Caramel Sea Salt Ice Cream

Exactly one year ago, I was on a day trip to Brighton. Wandering through Brighton’s little lanes, seeking out its quirks and charm, I landed up at a tiny ice cream shop. A few seconds later, I was convinced, this was the ice cream of my dreams – my new favourite ice cream flavour. Caramel and Sea Salt. So when I finally bought an ice cream maker, this flavour was at the very top of my list. I just had to make it. Perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, rich and light; this ice cream is absolute heaven. It has a custard base, which means there is a bit of work involved with separating a couple of eggs, making a caramel, and cooking a custard. But, all that fuss is totally worth it because this ice cream is silky, dreamy deliciousness.

Notes:
*This is a small batch recipe and makes enough ice cream for 3-4 servings.
*While cooking the custard (both times) be very careful not to boil the mixture. If boiled at any stage, you risk scrambling the eggs. This completely ruins the texture and taste of the ice cream.
*This recipe uses an ice cream machine and results in a smooth, light and airy ice cream. I have not tried this recipe with the no-churn method. Be sure to completely chill your mixture before churning for optimal results.
*Do not overcook the caramel. It starts off slowly but once at the right temperature, it can burn pretty quickly. When you add the caramel to the cream, be careful. There will be a lot of bubbling and sputtering. It might seem like the two aren’t going to mix together, but eventually they will both reach the same temperature and combine.

Equipment:

  1. Ice-cream Maker
  2. Electric Whisk

Ingredients:

  1. 2 egg yolks
  2. 200 g heavy cream
  3. 150 g whole milk
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract / vanilla bean paste
  5. 20 g + 65 g granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 10 g water

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and 20 g of sugar. Using an electric whisk, beat for about 5-6 minutes until pale, fluffy and increased in volume.
  2. In a saucepan, add the cream, milk and vanilla paste. Cook on low heat until simmering (not boiling), stirring constantly.
  3. While the cream is heating up, in another saucepan, add the water and 65 g of sugar. Cook without stirring until the caramel has reached a deep amber colour. Add in the salt. Add the caramel to the warm cream and whisk together until combined. Again, do not boil.
  4. Switch to a hand whisk and in a slow, steady stream, add one third of the cream into the egg yolks. Make sure you are whisking constantly and adding the mixture very slowly, otherwise you risk scrambling the eggs. Now pour the heated yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the cream and place back on low heat.
  5. Cook, again whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. 
  6. Pass the mixture through a sieve to make sure there are no bits of egg remaining. Let the mixture cool down slightly and then place in the refrigerator until completely chilled (about 2-3 hours or overnight).
  7. Set up your ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions and run for the required amount of time.
  8. Pour churned ice cream into a freezer-proof container with a lid and place in freezer for at least 4 hours before consuming.

Ultimate Vanilla Ice Cream

I feel like vanilla is such an underrated ice cream flavour. I love this vanilla bean ice cream because it’s a timeless classic – perfect for any time of the year. It’s absolutely divine scooped over a warm pie, but equally delicious served on its own on a hot day. I love a good no-churn ice cream recipe, but because this is such a simple flavour, I wanted it to have the perfect texture. Using custard as a base AND using and ice cream maker ensures a light, fluffy, and creamy ice cream that scoops like a dream. This also forms such a great canvas for all your favourite toppings – salted caramel, chocolate fudge sauce or sprinkles!

Notes:
*This recipe makes enough ice cream for 5-6 servings.
*This ice cream flavour is super simple, which is why it is important to use good quality vanilla. I love using vanilla bean paste because I am a massive fan of those tiny little specks, but any good quality extract will work too.
*While cooking the custard (both times) be very careful not to boil the mixture. If boiled at any stage, you risk scrambling the eggs. This completely ruins the texture and taste of the ice cream.
*This recipe uses an ice cream machine and results in a smooth, light and airy ice cream. I have not tried this recipe with the no-churn method. Be sure to completely chill your mixture before churning for optimal results.
*Although this recipe is a vanilla flavoured ice cream, it is also the perfect base to experiment with new and unique flavours. You can try various add-ins such as fruit compote, chocolate chips, caramel etc.

