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Wild Blackberry and Baklava Dessert.

Wild Blackberry Panna Cotta and Baklava Dessert.
Blackberry Panna Cotta with an Apricot and Nut Baklava.
Served with Whipped Cream, Sharon Fruit and a Blackberry Sauce.

British hedgerow meets Italian cream meets Ottoman delight.
Wild Blackberries are growing in abundance here in England at the moment. I don’t think I have ever seen so many fruits – it’s a bumper year – but a word of caution.
My first container was half full when an elderly lady appeared with three Great Danes…I will only pick fruits growing above chest height from now on.
After a few hours picking and culling the little black jewels, I put 500g of fruit to one side and froze the rest.
The recipe for today is a Wild Blackberry Panna Cotta with an apricot and nut Baklava. Served with whipped cream, Sharon fruit and a Blackberry sauce.
This dessert can be made in advance, chilled in the refrigerator and served when ready.

Ingredients:

Blackberry Panna Cotta: (makes 5 150ml desserts)
500ml double cream.
200ml skimmed milk.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1/2 tsp agar agar or setting agent of your choice.
300g fresh blackberries.
70g sugar.
4 tabls water.

Blackberry Sauce:
200g fresh blackberries.
25g sugar.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
2 tabls water.

Apricot and Nut Baklava: ( makes 20 x 25 tray bake)
15 20cm x 25cm sheets of filo pastry.
300g ground mixed nuts (100g each of walnuts, hazelnuts and almond)
180g melted butter.
150g dried apricots – pureed in a food processor.

for the Baklava syrup:
100g sugar.
210 ml water.
180g honey.

Garnish:
2 ripe Sharon fruits.
15 fresh blackberries.
125ml double or whipping cream.
10g ground and roasted mixed nuts. (optional)

Method/cook:

Blackberry Panna Cotta:
Add the blackberries, water and sugar to a pan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn down the heat, add the agar agar, simmer for 4 minutes.
Next, blend the blackberry and agar agar mix then pass through a fine sieve. Set aside.
Bring the milk and double cream to just boiling. Thoroughly whisk in the blackberry and agar agar mix.
When combined, divide into five 150ml dariole moulds. Leave to set overnight.
When set, and ready to serve, loosen the at the edges then dip the moulds in hot water for 1 minute. Turn out your Panna cottas on to serving plates.

Blackberry Sauce:
Put all the ingredients into a pan.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes.
Once simmered, pass through a sieve and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator.

Apricot and Nut Baklava:
Set oven to gas 3 or 160°C/325°F
In your baking tray, place a single sheet of filo pastry and brush well with butter.
Do this with a further 4 sheets of filo – brushing each layer with plenty butter.
Now add a layer of ground nuts Approx’ 8 tabls’ and a layer of apricots. (see image)
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Add a layer of filo and press down. (see image)
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Now brush with butter and again add a further 4 layers of well buttered filo.
Add a further layer of nuts, followed by 5 more buttered layers of filo pastry.
Bake in the oven for 45 mins’ to 60 mins’ until golden brown.

Now make the Baklava syrup:
Place all ingredients into a pan, stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
Once boiled, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Once the Baklava has baked, cut into squares. Leave to cool and then pour over the warm Baklava syrup.
Leave to soak for several hours – preferably overnight.
(see image – minus a few irresistible squares)
_V2A7843

Serving:
Turn out your Panna Cottas on to serving plates.
Add two squares of Baklava.
Spoon on ripe Sharon fruit.
Top your Panna Cotta with whipped cream and Blackberry sauce.
Garnish with fresh blackberries.
Optional: top cream with ground and roasted mixed nuts.

Enjoy.

desserts, food blogging, food photography, lemon curd, mousse, shortbread biscuits, sorbets, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Vanilla and Lemon Curd Jelly Dessert served with an Orange Sorbet.

Vanilla and lemon mouse.
A summer dessert with orange sorbet and buttery shortbread

A light vanilla mousse, layered with a tangy lemon curd jelly and garnished with slices of, Zespri SunGold, kiwi and a passion fruit syrup. With an orange sorbet accompaniment, it makes for a beautiful and refreshing summer dessert.
Lets not ignore the shortbread base recipe. It’s a, melt in the mouth, buttery sensation with enough to make extra biscuits – you can’t have enough shortbread…gone already.

Ingredients: (Makes four 9cm x 4cm round desserts or six rectangle 12cm x 4cm x 3cm desserts)

Shortbread: (for base and extra slices as accompaniment)
165g softened unsalted butter.
73g caster sugar.
225g plain flour – sieved.
20g cornflour – sieved.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Zest of a lemon (optional)
1/4 tsp of salt.
Extra flour for dusting and rolling dough.
Caster sugar to sprinkle on uncooked shortbread.

Lemon Curd Jelly:
135g caster sugar.
2 large eggs
Juice and zest of 4 lemons – approx 130g – 135g.
1/2 tsp of agar agar or setting agent of choice. (equiv’ to 1 leaf of gelatin)
140g unsalted butter – cut in to cubes.

Orange Sorbet: (makes approx 450ml)
300ml fresh orange juice.
Zest of two oranges.
130g sugar.
200ml water.
1g silk gel (optional)
Note: Silk gel stops sorbets from becoming to icy/solid. Also less sugar syrup can be used in your recipes.

