Utensils: stand mixer, plastic wrap, oven, rolling pin, pie dish, pie weights, parchment paper, cutting board, knife, large bowl, cooking spoon, pastry brush
360 g butter – 500 g flour – 1 egg yolk – ½ tsp salt – 120 g sugar – 60 ml water
Cut butter into large pieces and add to a stand mixer with most of flour, egg yolk, salt, and sugar.
Beat for approx. 2 – 3 min. until crumbly. Then, slowly add water, reserving a small amount for the final step, and continue to beat for another 1 – 2 min. until dough is smooth and uniform in consistency.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator. Allow to set for approx. 1 h. 40 min.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Cut dough into two even rounds. Then, flour work surface, place dough on top, and roll out, one at a time, using a rolling pin until rounds are larger than your pie dish.
Flour both sides of dough and transfer to pie dish. Press evenly into all edges of dish and then remove excess dough. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of dish and fill with pie weights.
Place in preheated oven at 180°C/350°F and blind bake for approx. 10 min.
Peel, core, and quarter apples. Then, cut crosswise into medallion-sized pieces.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, sugar, and brown sugar.
Transfer apple slices to pie dish and spread out evenly. Cut remainder of butter into pieces and place on top of apples. Cover pie with rest of dough. Make a small hole in the middle, so air can escape.
Mix together egg white and water and brush on top. Return to oven and bake at 180°C/350°F for approx. 50 – 55 min. until golden brown. Enjoy
Summer days are meant for ice-cream. Cool taste sensations and flavours that delight the tongue, what could be more exciting?
Sometimes though, store bought ice-cream can reveal a whole lot of interesting additives, flavours, extenders (water, vegetable shortening, wheat starch) which I prefer to leave on the shelves, not in my stomach. So how you get your ice-cream fix without the stress? The joy that is no-churn ice-cream!
That’s right, no longer do you need to pull your mix out of the freezer and bend your beaters (a lesson I learnt all too well…use the heavy duty paddle next time Luisa…). With this recipe you just mix, whip, fold and freeze. Easy. I will include the traditional recipe as well if you do own a churner as these are also fabulous and a churner does make life a lot easier when creating fantastic ice-cream creations!
So why use sweetened condensed milk in these recipes? The ingredients of condensed milk are just milk, milk solids and sugar. When making traditional ice-cream you use milk, cream, sugar and eggs so this is great for those with egg allergies and there are no thickeners, additives, colours or preservatives. The condensed milk stabilises the ice-cream mix the way eggs do in the traditional recipes allowing you to have the same smooth texture without the fuss. The only difference for me was it is quite rich so a couple of spoons will do.
When creating your own mix, don’t be afraid to get creative with flavours for exciting combinations. Here are some of my favourites:
Hazlenut and chocolate – add a generous scoop of nutella to the mix. If making no churn stir into the condensed milk, if making custard add to the milk and cream mix
White chocolate and passionfruit – for no churn add 100g melted white chocolate and 100ml of passionfruit puree. For the churn, double the amount and add the chocolate to the milk when heating and passionfruit at end.
Strawberry – to make puree blend 150g strawberries with 2 tbsp of icing sugar and strain – add to mix
Malt – for the no churn dissolve 2 tbsp malt in 5tbsp of the pure cream warmed and add to the condensed milk. For the churned add the malt powder to the milk and cream mix when heating
Stay tuned for further recipes teaching you how to make praline mix in’s, fun serving ideas and home made toppings. Yum!
So without further ado, the no-churn ice-cream:
No Churn Vanilla Ice-Cream
1 can condensed milk (340g)
300ml pure cream
Splash of vanilla essence
Combine vanilla and condensed milk
Whip cream to soft peaks
Fold through cream and milk mixture softly until well combined
And if you’d like to churn your own vanilla ice-cream?
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
Bring the cream, milk, vanilla and half of the sugar to a simmer
Whisk the yolks with the remaining sugar until light and fluffy
Mix through the cream and milk with the yolks
Place back on stove in clean pot over low heat and stir until mixture thickens
Strain and allow to cool and chill
Place into churner and follow your machines instructions
Cooking out custard can be a bit tricky so here are some troubleshooting tips
1. It looks like scrambled eggs – your stove was too hot and the egg yolks cooked too quickly. Never fear, the solution is to allow the mix to cool a little, then add it to a blender and whiz until smooth and strain through a fine sieve. Make sure the mixture is cooled before blending otherwise it can overflow and cause burns
2. It looks watery and you’ve been stirring for quite a long time – you may need to increase the heat of your stove – a low to medium heat works well for induction and electric, gas should work quickly on low
3. I need to churn the ice-cream in a hurry – To cool the custard quickly, place the bowl of custard over another bowl filled with ice and water and stir the custard mix until cooled and churn
Hello Sunshine! You could be forgiven for thinking it’s Summer all year round here in Queensland with the weather at the moment. So what adult treat can you whip up to keep it cool and classy? Champagne pops of course!
