Thursday, October 8, 2015

Strawberry sandwich cookies

Tonight is my friend Natalie's long awaited burlesque performance.  Burlesque is one of my favourite art forms because it incorporates all things feminine, and sexy, and glamorous! Plus there's usually lots of pink and rhinestones which always gets the tick of approval from me.
So to celebrate Natalie's performance, I wanted to bake her something that was in the similar vein of burlesque...
Enters whipped cream and strawberries..the ultimate pairing that screams sexy and decadent.  Followed up by some choc chip cookies because they just remind me of good old fashion 'girl next door,' in pink plaid type thing.  These ones are soft, a little chewy and perfectly thick.
Lo and behold, we have a strawberry sandwich cookie! Recipe below.

125g butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 of a 1/4cup filled with caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 generous tsp vanilla
1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup choc chips
splash of milk if needed
1 cup thickened cream, whipped
1 cup strawberries, chopped

Mix together the sugars with the melted butter until smooth.  Add the beaten egg and vanilla, mix well. Gradually add the flours with the choc chips and mix.  Add a splash of milk if needed. Dough should be a little shiny/wet, but not runny.
Place tbsps of the mixture onto a lined tray and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes on 160 degrees, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool while you whip the cream.  When cool, lather the cream onto the inner side of the cookie.  Fill with chop strawberries and sandwich with another cookie. Serve.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tarte aux fruits (revisited)

Well it's been 3 years...
And yes I'm still making the same recipes!
So I decided it's time to revisit and revamp this little space. I want to first revisit all my old favourite recipes stored on this site and rephotograph them with my DSLR camera. Hopefully this way I can reconnect and remember all of the bloggers I met along the way over the years.
I also have been cooking up new recipes each week for friends and family that I can't wait to share with you.
For now, here is one of my classics - a basic french custard tart or "tarte aux fruits."

Ingredients for Pastry
250g plain flour
180g chilled butter, cubed
4 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons chilled water

Ingredients for Custard Filling and Topping
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups milk (I used skim milk)
2 tsp vanilla essence
150g flaked almonds
+ choice of berries, sliced
+ icing sugar, and sieve to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced). Grease your individual tins or 1 tart tin. Make the pastry by sifting the flour into a bowl. With a wooden spoon mix the butter cubes through the flour until the butter is covered. Transfer to a food processor and slowly, and carefully, process the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, this step can be done with fingers. Then, mix in the icing sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the water. Take a spatula and use a cutting action until the mixture comes together. Add a drop more water if necessary, but ensure its chilled. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. Line your tins with the pastry, reusing the cut away pastry until you have none left. Refridgerate your 8, pastry lined, tins for 20 minutes. After this, line the tins with baking paper and spread baking beads or uncooked rice evenly over the paper. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beads/rice and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden.
To make the filling, put the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until pale. Heat the milk in a saucepan until almost boiling, then remove from the heat and add gradually to the egg mixture; beating constantly. Strain back into the pan. Stir constantly over low heat for 4 minutes, or until the mixture boils and thickens. Do not over cook. Remove from the heat, and add the vanilla and stir through well. Immediately pour the custard filling into the cool pastry shell and top with your choice of fruit (berries are best) and flaked almonds. Allow to set by cooling in the fridge before serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar before cutting. 

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