Friday, 23 December 2011

Sweet Goodies

This week it is all about treats! Yes Christmas is only 2 days away and there is so much to do before then........that has been put on hold for a good reason, I have been helping a friend who has amazing good will and participates in a lot of charity functions. This was a fund raiser for a sick little boy Oscar, he has cancer and this event was not only to help him but to bring awareness. 

I have offered to bake some lovely treats for a cake store, kind of like the stores you have at fates. My kitchen was in full work mode, I had stuff everywhere.......even my husband got involved and was in charged of slicing the coconut ice and tying the toffee apples.

It was such a fantastic feeling, to actually bake for a cause. They had a great turn out and everything went super!

Polka Dot Cookies
250g butter,softened
3/4 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 180º
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy
Add vanilla and egg yolk and beat until well combined
Add flour and beat until a smooth dough forms
Roll 1 tablespoon of the dough one at a time into balls place on baking trays lined with baking paper
flatten slightly allowing room to spread
Press smarties into each cookie
Back for 10-15 minutes 
Cool on wire racks.

Toffee Apples
8 wooden sticks
8 small red apples
1 3/4 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup of water
red food colouring

Insert wooden stick into the centre of each apple
Place sugar and water a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved
Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until the syrup is golden
Add a few drops of food colouring to the mixture and stir until combined
Dip the apples into the toffee syrup, one at a time
Place on a tray lined with baking paper
Set aside for 5 minutes or until set
Wrap in thick plastic and store in a dark place for up to 2 days
Do not refrigerate.

Coconut Ice
8 cups of icing sugar
6 cups of desiccated coconut
625ml of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pink food colouring

Place the sugar, coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well to combine
Knead gently or place into the mixer using a dough hook attachment
Divide mixture into two portions
Press potion 1 onto a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with baking paper
Knead a few drops of food colouring in remaining mixture until pink
Place on top of 1st portion and gently press into the tin
Cover and refrigerate over night to set
Cut into squares to serve.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins
2 cups of plain flour sifted
1 tablespoon of baking powder, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup of roughly chopped white chocolate
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180º 
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, oil, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and stir until combined
Fold through the raspberries and chocolate
Spoon mixture into a 12 x 1/2 cup-capacity muffin tin lined with cupcake wrappers
Cook for 20-25min or until cooked
Cool on a wire rack, dust with icing sugar.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Raspberry Teacakes

It's time to get organised and write my Christmas cards......woops!

It's time to organise my Tupperware draw!

It's time to wrap my last few Christmas presents!

It's time to do Words With Friends!

It's time to watch The Bold and the Beautiful!

It's time to paint my nails!

It's time to cook dinner!

It's time to take a break, sit down and relax!

It' time to make a cup of tea!

Raspberry Teacakes
65g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of self raising flour
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of raspberry jam
Dollop cream
Fresh raspberries
Raspberry compote 
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°/160° fan forced
Grease and flour 10 holes of a 12 hole cupcake pan. Line the bottom with baking paper
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla for 2 minutes or until combined
Stir in flour, then half the milk.Repeat with remaining flour and milk
Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and firm to touch
Stand cakes in pan for 5 minutes 
Transfer to a wire rack to cool
Using a small knife, cut a 1cm-deep circle from the top of each cake
Spoon jam in holes and a a good dollop of cream.Place the cake circle on top 
Sift icing sugar on top, decorate the plate with raspberry compote and fresh raspberries.

It's time to eat!!!!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Coriander Spiced Chicken Mince Wontons

I must say the weather here at the moment is so erratic, one minute it is boiling hot, next it is dark gloomy and cool, defiantly not like typical Brisbane weather.

Being a gloomy day I am taking the opportunity to wrap all the Christmas presents...... eek! I am hopeless at wrapping presents, mine are always so messy. My Mum is helping me today, she has worked in cosmetics all her working life and is a pro at wrapping gifts, as you can imagine.

Not sure on my theme as yet I am tossing up wether to do navy & silver or go more crafty and use brown paper with colourful ribbons.......any thoughts?

Now this is a different type of present, one that is edible and results in you wanting more.......wontons! They are a bundle of bursting flavours with lots of chewy yummy bits!!

