Thursday, 30 July 2020

Lemon Drizzle Bundt

It's been so long since I have blogged consistently. Consistently might be a stretch as this is only the second post in a couple of weeks since my "return", but I'm taking anything I can get as this point. It's been so long that the program I use to create these posts has completely changed, so you'll have to hang in there while I relearn everything. But now that we are in lockdown again, I have plenty of time... and plenty of cake. 

Lemon Drizzle Bundt

For the Syrup:
125ml water
125ml caster sugar
125 lemon juice

For the Cake:
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup thick plain Greek yoghurt
300g self raising flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Make the Syrup:
Place all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes until it just starts to thicken and become syrupy.

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat for about 10-15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yoghurt and beat until well combined. Fold through the flour. Spoon the batter into a greased 4cm bundt tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Pierce all over with a skewer and pour the syrup all over.


Sunday, 12 July 2020

Small Batch Sourdough Croissants

It's been a long time between drinks, but here's a recipe worthy of a comeback. 

I've made a lot of croissants and quite a few sourdough croissants over the years, but these are the best and easiest so far. The fact that the recipe only makes six is a bonus... hear me out.  Most recipes I've used make a dozen or more croissants which, naturally, means handling a much larger amount of dough. I don't know about you, but the thought of rolling dough out to nearly a metre long and trying to keep it cool over and over is just too much for me to deal with. Plus, having more than six buttery, golden, flaky freshly made croissants in my house at any one time is flirting with danger.

Small Batch Sourdough Croissants:
Makes 6

100g active sourdough starter
250g baker's flour
30g caster sugar
6g salt
1 egg
80g water
25g unsalted butter at room temperature
140g butter, cold

Place starter, flour, sugar, salt, egg water and room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low until it just comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and slap and fold dough about 3 times until reasonably smooth. Form into a ball and put it into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Twenty minutes before the end of chilling time, take the cold butter out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of baking paper. Thwack it with a rolling pin until it is about 20cm x 20cm.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured counter. Roll it out to about 25cm x 25cm. Put the butter block on top of the dough so it's like a diamond in a square. Fold the corners of the dough to meet in the middle of the butter block and press the edges of the dough together to completely seal in the butter. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to 46cm long and 25cm wide. Fold the top down about 2/3 of the way, then fold the bottom to meet the top. Then fold it in half again. The block should be abut 25cm x  8cm. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured counter, making sure the the shorter side is parallel to you. Roll the dough again to about 45cm long and 8cm wide. Fold the top down to the middle, then fold the bottom over the top so that you have a rough square. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough until it is about 25cm high and 6mm thick.  Cut the croissants into triangles with bases about 8.5cm wide.

Roll the triangles of dough starting with the base, rolling to the tip. Place on a baking paper lined tray with the tip tucked under.

Put the whole tray into a large plastic bag and seal. Leave to proof at room temperature (about 21C), for 18-20 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Brush the croissants with egg wash (an egg beaten with a little water), and bake for about 25 minutes or until deeply golden.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Simple Baked Cheesecake

This makes one relatively small cheesecake. Perfect for when you're home alone.

Simple Baked Cheesecake
slightly adapted from here

For the Base:
6 Digestives
35g unsalted butter, melted
Seas salt, to taste

For the Filling:
125g sour cream
250g cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
50g brown sugar
50g caster sugar
100ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornflour

Make the Base:
Line 10 x 20cm loaf pan with baking paper. Set aside.

Process the biscuits in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and a pinch of salt and pulse to mix. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Make the Filling:
In a bowl, mix together the sour cream and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the egg and sugars, then add the cream and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the cornflour. Allow the mixture drain through a fine sieve (don't force the mixture through the sieve or you'll get lumps). Pour the filling mixture over the biscuit base. Tap the pan on the bench a few times to remove air bubbles.

Bake in a water bath by placing the pan in a larger baking tray, and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until the top is well browned. Turn the oven off, keeping the door closed, and leave the cheesecake undisturbed for about 3 hours. After 3 hours remove from the oven and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Sticky Date Tart with Toffee Sauce

Hello, remember me? It's been a while. Life's been hectic, but I still make time to bake and snap and eat.

Sticky Date Tart with Toffee Sauce 
slightly adapted from here

For the Pastry:
225g plain flour
Pinch salt
125g chilled unsalted, butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
Chilled water

For the Filling:
240g pitted dates, chopped
150ml milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons golden syrup
100g brown sugar
20g flaked almonds and icing sugar, for sprinkling

For the Sauce:
200g brown sugar
Pinch salt
50g unsalted butter
300ml cream

Make the Pastry:
Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons chilled water and pulse again until it comes together. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Grease a 36cm x 12cm rectangular loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and line the tray with it, tramming the excess pastry and pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Line the chilled tart shell with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Blind bake for 8 minutes, then remove the weights and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until golden and dry. Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.

Make the Filling:
Put the dates and milk into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmering point and remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda, then set aside for 30 minutes.

Place the dates and milk in a food processor with the vanilla and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, then fold in the flour, eggs, golden syrup and brown sugar. Mix until just combined. Set aside to cool.

