Earl Grey Custard and comfort food

aboveI debated over the title of this blog, because technically tea is not a food, it’s a beverage. And when I was growing up, my siblings and I used to try to treat custard like a beverage! I didn’t think that “comfort beverages” sounded right though.

ANYWAY, this tart combines two of my loves – custard and tea. They’re delicious, comforting and… well, what more could you want? Both of them remind me of my dad. He loves traditional egg custard – just the smell of milk warming on the stove makes me think of him! He also introduced me to earl grey tea when I was a child…I hated it! I used to call it soap tea, no matter how much he espoused its merits! Continue reading “Earl Grey Custard and comfort food”

Omelette waffle and new toys

aboveI bought a waffle iron. I could not be more excited. The minute I got home from buying it I made this recipe. Things just taste better waffle-shaped! I got it from Wheel and Barrow, on the recommendation of Alice from Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind. (Thanks Alice!)

So even though I had intended on posting this tart today, I can’t. This waffle omelette (wamelette? Omelaffle?) needs to be introduced to the world. I’m too excited about it.

This all started because of my trip to Mooberry, where I had delicious plain waffles drizzled in melted milk chocolate – so simple, but SO good. But now that I’ve got my own waffle maker, there is no end to what I can make! Continue reading “Omelette waffle and new toys”

Hedgehog sprinkle cake and niceness

aboveI’ve been slow in getting recipes up recently because the oven at my rental place is unreliable. I love having my own kitchen to experiment in, but I don’t think it loves me back… not all the time, anyway!

So this recipe is basic, easy and nice. Because it is nice to be back. I find blogging such a great outlet – not having the opportunity to write posts because of lack of recipes to share saddens me somewhat.

Enough dwelling on negatives – let us focus on the nice things! I delighted over a gorgeous speckled egg amidst a collection of perfectly beige counterparts. The name of this cake came about because I had such a fun time icing it. I was aimlessly dabbing away at it when I realised (with a little giggle) that it had started to resemble a little hedgehog. Continue reading “Hedgehog sprinkle cake and niceness”

Egg hunts and ten essential Easter recipes

Easter is a fantastic time of the year. No matter how much a person may dislike religious celebrations or the hype that supermarkets create months beforehand, nobody can argue with days off and an excuse to eat life-endangering amounts of chocolate.

trowelI don’t think I could possibly rate my favourite holiday (I don’t discriminate, I love them all), but Easter is pretty great. Every year, regardless of location or participants, my family holds an Easter egg hunt. It started when my brothers and I were little – we would go to our cousins’ farm in Orange and the Easter bunny would visit in the night. Easter morning, all the kids would wake up bright and early, line up and wait for permission to begin the race, much to the delight of the adults.

jackMy cousins’ farm was the best place for the Easter bunny to secret away little chocolate Easter eggs; there were gnarled tree branches, lavender bushes, paving stones, fence posts and garden beds. We spent every Easter at the farm pretty much from when I was born until I was about 18.

chicksClearly the tradition continued way past our youth, because nobody wanted to give it up.

In recent years, we’ve not been able to go to the farm, so we’ve started an Easter egg hunt in Sydney. Now, thankfully, there is a new generation of kids who can partake in the Easter egg hunt, and while I’m slightly jealous of them for being able to join in the hunt, I love their enthusiasm and wild-eyed bemusement at seeing that Easter eggs have been delivered, and scattered throughout the garden by the Easter bunny.

Last year’s Easter was adorable (I spammed my Instagram followers with all of the cuteness), I can only assume that this year’s Easter, which is going to be at the farm again, will be equally as cute.

If you’re not excited about Easter yet, maybe I can entice you with some delicious Easter-appropriate recipes.

Simple Sunday cinnamon scrolls

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Easter pavlova

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Vanilla fig tarts

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Honey jumbles

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Caramel egg browniesbite

Citrus hot cross buns

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Traditional hot cross bunstear


Nutella raspberry puffs

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 Crème eggs

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Chocolate blueberry friands

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Happy baking, and happy Easter!!

Easter pavlova and holiday spirit

aboveThere is something about holidays that brings out the best in people. Last week I came home from a busy day at my new job to find a beautiful gift wrapped in brown paper from a beautiful friend. Buying Easter eggs for this pavlova, I had a laugh with a woman and her children about which eggs were the most delicious. Setting up the photo shoot for the cake, I was heaped with praise and kind words from friends and family who were visiting.