Vanilla Mouse:
170ml double cream.
120g cream cheese.
20g caster sugar.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Juice of 1 lime
1 tabls water.
1/2 tsp of agar agar or setting agent of choice. (equiv’ to 1 leaf of gelatin)

2 egg whites.
40g caster sugar.
Pinch of salt.

Passion Fruit Syrup:
100ml water
2 dessert spoons of sugar.
1 passion fruit.

Garnish:
4-5 Kiwi fruits. Zespri SunGold are so sweet – they are ideal.
3-4 Passion fruits.
Fresh Cherries or summer fruit of your choice.
12 sprigs of fresh mint.

Method/cook:

Shortbread: (oven gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F)
Cream together the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and salt.
Combine the sieved flour and cornflour.
Make a dough by adding the flour mix to the creamed butter mix.
Bring all the ingredients together, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Once the dough has chilled, roll out on a floured surface to 1cm in thickness.
Using your round or rectangle moulds – the same moulds you will use to set your mousse and curd – cut out your shortbread.
Use up all the shortbread mix by cutting further rectangles or rounds that can be served as a biscuit accompaniment.
Place your shortbread shapes on lined baking sheets, sprinkle with caster sugar, and bake for 10 minutes at gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F – middle shelf.
Tip: After 5 minutes baking, turn your baking trays so that the shortbread at the front go to the back. Bake for the remaining 5 minutes. This gives your shortbread a more even bake.
When your shortbread has cooked, remove from the oven, and immediately, while still hot, re-cut the shortbread with your round or rectangle moulds. I have used both as an example. (See image)
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Re-cutting the shortbread is important, as the shortbread expands during baking and you want the biscuit bases to fit inside of the moulds.
Once cooled, store shortbread in an airtight container. Eat the trimmed pieces.

Lemon Curd Jelly:
Except for the butter, place rest of ingredients into a thick bottomed pan and combine, thoroughly, with a hand whisk.
Note:
If using leaf gelatin – soak in a dish of water first before adding.
Put the pan over a medium heat and, while stirring, slowly bring the contents to just boiling.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
Sieve the curd and set aside to cool.
Once chilled, store in an airtight container and refrigerate to chill.

Orange Sorbet:
Create syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil in a thick bottomed pan.
Once syrup boils add the orange zest and silk gel and simmer for 5 minuets.
Once syrup has simmered leave to cool.
Add the fresh orange juice to the syrup and strain.
Chill the orange and syrup mixture in the refrigerator.
Once chilled, churn in an ice cream maker and store the resulting sorbet in a freezer.
Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the sorbet mix in a suitable container and pop in the freezer. Stir the sorbet mixture every couple of hours until it creates a soft, but frozen ice.

Passion Fruit Syrup:
Bring the sugar and water to a boil.
Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
Add the seeds and juice from the passion fruit. Chill and set aside.

Vanilla Mouse:
Whip the double cream to soft peaks – set aside.
Mix the cream cheese, vanilla and 20g of caster sugar. set aside.
Place lime juice, water and agar agar in a pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering take off heat and set aside. Note: If using leaf gelatin – soak in a dish of water first before adding to the warm lime juice.
Whisk egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks form. Then add the 40g of sugar to the stiff egg whites and whisk for 3 minutes.
With a hand whisk, combine the warm agar agar and lime juice to the cream cheese mixture.
Now add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mix and combine with hand whisk.
Now fold in the egg white mix until well combined.

Making the individual desserts:
On a baking sheet, place a shortbread biscuit in the base of your moulds.
Now pipe a layer of vanilla mousse in each mould – a third of the way up. (See image)
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Follow the vanilla layer by piping a lemon curd layer.
Now pipe a final vanilla layer, on top of the curd layer, and smooth with a palette knife. (See image)
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Chill your individual layered desserts for several hours to set – overnight if you can.

Serving/plating:

Once the desserts have set, carefully run a thin bladed knife around the edge of the moulds. With the mold still in place, slide a palette knife under the whole dessert and transfer to a plate. Carefully remove mould.
Garnish the top of each mouse with passion friut and mint sprigs.
Serve with slices of, Zespri SunGold, kiwi fruit, a scoop of orange sorbet and a drizzle of the passion fruit syrup.
I added a couple of fresh cherries, but any summer fruit will suffice.
Serve with extra shortbread biscuits.

Enjoy.

chocolate, chocolate cream, desserts, food blogging, food photography, ice cream, licorice, liquorice, recipes, restaurant food, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Fruit Tart with Liquorice Ice Cream and Blackcurrant Jelly.

fruit tart with liquorice ice cream
Fruit Tart with Liquorice Ice Cream. Served with Chocolate Cream and Blackcurrant Jelly

A melt in the mouth sweet pastry filled with a tangy fruit compote and topped with a dark chocolate cream. But it doesn’t stop there; Jelly and ice cream will take you back to your childhood…Mmm liquorice and blackcurrant.

Ingredients: Makes 6 tarts.

