Category: dessert

Having fun with a Spiralizer and a fab apple pie recipe

Fun with the Spiralizer and a fab apple pie recipe

SPIRALIZER

Have you seen the latest craze to hit the foodie world? It’s called a Spiralizer and it’s so much fun. Originally intended to make spirals from vegetables (corgetti anyone?) I couldn’t resist having a play with one after I saw it in action at a Lakeland press launch. Of course I don’t want to play with veg. I want to make pies!

SPIRALIZER

I thought an apple pie would be a great choice when using this gadget and I wasn’t wrong. I suspected that the apple would go soggy whilst baking- but it didn’t. As there were so many strands to cover in flavour it tasted fab.

The Spiralizer comes with three blades. I used the wrong one to make long strands at first but that didn’t matter as I crunched up the apples once spiralled anyway. The first blade cut the apples into half moon shapes. The second blade had them coming out in perfect spaghetti like spirals. The third blade can be used to cut slices. I used eating apples with the skins left on but peeled cooking apples would work just as well.
SPIRALIZER

Spiralizer apple pie recipie

  • 1 pack of shortcrust pastry (I cheated but you can find my shortcrust recipe here)
  • 3-4 eating apples (just spiral till your plate is very full)
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 20g caster sugar
  • egg white to brush the pastry with.
  1. When spiralling apples you will be left with a small end- I ate this up – waste not want not!  and the core which can be removed at the end. You also have to dig out any pips as they are poisonous to eat. It’s pretty easy to see the pips though.
  2. Once the apples have been spiralled place them in a bowl and cover with the sugar and cinnamon. Stir until the apple is completely covered. I did this with my hands and that’s why the spirals broke. I was pretty happy with how they looked. Set aside while you prepare the pastry. SPIRALIZER
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  4. Roll out the pastry so it’s around the depth of a £1 coin. Place it in the oven proof dish (my dish is 24cm diameter) and pierce the base with a fork and remove the excess dough from the edges.
  5. Heat up the jam in a microwave for a few seconds so it becomes nice and runny. Use a silicon pastry brush to spread it over the base of the pastry case. Set a little aside for the bake.
  6. Fill the pastry case with the apple and brush the pastry with egg white for a shiny finish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the apple is baked and the dough is golden brown.
  7. Once the pie looks almost done spread a little jam over the apple with a silicone brush to give it a gloss finish and bake for a further 2-3 minutes. Serve warm with thick cream or ice cream.SPIRALIZER

You can buy a Spiralizer on line from Lakeland here

Enjoy!

 

EmmaMT

Disclaimer: Lakeland sent me this Spiralizer (thanks you guys!) All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking

Konditor & Cook : Book review

Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking

This is not your average baking book. This one’s different! “Why?” I hear you ask. Well the recipes are just not what you’d expect…. but in a good way. The combinations are different and unusual and dare I say it – intriguing like ‘Melon and Ginger’ slinger – which sounds more like a smoothie than a tart and ‘101% Apple pie’! How do you do that?

 

Konditor & Cook: Book reviewThe shop

For those who don’t know Konditor & Cook is a little cake shop tucked out behind Waterloo East station on Cornwall road in London. I used to walk past it on my way to work in the mornings and always had to have a good look in the window as I passed by. There was always a line of people queueing outside waiting to pick up their morning coffee and cake. Whenever someone had a birthday or celebration on the magazine a cake would be ordered from K&C – until I started baking that is!

Konditor & Cook: Book review

The Author

Konditor and Cook is the brainchild of Gerhard Jenne. He opened his little baking shop in 1993 using his skills as a pastry chief from Germany; where he studied before moving to England and training under Justin De Blank. This book is full of his most popular recipes. There’s a lot of German influence in the bakes but none of the obvious recipes. I haven’t heard of a lot of the cakes here but they look and sound so good.

Konditor & Cook: Book review

One of the best things about this book is that everything has a real “depth of flavour” as Gerhard says that’s the most important thing -and I think we would all agree with him on that? You don’t need specialist equipment to make any of these cakes – even the more decorated ones at the back- and his ethos that the recipes are easy to make just works in this day and age of our busy lives

Most of these recipes don’t take a lot of time or energy, just enthusiasm and a keen appetite” Gerhard Jenne

Konditor & Cook: Book reviewSo what’s in the book?

The book includes the following chapters. Here’s a few but by all means not all bakes included.

