Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

I’ve always loved Terry’s Chocolate Orange ever since I was a kid. My grandad’s name was Terry and I used to think that he had some sort of involvement in the creation of this delicious treat! One of the first things I made when I started getting into baking were Terry’ Chocolate Orange cupcakes. Since moving my blog over from Blogger to WordPress I’ve been working on improving my content and recipes. So many of my old recipes no longer reflect my current style, skills and tastes. I made a baked Chocolate Orange Cheesecake a few years ago, which was good, but this no-bake version is much much better!! And so easy to make too!

To make the biscuit base I whizzed up 250g digestive biscuits in my food processor.

I added 80g melted butter and pressed it into the bottom of a 23″ springform tin, I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling I used my electric hand mixer to mix together 750g full fat cream cheese, 200g icing sugar, 30g cocoa powder and 2 tsp orange extract. Once it was mixed I added 300ml double cream and whisked again until the mixture thickened. Then I folded in 8 chopped up segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

I put the filling on top of the biscuit base and smoothed it over. I left it in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day I melted 6 segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, put it in a piping bag and piped it all over the top of the cheesecake.

For the rest of the decoration, I whipped up 300ml double cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar and piped it all around the edge of the cheesecake. I added 6 chopped up segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the middle, and Mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the cream. Then I added some bronze sprinkles which I got from Waitrose all over.

The cheesecake was so delicious! Buttery biscuit base, creamy chocolate orange filling filled with chocolate bits, fresh cream and more Terry’s Chocolate Orange tastyness on top. It got top votes from my friends and family, even my friend’s adorable 1 year old was a big fan! Surely the most honest review! It was so easy and quick to make, and no oven involved, which is just what I needed during the hot weather on the weekend I made this.

             

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy and Brilliant Blog Posts by Honest Mum.

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5 from 1 vote
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Terry's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base

  • 250 g Digestive biscuits
  • 80 g Butter melted

Filling

  • 750 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 30 g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 300 ml Double cream

Decoration

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 pack of Terry's Mini Chocolate Orange
  • Sprinkles
  • 1 Terry's Chocolate Orange

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs. Or put them in a food bag and smash with a rolling pin. Then put into a mixing bowl

  2. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mix together, then press them into the bottom of a 23" springform tin until compact and an even layer. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes

  3. To make the filling use an electric hand mixer or a food mixer with a whisk attachment to mix together the full fat cream cheese, icing sugar, cocoa powder and orange extract until smooth

  4. Add the double cream and whisk again until the mixture thickens. Fold in 8 chopped up segments of the Terry's Chocolate Orange with a spoon or spatula

  5. Put the filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth it over. Put it in the fridge overnight or for 5-6 hours to set

  6. Melt 6 segments of the Terry's Chocolate Orange in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with a 30 second blast, stir the mixture, then do 10 second blasts stirring in between until it's melted. Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag, snip off a small bit at the end and piped it all over the top of the cheesecake

  7. Whip up the double cream with the icing sugar using an electric hand mixer or by hand and piped it all around the edge of the cheesecake using a closed star nozzle (mine is Jem 1E). Sprinkle 6 chopped up segments of a Terry's Chocolate Orange in the middle, and place Mini Terry's Chocolate Orange segments in the cream. Then I added some sprinkles of your choice all over

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Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Well The Great British Drama of the past couple of weeks seems to be settling down for now, and it’s all been outside of the tent so far! This week’s theme was a new one – Botanicals Week. It based all around things that grow, so fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables. I really liked this theme and the challenges that were themed around it. I also loved how Selasi, Jane, Mel and Mary all got into the spirit of it by wearing floral clothes!

The signature challenge was to make a citrus meringue pie. Mary was very excited and she wanted crisp meringue that was baked in the oven. Paul wanted balance between the sharp citrus and sweet meringue. Rav made a mandarin tart served with tequila. Both Jane and Candice used lime and coconut, Andrew also went for lime but added ginger to it, and both Benjamina and Selasi chose grapefruit to flavour their tarts. Benjamina added ginger to hers, while Selasi chose mint. Tom of course, went for something different and made a pumpkin, blood orange and pecan tart.

