Bringing real baking into your home with deliciously simple recipes.
Prep 1hr (+20min resting, 2hr chilling and 30min cooling time)Bake 12-15min (per batch)Makes 24
Made by Make Me a Baker student Theresa Ling these Portuguese Custard Tarts will be some of the best you will try. The main trick with these tarts is to bake them at a very high heat (often as hot as your oven will go) for a short period of time to make sure the pastry is lovely and crisp while not over cooking the luscious creamy custard filling, creating a wonderful contrast between the two.
If you've never made portuguese custard tarts before or haven't got the results you wanted from a previous attempt CLICK HERE for my top tips when making them
at home before you start.
Icing sugar and ground cinnamon (optional), to sprinkle
Rough Puff Pastry
225g (1½ cups) plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
225g unsalted butter, softened
Custard2 tablespoons plain flour
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
160ml (⅔ cup) water
2 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
6 egg yolks, lightly whisked
To make the Rough Puff Pastry, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and mix with a paddle beater on low speed until well combined and a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a clean bench top and knead until smooth. Shape into a square about 1cm thick, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry out on a well floured surface to a 35cm square, keeping the edges as neat as possible. Use your fingers to dot small pieces of 75g of the softened butter over the left two-thirds of the pastry, leaving about a 1cm border, and then spread it with your fingers so it covers the pastry roughly. Fold over the unbuttered right hand third of pastry, brush away any excess flour, then fold over the left hand third to cover. Starting from the top, use the rolling pin to tap the pastry widthways to release any air pockets and then press the open edges with your fingertips to seal and enclose the butter. Turn the pastry a quarter turn anticlockwise and then fold in the right hand third of pastry then fold over the left hand third to cover. Again, tap it gently widthways with the rolling pin.
- Reroll the pastry to a 35cm square and, with the folded edge closest to you repeat step 2 one more time, dotting and spreading the left hand two thirds with 75g of the remaining softened butter, folding, turning anti-clockwise and folding again.
- Reroll the pastry to a 35cm x 40cm rectangle. With a short edge closest to you, dot and spread the 75g of remaining softened butter over the whole surface, leaving a 1cm border. Starting from the short edge, roll into a tight log. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends and then cut the log in half. Wrap the logs separately in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before using (see Baker’s Tips).
- Place two pizza stones in the oven, one in the top third and one in the bottom third. Place an oven rack in between them. Preheat oven to 300°C (280°C fan-forced) for at least 1 hour.
- To make the Custard, place the flour in a medium bowl and use a balloon whisk to gradually stir in 60ml (¼ cup) of the milk until smooth and well combined. Place the remaining milk in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Use the balloon whisk to gradually stir the hot milk into the flour mixture and stir until smooth and well combined. Combine the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer until it reaches 100°C on a thermometer. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the sugar syrup and gradually stir into the milk mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until cooled slightly. Stir in the egg yolks until evenly combined. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool, stirring occasionally, this will take about 30 minutes (see Baker’s Tips).
- Cut one of the pastry logs into twelve 1.5cm lengths (each portion will be about 25g) and place each portion, with a cut side facing up, into an ungreased 50ml capacity (3cm base measurement and 6.5cm top measurement) round-based tartlet tin (see Baker’s Tips). Using your thumb, gently press into the centre of a pastry portion towards the base until about 5mm thick, and then, using your thumbs and working around the tart case, gently ease the pastry up the sides thinning it to about 5mm thick and so it extends about 2mm above the tart tin and forms a thicker lip at the top. Repeat with the remaining pastry portions.
- Place the tart tins on a heavy oven tray. Divide half the cooled custard among the pastry cases, filling each to no more than 5mm from the top edge of the pastry. Bake the tarts between the pizza stones in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and baked through, and the custard is just set and partially charred on the top.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and set aside to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before removing from the tins. Repeat with the remaining pastry log and custard mixture to make 12 more tarts.
- Sprinkle the tarts with icing sugar and/or cinnamon if desired and serve warm or at room temperature (see Baker’s Tips).
- The pastry can be made up to 3 days ahead of using. Keep wrapped in the fridge.
- The custard can be made up to 3 days ahead of baking. Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge. Stir well before pouring into the tart cases.
- Once cut into portions and before pressing into the tins, you may have to let the pastry stand at room temperature until it softens slightly and becomes pliable enough to be able to be pressed into the tins easily and without force.