Cakes

Figgy fruit loaf – a cake for cheese, Stem ginger, Almond St Clement cake and sunken pear and black gingerbread cake to name just a few

Tarts and puddings

Choose from Raspberry fudge tart (a favorite at the shop), Rhubarb and orange Meringue, twice baked raspberry ricotta cheesecake with a thyme crust, Strawboffie pie, summer pudding sand and there’s more

Mini bakes

Jammilicious Linzers, Raspberry rocks Meringues (which have raspberries baked in the centres- yum), lemon and currant puff – which are next on my list, Very berry tartlets (as seen above) Kipferl cookies; a traditional Christmas biscuit in Germany,

Brownies and slices

This is where I started when I first got the book. I made the Boston brownies and they are divine! There’s also Whisky and fig brownies, Bakewell slab, Hot cross Blondies and Tarta de Santiago which was inspired by Brindisa a local Borough Market Spanish food importer.

Muffins, cupcakes and buns

If there’s one recipe that is going to get you excited in this chapter it’s the ‘Black velvet cupcakes with Irish cream frosting’. All I really have to say about this is Bailey’s Irish cream liquer. The rest you can imagine! Other tasty sounding bites are Dorset apple cakes, Iced prune buns – these are a really cute domed shape and look super delish – I’m making them this weekend.

Fun and festivities

This is where your creative talents can get into action. There are K&C’s signature ‘Magic cakes’ (I’m sure they’re called this as they disappear!), Spaghetti Bolognese cupcakes, The chocolate cabbage cake (as seen below) don’t worry it’s all chocolate and just looks like a cabbage – there’s not a green leaf to be seen inside this creation. The mulled wine cupcakes also sound amazing.

Basics, tips and techniques

Not only is this chapter full of really good, solid advice but there are more recipes and tips throughout it. There are more pastry recipes as well as frostings, custard and lemon curd all of which can be used with the recipes throughout the book. There are tips on piping, lining a cake tin and how to temper chocolate.

Konditor & Cook: Book review

My thoughts on Konditor & Cook. Reservedly legendary baking.

The photography is a lot darker and moodier in this book than in the average baking book which I’m not usually a massive fan of but with these recipes it just works. I really love the details about each bake before the recipe – either where it originates from or who inspired it. It makes the book really informative and personal, but it’s the extra details in the ‘Basics, tips and techniques’ chapter that make it a must. There are tons of really useful tips and advice that I haven’t seen before. I also really like the way it’s written. You feel like you’re having a chat with your baker friend Gerhard who’s sharing his best knowledge with you. It’s so relaxed and chatty.

Having made quite a few recipes from this book – the Boston Brownies are to die for! I really like this book. It’s good to have something a bit different on your  kitchen shelves. It has a few old favorites – coffee cake, lemon meringue pies and strawberry tarts, but the more unusual recipes are what I rate the most.

Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking by Ebury Press available on Amazon

Do you have this book? Would you buy it and if so why? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT x

Amaretto and Apricot cake with ameretto buttercream and glaze

Amaretto cake with buttercream and glazeSometimes we all need a showstopper cake in our repertoire and this is one of mine.I love a bit of Amaretto and Apricot cake and I seem to be making more and more tall cakes with a touch of alcohol in the ingredients…. and I’m practically teetotal. Well, designated driver at least!

This is a cake I came up with after my lovely friend Jane gave me a beautiful bottle of Disaranno after I made her daughters Minecraft cake.( I’ll have to share that with you sometime. It was a girl version of this one.) The reason Jane bought me this rather than any other drink is because Dr Pepper is my drink of choice – I love the stuff, and amaretto and coke is like alchoholic Dr P. Very good on a school mum’s night out.

Anyway, I was talking to my sister about the disaranno and she said that Amaretto is made from apricots and I was surprised as I always thought it came from almonds. It turns out that it can be made from either.  What a good way to flavour a cake I thought. So I did.

