Breakfast Inspired, Raspberry and Apple Jam Tarts Recipe

Quick! I am running out of raspaberry jam (ha ha, a typing error, but funnily enough the way I usually pronounce it!) This ruby red jelly, speckled with little white seeds, is my current mainstay of weekend breakfasts. I love it, I love it, I love it. On bread and butter, on french toast, toasted croissant, pancakes, scones and cream in fact, on just about anything I can think of ūüôā Raspberry jam is just tart enough to not really taste like you are doing the wrong thing and so fruity that you can justify that you are eating something, almost, healthy!
Jam is so quick and easy that I just went straight to my stash of frozen raspberries and picked up a left over apple from my kids lunches and whipped up an apple-fied version of my favourite jam.

Raspberry and apple jam

Boiling, fruity, bliss.  Just remember to keep stirring!
Boiling, fruity, bliss. Just remember to keep stirring!


350g fresh or frozen raspberries
100g chopped apple
350g sugar
1 small juiced lemon (use the lemon NOT the juice!)

Place into heavy pan, boil rapidly, stirring constantly.
Cook until mixture thickens and drips off the spoon in jelly like dollops. (About 15 minutes)
Serve on French toast, toasted croissant, or just freshly baked bread warm out if the oven, mmmmm
Makes enough for about 2 medium sized jars.

When I finished filling a couple of jars, I realized…oooooh I’ve missed having fun, just playing and mucking about in the kitchen No wonder I’ve been feeling so grumpy!
With fresh, sweet and fruity aromas wafting around the kitchen, and knowing that I have 2 jars of freshly made, still warm, home made jam, cooling on the bench, I can’t stop myself whipping up a quick batch of short crust pastry ūüôā

Pastry cut, jam dolloped, ready for the oven.
Pastry cut, jam dolloped, ready for the oven.

Short crust pastry
150g plain flour
80g cold butter
approx 3 tblspn ice water

Place plain flour and cold butter into food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add cold water and process until a smooth dough forms. Turn out and knead lightly. Wrap in glad wrap, refrigerate for approx 30 minutes. Makes enough pastry for approximately 20 little tartlets.

I have company for dinner tonight, so that’s all the excuse I need to create a few, little, jam tarts to have with tea afterwards. I feel so happy ūüėÄ

Jam tarts

Heat oven to 180 Celsius

The Queen of hearts, she made some tarts...I don't know if I am a queen of anything, but the tarts, oh the tarts :)
The Queen of hearts, she made some tarts…I don’t know if I am a queen of anything, but the tarts, oh the tarts ūüôā

Roll out short crust pastry on a lightly floured bench. Roll it thin enough so that you can just start to make out the colour of your bench through the pastry.
Use a fluted cutter to cut out rounds, and place them into small, shallow cupcake pans.
Place about 1/2 tspn of jam in the centre of each pastry round. Don’t overfill as jam will melt and bubble while cooking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is lightly golden.
Cool thoroughly before serving, as jam is hot, hot, hot!!

A lovely smooth buttery flavoured pastry, short, and flakey when you bite into it and of course, there is no getting away from that great full, tart rasp-aah-berry flavour with chunks of unmistakable apple sweetness. You always knew I would drizzle with chocolate didn’t you? I used white chocolate here but dark couverture would be just as lovely.

Heavenly. I think I might be kidding myself that they will last until after dinner. Isn’t it almost afternoon tea time?

Raspberry and white chocolate, raspberry and dark chocolate?  Who can choose anyway?  Just eat me :)
Raspberry and white chocolate, raspberry and dark chocolate? Who can choose anyway? Just eat me ūüôā
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Easter Bliss. Chocolate Easter Profiteroles with Golden Syrup Cream Recipe

Easter Bliss!
Easter Bliss!

Third year in, and only my first effort at a special post for Easter! “Poor form”, I hear you say, “Have you seen how much chocolate is around at Easter?” Easter is definitely the chocolate season of the year. I should know, as a student, I worked Summers at the Red Tulip factory, packing (and eating) all summer, just for Easter. But, you have to understand, in a holiday that is so dedicated to chocolate (apologies to any church goers for that blasphemous statement), it is easy to hide!

