Yummy Scones

Method:
  • Sieve flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Rub butter into flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add a sprinkle of caster sugar. Add milk (or milk mixture as above) & combine with your hands until the mix is soft but not sticky (add a bit more flour if necessary)
  • Turn scone dough out onto a lightly floured board & knead/pat into shape until smooth and about 1½ inches thickness (3½ cm)
  • Cut dough into rounds with a scone cutter, starting from the middle of the dough & working outwards.
  • Shape leftover dough into a slightly thicker round & cut remaining scones.
  • Place scone rounds on a pre-heated oven tray with sides just touching each other (this produces a softer sided scone & helps to support them).
  • If you prefer crisp tops and sides place rounds of scone dough apart from each other on the oven tray.
  • Glaze top of scones lightly with a pastry brush dipped into milk, then cook in a very hot oven (220c) for 12-15 minutes until scones are golden brown and you can smell them from the street.
  • Serve with jam of your choice and whipped cream! Yuummmm!

Black-Bottom Caramel Pudding

Method:

  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring with a fork until sugar is dissolved.
  • Boil, without stirring, washing down sugar crystals clinging to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until pale golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Continue to cook, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar turns a deep amber caramel, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and carefully add cream in a slow stream (mixture will bubble and steam)
  • Return to low heat and cook, whisking, until smooth.
  • Stir together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch.
  • Beat eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl.
  • Stir remaining 2 1/2 cups milk into caramel and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Stir cornstarch mixture, then whisk into caramel.
  • Bring to a boil, whisking, and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Whisk about 1 cup hot caramel mixture into egg mixture until well blended, then whisk egg mixture back into caramel.
  • Continue whisking off the heat 1 minute.
  • Whisk 1/2cup hot caramel pudding into chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  • Spoon chocolate pudding into 6 (8-oz) parfait glasses, then top with caramel pudding.
  • Chill until set, at least 3 hours but keep an eye on the caramel as it nears the end of cooking—it can go from deep amber to just plain burned very quickly.

Lamingtons

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper.
  • Fill a sink one-third full with water. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Place bowl in sink and whisk for 2 minutes or until mixture is runny and slightly foamy. Remove from sink.
  • Using an electric mixer, whisk on high speed for 4 minutes or until mixture is pale and triples in volume.
  • Using a sieve, sift just enough flour to cover the top of the egg mixture.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in flour in one light motion. Repeat sifting and folding with remaining flour until just combined.
  • Combine vanilla and butter in a bowl, then add a large spoonful of batter and stir to combine.
  • Gently fold the butter mixture into batter until just combined, then spoon into the prepared pan.
  • On a work surface, spin the pan to level, then bake for 25 minutes or until centre springs back when pressed with your fingertip. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes; this will make the sponge easier to cut.
  • To make icing, stir butter and milk in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until butter is melted.
  • Sift over sugar and cocoa, then stir until smooth. Turn off heat.
  • Using a large serrated knife, trim sides of sponge, then cut into 16 cubes.
  • Scatter coconut over a tray.
  • Insert a skewer into the crust side of a piece of sponge (don’t go all the way through). Holding skewer over icing, and, holding a spoon in the other hand, spoon icing over the sponge, rotating the skewer to coat evenly.
  • Shake off excess, then slide sponge off the skewer onto the tray of coconut.
  • Scatter coconut over the top and sides of sponge, then transfer to a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining sponge cubes, icing and coconut. If the icing starts to thicken, stir in a little water to thin.
  • Notes: Dutch cocoa is treated with an alkali, which gives it a darker, redder brown colour than regular cocoa, as well as a more intense chocolate taste. It is available from delis. Alternatively, substitute regular cocoa.

Caramel Raspberry Tarts With Orange Cream

Methods:

  • Preheat oven to 200c, line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Using a 10cm round pastry cutter, cut pastry into 6 rounds. Place rounds on the baking tray and prick with a fork.
  • Place another sheet of baking paper on top and weigh down with another tray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden.
  • Meanwhile place brown sugar, butter and 1/4 cup of cream in frying pan over low heat, cook stirring for 3-4 minutes until sugar has dissolved and sauce is a golden caramel.
  • Arrange raspberries on cooked pastry and generously brush with caramel sauce.
  • Bake tarts for 5/6 minutes or until sauce is bubbling but raspberries are still holding their shape.
  • Cool to room temp.
  • Place icing sugar, orange zest and remaining cream in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
  • Serve tarts with fresh cream.

