heartbreak pie

I returned home to Auckland last week after eating my way through 12 days in Taiwan, and until I write it up properly you'll be pleased to know I instagrammed up a storm. I ate so much good stuff, including a couple of incredible gua bao and plenty of tapioca laced bubble tea. Since being back it's been all go (when is it not all go?) and on Friday afternoon I got to talk about what I've been up to on Jesse Mulligan's afternoon show, on RNZ. As well as chatting about street food in Taipei, we yarned about my upcoming book (I borderline lost my mind over summer compiling a book of 50 restaurants across NZ, but the first proofs are checked, and it's looking beautiful, and you'll all be able to buy a copy in October!) and about making platters for dinner.

Recipe inside!

Book club bread

Book club bread

(stuffed feta and caramelised onion bread)

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup - 1 cup lukewarm water

2 tblsp oil

Combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add 3/4 cup water and the oil. Mix to form a soft dough, adding more water if required.

Place on a floured bench and knead lightly for 2 minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl and leave to (roughly) double in size (up to an hour - ideally while you caramelise the onions).

For the caramelised onions:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

3 large red onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the onions and garlic, then add a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a thick and sticky consistency, with no liquid left in the pan. This can take a good 25-30 minutes.

To assemble:

Knead out the dough for about 5 minutes. Roll it out into a big square on a tray lined with baking paper.

Spread over the onions, leaving about a 2cm border around the edge. Crumble over about 150g of  feta (or blue cheese works well). Fold the dough square carefully into three, lightly pressing down the sides. Rub the top with a little oil, and a few fennel seeds, or some sea salt and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Bake for 25-30mins at 200C until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush over a little more oil while it's still hot.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature as part of a platter.

 

// Posted by Delaney at 3:41 PM // Labels: bread, snacks, heartbreak pie

I had this afternoon what I might describe as a minor meltdown, in that I nearly felt so overwhelmed I could cry. I had had a very productive day, but still had so much to do, and even though I feel like I'm nearly on top of it all, there's still always so much more to do! However. I saw one of those inspirational quotes on instagram, that said something cheesy like 'if you get tired remember to rest, not to quit' and so I took a deep breath and told myself to dig deep and ploughed on through. The funny thing is all the stuff I'm overwhelmed about is really great stuff! I just need to remember, as always, to chill the F out. 

Recipe inside!

Perfect roast potatoes

My trick to perfect roast potatoes is three-fold.

  1. Bring to the boil before roasting. 
  2. Preheat the oil.
  3. Fluff them!

Here's the method:

Heat a generous drizzle of cooking oil (or duck fat if you're feeling game?!) in an oven tray, in a 220C oven.

Scrub then chop your potatoes (into chips, or halves, or however you fancy) and put in a pot. I always use agria potatoes. Cover with cold water and a little salt.

Bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the element and drain out the water. Keep the potatoes in the pot and put back onto the element for a few seconds, then shake the pot, with the lid on. I use a tea towel to hold the lid on. This is something Jamie Oliver calls fluffing. It dries them out, and helps with achieving the crispy-outer-soft-inner required of a perfectly roasted potato. Do this a few times - put on the element, remove and shake. Take your hot oil tray out of the oven, and carefully pour the potatoes (and any chunks that have broken away) into the tray. Season well with salt.

Roast for a good 30 minutes, but up to 40 or 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature, and make sure the potatoes go golden and crisp. 

// Posted by Delaney at 10:24 PM // Labels: heartbreak pie, roast potatoes

I’ve told this story a thousand times, but there’s cake at the end so bear with me. When I was 25 I started a food blog called Heartbreak Pie. I had seen a few food blogs overseas and thought “I could do that” plus I was freshly single, so I started writing about cooking and eating to make myself feel better. I didn’t think anyone, except for maybe a few food blogging American ladies, would read it. It was a cathartic, creative outlet which gave me something to do at night in my then shitty and cold and damp Mt Vic flat. They were the days before instagram, before excessive oversharing on the internet was commonplace, and at the time it felt very new and fun and exciting.

I am now 32 and thinking about some of the stuff I wrote and put on the internet makes me criiiiiinge, a bit like reading a teenage diary except that heaps of people have read it. Yeesh. Anyway! So last year I had a bit of a rebrand (/blog identity crisis) and decided my internet food writing could just happen under my name, and so I quietly removed Heartbreak Pie from the public eye (RIP/good riddance), had a bit of a party, launched delaneymes.com, and so here we are.

Recipe inside!

Plum and yoghurt cake

Ingredients

125g butter

200g white sugar

2 eggs

150g plain flour (I often use spelt flour, which is lovely and light)

1½ tsp baking powder

50g ground almonds

220g natural or greek yoghurt

1 x 850g tin black doris plums 

 

Preheat oven to 190C and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper and butter. Drain the tin of plums into a sieve (handy hint! I mixed the plum liquid with some water and froze it into ice cubes/spheres to fancy-up my drinks).

Cream together the butter and sugar very well, until pale and fluffy. Thistakes ages. When you think it's done, give it another couple of minutes. You want genuinely pale and soft. It will be worth it!

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture. Gently fold together until incorporated (I use my cake mixer on very low speed here).

Add the yoghurt and ground almonds, and mix to combine (again I use my cake mixer, but a spoon works fine!)

Scrape the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Remove the stones from the plums and gently press plum halves (they break in half easily) into the top of the cake. 

Bake for 50 minutes until golden. Turn the oven off, but leave the cake in the oven until cool (overnight is fine). This will help set the cake, although it's totally fine removed after 50 minutes and left to cool on a rack as normal. 

When ready to serve, dust the cake with a little icing sugar, and serve with yoghurt. It's also good gently warmed with softly whipped cream, and it's also really good with a thin layer of cream cheese icing made with just vanilla extract, lime or lemon juice, and a teency bit of icing sugar. Enjoy!  

// Posted by Delaney at 9:50 PM // Labels: cake, heartbreak pie, plums, baking