Thursday, July 29, 2010

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Portuguese custard tarts are rich, sweet, vanilla-laden mouthfuls of pure delight. Known in some quarters as "Devils Dainties" or the less imaginative "Coronary Cupcakes", I make them from time to time at work, and they're guaranteed big sellers. The recipe I use differs from most in that the custard is poured straight into the pastry to cook in the oven, rather than being cooked off beforehand. It's also thickened using yolks rather than a starch such as cornflour, resulting in a much richer flavour.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Changing of the Guard

That's my boss, Zana Price, head chef at Provedore, performing that end of evening ritual seen in restaurants around the world: ordering stock for the days to come. I worked with her for the last time on Sunday; she's leaving to take the helm at another establishment here in Napier. Zana's been a wealth of knowledge, and has done her best to knock some of that expertise into my noggin, right up until her last day. She has shown me so much, and been generous with both her time and patience; it's helped shape and form this new chef, and for that, I am very, very grateful.

Thank you, chef. Ngā mihi rā mō ngā rā kei mua i te aroaro - all the best for the future.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Glacé Cherries

I love fruit cake. For me, nothing beats the simple pleasure of biting into a big slice of fruit cake, with a cup of tea, my slippers, and a copy of Alzheimer's Weekly (when they remember to send it), all within reach. The integral part of a good fruit cake is of course, the fruit - plump, rich sultanas, along with zesty, sweet mixed peel - but pride of place in that delicious cakey-crown must surely go to the glacé cherry.