Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate and Pistachio Bavarois (GF) Recipe

Full of chocolate, rich and delicate with a soft, smooth texture and intriguing crunchy bits; this is definitely one of those desserts that will delight most tastebuds. Orange Marsala Sauce and a few orange segments on the side are a must to cut through the richness of the bavarois.

This dessert is so good, my partner keeps helping himself despite his lactose intolerance and it even converted a 'mousse-like' desserts hater. I have yet to find someone who dislikes this one!

Warning: I have been told that some brands of chocolate use gluten flours as a thickener so you may like to check the ingredients of the chocolate you intend to use if you are specifically making it gluten free.

Chocolate and Pistachio Nut Bavarois with Orange Marsala Sauce and Orange Segments
255g dark chocolate
140g margarine
4 eggs
55g caster sugar
100g Pistachio nuts
A pinch of salt

Brush ramekins with sunflower oil and line with a circle of baking paper.
Melt chocolate with margarine in the microwave unitil just soft. Stir the mixture until smooth
Separate eggs and put egg whites into a large bowl. Place egg yolks into a food processor or blender with the sugar and beat until thick and creamy. Stir this into the chocolate mixture, followed by the nuts.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the chocolate mixture using a metal spoon.
Divide mixture into prepared ramekins.
Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firmly set.

Just prior to serving, remove cling film and dip the ramekins briefly in hot water to loosen the bavarois, then turn them out onto the centre of a plate. Serve with Orange Marsala Sauce and orange segments on the side.


Orange Marsala Sauce (GF) (LF) Recipe

This sauce goes well with decadant chocolate desserts such as chocolate and pistachio bavarois where a sweet fresh sauce is needed to cut through an intense richness. Made with eggs, it is like a thin custard. The spike of Marsala intensifies the orange flavour and aroma. If you don't have Marsala, dry sherry can be used instead.

4 eggs, beaten
200g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
140 mL fresh orange juice
55g Margarine
60 mL Marsala

Put eggs, sugar, orange zest and orange juice into a blender or food processor and process for a few seconds.
Transfer toa non-stick saucepan and cook over a low heat until mixture thickens. Keep stirring to prevent sticking but do not allow the mixture to boil as it will separate.
Once thickened, quickly beat in the margarine and marsala.
Transfer to a bowl or jug and allow to cool, then cover and chill until required to serve.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Which One Next???

Tossing up between:

Chocolate & Ginger Truffle Tart which is just yum and I have all I need already.

Or take on the real challenge of a Chocolate & Pistachio Bavorois with Orange Sherry Sauce that's gluten free and lactose free - the search is on for good enough ingredients now!

Either will be made in the next few days - so long as I can convince enough people to try it...shouldn't be too hard! :)

Keep cooking and love desserts.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Walnut Torte (LF) (GF) Recipe

Just biscuit crumbs, sugar, walnuts and eggs. Great as a simple dessert or along side a good old fashioned cup of tea. Serve it "rustic" with a dollop of cream, a few berries and a sprinkling of chopped nuts. Good for satisfying the sweet tooth. Omit the cream on top and it is lactose free. Can also be made gluten free by using gluten free biscuits.

Walnut Torte ... Spectacular!!!
I usually use plain biscuits and use my bullet blender to create crumbs, making sure the crumbs are as fine as possible. The same with the walnuts, best to get them as fine as possible. If you're really adventurous you could try other flavours like ginger or chocolate. Be good to hear how that goes if you try.

125g walnuts
1/2 cup biscuit crumbs
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius and grease or line a 20cm cake tin or rectangular tin.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the walnuts and half the sugar until finely crumbed. Add the remaining sugar.
Whisk eggs together until pale and thick.
Carefully fold the biscuit crumbs, walnuts and sugar into the eggs mixture until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the torte is springs back when lightly touched.
Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
Cut and serve with a dollop of cream, fruit and chopped nuts.


Walnut Torte - Made with gluten free biscuits

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chocolate and Raspberry Tart Recipe

This Chocolate and Raspberry tart is a rich and decadant dessert. I suggest serving this with fresh fruit on the side to help 'cut through' the richness. The biggest challenge is definitely making and rolling the pasrty out but I've blogged previously on the recipe I use and how to make the process of making Pate Sablee more bearble. (see Pate Sablee Post Here) Enjoy!

Chocolate and Raspberry Tart - Presented with all its glory

I used 70% cocoa solids chocolate but anything from 45% to 74% can be used. Depends on what you like I guess. If using frozen raspberries, make sure they are well defrosted to prevent the pastry getting all soggy.

280g Pate Sablee (see Pate Sablee Post Here)
200g fresh raspberries (or frozen ones, defrosted and well-drained)
250mL whipping cream
200g dark chocolate, in small pieces
25g liquid glucose
50g butter, in small pieces

Roll out pastry to ~3mm thick and use it to line a 22cm tart tin. Put onto a baking tray and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius, prick pastry base and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove baking blind material, lower oven to 180 degrees celcius and bake for another 5 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and leave until cool enough to handle then lift off tart ring.
When cold, arrange raspberries in the pasrty case.
Bring cream slowly to the boil on a medium heat. Remove from the heat and add chocolate. Use a whisk to mix it in.
Add the glucose, and when smooth, add the butter a little at a time.
Pour mixture over raspberries to fill pastry case. Leave to cool then chill in fridge for at least 2 hours, before serving.
Use a very sharp knife dipped in hot water to cut the tart, wiping between each slice.
This tart is best cut straight out of the fridge but best served once it has rested for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.

Serve with a dollap of cream and fresh fruit on the side.


A tart in the making
One finished tart

The first piece

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pate sablee (sweet tart pastry - french) Recipe

My most favourite of the pastry bases crispy, sweet, soft and crumby all at the same time. Hard to work with but a few tricks and it works out fine. This is a french sweet tart pastry and it's delicious!

Here's the recipe I use and a few tips to help get it right

You can either be a real pastry chef and make this on a clean flat surface or if you're a little messy like me, in a big bowl.

250g flour, sifted
200g butter, cut into small pieces
100g icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt

Combine together the flour, icing sugar and salt. Add butter and rub butter into flour using your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and use a fork to slightly combine into mixture. Using your hands mix and press the mixture together until it resembles a soft smooth round of dough.Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge.

  • You can use the pastry straight away; but it is always best to rest pastry in the fridge for at least 30 minutes; this allows the gluten to do its thing and prevents the pastry from shrinking when cooking or acting like elastic when rolling it out.
  • Roll the pastry out between two pieces of non-stick baking paper to prevent over use of flour, stickng to the rolling pin/rolling surface and your hands from warming the pastry to much.
  • Use drops of water on each corner to get the bottom piece of paper to stick to the work surface and prevent the pastry and paper from shifting around whilst rolling.
  • When rolling it out, try not to handle it too much. Also try to work quickly and in a cool place. This is because the pastry has a high butter content so the more the pastry warms the sticker and softer it gets and the harder it is to work with.
  • Before you put your pastry into a tart tin. Carefully peel off one of the pieces of paper and place exposed side down into tin. You can use the reamining piece of paper, that is still stuck to the now top of the pastry, to manipulate pastry into shape of tin before peeling off then re-using to hold baking blind material.
  • Or, if you don't mind a few creases in the pastry case, you can use one of the pieces of paper as a liner for tin and place the pastry straight into the tin with paper attached underneath.
 Hope that all made sense, if not please let me know.