Now I am not suggesting you have to use Champagne for this recipe, good quality sparkling wine works great too. I say good quality as you will be able to taste the wine with the pops so any corked or old wines can ruin the light fruity taste of the pops.
So what’s involved? It’s pretty simple really – all you need is some sparkling wine or champagne, fruit puree or juice and mint.
Now I know you’ll love these popsicles, it will be the most sophisticated version of a zooper dooper you’ve ever seen! ;D Enjoy!
I love vintage tea towels. Especially when they have old school recipes on them that remind you of foods you used to eat when you were young. This was the case with one of my favourites, a cooking with apples tea towel. Bright friendly colours keep you company as you wipe up your dishes but also gave me inspiration for dessert at my friends this week.
As a child dessert wasn’t a bit thing at the end of a meal. Sure there was coffee and biscuits but actual desserts weren’t a big feature so when my mum made her fabulous baked apples everyone was always around the dinner table, the oft used excuses to disappear into teenage bedrooms forgotten. Well for my siblings anyways. Being eight year younger I was always happy to hang around the dinner table with Mum, not having reached the joy of teens years just yet. But I digress. My Dad wasn’t too much of a sweet tooth preferring a slice of cheese and fresh apples after dinner but loved Mum’s baked apples, so we knew that Dad was in Mum’s good books when they appeared after dinner. Such a simple dessert but coupled with ice-cream it was such an easy after dinner treat.
Lo and behold my fabulous vintage tea towel featured a similar recipe transporting me back to my childhood. Their recipe also featured glace cherries and brandy made into a sauce with the buttery goodness left behind, a step which I left out because a) I don’t really like glace cherries and b) I thought the caramelised buttery sauce was nice enough without a splash of brandy which I don’t actually have on hand anyways!
So I know I haven’t really revealed the full temptation of a baked apple as yet. Just the title doesn’t really give away the treat it is, so I will explain the very simple method and try and entice you even more. Quite simply, you just core out the apple’s whole, score the skin so it doesn’t burst open and make a mess and then stuff the cavity of the apple with a combination of softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Imagine then baking these stuffed apples for about half an hour in which time the butter and sugar caramelise to a butterscotch sauce at the bottom of the pan and the apple flesh cooks down to a soft, sweet filling. No we are talking hey? Now put that delicious apple into a bowl, top with vanilla ice-cream and enjoy! You can thank me later, don’t worry.
Ingredients (serves four)
4 granny smith apples (these bake really well but if you have a favourite apple by all means use them!)
3 tbsp softened butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
Core out the apples and score the skin
Mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl until combined and softened
Spoon and push the butter mix into the cored cavity of the apples
Either place the apples in individual ramekins and on a tray to bake or onto a paper lined tray with the edges folded up to catch the butter sauce
Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 min or until the apples have softened
Remove from oven and serve with vanilla ice-cream. If you have baked them on a tray, put into serving dishes and carefully pour over the remaining sauce sauce from the oven tray.
Autumns and winter aren’t exactly synonymous with luscious fruits. The cool temperatures aren’t the best of friends with warmth dependent fruits such as peaches, mangoes and berries. Their delicate skins can’t withstand chilly frost. Apples, pears and citrus though are winter’s best friend. Their tougher skins don’t mind a little chill so they happily ripen on the trees without the need for a scarf or beanie unlike their human counterparts! This brings us to the second installment of market fresh, seasonal eating how to.
Nothing is more delightful (to me anyway!) than the crisp crunch of an apple. Luckily in my local market I am able to buy waxed fruits which are another delight unto themselves. The surprisingly rough skin allows for an even more earthy delight when biting in. So what to do with surplus apples in the cooler months?
The obvious choices are apple pies or crumbles. But what if you’re after something different? This week I tried my hand at some baking. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy baking but my oven is a bit temperamental. But this week I had access to a far superior oven at Wandering Cooks so I gave some cupcakes and cookies a whirl.
The cupcakes featured apples peeled and diced small whilst the cookies I adapted myself to include an apple puree in place of some of the sugar. The result? Delightful sweet treats which are a little different to the usual offering.
