Double Raspberry Pavlova

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Perfectly pink meringue, sweet raspberry curd, fresh raspberries and tart creme fraiche are a wonderful marriage of texture and flavour in these little pavlovas. I have opted to make 6 mini pavlovas, however one large pavlova would work just and well and be equally delicious.

Serves 6

For the raspberry curd

6 oz raspberries (one carton)

2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

4 oz butter (1 stick)

6 oz Sugar

pinch of salt

In a pan over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks a little and quickly add all the other ingredients. Keep whisking until the butter and sugar is melted, keep this mixture moving or the eggs will scramble. Cook for another 8 minutes, stirring intermittently until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Pass the curd through a sieve to rid it of the raspberry seeds, and store in a little jar. The curd can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

For the meringues

2 egg whites

2 oz sugar

2 oz  sieved icing / confectioners sugar

Red or pink food colour

Heat the oven to 180℉.

Whisk the egg whites and a teeny tiny amount of the food colouring until the whites are stiff enough that they won’t fall if the bowl is turned upside down. Gently fold in the sugars.

Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or a double layer of parchment paper brushed with a little oil.

The meringue can either be spooned out with an ice cream scoop or piped. You want to create a little indent in the centre either way.

For 6 mini pavlovas, I baked them for 1 hour, turned the heat off and left them in the oven for an additional 15- 20 minutes. A larger meringue will obviously take longer, set the timer for 1 hour 30 minutes and then check. If the tops are dry and crisp but the underneath still wet, carefully flip the meringues over, turn the oven off and leave, check every 10 -15 minutes. I like my meringues to have a little give in the centre.

Remove and let cool. These can be stored in an air tight container for 2-3 days.

Cream Topping

150ml/ 1/2 cup Heavy cream

75 ml / scant 1/3 cup Creme fraiche

Lightly whip the heavy cream and then stir in the creme fraiche. Set aside.

Assembling the pavlova

6oz fresh raspberries

1 oz dark chocolate

I like to crack the top of my meringues before filling them. It creates a lovely little nest to house the mounds of filling.

Spoon 2 tsp of the raspberry curd into the meringue nest, layer on a generous 2 tbsp of the cream, top with some fresh berries and grate on a little chocolate to garnish.

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Enjoy, F.

Double raspberry pavlova pdf

Chocolate Nut Granola

I love a little crunch with my yogurt in the morning, I find it really satisfies my hunger. This is my first attempt at granola, I’d call it an experiment that worked out pretty well. I’ll be using this recipes as a case to play around with different ingredients in the future.

Chocolate nut granola

1 ½ cups of  rolled oats

½ cup of flax seeds

½ cup of unsweetened coconut

½ cup of your favourite nuts crushed

¼ cup of cocoa powder

¼ cup of honey

2 tbsp of  olive oil

2 tbsp of coconut sugar

½ tsp of salt

Heat the oven to 300 degrees

In a bowl, combine the cocoa powder, honey and olive oil in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and there are no lumps.

Stir the oats, seeds, nuts and salt to the wet ingredients until they are coated and glistening.

Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar.

Pop it into the oven for 15 minutes, check and stir. Let cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Then devour, but seriously, store in an air tight container.

F.

Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Despite the long title these are simple, and quick to make and most of all sumptuous!

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Makes 12

4oz Unsalted butter – room temperature

4oz Sugar

1oz 80% cocoa chocolate

2 Large cold eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

3 1/2 oz All purpose flour

1/2 Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

100ml (1/3 cup) Heavy cream

Pre heat the over to 330 degrees F. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like the use the fluted brioche papers. I think  they provide some extra support to the batter in the oven.

Cut the butter into cubes and put in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add in the sugar and cream together on medium until fluffy.

Melt the chocolate, and mix into the butter and sugar.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and beat a little, measure the vanilla extract and mix in with the eggs. Add this to the main bowl and beat on high until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Sift these into the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low beat until the dry ingredients are only just combined.

Pour in the cream and mix until the batter has an even consistency.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners. Do not over fill the liners, a slightly heaped scoop is all you need. Ensure all the batter is out of the scoop and in the liner before moving on to the next cupcake.

Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the timer for 22 minutes, they may need a little longer, but keep a close eye on them

Leave to cool and then ice and decorate.

Cupcakes

Someone’s Happy. Nom nom nom.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 Eggs

8oz sugar

Pinch of salt

12oz unsalted butter room temperature

3oz White chocolate

Bring a small pan with a little water to a boil over medium heat.

In the meantime, separate the eggs very carefully. You need to measure 1/4 pint of egg whites. There may be some left over, don’t be tempted to just chuck this in with the rest. Save them or discard them.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer.

Place the bowl on top of the pan of boiling water and stir with a whip until the egg whites are ot and the sugar has dissolved. Scrape down any sugar around the side of the bowl. Keep stirring if you don’t  the egg whites will settle and start to cook like an omlette.

Remove and attach to the mixer. Beat on slow until cold.

When the meringue is cold add the butter a little at a time.  Beating until it’s incorporated.

Increase the speed a little and beat until smooth.

Melt the chocolate and steadily pour in, beating until incorporated.

You’ll have enough to cover about 24 cupcakes. The remainder of the icing will keep in the fridge for a while.

Enjoy, f.