Mille-Fenille With Praline Cream And Raspberries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200c.
  • Line two trays with baking paper and lightly grease another baking tray.
  • Cut pastry into 24 rectangles each measuring 12cm x 4cm.
  • Divide between two lined baking trays and dust with half the icing sugar.
  • Lay baking paper sheets over the pastry and lay heavy baking trays on top to weigh down.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden. Then cool.
  • Meanwhile, place caster sugar in saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and cook over a low heat, swirling the pan ocasionaly until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until a golden caramel.
  • Remove from the heat and add the almonds, then pour onto the greased baking tray.
  • Allow to cool.
  • When the praline has set, break into shards, place in a foor processor and whiz until coarsly ground.
  • Reserve 1 tablespoon praline, then combine the remaining praline with the mascarpone. Set aside.
  • Dust half the cooked pastry rectangles with the remaining icing sugar.
  • Carefully heat a metal skewer over an open flame until very hot then press skewer onto sugar dusted pastry in a criss cross pattern - you will need to reheat skewer each time
  • To assemble, top the undusted pastry rectangles with the mascarpone mixture, a few raspberries and a slice of mango, then carefully top with the sugardusted rectangles.
  • Garnish with remaining praline and raspberries.

Yesterdays Croissants

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180c and the grill to high.
  • Split croissants lengthways and toast under grill, cut side up.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add the milk, reduce heat to low and whisk for 5/6 minutes until thick and smooth.
  • Add the mustard, lemon zest and three quarters of the cheese, then season well.
  • Lay the ham slices on the croissant bases and spread with most of the cheese sauce.
  • Sandwich the croissant tops and spread each top with a little of the remaining sauce.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 25g cheese and bake for 6 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

Garlic Bread With A Twist

Method:

  • Place in tray, melt butter, add garlic and saute until tender.
  • Remove from heat, add parsley, cook bacon, spread sauce over bread.
  • Place in oven at 170c for 10 mins and when done take out, cut up and serve hot.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the garlic bread.

Pavlova

Method:

  • Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 15 - 20 minutes or until very stiff.
  • When you pull the beaters out, the mixture should stand up in stiff peaks. (I find at altitude, I usually have to beat the mixture for 30 minutes or more.)
  • Pile on to baking paper on an oven tray.
  • You can also use aluminium foil on the baking tray.
  • Lightly dust with cornflour so the pav won't stick.
  • Pile it up high and do not spread out, as the pav will spread while cooking.
  • Use a fork to mark ridges up the side.
  • Put in the middle of a cold oven.
  • Turn the oven on to 250 deg F. cook for 2 hours.
  • Turn oven off and leave the pav in the oven, with door closed, overnight or until the oven is cold. This takes at least 6 - 8 hours. (Do not open the oven at any point during the cooking or cooling. Not even a quick peak!! This may cause the pav to fall.)

Traditional Irish Brown Bread

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 475F.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add some buttermilk.
  • Work the mixture with your hand until the dough is soft and not too sticky.
  • On a floured surface, knead into a circular shape about three inches thick.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and then turn oven down to 400F; bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Bread should sound hollow when you tap on it when fully cooked :-) 

Indian Naan Bread

Method:

  • Stir down the yeast in the milk and the yougurt.
  • Stir down the salt and the baking powder in the flour, and add this mixture to the yeast mixture.
  • Work the dough until it is easy to handle.
  • Cover the dough and leave it to rise for 1 hour.
  • Cut the dough in 12 pieces.
  • You might have to use some more flour now, if the dough is too sticky.
  • Roll out the dough in elliptical shapes.
  • Now, fry the breads in a dry, hot frying pan (cast iron), just a couple of minutes on each side.
  • The breads are ready when they start to blacken a bit.
  • Enjoy while they are still warm with any kind of Indian food.
  • **may need a little extra liquid to get right consistency

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