Liquorice Ice Cream: (makes approx’ 500ml)
3 egg yolks.
75g sugar.
300ml whole milk.
30ml double cream.
20g skimmed milk powder.
1/4 tsp salt.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1 1/2 tspns liquorice powder.
1 tsp liquorice syrup.
1g ice cream stabiliser. (Optional)

Pastry for tart cases:
200g plain flour.
125g chilled butter.
50g caster sugar.
1 beaten egg.
Pinch of salt.

Blackcurrant Jelly:
100ml blackcurrant cordial (50% juice).
100ml summer fruit juice.
1 level tsp Agar Agar or jelling agent you prefer.
Note: I prefer agar agar as it sets to a gel at room temperature and makes wonderful soft jellies.

Fruit Compote:
180g Frozen summer fruits.
3 dessert spoons sugar.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
3 tbls of cold water.
1 heaped tsp of cornflour.

Chocolate Cream:
150g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
110ml skimmed milk.
35ml double cream.
1 1/2 tsps sugar.
1 tsp vanilla extract.

Garnish:
6 fresh strawberries
6 sprigs of mint.
Zest of 1 large orange.
Or use fresh fruits of your choice.

Method/cook:

Ice Cream:
Mix 2 dessert spoons of the sugar with the ice cream stabiliser. Set aside.
In a thick bottomed pan heat the milk, cream, milk powder, salt vanilla, liquorice powder and syrup to 82°C / 180°F. Note: Bring to a simmer if you don’t have a thermometer.
When the milk mixture has reached the required temperature, remove from the heat, and leave to cool for 3 mins’. Stir in the sugar and stabiliser mix.
With a whisk, cream together your egg yolks and remaining sugar in a heat proof bowl.
Now add your hot milk mixture to the egg yolks and sugar to create a custard – combine with a hand whisk.
Note: Make sure that your milk mixture isn’t to hot as it will scramble the egg.
Pour the custard back into your thick bottomed pan, and on a low heat, stir until the custard thickens. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon remove from the heat.
Note: If you have a thermometer. Heat and stir the custard to 60°C / 140°F and cook until the custard has thickened, about 5 mins’.
Strain the custard into a clean bowl and leave to cool.
Once cool refrigerate until chilled.
Once chilled, churn your custard in an ice cream maker.
Store your finished ice cream in a suitable container in the freezer.
Note: You can make this ice cream without the stabiliser but it will freeze to a firmer texture.

Jelly:
Heat all the ingredients to just boiling.
Pour the hot fruit liquid into an oblong mould or dish, lined with cling film. Pop any bubbles that may form. Set aside to set. (See image)
_V2A7347

Tart Pastry cases:
Rub the chilled butter into the flour and salt.
Combine the sugar and the beaten egg.
Make a dough by combining the the egg mix to the flour mix.
Wrap in cling film and chill until pastry is firm.
Note: Initially this pastry mix is quite sticky. Have some extra flour ready to sprinkle over your hands when combining into a dough. Refrigerate the dough overnight, if you can, as it will help when it comes to rolling out.
When the dough has chilled divide into 6 equal portions and roll each piece into a circle – large enough to line 10cm tart cases.
Line six 10 cm tart cases with pastry. Bake blind for 10 minutes at gas 6 or 200°C/400°F
After 10 mins’ remove tart case from the oven. Remove parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 5 mins’ at gas 3 or 160°C/325°F.
Once baked remove from oven and leave to cool.
Note: Baking blind – line uncooked pastry tarts with parchment and weight down with baking beans, dried peas or rice. This stops the bases of the tarts rising (See image)
_V2A7340

Fruit Compote:
Except for the cornflour, in a pan, heat all the ingredients to a simmer.
Mix the cornflour with 2 tabls of water and add to the simmering fruit mixture.
When fruit mixture thickens remove from the heat and set aside to chill.
Note: Don’t be tempted to add extra sugar to the compote. A slight tang or sourness is required to balance out the overall sweetness of the final dish.

Chocolate Cream:
Put all the ingredients into a pan and heat gently. As the chocolate melts whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
Place in a clean receptacle to cool. Once cooled, place in refrigerator to firm to a piping consistency.

To serve:
Dust the edge of each tart case with icing sugar.
Half fill the tart cases with fruit compote. Top with a swirl of chocolate cream.
Turn out the jelly and cut into cubes. Arrange on the plate with slices of strawberry.
Tip: Slices of strawberry will stick to the sides of the moist jelly cubes – it gives a little height and interest to the dish.
Pipe more chocolate swirls around the plate.
Place a scoop of ice cream topped with orange zest with your finished dish.
Enjoy.

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Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream

Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge Pudding
Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream.

Who doesn’t love a warm steamy pudding?  Not sure about you, but there are no hands up in our house. I do like a thick English custard with my steamed pudding, but ice cream seems more befitting for the time of year.

Ingredients: (Makes 6 – 8cm x 5cm puddings)

Sponge:
175g softened butter.
175g caster sugar.
175g self raising flour – sieved.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda – sieved.
3 large eggs – room temperature.

6 individual pudding moulds – 8cm x 5cm.
Butter for greasing.
8 fresh ripe apricots.
50g stem ginger – chopped. (See recipe below or buy ready made)
12 heaped tsps golden syrup.

