Posts Tagged 'raspberries'

yoghurt & raspberry gratin

this was inspired by something i read on a blog i dont care for, whose name is unutterable in this household, and whose website will not be linked to because i will cannot and will not partake in the nauseating and sycophantic camaraderie of the blogosphere. but in my defense, after stealing this i made it mine by making it better. i used yoghurt instead of cream. i poached some apricots because who am i kidding, i dont have fresh raspberries in this winter wonderland. furthermore i experimented with different yoghurts..first with the greek stuff and then with what was once described disdainfully and rudely as the “sugary yoghurts that moon likes”. both were beautiful and this is the single simplest and most wonderful thing i have ever created.

ingredients

(i dont have quantities. do as you wish.)

raspberries

or any fruit you wish. i also poached some apricots (dried – in water and sugar, with a vanilla bean because i can)

1 tub-ish greek yoghurt

brown sugar (for sprinkling atop and bruleeing)

it gets pretty simple. mind numbingly simple. but gastronomically exciting. put yoghurt into ramekins. then scatter some fruit of your choice. like apricots….

or like rapberries

then cover with another layer of yoghurt and smooth over the top

finally scatter some brown sugar over the top. you probably need quite a bit…more of a covering than a sprinkling. and then with a brulee torch, set it alight and caramelise.

i would also like to say that this post is dedicated to people who are recovering, to people who lost bags, to people who lost loves and weep at pastries and to people who like yoghurt…(hi snow).

pear & almond tarts

these tarts were conceived of initially as an exercise in waste management. i had lots of shortcrust pastry, lots of hopes, and so many dreams. but more to the point i had the need to not do what i was meant to be doing – a need which always, invariably ends in baking. the french left was going to have to wait…because i was filled with a sudden, unexpected and extremely pressing sense of urgency to use up my chilled pastry. and i doubt the communards would disapprove of my pear and almond tarts. as it happened, the amount of pastry i had remaining only made for ten tartlets and as a result, i was left with a glut of frangipane mixture. so i was forced to turn that into a cake. mores the pity. it was more of a cake-tart. i spent some minutes looking at the almond mixture – trying to work out the science which would transform this from tart filling to cake, in and of itself. ‘what does it need?’, i asked out loud, much to the consternation of those around me trying to record audio (yes these cakes are the product of a very artistic, if occasionally fraught environs). it had butter, it had sugar, it had eggs, and it had ground almond substituting flour. all it lacked was air and, henceforth and forthwith, lift. so i took my almond mix and to it i added one whisked up egg white and a smattering of baking powder. and poured it into a cake tin. i also lined it with the roasted pears left over from the tartlets, which were, in turn, left over from the free-form pear and raspberry tart, which were loosely based on left overs from some teacakes, which lay in the house that jack built. so here they are – the tartlets and a tart cake. both were lovely and didnt taste like leftovers at all.

ingredients

1/2 quantity shortcrust pastry – divided into ten tartlet tins – pre-baked, ready to rock

350g butter

350g sugar

350g ground almond

4 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

4 pears roasted (in oven on 200 degrees with 2 tbsp vanilla sugar and a few knobs of butter. i used vanilla paste – and tossed the pears in the sugar and vanilla in a bowl before spreading them out on a baking tray to cook – until tender which is about 30 minutes)

couple handfuls of raspberries

preheat the oven to 190 degrees. make the almond mix. beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. add in the ground almonds, then the vanilla and beat to combine. then add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. what you have now is beyond description – its golden, sweet, textually mind blowing heaven. what you no longer have is self-restraint. so at this stage, take a moment to enjoy.

pour the almond mix into the tart cases – filling them almost to the top.

then press the fruit into each one. you can of course exercise your freedoms and use any fruit you choose. and you do not need to roast them first. i did for unrelated practical reasons but mainly on account of a total lack of direction – but they did seem to taste lovely roasted, their flavour concentrated and intensified and given the tarts are only in the oven for 20 minutes, it helped that they had already had some cooking. this again depends on their ripeness. mine were like rocks.

i also used some leftover frozen raspberries – so push them into the top. frozen is probably better because there didnt appear to be any bleeding…which is all you can ask of a raspberry in a cake.

put them into the oven for 20 minutes or until golden

and then there were more….

if you are mad enough to continue on in the belief that you are responsibly managing potential waste (by making another cake that had no where to go and nothing to do, thereby only adding one more step before it all goes to the bin) then take your leftover frangipane mixture. to it, fold in one egg white, which has been whisked to stiff peaks and give it a tsp of baking powder. mix together and then pour into a greased 21cm cake tin. arrange your leftover pears on top, which ever way you see fit and push them in gently to the cake mix

put into the oven, which yes, is still on but turned down to 180 degrees for 30-40minutes or until golden brown

pear & raspberry tea cakes

teacakes sound so naff. but kugelhopf doesn’t. it has resonances of the old country. wherever that may have been. and all things sweet and heavy which come from the east. and when i saw these teacakes in the ottolenghi cookbook i was filled an overwhelming nostalgia for a time and a place which never existed as well as an insatiable hunger…for teacakes. i began the search for some mini kugelhopf tins. fortuitously there is a baking supplies store conveniently located near my house where the aforementioned tins were also conveniently located. it had been a while since i last turned on the oven…after some failed sourdough i felt it best to keep a low profile. after spending days up to my arms in fermented yeast, i felt a little numb to the whole exercise. and my self-esteem took quite a battering when my first sourdough, albeit a prototype, still in its embryonic/learning-what-not-to-do phase, failed to do any of the things it was required to do, including but not exclusive to, working. but as soon as i saw these teacakes i was suddenly filled with a sense of possibility and hope and i heard hundreds of voices in my head chanting “yes we can”. moved as i was by my own internal dialogue, i decided it was time to get back up on the dying horse and rediscover beauty. i looked to the truest most pure source of beauty i know – butter, sugar and vanilla. and surely enough, there it was. and here it is.

