Baking

Freeform apple pie

This apple pie is a delectable, warm and quick twist on a classic dessert. The aroma from the spices will appeal to your senses and permeate your kitchen with a gorgeous woody earthy smell.

Using store bought shortcrust pastry makes this a super quick recipe.

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Placing some frangipane mixture beneath the apples, prevents the pastry from becoming soggy.

I think peeling apples is optional, keeping the skin on adds some flavour, texture and loads of nutrients as loads of vitamins are in the apple skins.

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Ingredients:

Frangipane mixture

4Tb almond meal

2 egg yolks (save the whites)

1Tb brown sugar

2Tb Milk (I use coconut for a nice nutty flavour)

1tsp cornflour

pie

Apple mixture

5 pink lady apples (you could use granny smith apples if you liked a more tart apple pie)

1tsp ground ginger

1tsp lemon juice

1tsp cinnamon

4Tb brown sugar

2Tb dried blueberries (optional)

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Pastry

2 pieces store bought short crust pastry

2 eggs whites (from the frangipane mixture)

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Method:

  1. Pre- heat oven to 180C quarter steam and heat/25% steam*. Cut apples in half, core, cut each piece into thirds.
  2. Add sugar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon and 2Tb water (optional add blueberries), stir to combine. Place onto a medium heat, and cook for 10minutes, stirring regularly. Make sure that the liquid does not run out and apples stick to the bottom or burn, if required add 1 extra tablespoon of water at a time.
  3. Cut corner from the pastry, creating a curve shape.
  4. Mix together all ingredients for frangipane mixture.
  5. Divide frangipane mixture into 2.
  6. Line a baking tray with paper, depending on the size of your tray you may need to use 2.
  7. In the centre of the piece of pastry, place half of the frangipane mixture and spread out, leaving a 4 cm edge around the pastry. Repeat with the second piece of pastry.
  8. Place apples on top of frangipane mixture, fold pastry into a parcel, pressing the corners in firmly.
  9. Brush with egg white mixture. Bake for 15minutes on quarter steam and heat.
  10. Serve wedges of pie with a dollop of ice cream, cream or custard.

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*if you do not have a combination steam oven, you can use a fan forced oven at 180C. The difference you may see in the final product is that using a combination steam oven, will be the lightness and fluffiness in the pastry.

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Scrumptious apple and blueberry crumble

Scrumptious apple and blueberry crumble

As the temperature begins to drop, there is a need for some scrumptious warm winter desserts. This crumble is amazing. I have separated the crumble mixture from the apple mixture, as you could easily add this delicious crumble to the top of other fruits such as apricots, pears or prunes. If you could imagine a very ‘adult’ version of a crumble, imagine baked apricots, prunes with some muscat and a crumble topping!! TOTALLY DIVINE !

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Stewed apples

4 apples

¼ cup water

2Tb brown sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1Tb dried blueberries

2Tb white chocolate bits

 

Crumble

½ cup plain flour

¼ cup brown sugar

50grams butter (at room temperature)

¼ cup quick oats

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  1. Pre-heat oven to fan grill, place a tray on a lower shelf in the oven.
  2. Chop apples into quarters, remove core, chop each piece into thirds.
  3. Place into a large saucepan with water, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, cook over a medium heat until soft, 10-15minutes.
  4. Prepare crumble mixture, by placing all ingredients into a bowl, rub the butter between your thumb and index finger until the mixture is a uniform consistency.
  5. Into 4 individual or 1 large soufflé dish or any other oven proof dish, place the apples, scatter the white chocolate bits and blueberries. Scatter the crumble mixture over the top.
  6. Place crumble onto an oven tray, pop into the oven and allow crumble topping to become nice and golden.IMG_3418

7. Serve with a dollop of ice cream or cream.

This mixture can use pie apples, you will need to make sure they are warmed through.

This dish is suitable to freeze.

White chocolate and Cinnamon Palmiers

White chocolate and Cinnamon Palmiers

Palmiers are bites sized pastries that have a heart shape, light and sweet morsels of sweet goodness, when baking the sugar caramelizes adding a rich flavor to these little pastry bites. These are a great to whip up when hosting and afternoon tea. Cinnamon and white chocolate is a perfect flavor combination. These light and fluffy pastries will set your taste buds into over drive mode. Best of all they can be made ahead and placed in the freezer and baked as required (after step 4).

The addition of steam helps us achieve that beautiful ‘puffy’ flaky pastry’, if you do not have a combination steam oven fan bake at 180C for a couple of extra minutes.

white chocolate and cinnamon palmiers

Ingredients

2 sheets puff pastry

2tsp cinnamon

2Tb brown sugar

120grams white chocolate

  1. Preheat combination steam oven to 180C quarter steam or standard convection over to 180C fan bake. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Sprinkle ingredients evenly over 2 sheets of pastry.
  3. Fold the left side and right side of the pastry in to the centre and lightly press, fold the left side and the right side of the pastry in half again.
  4. Cut into 1cm lengths. Place onto baking trays with a 1cm gap between palmiers.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes or until pastry is golden.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Melt white chocolate, dip half of each palmier into white chocolate, place onto the baking paper and allow to cool.IMG_3070

Serve with tea of coffee or as a part of a high tea platter.

