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    Entries in dessert (5)

    Saturday
    Mar052016

    No Bake Speculoos Tarts 

                                                 no bake speculoos (biscoff) tarts

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    What are Speculoos? A lightly spiced caramelised biscuit (cookie). You can buy them in biscuit form or as a jarred cookie paste (butter). I'm using the popular Lotus brand speculoos/biscoff paste and biscuits from Belgium in these no bake "pantry ingredients" tarts. 

     

    'Speculoos' in Flemish and 'Biscoff' in English

    The world is in love with cookie butters. Available in smooth or crunchy, spread on bread straight from the jar it looks like peanut butter but tastes... umm, well like "squooshed up cookies". 

    Lets get started, today I've used four 11 cm x 6 cm (4.5 inches x 2.5 inches) individual tart tins. You could also use 8 smaller tart tins. The recipe is easily doubled so if your loving your cookie butter go for it!! 

    Little tart tins; a gift from Ireland .. thank you Emer, I love them!!  

     

    Ingredients

    1 packet (124 grams) Biscoff/Speculoos biscuits 

    62 grams (2.18 oz) unsalted butter melted

    80 grams (2.82 oz) chopped dark chocolate

    8 tsps of homemade or store bought dulce de leche or thick caramel sauce

    500 ml (16.90 oz) whipping cream

    400 g jar of Speculoo/Biscoff cookie paste

    Biscoff biscuits (cookies) in Australia come in 124 gram packets. 

    A basic crumb crust for cheesecakes and desserts is half the ratio of melted butter to biscuit crumbs.

    So for 124 grams of biscuit crumbs I used 62 grams of butter.

     

    Method 

    Crush the biscuits, by either pulsing in a food processor or popping in a zip lock bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Place the crushed biscuits in a medium mixing bowl. 

    Melt the butter. Make a well in the biscuit crumbs and *quickly mix together with a wooden spoon.

    Divide mixture between the tart tins you have chosen and press firmly with your finger tips or small spoon. covering the bases and sides. Chill for 20 minutes.

    Melt your chopped chocolate. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon coat the inside of the shells with melted chocolate. Chill until chocolate sets. 

    Spread two teaspoons of caramel per tart tin (one teaspoon each if using eight smaller tins). Refrigerate whilst you prepare filling.

    To make the filling put the whipping cream and speculoos/biscoff paste into a bowl.

    Whip (briefly) to combine. You are just "combining" it is literally seconds not minutes, your mixture will thicken almost immediately. Do not over beat you don't want your mixture to split. 

    Pipe or plonk. Probably best suited to plonking more than piping, but you can pipe if desired. If you are plonking, spread a generous amount of filling in each tart shell and either swirl or lift up soft peaks with a small flat knife. If piping, you get a soft "almost hold" finish.  Pop them in the fridge for a final chill.

    Either way you will have some leftover filling, this can be enjoyed from small dessert glasses with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, chocolate decorations.... oh and cookies for dipping if you bought extra.  

    Unmould your chilled tarts ready for serving.  Top with a dark chocolate decorations if desired. 

    *Notes: all biscuit (cookie) crumb bases are much easier to press into tins if used quickly whilst the mixture is still warm from the butter. If your room is cold or you were called away briefly you can find it more difficult to get a neat finish. A quick microwave on low for a few seconds will make the mixture easier to work with again. 

    In Australia Biscoff biscuits are available from Coles supermarkets for under $2 a pack. Speculoos (Biscoff) butter is available from Dutch Grocery stores in Australia including "It's all Dutch to me"   "Dutchfood" online and Continental Delicatessens.

    Want to swirl up your own Biscoff Spread? Jamieanne at the Sweetest Kitchen does exactly that swirls up her own out of the biscuits, coconut milk and more. Find her here.   Go a step further and bake your own Speculaas, Martha Stewarts recipe here

    Happy Baking or No Baking :) 

    Thursday
    Oct162014

    Half a Grasshopper Pie

                                                   Half a Grasshopper Pie

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    Grasshopper Cocktail: The drink reputedly originated at Tujague's in the French Quarter New Orleans. The cocktail contains equal amounts of creme de menthe and white creme de cacao with added cream and shaken with ice.

    You start with the thought "I'm going to make Nigella Lawson's Grasshopper pie", that was until you realise you don't have and can't get some of the ingredients.... which brings us to today's recipe a "half a grasshopper pie".

