Nigella’s Warm Raspberry and Lemon Cake

 

So… I met Nigella Lawson…

A few months ago while she was on the press junket for her newest cookbook, Simply Nigella.

There’s a reason we all adore her. That impression that you get from reading her recipe intros and notes, that darling woman you see cooking on your TV – that’s all real. That’s her. That special something that makes Nigella sparkle is absolutely genuine, and upon meeting her, I adore her even more. No one – NO ONE – can deal with that amount of people, sign that many books and still be graceful, poised, kind and genuinely happy to greet the next person in a never-ending line that nearly defeated me a number of times.

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Prior to the line of a kind I hope to never be in again, I was fortunate enough to see Nigella be interviewed, where she talked about everything from her life before cooking, to her hate of green capsicums, from her love of David Copperfield to her unique method acting technique of choosing a dish from a restaurant menu.

And she talked about mindfulness, talked about how, yes, it is the buzzword of the moment, but how cooking, for her, for so many, is mindfulness. Yes, we cook because we need to feed ourselves, our families, but for us who have that connection to the kitchen, cooking is so much more. It’s a form of relaxation, of therapy, it’s a way to extend ourselves, to learn, to experiment and be creative. It’s a ways to keep the hands busy and to calm the mind, or to hone it, depending on the mood and the food. It’s achievement and celebration, comfort and indulgence. It’s love, joy, a gift from you to the ones you love to feed, love to watch smile.

Jamie taught me how to cook, Stephanie showed me how to mix and match flavours, but Nigella, Nigella helped me find that passion and happiness of a lovingly prepared meal for one, two or more, of conquering a scary-looking recipe, of the simplicity in cooking if the joy is really truly there.

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So, no matter what you passion is, what that something is that brings you joy – do it, continue doing it, never stop doing it. Don’t let yourself or anyone ever stop you from cooking, painting, writing, dancing, cycling, gardening, hiking, star gazing, daydreaming, making lists, yodelling… if you love it, keep it, nurture it and watch it grow.

I’m going to very quietly sneak myself and Nigella’s warm raspberry and lemon cake in to the latest Fiesta Friday party and pretend like I’ve been here all along… It should be a great party this week with Angie, Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Linda @ La Petite Paniere at the helm.

Warm Raspberry and Lemon Cake

  • Servings: makes 9 slabs or 18 fingers
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Ingredients

  • 150ml light olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 75g fine polenta (not instant)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g frozen raspberries (not thawed)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and lightly grease a 20cm square tin with a dab of olive oil.
  2. Beat the oil with the finely grated lemon zest (you’ll need the juice later), then add the sugar and mix together. This can be done in a freestanding mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, or you can blitz all the ingredients, bar the raspberries, in a food processor.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, polenta, bicarb and baking powder and fork together to mix well. Add a spoonful to the oil and sugar mixture, beating all the while, then add 1 egg, followed by about a third of the almond and polenta mixture, and so forth, until all the eggs and the almond and polenta mixture are used up and you have a smooth, sunny, yellow batter.
  4. Whether you’ve mixed the batter with a processor, freestanding mixer, or bowl and wooden spoon, now fold in the frozen raspberries by hand and then spoon and smooth the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 minutes, by which time the cake will start to come away from the edges of the tin, be brown on top, and a cake tester will come out clean with all but a few golden crumbs (this is meant to be a damp cake).
  5. The minute the cake is out of the oven, pour or brush the lemon juice on top and leave until warm (rather than fresh-from-the-oven hot) before eating it.

 

Store note: Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. In hot weather, keep in the fridge.

Freeze note: Leftovers can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

 

Recipe by Nigella Lawson from Simply Nigella.

 

 

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Apple and Strawberry Crumble with a Chewy Oat Topping

There are just too many distractions around me at the moment. Although, I will admit, that it is kind of my own fault…

I’ve just wrapped up a huge project at work and finally got the 84-page monster off to the printer, I’m participating in The Kitchn’s Baking School, I’m still trying to find the optimum layout for my spices in my new pantry, not to mention the boxes that still need to be unpacked, and, unfortunately, I am watching a lot of TV.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

You see, I had to – yes, had to – sign up for pay TV… How else was I going to watch The Great Australian Bake Off?? But access to the food channel brings along with it a whole host of shows that I have suddenly been suckered into watching.

