Cakes.  Cookies.  Pastries.  Breads.  Puddings.

The latest round up on Mélanger explores sweet recipes that exemplify comfort food.  Home baked goodies that provide a little nostalgia and feed your emotions.  Foods that lift your spirits and soothe the soul.   Old fashioned favourites that bring back fond memories.

I chose the theme of ‘comfort food’ as I was saddened by the extensive damage around me here in Brisbane and throughout Queensland with the recent floods.

But now I finish this theme faced with truly heart breaking images of the earthquake devasted city of Christchurch, New Zealand.  My heart goes out to everyone there.  My thoughts are with everyone and their family.

{ Cinnamon apple Danish braid }  This 5 minute Danish pastry is nothing short of spectacular! Perfect for a quick sweet breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.  Filled dough with diced Granny Smiths and a hint of cinnamon, this braid is simple and comforting.  { Read more here … }


{ Fleur de sel chocolate sablés }  Sweet and salty and melt-in-your-mouth.  Baked exactly per original instruction.  When a recipe is inspired by a Pierre Hermé creation, and developed by Dorie Greenspan, really, who needs to make changes?  { Read more here … }


{ Plum and white rose tea cake }  There is something comforting about a simple teacake topped with fruit.  With blood plums in season, inspiration for a flavour partner came from the floral scent of rose to add a subtle perfume to the entire cake.  A delicious combination with the sweet plums.   { Read more here … }


{ Chocolate Babka Bread Pudding }  Slices of lightly toasted chocolate babka are soaked overnight in a simple custard then baked until golden.  The resulting pudding is soft, creamy and chocolately!  Very comforting (and filling!), indeed.  { Read more here … }


{ Omenapiirakka :: Finnish Apple Pie } You need to try this pie.  The best part for me was how easy the pastry was to make.  And even better than that, how delicious it was.  I actually made the pastry a day ahead and was able to quickly roll out, top with apple and then bake in less than 45 minutes.  To keep it simple, I served with a light dusting of icing sugar and some rich vanilla ice cream to complement the gooey caramelised apple centre of the pie.  { Read more here … }

{ Rhubarb, strawberry & ginger crumble tarts } Rhubarb is synonymous with English desserts.  Growing up, I recall my mother creating a number of desserts that incorporated rhubarb.  Not to the extent that I eventually had to throw a hand to cover my eyes, and gesture any oncoming fruit ladened dish away, but to know that this humble fruit was versatile, practical and a hint towards winter.  { Read more here … }


{ Sticky toffee bread & butter pudding } Combining the essence of two favourite British desserts, the essence of the bread and butter pudding was sustained  using a homemade spice ladened bread, and the rich, buttery butterscotch sauce, made for a slightly more self-indulgent pudding.  A perfect treat for the cooler Brisbane winter evenings.  { Read more here … }


{ Marmalade & golden syrup steamed puddings } The sweet, steamed pudding descends from the traditional boiled pudding – a favourite at Christmas time.  The basic steamed pudding recipe is easy to play around with. It is one of the most simple and comforting desserts to make.  { Read more here … }

{ Mustikkapiirakka :: Blueberry Tart } This simple, rustic style tart is a snap to make and a treat to share.  The blueberries piled high look as inviting as they are delicious.  The simplicity of the tart is the winning secret.  Fresh berries sweetened ever so slightly with a sprinkling of sugar, and topped on an easy to prepare, flaky pastry.  Perfect for any time of year.  { Read more here … }


{ Banana pudding ice cream } A creamy and rich ice cream base injected with custard powder and cinnamon, along with a healthy dose of tropical bananas, produces a refreshing dessert reminiscent of banana pudding.  A winter pudding, with a summer twist. { Read more here … }


{ Chocolate pecan & maple scrolls } Soft, rich and sweet bread is layered with chocolate, pecans and drizzled with maple syrup.  Straight out of the oven it is hard to resist not pulling them apart and enjoying straight away.  Fill with your own flavour combination to personalise your own scrolls.  { Read more here … }


{ Mini doughnuts with homemade dulce de leche } Mini balls of fried yeasty goodness.  The distinct aroma of the cinnamon s ugar on the warm doughnut.  The unbeatable taste of that just cooked doughnut.  These fluffy yeast style doughnuts are a lovely reminder of old fashioned doughnut shop confections.  { Read more here … }