    I thought I did, I thought I did... have whie creme de cacao. I didn't. We don't have Bourbon biscuits here but I'm Australian so dark chocolate Tims Tams it was. 

    Tim Tams: chocolate coated and chocolate cream filled biscuits (cookies) popular in Australia, use the equivalent in you country i.e. chocolate coated oreos. 

    We also don't have the mini white marshmallows Nigella uses here so I thought white soft eating marshmallows will do. Three supermarkets later I cannot buy white marshmallows, I can buy fruit swirled, chocolate dipped, pink and white mixed but no "white". 

    Yep, this is why I found myself separating pink from white marshmallows. I've since found out Aldi in Australia has white eating marshmallows... dang I should have asked my all knowing friend Jacinta first! 

    Half a Grasshopper Pie recipe

    1 loose bottomed 25x5 cm (10x2 inch) fluted tart tin

    300g grams (10.5oz) of chocolate coated cream biscuits (approx one and half packs of dark chocolate Tim Tams) 

    50g (1.75oz) of dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)

    50g (1.75oz) softened butter

    200g (7oz) grams soft white eating marshmallows (cut in half or quarters depending on size)

    2tsp of pure vanilla extract/essence

    80ml (2.7 fluid ozs) green creme de methe 

    125ml (4.22 fluid ozs) milk

    375ml (12.7 fluid ozs) thickened cream

    few drops of green food colouring

    *optional vanilla whipped cream, fresh mint and chocolate curls to serve

     

    oiled scissor blades make short work of cutting marshmallows 

    Process the chocolate biscuits (cookies) with the chocolate in a food processor until it's a rough crumb, add the butter and pulse until it just comes together. 

    Base processing finished and ready to press into shell. 

    Using the back of a spoon or your hands press the crumbs evenly around the base and sides of fluted tart tin. Make sure you press firmly, particularly around the edges coming up the sides. Refrigerate the base. 

    Put the cut marshmallows with the milk in a small saucepan, *over low heat. Once the milk starts to foam around the edges, remove from heat and stir marshmallows to completely melt in. Pour into a heat proof bowl, stir in the creme de menthe, vanilla and green food colouring if using. Set aside to cool. 

    Whisk the cream until soft peak stage (it will hold it's shape but drop gently off a spoon), add cooled marshmallow mixture. Whisk until combined but not over beaten. 

    Pour mixture into chilled crust. Spread lightly to fill shell evenly, create a few swirls or smoother finish... whatever you prefer.

    Refrigerate pie a minimum of four hours, use a plastic dome lid or aluminium foil to create a dome over the pie. You don't want the surface to be touched.

    When ready to serve either top with crushed chocolate biscuits (cookies) or as I did with a dollop of vanilla white cream, chocolate curls and a fresh mint leaf. 

    * Trouble shooting: gentle, gentle heat melting marshmallows if the mixture boils the marshmallows don't reset. 

    * a delicate texture similar to a Sara Lee Bavarian dessert, this pie needs to be refrigerated... it will collapse if left in a warm place. 

    Was the pie worth it? Absolutely!!  Happy Baking :) 

    You might also be interested in Ode to Bounty Bar cupcakes   

    Wednesday
    Nov282012

    Gingerbread Custard Ice-Cream 

                 you'll fall for gingerbread custard ice-cream

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    If you haven't been raised with packet custard (or at least the cartons of pre made custard in the supermarket dairy case) you'll wonder what I'm waffling on about... but, but, but, even though it's not in the least bit "cheffy" there is something about the flavour that satisfies your inner child.

    And that is what I'm going for today, by using a traditional custard ice-cream technique combined with packet custard and crumbled gingerbread men.

    *custard powder; is a sweetened flavoured cornflour product that when milk is added and heated to correct temperature it becomes a custard sauce. Also used in baking, particularly shortbread type biscuits (cookies).

    custard powder

    Gingerbread Custard ice-cream

    Ingredients
    2 cup (500ml) whole milk (one cup for the packet custard, one cup for the traditional custard)
    A pinch of salt
    3/4 cup (150g) sugar
    2 tablespoons of custard powder
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
    4 large egg yolks
    1/4 to 1/3 cup of crushed up gingerbread men
    Method 
    1. Make the packet custard mixture by placing the custard powder into a small saucepan with a 1/4 cup of the milk to form a smooth paste. Gradually add 3/4 cup of milk and stirring constantly bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. It will be very thick.
    smooth paste stage; you can see from the colour why you end up with a yellow ice-cream!

