It has become a tradition to serve panettone (or pandora or derivations thereof) in non-traditional ways. Here are two options:
French Toast Tree
- Slice the panettone horizontally into thick layers
- Soak each in a milk / egg mixture
- Fry each bread slice on both sides (ala french toast).
- Keep warm or reheat in an oven.
- To assemble, spread nutella on each slice and layer. (try to keep the slices in the original sequence/orientation – you can see I didn’t in this version!).
- Put a dollop of whipped cream on the top – the cream will melt down the sides of the cake.
- Slice as if a cake
Caramel Ganache Layered Panettone
- Slice the panetonne horizontally into thin slices
- Spread each slice with caramel (nestle can) or ganache
- Sprinkle with icing sugar
- Slice as if a cake
Another cooking experiment instigated by my niece.
- 4 eggs at room temperature separate yolks from whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sugar (150 g)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted, (1 stick or 125g)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (115g)
- 1 3/4 cup milk lukewarm
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- icing sugar for dusting cake
Preheat oven to 180C. Line an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with baking paper.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest then slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula or a whisk, repeat until all egg whites are folded in, but there should still be white bits of egg whites floating in the batter.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the cake is firm to the touch. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
Allow to cool.
Sprinkle with icing sugar.
I only had a slightly larger baking dish, so I grossed up the ingredients because the depth of the mix in the pan seems to be the key to making the magic happen!
With credit to: http://www.jocooks.com/bakery/cakes/lemon-magic-cake/
Macarons were on my niece’s list of recipes to try together. We had a good time making these.
One (minor issue) was that our macarons did not spread easily when piped, resulting in 24 large, rather than 48 small macaron halves.Possibly this was because we used rather small pastry tips (did not have the 1.5 inch that was specified) or because mixture was a little stiff (didn’t use aged egg whites / over beat the egg?).
They tasted every bit as good as they looked!
3 egg whites – aged at room temperature for 3 days (measure 57 g after 3 days) (we didnt age them!)
70 g ground almond
113 g icing / confectioners’ sugar
21 g caster sugar
7 g tapioca starch (used corn starch)
10 g cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Chocolate Ganache filling:
125 g dark chocolate (66%)
75 ml heavy whipping cream
- Prepare the macaron template by drawing 20 (4×5 x 4 cm) circles, leaving about 4cm apart. (Can print on A4 and slip under baking paper). Use BAKING PAPER, not WAX PAPER!
- Combine ground almond, icing sugar and cocoa powder. Pass the dry mixture through the sieve to sift out lumps and set aside.
- Combine sugar, tapioca starch, and cream of tartar and set aside.
- Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whisk the egg whites till foamy.
- Add in sugar mixture and whisk at medium speed for 3 mins. Switch to high speed and continue to whisk until shiny and stiff peak.
- In 3 batches, fold the dry mixture gently but quickly into the egg white meringue. The final consistency should be a thick batter-like texture.
- Bring your trays to the counter and dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray to hold the baking paper in place.
- Fill ½ of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 inch round tip. Follow the template and pipe each circle vertically. Once you are done, carefully remove the circle template. Tap the baking tray on the counter (about 8 times) to remove any air bubbles. Use a toothpick or bamboo stick to break any visible air bubbles.
- Let the macarons rest for 30 mins – 60 mins.
- Halfway through, preheat your oven to 150°C. Gently touch the top of the macarons and when they do not feel sticky, your macarons are ready to be baked.
- Bake for 15 – 16 mins (convection fan forced oven takes about 15 mins). (this is when the magic happens – they rise up on their feet!) Once they are done, remove from oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make your chocolate ganache by heating the heavy cream in a microwave or stove top.
- Pour cream over the chocolate and let it rest for 1 min. Stir well and your chocolate ganache is ready. Let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to thicken. You could prepare this a day in advance or before you make the macarons. Just cover and store at room temperature.
- Assemble the macaron by piping the ganache in the center base of one macaron and sandwich with another. You could eat them straight, however, to achieve the full heightened flavor of these macarons, it is best to let them mature for a day or two. Cover and store in fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Source: http://www.bearnakedfood.com/2015/07/24/foolproof-french-chocolate-macarons/
When we were planning the last family Sunday lunch of our recent visit to Cape Town, my father requested pumpkin fritters for dessert.
I chose this recipe because it is pan fried, not deep fried.
Thanks go to my niece for doing most of the work.
Custard is the obligatory accompaniment for my father! Not so much for the rest of us!
2 cups cooked mashed Pumpkin (bought prepared pumpkin chunks from Woolies, microwaved until soft)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Egg - beaten
1 cup Self Raising flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Oil for frying
50g Castor sugar
2tsp Ground cinnamon
1. Drain the cooked pumpkin well.
2. Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract and mix.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to a soft but firm batter.
