Thursday, 28 September 2006
Sunday, 24 September 2006
My Aunties in Holland presented this to us for our wedding day. You can not actually purchase the teapot but rather you have to collect Douwe Egbert Coffee Coupons for redemption.
I was so chuffed with the comments about the pot that I have taken to drinking tea and have used it since. Les laughed at the fact that I had a teapot and was actually making tea, as she has only ever been offered champagne and the occasional glass of white wine at my house (and that’s only when we run out of the bubbles!).
Juanita tells us that this frittata is half a point a serve (it's supposed to feed 8, so don't get excited at the thought that you can hoe into the whole thing yourself - you need to share!)
For the recipe, click here
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Pear and Stilton Tea Sandwiches
Tuna, Sweetcorn and Mayonnaise Tea Sandwiches
The call of the biscuit!
I was a bit nervous entering into this 'High Tea' affair with such fantasic cooks at my side. I only attempted to bake an old favouite to ease me in. (Although our aim is to try a new recipe each time! I will from now on I promise.) This is such an easy recipe, a no-brainer - even the kids can help - which they did. They are the sort of biscuit that does not have to be exactly the same shape and therefore having their own creative identity based on the blob from your dessert spoon. As an after thought, once baked you could jazz these nutty biscuits up a bit, by maybe drizzling chocolate on top ( like a florentine) The Cook Teasers thought this would be a nice addition to the plainer version.
Click here for the recipe
Well, I just had to make two slices! One is an old favourite, the other a new recipe I saw in Cook's Illustrated that I just had to try! The old favourite is a Chocolate Cheesecake brownie that is very easy and very delicious. The second, Key Lime Bars, turned out to be a lush combination of limes, cream cheese and a crunchy biscuit base. So why did I need to make two different slices? Well does anyone need a reason to bake? My excuse is that I wanted some feedback from my fellow Cookteasers as to which slice I should enter in the Royal Show. It was unanimous, Key Lime Bars was the favourite! Let's see what the Judges say this weekend.
Key Lime Bars - for the recipe, click here
Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies - for the recipe, click here
The next time I attempt such madness, please could someone give me a tranquiliser and order me to lie down? Although, in retrospect, the crepe part of the cake was the easiest, I was about done in by the cake filling.
To give you an idea of what the difference between fantasy and reality, check this out:
(Guess which is which??? Where is the height, people?? Where is the lofty loveliness??)
Something tragic happened in my kitchen, ladies and gentlemen. The crepes were fun to make but something went terribly wrong with the filling - way too soupy - it oozed out of the crepes and made a huge mess and a cake about half the height, much more crepey than filling-y. I put it down to having to substitute Dulce de Leche for the required hazelnut paste (an animal not to be found in these parts). In reading through the recipe again, I suppose I could have beaten the egg whites more but something tells me it was the Dulce that let me down. When I tried to spread the filling, it oozed everywhere instead of staying where it was put (bad boy!)
But in my defense the taste was good - quite mud-cake like and a real hit for chocolate lovers, which ironically, I am not. I was proud of my candied hazelnuts - they were fun to make - and they almost look like Martha's!
What I did to make this 'work' for me:
- I made the batter for the crepes the day before.
- I used a dip-style crêpe pan (see one here) that was very easy to use once I got used to it. I poured the batter into a shallow dinner plate from the larger bowl in order to coat the pan evenly. With this style of pan, there is no need to flip crêpes as long as they look as though they’re cooked through.
What I would do differently (should I be mad enough to try this again):
- Unable to find hazelnut cream, I substituted Dulce de Leche, a milk toffee spread with, I think, disastrous results! Substituting the Dulce de Leche for the hazelnut cream, changed the texture of the filling so much that it became incredibly sloppy to deal with. In retrospect, I would have refrigerated the filling for a while. Even further, I think that I would have changed the filling entirely. I think the cake would be spectacular with a simple filling of whipped cream and Frangelico, keeping in with the hazelnut theme. Or a mix of whipped ricotta and Frangelico...mmmm...now that has me thinking...
- Just had an insight - I think I misinterpreted one of the ingredients - the recipe calls for 'heavy cream' which I took to mean 'thick cream'. Now I realise I would have been better off just using a regular whipping cream, even with it having a lower fat content, as obviously that would have added some thickening agent to the other ingredients. In the words of the Almighty Homer - "D'oh!" I will attempt this again in about 6 months, once the medication has kicked in, and try with the other kind of cream - I feel quite silly really - will have to find a conversion table for Australian and US cream references to avoid said silliness in future. But, in my defense, I may have had a brain short-circuit because of my next point...
- I would secure the services of a babysitter as there is nothing quite like battling a disaster in the kitchen and a two-year-old who wants to 'help' at the same time. Enough said.
General Observations about the recipe:
- The quantities for both the filling and glaze seemed excessive. Even though the cake as I made it was smaller in size, it had as many layers as the original (about 30), I still had lots of filling and glaze left over even given that I didn't use as much of it because of its ooziness.
- This cake has several components with lots of refrigeration periods – be sure to read through thoroughly so you don’t get caught out.
- There’s a video showing Martha making it with Fran Drescher, of all people.
For the recipe, click here
Saturday, 23 September 2006
Saturday, 23 September 2006 - Hosted by Carol
- Lincoln Crisps - made by Sheridan
- Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies- made by Christina
- Key Lime Bars - made by Christina
- Orange Poppyseed Roll - made by Les
- Traditional Cucumber Tea Sandwiches - made by Sherrise
- Pear and Stilton Sandwiches - made by Sherrise
- Tuna, Sweet Corn and Mayonnaise Finger Sandwiches - made by Sherrise
- Artichoke Frittata - made by Juanita
- Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake - made by Nadia
The result was not what I hoped for but ya live and loiyne, right?
Friday, 1 September 2006
Thanks to Christina for a GREAT name. As we travel down the road of consumption and calories, feel free to join in...