Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the tag “Sucrose”

Apple, Ginger and Caramel Tart

I recently attended the Good Housekeeping/Love to Bake Workshop (click here for blog post) where Tina Bester (Queen of Tarts) demonstrated to a very enthusiastic group of ladies how to bake lovely tea time treats.  One of the tarts which she demonstrated was the Apple, Ginger and Caramel Tart and I must say that even though all the pastries and cupcakes were delicious, this one took top prize for me.

For Tina’s recipe, you will need the following:

300g Moir’s Ginger biscuits, crushed
120g butter, melted
6-8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
125ml water
55g castor sugar
40g Moir’s Ginger preserve, thinly sliced
130g brown treacle sugar
180ml golden syrup
60g butter, melted
4 eggs
80ml pouring cream

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Combine the crushed ginger biscuits and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.  Pour into a loose-bottomed tart tin and gently press the mixture into it.  Bake it blind for 8 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the apples, core and quarter them.  Place them in a pot with the water and castor sugar and cook the apples for 8 minutes.  Drain them and place them cut side down on the ginger biscuit base.  Dot thin slices of ginger preserve between the apples.

Combine all the ingredients for the caramel in a bowl and whisk well.  Pour the caramel over the apples, filling the tart shell to the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking the tart half way through the cooking time.  You might need to cover the edges with foil towards the end of the cooking time so that the crust does not overcook.  The tart should have a slight jiggle in the centre.  Serve with a light dusting of icing sugar and dollops of thick cream.


Tart casings

A box of Ultramel has just proved (recipe on box) that you don’t have to be a pastry chef to make Pâtisserie quality tartlets at home. Because of the effort level (not too much) and the patience required, the end result of these sweet, buttery little casings are very rewarding. I didn’t go into any details regarding fillings, but you can easily fill them with whatever you choose. To give you some ideas, you could fill them with fresh fruit topped with whipped cream, you could use tinned caramel topped with slices of banana and then a good dollop of fresh cream or you could just fill them with a generous squeeze of Ultramel which is my personal favourite.

When you start bringing your dough together, don’t stress if it seems very crumbly. Don’t add more butter as it won’t set. Leave it as is and press into tart tins (see images for guidance).

I’ve added 25ml of coconut to my dough for extra flavour (as per original recipe) but you can replace it with crushed almonds if you prefer.

You will need:
150g flour
90g Butter
30g castor sugar
1 egg yolk
25ml coconut

Combine all the above ingredients till they come together and a soft dough forms.
Press into tart casings, cover with foil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes uncovered. Allow to cool and fill with your favourite fillings.

The dough will be crumbly but don't stress about it, just take pieces and press into pastry casings

The dough will be crumbly but don’t stress about it, just take pieces and press into pastry casings

Gently press the dough into the casings making sure even coverage

Gently press the dough into the casings making sure even coverage

This recipe makes 8 tartlets

This recipe makes 8 tartlets

Cover in foil, prick with a fork and bake for 10 minutes

After 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered

After 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered

Fill with your favourite filling

Fill with your favourite filling

Banana Bread Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

My inspiration for this cake comes from the seemingly trendy pairing of banana’s and peanut butter. The last 2 food magazines that I’ve read have featured this combination so I decided to try it out for myself and to use my own cake recipe, just modified. The outcome is absolutely delish and the combination definitely works.

For the Cake:You will need:
3 cups Cake flour
2 tsp. bicarb of soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of castor sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
3 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas (mashed)

Peanut Butter frosting:
1.5 cups crunchy peanut butter
1.5 cups of icing sugar
¾ cup of butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Method for Cake:
Combine dry ingredients and in a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, except for banana mash. Combine wet and dry and using a hand mixer, combine well. Stir in the banana mash and half fill 2 prepared round cake pans and bake at 165°C for 50 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely.
Method for frosting:
Sift icing sugar and combine with butter till a smooth, creamy consistency. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix well.
Spread frosting on one of the halves and place the other half on top. Spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake and drizzle with melted chocolate or top with chocolate chips.

Boiled Orange Cake

In my quest for my family (and me) to live a healthier lifestyle, I have decided to cut wheat entirely from our diets.  I know this is a huge challenge on its own for many people who just want to eliminate the unhealthy protein called Gluten found in wheat products from their diets.  Most foods like breads, pasta’s, sauces and cakes contain Gluten so where does one start?  It’s always been a daunting thought for me and I’ve therefore brushed it aside as too much of a mission.  Nowadays it is a bit easier as a few large retail stores stock some gluten free pasta and breads as well as Gluten free flours making baking less of a formidable task. 
Crunchy Orange Cake (3)
A recipe that I have modified to suite my own tastes is a boiled orange cake which is made without flour.  It is absolutely delicious and if kept in the fridge will last up to a week.  It is a great way to use up uneaten oranges in the fruit basket so nothing goes to waste.

3 medium oranges
30ml Honey
6 large eggs
1 cup castor sugar
3 Tbsp. cornflour
5ml Baking powder
50g Sunflower Seeds
50g Sesame Seeds
50g Pecan Nuts
150g Pumpkin Seeds
For the Syrup:
250ml Fresh Orange Juice
4 Tbsp. Castor sugar
Seeds of 1 Vanilla pod

Boil unpeeled oranges in water for 1 hour.  When cool, remove seeds and pulverize with skins on to a smooth pulp.  Add honey.
Beat eggs and castor sugar well until light and fluffy.   Combine nuts and blitz to resemble coarse crumbs.  Add cornflour and baking powder and fold into egg mixture.  Mix well and fold into oranges.  Place mixture into a greased round spring form cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes.  In a small saucepan, bring the syrup ingredients to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.  Pour over orange cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Leave to cool.
Serve with Sour cream.

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