This has made cooking dinner very difficult and taking twice as long as it should…

I am very grateful that these are the worst of my concerns at the moment.

I will admit that I did enjoy a fun evening prepping fruit for a crumble on the coffee table whilst watching some food show.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

It that time of year again, that even if you are in a different hemisphere, pumpkin and apple goods are appearing everywhere. Or it could be that they have always been there and I’m just paying more attention to what’s around at the moment.

Whilst at the market hunting for some purple cauliflower, I found some beautiful apple cider-toasted oats, and with strawberries on sale at the next stall, an oat-topped apple and strawberry crumble was a no brainer. It’s seasonal for both my fall-happy friends on the other side of the world and for us here who are experiencing quite a fickle spring.

This worked out quite well seeing as I’m co-hosting Fiesta Friday #90 this week with Angie @The Novice Gardener and Lindy @Love in the Kitchen. Can you believe we’ve had 90 awesome fiestas? Ten to go before what I’m sure will be a huge extravaganza! So join in and share your recipes with us this week and stick around to chat with some lovely people.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

The amount of fruit needed for a crumble all depends on the size of the baking dish you are using. Just keep cutting fruit until the baking dish is three-quarters full, which will allow room for the crumble topping. If you fill it right to the top, bake it with an empty baking sheet underneath to catch any juices that might bubble over. The amount of fruit I used filled a 33cm x 25cm oval baking dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples (peeled and chopped into small, even pieces)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (cleaned, topped and chopped into quarters)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or a bit more depending on taste or the sweetness of your fruit)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 60g all-purpose flour
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • Around 4 grates of a nutmeg seed, or to taste
  • 70g butter (melted)
  • Vanilla ice cream (to serve, optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Toss the chopped apples and strawberries together with the lemon juice and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and then stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the melted butter and stir to combine. If the mixture is to dry and not clumping, add a little water to help bring the oats together into a soft clumps.
  4. Top the chopped fruit with oat crumble topping, gently spreading the mixture around as much as possible.
  5. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the oat crumble topping is golden brown – it goes from golden to brown very quickly so keep an eye on it in the last few minutes.
  6. Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes, 10 minutes is better, before serving, with or without ice cream and a teaspoon of sticky juice from the bottom of the baking dish.

Chinese Custard Tarts

Happy Chinese New Year!

The new year has been ushered in amid celebration and confusion.

You see, the yang, the eighth animal in the Chinese Zodiac, refers more to the entire Caprinae subfamily of Bovidae rather than a single animal. So, the yang could in fact be a goat, a sheep, a ram (but apparently not a ewe) or even a Mongolian gazelle.

Chinese Custard Tarts

In French, it has been translated into the Year of the Goat; in English, the Year of Sheep, although there is still no consistency to speak of. Even across Asia, most prefer to have the goat as a visual representation, especially in the zodiac representations, but are purchasing sheep souvenirs, mascots and toys, probably because sheep are seen as the more friendly of the pair.

No matter what animal is represented by the yang, it is bound to be an auspicious year.

So end your Chinese New Year feast with these Chinese custard tarts, the kind that you can find in most Asian bakeries or for dessert after yum cha.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy one of these tarts while I wait for the weekend to arrive, when I know there will be many colourful and lively celebrations and dragon dances across the city. Do you think the sheep or goat dances too?

I’m sure that Angie @ The Novice Gardener and her two co-hosts this week, Tina @Mademoiselle Gourmande and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju! will help us all celebrate the lunar new year with Fiesta Friday #56!

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Chinese Custard Tarts

  • Servings: makes 12 tarts
  • Print

Chinese Custard Tarts

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 150ml pure (thin) cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 sheets ready-rolled frozen puff pastry (25cm x 25xm, thawed)
  • Butter for greasing
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
  2. Combine yolks, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla in a jug, mix well and set aside.
  3. Cut one pastry sheet in half. Sit one half on top of the other and roll up from the shortest end to form a log. Repeat with the other pastry sheet.
  4. Cut each log into 6 rounds. Roll out each round on a floured surface to make a 10cm circle.
  5. Press each pastry circle into a greased hole of the muffin pan.
  6. Fill the pastry shells with the custard and bake for 18-20 minutes until puffed at the edges and pale golden on top. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe by Vali Little as found in the delicious. magazine in June 2014.

Orange Blossom Madeleines with Burnt-Honey Crème

I’ve had this beautiful recipe for orange blossom madeleines bookmarked for a very, very long time.

