Mary Berry’s Classic Creme Caramel – Step by Step

Im sure that the last time I made this beautiful baked custard I was nine years younger. Why did I wait so long?

Image

While watching another wonderful episode of “The Great British Bake Off” the technical bake was Merry Berry’s very own Creme Caramel put to the test by the unsuspecting home bakers. Im sure they only had about two hours to complete this bake which can be achieved but realistically to achieve the best result and following Merry’s recipe as she has suggested leaving the Creme Caramel to set and cool completely overnight…..a far cry from the two hour limit given to the stressed contestants but then these are the perils of reality TV!

Lets do this step by step.

Classic crème caramel

Mary Berry’s simple step-by-step guide to the perfect crème caramel.

Equipment and preparation:
you will need 6 x size 1 (150ml/¼ pint) ramekins.

Ingredients: For the caramel
160g/6oz sugar
6 Tablespoons Water

unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins

For the custard

4 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g/1oz caster sugar
600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
pouring cream, to serve

Preparation method
Pre-heat oven 150C/300F/Gas 2. Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.

First make the caramel.
Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan.
Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat.
When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.
Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins.
Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky).
Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.


For the custard, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.
Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over a low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.
Whisk together until smooth, then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.
Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.


Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set. Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.
Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.
To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife round the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down.

2013-10-05 10.57.12

Well I have to say that Mary’s recipe is a winner, and I have even added it to my list of favourites and Im sure it’s not going to be another nine years before I make it again. The custard is just velvety smooth and not to sweet but the caramel makes up for it and I love that!

Heavenly Snickers Cake – Made Easy!

“Where love has no boundaries”

20130916_113556

For those who adore chocolate, love the smooth silky taste of caramel and the salty crunch of peanut butter this gorgeous cake will have you giddy with excitement. Willy Wonka would be both delighted and shocked to see that a beloved confectionary bar can be transformed into a feast for the eyes and a playground for the taste buds.

Lets not talk about the hips – moderation is always the key!

While flicking through the pages of favourite magazines I came across a few recipes  by Heston Blumenthal and his version of a Giant Snickers Cake tempted as I was at the time I thought I would set my own challenge and try to recreate or deconstruct this recipe. This version is for the “Home Baker” an easy and quick version that I think everyone should bake and enjoy with the whole family, neighbours, friends or workmates…..It’s a Show Stopper!

20130916_113605

You will need:

2 x 7 inch cake tins greased and lined with baking paper

1 Packet of White Wings Chocolate Heaven Cake

Snickers Filling

250g Cream Cheese

1 cup Caramel (Store bought is ok to use)

1/2 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

Chocolate Ganache

225 g Milk Chocolate (for melting and cooking) roughly chopped

115 g Cream

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 Tablespoon Honey

Method:

1: Make the chocolate cake as per directions on the packet, divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake as directed.

2: To make the filling place the cream cheese in the bowl of a standard mixer or use a hang held mixer to cream the cheese to a smooth paste with no visible lumps. Add the caramel and blend well to combine remember to scrap down the sides of the bowl so that all the cream cheese has been incorporated. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Set aside.

3: To make the chocolate ganache place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place the cream, butter and honey in a small pot and bring them to a gentle simmer pour over the chocolate and mix till smooth and glossy.

4: Once the cake has cooled evenly trim the tops off to form and even surface. Slice each cake in half. Divide the filling into three portions and use one portion per layer. Check that your cake is stacked straight. Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

*Note: Make sure you use the bottom layer of one of the cakes as the very top, in other words you will need to flip it this will allow you to have a lovely smooth and straight surface to work with.

5: Pour a little ganache over the top of the cake and allow it to roll over the side. With the remainder of the ganache – smear it around the edge of the cake filling in and gaps (if the ganache is too runny wait a little for it to cool further and thicken).

* Note: I have finely chopper up some more chocolate and loosely decorated the sides.

6: For a finishing touch pipe little dots of caramel around the edge of the top of the cake.

This really is a cake with decadent proportions, but I have always found that the best way to enjoy it is by sharing a few delicious calories with friends.

When I made this cake originally it was a Swiss Roll and I made everything from scratch even the caramel. I think this is a lovely quick and easy way to achieve almost the same gorgeous results.

