Pancakes with Fudgey Apple Filling served with Hot Chocolate Sauce

imageShrove Tuesday is fast approaching. Pancake Day! Yippee. I think most people enjoy a pancake and we all have our favourite recipe, but here is a recipe I think you might enjoy anytime of the year.

These pancakes can be made ahead of time,frozen in their dish. Allow 3 hours at room temperature to thaw them. This means you can make them well in advance of the big day and get them out of the freezer ready for dinner in the evening.

Use your favourite eating apple to make them this will guarantee your enjoyment of the dessert.

I adapted this recipe slightly from Lady Macdonalds Chocolate Book

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the batter

I150g plain flour

2 large eggs

300 mls milk

150 mls water

For the filling

75g butter

75g soft brown sugar

8 good eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped

grated rind of 1 lemon

To finish

15mls icing sugar

To serve

Chocolate Sauce

175g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla essence

45mls golden syrup

90mls cocoa powder

200mls boiling water

Method

First make the batter. In a processor put all batter ingredients and whizz together until smooth. Set to one side to rest while you prepare and make the apple filling.

To make the filling, melt the butter in a pan then add the sugar. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the chopped apples. Cook for about 20 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally. Once cooked put to one side to cool.

Butter a wide shallow freezer and oven proof dish.

Make the pancakes, (16 in total) As you make them separate each pancake with a strip of parchment paper to stop them sticking together.

Once pancakes are made, put a spoonful of the Apple mixture in the middle of each pancake, allowing two pancakes per person. Fold into triangular parcels, tucking the ends under. Arrange in the dish.

At this stage the pancakes maybe frozen.

Chocolate sauce

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and gently heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is melted. Stir until smooth. Boil fast, for about four minutes ( no longer than 5 minutes or the sauce will become too thick)

This sauce will keep in a screw top jar in the fridge for a few days.

To serve the pancakes

Dust the pancakes with icing sugar and put them into a pre heated oven (180 C Gas 4) for 15 minutes. Serve warm, with the chocolate sauce. You could also, if you wish, add a portion of ice cream…mmmmm. Enjoy.

 

Pineapple and Coconut flavoured Meringues

I was lucky enough to win a selection of different flavoured icing sugar when I entered a Bake Behaviour competition. However, typically, I never got round to using all of the flavours. So today I set myself a challenge to make something with the Pineapple flavoured icing sugar.

imageI decided to make some meringues. Adding the Pineapple flavoured icing sugar would add a nice fruity taste to the meringue. If I also added desiccated coconut I could achieve a tropical flavour in the meringue and also add a different texture. Yellow food colouring would add to the appearance of the final dish.

Because the meringues are very high in sugar I did not want the final dish to be high in fat also,so I served my meringues with a portion of Quark and fresh pineapple. I had to do something to make this dessert a less guilty pleasure.

Conclusion, this flavoured icing sugar is well worth trying. The flavour gives a natural hint of pineapple to the sweet meringue. The coconut adds a nice texture and seems to cut through the sweetness.

Ingredients

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
115g caster sugar
115g icing sugar (pineapple flavour, Available to purchase from http://www.sugarandcrumbsmixingitup.co.uk/ )
75g desiccated coconut
Yellow paste food colouring
Double cream or Quark for serving
Fresh pineapple to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).

Tip the 4 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.

Sift one third of the 115g pineapple flavoured icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.

Gently fold in the desiccated coconut with the spatula

imageScoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet to make an oval shape (Or just drop them in rough rounds, if you prefer. OR fill a piping bag and pipe circles onto parchment paper.

Bake for 4-6 hours in a fan oven, 4-6 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale colour.

Turn off the oven and leave meringues to cool in the oven. on the trays. (The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month.) Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.

I served my meringues with Quark an fresh pineapple.

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Sugar and Crumbs Flavoured Icing Sugar

Sugar and Crumbs Flavoured Icing Sugar

Balmoral Pie With Clapshot and Whisky Sauce

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January has been a terrible month, at least as far as the weather is concerned. Rain, rain and more rain. If that’s not bad enough we now have warnings of an impending cold snap

( only to be expected in January I suppose). It’s funny how the weather and the seasons determine what we cook and eat. Baring this in mind I decided to make some real comfort food for dinner,something warming and filling. You don’t get much better comfort food than a pie. So I donned my thinking cap and came up with idea of a Balmoral Pie. What on earth is that. I hear you ask. Well it’s my take on Balmoral Chicken (chicken stuffed with haggis and wrapped in bacon).

