Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cakes & Bakes: Plum flaugnarde

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

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Home-made plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

We were given half a dozen sweet, ripe plums last week. We ate a couple and used the others in a plum flaugnarde.

Plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

A flaugnarde is similar to clafoutis in that they’re both baked French egg custard fruit puddings. However, if you’re a purist, the latter can only ever be made using cherries.

Halved plums

A flaugnarde on the other hand may contain all manner of fruit including pears, apples, figs, dried fruit, nuts…

Eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a large measuring jug

The addition of a tittle buerre noisette gives the custard a lovely, nutty flavour. Make sure you only cook it until it goes a nice, golden brown. If the butter’s even just a little bit burnt it will ruin the dish.

Plum flaugnarde batter via @hisforhome

A tablespoonful of almonds isn’t essential, but it adds texture, bite more nuttiness… and looks beautiful too!

Uncooked plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

It puffs up beautifully while it’s cooking, but don’t worry when it deflates as it cools once out of the oven – it will do this. Serve it straight away with a little double cream or clotted cream.

Home-made plum flaugnarde with small bottle of double cream via @hisforhome

Plum flaugnarde
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ripe plums
  2. 20g/¾oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3 tbsp caster sugar
  5. ½tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  7. 50g/1¾fl oz milk
  8. 75g/2¼fl oz double cream
  9. pinch salt
  10. 1tbs flaked almonds (optional)
  11. icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a baking dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Shake the sugar around the dish so it's evenly coated. Tip away any excess
  3. Halve the plums, remove the stones and place them cut side down, evenly spread into the baking dish
  4. Heat the butter in a small frying pan over a low heat until it turns a light brown colour. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside
  5. In a large bowl or measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until creamy
  6. Add the flour, whisk until smooth, then slowly incorporate the milk, cream, salt and beurre noisette.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish making sure the plums are still evenly spread out
  8. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds
  9. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is puffed up and a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  10. Place on a wire cooling rack, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm with double or clotted cream
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Bakewell Tart

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

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Slice of home-made Bakewell tart via @hisforhome

This week’s Cakes & Bakes offering is a quintessential British classic – Bakewell tart.

Bakewell tart ingredients

I’ve never featured a Hairy Bikers recipe previously – but I do like lots of what they cook.

flour and butter in a food processor

When I looked at the quantity of ingredients, I thought that it seemed a lot. An entire pack of butter, 2 packets of ground almonds, 8 – yes EIGHT – eggs in the filling (and a further three in the pastry).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

The recipe supposedly makes one 23cm/9-inch tart, but I used less than half of the pastry and just over half of the filling that it called for.

Rolled out sweet shortcrust pastry

I’m not wasting anything though, both the spare pastry and the filling have gone into the freezer; I’ll be able to make another tart in double quick time next time.

Bakewell tart shortcrust pastry base

Bakewell tart is a perfect cake for our 4 o’clock afternoon tea break.

Raspberry jelly spread on a cooked Bakewell tart shortcrust pastry base

It’s not dry, but a sip of tea after every couple of mouthfuls works so well.

Bakewell tart filling ingredients

Almonds and fruity jam are such a great combination of flavours. Throw in some buttery pastry and you’re not likely to be disappointed.

Uncooked Bakewell tart

There’s a good reason it’s become a classic.

Home-made Bakewell tart

There’s at least 8 slices in the tart so that’s four days sorted – unless we’re incredibly generous and give a piece away!

Bakewell Tart
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For the pastry
  1. 425g/15oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 1 egg, beaten
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 250g/9oz unsalted butter
  5. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. 50g/2oz ground almonds
For the filling
  1. 400g/14oz ground almonds
  2. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 8 eggs, beaten
  4. ½ tsp almond essence
  5. 3 tbs raspberry jam
  6. 50g/2oz flaked almonds
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter and almonds and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add the eggs & yolks one at a time and pulse until a smooth dough is formed
  3. Bring the dough together into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/360ºF/Gas mark 4
  5. Grease & flour a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed tart tin
  6. Unwrap the chilled pastry and roll out onto a cold, floured work surface (this is a very 'short' pastry and at first will be difficult to handle)
  7. Line the tart tin with the pastry and trim off any excess. Prick the base with a fork, then cover the pastry lightly with a round of baking parchment. Cover the parchment with baking beans (I use dried chickpeas) put into the oven to bake blind for 15 minutes
  8. Remove the pastry base from the oven, pour out the baking beans (or chickpeas) remove the baking parchment and set aside to cool. If the base is still a little underdone, return it to the oven for a minute or two to dry out
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 165ºC/330ºF/Gas mark 2
For the filling
  1. Put the ground almonds and caster sugar into a bowl and combine
  2. Add the beaten eggs and almond essence and combine well
  3. Once the tart pastry base has cooled, spread a generous layer of raspberry jam onto the bottom
  4. Pour the filling mixture over the raspberry jam to fill the pastry case almost to the top
  5. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is baked through and golden-brown all over
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or cold
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate profiteroles

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

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home-made chocolate profiteroles | H is for Home

It’s that time of year again; The Great British Bake Off is back on television.

Chocolate profiteroles ingredients

In celebration, I thought I’d make a Mary Berry recipe. I was planning to make the frosted walnut layer cake that featured in last week’s opening episode, but Justin asked for profiteroles.

Profiterole batter

I’ve not made choux pastry since I was at catering college way back in the 1980s. From what I remember of the episode, it was a disaster – perhaps the reason I’ve not revisited the recipe since!

adding eggs to profiterole batter

After 30 years I was ready to face those demons…

Profiterole batter rounds on a baking tray

…and there was nothing to worry about after all.

making chocolate sauce

It was quite straightforward, taking about an hour to produce a lovely pyramid of airy profiteroles.

whipped cream

They kept us quiet for a while!!

Chocolate profiteroles
Yields 12
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the choux pastry
  1. 60g/2oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  2. 150ml/5fl oz water
  3. 75g/2½oz plain flour
  4. 2 large eggs, beaten
For the filling
  1. 300ml/10fl oz whipping cream
For the topping
  1. 100g/3½oz plain dark chocolate
  2. 100ml/3½ fl oz double cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (fan 200ºC)/425ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with water
For the choux pastry
  1. Put the butter in a heavy-based saucepan with the water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil
  2. Remove from the heat and add the flour and a pinch of salt. Stir vigorously
  3. When a smooth paste develops, return the pan to the heat, stirring. The mixture will dry out a little and form a soft ball that comes away from the sides of the pan
  4. Remove the pan from the heat again, leave the mixture to cool slightly, then gradually add the eggs, beating really well between each addition until the mixture is smooth and glossy
  5. Dollop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet leaving room between each for them to spread a bit
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190ºC (fan 170ºC)/375ºF/Gas mark 5 and bake for a further 20 minutes
  7. Transfer the profiteroles to a wire rack to cool completely. Once they've cooled, pierce the base of each to the diameter of your narrowest piping nozzle. If you don't have a piping bag & nozzle, slice each profiterole in half horizontally
For the filling
  1. Whip the whipping cream until firm, put into a piping bag fitted with a round, narrow nozzle and pipe it into the hole in the bottom of each profiterole. If you don't have a piping bag & nozzle, spoon a dollop on to the bottom half of each profiterole before replacing the top
For the the topping
  1. Put the chocolate and double cream into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth and shiny
  2. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave the sauce at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until it is cool and thick enough to coat the profiteroles without dripping down the sides
  3. Carefully dip the top of each profiterole into the chocolate sauce
Adapted from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/