Apple Pie recipe

Leave a comment
Uncategorized
pie 2

 

 

True to form the inspiration behind this post is attributable to none other than Julia Child. After taking a few days off (from Cape Town and life at large), I returned motivated to make Julia’s renowned Pâte feuilletée recipe with my own connoisseur caramelised apple filling (when Julia met Zorah – if you will).

pie 1


Whipping up your own pastry from scratch can be a somewhat tedious and drawn out task – i mean it’s no easy feat having to “fold”, “layer” and let it “rest” after the tourage (you know, the A4 sized butter that makes the pastry puff) has been added to the dough. Although, with that being said, the end result is not only worthwhile but garners a sense of pride and achievement (to the tastebuds, tummy and perhaps even the heart).

Your first few bites of this pie, fresh out the oven, warm and crispy will no doubt make you wonder why you havent chosen to make this sooner. Without further delay here’s the recipe… give it your best shot, as I’m sure it’ll be nothing short of wonderful! Bon appetit!

Recipe:

Apple filling:

  • Peel and chop 4 apples into cubes
  • 60g white sugar
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3  tablespoons of flour

Method:

  • Once the apples are chopped and ready to go, add all the ingredients and the apples to a medium sized pan.
  • Allow the sugar to caramelise and poke the apples to make sure they are fairly soft.
  • Once you see a golden colour forming, remove the apples from the stove and let cool.

Puff Pastry á la Julia Child Michel Richard

  • 500g flour
  • 75g butter (melted)
  • 250ml water
  • 10g salt

Tourage (butter)

  • 300g dry butter

Method:

  • Sieve the flour and salt together
  • Make a well in the middle and add the butter (melted) and the water. Put into a mixer and let it mix until the dough pulls away from the sides.
  • Bring the dough together to a square, cover with cling film and let it rest for about 15 minutes int he fridge.
  • Roll out the 300g butter in between baking sheets designed to look like an A4 page, use a rolling pin to even it out. Then place the butter in the middle of the pastry once rolled out to look like a long rectangle (this is called inclusion).

    Add the butter, with a quarter space above of pastry only and then do one single turn i.e. fold the either side of the pastry midway and fold the other half over that. Then let the pastry sit once again.

    After the pastry has rested, roll out, keeping the closed side on your left, and do a double turn. I.e. both ends of the rolled out rectangular pastry to meet in the middle and then fold either side over that.

  • Continue in this way until you have done four single turns and two double turns. Lamination is very important for making puff pastry.
  • After each fold, let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes in the oven.

pie 5

 

 

 

 

Sweetness Overload!

Leave a comment
Pastry
pots 3

 

Having spent a cold and rainy winters’ Sunday night curled up with “Julie and Julia” last night… It’s no surprise that I awoke this morning with a zest to whip up something sweet. I’m pretty sure that you’ve had a similar experience.. Perhaps not with baking per se… But probably from the other Julia (Roberts, that is) in “Eat, Pray, Love” – and I’m not one to judge. 

To be quite honest, Julia Child is my inspiration for having done what I have and currently doing what I do. Julia had a perpetual appetite for being in the kitchen, to the point that her social life and priorities came second to her happiness- cooking. As cliche as it may be… That’s pretty much me when I’m in the kitchen whipping something outta nothing and creating something that I love (and I hope that you do too!)

pots 2

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be experimenting with a few of Julia Child’s and it’ll probably be out of kilter from what you’ve become accustomed to expect from inthemidnightkitchen … But I have no doubt it will be as good (if not better).

 May you be as inspired as I am! 

Bon appetit!

pots 6pots 5

 

Deconstructed “Bee sting”

comments 2
Pastry
bsting 3

Despite having waltzed through Germany on many an occasion, my introduction to the Bienenstich (for ease of reference also called a “Bee Sting“) happened to occur beyond the realms of the Bradenburg Gate.  Given its German heritage, I had no doubt that the Bee Sting would be an interesting pastry – if only based on the goodwill of all things efficiently and classically German (I admire the way the Germans operate – from trains, cars, technology and now to pastry). Having sparked an interest, I decided to deconstruct this very rich and tasty dessert – a hopeful plot twist.

