So I figured I may as well get the ball rolling as soon as possible on these New Year Resolutions and decided to cook dinner for the family last night. Not only did I complete this week’s resolution #6 but also made it a two-for-one and completed resolution #7 too. Granted when it comes to cooking and trying out new recipes; it’s not that difficult to get me inspired. However, my achilles heel when it comes to the foodie world has always been items of a confectionary nature . Ironically, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but am absolutely obsessed with the Ladurée cookbook. This obsession did stem from a love of one of the only sweet delights I delight in – their delicate, moorish and fabulous macaroons. However, as I don’t live in England anymore and no longer have access to their delicious salted caramel macaroons, I’ve taken it upon myself to “Master the art of French patisserie cooking” (i.e the entire Ladurée cookbook) this year.
Is it too late to add yet another food-related resolution to the list? The more I read this list, the more it seems that I’ve taken a bit too much inspiration from “Julie & Julia”….definitely highlights the importance of resolution #4.
Back to the main focus of today’s blog post – I indeed cooked dinner last night for the family and forced my new recipe sweet treat upon them too…come to think of it, they didn’t put up much of a fight when I told them they were getting pudding too. For dinner I made Greek Roasted Lamb Rump with Olives and Feta. This dish is incredibly easy to make and just as easy to eat up.
Firstly, roast the potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, olives, garlic, rosemary and feta, drizzled with olive oil in the oven for about an hr. This will soften the veggies and create delicious roasting juices at the bottom of the baking dish (which tastes awesome when mopped up with some crusty bread).
Marinate the lamb in salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil for about 20 mins and then simple place them on top of the veggies, top with feta and put it back in the oven for another 20 mins.
Finally, scatter some fresh rosemary on top and enjoy the comforting hodge-podge. Mmmmm delish!
I must say mastering patisserie cooking does fill me with a little anxiety, I’ve never been any good at cooking desserts, pastries, cakes, even my cupcakes can be extremely unpredictable. But the recipes in the Ladurée cookbook are just too beautiful to ignore so I decided to try out what I thought looked easiest. It turns out that it wasn’t actually difficult, the only thing was that it was time consumming. I had to make the sweet almond pastry base the night before and most of the time taken to make this tarte was for cooling and setting.
Tarte Fraise Mascarpone
To make the sweet almond pastry:
- Whip 120g of butter (make sure it’s cold and cut into small cubes) with an electric stand mixer. Afterwards add the following ingredients one at a time: 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar, 1/4 cup sifted ground almond powder, a pinch of course sea salt, a 1/4 tsp pure vanilla paste, 1 egg, 1 cup plain four and 2/3 cup corn starch/flour.
The recipe in the cookbook called for cake flour, which I had to google and it turns out it is different – it has less gluten thus making it fluffier, perfect for baking. However, also thanks to google I found out that you can substitute all purpose flour for cake flour by taking away 2/3 cup plain flour and adding 2/3 cup corn starch.
- Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and rest it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning:
- Roll out the dough to 2mm thickness, press it into a 24cm buttered tart pan and rest it in the fridge again for an hour.
- After preheating the oven to 170°C and letting the pastry set in the tart pan, prick the pasty with a fork, line the pasty with baking paper and dried beans and bake for 20 mins.
If not lightly browned after 20 mins, remove the baking paper and beans and bake for another 10 mins uncovered.
- Allow the pastry to cool completely
- Bring 60 ml double cream & 125g caster sugar to the boil. Add 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder (or 2 soaked gelatin sheets) and allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Mix 500g mascapone until smooth and slowly incorporate the gelatin/cream mixture a little bit at a time. Once mixed and smooth, pop the mascapone cream in the fridge to firm up a little bit.
- Fill the tart case with the mascapone cream and place in the freezer for about 20-30 mins to firm up.
- Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the mascapone cream and then leave in the fridge until dinner time.
Moorish, light, creamy, sweet and heavenly indulgence
I had so much fun trying out this recipe and can’t wait for the next one. Hopefully it helps inspire some of you to pick up some groceries and create something delicious for yourselves. Happy cooking!