Enjoy 🙂

20130916_150109

20130916_150216

20130916_150317

Episode 6: The Great Australian Bake Off – Time for Dessert

Red Velvet “Sweet Heart’s” Cake

1146461_222165601270514_931772242_n

As six Home bakers remained our next challenge was all about dessert.

As you would have see and heard this particular showstopper was always destined to be my favourite. Everything about this cake for me said romance the colour, the flavour down to the decorations. We had five hours to make bake, frost and decorate!

Image

Image

Red Velvet Engagement Cake
(Serves 60–80)

Ingredients

For the first cake
  • 1 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons red food dye
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
For the second cake
  • 1 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons red food dye
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
For the third cake
  • ½ cup rice bran oil
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ¾ tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons red food dye
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 large free-range egg plus 1 yolk
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
For the frosting and filling
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
To finish
  • white fondant
  • quilting tool
  • royal icing
  • red gel food dye
  • stencils
  • 12 red roses
  • florist tape
  • lustre dust
Utensils
  • 2 x 25cm, 2 x 20cm and 2 x 15cm cake tins, greased and lined with baking paper
  • wooden dowel

Preparation Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. To make the first batter, combine the oil, sugar, cocoa, food dye, flour, salt, vanilla, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and mix on low speed. Increase the speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, until combined. Slowly add the buttermilk to make a thick batter. Pour into a 25cm and a 20cm tin and bake for 40—45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Make the second batter (the same way) and pour into the second 25cm and 20cm tins. Bake as above. Make the third batter and divide between the two 15cm tins. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Cut each cake in half and fill with frosting, then sandwich back together. Place frosting between each of the same-sized cakes to sandwich together and form a tier. Place each tier on a matching-sized cake board secured with a little frosting. Cover the top and sides of each tier with cream cheese frosting and place in the fridge to set. (You will now have three frosting-covered tiers.)

Roll out the white fondant until smooth and cover the base tier and the top tier. Using a quilting tool, add decoration to the base tier. Pipe a fine lacework pattern of dots on the top tier using royal icing. Add enough red food gel to make bright red fondant, knead well and roll out to cover the middle cake tier. Smooth. Cut out red fondant hearts, stencil with patterns and secure to the red tier with royal icing.

When ready to assemble, insert 3—4 wooden dowel pieces, cut to size, in the base tier to support the middle tier. Put the middle tier in place. Add more dowel pieces, cut to size, to the middle tier to support the top tier. Place the final tier on top. Finish the cake by topping with red roses wrapped in plastic or florist tape (so the stems do not touch the cake). Sprinkle a little lustre dust over the roses.

Image

 The Signature Challenge – Cheesecake

Through out these challenges week after week I have always tried to create something that everyone can be inspired to bake at home, no fancy gadgets or unattainable complex ingredients. I have tried my best to show how I bake at home. This cheese cake has all the citrus notes of both orange and lemon, the sweet fragrance of honey and spice. Well it all begins with a picture!

Image

A step by step view

10_maria

Image

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Honey & Orange Blossem Rose

Ingredients List:

Please supply us with an ingredients list for your Baked Cheesecake (below)

Base:

1 pkt Ginger nut biscuits (Crushed)

1 t Cinnamon powder

100g Butter (Melted)

Filling:

750g Cream Cheese (Room temperature)

1 c Caster Sugar

1 T Orange Blossom Water

1 each Orange and Lemon Zest (fine)

1/4 c Milk

3 eggs

1/2 c Light Sour Cream

1 T Vanilla Bean Paste

Honey Jelly:

100 ml Hot Water

1 T Gelatine

300 ml Water

2 T Honey

2 Drops of Queens Rose Pink Food Colouring

1 T Rose Water

1: Put 100ml of hot water and gelatine stir to dilute add sugar, honey and food colouring. Add 300ml of cold water and stir to combine. Allow the jelly to come to room temperature.

2: Allow to cool slightly before pouring onto the cheese cake. Place the cheese cake in the fridge to set before piping the cream.

Topping: Whipped Cream

1 1/2 c Cream

2 T Icing Sugar

Garnish:

Fresh 8 x Pink and 8 x Yellow Rose petals (few extra of each)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Bake for 50 minutes in a water bath.

