Toasted Almond and Pecan Frangipani

A Dainty Dessert without the fuss…..”Sounds like my type of recipe”

“Toasted Almond and Pecan Frangipani”

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Some of my best ever recipes might be considered fuss free but never lack all the delightful qualities of a great home bake.

With a crumb thats both moist and has a heavenly aromatic warmth that only roasted nuts can give. A crunchy crust which can only be described as….”Balance has been restored in the universe of baking”. If you are partial to pecans and almonds as I am, then Im thinking you will love this recipe.

Crunchy crust coating:

1 x 20cm round baking pan

10g room temperature unsalted butter                                                                                                                  40g flaked almonds                                                                                                                                                        2 Tablespoons caster sugar

Spread the butter all over the base and sides of the baking pan.

Spread the almonds and sugar around the edges and base and set aside.

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For the Frangipani:                                 

75 g whole Almonds toasted                                                                                                                                       75 g whole Pecans toasted
140 g Caster sugar (optional use French Caster Sugar – CSR Sugars of the World)
3 eggs
115 g butter at room temperature
50 g Plain/All purpose flour                                                                                                                                         1 pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:                                                                                                                                                                      40g Flaked Almonds

Preheat oven to 170 ° C (fan forced).

In the bowl of your food processor fitted with the cutting blade place the toasted almonds, pecans and sugar pulse till the nuts are and even crumble.

Add eggs and butter and the pinch of salt pulse the food processor for 30 seconds.

Finally add the flour mixed and baking powder, pulse again till everything is well combined.

Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the 40g of flaked almonds evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, till the cake is golden.

Let the cake cool completely before removing from the cake pan.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve. 🙂

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Greek – Zucchini and Fresh herb Feta Frittata

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Feta Frittata

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This is a dish that both my mother and grandmother both bake to perfection and even though for the sake of the recipe I have added measurements for the zucchini and the fresh herbs a little over or a little under will not alter it, it will alway taste as delicious as it should.

When zucchinis are in abundance and fresh herbs are plentiful then this bake may appear a few times as part of the dinner meal, for lunch or even breakfast.

Filling:

  • 4  Zucchini (medium sized) Grated
  • 1/4 cup Fresh chopped Mint
  • 1/4 cup Fresh chopped Dill
  • 1/4 cup Fresh chopped Parsley
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 250g feta cheese, crumbed
  • 3 egg whites (whipped to stiff peak)
  •  1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl mix together the grated zucchini and fresh herbs set aside.
  2. In a small fry pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and the grated onion, saute gently till the onions have softened and lightly caramelised. Add the onion to the zucchini and mix to combine.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and  olive oil together add the crumbled feta cheese, white pepper, mix into the zucchini mixture.
  5. Fold the whipped egg white into the zucchini mixture.
  6. Oil a large baking tin (approximately 20cm x 25cm) spread the mix evenly. Spread the grated cheese over the top.
  7. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes till the top of the bake is crisp and golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

 

French Sugar – Apple and Almond Loaf

 

French Sugar – Apple and Almond Loaf

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Ingredients:

190g soft butter

130 g French Caster sugar (White Beet Sugar – CSR Sugars of the World)
3 eggs
190 g Plain flour
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
60g ground almonds
30g Sour Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean Paste

1 Large Granny Smith apple pealed with core removed and cut into 8 wedges.

Method: 

Preheat oven to 190 ° C.

Firstly peal and core the apple, cut into wedges squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the apple pieces and sprinkle with a little sugar. Place the coated apple pieces in a bowl and set aside for the moment.

Using a standard mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar till fluffy and pale in colour then begin adding the eggs one by one. Be sure that they are well combined before adding the next egg.

Add the sour cream and vanilla bean paste.

Sift together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Add to the butter and egg batter. Mix till all ingredients are well combined.

Place cake batter in cake tin lined with baking paper, place apple slices along the top of the cake batter and sprinkle with French caster sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes then lower the thermostat to 170 ° C for 25-30 minutes. Or until a wooden skewer can pierce through the centre of the cake and is clear of any wet batter when removed.

Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Sprinkle the cake with icing sugar and serve.

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Sesame Seed Dinner Rolls

There is a true beauty to baking in general, yet nothing surpasses the aroma of freshly baked bread penetrating into every corner of your home. The aroma likened to a warm hug or a heartfelt smile from a loved one you have been longing to see. For myself its been the longing to walk past the village bakery in Greece to relive a moment that has lasted a life time.

