SLIDER

apricot and cream cheese galette

18 Feb 2024


In 2022, I made a
yeasted apricot cake and although I didn't love the texture I found the apricot and cream cheese topping a winner. I wrote at the time that it would make a fabulous filling for a galette. I planned to make it last year but time ran away with me, so here it is in 2024.



Although it's stone fruit season here, apricots are always in short supply and usually quite expensive. Last week I found some not too expensive apricots in the fruit shop but when I brought them home, I'd not bought anywhere near enough to make the galette. I did however have a bag of apricot quarters in the freezer from last season so I pulled out the bag and set to work. I also found a batch of almond shortcrust pastry, so rather than making a batch of flaky pastry, I went with what I had. Next time I'd make the flaky pastry because the almond shortcrust pastry is a very short pastry making crimping impossible.


So I used pastry that wasn't ideal for the job and year old 
frozen apricots, so it all could have gone pear shaped, but the end result was absolutely delicious. As I wasn't sure the galette would work out, I only took a few photos.



Here's the recipe for you which makes a large galette which should yield 10-12 slices. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.


Apricot and cream cheese galette - makes 10-12 slices
Pastry 
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ cup almond meal
175g plain flour
Pinch salt
110 g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cream Cheese Filling
125g cream cheese at room temperature
1½ tbs caster sugar
1-2 tbs yoghurt or cream
½ tsp vanilla

Apricot Filling
8 large or 16 small apricots, pitted and quartered
1½ tbs caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbs raw sugar

Glaze
1-2 tbs apricot jam, warmed

Pastry
To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little of the egg and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Don’t discard any leftover egg as you’ll use this to egg wash the pastry.

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C, conventional. Have a pizza tray handy as you’ll use one on which to bake the galette. Roll the dough out thinly (3-4mm) on a piece of baking paper to make a circle about the size of the pizza tray then place the pastry lined baking paper onto the pizza tray. Centre an 8-9 inch cake tin in the middle of the pastry and press lightly to make an imprint in the pastry. 


Mix the cream cheese with the sugar, yoghurt or cream and vanilla then spread in a thin layer within the template on the pastry. Decoratively arrange the apricot slices over the cream cheese. In a small bowl combine the sugar with the lemon rind. Sprinkle the sugar mix over the fruit then gently fold the pastry over the apricots using the baking paper to help you. Brush the edges of the folded over pastry with the egg wash before sprinkling with the raw sugar.


Place the galette on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then place on the centre rack of the oven and bake for a further 25-35 minutes or until the galette is beautifully golden on top and the crust is crispy. When cooked, take the galette out of the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack. Let the galette cool a little before glazing the fruit with the apricot jam. Serve as is or topped with yoghurt, creme fraiche or ice cream.



This is best served the day it's baked as the pastry softens when stored. The apricot filling was still quite tart, just how I like it, but if that's not for you then add another tablespoon or so of sugar to the apricots.


See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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passionfruit custard scrolls

11 Feb 2024



Some recipes take longer than others to perfect. I first made a batch of passionfruit custard scrolls around 3 years ago and they were a disaster. I used custard as the filling, which then leaked all over the kitchen bench as I tried to roll up the dough. What was I thinking? I knew I needed to rethink my technique and decided to make a regular scroll and to fill the scroll with custard just before baking. 


When I searched online I found that custard filled scrolls made this way are popular in Norway, so I knew it was doable. 
The recipe I've come up with is a bit of a patchwork quilt of a recipe. I used my favourite cinnamon bun dough from Sarah Kieffer filled with lemon flavoured butter and sugar; the custard filling comes from sugar salt magic and the passionfruit icing from Stephanie Alexander.



Here's the recipe for you which makes 8 scrolls. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.


