Kitchen Therapy


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Kirsch Babas with Pineapple

I had “TRIFLE!” in my head going in to this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe by David Lebovitz.
I don’t know why… I know what Rum Babas are and I love them.
I think the pineapple, along with being sick for weeks now, made me long for all things summery, fruity and tropical!
So I tried to pretend my glass a mini trifle bowl and I layered the recipe. The sautéed pineapple at the bottom, a dollop of cream, the kirsch baba and then spooned extra juice over the entire thing.
I made a few glasses and placed them in the refrigerator, ready to eat after dinner. No plating required, it was all there in there ready to go!
There was a good hit of alcohol in this dessert!
The layers mixed in my cup and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Everyone loved it!

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays group thought of these Kirsch Babas!


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Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake

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It is winter here in Sydney, Australia.
And even though the days are sunny and mild, you can see the people sniffling, coughing and blowing noses when you’re out and about.
The past couple of weeks we have all had sore throats, blocked noses, nausea and even some vomiting. I made last week’s Dorie’s Cookies recipe however I only had the energy for a quick photo on Instagram. It made me feel like I still participated in some way 🙂
My daughter is in her last semester and uni and my son is locked down studying for his trial HSC exams before the real deal begins in October! Once the HSC exams are finished (November 9th) his high school days will be over! However until then it’s a crazy time for him trying to stay away from the sick people in the house while preparing for the celebrations of finishing high school (which still need to be organised even though none of the boys can think beyond the exams!)
So I guess it’s just a lot of hunkering down in our house.
Which made this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe ideal for us!
It’s basic, it’s tasty and it comforting. And most importantly we can all eat hazelnuts 🙂
Even the pickiest eater in the house (my 18yr old son) tried it and said it’s unusual but good!
Looking forward to seeing what everyone though of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipes!


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Vanilla Bean Sablés

IMG_8654This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi are the Vanilla Bean Sablés.

I knew I needed butter for these. In Australia our butter “sticks” are 250g, so they’re more like blocks! I was walking through the dairy aisle, looking for the butter when I felt the squeeze in my gut that tells me these days not to take this for granted.

Recently, one of the mums from school passed away. It was Anzac Day, April 25th, when she slipped walking home and fell down a sharp set of stairs.

We met when our boys started kindy together, they were 5 years old, now they are 18. We were all new at the school, we had just moved to the area, and I think we were as nervous as the kids! The school was pretty small at the time so even though our boys were never close friends, we all knew each other pretty well. She had the one child, she adored him and volunteered tirelessly at the school. She ran the canteen, the band, the uniform shop, I know at some point she was voted best volunteer in the state and you just knew that she was the person to ask about anything. When our boys moved to high school, she just picked up and tackled the same tasks at the new school. She was incredibly organised and ready to help. We usually ran into each other at the supermarket. We would catch up amongst the shopping aisles, moving our trolleys to the side (I’m sure to everyone’s annoyance) and discuss our boys final year of high school, their hopes and plans, have a laugh and then move on.

It has been a few months since she has passed away and every now and then I think I see her at the shops, but then I catch myself. I continue with my shopping, no longer lost in my thoughts but painfully aware of how fortunate I am to be buying butter, baking cookies and sharing them with my family.

I think the simplicity of these cookies complimented where I am in life at the moment. Keeping things simple, appreciating family and tradition, being present in the moment.

I can see why Sablés are so popular. They are comforting, can be a foundation for many other flavours (I’d like to try lemon) and they are simple. The first log I made I brushed with egg yolk and sugar before cutting and baking, the second I baked as is. I’ll be honest, I preferred these plain…
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I really enjoyed making and eating these, the whole family did. I am looking forward to the reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group though 🙂


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Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars

IMG_8425.JPGThis week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is meant to be Pistachio Berry Slims. It looks like a beautiful cookie, however when you have anaphylactic children it is just not going to be an option.
I debated whether I should try replacing the pistachio with coconut however last minute I decided to catch up on a recipe I had missed.
Dorie said these bars are inspired from a buttermilk pie she had at Husk restaurant. I have the Husk cookbook by Sean Brock, Heritage, and love leafing though it! So I knew right then that this recipe was going to be my substitute this week.

fullsizeoutput_1216The recipe was really simple. A cornmeal biscuit crust that is baked golden, then topped with fresh blueberries and a vanilla flavoured buttermilk custard.
Seriously? What is there not to love about this?!
It is not too sweet, it almost feels like a light summery dessert. I served it with a dollop of cream however I really do not think it needs any. It is perfect the way it is.
The tanginess of the blueberries is wonderful!

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to go back and make this recipe. It is something I will definitely make again and I think next time some sour morello cherries!
To see what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group is making this week, please click here.


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Fruit Tart

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I really enjoyed making this week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking Chez Moi.
I love pastry cream. It is one of my favourite things in the world to eat.
I made this part of the recipe first, a vanilla flavoured pastry cream.
Next I made the crust which turned out wonderfully delicate and flaky. I’m getting to know my new ovens and following directions, I removed the base at 25 minutes to take the weights off the pastry and found the base darker than I had hoped. Luckily there was no burnt taste. Other than that, I had fun making and decorating this tart.
Everyone loved it. What is there not to love?!

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To see the what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of this week’s recipes you can click here.


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Cast Iron Pan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies is for Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.
These are caramelised and crispy around the edges, soft and chewy in the centre.
The dried apricots soaked in hot water and the shredded moist coconut in the recipe add sweetness and depth of flavour.
It tastes like a wonderful chocolate chip cookie yet has the texture of a moist, chewy, muesli bar.
I found this playful and delicious.
The whole family loved this week’s recipe!
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It is the first day of school holidays for us here so I don’t expect these will last long in our house!
To see the rest of the group’s thoughts on this week’s recipes click here!

 


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Neopolitan Baked Alaska

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I love Baked Alaska, in fact I love anything with meringue on top 🙂

So… when I saw that the recipe for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie was a Black and White Baked Alaska, I was excited!
And a little hesitant.
There’s a flourless chocolate cake base that Dorie describes as “a fallen souffle, with a brownie like texture.”
Then there’s a layer of ice cream, Dorie recommends buying your favourite flavour, which did take some pressure off. However I was more concerned about the assembly and baking of the ice cream and how it would hold it’s shape under the meringue cloud…
I chose a white chocolate and raspberry ice cream which I let soften, then mashed and spooned onto the chocolate base.
I placed my double layer cake in the freezer for two hours and it held well!
The meringue was definitely my favourite part of the recipe, I could happily just sit and eat it, on its own, with a spoon… by myself… 🙂
I placed the Baked Alaska in the oven and then sliced it, however I had to be quick, the ice cream did start to melt…
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My baked Black and White Baked Alaska looked more like a Neopolitan Baked Alaska!
The family was definitely impressed.
It looked great.
I thought there was too much chocolate brownie base and wished I had more meringue. Towards the end of my slice of cake, I was looking for more ice cream as well (even though I used twice the amount of ice cream stated in the recipe).
Even the chocolate lovers in the family thought the chocolate base was a little overpowering!
If I make this again, I was thinking of making half the chocolate base, so it’s thinner. Using a  vanilla ice cream and adding a layer of sour Morello Cherries to break through the sweetness… A Black Forest Baked Alaska!
To see how this recipe turned out for the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group, click here!