Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

 

These meringues are flavoured with coffee and, when cooked, a little melted chocolate is drizzled over. Serve on their own or with whipped cream or ice cream. Whatever you choose, they just melt in your mouth.

 

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate
Prepares: 8 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time: about 10 minutes
  • Chilling time: about 15 minutes


  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark chocolate

  • You will also need 2 medium baking sheets/trays lined with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. If using coffee granules, dissolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water and set aside to cool.

  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until just stiff. Now gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Then sprinkle over the coffee and whisk until it has thoroughly mixed in.

  5. Dab a little meringue on the corners of the baking sheets/trays which will prevent the parchment paper from slipping. Then line each sheet/tray, pressing the baking parchment down at the corners. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto each baking sheet/tray, spacing them well apart. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should feel hard to the touch and lift off the parchment paper easily. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

  6. Meanwhile break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and leave until it has become cold.

  7. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues and then refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

Updated: March 27, 2019

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

 

This vegetable soup is full of goodness, blending cauliflower, carrots, celery, and onions. Perfect for a cold winter’s day. Just serve with some crusty bread and a slice of your favourite cheese.

 

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 1.2 litres (40 fl oz) good chicken stock (5 cups)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) natural yogurt (½ cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Serve with some crusty bread and a slice of favourite cheese.


  1. Method
  2. Peel and finely chop the carrots and onions, chop the celery sticks and break the cauliflower into small florets.

  3. Now melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the vegetables and stir to coat with the butter. Cook the vegetables over a medium–low heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Strain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Then purée and return to a clean saucepan. Add the reserved cooking liquid and then stir in the yogurt. Reheat gently but do not let it boil.

Updated: March 26, 2019

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

 

A very light meringue dessert, with chocolate and cream, that tastes heavenly. This is really easy to make and looks impressive.

 

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls
Prepares: 12 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)

  • For the filling
  • 70g (2½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20g (¾ oz) butter (1½ tbsp)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/heavy cream (1 cup)

  • To serve
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to a cool setting, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)

  4. Toast the hazelnuts by heating in a pan over a medium–low heat until just turning colour and you can begin to smell the nuts. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly. Set aside to cool.

  5. Now whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Drizzle over the coffee extract and whisk again until mixed in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  6. Carefully fold in the nuts.

  7. Line two baking trays/sheets with baking paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the trays/sheets to hold the linings in place. Then swirl spoonfuls of meringue onto the paper. The mixture will make approximately 24 meringues (you want an even number). Do not try piping the meringue as the nuts will clog the tip! Now bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues are dry and lift freely from the paper. Turn off the oven and, if you have time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Otherwise transfer the trays/sheets onto a wire cooling rack and leave the meringues to cool. When they are cool, remove from the paper..

  8. For the filling
  9. Melt the butter slowly with half the chocolate. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the chocolate, stirring until it has melted. Beat with a wooden spoon and, when it is smooth, coat the flat surface of 12 meringues.

  10. Now whip the cream until stiff and spread it to sandwich together a chocolate-coated meringue and a plain meringue.

  11. To serve
  12. Cocoa powder can be sifted lightly over the top of each meringue to decorate.

Updated: March 18, 2019

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

 

Update  This recipe includes a mixture of spices that resembles the Mixed Spice that we used in the UK but don’t find here in Canada. An alternative is to use 3½ teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Tastier than store-bought, we enjoy these traditional hot cross buns at Easter and all year round! I have to thank Paul Hollywood of The Great British Bakeoff for the idea of adding an apple to the recipe. It adds to the flavour and gives them a softer, more moist, texture.

I use a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook but you can knead by hand if you prefer.

 

Hot Cross Buns
Prepares: 12 buns
 
  • Step 1
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Waiting time: About 2 hours
  • Step 2
  • Preparation time: 10–15 minutes
  • Waiting time: 1 hours
  • Step 3
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 500g (1 lb 2 oz) strong white/all purpose flour (3½ cups)
  • 10g (1 tbsp) instant yeast
  • 10g (1½ tsp) salt
  • 75g (2½ oz) caster sugar/fine white sugar (¼ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 150g (5 oz) sultanas (1 cup)
  • 80g (3 oz) chopped, mixed peel (½ cup)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 40g (1½ oz) unsalted butter, softened (room temperature) (3 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) whole/full fat milk (warm, about 40°C/100°F) (1¼ cups)
  • ¾ tsp all spice
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp mace
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • For the crosses
  • 75g (2½ oz) plain/cake & pastry flour (½ cup)
  • 75ml (2½ fl oz) water (¼ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • For the glaze
  • 3 tsp apricot jam
  • 1 tsp water


  1. Method


  2. Step 1
  3. If you store your yeast in the fridge, take it out first and allow it to warm to room temperature. Chop the mixed peel and the apple into small cubes, grate the zest of an orange into the mixture, and put to one side.