Equipment:

  1. Ice-cream Maker
  2. Electric Whisk

Ingredients:

  1. 4 egg yolks
  2. 160 g granulated sugar
  3. 350 g heavy cream
  4. 122 g whole milk
  5. 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  6. beans from 1 vanilla pod

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Using an electric whisk, beat for about 5-6 minutes until pale and increased in volume.
  2. In a saucepan, add the cream, milk and vanilla beans from the pod (do not add the extract yet). Cook on low heat until simmering (not boiling), stirring constantly.
  3. Switch to a hand whisk and in a slow, steady stream, add in half of the cream into the egg yolks. Make sure you are whisking constantly and adding the mixture very slowly, otherwise you risk scrambling the eggs. Now pour the heated yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the cream and place back on low heat.
  4. Cook, again whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. 
  5. Pass the mixture through a sieve to make sure there are no bits of egg remaining. Let the mixture cool down slightly and then place in the refrigerator until completely chilled (about 2-3 hours).
  6. Set up your ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions and run for the required amount of time.
  7. Pour churned ice cream into a freezer-proof container with a lid and place in freezer for at least 4 hours before consuming.

Almond Snack Cake with Spiced Chocolate Ganache

This almond spiced cake is one of my favourites to snack on while sipping on a cup of coffee. I know these flavours aren’t very summery, but thankfully, chocolate has no season. However, sometimes I find, chocolate can be a bit too rich for summer desserts. Here, the almond meal brings the needed lightness and nuttiness, cutting through the dark chocolate ganache. This simple almond spiced cake pairs deliciously warm spices like cinnamon and ginger with chocolate to create the perfect snack cake!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 2 eggs, at room temperature
  2. 50 g light brown sugar
  3. 50 g granulated sugar
  4. 100 g olive oil
  5. 100 g whole milk, at room temperature
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 124 g whole wheat flour
  13. 100 g almond meal / ground almonds

For the ganache:

  1. 70 g dark chocolate, chopped (65% cocoa +)
  2. 70 g heavy cream
  3. a pinch of cayenne pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a rectangular cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, oil, salt, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla.
  3. Add and in the flour and fold to combine. Then gently fold in the almond meal.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan and bake for 34-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove and set aside to cool completely.
  5. To make the ganache, add the chocolate to a heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the cream and cayenne pepper to a saucepan and simmer over low heat. Do not boil (boiling may cause the cream to split). Pour over chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes.
  6. Whisk to combine until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Set aside to set for 10-15 minutes. Then spread over cooled cake.

Chocolate and Cherry Layered Cheesecake

Summer-time is wonderful. Because, you’ll find an abundance of plump, red cherries everywhere. And that has resulted in me eating them up, in just about anything – ice creams, tarts, and this chocolate cherry cheesecake. The addition of ricotta ensures that the cheesecake remains light – balancing it perfectly with the richness from the chocolate ganache. Sour, red cherries bring with them the needed tartness. And the heavenly combination of layered cherries and chocolate makes this dessert an absolute show-stopper.

Notes:
*This recipe makes enough for one 6-inch cake.
*Ricotta has a lot of water content and must be drained for up to 5-6 hours before using. Place inside a muslin cloth and drain over a bowl. Squeeze to drain excess moisture. 
*The water-bath ensures that the cheesecake doesn’t over-bake or crack. Be sure to wrap the pan you’re baking your cheesecake in with 2-3 layers of foil so the water doesn’t seep in.
*Do not rush the cooling process. Make sure all elements of the cake are completely cool before layering. Otherwise you will not get clean layers and they will melt into each other.
*The cake will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  1.  70 g digestive biscuit, processed into crumbs
  2.  30 g unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  1.  112 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  2.  270 g ricotta cheese, drained and at room temperature
  3.  100 g granulated sugar
  4.  2 eggs , at room temperature
  5.  3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
  6.  1 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cherry compote:

