Monday, 31 December 2012
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Each year when cherries come in season our Nonna buys them by the bucket load. Several times this past month we've gone over to find she's left a bag of cherries waiting for us on her kitchen sink. We're not just talking about a handful of cherries...no a giant overflowing bag, each and every time.
Heidi from 101 cookbooks has come up with a fabulous, must try, macaroon cherry tart recipe, which for several years has been an amazingly delicious solution to our cherry overload. There are so many reasons why we love this tart. For starters its easy and no fuss. The pastry doesn't have to be rolled out or chilled. That means less waiting around- YAY! When baked you're presented with the crunchy peaks of macaroon topping, the juicy cherries and the butterscotchy, chewy crust...need we say more.
We used a round 23cm pie tin which was perfect for the amount of pastry. We also added a drizzle of dark chocolate once the tart was baked. 4-6 squares of chocolate (20-30g) once melted is sufficient.
Friday, 21 December 2012
We thought that it would be a good idea to start a new family tradition this Christmas. We decided onmaking a gingerbread house. So though not a very original choice, it's sparkly, colourful and delicious, so why not?Admittedly we got off to a questionable start this year by deciding we were too lazy to make the gingerbread from scratch (I know shock horror considering this is a baking/cooking blog). Instead we bought one pre-made from the lovely place that is IKEA and went crazy with lollies and icing.
Will you be starting any new holiday traditions this year?
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Lemon layer cake for mum's birthday. Easy, delicious and not too sweet, just the way she likes it. The lemon flavour wasn't as strong as I had anticipated, so I recommend adding more lemon rind to the cake if your after a stronger lemony hit. This cake tastes best the next day, served at room temperature. The iced cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon butter cake recipe by Margaret Fulton in Margaret Fulton Baking which can be purchased here.
Lemon icing recipe by Julie Goodwin as seen in Our Family Table which can be purchased here.
Lemon butter cake
160g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 2/3 cups (250g) self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup of milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 if you have a fan-forced oven.
Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar with the rind until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs beating well after each.
Add the lemon juice and beat until it is just mixed in. Don't worry if the mixture appears curdled.
Sift the flour and salt and fold into the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Take care not to over beat the mixture.
Add a little more milk if necessary so that the mixture drops easily from the spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and gently smooth the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
Lemon butter icing
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (300g) icing sugar mixture
11/2 Tbs lemon juice
Using electric beaters, beat the butter until light and creamy.
Gradually add the icing sugar, beating constantly.
Add half the lemon juice and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining lemon juice a little at a time until you achieve a spreadable consistency.
When the butter cakes have cooled to room temperature the cakes are ready to be iced. assembled and decorated.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Yes, this is another chocolate and banana recipe! Bear with me here though, because I guarantee you won't regret making these bananalicious babies! Unlike our previous banana and chocolate post, this one is a lot sweeter, it really makes your sweet tooth - or if you're like me: sweet teeth - ecstatic.
My father should be awarded a prize in the category I just made up in my head called 'Person who buys ALL the bananas when they're on special at Woolworths' category. It is literally impossible for us to eat all the bananas he buys before they go bad and go all oozy and sugar-spotted and blech. Bad for my brothers' school lunches but perfect for my 'let's get rid of these festering things in the fruit bowl and turn them into cake' recipes. When I created this recipe on the spot while trying to get rid of the gross bananas, it was originally a loaf cake. I made it a few times as a loaf cake but it became really obvious that the cake was WAY too moist and crumbly to slice, so while I was trying to cut it it turned into a pile of crumbs and squish. A delicious pile of crumbs and squish though, to be more accurate. Just for convenience I decided that to avoid destroying nice things in the future, I'd make them into muffins instead.
Banana and Chocolate Muffins:100g of caster sugar
150g of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup self-raising flour
3 brown bananas, well-mashed
100g of chopped good-quality dark cooking chocolate
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Mix butter and caster sugar on high speed until light, pale and fluffy. Add vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add a little of the milk, alternating adding flour to the mixture, until you achieve a light and fluffy batter, similar to the consistency of the mixture in the first photo in this post.
Add the mashed banana to the cake mixture, folding it in well with a spatula. Don't use the electric mixer for this or you'll over-work the flour.
Add the roughly chopped chocolate and mix through.
Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
And that's it! Next time you forget about including fruit in your diet because you've been baking too much, just chuck the gross bananas into a cake! Fruit and cake - here at Smorish, we aim to keep your diet balanced.
Sunday, 25 November 2012
As we mentioned in this post, we recently tried a delicious homemade lemon, pistachio and coconut slice at Tartine Cafe. Inspired by the delicious treats we devoured, we got home and decided to recreate the beautiful citrus slice and hope that it was as good as the one they serve at Tartine.
Our lemon trees at the moment are overflowing with big, bright yellow and impossibly juicy lemons, so the opportunity to take advantage of the fresh fruits was too good to pass up! Here is S'morish's version of a lemon, pistachio and coconut slice!
Lemon, Pistachio and Coconut Slice:
For the biscuit base -
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of desiccated coconut
125g of butter, melted
Zest of half a lemon
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, and mix until the mixture forms a ball.
Evenly spread the biscuit base in the bottom of a 32x20cm slice tin til about half a centimetre in thickness. Bake the biscuit base at 160 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or until firm and golden.
