How to Turn Failed Tart into Cookies

I heard once that you can't consider yourself a proper baker until you've failed. As so much of my baking is experimental, failures happen more often then I would like. Most of the time everything is ok, still edible - just needed a dash more of this and a bit less of that - I'll know for next time, and always tweak recipes before I post them.

However, sometime things go bad, they just fail - no way to recover and they are not enjoyable to eat. This was the case when I found myself with a large chocolate mousse tart (that I had made so many times before without fail!) The eggs weren't large enough and the chocolate had a different composition to what I usually use. The result was a very dense (solid) chocolate tart. A tiny slice was eaten, and was far too heavy. I have had failures before, and discreetly crushed the pie up in a bowl added a bit of this and that and voila - cookies!

I thought as I may not be the only one with failed pies, and other baking; It might be nice to show how to turn failed, or mediocre baking into fabulous cookies!

Now as the size and texture of the failed baking will vary you will need to use a bit of interpretation with the quantities below

1 x Failed Baking, crushed/broken up/blended
~100g Butter, melted (depends on how much butter is in the failed baking)
~1C Raw Sugar (depending how sweet failed baking is)
~2x Eggs (more of less depending on quantity of failed baking)
~3C Oats (more of less depending on quantity and consistency of failed baking)
~1C Flour (essential for failed baking without much flour, chocolate tart etc)

Dried fruit
Citrus Zest
Cinnamon - other spices

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs - add to failed baking. Then add the oats and flour, one at a time, you want to keep an eye on the consistency and texture of the mix; You want to end up with a texture that will clump together.
Once mix forms clumps add optional ingredients.

Shape into balls and place on a tray.
Bake for ~20min at 180C

Enjoy with a glint in your eye in the knowledge that you have made something lovely out of something not so lovely!

Easter Bunny Pie

It was a very lovely weekend, doing just what was needed and nothing more. The weather was quite mild for Australia, beautifully Autumn with browned leaves being blown about; waking up to rain pouring outside the bedroom window. I look forward to Easter for many reasons, but one of the most delicious is Easter Bunny pie...

Happy Easter 2010

Some of our delicious homemade hot cross buns...

Baked Banana Tart

The freezer seems to always have ripe banana's in these days. Just between you and I - I'm beginning to think someone in the house buys them just so they'll get too ripe to eat and I'll bake them into something! I usually make a loaf of healthy banana bread, no sugar, eggs, white flour or butter. When I pulled out all of the banana's from the freezer on Sunday, it was clear there were simply too many for banana bread.

I remembered a recipe I'd seen for baked banana pie, so went through my recipe collection and found it. This pie was a very nice way to use up bananas, the original recipe calls for you to slice banana's and lay them on the pie base before pouring the mix over, as frozen ripe bananas don't slice well I mashed them and added them to the mix.

1 x Pie Shell, pre-baked
Dark Chocolate

100g Coconut, shredded and toasted
60g Raw Sugar
50g Butter, melted
40g Flour
4 x Eggs
200ml Milk
3 x Bananas, mashed

Melt enough chocolate to brush over pie base.
Mix coconut, sugar, butter, flour, eggs, milk and bananas.
Pour banana filling in pie shell.
Bake at 160C for 55min.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Sweet Melissa Sundays

I love Carrot Cake, When you take a piece and hold it up to your nose, you close your eyes and smell sweet, cinnamon, creamy and comforting. You take a small bite, your mouth is filled with moist dense cake crumbs, you taste carrot and cinnamon, and the fluffy, creamy icing thats slightly tangy on your tongue. You open your eyes and see the next wonderful bite ready to be taken...

I really enjoyed this Sweet Melissa Sunday recipe, so much so that I made this at the start of the week, rather then waiting for the weekend. I made a couple of changes with the recipe, I halved the sugar in the cake, and used raw sugar. I also substituted half the flour with wholemeal. I found the cake delicious and the wholemeal flour gave the cake a lovely moist wholesome flavour.

Thank you to Julie at 'A Little Bit of Everything' for hosting this week, please visit Julie for the recipe and also the other SMS bakers to see how they got on.

Chocolate Pastry - Tart of Currants and Quatre epices Mousse - Sweet Melissa Sundays

A lovely chocolate piecrust to start the new year with. I thought a white chocolate mousse filling with quatre epices would go nicely with the chocolate pie crust.

SMS Chocolate Pastry

1 cup plus 2 tsp Flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tb Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tb cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup Cold Solid Vegetable Shortening
3-4 tb Ice water

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa sugar & salt. Toss the butter into the flour mixture. using a pastry blend, cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of large peas.

Pinch off small pices of the shortening into the flour mixture and toss to coat. Using the pastry blender, continue cutting the butter and the shortening into the flour mixutre, until they are the size of small peas.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixutre. Pour about half of the water into the well, and, with a fork, pull the flour into the well. Continue mixing until the dough just comes together. Add more water if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough into a ball. Flatten it into a round disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hr before rolling it out.

Roll out the dough to fit into the 9-inch or 10inch pie plate. Pop into the freezer for at least an hour, or or until frozen.

Preheat oven to 180C, pop the pie straight into the oven from the freezer - this stops the pastry from shrinking. Bake for 15-20min.

Quatre Epices White chocolate mousse

1/2 Cup Currants, soaked in rum overnight.

Dash of Allspice, ground
Smidgen of Cinnamon, ground
Smidgen of Nutmeg, ground
Smidgen of Cloves, ground

100ml Milk
1tsp Gelatine
4tsp Water
220ml Single Cream
200g White chocolate

Mix gelatine with water and leave to dissolve. Heat milk gently, add the four spices, then stir in gelatine mix.

Break chocolate into small pieces in a heat proof bowl. Pour over hot milk mix, stir until blended. Cool to room temperature.

Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mix.

Spread currants into baked pie shell and pour mousse over the top. Chill to set.