Coriander Spiced Chicken Mince Wontons
100g water chestnuts, finely chopped
4 green shallots
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 coriander roots, cleaned
1/2 cup coriander leaves 500g chicken mince
1 tablespoon of fish sauce or soya sauce
ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 packet of wonton or gee gee wrappers
Extra coriander leaves for garnish

Process shallots, garlic, coriander roots and coriander in food processor until finely chopped
Add mince, fish sauce, pepper and sugar and process until combined
Transfer to bowl and mix in water chestnuts
Place a walnut size round of mixture in centre of each wonton wrapper
Bring pastry together and pinch using wet hands
Place dumpling in a large steamer basket, cover and steam on high for 10-15min
Serve with soya and lime sauce.

You can use any mince meat for this dish.

Serve on platter toped with garnish.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cinnamon & Cracked Black Pepper Parfait

I know what your thinking cracked pepper in parfait....yuk!
Hear me out!

I have finally finished all my Christmas shopping which is a massive relief. I had good intensions of not buying anything for myself but that didn't quite work to plan!
Most of my purchases were over the internet, where it is so easy to get carried away specially when it is just a click of the finger.

Let me just say how addictive is Etsy! I love this site. I got totally carried away with all the amazing milk glass, cushion covers and blue and white porcelain.....which is for my Mum.....really!

Living in Brisbane you are almost guarantied a steamy hot Christmas day. So there is nothing better than having a cold desert. The cinnamon and cracked pepper in this parfait really compliment each other. It sounds so wrong but tastes so right. 

Cinnamon & Cracked Black Pepper Parfait
3 egg yolks 
3/4 cups of icing sugar
1 1/2 cups of cream lightly whipped{soft peaks}
2 egg whites
6 teaspoons of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper

Whisk egg yolks & icing sugar in a large bowl over a bain-marie until thick and creamy sabayon has been achieved
Fold through the lightly whipped cream
Whisk the egg whitest a soft foam and while still mixing slowly
add sugar until all is dissolved
Fold egg whites through the mixture of egg yolk and cream and finally add the cinnamon and cracked black pepper
Pour mixture into a a log-shaped mould or deep tray cover and freeze for 6 hours, or overnight
Cut into slices and serve immediately with biscotti and a berry compote. 

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Salad of Char Grilled Zhoug Paste Marinated Prawns with Citrus Salad

I must confess I am not the biggest fan of exercise.....I hate the feeling of being sweaty and puffed, but I know what you are thinking it is good for you right? Well I do love my Pilates, my teacher is great and I get to catch up with my girlfriend Leia for coffee after....and no we don't have cake! 

Today I am really sore, Nat our teacher gave us lots and lots and did I say lots of ab work.....I am so going to feel it tomorrow.

So to keep up the good work I have done this morning, I have decided to make a prawn salad,  not an ordinary prawn salad but a asian version. This is one of the few things I made at my recent trip to James St Cooking School, which was amazing by the way! 

This version is light and zesty with a kick of chilli. 

Salad Ingredients
1kg of green prawn cutlets
8 red shallots, finely sliced
3 tablespoons of ginger, julienne
Half a cup of coriander leaves
250g baby spinach leaves for the base
1 vine ripened tomato cut into eight's.

3 tablespoons of palm sugar, grated
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons of citrus juice{lemon, lime}
1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped.

Create Zhoug paste using recipe below
Marinate the prawns for half an hour in Zhoug paste
Char grill the prawns on high for 3 minutes
Set aside to cool
To make the dressing, dissolve palm sugar in fish sauce and combine with remaining ingredients
Combine all salad ingredients including the marinated cooked prawns in a bowl, toss with dressing & serve on baby spinach base on a serving platter.

Zhoug Paste
3 Red chillies
1 bunch of chopped coriander leaves
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
If using whole spices, first dry fry until fragrant 
Grind all spinces to a powder in a Mortar & Pestle
Using the Mortar & Pestle to pound the chilli and garlic. Then add the parsley, coriander, salt, pepper, cumin and cardamon. blend until combined.

You can also place the paste into a clean jar and cover with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Paste will keep in the fridge for several months. You can use the base for dips, marinate for lamb, fish or squid or as a relish for cold meats.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Red Velvet Cake

My goodness it is only a month till Christmas....I think I say that every year. It is so true the older you get the years just fly by, it only felt like yesterday we were taking the tree down. Yes being ozzie we don't have real trees........ plastic unfortunately.

Everyone loves Christmas, right? Good food, family time and holidays yay! This year we are doing secret santa, not really secret because Mum and I choose who was giving to who, kind of defeats the purpose of secret doesn't it! I haven't even started present shopping yet....oh except I have got my husband a cooking class in town.....hint hint!! 