Everytime a baker mentioned using a blowtorch on their meringue the look on Mary’s face was very disapproving! Personally I prefer blowtorched meringue, it’s lovely and marshmallowy. A few of the bakers had problems with their meringue being too ‘wet’. Benjamina got a glowing result, as did Jane. Selasi’s curd was his only let down. Rav’s meringue was not stable enough, but they enjoyed his flavours. Andrew’s pie also lacked volume from his meringue, but his curd was ‘beautiful’ according to Paul. Tom’s pastry was not baked through and the judges couldn’t taste any citrus. Candice failed to impress with the apperance of her tart.

This week’s technical challenge was to make two herb fougasse. A leaf shaped bread flavoured with three different herbs – thyme, sage and rosemary. The main part of the instructions the bakers struggled with was how to cut the bread. Some made the middle cuts on top of one another, and some made them next to each other. There was also variety in the choice of proving time chosen.

Tom was relieved to be doing bread as this is his comfort zone, also he got quite stressed towards the end of the challenge. Selasi was his usual over relaxed self, and he didn’t get his bread in the oven quickly enough so it wasn’t baked through. A few of the bakers added water to the bottom of the oven to create steam as the bread baked. Selasi came last, Andrew 6th, Candice 5th and Jane 4th. Leading up the top three were Rav in 3rd, Benjamina 2nd and the winner was Tom.

This week’s showstopper was to make a spectacular three tiered floral cake. The floral element could be the decoration or flavours. Mary warned against over powering them with floral flavours, and Paul wanted exceptional decoration. Andrew’s three cakes were cherry & almond, strawberry & vanilla and lemon & elderflower. He decorated them simply with buttercream and fresh flowers, the judges thought it was too simple and his cake was dry. Rav spent the whole challenge in quite a nervous state as he doesn’t do “pretty” when it comes to baking. His cakes were all only one flavour, which was orange blossom & almond. The judges found it uncreative.

Tom used floral teas as her flavour inspiration and his three cakes were flavoured with camomile, jasmine, green and elderflower teas. He also made genoise sponges and decorated with a pretty floral effect, Mary called it simple but it clearly took a long time to do. She said his cakes were brilliant. Candice made a four tier changing of the seasons cake which looked really impressive and the judges agreed. Her flavours were chocoalte & orange, lemon & raspberry, spiced carrot and her Nan’s boiled fruit cake. I love how she uses inspiration from her her family for her bakes and it is always a success when she does this, like with her gingerbread pub.

Jane didn’t use any flower flavours in her cake and went for all orange sponges. She suffered from lack of timing throughout the whole challenge and even had to throw one cake away. She made floral chocolate collars and buttercream flowers but due to her timing problems they were very messy. Selasi made a stunning cake that really showcased his piping skills, it was flavoured with carrot, strawberry & vanilla, and lemon & poppyseed. The judges loved all of his cakes too! Benjamina produced a gorgeous naked cake which Paul said looked ‘unfinished’ – has he never seen a naked cake before?! They are everywhere! Get yourself on Pinterest Paul. Her spongers were camomile, honey & poppyseed, and orange blossom & almond. Unfortunately they were slightly underbaked.

Rav left us this week and Tom won star baker. It was a tricky one as Andrew and Jane equally could have left, and Selasi and Candice equally could have won star baker. If any of those three names for either decision had been announced I would not have been surprised. Next week is desserts week.

I wanted to go all out this week and make the showstopper. I couldn’t do three tiers as I don’t have the right size pans and I didn’t have time to buy any. I did however realise that this is the first time I’ve ever made a tiered cake! So I’m starting small, but who knows how many tiers I’ll make next time round!

I started with the lemon and elderflower sponge. I creamed together 350g butter and 350g sugar, then added the zest of 3 lemons.

I added 6 eggs, 2 at a time, and mixed between each one. And 3 tsp elderflower cordial. Then I added 350g self raising flour.

I divided the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. I always make a hole in the middle to avoid the cake from doming on the top too much.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they were golden brown and a skewer came out clean.

While the cakes were baking I made a syrup from 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml elderflower cordial and the juice of 3 lemons.

