Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TWD - Lemon Meringue Tart A New Way

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Lemon Meringue Tart A New Way.  Lemon Meringue Pie is a perennial favourite, and when I brought this one to work, it was no exception.  Someone was disappointed that they missed out because they were trying to be good, then they changed their mind and there was no pie left. 

Lemon Meringue Pies can be hit and miss.  Too much meringue, it can be too sweet.  Filling too lemony - it is not balanced out by the sweetness of the meringue (reminds me of the infamous "Sunlight Soap" lemon pie served to us at college, to much derision). Oh, and some recipes have a weepy filling - check out the Daring Bakers version that I made many moons ago

However, this lemon meringue "tart" suffered from none of those shortcomings.  The "new way", according to Dorie, is that this lemon tart has a flan-like filling.  I believe that Dorie's introduction comes from the perspective that this tart is different to a traditional tarte au citron, which has a curd-like filling.  However, it is very much the type of lemon meringue pie that I am used to, and which is a staple of Australian cafes.

And what a lovely lemon meringue tart it is.  The filling is a lemony pastry cream rather than a curd, so there is no weepiness, and it is smooth and silky.  It also set up like a dream.  The meringue was good, although someone said she would have liked more.  To solve this, you could just use the two additional egg whites that are left over from this recipe to make a more voluminous meringue.

I have neither a blow torch nor a broiler, so I just put my tart into the oven for an extra ten minutes after adding the meringue topping.  It may have made the crust a little too brown around the edges, but it didn't detract from the flavour.

Verdict - a thumbs up.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Baby Pear and Ricotta Tart

While browsing through The Toowoomba Chronicle this week, I spotted an irresistible recipe for Baby Pear and Ricotta Tart. The recipe comes from a new cookbook by Emiko Davies called Acquacotta, which focusses on Italian family recipes.

How cool does this tart look with the pears standing up and their stalks left on?  It's a bit like stargazy pie, but without the gruesome factor.

The biggest challenge that the recipe posed was finding baby pears, but I lucked in and my supermarket just happened to have baby beurre bosc  pears.  You don't have to core the pears for this recipe - when they are poached, the core goes soft enough to eat:

This is a smooth, creamy cheesecake with fruit - what is not to love:

I changed the order of proceedings a little from the recipe by making the pastry first and letting it chill while I poached my pears so that I could seamlessly move from poaching pears to lining the pie tin with pastry then adding the filling.

Would I make this again?  Absolutely - it is striking to look at and so delicious.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

EwE - Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal - An Apple A Day

Margaret chose An Apple A Day as the theme for this week's Eating with Ellie.  There are lots of Ellie recipes, sweet and savoury, that use apples, so there was plenty to choose from. 

I selected Ellie's Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal, which as well as apple, contains carrot, pecans and raisins (I used cranberries).

It looks and smells delicious, and tastes like dessert. I only made a half recipe because the full recipe made 8 serves (yikes!).

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Betty's Burgers & Concrete Co, Melbourne

Betty's Burgers and Concrete Co is a burger restaurant chain founded in Noosa.  It landed in Melbourne late last year, taking over a vacated Laura Ashley store location.  When Betty's first opened, it was impossible to get in the door, such was its popularity, so I left my run at Betty's for a few months.

Betty's is styled to mimic US-style burger joints, and is remarked by commentators to be like Shake Shack.   I liked the kitschy 50's style store fitout, which I found quite charming.

Betty's is still very popular, despite having been open for nearly 6 months now.  At lunch and dinner, the lines still snake out the door as people line up for a seat.  However, I am in the minority in that the décor is where my love of Betty's ends. 

Burgers and fries are quite pricey.  I ordered a Betty's classic (beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, lettuce, Betty's special sauce), which cost $10 for what  was a rather small burger.  Shoestring fries are $5, although the serving of fries was quite generous.  You need the fries, as the burger will not fill you up by itself:

Looks attractive enough, doesn't it.  The taste was OK, but nothing out of the ordinary.  And something about Betty just didn't agree with me.  For a $15 burger meal, I was hoping for more.

Here is an interior shot of Betty's - quite pleasing from my perspective:

This is the inside view of my Classic Betty:

Ok, but not something I'll be hurrying back for.  However, I am in the minority, judging from the ever snaking queues out the door and the rave reviews online.

You can also buy frozen concretes at Betty's, which have some great sounding flavours, but at $8 a pop, I'll wait til I can share one.

97 Elizabeth St
Melbourne VIC 3000 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TWD - ANZAC Biscuits

This week's Dorie's Cookies recipe comes from my own backyard - ANZAC Biscuits.  Most Aussie kids grow up with ANZAC biscuits in the bikky tin, and I loved (and still love) my mum's version.

I have made Anzacs myself a number of times over the years.  The first time was a bit of a disaster, but things got better after that.  The first Anzacs recorded on my blog were in 2008 using the same recipe as my mum (a la Margaret Fulton) in my South Yarra kitchen; since then, on my return to Melbourne, I made some healthy ones in 2012 (meh); and these in 2013 from my high school home ec cookbook.

Dorie's ANZAC biscuits are a little more L M Downes than Margaret Fulton; much more oatmeal cookie-esque than the Margaret Fulton ones that I am used to. They are still tasty and smell good.  However, mum's Anzacs win hands down.

Dorie said that these biscuits would spread a lot, but mine didn't spread much at all.  I also think that I would add back the 1/2 cup of sugar that Dorie took out; sweetened coconut is not common here, and as I used unsweetened coconut, I missed that extra sweetness that I associate with Anzacs.

ANZAC Day is not until 25 April, but for Dorie, I am making these biscuits  early this year.

To see what cookies the others made this week and what they thought about it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bendigo Trip - Day 3 - Bath Lane Cafe and Finders Keepers

Happy Easter to all!

Our last day in Bendigo started off with breakfast at Bath Lane Café.  I ordered the berry pancakes with marscapone and berry coulis ($10):

As it was a public holiday, there wasn't much open in Bendigo.  We decided to walk around Bendigo and take in the sights.  I purchased a novel by Norman Lindsay at a second hand bookstore.  I only previously knew him for The Magic Pudding, so it was fun to discover that he has also written adult fiction. 

For lunch, we went back to Finders Keepers Café.  I ordered this gorgeous warm chicken salad with mango and avocado (~$12): 

It was sensational, and a great way to finish off our trip.

Then it was onto the bus (yep, the trains were still not running) to return to Melbourne.

13 Bath Lane
Bendigo VIC 3550

20 Mitchell St
Bendigo VIC 3550

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sugar Free Marshmallow Rabbits

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have a colleague who has dietary restrictions for health reasons.  To try and make sure that he didn't miss out on the fun, I researched some "better for you" Easter treats that I could make for colleagues.

My second treat in this vein was Sugar Free Marshmallows, made from this recipe on Purely Twins.  The process of making them is pretty much the same as for regular marshmallows, except that liquid artificial sweetener is used instead of sugar.

You can see from the photo at the top of this post that the sugar free rabbits look pretty much the same as the regular ones that I also made below:

Yes, this year all of my rabbits have green eyes, and I toasted the coconut that I rolled them in, which I like because it looks like fur.

The sugar free ones are slightly different in texture, and they definitely are not as sweet as the regular marshmallows.  They reminded me a little in flavour of the jet-puffed marshmallows that you buy in the US. 

I would be lying to say that I liked the sugar free marshmallows as much as the regular ones.  However, if you are looking to cut down on sugar but like yourself some marshmallow, then this is a great recipe to use.