For the lemon and coconut filling -
2 x 395g cans of condensed milk
Juice of 5 - 6 lemons depending on your personal tastes
100g of desiccated coconut
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of one lemon
Mix together the condensed milk, coconut and lemon zest until well combined.
Add the lemon juice a little at a time until fully incorporated into the mixture.
Add the lightly beaten eggs a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Pour the filling on top of the prepared biscuit base and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 - 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden. Set aside to cool completely before pouring the topping on top.
For the topping -
500g of confectioner's sugar
Juice of 3 lemons
Pistachios to sprinkle on top, roughly chopped
Zest of half a lemon
Mix together the confectioners sugar and the lemon juice, making sure there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Add the lemon juice gradually to make sure you get the desired consistency.
Pour the lemon icing over the cooled slice filling and set aside for 5 minutes to set slightly.
Sprinkle pistachios, lemon zest and desiccated coconut over the icing sugar and set aside to allow icing to set the rest of the way.
Enjoy and if you tried let us know your thoughts on this recipe! Til next time!
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Today, we popped in to this little gem found on the corner of Wellington St and William St, Perth, for a beautiful morning tea after a productive morning of retail therapy as a celebration of the beginning of the summer holidays.
(We are not sponsored by Tartine and this is not a commissioned post).
Walking into this gorgeous warm, homely European-style cafe, you immediately feel as though you've stepped into a miniature Europe. Immediately welcomed by the friendly and enthusiastic staff, you're overwhelmed with the choices you can make about what the heck it is you're going to spend hours being emotional over. The counter is abundant, overflowing with homemade baked deliciousness like the moistest looking slices of pear and raspberry loaf, banana bread, jars of caramel-filled shortbread, fresh danishes and pastries - literally, they spoil you for choice. Once we had finally ordered from their glass cabinet display of goodies - lemon coconut and pistachio slice ($3.75), a humungous pear tartlet ($5.50) and a hazelnut caramel slice ($3.50) plus cappuccinos ($4.30) - we sat at a lovely polished wood table and chairs and patiently waited for our orders. We didn't have to wait very long because literally three minutes later our orders arrived at our table together. One thing I've always hated about ordering a slice and a coffee at a cafe is that the slice or cake always arrives at your table before the coffee does, so I was so happy to find that at Tartine, they wait for your coffees to be made and then serve your sweet snack along with the coffee. The coffees at Tartine are delicious, served extra hot, full of strong coffee goodness.
|I couldn't refrain from tasting before we took a photo. Not even sorry.|
The lemon, pistachio and coconut slice was amazing! From the first bite you're hit with an explosion of lemon and coconut in an incredibly refreshing slice. The filling had the perfect balance of lemon and coconut, topped off with an incredibly lemony icing layer, giving the slice an overall perfect lemon flavour balance. The only thing I will say about this is that the base was almost impossibly hard to cut through.
Next up is the decadent chocolate, caramel and hazelnut slice. The filling was the highlight - creamy, sprinkled through with roasted hazelnut with a deep rich, nutty, caramel flavour. The hard base seemed to be another problem in the chocolate, caramel and hazelnut slice, though the chocolate base was almost painful to cut through this time, as well as being dry. The chocolate topping complemented the caramel really well, and it wasn't overly rich.
Overall, we had a really good experience with Tartine Cafe and we highly recommend paying them a visit! We will definitely be revisiting!
Friday, 23 November 2012
Those who know me know I hate bananas. On their own I find the texture and smell gag worthy. I do however like food that has banana in it; banana bread, banana yo-go, banana milkshakes, banana ice-cream... So perhaps it's the pairing of bananas with a thousand and one other ingredients that makes them, dare I say it- delicious?
We had two lone bananas in our fruit bowl this morning. They looked foul...absolutely nasty, quietly fumigating the kitchen with their scent. They did make a good excuse for baking.
A quick search online and I came across this recipe. With a 5 star rating I gave it a go. Unfortunately I left it in a little too long so it wasn't as moist as I would have liked. I also used wholemeal self-raising flour which gave the cake a bit too much texture so next time I will use white self-raising flour. The flavours were still fantastic and the cake was quick and easy to make so I would recommend giving it a go.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Recipe: Grandma's Shortbread- Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin
250g unsalted butter
3/4 cup (110g) icing sugar mixture, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup (70g) cornflour
2 cups (200g) self-raising flour
good pinch of salt
caster sugar, extra, for dipping
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line grease two large baking trays.
Using electric beaters, beat the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy, then beat in the vanilla essence.
Sift the cornflour, self-raising flour and salt into a bowl. Add this dry mix into the butter mixture and gently mix using a butter knife. Keep mixing until the mixture comes together.
Gently roll the dough into small balls about the size of a walnut. Dip the tops in the sugar and put them on the prepared tray, ~5cm apart. Flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just starting to colour underneath. The biscuits will still be soft to the touch so leave them on their trays for 10 minutes to become firm, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
NB* When you take the shortbread out of the oven sprinkle each cookie with more caster sugar.
I rolled my shortbread into balls, however other bloggers have had success rolling it out and cutting it out into shapes.
Our Nonno loved his garden. It was one of passions and it shows. For years its produce feed our families and many neighbours and friends. Although he is no longer with us his garden lives on, most spectacularly in spring.