Thursday, 19 June 2014

Cake and Almond Tarts

When you have a cake, that is past it's freshness or comes out from the oven not as expected, crumb it, freeze it, then use it in this recipe as filling! I guarantee that everyone will ask you for the recipe. I managed 24 7cm tarts or buns whatever you may choose to call them! In this recipe I used leftovers from Date and Walnut cake which I crumbed using a food processor.

1 quantity Sweet Short Pastry Recipe

500g pure ground almonds
200g ground peanuts
500g cake crumbs
6 eggs
300g sugar
few drops almond essence
2 tbsp amaretto

12 cherries
72 blanched almonds

Put all filling ingredients except, cherries and whole almonds,  in a large bowl, add eggs and using a wooden spoon stir till all combined and form a thick paste.

Pre heat oven to 165c

Roll out pastry and cut into rounds to line 2x 12 hole bun tin.  ( I prefer non stick tin so that I do not have to butter it)
Using two spoons spoon mixture into each tart right till the top.  Arrange on each tart half a cherry and three almonds, and bake for 45 mins or until cooked and slightly browned.

Creamed Salmon and Mussel Pie

This recipe is enough to feed four.

800g Salmon Fillets
1kg Mussels
3 hard boiled eggs
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 celery stick
150ml fresh cream
300ml milk
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard
1/2 glass white wine
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
Salt & pepper

1 kg potatoes
1 tbsp butter
1 egg

Chop onions and celery and crush the garlic.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, add onions celery and garlic and fry gently till onions are translucent.  Add cleaned mussels and wine, cover and cook for 3 minutes till mussels are opened.  Remove from heat strain mussel juice through a sieve and reserve for later,  leave mussels to cool. 
Heat butter in a saucepan and when it melts add flour stir and cook roux for about 1 minute stirring continuously.  Add milk and using a whisk, stir to get a smooth thick mixture.  Add reserved mussel juice bay leaves and cream and continue to stir till mixture thickens and bubbles.  Cut salmon into bite size, add to mixture and lower heat down.  Cook for just 2 minutes.  Turn off heat, add mustard, shelled mussels and season with salt & pepper. Pour mixture in a shallow oven proof dish, roughly chop the hard boiled eggs and scatter around.
Pre heat oven 200c
Peel and boil potatoes till soft, drain leaving some of the liquid.  Mash with butter then add salt to taste. Finally add egg and beat with wooden spoon to get a smooth mixture.  Arrange mash evenly over the fish stew sprinkle with thyme leaves and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes till mash is golden.  Serve piping hot

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Home Made Garibaldi Fingers

Garibaldi Crackers are thin crackers filled with fig mixture, well, mine are more rustic and I filled them with dried juicy Prunes which I bought from Annecy.... Delisce!!  Make these biscuits with remaining short pastry when making flans and they freeze well when cooked and completely cold.

200g short Crust Pastry Recipe
300g pitted prunes
2 tbsp sugar

Process prunes to a fine mixture.
Pre heat oven to 175c

Roll pastry to long oblong.  Spoon mixture in the centre then fold over pastry.  Overlap slightly to seal properly. Using a rolling pin, press gently over the prune roll and roll to flatten out as much as possible.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into fingers and place on a baking tray.  Sprinkle sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes till golden.

Pecorino and Zucchini, Ditaloni Bake

This is a quick one pot wonder.  Recipe is enough to feed hungry four and takes just 1 hour to serve including baking and preparation. 
500g Ditaloni Pasta
200g Grated Pecorino cheese
4 eggs
200g Pancetta Cubes
300g Zucchini Cut into Cubes
250ml Fresh Cream
Salt & Pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to boil add pasta and cook for just 10 minutes till pasta is al dente. Meanwhile pre heat oven 200c.  Just before the last minute of cooking, add pancetta and zucchini then drain pasta and the other ingredients reserving 1 cup of liquid.  Return pasta to pan, add reserved cooking liquid,  beaten eggs, fresh cream and grated pecorino. Mix with a wooden spoon then transfer pasta mixture to a baking dish.  Season with fresh ground pepper and bake for 30 minutes till top is golden and crunchy.  Serve hot!