Grease and line with baking paper one 10 inch springform cake tin outer base covered with foil, to be placed in a deep baking dish for a water bath.

1: Place all in a food processor add the crushed biscuits and melted butter and pulse till fine crumbs. Press an even layer into the base of the cake tin its optional but you can line the sides too.

2: Using a large standard mixer (medium speed) cream together the cream cheese, sugar, zest of lemon and orange and the orange blossom water until smooth.

3: Add the milk and beat till smooth (on low to start).  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla bean paste beat until combined.

4: Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin. Making sure that the cake tin is water proofed with the addition of foil wrapped around and up the sides of the outer edges. Place the cake tin into a deep dish and add hot water about a third of the way up around the tin.

5: Bake for approximately 50 minutes, leave the cheesecake to cool completely, place in the fridge, to firm before decorating (preferably overnight but at least 4 hours).

6: Whip the cream till almost thickened and them add the icing sugar to sweeten. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream and pipe a neat circle around the edge. Place it back in the fridge again. Make the honey jelly as you are using hot water leave the jelly to come to room temperature before pouring it slowly into the inner edges of the cold cheesecake leave in the fridge to set.

7: Once the jelly has set pipe large rosettes of cream around the edge of the cheesecake about 8 equally spaced (approximately the size of a 20 cent piece). Place pink and yellow rose petal on the cream swirl all round the cake.

Ta-Dah! I hope you enjoy my recipe!

A word of advice once you have made “HOME MADE CHEESECAKE” nothing will ever taste as good!

1000577_590362747683220_1896086188_n

6_fivebakers

Episode 3: The Great Australian Bake Off – Gingerbread

The important lesson here is that there is a difference between the lovely aromatic soft and chewy gingerbread biscuit you can make or buy form the store and the type of recipe required to construct a house, tower or multiple piece structure. I loved the idea of Monique’s “City of Churches” construction to say the least it would have been adorable had she used a different recipe. The gingerbread was too soft and she was unable to get the panels to hold up to the weight, coupled with the fact that it was a warm day and the chocolate that was smeared on the panels didn’t set completely and added no support, such a shame.

There is a difference!

Using the correct type of gingerbread recipe will produce pieces that after baked will have a dryer, brittle, crunchy texture and therefore you will need to use a template to cut out all the necessary pieces for your structure before baking. Then allow them to cool completely before beginning your construction.  Your gingerbread pieces will need to be bonded together and hold weight of other pieces or the addition of decorative items like lollies or chocolate etc.

It’s also important to note that just because the texture of the gingerbread is dryer, the flavour and heady smell of spices is still present. The joy of taking part in devouring the gingerbread loses none of its festive appeal, especially when its accompanied by a great cup of tea or coffee or just a little something sweet for morning tea.

These are some of the amazing gingerbread constructions I have come across in my travels. Each and everyone of them were constructed with multiple pieces and generous amounts of colourful sweets to entice a smile from your inner child. I wonder what Hansel and Gretel thought when confronted with these gingerbread houses!

My very first Gingerbread house

Although a very traditional construction the end result was confronted with two dilemmas, the house looked too cute to destroy and secondly, who was going to be the first to begin the destruction. As I had made the gingerbread house the task was put upon me. “Quick, we need a cup of tea please”.

Gingerbread Spices

The traditional spices used in gingerbread have always been:

Ground Ginger

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cloves

As every construction will need a different quantity its best to make smaller portions of the gingerbread dough and if you have any left over dough use a cookie cutter and make delicious biscuits. Just remember be mind full of the time as smaller pieces bake quicker than the larger ones.

This is a picture of the “Eiffel Tower in Bloom” the construction I made on episode 3 of “The Great Australian Bake Off”. Although I am still a little disappointed having to alter the overall look of the tower at the last minute. Im still very proud of the effort under such a trying environment……I would still happily sit bake with my favourite hot beverage and enjoy eating it!

ep3_10_mariastower

maria ep1 969343_10151547185759150_32456383_n ContestantsWalk

Episode 2: The Great Australian Bake Off – “Pie” How to avoid a soggy bottom!

