December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Hello my dear friends!

I just wanted to say a Merry Christmas to you all and also a big thank you for reading my blog over the past couple of months. You have definitely satisfied my teenage dream of becoming a little bit famous, even if it is only in my mind.

Thank you to all the people/celebrities from Twitter who have taken a squiz at my blog especially Whitney Port! I Love You Whitney! I'm Not Kidding! I Promise I'm Not A Stalker! Ok Maybe A Little Bit!

I would like to thank the person that discovered my blog through a website about performance enhancing drugs......mate, I'm pretty sure my blog will create fat not muscle. Although lifting bags of flour might help?? I dunno.

Thanks to my amazing Man Friend Marc who helped clean the kitchen too many times after i had spread shit (i mean flour) from one end to the other. You are my world my love and i love you.

I would like to apologise to my cockateil Dennis for all the noise i have made while cooking and for not playing "head rubs" while my hands where covered in dough. I would also like to thank Dennis for providing musical entertainment in the form of whistling the tunes to.....Lady GaGa "Bad Romance", Madonna "Like a Virgin", Colonel Bogie's March, Heart and Soul, Jingle Bells and more recently the theme song to Indiana Jones. I love you and i want to kiss your face every second.

A big thank you to my amazing girlfriends Kate, Veronica and Lex who are so encouraging and always there for me especially when i thought i had that eating disorder because all i wanted to eat was sugar and biscuits. I'm pretty sure it was just an effect from blogging about food. I'm all good now thanks to Miss Veronica and her doctoring ways. I still want biscuits though......  :) oh, and cake!  hahahaha

Thank you to my family of course! Your support is always amazing and i love you guys! FAMILY!

And to everyone else..........THANK YOU!! It means a lot that you take the time to read my silly blog about my stupid baking escapades.

I promise to be back next year with new baking adventures! I plan to tackle the french croissant, the pavlova and maybe even try making my own jam.

But until then this is Lisa Sparkle.....Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

A blurry pic of me at Miss Lex's Christmas party.

November 30, 2010

The Adventures of Sparkle and the Gingerbread House

Once upon a time, a young lady named Sparkle decided to make a fabulous gingerbread house.

She woke up on Saturday morning and said to herself, "today is the day!". After doing a spot of Christmas shopping and seeing the new Harry Potter at Dendy Premium Cinemas, she and her man friend Pie set off to seek some extra ingredients needed for this fabulous gingerbread house from the horrible Woolworths.

As Sparkle was scanning the aisles for Molasses she realised that it was nowhere to be seen. Sparkle ingeniously enlisted the help of a very lovely Woolworths employee who for a good 5mins tried to help Sparkle find the elusive Molasses. Finally, after deciding there was no Molasses at the horrible Woolworths the lovely lady employee said quietly "why don't you try Coles instead".

So off Sparkle and Pie trotted to the nearest Coles. But do you think they could find Molasses there either? NO! Of Course Not! So once again, a "not as friendly employee" helped Sparkle and her man friend out and finally the Molasses was FOUND! Bizarrely in the health food area......

By this time it was almost 6:30pm but Sparkle was determined this house was going to at least be cooked before she got some beauty rest.

Armed with a gingerbread house recipe and template from the very awesome, the always reliable Charlotte (the kitchenaid) and Sparkle set to work.

Gingerbread House Recipe


1 cup of butter, softened
1 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of dark molasses
1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
6 eggs
6 cups of all purpose flour (+may need extra to get consistency right)
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon and allspice


1. Cream butter and sugars. Stir in eggs and molasses
2. Sift all dry ingredients together separately
3. Mix the dry into the wet ingredients just until combined. Don't over mix
4. Knead dough on floured surface until completely combined
5. NOTE: if your gingerbread is extra sticky, you will likely need to knead in extra flour in small amounts until he consistency is right. I recommend doing the next step (refrigerating) before getting the consistency perfect with flour. That will help with much of the stickiness. Humidity and room temperature can make a big difference here, so just plan to add flour until it becomes less sticky. And, of course, flour your hands before kneading or ANY gingerbread will be sticky!
6. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour (overnight is even better).
7. Roll out dough on a floured surface. You are looking for about 1/4 inch in thickness.
8. Use your cardboard cut outs to help you to cut out the right sized parts for the gingerbread houses.
9. bake on buttered cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes on 160 degrees Celsius or until slightly firm. Cool completely.