Ice Cream:
150ml semi skimmed milk.
320ml double cream.
50g sugar.
50ml Irish Cream Liqueur.
Tip: If you want a stronger alcohol taste add more liqueur and reduce the milk by the same amount – ie: extra 20ml liqueur reduce milk by 20ml.

Stem Ginger recipe and stock syrup:
260g peeled fresh ginger – sliced.
400ml water.

Stock Syrup:
500ml water.
200g sugar.
1 slice of orange.
1 slice of lemon.
1 bay leaf.
3 cardamon pods.
3 cloves.
5cm cinnamon stick.

Method/cook:

Ice Cream:
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer – leave to cool.
Once cooled add the mixture to ice cream maker to churn.
After approx’ 50 minutes it will form a soft ice cream.
Transfer soft ice cream to a plastic container – with lid – and pop in the freezer for several hours.
Note: Ice cream made with ice cream makers still need to be popped into a freezer – don’t expect the ice cream maker to give you a finished product. Once the ice cream reaches an almost frozen state the mixing paddle will stop turning, but not all the mixture is frozen. Add this extra freezing time to your timings. Ice cream makers with integrated compressor are best.

Stem Ginger:
In a pan, with a lid, simmer the sliced ginger in the 400ml of water until soft – 40-60 mins’. Be careful that the pan doesn’t boil dry.
While the ginger simmers make the stock syrup.
Put all the stock syrup ingredients into a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
When the ginger is soft add the stock syrup and simmer until liquid is reduced by half and syrup thickens.
Store in sterilised jam jars.

Sponge: 
Firstly prepare the pudding moulds.
Grease each mould with butter.
Pop a small amount of chopped stem ginger into the bottom of each mould.
Add a 2 heaped teaspoon of golden syrup to the bottom of each mould.
Slice 6 apricots and line each mould. (See image)
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Once the moulds are lined, prepare the sponge mix.
Crack the eggs into a dish and beat with a fork until well mixed. Set aside.
Seive the flour and bicarb’ of soda together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric whisk – or use a wooden spoon if you feel that you need a work out.
Once the butter and sugar are well creamed add the beaten egg a little at a time.
Once all the egg has been incorporated fold in the sieved flour and bicarb’ of soda.
Divide sponge mixture between the 6 moulds. (see iamge)
Note: Chilled eggs will cause the mixture to split, so use eggs that have been stored at room temperature. If the mixture splits before all the egg has been added, mix in a dessert spoon or two of the sieved flour – this should fix it.
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Cover each pudding with parchment paper and then a piece of tin foil. Secure with elastic bands. (see images)
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Note the fold in the parchment paper – this is to allow the sponges to rise during steaming.
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Steam the sponges for 30-35 mins.
To steam the sponges, line the base of a large pan with baking beans or a wire trivet.
Just cover the beans or trivet with water and bring to a simmer.
Add the sealed puddings to the simmering water and top up with boiling water so the level reaches half way up the pudding moulds. (see image)
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Put a lid on the pan and steam the puddings for 35-40 minutes on a low flame.
Once cooked, remove parchment paper and foil. Turn out onto plates and serve with the ice cream, fresh apricot slices and fresh cream.
Enjoy.

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Chocolate Layer Cake

One for the Chocoholic…well a slice at least.

Chocolate sponge dessert.
A moreish chocolate sponge cake with layers of summer fruits and fresh cream. Crème de Cassis and a chocolate cream, flavoured with star anise, add a touch of luxury.

I had to make something sweet to show off my latest charity shop purchases – two retro jugs, a 60’s glass plate and a nondescript little pot – all for a tenner. The items take me back to my childhood with so many memories.
My mother was always baking when I was younger, a lot younger, and this is the sort of moist chocolatey delight we as a family enjoyed. After a hard day, at a local farm, picking muddy King Edwards from a field that looked like the Somme it was a joy to sit down with a slice of cake and a hot chocolate. The money wasn’t great, but it came in handy to buy new pairs of wellingtons every week, as the thick, gloopy mud claimed so many.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
4 eggs.
115g caster sugar.
90g plain flour.
25g cocoa powder.
55g melted butter.
1tsp vanilla extract/flavouring.

Chocolate Cream Coating:
400g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa.
300ml milk.
100ml double cream.
2 tsp sugar.
3 star anise.

Fruit Filling and Sauce:
500g Frozen summer berries – use mixed fresh berries if you like.
100g sugar.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon.
5 tablespoons of Crème de Cassis. Or use Blackcurrant juice if you prefer.
4 tbls cold water.
4 tsps cornflour mixed with 5 tbls cold water.

Cream For Filling:
100ml whipped cream.

Chocolate Flakes/scrolls:
200g Dark chocolate:

Garnish to serve:
Fresh summer fruits – I chose raspberries.
300ml Double creme.

Method/cook:

Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
Grease and line a 20cm x 25cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Set oven to gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c
Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl – set aside.
In a small dish mix together the melted butter and vanilla – set aside.
Crack the eggs into a heat proof bowl, add the sugar, and whisk over a pan of simmering hot water, with a electric whisk, for 5 minutes.
When the egg and sugar mixture has thickened and increased in volume, to ribbon stage, remove from the heat.
Using a balloon whisk, gently fold half of your sieved flour and cocoa powder, and half of your melted butter mix into the egg mixture.
Fold the remaining flour, cocoa and melted butter into the egg mixture.
Pour sponge mix into prepared cake tin.
Bake at gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c for 20-30 minutes on middle shelf.
Once baked leave to cool.