  1. 1/2 cup cherries (measured after pitting)
  2.  20 granulated sugar
  3.  1 teaspoon cornstarch
  4.  2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. 100 g dark chocolate (65% cocoa or higher)
  2. 100 g heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan with parchment paper and wrap the sides and bottom (from the outside) with aluminium foil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Mix until combined. Transfer to the bottom of the cake pan and press down until you have an even layer. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and beat using an electric whisk until light and smooth.
  4. Add in the sugar and ricotta. Mix until everything is smooth. Finally add in the eggs, cornstarch and vanilla and mix. Pour the batter over the cooled crust and smooth the top.
  5. Place pan inside a larger baking pan. Pour boiling water in the larger pan so that it comes up halfway to the sides of the cheesecake. Bake for 60-70 minutes. The sides will be set and centre slightly wobbly. Let cheesecake cool completely in pan and then cover the top with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours).
  6. To make the cherry compote, add all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the cherries break down and the juices start to thicken up. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
  7. To make the ganache, add the chopped chocolate to a mixing bowl. Heat the cream over a low flame, do not boil. Then pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Leave the ganache to cool down completely.
  8. Once all elements have cooled down, take the cheesecake out of the fridge. Spread the cherry compote on top, leaving a slight border along the edge of the cheesecake. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Then, pour the ganache on top. Tap the pan on the kitchen counter to get a smooth top.
  9. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Decorate with fresh cherries (optional).
  10. To demold, run a sharp knife under hot water, clean with a kitchen towel and then run it along the sides of the pan. Use the same method to cut out clean slices.

Cherry Pie

There is something so magical about eating a slightly warm pie with a generous scoop of melty ice cream. It’s buttery and creamy, and hot and cold – absolute heaven. This cherry pie is hands down the best way to celebrate cherry season. Sticky and jammy, not overly sweet, incased in the flakiest pie crust – this is the perfect summer dessert.

Notes:
*This recipe makes enough for one 9-inch pie.
*The most important thing to keep in mind while making pie crust is temperature. Everything needs to be cold and you butter should not melt any time during the process. If needed, you can place the butter and water in the freezer for 10 minutes before you start making the dough.
*The pie crust needs be made in advance. It needs at least an hour to cool in the fridge (ideally longer). You can also make it a couple of days in advance and store in the fridge. Make sure to leave it out on the kitchen counter for 5-7 minutes before trying to roll it out – otherwise it will crack.
*If you struggle with transferring the rolled dough into your pie dish, try rolling your dough out on a piece of parchment. I have found this trick to be very helpful.
*I find fruits like cherry and strawberries release a lot of water while cooking – this results in a soupy pie. To ensure I end up with a sliceable pie, I prefer to cook my filling until it has thickened before baking it.
*If while baking you notice that your crusting is browning too much, cover the top with aluminium foil and continue to bake for the time remaining.
*I have found that the best way to get that flaky, brown crust on top is to use egg wash. However for this recipe, which is otherwise egg free, you can use cream mixed with a little bit of sugar as a replacement for egg wash.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust

  1.  340 grams flour
  2.  1 teaspoon salt
  3.  1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  4.  200 very cold butter, cut into cubes
  5.  60 ml ice water

For the cherry filling

  1. 5 cups cherries (measured after pitting)
  2.  80 granulated sugar
  3.  3 tablespoons cornstarch
  4.  2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  5.  1 teaspoon orange zest

Method:

  1. Add the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Rub the cubes of butter into the flour mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs. Leave in some pea-sized bits of butter (this results in a flakier crust).
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ice water and bring together. Do not over-work the dough. Bring it together until it sticks together. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the cherries, cornflour, orange juice, zest and sugar to a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Once the filling has thickened to a jam-like consistency, take it off the heat and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Roll out the dough into two 1/8″ thick circles. Make one slightly bigger than the other.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  7. Place the bigger circle in the pie tin and trim the excess. Place pie dish in the fridge for 30 minutes and then add in the cooled cherry filling.
  8. With the remaining rolled pie dough, cut into strips with a sharp knife. Place in the fridge if the dough starts getting too soft. Then, arrange in a lattice pattern over the filling. Brush the top with some egg wash (this is 1 egg whisked with a splash of water).
  9. Turn down the temperature of the oven to 180°C and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.

