Thursday, 30 April 2015

Lemon Bars

I have been loving lemon this season. The color, the flavour..everything! One of my favourite summer desserts is lemon bars. The buttery short crust pastry goes perfectly with the sweet, lemony, chewy bar. 




This recipe is absolutely divine and I swear by it! 





For the short crust pastry:

Ingredients:

  1. 175 g flour
  2. 125 g butter
  3. 50 g granulated sugar
Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees. Prepare an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the flour and butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  3. Stir in the granulated sugar. 
  4. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press down firmly. 
  5. Prick the whole surface with a fork. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until pale golden. 




For the lemon topping:

Ingredients:


  1. 200 g caster sugar
  2. 2 tbsp flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  6. juice and zest of 1 large lemon
Method:

  1. In a food processor, mix together the caster sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, lemon juice and zest until smooth. 
  2. Pour over short crust base. 
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until nearly set, but still wobbly in the centre. 
  4. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 1 hour at least. 




Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares. Serve cold. Enjoy! 



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Apple Turnovers

As much as I love apple pie, sometimes I just want the easy way out. So what's the solution? Apple Turnovers! These are so easy to make..and to eat!




This recipe is absolutely fool-proof. The secret lies in the pie crust. It is beautiful, buttery, and flaky. As it bakes, it forms a gorgeous golden brown crust that is crunchy and soft at the same time!




For the butter crust pastry:

Ingredients:

  1. 256 g plain flour
  2. 113 g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes and frozen for 1 hour at least)
  3. 1 tbsp sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 6 tbsp ice water
Method:

  1. In your food processor, add in half the flour, then the frozen cubes of butter. Now add in the remaining flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Pulse on and off for a few seconds. Do this for about a minute.
  3. Now add in your ice water.
  4. Pulse on and off again until you have something that resembles fine bread crumbs. 
  5. If you take a some of the mixture and press it between your thumb and index finger, it should come together. 
  6. Tip the breadcrumbs on to your work surface, and press them together to form a disk of dough. 
  7. The dough needs to cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour at least.
Tips:
  1. Make sure the butter and water are ice cold, as the frozen butter is what gives the dough its amazing texture.
  2. Don't pulse the dough for too long, or it will become too wet. 
  3. You can make this dough the night before and place it in the fridge over night. 




For the apple filling:

Ingredients:

  1. 2-3 apples (cored, peeled, and cut into cubes of about 2cmx2cm)
  2. 2 tbsp butter
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 32 g sugar
  5. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  6. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1-2 tsp water
Method:

  1. In a non stick saucepan, melt the butter until it starts bubbling. 
  2. Add in your apples, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. Cook for as long as you like. I cook mine for about 5-6 minutes. 
  4. Add a few spoons of water to deglaze the pan. 
  5. Set aside the mixture to cool.
  6. Divide your dough into 12 parts. Roll out circular shapes about 1/8th of an inch thick. 
  7. Spoon the apple mixture on to one half of the circle, leaving some space around the edge. 
  8. Now, fold over the dough to form a semi circular shape. Make sure you leave about half an inch of space between the top and bottom dough. 
  9. Tuck the extra half inch of dough from the bottom to the top. This will seal your little pies. 
  10. To be extra careful, you can also crimp the edges. I always do (although I'm not very good). 
  11. Make 3 small ventilation holes at the top of each turnover. This is very important, or your oven could explode. 
  12. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 




Enjoy!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Flour-less Chocolate Cake

Summer has officially started! To celebrate, I decided to make my favouritest cake..flour-less chocolate cake!




There are a million reasons why I absolutely love this cake. It's gluten free. It's so easy and quick to whip up. And you only need four ingredients! But I'm going to warn you right now. Once you know how to make this cake, you'll want to make it everyday. 





Ingredients:

1. 170 g of dark chocolate (chopped)
2. 3 eggs
3. 50 g of butter
4. 100 g of granulated sugar



Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, add the dark chocolate and butter, and heat over double boiler until smooth. Leave aside to cool.
  3. Separate your eggs into whites and yolks. 
  4. Add your granulated sugar to the yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy. 
  5. When the chocolate has cooled, slowly add in the yolk and sugar mixture and fold gently until fully incorporated. 
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks. 
  7. Add a third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and fold gently, making sure that you don't release the air in the mixture.
  8. Now, add in the remaining mixture and fold until no streaks of egg whites remain. 
  9. Pour the mixture into a spring form pan, lined with parchment paper. 
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  11. Let it cool completely before removing from pan. 





Additional Tips:

  1. It is important to use a spring form pan only. The cake is very delicate and if turned over, it will collapse on itself. 
  2. When folding the mixture, take your time, be patient. The eggs are what give the cake its structure, so you want to keep all that lovely air inside your mixture. 
  3. If your cake cracks from the top, don'y worry! This cake is supposed to crack. I think it makes the cake look rustic and beautiful!
  4. As the cake cooks, it will sink from the center. Again, this is absolutely normal. 
  5. I like the cake as it is, but you can always top it up with chocolate ganache, raspberry coulis, or just some berries.