Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix together. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and salt until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Add the egg white to a small bowl and whisk until frothy. Chop the pistachio finely (I do mine in a food processor) and place it in a shallow bowl. Scoop up about 15ml of dough and roll it into small balls. Now roll each ball in the egg white and then in the chopped pistachio. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Use the back of a 2,5ml measuring spoon to make an indentation in the centre of each dough ball. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and immediately re-press the indentations you made. Set aside to cool completely. Add the chocolate and cocoa butter to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt. Stir every now and then until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stand the bowl for about 30 minutes. Spoon the chocolate into the indent in each biscuit and set aside to allow the chocolate to set – preferably overnight. Makes about 25 biscuits.
Preheat your oven to 160℃ and line the sides only, of a 22cm loose-bottom cake pan with baking paper. Add the biscuits to the bowl of a food processor and drizzle in the melted butter, with the engine running. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press it evenly on the bottom. Place in the refrigerator. Put a frying pan on medium heat and add about 5ml vegetable oil to it. Add the bacon and onion to the pan and cook until done. Take the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Add the ricotta, cream cheese, grated parmesan and eggs to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have a smooth mixture. Pour this mixture over the cooled bacon and onion and stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared base and bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature with balsamic roasted beetroot (recipe on this site) and roasted onions.
Line a 22cm x 11cm loaf tin with plastic wrap, leaving enough plastic to make an overhang (so that you can fold it on top of the mousse later on). Tip: wet the loaf tin before lining it – the water will help the plastic “stick” to the the tin. Add the white chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt. Remove from the heat, give it a good stir and set it aside for about 5 minutes to cool. Add 15ml of the boiling water to a small cup and sprinkle 2,5ml of the gelatine over. Stir the mixture continuously until the gelatine has dissolved completely – about 2 minutes of constant stirring. Add the gelatine and one egg yolk to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Add 125ml cream to a mixing bowl and beat with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Add the cream to the chocolate mixture and stir through until combined. Add one egg white to a clean mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until soft peaks form Fold the egg white into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the white chocolate layer is set.
Repeat the process with the milk chocolate and half of the remaining ingredients. Pour over the white chocolate mousse and place back in the refrigerator for another hour or until set.
Repeat with the dark chocolate and the remaining ingredients. Pour over the milk chocolate layer and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours.
Serve the mousse with a chocolate sauce or plenty of berries.
These pancakes are not cocoa-chocolatey-looking but actually contain real chocolate in the batter!! Whether you serve them with ice-cream, fresh fruit and Chantilly cream or plain, from-the-pan, you will love them! Yields about 12 pancakes depending on the size of your pan.
80g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa 250ml + 100ml milk 90ml caster sugar 200g cake flour 100ml water 3 eggs 2,5ml vanilla butter for frying
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to a small saucepan. Pour in 100ml milk and place on a very low heat. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted completely and remove from the heat. Add the 250ml milk and caster sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Pour the water, eggs and vanilla into a jug and whisk it together. Pour the egg mixture into the flour in a very thin stream while whisking. Pour slowly, whisk quickly …. you don’t want lumps in your batter! Now whisk in the chocolate mixture in the same way. Cover the batter with a tea towel and allow to stand for one hour.
Heat a frying/crêpe pan until it is very hot. Add a knob of butter and swirl it around so that it covers the surface of the pan. Pour in a ladleful of batter and swirl again to evenly distribute in the pan. Turn the heat down slightly and cook the pancake for 1 minute. Turn the pancake over with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds. (The combination of sugar and chocolate burns really easy!!) Keep going with the rest of the batter until you have a heavily stack of chocolate pancakes. Serve warm.
For the topping: 60g sugar 60g butter, room temperature 10ml warm water 2,5ml coffee powder 1 egg 70g flour a pinch of salt
Cut the 50g butter into ten equal pieces, wrap in baking paper and place it in the freezer. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Warm the milk until tepid and pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, instant yeast and sugar to the milk and stir until dissolved. Turn the mixer onto a low speed and add the liquids. Mix/knead for about 3 minutes. The dough will be very sticky! Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for another 6 minutes. You want a dough that is soft, smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces – weigh them on a scale, they should be around 60g each. Roll each portion into a ball and then roll the ball into a disc with a rolling pin – about 9cm in diameter. Take the butter cubes from the freezer and place a cube in the centre of the dough disc. Lift the sides and cover the butter with the dough, pinching it together, to seal. Flip the ball over and place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep going until there is no dough left. Spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray and lightly cover the buns. Set aside to proof for 90 minutes.
