Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Mincemeat and Apple Streusel Slice

Mincemeat and apple streusel, what could be more comforting? Perhaps the addition of a big bowl of softly whipped cream or a jug of steaming yellow custard.

Without further ado I will give you the recipe as I know that this is a cake that you will want to make immediately.

175g self raising flour
125g sugar
1 egg
125g unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
Half a jar of mincemeat, better if it is homemade.
Crumble about 6 digestive biscuits.

1 baking tin approx 18cm x 27cm. It will not be a problem if it is slightly larger or smaller. Not too much though.

Heat the oven to C160 fan or C170 top and bottom heat.

Put the butter, sugar and egg in a largish bowl and beat well to combine. No need to cream really as this is not going to be a sponge.
Fold in the flour to make a fairly stiff mixture. Sort of half wak between a sponge and pastry.
Spoon into a  buttered baking tin. Smooth out with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
Top with spoonfulls of mincemeat and then with slices of apple. Finally top with the crumbled biscuits.
Cook for about 40 minutes. Check with the point of a knife, if it is not cooked then leave to cook for a few more minutes.
Leave to cool and cut into slices to serve.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Creme Patissiere

This pastry cream is a standard of patisserie cooking and can be used in many of the cakes that you can buy in your favourite pastry shops. If you don't want as much as this then scale the recipe down.

So to make it you will need:

400ml of whole milk
100ml of cream
150g egg yolk, this is approximately 7 yolks. It is best to measure as not all eggs are created equal.
150g sugar
36g cornflour
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

  1. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and mix lightly. 
  2. Add the cornflour and whisk together fo a few seconds until evenly blended.
  3. Now add the cold milk and cream and mix to combine the ingredients. 
  4. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes at high power. Open the microwave and mix well. This makes sure that the heat is evenly distributed.
  5. Replace the cream into microwave and cook for a further minute. Remove and mix well. Do this twice more and by the time that you have cooked it for 5 minutes in total it should be cooked. If you are nervous, you can cook for 30 seconds at a time. You should mix every time that you open the oven. You will know that it is cooked when it is thick and it has lost the taste of raw cornflour. 

Genoise Sponge

Yesterday I demonstrated how to use a thin sheet of genoise sponge to my wonderful WI. I had already made the sponge. To cook it I used the sheet that you can see in the image. I bought it last year or even the year before from Lakeland and luckily they still have them. So click the image to go to the Lakeland site.

To make a thin sponge to just fill the sheet:

1 egg yolk
2 whole eggs
75g plain flour
75g caster sugar
25 butter melted and allowed to cool. It should still be liquid

  1. Grease and flour the silicone tray. If you don't do this, it will stick, I don't care what claims the manufacturers make.Put the sugar onto a sheet of ovenproof paper and warm gently. 
  2. Whisk the eggs until they are starting to lighten in colour. 
  3. Add the warm sugar and continue to whisk to the ribbon stage by which time the mixture shold be cool.
  4. Now remove about a quarter of the mixture and fold in the melted butter. Add this back into rest of the egg mixture and fold it gently into the mix.
  5. Pour into the tray and level off with a spatula.
  6. Bake at 220 C for about 7 minutes. It will not take long as it is thin and the oven is hot.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Luscious Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is one of my favourite preserves and one that I try to keep in the fridge for when the urge takes me to make a lemon cake. Light sponge filled with a generous layer of lemon curd is one of life's real pleasures. So to make lemon curd you will need:

4 lemons. If your lemons are small then up this to 5. All in all you will need about 300g.250g Unsalted Butter350 g Sugar, 4 Eggs lightly whiskedZest of 2 - 3 lemons, Again this depends on the size.

Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and heat to about 40 degrees C. Don't get worked up about this, it is just a little warmer than body temperature.

Remove from the stove and beat in the eggs a little at a time. Now return to the stove with the lemon juice and zest. 

Bring to the boil, stiring all of the time. When it comes to a rapid boil it is ready. Remove from the heat.

Delia suggests adding cornflour to the mix. If you do this, add it to the lemon juice before mixing into the butter and sugar mixture.