This past week I had the pleasure of adding a wonderful cookbook to my small collection. The book is called “Afternoon Tea” and it is written by Suzanne Perazzini, who is also the talent behind the Strands of My Life food blog. Afternoon Tea is an e-cookbook with 107 pages of beautifully photographed treats perfect for tea time. There are 50 gluten-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free recipes of which 90% have never been published. But best of all you don’t need to have a food allergy to enjoy these sweets.
After downloading my copy first impressions were great. Suzanne wrote, photographed, styled and designed the whole project herself and she did a fantastic job. The book is broken down into several sections, the first one being information about the ingredients used in the recipes. Next she highlights base recipes that you’ll need throughout the book but I think they could also be used for other baking needs. The following recipe chapters are broken down into sections called Slices, Tarts, Cakes, Muffins, Cookies and Other Treats. Every recipe includes two photographs alongside clear and easy to follow instructions.
Though I am not allergic to gluten, nuts or sugar I was very excited to try out a few of Suzanne’s recipes. Baking with coconut flour is a new experience for me but Suzanne wrote such great information and tips about it that I felt comfortable jumping right in. There are so many recipes I want to try out, but I decided to start off with the Neenish Tarts.
Neenish Tarts are a classic dessert from Australia and one also found in New Zealand. The tarts are made with a light pastry shell, filled with a creamy custard and topped with a thin layer of chocolate ganache. Suzanne turned the classic tart into a modern coconut lovers treat. The pastry is made with coconut flour which results in a light crust. The filling is made with coconut milk which is turned into a lightly sweetened custard. Suzanne has been kind enough to allow me to share the recipe with you so you too can enjoy these little tarts at tea time.
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- 3 tbsp tapioca
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 400ml/13.5oz full cream coconut milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 3 tsp honey
- pinch of turmeric
- 3 tsp gelatin
- 1 chocolate ganache recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F or180°C.
- Press the pastry out into 6 x 7.5cm/19” diameter tart dishes to form pastry shells.
- Bake 10 minutes then cool completely.
- In a double boiler, heat the coconut milk, reserving a few spoonfuls for dissolving the gelatine.
- When it is hot but not boiling, add the vanilla, turmeric and honey and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Beat the egg yolks in a bowl.
- tbsp at a time, add the hot coconut milk to the eggs, all the while whisking.
- When it has all been added, pour back into the top of the double boiler and heat gently on the stove, continuing to whisk until it thickens. This takes a long time so be patient.
- Add the gelatine to the reserved coconut milk and heat gently to dissolve it.
- When the custard is ready, add the gelatin mixture which will finish the thickening when it is refrigerated.
- Cool down almost completely before pouring into the pastry shells.
- Place in the refrigerator to set.
- When the custard is set, spread the ganache over half of each tart.
- Place back in the refrigerator.
These little tarts were the perfect accompaniment to my afternoon tea. The custard is so creamy and I loved the coconut milk flavor. I could see myself making a batch of the custard to enjoy on days when I won’t want to turn on the oven. What I need is practice in making mine as pretty as Suzanne’s. Since I had some eggwhites leftover I decided to put them to use in her Coconut Macaroons recipe which is also included in the book. They too tasted really good and the strawberries added an additional burst of flavor.
In celebration of the book launch Suzanne is running a very special promotion. From now until April 16 Afternoon Tea’s price is discounted by 60% and you can purchase a copy for just $10. Simply go to the Afternoon Tea cookbook page, or click on the book cover below to download your copy. It really is a great cookbook to add to your collection!
Congrats Suzanne on writing a beautiful, easy to follow cookbook with delicious recipes!