My first ever recipe for Easter had to be caramel centred, it was the only easter egg I loved and it is still the only easter egg I crave. Oh Cadbury, between caramello koala’s,

Oh Cadbury, I confess, I am a die hard caramello fan
Oh Cadbury, I confess, I am a die hard caramello fan

caramello easter eggs, and caramello family blocks honestly, why does anyone ever need to reinvent the wheel?

Well, some of us seem to be born to discover the simply perfect, only to find that it triggers some ridiculous chemical in our brains that makes us wonder, “What can I do to make this simple and perfect food, reflect my personality, by making it more complicated?”

I hope you enjoy this complicated version of my very favourite, simple easter egg ūüôā

Chocolate profiteroles with golden syrup cream.

1/2 cup water

37g butter

pinch salt

1/2 cup plain flour

2 eggs

300ml thickened cream

golden syrup to drizzle

dark chocolate

sugar pearls

white chocolate

orange coloured heart sprinkles

Preheat oven to 225 Celsius

Place water, butter and salt into a pan. Bring to the boil.

Add sifted flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until forms a smooth ball and leaves side of pan. Keep stirring over the heat for another minute or 2.

Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Add beaten eggs a little at a time, beating thoroughhly after each addition.

Beat paste well after all egg is added until it is free of lumps. Mix should be smooth and glossy.

Drop rounded balls, approx size of small walnuts, on a lightly greased oven tray.

Bake in 225 celsius oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 170 Celsius and bake a further 10-15 minutes.

When cooked, remove from the oven and make small slits in the side to allow steam to escape.

Return to oven for another 10 minutes to allow puffs to dry out.

IMG_5786

Dip half of the profiteroles in melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with the sugar pearls.IMG_5795

Dip the remaining profiteroles in melted white chocolate. Decorate with a little orange heart for a beak and two dots of melted dark chocolate for eyes, to make a simple little chick ūüôā Allow the chocolate to set.

For a gooey, indulgent centre, whip up the thickened cream until stiff peaks form. Drizzle the bowl of whipped cream liberally with golden syrup but don’t combine.

Spoon the cream and golden syrup into a piping back with a small plain nozzle. Stick the nozzle into a slit on the sides of the profiteroles and squeeze the cream mixture to fill the centre of the profiteroles. Or, cut the profiteroles in half horizontally and pipe, or spoon the cream to fill the base and pop the top back on.

Have a Safe and Happy Easter!

Delicious!!  Hope you all enjoy a safe and happy easter with your nearest and dearest xx
Delicious!! Hope you all enjoy a safe and happy easter with your nearest and dearest xx

Something Quick, Something Simple. Apricot, Ginger and White Chocolate Pavlova Recipe.

Sunkissed and freckled, just the thought of apricots remind me of the fantastic old apricot tree that was the jewel of my Mum and Dad’s old garden. Not at an old house, just in the old garden. Unfortunately, with progress, renovations and just many years passing by, since the tree was first planted; that gnarly old tree with knobs of amber sap, hardened like jewels, dotted along its branches, has long gone.

I have been sadly disappointed with the apricots that are available from the supermarkets for many years now. I pick up those little golden orbs, full of promise, to find a rubbery texture, then bite down to find, I have not been transported back in time. Sad, but I do understand the need to produce a product that will travel well and that will look good on the shelf, I just really, wish that it didn’t come at the expense of all that wonderful texture and flavour. The old fashioned apricots were small and soft, traits which just don’t cut it on the mass market today. Yep, I can just imagine the horrid, bruised mess of apricot puree, that would greet any greengrocer that might open a box of old fashioned apricots in the modern supermarket age!

I had made a promise to myself to plant an old fashioned Blenheim apricot tree in my garden last year, only to find that they weren’t available in 2012! I was willing and ready to make my own memories, to remind myself of times when life was simpler, when Summers seemed softer (they weren’t!) and when apricots ruled my Januaries. So, disappointed ūüė¶ Talk about first world problems, ha ha!!

So, here I am, bang in the middle of the Summer of 2012/13. Stone fruits abound and the apricots, well, smelt good, for the first time in years! I bought a bag, I was excited, I got them home and ‘bummer’, they were sour. My obvious answer to, ‘too sour’ is to pair it with ‘too sweet’ ūüôā

too sweet, too sour, with a touch of the exotic.  Delicious!
Too sweet, too sour, with a touch of the exotic. Delicious!

