Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

 

A refreshing way to end a rich meal. Slices of juicy oranges, steeped in a caramel sauce, and given an extra kick with the addition of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

 

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 2–3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbsp)
  • 15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

  • You will also need a large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes


  1. Method
  2. Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small pan and cover with water. Cover the pan and gently cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remaining oranges. Remove as much pith from the oranges as possible. Then slice them into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange the slices in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  4. Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz (⅔ cup) of water in a small heavy based pan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Now bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat.

  6. Stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  7. Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges.

  8. Top with the julienne strips.

  9. Then chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.

Updated: January 11, 2020

Crossover Pancakes

Crossover Pancakes

 

Small English-sized pancakes that are made with a thicker North American-style batter. These are served one on top the other with sweetened butter and maple syrup poured generously over the top.

 

Crossover Pancakes
Prepares: 12 pancakes
 
  • Preparation time: about 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: about 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (9 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475ml (16 fl oz) milk (2 cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • pinch of salt

  • To serve
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, softened (³⁄₈ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

  • You will also need a 20cm (8 inch) nonstick frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. Melt 85g (3 oz) of the butter and set aside to cool.

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Then mix in the sugar.

  4. Next make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk, and melted butter, incorporating flour from around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, push down any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl and whisk again until there is a smooth, thick batter.

  5. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  7. Meanwhile prepare the sweetened butter In a small bowl beat the softened butter together with the icing/powdered sugar and set aside.

  8. Now to cook the pancakes. Melt the remaining 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) butter. in the frying pan /skillet and pour into a small bowl and set aside. Wipe clean the frying pan/skillet with kitchen paper. Get the frying pan/skillet really hot and then reduce the heat to medium. Before cooking each pancake, smear the pan with a little melted butter, using a wodge of kitchen paper, to keep it lightly greased.

  9. For each pancake you will need about ¼ cup of batter. A ladle makes it easy to scoop out the batter and pour into the pan. So for the first pancake, scoop ¼ cup of batter into the ladle and this will be a guide for the rest.

  10. Quickly ladle the batter into the centre of the frying pan/skillet, lifting from the heat, and tipping the pan/skillet from side to side to even out the batter. The batter won’t cover the surface of the pan/skillet but should make an even round pancake. Then return to the heat and cook the pancake for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is starting to turn golden in colour. Flip it over using a palette knife and cook the underside for another 1–2 minutes. Now slide onto one of the warmed plates and cover loosely with foil. Return to the oven to keep warm.

  11. Repeat using the remaining batter, overlapping the pancakes on the warmed plate.

  12. To serve, stack three pancakes on each of the other warmed plates and top each stack with a spoonful of the reserved sweetened butter.

  13. Serve with maple syrup.

Updated: January 6, 2020

Banana and Honey Brûlée

Banana and Honey Brûlée

 

A tasty twist on a classic crème brulée. Quick to prepare and just chill until needed.

 

Banana and Honey Brûlée
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 minute
  • Refrigeration time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 small bananas, well mashed
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 500g carton Greek yogurt

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 75g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • You will also need 4 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. Divide the mashed bananas amongst the four ramekins and smooth the top.

  3. Then drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.

  4. Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each ramekin and smooth the top.

  5. Now sprinkle over the nuts and gently press them down into the yogurt.

  6. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  7. Working on one ramekin at a time, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts and yogurt. (The sugar needs to cover the yogurt completely.)

  8. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  9. Now repeat with the other 3 ramekins.

  10. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  11. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  12. First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  13. Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  14. The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the yogurt is completely covered.

  15. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the heat source as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  16. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: January 4, 2020

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas

 

These mini ciabatta pizzas are made with ciabatta halves topped with tomatoes, cheese, bacon and onion, cooked in olive oil and garlic. Perfect for a light snack.

 

Mini Ciabatta Pizzas
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 bacon rashers, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 ciabattas, halved horizontally
  • 1 × 400g/½ × 28 fl oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 115g/4 oz cheese, grated (1 cup)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  3. Fry the bacon in 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes until crispy. Set aside.

  4. Lower the heat and fry the onion in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Set aside.

  5. Meanwhile, in a small pan, warm through the tomatoes. Then spoon equal amounts over the cut side of the ciabatta halves.

  6. Sprinkle over the cheese and then top with the bacon and onion mixture.

  7. Cook the ciabatta pizza in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Updated: January 4, 2020