Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ginger Brulee Tarts

When I saw A Table for Two post this recipe for Ginger Brulee Tarts as part of a monthly baking challenge I was in.
I love baking tarts and have been longing to try the famous Bourke Street Bakery ones, but hey the next best thing is to bake it yourself, right?

Really baking a tart is a simple thing.
Just start with the pastry. 
I have though discovered, that somewhere along the way I became really bad at following recipes.
I did not follow the recipe strictly, I used icing sugar instead of caster and I added an egg yolk to my pastry.

Just be gentle and patient with the pastry is my advice, mix it gently, rest in fridge, roll out, add to tin, rest again in fridge then prick (or use baking beads) and bake.

I used a well greased cupcake tin as my two favourite tart tins have come to the end of their lives.

The filling is really just a custard. 
Again, not following the recipe, I used milk not cream and it was lovingly infused with ginger, cardamon and cinnamon.

The milk is combined over heat with the egg yolks and sugar until a thickish custard is achieved.
Because I used milk, mine was really not going to set enough, so I poured it into my pre-cooked tart shells and popped them back in the oven for s short while until the custard set.

Once ready to eat I sprinkled over some sugar and used my mini little blow torch to make a crunch.

They were delicious, soft custard, the crunch of the toffee top, the depth of flavour from the spices, all incased in delicate pastry.

I'm even more excited to try the Bourke Street Bakery version - one day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Roast whole stuffed pumpkin - Nigella Cookalong

I've been keeping an eye on Nigella's Cookalong and joining in when I can. When the November recipe was posted for Roast Stuffed Pumpkin I was excited.

I bought this beautiful pumpkin at the Orange Farmer's market.

The top is removed and the insides scooped out.

Nigella suggests this great idea where you half fill your pumpkin with rice in a freezer bag to determine how much you need, since all pumpkins are different sizes.

For the rice filling you soften some onion and then add cranberries, ground ginger and allspice, garlic, and zest.
My only real variation to the recipe was adding some chopped zucchini chunks, really my laziness so I could serve it up as a more complete meal without cooking extra veg!

The basmati rice is stirred in and then add stock, I used my homemade free range chook stock.
The lid is then popped on and the rice allowed to absorb the stock over low heat.

The inside of the pumpkin is rubbed with garlic and salt.

Fill it up with your rice filling, and push the 'lid' on top.

The bottom is wrapped in foil and hot water is added to a pan for roasting.

It is baked for a couple of hours and then it is oh so soft but yet fully intact.

Certainly an impressive table decoration, I am definitely going to cook it again for a dinner party.

The tender sweet roasted pumpkin was the perfect accompaniment for the rice filling, so flavoursome, especially those beautiful cranberries and the zucchini absorbing so much flavour.

Not to forget the gingery tomato sauce made to accompany the dish, I thought it tasted quite strange on its own but I couldn't get enough of it when eating with the pumpkin and rice.

Thank you Nigella for yet another amazing recipe!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Baked Donuts

Recently I was immediately smitten with these Maple Pumpkin Donuts created by the brilliant Not Quite Nigella.
So much so I went straight out and bought a donut baking tin!

Its a great simple recipe that results in a fluffy delicious, basically guilt free, donut.

Two bowls - one with oil, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin puree. 
I actually did not have enough oil so used half natural yoghurt. 
Mix together then add your second bowl of flour (I used whole spelt), baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Carefully add to your donut tin and bake.

I tipped them straight out of the tin, coated in cinnamon sugar and ate them hot.

They were delicious, everything I wanted them to be - a pumpkin pie donut!
The kids looooved them too.

I have also made a banana version, using the same recipe but substituting pumpkin puree for mashed banana. 
It was so good that I made it again but with a salted caramel filling....

They were delicious, the caramel added a whole other level of deliciousness.

I do recommend you bake them yourself :) check out Not Quite Nigella's recipe.