food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘dessert

orange passionfruit sorbet

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Our first crop of passionfruit inspired this fresh and fragrant sorbet. Serious Eats’ The Science of the Best Sorbet provided me with all the information I needed

orange-passionfruit-sorbet

When I buy sorbet I’m usually disappointed as the taste of the fruit is secondary to the sugar. In order to make my sorbet not too sweet and as it was mostly citrus juice (which doesn’t have much fibre or pectin), I opted for 100% glucose syrup (or corn syrup) as it is ⅓ as sweet as sugar and is highly viscous. The result was perfect! To make 1 litre you will need the juice (with pulp) of 6 oranges and the pulp of 6 passionfruit. If your glucose or corn syrup is thick, warm it with some of the orange juice to dissolve before mixing into the entire liquid. Churn in an ice cream machine and freeze for a few hours before serving.

Written by michelle picker

April 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

burrata and honey panna cotta with candied walnuts

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A lovely delicate cheese and honey flavour pair well with crunchy candied walnuts

burrata-and-honey-panna-cotta

To make the panna cotta pour ¼ of a cup of milk into a small bowl and sprinkle over 7g (¼ oz) of powdered gelatine. Allow it to bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat ½ a cup of cream with ½ a cup of honey until the honey is dissolved. Dissolve the gelatine into the cream and honey mixture, mixing until you have no lumps. Allow the mixture to cool. In a blender or food processor combine 200g (7 oz) of burrata cheese (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream) with an extra ¾ of a cup of milk and ½ a cup of cream and process until smooth. If you prefer you can substitute crème fraîche, yoghurt or buttermilk for the burrata. Whisk the cooled gelatine mixture into the cheese mixture then strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour into 6 ramekins, moulds or glasses (depending on how you wish to serve them) and allow them to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you are un-moulding, briefly dip the bottom into hot tap water. To make candied walnuts, heat a fry-pan and add 1 cup of walnut halves, ¼ of a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all the nuts are coated. Immediately transfer them onto baking paper, separating the nuts. Allow them to cool until crunchy.

Written by michelle picker

March 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

flan

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The history of flan begins with the ancient Romans who spread their culinary traditions throughout Europe. Originally a savoury dish, it became popular as a sweet dish of slowly cooked custard with caramelised sugar. Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America brought flan with it and nearly all of Central and South America loves flan in one form or another. It has become particularly associated with Mexico where it is an absolute classic. This rather more modern recipe comes from a Mexican family member.

flan

Blend 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 4 eggs. Allow this mixture to rest. In the pan in which you will cook the flan, put 8 tablespoons of sugar and heat carefully to make a caramel. Allow the caramel to cool then pour the milk mixture over it. Cover the pan with foil and place it in a large baking tray in the oven. Pour boiling water around the flan dish at least half-way up the sides and bake in a moderate oven until the custard is set. If you have a pressure cooker, place the covered flan on a trivet with some water below and cook at pressure for 20 minutes. Chill before turning out and serving.

Written by michelle picker

January 17, 2017 at 5:48 am

hazelnut cake

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Italian in style and dotted with pieces of dark chocolate this cake is glazed with an apricot jam. Perfect for afternoon tea!

hazelnut-cake

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease a spring-form cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper. In the mixer, cream 100g (3½ oz) of butter and ¾ of a cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate 4 eggs (one at a time), ¼ of a cup of olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of orange zest. Beat for a couple of minutes. Whisk or sift together 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and (if you haven’t used salted butter) ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. On low speed, incorporate the flour mixture in a few batches. Fold in 100g (3½ oz) of ground hazelnuts and 85g (3 oz) of roughly chopped dark chocolate by hand. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake tests clean. Cool in the pan. When completely cooled, remove from the cake tin and spread with apricot jam. Serve with cream.
 hazelnut-cake-piece

 

Written by michelle picker

December 24, 2016 at 5:49 am

aniseed and blackberry ice cream

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licorice-and-blackcurrant-bonbons-2The inspiration for this ice cream flavour comes from a favourite bonbon of mine – white liquorice surrounded by tart blackcurrant. Happily, I managed to create a very similar flavour, despite the use of anise instead of liquorice and a different berry.

