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Sunday, 21 March 2010

Cognac & Cinnamon Creme Anglais

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Creme anglais and creme patisserie are the dessert sauces that all forms known as "custard" spring from. They also provide a good carrier for various complementary flavours depending on what you're serving it with. This recipe gives way to cinnamon and brandy (cognac) which are wonderful flavours for the festive season. Its also a good alternative to brandy sauce.

Ingredients :

1 litre of milk
200g of Sugar
12 Egg yolks
1 Vanilla bean split
1/4 tsp cinnamon
25ml Cognac

Boil up the milk with the vanilla bean, cinnamon & cognac, but once boiling, turn down to simmer.

Sabyon the sugar and the egg yolks (in a bain marie)

Pour on the milk

Mix till thickened

Strain through a fine sieve & serve.

Mulled Pear Frangipan

This adaptation of traditional frangipan incorporates the comforting flavours, and spices of late winter with mulled pears. This recipe is posted at the request of Tyler Sharp, and his love of frangipan. Service reccomendations include cinnamon & cognac creme anglaise, a light but very luxurious form of the traditional custard. From beginning to end, from preparation to finish this recipe is a fun, and incredibly sensory experience - nothing can warm the heart and appetite greater than the smell of frangipan - savour every moment, and mouthful :).

Mulled Pear Ingredients:

2 Conference pears
1 Vanilla Pod
1 tsp mixed spice
50ml brandy
50ml amaretto
150ml port
150ml good red table wine (pinot reccomended).

Frangipan Ingredients:

1 deep pre cooked flan case
300g of Butter
300g of Caster sugar
6 Eggs
60g of Self rasing flour
360g of Ground Almonds

(The day before)

Core the pears and cut into halves. Fan pear halves if necessary, and put into a bowl. Add liqours & spices. Open the vanilla pod using a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds into the bowl with the rest of the mix. Leave to soak for 24 hours.

Once soaked, place fanned pears into the pastry case at quarter points. Reduce liqours to an essence (approximately 4 tbsp), and allow to cool.

For the frangipane mix:
Cream the butter and sugar, and add eggs one by one whilst beating slowly. Fold the almonds and the flour into this mix. Add the reduced liqour from the pears, and fold in until uniform. Add the mix to the flan case (the pears should just peek out of the frangipane mix), & bake at 180 degrees centigrade until golden brown. To test if done, insert a sharp knife into the centre of the flan. If the knife comes out clean, you're done. Allow to cool somewhat, and serve warm to a very grateful recipient. :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Treacle Tart

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Treacle Tart is a wonderful thing and is nice year round, but often presented from late summer through winter. Its surprisingly easy to make, and provides a wondrous accompaniment in a variety of settings, inclusive of elevenses, afternoon tea, or as a dessert at mealtimes. In the more social settings however i belive its best enjoyed with coffee.

500g of Golden syrup
Juice of one lemon
500g of fresh bread crumb crusts removed
50ml of double cream
2 egg yolks

Line the flan tins with sweet short crust pastry , then blind bake
Warm up the syrup & lemon juice, then add the egg yolks and beat in very slowly
Stir in the breadcrumbs and add the cream
Pour into the pastry cases and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes or until it is light golden brown

Can be served with a variety of accompaniments inclusive of warmed pecan nuts, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, creme chantille or even double cream on its own.


Sweet Pastry

500g of Plain flour

500g of self-raising flour

125g of Caster sugar

500g of butter

Vanilla essence

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

Bread crumb the flours, sugar and butter

Mix in the eggs and essence to form paste leave to set for 30 minutes before use

Petit Four

Chocolate Truffles:

500g of Chocolate

250g of Butter

250ml of Double cream

Melt in a pan and cool

When cooling add 4 table spoons of brandy, or rum or whisky

Peppermint Creams:

225g of icing sugar

1 egg white

Peppermint essence

Beat up the egg white; add sugar and essence and pound into a smooth paste

Mould into shape

Old English Curd Tart

**** Make sweet pastry for 18 tarts roll out and chill

For the Filling:

100g of soften Unsalted Butter

50g of caster sugar

225g of Curd cheese

1 Tablespoon of Ground Almonds

Pinch of salt

2 eggs beaten

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Curd

Icing Sugar to finish off

Cream together the sugar and butter

Add curd cheese, ground almonds, salt and eggs beat until smooth

In the base of each pastry case spread the lemon curd, t

hen spoon in the cheese mix

Bake for 20 minutes

Finish with icing sugar

Everlasting syllabub

3 Lemons zested and juiced
100g of caster sugar
300ml of medium dry sherry
Two sprig of rosemary
600ml of double cream

The day before the syllabub is needed: In a bowl put in sherry, juice of the lemons the lemon rind, caster sugar and rosemary Cover and leave overnight to let the flavours develop

Next day strain the liquor On a machine start to beat the cream and gradually add the sherry/lemon liquor until the cream holds its own shape Do not over beat or it will curdle.

Serve into glasses with almond biscuits or on a Pavlova base with lemon curd.

Lemon Posset

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Lemon posset is probably one of my all time favourite desserts because its a) so simple to make and b) it goes down phenomenally well in almost every setting. Its not short of flavour, texture or even too light to leave unsatisfied. The heavy citrus element also cleanses the palate and gives an extremely uplifting experience. I have seen and used several lemon posset recipes in my time, and this one is my favourite as it gives maximum flavour and enjoyment. 

Makes about 10 (adjust if necessary for more or less)

6 Large Lemons, juiced and zested
200g of Caster sugar
1200ml of Double cream


Boil the cream and sugar for six minutes (but keep an eye on it). Using the largest pan you have helps, so that it gives prevention from boil over accidents. 

Remove from the heat and pour over the lemon juice and zest. Leave to stand for about 20 mins whilst it cools a bit and allows the lemon flavour to infuse.

Strain into a jug

Decant into wine glasses and set in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.

Decorate in any wayyou see fit, with berries, chopped nuts, whipped cream etc.


Classic Lemon Tart (Tarte Au Citron)

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If there's one lemon dessert i like out there, its the classic lemon tart. Its wonderfully sweet, has a brilliantly clean flavour, and ticks every box for me with a lemon dessert. Ill be honest, its going to take a bit of time (leaving the lemon mix for 24 hours) but think if it this way - is time well spent. The prep time around this is minimal - its only a means of putting it together and if you really want to save yourself a bit of labour you can buy the flan cases (shhh). Its brilliant year round, although is favoured in spring and summer. But with the lemon's availability in supermarkets, its a winner any time of the year.

This recipe makes two, so if like many people who love lemon desserts, you'll end up eating one pretty sharpish. If you want to freeze one, it does freeze well. It also means that if you're called upon to produce one, you have only to defrost it.

(Makes two)

12 Eggs
8 Lemons juice and zest
450g of Caster sugar
350ml of double cream
2 30 cm flan case
Whisk eggs and sugar till pale
Add to this the lemon juice and zest
Fold in the cream

Leave to stand for 24 hours & strain

Pour into two 30 cm flan cases lined with sweet pastry, which has been blind baked

Bake at 160 degrees till set. (the lemon mix should be firm to the touch)

Variant: For citrus tart use 6 lemon and 4 limes. To make orange tart use 6 oranges instead of lemons