Coffee topping: Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until the mixture is light in colour and has a fluffy texture. Dissolve the coffee powder in the warm water and add to the butter mixture. Stir through by hand. Add the egg and stir until incorporated. Add the flour and salt and stir to mix. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and place in the refrigerator until needed.
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Pipe the coffee topping in a tight circular pattern, starting from the centre of the bun working a third of the way down. Bake the buns for 20 minutes.
This is fragrant dessert with rose water and honey and is based on the traditional Roz bel Laban. The recipe provides 6 generous portions depending on the size of the glasses or bowls it is served in.
500ml milk 250ml cream 2 cinnamon quills 6 cloves 1,2ml ground cardamon 250ml rice 30ml sugar 500ml water 83ml condensed milk 30ml butter 30ml rose water honey and pistachio nuts to serve
Add the milk, cream, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon to a saucepan. Turn the heat on medium and wait for the mixture to come to the boil. Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers and add the rice, sugar and water. Allow the mixture to simmer until the rice is cooked, stirring continuously. This will take 30 – 40 minutes. Do not leave the mixture – keep an eye on it! Take the saucepan from the heat and add the condensed milk, rose water and butter. Stir thoroughly. Spoon the rice pudding into glasses or serving bowls. Drizzle each dessert with honey and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. The rice pudding is best served warm.
This is a simple recipe and requires no thermometer. Brittle is best made on days with sunshine as the moisture from mist and rain will cause the brittle to become/stay sticky. Best kept in an airtight container lined with wax paper, at room temperature.
250ml sugar 62ml water 2,5ml salt 375ml peanuts, cashew, blanched/raw almonds or pistachio nuts
Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper and spray it with cooking spray. Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet and set aside. Add the sugar, water and salt to a small saucepan. Place onto a high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook the mixture for 4 minutes WITHOUT stirring and start checking the colour – you are aiming for an amber colour. You may cook the sugar for longer until it reaches the colour you like. Remove from the heat and pour over the nuts. Set aside to cool and set. Keep the brittle in a sealed container lined with wax paper, at room temperature.
This is a savoury dish that will get conversations (and your tastebuds) going….. Serves 6 people.
500ml bread flour 190ml cocoa powder 5 eggs 2,5ml salt
For the filling: 250ml ricotta cheese 80g dark/bitter chocolate, finely chopped a pinch of salt
100g butter 20 sage leaves
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre and put in the eggs. Mix the eggs with your fingers and gradually draw in the flour and cocoa mixture to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more flour or egg, if needed, to get the right consistency. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to chill for one hour.
Mix the ricotta, chopped chocolate and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon until smooth. Roll the pasta through a pasta machine. Lay one sheet of pasta flat and form walnut-sized balls with the ricotta mixture. Place the ricotta balls onto the sheet of pasta. Wet the area around the ricotta-balls with water and lay a second sheet of pasta on top. Press down and around the ricotta balls so that the top sheet of pasta sticks. Cut individual ravioli shapes with a round cutter and cook them for three minutes in simmering water. Keep warm while making the sage-butter.
Add the butter to a small saucepan and place it on a high heat. Allow the butter to melt and then to caramelise – regulate the heat: you want the butter to turn brown and become nutty without burning. Add the sage leaves once the butter has browned and immediately turn off the heat. Be careful the butter will spatter as you add the sage.
Arrange the cooked ravioli on plates and spoon the butter and sage over. Serve with a crusty bread.
This is an easy and quick cake loaf that is perfect for afternoon tea.
100g pistachio nuts, chopped 200g caster sugar 150g butter 125ml yoghurt 3 eggs 200g flour 5ml baking powder 5ml bicarbonate of soda 10ml vanilla 4 limes, zest and juice 200g icing sugar 30ml pistachio nuts, sliced
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a 20cm X 10cm X 7cm loaf tin with baking paper. Add the pistachios and caster sugar to the bowl of a food processor and whizz until fine. Add the butter, yoghurt, eggs, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla and lime zest and whizz again until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 55 minutes. Cool the loaf in the tin for 20 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add the lime juice. Spoon the glaze over the pistachio loaf and scatter with the sliced pistachios.