Summer Time Apricots

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Apricots are very cheap at the moment here in New Zealand, especially the ones suitable for jams and preserving. I got some Central Otago apricots last week which cost $1.89 a kilo and what a bargain.  I spent a small amount of time looking through them to avoid picking the really unusable ones. Here is a super simple crunchy tart apricot crumble sponge pudding with hokey pokey ice-cream is a summer stunner pudding! I strongly suggest serving with hokey pokey ice-cream but vanilla would be just as good and a sneaky pour of cream.

This crumble sponge pudding would also be suitable for berries, stewed pear, apples or even a lemon curd filling. Change it up or keep it as an apricot one.

Apricot Crumble Sponge Pudding

Ingredients:
8-9 ripe apricots, halved and stone removed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
Sponge:
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup canola oil
1x egg
3/4 cup milk
Crumble:
1 1/2 cup oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
100g butter, soften
1/4 cup brown sugar

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven 180 degrees.
  2. Grease the edges of the pie dish  with the first amount of butter and lay down halved apricots so the bottom of the dish is completely covered and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. In medium bowl combine self-raising flour, sugar and whisk in egg, milk, oil and vanilla until smooth and no lumps. Pour over the apricots.
  4. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and oats in another bowl and rub in softened butter. Crumble this over the sponge filling evenly
  5. Bake for 55 minutes, check sponge with knife and it should come out clean , if not continue to cook. for a further 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with hokey pokey ice-cream.

Serves: 6

Do you like DOUGHNUTS??

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I must admit I haven’t been in the kitchen much lately and have been pretty busy with study and life. But yesterday I decided it was time to jump back in and do some sweet cooking. I though for a while what I could make that I haven’t made in a very long time and it was either chocolate mousse cake or doughnuts and well DOUGHNUTS overruled.

Here is a recipe I have created myself with gaining inspiration from others. I added something you don’t usually see into my dough; vanilla instant pudding. This was an experiment which worked, the addition of instant pudding gave the doughnut a delicate texture and subtle vanilla flavour.

Cinnamon, Choc Nut Doughnuts

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 vanilla instant pudding sachet
3 tsp. yeast
pinch salt
300ml milk, warmed
100g butter, melted
3 egg yolks, beaten
canola oil for deep-frying
1 cup castor sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Extra flour for dusting/rolling
1x chocolate ganache
75gm chopped nuts

Method:

  1. Sift flour, sugar, instant pudding, salt and yeast into bowl of a  stand mixer with dough hook.
  2. Turn on mixer for a second to combine dry ingredients and to create a well.
  3. Whisk together milk, melted butter and beaten egg. Add to the dry ingredients and turn onto medium speed for 2-3 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 2 minutes until dough is smooth.
  5. Oil metal bowl, place dough in and brush gently with oil, cover with glad warp and place in  a warm place for 1-2 hours. You want the dough to be doubled in size.
  6. Knock back and turn dough out onto floured bench.
  7. Roll out until the dough is 1.5 cm thick, using a medium size glass cut circles from the dough. Using the back of a piping nozzle or finger make a whole in the center of the circles.
  8. You can re-roll the dough scraps or I like to deep-fry them as they are. This makes for no waste and great snack for the cook to snack on.
  9. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Heat oil to 180 degrees.
  11. Combine sugar and cinnamon together in a rectangular dish.
  12. Test oil temp with the centers cut from the doughnuts, they should float to the surface and be golden brown.
  13. Set up a cooling rack over a baking tray to drain doughnuts on straight from the hot oil.
  14. Place 4-5 doughnuts into the hot oil at a time, cook for 40-50 seconds each side until golden brown. Turn and repeat on other side, remove from oil with metal tongs or slotted spoon, drain on wire rack.
  15. Place in castor sugar/cinnamon mixture and coat.
  16. Place on cooling rack until cool.
  17. Drizzle with chocolate ganache and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Makes: 18-20 doughnuts

Add dry ingredients to stand mixer, make a well and add wet ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to stand mixer, make a well and add wet ingredients.

Beat for 2 minutes, dough will be sticky and wet.

Beat for 2 minutes, dough will be sticky and wet.

Turn out onto floured bench.

Turn out onto floured bench.

Knead for 2 minutes until smooth.

Knead for 2 minutes until smooth.

Once dough has doubled in size, tip onto a floured bench knead for 1 minute.