Bake a pavlova shell with the recipe I posted here. Or, try this other recipe!

Apricot, ginger and white chocolate pavlova

4 egg whites

1 cup of sugar

1/2 tspn vanilla

1 tspn white vinegar

1 1/2 cups thickened cream

100g white chocolate

4 pieces Bundaberg naked ginger (crystallized ginger)

6 apricots sliced

handful of blueberries

fresh mint sprigs

Heat oven to 150 degrees celsius.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Add sugar gradually, beating well after each addition, until dissolved. Add vanilla and vinegar and beat a further 1 minute.

Pour mixture on to a tray lined with baking paper. Use spatula to form round shape approximately 20cm wide, Use spatula to scrape the sides up so that they are straight and the mound looks like a cake shape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until meringue is crisp. Take out and run a sharp knife around the top about 1.5cm from the edge which awill allow the shell to stand as the top sinks when cooling. Turn oven off and allow pavlova to cool in the oven.

Beat cream until soft peaks form.

Place white chocolate in a bowl and microwave on med-high for 1 minute 20 seconds. The chocolate may not look melted but take it out and stir. If it does not melt with some stirring, place it back into microwave at med-high for 10 second bursts and stir between bursts, until melted. Let cool slightly.

Stir chocolate into cream and place in fridge.

Chop ginger finely or whizz in a processor. Stir into the white chocolate cream.

Pour cream onto the top of cooled meringue shell.

Decorate with sliced apricots, blueberries and mint leaves. Dust with icing sugar if you so desire!

A slice of this apricot pavlova has made it just a little bit easier for me to wait. The fantasy is of course, taking the first bite out of my own soft, sweet and fragrant, sunblushed apricots. One day ūüôā

Sun kissed apricots, fresh off the tree.  Aaaaah, only a distant memory
Sun kissed apricots, fresh off the tree. Aaaaah, only a distant memory

Bliss-ful, Blood orange, Birthday Brulee

Bliss turns 2 this month. Yep, just like that my baby is walking on her own! :O

hmmm, I only put 1 candle on ‘coz I thought it looked better?! Questioning my judgement now, since it is for a 2nd birthday…
The first few fruit from my Mum’s blood orange tree. She’s had it for a while! They live up to their finnicky reputation

I just can’t thank my friends and family enough for supporting me in my endeavours with Bliss while I have tried to find my feet. And, now I find, I have come to a point where I have had to make some decisions as to which direction I want to take this little business, which has come so far. During the time that I was most involved in my pondering and constant perusal of cooking shows, cake blogs, and other cake-y Facebook pages, my inspiration arrived in a little delivery of first fruits, from my Mum’s blood orange tree.

I first came across blood oranges while I was living in China and was immediately taken by their unique bloody looking flesh and aromatic, tart flavour. They have been described as having a flavour that is between an orange and a raspberry. Expect a smaller, thinner skinned fruit, with a tartness that you do not normally get with a navel orange. There is some question as to whether the fruit originated in China, however it is Sicily that boasts a long history of cultivating the blood orange and using the gorgeous flavour in anything from salads to soft drinks . These finicky fruit trees require scorching daytime heat and frigid night-time temperatures during Autumn to push the naturally produced redness in the fruit, to higher levels within the flesh and sometimes within the skin.

And so, it was these little fruits that put me on the path of remembering what I said after my first Christmas of baking under the Bliss banner. I love creating, I love sharing, and I love fresh, seasonal produce.

Only a little hint of red in these babies, the real deal are much more likely to attract Dracula!

Of course, I will keep baking indulgent chocolate cakes for my gorgeous customers! However my time is limited, my resources sparse and as much as I love the idea of going retail with my cakes it is not really the road for me, without a capable partner. So, what I can do, and would love to do more of, is to keep putting together Bliss-ful recipes, of wonderful cakes and desserts (mostly chocolate based!) that I can share with everyone. What do you think? Would you like to hear more about how my brain works and try my ideas out at home?

