Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cakes & Bakes: Marzipan refrigerator cookies

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Home-made marzipan refrigerator cookies and mug of tea | via @hisforhome

I had a large lump of marzipan and some chocolate ganache left over from making last week’s petit fours. I HATE throwing food away so I decided to make a batch of marzipan refrigerator cookies.

Marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

It was a quick and easy recipe.

Slicing marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

They can be cooked off in small or larger batches – the dough can live happily in the fridge for a week or so – or freezer more indefinitely.

Cooked marzipan refrigerator cookies cooling on a wire rack

Nothing beats a homemade biscuit – and we loved the sweet, almond flavour of these. If you prefer your cookies to be soft & gooey rather than crisp, lower the heat of the oven to about 150ºC.

Marzipan refrigerator cookies
Yields 35
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 1tsp baking powder
  3. 110g/4oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  4. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 100g/3½oz marzipan
  7.  
  8. Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake ingredients
  9.  
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl
  2. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Stir the sugar, add the eggs and combine to form a soft, loose dough
  4. Cut the marzipan into small cubes
  5. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured work surface, roll in the cubed marzipan and shape the dough into a log shape about 3cm/1¼inches in diameter
  6. Wrap the log in parchment paper or cling film and then in foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until required (I put one of the logs in the freezer to use at a later date)
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  8. Grease a large baking sheet (or a few if you're making a big batch)
  9. Slice the dough into as many 8mm/⅜-inch slices as required
  10. Place the slices on the greased baking sheet, spaced well apart
  11. Return any remaining dough to the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  13. Leave on the baking sheet to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cool completely
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate caramel chestnut cake

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake | H is for Home

When we did our Christmas shop, we picked up a bag of chestnuts – something you’d only really see in the shops around that time of year.

stack of orange cake tins and handful of chestnuts

We had thoughts of a lovely Christmas lunch, followed by a walk in the snowy countryside and then coming home to roast the chestnuts in our wood-burner. Chance would be a fine thing! Three weeks on, the bag of chestnuts was still in our vegetable rack waiting for its big day.

making caramel sauce

I had a look through my cookbooks and online and came across a recipe for a chocolate caramel chestnut cake. The original recipe has a brandy syrup which I substituted with rum. It also calls for edible gold dust to brush on the chestnut garnish – not something I had to hand! It looks so pretty that I’d definitely plan ahead and order some if I was making the cake for Christmas or another special occasion.

brushing rum syrup on a layer of chocolate caramel chestnut cake

This recipe looks like a big, time-consuming job but as its author, Dorie Greenspan, says:

Because every element of the cake can be made ahead, you can work on it in stages. The filled and glazed cake can be kept in the refrigerator for a day, but add the chestnut garnish right before serving.”

The ganache is best if refrigerated overnight. The glaze needs a 4-hour rest and the cake, if it’s been seriously chilled, needs some serious time on the counter to come to room temperature – serve it cold, and you won’t get the full measure of pleasure from the ganache so plan ahead.”

Pouring chocolate glaze on to the chocolate caramel chestnut cake

To roast the chestnuts (in an oven, if you don’t have the quintessential ‘open fire’), preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6. Mark a small cross on the flat side of each using a small sharp kitchen knife making sure you pierce the skin but not cut the nut inside. You could also pierce a few times with the fork. Put the nuts on a baking sheet, cut side up, and cook for about 10-20 minutes, turning a couple of times until the skins open. Peel while still warm.

Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake, sliced | H is for Home

The completed cake looks very impressive with it’s height, multiple layers and glossy finish. Tasty too – well worth the time and effort!