You see, I had a very small bottle of orange blossom water that was of indeterminate age so I threw it out and made a mental note to pick up a new bottle; a mental note that kept popping up now and then and quickly disappearing back into the vortex of recipes and ingredients.

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. The lovely older gentleman at the fruit and nut store assured me that orange blossom water lasts an age, and that his own half-full bottle was first opened over ten years ago.

Now, I’m not entirely convinced that I believe him, but it turns out that my new bottle of orange blossom water smelled exactly the same as the one I threw out. So don’t be put off by the overly perfumey smell of it, in small doses it produces an absolutely delightful flavour and aroma in food.

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And then, the stars aligned.

I was happily googling and found my way to FoodimentaryTM, only to discovered that June 27 is orange blossom day. I had the recipe. I had the orange blossom water. It was time to get me some madeleines.

Now for those who don’t read recipes all the way through before beginning, please note that you have to start this recipe the day before as the batter needs to be chilled overnight.

I am going to be a little bit sneaky here… as I posted this minutes before Miss Angie over at The Novice Gardener posted her Fiesta Friday #22, I’m going to quickly share these yummy, orange-honey scented madeleines with this week’s party goers!

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Orange Blossom Madeleines with Burnt-Honey Crème

  • Servings: makes approx. 24 madeleines
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* Before starting this recipe, please note that the madeleine batter needs overnight chilling.

Ingredients for the Orange Blossom Madeleines

  • 190g butter (coarsely chopped, plus extra, melted, for brushing)
  • 20g honey
  • Rind of 1 lemon (finely grated)
  • Rind of ½ orange (finely grated)
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 210g plain flour
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1½ teaspoons orange blossom water (or to taste)

Ingredients for the Burnt-Honey Crème

  • 80g honey
  • 300ml pouring cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar

Method

  1. Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the honey, lemon rind, orange rind, orange blossom water and vanilla, and then cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl until smooth and creamy, then set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Gradually add the cooled butter mixture to the flour and egg mixture and beat until smooth and just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest overnight.
  5. For the burnt-honey crème, cook the honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until caramelised, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and add cream (be careful as hot honey will spit). Return to the heat and whisk to combine, then bring to the simmer.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until the sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return mixture to the saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly, about 3-4 minutes.
  8. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside until required. The burnt-honey crème can be served warm or chilled.
  9. When ready to bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly brush a madeleine tray with extra melted butter, mopping up any excess that pools in the bases, then spoon in level tablespoons of the madeleine mixture into each mould.
  10. Bake until golden around the edges and humped in the middle, around 15 minutes or until firm in the centre, and then remove from the tray.
  11. Serve madeleines warm with burnt-honey crème.

This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pies

To my knowledge, this month was the first time that I ever had rhubarb.

Is that strange?

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I don’t consider myself a picky eater anymore, but I do admit I am still a cautious eater… if the smell of something make me wrinkle my nose, I’m most likely not going to try it.

So, finicky eating habits and growing up with a Mediterranean mother means that there are still a lot of foods and dishes out there that I haven’t tried yet. And up until a couple of weeks ago, rhubarb was one of them.

I saw the lovely red stalks at the market and grabbed a bunch, knowing that my baking bible would help me out with a recipe or an idea once I was home. My only worry was the taste as I had no idea what to expect.

And it turns out that I love it! Rhubarb is delightfully tart and, as most already know, pairs beautifully with strawberries.

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I may be late to both the rhubarb party and to The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday #17 party, but at least I arrived with style with these cute little rhubarb and strawberry pies.

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Pies

  • Servings: makes 4 pies
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Rhubarb Strawberry Pie1

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150g butter (cold, cut into cubes)
  • 1 egg

Rhubarb and Strawberry Filling Ingredients

  • 4 large rhubarb stems (coarsely chopped)
  • 250g fresh strawberries (coarsely chopped)
  • 55g caster sugar + 2 extra teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons water (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • Butter for greasing
  • 1 egg white (lightly whisked)

Method

  1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar and butter and process either by hand, in a food processor or with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add the egg and mix until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. Shape the dough into a disc, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough is in the fridge, begin making the filling. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and half the water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the corn flour and the remaining tablespoon of water and stir to mix into a smooth paste. Add it to the rhubarb and strawberry mixture and stir gently until the mixture begins to boil and thicken.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, gently stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove form the heat and set aside to cool.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it warm slightly.
  8. Grease 4 loose base mini tartlet pans (12cm) with butter and set aside on a baking tray.
  9. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry between sheets of baking paper to about 4mm thickness. Cut our four rounds to fit the base and sides of the tartlet pans. Gently press dough rounds into each pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  10. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  11. Roll out the remaining dough between sheets of baking paper, again to a 4mm thickness and cut out four rounds to fit the top of the tartlet pans, with a bit of dough overhang.
  12. When ready, remove the tartlet pans from the fridge and spoon the fruit mixture evenly across the four pastry cases.
  13. Brush the edges of the top dough rounds with the whisked egg white and place over the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining egg white, sprinkle with the additional sugar and cut a small steam hole into the centre of each pie.
  14. Bakes pies for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  15. Stand pies in their pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Bake cookbook.

 

Banoffee Pie – The not Terrible at all Pie

I have to admit that the first time I heard of banoffee pie was while I was watching Love Actually. The odd sounding word, which is apparently a portmanteau of banana and toffee, got stuck in my head until I had to research what the hell this apparently ‘terrible’ pie was.

Sweet, buttery biscuit crumb base or sweet pastry base… yes, yes, yes to both.

Toffee or caramel… I love toffee AND caramel.

Banana… Bananas are good.

Sweetened whipped cream… I can take it or leave it.

Chocolate shavings… Oh hell yes!

Um, what exactly is so terrible about this pie? Provided you like all the above mentioned ingredients, absolutely nothing at all!

Enjoy this no-cook version of Banoffee Pie while I run along to experiment with a baked version… I’ll keep you posted…

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Ingredients

  • 250g of your favourite plain biscuits for biscuit base (such as Granita, Marie or digestive biscuits)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 125g butter (melted)
  • 300ml whipping thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 380g can Nestle Caramel Top ‘n’ Fill (or dolce de leche)
  • 2 bananas (thinly sliced)*
  • 50g dark chocolate (grated)

Method

  1. Using a food processor, or a plastic bag and a rolling pin, process the biscuits until fine crumbs are formed.
  2. Add the brown sugar and the melted butter and process or stir until well combined.
  3. Lightly grease a 23cm tart tin with a removable base, and then press the biscuit mixture evenly over the base and sides of the tin.
  4. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat the thickened cream and white sugar together in a bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside for the moment.
  6. Remove the biscuit base from the tart tin and place onto a serving platter.
  7. Gently spread the caramel over the base evenly. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on top of the caramel.
  8. Top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Serve.

* Remember to not slice the bananas too early as they will turn brown and look unappealing. One the biscuit base has been cooling for an hour and is holding together well, the pie does not take long to put together, so don’t sacrifice your bananas!

Thai Coconut Sticky Rice and Mango – Yellow Velvet on Cloud

It wasn’t until I actually started cooking for myself on a daily basis that I realised that I actually enjoyed bringing together a bunch of ingredients and creating a delicious dinner from them. It was also around that time that I realised I had very little culinary knowledge; after all, you only know what you grow up with.

Sure, I always knew there was a difference between China and Thailand, but the culinary differences did not actually sink in until I was in my late teens. That was when I was first introduced to the delectable delight that is Thai food. There is nothing better than scooping up coconut rice drowned in red curry with a piece of roti bread, all warm and cosy while a thunderstorm rages on outside.

So when the opportunity arose to participate in a cooking class at Pum’s Thai Restaurant and Cooking School, I dragged my sister along for the unique experience of cooking traditional Thai food outside in the sweltering Phuket heat.

Pum and her lovely group of singing chefs offer a unique cooking course, so if you are ever in Phuket, make sure you at least visit the restaurant for a delicious dinner, and don’t leave without having Thai coconut sticky rice and mango for dessert, or as Pum calls it, yellow velvet on cloud.

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Thai Coconut Sticky Rice and Mango

Recipe from Pum’s Lazy Thai Cuisine.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe yellow mango
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 pinches of salt
  • 2 handfuls* of sticky rice**

Method

  1. Prepare the mango by peeling and removing the fruit from the stone. Slice and set aside.
  2. Place the coconut milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Remove the coconut mixture from the heat and combine with the sticky rice. When mixed well, serve alongside the mango and garnish with a little extra coconut milk.

* I’ve always wondered why published recipes call for handfuls of some ingredients, and I figured someone might pull me up on it here for using it as a measurement, so I googled… oh how I love Google! Anyhow… According to David Lebovitz, it means that the ‘exact quantity’ of that particular ingredient ‘isn’t important’. I cooked up about a cup and half of raw sticky rice as I was also using some for dinner, so I just made sure I left a couple of ‘handfuls’ for this dessert. Mr Lebovitz’s full blog post on the meaning of a handful can be found here.

** When it comes to cooking sticky rice, I recommend following the instructions on the packet. Or, you can follow Pum’s lazy style of cooking sticky rice:

Clean the sticky rice and bring some water to the boil. Simmer the sticky rice for about 10 minutes and then continue to steam the rice for a further 25-30 minutes.

If you can’t find sticky rice, Pum suggests that you soak Arborio rice for about 10 minutes and then steam for 25 to 30 minutes.

Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread – Holiday Cookies with a Twist

I may or may not have opened one of my Christmas presents early… With permission of course!

I’ve got a whole stack of cookbooks waiting to be unwrapped in a few short days, so I randomly chose one from the pile and was utterly delighted when I tore through the paper to find David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert.

It’s a beautiful cookbook, with introductions to each recipe written in the same humorous tone he uses on his blog; not only is Mr Lebovitz a brilliant chef, he is also a marvellous storyteller.

Since the holiday season is upon us, I decided to make the Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread; as the ingredients for making shortbread were quite pricey once upon a time, these cookies were only ever made for special occasions, such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve) and weddings.

In his intro to this recipe, David writes: ‘The Scottish have shortbread and the French have their sables, but both cultures and cookies are so hidebound in tradition that you’ll rarely find variations. To them I say kick off those highlanders, get your heads out of the sable, and think again’.

All I can say is that these nonconformist shortbread cookies are beautifully crisp in texture and have a delightful caramel flavour. Oh, and that my apartment smells absolutely heavenly at the moment. They will definitely make great little homemade gifts to the hosts of all the upcoming holiday events.

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Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread

Recipe from David Lebovitz, as found in Ready for Dessert. Makes about 40 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 225g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 140g packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g pecans (toasted and coarsely chopped)

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed just until completely smooth and no streaks of better remain.
  3. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until completely incorporated. Stir in the pecans.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of cling film and form it into a 11 by 15-cm rectangle about 3 cm thick. Wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.
  5. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  6. When ready, cut the rectangle dough lengthways into 2 equal pieces. Cut each half crossways into rectangles 5mm wide*. Place the cookies 3cm apart on the prepared baking trays.
  7. Bake, rotating the baking trays midway through baking, until the cookies are a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  8. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.

* Note: For a neater cookie, trim the log before slicing. I chose not to do this as I thought they looked quite cute and rustic. Also, if you are so inclined, you could shape the dough into a log before chilling to create round shortbread cookies.

Affogato – Coffee Drink or Dessert?

Happy coffee day everyone! For those of you who don’t know, an affagato is a type of coffee drink, and is made by pouring a shot of espresso over vanilla ice cream.

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Sounds like an ice coffee? Well yes, but it’s not. Nothing is blended, it is not smooth, although it will eventually melt… it’s kind of like a grown up iced coffee, made from REAL coffee that slowly seeps into the vanilla ice ream. The coffee snob in me will rear up and slap you if you even consider making this with instant coffee…

It’s probably the combination of the coffee and the ice cream that lead most people to serve an affogato as dessert, that way, you don’t have to serve the coffee separately. And serving martini glasses full of creamy ice cream with a shot of espresso on the side for guests to pour over themselves is kind of pretty…

Traditionally, an affogato is just that, espresso and vanilla ice cream. However, the variations are endless. You can use flavoured coffee, you can add hazelnuts or slivered almonds to the ice cream, you can even use a different flavour of ice cream – white chocolate gelato actually works quite well. The real fun comes though when you turn this into an adult-only dessert, which you would then serve with an additional shot glass of amaretto, frangelico or cognac.

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Traditional Affogato

Makes 1

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 shot of espresso (30 mls)

Method

  1. Place the scoops of ice cream into a martini glass, regular glass or bowl.
  2. Brew the espresso.
  3. Pour the espresso while it is still hot over the ice cream.
  4. Grab a spoon and enjoy.

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