"OOH, it's a Poh book,” gasped my little girl with delight.
Former MasterChef contestant, celebrity cook, cafe and bakery co-owner, talented artist and all-round nice person, Poh Ling Yeow has just released her latest creation, Poh Bakes 100 Greats.
And never has the arrival of a cookbook caused such excitement in our family. You see, we love Poh.
My four-year-old daughter and I have spent many happy hours hanging out with her. Admittedly, not in her actual physical presence, but watching her delightful TV series Poh & Co over and over while snuggled up on the couch.
As soon as my daughter saw this book, we had to sit down and look at every single page, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the scrumptious looking food and taking note of which recipes we want to try ourselves.
And while we turned the pages, the book brought back many happy memories for us: "Oh, look! There's the brownies we made.” "There's the rainbow pinata cake I'm making for your birthday.” "There's Rhino and Tim (Poh's gorgeous Scottie dogs).”
This book is not only personal for us, it's clearly personal for Poh, filled with her favourite recipes, photos of cherished knick knacks and other treasures from her home (featured on her TV series) as well as some of her amazing artwork.
With Poh Bakes 100 Greats, Poh shares her love of baking (even admitting she'll park herself in front on the oven to watch a cake cook) and the inspiration and skills she learned from her family as a child.
Endorsed by the man of many cravats himself, MasterChef judge Matt Preston, this cookbook will satisfy any enthusiastic home baker.
White chocolate ganache raspberry tart, coffee eclairs, madeleines with strawberry rosewater glaze, lazy daisy apple turnovers, lemon meringue cloud cake ... these are just some of the luscious recipes to feature in Poh's book.
Who wouldn't want to try a slice of one of those delicacies? I know we do. We have this dream of going on a pilgrimage (or Pohlgrimage) to South Australia one day to try some of Poh's baking at her Jamface cafe in Adelaide.
Maybe one day we'll get there. But in the meantime, we can bring a bit of Poh into our own kitchen by whipping up some of these recipes.
So, whether you are a Poh fan like us, or simply love to bake, this wonderful cookbook filled with all manner of tempting goodies will help you make your own happy memories. You may even find yourself sitting in front of the oven, just like Poh.
Orange kisses with cream cheese centres
MAKES: about 24 sandwiched biscuits
250g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
60g (1/2 cup) wheaten cornflour, sifted
225g (11/2 cups) plain flour, sifted
CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
90g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
11/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 170C fan-forced. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
To make the shortbreads, combine the butter, salt and zest in a medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy.
Add the cornflour and flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined - overmixing will 'unshorten' the mixture.
Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle, and pipe 4cm rosettes on to the prepared baking trays. You will end up with about 48 biscuit halves. Bake for 15-25 minutes until the kisses are golden brown. Cool completely before filling.
To make the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, butter, zest and half the icing sugar in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until combined.
Add the remaining icing sugar, and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the balsamic vinegar, and whisk by hand until just combined.
Transfer to a piping bag with a 1cm diameter hole snipped off the tip, and pipe about a teaspoon of filling to sandwich between 2 biscuits. Repeat until all the biscuits are used up.
These keep well for up to two weeks if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
Images and recipe from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99). Photography by Alan Benson.
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