Mini chocolate bundt cakes with Nutella ganache

Mini chocolate bundt cakes with Nutella ganache

These little bundts are super adorable, rich, nutty and mega chocolaty! Baby bundts are only small so they cook super quickly, look super cute and the portion size is perfect for such a rich chocolate cake!
Nuttella ganache, explains itself really !!

 

200grams butter

200grams dark chocolate

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1tsp vanilla

3/4 C plain flour (sifted)

4Tb cocoa powder

4Tb white chocolate bits

Nutella Ganache

3/4C Nutella

1Cup cream

½ cup milk chocolate

chocolate bundt with nutella ganachePreheat combination steam oven to 180C quarter steam and heat. Spray 12 mini bundt tins with oil. If you do not have a combination steam oven bake at 180C fan forced.

  1. Place butter, sugar and chocolate into a small saucepan heat on low and allow to melt, stir, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix eggs and vanilla, add melted butter mixture and stir to combine. Add flour and cocoa stir to combine.
  3. Fill bundt pans with the brownie mixture, leaving 1cm between the top of the pan. Sprinkle each bundt with a couple of white chocolate bits.
  4. Bake for 12-14minutes.
  5. Ganache: Place the cream into a small saucepan, heat on low until warm, remove from heat add Nutella and chocolate stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool. The ganache will go very hard as cooled you can always pipe when stiff or zap in the microwave to cool down.

To serve:

Invert baby bundts, allow to cool or serve warm dust with icing sugar fill with Nutella ganache!

chocolate bundt with nutella ganache

 

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Best ever one bowl brownies

These delicious fudgy brownies have been made in one bowl. I baked the brownies with a hint of steam. Baking with a little steam keeps your baked goods nice and moist. If you do not own a combination steam oven you can bake these in a standard convection oven at the same temperature, they may require a couple of extra minutes in the oven.

one bowl brownieIngredients:

200g dark chocolate

50grams white chocolate melts

225grams butter

250grams white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

170grams plain flour

6Tb cocoa

1Tb icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C quarter steam and heat/25% humidity. Grease and line the base of a 20cm square pan. Roughly chop the dark chocolate.
  2. Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave, add the sugar cocoa and vanilla still until well combined, add the dark chocolate and stir until it is all dissolved.
  3. Add the eggs into the bowl one at a time, stirring well after each addition, add the white chocolate melts. Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into lined pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool in the pan, then cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

Optional: Add 100 grams chopped walnuts, or 50 grams chopped jersey caramels, add these in step 3.

Makes 12 generous pieces

one bowl brownies

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Sticky date pudding

 

 

 

 

Sticky date pudding

Are you looking for a no fail seductive dessert to tempt your loved one this Valentine’s Day?

This sticky date pudding is served with lashings of luscious and smooth caramel sauce.

The caramel sauce is so Moorish that you may want to make double and save some to serve with fruit and/or ice cream.

smothered in caramel sauceIngredients

250grams dates

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

60grams butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Sauce:

300ml thickened cream

1 cup brown sugar

30grams butter

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Method:

1. Place dates in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and bring to the boil. Pre heat oven to 180C.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined, add flour.

4. Remove dates from heat, take out 6 softened dates and place aside, add bicarbonate of soda and mix well.

5. Chop the 6 dates in half and place in the bottom of a silicone muffin pan, greased dariole mould or muffin tin.

6. Mix the date and bicarbonate mix through the cake mix. Top muffin tray/moulds. Place into over and bake for 15minutes until firm to touch and golden.

the pour

 

7.  Whilst the muffins are in the oven, place all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, maintain a simmer for 10minutes, the mixture should reduce slightly.

To serve: Invert each muffin, serve with lashings of hot caramel sauce and a side of cream or ice cream.

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These sticky date muffins and caramel sauce can be made ahead and reheated, a quick zap in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm through, the caramel sauce may take a minute or so.

Make 12 individual muffins, this mixture can easily be halved to make 6 or baked in a larger tin to make a cake / loaf.

 

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Light and fluffy carrot cake

Light and fluffy carrot cake

Traditionally carrot cakes are made with walnuts. This recipe uses finely ground macadamia nuts, I find macadamia nuts have a sweeter more delicate texture than walnuts do. The delicious sweet and nutty smell of this cake will waft through your kitchen, you may even find yourself staring at your oven door in anticipation of the cake being ready.

A trick I have learnt is to soak a thick tea towel in water and to tie it around the cake tin, be sure to make sure the end tuck in so no small pieces are sticking out. Why would I do that? I do that because it allows for an even penetration of heat, stopping the dreaded dome. I will try to photograph how it looks through the oven door during my next cake bake.

