Kitchen Therapy


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Chocolate Coconut Tart

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe comes from Baking Chez Moi.
The tart shell is made, fully cooked, cooled and then filled with a coconut pastry cream and topped with a silky smooth layer of chocolate ganache.
I love that Dorie Greenspan includes tips about storing and making things ahead.
One day I made the pastry case and froze it in the tin. I also made the coconut pastry cream and stored it in an air tight container in the fridge.
The next day I just baked the pastry shell and once it cooled I filled it with the pastry cream and topped it with the ganache. The steps were simple to do, however there was time needed for things to cool and rest, so doing it over two days made it feel leisurely!

It’s also really hot and humid here in Sydney. I look out over to the ocean and most days there is a fog over the water. (In the photo the ocean is mean to be where the fog is!) Some days you cannot see the water as you’re walking along the shoreline! I’m not sure if it’s living close to the ocean but the house feels wet. The clothes feel like they’re not dry, the furniture feels damp and the floors feel like they’ve just been mopped. The salt is coming out of the grinder in wet clumps instead of light flakes. I tried making a gelatine for Christmas and the powder I used would not set. The moisture has been terrible! I was happy to see that this tart turned out so good! And straight out of the refrigerator is a wonderful cold treat!

When I read Dorie’s inspiration for this tart I immediately thought of bounty chocolate bars which I love! I love all things coconut!
I enjoyed the tart however I found the coconut taste too delicate for the chocolate topping, and I’m not that keen on chocolate. I think to make it perfect for me I would need double the amount of coconut filling πŸ™‚

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of their recipes for the week!


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Madeleines

I loved this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, Madeleines, from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Especially fresh out of the pan!

Warm, light with crispy edges. These were simple yet familiar and comforting.
My 18 year old son graduated from high school last week and is now studying for his final exams.

He emerged from his room, ate 3 in a row, said they were great and then disappeared back into his room with the 4th one to get on with his study.

The rest of the family filtered into the kitchen one by one and within minutes the Madeleines were gone!

Delicious πŸ™‚
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays thought of this week’s recipe!


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Maple – Star Anise Cookies

This week’s choice for Tuesday’s with Dorie was my favourite cookie so far!
The recipe from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan was a little fiddly. I bought my own spice grinder for the Star Anise. (I also managed to lift the lid off the grinder while it was grinding and Star Anise flew everywhere!)
I’m not a fan of liquorice, however mixed with the cinnamon (which I love), ginger, maple syrup and orange rind, the cookies were delicious. Especially straight out of the oven. I had to stop eating them!

I made the cream cheese frosting the next day and I think I might have eaten a bit much of it straight out of the bowl, my tongue became very tingly!

I don’t have a cookie scoop, that’s next on my list of things to buy! So I experimented and made different sized cookies for the first batch and what I thought was small size turned into Cookie Monster sized cookies! These really do spread. I do like their soft, almost cake like texture though, and the larger cookies were great on their own!

The star anise flavour blended wonderfully with the rest of the spices to make one of the best cookies in the book in my opinion!
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group made!


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Double Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies

I like Buckwheat!
However I’m not really that much of a chocolate fan.
Which is strange considering I seem to make a lot of chocolate things!

I thought these were good.
I would not make them again however I did like the activated bukinis that went into the cookies. I couldn’t find the kasha however I think the bikinis did the trick!

These cookies were part of the Tuesdays with Dorie group recipe of the week.
They are from Dorie Greenspan’s Book, Dorie’s Cookies.

I wasn’t that taken by these however I am interested to read about what the rest of the group thought!


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Rosemary Parmesan and Pecan Cookies

These cookies piqued my curiosity!
Tuesdays with Dorie has encouraged me to push myself and try things that I would usually skip past or tell myself I’d get back to that one day and never do.
These cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies cookbook are both sweet and savoury at the same time.
You can taste the rosemary, a delicate hint of parmesan and the pecans come through as well. The taste is subtle yet clear. It’s an unusual taste combination for a cookie however it works… really well.
I’m still fighting a virus, so this recipe was simple and easy, a good and comforting winter bake πŸ™‚

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of this week’s recipe options.


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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 πŸ™‚
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 examsΒ 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 πŸ™‚
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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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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Baba Ganoush

IMG_7900.JPGThis week we are cooking Baba Ganoush with Cook the Book Fridays.
A group that cooks from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.
I’ve never made baba ganoush before.
I’ve always liked eggplants, I grew up eating a lot of grilled eggplant with garlic.
I also have a deep love of all things tahini.
So for me this dish was a total success.
Grilled eggplant, tahini paste, garlic, lemon, parsley, olive oil, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt blitzed together to make this earthy, healthy dip that has a good hit of spice.
We added it to our dinner plate instead of the horseradish we usually serve this with and it went wonderfully. Everyone loved it and I will definitely make this again.
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To read more thoughts on this dish, head over to the Cook The Book Fridays group.


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Neopolitan Baked Alaska

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I love Baked Alaska, in fact I love anything with meringue on top πŸ™‚

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… πŸ™‚
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 Β 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!