Instead of kneading, Sparkle just stirred the dough. At the time she thought she was doing the right thing but as she now writes this story she is thinking, "whoops, i didn't knead the dough, oh well". Needless to say, the dough was very tough to stir, please note look on face.

Sparkle trying hard to mix the dough

Dough to be refrigerated

1/3 dough rolled out onto baking paper with Roof template

Roof's cut

Front and side walls

Sparkle worked long into the night (around 10:30pm, on a Saturday night mind you), slaving away at the walls of the gingerbread house. Once they where all cooked and cooled, lovely Pie put all the pieces into a container ready for the assemble-ment on Sunday morning.   zzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday morning came, Sparkle so exhausted from the night before slept into 10am! She had a busy day ahead of her which included erecting a house made entirely out of cookies (basically) and then catching up with her wonderful girlfriends for a spot of dancing at Brand Depot. Of course a stop at the Lorna Jane outlet would need to be had also so Sparkle was in for a big day!

To start with, Sparkle put on her fabulous top which was made for her by her lovely friend Janette Lenk the designer and mastermind of T-Heinrich (check out her blog here.., and proceeded to make her first batch ever, of Royal Icing (with the help of Charlotte of course).

Royal Icing


1 pound (250g) of icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites


Beat slowly until stiff peaks form. Put icing in a pastry bag or plastic bag with a hole cut in the bottom corner to act as a pastry bag.

Sparkle was excited because this was a very easy recipe! She didn't have a piping bag so she put the icing in a zip lock bag and cut a hole in the bottom corner.

Royal icing in zip lock bag

Sparkle then proceeded to assemble the gingerbread house with help from Pie.

Sparkle and House


Sparkle finished the gingerbread house! But she was left underwhelmed. You see, Sparkle had very grand ideas for her house and although the house stood up and stayed up and all the lollies stayed on she was a bit sad. This particular house, to be honest, wasn't very hard to make at all. And Sparkle was looking for a challenge. Sparkle did love her house and was very proud of herself for making it but she decided she would most likely NEVER make another one ever again.

The house took around 5 hours to make and all she wanted to do was eat the bloody thing, so she took it to work on Monday......

Sparkle took her gingerbread house to work and proclaimed to everyone that at morning tea she would put her fist through the roof of the house, stating "I made it, i can therefore destroy it!".

With everyone standing around (mostly because they wanted a piece after the smashing had been completed), one last photo of the house that took so long to make was taken.

And then with one mighty thrust and a big cheer, it was done....

Sparkle with fist through the roof

And all the village people (my co-workers) gathered round to look at the gaping hole in the roof...


and to enjoy a piece of the fabulous Gingerbread House.

Maureen and James eating the roof

The End.

November 16, 2010

Halloween Friend Caramel Bucket

Halloween recipes proved to be difficult to come by, unless you are into fake brains, witches fingers and gooey eyeballs, and which I'm clearly not.

But i would not let my friends and readers down! All 4 of you to be exact......just kidding.

I first acquired some rather fabulous plastic jack-o-lantern buckets which i filled with the following recipes!!!

Caramel Picnic Apples


6 Granny Smith Apples
1 x 250g bag Caramel Jerseys
4 full size Cadbury Picnic bars - smashed!
Paddle pop sticks - 1 bag


Smash Picnic bars in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel. i like to use a rolling pin and for extra entertainment,
try making a grunting or yelling noise......very therapeutic indeed. Once bars have been suitably smashed put bits into a bowl.

Melt Caramels in a microwave proof bowl for 2 minutes checking constantly. Once jersey's have melted take them out of the micro wave. Let cool just a bit.

Stick Paddle Pop sticks into the underside of the apples. you may need to use more than one to support the weight of the apple.

Dip apple into the melted caramel then roll apple into the Picnic bar mixture.

Voila! very simple and really satisfying surprisingly. While eating this i felt very healthy and very fat at the same time :)

Pastry Twists with a Twist


2 sheets frozen puff pastry
left over melted caramel from above recipe
some white chocolate melts
melted butter for brushing


Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line baking tray with baking paper.

