Monthly Archives: August 2012

Cherry strudel

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This is an adaption of a traditional Hungarian dessert……..and just quietly it’s delicious.

Folding the pastry + mixture can be a bit tricky so a spare pair of hands might be useful. Otherwise it really is an easy recipe, filo pastry is so great to work with. The syrup is optional, but really adds some zing!

Ingredients

125 g ricotta cheese

375 g cream cheese

3 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

5 sheets filo pastry

80 g unsalted butter melted

2 tbs dry breadcrumbs

680 g jar morello cherries – strained & juice reserved

2 tbs flaked almonds

icing sugar to dust

Syrup

strained juice from cherries

2 tbs cherry brandy

2 tbs sugar

1tsp cornflour mixed with enough water to form thin paste

Method

Strain ricotta in fine sieve for 1-2 hours before cooking.

Heat oven to 200ºC.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth, add the egg and beat well.

Lay 1 sheet of filo pastry on clean surface, brush evenly with melted butter.  Lay another sheet on top and brush with butter  – continue this process until there are 5 sheets of filo.  Spread the top sheet of filo with butter then sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs.  Spread the cream cheese mixture along one side of the filo leaving a small gap around edges.  Place cherries on top of cheese mixture, then top with almonds.

Fold the side edges of the pastry in – brush exposed edges with butter.  Very carefully fold filo with mixture over, once again brushing exposed underneath with butter. Fold again until you have a nicely rolled package.  Spread butter over top of strudel.

Place onto prepared tray and bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven heat to 180ºC and bake for a further 5 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Strudel is ideally best left for about 30 minutes before serving.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with syrup and cream.

To make syrup.  Heat syrup, liqueur and sugar in a pan and boil until 1/3 reduced in  size.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Gradually add cornflour mixture and return to heat stirring all the time until slightly thickened.

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Chocolate cream puffs

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Chocolate cream puffs….why you might rightly ask 🙂 Some more procrastination and also a little trip back into time. Made these almost 25 years ago, been reminded of them again lately watching people making cream puffs for  a croquembouche. Old recipe or not, they are still pretty yummy! ( adapted from an old WW recipe book)

 

Ingredients

Cream Puff paste

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 125 grams butter
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa

 

Pastry Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspooon vanilla
  • 300 ml carton cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flour

 

Chocolate Butter Cream

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 60 g dark chocolate

 

Topping

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar

 

Method

Place water and butter in saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Quickly add the sifted flour all at once. Stir the mixture until it leaves the sides of the saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool slightly. Place mixture into small bowl of electric mixer, add eggs one at a time. Beat well between each addition. Beat in sifted cocoa.

 

Put teaspoons full of mixture onto lined tray. Allow room for spreading. Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to moderate and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until puffs are crisp. When cooked remove from the oven, make small slits in the side to let steam escape. Return to the oven for a few minutes to allow to dry out further. Allow puffs to become cold. Remove any soft filling from inside with a soft spoon.

 

Pastry Cream

Combine in a small bowl of electric mixer egg yolks and sugar. Beat on medium speed until mixture is pale. Reduce speed to low, add sifted flour, cream and vanilla. Place mixture in plan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil. Boil 30 seconds. Remove from heat, beat until mixture is smooth. Let cool. Push mixture through sieve to remove any small lumps.

 

Butter Cream

Have butter at room temp. Place butter in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar while butter is creaming. Beat in 8 tablespoons of the Pastry Cream, beat until mixture is smooth and almost doubled in bulk. Finally beat in the melted chocolate. Using a sharp knife,  make a small hole in the bottom of each puff. Put prepared Butter cream into piping bag fitted with a small, plain nozzle. Fill each puff with the cream.

Combine sifted cocoa and sugar, roll the puffs in the mixture to coat all over. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Makes about 20

 

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