I was watching James Martin on Saturday morning and he made a raspberry chocolate tart, we sat there dying to try a bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any raspberries so a hazelnut version it was.
I decided to do a hazelnut nut pastry just to add extra flavour.
For the Pastry:-
125g Plain Flour
50g Icing Sugar
50g Crushed Toasted Hazelnuts (plus 10g for decoration)
Pinch of salt
80g Butter, cold, diced
1 egg yolk
For the Filling:-
300ml Double Cream
125ml Whole Milk
200g Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate with at least 40% cocoa solids
50g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a food processor, add the hazelnuts and blitz together. Add the butter and pulse briefly until mixture looks like breadcrumbs, don’t overmix. Add the egg yolk and pulse until dough comes together. Shape dough into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Using a loose bottomed tart tin, grease tin then line the tart tin with the pastry pressing into all corners. Trim any loose pastry. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160 deg. Prick the bottom of the pastry and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the baking paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Remove and trim the edges in line with the tart tin.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, place milk & cream into a pan and bring to just below boiling point, do not boil. Take of heat and stir in the chocolate to melt.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the chocolate mix, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake on a wire rack in the oven for about 25 minutes until the filling has a slight wobble. Remove and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Allow to cool in the tin before removing.
I wanted to make a ginger cake but came across this recipe from Mary Berry that added cocoa powder, so I decided to give it a try. As there was only 2 of us I made a mini version. The combination of Chocolate and Ginger is just so moreish!
Serves 4 (double quantities for a 20″ size cake)
100g butter at room temperature
25g Cocoa powder
2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
2 medium eggs
90g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
125 g caster sugar
1 tsp stem ginger
For the topping and filling:-
115g icing sugar
60g butter at room temperature
1 tbsp of stem ginger syrup
1 tsp semi skimmed milk
1 tsp of Stem ginger bits for topping.
Grease and line 2 cake tins, I used 2 x 5″ springform tins.
Preheat oven to 160 deg on fan.
Put the cocoa powder into a large, heatproof bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons of boiling water, then add the milk. Mix to make a smooth paste.
Add all the remaining ingredients and mix with an electric whisk for a few minutes, but watch not to over mix as you want it light and fluffy.
Divide the cake mixture evenly between tins and bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes. Then remove and allow to cool in tins for a few minutes before removing to cool completely on a rack.
To make the filling, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the stem syrup, milk and butter and whisk with an electric mixer until well blended.
Take 1 of the cakes and if needed trim the top of the cake so you have a flat base then spoon some of the mixture on and smooth with a palette knife. Take the other cake and place on top, then spoon the rest of the mixture and smooth with the palette knife. Finally garnish with the stem ginger pieces.
This was a recipe I picked up from fellow blogger https://greencookingblog.wordpress.com/ , I just loved the sound of it as I love Banoffee…my ultimate fav! They turned out very tasty indeed, although I think I’ll get deeper trays the next time as I would have loved them to be bigger…lol! I wasn’t sure what to serve with it, I had some cream and toffee left so……yep…voila…toffee cream….and it just went so well.
250g granulated sugar
200ml double cream
a pinch of salt
1 ripe banana
1 pack Shortcrust pastry (you can alternatively make your own)
3 egg yolks
In a medium saucepan, add 200g of the sugar and heat on a medium heat, stirring continuously…..please be patient as this can take about 10 mins but it will start to brown and dissolve. This was after 5 mins. This was after about 8 mins. Then 10 mins….
When all the sugar has dissolved to form a dark brown liquid, add the butter (cut into 5 chunks) and stir rapidly until mixed
Heat for a further 1 minute, and then slowly add 100ml of cream, stirring continuously
Bring the mix to the boil and then remove from the heat, adding the salt and stirring for a couple of minutes until cooler
Allow the caramel to stand for around 15 minutes before placing in the fridge to cool
Take the pastry and roll out so that it is around 1cm in thickness – cut out tart shapes and place these in a muffin tray.