Another idea is to preserve your apples. How? Either through slicing finely and drying in a food drier (mine is a hand me down from Mum but sunbeam has one on the market), or making your own apple puree and bottling it. Apple puree can be used to replace eggs or sugar in some recipes, as a sauce with pork or stirred through porridge. As you can see, apples are very hard workers in the kitchen!
Speaking of porridge, the cookies feature quick oats, another easy kitchen staple. Have your apples and oats as porridge in the morning or as cookies for afternoon tea. Mix the puree through with some larger cooked diced apples, spoon into a dish and make some crumble from the oats and there is your simple dessert. Using your pantry is easy when you have some ideas up your sleeve.
Moral of the story? Sweet or savoury eating in the seasons doesn’t need to be a chore when you can plan ahead or store your recipes according to ingredient. Please feel free to print these recipes and file them so when you have a market trip you know exactly what to do when you get home. Happy shopping!
Recipe One – Apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Put the grated apples, sugar, water, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Cool; add flour and soda.
Fill paper lined cupcake tins 2/3 full.
Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched in the center.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
250g cream cheese
2 tbsp apple puree
¼ cup icing sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Splash of vanilla essence
1/ Whip cream cheese and icing sugar together until softened and combined
2/ Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix well
3/ Swirl through apple sauce for streaky effect
4/ Spoon generously over cupcakes and top with dried apple
5/ Dig in
Recipe Two – Apple and oat cookies
250g butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup apple puree
2 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
3 cups quick oats
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and vanilla.
In a bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; gradually add flour mix to creamed mixture and combine well.
Stir in the oats and apple puree
Form into small balls about 1 tbsp in size. Place on baking tray lined with baking paper about 3 cm apart.
Bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack and serve for afternoon tea. Or just eat off the tray. That’s what I did 😉
Recipe Three – Preserved apple puree
2 kg apples peeled, cored and diced small
500ml apple juice (preference is to juice your own but otherwise try and source fresh apple juice from the cold section as these shouldn’t have as many preservatives and sugar. Check the different brand for exact quantities)
1/ Bring the apple juice to a simmer, add the apples and reduce heat
2/ Allow to cook over low heat until softened and remove from heat
3/ Allow to cool for ten minutes to blend safely in food processor or with stick blender
4/ Sterilise jars by covering with boiling water for at least ten minutes in a large pot. Remove from pot carefully with tongs and set onto surface to pour apples into.
5/ Return the apple puree to heat and bring to boil, pour carefully into hot jars and seal lids. Place in pot with tea towel on bottom, cover with boiling water and simmer for half an hour. Allow to cool in water. Test seal has vacuumed down. Store in cool dry area for about 2 months.
What to have for dessert. Almost as much a quandary and what to have for dinner. I’ll admit I have bought and cooked my share of frozen desserts before. Why? Laziness to be honest. Sometimes I convince myself that is too hard to make a dessert from scratch so I buy an apple pie or pastry and bake it. Of course I am more often than not disappointed in the dessert and wish I had just baked my own but alas, there we are.
So what do you do when you just couldn’t be bothered but you’d prefer not to buy a frozen dessert? Pudding. Puddings are some of the simplest and easiest desserts to make. Four or five ingredients, stirred, put into a mould and baked. Like a cake but with less pressure and you don’t have to ice them. Self saucing puddings are even better. The accompaniment is baked into the dish for you! All you need do is sprinkle some berries or whip some cream and voila, an easy peasy dessert is made. Of course you can also buy frozen self saucing puddings but you really don’t need to when they are so easy to make.
I baked mine in individual pots to make serving easier and more attractive. Puddings don’t look that elegant when spooned out onto a plate so for a dinner party dessert, individual pots are the way to go. At home by yourself and wish to have something warm to eat? By all means, grab a spoon and tuck in straight from the dish. I do 😉
So, to the recipe:
Ingredients (makes four individual puddings)
1 cup of self raising flour or 1 cup of plain flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
For the sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups of boiling water
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Stir in the sugar until combined
Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly
Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug, add the melted butter and combine
Pour the mix over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine
Spoon the batter into individual ramekins and place onto oven proof tray
Pour the boiling water over the sugar and cocoa powder, mix until combined sugar is dissolved
Carefully pour the sauce mix over the back of a spoon onto the top of the pudding batter. The liquid should reach just under the lip of the ramekin
Place the tray carefully into the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until the puddings have risen and the liquid has cooked through. The puddings should be soft to touch and spring back when touched.
