These Love Bars are a variation of one of the most unusual, delicious cakes I have found in recent memory. The recipe, with minor changes, comes from “Bourke Street Bakery, All Things Sweet“. It’s a beautiful book with gorgeous photography and great recipes. I’m not even sure how I found it but I am so happy I did. While they serve this as a cake Down Under, I cut it into bars and if I still had my bakery it would be front and center in the case. Continue reading
There’s a new stand mixer in the kitchen and its name is the Breville mixer. It’s sleeker, quieter, more powerful and all- around a better mixer than the KitchenAid as far as I am concerned and I have been baking professionally for over 30 years.
I never thought I would buy anything but a KitchenAid stand mixer. I remember well first seeing a lift bowl KitchenAid K5A on Julia Child’s TV show. I was just beginning to realize that food was to be my career with the emphasis on baking and pastry. It helped that Julia was able to teach so well – and I devoured every word and every recipe. Not only was she able to bring a whole new food culture to America but she did it in such a way that she was able to make you believe you could do it too. She was my first teacher and she lit a fire inside that still burns today.
At the time there was no internet, no easy way to find information. I finally tracked it down and I remember being horribly upset because it was so expensive and I couldn’t afford it. Shortly thereafter my husband came into a small inheritance which he was happy to share. I used my cream colored K5A until just recently when I finally came to terms with the fact that I had to let it go. I used that mixer more than normal – much, much more than normal and it never ever let me down. I bought an extra bowl, whisk, and paddle beater so I wouldn’t have to wash the bowl when two were needed to complete a recipe. Continue reading
This Lamington Torte is an adaptation of Australia’s much loved snack, Lamington Squares. Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. The sponge can also be split and filled with whipped cream or jam.
However, in researching this treat, I found that here in the states the cake usually runs to a butter cake. The recipes did stay true to the original powdered sugar icing.
I liked the idea, but I am not a fan of sponge cake except in a few instances where nothing else will do. My Lamington Torte consists of four layers of yellow butter cake, raspberry jam filling and a rich chocolate ganache rather than the powdered sugar based icing.
I also use sweetened coconut that is toasted then flattened with a rolling pin so it lies flatter than regular coconut. Toasting coconut is one of those things in baking where you need to be around, as it has to be stirred every few minutes to achieve a luscious deep golden brown. Unless, of course, you go to have lunch in the den with your husband and leave the timer in the kitchen. When you do that this is what your coconut will look like. Continue reading