Orange and Almond Tea Cake

This orange and almond tea cake is incredibly moreish, moist and busting with orange flavour. Every time I bring home some oranges, I have to make this cake. What I love about this recipe is that not only does it makes the perfect no-fuss weekend dessert, but it can be easily dressed up with a glaze and candied oranges for a special occasion.

Notes:
*The orange in the recipe can also be replaced with lemon. Use equal parts of zest and juice.
*For the candied orange slices, do not slice them too thick or thin. If they are too thin, they will not hold their shape once cooked. If left thick, they might still be bitter and may require longer to cook. They can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge up to one month.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 200 g caster sugar
  2. zest of 1 orange
  3. 150 g flour
  4. 70 g ground almonds
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 125 g Greek yogurt
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  9. 80 ml sunflower oil
  10. 50 g melted butter
  11. 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the glaze:

  1. 100 g icing sugar, sifted twice
  2. 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  3. 1 tablespoon milk

For the candied orange slices:

  1. 1 orange
  2. 450 ml water
  3. 200 g sugar

Method

  1. Prepare the candied orange slices first as they will take 24 hours to dry. Slice the orange as evenly as possible. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside (this water is not included in ingredient list).
  2. Add half of the 450 ml of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in the orange slices. Boil for a couple of minutes, discard water and then immediately transfer to the bowl with ice water.
  3. In the same saucepan, add the remaining water and the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  4. Turn the heat to low and add in the orange slices. Continue to simmer for 45 minutes or until slices look translucent.
  5. Place the slices on a baking tray or cooking rack and let try completely for 24 hours. Once dry, they can be used to top the cake.
  6. For the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  7. Put the sugar and orange zest in a bowl and mix with you hands until sugar smells orangy. Add the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
  8. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, yogurt, orange juice, extract and mix until combined. Add to the flour mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the oil and butter. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 28-35 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool cake in tin for 10 minutes. Then remove from tin and let cool completely.
  9. To make the glaze, add the sugar in a bowl. Add in half the orange juice and half the milk and whisk. Add more of either depending on the consistency of your glaze. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t completely run down the cake, but thin enough so it doesn’t sit like a clump on top of the cake.
  10. Pour glaze on cake and decorate with orange slices.

3 ingredients, 4 chocolate cookies

IMG_1243

You’re only 3 ingredients away from making 4 perfect chocolate fudge cookies. Yes, 3 ingredients and 4 cookies!

I have been making an insane amount of ice-cream lately – which is great…but it also means I have at least 6 left-over egg whites in my fridge right now. Now I’m not really a pavlova kind of girl, so I had to find a better use for them. 3 ingredients and a couple of recipe tests later, I ended up with the fudgiest chocolate cookies! I know you have these ingredients in your pantry and I knowww you have 10 minutes, so why not make these?

