Celebrity Maltese Chefs

Chocolate Swiss Roll

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Warm the oven at 235C, gas number 8. Sieve the flour together with the chocolate powder. Grease a rectangular dish, of 45cm long by 38cm wide, with a little margarine and cover the bottom with a piece of baking paper. Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in an electric mixer and work until the mixture turns white and thickens like a cream. You can also use an electric hand beater. Add the glycerin and continue to mix. Gradually add the flour little by little to the mixture while beating all the time. IMPORTANT: NEVER throw in all the flour at once! Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and see that its height is the same allover. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. Take the sponge out of the oven, remove it from the dish and place it face down on a napkin until it cools. For the filling: Put 2 jars of fresh cream or half of the UHT cream in a bowl and stir well. UHT cream is better to fill the Swiss roll. Cover the sponge with this cream and roll it. Place the Swiss roll in the fridge for at least two hours. In the meantime. melt the chocolate in the microwave or a bain-marie. It is very important that neither water nor steam come into contact with the chocolate and that you do not cover it whilst melting. If you use chocolate that is button-shaped and not block-shaped, it will melt much faster. Place the remaining 2 jars of fresh cream or UHT cream in a saucepan and heat over a moderate heat. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. Beat the cold cream well with an electric hand beater or mixer. Take the Swiss roll out of the fridge, place it on a large, oblong plate and cover it with this cream. Put it back in the fridge for at least two hours. Take out of the fridge and scratch the surface of the chocolate with a fork to make it look like a tree trunk (see photo). Sprinkle some icing sugar on top and decorate with Christmas decorations.

Ricotta Cheese & Pea Filp Tort...

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Start by heating the oven to 200`c. Brush a 26cm round flan dish lightly with a little olive oil. Layer 4 sheets of filo pastry at different angles (brushing each layer lightly with olive oil) so that the base and sides of the dish are well covered, allowing the pastry to drape over the sides. Pour the Knorr Pea and Ham soup along with 300ml milk into a small saucepan and heat till the soup is thick stirring constantly. Remove off the heat. In a large bowl, use a fork to slightly mash the marrow fat peas. Add in the ricotta cheese and the Pea and Ham and mix together well with. Spoon the filling mixture into the prepared filo case and even out. Fold in the overhanging pastry and brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Decoratively arrange the remaining 2 sheets of filo pastry over the top of the tart and lightly brush with any remaining oil. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and bake the tart in the oven at 200`c for approximately 30 minutes until the filling is set and the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carefully removing from the tin and serving.

Stuffed Chicken Legs with a fresh G...

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Take a sharp knife and carefully go round the chicken leg bone, scraping off the meat from the bone and carefully pushing the meat away every time. Chop off the bone away right before coming at the jaw. Repeat for all 4 legs.

Take a mixing bowl, skin off the sausage meat, mix together with the sage leaves, parsley & cheese.

Push the sausage meat into the chicken cavity, rolling the skin over to cover the filling.

Take a Maggi So Juicy bag, and place the chicken into a roasting bag together with the onions & mushrooms. Dilute the spice mix from the bag with 150 ml water and pour over the chicken meat, wrap the bag with the baking tag and roast for 30 to 40 minute in preheated oven @ 175°C. Meanwhile prepare the risotto; chop the bacon and cook in a double bottom saucepan with the butter, allow to crisp. Next stir in the rice and leek, cook for a couple of minutes further. Splash in the wine, allow evaporation, continue cooking, adding the vegetable stock gradually allowing the rice to absorb the liquid and stirring occasionally. When rice is cooked, remove from the heat, crush the gbejna in and beat in together with the spinach leaves. 

Serve the chicken sliced with the obtained sauce accompanied by the risotto.

