Monday, March 30, 2009

Butterfly Passion Fruit Tart Recipe

I'm a huge fan of Adriano Zumbo's passion fruit tart. I've been to his store twice now and I get the passion fruit tart each time, and everyone I've given it to has loved it just as much as me. Except the boyfriend who thinks it's a bit too eggy. Which is fine by me because it means I will get it all to myself the next time we get it!

Adriano Zumbo's Beautiful Passion Fruit Tart

So last week I decided to try and make my own passion fruit tart. This is my first passion fruit tart so of course it was nothing like Adriano Zumbos. But it was a good start!

The filling wasn’t as creamy and smooth as his but it did have a good texture. It was a bit too sweet and not enough passion fruit for me so I've altered the recipe below to fix that (however, please note I haven't tried the new measurements myself). The original recipe is from Big Oven and I have reduced the quantity by half.

The pastry recipe is from Jamie Oliver but I made some changes. I also reduced the quantity by half and omitted the lemon zest and added a pinch of salt.

Instead of having a plain looking tart, I wanted to make it a little more exciting, so I made some coloured swirls and used the leftover pastry to decorate the edges. I love pastry (sometimes more than the filling it's holding) so this was a bonus :)

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g icing sugar, sifted
125g room temperature butter
Pinch of salt
1 Egg
a splash of milk


Place the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the butter, eggs and splash of milk. With your hands mix the wet ingredients together and then start incorporating the dry ingredients. When well combined it should resemble a dough. Roll into a ball and place in the fridge for approx 15 to 20 mins to chill.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

When chilled, dust the surface of the table with some flour and roll out the dough. Place the dough in to a tart pan and shape. Place some baking beads or a piece of baking paper with rice on top on the pastry to prevent it from rising when in the oven. Bake for approx 20 mins. Then remove the baking beads or rice and bake for a further 10 mins.

With the leftover pastry, roll and cut out different shapes to decorate your tart. Bake for about 15 to 20 mins.

Passion Fruit Tart Filling (Original recipe at Big Oven)

4 Passion fruits

4 Egg yolks

2 Eggs

100 g Caster sugar

100 g Unsalted butter

75 ml Double cream


2 teaspoons Apricot jam


Bring the juice and contents of the passion fruit up to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter, mixing continuously. Whisk the caster sugar, eggs and egg yolks together until well creamed. Pour and mix well. Then add the cream.

Pour into your pre-baked tart case and bake for 30-45 minutes at 160 degrees. You'll know it's ready when the filling does not jiggle when you gently shake the pan. Let the tart cool and then add the glaze.

To make the glaze, put two teaspoons of apricot jam and 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water into a bowl. Mix well and then use a brush to apply the glaze.

Place all the pastry pieces on a piece of paper and dust well with icing sugar. Then place it onto the finished tart.

There you go, you have a tart that is slightly different and does not look like 'just another tart'!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Practicing Pink Roses

My cousin is getting married next July and I'm helping her plan her wedding cake. I don't have much experience in the whole planning of a wedding but so far since chatting to my cousin it seems like an extremely long, detailed and expensive process. I mean, don't get me wrong, it sounds fun too (when it all comes together!) and I know for some people it's one of the biggest days of their lives, but I can't believe that you need to secure venues more than a year in advance (they book up quickly!) and you have to think about the big picture, the room layout, the dress, photography, down to details like the colour of your nail polish and how much alcohol you are expecting each of your guests to consume. With so many things to do, no wonder some girls start planning their dream wedding when they are so young.

This whole wedding thing also makes me wonder if the guy (in general) is just as excited about all the planning and details or do they just go along because they know it's makes their future wife happy? If left up to them, would they rather a simple wedding with no frills because at the end of the day all they want to do is spend the rest of their life with the girl?

But on to the topic of cakes, I'm lucky my cousin is organised when it comes to her cake. After spending one weekend with her looking at potential ideas and what she wants, she decided on the design of her cake and even went home to draw it out and colour it in for me! Her theme colours are pastel pink and green (always a good mix). If she lets me, I'll post up a picture of her drawing but at the moment we are still working out how to get the cake layers to 'flow' better. She wants to top off the whole cake with a bunch of roses so last weekend I practised my sugar flower skills and made a bunch of roses to place on a mock up cake for her.

I still need to put the finishing touches to the mock up cake but thought I'd share some pictures because I'm so happy with how it turned out :) It's taken me a long time to make this so I think I still need practise and to work out how to get rid of some of the rough edges. My cousin told me she didn’t mind if we used real roses but I'm determined to make sugar roses that look just as good :P

I hope these travel well because her wedding is in Singapore *fingers crossed*.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bunnies in the Spring Time

It’s hard to believe it’s almost April and that Easter is around the corner. But I am excited because it’s 2 more weeks until I go on holidays. Singapore – Korea – Japan – KL, yay I can’t wait! I’m planning a dessert road map so if anyone knows of any places in those countries that I absolutely have to try, let me know! I’ll be catching up with old friends in all of those places, some whom I have not seen in almost 10 years. So I imagine it’ll be a whole heap of ‘remember the time when…’ stories!

