It's been a little quiet on this blog lately. Well, 2 weeks of radio silence since my last post here, which seems like such a long time ago to me. Last weekend was a rather busy one with a very big birthday celebration. It was Mark's big birthday and it was a long day of celebrating, drinking and eating into the early hours of Sunday morning. There would have been no other way to celebrate. It was such a lovely day spent with friends and family. A huge thank you to Mark's brothers who traveled from Dublin to London just for the night.
Can I also mention that I spent the night before the big day baking the biggest cake I have ever made? Even I surprised myself at how great this cake turned out. It was 10 inches and 4 layers of chocolate whiskey cake. It was so good that I plan to remake a smaller version of it and share it here in the coming weeks.
Speaking of baking, I made these mini rhubarb and strawberry galettes. It's that time of year - I'm seeing rhubarb everywhere. I love the look of rhubarb and it's pretty pink stalks. The "no fail pie crust" recipe below was shared with me from food stylist extraordinaire Susan Spungen, who I had the privilege of meeting last year. She's incredibly talented, giving, interesting and I really admire her work. I adored her from the moment I met her. You would too if you met her. I just loved listening to her inspiring and often funny work stories.
By the way, did you notice the great new logo on the blog? It was designed by my talented husband/hand model/food tester Mark. He has many creative talents and you can check out the rest of his work here.
And lastly, I want to share this food story I recently wrote and photographed about a coffee van in London, which was published by Life & Thyme on their site. I felt so honoured and proud.
Makes 8 mini galettes
FOR THE FILLING
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3 cups chopped strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
FOR THE PIE CRUST
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
200g cold unsalted butter, diced into tablespoon size pieces
1/4 cup ice cold water
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until the pieces are the size of peas. With the machine running, pour in 1/4 cup ice-cold water and mix for about 30 secs until just combined. The mixture should look dry and crumbly.
Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Place each part into a bowl and work the dough with your hands, pushing the dough firmly until it begins to come together and form a ball. Don't over handle the dough as you want the butter to remain cold.
Place each piece of dough on a sheet of cling film, folding the cling film over the top of the dough. Press down on the dough to form a flat disk that is an inch thick. Wrap the disc tightly and refrigerate in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it soften for 15-30 mins. Sprinkle the counter and rolling pin with flour. Start from the center and roll the dough outwards. You may need to whack the dough a few times to get the rolling started. Roll it out into a rough circle and until it is about 3mm thick.
Scoop the filling prepared earlier and place it in the centre of the dough. Bring the edges in and fold the dough as you continue to bring the remainder edges in. You should have a crust edge folded over the rhubarb & strawberry filling that is about 2-3cm thick. It doesn't have to be perfectly round, in fact I think it looks better rustic. Repeat for all 8 dough pieces.
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15mins or until golden.
Here are some other galettes you might want to try:
Rhubarb also goes well with apricot like this galette recipe.
A galette can also be savoury like this salt & vinegar potato galette.
Or how about this healthy looking galette of leek, fennel and mushroom.
Acorn & hazelnut galette anyone?
And this simple apple galette or this peach pistachio galette would be a perfect ending to any meal.