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gluten free brown butter blackberry tart

16 Sep 2019




Last month I saw a version of this brown butter tart on instagram. I was intrigued, so I bookmarked the original 
Bon Appetit recipe, which had received many favourable reviews, to make at a later date. That later date occurred last weekend. 



The original recipe used raspberries but as I had blackberries in the freezer, that's what I used. I also used my own shortbread crust, one I've used many times before but 
at the last minute decided to make it gluten free.



I kept my fingers crossed that the GF crust would be sturdy enough hold up in the fluted tin.



As you can see 
the tart did crumble a bit when it was unmoulded but my problem was the filling. I think it had too much butter and not enough flour. The butter seeped through the crust and I ended up with horror of horrors, the dreaded soggy bottom! Unfortunately not every bake is successful, but I still took the tart into work. 


Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Gluten Free Brown Butter Blackberry Tart adapted from this recipe
Crust
100g unsalted butter
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup GF plain flour
1/4 cup almond meal
Pinch of salt

Filling
110g unsalted butter, diced
½ cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch salt
¼ cup GF plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g frozen blackberries

Method
Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 190°C. Place all the crust ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Whiz until a soft dough forms around the blade. Transfer dough to 8 inch square tart pan with removable bottom. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto sides and bottom of pan or if you like you can roll the dough out between 2 sheets of baking paper before transferring to the tart shell.

Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes (crust will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.

While the crust is in the oven, cook butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often. When browning butter, use a saucepan with a light-coloured bottom so that you can gauge the colour of the butter. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup. 

Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.

Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the tart shell. Arrange berries, pointed side up and close together. Place tart on a baking sheet and bake tart until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool tart completely in pan on rack. When cool, remove tart pan sides. Just before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar then cut into slices to serve.

The tart can be made the day ahead, stored in an airtight container.


Despite my reservations, this was a hit at work but I wasn't happy with the filling and the soggy bottom it created. I have plans to make a non GF version, with a rejigged filling, so stay tuned as the tart will probably reappear sometime during Christmas Week.

See you all again soon with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian


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rhubarb ginger bundt cake

9 Sep 2019



It's rhubarb and blood orange season in Sydney so I was looking for a way to incorporate both ingredients into a cake. I looked through the recipe archives and found an old recipe for rhubarb and ginger puddings with salted caramel sauce. I worked some magic and turned the puddings into a cake.



I could have made the cake in a loaf tin or a round tin but my obsession with bundt cakes continue, so naturally I used a bundt tin. I love the colour of blood orange icing so made some with which to decorate the cake.





Here's the recipe for you which makes a small bundt cake. If you'd like to make a large bundt cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 




Rhubarb and Ginger Bundt Cake
1¼ cups diced chopped rhubarb stalks
1 (20 ml) tablespoon orange juice
1 cup plain flour
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
¼ cup almond meal
100 g (3½ oz) melted, unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
35 g (2 tbs) finely chopped glace or crystallised ginger
¼ cup milk or orange juice

Orange icing
25gms unsalted butter, melted
½ cup icing sugar
1 tbs blood orange juice

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and flour a small bundt tin, then place in the fridge.

Combine the rhubarb and the orange juice in a small bowl. Set to one side for 20 minutes. Meanwhile sift the flour, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a small bowl. Stir the almond meal through the flour and set to one side. In a medium size bowl combine the melted butter, the sugars and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. Add the flour and gently fold in the diced rhubarb and juice and the finely chopped ginger. This should make a soft batter. If not then add the additional milk or orange juice.

Spoon the batter carefully into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Place the cake on the middle shelf in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes at 180°C/350°F or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. If the cake browns too quickly you may have to cover the top with a piece of greaseproof paper. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding. Allow to completely cool before icing the cake.


Icing
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the icing sugar. Add the orange juice until you have a smooth icing. If it thickens too quickly add a touch more orange juice or warm for a few seconds in the microwave. Drizzle over the cake and allow to set before serving.



