Archive for the ‘Bread and cakes’ Category

Chinese pancakes

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 6-8

Preparation time 1-2 hours

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
275g/10oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
250ml/8fl oz very hot water
2 tbsp sesame oil
Method
1. Put the flour into a large bowl. Gradually stir in the hot water, mixing all the while with chopsticks or a fork until it is fully incorporated. Add more water if the mixture seems dry.
2. Turn the dough out and knead it with your hands for about 8 minutes or until it is smooth, dusting with flour if necessary, as it may be quite sticky at this point. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a damp tea-towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it again for about 5 minutes, dusting with a little flour if it is sticky. Once the dough is smooth, form it into a roll about 45cm/18in long and 2.5cm/1in thick. Cut the roll into 18 equal pieces and shape each one into a ball.
4. Take 2 of the dough balls. Dip one side of one ball into the sesame oil and place the oiled side on top of the other ball.
5. With a rolling pin, roll the 2 pancakes simultaneously into a circle about 15cm/6in in diameter. You can flip the double pancake over and roll on the other side as well.
6. Heat a frying-pan or wok over a very low flame. Put the double pancake into the pan and cook it for 1-2 minutes, until it has dried underneath; there may be brown specks. Flip it over and cook the other side until dried as well.
7. Remove from the pan and let it cool slightly. When it is still warm, but cool enough to handle, peel the 2 pancakes apart and set them aside. Repeat this process until all the dough balls have been cooked.

Chestnut ganache with ginger cake

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 1

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
For the chestnut ganache
142ml/5fl oz double cream
½ tin chestnut purée
2 thick slices ready-made ginger cake
For the chocolate sauce
50g/2oz chocolate
50ml/2fl oz double cream
stem ginger ice cream, to serve
Method
1. To make the ganache, whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks, then fold through the chestnut purée.
2. Sandwich half the ganache mixture between the two slices of ginger cake. Add the remaining ganache to the top layer.
3. For the chocolate sauce, melt the chocolate in a pan with the cream, then pour over the ginger cake layers.
4. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Caramelised chestnut cheesecake

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 2

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
100g/3½oz caster sugar
100g/3½oz vacuum-packed chestnuts
pinch salt
200ml/7¼fl oz double cream
150g/5½oz cream cheese
1 orange, peeled and finely chopped
butter, for greasing
pinch chilli powder
pinch black pepper
Method
1. Place the caster sugar into a frying pan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has turned a golden-brown colour, shaking the pan to help the sugar dissolve.
2. Add the chestnuts to the pan and stir the mixture to coat the chestnuts in caramelised sugar.
3. Pour the chestnuts onto a non-stick silicon mat and leave to cool.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the double cream, cream cheese and chopped orange.
5. Grease two 6cm/2½in chefs’ rings with butter and place them on a serving plate. Spoon the cream mixture into the chefs’ rings.
6. Use a blowtorch to heat the outside of the chefs’ rings; this will help release the cheesecake – you’ll be able to slide each one off the chefs’ rings easily.
7. Top with the caramelised chestnuts and sprinkle with chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper.
8. Serve straightaway or store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Almond pancake

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 1

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
1 tbsp self-raising flour
1 egg
85g/3oz almonds, ground
1 tbsp caster sugar
a little olive oil
Method
1. Place the flour in a bowl and beat in the egg, almonds and caster sugar until combined (add some milk if the mixture is too thick).
2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan, brushed with a little olive oil, and ladle the batter into the pan, swirling the pan to evenly spread. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, tossing to turn. Repeat with any remaining batter.
3. Serve.

Pecan pie with cardamom ginger ice cream

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Serves 4

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients
55g/2oz muscovado sugar
110g/4oz butter
110ml/4fl oz honey
140g/5oz pecans (65g/2½oz finely chopped, remainder left whole)
1 egg, beaten
a pinch of ground cinnamon
4 small deep sweet pastry tartlet cases, baked blind
pecan halves, to decorate
maple syrup, to decorate
For the cardamom ginger ice cream:
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 eggs, yolk only
170ml/6oz semi-skimmed milk
170ml/6oz full-fat milk
340ml/12fl oz double cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaped tbsp chopped stem ginger
6-8 cardamom seeds, finely ground
 