Chocolate Cream Coating:
Break 200g of the chocolate into small pieces and place into a pan along with the milk, cream, sugar and star anise. Bring to a simmer and gently stir the ingredients until all the chocolate has melted. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and leave for 5 minutes for the star anise to impart a subtle aniseed flavour.
After the 5 minutes, remove milk and chocolate mix from the heat. Strain to remove star anise and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Melt the rest of the chocolate (200g) in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted add to the cooled milk mixture and whisk by hand to incorporate all the ingredients into a chocolate cream. It will thicken to a fudge texture as it cools further.

Fruit Filling and Sauce:
Place all ingredients, except cornflour and water mix, into a pan.
Place pan, with lid, on a low heat and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
Once the the ingredients are simmering stir in the cornflour and water mix.
As soon as the fruit mixture thickens, remove from the heat and place in a clean bowl to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate until chilled through.

Chocolate Flakes/scrolls:
Melt chocolate, in a heat proof bowl, over simmering hot water.
Once melted, pour chocolate onto work surface, marble slab – or, as I do, a piece of slate. See image:_V2A4098
Leave the chocolate to set at room temperature.
Note: If the chocolate is too cold it won’t form scrolls/shavings so don’t be tempted to speed up the cooling by placing it in the refrigerator.
When the chocolate has set, scrape a knife along the surface of the chocolate to create the shavings. See Image:_V2A4106
Use the blade of the knife, horizontal against chocolate, and drag from top to bottom across the surface of the chocolate. Keep the top of the knife slightly tilted towards you. Don’t dig the blade into the chocolate, just add enough pressure to create the scrolls/shavings.
Keep scraping across the chocolate until you have enough flakes/scrolls to cover the cake – top and sides. Transfer the choc’ flakes/scrolls to a clean tray and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Building The Cake:
For the final cake I cut 4 oblong sponge slices- approx’ 12cm x 22cm and 2cm in thickness. See image:_V2A4094
Drizzle each slice of sponge with Crème de Cassis or blackcurrant juice. See Image:_V2A4096
Pipe, narrow, lines of cream onto three of the slices and spoon fruit filling between the lines of cream. See image:_V2A4099

Now stack the sponges to create the layers – lightly firm and remove any cream that may ooze out. See Image:_V2A4101

Cover the stacked sponge with the chocolate cream: See image:_V2A4103

Now cover your cake with your chilled chocolate flakes/scrolls.
Finally, pass the remaining fruit filling through a fine sieve to be served as a sauce.

Tip: If the sauce is to thick after chilling just add a little more Crème de Cassis or blackcurrant juice.

Serve:
Serve your final cake with fresh pouring cream, fresh fruits of your choice and the fruit sauce.
Enjoy.

desserts, food blogging, restaurant food, tarts

Custard Tart

Custard Tart
Deep Filled Custard Tart with Toffee Sauce, Glazed Bananas and a Sultana Syrup.

A wonderful dessert to follow a Sunday lunch. Maybe a good idea to go easy on the roast potatoes.

Ingredients:

Pastry: (for six tarts)
300g plain flour.
180g unsalted butter – cold.
1 large egg.
70g caster sugar.
2-3 tabls cold water.
Pinch of salt.

Egg Custard:
3 eggs.
30g caster sugar.
400ml whole milk.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Fresh nutmeg for grating.

Toffee Sauce:
100g sugar.
300ml double cream.
50g butter.

Sultana Syrup:
200ml water.
3 dessert spoons of sugar.
bay leaf.
3 cloves.
slice of lemon.
slice of orange.
50g of sultanas.

Glazed Bananas:
3 small ripe bananas.
15g of icing sugar and some for dusting.

Hazelnuts optional.

Method/Cook:

Pastry:
Add flour and salt to a bowl and rub in the cold butter to a fine crumb.
Lightly hand whisk the egg and sugar together.
Add the egg and sugar mixture to the flour mix to form a dough.
If needed, add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is a little dry.
Once the dough is made place in the refrigerator to chill – 1 hour.
Divide pastry into 6 equal portions.
Roll out each portion of pastry and line six round 9cm/3.5″ baking rings. I use non-stick egg rings with a depth of 4cm/1.5″
After lining rings with pastry ‘bake blind’ (see note) for 10 minutes at gas 6 or 400°F / 204°C. After 10 minutes remove parchment paper and baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Once tart cases are baked remove from the oven and leave to cool – do not remove the rings at this point.
Note: Baking blind. Line your uncooked pastry cases with parchment paper, bottom and sides, fill each ring with baking beans or dried peas. This stops the pastry from rising at the base and falling in at the sides.