Aromatic Braised Beef Pie with Swiss Brown Mushrooms & Broad beans

S_BraisedBeef

For the recipe to my Aromatic Braised Beef Pie and other contestants pies please follow the link bellow.

Maria’s Aromatic Braised Beef Pieninem.snPie Recipe

Image

71857_212338778919863_1764402329_n

Pie Week!

When I think winter baking, I think PIE!

Apple pie, Chicken pie and Beef pie these are the three pies that are bake almost traditionally in our house hold and every year there is always a little twist on the filling something new or just the delicious original recipes!

Its important to note that the publishers decided to change my pie recipe slightly but either way you make it will still be delicious. Choosing to make only the pie top still has many of the same principals and I will list a few helpful hints to avoid the dreaded soggy pastry!

Image

 These are my top hints to remember when preparing pastry: For a Home baked Pie! 

1: Once you have made your pastry wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes. Remember this type of pastry just needs to be gently pressed together NO KNEADING you don’t want to encourage the gluten to form any quicker or risk melting the butter with warm hands and overworking the dough.

2: After you have rolled out your pastry and covered the base and sides of the pie tin have a close look at the pastry if you think it looks a little thin in areas then use the excess bits of pastry to patch these areas and make them thicker.

3:Brush the pastry with egg white then place the pastry back into to fridge to cool and rest for a further 10 minutes. Doing this will further stop the pastry from becoming soggy.

4: Always completely cool your pre-cooked pie filling before adding it to your pie case. If the filling is even slightly warm it will melt the butter in the pastry and soak through hence the dreaded SOGGY BOTTOM!

5: Always Pre-heat your oven before baking. The oven will need up to 10 – 20 minutes to reach the temperature required to begin baking. An internal hanging oven thermometer is great if you are unsure.

I have always maintained that baking if FUN and the results of your labour are truly worth the effort but baking is not quick!                    It is essential to follow these simple rules as even the simplest recipe has crucial steps.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The Showstopper Challenge – Party Pies, Pasties and Sausage Rolls

Party Pies and Pasties

These are my assorted savoury party treats.

The Checkerboard Cake – Step by Step

20130714_194524

Now as you look through the pictures you will notice that there is another baker in the house today. My husband who has never baked before has chosen to spend the cold wet Melbourne day baking. He has been all inspired by the checkerboard cake and decided that this was going to be todays challenge!

For this recipe please click on the link below.

Recipesgabo.ninemsn.com.auFancy a bit of baking? Download recipes from Australia’s biggest baking reality series and try your hand at recreating them at home.

These are a few step by step pictures to help you along when making this cake and also some tips and hints to remember.

Step 1

Preparation is the key to all successful bakes,

Pre-heat the oven

Measure out all your ingredients

 Prepare your baking tins

Unless otherwise requested all ingredients should be at room temperature.

Step 2

You begin by aerating the butter, sugar and oil, till pale in colour and has a fluffy appearance add the eggs one at a time and remember to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides and  bottom of the bowl making sure all ingredients are mixed in well

I have chosen to alternate the addition of the dry ingredients – Flour and wet – Milk and juice while the mixer is on a medium speed

Divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake for approximately 45minutes

Please try NOT to open the oven door till your cake is at least 3/4 of the way through its set baking time…..resist the temptation to open the oven door!

Use a metal or wooden skewer to pierce the centre of the cake, it should come out clean if its sticky then leave the cake in the oven for a further 5 minutes and try again.

Once the cakes have baked allow them to cool in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes then flip them onto a cooling rack

Follow the same steps to make the Chocolate cakes

Step 3

While the final cakes are baking its time to prepare the Chocolate frosting

Bring the butter, water and brown sugar to a simmer, if the liquid has accidentally boiled remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down a bit before adding the chocolate (If you add the chocolate into boiling liquid it will burn and become grainy in texture) Once you have added the chocolate use a whisk and keep stirring till the chocolate and butter liquids become smooth and glossy…..YUM!

Pour it into another bowl and set aside to thicken and become spreadable

A copy of the template is in The Great Australian Bake Off Book that you can trace to use

20130714_141947

Step 4

To get perfect looking squares you need to level the cakes first, this will require slicing the tops off all four cakes so that they are now flat and equal height

Once all the cakes are level, use the template to guide you around cutting the rings. Take your time its delicate and a little fiddly but so worth the effort.