I really hope so?! And, that is why I am posting a first recipe with this path in mind. Please feel free to share and comment, I love a good chat! If you do share my recipe, I would only request that you please give my blog recognition.

I hope you enjoy this impressive, Bliss-ful, Blood orange, Birthday Brulee!!

*Bake the custard the night before you are serving it, to allow it to cool thoroughly in the fridge and reduce stress!!

Blood Orange Brulee

6 large egg yolks

1 cup castor sugar

1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)

600ml cream

Finely grated zest of 1 blood orange

Roughly chopped flesh of 1 blood orange

Slices of blood orange for garnish

3-4 tablespoons brown sugar

Decoration

150ml whipping cream

2 tsp castor sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Block of good quality dark chocolate

Toffee walnuts (see previous blog for recipe ‘Toffee anything is Bliss”)

Preheat oven to 150C.

Place egg yolks into a 1.65l Pyrex dish (actually, any oven proof dish will do, you just don’t want it too large as the custard will sit too low)

Whisk in the sugar until well combined.

Split vanilla pod and place into a pot with the cream ( or just add a teaspoon of vanilla seed paste to the cream), and heat until nearly boiling. Take out pod and scrape seeds back into the cream. Add grated orange zest.

Pour heated cream slowly into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly.

Drop roughly chopped orange pieces evenly around the bowl, into the custard mixture.

Place bowl into a roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water, until water reaches half way up the oven proof bowl.

Place tray into oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Custard should still be wobbly when you take it out of the oven however, it should not shake as if the centre is still completely liquid. Allow to cool.

Refrigerate custard for at least 4 hrs, or leave it over night and get a good nights rest!

Place slices of blood orange on top of the brulee in your own creative pattern or just put 3 slices in the centre, like I did.

Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the custard and the oranges. Preferably use a brulee torch to melt the sugar and let it caramelize, otherwise put bowl under the grill for approx 2 minutes and allow the top of your custard to brown. ( I have never had much luck with this method, so don’t really recommend it).

Pop it back into the fridge for about an hour to make sure the brulee has hardened.

Looks good enough to eat! Serve as is, with some fresh fruit on the side. If you want it to look extra sexy, keep on reading…

I would be happy to serve this as is, for a family dinner however if you want it to look extra sexy, keep going!

Whip cream with sugar and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks.

Drag a sharp, cooks knife across the back of a block of good quality dark chocolate to produce some chocolate curls.

Pipe cream around the edges of the bowl in over sized rosettes. Place toffee walnuts and chocolate curls alternately on top of the cream rosettes.

oh yeah…

Christmas Shortbread Recipe

I love receiving home made gifts! Taste delicious and reflect so much love and care ūüôā

I love baking for friends and family at Christmas. A home made present is so much a part of the person that is giving. The cook has not only put in the time and effort to make their gift but what they choose to make also reflects the love they wish to impart to the recipient.
There are so many fantastic and complicated recipes out there, but at Christmas, when time is short and family life is ridiculously hectic the simplest recipes, made with love and care tastes just as good as a Michelin star dessert, as far as I am concerned!!!
I love the care and detail that is put into a home made jam, or marmalade…even better if it is home grown fruit. Make me a dessert sauce or a batch of chocolate chip cookies and I will love you and my present more than a $100 voucher anyday ūüėČ

Seems shortbread is a Scottish Christmas tradition. Any excuse, I say for one of my favourite butter and icing sugar combinations ūüėČ

Here is the simplest of shortbread recipes. I have been making this from one of the old Women’s Weekly cookbooks since I was even shorter than I am now!!

250g butter

1/3 cup icing sugar

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup cornflour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sifted flours, mix well. Put mixture into piping bag with fluted tube or into a cookie press. Pipe rosettes or choose your favourite cookie press stencil and press on to lightly greased oven trays. Bake in 170 degrees celsius oven 10-12 minutes for piped cookies or 8-10 minutes for pressed cookies. Cool on wire rack.

A seriously simple way to ‘Bliss’ them up is to melt your favourite couverture chocolate, add a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua to the chocolate and half dip each of the cookies. Let set on a sheet of baking paper. Pile them high on a plate and sprinkle liberally with icing sugar.

