Stollen

What is Christmas without a few slices of beauty!

Recipe to be up-loaded Mid December

 

Sachertorte

Rich, dark and decadent, for the ultimate choice lover!

Ingredients

150 g 55 % chocolate
150 g unsalted butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs, separated
90g ground almonds
60g plain flour, sieved

For the topping and the icing

6 tbsp apricot jam
150g 55 % chocolate
200ml cream

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin, then line the base with greaseproof paper
  • Break the chocolate into pieces, melt over a double boiler
  • Once melted, leave to cool slightly
  • Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract and beat again.
  • Add the egg yolks, then fold in the ground almonds and flour
  • The mixture will be quite thick at this stage 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff
  • Add one-third to the chocolate mixture to slaken the mixture, stir in vigorously
  • Gently fold in the remaining egg whites
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface
  • Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until well risen at the top and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack
  • To make the topping, heat the apricot jam in a small pan and then brush evenly over the top and sides of the cold cake. Allow to set.
  • Make the icing by breaking the chocolate into pieces
  • Heat the cream until just before boiling point, remove from the heat and add the chocolate
  • Stir until the chocolate has melted, then cool till a coating consistency
  • Pour the icing on to the centre of the cake
  • Spread it gently over the top and down the sides, and leave to set

Christmas Mince Pies

I believe you can never have enough Homemade ones.

Makes about 30

Ingredients

Mincemeat

150 g              Grannysmith apples, finely chopped
125 g              black, seedless grapes, finely chopped
125g               currants – chopped
150g               sultanas – chopped
40g                 mixed peel – chopped
30g                 dried cranberries
60g                 nibbed almonds
1                      orange, zested and juiced
1                      grapefruit, zested and juiced
250 g              muscavado sugar
10g                 Chinese five-spice powder
5g                    powdered cardamom
½ tsp             cinnamon powder
100ml            dark rum

Pastry

250 g              unsalted butter
125 g              icing sugar
2                      egg yolks
500 g              flour

Method

  • Mix all the mincemeat ingredients together thoroughly and refrigerate.
  • Mix the butter and icing sugar until completely blended
  • Add the egg yolks and finally the flour
  • Knead until the dough is smooth
  • Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least one hour in the fridge
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C
  • Roll the pastry out to 4.5mm thick and cut out 30 rounds slightly larger than your moulds as well as 30 rounds two sizes smaller
  • Use the larger discs to line the moulds and fill with mincemeat to the top
  • Brush the edges of the smaller discs with egg wash and stick them on the tops Brush the tops with more egg wash and bake until golden (approx. 25 minutes). Allow to cool on a wire rack before sprinkling with icing sugar

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This is still as good as it looks, I promise! 

Ingredients

For the cake:
75g                 coconut flour
30g                 ground almonds
120g               cocoa powder
14g                 baking powder
250g              muscovado sugar
800ml            tinned coconut milk
7                     large eggs

For the ganache:

200ml            tinned coconut milk
60g                 brown sugar
120g               cocoa powder
50g                 dark chocolate, chopped

 

Method

  • Combine the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and sugar.
  • Mix together the coconut milk and eggs and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk well to combine then pour into 2 greased and lined 15cm cake tins.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • For the frosting, combine the coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.
  • Stir until smooth then allow to cool.
  • Assemble the cake by sandwiching with the ganache then topping with remaining ganache.

Speculass

The very famous Dutch biscuit & my heritage! 

Makes 20

Ingredients

225 g              flour
120 g              butter, softened
130 g              soft brown sugar
2 tsp               baking powder
½ tsp              bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp             milk
10 g                Speculaas spices (see recipe below)
2 pinches      salt
Rice flour to dust the molds

Speculaas spice blend

6.5 g                cinnamon
½                    Star anise, ground
2 g                   ground cloves
1 g                   grated nutmeg
1 g                   ground white pepper
2 g                   aniseed powder
1 g                   coriander powder
1 g                   ginger powder
1/2 g              cardamom powder

Method

  • Make the spice mixture in advance.
  • Preheat the oven at 165ºC
  • Sift the flour with the baking powder, bicard of soda, salt and spices.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and combine
  • Then add the milk and beat until smooth
  • Add the flour mixture and quickly knead into a ball
  • Press the ball into a disc shape, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  • Sprinkle rice flour in your Speculass mold
  • Press an amount of dough into the speculaas mold and cut away the excess dough with a very sharp knife
  • Tap the shapes out of the molds and place on a baking tray
  • Repeat until your trays are full
  • Bake in the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes
  • Keep a close eye on the speculaas during the later stage of the baking
  • Take them out and leave the speculaas on the baking tray for a few minutes to firm up
  • Transfer them to a wire rack and allow to cool

 

Chocolate & Almond Muffins

Simplicity at its best. A weekend treat worth doing!

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
250 g chocolate chips
50 g chopped almonds
50 g almond slithers

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190ºC
  • Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin beating the eggs on medium-high speed.
  • Slowly add in the sugar while beating and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and thickened and ribbons down from the beater when lifted before settling back down into the batter.
  • Wipe down the bowl and beater as needed.
  • Beat in the oil until fully incorporated. Wipe down bowl and beater and beat in sour cream and vanilla until evenly incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in just until only a few visible streaks remain.

 

  • Add in the chocolate and chopped almonds and fold in just until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups, smoothing the tops if needed but keeping the scoops mounded.
  • Top each with some of the almond slithers
  • Bake muffins in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 170ºC and bake another 5-10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out free of wet batter (it may come out with melted chocolate).
  • Cool muffins in pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti

These little Italian styled treats are incredible!

Ingredients

250g                plain flour
½ tsp              baking powder
260 g               caster sugar
3                      large eggs, beaten
240 g               pistachio nuts, shelled, chopped
140 g               dried cranberries, chopped
1                      orange, finely zested

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 140°C
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Place the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a mixing bowl
  • Stir in the beaten eggs, a little at a time, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next
  • Continue until you have a firm dough; it may not be necessary to add all of the egg.

NB: The dough shouldn’t be at all sticky.

  • Add the pistachio nuts and dried cranberries to the biscotti dough with the orange zest and combine using your hands
  • Turn the biscotti dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently, then divide in half
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long log, about 4cm in diameter
  • Place both logs on your lined baking tray, spacing them at least 5cm apart as the mixture will spread a bit
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave the logs to cool on the tray for 10 minutes to allow the dough to firm up slightly, then transfer to a board
  • Cut the logs, on the diagonal, into 2-3cm thick slices
  • Place the slices, cut side up, on the baking tray
  • Return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the biscotti are dry through to the centre, turning them over halfway through
  • Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely

Designer Fruit Tart

So fresh, so gorgeous and always impressive! 

INGREDIENTS

Sweet pastry

60g         unsalted butter – softened
40g         icing sugar – sieved
1              egg yolk
125g       plain flour
1 tbsp     water egg white

Pastry cream
500ml    milk
1              vanilla pod – split lengthways with the seeds scraped
6             egg yolks
100g      caster sugar
25g        plain flour
25g        corn flour
1 tsp      caster sugar for dusting
600 g    strawberries, quartered
400 g    fresh cherries, halved and pitted

METHOD

Sweet pastry:

  • In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and egg yolk
  • Add then butter & combine to give a smooth appearance
  • Add the flour to the butter mixture and ‘cut’ the mixture with a spatula before, rubing together using your fingertips until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs
  • Add the water, then mix and press together.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it. Knead with the palms of your hands until it is well blended, more vigorously for the last few seconds.
  • Wrap in cling film and refrigerate

Pastry cream

  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the base of a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (this will melt and coat the bottom of the pan to help prevent the milk burning).
  • Bring the milk to the boil with the split vanilla pod and infuse at just below simmering point for about 5 minutes.
  • Draw off the heat and remove the vanilla.
  • Cream together the egg yolks and sugar and then whisk in the flour and corn flour.
  • Pour approximately one third of the hot milk onto the egg, sugar and flour mixture, and whisk until well blended.
  • Pour back into the remaining milk, return to the heat and bring up to 86°C for 10 minutes, (small bubbles will begin to come through) whisking continuously. Do not boil.
  • To store, transfer to a bowl or container, cover with cling film directly touching the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool down on ice as soon as possible.
  • Seal with cling film and refrigerate.

Rolling the pastry

  • Roll out the pastry with a dusting of flour or between 2 sheets of cling film
  • Roll as thinly as you dare and ensuring the pastry will line your tart shell
  • Line you tart shell, getting the pastry into the corners
  • Trim and dock the bottom
  • Place the tart shell in the freezer for 15 minutes
  • Place the pastry straight into a pre-heated oven at 180°C
  • After 5 minutes, check the pastry for any shrinkage, if any draw up the sides quickly using a cloth and pinching the pastry
  • Bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove an brish the pastry shell with egg white
  • Place back in the oven for 1 minute. (This will prevent a soggy bottom when adding the filling)
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool

To assemble

  • Place the pastry shell on a cake stand or serving platter
  • Spoon the pastry cream carefully into the shell and level off
  • Top with a design/ pattern of strawberries and cherries

Brioche Buns

My absolute favourite bread EVER!!!!!!!!!! 

Ingredients

1 pkt               dried yeast
70ml               milk
15g                  salt
500g                unbleached white flour
6                      eggs
355g                unsalted butter
30g                  sugar

Method

  • Mix the yeast, milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the salt, flour and eggs into the milk mixture and mix to a soft dough
  • Place the dough in a kitchen aid with a dough hook, kneading until smooth and the dough comes away from the sides (about 10 minutes)
  • Add the softened, diced butter a little at a time to the dough while beating at a low speed (about 5 minutes)
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for about 2 hours. Knock back and chill until next day
  • Shape the dough and place in your lightly buttered mould. Let it rise again until almost doubled in size (1 hour approximately).
  • Then egg wash the top and bake at 220 °C for 40-45 minutes.

Carrot Cake

Guess there is one way to eat your vegetables!

Ingredients

Carrot cake

8                                  eggs
450 g                          caster sugar
500 ml                       vegetable oil
450 g                          self raising flour
15 g                             bi-carb
7 g                               cinnamon powder
7 g                               ginger
7 g                               cloves
250 g                          carrots, grated

Cream cheese icing

1 kg                             icing sugar, sifted
500 g                          butter
250 g                          cream cheese
160 g                          cashew nuts/ pecans

 

Method

To make the cake

  • Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together
  • Then add the oil and combine
  • Gradually add the flour and spices while mixing
  • Lastly add the carrots
  • Divide the mixture between 2 cakes tins
  • Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 °C for 50 minutes

To make the icing

  • Place the icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and combine
  • Add the cream cheese and combine

Garnish

  • Sprinkle the nuts on top