I used my  Joseph Joseph Glaze Refillable Silicone Pastry Brush to brush the syrup all over the hot cakes, then I left them to cool. It was sent to me recently as part of their new baking range and it made this task so much easier!

Then I moved onto the orange and honey sponge. I creamed together 180g butter and 180g caster sugar. I added the zest of 1 orange, then 3 eggs, 1 tbsp honey and finally 180g self raising flour.

 

I divided the mixture into two 6 inch lined and greased tins.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes. They took a lot longer to bake through so they were a bit darker than I wanted. I brushed a syrup made from the zest of 1 orange and 85g honey all over the cakes and left them to cool.

After trimming the cakes around the side and top to make sure they were neat and level, I started stacking them. I used apricot jam between each layer as I had some to use up in the fridge and I wanted something fairly neutral so the flavour of the cake would come across. Lemon curd would work really well too though.

I used four wooden skewers as dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing.

Then I stacked up the two smaller cakes.

I had to make a lot of buttercream to cover and decorate this cake. I total I used 750g butter and 1.5kg icing sugar. I made the icing in two batches, and I also added 1 1/2 tsp orange extract and 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract to each batch.

I covered the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then I put it in the fridge for an hour to set.

I turned my piping bag inside out and painted stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. I turned it back the right way, then filled it with buttercream.

I covered the whole cake in buttercream rosettes.

I made a last minute decision to make some flowers, and I rolled out some baby pink renshaw fondant. I used a fab flower tool to make the flowers, for full details on the tool and how to use it have a read of my Elderflower Cupcakes post.

I used a madeline tin to put the flowers in while they dried.

I used a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the middle. Then I stuck them all over the cake.

I was really pleased with the appearance of the cake. I’m not a very girly person, so I don’t often make things that are this pink and flowery! But I did think it looked lovely and the rosettes are simple but very effective.

I was most pleased by how neat the slices looked when the cake was cut! The lemon and elderflower cake was stunning, I adored the strong citrus flavour. The orange and honey was more delicate in flavour, but certainly no less delicious.

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.

And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

And with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, for National Cake Week.

NB. I was sent the Joseph Joseph products for free, all opinions are my own.

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Citrus Floral Cake

Ingredients

  • 1.28 kg Butter
  • 530 g + 10 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 530 g Self raising flour
  • 3 Lemons
  • 50 ml + 3 tsp Elderflower cordial
  • 9 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 85 g + 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1.5 kg Icing sugar
  • 8 tbsp Apricot Jam
  • Baby pink ready to roll fondant
  • Pink sugar pearls
  • 3 tsp Orange extract
  • 3 tsp Lemon extract
  • Pink food colouring

Instructions

  1. To make the lemon and elderflower sponge cream together 350g of the butter and 350g of the caster sugar, then add the zest of the lemons
  2. Add 6 of the eggs, two at a time, and mix between each addition. Then add the 3 tsp of elderflower cordial, followed by 350g of the self raising flour, and mix in
  3. Divide the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  4. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml of the elderflower cordial and the juice of the lemons. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  5. For the orange and honey sponge cream together 180g of the butter and 180g of the caster sugar. Add the zest of the orange and mix in
  6. Add 3 of the eggs mixing between each addition, then mix in the 1 tbsp of honey and finally fold in 180g of the self raising flour
  7. Divide the mixture between two 6 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  8. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the zest of the orange and 85g of the honey. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  9. If required, trim the cakes around the side and top to make sure they are neat and level, then start stacking them using apricot jam between each layer
  10. Use four wooden skewers or dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing
  11. Make a large batch of buttercream by mixing together 750g of the butter and the icing sugar. When it's mixed add the orange and lemon extracts
  12. Cover the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then put it in the fridge for an hour to set
  13. Turn the piping bag inside out and paint stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. Turn it back the right way, then fill it with buttercream. Cover the whole cake in buttercream rosettes
  14. Roll out the fondant and make flowers with a cutter and pressing tool. Allow to dry, then use a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the centre of each flower. Stick them all over the cake as desired

 

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Homemade Jaffa Cakes: GBBO Season Seven Begins!

