Sunday, 25 November 2012

Lemon, Pistachio and Coconut Slice

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

Cafe Review! Tartine Cafe, Perth City!

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 pear tartlet has a smooth, light, creamy and fluffy moist filling, topped off with sliced pears and a clear glaze, in a perfect delicate shortcrust pastry, which was thoroughly enjoyed.  The filling had an ever-so-slight hint of amaretto and almond, reminding us of Nonna's biscotti.  As you can see, we weren't able to wait to eat it til after a photo had been taken. Sorrynotsorry.

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!

Happy foody-ing!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Chocolate and banana loaf

 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

Grandma's Shortbread

These biscuits were made for a friend who LOVES shortbread. I'm no expert on shortbread; I dont bake it and I hardly ever eat it. The closest I come to shortbread, is the 'shortbread' in the Arnott's Family Assorted packets, that our Nonna buys by the truck load when they go on special. So I thought surely a recipe past down the generations would be pretty trustworthy. It was.

This recipe features in Julie Goodwin's first book; Our Family Table. It's a recipe passed down to her from her Grandmother and it was delicious. It may have a lot more ingredients than standard shortbread but when the outcome was a delicate, soft, buttery, melt in your mouth yumminess I'm sold.

Recipe: Grandma's Shortbread- Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

makes ~40

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.

Spring's bounty


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.