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I made this pie in a small 12cm springform tins. The pie serves 2 people.

Ingredients

Pastry

200g plain flour

100g hard margarine

water to mix

Filling

300g raw chicken pieces

2-3 rounds of haggis

2 slices of bacon diced

Clapshot

250g potatoes

250g  turnip (swede)

Whisky Sauce ( recipe from Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain) 

250mls double cream

tablespoon chives

teaspoon whole grain mustard

1 dessert spoon Dijon mustard

teaspoon whisky

juice of quarter lemon

Method

Oven temperature Electric Fan 180C Gas 4

Start with the pastry. Put flour and margarine into you processor. Mix to breadcrumb like consistency. Add water tablespoon at a time and mix to a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

While the pastry is resting prepare filling. Cut the chicken pieces into mouth sized pieces.

Cut the rounds of haggis into small chunks.

Remove the pastry from the fridge. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep this for the lid of the pie.

Roll out the remaining pastry to fit the tin or dish you are using

Place a layer of chicken in the bottom of the tin

Dot pieces of the haggis and bacon on top of the chicken

Repeat the layers until you have used up all your ingredients. The pie should be filled to the rim of the container you are using.

Brush the edge of the pastry base with egg.

Roll out the pastry you reserved for the lid and apply to the top of the pie. seal the edges and crimp.

Brush the top of the pie with egg and put in oven for 45mins to 1hr until golden brown and cooked through.

When pie is baking prepare the Clapshot

Peel potatoes and turnip. Cook in separate pans. When cooked. Mash together.

Whisky Sauce

Heat cream in small saucepan

Add mustard and whisky. Turn the heat up and cook out the alcohol. Add the chives.

Just before serving add the lemon juice.

To serve. Put a serving of Clapshot on a plate. Put half a pie along side. Add some peas for colour (optional). Drizzle over the Whisky sauce.

Enjoy

 

Ice Cream Three Times

It’s  the end of the festivities and I am sure I am not alone when it comes to having a fridge and cupboard full of left overs. It’s time to put on the thinking cap and make some dishes using these ingredients. Love Food Hate Waste ,Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be proud.

The first ingredients I have to use up are double cream, blueberries, chocolate, sweet mincemeat. These could all be put together with some eggs and icing sugar to make some ‘ no churn’ ice cream. Making ice cream also means I can preserve it in the freezer to eat at a later date and not consume the calories from the cream just for the sake of it.

Now I don’t have an ice cream maker, ( although I would love one…hint hint) so I have to turn to my trusted recipe books for inspiration. Claire Macdonalds’ book “Sweet Things” has a good selection of ice creams and sorbets. Using her expertise I set to and made a trio of flavoured ice creams to serve with a selection of sauces.

As I love the flavours of hot and cold together I have made sauces that can be served warm with the ice cream. Equally they can also be enjoyed cold if you prefer.

I decided to use Claire Macdonalds, Vanilla Ice Cream recipe and add my own flavour, in this case blueberries, you can add any fruit you like.

I chose also her Toasted Coconut Ice cream recipe and made two sauces to serve with this.

Lastly I decided to make her Brown Bread Ice Cream. Please do not be put off by the idea of putting brown bread into your ice cream. It really is delightful.

You can make half quantities of these recipes,depending on how much cream you have to hand. As I was using left overs I made the full recipe for the blueberry ice cream and half quantities of the coconut and brown bread, using a 660ml carton of double cream.  As a result I have a lovely selection of ice cream in the freezer to satisfy all tastebuds.

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Ice Cream 1.

Blueberry Ice Cream and Chocolate Chip with Warm Bluberry Sauce and Ripple Meringue

( This recipe contains raw eggs so may not be suitable for pregnant women)

Serves 8 people depending on the size of portion you prefer

4 eggs, separated

125g icing sugar sieved

few drops of vanilla essence ( do not use if you think the finished product will be still in the freezer for more than three weeks as the taste will go off )

300 mls double cream

100g blueberries

50g chocolate chips or process a block of chocolate to form chips

Blueberry sauce

100g blueberries

2tbsp caster sugar

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Ripple Meringues

1 egg white

57 g icing sugar sieved

57 g Caster sugar

Method for Ripple Meringues

Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with Bake-O-Glide non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).