This is not a sweet cake so if you’re planning to serve the cake without the icing you’ll need to increase the sugar quantity to ⅓ cup of both sugars. This cake was very well received at work so I guess I'll be adding this recipe to my repertoire.


See you all again with some more baking and yes more bundt cakes from my kitchen.


Bye for now,


Jillian
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hazelnut maple shortbreads

2 Sep 2019



Last month I borrowed a copy of the A Year of Good Eating: The Kitchen Diaries III from my local library. I like Nigel Slater's writing style so was keen to make my way through the book. 



This recipe for hazelnut maple shortbreads jumped out at me so I photocopied the recipe and added it to my to-do list. When 
I returned home from a trip to Brisbane I found my biscuit tin was completely empty. As I had most of the ingredients already in the cupboard I decided the time had come to try out the recipe. 





When I checked the cupboard I was a bit short of whole hazelnuts so I put a few aside for the topping; ground what I had and used some toasted hazelnut meal as well. I also made the shortbread mixture in the food processor so it didn't take long before the dough was resting in the fridge.



I halved the recipe but still managed to make 16 shortbreads from the mixture so the original cookies must have been enormous. My oven is slow so I increased the suggested baking temperature from 160
°C to 170°C and the shortbreads still took close to 30 minutes before they were ready.




Here's the recipe for you which makes 16 cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Hazelnut maple shortbreads – adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe

Ingredients
60g hazelnuts
112g unsalted butter 
25g brown sugar
1 tbs caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
25 mls maple syrup 
a pinch salt
112g plain flour 

Topping

15g hazelnuts

Method

Set the oven at 180°C. Place all the hazelnuts on a baking tray in a single layer, then toast them till they are lightly coloured on all sides. Place into a tea towel and gently rub the nuts together in the tea towel to remove the skins. Take out 15g and set aside to use to top the biscuits. Grind the remaining nuts in a food processor. They should be fine, but not as fine as commercial ground almonds. The nuts should feel a little gritty between the fingers.

Cream the butter, sugars and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Pour in the maple syrup, a tablespoon at a time, beating continually. If the mixture appears to curdle, don’t worry, just keep beating. It will eventually become smooth.


Mix the salt into the flour then fold in the nuts. Gradually incorporate the flour and nuts into the creamed butter, sugar and maple syrup mixture. Roll the dough into a thick sausage about 3 cm in diameter, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.


Set the oven at 170°C. Unwrap the dough and slice it into about 16 biscuits. Place them, with a little space among them, on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Roughly chop the whole hazelnuts then put a few on top of each biscuit, pressing them gently down into the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pale golden on the edges. Let the shortbreads cool for a few minutes on the tray, then carefully lift off with a palette knife and cool on a wire baking rack. Once cool, store in an airtight tin.




These cookies are gently sweet with a subtle hint of maple. I'd prefer a more intense maple flavour so 
next time I'd add some maple extract to the mix and a touch more sugar. The toasted hazelnut meal worked a treat so grinding the whole toasted nuts in a food processor might be a step you could skip. Maybe these will reappear as part of Xmas week?

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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apple galette with cream cheese and almonds

26 Aug 2019



A few months ago I saw a picture online of a beautiful rustic looking apple galette by Danish chef Mikkel Karstad. It took a bit of tracking down before I found the recipe online. 




It had been translated from Danish and I'm not sure if something was lost in translation because there was very little sugar in the recipe. I followed the recipe and while I liked the pastry, the filling was a bit underwhelming.



Inspired by the ingredients I went back to the drawing board and came up with my own version.



There are a few steps in the process but the pastry and cream cheese filling can be made ahead of time. The apples need to be prepared just before baking.





