food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘cakes & desserts’ Category

coconut and pineapple upside down cake

leave a comment »

Wonderfully caramelised ripe pineapple crowns this coconut cake.

Preheat your oven to 175ºC (350ºF) and grease a 20cm (8″) round, deep-sided cake tin. Peel and slice half a very ripe pineapple into thin slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the pineapple slices for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly caramelised. Arrange them in the base of the prepared cake tin, overlapping them so no gap remains. In a bowl beat 200g (7 oz) of butter and 150g (5¼ oz) of sugar until fluffy and pale. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, then add 200g (7 oz) of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 45g (1½ oz) of desiccated coconut, 1 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix to combine well. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin over the pineapple and bake for 50 minutes or until the cake tests clean. Cool in the tin before turning out.

* Adapted from a Jill Dupleix recipe on delicious.com.au.

Written by michelle picker

August 13, 2017 at 5:25 am

stewed rhubarb with vanilla yoghurt

leave a comment »

An excellent version of a classic from Jamie Oliver. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

Place 750g (1.6 lbs) of chopped fresh rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the juice and zest of 1 large orange, 100g (3½ oz) of caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 pieces of finely diced or grated fresh ginger. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked but still holds its shape. Meanwhile, scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and mix them into 1 cup of natural yoghurt, adding 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Serve the warm rhubarb topped with a large dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

Written by michelle picker

July 26, 2017 at 5:41 am

bingsoo / bingsu

leave a comment »

This Korean dessert of shaved ice was traditionally served with only a few ingredients such as red beans, condensed milk, fruit syrup and fresh fruit. Today Bingsoo is a popular dessert served in specialised restaurants with a myriad variety of ingredients. We enjoyed these two sophisticated versions in The Lounge at the Seoul Park Hyatt.

Honey Bingsoo with shaved milk ice, Warak Mountain honeycomb, chantilly cream, roasted apple puree and pecans.

Mango Bingsoo  with shaved mango milk ice, fresh mango, coconut jelly, cardamom crumble, yogurt ice cream and mango coulis.

Altogether too delicious!

 

Written by michelle picker

June 20, 2017 at 5:51 am

salty-sweet orange and tahini pretzels

leave a comment »

Another delight from Honey & Co The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itmar Srulovich and my first attempt at pretzels.

Mix together 200g (7 oz) of strong white flour, 150g (5⅓ oz) of plain flour, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Warm 140ml (4¾ fl oz) of milk to blood temperature and add 4½ teaspoons of dry active yeast, the grated zest of 1 orange and 50g (1¾ oz) of date molasses or dark honey. Stir to dissolve then add this liquid to the dry ingredients and knead together to form a ball. Slowly incorporate 80g (2¾ oz) of tahini paste then 50g (1¾ oz) of unsalted butter (diced and at room temperature). Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour. On an un-floured work surface, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each one into a long 40-45cm (16-17″) snake. Lie the snake in a semi-circle with the 2 ends facing you. Lift the ends only and twist them around each other then lower them towards the remaining half circle and press the ends down gently. Carefully flip the pretzel onto a prepared, paper-covered baking sheet so that the ends are underneath. Repeat the process until you have 8 pretzels, allowing a little space between each pretzel. Prove for a further 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Brush the pretzels with an egg yolk beaten with a pinch of sugar and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they have a dark golden brown crust. Delicious at any time of day.

Written by michelle picker

June 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

orange passionfruit sorbet

leave a comment »

Our first crop of passionfruit inspired this fresh and fragrant sorbet. Serious Eats’ The Science of the Best Sorbet provided me with all the information I needed

orange-passionfruit-sorbet

When I buy sorbet I’m usually disappointed as the taste of the fruit is secondary to the sugar. In order to make my sorbet not too sweet and as it was mostly citrus juice (which doesn’t have much fibre or pectin), I opted for 100% glucose syrup (or corn syrup) as it is ⅓ as sweet as sugar and is highly viscous. The result was perfect! To make 1 litre you will need the juice (with pulp) of 6 oranges and the pulp of 6 passionfruit. If your glucose or corn syrup is thick, warm it with some of the orange juice to dissolve before mixing into the entire liquid. Churn in an ice cream machine and freeze for a few hours before serving.

Written by michelle picker

April 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

burrata and honey panna cotta with candied walnuts

leave a comment »

A lovely delicate cheese and honey flavour pair well with crunchy candied walnuts

burrata-and-honey-panna-cotta

To make the panna cotta pour ¼ of a cup of milk into a small bowl and sprinkle over 7g (¼ oz) of powdered gelatine. Allow it to bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat ½ a cup of cream with ½ a cup of honey until the honey is dissolved. Dissolve the gelatine into the cream and honey mixture, mixing until you have no lumps. Allow the mixture to cool. In a blender or food processor combine 200g (7 oz) of burrata cheese (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream) with an extra ¾ of a cup of milk and ½ a cup of cream and process until smooth. If you prefer you can substitute crème fraîche, yoghurt or buttermilk for the burrata. Whisk the cooled gelatine mixture into the cheese mixture then strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins, moulds or glasses (depending on how you wish to serve them) and allow them to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you are un-moulding, briefly dip the bottom into hot tap water. To make candied walnuts, heat a fry-pan and add 1 cup of walnut halves, ¼ of a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all the nuts are coated. Immediately transfer them onto baking paper, separating the nuts. Allow them to cool until crunchy.

Written by michelle picker

March 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

fine dining in Aukland

leave a comment »

sky-tower-aukland The Sky Tower in Aukland, New Zealand is a distinctive landmark. Thanks to Nicolas who generously gave me a voucher, I ate there with 6 others at The Sugar Club on the 62nd floor. We tried many dishes from chef Peter Gordon’s degustation menu.

turmeric-cured-salmon

 

 

 

First there was an amuse-bouche of turmeric cured salmon over an anchovy paste with crispy lentils.

The menu is designed to go from lighter dishes to heavier so here, in the same order, are some of the outstanding dishes we ordered followed by equally good desserts.

Hiramasa kingfish with nori, cucumber, orange, chilli soy dressing, peanuts and wasabi cream

kingfish

miso eggplant with medjool dates, feta, crispy buckwheat, tahini yoghurt and mango puree

eggplant

asparagus and spiced quails eggs with shiitake, miso and almonds

asparagus-and-spiced-quails-eggs

spiny crayfish and Marlborough saffron linguine with pine nuts and aged parmigiano reggiano

spiny-crayfish

creamed Pāua (the Māori name for abalone or ormer shells) with kiwi dip and frybread

creamed-paua

octopus with corn puree, quinoa, celery and capsicum

octopus

tempura aubergine (eggplant) and blue pea inari with panch phoron spiced tomato pickles, rhubarb and guava

tempura-aubergine

line-caught fish with tempura oyster, mussels, cucumber and dashi

_fish-tempura-oyster-mussels-cucumber-dashi

Hawkes Bay lamb rump with pecorino gnocchi, pesto, lamb floss and preserved lemon dressing

lamb-rump

Mahy Farms beef fillet with spiced beef cheek, smoked mash and spinach

_beef-fillet

Aukland harbour sunset from the Sky Tower

aukland-harbour

berries and meringue

meringue-berry-sorbet

Zealong Oolong panna cotta with matcha sponge, blueberries, fennel confiture and red shiso

panna-cotta

peanut butter parfait with miso caramel, sesame, paprika and orange

peanut-butter-parfait

chocolate cru virunga 70% semifreddo with spiced pineapple, mochi and tamarind caramel

chocolate-semifreddo

Written by michelle picker

February 4, 2017 at 5:57 am