We’re turning ourselves inside out this weekend, preparing for the invasion of workmen in this coming week. It was all to be very organised and properly scheduled but rather typically events have conspired to make several things happen all at once. Never mind – I keep telling myself it will all look fabulous when it’s done!
Tag Archives: bake
This tart is perfect to celebrate Easter but when it comes to chocolate I think most of us agree that anytime is the right time to eat this!
This recipe (only very slightly adaped) is from Rachel Allen’s excellent book ‘Bake’.
For the sweet pastry:
200g (7oz) plain flour, sifted
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
100g (3-1/2 oz) chilled butter, cubed
1/2 – 1 medium egg, beaten
For the tart:
1 x quantity of sweet pastry (using the above)
175 ml (6 fl oz) double cream
125 ml (4 fl oz) milk
125g (4 -1/2 oz) milk chocolate, chopped
175g (6 oz) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs, well beaten
Optional decoration (for Easter) …
250g (9 oz) sugar-coated chocolate eggs, to decorate
Otherwise … a handful of toasted almonds or chopped pecan or pistachio nuts.
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You will also need a 23cm (9 in) diameter tart tin
First, make the pastry … Place the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and whiz briefly. Add half the beaten egg and continue to whiz. You can add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together. (If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then using your hands, add just enough egg to bring it together).
Then, with your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm (3/4 in) thick. Wrap it in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (‘Resting’ the pastry like this is important because it stops it becoming too sticky and reduces shrinking during cooking).
Once the pastry is rested, preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry to no more than 1/4 inch thick (Rachel recommends placing the pastry between two sheets of cling film to do this) making it big enough to line the tart tin. Bake the tart blind at the above temperature for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry feels dry.
To make the filling …
1. Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan to boiling point then immediately take off the heat and stir in the chocolate to melt. Allow to cool slightly for a few minutes, then stir in the beaten eggs.
2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the baked pastry case and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until just softly set.
3. Allow the tart to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the tin.
If serving at Easter time, you can decorate with sugar-coated chocolate eggs. Alternatively at other times of the year add a handful of toasted hazlenuts to the chocolate mixture and bake as step 2.
Blind baking is done to pre-bake a pastry case before adding a sweet or savoury filling. The pastry case can be made a day in advance and kept covered until you need it.
To blind bake: Chill the pastry, roll out between two sheets of cling film then use to line your pastry tin. Then line the pastry itself with a layer of foil, greaseproof or parchment paper, leaving enough to come up the sides of the tin. Fill with baking beans or dried pulses.
Bake ‘blind’ in an oven at 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry feels dry.
Remove the paper and beans, brush with a little leftover beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes. If there are any little holes or cracks in the pastry, just patch it up with any leftover raw pastry before you return it to the oven.
Remove from the oven and set aside in the tin while you make the filling.
This is a lovely cake for those of us who like quite plain cakes, in other words no cream and other frou frous. Perfect for afternoon tea…although you may want more than one slice, and that just might spoil your dinner!
I make this using a food processor, and this is how it goes …
LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE
Makes a cake for 8-10 servings and is best eaten freshly baked, although it will keep for 1 week under refrigeration in an airtight container. Freezes up to 3 months.
2 large eggs
175g (6oz) sugar
150g (5oz) soft butter
Grated zest of 1 lemon
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour, sifted***
125ml (4fl oz) milk
A pinch of sea salt
For the lemon syrup
150g (5oz) icing sugar
50ml (2 fl oz) fresh lemon juice (about 1-1/2 lemons)
*** Re Self-raising flour (For American readers) – self-raising flour is simply flour to which raising agent has already been added. There are several ‘recipes’ for making your own self-raising flour. Here is one: For every 225g (8 oz) of plain /all purpose flour add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder. Sift together 3-4 times to thoroughly mix. Can be stored in an airtight container.
You will also need a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf tin for this recipe, together with a small amount of baking parchment or greaseproof paper
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
Line the bottom of a well greased loaf tin with baking parchment.
Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process for 2 minutes, scraping the sides down once with a rubber spatula. Take off the lid and drop spoonfuls of the soft butter on top of this mixture, together with the lemon zest, then pulse until it disappears. The mixture should now resemble mayonnaise.
Add the flour, milk and salt, cover and pulse just until the mixture is smooth in texture and even in colour, scraping the sides down with a rubber spatula if necessary. Don’t over-beat or the cake will be tough.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack.
To make the syrup: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until a clear syrup is formed – about 3 minutes. Do not boil.
Prick the warm cake all over with a fork, then gently pour the syrup over it, until it has been completely absorbed.
Leave until cool, then carefully ease the cake from the baking tin and remove the baking parchment.
Just before serving, sift a little more icing sugar on the top.
Serve in generous slices!
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