summer has come to australia early this year – what do you call the opposite to an indian summer? – which is bad for the vineyards, but good for the orchards. this is also great news for me (!) as … Continue reading
it’s been a long time since my last post, two months in fact. over this time a lot has happened: I lost myself in Africa for the month of August, lost a housemate (and his fridge) in the first week … Continue reading
This week marks the first week of winter and thus the beginning of my hibernation. I suspect the next three months will consist mostly of cuddles under the duvet, roasting veggies, mooching in ugg boots and drinking mulled wine.. not the making of a novel, I know, but we do what we must to survive!
I’ve also discovered my love for big cups of chai tea, I’m not sure why I’ve suddenly become obsessed, but something about the combination of spicy cloves, warm milk and a dash honey just makes me so happy of late.
As such, it’s only natural that I felt overwhelmed with the need to bake something chai-inspired. madeleines are a favourite of mine, I know some people don’t care for them much, but I love how they look and their texture straight out of the oven. they also make such an easy and beautiful gift.
I’m very happy to say I got the desired ‘hump’ in my madeleines, but didn’t quite tap my tin enough to remove all the air bubbles, so unfortunately they ended up a tiny bit pocked. nevertheless, they smelt amazing and tasted beautiful straight out of the oven, you could really taste the warm cardamon and cinnamon flavours.
For those (few) not already eaten, once cooled, I dipped them in melted dark chocolate and rolled them in crushed pistachios.
chocolate + chai + nuts… amazing.
- 5 tbs of butter
- 1 tbs loose ceylon tea leaves or two tea bags
- 2 eggs
- 5 tbs caster sugar
- a squeeze of honey
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of plain all-purpose white flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of chai spices (pre-mix or see method)
- to make chai spices, grind together: 2 tablespoons of roughly broken up cinnamon bark, 1 “wing” from a star anise, 6 cardamon pods, 4 whole cloves, 4 peppercorns, ¼ of a nutmeg, freshly grated, and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. (you can keep this mix for future baking use, porridge mixes or hot chocolates)
- pop the butter and 2 teabags or a tablespoon of tea leaves in a small saucepan.
- melt the butter and the pop it off the heat. allow the tea to infuse until the butter cools to room temp.
- in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla together until they are fluffy, thick and pale.
- in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and chai spices.
- strain the cooled butter mixture and discard the leaves.
- with a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. fold through the infused butter mixture, only mixing until just combined.
- grease the madeleine pan with plenty of butter and dust with sifted flour, be sure to coat every ridge so your madeleines don’t stick. tap excess flour out of the pan. spoon or pipe the mixture into each madeleine mould 3/4 full.
- place the filled pan in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight to allow the batter to rest.
- preheat oven to 200C. bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the madeleines are golden and spring back when you touch the centre.
- enjoy fresh out of the oven or allow to cool and store in an airtight container. makes about 12 large madeleines.
in sicily, the vibrant blood orange was once so valuable it was considered to be a fruit fit only for royalty. today, however, this gorgeous citrus is (thankfully) within the reach of humble people like you and I.. blood oranges … Continue reading
this muffin is a powerful beast. small in size, but full of the good-stuff, it packs an enormous punch. I’d recommend this as a running late to work breakfast-on-the-go: each muffin is full of veggies, fruits, nuts and no refined … Continue reading
I love experimenting in the kitchen, and few things pose as good a challenge as gluten free baking. But gluten free baking can often be ridiculously complicated, expensive and disappointing. I’ve had my good share of flops: breads that taste … Continue reading
when I’m on holidays I never eat enough veggies. I don’t know why, but I drop all my standards and go all out carbo/cheese-aholic. It’s a fabulous indulgence at first, and then two weeks in I start to regret and … Continue reading
I love any excuse to be embarrassingly affectionate, eat lots of chocolate and bake pretty things. so Valentines day is the perfect occasion by my books. this year, I embraced the opportunity to play with fondant and make some roses. … Continue reading
In this season of dinner parties and general gifting, I find slices are such a nice edible gift for friends and family.
I’ve learnt the ‘hard’ way that sometimes classic flavours are better than my over zealous attempts at fusing new flavour combinations. This slice is one such classic combination. I love this one for its marriage of different textures, the contrast of sweet and tart, and the richness of melted white chocolate. I like that it’s sweet, but light and fluffy so it doesn’t overwhelm or hurt your teeth the way ones like caramel slice often do.
Unfortunately I didn’t quite get the photos I had hoped for today: just as I had finished taking a few photos, I (unintentionally) threw the whole thing on the ground….
I hate mondays…
raspberry, coconut and white chocolate slice
- 100g of butter, unsalted
- 120g of white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 1 1/4 cups of self-raising flour
- 1 cup of desiccated coconut
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup of raspberries, fresh
- preheat oven to 180C. line a 16x26cm (6.25×10.5″) slice tin
- over a low heat, in a small saucepan, melt butter and white chocolate.
- add caster sugar, stir until dissolved
- in a large bowl, combine flour, coconut and chocolate mixture. add the eggs and combine. fold in the raspberries, very gently.
- spread evenly across the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes until set firm. allow to cool. dust with icing sugar before serving.
Quiche is one of the best midweek meals by my book, its so easy to make, but tastes like a lot more hard work has gone into it.. I use puff pastry because that makes it (a) more delicious and (b) … Continue reading