Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lemon Delicious

Under the feathery sponge top of this dessert is a golden pool of lemon custard that beckons only for a little whipped or double cream to be served alongside. A classic recipe.

50 grams / 1.75 oz softened butter
grated rind two large lemons
1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk

1. Beat the butter, sugar, lemon rind and egg yolks together until light and fluffy.
2. Gently stir in the flour, milk and lemon juice.
3. Put the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until they form stiff peaks but are not dry.
4. Fold the two mixtures together and pour into a well-greased 3-4 cup capacity oven-proof dish.
5. Bake at 160°C / 320°F for 30-40 minutes in a water bath until the top is golden and firm to the touch. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Classic Apple Crumble

This is another deliciously quick fruit recipe. You can use other fruit, such as canned pears, stewed rhubarb or frozen berries, in place of the apples if preferred.

2 x 410g / 15oz cans diced apples

1 cup plain flour
125g / 4½oz butter, cubed
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup desiccated coconut
Icing sugar to dust

1. Heat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Place diced apple in an ovenproof dish.
2. In a bowl, rub butter into flour with your fingertips, or process in a food processor to look like breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar, cinnamon and coconut.
3. Sprinkle crumble mixture over apple and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until topping is crisp and golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Dont let the long list of ingredients fool you - this recipe is really as simple as mixing all the crust ingredients together, mixing the filling ingredients, then mixing the glaze ingredients together. This great cheesecake can be prepared a day ahead - cover and refrigerate until needed.


For crust
1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs

For glaze
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with double thickness of foil. Spray bottom of pan with vegetable oil spray. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process until blended. Press mixture onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

Make Filling:
Combine cream and coffee powder in a medium saucepan. Stir until the coffee powder dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in cornstarch. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk 1 cup cheese mixture into chocolate mixture. Return chocolate mixture to remaining cheese mixture; whisk until smooth.

Pour batter into crust. Place springform pan in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until softly set and slightly puffed around edges, about 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 45 minutes. Transfer springform pan to a rack and cool. Cover; chill cake overnight.

Make glaze:
Bring cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour glaze over top of cake. Using spatula, smooth glaze evenly over top. Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least 2 hours.

Using a knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Cut into wedges and serve.


Pumpkin Pie

This is a sweet pumpkin pie that is quick and easy, and spiced with ginger and cinnamon. Delicious!

1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer, or until the center is set.