4. Place a spoonful of the mixture into hot oil.
5. Fry on one side until golden brown and turn to cook on the other side.
6. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
7. In small bowl, combine castor sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over hot fritters before serving.
I am not giving anyone credit for this recipe except myself! I looked at a few different recipes and then hatched this plan! It turned out to be rich, creamy and moist! Yum.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 200g milk chocolate (Cadbury’s baking bar), broken into pieces
- 300g dark chocolate chips (Dr Oetke)
- 200g butter, cut into table spoon sized pieces
- 6 eggs, separated
- 200g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 150C, bring a kettle of water to the boil, bring a pot of water to the boil
- Grease 9″/23cm cape pan (I used a ~7″ square one) and line with buttered baking paper, stand in a larger dish or pan (for the water bath)
- In a double boiler, melt the sugar, water and salt together
- Using a new bowl, over the double boiler, in a large bowl, melt the chocolate
- Still over the double boiler, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring continually
- Mix in the water/sugar solution and remove from heat
- Beat egg yolks together, temper with chocolate mix, and then mix into the chocolate
- Combine the baking powder and almonds, and then stir into the chocolate mixture
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
- Add one third to the chocolate mixture, stir well
- Fold in remaining egg whites
- Pour into the prepared tin
- Open the oven door; stand the cake (in the larger pan) on the oven tray – fill with water until it reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan (or whatever)
- Slide the cake into the oven
- Bake for 45 minutes – the centre will look wet but the insides will be done
- Remove the cake from the waterbacth and let it cool on a wire rack
- When cool, refrigerate for at least six hours in the pan
- To serve, carefully lift the parchment (and cake) out of the pan
- Sprinkle with icing sugar and service with pistachios, raspberries and whipped cream
I love clafoutis – for breakfast – although I think that the French serve it as dessert, or a snack! Good at any time! You can try other fruits – but cherry is traditional!
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter (at room temperature) , for greasing
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 300 g cherries
- icing sugar , for dusting
- 30 g self-raising flour
- 30 g ground almonds
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 30 g sugar
- 250 ml milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Mix all the batter ingredients with a pinch of sea salt until totally smooth, then set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a 25cm round baking dish with the softened butter, then sprinkle over the sugar.
- Dot the cherries (stoned, if you prefer) around the base of the dish, then place in the oven for 5 minutes so the fruit can begin to soften.
- Remove the dish from the oven and pour over the batter until the cherries are just covered. Return to the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until puffy and golden.
- Dust the clafoutis with icing sugar and serve lukewarm.
On Monday we had dinner at the Wild Fig, and Gordon and I refused to share this dessert – we each ordered our own! It was great – minty, crunchy and airy. We promptly tried to replicate it – this is the recipe we adapted.
I can (360g) caramel (Nestle Caramel Treat)
250ml heavy whipping cream (whipped until thick)
Bakers Tennis mint biscuits
2 peppermint crisps (crushed into crumbs)
1) Whip cream until thick
2) Add in caramel and mix until blended
3) Layer into dish or individual serving bowl as follows: tennis biscuits,
caramel & cream mixture
then peppermint crisp crumbs
4) Continue until you have three layers of biscuits and end off with lots of peppermint crisp crumbs on top.
5) Refrigerate (minimum two hours or preferrably overnite)
6) Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!
A first for us – roast pork loin, with homemade apple sauce. Delicious!
Recipe adapted from Woolworths.
- 60 g dates, dried and finely chopped
- 1.5 kg Pork loin, boned and skin scored
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 250 g button mushrooms
- 20 g butter
- A pinch salt
For the Applesauce
- 2 tsp white sugar
- A pinch cloves
- a pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp lemon, juiced
- 1 kg Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- For the apple sauce, bring the apple slices, lemon juice, spices, white sugar and 1½ cup of water to the boil in a large pot.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the apples are soft and falling apart.
- Mash the apples with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor until almost smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a pan then add the mushrooms, onion and garlic.
- Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, then put into a sieve to drain off the excess liquid. Mix with the dates and sage.
- Preheat the oven to 220 °C.
- Lay the pork on a board, skin side down, cut a ‘pocket’ into the loin and fill it with the stuffing.
- Roll the pork up and tie it securely at 3 cm intervals with butcher’s string or use a skewer to close the pocket.
- Place it in a large dish, skin side up.
- Rub salt all over the skin.
- Roast it in the top of the oven for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 180 °C and cook for an hour.
- Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Remove the string and either slice through the crackling or remove the crackling, then slice the pork.
- Serve the pork warm with the baby potatoes, apple sauce, asparagus and fresh or roasted figs.
Over a series of Sundays, we are trying different roasts. This from BBC Food, required an early start due to the cooking time, but there was nothing else to do (besides vegetables and dessert) to produce a tender, juicy dish. We will be using this recipe again!
- 1 onion, cut into 4
- 1 large carrot, cut into 4
- 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1.5kg boneless lamb shoulder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400ml lamb stock
For the mint sauce
- 1 large bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, finely chopped
- 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 25g (2 tbsp) castor sugar
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan.
Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary in the bottom of a large, deep roasting casserole dish. Put the lamb on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and pour the stock in the bottom.
Roast for 30 minutes uncovered. Then lower the temperature to 160C/140C Fan. Put the lid on the dish and cook for a further 4 hours.
For the mint sauce, put the chopped mint in a small bowl and add the vinegar and sugar and stir until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
When the lamb is very tender, remove it from the cooking juices and allow to rest. Keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, shred the lamb and place on serving plates. Serve with the mint sauce.
60 pitted Black Olives
60 Green Olives
60 mozzarella balls(usually found near the speciality cheeses)
60 slices of Salami, cut in half
60 artichoke or marinated red pepper pieces
60 cherry tomatoes
1 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (store bought or homemade)
Place each item onto the skewer using the pointy side.
Can be made a few hours ahead and placed in the refrigerator covered