Notes:
*This may be a small-batch, quick recipe, but it is still important to weigh your ingredients. Because these cookies only have 3 ingredients, even a small miscalculation will cause the recipe to fail.
*The number of cookies you get from this recipe is dependent on the size of your egg white. All eggs are different, so it is difficult to put a number on the weight of one egg white. However use the following as a rough guide:
1 egg white weighing 24 g  = 4 cookies
1 egg white weighing 28 g = 5 cookies
1 egg white weighing 33 g = 6 cookies
* Depending on this, the consistency of you batter will also change. The first will result in a thicker scoop-able batter, whereas the last one will result in a looser batter. 
* The batter MUST be refrigerated for at least 2 hours (and up to 24 hours). If baked without chilling, the cookies will spread too much and be completely flat. 
* After scooping the cookies on to the baking sheet, they once again need to be chilled (this time in the freezer). This needs to be done until they form a skin on top of them (if you touch the surface, the batter should not stick to your finger. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
* Be careful not to over-bake the cookies. They don’t need longer than 10-12 minutes in the oven. They might look under-done but will continue to set as they cool. 
* For a fudgier cookie, you may also add in chocolate chips / chunks – I love this version of these cookies. I omitted them in this recipe because I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. 
* I have used dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe. The recipe also works with regular cocoa powder – it will result in a lighter coloured cookie. 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 egg white, at room temperature
  2. 82 g powdered sugar
  3. 14 g dutch-processed cocoa powder

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk to remove any lumps.
  2. Add in the egg white and mix until it forms a batter.
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop a tablespoon worth of batter for each cookie. Space them at least an inch apart as they will spread. Place tray in freezer until a skin forms on top.
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes.

 

 

 

Chocolate Cake with Cherry Swirled Buttercream

IMG_1123

This stunning chocolate cherry cake looks like a celebration, but is fairly simple to make (trust me, it looks fancier than it is). A dark and decadent chocolate cake, topped with a dreamy cherry-swirled buttercream and loaded with fresh, plump cherries – this cake is a dream!

Notes:
*This recipe makes enough for one 7 inch cake. Feel free to adjust according to the size of your pan. 
*The whole milk in the cake can be substituted with soy or almond milk.
*I have used dutch cocoa in this recipe because I love the dark, earthy flavour with cherries. However, I have also successfully made this recipe with regular cocoa powder. It will result in a lighter coloured cake. 
*To ensure your buttercream doesn’t curdle, bring all your ingredients to room temperature and have them measured out beforehand. Use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. 
*Please be careful while pouring the sugar syrup into the egg whites. The syrup is extremely hot and can cause severe burns.
*The sugar syrup should not be poured on to the whisk, otherwise you risk it splashing over you. If using a hand-held whisk, ask a second person to help you pour in the sugar mixture.
*The cherry compote should be completely cooled before swirling into the buttercream. Otherwise your buttercream will melt. The compote can also be made the day ahead and stored in a jar in the fridge. It should be brought back to room temperature before using. 

 

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 180g flour
  2. 66g dutch cocoa powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
  5. a pinch of salt
  6. 300ml whole milk
  7. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  8. 200g caster sugar
  9. 200ml sunflower oil
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  11. Cherries, to garnish

For the cherry compote:

  1. 90g fresh cherries, halved and pitted
  2. 2 tablespoons water or orange juice
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar

For the buttercream:

  1. 113g granulated sugar
  2. 56g water
  3. 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  4. 170g unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 7 inch cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and sift twice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, vinegar, sugar, oil and vanilla extract.  Pour into the flour mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-55 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and leave to cool completely.
  6. Start by making the cherry compote (which we will swirl into the buttercream). Add all three ingredients into a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, the cherries have broken down and their juices have thickened up. Leave aside to cool completely. This should take about 10 minutes.
  7. To make the buttercream, mix together the water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it reaches a slight boil.
  8. If you have a candy thermometer, cook the syrup until it reaches 115C. Otherwise, cook it till a soft-ball stage. To test, drop a small amount of the sugar syrup into a glass of water. The sugar should be like a soft sappy ball that can be pressed between your fingers.
  9. Just before your sugar syrup has reached temperature, start whipping the egg whites on high speed. When the egg whites reach soft peaks, pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow steady stream. The syrup should not be poured on to the whisk.
  10. Continue whipping until it reaches stiff peaks and the meringue has cooled down. If you live somewhere with humidity, you can also place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes. Do not add butter until you meringue has cooled down.
  11. Whip in the butter, one cube at a time. You can also add in the vanilla. Whip until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
  12. Once your cherry compote has cooled completely, add it into the buttercream and use a spoon to swirl it around just slightly. A good rule of thumb is to stop just before you think it’s done.
  13. To assemble, drop the buttercream on top of the cooled cake and use a knife or spatula to create peaks and swirls. Finally top with whole cherries.