Cut un-frozen puff pastry into strips and make a big plat like you would with your hair. Pinch ends together so the plat doesn't come undone.

Brush some melted butter over the plats and stick in the oven until they turn puffy and golden.

once cool, drizzle left over melted caramel (you might need to chuck this back in the microwave for a bit) and some melted white chocolate.

Stick in fridge until chocolate and caramel harden, then EAT!!!

Plats before chocolate, first one with caramel

And last but not least - the crowd favorite!

Quick Caramel Popcorn -


100g (8 cups) freshly popped plain microwave pop corn (quicker than using the kernels)
125g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 tsp (heaped) bi-carb soda
1/2 tsp vanilla essence


1. Pop the microwave popcorn and set aside in large bowl.
2. Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy based pot until just starting to bubble.
3. Stir in salt and then add sugar.
4. Stir sugar through butter until smooth and fully combined.
5. Reduce heat to low-medium temperature and allow sugar mixture to bubble (but not boil) for 3-5 minutes (until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is thick and sticky.)
6. Remove from heat and stir in bi-carb soda very quickly, followed immediately by vanilla essence.
7. Whisk until fully combined then pour quickly over popcorn.
8. Toss popcorn and caramel together quickly until popcorn is coated - serve as is if you like chewier popcorn.
9. If you prefer crunchier popcorn, preheat oven to 120 degrees celcius, spread popcorn into glass or casserole dish and bake for 15-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until caramel has hardened on the popcorn - ENJOY!
You can prepare the caramel in the microwave if you don't want to bother with the stove. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter until it pops in the microwave. Stir in the salt and sugar until combined then return to microwave for 3 minutes on medium-high power. Whisk, then return to microwave for 2 minutes on high power. Follow steps 6-8 as normal. ENJOY!

I made the caramel mix in the micro wave and it was sooooo easy. This is seriously "the Shit".

And finally all assembled! Thank you Pie.

Unfortunately my dear friend Kate came down with some terrible Indian food poisoning so she never experienced the Caramel Bucket. The bucket may have been useful though!

November 2, 2010

Marc's Movember.....Please Donate!

Dear all my wonderful friends and readers.

My beautiful man friend/partner Marc had decided to donate his face to grow a very charitable moustache for Movember. Please see his statement below.

This Movember I've decided to donate my face to raising awareness about men's health. My  commitment is the growth of a moustache for the entire month of Movember, which I know will generate conversation, controversy and laughter.
I am doing this because close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer in Australia each year and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime.
This is a cause I feel strongly about and I'm asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to me.  To help, you can either:
-    Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
-    Write a cheque payable to Movember Foundation, referencing my registration number 844604 and mailing it to: Movember Foundation, PO Box 292, Prahran, VIC, 3181
Through the Movember Foundation and its men's health partners, PCFA and beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Movember is funding world class research, educational and support programs which would otherwise not be possible.
For more details on the impact Movember is having please visit:
Thank you in advance for helping me to support men's health.

October 28, 2010

Saturday Night Self-Saucing Chocolate Muffins

*in tune to Cold Chisels "Saturday Night"

"Saturday do doooo, do dooo, do dooooooooo"

Once again, its 9:30pm, Bob and Marc are on the lounge watching Iron Chef and i want chocolate!

I haven't had any luck with puddings in the past which i think is Better Homes and Garden's fault.

Now, most of you that know me, know that i LOVE BH&G more than most things. i have a magazine subscription and refuse to go out on a Friday night unless i can schedule it around BH&G at 7:30pm. Only last week Marc and i went out for dinner but where home in enough time to watch the magnificence that is BH&G.

Despite how much i love BH&G, i can't make them write good pudding recipes for their magazine (although i did consider writing them a very angry letter).

A few months ago the magazine had a pudding section, which was filled with about 6-8 different pudding recipes. Of course, a fine lady like myself occasionally likes to indulge in a bit of pudding. i had never actually made one from scratch because the 99c home brand packet "Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding" was just too amazing. But, i wanted pudding and i was feeling adventurous.

I tried just the traditional self saucing chocolate pudding and chocolate and caramel pudding. i followed both recipes exactly, and they both turned out to be some of the most shit desserts i have ever made in my life! they where stuck to the bottom of the ramekins and completely un-edible. Sad Sad Sad. And of course i was obviously pissed because i had wasted a lot of chocolate and a perfectly good bag of caramel jerseys.