Homemade Jaffa Cakes: GBBO Season Seven Begins!
The Great British Bake Off is back for it’s seventh year on our TV screens and this means that my yearly ‘bake along’ commences too. If you’re new to my blog – hello! And also, you won’t know that I’ve been baking along to The Great British Bake Off for 4 years now, with this year being my fifth year! I started doing this in order to increase my skills and expand my baking repertoire. I’ve learnt so much and baked such a wide variety of things that I may never have tried otherwise. I’m excited to get started on another year of baking adventures. If you’d like to check out all of my past GBBO bakes click here.

As usual the bakers this year are a mix of ages, professions and ethnic backgrounds. There’s Val who’s 66 and loves exercise, Ed Sheeran and “listens” to her bakes. Andrew who’s 25 and designs jet engines for a living. Candice who’s 31 and a PE teacher. And Rav who’s 28 and is into vegan baking and far eastern cuisine. It’s so hard to tell at the start who will go the distance!

The first challenge for the bakers was to make a drizzle cake, and it must be moist. Paul said they are taking the challenges back to basics, so making it easier, but the judging would only get harder! Mary wanted the twelve new bakers to be inventive.

Any bakers doing a two layer cake were asked by Paul and Mary if they were putting the drizzle on both layers – which is a massive flashing warning light to the bakers that this is what they should be doing! First week nerves hit everyone, Lee immediately hit issues as his mixture kept separating. Selasi was the most laidback baker in the tent, when he forgot to put cinnamon in his cake batter he just put in the drizzle instead. Jane forgot to add ground almonds so had to make her cake again.

Benjamina got great comments from the judges, as did Candice, Jane and Selasi. The others bakers had problems with texture, lack of drizzle and missing flavours.

This week’s technical challenge was jaffa cakes. This entailed making a fatless genoise sponge, and orange jelly, and neatly covering them in chocolate. Mary said they are a great British classic and she wanted them to be absolutely perfect. No pressure bakers!

Some of the bakers made the sponge by whisking the eggs and sugar over simmering water, none of them knew how long to bake the sponge for, and a couple of them got confused on which way round the sponges should be. Andrew did all of his upside down, then almost presented them with the chocolate on the bottom, not sure if he’s eaten jaffa cake before?! Unfortunately that meant he came last, Lee was eleventh, Val tenth, Louise ninth, Rav eighth, Jane seventh and Benjamina sixth. Candice made it into the top five with fifth place and Kate came fourth. Michael was third, Tom second and Selasi was first.

The showstopper challenge was to make a mirror glaze cake, which should be as shiny as a mirror, and cover the entire cake. The sponge must also be a genoise. Mary was looking for sheer perfection and Paul wanted something that would stick in their minds. There was a great variety of flavours from salted praline with white chocolate from Benjamina, matcha tea from Michael and

Candice had a lot of trouble making her genoise sponge, she made them multiple times and even chucked one across the tent like a frisbee! Tom, Benjamina and Val also made their sponges more than once. The cakes, once baked and cooled had to be covered with a base layer, or crumb coat, of either ganache or buttercream. There were the first tears of the series from Benjamina as her swiss meringue buttercream was too runny, Sue was there to offer comfort and kind words.

Jane got great results from the judges, with both her flavours and appearance getting praised. Rav’s mirror glaze also looked good, the Paul didn’t like the texture of his cake. Despite having too much gin in his drizzle cake, Tom didn’t have enough alcohol in his mirror glaze cake this time! Unfortunately for Michael the judges didn’t like matcha tea, although I thought his presentation looked stunning. Kate’s cake was very messy, but Mary liked the gooseberry flavour.

Selasi was praised for his cake as he was the only one to do a fruit glaze and fill his cake with a set mousse, Mary said it was a joy to eat and Paul said it was simple, elegant and beautifully flavoured. Val’s cake looked good, but she’d used caster sugar in her buttercream. Lee’s cake had a messy appearance on the outside and the sponge was dry. Louise had no mirror glaze at all, but her cake was delicious. Benjamina had a simple but good looking cake, with lovely flavours. Candice had a good mirror glaze, but her vanilla genoise was not cooked well. Andrew’s cake looked stunning and Paul called it fantastic all over.

