Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Federico's Key Lime Pie

My friend Federico make this pie every time there's a party. 
So I asked him to teach me this big classic.
It is sour and sweet to perfection.





Ingredients:

for the base:
250 g digestives cookies
80 g butter

for the filling:
150 ml lime juice
397 g condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp lime zest

whipped cream for decoration*


How to:

Make the base reducing the cookies into fine crumbs. Melt the butter and add the digestives. Whisk with a fork. Cover the base of a 23 cm pie tin. Bake in the over at 180° for 10 minutes. Let cool in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

For the filling mix the milk, juice, egg yolks and zest. Pour the mixture on the base and bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool in the fridge for several hours.
Decorate the surface with wipped cream.


Crêpe Cake


One of the more dramatic cake ever. It take quite a long time to do it, but it will worth every second.
I preferred to make the crêpes a little thicker, almost like pancakes, because they hold the custard better and they are more satisfying to taste.




Ingredients:

for the crêpes:
 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups milk
75 g butter, melted

for the custard:
2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
80 g dark chocolate


How to:

Prepare the custard heating milk and chocolate in a saucepan. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale. Add the cornstarch, sifted. Slowly pour the milk and melted chocolate over the egg mix, whisking continuosly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook for 5 minutes or until thick. Let cool completely

For the crêpes place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Place the egg, milk and butter in a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Heat a 20 cm non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. 
Pour enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan, cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the crêpe and cook for 1 minute until golden.
Let cool completely.
You will need around 20 crêpes. 

Spiced Pear and Banana Mini Loaf


I tested an unusual combination of pear and banana.
The result is a spicy really moist cake (banana) with crunchy pieces of pear.



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Apple Pie


Very rustic, very organic-looking pie. 
The pastry will come out crumbly and the filling very aromatic.
Use different types of apples for a more interesting flavour.
You can use cardamom instead of cinnamon for a fresher taste.







Ingredients:

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
250g butter, softened
2 egg + 2 egg yolks (keep 1 egg white)
1,5 kg apples
2Tbsp cinnamon


Mix all the ingredients, except the apples and the egg white, to create the pastry. 
Set aside in the fridge until firm, or at least 30 minutes.
Take 2/3 of the batter to cover the base of a 24cm cake tin.
Cut the apples into slices and cook them in a frying pan, with cinnamon and sugar to taste. Let cool.
Once cold, put the apples on the pastry base and top with the remaining 1/3 batter.
Brush the surface with the egg white and sprinkle with custer sugar.
Bake at 180° for 1 hour.

Rose Apple Cake


This is a very romantic cake. I love the idea of shaping thin apple slices into a rose pattern, it is very relaxing and simple. The final result is wonderful and very impressive. I added a few rose buds which I dried my own (use only organic, non-treated roses!).
Girls will really love this one :)




Ingredients:

200g butter, softened
100g sugar
4 eggs
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g plain yoghurt
5 small apples (gala, if possible)
1 vanilla bean
3 Tbsp rose water



How to:

Preheat the oven to 160°. 
Use two apples for the rose decoration: peal them and then divede them in four. Slice them as thin as you can. You can use a potato peeler if you like. Cut the other three apples chunky. Set aside.
Meanwhile prepare the cake: beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the yoghurt, vannilla and rose water. Stir to combine. Sift over the flour and baking powder mixing well and then add the chunky apples.
Put in a 24cm cake tin, level the surface and place the tiny slices of the remaining apples to create a rose motif (they should be around 7, but it's up to you).
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center turns out clean.






Chocolate espresso cheesecake


A layer cheesecake that has an old favourite combination. 
Perfect served with extra strong coffee.




Ingredients

for the base:
250 chocolate cookies
125g butter

for the cream:
400g cream cheese
500g ricotta
200g sugar
4 eggs
200g melted chocolate
3 Tbsp instant coffee


How to

Prepare the base melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the cookies, minced. Put them on the bottom of a 20 cm cake tin. Put it in the fridge.
Prepare the cream whisking cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and eggs. Then add the melted chocolate and the instant coffee.
Pour over the cookie base and bake for about an hour at 160°. Let cool overnight.


Peanut Butter Cookies


These cookies are to die for. 
They are like shortbread to peanut butter flavour. They literally will melt in your mouth.




Ingredients


125 g butter
150 g peanut butter
100 g sugar
150 g flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp baking powder
75 g peanuts, roughly chopped


How to

Beat butter and peanut butter until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, stirring constantly. Add the egg.
Sift flour and baking powder over the mixture, then add the peanuts. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Make little balls out of the butter, put them on a baking tray, lined with packment paper. Softly flatten the cookies. Bake for 15 minutes at 190°.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Peach and raspberry pistachio crumble


The perfect ending to a summer outdoor dinner.





Ingredients


2-3 peaches, dipending on the size
200 g raspberries
100 g pistachis
1/2 vanilla bean


for the crumble:

220 g flour
220 g butter, chilled and chopped
50 g pistachios flour
120 g sugar



How to

Prepare the crumble mixing all the ingredients with your fingertips. Try to do this very quickly to prevent the butter from melting. Put it in the fridge.

Prepare the fruit cutting the peaches in chunks. Cook them in a pan with 1/2 glass of water until soft (add some extra sugar to taste if needed). Add raspberries and pistachios.
Put the fruit in 4 little bowls suitable for the oven. Cover with the crumble, reaching the edge of each bowl.
Bake at 180° for 30 minutes.
Let cool.