Heart-shaped Churros: Soulful Baker – Julie Jones

Soulful Baker

Soulful Baker by Julie Jones (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)

 

Heart-shaped Churros

“Homemade churros are an absolute treat and they tend to be loved by all – children and adults alike. We try and make a batch during the school holidays when they are enjoyed as a mid-morning snack. They also make for a quirky and fun dessert, dipped into chocolate sauce and served with an extra pot of sprinkles for the kids. It’s best to make the chocolate sauce first so that you can eat the churros as soon as they have been fried.”

serves 6

75g (23⁄4oz/1⁄3 cup/3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter

250ml (9 oz/generous 1 cup) water

150g (51⁄2oz/generous 1 cup) plain (all-purpose) our

pinch of salt

3 eggs

1 litre (333⁄4 oz/4 1⁄4 cups plus 3 tbsp) sun flower or vegetable oil, for frying

coating 

100g (31⁄2oz/1⁄2 cup) caster

(super fine) sugar

1 tsp ground spices, such as cinnamon or allspice (optional)

sprinkles (optional)

 

chocolate sauce

50g (13⁄4oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

50g (13⁄4oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)

50g (13⁄4oz/31⁄2 tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

180ml (6 oz/3⁄4 cup) double (heavy) cream

To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the syrup and butter and allow the heat to gently melt everything. Once melted, stir everything together to fully combine, then add the cream in 3 stages, mixing well with each addition. Once all of the cream has been added and the mixture is both smooth and glossy, remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.

To make the churros paste, add the butter and water to a large pan and bring the water to the boil, melting the butter as it does so. Mix the flour and salt together and add this to the pan, stirring well until the flour and water form a stiff paste. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, beating occasionally to aid the cooling process.

When suitably cooled, beat the eggs together in a jug, then add a little at a time to the flour paste – mixing well between each addition. It may seem like the egg will not combine at first, but it will. Once all of the eggs are fully combined and your paste is thick and glossy, transfer it to a disposable piping (pastry) bag fitted with a star nozzle (tip).

Make the coating by mixing the sugar together with the ground spices (if using) and spread onto a large plate or tray and set aside.

If using a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 180°C/350°F; if heating the oil in a pan carefully bring the oil to temperature. Check with a digital thermometer or test by dropping a little of the batter in to the oil – if hot enough, the batter should immediately start to sizzle.

The churros paste can be piped directly into the oil by squeezing the bag and snipping of lengths with some scissors. If you would like to make hearts, pipe the shapes out onto individual pieces of non-stick baking paper. Cooking in batches, carefully drop the churros (paper and all) into the hot oil. As soon as the churros start to cook, the paper will slip away and the piped shape will remain. The paper can then be removed with tongs. Fry for 2–3 minutes, turning once. The batter will turn golden and the exterior will be crisp when ready. Remove from the oil, allowing any excess oil to drip away, then immediately toss in the spiced sugar. Leave to cool for a few minutes before enjoying with the chocolate sauce and sprinkles, if using.

Churros

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Chocolate Fondants – Soulful Baker – Julie Jones

Soulful Baker

Soulful Baker by Julie Jones (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)

 

Chocolate Fondants

“The trick to getting chocolate fondants right is knowing your oven as they can difer so dramatically. I recommend using an oven thermometer for all of your cooking and baking, but especially when making these. It can be quite surprising how diferent the thermometer may read to that of which your dial is set. If you don’t have a thermometer it would be a good idea to test bake one fondant before cooking the whole batch – you 
can then adjust the baking time if needs be. And remember, peering into the oven biting your nails really isn’t necessary, they will work! “

makes 8 fondants

Use 8 small 180ml (6 oz) non-stick pudding moulds

150g (51⁄2oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

200g (7oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces

50g (13⁄4oz/31⁄2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

140g (5oz/scant 3⁄4 cup) caster (super fine) sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)

60g (2oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all- purpose) flour

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas 7 and place a baking sheet inside. Grease the insides of each pudding mould and place a disc of non-stick baking paper in the bottom of each.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl sat upon a pan of simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat and start to make the batter.

Cream together the butter and sugar using a free-standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the eggs in a separate jug, adding the vanilla if using. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar, continuing to mix as you do so, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needs be. Once all of the eggs are in, sieve over the flour and give a very brief mix, just until the our has been combined. Add the melted chocolate, then stir together using a spatula until all of the chocolate has been evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour or spoon the batter equally between the moulds, place each on the pre-heated baking tray sheet and cook for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the fondants in the moulds to rest for 1 minute.

To turn out, place an inverted plate on top of the mould and carefully turn over, lift off the mould and remove the piece of baking paper that will be on top of each fondant. Serve straight away.

 

 

choc fondant

Chocolate Eggplant Brownies: The Clever Guts Diet – Dr Michael Mosley

ANZ Clever Guts Diet cover

Extracted from The Clever Guts Diet by Dr Michael Mosley with Tanya Borowski, mBANT, IFMCP, and Dr Clare Bailey, GP. Available now, Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $29.99.

