Cakes and More...
When you bake as many cakes as I do, it’s safe to say you become pretty obsessed with the kind of butter you use! Westgold butter is a leading brand of butter used here in New Zealand. It is made using the best quality cream, which comes from free-range and sustainable farming practices. Westgold’s salted and unsalted butter are perfect to use for baking and cooking, as well as spread on your toast in the morning! I have used their salted butter to make these lemon, hazelnut and chocolate meringue tarts, which are a perfect treat for summer occasions and New Year Festivities. They consist of a buttery hazelnut shortbread base, a layer of smooth dark chocolate ganache, a dollop of silky lemon curd, finished off with fluffy vanilla meringue. Read more about Westgold butter here on their website.
HAZELNUT, DARK CHOCOLATE AND LEMON TARTS
For the hazelnut shortbread base:
- 120g Westgold butter, softened
- 1/3 cup castor sugar
- 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
- ½ cup ground hazelnuts
- ½ cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
For the lemon curd:
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons castor sugar
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 50g Westgold butter
For the chocolate ganache:
- 60g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cream
For the vanilla meringue:
- 2 egg whites (reserved from making the shortbread base and the lemon curd)
- ½ cup castor sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray with spray oil or melted butter and set aside.
2. Start by making the hazelnut shortbread bases. Using electric beaters, cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk in a medium bowl for around 2 minutes until creamy and paler in colour. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the greased muffin holes and spread out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden all over (the mixture will rise and sink in the middle, however this is meant to happen). Leave to cool in the tin until warm before removing the shortbread bases from the tin. Set the shortbread bases aside.
3. To make the lemon curd, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and egg and egg yolk in a small saucepan until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornflour with one tablespoon of water to form a slurry. Whisk the cornflour slurry into the mixture in the saucepan until combined. Add the butter and place the saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk the mixture over the heat until the butter has melted. Continue to whisk over the heat until the mixture has thickened and starts to bubble. Once the mixture starts to bubble, continue to whisk over the heat for a further minute. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge to cool.
4. To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate and cream into a small heatproof bowl and microwave for 40 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth and glossy. Spoon a teaspoon of the ganache into the middle of each shortbread base and place them into the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow for the ganache to set. Set aside.
5. To make the vanilla meringue whisk together the egg white and castor sugar in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously over the heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla bean paste. Using electric beaters beat the mixture on a high speed for about 4 minutes to form a thick and glossy meringue. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a small star tip nozzle. Pipe the meringue around the outside of the shortbread base. If you have blowtorch, you can toast the outside of the meringue until golden, however this is optional.
6. To finish, fill a piping bag with the cooled lemon curd and pipe a dollop of lemon curd into the middle of each shortbread base. Decorate with edible flowers and fresh mint if desired.
Store the tarts in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.
Vanilla sponge cakes coated in white chocolate and pistachios, filled with raspberry compote and passionfruit lemon mousse - topped with matcha green tea chocolate shards
The team at Sudio Sweden were kind enough to send me a pair of their amazing wireless headphones! The Sudio VASA Blå headphones (pictured) last up to 8 hours once fully charged and are light and easy to wear - if your interested in buying a pair, use the discount code MELIESKITCHEN online when purchasing to get 15% off! The headphones have incredible studio sound they are completely wireless, which pair with any Bluetooth device. The pair featured is in the rose gold colour.
Lemon, Passionfruit, White Chocolate and Coconut Choux Puffs - These little cream puffs are the perfect Easter time treat! When I was younger, I would often make Easter themed birds nest cupcakes, however I feel they are too over-done these days so I decided to make choux pastry versions instead! I used passion fruit powder in the lemon curd filling for sharpness, however this is optional as it can be hard to source passion fruit powder!