Here's the recipe for you which makes a 10 - 11 inch galette. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Apple Galette with cream cheese and almonds inspired by Mikkel Karstad
Pastry
1 cup plain flour
⅓ cup oat flour (finely ground oats)
35g whole almonds, finely ground
Pinch salt
30g icing sugar 
112 gm (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten with a few tbs cold water

Cream Cheese Filling
100g cream cheese
1 tbs caster sugar
1-2 tbs yoghurt or cream
½ tsp vanilla

Apple Filling
4 Granny Smith apples
¼ cup caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
The juice of half a lemon

Pastry
In a bowl, combine the flour, oat flour, almond meal, salt and icing sugar. Add the butter and using your fingertips, work into the flour until resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough of the beaten egg mixture until the dough just comes together reserving the leftover mixture. You can also do this process in a food processor. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C. Have a pizza tray handy as you’ll use one on which to bake the galette. Peel apples, halve and remove the core. Cut the apples into thin slices keeping the shape of the apple. Roll the dough thinly on a piece of baking paper to make a circle about the size of a pizza tray then place the baking paper onto the pizza tray. Centre an 8-9 inch cake tin in the middle of the pastry and press to make an imprint in the pastry. 

Mix the cream cheese with the sugar, yoghurt or cream and vanilla then spread in a thin layer within the template on the pastry. Place the apple halves on the filling so the slices are standing upright and repeat until the filling is completely covered with apple. In a small bowl combine the sugar with the cinnamon and lemon rind. Sprinkle most of the sugar mix over the apple, leaving a little to sprinkle over the edge of the pastry. Drizzle the lemon juice over the apples then gently fold the pastry over the apples, crimping as you go to hold the apples in place. Brush the edges of folded over pastry with the egg wash before sprinkling with the sugar mix.



Place the galette on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then place in the centre of the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. If the apples are taking time to cook through, you may need to cover the apples with foil to create a tent, and the apples will cook in the steam created. Bake a further 15 minutes or until the galette is beautifully golden on top and the crust is crispy. When cooked, take the galette out of the oven and let it cool, before sprinkling with icing sugar. Serve with yoghurt, cream or ice cream.



I had my slice last night topped with cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. The verdict? Absolutely delicious.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian


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gingered apple cake

19 Aug 2019



Growing up I was an indefatigable reader, then somewhere along the line I stopped buying books to read other than cookbooks. I have a 35 minute train journey to and from work and usually spend the time doing crosswords. About a year ago I joined the library and ever since I've been reading voraciously. Recently I borrowed Ruth Reichl's book,My Kitchen Year, which featured a version of this recipe.



Now you know I can never follow a recipe so I adapted this one to suit my taste. I read a few reviews, most of which were glowing, other than one fellow Queenslander complaining that the cake barely tasted of ginger. Well that would never do, so I immediately increased the quantity of ginger and dropped the sugar quantity and used my own caramel sauce recipe.



I stew apples every few days in the microwave and have done so for years so that's how I prepared the apple sauce component of the recipe. I kept my apples kind of chunky but if you want a smooth puree you could always use a stick blender. I've included microwave instructions for you in the recipe.



The cake uses oil rather than butter so it's dairy free; it's made in one bowl and the texture is similar to that of a carrot cake. Ruth states that the caramel glaze used to top the cake isn't necessary but I think it is. The caramel sauce is gorgeous and highly addictive and I'm sure I ate more while tasting than ever made it onto the cake. The caramel sauce, a Belinda Jeffery recipe, does require a thermometer, whilst the original glaze recipe does not.



I have a bit of a thing with bundt cakes at the moment and this one came out of the tin perfectly, always a bit of a concern when using a bundt tin.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a small bundt cake. If you'd like to make a large bundt cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time. The caramel sauce makes much more than you need but it keeps well in the fridge. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Gingered apple cake adapted from a Ruth Reichl recipe – makes a small bundt cake
Stewed apples
4-6 apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tbs water
1 stick of cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar

Place all the ingredients in a microwave proof bowl. Cover lightly and cook the apples on high for 11 minutes. By then the apples should be quite soft. Cover the bowl and allow to cool, then remove the cinnamon stick and mash the apples with a fork. If you’d like a smooth puree then use a stick blender to process the apples.

