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

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

Pumpkin Pie Eclairs

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

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Caffe Latte Mousse Cups: Sweet Celebrations – Elise Strachan

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

 

Caffe Latte Mousse Cups

Makes 10 Servings

 

1 tablespoon instant coffee

60 ml boiling water

100 g milk chocolate, chopped

600 ml thickened (whipping) cream

10 (90 ml capacity) espresso glasses

Coffee beans and cocoa powder

 

1  In a small bowl, stir the coffee and boiling water together until the coffee has dissolved. Refrigerate until cold.

2  Melt the milk chocolate with 60 ml of the cream and stir to form a ganache.

3  Using an electric mixer, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks start to form. Be careful not to overwhip. Set aside and refrigerate half of the whipped cream.

4  Using a spatula and large sweeping motions, gently fold the ganache and cooled coffee into the remaining whipped cream, until combined.

5  Divide the mousse mixture among the espresso glasses, leaving a 1 cm gap at the top of each glass. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

6  Once the mousse is set, spoon the reserved whipped cream on top, filling to just below the rim of each glass.

7    Decorate the top of the mousse with a coffee bean and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

 

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Freshly Picked Strawberry Baskets – Sweet Celebrations – Elise Strachan

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

FRESHLY PICKED STRAWBERRY BASKETS

MAKES 6 BASKETS

YOU’LL NEED:

140 g milk compound chocolate

900 g small strawberries

30 g white compound chocolate

6 cardboard berry baskets

 

  1. Melt the milk chocolate to dipping consistency.
  2. Using the leaves as a handle, gently dip each strawberry in the milk chocolate to halfway up the berry. Place the berries onto baking parchment to set.
  3. Melt the white chocolate and use a toothpick to place small seed-size dots neatly over the strawberries.
  4. Fill the berry baskets with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

 

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Post Script: The Chocolate Tin – Fiona McIntosh

Please welcome Brenda –   0ne of my new guest reviewers. 

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 The Chocolate Tin

Fiona McIntosh

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780143797067

 

Description:

The highly anticipated, sensuous new blockbuster by the beloved, bestselling author of The Perfumer’s Secret.

Alexandra Frobisher is a modern-thinking woman with hopes of a career in England’s famous chocolate-making town of York. She has received several proposals of marriage, although none of them promises that elusive extra – love.

Matthew Britten-Jones is a man of charm and strong social standing. He impresses Alex and her parents with his wit and intelligence, but would an amicable union be enough for a fulfilling life together?

At the end of the war, Captain Harry Blakeney discovers a dead soldier in a trench in France. In the man’s possession is a secret love note, tucked inside a tin of chocolate that had been sent to the soldiers as a gift from the people back home.

In pursuit of the author of this mysterious message, Harry travels to Rowntree’s chocolate factory in England’s north, where his life becomes inextricably bound with Alexandra and Matthew’s. Only together will they be able to unlock secrets of the past and offer each other the greatest gift for the future.

From the battlefields of northern France to the medieval city of York, this is a heartbreaking tale about a triangle of love in all its forms and a story about the bittersweet taste of life . . . and of chocolate.

 

Brenda’s Review:

Alexandra Frobisher was frustrated by her mother’s constant harping on her lack of a husband – with the war on there was a small respite as the three men who had been chosen as prospective husbands were at the front. But Alex knew she didn’t have long – she shuddered at the thought. Alex’s greatest wish was to work in the Rowntree chocolate factory in her home town of York; to learn the craft and make it her career. But 1915 was a time when young women of means didn’t work – marrying well and supplying grandchildren while supporting their husbands was what was expected. Alex desperately wanted more from her life.

When Matthew Britten-Jones entered her life with a proposal which would suit them both, Alex was tempted. A witty and delightful man, Matthew knew how to make Alex laugh; he had her parents eating out of his hands – but was it enough? Alex knew she didn’t love him, and he, though affectionate, didn’t love her either. But the solution would solve Alex’s dilemma; her future would be assured.

Captain Harry Blakeney returned from the war a changed man. He was determined to visit the Rowntree chocolate factory in York – his quest was to discover the identity of the author of a note of love he’d discovered while recovering bodies in France. The chocolate tin which had been sent to soldiers on the front in 1915 as a Christmas parcel had housed the note; in Harry’s search for the sweetheart of the lost soldier he met up with Alex and Matthew. But what would happen when their lives became bound in an inconceivable way and long buried secrets rose to the surface?