Sponge Flan Filled with Ricotta

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Prepare a sponge flan according to the sponge recipe. Put the ricotta and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mash them well until the mixture turns creamy.  If you see that the ricotta is rather dry, you can add some milk or cream.  Put aside from 2 to 3 tablespoons of ricotta for decoration. Add the candied peel and chocolate chips to the sweetened ricotta and mix well.  Add the lemon rind and grated nutmeg and mix well again. Put the flan on a large, flat serving dish. Moisten the top of the flan with any liqueur of your choice.  Fill the flan with the ricotta mixture. Spread the extra ricotta on the edges of the flan and sprinkle the toasted nuts on it. Finally, decorate with the red and green candied cherries. Cool it in the fridge before serving.

Asparagus Pilaf

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Pilaf is a rice dish whose recipe usually involves cooking in stock or broth, adding spices, and other ingredients such as onions, vegetables or meat, and employing some technique for achieving cooked rice grains that do not adhere to each other.
Wash the asparagus thoroughly taking care not to bruise the tips. Dry between layers of kitchen paper so that it absorbs all the water. In a large pan, lightly pan fry the Mayor Diced onions and minced garlic cloves in the butter. Add the dry rice to the onions and coat with the butter. Stir continuously for around 2 minutes on medium heat. Lower the heat add the Spoon Stock and mix well. Allow to cook for 20 minutes. Add the asparagus, season and mix well. Continue cooking on low heat until the rice is cooked and tender. If you notice that the liquid is evaporated and the rice is still not tender enough, you may add some hot water so that it continues to steam. Add a tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice to the cooked rice and mix well. Sprinkle the Hanini grated Gibniet over the rice and serve. This dish may be garnished with lemon slices and spinach leaves.

Mushroom Risotto

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Boil the water and add to the Chicken Spoon Stock and mix well to make a stock. Pour into a large frying pan and keep it on a low heat so that the stock gently boils. In another thick-bottom frying pan, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Add the Mayor Diced Onions and sliced mushrooms and cook for around 4-5 minutes on low heat. Add the rice and coat with the oil and butter until the rice grains are all glistening. Cook for around 1 minute and add a ladleful of Spoon Stock. When the stock evaporates add another ladle of stock while stirring constantly. Keep on adding the stock and stirring constantly until all the stock is used and the rice is cooked. If the rice is not fully cooked by the time the stock finishes you may add a ladle of hot water to make sure the rice is fully ready. Risotto dishes need constant attention while cooking and will take around 25-30 minutes to cook. It is important to keep the heat constant so that the rice does not overcook and becomes mushy (on very low heat) or cooks on the outside but remains hard on the inside (too high heat). After 20 minutes of cooking, add the liquid in smaller amounts so that you do not use too much liquid unnecessarily. It is important to keep stirring throughout the cooking time. The rice is cooked when the grains remain firm but not adhered to each other. The result will resemble rice cooked in a creamy sauce. Add the remaining butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Bones of the Dead

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Put the ground almonds, sugar, egg whites, essences and grated rind of a lemon in a large mixing bowl. Do not add too much almond essence because it will give the filling a bitter taste.  Mix the ingredients well together until you obtain a fairly dry paste. Preheat the oven 1900C, gas mark 5. Put the pastry on a lightly floured tabletop, roll it out and cut it into oblongs. Put some almond paste in the centre of each oblong.  Wrap the pastry around the filling and mould it into the traditional bone shape.  Tuck it neatly around, trimming off extra bits. Put the ‘bones’ on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove the ‘bones’ from the baking tray and leave them to cool. Cover them with white royal icing when they are completely cold.

Shellfish Risotto

In a large frying pan, gently pan fry the Mayor Onion in olive oil stirring constantly. Add the dried rice to the mixture just as the onion Is turning golden. Mix well and add a little turmeric (this will give colour to the risotto). Lower the heat and cook for around 7 minutes. Add the Spoon Stock to the mixture and stir well. If the liquid evaporates you may add some more hot water to the recipe. After cooking the rice for around 25 minutes add the Mayor Garden Peas, bell pepper and the shellfish. Season to taste and serve hot.