 

Lee was the first baker to leave the tent, as he did badly in all three challenges he was the obvious choice. Jane got star baker which surprised me to be honest as I really thought Selasi deserved the title. Next week is biscuit week!

I decided to make this week’s technical challenge – Homemade Jaffa Cakes. Partly at my boyfriend’s request, and partly because they looked really yummy! I followed Mary Berry’s recipe for them and changed a couple of bits here and there to suit.

I started by making the orange jelly the night before as it takes a couple of hours to set. I used a sachet of Robinson’s orange jelly as it was the only one in the supermarket suitable for vegetarians, I found it in Asda. I followed the instructions on the packet and I also added the zest of 1 orange. I added a small amount of orange food colouring too as I wanted it to be brightly coloured when the jaffa cakes were cut into. I lined a baking tray with cling film for the jelly to set in one even layer.

To make the sponge I started by greasing a muffin tin with butter.

I used an electric whisk to whisk up 1 large egg and 25g caster sugar for 4-5 minutes until it was thick and pale. I then gently folded in 25g self raising flour.

I only got enough for 10 sponges, so I made another lot of mixture and greased up another muffin tin.

I baked each lot of sponges on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9 minutes, turning the tray around in the oven after 7 minutes.

I tipped the jelly out onto some baking paper and cut out circles using a 1 1/2 inch cutter.

Then I melted 250g dark chocolate and gently covered the top of each cake using a spoon. I then used a fork to give the top some texture. I put them in the fridge to set the chocolate.

Then I tucked in! These are so satisfying to eat, breaking through the crisp dark chocolate to find tangy orange jelly and light as air soft sponge is a great feeling. One that can too easily be enjoyed over and over and over again…!

I’m linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg.

And We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme.

And Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender & Lovage.

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Homemade Jaffa Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 Robinsons's Orange Jelly Sachet
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 Free range large eggs
  • 50 g Self raising flour
  • 50 g Caster sugar
  • 250 g Dark chocolate
  • Orange food colouring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking tray with cling film and follow the instructions on the packet to make the jelly, also add the zest of 1 orange. Add a small amount of orange food colouring too at this point if desired. Pour the jelly into the lined tray and leave in the fridge to set for approx 2 hours or overnight
  2. Grease two muffin tins with butter or margarine
  3. Use an electric whisk to whisk up the egg and caster sugar for 4-5 minutes until it is thick and pale
  4. Gently fold in the self raising flour
  5. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9 minutes, turning the tray around in the oven after 7 minutes
  6. Gently tip the jelly out onto some baking paper and cut out circles using a 1 1/2 inch cutter
  7. Melt the dark chocolate and gently cover the top of each cake using a spoon. Then used a fork to give the top some texture. Put them in the fridge to set the chocolate
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Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! You probably know if you follow my blog that I absolutely hate to see food wasted or thrown away, so I’m always looking for ways to use up leftovers and avoid any having to go in the bin (one day I will have a garden with a compost heap!). Food waste happens so much more than usual over the festive period so I’ve been doing my best to use up what I can. I found this awesome recipe for a Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake and it was just perfect as I had exactly the right amount of parsnips left over from Christmas dinner to use up. I’ve made cakes using courgette and carrots before, but never parsnip so I was also excited to see how it turned out.

I started by lining and greasing a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin. You can also use two sandwich tins if you wish.

I melted 175g butter, 250g light brown sugar and 100ml maple syrup on a low heat. I let it cool slightly. Use pure maple syrup if you can (not maple ‘flavoured’ syrup), I was lucky to receive some Canadian maple syrup as a gift.

I grated 250g parsnips and 1 apple using a food processor. I added the zest and juice of 1 orange.

Into the cooled butter mixture I whisked 3 eggs.

I then added the dry ingredients 250g self raising flour, 2 tsp mixed spice and 2 tsp baking powder.

Finally I folded in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as 50g chopped pecans.

I poured the mixture into my tin.

I baked the cake for around 1 hour on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook it for 30 minutes.