Merry Christmas to you all, as I get back to baking with 10 overseas guests staying in the house!!!

Real life baking, real life Christmas, real life Bliss xxx

Whose tradition is it anyway?

My parents are moving.   All the way from upstairs to downstairs, but there is no doubt they are moving.

To anyone vaguely involved in the process or even watching from afar, all the stress, drama, tears and sentimentality attached to a shift in location are present, as a day to day reminder of how much work any type of change can be.

My parents were war babies, growing up during a time when your life, in the midst of constant oppression, was the most valuable thing you could own.¬† They were lucky to have been able to blossom into full grown adults during the prosperous 50’s and 60’s, meeting up as students in my beloved Melbourne. My parents have a frugal ‘waste not, want not’ mentality, coupled with enough wealth, in later years, to ensure that they always had more new items to ‘not waste’, that is so common of that generation.

This of course means, that our family home, houses the treasures of the ages, and then some.

“So”, you ask???

Look what I found!!

To which I reply…”Look what I found!!!!”¬† Amongst the boxes and boxes of tea paraphenalia,¬† I stumbled across this lovely traditional Wedgewood sugar and creamer.¬† I just swooned and fell in love ūüôā

Afternoon tea, anyone?

Love at first sight is such a strange thing.¬† I have never really liked Wedgewood and yet it caught my eye straight away. When I discovered it was actually one of my Mum and Dad’s engagement presents, the set, of course took on a whole new importance, and represented love of a whole other time and place!¬† I have never seen this sugar and creamer being used, and to be honest I have never even noticed it being on display.¬† So, in commemoration of love in its many forms, how could I celebrate these 2 lovely pieces in a less formal, Bliss-ful manner?

Melbourne in the day was so English, so proper.¬† Tea with milk and 2 sugars at 4pm, alcohol served only after 5pm, pre dinner drinks of sherry or gin, hats and gloves to church and of course the traditional Sunday roast.¬† Custard tarts,¬† home made biscuits and jam and cream sponges dusted with icing sugar, stick in my mind as the items ‘de riguer’ for afternoon tea.

Bring on the Bliss! ' Blue gin' glace icing, white chocolate dipped blueberries, white chocolate curls, lightly dusted with icing sugar!

Well, ‘Bliss’ is definitely 21st century Melbourne, where Champagne is served for breakfast lunch and tea, where houses boast outdoor kitchens and Dad’s cook barbeque dinners regularly, and Melbourne is most notably now, a city that has become a melting pot of sights, sounds, tastes and traditions.

So here is my take on a ‘traditional’ Wedgewood, afternoon tea. No, I have never shaken my love for white tea with 2 sugars, although I now only take a more PC 1 sugar!!

Fluffy and light, white chocolate cake, in a suitably lady-like size ūüôā

Fluffy and light white chocolate cake with a ‘blue gin’ glace icing topped with white chocolate dipped blueberries, white chocolate curls and dusted with icing sugar.¬†¬† Serve anytime between 10am and 12am with English breakfast tea, Jasmine green tea, Champagne or a short black.

For Mum and Dad, to a great new start! Chin, chin ūüôā

Just do it!

Do you admire people who push themselves out of their comfort zone to achieve grand and spectacular, previously untested goals?

I love to wonder in amazement what spurs these people on to win gold medals, to scale great heights and to plumb great depths.  Is it their competetive nature, a sense of adventure, or complete foolishness?  Is it possible that they are spurred on by the same ridiculous notion that drives me to take on the little challenges in my life?  The mere fact that the challenge exists?  See a mountain (or molehill) therefore, climb it?

I have said many times that I am no cake decorator.¬† I both admire decorators skills and at the same time usually stay at arms length of their challenges.¬† However, with all the interest that Bliss has had lately, it was inevitable that cakes for children would come along.¬† As a Mum, Aunty and friend in general, of small children, I decided to take on a few ‘once off’ type cakes, for friends and family.

Wow, a farmyard is a lot of work! Rich chocolate birthday cake layered and frosted with real strawberry buttercream.

Wow!¬† Did I learn a thing or two ūüôā¬† A farmyard whether it be cake or real is a lot of work!!!

