Friday, January 8, 2010

making the most of summers bounty...

It’s Sarah here, younger sister of Becs and Libby (and Miriam!). I have decided to join the blogging bandwagon and write a guest post.

With summer deciding to take a break in Christchurch today, it seemed a good opportunity to try a couple of recipes I had been eying up.

Wanting to make use of the last of the season’s asparagus, the first is Asparagus and Rice Tart from Judith Cullen’s book Dinner in a Basket. This tart was enjoyed by all, with the combination of rice, cheese and asparagus proving delicious. Dad, not usually a quiche fan, even gave his seal of approval by helping himself to seconds. I do feel, however, that the tart could have down with a touch more seasoning to help bring out the flavours. We had the tart with a simple salad of lettuce, snap peas (both fresh from the garden!) and hazelnuts.

Asparagus and Rice Tart- From Judith Cullen’s book Dinner in a Basket
2 cups flour
125g unsalted butter

2 bunches asparagus
1/3 cup Arborio rice
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup Parmesan
¼ Havarti cheese
3 eggs
½ cup cream
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Process flour and butter in food processor. Gradually add 2-3 Tbs of cold water. Wrap dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry to fit 24cm round or rectangular tart tin and chill again for 15 minutes. Bake blind at 200 OC for 15 minutes.

Blanch asparagus and refresh in cold water. Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes, drain and cool. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Transfer to a bowl and add rice, cheese, eggs, cream, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into tart shell. Arrange asparagus on top of the tart and brush with olive oil. Bake at 180 OC for 15-20 minutes.
I received The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook for my birthday back in May and this recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie caught my eye straight away. I decided with the abundance of fresh berries around, now was as good a time as any to finally make it. It was delicious for dessert and we decided the leftovers would be perfect tomorrow with coffee for afternoon tea. Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie- The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
200g dark chocolate roughly chopped dark chocolate
200g butter
250g icing sugar
3 eggs
110g plain flour

400g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Cream topping
300ml cream
100g icing sugar
150g raspberries,
Plus extra to decorate
Preheat oven to 170OC
For the brownie: Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Beat butter and sugar together in a cake mixer, then add eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Pour into a prepared baking tray.

For the cheesecake: Put cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in mixer and beat until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. Spoon on top of the brownie and smooth over. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to touch and golden around the edges. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours

For the cream topping: Put cream, sugar and raspberries in mixer and beat until firm but not stiff. Turn the brownie onto a board and spread the topping over. Decorate with extra berries.


  1. How lovely to have a guest post - and from my younger sister no less! Your meal looks delicious Sarah. Like your dad, I'm not a big quiche fan, but this one does look good and quite interesting with rice in it. Raspberry cheesecake brownie looks very decedent! Wish I was coming for afternoon tea today xx

  2. What a delicious meal! I want a piece of that brownie.

  3. What a lovely looking quiche - very artistic.

    I've got the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and the brownie caught my eye straight away too. I'm almost licking the screen because your brownie looks so good.

  4. Now I know what to do with the Arborio rice in the cupboard. Thanks, Sarah.


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