ingredients

180g unsalted butter

260g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1/2tsp baking soda

1/4tsp salt

160g caster sugar

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

170ml sour cream

2 pears halved, cored and cut into 1cm bits

250g raspberries

first preheat your oven to 170 degrees. grease 6 mini kugelhopf tins. you can use muffin tins if you cant find the “proper” tins. no one will judge. but you will end up with muffins rather than teacakes. no one will judge you, you will only be cheating yourself. then prepare your fruit and by that i mean open your bag of frozen raspberries and cut up your pears. pears in small dice…they will stay the size they are so cut them the size that will make sense to your mouth

sift together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. set this aside. cream the butter and sugar until light and gorgeous. mix in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla and beat well.

gently fold in a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the sour cream. continue this until they are both mixed in and the batter is smooth. finally fold in the pears.


scatter some raspberries onto the base of the tin.

then spoon the mix into the tins and fill it almost to the top and smooth it over.

then press about 5 raspberries into the the mix so they are just below the surface.

bake for 25-30 minutes. check with a stick of any description you can find to make sure they are cooked through. not that there is anything wrong with raw cake batter. but by then, you may have had enough raw dough and will be looking for something more cooked through

let them cool before, in the immortal words of nigella, “applying to face”

nb. smoo – time this took was roughly an hour, including oven time as well as spoon-licking time, raspberry grazing time, and marvelling at the quality sara lee’s frozen raspberries which are remarkably superior to creative gourmet (which seem to come in one large frozen clump as opposed to sara lee’s exquisite, physics-defying, individualised raspberries which have a flavour i n’ere before tasted from a frozen berry) and cheaper.
nbb. i also made a ras-white-choc, replacing the pear with raspberries and inserting 100g white chocolate finely chopped – the berries bled and the chocolate was a bit of overkill. but it was still sublime – as only raspberry and white chocolate can be.

raspberry and white chocolate tarts

it sounds sickly sweet. it sounds unsophisticated. its a play on a very prolific muffin. but in terms of my own creative production it represents an apex. an aesthetic apex. and a rather elegant solution to a glut of tart tins. it was a long lazy day when i happened upon 20 tartlet tins. this incident was closely followed by a catering request. i cant help but wonder how intimately the two were linked. i suspect the latter was an attempt by a primary eater to offset the results of the former. in any (pastry) case, suddenly 20 tarts had to be made. this therefore is the first of a number of tarts which will appear in this space. i have given a recipe for shortcrust pastry. instead of using one large tin, roll this chilled pastry out, cut out circles, and put the pastry into 20 mini tart tins. or use a muffin tray. probably two. this recipe for the filling will make about 10 (max.). for the other 10, use your imagination if you have one. if not, do as i did and refer yourself to a reference book like ottolenghi. i would like to add, not because of any coercive influence, that these tarts were made with BBC worldservice on in the background. the soothing british voices, the calm english panic about the rise of indias economy, the human interest story about little madeleine who disappeared in portugal three years ago, and the exquisite interview technique of the bbc journalist who asked the pertinent question of her parents “are you ever able to laugh?”, provided an intellectual and emotional space in which these tarts were so lovingly and tenderly made. i think they speak for themselves. and they are made in memory of little madeleine. as well as for snow and berry who taught me the true meaning of raspberry and white chocolate.

ingredients

1 quantity short crust pastry – this should be divided into mini tart tins. it will make about 18 pastry cases.

180g white chocolate (very finely chopped)

20g butter – cubed. very little ones obviously.

90ml cream

40g raspberries

6tsp raspberry jam

first mash up the raspberries through a sieve to remove the pips. what this will give you is raspberry coulis. you may have to do this twice if you have a penchant for pureed raspberry and have absolutely no self control so perhaps should amend this to be 80g of raspberries for those restraint-challenged

then chop up the chocolate and butter and put into a heat proof bowl

in a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat. just as it gets to boiling point remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. stir with a spatula until all the chocolate has melted and you have a very sexy ganache on your hands

quickly spoon in a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the base of each tart case. (quick because the ganache will set and then it will all, very quickly, fall apart).

pour the chocolate in, over the jam. dont lick the spoon too much…remember what you are licking (refer to ingredients.) it will only end in a stomach ache.

fill the tarts to the rim

then put a small teaspoon of coulis into the centre and with a pointy implement (i used a very groovy cocktail umbrella. it was orange and i think came from the seventies) swirl the coulis around and make it look like something you cannot believe you made. put them into the fridge to set and i think, remove them 15 minutes before serving. i cant say for sure because here, there is no chilling and no serving. just eating.

they are very rich. and potentially sickly but the raspberry elevates it all…as only raspberry can. they are beautiful and if you have 20 mini tart tins and 6 hours free i suggest you make them.