So i vowed never to cook a BH&G pudding recipe ever again.

I have never failed with my Baking Bible book however, and on Saturday Night (do do do), i had another crack!

Self Saucing Chocolate Muffins - Baking Bible

1 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease muffin tins. (i used a cupcake tray with silicone cupcake patties, this is VITAL as the muffins will stick no matter what).

Sift flour and half the cocoa  into a bowl. Sift in white sugar.

Add milk and melted butter, and stir until just combined.

Half fill prepared muffin tins with mixture.

Mix remaining cocoa with brown sugar and boiling water and add to each muffin cup to take the level up to 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-20 mins.

To turn muffins out, place service dish over muffin tin and carefully flip over. scoop out any remaining sauce. (i used a knife and gently lifted the silicone patties out then turned it into the serving bowl. much less messier and a guaranteed good result.)

Makes 12.


October 26, 2010

Cheese and Chive Muffins!

Bonjour Friends!

Do you ever get that craving around 3:30pm for something yummy? So you go to the communal chocolate box and you realise all the Caramelo Koala's are gone (probably because you ate them all). So now you don't really feel like something sweet about something with Cheese!

Then these are for you!

Cheese and Chive Muffins


1 cup self-raising flour
1 egg
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat oven to 190oC. Grease muffin tins.

Sift flour into a large bowl, then mix in all other ingredients until just combined.

Spoon mixture into muffin tins and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes 12

These muffins are super easy to make. I added some extra salt and pepper and i think some bacon would have been really nice as well. I used a cupcake tin and it made only about 10.

These little cheesy muffins are a welcome addition to my 3:30pm binge.

Now, who can i talk to about those Caromelo Koalas........

October 21, 2010

Stressful Red Devil Cake

The Sunday before last Sunday was a really shitty day. The weather was crap, i felt crap from the gym, we went to Coles and that's ALWAYS crap, we didn't get into a fight though so that was a bonus (a story for another time).

So i was feeling like crap..... which i have just established.

The only way to fix this depressive spiral was by making cake, a really big chocolaty cake.

I have had moderate success with cake baking. The cake usually tastes quite good/or delicious but i have a hard time with the "sinking". Hi my name is Lisa and my cakes sink. Not Stink, Sink.

But despite my "sinking" problem i was going to try attempt a cake....once again.

Red Devil Cake


1 cup grated dark cooking chocolate
½ cup milk, mixed with ½ tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
2 cups soft brown sugar
4 egg yolks
120g softened butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup milk
2 cups plain flour
2 eggs whites
Chocolate butter icing


Preheat oven to 180oC. Lightly grease and flour a 20cm round cake tin.

Gently heat chocolate, soured milk, half the brown sugar and 1 egg yolk until chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.

Cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add remaining egg yolks, bicarbonate of soda dissolved in milk, and sifted flour.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into creamed mixture and chocolate mixture.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Ice with chocolate icing.

Chocolate Butter Icing


60g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
125g softened butter
2 cups icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons warm milk


Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water or on Medium in the microwave. Cool.

Cream the butter in a bowl. Gradually add sifted icing sugar, alternately with the milk, until soft and creamy. Beat in melted chocolate.

Makes ¾ cup

It was roughly 7pm when i started on this adventure, Dinner Time. Poor Marc was trying to make Laksa around me and i had bowls and chocolate EVERYWHERE!

The chocolate grating in this recipe is HARD CORE! i was sweating up a storm, which I'm sure added to the overall flavour of the cake :)

Also the amount of bowls used is RIDICULOUS! i think i had about 6-8 bowls going. So be prepared if you want to make this cake.

Anyhoo, the cake was in the oven and i was eating Laksa which is always amazing. I checked on the cake and it looked fine, maybe a little bit "sinky". Once the cake was out, it sunk a bit more.

When it was time to get the cake out of the tin i had a revelation........"maybe....if i turn the cake upside-down no one will even know it sunk". So that's exactly what i did, and it bloody worked!

I made the icing and iced my now totally flat topped Red Devil Cake. Perfection!