Remove from oven, allow to sit for 2 minutes and serve with cream or ice-cream and berries
Finding inspiration can be a little elusive sometimes but I have been lucky lately and had it handed to me each day. I have been participating in Stephanie Alexander’s A to Z food photo challenge – A letter a day relating to food. It has been lots of fun and today was the letter L. Of course the obvious is Lemons! Who doesn’t love this citrus fruit? It has so many uses, freshening up a salad, tarting up a dessert, giving a kick to a marinade! Lemons do it all. My favourite application though? Lemon curd.
It’s tart, its buttery and it tastes so good when you like the bowl. Or the spoon. Or your fingers when you dip them in the bowl. But shhh…don’t tell anyone 😉
I am fortunate enough to have access to a lemon tree that has large, juicy and non-waxed/pesticide skin. They are as lemony as lemons can be and they have such an intense flavour. If you can get access to organic or as close to it does make a difference to have the juicier lemons and to use the skin in cooking without worrying what’s in it.
Lemon curd is easy peasy but there are a few hints:
1. Use a low to medium heat as there are a lot of eggs in this recipe and they can over cook very quickly
2. If the mixture seems to be cooking too quick, remove from heat and keep stirring whilst it thickens and finishes cooking
3. Cut your butter into small cubes to allow it to melt and mix into the cooked egg mixture evenly
4. If there appears to be large cooked egg bits in the mix if you had the heat too high, don’t despair! Either give it a quick blend with a bar mix or pop it in a blender and give it a quick whiz to mix together before adding the butter. Pass through a fine sieve and add the butter as normal
5. If you’re really unsure, place the mix into a bowl over simmering water and cook out slowly – it make take up to ten minutes to thicken so be patient
6. If you’d like to store the butter for future use (I don’t know how you can’t help but eat it with a spoon right away!) then follow the usual preserving rules – boil the bottle and lids first and place on clean tea towel to air dry, pour the curd mix into the jar when still hot and place a lid on straight away and leave to cool. The cooling action will create a vacuum. I would recommend keeping the jar in the fridge to err on the side of caution, but with this method it will last at least two weeks unopened. Opened use within a couple of days.
So the recipe: (the photos feature a 1/4 amount of this recipe – this will make enough for one large lemon tart)
500ml lemon juice
1. Separate eggs and mix yolks with whole eggs.
2. Put sugar and lemon juice in pan, bring to simmer and stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add lemon sugar mix to eggs slowly and whisk together.
4. Put into wide based saucepan, stir egg mix over stove until thickened, approx 5 minutes
5. Remove from heat, stir in diced butter until well combined
6. Strain through fine sieve and bottle if saving for later or put into container ready to spoon over scones, sponge, into a tart shell or just go right ahead and stick a spoon in. I did 🙂
It was my boyfriends birthday recently and course we had to celebrate with cake! What is a birthday without cake after all! I have always enjoyed making birthday cakes for friends and family and watching their delight as everyone sings a song in their honour whilst embarrassing them with how off tune it all is. These days birthday cakes know no bounds as flights of fancy in icing have seen the rise of more and more creative baking feats achieved. I prefer to make simple cakes but I do enjoy the fruits of other peoples labour don’t worry! For this birthday as Davin loves cheesecake and chocolate what better way to combine the two to celebrate his day than this chocolate cheesecake recipe.
This recipe was given to me by my sous chef at Il Centro Brian. He has cooked this for his lady and her friends and due to their rapturous response deemed this recipe a winner. From the response of Davin and his family and my own enjoyment, I’d have to agree. His version has white chocolate but I am more of a milk/dark chocolate fan so went with that. Traditionally cheesecakes are either baked or set with gelatine but the addition of butter plus the chocolate to this recipe allows it to set firm in the fridge without the use of gelatine. This is particularly handy if you don’t have gelatine on hand or don’t use it often enough to buy for one cake. Feel free to stir through some berries of chocolate chips or whatever ingredients take your fancy to make it your own.
– A food processor makes turning the biscuits into crumbs easier by far but if you don’t have one there is the old fashioned way that my mother and I used to do which is put the biscuits in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or meat hammer until crumbly. I recommend this method after a stressful day.
