Monthly Archives: April 2016

Meyer Lemon Squares – Brulee’d

 

Have you had Meyer Lemons? If not, run out and get them! They are amazing. They have the most delicate lemon flavor without being overly tart. We did not have Meyer Lemons growing up and I first tasted them when I came to the US. Now if you are thinking – wait a minute he writes about every fruit and loves it – then you are sort of right. I write about the fruits I love. There are some like the Guava that I do not like. I did not like it when I was growing up and refused to eat it. As an adult I tried it again and still have not developed a taste for it. In the future my taste buds may decide differently but for now ‘C’est la vie’.

I spend a lot of time (relatively speaking) on reading cooking books, magazines and blogs. The creativity is simply amazing out there in every facet of life. I love the fact that there are so many people who are constantly trying new things. For me being in the kitchen and baking/cooking is fantastic therapy. A lot of people think that baking is challenging. It can be a little daunting because you have to get the measurements right (and have a few of the right tools) but you can do it!. Start with this recipe, follow it to the T or make it your own!

I made this for a dinner we had at a friends house. It was a pot luck dinner and it was simple but so delightful. I will say it is best to have these on the day they are made as the brulee cracks really well. If you do keep it in the refrigerator you will have to brulee another round of sugar on top. I really liked using my torch for this one.  You can certainly try doing the brulee in the oven, but only if you have done it before.

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from here

Prep time: Cooking Time:

For the crust:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh meyer lemon juice (about 4 meyer lemons)
  • Zest of the meyer lemons used
  • 2/3 cup  all-purpose flour
To Brulee
  • Demerara sugar

Method

For the crust
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper in two rectangular overlapping strips. This will allow you to lift the entire tart out easily.
Using the scraper attachment (or paddle attachment) of your mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the flour and salt and stir until incorporated.
Press this into the baking pan. I use my measuring cup to help flatten it down. Make sure you get it all the way to the sides. Put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Pop it into the oven and bake until the crust begins to turn a golden brown (15 – 20 minutes). Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling

Whisk all the ingredients for the filling until well blended. Pour into the pan with the cooled crust and bake for 25-30 minutes. Start checking at 25 minutes to make sure the middle has set. To do this jiggle the pan and make sure the center barely moves. This means that it has set as it will continue to firm up after you take it out of the oven.
Let this cool completely and then use the parchment overhangs to lift it out of the pan.

To brûlée

Sprinkle the sugar in an even coating over the top. Ignite your torch and move slowly from left to right as the sugar begins to melt and then caramelize. Cut and serve.
If you are not going to eat all of them that day. You can just brulee the portion you are going to serve.

 

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Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Icing

Coconut Cake + Passionfruit ice cream

 

I love birthdays especially since I get to bake something. Its not all about me, really. Its about finding out what the person likes and then coming up with something for them. Well Lorne loves anything coconut (which I incidentally love as well). So I looked through all my recipes and online to see what was there with coconut and then one other ingredient. I found it – ‘Passion fruit’.

Now that’s a whole other story. If you have been on my blog before you know I love Passion Fruit. Ever since I first had it in Hawaii, I went bonkers. When I returned from Hawaii, I even bought a couple of bottles of concentrate back. Well I found Passion Fruit pulp in the farmers market – and yes they even carry Passion Fruits ever so often. I use the frozen pulp which is a little tart and does not have the beautiful looking seeds that I think scream – Passion Fruit. I found a variety of passion fruit that grows down south, I nearly bought it till I found they are pretty aggressive so I depend only on what I get at the market.

The decision was to make a coconut cake and frost it with a passion fruit icing. The initial idea was to make a curd and split the cakes and fill it with passion fruit curd. Well time on Thursday got a little better of me (sorry Lorne) and I decided to take the easy way out. This recipe is based off a recipe in an Australian magazine ‘Taste’. The cake was super moist and the passion fruit icing was the perfect touch of sweetness and tartness.

I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as we all did.

Ingredients

for the cake

  • 175g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt

for the Icing

  • 5 tablespoons passion fruit pulp
  • 1 1/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar mixture, sifted
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line and grease and line a 9 inch cake pan. I have a silicone pan and do not grease it.

In a food processor blend all the ingredients except the shredded coconut until well mixed. Pour the mix into a large bowl and then add the shredded coconut and stir to combine. Pour this into your prepared pan. Bake for 40-43 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Take the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely before icing.

For the icing

Cream the butter until smooth. Add the icing (powdered) sugar and passion fruit and continue to beat until it is smooth. Add the toasted coconut and stir.

Put the cake on your platter and pour the icing over and spread it.