Ok as a little reward for all that cutting and levelling stirring and baking I think a little tasting is in order.

20130714_171344

Step 5

The assembly is a the fun part all the cakes are cut so its time to apply the frosting around the edges of the inner circles and reconstructing the cakes. You will need to alternate the colours to achieve the desired checkerboard result.

After completing each cake a good layer of frosting is spread and the next cake is constructed on top.

*Just a note you need enough frosting so that the rings will stick together but not so much frosting that the cake is swimming in frosting.

Step 6

Reserve about 3/4 cup Chocolate frosting for final decorations (set aside)

Once the cake has been constructed its time to pour the remaining frosting over the cake and using a pallet knife or cake decorating spatula evenly distribute the frosting around the cake

At this point you might like to experiment with different patterns like creating swirls, lines or just making the edges smooth

Using a piping bag with a star tip decorate the edges and grate some orange zest around the edge, this is the fun part and its entirely up to you

This is the sensational finished result………and what looks like one very exhausted but very proud Baker!

Prior to The Great Australian Bake Off I too have always seen and heard of the checkerboard cake but never attempted it. It is a gorgeous cake and the possibilities are endless when it comes to flavours although I love Chocolate & Orange I think I might make a Chocolate & Mint one in the very near future. I hope you all take the opportunity to bake the Checkerboard cake too. Enjoy.

2013-07-12 23.39.08

Episode 1: The Great Australian Bake Off – Cake

Children’s Party Cake

Vanilla and Raspberry Marble Cake with Pink Chocolate Mousse

Image

I wanted to make a wonderful girly cake that had bursts of pink, butterflies and flowers a magical garden that would sparkle and delight. The original design had might I say alot more decorations on the cake but under the circumstances Im proud of my cake and delighted by the judges Kerry Vincent and Dan Lepards comments. I hope you all enjoy it too!

Image

1 quantity of batter for a 10inch cake pan or two 7inch cake tins.

This cake will require 3 quantities of batter I made two 10 inch cakes and two 7 inch cakes.

Cake

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Rice Bran Oil

1 3/4 cup Caster Sugar

4 Eggs and 2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon Queen Vanilla Bean Paste

3 cups Lighthouse SR Cake Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 1/4 cups Buttermilk

2 teaspoons Raspberry Flavouring (available in most cake decorating stores)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Grease and line a 10 inch cake tin or two 7 inch tins with baking paper and set aside

1: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside

2: Beat the sugar and eggs together till light and fluffy then add the oil and vanilla

3: Begin adding the flour and buttermilk alternating, mixing on a low speed so as to fold through to a smooth batter

4: Remove 1/2 a cup of batter and put aside in a bowl, pour the remaining cake batter into the cake tin

5: Add the raspberry flavouring to the reserved cake batter and mix well, pour this in a continuous stream over the vanilla batter and using a butter knife zig zag through to create a marble effect (remember not to over mix)

6: Bake for approximately 45 -50 minutes for a 10 inch cake 35 minutes for the 7 inch cake or till a skewer that has been inserted in the middle comes out clean

7: Once the cake has been baked allow it to cool completely in the tin before removing

Pink Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

750g Nestle White Chocolate

2 1/2 cups Cream

2 – 3 drops Pink food Colour

Method:

1: Bring 1 cup of cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate stirring till the chocolate has melted and the cream are now a smooth paste. Set aside to cool to room temperate

2:  Whip the remaining cream and allow it to come to room temperature ( if the cream is too cold when you fold through the chocolate may seize and become grainy in texture) Fold through the chocolate mix and the whipped cream ( try not to over mix as you will loose the air out of the whipped cream)

Fondant

2 1/2 kg of White or pre mixed fondant

* Kneed you fondant well to remove any air bubbles and roll out 3-4 millimetre thickness

Use plunger cutters to create the flowers and butterflies use a sugar syrup or royal icing to attach these to the cake

Assembling your cake

1: Carefully cut the tops off your cakes and then slice them in half

2: Spread 3/4 cup full of the mousse between each layer of the large cake and 1/2 between the layers of the small cake (* To create an even surface on top use the base of the cake on top)

3: Once you have filled the cakes use the remaining mouse to cover the exterior of the cakes, smooth the edges and place the cake in the fridge to become firm.