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Clever-Guts-Diet/Michael-Mosley/9781925596038 

 

Strange as it may sound, the eggplant works brilliantly with the dark, flavonoid-rich chocolate. Truly yummy.” p. 259

 

Chocolate Eggplant Brownies

(makes 12 small squares)

 

1 medium eggplant (200g), peeled and diced

150g dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces

60g coconut oil

60g soft pitted dates, diced

½ tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp baking powder

80g ground almonds

 

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Steam the eggplant for 15 min­utes until it’s soft (or microwave it in less time). Put it in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm eggplant will melt the chocolate and oil.

Add the chopped dates and salt. Using a hand blender or a food processor, blitz the mixture until it’s smooth. By now it should be cool enough to add the eggs and baking powder.

Blitz again for another minute or so, then mix in the ground almonds.

Spread the mixture onto a medium-sized baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean.

Serve the brownies with Raspberry Chia Jam and/or full-fat live organic Greek yoghurt.

 

Tip: Alternatively, to make cupcakes, divide the mix­ture into a 12-hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases, and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

clever guts brownie bake

 

 

 

Salted Chocolate Honeycomb: Sharing Plates – Luke Mangan

Sharing Plates

Recipes and Images from Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan (Murdoch Books)

“Make these amazing bombs of honeycomb well in advance and keep them in the freezer, so you can pull them out any time that calls for a sweet little bite.” p. 194

 

Salted Chocolate Honeycomb

Makes about 25 pieces

 

cooking oil or spray, for greasing

 

125 g (4½ oz) liquid glucose

360 g (12¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

3 tablespoons honey

15 g (½ oz) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

250 g (9 oz) dark chocolate

sea salt, for sprinkling

 

Line a heatproof tray with baking paper and lightly
oil it.

Place the glucose, sugar, honey and 75 ml (2¼ fl oz) water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then cook until the mixture turns a quite dark caramel colour.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 2 minutes, before whisking in the bicarbonate of soda. Whisk just enough so that it is incorporated into the caramel, ensuring not to over-mix or the honeycomb will collapse.

Pour onto the prepared tray and leave at room temperature for about 1 hour to cool.

Once the honeycomb has set, break it into bite-sized pieces. Set a wire rack over a tray.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat, dip the honeycomb bits into the melted chocolate, and place on the wire rack.

Sprinkle with sea salt and allow the chocolate to set. Store in the freezer until required.

 

Salted Choc Honeycomb

 

Pumpkin Pie Eclairs: The Great Australian Bake Off companion – BBC Worldwide

great-australian-bake-off-the

Extract from The Great Australian Bake Off Companion (Hachette Australia, November 2016)

Pumpkin Pie Eclairs

p152-pumpkin-pie-eclairs

For the éclairs

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature

200g whole milk

5g salt

10g sugar

225g cake flour

300g eggs

 

For the pumpkin mousse

500g Kent pumpkin

320g whipping cream

90g caster sugar

12g gelatine sheets, silver grade

180g egg yolks

120g white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg

½ teaspoon vanilla paste

 

For the caramel chocolate décor

250g caramel chocolate melts

10g cocoa butter

 

For the pepita praline crumb

100g white sugar

20g pepitas

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 165°C and place a shallow pan at the bottom. Line two baking trays with silicone baking mats. Bring 200ml water, the butter, milk, salt and sugar to the boil. Meanwhile, sift the flour and reserve. When the liquid comes to the boil, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the flour all at once. Return to the heat and continue to cook, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes or until the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. Put the hot mixture into a stand mixer with a beater attachment and mix for a minute or two to release steam and cool slightly. Gradually add the eggs while mixing on medium speed until smooth and glossy. Add a little more egg if required to reach the correct consistency.
  2. Put the pastry mixture into a large heatproof piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe 15cm lengths onto the prepared baking sheets. You should have enough batter for eight per sheet. Using a wet finger, dab any peaks of pastry. Bake for 40 minutes with a little boiling water poured into the preheated pan at the bottom of the oven.
  3. When cooked, remove from the oven and slit each éclair with a bread knife and open out to expose doughy middles. Return to the oven for another 10–15 minutes to completely dry out. Remove and cool on wire racks for 10 minutes then place in the refrigerator until required for assembly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To make the pumpkin mousse, remove seeds and skin from the pumpkin and slice into 1cm thick pieces. Arrange the pumpkin on a lightly greased tray and bake for 20—25 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the caster sugar until soft peaks form and reserve in the refrigerator. Bloom the gelatine sheets in iced water.
  5. Make a pâte à bombe by whisking the egg yolks and 120g white sugar in a bowl over a hot water bath until thick and frothy. Remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and blitz with a stick blender. Sieve to obtain 250g puree. Remove the gelatine sheets from the cold water and squeeze out excess water. Mix the gelatine with about 50g puree in a small glass bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to melt the gelatine, then stir.
  7. Whisk the remaining pumpkin, spices and vanilla paste into the pâte à bombe in a stand mixer then add the gelatine mix. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish to cool quickly in the refrigerator. The mixture should be approx. 20°C. Stir a small amount of reserved whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mix to loosen then add the remainder, folding through. Be sure to add the cream before the mix sets. Place in the refrigerator to firm up until ready to assemble
  8. For the pepita praline crumb, heat a small saucepan over medium–high heat. Add 10ml water and sugar. Cook to a light caramel, rolling the syrup around the saucepan to ensure it cooks evenly. Add the pepitas and stir. Pour onto a silicone mat to cool. When cool, break up into pieces, put into a heavy plastic bag and smash with a meat mallet to create a coarse crumb. Reserve for assembly.
  9. To make the caramel chocolate décor, place the chocolate melts in a microwave proof bowl and cook at a low power for about 3 minutes or until just melted (approx. 46°C). Allow to cool to about 34°C before proceeding. Mix in the cocoa butter and stir until fully combined. Let cool to 30°C, stir thoroughly and pour into a silicone piping bag.
  10. To assemble the pumpkin pie éclairs, fill a large piping bag fitted with large star nozzle with pumpkin mousse. Fill the éclairs with the pumpkin mousse. Sprinkle pepita praline crumb over the top of the mousse. Finish the éclairs with thin stripes of chocolate.

