Friday, February 25, 2011

Quiche Lorraine

I have been day dreaming about quiche lately (is that weird?) and wanted something yummy to take to work for lunch, so it was the perfect time to make a classic quiche Lorraine.

I don’t often post about savoury goodies, but I had to share this because it’s just so darn tasty! So tasty in fact that I got a message from boyfriend at lunchtime saying it was perfection on a plate.

The pastry was yummy and buttery and there was just the perfect amount of filling, not too thick like most quiches I’ve tried. I know I’ll be making this again soon.

For the pastry (from Homestyle Pies and Tarts)

1 ½ cups plain flour
90 grams butter (chilled and cubed)
1 egg yolk
2-3 table spoons iced water

To make the pastry- In a large bowl rub together flour and butter until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and water and mix together using the blade of a knife, continue until the dough comes together. Add a little more water if needed.

Gather the dough together in a ball and place between two sheets of baking paper, roll the pastry until it is large enough to fit a 25cm shallow flan tin.

Line the flan tin with pastry, press well into the edges. Trim away any excess pastry and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 190°c.

Line the pastry with baking and fill will baking beads or dried rice. Bake the quiche shell for 15 minutes, remove the paper and baking weights and bake for a further 10 minutes until the base is dry and lightly golden.

For the filling

20 grams butter
1 onion (diced)
4 bacon slices (cut into thin strips)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 eggs
¾ cup cream
¼ cup milk
100 grams grated cheese

To make the filling- heat the butter in a frying pan over low heat, add the onions and butter. Continue stirring until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir through the chives and set aside to cool.

In a jug beat together eggs, milk and cream adding a little salt and pepper.

Spread the bacon and onion mix evenly over the pastry shell.

Carefully pour over the cream mixture.

Sprinkle the top with cheese.

Bake the quiche at 180°c for about 30 minutes or until top is golden and the filling is set.

Enjoy hot or cold.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peach Pie

I have been wanting to make this pie for a very long time, on this lazy Sunday morning I finally got the chance. I love the look of lattice topped pies and am so happy with how turned out, golden on top with squares of bright orange peach peaking through. It was a super hot day, probably not the best time to be using the oven, but it was so worth it sitting down in the afternoon with a slice of pie and ice cream.

For the pastry- (from Homestyle Pies and Tarts)

2 ½ cups plain flour
4 tablespoons self raising flour
185 grams butter (chilled and cubed)
2 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
6-7 tablespoons iced water

To make the pastry- In a large bowl rub together flours and cubed butter until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix through the sugar and form a well in the centre. Add the water and mix through with a flat bladed knife until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into two, making one half larger than the other. Press each segment of dough in between two sheets of baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the pie-

2 x 825 gram tins peach slices (drained)
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup cornflour
20 grams butter (cubed)
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg white (lightly beaten)
1 tablespoon caster sugar (extra to sprinkle)

To make the pie- roll two thirds of the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until a large enough round to fit a 7 inch pie plate.

Preheat the oven to 200°c.

Line the pie dish with the pastry and trim the edges.

Prick the base lightly all over with a fork. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking weights or dried rice.

Bake the shell for ten minutes, remove the weights and paper and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, until the pie base is dry and lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl gently mix the peaches, caster sugar and cornflour until evenly coated.

Spoon the filling into the pie base. Place on the cubes of butter and brush the edges with milk.

Roll out the remaining dough into a 10 inch square. With a pastry cutter cut the pastry into ten even strips about an inch wide.

Arrange the strips of pastry over the top of the pie to form a lattice. Firmly press down the edges and trim away the excess.

Brush the pastry lattice with the egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake the pie for 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180°c and bake for a further 30 minutes, until the pie shell is golden.

Try not to eat a whole half a pie in one afternoon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Inside Valentines Cake

This is my last valentines related post, and is also what I really made for valentines day. Boyfriend and I don't go crazy on the 14th of Feb, but we don't completely ignore it either. I came home to the lovely surprise of boyfriend making me a yummy dinner and he very much enjoyed his cake while we watched some Mad Men .

The inspiration for this cake came from some recent cupcakes on Bake It in a Cake , boyfriend isn't the biggest fan of cupcakes but I was in love with the idea so baked hearts into a cake instead. I used the recipe for the orange coconut cake I made a little while ago, but replaced the orange for equal parts of lemon and lime.

I wanted the cake to be a surprise, so I waited for boyfriend to go to sleep and made it late last night (sorry for the dark photos). I couldn't wait to see what the inside of the cake was like, I crossed my fingers when it was cut today and was very happy to see the hearts looked great. I cant wait to bake all kinds of things into my cakes now.

A very happy valentines day to you all.

To make the cake- Lightly grease a 8 inch square cake tin and a loaf tin. Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

Prepare the cake batter as usual. Scoop 1/3 of the mixture into a smaller bowl and colour with red food dye.

Evenly spread the red cake mix into the square cake tin. Bake the red cake for about 20 minutes or until it springs back when poked in the centre.