Cover each pastry case with greaseproof paper and add baking beans, or alternatively prick with a fork
Bake the pastry blind for around 10 minutes at 200C/ 180C Fan
Remove the pastry cases from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then remove the greaseproof paper
Cut the banana into small chunks and divide between the 12 pastry cases. Add 1tsp caramel on top of the banana
In a saucepan, heat the milk until it starts to boil. Whilst doing this, add the egg yolks and remaining 50g of sugar to a bowl and whisk until combined
Slowly add the boiling milk to the egg yolk and sugar, stirring with a whisk continuously
Divide the custard mix between the 12 pastry cases and then sprinkle some nutmeg over the top of each tart
Put in the oven for around 15 minutes – the custard should have browned on the top and started to set
With the left over cream (100ml and toffee (about 2 tbsp), whisk up in a bowl with 1 tsp of vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
I was inspired to try Choux Pastry by a chef called Vivan in Italy, I was on a training course with Kitchen Aid and he demonstrated Choux Pastry in one of their ovens which was amazing. My boyfriend loves Profiteroles so I thought I’d spend an afternoon in the kitchen today as it was rainy outside. My results were pretty good, considering it was my first time but definitely room for improvement.!
FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY
200ml cold water
130g Plain Flour
1 tsp Sugar
FOR THE CREAM FILLING
100ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
20 g icing sugar
FOR THE TOPPING
100g Milk or Dark Chocolate
Bring to the boil water and butter together. Remove from heat.
Add in the sugar and flour and beat until mixture comes away from the sides of the pot.
Once cool, slowly add in beaten eggs, little at a time. It may seem the egg isn’t going to combine with dough but it will. Keep beating in until all egg mixture has been integrated.
Put mixture into a piping bag. I found it difficult to add and hold at the same time, so I used a measure jug to hold the bag while I put mixture in. (remember to fold bottom up or it might come out end).
Slowly pipe onto a baking sheet on a baking tray.
Put into a preheat oven at 220 deg and bake for about 15 mins or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and pierce a tiny hole underside to let steam out and prevent them from sinking, let cool on a wire rack or in fridge.
Meanwhile to make the cream. Empty 100ml cream, 20g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence into a bowl and whisk until thick and stiff.
Once pastry is cooled, make a small hole on underside and pipe in the cream.
Melt some chocolate and then spread on top of profiteroles, refrigerate to harden.
I had some puff pastry left in the fridge and some cream, so, yep you guessed it…..cream puffs! Add a hint of lemon for an Easter flavour and voila……..Lemon Puffs were born! So Tasty, so easy, so happy!
1/2 sheet of ready made Puff Pastry
100ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
Juice of 1 lemon and Zest
Preheat oven to 180 deg.
Roll out Puff pastry as thin as you can without breaking.
Using a knife cut into strip about 2 inch wide and the cut lengthways about 6 inch long. Place onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Sift some icing sugar over pastry and refrigerate for about 5 mins.
Remove from fridge and bake for 10 mins or until golden brown and puffed up.
Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, to make cream, pour cream into a bowl, add icing sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice and zest whisk until stiff and glossy.
Using a spatula put cream into a piping bag and then pipe dollops onto half of the puff pastry and using the other puff pastries make a stack, sift some icing sugar over and finish of with remainder of cream. You can do any design you like.
I cheated slightly with this and used ready made cake mix.
200g Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream – approx 75ml
1/4 cup water – 75ml
2 large bananas – sliced
100g shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180 deg, grease the baking tin with spray oil.
With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and sour cream on low until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes
Place banana slices evenly on bottom of tin.
In a small saucepan melt butter. Add brown sugar and lemon juice and heat until dissolved. (approx 40 secs) Pour the brown sugar mixture into the cake tin over the bananas. Sprinkle coconut over brown sugar sauce.
Pour over the cake mixture and spread evenly.
Bake in oven for approx 40 mins. (If you have a Hotpoint Luce oven, use the dessert setting to bake).
Let it cool for 5 mins then serve with some ice cream, custard or even just some whipped cream. YUMMY!!
O.K….so I cheated a bit and bought shop meringues (time saving), as you have probably read before I got some Edinburgh Gin’s Raspberry Liqueur…….so yes you guessed it, I used this instead of syrup……oh sooooooo yummy!
5 mini meringues
Handful of summer fruits, I used Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and redcurrants