I woke up boxing day feeling energised to be creative. In fact I have been cooking up a storm in the lead up to Christmas even more than usual. It is a luxurious pleasure to have free time and endless warm summer days to cook and bake all those recipes you coveted over the year and make them my own. I have been pushing the boat out and trying some new techniques and recipes I have not made before. If my Strawberry & lime curd cream Puff (photo below) may not look that pretty, it tasted beautiful.
New Zealand’s own home grown cooking celebrity http://www.annabel-langbein.com/tv-series/ has fantastic recipes that are always amazing. This recipe came from her book The Free Range Cook and It turned out almost the same as her photo. I found it easy to make the choux pastry in a saucepan with melted butter, water and flour. It was a bonus I got given homemade lime curd for christmas as she had suggested lemon curd. Rather than let it sit in the pantry for a year (which is what normally happens to random Christmas presents like that) I decided to put it to good use folded into whipped cream. I am not usually a big baker, preferring to cook savoury dishes.
My husband, daughter Lucia and I headed to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens for a picnic. Lucia loved sitting on the picnic rug and opening her new Dora Lunchbox and looking inside to find homemade mayonnaise colesaw, humus & smoked chicken wraps.
I managed to spend over $500 on food in the days leading up to Christmas. Are you shocked? see I had found this stunning picture in my Dish magazine for a Strawberry tart. It had a sweet short crust pastry, filled with a french goats cheese, 500 grams of italian mascarpone, orange liqueur, orange zest, icing sugar then filled with topped fresh strawberries glazed with apricot jam and fresh mint leaves. I also held a cocktail party at my home on christmas eve and catered finger food for 14 people. I will have to save that for another post.
Here is a picture of my exquisite Strawberry tart. It was so much fun to make.