Posts Tagged ‘easy morning tea’

This quick and easy recipe comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook.

I first made it more than twenty years ago, and can still remember the excitement of my then work colleagues when I brought it in for morning tea.  It was very encouraging feedback for a kitchen novice.

The recipe itself is a doddle to make – the only tricky part is spreading the thick batter evenly into the pan, and that’s only because I use parchment paper to save on washing up.  The original recipe says to grease the pan, which would make the dough handling much easier.  I’ve found the simplest method is to spread the mixture out with my hands, and then smooth the top over with a spatula.

The bars are a delicious combination of brown sugar shortbread, chocolate and nuts.  They’ve proven to be as popular now as they were twenty years ago!

  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 210g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 large (59g) egg yolk
  • 300g (2 cups) plain (AP) flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 340g (12oz) dark chocolate chips (I used Callebaut 811 54%)
  • 90g (1 cup) toasted flaked almonds (original recipe specified coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans)

1.  Preheat oven to 175C/350F or 160C/320F with fan.  Grease a 23cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.  Don’t worry too much about the pan size – mine was an inch longer (13″) than the recipe recommended, and it was still fine.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well.  Finally, beat in the flour until well combined.

3. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.

4. Remove the pan, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top, then return the pan to the oven for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.  Scatter the nuts over the surface, and allow to cool completely in the pan (be patient!) before cutting.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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Strawberries have been in abundance at the markets recently, so I made this easy tart for morning tea last Sunday.

It’s simple to make – I used June’s sweet pastry dough (defrosted from the fridge) to line a quiche dish and then blindbaked it until golden.  I’m sure packaged shortcrust pastry would work just as well.

This was filled with a batch of microwave pastry cream, and then topped with halved strawberries.  The boys loved it!

Here’s the microwave pastry cream recipe again (with metric conversions added)…

  • 2 cups (500ml) full cream milk (I used UHT)
  • 6 large (59g) free range egg yolks (use the whites for meringues)
  • ½ cup (110g) white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (45g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 1½ (8ml) teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3½ tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

Step 1: In a large pyrex bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine, then microwave on high until hot but not boiling (in my 1100 watt micro, this took two minutes).  Remove from the microwave, whisk well to smooth out any lumps.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks together until smooth.

Step 3: Continually whisking, pour the egg yolks into the milk, mixing until smooth.  Microwave on high for one minute, then in 30 second increments, whisking after each burst, until the pastry cream is thick.  In my microwave, this took 2½ minutes.

Step 4:  Whisk well, then add the butter pieces and whisk them into the pastry cream until smooth.  Press a sheet of cling film to the surface of the cream to stop it forming a skin and store in the fridge until cool.

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