Passionfruit custard scrolls - makes 8
Dough 
1 tsp yeast
125 mls milk, lukewarm
30g honey
room temperature egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain flour 
½ tsp salt
75g room temperature unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Custard 
¾ cup full cream milk 
1
½ tbs caster sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 slightly heaped tbs cornflour 
1 egg yolk

Filling
100g caster sugar
4 tsp grated lemon rind
Pinch salt
80g room temperature butter
1 tbs almond meal

To finish
2 tbs melted butter or cream

Passionfruit Icing
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
pinch salt
50g unsalted butter
2 passionfruit

Dough
Grease a large bowl and set to one side. Combine the yeast, milk and honey in a large liquid measuring cup and rest for 5 minutes or until foamy then stir in the egg and the vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour and salt and stir on low to combine. Add the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one piece at a time. When all the butter has been added (about 8 minutes) increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough, until all the little butter pieces are incorporated, 1 minute. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl. The dough will be very sticky and you will need a spatula to scrape the dough into the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and fold it back over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding again. Continue 6 to 8 more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Re-cover the bowl with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding 3 more times, for a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.

Custard
Pour ½ cup of milk into a heavy based saucepan. Add the sugar then heat on low-medium heat until steaming, stirring regularly to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat. (I did this step in the microwave.)

In a bowl whisk together the remaining ¼ cup milk, egg yolk and cornflour until smooth and fully combined. While whisking, very slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture in a slow but steady stream. Once everything is combined, return the mix to the saucepan. 

Heat over medium heat, stirring with a whisk constantly, until it gets very thick and no longer settles into itself when you move it around. This will happen quite quickly after about 5 minutes so it’s important to keep gently whisking increasing intensity as it gets very thick. At this stage add the vanilla. Swap to a silicone spatula and pass the custard through a strainer into a clean bowl, then press plastic wrap to the surface and allow to cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge until needed. (I made the custard in a plastic measuring jug in the microwave and it only took 2 minutes on medium high, stirring every 30 seconds. The custard came out lovely and smooth so I didn't need to sieve the mixture.)


Filling
Combine the sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl then using your fingers rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon until you have a smooth paste.

To assemble
Flour a work surface and knead the dough 10 to 12 times to activate the gluten. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the top lightly with flour, and cover with a tea towel and let come to room temperature. Line a tray with baking paper and set to one side. 

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form an 8 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly out onto the dough then roll up firmly from the long edge. Using a very sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut the dough to form 8 rolls. Set the rolls on baking trays covered with baking paper, about 5 cm apart.  Cover with a cloth and leave the rolls to rise in a warm place until they have doubled in size. 



Preheat the oven to 200°C, conventional. When the buns have risen, make a deep indentation in the centre of the buns with your fingers. 
Loosen the custard by stirring vigorously with a spoon to remove any lumps that might have formed. Fill the buns with a tablespoon of the custard filling then brush each roll with some melted butter or cream. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes on the centre rack or until the rolls are golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before making the passionfruit icing. 

Icing
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, adding a pinch of salt. Melt the butter, then add it to the icing sugar followed by the
 passionfruit pulp. If the icing is looking a little too thick you can thin it out with some lemon juice or boiling water. Place the bowl over hot water, then beat the icing for 1-2 minutes until shiny. Generously drizzle the icing over each bun.



These are best served on the day they're made but can be frozen and defrosted.




I don't do Valentine's Day but food has always been my love language and these passionfruit custard scrolls are a perfect way to show your love.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kicthen.

Bye for now,

Jillian
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strawberry ricotta loaf

28 Jan 2024


Before Christmas I reserved a copy of Danielle Alvarez's new book, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking, from the library. It finally arrived and I've been perusing it on my train journey home from work. I've bookmarked many recipes, but this recipe for
a strawberry and ricotta loaf stood out to me. It's made with spelt flour, which is a bit hard to find so I did a wholemeal/plain flour combination instead and I reduced the quantities to fit my handy-dandy half size loaf tin.

I've made a few strawberry topped cakes and sometimes the strawberries can dry out and get a bit tough during the baking process so I macerated the strawberry slices in a bit of sugar and lemon juice to keep them soft and juicy.


Here's the recipe for you which makes a small loaf cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.






Strawberry and ricotta loaf
Ingredients
150g flour (I used 40g wholemeal/110g plain flour)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch fine sea salt
40ml milk
65g ricotta
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
165g strawberries 
2½ tsp lemon zest 
1 tsp lemon juice
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature or slightly warmer (but not melted)
150g caster sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper, allowing the sides of the paper to extend past the edges of the tin.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and ricotta. Set both bowls aside.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl (do not whisk) and add the vanilla extract. Set aside. Hull and chop half of the strawberries. Place in a small bowl and combine them with the lemon zest and 1 tsp of the caster sugar. Hull and cut the remaining strawberries into rounds. Place in a small bowl, then sprinkle over 1 tsp of the caster sugar and the lemon juice. Set both lots of strawberries aside, keeping them separate.



