Louise Cake

20180409_103155Once again we’re adapting a recipe from Ottolenghi and Goh’s Sweet. They in turn have been inspired by the traditional Louise cake from New Zealand, which is a slice with a cake layer topped with raspberry jam and a coconut meringue. Ottolenghi and Goh’s version uses fresh fruit; you could use any stone fruit which is in season, just be sure it’s ripe but not too soft. We love the addition of flaked almonds to the meringue, as it adds a delicious crunch to the fluffy meringue and syrupy fruit. The cake is fairly rich so you could bake it in a square tin and cut into small squares to serve, or bake in a round tin as we did for a more decadent serving.

Ingredients:

  • 125g unslated butter, at room temperature, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 100g caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 medium plums (450g), ripe but firm (or any stonefruit in season)

For the meringue:

  • 60g flaked almonds
  • 140g egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3.
  2. Spread the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes, or until they are a light brown colour. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 185°C/Gas mark 5. Using a 20cm square or 23cm round tin with removable base, line the base and sides with baking paper.
  4. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl. Add the coconut and stir to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on a low speed, and alternating with the milk and vanilla. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Place in the oven and cook for around 25 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Slice each plum vertically in half and discard the stones. Slice each half into four segments so you have 8 segments per plum.
  6. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Place the plum segments on top of the cake, forming a layer of fruit across the surface. Be sure not to overlap the plums though, or the fruit layer will become too watery.
  7. To make the meringue, whisk together the egg whites and salt on a medium-high speed, until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, and continue to whisk until the egg whites are stiff and shiny. Add the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour and whisk again until combined. Fold in the toasted almond flakes.
  8. Spoon the meringue into the cake tin, on top of the fruit layer and spread out evenly. Create waves and peaks in the meringue by dabbing a spatula into and out of the mixture. Place in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Bake for 35 minutes or until the meringue has formed a hard crust and is just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the tin for at least 30 minutes before removing the base of the tin and removing the baking paper to serve.

Anzac Biscuits 3 ways

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream Sandwich

Anzac Biscuits 3 ways

Today is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day to honour the men and women of the armed forces of our countries. One of the most famous of Australian foods is the humble Anzac biscuit, which had its origins in World War 1. The biscuits were sent to soldiers overseas and were designed to keep well during transit. These biscuits are still very popular today due to their chewy texture and slightly caramel taste.

We decided to bake a batch to celebrate the holiday. Then after watching Chef’s Table on Netflix we were inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to try infusing the flavour of the biscuit in an ice cream. Then we went one step further and turned the biscuits and ice cream into an ice cream sandwich! These are the resulting recipes, and it’s up to you how far along the journey you travel. You could just make the Anzac biscuits, or continue on to make the ice cream, or the ice cream sandwiches.

The biscuit recipe makes about 28 biscuits and you only need 10 of these for the ice cream recipe, so you’ll have plenty of delicious Anzac biscuits to share with friends and family (or make two batches and take some to work!)

Anzac Biscuits:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 90g desiccated coconut
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 90g golden syrup
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, and stir in the other dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.
  3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Remove from the heat. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water and immediately add to the butter mixture. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on the prepared trays, leaving room for each to spread as it cooks. Flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a glass or your fingers.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. The biscuits will still be soft to the touch. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes to crisp up before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream:

  • 10 Anzac biscuits
  • 250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
  • 3 Tbsp (60 ml) golden syrup
  • 5 egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 375ml thickened (whipping) cream
  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, break the biscuits apart into crumbs. Place half of the crumbs into a mixing bowl and set the other half aside.
  2. Warm the milk in a saucepan until just simmering. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl with the biscuit crumbs and stir well. Allow to steep for an hour. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve back into the saucepan, wringing out all the liquid from the crumbs. Discard the solids. Add the golden syrup to the saucepan and bring the milk mixture back to a simmer, stirring well to combine.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour the warm milk mixture in a steady stream into the yolks, whisking continuously so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, stirring continuously, and cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens. The mixture is ready once it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is set, add half of the remaining biscuit crumbs and stir through the ice cream. Keep the other half for garnishing when serving.
  5. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover and freeze for at least an hour to set.
  6. Serve a few scoops of the ice cream in a small bowl, covered with a dusting of the reserved biscuit crumbs.