Once dough has doubled in size, tip onto a floured bench knead for 1 minute.

Roll out until 1.5 cm is reached.

Roll out until 1.5 cm is reached.

Cut circles with a glass.

Cut circles with a glass.

Using a piping nozzle or finger make a center hole.

Using a piping nozzle or finger make a center hole.

Deep-fry doughnuts until golden brown.

Deep-fry doughnuts until golden brown.

Coat in cinnamon and sugar and cool on wire rack.

Coat in cinnamon and sugar and cool on wire rack.

Drizzle with chocolate ganache and chopped nuts.

Drizzle with chocolate ganache and chopped nuts.

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Strawberries and Cream

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Here’s a recipe for a wonderful no-bake strawberries and cream cheesecake. homemade strawberry jelly with crunch malt biscuit base and vanilla cream center. This is a great show stopping dessert that will have any followers smiling and asking for more!

Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients:

250 gram malt biscuits
150 grams butter, melted

500 grams frozen strawberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tsp. gelatin powder or agar agar*
3 tbsp. water

2x 250 gram tubs cream cheese
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla essence
1 lemon zest and juice
2 tsp. gelatin powder or agar agar*
2 tbsp. water
250ml cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method:

  1.  Add biscuit’s to food processor and pulse until fine crumb texture is reached, add melted butter and pulse until well combine.
  2. Line medium spring-form cake tin with baking paper, tip crumb into the base and press firmly into the tin. Place in the refrigerator.
  3. In a medium pot add frozen strawberries, sugar and first measure of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes stirring to avoid berries from sticking and burning.
  4. Using a metal masher, mash berries and add juice half lemon.
  5. In small microwave save bowl add first measure of gelatin and 3 tbsp. water together, stir and heat in microwave for 30 seconds.
  6. Remove and stir until dissolved, pour into strawberry mix and stir to combine.
  7. Leave berry mix to sit for 2 minutes, skim off the white foam with a ladle and discard.
  8. In stand mixer combine cream cheese, lemon zest and remaining juice, vanilla essence and sugar. Beat with a whisk attachment until smooth and no lumps are present. Repeat the same method as before with the gelatin this time using 2 tsp. gelatin and 2 tbsp. water, whisk into cream cheese mix.
  9. Scrap down sides of bowl, add 1/4 whipped cream and stir in. ( this helps to lighten the mixture before folding in remaining cream.)
  10. Add remaining cream and fold through cream cheese mix until well incorporated, don’t over mix this will drop the mixture.
  11. Pour cream cheese mix into spring-form tin over the base, smooth the top. Pour over cooled strawberry jelly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until jelly is set.
  12. Using a hot knife cut cheesecake into pieces, serve by itself or with cream/yoghurt.

Serves: 12

*Agar Agar can be found at any Asian supermarket or gourmet section at good supermarket. It’s a vegetarian substitute for gelatin.

Pulse biscuits into fine crumb.

Pulse biscuits into fine crumb.

Press into lined spring-form cake tin and refrigerate.

Press into lined spring-form cake tin and refrigerate.

Combine strawberries, sugar, water in medium pot.

Combine strawberries, sugar, water in medium pot.

Mash with potato masher to break up strawberries.

Mash with potato masher to brake up strawberries.

Skim off white foam and discard.

Skim off white foam and discard.

Add cream cheese, lemon zest and remaining juice, vanilla essence and sugar into stand mixture, whisk until smooth.

Add cream cheese, lemon zest and remaining juice, vanilla essence and sugar into stand mixture, whisk until smooth.

Add to spring-form cake tin, smooth out top.

Add to spring-form cake tin, smooth out top.

Pour over cooled jelly, spread evenly.

Pour over cooled jelly, spread evenly.

Place cheesecake in the fridge for 1-2 hours until jelly is set.

Place cheesecake in the fridge for 1-2 hours until jelly is set.

Enjoy

Enjoy

Rhubarb and Custard

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Whilst at the farmers market I stocked up some lush red rhubarb which I have started to love. At the time of purchasing it I wasn’t really sure what I was going to make with it but I did want to make some rhubarb cordial, rhubarb frozen yoghurt bites and possibly a pie of some sort.

Now back home and unpacked I  decided I was just going to stew some rhubarb and then decided where from there. With a pot fill of sweet, red stewed rhubarb I decided I would make a crumble top pie and what makes rhubarb even better? CUSTARD of course.

So it is now rhubarb and custard crumble top pie.

Rhubarb and Custard Crumble Pie

Ingredients:

6 rhubarb stalks, washed cut into chunks
1/2 cup. white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped
1/2 cup. water
2 tbsp. custard powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup. ground almond
1/4 cup. gluten-free flour
1/2 cup. white sugar
6 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. thread coconut

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. In medium pot combine rhubarb, vanilla bean, 1 st measure of sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until rhubarb is tender and falling apart.
  3. Place tin foil pie tin on a flat oven tray.
  4. Fill a tin foil pie dish half way up with the stewed rhubarb, set aside.
  5. In small pot combine sugar and custard powder, add 1/4 of the milk to form a paste and remove the lumps. Add the remaining milk and vanilla
  6. Stir over a medium heat until mixture thickens cook for 2 minutes once thickened. ( if the mixture becomes lumpy just beat out using a whisk.)
  7. Add to the pie tin covering the rhubarb mixture.
  8. In food processor add ground almond, flour, sugar and butter, pulse until rough sand texture is achieved.
  9. Add coconut and stir this through, pile the crumb onto the custard and rhubarb filled pie tin.
  10. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and custard is bubbling.
  11. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, and serve.
Wash and dice rhubarb into 3cm chunks.

Wash and dice rhubarb into 3cm chunks.

Add rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean and water to pot.

Add rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean and water to pot.

Simmer for 8 minutes until tender and falling apart.

Simmer for 8 minutes until tender and falling apart.

Half fill tinfoil pie tin with stewed rhubarb.

Half fill tinfoil pie tin with stewed rhubarb.

Top with custard.

Top with custard.

Add all dry ingredients to food processor.

Add all dry ingredients to food processor.

Pulse until rough sand texture is achieved, stir in coconut.

Pulse until rough sand texture is achieved, stir in coconut.

Pile pie tin with crumb.

Pile pie tin with crumb.

Nice and high.

Nice and high.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Rhubarb and Custard Crumb Pie

Rhubarb and Custard Crumb Pie

This perfect pie is sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy it has a beautiful balance of a classic combination of rhubarb and custard and will please any pie loving person.

Moist Rhubarb, Custard and Green Apple Pudding – GF

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A goal of mine is to create tasty delicious baked goods that are gluten-free but taste the same as other baking. Here is a tasty gluten-free moist rhubarb, custard and green apple sticky pudding that you wouldn’t think was gluten free.

Rhubarb is in its prime at the moment with beautiful red stalks that create a soft pink syrup when poached, slightly tart and full of flavour the rhubarb is the star of this recipe.

Moist Rhubarb, Custard and Green Apple Sticky Pudding – GF

Ingredients:

4 stalks rhubarb, cut into thumb length pieces
2 large green apples, cored and cut into large chunks
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

1/4 cup ground almond
1/4 cup rice flour*
3/4 cup gluten-free flour*
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. vanilla essence
1 tbsp. white vinegar
250 ml water
3 tbsp. custard powder

Plain yoghurt for serving

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Line two sponge tins with baking paper and grease the sides.
  3. In saucepan combine sugar, water and vanilla bean. dissolve sugar over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add rhubarb to the sugar syrup cook for 2 minutes, then add diced apple and cook for 4 minutes, turn off the heat and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl sieve dry ingredients and then whisk for 3 minutes until well incorporated this also adds air to the mix.
  6. In a bowl place custard powder and stir in 250ml water, followed by oil, vanilla and vinegar.
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in liquid, whisk in a figure 8 pattern until combined. (do not over mix this will make your cake tough.)
  8. With a slotted spoon evenly distribute the poached apple and rhubarb into the two sponge tins.
  9. Next evenly pour over cake batter about 1/4 way from the edge of the tin, bake for 25 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean when tested.
  10. Remove from oven allow to stand for 5 minutes, run the edge of a knife around the edge of the cake and place a plate over the top, flip, remove baking paper and serve this sticky pudding upside down.
  11. Best served with plain yoghurt or cream.

*These flours will be found in your gluten-free section at the supermarket or baking isle.

Add vanilla bean, sugar and first measure of water to a pot.

Add vanilla bean, sugar and first measure of water to a pot.

Rinse and remove ends of the rhubarb.

Rinse and remove ends of the rhubarb.

Add prepared rhubarb and apple to vanilla sugar syrup.

Add prepared rhubarb and apple to vanilla sugar syrup.

Lin to sponge tins with baking paper and grease.

Lin to sponge tins with baking paper and grease.

Evenly fill both cake tins with rhubarb apple mix.

Evenly fill both cake tins with rhubarb apple mix.

Layered with rhubarb and apple.

Layered with rhubarb and apple.

Whisk dry ingredients to add air and combine.

Whisk dry ingredients to add air and combine.

Whisk together custard powder and water.

Whisk together custard powder and water.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and whisk in liquid.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and whisk in liquid.

Perfect looking batter.

Perfect looking batter.

Fill each tin evenly upto 1/4 from the edge of the tin.

Fill each tin evenly up to 1/4 from the edge of the tin.

I'm using Bakels gluten-free flour and Healtheries Rice Flour plus ground almonds.

I’m using Bakels gluten-free flour and Healtheries Rice Flour plus ground almonds.

Golden brown and ready to be eaten.

Golden brown and ready to be eaten.

Serve a warm sliced of this pudding with unsweetened yoghurt.

Serve a warm sliced of this pudding with unsweetened yoghurt.

Slow cooked Coconut, Apple and Quinoa Pudding

A velvety delicious pudding, just place it on the stove and within 30 minutes you’ll have a soft tasty pudding. Inspiration came from rice pudding how it is cooked over a low heat and absorbs the milk or cream.

So here I’ve made a gluten and dairy free pudding, using coconut cream and natural sweetener New Zealand Manuka honey.

Slow cooked Coconut, Apple and Quinoa Pudding

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 can coconut cream
3 tsp Manuka honey
2 apples, cored and cut into chunks
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a medium size pot, bring to the boil stirring often.
Drop heat to low and gently simmer for around 25-30 minutes, until quinoa is soft and has absorbed most of the coconut cream ( it will be velvety and soft texture, apple will be perfectly cooked)
Serve on it’s on or with some plain yoghurt.

Apple Heaven- Recipe

Complete apple heaven

Baked apple filled with a coconut and cinnamon caramelized banana served with white chocolate vanilla bean custard and French vanilla ice-cream

As asked in yesterday post Here is the recipe for Apple Heaven.

Ingredients:

3 Golden delicious apples(Granny Smiths are perfect too)
Caramel
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 heaped tbsp. soft brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
Custard
2 tbsp. custard powder
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla bean sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup white chocolate, I used belgium white choc buttons

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Remove the centre core of the apple with a melon baller, make sure you don’t go right through and out the bottom of the apple.
  3. In a bowl whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and coconut cream. Pour into the hollowed out apple and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While your apples are baking make the custard, in a medium saucepan combine custard powder, vanilla sugar and the second measure of  coconut cream. Whisk together to form a paste and remove any lumps, whisk in remaining milk and place over a medium heat stirring constantly.
  5. Bring custard to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to thicken stir constantly so it doesnt burn , remove from heat and whisk in chocolate.
  6. After the 20 minutes is up , remove apples from oven and bast in the caramel sauce which is in your baking dish. Fill the apples with mashed banana and baste again, return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Once apple has finished it will look like the picture below.
  8. Serve with white chocolate vanilla bean custard, french vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of caramel.

2.Step 1

3.Apple Heaven

4.Step 4

6.Step 3

7.Step 5

8.Complete apple heaven

Serves: 3

From my home to yours

Apple Heaven
Apple Heaven

Tonight I had a sweet tooth coming on so I decided to head to the fruit one ripe banana and 3 crispy golden delicious apples.
What next?
Well I am thinking a baked apple filled with a coconut milk and cinnamon caramel , fresh banana and served with white chocolate vanilla bean custard with French vanilla ice-cream. This is my choice of spending a night with great friends.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 IMG_0161 Apple Heaven Custard and Ice-cream Complete apple heaven

Would you like this recipe to try at home? I PROMISE you will make your guests smile.

Comment below and I will post a recipe.

Its  a simple easy dessert on the table within in 30 minutes it has a beautiful contrast of flavours from tart apple too sweet caramelized banana and a velvety smooth vanilla bean custard. You will enjoy this as much as I did I PROMISE!