Posts Tagged ‘sweet’

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut ladoo

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

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Coconut ladoo in a vintage tin

Justin cooked a curry for visitors between Christmas & New Year. We figured it would be the ideal flavour contrast to all the other seasonal fayre – and judging by the crowds we’ve noticed in our local curry house this week, we weren’t alone!! I usually make some type of cake for dessert, but following a hearty curry that option would likely prove too filling.

Coconut ladoo ingredients

Dainty Indian sweets would be the perfect end to the meal. I chose to make coconut ladoo (or laddu) because we already had all 3 ingredients in our store cupboard. 

Cardamom pods with a wooden mortar and pestle

It’s the flavour of the pungent ground cardamom which gives this sweet its Indian taste.

Coconut ladoo cooked mixture

There are other kinds made with chickpea flour or semolina instead of coconut and fried in ghee. They are also be made with the addition of dried fruit and/or nuts such as pistachios or cashews.

Rolling coconut ladoo balls

They’re make a great little alternative present to the more usual box of chocolates.

Coconut ladoo
Yields 30
A treat often served at celebratory events such as the Hindu festival of Diwali
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tin (397g) condensed milk
  2. 250g dessicated coconut
  3. 5 cardamom pods
Instructions
  1. Remove the cardamom seeds from their papery outer shell and grind finely using a pestle & mortar
  2. In a large saucepan add 220g of the dessicated coconut, condensed milk and powdered cardamom
  3. Heat over a medium flame stirring constantly until just before the mixture begins to colour (about 5 minutes) and most of the liquid has evaporated
  4. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before forming into balls the size of marbles using the palms of your hands
  5. Roll the balls in the reserved 30g of dessicated coconut
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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nutty millionaire's shortbread

This nutty millionaire’s shortbread tastes SO much better than any I’ve ever bought from a shop. I happened to have bags of whole almonds and hazelnuts in the larder, but it would be equally as good if you made it using pecans, Brazil nuts or walnuts. Cashew butter instead of peanut in the shortbread could be a good alternative to try too!

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Yield: makes 9 squares

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Ingredients

  • For the shortbread
  • 125g/4oz butter, softened
  • 2tbs peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 75g/3oz cornflour
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
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  • For the topping
  • 397g/14oz tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g/3½oz mixed nuts (I used ½ & ½ hazelnuts and almonds)
  • 125g/4oz plain dark chocolate
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Instructions

  1. To make the caramel topping, put the unopened tin in a heavy-based saucepan and completely cover with water. Cover the saucepan with its lid and boil for about 1½ hours, topping up the water level if needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas mark 4, 10 minutes before baking.
  3. Line a 22cm/8inch square cake tin with parchment/greaseproof paper
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light
  5. Sift in the cornflour and plain flour and mix to form a smooth dough
  6. Using the back of a dessert spoon, press the mixture evenly into the lined cake tin and prick all over with a fork
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until just turning golden brown
  8. Put the nuts on to a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  9. Remove the shortbread from the oven and set aside on a wire rack
  10. Remove the nuts from the oven and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Rub the nuts together to remove most of the skins (especially if you're using hazelnuts or 'red skinned' peanuts)
  11. Reserve 9 of the nuts, roughly chop the remainder and sprinkle them evenly across the shortbread
  12. Open the tin of boiled condensed milk (if the contents are quite rigid you can soften it by warming slightly in a saucepan on the stove or decant into a microwaveable container and heat for 20-30 seconds). Pour the caramel over the nuts and spread evenly. Refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate
  13. Break up the chocolate into pieces and put them into a heat-proof bowl
  14. Using a saucepan small enough not to allow the bowl to touch the bottom, fill the bowl with just enough water so that it doesn't come into contact with the base of the bowl
  15. Simmer the saucepan of water until the chocolate has just melted
  16. Pour the chocolate evenly over the top of the caramel
  17. Place the whole nuts on top of the chocolate, one for each portion
  18. Allow to set before slicing into squares & serving

Notes

You can parboil the tinned condensed milk in advance and the caramel can be stored for months & months before use. I always have a few cans of 'cooked' condensed milk stored in our larder.

http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-nutty-millionaires-shortbread/

Cakes & Bakes: Super sticky syrup sponge

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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bowl of syrup sponge with vanilla ice cream | H is for Home

We’ve been hooked on the Great British Bake Off since the very start. That’s where we were first introduced to the author of the syrup sponge recipe we’re featuring today.

Ruth Clemens of The Pink Whisk was the runner up in that inaugural series. Since then, she’s become a successful blogger, has had a number of cookbooks published and is a regular contributor to magazines; I tore out and kept this recipe from a recent copy of Stylist. The recipe is quick & simple to make and, if you’re a fan of very sweet gooey puddings like me, tastes great!