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Ingredients

200grams butter

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 1/3 cup plain flour

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

2 cups grated carrot

½ cup sultanas or currants (which ever you prefer)

1 cup whole macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Frosting

1 quantity of buttercream

Plus

½ lemon zested

2 TB cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup whole macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Serves 10

  1. Pre heat oven to 180c. Line a medium spring for tin with baking paper and spray with oil.
  2. Separate eggs, place yolks aside in a small cup. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, add egg yolks lightly beat until combined. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, carrot, currants and macadamia nuts, mix until well combined.
  4. Gently fold eggwhites into the cake mixture, do not over mix or the air you worked hard to incorporate will deflate.
  5. Pour mixture into cake tin. Bake for 35-40min or until skewer comes out clean.
  6. Prepare the frosting mixture whilst the cake is baking, to make the carrot cake variation, after step 1, add the cream cheese and lemon zest, beat until combined then add remaining ingredients. Set frosting aside until required. I find frosting easier to work with at room temperature.
  7. Allow cake to cool.IMG_2088
  8. Cover cake with a generous layer of icing. If need be one layer of icing can be placed onto the cake, then pop the cake into the fridge for 15minutes to harden the frosting and apply another layer. Using the back of a spoon, gently press coarsely chopped macadamias around the base of the cake and around the top edge of the cake, place remaining nuts into a peak in the middle.

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IMG_2105 Serve and enjoy

Lemon coconut cake

Making a delicious cake requires just a pinch of patience. Creaming butter and sugar ensures that the sugar is distributed evenly in the butter it also allows air to be dispersed in the butter creating a light and even to rise cake, creaming is likely to take between 5-8minutes.   Adding lightly beaten egg eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and whipping for a minute on a low speed helps to incorporate air, creating a light and fluffy mixture.

Lemon Coconut cake with popping candy

INGREDIENTS
125grams butter, at room temperature.

1 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 cup SR flour

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2Cup milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 quantity of butter cream

1 lemon zested and juice squeezed out
Serves                  10

Time                     60 minutes

Difficulty            medium

Type of dish      dessert

PREPARATION
1. Heat a fan forced oven to 160C. Line a small cake tin with baking paper.

  1. Beat butter and sugar until the mixture turns an off white colour.
  2. Add the eggs, ½ the lemon rind and vanilla beat until well combined.
  3. Mix the coconut and flour in a small bowl, using a spatula fold the dry mixture alternatively with the milk.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined pan, use the spatula to smooth over the surface.
  5. Bake for 55-60minutes, the cake should be golden and a skewer should come out clean.

Lemon Coconut cake with popping candy

TO SERVE

Create 1 quantity of butter cream, add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Sprinkle with yellow popping candy or any other sort of small/crushed candy

See the best ever butter cream frosting

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or

Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with yellow popping candy or any other sort of small/crushed candy.

Or serve with a thick yoghurt

Best ever butter cream frosting

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The silly season is nearly upon us, an activity which I love doing is letting the kids decorate their own cupcakes. To do that you need the best buttercream frosting.

Give this one a try, a great topper on any cupcake or cake.

Pop bowls of lollies out and let kids creativity go wild, if you are sticking to a colour them tailor the lollies and frosting to suit !

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125grams softened butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1Tb thickened cream

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Add icing sugar mixture, cream, vanilla and flavourings (if desired), beating constantly until combined.

Flavouring ideas:
Strawberry: add 1tsp strawberry essence and a few drops of pink food colouring.

Lemon: add half a lemons zest a drop of yellow colouring and 2tsp of the lemon juice.

Chocolate: add 4TB cocoa powder

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COMBINATION STEAM OVEN JAFFA BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES

JAFFA BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES


I find using Buttermilk keeps my muffins more moist and gives them a little extra tang. The buttermilk is a perfect, slightly acidic, addition to a citrus sweet.


Combination steam oven Jaffa cupcakes

Combination steam oven Jaffa cupcakes

375grams SR flour

165grams caster sugar

1 egg, whisked

1tsp vanilla essence

160grams butter, softened.

180ml Buttermilk

1TB orange zest

1TB orange juice

Ganache

250 grams dark chocolate melts

1/3 cup cream

  1. Heat combination steam oven to 200oC quarter steam and heat/ 25% humidity.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, I used silicone bakeware.
  3. Measure the buttermilk, and stand aside (this will prevent the butter hardening up later).
  4. Cream together, butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest, add egg and orange juice and stir to combine, alternatively add flour and Buttermilk, mixture should appear slightly lumpy.
  5. Divide mixture evenly into 12 hole muffin tin and bake for 15minutes or until evenly browned.
  6. Whilst cooking prepare ganache, by heating cream and pouring over chocolate until chocolate has melted. If chocolate does not melt completely, oven a gentle heat or double boiler heat until melted.
  7. Once cupcakes are cool to touch, individually dip into ganache and sprinkle with orange zest.

Left over ganache keep well in the refrigerator, can be re-heated and tastes amazing on ice-cream !