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • 2 Anzac biscuits
  • 1 scoop Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream

Take a scoop of ice cream and place on the flat side of an Anzac biscuit. Add another biscuit to the top, flat side against the ice cream and gently press together. Smooth out the edges of the ice cream filling with the flat side of a knife and serve immediately.

Grilled Figs with Almond Crisp and Verjuice Sabayon

20180331_221618Figs are in season here in Sydney and every store seems to have plump, juicy figs on display. We couldn’t resist any longer, and decided to try Maggie Beer’s grilled fig recipe. Simply glazing and grilling the figs is a great way to highlight the great quality produce. The Almond Crisp and Verjuice Sabayon add texture and tartness respectively, but don’t detract from the real star of this simple dessert.

We have adapted this recipe from one in Maggie Beer’s Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook.

Serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe figs
  • 3 tsp vino cotto
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

Almond Crisp:

  • 60g flaked almonds
  • 35g brown sugar
  • 25ml verjuice

Verjuice Sabayon:

  • 1 cup (250ml) verjuice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°
  2. Place the Almond Crisp ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time. Watch carefully in case the sugar burns. Once the almonds are a pale golden colour, remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Break into shards.
  3. To make the sabayon, simmer the verjuice in a saucepan until reduced to 100ml. Set aside to cool. Fill a saucepan one-third full of water and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan without touching the water. Whisk the yolks and sugar together, slowly adding the cooled verjuice a little at a time. Continue whisking for around 8 minutes, or until the sabayon thickens to the point where it forms ribbons and holds its shape when lifted with a spoon. Remove from the heat and cover the surface with cling film.
  4. Preheat a barbecue plate or chargrill pan to high heat.
  5. Mix the vino cotto and olive oil together. Cut the figs in half lengthways and brush the cut surface with the vino cotto mixture. Place the cut sides down on the very hot chargrill pan, and cook until well caramelised, around 2-3 minutes.
  6. On one side of each plate, arrange three fig halves and a shard or two of the Almond Crisp. On the other side, place a dollop of sabayon, and smear across the plate. Alternatively, serve the sabayon in a ramekin on the side.

 

Glazed Chocolate Mousse and Cherry Sorbet with Almond and Pistachio Crumb

20180307_213757Here’s another Recipe Road invention we created for our friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago. We wanted a rich chocolate dessert to finish the night, but hoped to cut through the richness with something fresh and light. As we had featured cherries in our main dish (Roasted Pork Rack with Cherries and Onions), we decided to link the two dishes by making a cherry sorbet. The combination worked beautifully, with the sorbet cleansing the palate between each bite of the rich chocolate mousse. The almond and pistachio crumb adds a bit of texture and crunch to the dish so it has everything, really! We hope you enjoy.

Serves 6 people.

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 160g butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 90ml thickened cream, whipped

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl set above a pan of simmering water. Once melted and combined, set aside to cool. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the egg yolks with a spatula. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture, and stir well to combine. In another bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar to make a soft peak meringue. Gently fold the meringue and then the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into a 1 inch-deep baking tray lined with cling film and transfer to the freezer to set.

Cherry Sorbet:

  • 100g raw sugar
  • 300g cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 egg white
  • 550g ice cubes

Pour sugar into a sturdy food processor (we used a thermomix). Mill on a high speed for 10 seconds (Thermomix speed 9). Add the cherries, egg white and 350g of the ice cubes and blend for 20 seconds, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to maximum speed (Thermomix speed 10). Add the remaining ice and blend for around 1 minute more, until the mixture has reached a smooth consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Golden Honey Glaze:

  • ½ tsp gin
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp gold powder

Mix the gin and honey in a bowl, once the mixture becomes thinner, add the gold powder and mix well.