There is something that changes as holidays approach. People in traffic seem nicer, strangers smile more readily, grumpy neighbours laugh more easily. I just adore holidays. Continue reading “Easter pavlova and holiday spirit”

Vegetarian baked eggs and perfect breakfast

paprikaEver since I went to Fairford Street Social for breakfast a few weekends ago I have been craving baked eggs. I didn’t re-create them exactly (I chose to opt out the eggplant and I toned down the spice because I’m chili-sensitive), but they were still delicious.

There is nothing more comforting than a good pot of baked eggs. I know that it’s the height of Summer in Australia at the moment, but it’s been pretty windy and overcast recently, so these baked eggs were perfect; served with toast, they are the ultimate stay-indoors food.

They’re also a really delicious Valentine’s day brekkie if you’re spoiling your better half on February 14th. The Boy was sceptical of the concept of baked eggs at first, but from the minute I started cooking up the peppers, onion and garlic, he was super keen on the idea.

Vegetarian baked eggs

Serves 4

  • 2 banana peppersabove
  • ½ brown onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • 6 roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • ¼ cup basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4-8 eggs

ingredientsDe-seed your peppers and roughly chop your onion. Put them in a heavy based pan with a slosh of oil, and heat over a low-medium flame for 8 minutes until they soften and brown. Mix intermittently.

peppersChop up your garlic roughly (trying not to leave big clumps of it) and add that in the pan, allowing the flavours to develop for two minutes, stirring as you go.

coloursAdd in all the remaining ingredients – the paprika, chili flakes, tomatoes,  basil and oregano – and give it a good mix. Turn the heat down to low and let the mixture reduce away for 15 minutes.

ribbonsWhile the tomato mixture bubbles away, use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons of zucchini. Peel right over your ramekins so that the ribbons fall unevenly into the ramekins.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

spoonPour the hot tomato mixture straight over the zucchini in the ribbons, distributing it evenly amongst the ramekins. Give the ramekins a shake to spread the mixture out evenly. Crack your eggs straight into the ramekins and pop them into oven for 20-23 minutes.

eggsThe number of eggs you use will depend on whether your baked-egg-eaters want one or two eggs – I opted for one, but my fellow diners opted for two. Ramekins with one egg in them should be done 2-3 minutes before the others; keep an eye on this, as you want the yolk to remain runny!

cookingServe with a freshly toasted slice of bread, for dipping.

serve

Gatsby-inspired sponge

I saw Gatsby last weekend. And I was inspired.

Brace yourself for part one of my Gatsby posts.

It was beautiful and opulent and slightly magical. The dresses were all over-the-top and the settings were too fabulous to be real. And I loved them for that.

Nick Carraway is idealistic, Jordan Baker is marvelous and Gatsby is a dreamer. The film is full of people who would make fabulous dinner guests – they’re flawed and impulsive, but imagine the stories they could share! Daisy appears to have no opinion on anything, but at least she added to the beautiful scenery. As long as she’d agree to just sit there and bat her eyelashes, I’d let her partake in our dinner soiree.

I’d never read the book (I know, judge me as you see fit), but I think that doing things in excess is a good mantra to live by!

I’m all for simple recipes usually, but for two posts you’re going to have to allow me a bit of opulence. This sponge is easy AND it looks fabulous – what more could you want? It’s my nanna’s recipe, so it’s tried and tested. Unfortunately the sponge didn’t turn out as big as it should have because of my impatience – I like to think that it was slightly to do with the humidity in the air today though.
Cake

Don’t be disheartened by its flatness, when you do the recipe right, this cake IS old-school glamour.

Gatsby-inspired sponge

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 3tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 180°C.Table view

Grease cake tin and sprinkle with sifted icing sugar.Eggs

Separate egg whites and put the yolks to one side. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until they’re stiff. Don’t get impatient like I did, this leads to flat sponges! It should take about 8 minutes at a high speed on your mixer. Persevere!

Add the yolks to the stiff whites mixture and continue beating until the mixture thickens.

Add your sugar and allow it to just combine then sift in the flour and baking powder. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix it in gently – try to let as little air out of the mixture as possible.

Cream shadows

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. What I would normally do with a sponge is cut it in half and then fill the middle with copious amounts of jam and cream. Being unable to cut my pancake of a sponge in half, I whipped up the cream, added 1/2 a cup of icing sugar to it and then folded some watered down jam into it to make icing.

 

So put your flapper dresses on, buy some fake diamonds and drink everything out of a champagne flute – Gatsby makes his own reality more fantastic through his imaginings, and so should we!

Host an afternoon tea and add a little sparkle to it.

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