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Now I know that you might be looking at these pictures thinking …..”she’s made rings, as well as rolls”, true I took the opportunity to make the Turkish “Simit” a bread ring that is heavily crusted with sesame seeds (which I was totally obsessed with eating at all hours of the day while in Turkey a few years ago).     I uses the same method of baking as the rolls. So be brave and try something different …ps they make the perfect edible napkin rings 🙂

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Sesame Seed Dinner Rolls

Ingredients:
1 Tbs milk powder
250ml water
40g Rice Bran Oil
40g Unsalted Butter melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
500g Bakers flour

Honey Wash:
2 teaspoon honey
2 Tablespoons water

Topping: Sesame seeds

Method:
Place in a bowl the flour, milk powder, dry yeast, sugar and salt mix well to combine all. Add the water, oil, melted butter, egg and mix. Using a standard mixer with a dough hook attachment knead till the dough looks smooth and elastic – on medium speed for approximately 6-8 minutes.

Cover the dough with cling film  to prevent forming a skin and leave to rest about 15 -20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 60g portion sized pieces. Shape each into a ball and allow to rest again for a further 10 minutes. Take each individual dough ball and press with your hand to open the dough to form a circle about the size of a teacup saucer. Then roll back again to the dinner roll shape.

Dissolve the honey and water. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a small baking tray or flat dish.

Brush the tops of each dinner roll with the honey wash then roll the wet side in the sesame seeds.

Place on baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.

Allow the dough rolls a further 30 – 35 minutes to rise.

Preheated oven at least 15 minutes prior to use at 200 degrees Celsius. 

Just before baking, use a water filled spray bottle to spray a fine mist of water over all the dough rolls. Reduce the oven temperature at 170 degrees and bake the bread rolls until golden brown approximate baking time 12 – 18minute. (All depends how big you make to rolls)

Once baked place the rolls on cooling racks.

The only thing let to do is head to the fridge reach out for the butter, rip one of those freshly backed beauties apart and lay on the butter.

Pure Joy!

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Milk Bread for the Home Baker

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Home made bread has to be one of the most satisfying foods. We eat bread morning noon and night as a snack or accompanying an elaborate dinner party or a simple Barbecue. Bread has always been the corner stone of a light or main meal. A staple that even when the pantry is bare bread was enough to sustain the hunger.

Some countries are ferociously possessive of the flour and the techniques they use to produce the perfect loaf. That distinctive aroma of a freshly baked Vienna or the sour rustic notes of a crusty heavy sour dough where the smell lingers long after the bread has been devoured by hungry workers or a famished family.

Bread is one thing everyone remembers from their childhood day. Growing up and purchasing a fresh bake from the local  bakery where the dough has been lovingly shaped and proved then baked to crispy perfection. As the baker hands you one of his prized possessions he instinctively taps the bottom of the loaf ensuring the distinctive hollow sound is heard, a mark that all is well or rather baked well just before the hand over is complete.

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Although my recipe has been adapted for the domestic oven, never the less does the technique of making bread change.

Bread Dough

Makes 1 large Vienna or 2 Cobs or 12 dinner rolls

500g Bakers Flour

2 tsp Dry Instant yeast

1 tsp Caster Sugar

1 tsp Bread improver

1 Tbs Milk Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 Tbs Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

1 Tbs Rice Bran Oil

335ml Water (approximately)

METHOD 

  1. Add all the dry ingredients and using a standard mixer with the paddle attachment on slow speed mix all.
  2. Remove the paddle and now attach a dough hook. On low – medium speed add the butter and begin pouring the water into the flour mix. Add the first 300ml then if required add the rest you really need to feel the dough if its too sticky then naturally do not add any more water or if the dough feels and looks dry then add a few extra tablespoons of water at a time to get the wright consistency.
  3. Once the dough has come together, looks smooth in appearance and you are able to do the “Window test” with a small piece of dough, then we are ready for the next stage.
  4. Stop the mixer, remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with some plastic, and leave it to rest for 15 – 30 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface and a little oil on your hands remove the dough from the bowl shape into the desired shapes making sure you flatten out any large air bubbles that may have formed, place the dough onto prepared pans or trays. If you are using loaf pans then fill the with dough to just over half full with dough.
  6. Allow the dough to rest for approximately  30 – 40 minutes in the baking trays or tins. I like to put them in the oven with a cup of boiling hot water in the oven just to create a little moisture in the air as it rests. Then when ready take the dough out put it aside while the oven is heating up.
  7. 15 – 20 minutes Before baking Pre- heat the oven up-to 230 Degrees Celsius if your oven permits.
  8. Place a deep dish grill tray on any other shelf where it will not interfere with the rising dough. Place the dough on a rack in the centre of the oven and add one cup of hot water from the tap to the grill tray then quickly close the oven door to trap in the steam.
  9. Bake the dough for approximately 30 – 35 minute to a dark golden brown colour.
  10. Remove the bread loaf from the pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.