Hats off to all you dedicated decorators out there, and please forgive my mistakes.  I love my baking and I love my chocolate, but full on, cake decorating is not a passion that I could pursue the way that my decorating heroes can.

Check out ‘Bespoke Occasions’ and’ Cakes by Andreea’.¬† Two lovely ladies based in Melbourne who have FB pages that I follow and admire greatly.

The patience, technical skills and eye for detail that is required to produce jaw dropping sculptures week after week, while dealing with a young family is the kind of admiration I have for people who take on the swim across the English Channel!

A very special 'once off' for Oula's little boy. Happy Birthday Hun!

Happy birthday Coop!

PS. A very special mention needs to be made to Ruby’s cakes in Adelaide, for providing the inspiration for my figures and for the farmyard cake design itself.

For extra warmth, just add Ginger

Padded jackets at the ready.¬† 2 weeks before Winter is to officially begin and we are already freezing, snow on the mountains and frost on the lawns, but it’s that little snowflake that flashes on the car dashboard that drives home (sorry, pun intended) that it’s REALLY cold!

I feel warmer already ūüôā

When I need extra warmth, I know what I reach for¬†other than¬†a rather large doona¬†and a mug of hot cocoa,¬† it’s ginger.¬† Ginger has been an Asian staple for centuries and used medicinally as well as in cooking.¬† The heat adding properties do not stop at its spiciness but help to warm the body according to Chinese Medicine.¬†¬† I love ginger and have found that for those persistent winter coughs that just won’t budge, hot ginger tea with a big spoon of honey is just the thing to help stave off the hacking for a little while.¬† Just, roughly crush and chop, ¬†a knob of ginger about the size of your thumb and steep it in a mug of boiling water (preferably in a tea infuser or else you will be spending a lot of time picking out bits of ginger from your mouth!),¬† add a generous¬†tablespoon of honey, cover and allow the flavours to develop for a few minutes.¬† If you are up to a bit of stronger medicine, add a measure of Dom Benedictine.¬† Sip slowly while wrapped up in your favourite blanket, ¬†seated in front of an open fire.

Even if it doesn’t stop your coughing, and even if you have realized that there is actually no tea in my ‘ginger tea’ recipe, what a great way to spend half an hour!¬† ūüôā

On a more¬†traditionally¬†Aussie ¬†front, my sister and I still¬†crave an Arnott’s ginger snap with a cup of milky tea , when we think of¬†4 o’clock.¬† I can always tell¬†the girl¬†is back in Melbourne for a visit when I find an open¬†packet of the old ginger snap biscuits in¬†my Mum’s¬†pantry!

Gingerbread cake made with freshly grated ginger and fragrant with golden syrup is¬†my¬†major¬†weakness as far as ginger goes,¬†and as far as I am concerned, I don’t make it often enough.¬† I used to follow recipes that used ginger powder and could never understand why you would use powder when fresh ginger was so abundant.¬† Supposedly the powder is more aromatic but I love the flavour and texture of fresh ginger and always use it in my cakes.¬† The other thing¬† I never understood as a kid was my Mum’s weakness for chocolate coated ginger, such a ¬†weird combination!¬† But, don’t we live and learn, I am sure my Mum is getting the last laugh now!

So, is ginger winter seasonal produce?  Well, tender, new young ginger has been making its appearance over the past month or so, at my local Asian markets, so I am going with YES!

And so, on the back of that one great assumption regarding Winter produce, I am very excited to unveil my Winter

Chocolate swirled and chocolate topped, just begging for a cup of tea!

seasonal cake.¬† I just couldn’t go past gingerbread cake, and to make it completely indulgent I have swirled it with melted dark chocolate and ginger bits, draped it with a¬†chocolate ganache¬†and topped it all with Buderim’s ‘naked’ ginger and more chocolate, of course!

Serve with a cup of steaming hot tea…ginger, or otherwise!

Chocolate Swirled Gingerbread Cake, now this is how I like to stay warm!
Dripping ganache, ‘naked’ ginger and…more chocolate!

Available June 1st-August 31st 2011 only.