Make the Sauce:
Place the brown sugar, salt butter and cream in a saucepan over low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.

Assemble the Tart:
Once the pastry case and the filling are cool, pour 80ml of the toffee sauce over the base, spreading it evenly. Next, spread the filling on top and scatter with almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just set. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with the remaining toffee sauce.

Saturday, 1 December 2018


I'm not really into Christmas. The whole commercial thing is a bit too much for me. But I do love a bit of Christmas baking... And seriously, if something called Kringle doesn't scream Christmas, I don't know what does. 

adapted from here

For the Filling:
¾ cup brown sugar, softened
70g unsalted butter
pinch fine sea salt
pinch ground cinnamon
½ egg white

For the Dough:
170g unsalted butter
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
60ml lukewarm water
60ml lukewarm milk
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups "00" flour, sifted
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons milk 

Make the Filling:
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Make the Dough:
Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir and leave to bloom (about 10 minutes).

Divide the butter in half and sandwich each portion between two pieces of cling film. Roll them out to a thin 20cm x 20cm square and pop them in the freezer.

Once the yeast mixture has become foamy, add the milk, sugar and egg and mix well.

Add the flour and mix on low speed for 1 minutes, then add the salt. Mix on low for another 4 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.

Place on piece of chilled butter on the top two thirds of dough.

Fold the uncovered third of dough over the middle third of buttered dough, then fold the remaining third of buttered dough over the top, like you would fold of business letter.

Again, fold one end over middle third and then fold remaining third over the top. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Add the other piece of chilled butter and fold as before. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cut the dough into two even portions.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle.

Cut dough into 2 equal pieces.

Lightly roll one piece at a time, until piece is about 15cm x 50cm.

Spread the filling down the centre of each rectangle of dough. Fold one of the long edges over the filling, moisten the other edge with some water and fold the top over, encasing the filling. Seal well.

Place the rolls of dough on a large rimmed baking tray lined with a piece of baking paper and form a circle, pressing the ends together.

Cover the kringle with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C and then bake the kringle for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Make the Glaze:
Mix the icing sugar with enough milk to make a drizzling consistency.

Once the kringle is cool, drizzle with glaze.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Chocolate Mole Tart

This tart is for when you make a batch of dulce de leche and need something to do with it, other than spoon it straight from the jar to your mouth. 

Chocolate Mole Tart
slightly adapted from here

For the Pastry:
250g plain flour, extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon or so of milk

For the Filling:
100g roasted hazelnuts
200g dark chocolate, chopped
Sea salt flakes
150g unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
4 - 5 tablespoons dulce de leche

For the Sprinkle:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 dried red chilli
Zest ½ orange
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
3 teaspoons icing sugar
Sea Slat flakes

Make the Pastry:
Put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the zest and vanilla seeds and pulse again.

Add the egg and blitz until well mixed. Add enough milk to bring the mixture into a ball.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Form into a disc and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested, roll it out large to fit into a lightly oiled 25cm loose-bottomed tart pan, about 0.5cm thick. Line the base and sides of the pan with the pastry. Trim the excess pastry, prick the base all over with a fork and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove from the freezer, line the pastry with a piece of baking paper and fill the case up with baking beans or weights. Bake blind for 10 minutes, remove the beans and paper, and return the shell to the oven for a further 10 minutes until firm, but not brown.  Leave on a wire rack to cool

Make the Filling:
Melt the chocolate and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water, don't let the pan touch the water. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put 75ml of water into a pan with 150g of sugar and whisk. Put the pan over a low heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thin, pale syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs until fluffy. Add the remaining 50g sugar and mix for 5 minutes, until pale and frothy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in your warm syrup and then the melted chocolate. Mix very briefly to combine.

Assemble the Tart:
Spread the dulce de leche evenly onto the base of the tart shell. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and sprinkle them onto the dulce de leche. Pour over the warm chocolate mixture. Place on a baking tray and bake for 17 minutes, until the chocolate has set around the edges, but the centre still has a slight wobble to it. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

Make the Sprinkle:
Put all the sprinkle ingredients into a mortar and bash until it becomes a fine powder. Sprinkle it through a sieve on top of the tart.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Malted Milk Ice Cream

Is it ice cream season yet?

Malted Milk Ice Cream
adapted from here

2 cups full-cream milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
45g cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 1/4 cups thickened cream
115g caster sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup malted milk powder

Make a cornflour slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese with the salt. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornflour slurry.

Put the pan back on the heat and bring it back to a boil over medium-high heat for about a minutes, until thickened. Remove some of this mixture and put it back to the cornflour bowl. Add the cream cheese and whisk. Then add the malted milk power and whisk until you have a smooth paste. Next, very gradually, add this mixture back to the saucepan, whisking vigorously. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl or jug, cover the surface of the mixture with cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator until completely cold.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturers instructions. Eat straight from the machine when it's thick and creamy, or store it in a container in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer for a good 20 minutes before serving so that it's that perfect "scoopable" consistency.