As 2009 draws to an end, I can’t help but reflect on what a wonderful and fulfilling year it has been. I started this blog at the end of March this year and I can clearly remember how early on I struggled to find my voice and sense of style. This led to very infrequent posts and for the first few months, I was discouraged by the lack of progress I was making with my blog and nearly gave up.
Throughout the year I have met some wonderful bloggers that have provided invaluable guidance and have encouraged me to pursue this little project of mine. Many of them have now become friends. I am sure, if you read this, you know who you are. We see each other almost every day – through a comment, an email or even an occasional gathering. And then there have been people who I thought would never give me the time of day only to be surprised at their generosity and total willingness to go out of their way to help me.
Take Peter for instance from Souvlaki For The Soul. Peter’s blog is recognized as one of the top 50 World’s Best Food Blogs. With the number of blogs out there, this is not a accolade that is handed out lightly. When you visit his site – you will understand why. A combination of beautiful photography, gorgeous styling, delicious recipes and witty writing leaves me entranced with each visit. I emailed him one day asking advice about camera lenses and we got to talking. One thing led to another and the next thing I know he is giving me tips on photography and styling. To Peter, Thank you! … ευχαριστώ.
Recipe (adapted from Stephane Glacier’s Verrines et Petit Gateaux)
- 250 grams butter
- 235 grams sugar
- 7 grams salt
- 100 grams egg yolks
- 335 grams flour
- 12 grams baking powder
- Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat until combined.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder.
- Knead lightly on a lightly floured surface and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Rest the dough for at least two hours before using.
- When ready to use, roll the dough to around 6 mm thickness and cut with greased rings (I used egg rings)
- Bake in the rings in a preheated oven at 150c (fan forced) for 30 minutes.
Vanilla Mousseline Cream
- 250 grams milk
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 50 grams egg yolks
- 50 grams sugar
- 27 grams corn starch (or custard powder)
- 125 grams butter
- Heat the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla pod split lengthwise in a saucepan.
- In a bowl, mix the rest of the sugar and the cornstarch and then add the egg yolks.
- Once the milk boils, remove it from the heat and pour some of the milk in the bowl with the egg yolks. This is to temper the mixture.
- Then add the rest of the milk into the bowl and mix.
- Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and boil for around 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
- Add the butter and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl.
- Cover the top of the mixture with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to cool quickly.
- Keep in the fridge overnight to set.
- Use an electric hand held mixer and whisk at an average speed to obtain a light cream. This is now ready to use.
Assembly – top each baked tart shell with some vanilla mousseline cream and top with your favorite fruit. (I used blueberries but strawberries or mangoes would work well too!).