Darren Purchese, author of Lamingtons & Lemon Tart, is a Britishborn pasty chef living in Australia. He has cooked practically everywhere, from the French Alps to the Savoy Hotel in London and even the Sydney Opera House. He is one of the most respected pastry chefs working in Australia and regularly appears on Masterchef Australia.
Lamingtons & Lemon Tart is a cookbook that is designed to be used by everyone. Purchese, known very much for his tricks in the kitchen and a scientific approach to cooking, aims to make himself and his recipes more accessible to readers. Beautiful step-by-step photographs and clear recipes guide home cooks through Purchese’s “sweet essentials.” From cakes and sponges to tarts and pastries, breakfast and snacks, classic desserts, and frozen confections, the five chapters in Lamingtons & Lemon Tart cover all the categories of delicious dessert that anyone could want to make.
The recipes included in the book do not require fancy equipment and are intended for all levels of home cooks. “If your mind is not blown by the ease of some of these dishes, then the flavor will surely knock you out.”
Some of the recipes features include:
The Daily Meal: What is your philosophy of cooking (and/or eating)?
Darren Purchese: I love cooking and eating with fresh and seasonal produce, I love ingredients to shine through their own flavor and color. In my professional kitchen I strive to produce the most amazing-looking and unique cakes, but always the most important thing is it must taste as good as it looks.
How did it inspire the recipes you chose to include in this book?
The recipes and feeling in the book were approached a little differently to my professional cuisine, in the fact that I wanted my trademark beautiful-looking creations and flourishes, but the recipes had to be accessible to the home cook. I want the reader to feel comfortable with the outline and feel, empowered with clear and concise instructions and inspired by the stunning photography.
What is your favorite recipe in the book and why?
There are so many! That’s a hard question, but I love the simplicity in its execution of the pear tarte tatin — a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes later you're in heaven.
What are some of the foods you can’t live without?
Fresh fruit and vegetables, great bread, amazing cheeses, chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, and flour.
Would you rather dine out or cook at home?
I love both. I really love going to a great restaurant — not necessarily super-fancy, but great service and hospitality is key. I also enjoy taking my time cooking something delicious at home and often try new recipes at home when cooking for my wife.
What is your favorite go-to meal or drink?
I love pizza and a glass of red wine when I am too tired to cook and exhausted from a huge week.
How do you hope readers will use this book, what do you hope they take away?
I would love it if my readers used the book as a sort of guide to coming up with their own unique creations. Many of the component recipes in each dish can be mixed and matched to create something new, and all components can be used on their own or as a part of each dish. I hope readers will create their own family favorite recipes that they will make for years to come.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am excited to be introducing an Aussie classic — the lamington — to the U.S., and I would love readers to share their own creations from the book on the Instagram page @lamingtonslemontart.