And the taste.........wonderful!

The question to be asked is, is this Red Devil Cake as good as Betty Crocker's Devil Food Cake that can be bought in a packet and made with only 1 bowl? The answer is No.

This cake tasted really good, but I'm pretty sure if want a really chocolaty cake without having to rehydrate myself post baking i will always choose good old Betty.


Upside-down cake with no icing

Finished Product!

October 13, 2010

Saturday Night Swiss Lemon Slice

Like most Saturday evenings, around 9pm, i get the urge to bake something. Usually Marc and our friend Bob are on the lounge watching Iron Chef or something and possibly trying to dodge each others farts.

This Saturday night was no different.
This is my queue.

So off to the pantry i go, Baking Bible in hand to search for a recipe that consists of whatever is lurking around in there.

And so we have......

Swiss Lemon Slice


1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
115g butter, melted
1/3 cup soft brown sugar
lemon glace icing (separate recipe below)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease and line a 19-cm x 29-cm slice tin. *I very rarely grease tins, i mostly just use baking paper. if you leave some over hang its easier to pull the slice out with.

Sift self-raising flour, then mix with coconut, butter and sugar.

Press into the tin. Bake for 15 mins. When Cold, ice with lemon icing.

Makes 24

So at this point i was really excited because base turned out great! I was even boasting how easy it was.

Another trip to the pantry. WHAT NO ICING SUGAR! How can a person that bakes so often not be in possession of something as simple as icing sugar?

I had let the troops down, and by troops i mean the Stink Brothers on the lounge.

12 hours later i was at Coles picking up numerous bags of icing sugar. If Queanbeyan ever comes under attack (well it kinda already bogans), we will at least be able to survive on icing sugar.

Lemon Glace Icing


2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons warm lemon juice


Sift the icing sugar (i never sift icing sugar FYI) in a bowl. Gradually add the lemon juice, beating until the icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Use immediately.

Uneven cutting, but tasted really good.

I highly recommend this recipe, especially if your Nana is coming over for tea or for hurling at attacking bogans.

October 7, 2010

Raspberry and Rhubarb Ginger Nut Crumble

For Miss Veronicas birthday I contributed to the afternoon tea with a Raspberry and Rhubarb Ginger Nut Crumble, hand picked by Miss V herself.

I must say it was a wonderful choice. Very tasty and very simple to make. If you have any pent up frustration or anger this recipe is perfect as you get to beat the crap out of some ginger nut biscuits.

Here is the recipe ya'll !

Here is the pic i took from the webiste which is listed here

Raspberry and rhubarb ginger nut crumble


2 medium (300g) apples, peeled, cored, chopped
500g rhubarb, trimmed, chopped
½ cup (110g) vanilla sugar
500g frozen mixed berries
12 (180g) ginger nut biscuits, crushed finely
¾ cup (110g) self-raising flour
1/3 cup (75g) vanilla sugar, extra
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup (25g) walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, extra


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.

Place the apples, rhubarb and vanilla sugar in a medium saucepan; cook, covered, over low heat for about 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in berries.

Spoon fruit mixture into a 2-litre (8-cup) ovenproof dish. Place dish on an oven tray.

Combine the crushed biscuits, flour, ¼ cup of the extra vanilla sugar and spices in a medium bowl; rub in the butter, then stir in the walnuts.

Top fruit mixture with flour mixture, then sprinkle over the combined remaining extra vanilla sugar and the extra cinnamon.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until browned. Serve with custard and vanilla ice-cream, if desired.

Suitable to freeze. Fruit suitable to microwave.

Here are some pics from that super fun afternoon! Ps. We just had dance rehersal so our get up is more of the work-out variety as opposed to the smokin-hot look we usually sport. :)

Me, Kate and Ron

The ever wonderful Harry

We Like to Dance

And Love Each Other

And eat LOTS of SUGAR!!!
Happy Birthday Miss Veronica!

October 6, 2010

Old Cooking Adventures - Easter Friend Surprise!

As some of you may know I'm very enthusiastic about "Edible Holiday Gifts", i have only done a few but the process and the result is always really fun (and i usually get covered in chocolate, which is also a bit great).