    2. Make the traditional custard by heating the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan until small bubbles appear around the side of the saucepan. Remove from heat, stir through vanilla extract. 
    3. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Place the made up packet custard in the bowl and place a strainer over the bowl.
    4. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
    5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
    6. Strain the custard into the prepared packet custard. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.
    7. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir through crushed gingerbread and freeze in an airtight container overnight to allow the ice-cream to 'ripen' and flavours to fully develop. 
    Homemade ice-cream is firmer than store bought and can be difficult to scoop, remove ice-cream from freezer and place in refrigerator 20 minutes before serving to aid "scoopability".
    We served it here with a warm toffee sauce, I thought it would great with fresh poached or roasted peaches... try omitting the gingerbread and pairing the custard ice-cream with your favourite dessert.
    Happy Baking :)
    You may also be interested in Mini Chocolate Cake Christmas Puddings
    Saturday
    Oct222011

    Peach Verrine in minutes

               stem-less red wine glass holds a Peach Verrine

    verrine is a confection, originally from France, made by layering ingredients in a small glass. It can be either sweet or savoury, making a dessert or snack. Wikipedia

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    Goodness, sometimes you just have one of "those weeks!!" A week when the faithful Apple Mac computer broke down, the puppy discovered it can rip stuffing from every chair and our new landscaping business 'Mark Paxton Landscapes' has taken off with a pre-Christmas frenzy of work. A week where there was no baking going on ):

    Time to raid the pantry to see what I can whip up in the 5 minutes I have to spare!! Tinned peaches (in mango puree), ginger nut biscuits (cookies), Peach Schnapps and white chocolate curls. Ok, now to the fridge, whipping cream and mascarpone... it must be time for a verrines! 

    There is no amounts for this recipe, just start by putting chilled peach slices in the bottom of your glasses. Whip some cream (sweeten to taste), fold through a few spoonfuls of mascarpone and add a glug of Peach Schnapps. Top the peaches with a spoonful of the cream mixture, add crumbled gingernut biscuits (cookies) and chocolate curls. Serve immediately.

    For verrines in minutes; think fruit, crunch, cream and chocolate.

    You do have that jar of pitted morello cherries lurking in the pantry somewhere don't you? Divide the cherries between glasses. Top the fruit with a kirsch cream mixture, crushed chocolate biscuits (cookies) and dark chocolate curls. 

    So remember when you having one of "those weeks", there is always time for dessert!!

    You might also be interested in Combed Chocolate Curls

    or a quick Toblerone dessert

    Sunday
    Dec192010

    Toblerone dessert in 30 minutes!! 

                                   

                                    Toblerone dessert in 30 minutes

     

    A super quick and easy "emergency" dessert today for the holiday season. It's creamy, it's chocolaty, it's yummy and it's ready in only 30 minutes!

    Makes 8 small or 6 medium or 4 "husband Mark" sized serves.

    Ingredients

    200 gram (7oz)  Milk or Dark Toblerone (melted)

    500g (17.5 oz) *softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)

    1 tsp vanilla 

    Optional... 2 tablespoons of chocolate, or honey, or almond liqueur

    Decorations

    200 gram (7oz) Milk or Dark Toblerone 

    thick cream

    honey to drizzle

    flaked, chopped or silvered toasted almonds

    Method

    Beat softened cream cheese with caster sugar until smooth. Add melted Toblerone, sour cream, vanilla and liqueur if using and beat until combined.

                              beaten cream cheese

     melt toblerone in a metal or glass bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until just melted.

     beaten Toblerone mixture still contains the pieces of honey nougat from the chocolate bar

    Spoon into small serving glasses, bowls or ramekins. 

    Top with a spoonful of thick cream, toasted almonds, Toblerone pieces and a drizzle of honey... that's it, ready to serve! 

    If you do want to make ahead of time, spoon the Toblerone mixture into glasses, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Just before serving add the toppings. 

    *to soften your cream cheese roughly chop and place in a microwave safe bowl, zap on low in 30 second increments  until soft. 

    Notes: reduce the fat in the dessert by substituting light sour cream and light Philly cheese for the full fat varieties. 

    You might also like:

    Mini Chocolate Cake Puddings

       Ode to Bounty Bar Cupcakes