Baking inspiration from a book of Kiwi favourites
The brief was to deliver a twist on classic Kiwi baking and the 60 recipe contributors to Murray Thom’s newest venture - The Great New Zealand Baking Book - have done just that. Following his successful The Great New Zealand Cookbook (and an Australian version), this compendium, released today, features 150 recipes for baked goods, including 50 recipes from the cookbook.
As you would expect, there’s everything from the afghans below to raspberry lamingtons (which, as we know, were not an Australian invention). However, the lamingtons, from Cibo’s Kate Fay, are iced with white chocolate and raspberry powder (no melted raspberry packet jelly here). And the afghans, from Logan Brown’s Shaun Clouston, bring double the joy, afghan biscuits sandwiched together as yo-yos with milk chocolate caramel.
There are savoury options too and a not-so-naughty section (think Eleanor Ozich, Nadia Lim, Megan May) for those of you who want treats without the guilt.
Contributors come from across the country, from celebrity chefs to cafe cooks, and include Bite’s own Peter Gordon and Geoff Scott. All recipes were tested and made for photography by chef Michelle Pattison, who also contributes her own recipes and a guide to baking.
A portion of the proceeds will support the Food for Kids programme and to help teach New Zealand children baking skills. Published by Thom Productions and PQBlackwell, $49.95.
Hummingbird baked alaska (gluten-free)
5 or 6 medium-sized bananas (2 cups when crushed)
3 cups gluten-free flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup canola oil
½ cup olive oil
1 cup (100g) chopped pecan nuts
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained well)
1 cup (about 7) egg whites
2 cups raw sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup (50g) roughly chopped pecan nuts
¼ cup (35g) pumpkin seeds
¼ cup (35g) poppy seeds
¼ cup (35g) sunflower seeds
1 litre good-quality vanilla bean or mascarpone icecream
1. Heat oven to 180C. Place whole bananas on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, then cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and crush using the back of a fork.
2. Turn oven down to 170C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl beat together sugars, vanilla and eggs until thick and creamy. Whisk oils into egg mixture. Add dry ingredients all at once and stir to incorporate, then add pecans, pineapple and banana and stir until combined.
4. Spread mixture about 3cm thick on a lined baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until done. Cool on the tray for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and place in the fridge to chill.
5. For the meringue: Place all ingredients in a large metal bowl, place over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until sugar dissolves (around 5 minutes). Transfer to a cake mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high for around 4 minutes, until meringue is rich and velvety. Place in a piping bag in the freezer until needed.
6. To assemble: Heat oven to 200C fan-bake (230C regular). Mix nuts and seeds together. Cut chilled cake in half. Cover one half with a layer of icecream 3cm thick and place the other cake half on top. Press down firmly. Cut into 4 cm squares or logs (or whatever shape you like) and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Pipe meringue neatly all over the cakes, sprinkle with nut/seed mix and fan-bake for about 3 minutes, until meringue is cooked but icecream is not melted. Serve immediately.
The bombes can be flambeed at the table for a dramatic effect. Turn down the lights, gently warm a shot or two of cointreau, set it alight and pour over the top of the dessert (best to use something with a handle for this).
We serve this dessert with poached stonefruit, but it is great on its own or with a simple creme anglaise.
Feel free to mix up the flavours of the icecream, meringue, liqueur or cake — have fun with it.
Afghans, makes 12
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1 cup cornflakes
Milk chocolate caramel
240g milk chocolate
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped walnuts (preferably New Zealand ones)
1. Heat oven to 160C fan-bake or 180C regular. Grease and line a baking tray.
2. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Sift flour and cocoa together and add to creamed mixture. Stir in cornflakes.
3. Place 24 heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture on the tray and bake for 10–12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
4. Place chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat sugar, without stirring, in a medium-to-large pot on a medium heat until it becomes a light golden caramel colour. Slowly pour cream in and whisk until smooth — be careful, as the sugar can spit as you pour it in. Pour caramel over chocolate and whisk until smooth, then whisk in salt and milk. Set aside to cool.
5. Once everything is cooled, sandwich biscuits together with milk caramel and roll the sides in chopped walnuts.
Win a celebratory afternoon tea
We know how much Bite readers love to bake (and enjoy the spoils) so to celebrate the launch of The Great New Zealand Baking Book - and because it’ll be Mother’s Day before we know it - we have a special afternoon tea planned for one lucky mum and five of her friends (or family if they want to muscle their way in there instead).
Chef Michelle Pattison, head baker for The Great New Zealand Baking Book, will make two sweet and two savoury treats using recipes from the book for you all to enjoy (including those afghan yo-yos) and the book’s creator, Murray Thom, will deliver it all, boxed, to your home on the day — along with bubbles (because this is a celebration, after all) and a copy of the baking book for each of you.