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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.

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Spaghetti Boscaiola

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Ingredients

400g spaghetti

4 rashers bacon

400g  mushrooms (mixture of button and Swiss brown works best)

40g butter

2 cloves garlic

2 shallots

400ml thickened cream

1 sprig parsley

80g Parmesan to serve

Serves 4

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with 1Tb salt added to water.
  2. Finely chop mushrooms, bacon, parsley and shallots. Crush garlic.
  3. Place butter into a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and allow butter to melt.
  4. Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta as per packet instructions.
  6. In the final 4 minutes of the pasta cooking, add cream to the mushroom mixture and allow to thicken on a low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Finely chop parsley.
  8. Drain pasta add to cream sauce, toss through to ensure all pasta is evenly coated.
  9. Serve on individual plates with a sprinkle of parmesan and parsley

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Steamed individual Christmas puddings

Did you know Christmas is less than 60 days away ?

Are you trying to plan your Christmas menu? Look no further than these little puddings.

This delicious little pudding is so easy to make and will impress the most discerning guests on Christmas day.

You can make your own minced fruit by soaking dried fruits in port or rum.

If you do not own a steam oven, please post a comment below and I will convert the recipe for you 😉

individual Christmas puddings

individual Christmas puddings

INGREDIENTS
12TB mince fruit (approx. 400grams)

60 grams butter (softened)

1/2C white sugar

1/2C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ SR flour

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To serve:

Custard

segments of mandarin or raspberries

individual Christmas puddings

individual Christmas puddings

 

 

PREPARATION

  1. Pre heat combination steam oven to full steam.
  2. Cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes, add vanilla bean paste.
  3. Lightly whisk egg, add into mixture fold through flour.
  4. Spray a 12 hole silicone muffin tray place onto a biscuit tray. Place 1Tb of fruit mince at the bottom of each muffin hole. Fold the remaining fruit into the cake mixture.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly into the 12 hole muffin pan.
  6. Place into oven, cook for 12 minutes.
  7. Invert a pudding onto each plate, drizzle with custard.

 

individual Christmas puddings

individual Christmas puddings

 

 

Cherry Strudel with chocolate berry ganache

Smooth sweetened ricotta studded with cherries, wrapped up in light and flaky filo pastry, coated in a chocolate cherry sauce each mouthful of this dessert is an exquisite pleasure.

Ingredients

1 375gram can cherries in syrup

300grams ricotta cheese

4tb caster sugar

3 sheets filo pastry

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp lemon zest

2Tb white chocolate melts

¼ tsp cinnamon

50grams butter melted

Sauce

Cherry sugar syrup (from canned cherries)

150ml cream

100grams chocolate melts

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, spray with oil spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest, mix well. Add half cherries and stir until combine.
  3. Lay a piece pastry horizontal on a clean bench, brush with melted butter, lay another piece of pastry on top, continue with remaining layers of pastry.
  4. Form the ricotta mixture into a log. Place on the filo pastry 2cm from the top and 2cm from each side at the end horizontally furthest away from you, press white chocolate melts into the mixture. Fold the pastry towards you and either side across the centre, brush pastry with butter and roll towards you.
  5. Place onto baking sheet, brush with butter, bake for 15-18minutes until pastry is golden brown.
  6. Make the sauce while the strudel is cooking. Place the liquid from the can into a small saucepan, place on a medium heat and allow to simmer and to reduce slightly. Add cream cook for 2minutes; add chocolate keep on cooktop until melted add remaining cherries and take off the heat.
  7. Allow strudel to cook for a few minutes before serving. Serve strudel with lashings of sauce and ice cream if you dare.

 

 

 

Ricotta pesto Tart

Ricotta pesto tart

This delicious tart has the velvety smoothness of ricotta cheese, with the crunch of the nuts in the basil pesto, as you cut through the smooth layer of ricotta and pesto you crack the layers of light, fluffy and crunchy puff pastry. Each mouthful has a fabulous combination of flavours and textures, the sharpness of the basil cuts through the creaminess of the ricotta.

Adding a little steam to the cooking process creates, light, fluffy and golden pastry.

Ricotta pesto tart

Serves 4

1 piece puff pastry

4Tb basil pesto

12 Tb ricotta cheese

8 cherry tomatoes

1 shallot

Salt and pepper

Side salad to serve (if desired)

  1. Preheat combination steam oven to 180oC, quarter steam and heat /25% humidity.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and spray with oil spray.Cut tomatoes into quarters, finely chop shallots.
  3. Cut Pastry into 4 even squares, place onto bake sheet. Place 1Tb basil pesto in the centre of each square, spread out leaving a 1cm edge, sprinkle with shallots. Place 3Tb ricotta cheese on each square and spread out leaving a 1cm edge. Scatter cherry tomatoes on top of each tart, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated combination steam oven for 15minutes.
  5. Serve with a side salad if desired.

Baklava Fingers

Baklava Fingers

This sumptuous desert of sweetened walnuts encased in light and flaky filo pastry, soaked in a sweet honey syrup, is a great companion with a cup of tea.

