Category Archives: Desserts and baking

Pumpkin Pie!!

This is a very american Thanksgiving dessert, and sometimes not that popular with the rest .Partly i giess due the texture and the colour.But properly made it can be very satisfying and nice, alomst with a cheesecake type consistency.

so for this we need

  1. Flour 120 g
  2. butter-60 g
  3. sugar – 30 g
  4. Egg – 1/2

This wil give you enough pastry to make one pie and have a bit to spare.Crumble the butter sugar and flour with your fingertips .Add the egg and knead very lightly to form the dough. /line your pie tin with the pastry evenly and rest for atleast 15-30 minutes before par baking .Par bake at 170 C for 15 minutes.

For the filling we will use.

  1. Pumkin puree – 250 g
  2. eggs -1.5+ use up the half leftover from the pastry.- no waste
  3. brown sugar-150 g
  4. cinnamon- pinch
  5. dry ground ginger – large pinch
  6. allspice- pinch
  7. melted butter- 20g
  8. evaporated milk -240 ml

to make the filling whisk eggs with sugar and then add the rest of the ingredients.use a stick blender to blend all of it smooth.

Pour it into your par baked pie crust and cook for 10 mins at 1170 c, and then lower temperature to 130 C for a further 30-35 minutes.the filling should be barely set.

allow to cool down and then refrigerate and serve.

Rich Fruit cake- boiled syrup style

makes one medium sized cake about 8 inch round cooking time about 45-50 mins , preparation around 15 , depends on how organised you are

  • Flour-90
  • Almond powder 10 g( I’ve said 10 but you could higher and reduce the flour a bit )
  • cornflour-10 g
  • cinnamon powder- 2g
  • dry ground ginger- 2 g
  • Allspice- 1 g
  • Nutmeg- pinch
  • Baking soda- 4 g
  • salt- 1 g
  • mixed nuts- 125 g(Almond, walnuts, cashews)

Ive separated the dry from the wet ingredients. so as to create a demarcation.

  • water-90 ml
  • mixed dry fruit(raisins, dates, apricots, dont buy a ready mix)-200 g
  • brown/ raw sugar- 110 g
  • oil- 45 g( yes by weight)
  • butter -45 g
  • eggs -2
  • vanilla extract- a little
  • brandy or dark rum- 45 ml+ a bit more to brush on or baste after baking
  • Ok now to begin the process.First preheat oven to 170 Cand prepare your cake tin( this you always do first, REMEMBER THIS)
  • Heat the water with the oil, butter and fruits. Take off the heat and add brandy and vanilla. ( you can also put grated orage zest if you like.
  • Add the eggs , mix well and fold in the dry ingredients, and combine well.
  • Pour into your prepared tin and tap on the bech to make it even.
  • bake for about 45-50 mins till it is cooked but not dry.
  • when it comes out of the oven , hold in the tin for a few mins then demld and brush with some more alcohol.(its worth it, Truly.)

Cheesecake like no other ..baked not set.

makes about 4 x 8 inch springform tins

We used to make this cheesecake which was like manna from heaven, created by our pastry chef Noel . He was a master craftsman and I wish I had worked more with him, but usually I would be getting hammered with 900 odd people for breakfast day in day out ..followed by 400-500 in our beachside restaurant which was meant to test our staying power .. literally..but that’s a story for another time we need to get moving on the cheesecake which is a 24 hr process in itself,

You mix and make the cheesecake today and then keep it overnight to set slowly. Do NOT BE TEMPTED TO DEMOLD ON DAY you make it..it will be ruined beyond your wildest imagination..I know because I’ve tried it.