My seasonal cakes may not be the same every year so I hope that you take the opportunity to enjoy them while you can!  $45  for a 12cmx22cm loaf

‘Royal Pudding’ Recipe. Otherwise known as, ‘Caramel Custard’ :)

Happiness is –

A good bank account

A good cook, and

A good digestion

from The Etiquette of English Puddings
I didn’t know there was etiquette surrounding puddings until I was given this book! ūüôā
 

As close as my hubby comes to being English, is a penchant for ‘fry ups’ and wishing he grew up as one of the ‘Secret Seven’! Even so, he would agree wholeheartedly with this old English saying!¬† As for me, I wished for nothing more than to find I had fairies and pixies¬†living at the bottom of my garden (yes, I often went searching) and have grown up with a secret obsession with pudding!¬† Ssssssshhhhhh, I don’t know that even the English find that PC to say :D.¬† Such was my love of pudding that my sister found a little gift for me on one of her first trips to London,¬† this gorgeous little book known as The Etiquette of English Puddings.

‘Royal Pudding’ recipe, if you would like to follow the original

There are so many traditionally English puddings that bring back fond memories for friends and family, but this¬† ‘Royal Pudding’ caught my eye immediately.¬† It was either adapted from the French dessert or the French made it their own.¬† It is such an amazing classic that it has been laid claim to right throughout the world!¬† On my first trip to Malaysia, sitting in a roadside coffee shop for lunch, I was astounded to find that this sweet treat was a specialty of the house, and that all sweet toothed Malaysians considered it a local dessert!¬† Better known as Creme Caramel to most of us in Australia, that sticky, runny caramel sauce paired with a smooth egg-y custard, served cold with cream is a formidable dessert staple.

The original recipes use full cream and are normally served individually.

Absolutely breathtaking, but very rich.

I have adapted the recipe to a much lighter, family friendly, version, that can be eaten anytime.¬† I usually make this pudding¬† ‘cake size’ , so that it can be sliced and served at a party.

Caramel

Splendidly simple, rich, vanilla infused caramel sauce atop a creamy custard pudding

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Custard

3 cups milk

1 cup cream

5 eggs

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tspn vanilla

3 egg yolks. extra

**If you are visiting Bliss especially for this recipe please take a second to do a quick poll, as I would love some feedback. Thank you in advance!**

mmmm up close and personal!

Caramel:¬† Place sugar and water into saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.¬† Stop stirring.¬† Increase heat to moderate and boil until mixture turns a caramel cover.¬† Pour into the base of a greased 8″ cake tin.

Custard; Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla and sugar in bowl.  Beat lightly.  Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to scalding point, cool slightly.  Pour over egg mixture, stirring all the time.  Strain into a large jug.  Pour gently over the caramel.

Place tin into shallow baking dish containing approximately 2cm cold water.  Bake at 170C for 50 minutes.  Remove tin from the water.  Cool and refrigerate.  Run sharp knife around edge and turn out onto a deep serving dish (make sure your serving dish is deep enough for the caramel sauce to sit in!).

“My Husband and I will be dining on charcoal chicken, champagne and royal pudding tomorrow night.”

I don’t know how ‘Royal’ I will feel, but I know that I will certainly be happy ūüôā

*It’s in the oven right now.¬† I will post a photo next week.¬† Enjoy your weekend!

'Royal Pudding'.  It must be 'royal'  I have the pink fluffy, plastic tiara to prove it! :)
‘Royal Pudding’. It must be ‘royal’ I have the pink fluffy, plastic tiara to prove it! ūüôā

 

*If you are enjoying being blissed, please drop me a comment with any feedback or comments!  I would love to know what you are enjoying most and what you would like to see more of.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list or follow me on wordpress to see all my latest ramblings ūüôā *

Who doesn’t have a macaron story?

Cabernet and White Chocolate Ganache Macaron. Red wine and chocolate, never fails!

Macarons have got to be the biggest thing in Australia since the rebirth of the cupcake!

Masterchef¬†sent the profile of the macaron¬†sky-high¬†in Australia, and a macaron¬†obsession has become a mainstream pass time.¬† My sister was actually the first person I knew who had a macaron¬†obsession, all those years ago. Being a little more gourmet in her tastes and better travelled than I was at the time, she relayed the beauty of the macaron¬†to me and I nodded and smiled with no real understanding of what she was so enraptured with.¬† Even a trip to Paris and a true French Macaron¬†later, my hubby and I still didn’t really get it. ¬† As I am now aware that I should have gone to Laduree, maybe Paul’s on Champs Elysee¬†was not the place to start our macaron¬†journey.¬† However, we were given good local advice as to the grand tradition of baking there.¬† Too large, too sweet and too dense were the ways I described my first macaron experience.

