January 12th, 2014 § § permalink
— Espresso Granita (for 6 small glasses) —
500ml freshly-brewed espresso
100g sugar, or adjust your taste
Some sweetened whipped cream for serving
Some dark chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
Combine the espresso and the sugar in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved and leave to cool.
Pour the espresso into a shallow container and freeze about 1 hour. Using a fork, stir to break up the crystals. Freeze and stir every 30 minutes until the mixture became small crystals (about 4-5 times total)
To serve, spoon the granita into chilled glasses and dollop with a whipped cream and garnish with the chocolate shavings.
September 6th, 2013 § § permalink
Crème Caramel and a long nap with my cat, both of them are so nice and sweet.
Creamy dreamy sleepy. It’s the end of summer.
— Crème Caramel (makes 6-8) —
300ml double cream
1/2 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
90g granulated sugar
Some whipped cream for serving
Some pecans, crushed
– for the caramel –
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons boiled water
Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F.
Heat the double cream and milk in a pan over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles from at edge of pan. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds into the cream mixture. Mix gently and remove from heat.
Slowly whisk the egg yolks, eggs and sugar in a bowl.
Add the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture. Gently whisking until thoroughly blended.
Strain the mixture pour into dishes.
Place dishes in a water bath, cover the dish with foil and bake for 40-60 minutes or until just set. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until cold.
Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar in dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook until the mixture is light brown. Remove from the heat and carefully add 2 tablespoons of boiling water into the pan (be careful, it will spit!) and stirring.
Top whipped cream on the crème caramel, sprinkle with crushed pecans and drizzle with the caramel.
April 10th, 2013 § § permalink
Drunken pears for a drunken night.
— Red Wine Poached Pear Tartlets (makes 8 tartlets) —
4 pears, under-ripe
300ml red wine
170g brown sugar
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 wide strips lemon zest
300g ready-made puff pastry
1 tablespoon butter, melted
30g walnuts pieces
30g blue cheese, crumbled
Peel the pears without removing the stalks. Cut in half and remove the core.
Place the red wine, water, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick and lemon zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low, add the pear and simmer for about 30 minutes until tender.
Remove the pear from the sauce pan, set aside to cool.
Bring the wine liquid to a boil and simmer gently until syrupy.
Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out 8 circles (approximately 4 inch dimeter).
Cut the pear into slices, leaving the stalk end intact.
Place the pastry on a baking sheet, arrange the pears in the centre of circles. Brash the rims with melted butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden.
Drizzle with the wine syrup, sprinkle with the walnuts and blue cheese.
December 9th, 2012 § § permalink
Sweet and warm, a little spice and upside down.
That’s what I want in my life right now.
— Pear Tarte Tatin (serves 4) —
1 vanilla pod, split
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
200g puff pastry
Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Peel, core and cut the pears in half.
Melt the butter in a 8 inch ovenproof frying-pan, add the sugar and cook over a medium heat until golden. Add the vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and star anise to the frying-pan.
Lay the pears, cut-side up, to the frying-pan, then cook in the sauce for 8 minutes.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a a 1/4 inch thick, cut out a 9 inch circle. Cover the pears, tucking the pastry down the sides of the tin and pierce the middle of the pastry disc.
Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Leave the tart to stand for 5 minutes, then put a large plate over the top of the frying-pan and invert.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
July 29th, 2012 § § permalink
Butter, cream and chocolate. The fascinating collaboration of unhealthy foods.
Umm, bad things are so tempting and delicious.
— Chocolate Croissant Pudding Cups (serves 4)—
70g dark chocolate
200 ml single cream
150 ml milk
1 dash of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar for sprinkle
Cut the croissants and dark chocolate into small pieces.
Mix the eggs and 50g of sugar in a large bowl, and whisk in the single cream, milk and a dash of vanilla extract.
Divide the chopped croissants and chocolate between 4 ceramic tea cups (200ml capacity per cup). Pour the cream mixture over and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 340F/170C.
Sprinkle with sugar on top of each cup (1/4 teaspoon of sugar par cup). Put the cups in a oven dish and pour in enough hot water around the cups.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pudding is just set and golden.
July 20th, 2012 § § permalink
1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, 4. Red red red red, let’s party.
— Raspberry Vodka Jelly Shots —
1 Hartley’s Raspberry Jelly tablets
Some fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
Place the jelly tablets into a bowl, add 200ml boiling water, strring until the gelatin is dissolved.
Stir in the vodka.
Pour into shot glasses and refrigerate until set.
Garnish with fresh raspberries.
June 27th, 2012 § § permalink
This is a classic New York style cheesecake. Rich, creamy and dense.
— Baked Cheesecake (7 inches round cake tin) —
100g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter, melted
300g cream cheese
200ml sour cream
100ml single cream
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Crush the biscuits until fine, add the melted butter and mix well to combine.
Spread the biscuit mixture onto the bottom of spring form cake pan, pressing down firmly. Refrigerate the biscuit base while making the filling.
Preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a large bowl, add the sour cram and sugar, mix well. Add eggs 1 at a time, mix well. Add the single cream, lemon zest and lemon juice, mix well, and then add the corn flour and mix.
Pour the mixture through a strainer onto the biscuit base.
Place the cake pan inside a oven dish, pour hot water around the pan (wrap the pan first with aluminum foil to prevent water from leaking through the bottom).
Bake until set and golden on top about 1 hour.
Turn the oven off, and let the cake cool in oven with the door closed for a couple of hours.
Chill in refrigerator, preferably over night.
June 9th, 2012 § § permalink
‘Matcha’ tea powder is made from the whole green tea leaf. Zen Buddhist monks in Japan began drinking Matcha as a meditational drink over 800 years ago, and it’s used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Matcha’s elegant bitterness blends well with creamy white chocolate.
Lovely green treat for a relaxing weekend.
— Green Tea Chocolate Truffles —
300g white chocolate, finely chopped
100ml single cream
20g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons Matcha powder
Some Matcha powder for dusting
In a small saucepan bring the single cream just to a boil, remove the pan from the heat.
Add the finely chopped white chocolate and butter in the pan, mix until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth with a rubber spatul. Shift in the Matcha powder and mix completely.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a small square baking pan or dish lined with non-stick baking paper.
Place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until set.
Turn the mixture out onto a cutting board, peel off the baking paper, and cut the mixture into 3/4 inch squares.
Dust with the matcha powder.
April 6th, 2012 § § permalink
I have a good excuse to spoil myself with this creamy dreamy Baileys flavoured chocolate mousse today.
Happy Easter x
March 18th, 2012 § § permalink
Light, fluffy & healthy tofu doughnut holes.
It only takes about 10 minutes to cook. Super easy and yummy. Suitable for vegans too.
— Tofu Doughnut Holes —
180g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
Vegetable oil for deep frying
— for Cinnamon sugar —
1 & 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Mash the tofu in a separate bowl. Add to flour mixture and mix well.
Heat the oil to 340F/ 170C.
Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonful into the oil.
Deep fry until golden brown all around.
Place on kitchen papers to drain the excess oil.
Toss with the cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.