To make the filling I whisked 250g mascarpone with 3 tbsp maple syrup. I used my hand mixer to do this as it thickened the filling nicely. I cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. I put the other half of the cake on top and finished with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

The cake was so delicious! I loved the freshness of the filling, the texture that the chopped pecans added and the overall flavour was absolutely scrumptious! I couldn’t have guessed there were parsnips in the cake if I hadn’t made it myself. Although it is of course still cake, it certainly felt like a healthier snack and made me feel much better after all the indulgence of the past week.

I’m entering this into Extra Veg hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

And into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fab Food 4 All.

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Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Ingredients

  • 175 g Butter
  • 250 g Light brown sugar
  • 100 ml Maple Syrup
  • 250 g Parsnips
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Orange
  • 3 Eggs
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 50 g Pecans chopped
  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Line and grease a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin, or two sandwich tins
  2. Melt the butter, light brown sugar and 100ml of the maple syrup on a low heat. Let it cool slightly
  3. Grate the parsnips and apple, add the zest and juice of the orange
  4. Whisk the eggs into the cooled butter mixture, then add the flour, mixed spice and baking powder
  5. Fold in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as the pecans
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake the cake for around 1 hour on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook the cake for 30 minutes
  7. To make the filling whisk 250g mascarpone with 3 tbsp maple syrup using an electric whisk. Cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. Put the other half of the cake on top and finish with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
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Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova
Christmas has come around so fast, like it always does, and is only 5 days away now. I really love the modern Christmas of today, and how every year new ideas and traditions are created. Although we still love the classics of Christmas, we longer stick to them so rigidly. So if you don’t fancy Christmas pudding after your dinner this year, you can turn to practically any other type of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your family and friends. I think this pavlova does just that! It incorporates traditional flavours of Christmas like fresh orange and spicy ginger, but it also creates a stunning centerpiece for any Christmas dinner table.

I started by making the meringue. First things first, weigh your egg whites. I used 180g egg white, this is approximately 6 large eggs. If you’re left with egg yolks, check out some ways to use it up here. Or you can now buy egg white on it’s own in a carton from Two Chicks. I set it whisking in my mixer along with 1 tsp cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed – you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out.

The reason you weigh the egg whites is so your can double the weight of your sugar. I used 180g caster sugar and 180g light brown soft sugar. I added 90g of each sugar into the mixer after the stiff peaks had formed and while it was still mixing. I also added 2 tsp ground ginger.

I then folded the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula.

I arranged the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray. I made it flat in the center and more textured around the edges.

I baked the meringue on 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then left it to cool completely.

I whipped up 300ml double cream and spread it in the middle. I sprinkled over 3 crushed up ginger nut biscuits.

I then added some orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and these gorgeous dark chocolate pearls from the Chocolate Trading Co.

How’s that for a showstopper?! I was so pleased with how it turned out and the final look after decorating.

The pavlova is best eaten straight away and I had some friends round who were happy to help! The meringue is sweet and spicy, the orange is juicy and fresh, and the chocolate and biscuits add texture amongst the soft cream. It really is a heavenly dessert. Happy Christmas everyone!

I’m entering this into Simply Eggcellent hosted by Belleau Kitchen where this month anything goes.

And into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fab Food 4 All as I used leftover egg whites that I had frozen when I made custard with the yolks a few months ago.

And into the No Waste Food Challenge ran by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and this month hosted by Jen’s Food for the same reason.

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Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 180 g Egg whites (approx 6 large eggs)
  • 180 g Caster sugar
  • 180 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 3 Ginger nut biscuits crushed
  • 1 Orange
  • A handful of Dark chocolate pearls

Instructions

  1. Weigh your egg whites. Then whisk them in a mixer along with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form - you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out
  2. The reason you weigh the egg whites is so your can double the weight of your sugar. Measure out both types of sugar to double the weight of the egg whites, and add half of the sugar mixture into the egg whites while the mixer is on. Add the ground ginger too
  3. Fold the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula
  4. Arrange the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray. Make it flat in the center and more textured around the edges
  5. Bake the meringue on 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then leave it to cool completely
  6. Whip the double cream and spread it in the middle of the meringue. Sprinkle over the crushed up ginger nut biscuits
  7. Then add the orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and the dark chocolate pearls
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Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Honey & Orange Cupcakes
I’ve mentioned before that I attend my local Women’s Institute (WI) on a monthly basis. Well last month’s meeting was a bit different in that we had an outing to visit some nearby bees. I had no idea that there are beehives on the roofs of many of the city’s buildings. After a talk from a local beekeeper we headed up to the roof of The Printworks where they have chickens, a vegetable garden and two beehives. It was dark when we visited, but I found the below photo online which gives a much clearer view!

