Frangipane (aside from being the flowering tree Plumeria that I spent much of my childhood trying to grow from cuttings), is a French almond pastry cream traditionally made with butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds. Its history can be traced to 16th century Italian nobleman, Marquis Muzio Frangipani, who whilst living in Paris invented bitter-almond scented gloves – a popular accessory at the time. It is said that patissiers, eager to capitalise on the popularity of said gloves, tried to capture the scent in desserts: thus creating the almond flavoured pastry cream.Read More
I have a thing for cookbooks. Some I cook from and others (for reasons I haven't really explored), I don't. It's not that I'm discriminative about to dotting little coloured tabs throughout them, but when it comes to the actual cooking from - I'm very much guilty of playing favourites. After admiring their accompanying photo *many times*, I recently cooked Diana Henry's 'pork chops with mustard & capers', we ate them with mesclun salad simply dressed with a classic vinaigrette. For dessert there was apple and blackberry crumble and vanilla bean custard. The meal felt effortless, with barely any preparation required and very little chance of anything going wrong. No more or less thought went into this than any other average Sunday night meal, but as we ate it I thought how utterly comforting it was to cook and eat this way (the fact that the pork comes from a book titled 'Simple' is not lost on me); and it occurred to me that if I were suddenly thrown back into the dating game - this is the first meal I would want to cook, or have cooked for me. And then, as though reading my mind hubby asked whether we could have the same meal again this Sunday, so here we are.
I can't imagine anyone not liking a crumble: seasonal fruit baked under a blanket of crisp, buttery topping - nourishing and comfortingly familiar. The topping can be easily adapted to be gluten and or dairy free, and the filling possibilities are endless (think rhubarb and strawberry, apricot and almond, plum and vanilla). It's so simple that even the most reluctant cook appears to have been born under the kitchen table, i.e. happy and relaxed, and it can (and possibly should) be made in advance -- and for that matter almost with one's eyes closed. What could be better!Read More
I've long been a fan of David Herbert's recipes, and have bucked my trend of keeping cookbooks 'just to look at', cooking several from his 'The Really Useful Cookbook'. But mainly they are torn from 'The Weekend Australian Magazine' to be stored in plastic sleeves and made (and marvelled at) over and over. This tart is based on one of the latter. I'm always just a little surprised at the simplicity of these recipes, and admire the fact that the author is able to fit not one, but two on a single A4 page (along with a rather large photo of one of the finished dishes). And they work!Read More
There is a lot of salmon being farmed in Tasmania, much of it in the cool, shallow waters just off Bruny Island where we spent the earlier part of this week. And while I really don't want to go into the politics of salmon farming here, it is a topic I've given considerable thought. It's controversial and worth reading about.Read More
This beautiful, adaptable, portable tart could barely be easier and always seems to please everyone. It's as perfect for a picnic as it is for a casual dinner, and the best part is that I can usually rustle it up without going to the shops.Read More