I have never made a Red Velvet Cake before but my mum was having a few friends over for dinner, and I have wanted to try this recipe for a while now so I offered to make it for her.

This could be your show stopper for Christmas..... come on it looks and tastes amazing!

Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
150g softened butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk 
3 tablespoons of red food colouring
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of baking soda

White Chocolate Butter Icing
Block of white chocolate
100g butter, softened
2 cups of icing sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
Grease and line 2x 19cm round cake tins
Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa powder and add salt
In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until a pale yellow colour
Add the eggs one at a time then the vanilla extract, red food colouring and white vinegar 
On a slow speed add in the flour mixture then the buttermilk until combined
Pour mixture into the two cake pans and place in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked.

Once the cakes have cooled make the icing.

Melt the white chocolate over a double steamer and put to the side to cool
With a hand mixer beat the butter and sugar until pale 
Add in icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract and beat together 
Stir in the white chocolate
Place in the fridge for 20 minutes
Then you are ready to ice the cake, start by icing the middle then the top and the sides.

Decorate with red sugar.

Tip: Freeze the cake before icing it so the red crumbs don't mix into the icing! 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mango Tart

I'm so hot. I need ice-cream with caramel sauce. I want mango!
Ok maybe I could do with putting the air-con on and putting my feet in a bowl of ice!
Well I do have mangoes that is a plus. Is there anything better than summer fruit especially fresh mango…sweet and refreshing, gorgeous!
At least I am doing something that is a little healthy ummm….. mango?
Anyway you will forget about your wast after trying this desert. There is something about the texture of mango and custard that complements each other and the lightness of this Mango Tart is a perfect summer desert! 

Mango Tart
1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup of caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour
25g butter
1/2 cup of cream, lightly whipped
3 mangoes, peeled and sliced

On a floured surface roll out pastry to 3mm thick. Lightly press the pastry into a 23cm tart tin and freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Remove from the freezer and line with baking paper. Fill with baking weights and bake for 10min. Remove the weights and bake for further 10 minutes.
Place the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat and heat until it reaches boiling point add vanilla and remove from the heat.
Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until thick.Add the cornflour and hot milk and stir until smooth.
Place the mixture into a clean saucepan over a medium heat and stir constantly for about 15min, or until thickened. Using a whisk to stir is great to prevent lumps.
Bring the custard to the boil, turn the heat down and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the butter, stir till combined.
If your custard is lumpy strain the mixture into a bowl. Refrigerate until cold. Fold through cream.
Remove tart from tin and place on a serving plate. Pour in custard and arrange mango slices decoratively on top.
Make sure you place the mango slices starting from the middle and work outwards.

It is late spring and mango season has started! 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Herb & Butter Potato's

 We just got back from a road trip to Lennox Head, we visited my sister in-law's new home. It is only two streets away from one of NSW's most amazing surf beaches. I also had a photography lesson to learn how to use my new camera,  as I have had it for a month and had no clue on what I was doing.
Can you remember those family road trips? Usually painfully long and boring. Yelling to the front ARE WE THERE YET!! My brother always had a knack of pushing my buttons!! You know how you have a favourite spot either in the car or on the couch, well my brother would always sit in my seat…yes my seat! No wonder my Mum would half the time ignored  us, it probably drove her insane.  
This trip was more peaceful, we had Angus and Julia stone playing and the surfboards on the roof. We had the most amazing day and a fab BBQ lunch, all local produce from the Bangalow farmers markets. I had to share with you the recipe for these gorgeous buttery potato's…Yum Yum Yum!!!

Herb & Butter Potato's
10 kipfler potato's 
25g butter
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons of lemon rind
squeeze of a lemon
salt and pepper to season

Peel the potato's and boil till just soft,place to the side to cool
Put the butter and oil in a fry pain over a medium heat
Meanwhile cut the cooled potato's in half and place into the hot butter mixture
Toss potato's around with lemon rind and salt and pepper till golden
Sprinkle parsley all over and serve.

Thanks Em xx 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Blueberry Sponge Cake

I have decided to ignore all the Christmas decorations in the stores, they have been out for over a month and it is way to soon! Maybe I should start baking for Christmas day? ...... no that is a ridiculous thought. I do love Christmas but before I start cooking all those delicious little goodies, I must show you a few more of my favourite spring recipes.