Draw small circles onto reverse side of paper to use as a guide when piping
Tip the  egg white into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

Turn the speed up and start to add caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.

Sift one third of the icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.

Insert a skewer into some gel food colouring and then swirl this into the meringue mix to give a marble effect.

Put mix into a piping bag with a large plain nozzle and pipe onto circles

Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool in the oven once it is turned off

(The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month.) Serve meringues with ice cream and sauce.

Method for Ice Cream

Wash blueberries.

Add 1tbsp of the icing sugar to the blueberries,put on a low heat and warm through gently until the berries begin to soften

Allow the berries to coolUt the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until thick,white and stiff and they stand in soft peaks.

Add half the icing sugar 1 tsp at a time until meringue is stiff

Next, using the same whisk.  Whisk the egg yolks and the other half of the icing sugar,mixing until the mixture is thick and pale.( Add the vanilla essence at this stage if using)

Again using the same whisk, whip the cream until it resembles the consistency of the meringue.

Fold the yolk mixture into the cream then add the meringue mixture folding to incorporate all together.

Add the blueberry mixture and chocolate chips and fold through carefully so as not to lose the volume.

Pour into a container, seal and freeze.( over night)

To serve the ice cream will need to be removed from the freezer approximately 30 minutes before you want to serve it

To make the sauce

Put blueberries and sugar into a saucepan and simmer until berries have softened

Serve with the frozen ice cream

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Ice Cream 2.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream with warm Brandy and orange Mincemeat Sauce

OR

Roasted Pinapple with a shot of Malibu(This recipe contains raw eggs so may not be suitable for pregnant women)

4 eggs separated

125g icing sugar, sieved

300 mls double cream,whipped

3 tbsp desiccated coconut, toasted until golden brown, then cooled.

For the Mincemeat Sauce

( I adapted this for the small amount of mincemeat I had left over from Christmas)

225g mincemeat

grated rind of 1 orange

3 tbsp brandy

Roasted Pineapple

Fresh pineapple pieces ( you can used pieces from a tin but make sure you drain them into a sieve, dry slightly on kitchen paper)

Squeeze of maple syrup

Juice from half orange

Shot of Malibu

Method for Ice Cream

Whisk the egg whites until they are quite stiff then add the sifted icing sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking all the time.

in a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks until smooth the fold into the whipped cream

Fold the cream and yolk mixture into the egg white mixture alternatively with the cooled coconut.

Put the mixture into a polythene container and freeze preferably overnight.

Take it out of freezer 20 minutes before you need to serve it.

To make sauce

Mincemeat sauce

Put all ingredients into a saucepan, warm through and serve with ice cream

Toasted Pineapple

Put Pinapple pieces into a small fry pan and squeeze over some maple syrup,brown slightly. Add orange juice and warm through

Serve with ice cream And shot of Malibu, if you wish

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Ice Cream 3.

Brown Bread Ice Cream

75g wholewheat breadcrumbs

50g granulated sugar

425 mls double cream

75 g icing sugar sieved

Half teaspoon of vanilla essence ( optional )

Method

Make breadcrumbs by putting bread into a food processor,then toast them under a hot grill until golden brown. Watch carefully so they do not burn.

Put sugar into a saucepan add 1 tbsp water and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then boil fast for two minutes.

Stir the toasted crumbs into the sugar syrup and stir until cool. The crumbs will become sugar encrusted. (This gives a nice crunchy texture to the soft frozen cream)

Whip the cream with the icing sugar to give a thick but not stiff mixture ( soft peak)

Add the breadcrumbs and gently mix to incorporate into the the cream.

Pour into a polythene container and freeze, preferably overnight.

To serve take out of the freezer as you start your meal and put into the fridge. Take out of fridge when you start your main course and leave at room temperature. It will be a nice consistency when you serve your dessert. I served this with the bluberry sauce but you can serve it with a sauce of your own choice.