Chocolate Apples

I love playing around in the kitchen and seeing what happens. It doesn’t always go my way, but I always learn something. Candy apples are one of my favourite treats this time of year, so I wanted to try something new with them.

What you’ll need for this confection adventure.

1 large honeycrisp apple.

1 bag of gummy worms.

Flat wooden ice pop sticks.

10 oreos.

8 oz semi sweet chocolate.

A wide smoothie straw.

A sense of fun.

Remove the filling from the oreos and crush, somethimes I use a food processor and sometimes I beat them with a rolling pin in a zip lock bag.

Make little slits in the apple with the tip of a knife, this makes pushing in the blunt stick a little easier.

Slice the apples and pat a little with kitchen paper to dry them.

Melt the chocolate.

Make the holes in the apples using the straw.

Cover both sides with chocolate, it may need a little help as the choclate doesn’t really like the moist apple.

Roll in the cookie crumbs and stand in a glass.

Reapeat for the other slices.

Pull, poke strecth, weave the gummie worms in, out and around the holes on the apple.

Eat immediately, the coating will begin cracking and falling off.

I had to share this because the reaction on the face of my Tiny Terror was worth the mess.

After a little coaxing he dove in.

Happy Halloween. f

Wormy_Chocolate_Apples

Tiffin Truffles

As if there weren’t enough goodies to stuff your face with around Thanksgiving, these treats are great to give as a hostess gift or a little thank you to your guests.

Line a container with parchment paper. The size isn’t that important, it depends on the depth you want the tiffin to be. The container I used above measures…..

Measure out the cream

Pour the cream into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add in the broken chocolate.

For this I’ve chosen intense orange by Lindt. The chocolate is good quality, rich  and on the bitter side, it has slivers of almonds and shreds of orange peel. The I love contrasts of tang and bitter, the smooth chocolate and the crunch of the almonds.

Whisk the chocolate into the cream until it is a glorious glossy sea

Stack ’em high, a tower of ginger biscuits

Now bash ’em, bash ’em, bash ’em. Put them into a zip lock bag first and squeeze out the air before sealing it or else  you’ll be hoovering up biscuit crumbs.

Do the same with the pecans.

Little jewels of autumn

Stir the cranberries into the molten chocolate

And the pecans and finally the biscuits

Pour this delicious mixture into the container, bang it on the counter a couple of times so it removes any air bubbles and then leave it over night to set

The next day, turn it out onto a cutting board

Slice through it with a sharp knife

Slice in to squares

Dust lightly with cocoa powder

Place them onto a cooling rack and shake lightly to remove any excess cocoa

Cut some wax paper into strips

and then into squares big enough to wrap your tiffin in.

Place the chocolate in the middle and…

Fold the sides up, so they overlap

Twist the ends in opposite directions

Bite size treats

Put some in a little dish, a perfect way to say thank you

Cackle Cookies

Get ready to bake some tasty goodness.

Makes about 12 cookies

Here are the ingredients;

2 Sticks room temperature unsalted butter  Cackle cookies

¾ Cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2 Cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1½ Cups hard toffee broken into pieces

½ Cup Dark chocolate

Witches hat cookie cutter

Chocolate transfer sheets

Preheat the oven to 325°

Buttery sweet crunchiness

Buttery sweet crunchiness

Break the toffee into bits, you’ll need 1½ cups of this good stuff. Click this & it will take you to the recipe for toffee

Cackle cookies

Put the butter, sugar, vanilla,flour and salt into a bowl

I'm not too posh to get down and dirty
I’m not too posh to get down and dirty

Combine in bowl, If you don’t want to use your hands use a wooden spoon. A mixer will quickly over beat the dough

Cackle cookies

I used a wooden spoon to stir in the toffee…… some of those bits are sharp!!

Cackle cookiesTip the dough on to a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper

Cackle cookiesSmouch down with your finger tips. Make sure to get it into the edges

Cackle cookiesFlatten and smooth with a rolling pin

Pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Then cut around the edges and remove from the pan. I lift the edge of the silicon baking sheet and slide it the rest of the way

Cackle cookiesNow I cut out the cookies. You want the cookies to have rested and settled a little, but the still need to be warm.

There is a lot of unshaped cookie left over, I wouldn’t call it waste because it gets eaten, but if you wanted more you could try cutting the out before baking, but the dough will spread.

Cackle cookies Leave to cool on a rack

Cackle cookiesLay the transfer sheet rough textured side up

Cackle cookiesMelt the chocolate and pour a thick ribbon onto the transfer sheet

Cackle cookiesSpread the chocolate evenly with an offset spatula

Cackle cookiesLeave the chocolate until it is semi hard then use the cookies cutter to cut out the hat shape

Cackle cookiesVery gently peel away the chocolate around the hat. Place the chocolate hat somewhere safe

Cackle cookiesTurn the cookie over, you need to have the smoothest side of the cookie facing upwards, also the chocolate transfer sheet cut out will be the reverse of the cut out cookie

Cackle cookiesDrizzle more melted chocolate onto the cookie. You can  use the scraps from the transfer sheet and remelt it

Cackle cookies

Smooth the chocolate on the cookie and delicately place the transfer sheet cut out onto it

Cackle cookies

Cackle cookiesServe on a creepy plate