4:  Cover with fondant and carefully smooth the edges and cut away any excess

5: Both cakes need to be placed on cake boards and to assemble you need to insert support structures like wooden cake dowels (these can be bought from all good cake decorating stores)

6: The decorating is all up to you I always like to draw a design first and then put the finishing touches in the cake

Image

Image

Image

 Episode 1 – Star Baker Maria

The Little French Deli

Image

….un peu de France dans votre assiette…..  a little bit of France on your plate

I have always felt that home is where the heart is no matter how near or far you may find yourself. In a world of travellers and backpackers, establishing yourself in a country far from home can be daunting but as many migrants have found that only when surrounding yourself with familiarity a state of satisfaction and happiness can be established.

Image 6

“Bonjour”….With this basic and all to often taken for granted greeting, a connection has been made. My instinct to respond was put in action of which I replied proudly with “G-day” and a little giggle and whisper of Bonjour!  A very AUSSIE -FRENCH welcome!

At a glance, I came eye to eye with all the classics Duck Confit and Cassoulet, a fine display of wine, cheese and croissants, tarts and pies! The menu board listed a degustation of all the flavours that represented food from home a Parisian Home. The store board out the front of “The Little French Deli” simply listed Bread, Cheese, Charcuterie, Patisseries and All French!

Yes, for those who have made the journey to Bonbeach and visited the little deli, what it may lack in shop front space it makes up for with heart and passion and did I mention the glorious sunlit court yard. The court yard is perfect spot to soak up some winter sun and fresh air. You may even be greeted by the neighbourhood cat which has also adopted a French sophistication.

We surround ourselves with family, friends and food all these fill the void but allow as to embrace the present new family, friends and new opportunities. The little French Deli was established in October of 2012 by two fine french men with a passion to delight us with beautiful buttery pastry, golden bread sticks, tantalising tarts and for one food blogger a sensory overload. Romain, the French engineer from Lyon and Gaspard, he grew up in the kitchen of his parents Fine Cuisine Restaurant. Embrace the flavours of France and make them feel as much welcomed as they make you feel and with much gusto as you enter the deli say……..”Bonjour”   (Thats G-day to you and me)

Image 2

The Little French Deli

http://www.thelittlefrenchdeli.com

524 Nepean Highway

Bonbeach, Victoria

thelittlefrenchdeli@gmail.com

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

French & Fabulous

Why is it that when we hear the word “CAKE” spoken out loud or looking through the thousands of food related magazines we instantly think sweet, vanilla, chocolate, syrup goodness…..etc

Stop looking at the recipe, I haven’t forgotten to add the sugar!

Ive decided to make a classic, a French Savoury Cake.

Ive never said no to cheese, nuts or fruit and these are the basic flavour combinations that have revolutionised the word CAKE. Upon more research Im told that this type of savoury cake is popular amongst the Parisians and sure to be a family, lunch or picnic favourite in my household too. Found in boulangeries and served with a side salad in chic cafes.

Savoury Stilton, Apricot & Almond Cake

Ingredients

250g Plain Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

200g Stilton cut into small cubes

60g Almond Flakes

120g Dry Apricots Chopped (I do like to choose them based on the colour as this will be reflected when the cake is cut)

4 Eggs

150ml Olive Oil

100ml Full Cream Milk

1 Tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Freshly ground Pepper

Method

1: Pre-heat the oven 180 Degrees, grease a loaf pan and line with baking paper and set aside.

2: In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cheese, almond flakes and apricots salt and pepper and set aside.

3: Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs till very pale light and fluffy, add one at a time the oil, milk and yogurt.

4: Pour all the egg mix over the flour mix and fold through till all combined. Note its best to do this by hand with a spatula as you don’t want to knock out all the air in the egg mix.

5: Once all combined pour it into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6: Leave to cool and serve on its own or as the Parisians do with a little side salad.

Enjoy

20130620_113804

I have adapted this recipe from a Savoury Cake by Rachel Khoo.

Nothing Cheesy……. Just Classy!

Baked Cheese Cake that is…..Delicious, Creamy, Dreamy! 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC