Showing posts from February, 2015

Chocolate Pie Traybake.

I was in an experimental mood yesterday, so found this American recipe given to me by a friend. It's a sort of traybake pie, with pastry top and bottom and a chocolate filling. I love chocolate in any form and this sounded interesting. Preheat oven 180C/gas4           Grease and flour a 18x30cm cake tin. To make the pastry put 250g flour, 250g butter of margarine, an egg yolk and 4 tbspn of water into a processor and blitz. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest. For the filling beat 6 egg whites till stiff; add 200g caster sugar gently. Mix in 5 egg yolks, one at a time. Add 1 tspn vanilla extract, 140g grated or melted dark chocolate and  the juice a a lemon and mix together carefully. Fold in 80g ground hazelnuts or walnuts with a spatula or spoon. Cut pastry in half and roll out one piece to fit the tin. Spoon over the chocolate filling then top with the other piece of pastry. Bake for about 30 mins till golden. You can make a white glacé icin

Cinnamon and Apple Madeleines

I seem to have made quite a lot of calorific pudds lately, so I wanted to make something simple but delicious. I love French madeleines, so decided these would be just right. I know that Proust's plain madeleine is perfection, but I wanted to make them different, so decided to add one of my favourite flavour combinations - apple and cinnamon. [I'm in apple mode atm!] I used a jar of apple purée instead of bothering to cook some. Madeleines look very simple, but I have had a few disasters making them. Some recipes say that you use brown butter, but you have to keep a close eye on the butter or it burns [one disaster]. Then to get the traditional hump, you need to put the batter in the fridge for 1-2 hours, and some recipes tell you to put the tin in the fridge too for an hour before using. One chef even puts his tin in the freezer. Then another says before you bake them you must heat a baking sheet in the oven, and put the madeleine tin on this. Did I say they were simple?

Pecan, Apple and Salted Caramel Cheesecake

If you're on a diet, this isn't the recipe for you! It's a recipe for a special occasion, and as our French friends were coming to stay for a few days, I thought this was one of those occasions. It's another case of using up ingredients that are near their 'use by' dates; this time it was a tin of Carnation Caramel, a bag of pecans and a few Granny Smith apples. The idea for a cheesecake came from a programme I watched on Food Network - the chef was using walnuts and apples in a cheesecake. So what you have is the usual biscuit layer at the bottom, then a layer of the salted caramel, a layer of chopped pecans, a layer of apple purée, then the cheesecake and topping it off some whipped cream with a drizzle or so of the salted caramel. What's not to like? You need a 23cm springform tin or the same sized pie dish. Preheat oven 180C/gas4. To make the biscuit base - mix together 12 digestive biscuits with 3 tbspn caster sugar and a tspn of cinnamon. Melt

Raspberry and Pinenut Tart

 I decided to have a good sort out of my baking cupboard, to find any bits and pieces that needed using up. I found some pine nuts and ground hazelnuts, both very near their 'use by' date, so decided to use them in a tart. What would go well with them?  I always have some frozen raspberries ready to use, as they're one of my favourite fruits and thought these would work well with the nuts. For the filling I'd use creme fraîche instead of cream, not to make the tart too rich. My loose-bottomed tart tin is 23cm. Preheat oven 200C/gas6 You need 300g of shortcrust pastry, bought or home made [ I added a little sugar to it]. Roll out the pastry to fit the greased tin, and put in the fridge. Break 3 eggs into a bowl; add another yolk, 120g caster sugar and 60g ground hazelnuts. Whisk together , then add 100cl creme fraîche  and 1 tspn vanilla extract and mix together well. Put 200g of raspberries on top of the pastry and pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle 80g of pin