Put the butter and the remaining caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on a high speed until the mixture is light, fluffy and almost white in colour. This will take about 5–7 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides as needed.

With the machine running, add the eggs, letting one slide in at a time, and waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding in the next.


Stop the machine, add in half the flour mixture, and turn the machine on to low speed to just combine. Add in the milk-ricotta mixture and mix until combined. Stop the machine again and add in the remaining flour mixture. Return the machine to a low speed and mix until it all just comes together. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the chopped strawberries and lemon zest.



Pour the batter into the tin; level the batter and top with the strawberry rounds. Sprinkle the raw sugar over the strawberries and bake on the centre rack of the preheated 180°C conventional oven for 70–80 minutes,or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the tin before turning it out. Slice and serve.



I love ricotta cakes because they're always so tender with a lovely crumb and this cake was no exception. It was simply delicious and I can't wait to make the cake again using other fruits like blueberries, plums or rhubarb or even blood orange.


Thanks for the recipe, Danielle.

See you all again next week with some baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

jillian


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plum and olive oil cake

26 Jan 2024


It's stone fruit season here, so I'm baking with them every chance I can get. I spied blood plums in the fruit shop and came home to make plum cake, but which recipe to use?




I decided to adapt a Silvia Colocca recipe, using plums instead of apricots. The recipe is very easy to put together a makes a lovely tender cake. Here's the recipe for you which makes 8 slices. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.


Plum and olive oil cake 
6-8 plums, deseeded and quartered
150g caster sugar, reserve 1 tbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 ml oil (I used a combination of extra virgin olive and canola oil)
1⅓ cups (200 g) self-raising flour   
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
⅓ cup milk
¼ cup flaked almonds, for sprinkling

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin with baking paper.

Sprinkle the sliced plums with a tbs of caster sugar and set to one side. In a medium bowl, using a balloon whisk combine the beaten eggs with the remaining sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until well combined. 



Sift the flour, the bicarbonate of soda and salt into a small bowl. Add to the egg mixture in batches alternating with the milk and whisk to form a smooth loose batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and arrange the plum slices on top any way you like because they will sink to the bottom of the cake as it cooks. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


Cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack and cool at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting into 8 slices.



 


Easy to make and even easier to eat.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian
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mango passionfruit lamingtons

21 Jan 2024



It's become a tradition on the blog to make something lamington inspired for Australia Day. Last year I made raspberry lamingtons; this year I made a batch of tropical flavoured mango and passion fruit lamingtons.



I used the brown butter sponge recipe from Beatrix Bakes and dipped the lamingtons in mango jelly inspired by this recipe here. The cakes were sandwiched with passionfruit curd and unsweetened whipped cream. If making curd isn't your thing, just buy some lemon curd and stir through some passionfruit pulp. The lamingtons are best made over 2 days giving time for the cakes to firm up before they're dipped.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 12 lamingtons. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°CThe cake and curd should be made the day ahead and the mango jelly prepared a few hours before dipping the lamingtons.



Mango passionfruit lamingtons – makes 12
Brown butter sponge
160g plain flour
½ tsp salt
4 room temperature eggs 
150g caster sugar
85g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Passionfruit Curd
2 eggs
60 ml passion fruit pulp, reserve 1 tbs
60 ml lemon juice
80g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes

Mango Jelly
1 mango, peeled
85g pkt mango jelly crystals
250mls boiling water

Topping and filling 
1 cup each shredded coconut and desiccated coconut 
½ cup passionfruit curd
300ml thickened cream, lightly whipped with ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
 
Sponge
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease and flour the 12 holes in a friand pan. Set aside while making the cake batter.

Sift the flour with the salt onto a piece of baking paper and set to one side. Over a pot of barely simmering water, heat the sugar and the eggs in the mixer bowl until they are hot to the touch. Pop the mixer bowl onto the stand mixer or use an electric hand whisk and whisk for 8 minutes on a medium/high speed until the egg mix is pale, fluffy and can hold a peak. While this is whisking, brown the butter. Either heat the butter in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter starts to turn a toasty brown or do this step in a covered bowl in the microwave. It usually takes about 5 minutes on high in the microwave but check every minute or so. You should have about 75g of browned butter. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and set aside. 