EASTER CHOUX PUFFS – Lemon, Passionfruit, White Chocolate and Coconut Choux Puffs
1/3 cup. Water
1/3 cup. Milk
1 tablespoon. Castor sugar
¼ teaspoon. Salt
½ cup. Plain flour
Passion fruit and Lemon Curd:
Zest and Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup castor sugar
60g butter, cubed
2 teaspoons. Freeze-dried passion fruit powder (optional)
1 teaspoon. Cornflour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
White Chocolate Circles:
150g white chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon. Freeze-dried raspberry powder
Coconut Cream Cheese Nests:
125g cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons. Runny honey
1 teaspoon. Vanilla bean paste or extract
1 cup. Toasted coconut flakes, crushed
Around 1 cup of mini speckled chocolate eggs
Edible flowers (optional)
Preheat your oven to 190°C. Grease and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Set aside. Place the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and heat to a rolling boil. Once the butter is fully melted and the mixture is boiling, add the flour all at once and beat over the heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms dough and leaves the sides of the saucepan. Continue to beat over the heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds to release some heat. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. A thick and glossy batter should form.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm circle tip nozzle. Pipe small rounds of the batter around 3cm in diameter onto a lined baking tray, spacing them apart. Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown all over.
Turn the oven off and ajar the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the choux puffs to cool in the oven, about 15 minutes is enough. Remove form the oven and leave to cool completely. Set aside whilst you make the lemon curd.
To make the passion fruit lemon curd, place the lemon juice and zest, sugar, butter, passion fruit powder (if using) and cornflour in a medium saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the eggs. Whisk over a medium-low heat for about 4 minutes or until it has thickened. Make sure you stir it at all times to prevent it from curdling. Spoon the lemon curd into a bowl and set aside to cool in the fridge until ready to use. Cut the tops off the choux puffs (around two thirds of the way up) and fill with the lemon curd to the rim. Set aside whilst you make the toppings.
To make the white chocolate circles, line a chopping board with baking paper. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the baking paper and spread out evenly until it is the thickness of a one-dollar coin. Sprinkle over the raspberry powder and spread it lightly into the chocolate to create a marbled effect. Place in the fridge to set completely. Once the chocolate has set firm, use a 5cm circle cookie cutter to cut out circles of the white chocolate. Place a circle of white chocolate on top of each choux puff. Set aside in the fridge whilst you make the cream cheese topping.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, honey and vanilla until smooth, light and fluffy. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm circle tip nozzle. Pipe a dollop on top of each choux puff and sprinkle with the crushed toasted coconut flakes, blowing away any excess coconut. Arrange a few speckled chocolate eggs on top of each coconut nest and place into the fridge to chill. Decorate with edible flowers if desired. Store in the fridge.
Layers of cinnamon vanilla sponge, caramelised white chocolate mousse, salted pretzel crunch and passionfruit and apricot compote - topped with whipped caramel, honeycomb, chocolate pearls and brownie pieces (optional). This cake is by far one of my favourite flavour combinations I've made - I love how well all the textures go together, and the tart apricot and passionfruit compote provides just enough sharpness to cut though the sweetness. It started out being a take on one of the Momofuku Milk Bar cakes, however I have added my own flavours and decorations. Although it takes a bit of time to make and has quite a few different components, the end result is well worth it!
CINNAMON, CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, SALTED PRETZEL CRUNCH AND APRICOT PASSIONFRUIT CAKE
For the cinnamon cake:
150g butter, softened
¾ cup. Castor sugar
190g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the caramelized white chocolate mousse:
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 egg yolk
150g caramelized white chocolate (I use Valrhona dulce chocolate)
½ cup cream
100g butter, softened
For the salted pretzel crunch:
100g butter, melted
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup crushed pretzels
1 cup cornflakes
For the passion fruit and apricot compote:
½ cup apricot jam
2 teaspoons freeze-dried passion fruit powder
For the decorations (optional):
Plain butter icing (I made mine caramel and passionfruit flavored)
Cubes of brownie
Shards of honeycomb
Shards of dark chocolate
Pre-heat your oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 33 x 45 cm slice tin with baking paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another small bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until combined and smooth. Pour the cake batter into the prepared slice tin and spread out into an even layer. Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool while you prepare the caramelized white chocolate mousse.
To make the mousse, place the milk and brown sugar into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Microwave in 30-second bursts until the milk starts to bubble. Remove from the microwave and whisk in the egg yolk and cornflour until combined. Place back into the microwave and microwave in 30-second bursts, whisking after each addition, until thickened (this wont take very long). Once thickened, cover the surface of the custard with cling film and place in the fridge to cool. Whilst that is cooling, place the cream and chocolate into a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, whisking after each addition, until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Place in the fridge to cool. Once both the custard and chocolate mixture has cooled to room temp, place both into a large bowl and beat together using electric beaters until lighter and fluffier in texture (about 5 minutes). Add the softened butter and beat for a further 2 minutes. Once combined, place the bowl into the fridge to chill whilst you make the pretzel crunch.