Method
1. First make the ice cream. In a mixing bowl, combine the caster sugar and egg yolks together. Beat the mixture until it is a thick yellow paste and set it aside.
2. Bring the semi-skimmed and the whole milk to a simmer in a heavy-based, medium-sized saucepan. Slowly beat the hot semi skimmed and whole milk mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. This mixture should be hot, but not boiling.
3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer very gently, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it thickens to a custard-like consistency. Strain the mixture into a large bowl, cool and chill overnight in a refrigerator.
4. The next day, stir in the double cream, vanilla, ginger and ground cardamom. Churn in an ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions, until frozen. Cover and freeze until required.
5. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
6. Make the pecan pies. In a saucepan, melt together the muscovado sugar and butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey, finely chopped pecans, beaten egg and cinnamon. Mix together thoroughly.
7. Pour the pecan mixture into the tartlet cases and top with the whole pecans.
8. Bake the pecan tarts for 20 minutes.
9. Serve the tarts warm from the oven topped with a scoop of the cardamom ginger ice cream. Decorate the serving plates with pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Carrot cake with vanilla custard

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Serves 1-2

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
For the cake
85g/3oz flour
85g/3oz butter
85g/3oz sugar
1 egg
pinch of baking powder
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
2 carrots, peeled and finely grated
For the custard
200ml/7fl oz cream
100ml/3½fl oz milk
3 cardamom pods, crushed
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter a small cake pan.
2. Place the flour, butter, sugar, egg, baking powder and vanilla seeds into a food processor and blend for a few seconds until combined.
3. Fold in the grated carrots and pour the batter into the pan.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake is cooked.
5. Meanwhile, make the custard.
6. Scald the cream, milk, cardamom and vanilla in a small saucepan.
7. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
8. Pour in the milk and cream, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
9. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean saucepan.
10. Gently stir the mixture over a medium heat until the custard begins to thicken.
11. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and pour over the custard. Serve immediately.

Banana biscuits

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Makes 6-8

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
4 ripe bananas, peeled
2 egg whites

Use to decorate Fire and Ice Cake
Method
1. Purée the whole bananas and egg whites until smooth.
2. Spread the batter onto silicone paper on a baking sheet in a very thin layer. Bake in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20 to 30 minutes and once brown remove from the oven.
3. Remove the strips while hot from the tray and bend them into the desired shapes and leave to cool. If they do not become crisp, return them to the oven to cook for a few more minutes.

Carrot and pineapple muffins

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Makes 12 muffins

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients
100g/4oz plain flour
100g/4oz plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
200ml/7fl oz vegetable oil
90g/3½oz caster sugar
2 eggs
120g/4½oz finely grated carrots
225g/8oz tinned crushed pineapple, semi-drained
100g/4oz raisins
 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Beat the oil, sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the grated carrots, crushed pineapple and raisins. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just enough to combine all the ingredients.
3. Pour the batter into muffin trays lined with paper cases and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Blueberry muffins

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Makes 12

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

The all-American favourite, any time of the day. To ring the changes, fresh blackberries, raspberries, loganberries or mulberries can be added instead of blueberries.Ingredients
175g/6oz rice flour
50g/2oz tapioca flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
150g/5oz caster sugar
60g/2½oz butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, preferably free-range, beaten
60g/2½oz buttermilk
150g/5oz fresh blueberries
12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/35F/Gas 4.
2. Sift together the rice flour, tapioca flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and xanthan gum in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar and mix well.
3. Whisk together the cooled melted butter, egg and buttermilk in another large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter, egg and buttermilk mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine and finally gently fold in the blueberries.
4. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly. They are nicest served warm.

Blackberry muffins

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Makes 12 muffins

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
400g/14oz plain flour
175g/6oz caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2.5g/½ tsp salt
284ml/10fl oz carton buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
85g/3oz butter, melted
250g/9oz blackberries
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs and butter.
3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until the ingredients are just combined and the mixture is quite stiff, but be careful not to overmix.
4. Lightly fold in the blackberries, then spoon the mixture into the tins to fill the holes generously.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until risen and pale golden on top. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, as the muffins are quite delicate when hot. To turn out, run a palette knife around the edge of the muffins and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten the same day.