- These tarts are best eaten warm or at room temperature the day they are made. However, they will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To refresh, place the chilled tarts back in the tart tins on an oven tray and place in an oven preheated to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the custard is just warmed through (there is no need to use the pizza stones when reheating). Stand the tarts in the tins for at least 5 minutes before removing and serving warm or at room temperature.
Prep 30min (+2hr cooling and overnight chilling time)Bake 45-50minMakes 8-10 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student Jenny Wong for her graduation, this gorgeous cake is 'tea time' in a cake bringing together orange-scented chiffon cake and the subtle floral notes of French Earl Grey tea. And to make it complete, it's served with an Earl Grey tea-infused whipped cream and, of course a cup of freshly brewed French Earl Grey tea.
You will need a 21cm (base measurement) specialty angel food cake tin (basically a deep ring tin with a removable base and small 'feet' around the top rim) to make this recipe and they are available from specialty kitchenware stores. The key to achieving the classic feather-like texture of a chiffon cake is to make sure you leave it suspended in the inverted tin until cooled completely so that it doesn’t compress as it cools.
- 6 x T2 French Earl Grey tea bags
- 160ml ( ⅔ cup) boiling water
- 185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour
- 30g (¼ cup) cornflour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 x 59g eggs, at room temperature, separated
- 200g caster sugar, plus 110g (½ cup) extra
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
- 100ml vegetable oil
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Dried edible flowers, to decorate (optional) (see Baker's Tips)
Earl Grey Whipped Cream
- 125ml (½ cup) full-cream milk
- 4 x T2 French Earl Grey tea bags
- 300ml thickened cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
- To make the Earl Grey Whipped Cream, place the milk and tea bags in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove form the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a container or bowl, cover and place in the fridge to chill (preferably overnight).
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place an ungreased 21cm (base measurement) angel food cake tin on an oven tray.
- Place the tea bags in a jug, pour the boiling water over and set aside to infuse until the water is warm.
- Sift the flour, cornflour, cream of tartar and salt onto a piece of baking paper twice.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg yolks and 200g caster sugar on high speed until thick and pale. Whisk in the orange zest and vanilla.
- Squeeze the tea bags to extract as much flavour as possible into the warm tea-infused water and measure 125ml ( ½ cup) - it should be dark in colour and very fragrant.
- Combine the warm tea and oil. Add the oil mixture to the egg mixture and whisk on low speed until well combined, scraping the side and the base of the bowl if necessary. With the motor running on low speed, add the flour mixture all at once and whisk gently until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a separate large bowl and set aside. Clean and dry the whisk and mixing bowl.
- Use the electric mixer with the whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 110g caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Add about a third of the egg whites to the yolk mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold through until well combined. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the ungreased tin and gently smooth the surface with the back of a metal spoon. Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until well risen, golden, and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Immediately turn the cake upside down on a wire rack and set aside, still in the tin so it is suspended, for 2 hours or until it is completely cool – don’t be tempted to remove it while still warm (see Baker's Tips).
- To finish the Earl Grey Whipped Cream, squeeze the tea bags to extract as much flavour as possible and then measure 60ml (1/4 cup) of the milk – it should be a pale Masala Chai colour and very fragrant. Use a balloon whisk the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add the orange zest and vanilla and then whisk in the chilled Earl Grey-infused milk until soft peaks form again. Cover and chill until serving.
- Carefully run a small palette knife around the side of the tin to release the cake. Invert the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand, and gently shake the tin to release the cake. Then use the palette knife to release the cake from the base of the tin and remove (see Baker's Tips). Serve dusted liberally with icing sugar and edible flowers (if using), and accompanied by the Earl Grey Whipped Cream.
- The key to the classic light-as-air texture of a chiffon cake is to suspend the baked cake in an inverted tin until it cools completely so that the crumb texture doesn’t compress as it cools. That is why it is so important that the tin isn't greased or lined so that the cake sticks to the tin and that it doesn't fall out of the tin during cooling. However, because of this, once cooled you will need to carefully release it by running a small palette knife between the cake and the tin. You won’t get a perfect looking crust, but this will be overlooked as the result will be a beautifully airy crumb texture that can’t be achieved without using this technique.
- This cake is best cut with a sharp knife using a sawing action.
- This cake will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature but is best eaten on the day it is made.
- Jenny used sun-dried organic edible flowers from Percaya Farm
Prep 30min (+2hr chilling and decorating time)Bake 20-25minMakes about 25 cookies
Use this recipe as the base for cookies decorated with either royal icing (like these gorgeous Iced Heart Cookies) or fondant. The sweetness of the icing complements the spicy gingerbread base perfectly and lays down a canvas for you to create something extra special for customers, friends and family.
125g salted butter, softened
90g (½ cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
235g (160ml/⅔ cup) golden syrup
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
375g (2½ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Use an electric mixer with a paddle beater attachment to beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and vanilla and beat to combine evenly. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined evenly and a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a disc about 2cm thick, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm enough to roll easily.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion of the dough (leave the remaining portion in the fridge) on a lightly floured benchtop to 6mm thick. Use cutter/s of your choice, approximately 7.5cm across at the widest part, to cut out shapes and then use a palette knife to carefully transfer the shapes to the prepared oven trays, leaving a little room between each for
spreading. Reroll any dough scraps to make more shapes. Discard any offcuts from the second rolling. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread dough portion.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until the cookies are just starting to colour and are cooked through. Stand the cookies on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
- Undecorated biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Prep 1-2hr (+drying time)Makes about 25 biscuits
If you're keen to show your loved one/s just how much they mean to you by baking them something irresistibly sweet, then you really can't go past a batch of these gorgeous cookies! The style of decorating used to create them is called 'flood on flood' icing and is a really effective way to decorate gingerbread or sugar biscuits. The key is to be patient, try not to rush and remember your designs will improve with practice. You will need at least three small piping bags and three Wilton or Loyal #4 round piping nozzles for this style. This Royal Icing recipe makes about 3 cups of icing and is enough to decorate about 25 average-sized cookies.
Gel food colours of your choice (we have used shades of 'rose pink' and 'raspberry'), to tint
About 25 gingerbread cookies
Edible sprinkles, to decorate
3 egg whites (from 59g eggs) or 90g pasteurized egg whites (see Baker’s Tips)
675g (1½ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted through a fine sifter
½-3 teaspoons strained fresh lemon juice
Room temperature water, to thin icing
- To make the Royal Icing, place the egg whites then the icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle beater to beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. The icing will be smooth and thick at this stage. Add the lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon at a time, beating well between each addition, until the icing reaches a good piping consistency. The icing should be the consistency of toothpaste - soft but will hold its shape and form a soft peak when the beater is lifted.
- Immediately cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a damp tea towel or cloth to prevent it from drying out (see Baker’s Tips).
- Divide the icing evenly between 3-5 small bowls (depending on how many different coloured icings you would like to use - we used 4 for these cookies including the white) and cover each bowl well. Transfer one white icing portion to a small piping bag fitted with a Wilton or Loyal #4 round piping tip (this will be used to pipe the outlines). Working with one portion of the remaining icing at a time, tint to desired colours, then add a little water, a drop at a time, and use a small palette knife or metal spoon to stir until it reaches the right consistency for ‘flooding’ (see Baker’s Tips). As soon as each portion reaches the right consistency, spoon into a small piping bag fitted with a Wilton or Loyal #4 round piping tip. Twist the end of the piping bag and seal with a clip or elastic band (this will help prevent it from drying out). Cover the tip with plastic wrap and then a damp cloth or tea towel and set aside while tinting and thinning the remaining icing portions.
- Use the white icing to pipe an outline around the inside edge of a cookie to create a border so that the icing in the centre won’t flow over the edge. Set aside for 3-5 minutes or until firm but not set.
- Pipe a tinted icing into the centre of a cookie to 'flood' it (making sure there will be enough to cover it comfortably but not too much so that the icing flows over the piped border). Use a toothpick to carefully spread the icing to cover fully, if needed, and then let the icing settle and become smooth. To achieve a ‘flood on flood’ effect (so that the pattern sinks into the base icing), while the icing is still wet, use contrasting tinted icing/s to pipe the stripes, dots or patterns onto the flooded icing (see Baker’s Tips). We created the heart pattern by piping dots and then dragging a toothpick through the dot from top to bottom and a little beyond. Sprinkle with edible sprinkles to decorate, if desired.
- Set iced cookies aside to dry completely overnight before storing (see Baker’s Tips).
- If you are concerned that these cookies will be served to pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems, use pasteurised egg whites. They are available in a carton from the refrigerated section of the supermarket.
- Royal Icing will dry out and start to set very quickly if not covered well. Cover bowls and the tips of filled icing bags with plastic wrap and then a damp tea towel while you are not using them to prevent the icing from drying out.
- To test if the icing is at the right consistency for ‘flooding’, drop a teaspoonful of the icing back into the bowl. If it melts back into the icing and the surface becomes flat in 5-6 seconds it is ready. If not, add a little more water to thin or a little more icing sugar to thicken it.
- If using the ‘flood on flood’ technique, to prevent the icing from spilling over the piped border, it is important not to over-flood the centre of the cookie with icing.
- It is best to have all the tinted icing consistencies the same for the best results for the 'flood on flood' technique. However, if two icing portions are slightly different consistencies, use the thinner one first to cover the cookie first and then use the slightly thicker one on top to create the decoration.
- If your royal icing becomes too thick during decorating, remove it from the piping bag and stir in a drop or two of water or enough to reach the desired consistency. A dropper is ideal for adding this small amount of water.
- The time it will take for the icing to dry/set will depend greatly on the weather (temperature and humidity). If humid, to assist in the drying, place the cookies on a lined tray in an oven preheated to 50°C for 30-60 minutes. Also if it is really humid, it is best to put the cookies straight into an airtight container lined with absorbent paper as soon as they cool from drying in the oven.
- These decorated cookies will keep in a single layer in a sealed airtight container lined with paper towel for up to 5 days.
- The Royal Icing will keep in a well-sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature to use. You may need to add a little more water to bring it to the correct consistency.
Prep 15min (+30min cooling time)Bake 40minMakes 7 cups
There really is nothing like a homemade cereal. One word of advice though – don’t leave the cardamom out as it gives this granola an elusive and fascinating flavour.
285g (3 cups) rolled oats
150g natural almonds, coarsely chopped
55g (¾ cup) shredded coconut
40g (¼ cup) sunflower seeds
40g (¼ cup) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
185ml (¾ cup) maple syrup
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
170g (1 cup) seedless raisins
80g (½ cup) dried apricots, shredded
- Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
- Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cinnamon and cardamom in a large heatproof bowl.
- Combine the maple syrup, sunflower oil and vanilla. Add to the oat mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until evenly combined. Spread over the lined tray and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice during baking. Stir through the raisins and apricots and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the oats are deep golden and well toasted.
- Cool on the tray (this will take about 30 minutes). Serve with milk, yoghurt and/or fruit.
Prep 25minBake 45minMakes 4-6 serves
If you’re not a big fan of fennel then you may just have to reconsider your standing once you have tried this dish. Baked fennel – particularly when teamed with the saltiness of anchovies, the crunch of crisp breadcrumbs and the savouriness of fresh thyme – is one of the best side dishes winter has to offer.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
5 anchovy fillets, chopped
100g coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into quarters
12 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
250ml (1 cup) good-quality chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan-forced).
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the anchovies dissolve. Add 30g of the butter and the breadcrumbs and toss until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Transfer to a bowl, toss through the parsley and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil and butter to the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Add the fennel in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden and starting to soften.
- Transfer the fennel, in a single layer, to a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity dish, and pour any pan juices over the top. Scatter with the thyme leaves and pour the chicken stock over. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the fennel is tender when pierced with a skewer and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.
- Serve immediately.
- This dish is best eaten straight from the oven, while the fennel is warm and the bread chunks still crisp, however it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes or until heated through.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Winter Root Vegetables. CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 25min (+ 1hr chilling, 2hr cooling and 30min standing time)Bake 1hrMakes 10 serves
Choc-orange, or jaffa, is such a great flavour. This dead-easy cake is made completely in the food processor using a whole orange, rind and all (no that isn’t a mistake!). Orange flower water is optional in this recipe but will give the cake a slightly more ‘refined’ orange character.
1 orange, quartered, core and seeds removed
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
125g butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tabsepoon orange flower water, or to taste (optional)
185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour
35g (¼ cup) plain flour
100g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped
35g (¼ cup) coarsely chopped toasted pistachios, to sprinkle
150g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped
125ml (½ cup) pouring cream
- Preheat oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan-forced). Grease 11cm x 21cm (base measurement) loaf tin with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the whole orange, sugar, butter, eggs and orange flower water in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the orange is finely chopped. Add the self-raising and plain flours and process until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the chocolate.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 2 hours). Place the cake, still on the wire rack in the fridge for 1 hour to chill (this will help the glaze set).
- Meanwhile, to make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering. Pour over the chocolate and stand for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to until cooled to room temperature. Pour the glaze over the cake on the wire rack, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle with the pistachios and set aside for 30 minutes or until the glaze sets. Serve in slices.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 25minBake 40minMakes 6 serves
We often think of crisps and crumbles as winter desserts, but please don’t pigeon-hole them! This combination of sweet nectarines and tart raspberries, subtly flavoured with rosewater, topped with a pistachio 'crisp' topping and served with honey-flavoured yoghurt is a sublime summer dessert. Any leftovers are good for breakfast!
750g white or yellow nectarines
300g fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
3 teaspoons rosewater, or to taste
1½ tablespoons plain flour
75g (½ cup) plain flour
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
80g chilled butter, diced
50g pistachio kernels, chopped, toasted
200g tub Greek-style yoghurt
1 tablespoon pure honey, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced).
- To make the Pistachio topping, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture begins to resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the pistachios.
- Halve the nectarines and remove the stones. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Combine with the sugar, rosewater and flour and toss to combine. Add the raspberries and toss gently to combine evenly. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among 6 x 250 ml (1 cup) ramekins or ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle the pistachio crisp topping over the fruit to cover.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the fruit is tender when pierced with a skewer and the topping is crisp and golden.
- Meanwhile, to make the Honey yoghurt, stir the yoghurt and honey in a medium bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate until required.
- Serve the crisp warm or at room temperature with the honey yoghurt.
- You can also bake this crisp in a 1.5 litre (6 cup) ovenproof dish. Bake for 50 minutes.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Stone Fruit.
CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 15min (+40min freezing and 15min cooling time)Bake 45minMakes 10-12 serves
This tart will satisfy any chocoholic tendencies! And if you're truly dedicated, it's also fabulous when made with 70% cocoa chocolate. Toasted walnuts are a great alternative to pecans.
cocoa powder or icing sugar, to dust
cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
1 quantity Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry, chilled as directed
75g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
75g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
100g (1 cup) pecans, toasted (see Baker's Tips), coarsely chopped
- Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured benchtop to about 3 mm thick. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased, round 23-cm (base measurement) tart tin with a removable base and unroll the pastry, being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edge of the pastry and ease it into the tart tin to line the base and sides and settle it into the corners. Use your fingertips to press it gently into the corners without stretching it. Then, working around the tin, press the pastry into the side using your thumb or finger. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry. Place the tins on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 40 minutes or until frozen.
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Bake the pastry case in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until just cooked.
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Combine the egg, egg yolk, golden syrup and sugar in a medium bowl and, using a balloon whisk, whisk to combine. Stir in the chocolate mixture and then transfer to a jug.
- Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the warm pastry case and then pour the chocolate mixture over. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is slightly firm to the touch in the centre.
- Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar and serve with cream or ice-cream.
- To toast the pecans, spread on a baking tray and cook in preheated oven at 180°C for 8-10 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Cool on tray.
- This tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 45min (+overnight freezing and 2-3hr cooling time)Bake 1hr10minMakes 12-14 serves
Layers of sweet meringue and mango ripple ice-cream combine together with toasty coconut flakes and roasted macadamias to make the ultimate tropical cake – sunshine on a plate really and the perfect summer celebration cake.
3 ripe medium (about 300g each) mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced, to serve
chopped unsalted roasted macadamias, to decorate
lightly toasted flaked coconut, to decorate
6 egg whites, at room temperature
330g (1½ cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
Mango and coconut ice cream
2 ripe medium (about 300g each) mangoes, peeled and chopped (this will equal about 350g flesh)
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons strained fresh lime juice
1.5 litre good-quality vanilla ice cream
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
250ml (1 cup) strained fresh lime juice
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Mark three 20cm circles on three pieces of non-stick baking paper. Turn the paper over and line three oven trays.
- To make the Meringue layers, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar, whisking well after each addition, until very thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the vanilla. Divide the mixture between the three trays and use a palette knife to spread to fill the three marked circles. Run a small palette knife around the outside edge of the meringue discs to even the sides.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, swapping the trays after 25 minutes and then again after another 25 minutes baking, or until crisp on the outside. Turn off the oven and allow the discs to cool in the oven (this will take about 2 hours).
- Meanwhile, to make the Mango, coconut and lime ice cream, puree the mango flesh in a small food processor until smooth. Add the icing sugar and lime juice and process to combine. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until required.
- When ready to assemble the cake, use the base of a 22cm springform tin as a guide to trim the meringue discs to size. Then line the base of a 22cm springform tin with a square of non-stick baking paper, allowing the paper to extend about 5cm beyond the edge of the base and clasp the side around the base. Then line the side with a double piece of baking paper, allow it to extend about 5cm above the top of the tin. Place a meringue layer in the base of the lined tin, trimming to fit if necessary.
- Scoop the vanilla ice cream into a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes at room temperature to soften slightly. Sprinkle with the desiccated coconut and drizzle with half the chilled mango puree (return the remaining puree to the fridge and reserve for serving). Use a large metal spoon or spatula to briefly fold together to swirl through. Working quickly, spoon half the ice cream immediately into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to press down and remove any air pockets. Place another meringue layer on top, trimming to fit if necessary. Cover with the remaining ice cream and then the remaining meringue layer as before. Cover immediately with plastic wrap and freeze overnight or for at least 12 hours.
- To make the Lime syrup, combine the lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, without stirring, or until reduced slightly and syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool. Lace in an airtight container or jar and place in the fridge until needed.
- To serve, remove the cake from the springform tin and place on a serving plate. Top with sliced mango and sprinkle with the macadamias and coconut. Serve in wedges with the lime syrup and reserved mango puree passed separately.
- This cake will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- The mango puree will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- The Lime syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 30min (+1hr cooling time)Bake 30minMakes 8-10 serves
This gluten-free and dairy-free recipe, with its subtle lemon flavour teamed with an aromatic rosewater icing and light nutty texture, is the perfect afternoon-tea cake. It will dip slightly in the centre due to its delicate nature but this is just a sign of how lovely and light it is.
Light olive oil, to grease
100g (1 cup) almond meal
100g (¾ cup) raw unsalted pistachios, toasted and finely ground
90g (½ cup) instant polenta or wholegrain corn flour
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
125ml (½ cup) light olive oil
1 lemon, rind finely shredded, juiced
extra raw unsalted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped, to decorate
dried rose petals (optional), to decorate
Lemon and rosewater icing
125g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon (about) strained fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater
gluten-free pink or rose food colouring, to tint
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 20cm springform cake tin with olive oil and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the almond meal, ground pistachios, polenta and baking powder in a medium bowl and use a whisk to stir to combine and remove any lumps. Set aside.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until thick and pale and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the lemon rind.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold until evenly combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the tin. Set aside to cool completely.
- To make the lemon and rosewater icing, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the rosewater until the mixture is smooth and has a thick coating consistency, adding a little more juice if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
- Drizzle the cooled cake with the icing and then sprinkle with extra pistachio nuts and dried rose petals, if using. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the icing has set before serving in wedges.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 40min (+2hr cooling, 30min standing and 2hr chilling time)
Bake 45minMakes 10 serves
These trifles are a complete contradiction in terms when it comes to eating them – they are rich yet refreshing, sweet yet tart, indulgent yet light – and that’s what makes them so good.
200g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa solids), chopped
185g butter, cubed
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
185g (1¼ cups) plain flour
30g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Minted custard cream
375ml (1½ cups) milk
8 sprigs fresh mint
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
500ml (2 cups) thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks
600g frozen raspberries
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- To make the Minted Custard Cream, put the milk and mint sprigs into a medium saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from heat and stand for 30 minutes to infuse. Remove the mint sprigs. Use a balloon whisk to whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture until smooth and well combined. Return to the heat and stir constantly with the whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (do not simmer). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pass the custard through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
- To make the Brownie Cake, preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm springform tin with melted butter and line the base with piece of non-stick baking paper. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and set aside to cool slightly. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the sugar eggs and vanilla until thick and pale and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift together the flour and baking powder, add to the egg mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in until just combined.
- Pour mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool in tin on a wire rack (this will take about 2 hours). Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally and then break it into chunks.
- To make the Sweetened Raspberries, combine the frozen raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the raspberries have just thawed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- To finish the Minted Custard Cream, fold the whipped cream through the chilled custard.
- To assemble, layer the Custard Cream, Brownie Cake chunks, and Sweetened Raspberries and their juice in individual glasses.
- The Brownie Cake will keep in an airtight continer at room temperature for up to 4 days. The Minted Custard Cream and Sweetned Raspberries will keep in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- You can also layer this trifle on one large serving dish and serve in scoops.