To make the pretzel crunch, whisk together the melted butter, flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Add the crushed pretzels and cornflakes and mix to combine (the mixture will be crumbly). Sprinkle onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Set aside.
To make the apricot compote, whisk together the apricot jam and passion fruit powder in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.
To assemble the cake, line a 5-inch cake tin with baking paper, making sure the baking paper raises about 4 fingers above the tin. Set aside. Remove the cinnamon cake carefully from the tin. Using the base of the cake tin as a stencil, cute two circles from the cake ensuring that you cute them close to the edge. Cut two half-circles out of the remaining cake (as there wont be enough space to cut three whole circles). Place one of the whole cake circles into the bottom of the lined cake tin. Spread over half of the apricot compote. Spoon over half of the mousse and spread out into an even layer. Sprinkle over a handful of the pretzel crunch evenly. Place a second whole cake layer over the top and press down lightly. Repeat the same filling steps as above, and then place the two half cake layers together on top to form a whole circle cake layer. Press down lightly to sandwich all the layers together (note that the cake will rise up above the cake tin). Place into the fridge to set for at least 3 hours. Once set, place a plate on top of the cake and carefully flip the cake upside down. Carefully lift off the cake tin and unpeel the baking paper. Place back into the fridge until you are ready to decorate the top.
These brownie bites are super fudgey and decadent! I have added in some dried berries for a little tartness as well, to help cut through the sweetness. The super crunchy and slightly salted pretzel crumbs on the outside lend a lovely bit of texture to the brownie, and the dark chocolate dip is nice too seeing as the brownie is made just with cocoa. These bites make perfect little gifts when you package them up in little bags, I have already sent a few down to my parents in Auckland! Because the brownie is so moist, they will last quite a while and still taste fresh. I have to bake in between lectures in labs now days, and to me these were pretty stress free and no fuss! So I definitely recommend giving them a go, they would be perf for school lunches too.
FUDGY BERRY BROWNIES DIPPED IN DARK CHOCOLATE AND ROLLED IN PRETZEL CORNFLAKE CRUNCH
For the berry brownies:
150g butter, cubed
1 cup. Castor sugar
2/3 cup. Cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon. Salt
1 teaspoon. Vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup. Plain flour
½ cup dried mixed berries (I used a mix including cranberries, blueberries and sour cherries)
For the Pretzel Crunch:
100g butter, melted
½ cup. Self-rising flour
¼ cup. Packed brown sugar
1 cup. Crushed pretzels
1 cup. Cornflakes
200g dark chocolate, melted (I used a mixture of both milk and dark)
Chocolate pearls (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Combine the butter, castor sugar, cocoa, and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir every now and then until the butter is fully melted and incorporated (10 minutes). Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside briefly for a couple minutes to allow the mixture to cool down. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once the batter looks thick and shiny, add the flour and whisk until just combined. Spoon into the prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out slightly moist with crumbs and the center does not jiggle. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then place it in the freezer for about ½ an hour or until fully cooled and set. Once set, cut the outer edge off each side, trying to cut as little off as possible, just to neaten up the edges. Cut the brownie into 16 equal squares. Set aside whilst you make the pretzel crunch.
To make the pretzel crunch, whisk together the melted butter, flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Add the crushed pretzels and cornflakes and mix to combine (the mixture will be crumbly). Sprinkle onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, crumble into a medium bowl and set aside.
To decorate, line a chopping board with baking paper. Dip half of each brownie square into the melted chocolate, making sure to let any excess chocolate drip off. Roll the two sides of melted chocolate in the pretzel crunch and place onto the chopping board. Place a chocolate pearl on top of each brownie square if desired. Leave to set in the fridge. Once set, store in a airtight container in the fridge.
I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting in a while! I was tied up with exams at the end of last year, as well as summer work (trying to save for uni!). Anyway, I am now living in Dunedin attending Otago University, studying a Food Science degree. There is a little kitchen down here that is available for me to use, so I will hopefully being posting up more recipes soon and I may start doing cake orders down here if I have the time!
