Strawberry and Lemon Lime Melting Moments

Spring is here!

Ok one might say sprint started just under a month ago at the beginning of September, but now, just in the last couple of weeks or so it really feel like the season has changed. The days are getting longer and there is real warmth in the suns rays.

There’s oh so many flowers around. Just in my small front yard alone there is a delightful combination of wisteria, jasmine, daisies, roses, lavender, geraniums all blissfully flowering.

It’s probably because of all the flowers and lovely green shoots that I think spring is pretty and feminine. Much like these melting moments. They are all pretty with the different colours and say eat me outside in the sun with a cup of tea. Of course most importantly they are delicious.

Strawberry and Lemon Lime Melting Moments – recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas August 2012

Biscuit

250g butter softened

1/2 cup icing sugar (I used icing mixture because that’s all I had it worked out fine)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2/3 cup cornflour

Preheat you oven to 180 degrees, line a couple of baking trays with baking paper

Sift icing sugar into to butter and add vanilla beat until light and fluffy

Sift in flour and corn flour, mix to form soft dough

Roll a tablespoon of the dough until a ball, place on baking tray, repeat until mixture is used up making sure you leave space between each ball. What you want to is make sure the balls are all about the same size, as this will give you biscuits of the same size which is easier for sandwiching together with filling. Once you’ve done that, press down lightly on each ball with a fork to flatten it. Bake in oven swapping trays around 1/2 way through cooking until lightly golden, about 15 mins.

Filling

60g softened butter

1 cup icing sugar/icing mixture

1 tsp strawberry essence

pink food colouring

1tsp finely grated lemon rind

1/2 tps finely grated lime rind

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Sift icing sugar in, beat until combined. Put 1/2 mixture into another bow. Add strawberry essence and pink food colouring and mix well. Add lemon and lime rind to remaining icing mixture.

Spread the icing mixture over the flat side of 1/2 biscuits (probably don’t put the strawberry icing on the same biscuits as the lemon lime icing because I’m thinking it might not taste so good). Sandwich the remaining biscuits flat side down on top of iced biscuits.

Eat outside in the sun with a cup of tea

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Blue Ribbon Baking- My Royal Show Baking

If you’ve been living under a rock this week in Adelaide the Royal Adelaide Show was been on. For those of you outside Australia it’s similar to a State Fair. About 500 000 people attend the show. There’s rides, show bags, animals, wood chopping, fireworks food, wine, a cornucopia of stalls selling stuff and an incredible variety of competition categories form including cookery.

Last year we had a look at the baking entries and I thought I reckon I could give that a go, so this year I did. for most of the open cookery there is no qualify you just fill out your entry form and pay your entry fee and turn up on allocated day with your baked goodies.

Instead of starting small and entering 1 category I thought I’d tempt a baking induced nervous breakdown and enter 3 categories. Chocolate cake, carrot cake and Anzac biscuits. I bake really good version of these (see my Anzac Biscuits post) so thought I’d give it go.

In the months leading up to it I was intent on baking these things often to get a consistent result. I didn’t bake them as much as I really should have but people I’d still have to suffer through multiple tastings of these baked goodies. My husband at present can’t really face another Anzac biscuit.

So I had the day off work the day before I had to enter my goods. I imagined the day being spent listening to some tunes while I got my bake on. In fact it started with a dog chicken disaster and a sick child at home. None the less behind schedule I started baking. My first carrot cake was good as was my first batch of Anzac biscuits. The chocolate cake however was a complete and utter failure. It fell apart as I was getting it out of the cake tin. I also wasn’t happy with how high it had risen. So back to the drawing board I used another recipe with some modifications. it rose well, but then it too fell apart coming out of the tin. I drunk what seems a bazillion cups of tea and lunch had been cake batter so I was feeling all nervous and jittery on a caffeine/sugar high and getting panicked by the chocolate cake. So I baked another batch of Anzac biscuits which again worked well, then gave the chocolate cake a third time lucky go. Hallelujah it worked. I hadn’t put walnuts in my first carrot cake so thought I might make another with walnuts. By this time it was 9pm and I was all baked out. I put the walnuts in the cake, but forgot the bi carb/orange juice mixture. I realised this after I’d just popped the cake in the oven so pulled it out and stirred it through. But when I go the cake out of the tin it looked 2 toned as I hadn’t stirred it through thoroughly. But I had my first carrot cake so all good. I then iced the carrot cake and chocolate cake without incident (a miracle given it was near 11pm)

So after 12 hours baking and an insane amount of eggs, flour, butter and sugar later I was all done .

I lined up with everyone else to drop off their baked goods the next day. Which was itself fascinating seeing all the people with all their cooked goods, as well as seeing frantic last minute preparations for setting up the show

Well how’d I go? No ribbons for me as you can see in the picks below my entries were different form the winning entries. But I’m ok with that. I’m more impressed that I did it.

My Anzac biscuits

The winning Anzac biscuits (noticeably smaller)

My chocolate cake

The winning chocolate cake

My carrot cake

Th wining one (clearly the cute little carrots on the icing were a winner)

Would I enter again, sure, next year I’m aiming to enter the Anzac biscuits because mine were pretty damn good, just bigger than the ribbon winners, the rock cakes and lamingtons (see my blog post for my amazing lamingtons).

Vanilla Slice

Next in my adventures in baking the great Australian classics – Vanilla Slice

confession until I made vanilla slice I’d only eaten it once and wasn’t overly impressed.

From what my friend Wikipedia tells me it’s based on a Mille Feuille. This is alternating layers of puff pastry and cream patisserie. A vanilla slice is a simplistic version of this – puff pastry on the bottom, a layer of delicious custard, topped with puff pastry and covered in delicious icing/

This recipes also for those who claim they can’t make custard, because its super easy and you can make custard.

puff pastry action

simple ingrediants for custard

all coming together in

Vanilla Slice

2 sheets puff pastry defrosted

2eggs

5 tbls corn flour

3 cups of milk

3 tbls sugar

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp

2 cups icing mixture

preheat oven to 180 degrees

Prick puff pastry with a fork and place in oven. Bake until golden.

cut to size to fit in tin (in this case I used a square cake tin). line tin with a strip of foil or baking paper longer than width of tin (you need it over hang edges of tin). place one sheet of puff pastry on bottom of tin

Whisk eggs cornflour and milk in saucepan. heat over medium heat until it starts to become thick, then whisk in sugar and vanilla. You need the custard to be pretty thick so keep whisking until I gets there.

Pour custard into puff pastry lined tin. {Place second sheet of puff pastry on top.

Put passionfruit pulp into a bowl then mix in 1 cup of icing mixture, keep adding icing mmixture4 a little bit at a time till you get a thick icing, Spread icing over puff pastry. Place in fridge to set

Cut up, eat enjoy

*** if you want to make a pouring custard follow directions above but only use 3 tbls cornflour & 1 tsp vanilla, and heat till it coats back of spoon

*** you can replace passionfruit icing with icing of choice if passionfruit is not your thing