Then I started Bliss, and with my first wedding cake under my belt, my gorgeously, bubbly friend Pheanary, asked me to create a macaron¬†tower wedding cake for her with my lovely’ White Celebrate’ underneath.¬† Well, never one to shy away from a challenge, I was not fazed by all the bad press about the finnicky¬†macaron.¬†¬† I had given myself 6 months to try, try and¬†try again and warned Phen that if it didn’t happen that she would still have plenty of time to order from someone else.¬† Then, the countdown began.

Pistachio and Whipped Chocolate Ganache Macaron.

I googled and googled, spending ridiculous hours, poring over countless numbers of internet sites dedicated to the technique of great macarons.¬† Syrup and Tang is the most comprehensive site that I have come across and is where the true obsessive can be found!¬† I have to thank Duncan for spending so much time in writing down and adjudicating so much information.¬† It was through his site that I discovered that my biggest issue was using the wrong baking paper!¬† However, Joe Pastry http://joepastry.com/index.php?cat=171 was where I found my confidence again,¬† “Pastry can smell fear”,¬† it was a motto that I could completely relate to.¬† I was always a confident baker, who believed in cooking from the heart.¬† I do not like to bake with ‘retentive’ precision, and the whole macaron experience was sitting very badly with me.¬† I just couldn’t believe that success or failure was going to come down to decimal places!¬† Obsession started to set in…..hmmmm it doesn’t take much!

Exploding meringues¬†that looked like mini volcanos, collapsed and soggy, burnt and crunchy, flat with a slight pancake look to them….yep, I ran through the gamut!¬† Was I going to give up?¬† No, I was going to start dreaming about macarons and shunning my family as soon as I woke up to turn on the kettle (some things never change!) and start cracking egg whites.

Then finally, hubby and I were able to taste test, :0¬† we couldn’t believe it :0, light, fragrant, slightly chewy and with that lovely little thin, meringue crust.¬† Is this what everyone has been raving about???¬† Then I sandwiched them with raspberry conserve and chocolate ganache.¬† Oh….my….goodness ūüôā¬† Macaron Heaven.¬† Converted for life.

So what did my success with macarons come down to?

Turkish Delight and White Chocolate Ganache Macaron. The chewy bits add another fun dimension!
  • Adding 2gm¬†of dried egg white to every 50gm of egg white (buy it from Leo’s supermarket $4.50 for a jar).
  • I did not find aging the egg whites made any difference to the outcome
  • Using the italian meringue recipe found on Syrup and Tangs website;¬† http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-macaronicite-3-the-more-reliable-macaron-recipe-and-a-few-tips/
  • Using Glad baking paper, so that the macarons don’t stick, and will rise evenly to give you a nice foot
  • Use nice thick baking trays so that the macarons don’t heat up too quickly
  • Resting the macarons until they are touch dry, for me it is around 15-30 minutes, weather dependent.¬† Check Syrup and Tang’s notes to find out why you rest them and what the resting time means;¬† http://www.syrupandtang.com/201003/of-ovens-and-baking-and-macarons/comment-page-1/#comment-7032
  • Test 3 macarons¬†at a time in your oven to find the best temperature for you.¬† Starting at 150C¬†in 5C¬†increments (if your oven will allow you) up to about 170C.¬† Use the¬† lowest temperature that you can get to without leaving an air gap.¬† For me an air gap was a sign of too low a temperature in the oven.
  • Bake between 7 and 15 minutes, again, test, test, test.¬† Use the lowest setting that you can for as long as you can before the macarons¬†become brown.¬† Collapsed macarons with a wet centre were what happened to me when all they needed was an extra minute!

The macaron tower is still quite a long time away, but it looks like macaron eating could be filling in the months leading up to it!  Happy baking, Cheers Lynnette

Passionfruit and White Chocolate Ganache Macaron. So cute!