Posts Tagged ‘blueberry’

Saying Goodbye

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

If you read my blog enough, you will know how crazy I am about my two dogs, Baci and Bizou.  They drive me crazy sometimes, and have more than once brought me to near bankruptcy with all the trips to the emergency hospital but there’s something priceless about loyalty and unconditional love.

I never did tell you about my very first dog did I?  When my husband’s dog gave birth, he had promised me the pick of the litter.   I chose Feliz – who had a gorgeous pale coat, broad head and always inquisitive eyes.  We used to have “this thing” where I would blow into her face and she would stick her tongue out as if she was blowing kisses right back at me.  This one kept me company when my husband left for New York to take his MBA.

When I left for Australia, I would call home often and my Dad would put me on speaker phone.  He told me that Feliz would run up and down the house when she heard my voice, looking for me and trying to figure out where the voice was coming from.  I found it uncanny how even after a year of being away she would still look for me when she heard my voice on the phone.




Over the years, as life got in the way, I called home less and wondered less frequently how she was doing.   At the back of my mind I always knew there were always going to be people taking care of her – so  less and less did I feel like she was still my dog.

Last week, my Dad broke the news that Feliz, who had over the years gotten weaker with age, had deteriorated dramatically.  She couldn’t stand up and had refused to eat.  The doctor said that her kidneys had failed and that she was suffering from bone disease.   My Mom told me that Feliz was in pain and had been crying.

I called home one last time and asked them to put me on speaker phone. I wanted to tell her that I loved her and that everything was going to be better. They told me that she lifted her head, wagged her tail, tried to stand up but couldn’t.

I knew then it was time to say goodbye.

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart


Pistachio and Blueberry Tart

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 225 grams flour
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 120 grams butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
  1. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Using the tips of your fingers, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg yolks into the flour mixture and add the water, a little at a time until you form a cohesive dough that comes together, the dough should be slightly sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pistachio and Blueberry Filling

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 125 grams icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Seeds of one scrapped vanilla bean
  • 80 grams ground pistachios
  • 45 grams almond meal
  • 30 grams flour
  • strawberry jam
  • one punnet of bluberries
  1. Cream the butter and the sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. Add the eggs, one at a time and scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along. Add the vanilla bean seeds, the ground pistachios, almond meal and flour, incorporate the batter well.
  2. To assemble, roll out the pastry to line 6 mini tarts. Trim the excess on the sides. Chill the pastry for around 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Pre-heat a fan forced oven to 180c.
  3. Spread some strawberry jam on the base of the shell and top with the pistachio filling and place about three or four blueberries in the center of the tart.
  4. Bake for around 15 to 18 minutes.

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Berries and Cream

Did I tell you the Blog Monster went back home?  Last Sunday.  It’s been almost a week since she left and while I can tell you I am missing her… my kitchen must be missing her much more.  Gone are the days when the refrigerator was so full that an actual free space was more coveted that Hong Kong  prime real estate.  Today, I opened it, and it was almost empty.  Now I don’t need to fight with anyone for kitchen space – but somehow I miss having to compete over kitchen time.

There  was none of the usual tears when she left though.  The reason being I knew I was going to see her in a two days!  That’s right – there’s going to be a Blog Monster reunion this Saturday!  Not only that – my two other sisters will also be joining us.  It’s been ages since the “girls” had a week away.  Shopping, eating, and shopping some more… It’s going to be fabulous!

So while I say good-bye for a bit (see you back in early February!!) – I will be enjoying the company of the Blog Monster once again!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a treat which was inspired by a dessert I had when I took my Mum to Quay Restaurant a few days before she left.

Berries with a Vanilla Mousse

How could I let my Mom leave without trying Quay restaurant?  She’s probably the only one in my family willing (and wanting) to sit down for more than three hours enjoying the food of one of Sydney’s best restaurants.  The dessert I had at Quay was called Cherries and Berries.  It was a plated dessert of various coloured cherries, assorted berries, a sorbet and what seemed like their vanilla mousse.  This is the super simplified version – but when you have berries as good as what we’ve got nowadays, you just really have to let the berries talk!

