Friday, July 30

Gingerbread pancakes with maple pears

gingerbread pancakes with maple pears

You know those mornings when you wake up and you feel far worse than you did the night before, the mornings when you head is ringing, your mouth is dry, and your eyes are glued shut from sleep? Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I know you're thinking "it's called a hangover!", which would be right except I'm talking about the mornings you wake up feeling like you'e got the worst hangover in the world but you had nothing to drink the night before, or the night before that, or even the night before that. It's punishment without a crime.

Can you tell I had one of those mornings? It's okay though because bad mornings are easily fixed with a delicious breakfast and these pancakes do a superb job!

There's nothing quite like pancakes for breakfast. There's something utterly indulgent having enough time in the morning to make a breakfast that doesn't consist of just cereal or toast.

That being said, ordinarily I would make plain ol' jane pancakes with blueberries, if I'm got any in the house. However, when I was standing in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea and feeling sorry for myself I knew ordinary pancakes would not do. After hunting around a bit, I came across this recipe for gingerbread pancakes I knew they were destined to be my breakfast. Coupled with maple roasted pears they're a delicious morning treat.

The only problem with these pancakes? I had to make them myself.

Gingerbread pancakes with maple pears

serves 1-2

Gingerbread pancakes

(adapted from What Megan's Making)

100g (3/4 cup) plain flour
40g (1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of cloves
65ml (1/4 cup) water
65ml (1/4 cup) milk
1 large egg
30g (1/8 cup) butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.

In a separate bowl or jug, combine the water, milk, egg, melted butter, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and pour into the well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the mixture is just combined and then stand for 15 minutes.

Brush a non-stick fry pan or crepe pan with a small amount of butter and then heat until hot but not smoking.

Working in batches pour 1/4 cup amounts of batter on to the frypan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface the undersides are slightly brown. Flip pancakes and cook for a further 1 minute, or until the pancakes are cooked through and the edges are slightly brown. Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate, cover in aluminium foil, and keep warm in the oven until required. Repeat process until all the batter is used up.

Serve with maple pears and cream.

Maple pears

(adapted from Gourmet Traveller)

125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
thinly peeled rind and juice of half a lemon and half an orange
1 firm, but ripe, pears

Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Sprinkle with a small amount of lemon juice and set aside.

Combine the maple syrup, citrus rind and juice in a medium sized frypan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then add the pears. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the pears tender and the maple mixture is thick and syrupy. Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm in the oven until required.

Tuesday, July 27

Raspberry & lemon friands

raspberry friands

Friands, friands, friands. I'm never sure what I think about you, sure you're simple to make but you demand expensive ingredients such as almond meal and berries. Yes, you're a good way to use up excess egg whites but are you really worth it? Apparently my friends think you are, I still remain unsure.

Friands are an Australian and New Zealand treat, but like most things they're an adaptation of something else. Apparently they're based off financier; my source for this information is, naturally, wikipedia. Any information beyond this little snippet of trivia is hard to find.

In Australia you can buy tins specificity for making friands, they're typically oval shaped. However, it's not the shape that makes a friand a friand, it's the ingredients. Friands come in many shapes and sizes - why the oval shape has become associated with the friand I have no idea. I personally prefer to bake mine in cute paper cases because they're so easy to clean up when you've finished as there's no tray, except for a flat baking tray, to wash up.


I think these friands could use the addition of coconut, however everyone I mentioned this idea to shook their heads at me and said "no!" rather loudly. Next time I'll make them with coconut and we'll see how everyone reacts.

Raspberry & lemon friands

(adapted from Use Real Butter)
makes approximately 8

125g (4 oz) unsalted butter
110g (1 cup) almond meal
235g (1 2/3 cups) icing sugar
115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
5 egg whites
45g (1/3 cup) frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), place paper baking cups on a flat tray.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook the butter until it is light golden in colour, remove from heat and set aside.

Combine the almond meal, icing sugar, flour, baking powder, and lemon zest in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the egg whites and mix until well combined. Pour in the butter and stir until completely combined.

Spoon batter into paper baking cups, filling each cup just over 3/4 full. Scatter a few berries on top of each friand, resist pushing them into the batter. Bake friands for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, July 14

Profiteroles with lemon cream

Profiteroles with Lemon Creme

This is the second time I've tried to make profiteroles. The first time was around two and a half years ago and they were a disaster. Somehow I managed to make 2.5cm (1 inch) rounds that were completely solid. They were like little rocks. I have no idea what went wrong but from then on I was too nervous to try again.

I've grown up since then and conquered many of my bizarre fears; I no longer duck and cover when a magpie even glances my way, I've learnt that duck bites don't actually hurt, I finally believe that the sea can only rise so much during high tide, and, most recently, that profiteroles aren't out to get me. In fact, profiteroles are quite easy.