Allow the red cake to half cool in the pan before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake is cold cut out the heart shaped using a cookie cutter (next time I'll use the cutter a size larger).

Pour half of the remaining cake mixture into the loaf cake tin and smooth out. Press the hearts cutouts in a upright line down the middle of the pan.

Carefully pour over the last of the cake mix and smooth the surface.

Bake and ice the cake according to the recipe.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentines Cake Balls

Usually I learn my lesson the first time, but not the case with this whoopie pie recipe. You may remember I tried it out a little while ago and was less then happy with the results. I should have tried a new recipe, I have no excuse but my laziness.

This time the whoopie pies were beyond saving, they kept spreading and spreading into funny shapes.

So this happened.

Then this happened. (I mixed in about a quarter of a cup of tia maria)

And then this happened.

Then finally they were no longer ugly whoopies but yummy cake balls.

Happy Valentines Day!

Oh and I have some pink hair.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentines cupcakes

Ok to be truthful these weren't really made for valentines day, I was saving them until now because I thought they'd make really cute valentines gifts.

See! Will you beeeee my valentine? I was finally got to try out an idea from the planet cake book and am very happy with how cute they turned out.

The real reason for these cupcakes was even better. They were a request from boyfriends mum for a lady in the local nursing home. I was told the ladie's husband is a big fan of cupcakes but the only ones close are from the cafe down the street and are always stale and expensive. From one cupcake enthusiast to another I was very happy to make him some.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

Saturday we woke up early and headed to south bank to have a browse through the lifeline book festival. I figured it would be nice and leisurely morning browsing through the tables of books, but nope, book enthusiasts are crazy. There were a whole lot of people that took it way too seriously, arguing, grabbing and there was one woman who so much wanted to be looking in the spot I was browsing that she purposely ran into me with her cart, twice! We didn't stay long due to the silliness, but I did manage to find a few cookbooks before we left.

The best thing to come out of the day was the idea to make lemon meringue pie, inspired by our morning tea at The Shingle Inn bakery. Boyfriend has been asking me to make lemon meringue pie for forever, but I’ve been a bit scared to try. I’m happy to report it was a win first time, the meringue was big and fluffy, which went perfectly with the tart lemon filling.

For the Pastry(from I Love Sugar)

200 grams plain flour
100 grams butter (cubed)
50 grams icing sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

To make the pastry- sift the flour into a large bowl, add the cubed butter and rub in with finger tips until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Mix in the sugar, zest, egg yolk and milk. Knead briefly to form a soft dough. Cover dough and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish. Preheat oven to 180° c (350°f).

Place the chilled dough between two sheets of baking paper, roll the pastry into a round, about 5mm thick. Line the pie dish with the rolled pastry. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads or dried rice.

Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes, take out the baking weights and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

For the filling(from Homestyle Pies and Tarts)

30 grams plain flour
30 grams cornflour
230 grams caster sugar
185 mls lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
50 grams butter (chopped)
6 egg yolks
310 mls water

To make the filling- Add the flours, sugar. Lemon juice and lemon zest into a medium saucepan. Whisk ingredients over a medium heat, gradually add water and continue mixing until smooth. Continue stirring over heat for another 2 minutes or until mix has thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat, quickly whisk in the butter and egg yolks, seriously whisk like crazy. Return to low heat and continue stirring until the filling is very thick.

For the meringue-

4 egg whites
345 grams caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

To make the meringue- Beat the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until foamy, add the cream of tartar and gradually the sugar. Continue beating the meringue for about 10 minutes, until thick and glossy.

To make the pie- Spread the lemon filling into the cooled pie crust.

Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, pile it up high in the centre. Using a knife form peaks in the meringue.

Bake for another 20 minutes at 200°c, until lightly browned.

Hair Colour?

I'm sorry, this had nothing to do with baking but I just cant decide by myself.

Should my hair have bits of pink of blue?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inside the Kombi Cake

Here's some quick show and tell on how to make a rainbow/tye dye cake for anyone who is interested. You will need a white cake batter (I used a basic butter cake flavoured with orange, I'll include the recipe at the end) and however many food colours that you'd like.

Firstly divide the cake batter into even amounts, one for each of the colours you plan on using. Dye each bowl a different colour. I used three colours, which I halved again to make six layers.

To make the cake spoon the first coloured batter into the centre of a prepared cake tin, don't spread out.

Heap the second colour directly on top of the first layer, the first layer will spread a little from beneath.

Continue layering the remaining colours, one on top of the other.

The end result.

For the Butter Cake

280 grams butter
225 grams caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 eggs
225 grams self-raising flour
150 grams plain flour
185 ml milk

To make the butter cake

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Lightly grease and flour a 20cm (9 inch) round cake tin.

With an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and orange zest. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Gradually fold in the flours alternately with the milk, until the mix is smooth.
spoon the mix into the prepared tin and gently smooth the surface taking care not to disrupt the colours too much.

Bake cake for an hour and fifteen minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave cake rest in the baking tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.