Gingered Apple Cake
1 cup plain flour
¾ tsp bicarb soda
1¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch finely ground black pepper
pinch ground cloves
pinch salt
1 egg
⅓ cup caster sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ tsp grated fresh ginger
⅓ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup stewed apple

Heat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a small bundt pan then place in the fridge.

Sift the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. Set to one side. In a large bowl mix together the egg, the sugars, the vanilla and the grated ginger. Whisk in the oil and mix until it is smooth. Add the flour followed by the stewed apple in batches to form a runny batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes at 180°C, until golden brown and the cake tests done when a skewer is inserted. Cool the cake for 15 minutes on a rack before turning it out and allowing it to cool.  Make sure the cake is completely cool before glazing it. 


Caramel Sauce
1 cup cream
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup caster sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
¼ cup maple or ginger syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Put the cream, the sugars, syrup and vanilla in a small heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil until a sugar thermometer registers 108°C. Remove from the heat then set aside for 20 minutes before whisking the mixture smooth. Add a pinch of salt to taste. It will still be runny at this stage but the caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. When its reached the desired consistency place the cake, still on the rack, over a sheet of baking paper before drizzling over.




This was a hit at work and best of all I still have jar of caramel sauce in my fridge. See you all again next week with yet another bundt cake.

Bye for now,

Jillian
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basque burnt cheesecake

12 Aug 2019



I was scrolling through instagram last weekend and saw a photo of a Basque burnt cheesecake. I was intrigued because I didn't know it was a thing. I found a few recipes which looked very much like  my Mum's cheesecake recipe but with way more sugar. Mum didn't use cream cheese in the filling though preferring farmer's cheese with it's distinctive tang. Mum glazed the top of her cheesecake with egg yolk before it was baked so a dark brown sheen on the top of the cheesecake was the norm.



The Basque cheesecake doesn't usually have a base but I thought a cheesecake without a base was just wrong so I made my usual shortbread base and for the filling used Mum's recipe using cream cheese instead of farmer's cheese. 



Mum's cheesecake was time consuming - it had a pastry shell that needed to be par-baked and a filling which required separating 8 eggs. With this recipe I made both the base and filling in the food processor and it came together in no time at all. I think lining the tin was the most time consuming part of the process.



If you'd like to make your own Basque burnt cheesecake, here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake. If you'd like to make a 23cm cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Basque Burnt Cheesecake inspired by this recipe 
Base
50 grams unsalted butter
1 tbs caster sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a 17cm spring-form pan, then line with baking paper making sure the paper comes at least 2 inches above top of pan on all sides. Grease the baking paper. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Mix in the flour and combine until the mixture forms a soft dough. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, bringing it slightly up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes or until the base is lightly golden. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Filling
375g cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
Pinch salt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs plain flour
3 large eggs 
100 mls double cream 

Method
Place a rack in middle of oven; increase the oven temperature to 200°C. 

Place the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and plain flour in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. Add eggs and cream and process until the mixture is very smooth and silky. The mixture will be quite runny.

Place the springform pan on a baking sheet then pour the batter into the pan. Bake cheesecake in the preheated 200°C oven until deeply golden brown on top and still jiggly in the centre ~ 50 minutes. If the top is a bit pale, increase the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before unmoulding the tin. 



The cheesecake will rise dramatically then fall, this is normal. Let the cheesecake cool completely before unmoulding and carefully removing the baking paper from sides of the cheesecake. 



The cheesecake can be made a day ahead. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate but let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for several hours before serving. You can top the cheesecake with extra cream if so desired.



The cheesecake is only gently sweet, so if you like a sweet cheesecake you may want to increase the quantity of sugar a little. The cheesecake definitely reminded me of Mum's recipe but without the hard work and I do plan to make it again using Farmer's cheese. 

See you all again soon with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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