For the ice cream measure 2 cups of milk. Remove 2 tablespoons of the milk and make a slurry with 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch). Heat the remainder in a saucepan with 1¼ cups of heavy cream, ⅔ of a cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of glucose and 1 tablespoon of anise seeds. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in the cornflour slurry. Stir, return to the heat and allow to thicken. In another bowl whisk 3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese with ⅛ of a teaspoon of salt. Pour in the hot milk mixture and whisk until smooth. Cool the mixture down by placing the bowl in an ice bath. When the mixture is cold, strain to remove the seeds and churn in an ice cream machine, sorbetière or even over ice and salt.

aniseed-and-blackberry-ice-cream

To make the blackberry swirl empty a can of blackberries in syrup into a saucepan and cook until the liquid is almost all gone, or if you have fresh blackberries cook them in a saucepan with some sugar to taste – they should still be tart. When they are soft, pass them through a fine sieve (discarding the seeds) and set aside. When the ice cream is churned, remove it to the container in which you will freeze it. Pour the cooled blackberry sauce over the top and, with a chopstick or skewer, swirl it through the ice cream.

Written by michelle picker

December 6, 2016 at 5:43 am

chocolate babka

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A traditional Eastern European Jewish cake, Babka or Kranz is a cinnamon and/or chocolate-filled, doubled and twisted length of yeast dough typically baked in a high loaf pan. David Lebovitz had already adapted a recipe which I used, although instead of being visible on top my layers of chocolate are hidden inside.

babka-cut

For the Babka dough mix 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, ½ a cup of slightly warm milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ a cup of plain flour. Allow this mixture to sit until it forms bubbles. In a stand mixer (or by hand) blend in 90g (3 oz) of cubed room-temperature butter bit by bit, then 1 large egg, ¼ of a teaspoon of salt (unless your butter was salted) and another 1½ cups of flour. When the dough is smooth, cover and chill it for up to 6 hours. If the weather is cool this step may not be necessary. While the dough is resting make the chocolate filling. In a saucepan melt 100g (3½ oz) of cubed butter and stir in ¾ of a cup of sugar. Remove from the heat and add 80g (3 oz) of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids). Stir the mixture and when the chocolate has melted add 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Set this mixture aside for assembly. Now prepare ½ a cup each of roughly chopped nuts (I chose almonds) and crumbled soft chocolate cookies. When the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle measuring approximately 50 x 30cm (20″ x 12″). Spread the prepared chocolate mix over the entire dough and sprinkle the nuts and cookie pieces over the chocolate. Roll the dough to make a long sausage shape then cut this in half lengthways so that you have 2 long pieces. Now, keeping the cut side facing up, twist the two halves over each other. Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper. Carefully lift the twisted dough into the loaf pan either allowing the two ends to fold underneath or on top. Press it into the loaf tin and place it somewhere warm, covered with a fresh tea towel. Allow the babka to almost double in size – this will take at least 2 hours. Meanwhile make a syrup by combining ½ a cup of sugar, ½ a cup of water and 1 tablespoon of honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Set aside. When the babka is ready, preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Bake the babka for 30 minutes or until it tests clean. Remove it from the oven and spoon the syrup over the top. Allow it to cool completely before lifting out of the tin or slicing as it will break when warm.

babka-slice1

 

Written by michelle picker

November 18, 2016 at 5:38 am

hazelnut caramel cake

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This nutty, not too sweet and very delicious cake is from a Dan Lepard recipe. The flavour of the hazelnuts is enhanced by the subtle addition of cocoa.

hazelnut-caramel-cake

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and butter two 18cm (7″) baking tins, lining the bases with baking paper. Beat 175g (6⅛ oz) of softened butter with 100g (3½ oz) of light brown sugar and 200g of tinned caramelised sweetened condensed milk (sold either as caramel topping or dulce de leche). When this mixture is smooth beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time, followed by 100g (3½ oz) of ground hazelnuts. Sift 175g (6⅛ oz) of flour with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons of baking powder and beat this through. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, beat 50g (1¾ oz) of butter with 150g (5¼ oz) of tinned caramel until smooth. Blend in 150g (5¼ oz) of sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until you have a smooth icing. When the cakes are cool spread half of the icing between the layers and the rest on top. Scatter roasted hazelnuts over the top.

hazelnut-caramel-cake-cut

Written by michelle picker

October 13, 2016 at 5:42 am