Saturday, April 14, 2012

I love to bake, but...

it hasn't been helpful on the weight loss front.  I was going to get back on the wagon after Will's birthday party on Wednesday.  I'm slowly getting there.  I have another party tonight.

I thought I'd make a dress to wear to the party.  I just ordered a few patterns from Style Arc.  One of the patterns is the Lucy Dress.  I ordered size 22 as I am closer to 22 than 24 which should be about right as I know a US22 is my RTW size now.    I was lazy.  I didn't measure the pattern and myself to check the fit.   So I ended up with a dress that was just a tiny bit too snug around the hips and bum. 

SA Lucy Dress back
Now it looks like have huge rolls of back fat. I don't.  I'm not saying that I don't have padding because I do, just not the way it looks in that photo.  I do have to say that when I stand in the mirror, it doesn't look that bad, so I'm not sure what I was doing in that photo.   What happens all of the time is the excess fabric around the lower back.  I think it's because the dress is clinging to my bum instead of hanging freely. 

From the front

SA Lucy Dress front
I know I said it's all my fault that the dress doesn't fit as well as I'd like, but I am wondering if the shoulders are a bit wide for me. The sleeves seem to be far out on my arm.  One day I need to get out my book on fitting patterns.  I'm so lazy.  I just want to cut something out and have it fit with no work on my part.  (yeah, yeah dream on!)

So here is one of the reasons for my slowed, i.e. non-existent, weight loss.

Chocolate Lime Tart.

I was going to make a simple lime tart from Donna Hay's Flavours cookbook for dessert on Easter Sunday.  I've made this  tart before and it's lovely.  Well, on Sunday when I pulled my blind baked pastry out of the oven, it cracked along the crease about 1/4 way around.  I stared at it with dismay.  I couldn't pour a liquid filling into it to bake, it would just leak out.  So Col and I had a quick brainstorm, and I decided to use white chocolate as Spakfilla.

white choc spakfilla

So while the white chocolate solved the problems with the crack, but then I wasn't sure if I could bake the filling.  So my trusty Thermomix came to the rescue.  I cooked the filling in it and then put it into the tart.  After the tart had chilled. I made dark chocolate shards to put on the tart.

choc lime tart

The flavour combination was inspired by my favourite chocolate from Belle Fleur, Lime & Cointreau.   The chocolate has a dark chocolate ganache base upon which sits a lime/Cointreau cream.  It's then enrobed in white chocolate.   My final tart had a few issues.  The filling didn't set as quickly as I'd like.  It was firmer the next day, so I think that I either needed to cook it a couple more minutes or just let it sit overnight in the fridge.  Also the layer of white chocolate on the bottom was too thick.  In my haste, I dumped white chocolate callets into the pastry and melted them in the oven and spread them.  It would have been better to melt the chocolate and then paint the pastry and fill the crack with the melted chocolate.

If I were to do it again, I would melt dark chocolate and brush a thin layer onto the pastry.  Then I would fill it with lime filling and put white chocolate shards/curls on the top of the tart.  And there will be another time because the flavours worked.

Here's the recipe for just the Lime Tart
from Flavours by Donna Hay

1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry

2 cups plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
155g butter, chopped
iced water

Basically I bung it all in my Thermomix, minus the water.  Wizz it up until there are small butter pieces.  Then I add enough iced water to get it to bind.    You can do the same in a food processor obviously. Shape it into a disc, wrap it up and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Lime Filling
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
1 cup cream  (cream with 35% fat content, I used pure cream, but I'm sure thickened would be fine)
1 cup lime juice 

Preheat the oven to 180-degC.  Roll out the pastry to fit a 25cm removable-base tart tin.  Prick a few holes in the pastry and line with non-stick baking paper.  Fill with rice of baking weights and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the baking weights and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.  This process is called blind baking and will keep the tart shell crisp when filled with a wet filling.  To make the lime filling, place the sugar, eggs, cream and lime juice in a bowl and mix to combine.  Skim the top of the mixture to remove any bubbles or foam.  (I have to mention that I like to use my kitchen torch to pop the bubbles.  I saw them do it on Masterchef, and it works really well.  More fun and easier than skimming in my opinion!).   Pour into the tart shell and reduce the oven to 160-deg C and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is just et.  Refrigerate the tart until firm.

To serve, cut into wedges and serve with thick cream or ice cream.

note - You can swap the lime juice for lemon or blood orange juice.

Next up I'll share Will's birthday cake


toadstooldots said...

Oh Sara, its a pity with that dress. Hope you haven't used the "good" fabric first. But that kind of frills around the neck suit you, IMHO. You may could cut it and make a top from it with altered armholes.

Your cake looks very tempting. I'm so bad with my baking, I should put a bit more effort in it...

Karen said...

That pattern is on my 'wish list' at Style Arc - I'm the same as you - a novice when it comes to fitting - so I have no advice on that but I do like the style on you.

The Handmaden said...

Now that just looks so delicious, no wonder you're tempted! I totally sympathise too, I'm also an overweight baker.
I'm interested in a few of the Style Arc patterns but haven't used any yet. Your dress is very sweet, I like the colour teamed with the red shoes :)

monART said...

you're a big help! Now I have drool all over my keyboard lol that tart seems to be just scrumptious. I like your dress. Yes maybe a bit too big at the shoulders but I have the same problem with being a perfect pear lol I like the dress and the neck is lovely. I like the shoes by the way too! Anyway your not going to pose at the party to be inspected, you're going to walk around, and have a lovely time ♥

SpiralStone said...

Such a cute dress! I think you look amazing in it!