I have been inspired by all the gorgeous Jacaranda trees that are out in bloom this spring. Their amazing colour, a magnificent shade of light purple which is so vibrant you can see them from miles away. 
Hense the Blueberry Sponge Cake, this is a real favourite in our family. Trust me take a break and enjoy a warm piece of cake and a deserve it!!

Blueberry Sponge Cake
3 eggs 
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
150g butter,softened
100ml milk
210g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
120g frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
Beat together the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract till white and fluffy
Melt in butter and stir in milk. Mix into egg mixture
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully fold into egg mixture
Stir through blueberries
Pour mixture into a buttered ring pan make sure to line with flour
Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45min or until cooked
Leave to cool and turn onto a wire rack.

Ella xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Almond & Coconut Loaf

Wow what a day! I have been to the city, where everyone is on a mission. The city is great but I must admit I do love the peaceful innocence of suburbia. I enjoy the space and community that it has to offer..... I sound really old, don't I? 
I have my Grandparents popping over for afternoon tea. Some of you might not know but I am a hairdresser, and it has become a ritual that as well as indulging in tea and a piece of cake, I do my Granny's hair once a week. This week it is a moist almond and coconut cake, this is such an easy recipe and great to freeze and use when needed.

Almond & Coconut Loaf
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
155g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of almond meal
1 cup of coconut
Handfull of flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 175 degrees
Beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy
Add the eggs one at a time
Mix all the dry ingredients and fold into the mixture
Pour mixture into a lined loaf tin and sprinkle with flaked almonds
Place into the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked.

Try slicing and toasting it in a frying pan, and serve with a spoonful of ice-cream!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chocolate Cake

When I got up this morning all that was on my mind was what cake I was going to make for my special Birthday.  I am 30 I cant believe it, but I guess I cant be 21 forever. I was wondering to myself where have the years gone? I started to look in the mirror to see if over night I suddenly have more wrinkles or grey hairs! No, but I defiantly feel different, like maybe there is an unwritten rule that you have to wear knee length skirts or use that eye cream my mum has begged me for years to use. I have to pull myself together and get over it. So on with my cooking mission, lets do something real fattening...... chocolate cake it is.

Chocolate Cake
3 eggs
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter
100ml sour cream
210g plain flour
40g almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder 
100g good quality dark chocolate

Chocolate Icing
60g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
25g good quality cocoa powder
100g cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
Beat together the eggs,  sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy
Melt the butter, add the sour cream and blend into the egg mixture
Mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder carefully fold into the mixture
Melt the chocolate and add to the mixture
Pour into a lined round springform pan
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 45min or until cooked
leave to cool
Make the frosting by mixing together butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa powder and cream cheese
Spread the frosting all over the cake and decorate with choclate curls and sugar flowers.

Happy 30th to me!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Roasted Almond Shortbread

Just had the most amazing trip to Sydney with my mum, we definitely shopped till we dropped. I loved the quant coffee shops around the Rocks and the superb shopping in Paddington. 
On our last day we went for a stroll around Darling Harbour, and stopped at the Lindt Cafe. Since 1845, Lindt has been producing the worlds finest chocolates. We could not resist buying some of their hand made chocolates,  which we knew would not last the trip home, and they didn't!   
These almond shortbread have been filled with this gorgeous chocolate, they just melt in your mouth.

Roasted Almond Shortbread
100g butter,unsalted
55g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
70g almond meal
140g plain flour
150g Lindt chocolate
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees
Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and mix until pale
Add egg yolk and mix in well
In a separate bowl combine almond meal and flour
On a low speed mix in almond mixture into the butter mix until just combined
Place shortbread dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 10min
Use 100g of the chocolate and cut each square in half and put aside
On a floured surface roll out shortbread to 3mm thick
Cut into rectangles 4cm wide 7cm long
Place one piece of chocolate onto rectangle and wrap with the shortbread. Make sure the chocolate is visible on both sides
Place shortbread on a lined tray and brush with the egg wash and back until golden brown(20min)
Allow to fully cool
To decorate, gently melt the rest of the chocolate and drizzle over the shortbread
Allow to set and will keep in a sealed container for one week.