 

Amaretto and apricot cake

For the cake

  • 150g dried apricots (cut into small pieces)
  • 100ml Amaretto
  • 175g butter at room temperature
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto
  • 200g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Amaretto Buttercream

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)  this could be increased according to your preferred taste

Amaretto Glaze

  • 50g butter
  • 50ml honey
  • 1 tbsp ameretto
  1. Cut up the apricots into small pieces and soak in an air tight container for 24-72 hours – or longer if you want a boozier cake. Give the container a shake every now and then.
  2. To make the cake: Pre heat the oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) and line a deep 6″ cake tin or four 6″ sandwich tins- You can use disposable foil ones for a quick clean up.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs slowly and whisk thoroughly. Add the Amaretto
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mix and fold in gently.
  6. Add the chopped apricots and whatever Amaretto hasn’t been absorbed.
  7. Place the cake mix in the cake tin, smooth with the back of a spoon and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes for sandwich tins (40-50 minutes for a deep tin) until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and after ten minutes take the cake/s out of the tins and leave to cool completely on a rack.
  9. Once the cake is completely cold whisk all the ingredients for the buttercream together in a bowl for 4-5 minutes until it’s really light and fluffy.
  10. Slice the large cake into four layers.
  11. Layer up the cake with a decent amount of buttercream between each layer finishing with a smooth top. You can use a palette knife or place the buttercream in a piping bag for a really easy assembly. Set to one side.
  12. To make the glaze place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Add the honey and Amaretto then leave to bubble for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is a rich golden brown colour, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before pouring into a jug.
  13. When nearly completely cold pour the glaze over the whole cake so it dribbles down the sides. Ensure the glaze isn’t too warm or it will completely melt the butter cream.
  14. Serve straight away

Apricot and Amaretto cake

Enjoy!

 

EmmaMT

x

Dairy free Pear Tart recipe

Pear tart recipe

I love a good tart. They may take a lot of time and effort to prepare and peel and chop and blind bake but they are SO worth the effort. This is the Pear tart recipe I used when I took dessert to my sister’s house on Rosh Hashannah (the Jewish New year) after synagogue a couple of weeks ago. I knew she was making a meat meal which meant pud had to be dairy free. I used Tomar which is a kosher, dairy free alternative to butter. It’s actually a vegetable fat and makes a pretty good pastry – if I do say so myself.  We had a slice or two with a dairy free ice cream made with soya – have you ever tried soya ice-cream? It’s seriously creamy!

All that’s left to say is that with a slither of marzipan in this Pear pie and a tummy full of delish Chollent (thanks Shell)our New Year got off to a really good start!

Dairy Free Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g butter/Tomar vegetable margarine
  • 1 egg yolk (large)
  • 1 tbsp water

Filling

  • 75g marzipan
  • 2-3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 25g butter/Tomar
  • 4 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 4 pears, sliced with the core removed

To Glaze

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  1. Heat oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  2. To make the pastry: Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine with your hands. Be careful not to over mix as this will end in a really tough pastry. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the fridge and roll out the pastry so it’s nice and thin. Place it in the pie dish (Mine was a 23cm Pyrex dish). Scrunch up a piece of baking paper and place it over the pastry then add baking beans on top (you can use rice or dried beans if you don’t have ceramic baking beans but the ceramic ones do add more heat) Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove any excess pastry from the edge of the dish.
  4. To make the filling peel, core and chop the apples and place in a large frying pan with the butter and sugar until they become soft. Drain any excess liquid away then press through a sieve so you get a puree. Place back in the saucepan and add the jam till it is all combined. Leave to simmer till some of the liquid has evaporated and the puree is nice and thick. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. Roll out the marzipan so it’s very thin then place it over the bottom of the pastry case.
  6. Spread the puree over the marzipan then add the thinly sliced pear in a decorative pattern.
  7. Once filled bake for 25 minutes until the pear is golden brown.
  8. Heat up the apricot jam so it is nice and runny then as soon as you take the pie out of the oven spread the jam over the top of the whole pie while it’s still hot using a silicon pastry brush. Leave to cool a little before serving with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Pear tart recipe - Dairy free

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Apple Strudel recipe for Succot

apple strudel recipe for succot

This week it’s the Jewish festival of Succot. You can tell it’s Succot because we sit in a open building in the garden with fruit hanging from the roof and it ALWAYS rains!  It’s kind of a Harvest festival with a lot of fruit taking centre stage. It will come as no surprise then that the traditional cake for this festival is Apple Strudel. I love an apple strudel. We used to have it all the time when we went to Tim’s mum for Sunday lunch so I thought I’d give it a go.

For all of two seconds I thought about making myown puff pastry. Then I came to my senses and used a spare pre-rolled pastry I had as ‘back up’ in the freezer. My excuse to Tim was that it was taking up valuable freezer space (I don’t think he bought it!)