Custard filling:
Lightly hand whisk the eggs and the sugar together in a bowl.
Heat the milk and vanilla in a pan until just warm.
Pour the warm milk onto your egg and sugar mixture and hand whisk together.
Transfer the mixture to a pouring jug and pour into your cooled pastry tart cases.
Once you have filled your pastry cases with custard, grate the top of each tart with fresh nutmeg.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until custard has set. Gas 6 or 400°F / 204°C.
When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

Toffee Sauce:
Place sugar in a thick bottomed pan over a low heat – do not stir as sugar will crystallize before turning to a caramel.
When the sugar melts and starts to turn a golden brown remove from the heat.
Add the cream and butter – be careful at this point as the caramel is extremely hot and will bubble up as you add the cream.
On a low heat continue to stir until all the ingredients have formed a smooth sauce.
Note: On adding the cream, some of the the caramel will go hard and sticky. This caramel will melt as you stir cook the sauce out.
Once ready set aside.

Sultana Syrup:
Place all the ingredients except the sultanas in a pan.
Bring to a simmer and simmer for a further ten minutes.
Add the sultans and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Leave to cool.

Glazed Bananas:
Slice bananas into 5mm / 1/4″ slices and place on a non-stick baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Dust each slice with icing sugar and place under a medium grill until each slice turns a light golden brown. Or us a blowtorch if you have one.

To Serve:
Top your cooked tarts with a little of the toffee sauce and serve with the glazed bananas and sultana syrup. Dust with icing sugar.
Hazelnuts can be used to garnish for a little extra texture.
Note: The toffee sauce and syrup can be served warm as can the tart – enjoy.

bread, celebration, chocolate, Easter, food blogging, thefoodygrail.com

Chocolate and Orange Easter Bread

Easter Bread. Chocolate and Orange.
Chocolate and orange Easter Bread.

A sweet treat for Easter – or any occasion really.
This recipe is my own and, with a method similar to baking a Stollen, is very easy to make. It uses a simple fortified dough (containing eggs and butter) and takes little kneading. Give it a go.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
10″ or 25.5cm non-stick baking tin – greased and lined with parchment paper.
600g Strong Flour – plus some for kneading.
150ml warm milk – blood temperature.
200g unsalted butter – must be unsalted.
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk.
2 tsps salt.
2 tabls caster sugar.
25g dried active yeast or 50g fresh yeast.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Butter for greasing.

Filling:
180g Chocolate spread.
55g crushed Pistachio nuts.
Zest from 3 large oranges.

Glaze:
1/4 jar of Apricot jam.

Decoration:
1 packet of mini eggs.

Method:
In a large bowl stir 50g of butter into the warm milk.
When the butter has melted into the milk add the yeast, sugar and 2 heaped tablespoons of flour – taken from the 600g of flour that you have already weighed.
Tip: To remove any lumps of flour from the ferment – lightly whisk with a hand whisk.
Leave the milk and yeast mixture to ferment for 30-40 minutes. The mixture will bubble and quadruple in size.
In a second large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt and rub in the remaining 150g of butter, until all the butter has dispersed into the flour. Make a well in the centre.
In a separate bowl lightly whisk, with a fork, the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
When the ferment is ready add, with the eggs and vanilla, to the flour and butter mix.
Combine all the ingredients into a dough. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
Once kneaded, put the dough into a floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size.
Note: The first prove can take 2 hours.
Note: Unsalted butter is essential for the ferment, as salt will prevent yeast from activating.
Note: If you think that the dough is a little dry, add a touch more warm milk. If it’s to wet/sticky add a touch more flour.

Rolling the dough:

Once the dough has proved, roll out, on a lightly floured surface, into an oblong shape, approx’ 18″ x 13″ or 46cm x 33cm (see image 1 – below) and 1/4″ or 6mm in thickness.
Once rolled out to the required size, cover with chocolate spread and sprinkle with crushed pistachio nuts and the zest of the oranges. (see image 2 – below)
Roll up the dough into a sausage shape. Once rolled continue to roll the dough back and forth lightly stretching the length to approx’ 21″ or 53cm.  (See image 3 below.)
Once rolled to the desired length, trim 1/2″ or 1cm off each end.
Now, with a sharp knife, cut the dough into even pieces – approx’ 1 and a 1/4″ or 3.5cm in length.
Arrange the cut pieces of dough in a greased and lined baking tin. (see image 4 – below)
Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours.
Once proved bake in a preheated oven on Gas 6 or 190°C / 375°F for 30-35 minutes.

Note: Don’t cram the baking tin with cut dough pieces – leave room for the dough to expand while proving. Any pieces that won’t fit in the tin just bake as separate buns and have with a cuppa’.

Glazing:

When Easter Bread is baked, remove from the oven.
Gently heat 4 tablespoons of Apricot jam in a pan until melted and liquid.
Remove the, warm, baked Easter Bread from the baking tin place on a wire rack.
Spoon the melted apricot jam over the warm bread, and using a pastry brush, make sure that the top and sides are covered with the apricot glaze.
Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container.

Decorate with mini eggs, if you so wish. Enjoy.

Image 1.                                                                   Image 2.
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Image 3.                                                                                          Image 4.
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desserts

Chocolate Mouse Cheesecake

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An indulgent chocolate dessert to grace any dinner party.

Recipe/ingredients:

You will need a 25cm x 6cm cake tin. Spring loaded if you have one, but not essential. Electric whisk and a balloon whisk.

For the chocolate cheesecake mouse:
200g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa.
3 large eggs separated.
200g cream cheese.
300ml double cream.
100g caster sugar. (Split sugar into two measures of 60g and 40g.)
1 and a 1/2 leaves of gelatin.
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract.
Juice of half a small lemon or a tablespoon of brandy.
1 tbls of cocoa powder for dusting.

