Chocolate brownie pie and cause for celebration

slice aboveThe last couple of weeks have been crazy and tumultuous and completely out of the norm for me. How out of the norm, you ask?

Pretty abnormal.

I tried out for reality television (and almost made it!), I got made redundant, and I struggled to motivate myself to bake.

BUT there is no time for wallowing, because fabulous things are in the pipeline. As much as I hate to revert to cliches, I truly feel that doors are opening. There is cause for celebration!

pyrex crinkleOne cause for celebration is Pyrex’s birthday! The ever-faithful kitchen companion is turning 100, and I am excited! The lovely people at Pyrex kindly sent me a new measuring jug to replace mine (which never makes it into photo shoots because it’s so well-loved/worn) and a crinkly-edged, classically stylish pie dish.

So I made not just one type of dessert, but a mashup of three different desserts to celebrate the Pyrex’s centenary. They’re also hosting a number of giveaways on their Facebook page, you should check them out here.

And oh my, it’s delicious. If you only bake one thing this year, make sure that it’s chocolate brownie pie.

Ps be proud of me for not caving and making a Pie-Rex joke, I was very close!!

Chocolate pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups plain flourhalf eaten
  • 80g butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted
  • 50ml milk

Brownie filling:

  • 180g butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • 3/4 cup (65g) good-quality cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips

Meringue topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Rub together your butter and flour until they resemble fine bread crumbs. Add in the sugar and cocoa. Mix in the egg, followed by the melted chocolate. Add in the milk, a little bit at a time, until the dough is forming large clumps. Press together into a disc with your hands, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Grease a 24cm pie dish and set to one side. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick and drape over your pie dish, gently pressing the dough into the edges as you go. The dough is a little needy, so treat it gently. Cut away the excess pastry and discard. Grab a fork and prick several holes in the base, then pop in the freezer for 10 minutes.

rolling pin

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

When the tart shell comes out of the fridge, line it with baking paper and pop baking weights in it. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Make a start on your brownie once the tart is in the oven. Cream together the butter and brown sugar, add in the plain flour and the bicarb. Mix in the cocoa, then the eggs and the milk. Mix in the choc chips last.

Take your pie dish out of the oven, remove the baking weights and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool completely. Reduce the oven to 180°C. Heap the brownie mixture into the cooled tart shell and smooth it out. Pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Take the pie out of the oven and allow it to cool while you whip up the meringue.

sceneWhip together the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. When soft peaks start to form, add the vanilla bean paste and continue whipping until the meringue holds its shape. Turn up your oven to 200°C again, pop the meringue on top of the pie and shape it into a rough mound, then put the pie back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning the fan on in the last five minutes until it’s nicely browned on top. Refrigerate until completely cooled, then serve with lashings of cream.

sliceYou won’t be able to stop at just one piece of this – you’ve been warned!

Lemon lime layer cake and morning tea

wholeA friend and her mum held a morning tea yesterday. Not just any morning tea, it was Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a cute idea initiated by the Cancer Council to help raise money to beat Cancer.

You make some cakes/pastries/other delicious things, you invite your friends to do the same thing and you get together and eat, laugh and chat, then leave a little money behind to go towards a great cause. It’s a great excuse to go all out on decorations and use your best tea cups. The fabulous event I attended raised almost $2,000 for the cause, and it was ridiculously cute; everybody wins! The theme was yellow, hence the citrusy approach, and I’m so glad I made it; I forget how much I love super tart curd! Continue reading “Lemon lime layer cake and morning tea”

Earl grey choc chip mini bundt and comfort

aboveThis week is a bit of a crazy one for me. I’ve been baking to calm my nerves and keep my hands busy. And I’ve loved it. Last week I was a little lax with my recipe posting, but all will come good after this week. The uncertainty that has me baking like a crazy person will lift, and things will become clearer.

As always, I find myself turning to tea and baked goods for comfort – in this case, the tea and baked item are one! Earl grey tea and bundt; could one little morsel be any more perfect? It’s like all of my favourite things rolled into one perfect, adorable little bund(t)le. Continue reading “Earl grey choc chip mini bundt and comfort”

Milo mudcake and chance

cakeI bake ALL the time. I know that I bake more than a regular person, but every now and then, some little dessert just flaws me. I went to Lorraine’s Patisserie a few weeks ago and tried a gorgeous little tart. It was stunningly chocolatey, and just the perfect amount of sweetness. I set out to recreate the indulgent experience, not knowing where it would end. And then someone Googled “Milo mudcake” and wound up at my blog. Continue reading “Milo mudcake and chance”

Choc pear brownie cake and accomplishments

tea and brownieI’ve been testing this recipe for a little while. I kept making it and liking it, but not loving it. I like to love all the recipes that I produce. In between making the various mediocre chocolate and pear brownies I managed to do some other cool stuff. For example, I made a milo mudcake, which I’ll post soon. I broke several peoples’ diets with a gorgeous white chocolate peanut butter cheesecake (for real, get the recipe here) and I went to Groovin the Moo and danced away a day that I would usually have spent baking. Continue reading “Choc pear brownie cake and accomplishments”

White chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and deliveries

sceneI got sent some peanut butter recently. It was probably one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever received in the post. If I could set it up so that I got surprise deliveries of peanut butter in the mail every now and then, I would be ecstatic. This was a one-off kind of thing, but no less exciting.

Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter were the geniuses behind my letter box peanut butter, and I’m so grateful for it! The contents of the jar are super crunchy and the ingredients are all natural, which I love! Continue reading “White chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and deliveries”

Chocolate elderflower mousse and Mother’s Day

flowerEverybody knows that you love your mum. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s unavoidable. My mum is the one that instilled me with a love of feeding people. She’s a strong, clever, funny little lady and she’s never allowed to age because I won’t be able to cope without her.

She’s the woman who told me I was an idiot when I came home with a lip-piercing, the woman who continues to show me how to run a household and still dress immaculately, the woman who puts all of herself into her work. She’s well-spoken, fabulously insightful, and just an all-round nice person. Continue reading “Chocolate elderflower mousse and Mother’s Day”

Pear frangipane tarts and appearances

flowersThe photoshoot for these tarts was a mess. I mean, it started off gorgeously, but the wild wind meant that it soon deteriorated into a big mess. Those petals that look so daintily placed on the plate? That wasn’t in my original plan. I love the look of them, I just dislike that the wind resulted in my flowers being completely blown over!

It got me thinking about appearances – the petals look lovely, but they were never meant to be. These tarts are similarly deceptive; they’re delicious little show-stoppers, but they’re SO easy to make! They’re the perfect balance of everything; pastry and filling, sweetness and sophistication. And they’re a cinch to make.

I kid you not. Continue reading “Pear frangipane tarts and appearances”

Fairy bread biscuits and brightness

singleThis week has been a bit of a crazy one! Sydney (just in case you missed it) has been absolutely hammered with rain. Train lines flooded, businesses closed, broken umbrellas were strewn about the city; nothing remained dry.

It was actually kind of ridiculous. On the second day of ridiculous rain, I decided to bake away the grey. These fairy bread biscuits were the perfect counterbalance to the bleakness. This is such a simple recipe, but it gives such consistent, delicious results. Continue reading “Fairy bread biscuits and brightness”

Vegan chocolate cupcakes and challenges

swirlI really enjoyed making my white vegan vanilla cake that I’m continuing to try some vegan recipes. I love that they offer me a bit of a challenge, but it turns out that trying to make something taste delicious without the traditional delicious things that belong in cakes (eggs, milk, butter) isn’t as hard as you think! Continue reading “Vegan chocolate cupcakes and challenges”