The sponge went down a storm with Justin, he enjoyed his with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – I paired mine with a dollop of crème fraîche. Custard would be another delicious option!

Cakes & Bakes: Super sticky syrup sponge

Yield: makes 1 x 8-inch pudding

Cakes & Bakes: Super sticky syrup sponge

Ingredients

  • for the sponge
  • 125g/4½oz golden syrup
  • 100g/3½oz butter
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 265g/9½oz plain flour
  • ¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾tsp baking powder
  • 165g/6oz golden syrup
  • 215ml/7½ fl oz boiling water
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  • for the topping
  • 50g/1¾oz golden syrup, warmed
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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Line the base & circumference of a 20cm/8'' round springform tin with non-stick baking paper
  3. Add the 125g golden syrup to the base of the tin
  4. Put all the sponge ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, adding the boiling water last
  5. On the slowest speed and using the whisk attachment, mix together the batter slowly increasing the speed to medium until well combined
  6. Pour the batter over the golden syrup in the tin
  7. Bake for an hour
  8. Carefully release the cake from the tin and invert onto a serving plate
  9. Pour the warmed golden syrup on top and serve
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-super-sticky-syrup-sponge/

Fudge two ways

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

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squares of plain fudge and rum & raisin fudge | H is for Home

The first & last time I made fudge I was about 12 years old. The only way I could get it to set was to stick it in the freezer for a few hours. It wasn’t exactly inedible, but it was bad enough to put me off attempting it again until now.

Just like our taste in ice cream, Justin & I differ in our taste in fudge. He likes it plain, I like mine stuffed full of fruit, nuts, chocolate and alcohol! To please us both, I made a normal portion of basic mix, divided it into two and made one half into rum & raisin fudge.

I used the basic recipe I found on the Carnation website. I’m already thinking of folding some of this fudge into some of my home-made vanilla ice cream – what do you think?

Fudge two ways

Yield: 24 squares

Fudge two ways

Ingredients

  • 115g/4oz raisins
  • 2 tbs dark rum
  • 397g/14oz can condensed milk
  • 150ml/5¼ fl oz milk
  • 450g/16oz Demerara sugar
  • 115g/4oz butter
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Instructions

  1. Soak the raisins in the dark rum for at least an hour
  2. Line the base & sides of two 18cm/7inch square cake tins with baking/parchment paper
  3. Put all the remaining ingredients into a large non-stick, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until all the sugar dissolves
  4. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously and scraping the base of the pan
  5. Using a food thermometer, make sure the mixture reaches 118°C/240ºF
  6. Remove from the heat and beat with the wooden spoon until it thickens & begins to set ( this should take about 10 minutes )
  7. Put half of the mixture into one of the lined tins, using the back of a metal tablespoon to get it into the corners and levelled out
  8. Add the rum and raisins to the other half of the mixture and put back over a medium heat for another 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken up again
  9. Put the mixture into the other lined tin, again using the back of a metal tablespoon
  10. Allow to cool completely before turning out on to a chopping board and cutting into squares
  11. You can store the fudge for up to a week in (separate) airtight containers
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cookery/fudge-two-ways/

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate mousse

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

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Chocolate mousse in heart-shaped ramekins | H is for Home

We don’t do the Valentine’s night restaurant ‘thing’ – long rows of tables for two, knocking elbows with the couples either side. So we usually stay in with something good to eat and a bottle of red.

This Valentine’s, Justin made gnocchi Gorgonzola and I made chocolate mousse for dessert (I even served them in heart-shaped ramekins). We rented a film, bought a bottle of nice Shiraz and settled in for the night… perfect!

Chocolate mousse isn’t quite a cake or a bake but I thought I’d share the recipe anyway! I tweaked a recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch: And Other Recipes from the F Word

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate mousse

Yield: makes 4

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate mousse

Ingredients

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • White chocolate shavings, to garnish
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Instructions

  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat half of the cream until boiling
  2. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl set over a large bowl of iced water and add the rest of the cream and brandy
  4. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the mixture to soft peaks
  5. Remove the bowl from the iced water
  6. Whisk the egg white with a hand-held electric beater until it forms stiff peaks
  7. Add the sugar to the egg white, one tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously
  8. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the meringue through the chocolate mixture
  9. Spoon or pipe into chilled ramekins or serving glasses/pots
  10. Garnish with the white chocolate shavings
  11. Serve immediately or chill for up to 2 days
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-chocolate-mousse/

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