When we were kids, my mum nearly always made some sort of pudding for dessert. Nothing fancy, mind you, but scrumptious nonetheless. In summer it was often as simple as junket topped with strawberries (oh gosh, now that's something I haven't thought of for years – how I loved its cool, slippery creaminess) or sliced bananas and vanilla ice-cream trickled with passionfruit from the vine that trailed along our side fence (back then everyone seemed to have a passionfruit vine and a lemon tree in their garden).
However, it was her winter puddings that I most loved. And what puddings they were! Nutmeg-dusted baked custards; her magical lemon delicious pudding with its sponge-like top and gooey, lemony base; the creamy baked rice pudding that had us all fighting to be the one to eat the gloriously sticky brown bits that clung stubbornly to the sides of the dish. And then of course there were steamed puddings, sultana-studded bread and butter puddings, and on special occasions, an apple pie or strudel fragrant with cinnamon and invariably served with a jug of canary-yellow custard.
For us at the time it was just normal, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I realise now how lucky we were to grow up with such treats. I always loved helping Mum cook, but even more so if she was baking or making something sweet (the opportunities this led to for licking a beater or scraping out every last skerrick of batter from a mixing bowl with my finger no doubt added to my enthusiasm!). It was certainly no surprise to me or anybody else when I ended up cooking in restaurants for a living, and more particularly focusing on desserts, cakes and sweet things.
I don't think there was a more enjoyable time in my career than when I worked in an exquisite patisserie in Sydney. It was a wonderful place, and I loved arriving early in the morning to be greeted by the sweet fragrance of vanilla, chocolate and spices wafting from the kitchen. My days were happily spent up to my elbows in melted chocolate, cake batter and all sorts of doughs as I baked cakes, biscuits and pastries to be sold in the shop, which also doubled as a tiny café. So when my lovely publisher, Julie Gibbs, asked if I might be interested in writing a book on desserts, it felt as though all my Christmases had come at once! It's been such a joy to work on this book and bring together so many of the recipes and stories from different parts of my life. I only wish my mum were here to see this, for if she were, she would be busy tying on her apron, getting out her mixing bowls and whipping up one of the many desserts here. Sadly, that's not possible, but I do hope that in amongst this somewhat eclectic mix of recipes you find yourself encouraged to do that very thing.
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 24th October 2012
Dimensions (cm): 29.2 x 23.8 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 29.2
Edition Number: 1
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Saving yourself for dessert? Well, Belinda Jeffery has plenty of desserts worth waiting for...
Drawing her inspiration from across the globe, she has created an irresistible collection of recipes for desserts and sweet treats, arranged around her favourite flavours; the subtle notes of coffee and tea; the intensity of caramel, honey and maple syrup; the refreshing tang of berries and summers fruits; the sharpness of citrus – and, of course, the complexity of chocolate.
Imagine yourself in Paris with pine nut, almond and sour cherry tart, travel to the Middle East with sweet saffron and cardamom-scented yoghurt, take a trip to Sicily with lemon cassata semifreddo, or simply enjoy the bounty of an Australian summer with mango, passionfruit and mascarpone trifle.
On grey days, seek solace in pear and maple syrup crumble or rhubarb and white chocolate tartlets. And let's face it, no excuse is ever needed to indulge in a slice of black velvet chocolate tart or a pistachio meringue with green tea cream.
With Belinda's Desserts in your kitchen, you'll always have the perfect ending to any meal.
About the Author
The award-winning author of Belinda Jeffery's 100 Favourite Recipes, Belinda Jeffery's Tried-and-True Recipes, Mix & Bake and The Country Cookbook, Belinda Jeffery has shown herself to be the quiet achiever of the food industry. Renowned for her warm and reassuring style, she has garnered a strong following through her career as a chef, cafe proprietor, TV food presenter, radio personality and cooking teacher for her never-fail recipes and the pleasure she receives from sharing her knowledge and love of good food with others.
In 2002 Belinda and her husband traded city life for the Far North Coast of New South Wales, where she now focuses on writing and teaching. She is a regular contributor to Delicious. and other food and wine magazines, a restaurant reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and an experienced judge for a number of industry awards.