Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some Sweet and Savoury

Monday was a public holiday and we had friends over for lunch. I always think a tart with some salad is a nice thing to have for lunch – it shows you have gone to a bit of effort but is easy to prepare as well.

I mostly make my own pastry when making a tart, but I did have some sheets of Ernest Adam shortcrust pastry in the freezer, so rather than re-invent the wheel, I used that as the base. The tart was based on a Ray mcVinnie recipe which you can find here - I made one large tart rather than individual ones. I always use free range eggs, but these ones were real free range from my friend, Jenny’s, farm – hence the rather fluro orange colour of the tart. They tasted terrific. The rest of the tart was sliced bacon, olives and feta cheese (I used Bulgarian cows milk feta that I get from Takapuna market rather than the goats cheese suggested in the recipe). The pinkish looking thing is a really yummy red onion confit that is also in the Ray McVinnie recipe. I did reduce the oil somewhat though, so mine was more of a relish than a confit. Served with a simple salad of rocket tossed with almonds and a vinaigrette of a tablespoon each of apple syrup, olive oil and cider vinegar, this was a lovely lunch.

Dessert was picked by my husband – he wanted some kind of syrup cake. This one was based on an Annabel Langbein recipe and is a lemon syrup cake. However, the syrup is actually a spicy one with the addition of vanilla beans, cloves and star anise. The recipe called for ground almonds, but I used ground macadamias which I had in the cupboard. They gave the cake quite a strong nut flavour and a more grainy texture than almonds would have. This is a great cake to make as it is very quick to put together and doesn’t take too long to bake. I imagine it would keep well in the tin as well. I cut the leftovers into slices, wrapped them individually in gladwrap and froze them.

Greek Syrup Cake (adapted from Annabel Langbein)

125g butter
1 c sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
¾ c self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ c semolina
1 c ground macadamia nuts
60ml lemon juice

· Cream butter and sugar, add zest and vanilla, then eggs, one at a time
· Stir in dry ingredients and lemon juice
· Pour into a lined 23cm round tin and bake at 180c for 30-35 minutes
· While still hot, pour over the following syrup (I used the syrup cold on the hot cake)

½ c water
1/3 c sugar
peel of 1 lemon
2 cardamom pods, crushed
½ tsp vanilla paste
1 star anise

· Stir all ingredients over a low heat to dissolve
Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes


Anonymous said...

Hey Tammy - the Ray McVinnie link isn't working for me (feel free to edit that)....tarts are my favourite too, good on you for supporting free range organic eggs, did you know that Canterbury University will allow ONLY free range organic eggs to be prepared on campus! I can't stand the thought of battery hens - and your tart just proves it - happy hens - great eggs - a win win situation (unless you're vegan - oops)

Cakelaw said...

Sounds like a delicious meal all round Tammy. I really like the look of the savoury tart.

Passionate About Baking said...

I love the flavours here Tammy...& the cake sounds so good..YUM!!