Chocolate Almond Torte / Gluten Free

IMG_1208

This dark and incredibly fudgy chocolate almond tart is naturally gluten free and SO easy to make. Fair warning though – once you see how easy it is, you’ll pretty much want to make it every single day.

 

Notes:
*During the baking process, the cake will rise quite a bit (thanks to all the air we whipped in). However, Once you take it out of the oven, the cake will sink in the centre and crack. This is natural and is supposed to happen!  This ensures that the cake stays fudgy. 
*It is important not to over-bake the cake, otherwise you will end up with a dry cake (and let’s be honest, no one likes that). When the baking time is up, the cake should be set around the edges and still slightly wobbly in the centre. If not, bake for a few more minutes. 
*After baking, the cake must be allowed to cool, first at room temperature and then in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you skip this step, the cake will not set and you will not be able get clean slices. 
*This recipe only works with 55%+ cocoa dark chocolate. It will NOT work with milk chocolate. 
*The ground almonds can be replaced with ground hazelnuts.
*The cake can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. The flavour develops over time!
*This is a small-batch recipe that makes a 6-inch cake and serves 4 people. Feel free to double the recipe and bake in an 8-inch cake pan. 

Ingredients:

  1.  100 g dark chocolate (55% cocoa at least), roughly chopped
  2.  100 g unsalted butter, chopped
  3.  2 eggs, separated
  4.  100 g granulated sugar
  5.  50 g ground almonds

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line the bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring-form cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, add in the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave at 20 second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, add in the egg yolks and half of the sugar. Using and electric whisk, whisk on medium-high speed until pale and increased in volume. The sugar should have been completely dissolved. If you run the mixture between your fingertips, you should not be able to feel any sugar granules.
  4. Pour in the cooled chocolate and fold with a spatula. Next, fold in the almond meal. There should be no dry pockets of almond meal.
  5. In a clean large bowl, add the egg whites and remaining sugar. Use and electric whisk to whip the egg whites to a shiny soft peak.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining egg whites in two more additions. Be gentle with your folding as we don’t want to knock out any of that air.
  7. Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until just set along the edges and still wobbly in the middle. Leave to cool completely at room temperature. Then, place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.

 

Lemon Bar Tart

IMG_1019.jpg

If you are a fan of lemon desserts, you will absolutely adore this tart. Adapted from my favourite one-bowl lemon bar recipe, this tart is so simple to put together. No cooking a custard or rolling out pastry dough – everything happens in one bowl and in less than 10 minutes. A thick buttery crust topped with a silky lemon filling that is perfectly balanced between sweet and tart – I could seriously sit and eat this whole tart myself, that’s how good it is.

Notes:
*This is a small batch recipe that uses a 5 inch tart tin. To double the recipe, use an 8 inch tin.
*This recipe can easily be made into lemon bars. Double the recipe and use an 8×8 tin. Press all the shortcrust at the bottom instead of bringing it up the sides.
*I topped my tart with some Greek yogurt and lemon zest. You could leave it plain or use whipped cream or sour cream.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  1. 85 g whole wheat flour
  2. 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  3. a pinch of salt
  4. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  5. 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For the lemon filling:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 4 tablespoons castor sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  4. 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  5. 50 g lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Whisk together until combined. Add in the cold, cubed butter and press between your fingers, incorporating the flour. The mixture should look like breadcrumbs with some larger pieces of butter still left. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, add a spoon of cold water.
  3. Transfer the dough  into the tart tin and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, make the filling. In the same bowl, add the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, juice and flour. Whisk together until completely combined. Pour on top of baked crust while it is still warm.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. The filling should be just set. If you shake the tin, the filling should wobble in the centre. Let cool at room temperature and then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. Top with Greek yogurt and lemon zest before slicing.