Simply put, the Bee Sting comprises of a normal cake/sponge base, filled with a creamy custard and topped with a divine glazed almond crust. The crust is made by heating butter, sugar and almonds together until the sugar is completely dissolved. First appearances may be deceiving when you layer the almond crust on top of the cake batter… But give it about 45 minutes in the oven and voila – a golden, glazed and crunchy almond crust which easily draws the attention of any eye. Beneath this divine almond crust, is your usual crème patissiere  (i.e. custard made from scratch  – obviously), based on a lovely sponge base.

Opting to plate a deconstructed Bienenstich it seemed fitting to add some flare (as well as a tad of colour) with a dash of cherry compote – contributing a tangy touch to an otherwise sweet pastry.

bsting 4bsting 2

Dark-chocolate-mixed berry-nicecream

comments 2
Recipe
strawbs 1

Hey guys! I made this mixed berry, chocolate swirl nicecream bowl yesterday. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you. I hope you like it, it’s the perfect summer dessert! I will post the chocolate pudding recipe on a later blog post (you will definitely want to try it).

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 bananas (cut up and frozen)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut water

Method:

  • Put everything into a blender 
  • Serve chilled and enjoy!

strawbs 4strawbs 2strawbs 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all in the plating

Leave a comment
Pastry
plated 1

Fellow chefs-in-training, with this post I thought I’d give you a taste of what I do professionally… a slightly derailment on what I tend to blog about (a sort of exception to the rule, if you will).  The upshot of being a chef is that there are no limits (at least insofar as the kitchen is concerned) – you’re given the latitude to master the most intricate pastries today, and not be judged for whipping up something quick and easy tomorrow.

plated 3

This particular plated dessert is a little taste of heaven shared with me by my Head chef the Marriott. The key to a plated dessert lies in the multitude of components used to create an edible and deluctable piece of art. The benefit of having a multitude of components to a plated dessert culminates in a flavour burst, that is nothing short of complimentary to the palette. Simply put, it has less to do with eating your fill and more to do with appreciating and enjoying the flavour burst on your palette.

This little piece of art comprises of a chocolate pudding/mousse base, contrasted with a beautiful cherry compote and topped of with a dollop of raspberry/choc chip ice cream and decorated with sesame tuile… and voila!

Bon appetit!

plated 6plated 2plated 4

Easy like a Sunday Morning

comments 2
Recipe
french toast 4

 

Sunday mornings are, by default, easy and relaxed… Waking up without having set an alarm, strolling to your coffee machine for that perfect morning (or afternoon) cuppa and prancing around contemplating your next activity. This, was pretty much my Sunday morning… with my ‘next activity’ culminating in this delicious French Toast (which of course necessitated a second cuppa!)

french toast 3

I’ve been wanting to make this french toast for ages now, but regrettably always put it on the back burner… until now. It’s quite easy to make (so don’t shy away just yet), with a dash more effort than your everyday “eggs and milk” french toast combination. This dash of effort involves an interesting twist of flavour, in my case citrus and cinnammon (which as you’ll be sure to find out) compliment each other beautifully! Add a dollop of crème fraîche to top it off… and bon appetit!

Recipe: French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bread (brioche is perfect for this)
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (if you needed)
  • 1 banana sliced
  • A few strawberries
  • 1 dollop of crème fraîche

Method:

  • Whisk the milk, eggs and crème fraîche until well combined.
  • Add the cinnamon, orange zest and sugar if you want more of a sweet flavour (I left it out)
  • Dip the slices of bread into the mixture so it becomes heavy and then let it simmer on a low heat in a pan.
  • Once the toast is done (brown on both sides), fry the bananas off to caramelise them (you can use some sugar if you want it to be more crispy and sweet)
  • Finally serve with bananas, strawberries and some crème and a sprinkle of honey!

french toast 2french toast 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon and Ginger shortbread Recipe

Leave a comment
Recipe
shortbread 5

I was overwhelmed with how many of you requested this recipe so here it is!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter (softened)
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 2 lemon zests
  • About 10 pieces of crystallised ginger (chopped finely)
  • 170g plain flour

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 150C/fan
  • Grease a loose-bottomed fluted tart tin
  • Beat the butter in a mixer-use the paddle not the whisk attachment
  • Add the sugar until it becomes light and creamy
  • Add the lemon and ginger
  • Stir in the flour slowly to create a soft dough
  • Put the dough into the tin, and pat it down until the whole base is covered and even.
  • Prick the dough a few times with the toothpick and bake for about 40 minutes or until a pale brown/golden colour
  • Remove from the tin, put it back into the oven for about 5 minutes to dry the sides.
  • Dust with some castor and serve!