Strudel is a little time consuming and fiddly to make but it’s well worth the effort. I love the cinnamony, appley, nuttyness in a strudel so it was good that I could design it to my exact tastes. Tim loved it and as my harshest critic I took that to mean it’s a winner in the MT household and will be making a re-appearance again soon. Winter warmer anyone?Apple Strudel recipe for Succot

Apple Strudel Recipe

(serves 8)
  • Puff pastry
  • 700g cooking apples
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground cinnamon (according to taste. I like a lot)
  • 50g sultanas- soaked in boiled water for 10 minutes to soften them
  • 50g walnuts -cut into chunks
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • flaked almonds to top
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 230C. The oven needs to be hot so the butter is absorbed into the flour rather than melts and leaks out all over the place!
  2. To prepare the filling peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks. I use cooking apples for a strudel as they have a more sour taste and work perfectly. Place in a  large frying pan with the butter and sugar and cook for around 10 minutes till the apple starts to soften but not fall apart.
  3. While still in the frying pan sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of the apples and add the drained sultanas and walnuts. Stir for a minute to combine then place in a sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain away and cool down a little. We don’t want a soggy bottom now do we?
  4. The pastry needs to be rolled out into a large square or rectangle. Cut diagonal lines away from the centre area then place the filling over the centre. Tuck the top and bottom of the pastry over the filling then lift each diagonal strand of pastry over the filling in turn left then right then left and so on. Try to keep each strand close the the last so you have most of the strudel closed up. A little gap or two is fine as that will allow steam to escape but too many gaps and the whole thing will collapse!
  5. Carefully move the strudel onto a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and pop it in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  6. A few minutes before the strudel is ready to come out of the oven heat up the apricot jam. I do this in the microwave in 30 second bursts. You want it to be runny.
  7. As soon as the strudel is out of the oven brush the apricot jam over the whole thing with a silicon pastry brush and sprinkle the chopped almonds liberally over the top.
  8. Enjoy with a big dollop of cream.

See you in the Succot

EmmaMTApple Strudel yumminess

 

 

Nectarine and rhubarb crumble with oaty marzipan topping recipe

Nectarine and rhubarb crumbleI love rhubarb and I’m lucky enough to have a lovely next door neighbour who shares her crop with us. It’s always big and pink and delicious (thanks Liz). A few weeks ago we were invited round to Tim’s parents for lunch and armed with a bunch of the pretty pink stuff I decided that I would make a crumble to take with us. It was a good decision.

When thinking about what to make with rhubarb, a crumble always seems like such an obvious choice don’t you think? That’s why after a few years of coming up with recipes for this blog I have avoided it. (apart from here!) But let’s face it. Rhubarb is damn good. So I decided that I would glam it up a bit – if you can call nectarines glam. We really enjoyed the crumble after our main meal. There’s something about all that crunch with a hint of marzipan that just works.

I liked this crumble so much that a few days after the meal I discovered one lone, slightly sad looking stick of rhubarb lurking at the bottom of my fridge with the peppers and onions. I decided to make a mini crumble just for me (yeah right – with Darcey in the house!) It was soooo good. This crumble translates for any amount of settings whether it’s one or 32! And if you don’t like any of these fruits just swap them in for something else. As long as you keep the weight of the fruit the same it will still work perfectly.

Nectarine and rhubarb crumble recipe

Nectarine and rhubarb crumble with oaty marzipan topping recipe

(serves 8-10)

For the crumble topping

  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g oats
  • 75g butter- at room temperature
  • 30g marzipan cut up into really little pieces

For the filling

  • 10g butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 450g rhubarb – chopped into small pieces
  • 350g nectarines – cut into slices.
  1. Heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan 160ºC)
  2. In a bowl cut the butter up into small pieces and add the sugar, flour and oats. Rub together with your fingers until completely combined but still crumbly. Add the marzipan and make sure it’s well coated. I like to squeeze a few handfuls of the mix in my fists to make larger clumps. It browns up nicely and adds to the crumbly effect. Place the crumble topping in a sandwich bag in the fridge till the filling is ready.
  3. Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a deep frying pan (don’t let it get too hot- you don’t want the butter to burn). Add the sugar until it’s dissolved and then add the rhubarb and cook for 5 minutes. Set to one side to cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the rhubarb and nectarine pieces together then place in the pie dish and layer the crumble on top. Bake immediately in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until the crumble starts to brown around the edges.
  5. Serve with a generous helping of custard and enjoy.

Nectarine and rhubarb crumble yumminess

EmmaMT x

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