Berry Berry Nice!

Recipe – adapted from Quay Restaurant (original post here)

  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 1/2 sheets titanium gelatine (7.5 grams) soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 250 ml cream
  • 70 ml egg whites ( about 2 eggs from 55 gram eggs)
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • Berries in season (I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  1. Heat the milk, 50 grams sugar and vanilla bean until just simmering.
  2. Squeeze water from the gelatine and whisk into the milk until dissolved.  Cool slightly (15 to 20 minutes), strain into a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggwhites, gradually adding sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the cream and meringue gently through the cooled milk mixture.
  6. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until set (around 6 hours)
  7. Top with your choice of berries

Berries and Vanilla Mousse

Oh and, by the way, a big thank you to everyone who has left a comment for the Blog Monster.  I feel like you all know her already.  I wanted to give you an idea of how she looked like as well as show you some of the “friends” she met while she was in Australia.  Enjoy!

The Blog Monster & Friends (Margaret Fulton, Tetsuya Wakuda & Tony Bilson)

Stumble It!

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Berry, Mascarpone and Coconut Cake

One great thing about having a blog is that it pushes you to try out new recipes that you would never have tried otherwise. My attitude nowadays has evolved from “Why make it, when you can buy it” to “Why buy it, when you can make it”.

Take this Berry, Mascarpone and Coconut Cake I made over the weekend.  It is one of my favourite (I know, everything seems to be “one of my favourite”) desserts. Every weekend my husband and I pick up a rustic sourdough from Victoire in Balmain and on special occasions, the strawberry mascarpone coconut cake.


Layers of summery goodness!

It is a layered cake of coconut dacquoise, strawberries and a mascarpone cream. In my version, I took advantage of the fact that blueberries were in season and added that to a layer as well.

Recipe (Serves 8 to 10)


  • Jelly Roll Pan measuring 38cm by 24cm
  • Loaf Tin measuring around 23cm by 10cm

Ingredients for the Coconut Dacquoise

  • 6 egg whites
  • 70 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams shredded coconut
  • 80 grams desiccated coconut
  • 150 grams icing sugar, sifted

Ingredients for Mascarpone Mixture

  • 500 grams mascarpone
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 25 grams caster sugar


To Prepare the Dacquoise

  1. Grease and line with baking paper the jelly roll pan.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 130C.
  3. In a bowl, mix the coconuts and the icing sugar.
  4. Whisk the egg whites and when you start to see soft peaks, slowly add the caster sugar and whisk until firm peaks.  Add the coconut mixture.
  5. Spread on to the jelly roll and bake in a fan forced oven (increase the heat by 30C if using non-fan forced oven) at 130C for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in a cooling rack.


For the Mascarpone Mixture:

  1. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and then add the 25 grams of caster sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, mascarpone and 50 grams of sugar until firm.
  3. Incorporate the two mixtures by folding the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.


To Assemble: 250 grams fresh strawberries and 250 grams fresh blueberries and brown sugar for dusting.

  1. Slice the strawberries and cut the blueberries in half.  Save a few whole blueberries for the edges of the cake.
  2. Cut the coconut dacquoise into three parts so that each will fit into the loaf tin.
  3. Layer the tin with plastic wrap so that the edges are sticking out.  You will want at least 5cm of plastic that sticks out because you will use it to wrap the cake.
  4. Place a layer of dacquoise  on the tin and cover with 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture and then the strawberries.
  5. Place a second layer of dacquoise over this and cover with the rest of the mascarpone mixture and the blueberries.
  6. Top with a final layer of dacquoise and cover with the plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate overnight before dusting with brown sugar and caramelizing the top with a blowtorch.


Alternatively, you can layer the dessert in a tea cup as well!


Looks good served in tea cups too!

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