Chocolate caramel chestnut cake
Write a review
Print
For the caramel ganache
  1. 250g/9oz milk chocolate
  2. 85g/3oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
  3. 6 tbs golden granulated sugar
  4. 2 tbs water
  5. 1 cinnamon stick
  6. 275ml/10fl oz tablespoons whipping cream
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. 250g/9oz butter, softened
For the cake
  1. 265g/9oz plain flour
  2. 35g/1oz cornflour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 225g/8oz butter, softened
  6. 250g/9oz golden granulated sugar, divided
  7. 4 large eggs, separated
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 250g/9oz sweetened chestnut spread with vanilla (not something in my store cupboard, but similar can be made with several cooked chestnuts puréed in a processor with 1tsp vanilla essence and 2tbs of caster sugar)
  10. 60ml/2fl oz milk
For the syrup
  1. 60ml/2fl oz rum
  2. 2 tbs golden caster sugar
  3. 12 roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped
For the glaze
  1. 240ml/8½fl oz whipping cream
  2. 35g/1oz sugar
  3. 60ml/2fl oz water
  4. 225g/8oz dark chocolate, chopped
For the garnish
  1. 8 roasted chestnuts, whole
  2. edible gold dust (optional)
  3.  
  4. Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake ingredients
  5.  
For the ganache
  1. Combine milk chocolate and dark chocolate in medium-sized bowl
  2. Stir sugar, 2 tbs water, and cinnamon stick in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes (time will vary depending on size of pan). Add cream and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Bring caramel to boil, whisking until smooth and caramel bits dissolve, about 1 minute. Discard cinnamon stick
  3. Pour the hot caramel over chocolate; stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth
  4. Let stand until completely cool, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy
  6. Beat in the chocolate mixture in 4 additions
  7. Cover and refrigerate the ganache overnight
For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC/350°F/gas mark 4
  2. Grease 4 rectangular 18cm x 9cm 450g/1lb loaf tins before lining the bottoms with parchment paper. (If you don't have this number of tins, you can cook the cakes one by one)
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornflower, baking powder and salt
  4. In another bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale & fluffy
  5. Add 200g/7oz of the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract and combine well
  6. Add the chestnut spread, then the milk and combine well
  7. Sift the dry ingredients over and carefully mix together
  8. In another large bowl, and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites into soft peaks
  9. Add the remaining 50g/1¾oz sugar and beat until stiff but not dry
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3 additions
  11. Transfer batter equally across the prepared cake tin(s) (kitchen scales can be useful for this - I made it about 325g per tin)
  12. Bake the cakes until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean (about 25-30 minutes)
  13. Allow to cool completely in the pan(s) on a wire rack
For the syrup
  1. Stir the rum and brown sugar in small bowl until the sugar completely dissolves
To complete
  1. Turn cakes out onto work surface and peel off the parchment
  2. Place one of the cakes, bottom side up, on a clean piece of parchment
  3. Brush the cake layer with ¼ of the rum syrup
  4. Spread with ¼ of the ganache and sprinkle with ¼ of the chopped chestnuts
  5. Top with second cake layer, bottom side up
  6. Repeat this twice - ¼ rum syrup, ¼ ganache, and ¼ chopped chestnuts
  7. Top with the fourth, final cake layer, bottom side up
  8. Spread the remaining ¼ of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake
  9. Place cake rack on sheet of foil; place assembled cake on rack
  10. Chill while you prepare glaze
For the glaze
  1. Bring cream, sugar, and 60ml/2fl oz water to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves
  2. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and the glaze is smooth. Allow to cool until thick but still pourable
  3. Pour glaze over the top of the cake, spreading evenly over the sides
  4. Chill until the glaze sets
For the garnish
  1. Brush the top of the whole chestnuts with the edible gold dust (optional)
  2. Arrange the chestnuts across top of cake
  3. Serve at room temperature
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut shortbread

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Home-made coconut shortbread | H is for Home

Shortbread is my favourite biscuit. Sweet, crumbly, buttery and great with a cup of tea. What could be better? This coconut shortbread gives an old classic a bit of a twist.

Just take the basic shortbread recipe – butter, flour and sugar – and add an egg, dessicated coconut and a little cold water.

Coconut shortbread being mouldde | H is for Home

A great effort to reward ratio. Sweet, crumbly, buttery and now coconutty… and still great with a cup of tea!!

Coconut shortbread
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g/8oz butter
  2. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  3. 350g/12oz plain flour
  4. 70g/2½oz dessicated coconut
  5. 1 egg
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 3tbs cold water
  8.  
  9. coconut shortbread ingredients
  10.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 2
  2. Grease a 33 x 22cm/13 x 9-inch baking/brownie tin (or baking sheet if using a mould)
  3. Cream the butter
  4. Add the sugar, flour, dessicated coconut, egg and salt and pulse the food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (less than a minute)
  5. Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just begins to come together
  6. Tip the mixture on to the baking tin and press down firmly and evenly especially at the corners & edges (if using a mould, bring the mixture together to form a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes before moulding)
  7. Sprinkle the top with a tablespoonful or so of caster sugar
  8. Cook for 45-50 minutes or until the shortbread just begins to turn golden brown
  9. Slice into fingers/petticoat tails while still warm before allowing to cool on a wire rack
Adapted from The multi-cultural cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/