Toasted Golden Almonds:

  • 42 whole almonds, halved lengthways
  • ½ of the Golden Honey Glaze

Toast the halved almonds and then brush with the golden honey glaze. Set aside on a tray to dry.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 gelatine sheets (8g)
  • 50g water
  • 85g sugar
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 45g cream

Bloom the gelatin by soaking it in cold water. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cocoa powder, and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat immediately. In a separate saucepan, warm the cream, then combine it with the chocolate mixture. Add the gelatin, stir to combine and set aside. Cool the mixture to room temperature to glaze.

Glazed Chocolate Mousse

  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • Toasted Golden Almonds

Once the mousse is set, use a 6cm round cookie cutter to cut 6 rounds from the mousse. Rinse the cutter in warm water between cutting each round of mousse. Set the rounds on a cooling rack and pour a little of the glaze over each one, making sure the sides are fully covered. Remove the rounds from the cooling rack and set on a tray lined with baking paper. Decorate the sides of each mousse round with the Toasted Golden Almonds.

 Almond and Pistachio Crumb:

  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup pistachio kernels
  • 5 savoury crackers (we used Eton crackers)
  • A handful of cornflakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a rough crumb consistency. Set aside.

To serve:

  • ½ of the Golden Honey Glaze
  • Almond and Pistachio Crumb
  • Glazed Chocolate Mousse
  • Cherry Sorbet
  • 18 micro mint leaves

Across one side of each plate, paint a 4cm stripe of Golden Honey Glaze. On the opposite side of the plate, place a small pile of Almond and Pistachio Crumb, and create a small well in the centre of the pile. Place the Glazed Chocolate Mousse on the stripe. Quenelle the Cherry Sorbet and place in the well of the crumb. Decorate with 3 micro mint leaves and serve.

Lime Yoghurt Cake with Rosewater and Pistachios

IMG_5344We were so impressed with this cake that we decided to include it on our blog even though we hadn’t originally intended to. Ian baked this to take to work for a morning tea, and it was not only easy to make but such a pretty cake that it was almost a shame to eat it. The Middle Eastern flavours of pistachio, rosewater and lime are a great combination, and the yoghurt keeps the cake moist. We had some leftover ground pistachios from making our Madeleines a few weeks ago, but if you’d rather use almond meal that would work just as well. The cake was a hit at work, by the way!

This recipe is adapted from one by Rachel Allen

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 75g ground pistachios or almonds
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g honey
  • 250ml natural yoghurt
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 40g chopped pistachios
  • rose petals, to decorate

For the syrup:

  • 150ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tsp rosewater

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4, and grease a 22cm round springform cake tin.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the ground pistachios or almonds and caster sugar, and mix together.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, honey, yoghurt, sunflower oil and lime zest.
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and gradually pour in the wet ingredients, mixing together with a whisk until just combined.
  5. Add a few of the chopped pistachios to the mix, if you wish, or retain all of them for decorating.
  6. Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer stuck into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. While the cake is cooling, make the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a small pan and bring to the boil. Once the syrup has reduced by half, about 5 minutes, add the lime juice and boil for another 2 minutes. Set aside, and once it has cooled, add rosewater to taste.
  9. Using a skewer, make holes all over the top of the cake, then spoon the syrup across the cake. Scatter the pistachios across the top, and then leave to sit for an hour.
  10. Decorate with rose petals just before serving.

Banana Napoleon with Coconut Snow and Banana Caramel

FullSizeRenderThis week’s recipe is a challenge for all of you who are scared of fancy looking desserts with multiple components! With Pat’s background in making pastry, this is easy for him but Ian was a little daunted by this recipe. A Napoleon or Mille-feuille is a layered French dessert consisting of alternating layers of puff pastry and pastry cream. We have adapted a recipe by Antonio Bachour, from his book Bachour. His version substitutes filo pastry (so store bought is fine!) brushed with caramel, topped with coconut snow. What’s not to love? Be brave and give it a try, you’ll be surprised how easy it is and you’ll impress everyone with how pretty it looks.

The coconut snow uses tapioca maltodextrin as a binding agent, which can be hard to find. We found some at a specialty store in Sydney, but you could also buy it online if you have trouble finding it.

This recipe yields 12 serves.

