Monday, 27 October 2014
• Baking spray, for spraying custard cups
• 1 stick butter
• 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
• 2 whole eggs
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• Vanilla ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray four custard cups with baking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2. Microwave the butter, bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate in a large bowl on high until the butter is melted, about 1 minute. Whisk until the chocolate is also melted. Stir in the sugar until well blended. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour. Divide the mixture among the custard cups.
3. Bake until the sides are firm and the centers are soft, about 13 minutes. Let stand 1 minute. Invert on individual plates while warm and serve with vanilla ice cream.
• cookie dough
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• pinch of salt
• ¾ to 1 jar of Nutella — it all depends on how heavy your hand is!
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Lightly spray muffin pans with baking spray or use silicone muffin pan.
3. Cream butter in a mixing bowl, gradually add both sugars and continue creaming until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda with a wire whisk until combined.
6. Slowly add to wet ingredients until just combined.
7. Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick.
8. Place them in the muffin pan (do not squish down yet!) and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown but not too dark around the edges.
9. Remove from oven and use a shot glass or similar object to press your baked cookies down as soon as they come out of the oven.
10. It creates a perfect hole for your Nutella to melt in!
11. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup – it will start to melt quickly so you can swirl it around and make it nice and smooth.
12. Let cool 15-20 minutes in pan (At first the Nutella is nice and melty – be sure to eat at least one cup this way!), and serve.
13. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for a convenient treat.
Ingredients for the meringue:
• 6 large free-range egg whites
• 300 g caster sugar
• 1 pinch sea salt
• For the pavlova
• 400 g fresh strawberries and raspberries
• 200 ml double cream
• 200 ml fat-free natural yogurt
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
• 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
• a few sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked
1. Push the boat out once in a while to make this delicious yet simple summer treat.
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2. Put your egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk them at a medium speed until they start to form nice firm peaks.
3. With your mixer still running, gradually add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Turn the mixer up to the highest setting and whisk for 7-8 minutes more until the meringue is white, glossy and smooth. If it feels grainy, whisk for a little bit longer, being careful not to let the meringue collapse.
4. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Divide the meringue mixture evenly between them and shape each blob into a circle about 20cm in diameter. Put both trays into the oven and bake for 1 hour until the meringues look slightly golden and are fluffy in the middle.
5. Halve or quarter the large strawberries and leave the smaller ones whole. Mix them with the raspberries. Whip the cream with the sugar until it forms soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt and fold in the vanilla seeds. Spoon half the cream mixture on top of one of the meringue halves and smooth it out. Sprinkle half of your berries evenly around the cream mixture. Place the other meringue on top and press down gently to stick them together.
6. Spread the remaining cream mixture over the top layer and sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Scatter over a few small mint leaves and enjoy!
• 125 grams digestive biscuits
• 75 grams butter (soft)
• 300 grams cream cheese
• 60 grams sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 250 ml double cream
• strawberry jam (2 pots)
• strawberries (fresh, a few to decorate or strawberry sauce to drizzle - optional)
1. Crush the digestive biscuits in a bowl (just use your fingers).
2. Melt the butter and then pour into the bowl of crushed biscuits and stir well. Find a container or flat bowl and press the biscuit mixture on the bottom evenly. Use a metal tablespoon/ teaspoon to spoon out jam and spread it evenly over the layer of biscuit, (make sure the spoon is wet to stop the jam from sticking)
3. In a separate large bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. In another bowl or a processor, whip the double cream, and then pour and fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
4. Carefully spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit and strawberry base, then using another wet metal tablespoon/teaspoon smooth the surface perhaps leaving a whippy effect or decorating with a fork.
5. (Optionally) drizzle the top with strawberry sauce or decorate with strawberries.
6. Leave in the fridge overnight or for 3- 5 hours.
2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 280ºF, and position 2 racks in the lower section of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have time, draw 1-inch circles on the back of each sheet, spacing the circles at least 1/2-inch apart.
2. If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve.
3. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue (e.g., the meringue takes on a clumpy texture).
4. Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not overagitate the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.
5. When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, "punch" down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and punch again. You will need to repeat this 10-15 times (or more, depending on your arm strength and the beginning texture of your batter) until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula. Think of the consistency of molten lava. For the best results, punch the batter a few times, check the consistency, then punch a few more times, etc. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons won't rise as they should, and you could end up with oil stains on the surface.
6. Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. In a pinch, you can also use a gallon-size Ziploc bag: just snip a teeny bit from one of the bottom corners. Twist and clip the top of the bag to avoid overflow. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew (remember to draw the circles on the back side of your parchment to avoid ink or pencil stains on your macarons!).
7. Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the "pied" or frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust where, if you tap it lightly with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger. If after 15 minutes, the batter is still sticky, let it dry longer. This may take up to an hour on humid days.
8. Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not underbake (insides will still be mushy) or overbake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
9. When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. The assembled macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.