Except my pastry cream was a disaster, you can't have everything I suppose. It tasted good, so that's a plus one but it was a weird consistency so that's a minus one.

No one cared though, I took these to my friends house as an after dinner snack and all sixteen of them and they were gone in the blink of an eye. It feels good to see a plate cleared completely, they even ate the caramel that had stuck to the plate!


This recipe was a bit unclear to follow, Gourmet Traveller sometimes formats their recipes a bit funny. I've reworked it a bit so that all the mistakes I almost made don't happen to you. There's nothing more infuriating than getting halfway through a recipe, realising you have 100gm of sugar that you haven't used yet, and not having a clue what to do with it. It just causes freak-outs and freak-outs are best avoided.

Profiteroles with lemon cream

adapted from Gourmet Traveller, July 2007
makes about 16

Lemon cream filling

200ml (7 fl oz) milk
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 pieces of lemon rind, removed with a peeler
3 egg yolks
40g (1.5 oz) caster sugar
15g (0.5 oz) cornflour
200ml (7 fl oz) double cream

Combine the milk, lemon juice, and lemon rind in a saucepan and bring to just below the boil. Remove from heat and stand for 15 minutes to infuse.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk for 2-3 minutes, add the cornflour and whisk to combine. Return milk mixture to the heat, bring to just below the boil and strain over the egg mixture. Whisk to combine, then return the mixture to the pan.

Whisk mixture of medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover closely with plastic wrap, cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold. When completely cold, whisk to break up slightly, add the cream and whisk until thick and smooth. Refrigerate until required.

Choux pastry

100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
250ml (1 cup) water
30g (1 oz) caster sugar
150g (1 cup) plain flour
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F), line a large tray with baking paper.

Combine butter, salt, water, and sugar in a large sauce pan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in the centre of the pan. Remove from the heat and stand for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with the wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture will become matte when the egg is fully incorporated.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large 1cm (1/2 inch) nozzle. Pipe 5cm-diameter mounds about 4cm high on the paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C (350°F) for another five minutes. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

Lemon caramel

140g (5 oz) caster sugar
50ml (1/8 cup) lemon juice
75ml (1/4 cup) water

Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and bring to the boil, cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture in a caramel colour. Remove from heat.

To assemble the profiteroles

Whist the caramel is cooking, spoon cooled lemon cream into a piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm (1/4 inch) round nozzle. Pipe lemon cream into choux puffs and place on a plate or return to the wire racks. Once the caramel is cooked, careful dip the tops of the profiteroles in it and arrange the finished arrange profiteroles on a plate. Serve fresh.

Tuesday, July 6

Lemon cream pots


Last week I mentioned the abundance of pears in my house and how I was hoping that this abundance would give way to an abundance of cherries or strawberries. Well, that didn't happen - instead I now have an abundance of lemons. Two grocery bags full of them, it's great. We'll be eating lemon flavoured food for the next week or two, if they even last that long.

Last weekend a few friends and I took a trip to the south coast, as a simple getaway. Much to our pleasure we found the lemon trees at the house we were staying in had a huge crop of lemons. Between us we picked close to one hundred lemons and that wasn't even all of them. Needless to say, many gin and tonics were consumed over the weekend. Yum!

It must be a good year for lemons because even the tree in my backyard, the tiny stumpy thing it is, is having lemons. It's only got three or four branches, but even they have lemons. I think there's more lemon than tree at the moment.


These lemon cream pots are the first of my lemon adventures. Well, they're the second thing I've made but the first to make it to the blog. You know how it is, right?

I'm not sure how to describe these. On one hand, they're incredibly simple but on the other they had odd, complex layers of texture. The first layer reminds me of an aero bar, the second is much firmer, and then you reach the bottom and it's like eating lemon curd. If I owned a blow torch I would add a layer of brûlée for an extra degree of decadence. That being said, these are thoroughly enjoyable just as they are.

I used single cream for these, though I'm fairly positive the original recipe called for double/heavy cream. My cream pots turned out just fine, I imagine they would be far richer with double/heavy cream.


Lemon cream pots

(adapted from les petits plats de trinidad)
makes four 125ml (4 fluid oz) servings

75ml (1/3 cup) fresh lemon juice
75ml (1/3 cup) single (whipping) cream
2 large eggs
100g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Half-fill a large roasting pan with hot water and place it on the lowest rack of the oven. Place another rack in the centre.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until frothy and then whisk in the cream, keep whisking until the mixture is well combined and aerated. Then gradually whisk in the lemon juice.

Spoon the mixture into four 125ml (4 fluid oz) ramekins. Place the ramekins on centre rack of the oven, above the roasting pan, and bake for 30 minutes or until the creams are set around the outside but still wobble slightly in the center. Cool cream pots to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold. Be careful not to cook them at too high a temperature or the texture will end up grainy.