I caught up with a friend today and we went to the Lindt cafĂ© (one of my favourite places!). Easter bunnies and eggs were everywhere. Amongst them, I yearned for the 1kg Lindt bunny (it was huge!) and I could not stop staring that the ginormous stuffed Lindt bunny, which was selling for $500. I took photos with my friend’s camera but I’ll blog more about it when she sends me the photos.

Anyways, on to the bunnies in spring… I know here in Sydney it’s actually getting closer to autumn but I just felt like making cupcakes with bunnies on them this weekend and they just begged me to make them some flowers to play with :)

All the flowers and faceless bunnies lined up to go.

Having a snooze...

Peeking out from the flowers. I wonder what's out there....

This little guy is my favourite!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Puit d’Amour Cake

I just got home from volleyball (we won tonight, yay!), baked a batch of cupcakes to be decorated tomorrow, had a shower and have managed to squeeze in some time to update my blog. I realised don’t really get to update my blog until the weekends and it’s usually because I’ve got so much crammed into my week nights, plus having a full time job doesn’t leave me with much spare time. So, I have come to the conclusion that I need more time!

I’ve been taking a 8 week French pastry class with the boyfriend and so every Monday we rush home from work, scoff down dinner and pack our bags full of ingredients and head off to the Paris International Cooking School. Each week, under the supervision of a chef, we learn to cook 3 different desserts all with French names I can’t seem to remember or pronounce properly. We learn new technique and also little tips and tricks in the kitchen (like to wet your sauce pan slightly before heating up milk or cream to prevent the milk/cream from burning on the bottom – which also makes the pan easier to wash).

So far, we’ve made tarts, cakes, truffles, pastry twists and puddings. But my absolute favourite dessert was one of the ones we made last week – Puit d’Amour Cake (or ‘Love Wells’). It’s basically a voul-a-vont filled with cream patissiere and topped off with fresh berries. I am a sucker for pastry, especially light, golden, fresh, still warm, crispy, melt in your mouth pastry. And that was exactly what this was. Yuuuum. And coupled with the cream patissiere, which was basically a creamy sweet vanilla custard, and the mixed berries on top… double yuuuum.

We only made 4 and somehow I managed to stop myself long enough to take a photo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Bag and Rainbows

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I haven’t really had a chance to create anything until this weekend, as I spent all of last weekend playing in a volleyball comp. I was exhausted but it was fun (even if our team only won one game)!

Last week I got an order for a bag cake, I’ve not made one before so I was excited to give it a go. Luckily the shape of the bag was simple enough so it was pretty easy to cover it. The chain and ribbon through it is real and all in all, I think it went well. A guy ordered this for his girlfriend so I hope she is happy with it.

Some time during the last week, I also got the new Planet Cake book. For those of you who might not know, Planet Cake is this super cool cake shop in Balmain (in Sydney) and their cakes are amazingly flawless and so pretty. They do courses which I’ve always wanted to do but unfortunately can’t really afford. So when I saw that they had published a book, I couldn’t wait to get it! It’s got some fantastic basic methods and advice (they explain how to get that amazing flawless look) in there, so I’d definitely recommend it for any cake decorating enthusiast.

In one of their first few pages, I saw a wedding cake design that really inspired me. It was a rainbow based design but then it was covered with white rolled icing with leaves cut out so that the rainbow design showed through the cut out leaves. I had spare cupcakes left from my bag order so I decided to try it out.

I love rainbow colours and gradients!

My favourite one :)

The only down side is that there is then 2 layers of rolled icing on the cupcakes. I tried rolling the icing really thin but it still felt like there was a lot of icing. But hey, I think it’s a pretty cool design... imagine the other patterns and colours you could do on the base layer :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birthday Sushi Platter

After succeeding in creating the little jelly balls and making lychee roe last week, I decided to work on a sushi set. I'm not sure if I will sell it yet, but I think it would be cool if you could give a box of sushi as a gift.

It was my friend Amir's birthday this weekend and we had a picnic by the park in front of the Sydney fish markets. So what kind of cake/dessert could be more suiting than a platter of sushi?

I made the salmon, egg and prawn out of rolled icing/fondant and also tried to make unagi out of marshmallow like in the Brownie Points blog. All was well the night before when I melted (I used store bought marshmallows) the marshmallows and shaped them into unagi shapes. And then I put them on a plate, and cling wrapped them... the next night, the unagi marshmallows had become really wet jelly like shapes! For some reason, there was a lot of condensation which made the marshmallows become really wet and unusable. :( I was so disappointed. Next time I know just to leave it on the bench!

Other than the marshmallow unagi disaster, I think the rest turned out well. Everyone was surprised to see sushi and the birthday boy seemed impressed (either that, or he was a good actor!). For some reason I could not find white sprinkles, so I had to shave white chocolate for the 'rice'. All the little cakes are vanilla with vanilla butter cream aside from the ones with the roe. Those have strawberry buttercream filling to match the raspberry roe. I also finally got some syringes to make the roe. and it was a lot easier than using an eye dropper!

Sushi Anyone?

The birthday boy with his sushi platter.

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