After an incredible week in Denmark (which you can read about here, here and here), it was great to get home on Thursday and cuddle my people. We had one night of relative calm before Friday which saw Tim heading to Sydney for the Pyrmont Growers Market, Alice dressing up for her first book parade at school and Tom and I hitting town to stock up for a full house all weekend. Mum (artist Annie Herron) was coming to teach a two-day drawing workshop at the Farm Kitchen, plus our good friends Sam and Simon were also coming for the course and to help do some work on the farm and the house (more on that later).
Mum is a wonderful teacher and the drawing workshop was, I think, a great success. I pottered around in the kitchen while they all did their thing, making coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, all the while wishing I was in in the class too. Honestly it was amazing to see absolute beginners sketching impressive landscapes and still life’s after just a couple of hours. If ever you’ve wished you could draw or paint I would really recommend spending some time with my Mum. She runs 5-day residential classes from her base near Rydal (read more about them here), and will also be doing another of these workshops with us in November. Dates to be confirmed soon but please let me know if you are interested and I’ll put your name down, in the meantime, here are some recipes from our arty weekend!
Caramelised Onion Tart
This recipe comes via Annabel Graham and her brilliant book A Year’s Worth. It’s prefect with a crunchy salad and tastes even better at room temperature so makes a good easy lunch.
1 quantity of shortcrust pastry (recipe here)
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 cup cream
1 tsbp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and gently caramelise the onions, this will take about 20 minutes. Stir often so they don’t burn and let them cook until meltingly soft. Set aside while you make the pastry case; roll out the pastry to line a fluted quiche tin, line with baking paper and pastry weights or rice and blind bake for about 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and set aside for a moment. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Line the base of the pastry case with the onions and pour over the egg mixture (fill the case only about 3/4 otherwise it will puff up and over the sides in the oven and make a big mess). Bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pastry a similar colour.
Madiera cake with milk chocolate ganache
250g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
Zest and juice of one big orange
1 tsp vanilla paste
4 large eggs, room temperature
250g s.r. flour
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the zest and vanilla and beat a minute or so more. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the flour and orange juice and pour batter into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth down the top with the back of a spoon and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden, the sides are beginning to pull away from the tin and a skewer comes out clean. F
or the ganache, bring 4 tbsp cream almost to boiling point, remove from heat and stir through 4 tbsp milk chocolate chops or equivalent of chopped chocolate from a block. Whisk the chocolate through the hot cream until it has melted into a glossy and thick sauce. Let this cool for a few minutes before pouring over the cake.
Peanut and chocolate chip biscuits
This recipe comes from one of my favourite books The Kitchen, by Michelle Curtis and Allan Campion, I often give this book as engagement of wedding presents because it has a recipe for pretty much every dish you’ll ever want to cook, they always work perfectly and mostly because Michelle and Allan just seem like awesome people. Their cake and biscuit chapters are particular favourites.
Makes about 30
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups s.r flour
1/2 chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180C and line a biscuit tray with baking paper. Cream the butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and mix together, then stir in the chocolate chips. Roll level teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place them 3cm apart on the prepared baking tray. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from tray, repeat with remaining mixture and leave biscuits to cool on a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container.