shortbread

Strawberry cream cups

comments 3
Pastry
cups 2

 

The hype around “Reeses peanut buttercups” speaks for itself… Let’s be honest… we all love a little (a lot of) chocolate AND peanut butter – which is all the better when mixed together! Not too long ago (as I hope you remember) I succumbed to the peanut butter cup hype with a post detailing a perfect mix of dark chocolate (a personal all time favourite) and peanut butter (pretty much everyone’s favourite). Well with the classic peanut butter cups proverbially in the bag, I took a shot at changing it up with a slight variation (sans peanut butter)…

Using Lindt white chocolate as a base and a strawberries and cream center, this concoction could feature at next years Wimbledon (ambitious, perhaps, although not too far-fetched) or at your next afternoon tea (probably more realistic). As a disclaimer, allow me to warn you that copious amounts of white chocolate is much too sweet for any tooth, so regardless of whether you love white chocolate or not please go easy on the amount used to base this concoction.

An important sidebar before I bid you au voir, here’s to wishing you a belated Women’s day (celebrated in South Africa on 9 August each year), whether you’re in South Africa or not!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g Lindt white chocolate
  • 150ml cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 punnet of strawberries

Method:

  • Refer to “peanut butter cup” recipe on the method
  • Whip the cream and icing sugar until the cream had stiff peaks
  • Chop the strawberries into fine cubes 
  • Continue with the usual way of making the peanut butter cups, and don’t forget to freeze the chocolate in stages (and now the strawberries and cream) for at least 15-20mins at a time).

cups 1cups 4cups 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon and Ginger shortbread

comment 1
Pastry
shortbread 1

Right upfront, I’ve gotta be forthright and admit that a classic shortbread is somewhat of an acquired taste for me. However, with that being said, I’ve found a lovely shortbread recipe, with a taste-twist, to make this seemingly Scottish confectionary more appealing.

Scottish in origin, and popularly consumed in the United Kingdom, it was only apt for me to perfect the classic shortbread recipe during my stint in London. Having laid the groundwork for the infamous classic shortbread, I must admit that my first few attempts to add a taste-twist to this Scottish confectionary proved to be no easy feat (perhaps, if only due to the fact that I garnered no inspiration from Youtube clips of the best Scottish bagpipes, playing in the background – eventually resiling myself to the fact that inspiration would best be found in contemplation – #FoodForThought).

shortbread 7

During a recent trip to Paris, I became accustomed to enjoying a delightful shortbread pettit four which was served avec mon cafe au lait). This past weekend, reminiscing about Paris, got me in the kitchen to whip up a novel batch of lemon and ginger shortbread to enjoy with my morning cup of coffee. If my word is anything to go by, a piece of lemon & ginger shortbread is all that one would require to accompany that quick cuppa (coffee or tea, subject to your preference, of course.)

shortbread 5shortbread 4shortbread

Strawberry bakewell

Leave a comment
Pastry / Recipe
bakewell 3

Happy Thursday everyone! The weather is unusually lovely in Cape Town, it makes me wonder if or when winter is going to make an appearance.

I’ve noticed recently that, raspberry or strawberry bakewell’s are a staple at most cafés or coffee shops, not just because of how light and sweet they are, but also because it is an easy dessert to make. I must admit that I have never ventured into the “bakewell” territory up until now (which is odd because I love almonds), but this really is a lovely afternoon tea dessert. I decided to bake mine in a round cake mould, just to make it easy to cut but cutting them into squares or using a square tin is just as effective.

I prefer strawberries to raspberries any day, but the sour tang that a raspberry brings is a useful ingredient when baking. There aren’t any raspberries available on this side of the world, but no need to fret because a dash of lemon juice will do the trick.

bakewell 2

Recipe: Strawberry bakewell

Ingredients: 

  • 130g ground almonds
  • 130 softened butter
  • 130 castor sugar
  • 130g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g strawberries
  • 1 cup of flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 170C/fan
  • Add the almonds, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and flour to a blender and blend till the ingredients are well combined.
  • Put into a round baking tin, about 15-20cm deep-grease the bottom before adding the mixture.
  • Sprinkle the almond flakes on top and then let bake for exactly 50min or until the top is a nice golden brown
  • Let the bakewell cool for about 20minutes and then enjoy!

bakewell 4

bakewell 4