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‘Desserts and Sweets’ Category

  1. Amaretti Tiramisu

    May 4, 2014 by Lisa

    A nice twist on the classic Italian dessert. This is a small quantity suitable for 4 to 6 people.

    250 g mascarpone
    2 eggs
    35g caster sugar
    Amaretti biscuits
    tablespoon tia maria
    tablespoon Amaretto
    1/3 cup strong coffee
    Dark cocoa powder

    Separate eggs. Whip the whites until stiff then set aside. Beat the yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Blend in the mascarpone until smooth, then gently mix in the whites, being careful not to overmix.

    Combine the coffee, Tia Maria, and Amaretto in a shallow dish and soak the Amaretti biscuits for a few minutes. Put two layers of biscuits in the bottom of a small dish, then top with the mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top and dust liberally with cocoa powder.

    Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.


  2. Oatmeal Cookies

    March 21, 2012 by Lisa

    This recipe makes nice chunky cookies that won’t go flat when cooked. The additional flour means they are ever so slightly cakey, but still chewy inside and crisp on the outside. I used both self-raising flour, soda and baking powder, which may seem like over-kill, but it works out in this case. An alternative would be plain flour and then double the quantities of soda and powder, but that’s another experiment for a later date.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 oz butter (1/2 cup / 113g) – room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) baking powder
    • 1/2 (5ml) tsp salt
    • 1 cup (128g) self-raising flour
    • 1 1/2 (128g) cups rolled oats (porridge oats)
    • 1 cup chopped dates, chocolate chips, nuts, raisins or any combination of the same (optional)

    Cream together the sugars and the butter with an electric mixer. You can use a spoon, but it will take a while – the result should be fluffy and well-mixed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and mix into the sugar mixture. Add the oats and then the other ingredients if you’re using them. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour or so.

    Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan/350F). This cookie mix will be very stiff, so you’ll need to roll it into loose walnut-sized balls – about 2 inches in diameter – and place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

     


  3. Pear Crumble

    March 7, 2012 by Lisa

    Crumble topping:

    • 100g plain flour
    • Half a block of butter
    • 40g porridge oats
    • 100g brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Pear filling:

    • 4 pears, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp caster sugar
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp cornflour

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, combine the butter, salt, brown sugar and flour until crumbly. Mix the pears, vanilla, cinnamon, caster sugar and cornflour in a separate bowl. Place a thin layer of crumble on the bottom of a medium baking dish then pour in the pear mixture and cover with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy.


  4. Chili Jeli

    January 24, 2012 by Lisa


    This is a delicious and spicy (obviously) jam that makes a great gift. Amazing with a bit of brie or camembert on toast or a biscuit or in a sandwich with cold meats. Use hotter chilis or increase the proportion of hot chilis to make a spicier jam.

    The chilis are so low in pectin, that a little help in the form of liquid pectin helps it set. It you are a jam expert and think you don’t need the pectin, leave it out, although I found that I had to re-boil the jam to get it to set before I started adding it as a matter of course.

    Ingredients:

    • 150 g long fresh red romano peppers, deseeded and cut into pieces.
    • 150 g hot chili peppers, deseeded and cut into pieces
    • 1 kg jam sugar
    • 600 ml apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon pectin
    • 10 x 130ml sealable jars

     

    Sterilize the jars and leave to cool. I put them in a pan of water, filling each jar 3/4 with water and placing the lids on top, then bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

    Place the cut-up chilies in a blender and pulse until they’re finely chopped.

    Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a large pan over a low heat. Use a pan larger than you think you’ll need as it easily boil over and you need it to boil vigourously if you have any hopes of the jam setting.

    Scrape the chili-pepper mixture out of the blender and add it to the pan of dissolved sugar. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it to boil. A jam thermometer is highly recommended as it needs to reach 105C (221F) and then boil additionally for 10 minutes. You can check to see if it’s set using the frozen saucer method: place 4 or 5 saucers in the freezer at the beginning of your jam making session; check for a set by dropping a bit of jam onto the frozen saucer and push it around with your finger. If it gels, it’s probably going to set properly.

    Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool for 45 minutes or so. Skim off any foam, pour into your jars and seal tightly. It may take several hours or overnight for the jam to set.


  5. Panna Cotta

    May 7, 2010 by Lisa

    Here’s a version of Panna Cotta that’s measured in “new money” for those without American style measuring cups.

    Note: 1 1/2 gelatine sachets can be used, but be extra careful to let them dissolve completely as per the instructions on the pack. When I used them, the gelatine sunk to the bottom of the bowl and created a hard, rubbery shell on the top that needed to be removed, leaving the panna cotta as a rather unattractive – if highly tasty – blob.

    Ingredients:

    • 600ml double cream
    • 200ml milk
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 2 vanilla pods
    • 4 leaves gelatine

    Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for at least 4-5 minutes.

    Place the cream, milk, and sugar a saucepan. Split the vanilla pods lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.

    Squeeze the gelatine leaves of excess water one by one and stir into the cream mixture until dissolved.

    Divide the panna cotta mixture between several ramekins or pour into a medium-sized mold.

    Cool and then chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until set – overnight if you use one bowl.


  6. New York Cheesecake

    February 26, 2005 by Lisa

    Light and fluffy and very, very rich, this is my very favourite cheesecake.

    All ingredients should be room temperature before starting.

    Ingredients:

    • Small Packet Digestive biscuits, crushed (250g)
    • 60ml (4 tbsp) melted butter
    • 3 x 300g packages cream cheese
    • 375g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
    • 145ml (1/2 cup) double cream
    • 4 eggs
    • 280ml (1 cup) sour cream
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla
    • 30g (1/4 cup) flour
    • 30g (1/4 cup) icing sugar (or less, to taste)

    Preheat oven to 175C and grease a 20cm springform pan. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Put in the refrigerator while the other ingredients are being mixed.

    Separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the whites until stiff. Mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then stir in the cream. Add the eggs, half of the sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth. Fold in the egg whites, mixing in completely, but not beating too much.

    Pour into the crust and bake in the middle of the oven for one hour. Don’t open the door before the hour is up. After an hour it should still wobble slightly in the middle but it will set as it cools. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside for an hour. Run a knife between the cake and the pan and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

    Mix the remaining sour cream with icing sugar and spread over the top of the cheesecake. Refridgerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.