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 🙂

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


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Melomakarona – Greek Honey Dainties

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It is exactly one week until Christmas 2018.
What a year!
We moved house.
My daughter finished her university degree (and is having an existential crisis about what next…travel for now!)
My son has finished high school and it has been a very draining few months of final exams, receiving marks and we are still waiting a few more days for university offers to come through (we hope…)
A close friend passed away, a few months ago, she fell down stairs walking home, an accident, that made me painfully aware of how fragile life is.
And just before midnight Nov 1st my father passed away.
I’ll be honest, it is hard to write this and not get teary.
He passed away 3 weeks before his 76th birthday.
I still can’t believe he is no longer here.

These Greek Honey Dainties are flavours I grew up with.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect them to be so close in taste to what I am familiar with.
I made the Christmas spice version and I am so, so happy with how they came out.
I have lost 5 kilos in the past few weeks (which I was happy to see leave!) and these were well worth risking the weight returning!
These bought my mother and also myself comfort, her mother (who is from Greece) made these all the time. Remembering has been so important recently…

I loved these. I will make them again and again!
These were the recipe of the week for the Tuesdays with Dorie cooking group.
A wonderful group of people by the way!
From Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan.


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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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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 🙂

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 🙂
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.