Put the almonds in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Place over medium heat and stir often until the almonds turn golden brown. You can also roast the almonds in the oven. Preheat oven to 1800C, gas mark 4. Spread the almonds in one layer in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden. Leave the almonds to cool completely before chopping them in medium sized pieces. Preheat the oven 1900C, gas mark 5. Put all the dry ingredients required for the filling into a bowl and stir them together. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry thinly and line a 24cm diameter, non-stick baking dish with it. If possible, use a loose bottomed tin. This will make it easier to remove the baked tart later on. Press the pastry lightly and firmly all over the base and sides of the tin, easing any overlapping pastry back down the sides, as it is important not to stretch this bit too much. Trim the edges, leaving a small edge of pastry sticking over the edge of the baking dish to allow for shrinkage in the oven. Prick the base all over with a fork and spread some jam over the pastry. Spoon the filling into the pastry case and flat it with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 45 minutes and leave the tart to cool completely before removing it from the tin. Decorate with melted chocolate, almond or sugar paste, royal icing and candied cherries.
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganac...
First will prepare the jelly. Grease a round cake dish of round 20cm and cover with cling film. Squeeze the 4 oranges and keep the rind for afterwards. Put the liquid in a medium sized pan and add the sugar. Place on low flame for sugar to dissolve. Meanwhile put the gelatine in some cold water for some time until it softens. After remove from the water, squeeze, and add to the orange juice. Mix well until it dissolves. Pour mixure into the dish pan and let set for at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the oven on 140 – 160 degree celcium and cover a cake dish of diameter of 23cm with some cartaforn. Place butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well with an electric blender until you get a smooth consistency. Place mixture in pan and make sure the top is even. Bake in over for around 55 minutes or untill well cooked. When ready, wait for 15 minutes before removing the cake and let cool on cooling rack. For the ganache warm the cream in a small pan until hot. Add the milk and dark chocolate pieces until chocolate melts. Let cool completly. To complete the cake, place it on a cake stand and make sure to have smooth even surface. Warm the jam in the micorowave for a few seconds until consistency is liquidy. Use a basing brush to paste the top of the cake with the jam and afterwards spread the chocolate ganache with a palette. Let some of the chocolate to drizzle with the edges of the cake for a more professional look. Decorate with some grated orange peel and serve immediately.
Begin by preparing the custard. Put ¾ of the milk and sugar in a casserole. Put it on a moderate heat until it starts to boil. Dilute the custard in the remaining milk and add it to the boiled milk. Cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from heat and leave it to cool. Slice the sponge cake thickly and cover the bottom of a large serving dish with the cut slices. Prepare the strawberry jelly, following the instructions on the packet, using only 2/3 of the amount of water indicated. Pour the jelly mixture over the sponge slices and let them soak. Either add the custard immediately, or else wait until the sponges are well soaked with the jelly. Put the trifle aside until the custard settles. Cream together the fresh cream and the ricotta in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and liqueur and mix well. Spread the ricotta mixture over the custard. Decorate with cherries, halved walnuts or roasted almonds.
Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake
Beat eggs with the caster sugar and salt until fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the mixture. Open the tin of fruit cocktail and pour the fruit and the syrup into the cake batter. Pour into a greased 9 inch square cake tin, sprinkle with the walnuts and the extra 2 tbsp. brown sugar and bake at 175°C for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Allow cooling and serve with whipped cream.
Apple Almond Yogurt Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. Finely slice the apples, skin on and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice. Preparing a loaf tin with baking spray. Sift the self-raising flour twice into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add all the other ingredients except for the apples and mix on medium speed for one minute. Clean the batter from the sides of the bowl and mix again for another two minutes. Use a large metal spoon to bring the mixture together and if necessary, add a few drops of water to achieve a dropping consistency. Pour half the batter into the loaf tin and arrange a thin layer of sliced apples on top. Pour the rest of the batter and overlap the thin apple slices on the top. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and keep the temperature for the cooking time. Whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the chopped pistachios, the melted and cold butter, the flour and the baking powder. Pour the batter into a greased and floured baking-pan, jump in a hot oven for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, leave the cake in the damped-down oven 5 minutes yet. When is cool, spread the pistachio cream on the top of the cake (you can stuff inside) and garnish with the chopped pistachios.
Prepare the pastry by rubbing in the butter and the flour with your finger tips. When the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs add the lemon zest, the vanilla, sugar and finally the water. Bring the pastry together, wrap in ‘stretch and
seal’ and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients together and bind until the mixture looks like dough. To make the ‘bones’ roll out the pastry with a rolling pin. It needs to be quit thick. Brush the top of the pastry with egg white. Place some filling on top of the pastry and then seal and shape into a long ‘sausage’ Cut into portions of 100 g each and shape each piece into the shape of a bone. Place on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 minutes. Cover with icing if desired or leave as they are for a healthier option.
Sweet Cannoli Shells
Sieve the flour and add rub in margarine until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the red wine a bit by bit and enough water to form a dough. Working the dough using your hands until soft. Cover with stretch and seal and set aside to rest. On a flat surface, add some flour and spread the dough as thin as it can be. Cut out circular shapes and roll around the cannoli rollers. Before closing the edges together add some water to make sure the dough does not open while cooking. Heat the oil in a deep pan and bring oil to a boil. Gently fry the dough a roll after each other. Cook until dough is nicely golden. When ready, place on some tissue paper to remove excess oils. In the meantime, in an electric mixture, beat the ricotta with the icing sugar until consistency is smooth. Add the chocolate chips and fill the cannoli shells. Decorate with the cherries and almonds at the side and some extra chocolate chips.
Recipe by Anton B. Dougall