I used to collect cookbooks. And cooking magazines. Maybe it was because of working in a book store. Being surrounded by thick cookbooks, filled with tasty recipes, wonderful photos of food and a 25% staff discount made it very easy to accumulate them. I didn’t even cook much back then, it was mostly just browsing the recipes and photos and imagining what it would be like to cook them. There was a point when I had decided I wouldn’t buy any more cookbooks until I had at least attempted 10 recipes from each of the cookbooks I had. This didn’t happen, however I think it did curb some of my cookbook buying.
Since moving to Melbourne, I’ve bought a couple of cookbooks. And one of the most utilised is the new Australian Women’s Weekly: Baking cookbook. It is absolutely fabulous! I’ve made several tasty treats using it. In fact, this book has the most recipes attempted of any cookbook I’ve owned.
One of the things I love about this book is that it has both sweet and savoury recipes. It is not just a dessert baking book, it has pies and pizza, as well as birthday cakes and tarts. The photos are beautiful and the layout is easy to read. While there are some challenging recipes, most of them are quite easy to follow. Even the most novice cook can attempt a traditional butter cake or a delicious caramel tart. I do trust the AWW cookbooks in general, because their recipes are triple-tested.
Caramelised Pear and gingerbread Slice
Berry and Walnut Crumble Slice
I’ve made the Berry and Walnut Crumble Slice for a work afternoon tea and it was a hit. And while making the Caramelised Pear and Gingerbread Slice, you get the most beautiful aromas. I’ve definitely attempted some recipes that I normally would not have, using this book.
I also attempted my first pizza base. There are so many delicious toppings to choose from and there are gluten-free options as well. I made a spicy lamb, spinach and fetta pizza.
I’ve included the recipe for the Triple-Choc Pecan Pie I made for another afternoon tea for work (yes, I am the provider of baked goods at work). I was quite surprised at how well this was received. I had actually tasted the tart before it had cooled properly, and it was super sweet. I didn’t think people would be able to eat much, and was pleasantly surprised when they wanted seconds.
Making the filling was super easy. Only thing I struggled with was placing the pastry in the tart tin. I had to do a lot of patching on the tin to make sure there weren’t any holes and make sure I hadn’t rolled the pastry too thin. Pastries are fiddly things to work with anyway, so don’t get too disheartened if you’re attempting one.
Nuts and chocolate
Ready for blind baking
Triple-choc pecan pie
prep + cook time 1 hour 30 mins (+ refrigeration) *serves 6
– 1 1/3 cups (210 grams) pecan nuts
– 30 g dark (semi-sweet)chocolate, chopped coarsely
– 30 g milk chocolate, chopped coarsely
– 30 g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
– 50 g butter, melted
– 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 2 tablespoon cornflour
– 2 eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
– 2 tablespoon icing (confectioners’) sugar
– 125g cold butter, chopped
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 table spoon iced water, approximately.
1. Make pastry.
2. Grease a 12.5cm x 35cm (5-inch x 14-inch) rectangular loose-case fluted flan tin. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a tin, Ease pastry into tin, press into sides; trim edges. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
4. Place tin on an oven tray. line pastry case with baking paper; fill with dried beans or rice. bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans, bake for further 5 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool.
5. Reduce oven to 160 degrees.
6. Coarsely chop 1 1/2 cups of notes, place in pastry case with all the chocolate. Whisk butter, sugar, cornflour, eggs and extract in a large bowl. Pour egg mixture into pastry case; top with remaining nuts.
7. Bake pie for 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool before serving.
Pastry: Process flour, sugar and butter well until crumbly. Add egg yolk and enough water, processing until ingredients come together. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth. Enclose pastry in a plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Enjoy cooking and eating.
I am not affiliated with AWW in any way.