  4. Weigh out the salt, sugar, and yeast, and add to the flour in the mixer bowl, putting the yeast and the salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Then add the sultanas and the fruit that you chopped up, as well as the spices. Mix all these dry ingredients together. (This allows the flour to coat the fruit and prevent it sticking together.)

  5. Soften the butter, warm the milk to about 100°F (40°C), and then add the butter and a whisked egg to the milk, and stir. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix on speed 1 until it is all evenly mixed. This only takes about a minute. Then mix on speed 2 for another 8 minutes. While this is kneading, lightly oil a large bowl for the dough to rise in.

  6. The dough should now be smooth, the sides of the bowl should be clean, and the dough should come off the dough hook without sticking. Tip it out onto a lightly floured (or oiled) surface and shape it into a ball. Put it into the oiled bowl, make sure there's a coating of oil over the whole dough, and cover with a tea towel or cling film.

  7. Leave it to rise until it's at least doubled in size.* At room temperature, this should take a minimum of an hour but it's fine to leave it for 2–3 hours. The longer the better – it improves the flavour.

  8. While waiting, prepare a large baking tray – line with baking parchment.

  9. Step 2
  10. Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out by folding it in on itself a few times. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball. (To do this, flatten the dough with your hand flat, then moving your hand in a circular motion, gradually lift the palm while leaving the finger tips on the work surface, forming a cage around the dough. Do this quite quickly.)

  11. Place the dough balls on the baking tray, laid out four by three, about an inch apart. This will give them room to grow so that they’re almost touching after proving. (You want them to join up when baking so that you have to tear them apart when finished.) Cover with a tea towel, or place inside a clean plastic bag, and leave to prove for about an hour. You can tell when they're ready when they've doubled in size again and the dough springs back readily if you poke it gently with your finger.

  12. Before the end of the hour, preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5

  13. Step 3
  14. For the crosses
  15. Mix the flour and water into a paste and add to a piping bag with a fine nozzle. Make one half of the crosses by piping across each row of buns in one sweep, starting on the tray and finishing each sweep on the tray at the other side. When all the buns are piped in one direction, turn the tray and repeat, forming the crosses.

  16. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

  17. For the glaze
  18. Warm the apricot jam with a teaspoon of boiling water and brush over the tops of the buns while they’re still warm.

  19. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

  20. Unless you can't wait, freeze the buns and defrost when needed.



  21. Tip
  22. It's not easy to accurately divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I weigh the bowl with the risen dough in it, turn out the dough and then weigh the bowl again. The difference is the weight of the dough. Divide that by 12 and then weigh each portion as you cut it, adding or subtracting bits of dough until they're approximately right. With this recipe they worked out to be about 103g (3⅔ oz) each

  23. * Doubled in size means doubled in volume. This means that if the dough is in the shape of a ball, the diameter increases by about 25%.

Updated: March 3, 2019

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple CrumbleCrunchy Apple Crumble

 

Apples are cooked with raisins and a hint of cinnamon while walnuts added to the crumble mixture to make this a real crunchy apple crumble. One of those comforting desserts, perfect for a winter’s day, and served with lots of cream.

 

Crunchy Apple Crumble
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit
  • 1kg (2 lb 4 oz) Bramley apples (or any variety suitable for cooking) (about 6)
  • 70g (2½ oz) light muscovado sugar/soft light brown sugar (¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g (3 oz) raisins (⅓ cup)
  • a little softened butter for greasing

  • For the crumble
  • 55g (2 oz) walnut pieces (½ cup)
  • 125g (4½ oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 100g (3½ oz) chilled butter, cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick less 1 tbsp)
  • 55g (2 oz) demerara sugar (¼ cup)

  • To serve
  • Double cream/heavy cream

  • You will also need a 23cm(9 inch) shallow ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  3. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Then place them in a large bowl.

  4. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, add to the apples and toss to coat.

  5. Now add the raisins, separating those that may have stuck together, and toss to evenly distribute.

  6. Grease the ovenproof dish and then tip in the apples. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of water, cover the dish with foil, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn over the apple slices halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven, turn the slices over again, and set aside for about 1 hour to cool.

  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), (gas 6).

  8. To prepare the crumble, finely chop the walnut pieces and then set to one side.

  9. Rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the walnuts. The mixture should look like large breadcrumbs.

  10. Mix in the sugar and then spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the apples.

  11. Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is browning and the juices are starting to bubble through.

  12. Serve with a jug of cream.

Updated: March 3, 2019