Baklava served with Persian Fairy Floss500g walnuts

2T soft brown sugar

1Tb honey

1tsp ground cinnamon

1Tb lemon zest

20g butter, melted

10 sheets filo pastry

50g butter, melted

Syrup

1 cup sugar

2 T honey

Method

To serve:

pink Persian fairy floss

  1. Pre heat oven to 180c, line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, honey, lemon zest and butter into small bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped (if you do not have a food processor chop the walnuts as finely as possible with a knife).
  3. Remove one sheet of filo and cover the rest to prevent drying out. Place the sheet of filo onto workbench and brush with melted butter, place another sheet of pastry on top.
  4. Cut sheet into 2 strips for large fingers or 2 strips for smaller fingers.
  5. Divide mixture into 10, and shape into a log, it should be 2/3 of the length of the pastry. Place a log of mixture in the centre of the pastry.
  6. Fold edges over the nut mixture, brush length of pastry with butter roll.
  7. Brush top with a little more butter and dust cinnamon over, place onto lined tray and repeat with remaining mixture.
  8. To make the syrup, combine the sugar, honey and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Stir for one minute, allow to reach a boil then reduce temperature to a simmer, simmer for 5 minutes. Pour syrup over baklava fingers.
  9. Serve fingers individually with Persian fairy floss.


baklava fingers before cooking

 

Baklava before being baked

baklava fresh out of the ovenBaklava fresh out of the oven

Baklava served with Persian Fairy Floss

Baklava served with pink Persian Fairy Floss

 

Steamed salmon on a bed of peas

This dish is a super healthy and nutritious meal. Salmon is full of protein and health fats and peas are carbohydrate rich and full of fibre.  Peas have a slight sweetness which compliments salmon.

Steamed salmon on a bed of peas

Per person

120gram salmon

2/4 cup (100grams) peas, frozen are fine

2 sage leaves or 1 sprig dill

1 pinch lemon pepper seasoning

2 small lemon wedges

 

  1. Pre heat combination steam oven/steam oven to full steam 100C.
  2. Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning, sprinkle peas with salt and pepper.
  3. Place peas into a small oven proof dish, place salmon on top, place your choice of herb on top of salmon.
  4. Steam for 8minutes, for a medium cooked salmon.
  5. Serve salmon on a bed of peas with a lemon wedge

 

Blueberry and white chocolate puddings served with a warm white chocolate ‘n blueberry coulis

Blueberry and white chocolate puddings served with a warm white chocolate ‘n blueberry coulis

These scrumptious little puddings are bursting with flavour. Thankfully, these delicious morsels can be made in a silicone muffin tray which creates the perfect portion for individual serves, keeps our dessert looking elegant to impress our guests, as well as making cleaning easy!

I recommend placing your silicone muffin tray (12 hole) onto a baking sheet. This makes it much easier to handle.

Slightly stale bread works well as it soaks up a little more of the liquid.

Made from start to finish in 25minutes, this elegant pudding is a sure crowd pleaser. The only variable to be mindful of in the recipe is the size and volume of your muffin pan as you may need to add or reduce some bread.

blueberry and white chocolate pudding

Pudding

12Tb blueberry jam

½ cup blueberries (frozen is suitable)

½ cup white chocolate melts

4 eggs

300ml thickened cream

16 slices white bread

80-120grams butter

1tb castor sugar

¼  tsp vanilla bean paste

Sauce

1 cup blueberries (frozen is suitable)

½ cup blueberry jam

½ cup white chocolate melts

  1. Preheat combination steam oven to quarter steam and heat/25% steam 160C.
  2. Remove crusts from bread, lightly press down, spread one side with butter, spread jam on the other side.
  3. Cut bread into quarters and arrange bread with the butter side touching the silicone pan, blueberry side facing inwards so that there are no gaps. Gently press the bread together.
  4. Place 1tsp of blueberries and 1tsp of white chocolate melts into each muffin tin.
  5. Using remaining bread, place jam side down in the centre of the pudding to create a ‘lid’.
  6. Mix eggs, cream, vanilla and sugar together, pour over each pudding and allow the liquid to absorb into the pudding for 1-2minutes. Top up each muffin cup if you have space and left over liquid.
  7. Place into oven and bake for 12-15minutes.

While the puddings are baking prepare the sauce

  1. Place blueberries and jam into a small saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water. Place onto a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer and allow to reduce and thicken.
  2. Place white chocolate melts in right before serving and stir to dissolve.

To serve

Invert puddings. The lid side should be touching the plate.

Drizzle with sauce.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired

A quick tip

Keep ziplock bags of chopped up vegetables in the freezer, saves time when making soups, stocks and sauces. Never have lonely floppy vegetables in the crisper draw again !
Chop in food processor to save time. My staples are: soup mix; carrot, celery, onion, parsley and garlic, stew; carrot, celery, onion, garlic, capsicum, fried rice; carrot, onion, capsicum, shallot, peas.
What quick tips can you share ?

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