The Chocolate Tin by Aussie author Fiona McIntosh is an emotional and haunting narrative which had me reaching for tissues a few times. Blending mystery, intrigue and heartbreak with the historical romance of the times, the author’s ability to tell the story amid the depth of her research makes The Chocolate Tin an authentic and delightful read. A very highly recommended 5 star read from me.

With thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

Chocolate, Cherries and Nougat: Organum – Peter Gilmore

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Images and recipes from Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) $59.99

Chocolate, Cherries, Nougat

PREPARATION / 1 DAY

SERVES / 8

 

“Cherries, nougat and chocolate. The combination is something you just want to eat, delicious and straightforward.” (p.194)

 

01

Chocolate & cherry sorbet

500 ml (17 fl oz) strained unsweetened cherry juice

160 g (5¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

20 g (¾ oz) liquid glucose

325 ml (11 fl oz) water

20 g (¾ oz) Valrhona cocoa powder

15 g (½ oz) Amedei Chuao (extra dark chocolate 70%), finely chopped

 

Place the cherry juice in a small saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat. Combine the reduced cherry juice with the remaining ingredients in a clean saucepan. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Put the mixture in a blender and blend well. Pour through a fine sieve. Allow to cool completely, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Freeze until required. Makes about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz).

 

02

Soft chocolate ganache

50 g (13/4 oz) Valrhona Manjari
64% chocolate

50 g (13/4 oz) Amedei Chuao (extra dark chocolate 70%)

125 ml (4 fl oz) pure cream (35% fat)

25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, diced,
at room temperature

 

Finely chop the chocolate and combine in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to just below boiling point and pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool the chocolate until it reaches 30°C (86°F) and whisk in the butter until well incorporated, smooth and glossy. This ganache is used at room temperature and will need to be made 2 hours prior to plating the dessert to allow it to cool down
to room temperature.

 

03

Caramelised almonds

100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

50 g (1¾ oz) blanched almond kernels, well roasted

 

Put the caster sugar in a saucepan with enough water to just wet and dissolve the sugar. Cook over medium–high heat until it reaches an even golden caramel. Remove from heat. Add the roasted almonds then remove each almond individually with a fork and place on a tray lined with a silicone baking mat. Allow almonds to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until required.

 

04

Dried cherry, nougat & caramelised almond mixture

50 g (1¾ oz) dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

50 g (1¾ oz) caramelised almonds
(see above), roughly chopped

50 g (1¾ oz) nougat (see Basic Recipes), roughly chopped

 

Combine the cherries, almonds and nougat. Weigh 50 g (1¾ oz) of this combined mixture and set aside in an airtight container for the chocolate bark recipe below. Store the remaining 100 g (3½ oz) in a separate airtight container until required.

 

05

Dried cherry, nougat & caramelised almond chocolate bark

100 g (3½ oz) Valrhona Manjari
64% chocolate

50 g (1¾ oz) dried cherry, nougat
and caramelised almond mixture (see above)

 

Line a tray with silicone paper. Melt the chocolate over a water bath and allow to cool slightly. Add the dried cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Quickly mix and spread out on the lined tray into as thin a layer as possible. Refrigerate the bark until required.

 

06

Compressed cherries

50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

200 ml (7 fl oz) freshly squeezed Bing cherry juice, from approximately 400 g (14 oz) fresh bing cherries

16 large whole fresh Bing cherries

 

Combine the sugar and cherry juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cut the cherries in half around the stone, then twist to separate the two halves and carefully remove the stone with the point of a small, sharp knife.

Put the cherry halves in a cryovac bag with the sweetened cherry juice. Compress and seal the bag in a vacuum machine. Put the cherries into the refrigerator and keep the bag sealed for at least 4 hours to allow the cherries to macerate.

 

07

TO FINISH

Remove the cherries from the cryovac bag and carefully slice them into thin discs. Put the cherry discs back into the juice until required. Remove the dried cherry, nougat and caramelised almond chocolate bark from the refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut it into thin strips.

 

08

TO PLATE

1/2 quantity vanilla custard cream (see basic recipes)

 

Place half a teaspoon of room-temperature chocolate ganache in the centre of each serving plate and spread out with the back of a spoon. Place 2 teaspoons of the vanilla custard cream on the ganache. Place a few strips of the chocolate bark on top of the cream. Top with a couple of teaspoons of the reserved cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Add a few discs of the compressed cherries. Layer with more room-temperature chocolate ganache, chocolate bark and cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Finish with a few more compressed cherry discs and a scoop of the chocolate cherry sorbet. Serve.

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