For the base:
120g melted butter.
300g digestive biscuits.
5g of butter for greasing tin.

Method:

For biscuit base:
Grease cake tin with thin layer of butter, then line base and sides of tin with greaseproof paper.
Crush biscuits to a crumb by putting in a strong plastic bag and hitting with a rolling pin – or use a food processor.
Once the biscuits have been crushed place into a bowl and mix with the melted butter.
Put the biscuit mix into your lined cake tin. Using the back of a dessert spoon press and smooth the biscuit mixture down evenly to create your biscuit base.
Set aside in a refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

For chocolate cheesecake mouse:
Put gelatin in a dish of cold water to soften.
Break chocolate, into heat proof bowl, and place over a pan of simmering water to melt.
Whip the double cream to soft peaks and set aside in a refrigerator.
Thoroughly mix cream cheese with 40g of caster sugar, set aside.
Over a pan of simmering hot water, whisk 3 egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice (or brandy) for 5 minutes with an electric whisk. Be careful not to scramble the yolks.
Add softened gelatin to the egg yolk mix and continue whisking until combined and all the gelatin has melted.
Add the melted chocolate to the egg yolks, and using a balloon whisk, mix until all the chocolate is combined. Remove from heat and set aside. See Note.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then whisk in 60g of sugar to create a meringue.
You are now ready to combine the cream cheese, whipped cream, and meringue to the egg yolk and chocolate mixture.
With a balloon whisk, combine the cream cheese and double cream together.
Now add cream cheese and double cream mixture to the chocolate and egg yolk mixture – mix thoroughly with balloon whisk.
Now fold in the meringue with balloon whisk. Once combined, pour into your lined cake tin and level off the surface.
Chill overnight and enjoy.

Serve with a fruit compote of your choice – I chose cherry.

Tip: Before removing from the tin, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will prevent the tin dragging the sides of the cheesecake as you lift if off.

Tip: Dust each serving with cocoa powder.

Note: If your chocolate and egg yolk mixture splits, or becomes to thick, whisk over a pan of simmering water to loosen. Add an extra dessert spoon of lemon or brandy if need be, and all will be good.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

brandy snaps, chocolate sauce, cinder toffee, food blogging, food photography, honeycomb, ice cream, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Honeycomb Dessert

Rich and sweet – as a dessert should be.  A great looking pud’ that can be made several days in advance, saving you time and effort.

Honeycomb / cinder toffee dessert.
A crisp brandy snap basket filled with honeycomb ice cream. Served with mini chocolate sponge squares, chocolate sauce and raspberries topped with lemon sugar.

Enjoyed this today after dinner – just having a lie down.

Honeycomb / cinder toffee:
100g caster sugar.
2 full tbls golden syrup.
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda.
Oil for greasing

Ice Cream:
Recipe will make approx’ 2.4 liters of ice cream – when combined with honeycomb.
900ml of double cream.
150g sugar.
3 tbls cold water.
5 large egg yolks.
1 tsp vanilla extract/flavouring.
Juice of half a lemon.

Chocolate Genoise Sponge Squares:
4 eggs.
115g caster sugar.
90g plain flour.
25g cocoa powder.
55g melted butter.
1tsp vanilla extract/flavouring.

2 tbls apricot jam/marmalade.
1 tbls water.
50g grated dark chocolate.
raspberry liqueur or brandy.

Brandy Sanps:
50g brown sugar.
50g butter.
1 dessert spoon/50g golden sryup.
50g plain flour.
1/2 tsp ground ginger.
1tsp lemon juice.
1tsp brandy (optional).
Vegetable oil for greasing baking tray.

Chocolate Sauce:
100g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa.
160ml milk.
50ml double cream.
1 tsp sugar.

Raspberries and Lemon Icing:
Small punnet of Raspberries.
3 level tablespoons sugar.
Juice of half a lemon.

Cook/Method:

Plan ahead when making this dessert as the ice cream will need twelve hours in a freezer before it’s… well, ice cream. The great thing about this ice cream is that you don’t need an ice cream maker. Just follow the method and pop it in the freezer. In the words of Gordon Ramsey, “Ice cream, done.” Best not mention some of his other colloquialisms.

The chocolate sponge, brandy snaps and honeycomb can all be made several days in advance. Store in air tight containers, put your feet up and have a coffee.

The chocolate sauce can be made the day before and kept in a refrigerator. Go to the pub for an hour. Just heat up the sauce and serve when needed.

The Raspberries with lemon icing, just make on the day you plan to serve.

One – Honeycomb:
Grease and line a 25cm x 20cm non-stick baking tin with good quality grease-proof paper. Extend the greaseproof paper beyond the edges of the tin by 2.5cm or 1 inch.
Have ready a balloon whisk.
Have ready a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
Put the sugar and syrup in to a thick bottomed pan. Place on a low heat and stir. Slowly melt the sugar and syrup until the grains of sugar have melted.
Turn up the heat slightly and cook the sugar mixture to a light caramel.
Remove from the heat and immediately add your bicarbonate of soda and quickly whisk.
Pour mixture into your greased and lined baking tin.
Leave to cool for 1 hour and 30 mins’.
When cold remove from tin, peel off greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container. Set aside to add to the ice cream later.
Note: I usually double the ingredients and save half of the cooked honeycomb as a treat – when I have been good.