 

Pear and Brazil Nut Chocolate Brownies: The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book – Dr Clare Bailey and Dr Sarah Schenker

8-week-blood-sugar-diet-recipe-book

By Dr Clare Bailey with Dr Sarah Schenker, foreword by Dr Michael Mosley

Pear and Brazil Nut Chocolate Brownies

The pear and Brazil nuts give these brownies a lovely subtle flavour. And what’s more, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of minerals, particularly selenium (important for thyroid function and the immune system). Cut the brownies small and freeze any left over. They make a great after-dinner treat.” p. 191

chocolate-brownies_

 

Makes 16

60g pitted dates, finely chopped

60g coconut oil (or unsalted butter, softened), plus extra to grease

3 eggs

100g ground almonds

1 pear, quartered and cored, skin on

140g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

25g Brazil nuts, chopped

Pinch of salt

  • CALORIES 155
  • PROTEIN 3G
  • FAT 12G
  • FIBRE 1G
  • CARBS 10G

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm square cake tin. Put the dates in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Cover and gently simmer for 3-5 minutes or until they soften. Allow them to cool, then blend them with the coconut oil in a food processor or with a hand blender. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, then the ground almonds, and beat until everything is incorporated. Dice the pear into ½cm squares and stir it into the mixture too.

 

Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of steaming water (or microwave it on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes). Allow it to cool a bit before stirring it into the brownie mixture. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake it for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

Delicious with a dollop of crème fraîche (adds 90 calories).

Snow Man Snow Globes: Sweet Celebrations – Elise Strachan

sweetcelebrations_cvr_

Images and recipes from Sweet! Celebrations by Elise Strachan (Murdoch Books) $39.99

 

Snowmen Snow Globes

 

Makes 12 ‘snowmen’

 

You’ll need

100 g white compound chocolate

12 (1 pint capacity) mason jars with lids

24 Raffaello (coconut truffles with almond centres) (keep refrigerated until ready to use)

12 Lindt Lindor White Chocolate Truffles (keep refrigerated until ready to use)

55 g black candy melts

12 orange candy-coated sunflower seeds

6 Mini Oreo Cookies

6 mini peanut butter cups or Rolo Chewy Caramels (little cups)

Red candy straps

65 g shredded coconut

 

1   Melt the white chocolate (see page 220) and place a tablespoon of it onto the inside of each of the mason jar lids. Place one Raffaello into the white melted chocolate on each lid, and refrigerate to set.

2   Once set, place ¼ teaspoon of the white melted chocolate onto the Raffaello and glue a second Raffaello on top (for the snowman’s body). Allow to set. Use more melted chocolate to glue on one of the Lindor truffles (the snowman’s head) and allow to set.

3   Melt the black candy melts and use the flat end of a toothpick to fashion two black eyes and a line of black dots for a mouth. Place three black dots (buttons) down the front of the two bottom truffles.

4   Place a small dab of white melted chocolate on
the fat side of a sunflower seed and attach it to the top truffle; this is the snowman’s nose.

5   Split the Mini Oreo Cookies in half and scrape the cream filling off of the cookies.

6   Use a small amount of black melted candy to glue a mini peanut butter cup (or a Rolo) to one of the scraped cookies to make a hat. Use white melted chocolate to attach the hat to the snowman’s head.

7   Make the snowmen’s scarves: Cut a candy strap into a piece 13 cm long and 5 mm wide and use scissors to cut tassels on the ends. Wrap the scarf around each snowman’s neck. Secure with a little white melted chocolate.

8    Sprinkle the base of the lid with a little coconut “snow” and carefully invert the jar over the snowman, screwing it into the lid to create an edible snow globe.

 

snowman-globes_