For Easter this year i created "Easter Baskets" for my girlfriends Ron, Kate and Lex. I'm kicking myself now that i never took a picture of the final product (basket and all) so you will have to use your imagination.

Think pink, orange and yellow Easter egg baskets with those really long over the top handles filled with.................

Easter Ganache Slice!  from (which is where i took the photo from)

24 pieces


  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 400g Nestle Plaistowe dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 150g Woolworths marshmallows
  • 150g Scotch Finger biscuits, broken into large chunks
  • 150g Violet Crumble, chopped
Easter ganache slice


  1. Line a 26cm x 16cm baking pan with non-stick baking paper, leaving 2 sides extended. Melt thickened cream and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Stir until the mixture is melted and smooth.
  2. Carefully remove the bowl. Stir in marshmallows, Scotch Finger biscuits and Violet Crumble until well combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into the pan and place in the fridge for 4-5 hours or until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Easter Egg Slice

Makes 15

1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/3 cups caster sugar
80g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
500g mini solid Easter eggs (i used caramel and plain chocolate)
1 cup shredded coconut
395g can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 3cm deep, 16.5 x 26 cm (base) slab pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all 4 sides.
  2. Combine flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of cold water. process until mixture almost comes together. Using clean hands, press mixture into base of pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. Unwrap Easter eggs. Place eggs over slice base to cover. Sprinkle with coconut. drizzle condensed milk over the slice. Bake for 28-30mins or until edges are deep golden and centre is firm to touch. Allow slice to cool completely in pan.
  4. Cut into pieces and serve
*no picture unfortunately.
Now, if you have any edible holiday ideas for me i would love to try it out. Christmas i will definitely try my Nan's Christmas Pudding recipe out (God help me), but I'm up for any kind holiday, if you can think of it, ill give it a crack.

Now come to think of it, i did see some fabulous plastic "Jack-o-Lantern" baskets in the $2 shop.......blood stained pumpkin pie anyone?

September 29, 2010

Really Amazing Apple and Frangipane Tart

Good Morning Food Lovers!

It a lovely day in Canberra today, so lovely in fact that i'm feeling very generous. I think i might share the most amazing tart/pie recipie EVER.

This Apple and Frangipane Tart is from (bless them). I have made this tart about 3 times i think, all of which turned out better than the last. Chef Marc (aka. Lisa's Man Friend) believes that this is the BEST shortcrust pastry recipe and i would have to agree. There is no need for blind baking in this one (thank god coz we all know how the last pie turned out!). This tart is so amazing, if you have any Frangipane mix left over i suggest you either just eat it with a spoon (oh yeah!) or make mini tarts with some puff pastry rounds, left over apples and the mix and whack it all in some cupcake trays. This is actually a really good way to use up all the left over ingredients because sitting on the kitchen bench eating a tub of what is mostly almond meal and butter, surrounded by dirty utensils and spilt flour waitng for the pie to cook, is not really a "good look", although it is bloody satisfying.

Here is the recipe!

Apple and Frangipane Tart

Frangipane (Almond Cream):
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (42 grams) almond meal (flour)
1 tablespoon (12 grams) all purpose flour
Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
6 cups (2 pounds, 1 kg) (about 5 large) apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Frangipane:  In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste.  Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. 

Pate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined.  Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).  Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched.  Add remaining water, if necessary.  Do not process more than about 30 seconds.  Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball, cover with pastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 13 inch (33 cm) circle.  Lift and turn the dough when rolling so it does not stick to the counter.   If it gets too soft and starts to fall apart when rolling, put dough back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.  Transfer the circle to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap, and return it to the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Then remove the chilled pastry from the refrigerator and spread the frangipane evenly over the dough, leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) border.  Cover and return to the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.

Assemble Tart:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven.
Arrange the apple slices evenly over the frangipane layer (concentrically or free form), again leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) border.  Fold the 2 inch (5 cm) border of pastry up and over the apples (sealing any cracks) and brush the pastry crust with the melted butter.  Pour any leftover butter over the apples.  Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of sugar (depending on the tartness of the apples) over the crust and apples.
Bake the tart for 50 to 60 minutes or until the apples are cooked and the crust is golden brown.  (The apples should be soft, but not mushy, when pierced with a knife.)  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream .
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 6 - 8

Make it
Eat it
Love it