Sunday, April 28, 2013

French Apple Tart

This is probably one of my favourite cakes, it's simple but it never fails to amaze with it's sweet and comforting taste of apples and vanilla.
I learned how to make it in a cooking class with the amazing Diane Holuigue in Melbourne.

The pastry:
100g butter, softened
200g plain flour
1 egg yolk
2,3, or 4 tablespoons sugar, the more sugar you add the crunchier the pastry will become, but it also gets harder to roll out.
Approx. 3 tablespoons water (less or non if you make the pastry in a food processor)

The filling:
2-3 apples (e.g Granny Smith)
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
300ml cream at 35% milk fat
a solid dash of vanilla extract

Food processor method: (Never the electric mixer, which toughens terribly). Process the dry ingredients in the bowl first, then add the egg yolk and butter. On a hot day, with soft butter, you may succeed without water, but a little water makes it easier to roll. Add the water (less than in the usual recipe) slowly down the funnel until the pastry balls above the blades of the processor. Processor pastry needs longer resting in the fridge to roll successfully. It is possible to increase the butter content up to 120g.

When ready to bake, roll out and line a tart mold with the rolled pastry, poke a few times with a fork. No need to blind bake though.

The Filling:
Cut the apples into thick segments (each apple in about 8 pieces). Lay these in the base of the tart mold. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar, then the flour, then whisk in the cream and pour over the apples. Bake the tart in a 180°C oven until set and golden coloured (about 25-30 minutes), then remove and cool on a cake rack.

Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with icing sugar at the last moment.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The big birthday spread

It was my birthday this week and since my colleagues are used to me baking every now and then I feel like I have to go all out for my birthday. I spent the two nights prior to my birthday baking and preparing.

I had prepared :

- Brownies with raspberry
- Cupcakes with raspberry buttercream, 
- three different kinds of cakepops, 
- "Mini-Gugl" with almond and honey that I had read about on Backbube
- Chocolate and caramel tartelettes with fleur de sel that Maike from The Culinary Trial blogged about 
- a vegetarian quiche with sundried tomatoes, feta and basil 
- and a quiche with ham and chives.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Breakfast at Kilkenny Café and Restaurant, Dublin

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my old school in Ireland again. It was the first time I had been back since 2002 and it was so great to still see some familiar faces around and especially to see that not too much has changed. But don’t worry; this post won’t be about school food!

We were staying in Dublin and were looking for a place to have breakfast at. Not knowing where to go we consulted tripadvisor and came across a café called “Kilkenny”. It’s located near the prestigious Trinity College on Nassau Street.

View of Trinity College from the Café

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pop-up sales event

This weekend I had a stall at a pop-up sales event that a friend had organised.

I decided on two different cakes, chocolate and vanilla, and five different toppings: chocolate, cappuccino, tiramisu, raspberry and mascarpone and cream with blueberries.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Easter Breakfast

Usually, all of us kids come home for Easter, just like Christmas it's one of the few times in the year, where we all get together. Unfortunately this year, one of my sisters was missing as she was lucky enough to be traveling! We had a long great breakfast, with a "Quark - Horseradish -Terrine", lots of eggs, Champagne, sugar cookies and cakepops!

... and another Easter cake!

This is the last Easter cake for this year, I promise!, whereas the other two were presents, this one was actually for my family. My parents live in the country side and even though we don't have chickens I thoght it ought to make an apperance on the cake (we actually used to own some sheep though). I wanted to surprise my family with our three dogs on the cake, my sister helped me make them. And to my mothers disgust we hid some fondant-dog poo in between the carrots... 

The cake was a dark chocolate mudcake filled with vanilla buttercream.

Veggie Patch Easter cake

I didn't actually bake this cake, my mum did, but my sister and I got to make the decorations.

The cake was a carrot cake with a lemon filling. Very nice!!

Raspberry Cupcakes

My very first attempt of making a topping that looks like a rose. I used just plain vanilla cupcakes and the topping was buttercreme with raspberry puree. 

To make the rose like topping I used a Wilton #1M nozil and worked my way from the inside out of the cupcake.

At the end I sprinkled a little bit of glitter on top, just to make them look even more girly! 

Easter cookies

I've always wanted to try Royal Icing so I used Easter as an excuse to make these little cuties

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

My first Easter cake

This year Easter feels more like Christmas, but maybe that's because the last Christmas felt more like Easter, at least if you look at the temperatures... I think for Christmas we got up to 12°C whereas for Easter this year we got snow every day! It's a bit crazy, but I actually didn't mind the weather, at least it's not raining...

I went home for Easter, but my grandmother who lives too far away from my parents home couldn't make it and spend Easter at home. So I decided I should make her a little cake that is easy enough to send by post.

I made a chocolate mud cake and added some cognac for some flavouring. The cake was filled with buttercream mixed with lemon curd.

My sister helped me decorate, I think she never used to understand why I like baking so much, but now she really enjoyed clouring fondant and making flowers!

I wrapped the cake tightly in aluminium foil and it actually arrived in one piece with everything in place!!