To make the syrup, combine the water, honey, sugar, cocoa nibs, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Strain; (keep the cocoa nibs aside) you should have 2 1/2 cups of syrup. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the toasted almonds in a food processor and process until the texture of rough breadcrumbs. Set aside. Process the chocolate to the same size pieces and add to the nuts along with the reserved cocoa nibs, and spices.
Grease a 25 x 35cm baking tin with some of the ghee. Place one sheet of phyllo in the tin and brush with ghee. Repeat until you have 8 sheets of phyllo. Spread 2 cups of the filling over the phyllo then top with 4 sheets of phyllo brushed with ghee on each layer.
Spread another 2 cups of filling over and another 4 layers of ghee-brushed phyllo.
Spread the remaining filling on top and top with 10 sheets of phyllo for the final layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the ghee sets.
Use a ruler to cut the baklava into diamonds then bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and bake for another 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and spoon over the syrup. Allow to cool completely.
250ml whipped cream Extra pistachios, chopped, to decorate
Rose buds, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C, or 160°C if using a fan-forced oven. Grease a 33cm x 23cm x 5cm cake tin. Place the pistachios in the milk and set aside to soak (preferably overnight). To make the cake, place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk with an electric beater until they form stiff peaks, then slowly add half the caster sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar along with the vanilla extract until thick and light. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and then gently sift in the flour. Fold in with a metal spoon or spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely. Use a skewer or fork to poke holes in the cake. Place the pistachio milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk in a blender and blend until smooth. At this point you can strain it if you like. Pour ¾ of the mixture over the cake (reserve the rest for serving) and refrigerate. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form then spread over the cake. Decorate with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals. Serve the cake in squares and pour the remaining pistachio milk around the base to serve.
White Chocolate and Red Wine? Introducing the tart that breaks ALL the rules.
When La Motte sent me a bottle of their 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, dark chocolate was the obvious pairing. BUT the wine’s elegance, velvety smooth tannins, and notes of cherry, oak, and blackcurrant make white chocolate the perfect pairing!
The tart case is filled with a cabernet and cherry compote infused with cinnamon and orange zest then topped with a white chocolate mousse. It’s a pairing worthy of any special occasion.
For the cranberry compote, place the cherries, orange zest, La Motte 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, cinnamon and cornflour in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until thickened and glossy – about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
145 g salted butter, at room temperature
80 g icing sugar, sifted
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
225 g cake flour, sifted
For the pastry, place the butter and icing sugar, yolk and vanilla into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour and pulse until the pastry just starts coming together. Shape this into a disc,, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
3 tsp unflavoured gelatin powder, softened in 3 tbsp water
50g The Kate Tin White Baking Chocolate Drops, melted
250ml whipping cream
For the white chocolate mousse, place the white chocolate and butter into a large bowl, and place, fine mesh sieve over top, then set aside. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture gradually, whisking constantly. Return the liquid to the saucepan and continue to whisk over medium heat until a glossy and thickened custard is created, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin. Pour the custard mixture into the fine mesh sieve and strain over the white chocolate and butter. Whisk together until the chocolate and butter have melted completely into the custard. Cool to room temperature.
Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface, until 2-3mm thick. Grease a 30cm perforated tart ring with butter. Line the tart case with the pastry; start by pressing the ring into the rolled out pastry to make the base. Cut 2-3 long strips of pastry to wrap around the outside. Place the lined tart onto a perforated silicone mat and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius and bake the tart shell for about 15 minutes or until golden. Once baked, set aside to cool. Brush the tart case with the melted chocolate.
Whip the cream to stiff peak stage then gently fold into the cooled white chocolate mixture. Spoon the cooled cherry cabernet compote into the tart case then top with half of the mousse. Place the rest of the mousse into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe rosettes onto the top of the tart. Refrigerate to set. Decorate with white chocolate curls and gold leaf, if desired. Serve with 2018 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon.
Juicy baked peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries topped with a crunchy amaretti topping. A super easy and quick dessert that lets the seasonal fruit do all the work.
You could easily adapt this recipe to use apples, pears, mixed berries, pineapple or any other fruit. All that’s standing in the way of perfection, is topping it with homemade vanilla bean ice cream – get my recipe here.
Baked Stone Fruit with Amaretti Crumble
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1kg mixed seasonal stone fruit (peaches, plums and cherries)
Preheat the oven to 190°C or 170°C if your oven is fan-forced. Prepare two 23 x 33cm tin by greasing and lining with baking paper.
For the almond cake: place the room temperature egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer or in a bowl and using an electric whisk and whisk until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the whole eggs. Gently fold in the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour using a large metal spoon.
Finally, stir in the melted butter.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans and spread level with a spatula. Sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes or until springy to the touch and golden on top. Flip each slab of cake onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Peel the baking paper off the top and allow the cakes to cool. Clean and line the baking tin again with baking paper.
To prepare the filling; split the vanilla bean lengthwise using a small, sharp knife and scrape the seeds out into a large saucepan. Add the scraped bean and pour in the milk. Bring to the boil over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, cornflour together with a balloon whisk until smooth and creamy.
Pour the boiled milk into the mixing bowl containing the egg mixture and whisk together.
Whisk the mixture over low heat until it boils and thickens – about 5 minutes. Add the butter.
Transfer the creme patissiere to a bowl and immediately place a sheet of clingfilm/ plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely before using.
Place the single and double cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled custard.
For the filling; fold the raspberries into the custard.
To assemble, place one cooled cake slab in the bottom of the prepared baking tin. Spread the raspberry cream over the cake layer. Place the second cake slab on top and press down gently with your hand. Freeze overnight. Cut into 12 fingers using a hot, sharp knife. Allow to defrost before serving, then dust with icing sugar.