This mixture can also be used to make plain almond shortbread, just use 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, place onto the baking tray, use a folk to press down to slightly flatten. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Apple Strudel

The kitchen undoubtably is my favourite place in the house. It is not only a sanctuary but a place of true comfort and satisfaction. Someone who will agree is my good friend Cara. She is a true wiz in the kitchen, very organised and a pleasure to cook with.
We have decided to make feta and eggplant meatballs followed by apple strudel. These are two very easy recipes which taste amazing without too much hard work.
The combination of apple, cinnamon and almond meal makes a lovely filling and fruity dessert....a wholesome treat. This must be served with lashings of cream.
Apple Strudel
6 large granny smith apples,peeled and sliced thinly
6 fresh dates, seeded and chopped
165g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
150g almond meal 
8 sheets of filo pastry
100g butter,melted
40g flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Place apple,dates,sugar,vanilla,cinnamon and almond meal in a large bowl toss to combine and set aside
Layer the filo sheets, brushing between each layer with melted butter
Put the apple mixture along the pastry lengthways, fold each end and roll to inclose
Brush the pastry with remaining melted butter and sprinkle flaked almonds on top
Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Part 1- Ella & Cara's cooking day!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Blueberry and White Chocolate New York Cheesecakes

I love catching up with friends specially when good food is involved. A gorgeous couple Vanessa and Corey had invited us for dinner. I had offered to make a desert for the occasion, I scanned my cookbooks looking for some inspiration and found the recipe for these individual blueberry and white chocolate New York cheesecakes. 
Cheesecake originated from Eastern Europe and has been adapted by many countries one of those being USA- New York. I adore the denseness of New York cheesecake and with its contrast of the fruit with the creamy white chocolate. They make a fantastic end to a dinner party.

Blueberry and White Chocolate New York Cheesecakes
Makes 24 individual or 1 large cake
300g digestive biscuits
150g butter, melted
750g cream cheese
90g caster sugar
50g cornflour
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
3 eggs
100ml whipping cream
200g white chocolate
80g fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Put biscuits and butter in food processor till combined
Place cup cake liners in cup cake tray
Press 1 tablespoon of mixture into each liner 
Bake in oven for 10 minutes
Beat together cream cheese,sugar, cornflour and vanilla sugar
Beat in eggs one at a time and fold in cream
Melt white chocolate then stir into cheesecake mixture
Pour filling over each crust and sprinkle blueberries on top
Bake for 40 minutes. To prevent cheesecake from browning, cover with foil when they become golden brown 
Turn the oven off and leave cheesecakes to continue cooking for 30 minutes


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Swedish Chocolate Brownies

I am very excited, my good friend Leia is expecting her second child in the first week of September which is going to be a girl! With not long to go she is looking amazing but understandable feeling tiered. So I thought I would cheer her up by baking her some delicious home made chocolate brownies.
This recipe is Swedish and has a slight twist on the traditional chocolate brownie recipe. It is moist but has a lighter texture, more like a cake slice. It has a smooth rich flavour with  gooey chunks of chocolate scattered throughout.

Swedish Chocolate Brownies 
5 organic eggs
350g caster sugar
275g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
200ml water
250g butter, melted
200g dark chocolate 
100g desiccated coconut
200ml whipping cream
1 tablespoons coffee granules
200g dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy
Mix together the dry ingredients and then blend in egg mixture
Add water and melted butter and stir to combine
Line a 40x35cm cake tin with baking paper,pour mixture into tin
Sprinkle coarsely chopped chocolate over the top
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out slightly sticky
Bring the whipping cream to the boil, stir in coffee granules
Turn the heat off, chop the chocolate add the cream and stir until melted
Spread icing over the cake, sprinkle desiccated coconut on top and leave to set
Cut into squares


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Mixed Berry Tart

I made this wonderful mixed berry tart for my Granddad's Birthday, as a surprise. My Granddad loves French food, he always tells the storey of when he meet Granny and took her to a fancy French restaurant for their first cute.

This recipe is from a old French cooking book my Mum had in the back of her cupboard, which was one of her Grandma's. It has a lovely mix of cream fraiche, curd cheese and almond paste. You can choose any type of fruit for this recipe, pears work really well too.

This tart is super tasty and practical because you can make it complete with pastry and filling and freeze uncooked, so when you have friends turn up unexpectedly it is easy to pull out of the freezer and cook. 

Mixed Berry Tart
1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
110g almond paste
3 eggs
200ml curd cheese
100ml creme fraiche
90g caster sugar
160g mixed berries
sprinkle of slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 175 degrees
Line a free form tart tin then place pastry in tin
Grate the almond paste into a bowl and mix in all other ingredients
Pour into the tart tin then spread berries onto mixture 
Sprinkle the slivered almonds
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until golden and mixture has set or freeze uncooked and bake on another occasion

Bon appétit!