Portuguese custard tarts
Baking, Ingredients & produce, instant articles, Lisbon, Portugal, Travel

And the best Portuguese custard tarts are…

Custard tarts – pastel de nata – are deeply embedded in Portuguese culture. They are everywhere. Bakeries around the world try and replicate them. And even home cooks have a shot. I’ve eaten them in Melbourne but they never enchanted me like they did in Portugal. Spending a month chilling out in Lisbon, barely a day went by when I didn’t have one or two of these tarts. It became my personal mission to find the best in town. These […]

Baking, Cooking

Rapadura sugar, the best cake ever and the KitchenAid

Donna is the winner of Ed’s KitchenAid competition. She blogs at Donisbaked and here puts her shiny new machine, which was supplied thanks to Kitchenware Direct, a whirr. So me winning a KitchenAid is old news, but what is new is the pure pleasure using the machine at home is. I’m getting out all my “shelved” recipes that require lots of aeration and creaming etc etc and lining them up ready to bake. If you are thinking about buying a […]

Baking, Easter, Melbourne

The great Easter bun hunt

I love this time of the year because I can indulge in hot cross buns. I love their spiceness combined with the sweetness of raisins on soft buns. Naturally, things have come a long way since I first ate them as a kid toasted, spread with a thick chunk of butter (we always at Lurpak slightly salted in those days) with home made blackberry jam and indoctrinated by Catholic brothers. Nowadays there are so many variations from chocolate chip to […]

Baking, cafe, Fitzroy North, Melbourne

Canelés: the next big thing?

Canelés: the new thing? Once it was donuts for me. Then a rainbow cornucopia of macarons. Now it’s Canelés, this particular one from Dench Bakers in North Fitzroy. To me they have the look of a barnacle or some such other marine creature that you have to chisel off a rock. But they are in fact gorgeous soft brioche-like confections soaked in custard and caramelized on the outside. They are a small snack but big enough for your partner to […]

Baking, Easter, Melbourne

Hot and cross, yes. Buns? Not so sure…

Now that you’ve been exposed to my technical ‘skills’, it may not be surprising to learn that my hot cross buns were lacking something, too. I followed a recipe that I downloaded from the internet – probably my first mistake! – and while they turned out perfectly edible, they had a texture more akin to a scone than a bun. Everything started out nicely enough, although I was apprehensive about using copha, or vegetable shortening, as I associate that stuff […]