Gently scrape the egg mix into a wide, large-ish mixing bowl. Sift over half the flour/salt mix and gently fold in with a whisk, turning the mix over while spinning the bowl slowly. Fold in the remaining sifted flour until it has been fully incorporated. Slowly pour in the warm melted butter mix and fold in. Divide among the friand holes and bake for 20 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly, then cut around each friand to release before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate overnight in a sealed tin. 

Passionfruit curd
To make the passion fruit curd, place the eggs, passionfruit pulp, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 8 minutes, until thick, then remove from the heat. You can also do this in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Microwave on medium for 4-6 minutes, stirring every minute or until thickened. Pass the mixture through a sieve and whisk in the butter. Spoon through the reserved passionfruit pulp. Leave to cool before storing in a sealed container in the fridge.

Mango jelly – you’ll need to start this process an hour or two before dipping.
Put the cakes into the freeze before making the jelly. Process the flesh of 1 mango until smooth to give about 2/3 cup. Combine the jelly crystals in a bowl with 1 cup (250ml) boiling water, stirring to dissolve crystals. Stir in mango pulp. Chill until jelly starts to set around the edge of the bowl.


Assembly
Once that’s done, set up a dunking station with your sponges, bowl of jelly, a wire rack, a small bowl of cold water (this has great non-stick properties), a tray of mixed coconut, and a resting tray for the completed lamingtons.

If the cakes have risen slightly, slice off the tops to give a flat surface. Dip each lamington into the jelly mixture, place on a wire rack over the jelly bowl to drain off any excess jelly. Dip your fingers in the cold water and pick up the lamington and place in the coconut and then roll the lamington in the coconut. Place the lamingtons on the resting tray then refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until the lamingtons have set. Refresh the coconut as needed.


When dry, cut the cakes in half horizontally. Spread one half with curd (1-2 tsp each); pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top and then sandwich together. Repeat with remaining cakes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.





See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now,

Jillian
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cherry bakewell slice

15 Jan 2024





I did a deep dive into the pantry at my Father's house and unearthed some cherry conserve. I put my thinking cap on and decided to make a Cherry Bakewell Slice. I'd already bookmarked the Bakewell Bars recipe from Claire Ptak's new cookbook, Love is a Pink Cake, so I set to work adapting it for the only tin I'd brought with me, a 16cm round springform pan.



Some recipes are easy to downsize. This recipe is about 1/3 of the original recipe but when making it, I thought the shortbread layer was a little too generous, so I've reduced the quantity a little.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 8-12 slices. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.


Cherry Bakewell Slice - makes 8 - 12 slices
Base
60g unsalted butter, cold, cubed 
30g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
75g plain flour
pinch salt
100g good-quality cherry jam

Topping
80g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
1 egg + 1 tbs egg white or milk
50g almond meal (I used a mix of whole almond meal and blanched)
30g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder

Icing
1 tsp melted butter
100g icing sugar
15 mls fresh lemon juice

To decorate
fresh or preserved cherries
 
Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C, conventional. Grease, flour and line the base of a 16cm springform tin with baking paper.

Base
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture has just come together into a ball. Press the pastry evenly into the prepared tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, then remove from the oven. Let the base cool for 10 minutes before spreading the jam gently over the top.



Topping
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy but not fluffy. Add the extract, salt, eggs and egg white (or milk), then beat well. Stir in the almond meal, flour and baking powder just to combine. Dollop this over the jam – don’t worry about spreading it evenly as it will melt into place in the oven and spreading it can cause the jam to get mixed in rather than remaining in its own layer. Return to the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and set. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.


Icing
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and icing sugar. Add sufficient lemon juice to make a smooth, thick paste. Spread this glaze over the cooled Bakewell slice, decorate with cherries and then slice into 8-12 pieces.



I found 2 versions of this recipe online, one with icing and one without. I found the icing made the slice a little too sweet so I'm looking forward to trying the second version where the slice is topped with flaked almonds.



See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian
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