Banana Pastry Cream

  • 7g gelatin sheet
  • 2 cups full-cream milk
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 55g corn flour
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 55g unsalted butter

Soak gelatin in cold water until softened (this process is called blooming), then squeeze out excess water and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk and sugar and bring to the boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn flour. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture, a little at first then in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Have an ice bath prepared to set the bowl over if the mixture looks like it’s beginning to split. Once the egg and milk mixtures are combined, return to the saucepan and set over a medium-high heat until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl set over the ice bath. Add the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add the butter and banana and stir until the butter has melted. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least an hour, or until set.

Caramel Sauce

  • 114g thickened cream
  • 90g caster sugar

Bring the cream just to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat. Add the sugar to another saucepan with a splash of water, mixing so the sugar is moist. Cook the sugar slowly over a medium heat until it becomes a light amber colour, shaking or stirring the pan every now and then. Once the caramel has reached the colour you like, slowly add the cream in small batches. Be careful as it will splatter and could burn you. Once all the cream is incorporated, cook for another minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Filo Pastry Sheets

  • 8 sheets of filo pastry dough
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup Caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 175°C.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place a sheet of filo on the tray, brush with butter and drizzle with caramel sauce. Repeat this process with six more sheets of filo pastry, then add a final sheet of filo and brush with the butter. Trim the edges of the filo with a paring knife if necessary, and cut into 2 by 4 inch rectangles. Cover with baking paper and top with another baking tray, then bake for around 12 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside and once the pastry is cool, remove from the tray and store in an airtight container.

Coconut Snow

  • 40g tapioca maltodextrin
  • 60g coconut oil
  • 15g icing sugar

Add all ingredients to a food processor and combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally. Set aside.

Banana Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup thickened cream
  • 95g caster sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced

Make the caramel in the same way you made the Caramel Sauce earlier. Once you have combined the sugar and cream, stir in the banana. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Alternatively you could transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Assembly

Brush some of the banana caramel sauce across a plate and top with one rectangle of the prepared filo pastry. Put the Banana Pastry Cream in a piping bag and cut a 1.5cm opening. Pipe the cream onto the filo pastry in two rows of small dollops, and top with a layer of filo pastry. Repeat the process to form a second layer, and top with a final piece of filo pastry. Dust the top layer with Coconut Snow and garnish with edible flowers or micro herbs to serve.

Saffron, orange and honey madeleines

 

20180110_145552

Continuing with our French theme, we decided to make madeleines for the first time. We were given a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s Sweet for Christmas, and decided to try their untraditional version. Madeleines are a very light and fluffy little French cake, baked in a scallop mould. In the traditional version, they are best eaten while still warm as they will become stale quickly. Ottolenghi and Goh’s version uses a food processor rather than hand beating so will last for a few hours after baking (if you can resist from eating them all at once!)

Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.

Ingredients:

  • 90g unsalted butter, plus 20g extra butter, melted, for brushing
  • 2 tsp honey, plus an extra 3 Tbsp, for glazing
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean extract with seeds
  • finely grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 90g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 20g pistachio kernels, finely blitzed

Method:

  1. Place the butter, honey and saffron threads in a saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and set aside until the mixture has reached room temperature.
  2. Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a food processor and mix until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then add to the egg mixture. Pulse a few times to mix, then add the cooled butter mixture. Process once more to combine, then pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200° Grease the moulds with melted butter and sprinkle with flour (you can skip this step if using a silicone or non-stick tray). Tap to coat all the moulds and then shake off any excess flour.20180110_134015
  4. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of batter into each mould, so the mixture rises halfway up each mould. If you only have one tray, place the remaining batter in the fridge while you bake the first batch. You will need to wash, dry and re-grease the tray before baking your second batch.
  5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until the madeleines are browning around the edges and spring back when lightly pressed on the top. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before releasing the cakes from their moulds. You may need to use a knife or spatula around the edges of the cakes if not using a silicone or non-stick tray. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Melt the 3 tablespoons of honey in a saucepan or microwave. One madeleine at a time, brush the honey onto the shell-shaped side of the cake, then roll the base of the madeleine in the blitzed pistachios so that you have a 1cm strip of pistachio at the base of each cake. Serve on a platter with some scattered pistachios and saffron (optional).