Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Cakes & Bakes: No bake double choc nut tart

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Slice of home-made double choc nut tart via @hisforhome

I’ve had quite a lot on this week, so didn’t have a great deal of time to dedicate to a long-drawn-out Cakes & Bakes recipe.

Double choc nut tart ingredients

This no bake double choc nut tart is short on time, but big on taste and impact.

Dark chocolate digestives and butter

It would be perfect to make for a dinner party where there are a few courses to juggle in preparation.

Dark chocolate digestive tart base

The chocolate ganache is really simple to make and is rich and unctuous – a chocoholics dream!

Melting dark chocolate with double cream to make a ganache

The base can be made with chocolate digestive biscuits or, if you’re in the US and can’t get hold of them, Chocolate Creme Oreos are a good substitute.

Chocolate ganache

I topped it with toasted chopped mixed nuts and finished with a few pecan halves but you can use walnuts, hazelnuts or whatever takes your fancy!

Chocolate ganache poured on to digestive base

Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or clotted cream and a sprig of mint to garnish – just perfection!

Home-made double choc nut tart via @hisforhome

No bake double choc nut tart
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 250g/9oz dark chocolate digestive biscuits
  2. 100g/3½oz butter, cubed &softened
  3. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
  4. 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  5. 1tbs mixed nuts, toasted
  6. 8 pecans
Instructions
  1. Add the digestive biscuits to a food processor and grind until fine crumbs
  2. Add the softened butter to the biscuit crumbs and pulse until combined
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart dish (I used a cm diameter round one) and press evenly into the base and up the sides using the back of a spoon
  4. Put the base into the fridge for 20 minutes to harden
  5. Put the broken up dark chocolate and double cream into a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl into a saucepan filled with water to a level where it doesn't quite touch the bowl
  6. Heat the saucepan until just boiled then turn down low
  7. Stir the chocolate & cream mixture to combine well and remove any lumps
  8. Remove the base from the fridge, pour over the chocolate sauce and shake slightly to level it out
  9. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes before sprinkling with the chopped nuts and placing the pecans evenly around the edge
  10. Serve as is or garnish with a few strawberries, blueberries and/or mint leaves
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/

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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Home-made rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

In a recent post, we mentioned that Justin wasn’t a massive fan of fruit crumble – there was utter disbelief amongst some of our readers! We’ve talked through it over recent weeks – it’s good to get things out in the open. To be precise, he doesn’t like a soggy zone between the fruit & browned topping. The merest hint of uncooked, wet flour and there’s real distress.

Rhubarb apple cardamom crumble ingredients

Now we’ve identified the true cause of his phobia, we’ve been able to work through it together (with the help of a crumble counsellor) and have experimented with different methods. We don’t add any water to the fruit or pre-cook it any more – and top with thinner layers of crumble mix to produce crispy, crunchy perfection. There’s no stopping him now – strawberry, pear, plum – bring it on!

Cardamom pods

So, for this week’s Cakes & Bakes we’ve got a crumble – rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble.

Sugared crumble fruit

The cardamom adds a distinctive and really interesting twist…

Crumble ingredients

…and chopped almonds in the topping also worked well.

Uncooked rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

So, the only decision left to make – custard, cream or ice cream. It was a custard kind of day for us!!

Bowl of rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble with custard | H is for Home

  Second helpings for Justin – we really have moved forward from those dark, crumble-free years!

Pin the recipe for later!

Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large stalks of rhubarb
  2. 1 Bramley apple
  3. 50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
  4. 3 cardamom pods
  5. 100g/3½oz plain flour
  6. 25g/1oz rolled oats
  7. 10g/⅓oz almonds, roughly chopped
  8. 75/2½oz cold butter, cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6
  2. Remove the cardamom seeds from their husks and grind finely with a pestle & mortar
  3. Slice the rhubarb into 2½cm/1inch slices
  4. Peel, core & chop the apple into 1cm/⅓ cubes
  5. Put the rhubarb, apple, half the ground cardamom and 2tbs of the sugar into a medium-sized bowl and mix until the sugar coats the fruit evenly
  6. Decant the mixture into a 30cm x 15cm oven-proof dish
  7. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, chopped almonds, butter and remainder of the cardamom. Rub in the ingredients with your fingers until they resemble coarse, lumpy breadcrumbs
  8. Cover the sugared fruit evenly with the crumble mixture
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and fruity syrup is bubbling up
  10. Allow to cool slightly and serve with custard or vanilla ice cream
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/