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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Apparently one of the “Tatin” sisters dropped her apple tart on the floor, decided to serve it anyway and wrote it into culinary history. We didn’t drop this version on the floor, but honestly if we had,  would probably eaten it anyway. It is a delicious dessert. One you should definitely try. We even used pre bought pastry to save time and worked out really well. Good luck and let us know if it was a success.

Ingredients

  • 5 apples (of your choice) peeled, cored and sliced into quarters
  • just under a cup of sugar
  • 100g butter
  • pre-made pastry
  • a little milk

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Then in a pan that you can put in the oven. i.e one that doesn’t have a plastic handle.

Sprinkle the sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan and then add the butter as illustrated. Put over a medium heat and the butter and the sugar will start to melt and caramelise. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Jiggle the pan around a bit to make sure that it the sugar and butter cook evenly. Now you are ready to add the apples.

Add them in a spiral, cramming them as tight as you can. Now cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Cut your pastry into a circle a bit bigger than your pan. Take the pan off the heat and place the pastry on top of the apples, tucking in the excess pastry as shown below.

Prick holes  in the pastry, brush it with some milk and put the pan in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown.

When it is removed from the oven it should a bit like this.

Now it is time to flip the tarte. Be really careful as the juices from the apples and the caramel will be really hot. So, place a large plate over your pan and press down as hard as you can to create a seal. Then (wearing long sleeves) flip the plate and place on the work surface. You should have the perfect tarte. Hope so anyway!

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Carrot Cake

This a carrot cake. It is delicious.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) *Raw, non-salted and fried pecans are difficult to find in Madrid so I did not use them in my cake, although I do prefer my carrot cake to contain nuts.*

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 400 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You will make enough batter to make a two or three layer cake. I chose to make my two layers. Butter your cake pans and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars together (with a fork or with an electric hand mixer) until its light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Slowly add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly into halves or thirds. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, use a fork or a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add butter and beat until incorporated. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. I tasted the frosting every so often to determine the sweetness. I prefer my cream cheese frosting to be more tangy than sweet.

Using a sharp knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.

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Chocolate brownies were made due to a lack of cocoa powder in the cupboard, but to be honest, maybe a blessing in disguise. Thanks to our New York/ Chicago visitor Caitlin for the inspiration behind the chocolate melting technique. Seriously it is such a good method as all you need is a bowl and some boiling water.

Ingredients

  • 225g dark chocolate at least 60% cocoa
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of sugar
  • 1 1/4 all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Method

First, preheat the oven to 180C (350 F). Next you need to melt the chocolate… This technique is genius (thanks again Caitlin.) Put all of your chocolate in a bowl, boil some water and pour it over the chocolate. Stir. As the chocolate melts, it will separate from the water. Now you can simply pour away the water (if a little remains in with the chocolate it won’t really matter.) In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla. Then pour in the chocolate mixture, followed by the flour mixture and whisk until combined.

Transfer liquid into well greased baking tin. Cook for about 30 minutes, but keep checking as this will vary depending on the depth of your tin.

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Flan

Last night we had a delicious flan in a restaurant and decided to try and recreate it today in our own kitchen.

I combined 2 recipes because, although the lovely Simone Ortega offers traditional recipes in her cookbook, 1080 Recetas de Cocina, she doesn’t always explain the steps in great details.

Ingredients

for the caramel sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water

for the flan

  • 3/4 liter of whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).

In a frying pan, over high heat, stir the sugar and water together and then leave it without stirring until it turns a dark yellow/brown color. Before it gets too dark, remove from heat and pour  into the flan moulds (called flaneras). The caramel should solidify into a layer on the bottom.

Next, in a saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the whole eggs and the egg yolks with the sugar and whisk until foamy. Take the milk and vanilla liquid off the heat and allow to cool. When it’s cool, pour the liquid through a strainer into the egg mixture, only adding a little bit at a time so that the eggs don’t curdle. Stir the mixture until combined and then pour into the flan moulds.

The flan needs to be cooked in a water bath. We put boiling water in a deep baking tray on top of a cookie sheet. Place each flan mould into the water bath, in the oven, and bake for about 1 hour.

Check to see if they are ready by placing a knife into the center of the flan. The knife should come out clean. If it does, then it’s set and ready to come out of the oven. Allow to cool until room temperature, then put in the fridge. When they’re cold, take them out and use a knife to cut around the edge of the flan. Place a plate over the flan, flip it over, tap the flan mould, and voila!

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Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (could be substituted with creme fraiche or greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans – optional

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the pan you’re going to use. If you want a loaf bread, use a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, but I used a pan that made it more like sheet cake.

Use an electric mixer or fork to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour if flat or 1 hour and 10 minutes if you’re making the thicker loaf. Insert a knife into the center. If it comes our clean and dry, it’s done baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

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