– A springform pan is the one where there is a leverish catch in the side with releases the band away from the base. This is to allow easy release of the cake from the pan, especially as it quite delicate and flipping it out as per a normal cake may cause it to break. If you don’t have one of these tins, ensure you line a cake tin with baking paper and ensure you have a long piece of paper that overlaps the side of the pan to lift the cake out
– With baked cheesecakes the base is baked for a few minutes before being left to cool. This is to ensure the base doesn’t melt back into the mix when baking, a step no necessary with cold set cheesecakes
– If you can’t find mascarpone, ricotta will suffice. The addition of the mascarpone adds a little tartness and a lighter creaminess than just cream cheese by itself
So, without further ado, the ingredients:
200g chocolate (white, milk or dark)
300ml pure cream
250g cream cheese
200g biscuits of your choice (arrowroot, chocolate, ginger snap)
2 teas sp vanilla
1. Melt chocolate and 30g of butter together and stir until combined
2. Process biscuits until fine crumb. Melt remaining butter and mix through biscuits until evenly coated.
3. Line spring form tin with baking paper to ensure clean release and press biscuit mix into base of spring form tin until even. Place in fridge for at least 15 minutes until firm.
4. Whip sugar and cream cheese together, add cream and whip together. Fold together with mascapone, add melted butter and chocolate mix and stir through gently.
5. Pour on top of biscuit base and cool until firm, approximately 2-3 hours or overnight
6. Decorate as desired – I used freckles or you could use strawberries, berries, crumbled chocolate or biscuits, whatever you fancy
7. Cut a big slice, sit down and enjoy every bite!
I have to attribute this idea to a pinterest post I found when lying in bed trying not to salivate as I explored some recipe inspiration. Her blog is found on navywifecook.com and is rather cute and interesting to explore.
So the recipe. Essentially Nutella French Toast….I had you at Nutella right? My last post was about classic food combinations, I forgot to mention chocolate and just about anything right? Especially hazelnuts thus the love of nutella. French toast is usually one piece of bread dipped in egg and milk/cream mix and fried in a pan but this recipe calls for two slices and a healthy dollop of nutella in between. Irresistible right? Add some delicious strawberries and we have dessert deliciousness.
Ingredients (serves four)
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sugar
8 slices bread
butter for frying (1-2 tbsp)
Whisk egg and milk together until combined
Add sugar and vanilla to egg mix and combine
Cut crusts off bread and spread with nutella
Sandwich two slices together nutella side facing
Warm a frying pan to medium heat and melt 1 teaspoon butter per sandwich
Dip bread in egg mix and fry in pan approx 1-2 min each side until golden
Remove from pan and keep warm under low heat oven grill or by wrapping in foil until all sandwiches are cooked
Cut in half and serve with quartered strawberries and dust with icing sugar
Take a bite and enjoy the gooey hazelnutty chocolately toasty goodness. You can tell I enjoy this recipe right? 😉
It was my turn to do dessert again and chocolate fondant was the dessert of the day at work so I thought, why not make some for home too? Mmmm….What is chocolate fondant you ask? Well it is a hot chocolate pudding that has a sumptuous melting middle of chocolatey gooeyness. Now who wouldn’t want that?! For a little special twist instead of just using cream or ice-cream on the side I used marscapone and raspberries. Delicious!
– Marscapone is an Italian cream cheese found in the cottage/cream cheese section of the dairy aisle
– Fondants are supposed to be quite runny in the middle so ensure you cook for time given as a few minutes more will cook the pudding through – not a big drama but not really the point of the dessert.
– Ensure you grease the moulds well as the puddings need to slip out easily as if they catch and burst the runny middle will spill out spoiling the surprise – gentle hands also help!
– You can add some instant coffee for a mocha twist
– Brushing butter upwards in a mould creates tracks for the mix to cling to when it rises thus the upwards strokes ensure the batter clings up evenly not to the side and over the top!
200 g dark chocolate – the better the quality the better the dessert – i use Lindt cooking chocolate
200 g butter softened and cut into cubes
200 g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
200 g plain flour
1 Grease the moulds for the pudding and coat with cocoa powder or flour for easily removal. Ensure your brush with upward strokes to ensure the puddings rise evenly
2 Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, add the butter and chocolate and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when fully melted, stir to combine and allow to cool for five minutes
3 Whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until mixture becomes thick and pale, sift the flour into the eggs, beat mix together.
4 Pour the melted butter and chocolate into the egg mixture in increments beating well between each addition until the all the mix is in and the mixture is completely combined. It willl be slightly runny
5 Pour the mix into the moulds evenly and allow to chill for at least half an hour up to 24 hours in advance. The chilling process assists with creating the crusty outside and gooey inside by keeping the inside of the mix cool whilst the outside cooks
6 Bake the mix for ten minutes until the top is firm and the mix starts to come away from the sides of the moulds. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for one minute before gently turning it out on the plate.
7 To make raspberry marscapone cream whisk some icing sugar into the cream and then gently fold through the raspberries. If fresh raspberries aren’t available I defrost frozen raspberries on paper towel which works just as well.
8 Serve cream to the side with the puddings and enjoy!