11 Oct 2013

Mini pistachio and raspberry meringues

These are one of my favourite recent bakes. They are equally beautiful looking and tasting and they are from one of my favourite books - Jo Wheatley' A passion for baking. The meringues are slightly crisp on the outside when you bite, then you get a bit of chewyness and then they just melt in your mouth.  The recipe is below. I cannot wait to try a hazelnut and dark chocolate version of these... 


3 egg whites
1 tbsp lemon juice
30g Pistachios,shelled,unsalted and finely chopped(I did in my mini food processor/chopper thing)
100g white chocolate with freeze dried raspberry pieces(I couldn't find so used white choc and mixed in bought freeze dried raspberries from Sainsburys (in a small tube in baking section)but you can also buy online.
150ml double cream
30 fresh rasberries
30 fresh mint leaves

you will need:baking tray lined with baking parchment, a couple of piping bags -one fitted with a small plain round nozzle and with a star tip.

Preheat oven to 110 degrees celcius/225 Farenheight/gas mark 1/4

whisk egg white in clean bowl to soft peaks, add lemon juice. 
 Gradually fold in sugar,then add nuts by folding in using a large metal spoon.

spoon into piping bag, and pipe little nests on to the prepared baking tray, about 3 cm wide and 3 cm high.

Bake for about 1 hour until dry and crisp. Turn oven off and leave meringues to cool inside

Melt chocolate, add freeze dried raspberry pieces and brush/spoon onto meringues, the leave to set. whip cream into soft peaks and pipe swirls on to meringues. (I ran out of cream for the last few probably cos I piped too much on the first few so would use 200ml next time)

top each meringue with raspberry and mint leaf.       

7 Oct 2013

Churros with chocolate dipping sauce

These are simple Spanish doughnuts which are very popular in London at the moment. The recipe is from Nigellas Kitchen. I'm sure you an tell by now that it is one of my favourite books. They are great to make for tea when you have people over. You can't really go wrong with fried dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar and then dipped in a thick chocolate sauce. Recipe is here. I made an edit to the chocolate sauce I used 50g dark chocolate instead of 100g as I often find Nigellas recipes have too much dark chocolate for me.These are JUST enough for four people ie. you are unlikely to have any leftovers!  Note: the second time I made these the batter went very liquidy after I added the water as I added it all in one go - so I would add it gradually as you want a thick sticky dough that is pipeable. I just used two tablepoons instead of a piping bag as you can see in the pics to make fat little ones which take a little longer to fry than thin spindly ones. I don't do the cube of bread test to see f the oil is hot enough -just drop a bit of batter in to see if it sizzles up. I would lower the the temp as soon as you put the doughnuts in as you don't want them to brown on the outside and not cook through in the middle.  When frying I always test one before I take them all out to see if cooked through in the middle.