Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gin and Tonic Jelly


(For those in USA Jelly = Jello)
Gin and Tonic Jelly
How to be a Domestic Goddess, p.g. 132
Puddings Chapter
3 out of 5
I'm not a huge fan of alcoholic desserts, and gin is one of my 'demon drinks'. I just never could stomach it. There is a whopping 250ml of gin in the jelly (that's a touch over 8 full shots) for a dessert that serves 8.
I made individual ones for a family get together on a hot day (excuse the wet table cloth, it was a water pistol incident). It was great fun to make jelly from scratch. I had only ever used the fluorescent packet kind when I was a kid, and incidentally my brother's favourite after school snack was jelly crystal sandwiches. Try it, very sweet but surprisingly good.
This is more a Fraternity type dessert then, and perhaps should be served in individual, disposable cups and downed in one go, followed by some chest beating and a jug skull?
I don't think I'll be making this one again....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rhubarb Grunt and Plum and Pecan Crumble

Sometimes you're just too busy eating....

Rhubarb Grunt
4 out of 5
What could be better than a layer of rhubarb stewed in a sugary syrup, covered in a sweet sponge/scone crust? This was extremely easy to make and very very yummy. Definitely worth making when rhubarb is abundant and in season.

Plum and Pecan Crumble
3 out of 5
The plums were quite tart, making this very much an adult's dessert. It was nothing above your average crumble pudding and as I am not a huge plum fan I am not sure I will be revisiting this one.

All recipes from Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'

Gooseberry Ugh

Gooseberry-Cream Crumble

2 out of 5
After getting a very swanky fruit and veg market to order gooseberries in especially for this one, I was most dissappointed. There is a reason Nigella didn't put a picture of this one in the book. It looked like a cross between a tuna mornay and custard gone way wrong. The crumble part had way too much sugar so it just melted into the custard below, rather than forming a crust on top. Meanwhile, during cooking the gooseberries leached so much liquid out that the custard turned into soup. It was sweet enough to be edible but was not worth all of the effort.
I am really not sure what Nigella could do to fix this one, but it definitely needs to be sent back to the test kitchen.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Proof is in the Pudding

See I have been baking, I just haven't been writing about it. A new baby and all that...

Let's get started.

Blueberry Boy-Bait
4 out of 5
This baked dessert of breaded custard, blueberry compote and a merigue top was, apparently, delicious and very sweet. The meringue could have done with longer to crisp it up a bit, but I fear the custard would have been too dry. This dessert was gifted to a friend who ate the whole thing, directly from the bowl with a big spoon, over several nights.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another update

The berry-ness continues.....

Black and White Tart (in our case, red and white)
4 out of 5
Since white currants and fresh black berries are impossible to locate here in Perth, I substituted some beautiful strawberries for this simple tart. The crust was lovely although very crumbly to deal with, the filling was easy to prepare and made a lovely, simple and fresh dessert. This is my favourite kind of tart.

Blackberry Galette
3.5 out of 5
This looks like a forensic investigation but was actually quite yummy. Pity about the poor presentation, but I don't think there was a lot you could do with this one to improve it. A freeform tart with such liquid ingredients makes for a total blood bath when you try to serve it. Maybe not one to serve for a dinner party.

Double Apple Pie
3.5 out of 5
This was a great apple pie, with two different types of apple prepared in different ways to add texture. The crust was delicious but extremely annoying to roll out as it was so crumbly. In fact I have found this with a lot of Nigella's pastries. Perhaps it's the chef and not the recipe?

(Blackberry) Raspberry and Apple Pie
4 out of 5
Since raspberries are more readily available in season, I substituted these instead for this delicious pie. Again I had trouble with the pastry being very crumbly when rolling it out but the end product was most delicious.

Peach Cream Pie
2.5 out of 5
This should be Peach "Cream" Pie as it was not really that creamy. It was quite easy to make and felt relatively healthy next to the other pies in this chapter, with quite a bland filling and not much sugar content. My toddler loved it and it's actually become a staple in our freezer for play lunch at daycare as it freezes really well. I don't think I'll be making this again.

Redcurrant Meringue Pie (No Photo)
4 out of 5
Another delicious pie, with a meringue top. Again I had to substitute the berries (raspberries), because of the availability of berries in Australia. The end result was delicious but very thin. I would recommend doubling the filling ingredients to make a 'high pie'. Since raspberries are a lot less robust than redcurrants I didn't cook the filling on the stove for as long as the recipe suggested, but it still turned to a jammy yummy mess. Again, the pastry was a nightmare to roll out and get into the tin without breaking into pieces. No matter, as the finished product was wolfed down by my extended family.

And that completes the pie chapter. Next up, puddings. And we are at the beginning of summer in Australia!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


It's spring here in the southern hemisphere, making it perfect timing for these berry tarts

Bitter Orange and Blueberry Tart
3 out of 5
Seville oranges are not easy to come by so I used a dash of lime juice with regular orange juice for the filling, which was quite yum. The blueberries on top were not of the greatest quality, which may account for slightly lower score on this one, but the real killer was the glaze. It was made using arrowroot, and created something along the lines of halloween goo, than a lovely pastry glaze. If I made this again I would drop the glaze altogether and use gorgeous fresh berries on their own.
If you are hungry, the recipe can found here

Baked Summer Fruit Tart
4.5 out of 5
This outstanding flan was a gorgeous sweet pastry case, baked with a whole egg custard filling and summer fruits on top. This was my first every attempt at making egg custard from scratch. It was a lot less painless than I anticipated and well worth the effort, if you are so inclined. These were superb and look very impressive.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Sweet Stuff

The update continues today with the sweet pies I've made recently.....

Key Lime Pie version 1
5 out of 5 !!!
This was so easy, a cheesecake style biscuit base, with lime egg custard filling. Spectacular!

Key Lime Pie version 2
5 out of 5
OK I am cheating here because the photo is actually of version 1 again, but I forgot to photograph the second one, and they did look almost identical. The only difference with version 2 is that it's a no bake pie, just condensed milk, cream and lime juice & zest. How easy is that! It almost doesn't count as cooking.

3 out of 5
It was never going to be easy to follow two complete successes, and I had high hopes for this pie, as it's something completely different. But alas, it was not that great. The pastry was very dry and really needed a topping of something more moist than just baked jam. I ate it with loads of cream to try and get it past my wind pipe. Not a good look. I think the cooking time in the recipe was slightly too long, as it was overcooked.
Apologies for the bad mobile phone photo

Rhubarb Tart
4.5 out of 5
As the recipe suggested, I made this across several days, which made it incredibly easy and so worth the effort. The cream cheese in the pastry makes it firm and with a slight tang, not a hint of that buttery shortcrust taste, which I do not like. The smooth cream cheese filling was perfect with the uber sweet rhubarb. I gifted a large version to a friend who's just had twin girls. They served up slices to all of their guests popping in to see the babies. Apparently it didn't last past the first few visitors. I also made a small version (in my mini pie tins) for Miss P and I. Deelish!
Not sure about the copyright rules but the recipe is reprintedhere

And now we are up to date.