutch Appeltaart yourself, you will need:


3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
grated zest of half a lemon
280g room temperature butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten


6-7 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sultanas
1 beaten egg
extra granulated sugar for sprinkling

To make the pastry:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Combine the dry ingredients and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, and mix on low speed or blitz to combine with the flour. Continue until all of the butter has been added and the mixture looks like crumbs.  Mix in the egg - your dough should come together. If it doesn’t (mine didn’t), add small amounts of ice water until it does. Bring the dough together into a disc and divide it into 2 pieces, being one third of the dough and two thirds of the dough. Put the one third piece aside.

Grease and line a 9” springform pan.

Turn the two thirds piece of dough out onto a lightly floured bench or place it between two pieces of baking paper, and roll it out until it is big enough to line the base and sides of your springform pan (~ 16” round). Carefully line the insides of your springform pan with the rolled out dough - do it in a patchwork and smooth the pieces together if necessary.

To make the filling:

Peel and core the apples; cut the apples into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 pieces.  Put the apple pieces into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar to the bowl and toss the apples until well coated. Add the sultanas and mix well.

Place the apples into the pastry shell in the springform pan.

Take the remaining piece of dough and roll it out into a circle large enough to cover the top of the springform pan.  Cut the dough into strips just under 1” wide, and lay them in a lattice pattern on top of the apples. Press the strips into the sides well.

Brush the top of the tart with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the tart for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Allow the tart to cool in the tin before unmoulding and serving. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Passionfruit Cloud Chiffon Cake

Recently, I purchased a bag of passionfruit on my shopping excursion.  I could not resist them, as they were significantly cheaper than the normal asking price of more than a dollar each.  I wanted to make something special with them, and what could be more special than a light as air chiffon cake?

The beautiful Beatrix Bakes cookbook contains a recipe for a Passionfruit Cloud Chiffon Cake, based on a recipe for chiffon cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I had an angel cake pan that I had never used, so it seemed serendipitous that I found this recipe.

After reading the directions, which mentioned what could go wrong, I was a little nervous about making this cake, as I did not want to waste the number of eggs (10!) and precious passionfruit should this cake not work out.  However, Lady Luck was smiling on me and it turned out perfectly:

I decided not to glaze the cake so that I could freeze some of it - because boy, this is a big cake. It defrosts perfectly and is almost as good as the day it was made. The cake is light and fluffy as the cloud its name suggests, and the passionfruit flavour comes through perfectly.  The passionfruit also gives the cake its  gorgeous sunny hue.

Instead, I served my cake with yoghurt and some extra passionfruit pulp:

To make this gorgeous cake, you will need:

8-10 passionfruit to yield 180ml juice
300g sugar
240g plain flour
15g baking powder
Pinch of salt
300g egg whites (~ 10 eggs)
140g egg yolks (~ 7 eggs)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
110ml vegetable oil

9” angel food cake tin

To make the passionfruit juice, halve the passionfruit and scrape the pulp into a food processor.  Pulse briefly - don’t overprocess otherwise the seeds will crack and darken the juice. Strain the juice to remove the seeds and pulp. If you have less than 180ml juice, make up the volume with orange juice or water. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Put the sugar in a small bowl and remove two tablespoons to reserve for the egg whites. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Put a sieve on top of the bowl and set aside.

Find a bottle whose neck the tube of your angel food cake tin rests over neatly, and set aside.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk the whites on medium speed until the egg whites are stiff and white.  Gradually add the reserved two tablespoons of sugar - one teaspoon every 30 seconds.  The meringue should be stiff and shiny.  Once all the sugar has been added, reduce the speed to low and whisk for another minute to even out air bubbles.

While the egg whites are whisking, place the oil, egg yolks and passionfruit juice into a wide bowl and whisk together. Sift the dry ingredients over the yolk mixture, and whisk together until smooth.  

Gently fold one third of the meringue into the yolk mixture with a rubber spatula.  Once done, gently fold the remaining meringue through the mixture until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the ungreased angel food cake tin, and wipe away any stray splashes from the inside of the tin, as these may stop the cake from rising.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes until golden and puffed up, and the cake around the tube looks dry.  Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the centre of the tube over the neck of the bottle. Leave the cake to hang in the tin over the bottle for 2-3 hours until the base of the tin is completely cool.

To release the cake from the tin, run a thin knife around the edge of the tin (but not around the centre tube).  Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and cut it away from the base plate. You can glaze the cake if desired, but if you don’t want to eat it all that day, don’t glaze it. The unglazed cake will stay fresh for 2 days. You can wrap and freeze part of the cake if desired.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

TWD - Classic Brownies

A basic rule of baking is that, in general, it's almost impossible to make an inedible batch of brownies.  Linda Sunshine

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Classic Brownies. Dorie says this is her favourite brownie recipe that she gives to new bakers because it is pretty much fail safe.

It is now my favourite brownie recipe too - easy, chocolate-y, fudgy melt in your mouth goodness. These brownies are one of the few chocolate baked goods that are better than the original chocolate on which they are based.

I love walnuts in a brownie so I included them.

These brownies will definitely be a staple of my baking repertoire.

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