Two – Ice Cream:
Note: Jam/sugar thermometer not essential for making the ice cream but handy if you happen to own one.
Whip the double cream until it turns thick and creamy – don’t over whip – set aside in refrigerator.
Put sugar and cold water into a thick bottomed pan. Place on hob on a low heat. Do not stir, let the sugar slowly melt to a syrup. While the sugar melts go to next step.
Add the five egg yolks, lemon juice and vanilla extract to a heat proof mixing bowl.
Place mixing bowl with egg yolks and lemon and vanilla over a pan of simmering hot water and whisk for 5 minutes with a electric whisk. Take care not to scramble the eggs. The mixture should turn a pale cream colour and thicken to ribbon stage. Remove from the heat and whisk for two more minutes – set aside.
Check your sugar. If you have a sugar/jam thermometer place in the pan with melted sugar and bring heat up to 230°f/110°c. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer turn up the heat to medium and cook the sugar syrup for 2 minutes – don’t let the sugar syrup colour.  The syrup should be clear and starting to produce surface bubbles as it simmers.
When sugar syrup is ready let it cool for two minutes then whisk sugar syrup into your egg yolk mixture. Whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Add your whipped double cream to the egg yolk and syrup mixture, and using a balloon whisk, thoroughly fold the mixture together.
Take your previously made honeycomb and crush into small peices. Fold crushed honeycomb into the cream mixture.
Pop the mixture into an airtight container and freeze for 12 hours.
Pat yourself on the back and have a cup of tea.

Three – Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
Grease and line a 20cm x 25cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Set oven to gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c
Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl – set aside.
In a small dish mix together the melted butter and vanilla – set aside.
Crack the eggs into a heat proof bowl, add the sugar, and whisk over a pan of simmering hot water, with a electric whisk, for 5 minutes.
When the egg and sugar mixture has thickened and increased in volume, to ribbon stage, remove from the heat.
Using a balloon whisk, gently fold half of your sieved flour and cocoa powder, and half of your melted butter mix into the egg mixture.
Fold the remaining flour, cocoa and melted butter into the egg mixture.
Pour sponge mix into prepared cake tin.
Bake at gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c for 20-30 minutes on middle shelf.
When the sponge has cooled wrap in cling film and store in the fridge.

To make the sponge squares:
Cut as many squares of sponge that you will need – approximately three to five 2cm squares per person will be enough. Freeze any sponge that you don’t use.
Place your sponge squares on greaseproof paper and pour a teaspoon of raspberry liqueur/brandy over each one. Set aside.
Gently heat your apricot jam/marmalade and water until jam is melted.
Brush your sponge squares, on all sides, with the melted jam.
Roll your sponge squares in grated chocolate. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.

Four – Brandy Snaps:
Preheat oven to gas mark 4 or 350°f/175°c
Lightly grease, with oil, two upturned ramekin dishes.
Add Butter, sugar and syrup to a pan. Place on a low heat and stir until sugar grains have melted. Remove from the heat.
Add the brandy and lemon juice to the sugar mixture and stir.
Add the sieved flour and ground ginger.
Heat your greased baking tray in the oven for 3 minutes.
Once tray is heated, remove from the oven, and place two, separate, heaped dessert spoons of the brandy snap mixture on the tray. The mixture spreads as it cooks so place each spoonful far enough apart so that they don’t run into each other.
Place tray in oven to cook the brandy snaps – approx 15 mins’.
When the mixture has spread and turned to a golden brown, remove from the oven.
Leave the brandy snaps to cool for 30 seconds before attempting to lift them from the tray.
Using a palette knife, or wide metal scraper, carefully slide under the brandy snap. Lift brandy snap off the tray and drape over an upturned ramekin dish – mold the brandy snap over the ramekin to create the basket shape.
Once cooled and set remove the brandy from ramekin and store in an airtight container.

Tip: Loosen around the edges of the brandy snap first before sliding palette knife all the way under.
Tip: If the brandy snap becomes crisp before you have had the chance to mold it over the ramekin – place brandy snap back on the tray and put back in the oven for a minute to soften.
Tip: Use two trays and cook four brandy snaps at a time.

Five – Chocolate Sauce:
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place all the ingredients into a small pan.
Heat over a gentle heat until all the chocolate has melted into the milk and cream.
Simmer and lightly hand whisk until smooth. ( Don’t boil.)
Serve hot or cold.
When left to cool the chocolate sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered receptacle.

Six – Raspberries and Lemon Icing:
Place 3-5 raspberries per person on greaseproof paper.
Place sugar and lemon juice into a pan.
Heat on a low heat while stirring.
The sugar will go opaque and start to crystalise. Add a touch of water if sugar hardens.
Spoon a small blobs of the sugar mixture on each of the raspberries. The sugar icing should be thick enough not to run off the raspberry and will set to a hard crust on the outside.

Serve:

With all your prep done it’s time to plate up, serve and enjoy.

chocolate cheesecake, chocolate mouse, desserts, food blogging, food photography, thefoodygrail.com

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