This slice is quite simple to make and it almost tastes like a cross between caramel slice and ginger crunch (two of my favourites). I caramelised my hazelnuts in butter and brown sugar, however that was a bit tedious so I have just written roasted hazelnuts instead in the ingredients. The lovely team at Fresh As NZ sent me a parcel of a few goodies , so I have used their freeze-dried mandarin on top of this slice! It lends a lovely subtle flavour but also adds a pop of colour too - which is always essential! You could easily use their freeze-dried strawbs or raspberries instead however.
GINGER, VANILLA SALTED CARAMEL, WHITE CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT SLICE
For the spiced ginger biscuit base:
1-¼ cups. Plain flour
½ cup. Ground almonds
3 tbsp. castor sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup. Crystallized ginger, finely chopped
150g Butter, melted
For the salted caramel and vanilla filling:
1 can. Sweetened condensed milk
75g butter, cubed
1/3 cup. Brown sugar
¼ cup. Golden syrup
1 teaspoon. Vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon. Salt
For the white chocolate and hazelnut topping:
250g white chocolate, melted
Handful roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
Few segments of freeze-dried mandarin, crushed
To make the base, pre-heat your oven to 170C. Grease and line a regular slice tin with baking paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients for the base until combined. Add the melted butter and mix together until a crumbly dough forms (you can also use your hands to do this). Tip the dough into the prepared slice tin and press firmly into the base, making sure the surface is flat and level (you can use the base of a measuring cup to create a nice flat surface). Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden all over and slightly darker around the edges. Whilst the base is baking, prepare the caramel filling.
To make the filling, place all the filling ingredients into a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring often, over a medium heat until all the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside until the base has finished baking.
Once the base has finish baking, pour over the caramel filling and spread out into an even layer. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the caramel is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the fridge. Once the slice is completely cooled, pour over the melted white chocolate and sprinkle with the roasted hazelnuts and freeze-dried mandarin (if using). Place back into the fridge to cool until the chocolate has set completely.
Once the chocolate has fully set, remove the slice carefully from the tin and peel away the baking paper. Using a large serrated knife cut the slice into rectangles of your desired size (I like to clean the knife and run it under hot water after each cut so that the edges are nice and cleanly cut). Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cakes and Cupcakes from the past few months
Caramelised Cornflake, Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Slice - This recipe is featured in my new cookbook 'Melie's Kitchen'. This recipe is a hit among friends and family and find my self making it almost every fortnight! It is sort of a cross between a chocolate chip cookie, caramel slice and an afghan biscuit.
Find the recipe for these rice bubble, peanut butter fudge and cocoa swirled marshmallow chocolate bars in my new book! Just a reminder the book is out for purchase on the 27th of June (1 and a half weeks!) this recipe will also be in the Sunday star times mag next weekend + a video of me making these on stuff.co.nz ✌🏻️✌🏻️✌🏻️
Hi all! In collaboration with paper plus and as part of the release of my new book 'Melie's Kitchen', Alison Gofton and I will be doing a cake decorating demonstration + a book signing to follow and a selection of goodies made from Allyson's book and my book ✌🏻️✌🏻 the date of the event is the evening of the 29th of June. Tickets are available to purchase online here
Ricotta and almond cake filled with vanilla custard mousse, raspberry and rose coulis, toasted coconut cookie crumbs, lime icing and raspberry meringue
I have created these brownie pops using the delicious Tim Tam Espresso Martini Flavoured biscuits - to follow the espresso martini theme, the chocolate brownie is flavoured with coffee. These brownie pops are easy to make and are incredibly indulgent - have a look at the other flavours with in the Tim Tam mock tail range in stores now! it includes a strawberry champagne favour, espresso martini flavour, pina colada flavour and chocolate mudslide flavour.
Earl grey custard pie with almond butter and dark chocolate ganache, orange and vanilla whipped cream and caramel popcorn
C A K E O R D E R S A N D M O R E. . .
C A K E O R D E R S
Almond Butter Shortbread, White Chocolate, Vanilla Sponge, Raspberry Rose Mousse and Orange Cake Slices