  • Cream cheese , Philadelphia is the best , but a good alternative can work too- 2.2 kg( I know it’s a lot so it’s a good idea to make a quarter of the recipe to give you one medium sized cake tin( springform please or else gets difficult to demold)
  • egg whole-6 ea
  • egg yolk-12 ea
  • sugar-690 g( what-this makes about 36 -portions)
  • corn flour/ custard powder-80 g
  • sour cream-180g
  • vanilla essence- to your liking don’t put too little because then will smell eggy- 10-15 ml depending on strength
  • blueberries frozen to put inside.( Makes it look like a blue veined cheese but tastes a 100 times better and doesn’t smell at all..win win for all–150 g
  • mixed berries to make into sauce to serve on the side—i ill put on a separate post this bit
  • biscuit crumbs- use your favourite ones – about 150 g per tin
  • butter – makes it better helps to bind the biscuit crumbs– 50 g per tin
  1. First thing s take ut the cream cheese about an hou before you start, makes it nice and soft and easy to mix.
  2. then preheat your oven to 125 C., thats very low heat , becaue what are making is really delicate thing.
  3. then line the spring form mold base with baking paper, and mix the biscuit crumbs and butter and cover the base of the mold.press down on the base to make it a bit more compcat and pop in the fridge to set
  4. cream the cheese, with sugar and corn starch and slowly incorporate those eggs..one at a time..
  5. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix one last time to get it all well blended but smooth not grainy.
  6. pour over your prepared 1 tin or 4 depending on how much qty you made.
  7. Bake at that very low heat , in a water bath, remember i said this is a delicate, this baby needs TLC
  8. we need to go for 80 minutes of baking and midway through check if the top is getting too brown then cover it with piecef foil.
  9. once its done the top might look a bit cracked and so on, thats fine its an artisan product not factor made with lots of stablisers and starches to make it shiny.
  10. cool down and keep overnight to set.

Step 5 3/4- is to add your blueberries if you fancy them, if not make plain. I also at times spike this with baileys irish cream or amarula to make it even more divine.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is delightful italian dessert made from sponge fingers layered with a kind of mousse/ cream of mascarpone , eggs an cream. This is my evolved version which has baileys or amarula in the cream and kahlua in the sponge fingers. works very well and tastes mind blowing.

So how this works is you have to make a cream mix with eggs, sugar , mascarpone and cool down then whisk in the cream and mix them togther without overworking the cream or it will split. 

Then you dip the sponge fingers in the coffee syrup.(coffeee , hot water and kahlua), but you only dip not make mushy. then in a container or a glass, you carefully arrange them in layers. one layer of sponge, then cream and so on.

I have made this so many times  from 10- to a few hundred portions a work, that these days i dont even have to measure anything, but thats me, Dont be like me, get a proper measuring scale and weigh it. if you want less or more of something go ahead, for things like sugar it can but not for everything. If you are stuck, i can demonstrate via ZOOm or some other medium too

Sponge fingers 400 gms- usually 1 packet
Mascarpone cheese 1 kgs
Eggs 4 nos
sugar  120 gms
bailey irish cream – 30 ml or more if like it boozy
Kahlua or another quality coffee liquer 50 ml

coffee powder-10 gms /2 t
Whipping or thickened cream  250 ml

  • Whisk eggs over double boiler till thick and fluffy.
  • Combine with softened mascarpone.
  • Add in baileys irish cream / amarula.
  • Whisk cream and fold into above mixture .
  • Dissolve coffee powder with hot water and dip sponge fingers inside.
  • Layer sponge fingers and cheese mix. keep in the fridge/ freezer to set 
  • Dust with cocoa powder before service.
Making the sabayon

Foccacia

This is one of my favourite breads. made well its awesome, but its very easy to make too.

  • Flour 1kg
  • Instant Active yeast-20 gm
  • Sugar-20 gm
  • Salt -20 gm
  • Water-800 ml
  • Olive oil-100 ml

Mix Flour with yeast, sugar and salt.Add in the water. the dough will be very very sticky.

Dont worry thats normal.Add in half of the oil.

allow to proof for about 20minutes.(keep in a warm area with gladwrap on dough or a wet tea towel).

Divide into 4 and spread flat on baking trays with the remainder of the oil.make dimples with your fingers on the top

of the dough and then add the oil.

when the bread is proofed nicely(risen) Bake at 195 C for 13-15 minutes.

You can add fresh herbs in the dough and some rock salt on top before the baking process

.Enjoy it hummus, just some olive oil and balsamic dressing or for a sandwich.only your creativity limits you.

Today im making  a higher fibre version of this with 20% oats added and that much reduced from the flour content of it