The bees are looked after by someone from the Hard Rock Cafe, vegetables from the garden are used to make soup for the homeless, and the wild flower section of the garden was dontaed by Bez from the Happy Mondays. Who knew all this was going on right above our heads! Bees are such fascinating creatures and so essential to our environment. Friends of the Earth are currently campaigning against the governments decision to use bee harming pesticides in the UK, you can read more about it by clicking here.

So in honour of our bee themed meeting I decided to make some honey flavoured cupcakes with cute little bees on top! To make the bees I started by rolling chunks of golden marzipan to make the bees bodies. I laid them onto baking paper.

I melted a few blocks of dark chocolate in the microwave and painted the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a brand new paint brush. You could probably also do this with a cocktail stick.

I pushed flaked almonds into the bees to make the wings.

Soon I had a swarm of marzipan bees! I made 30+ cupcakes for my WI meeting, but I’ll give you the recipe for 12 cupcakes, then you can double and triple it as you need.

To make the cupcakes I started by creaming 150g butter, 50g honey and 100g caster sugar.

I added 2 eggs, the zest of one orange, 3 tbsp orange juice and 1 tsp orange extract.

Finally I mixed in 150g self raising flour.

I baked the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes until golden brown. I got a new oven recently and it bakes things super fast so you may need to leave them in for 20 minutes depending on your oven.

I made some buttercream by mixing 150g butter, 50g honey, 400g icing sugar and 1 tsp orange extract. I piped it onto the cupcakes when they were fully cool.

Finally I added the super cute marzipan bees! I loved the final effect, the little ‘bees’ looked so adorable. I got some really lovely comments when I presented them at the meeting and was pleased to see them all fly off the table!

 

I’m entering these into Belleau Kitchen’s challenge Simply Eggcellent, this month the theme is cake.

 

It’s also National Cupcake Week at the moment, which is great timing to share this recipe!

Sponge recipe adapted from Rowse Honey.

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Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 120 g Golden marzipan
  • 6 blocks of Dark chocolate
  • 50 g Flaked almonds
  • 300 g Butter
  • 100 g Honey
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 150 g Self raising flour
  • 400 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the bees, roll chunks of golden marzipan into an oval shape. Lay them onto baking paper

  2. Melt the dark chocolate and paint the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a small paint brush or a cocktail stick
  3. Push the flaked almonds into the bees bodies to make the wings
  4. To make the cupcakes, cream 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey and the caster sugar together
  5. Add the eggs, the zest of the orange, 3 tbsp of the orange's juice and 1 tsp of the orange extract. Mix well
  6. Fold in the self raising flour
  7. Bake the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool completely
  8. Make the buttercream by mixing 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey, the icing sugar and 1 tsp of the orange extract together until smooth. Pipe it onto the cupcakes
  9. Finally add the marzipan bees

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Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti: GBBO Week #2

Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti: GBBO Week #2
We’re on week two and that means biscuits on The Great British Bake Off. The first challenge was to make Biscotti – an Italian, twice-baked biscuit. They had to make 24 of them whilst maintaining consistency. Paul and Mary were looking for a dry biscuit with a good snap, but not so dry it breaks your teeth!

There was some really experimental and unusual flavours being used in the biscotti. Alvin flavoured his with jackfruit, which is very popular in South East Asian cooking. Ian added rosemary to his mix, and Ugne used white wine and goji berries. We also found out that Paul (the contestant Paul, not Paul Hollywood) used to be a cold stream guard aka one of those guards in the big black fuzzy hats that stand outside Buckingham Palace!

The biscotti had to cool before it’s second bake, que a lot of baking tray wafting from the contestants. I was impressed with Mat’s dedication to uniformity, he used a ruler to measure each biscuit before slicing! My favourite’s were Tamal’s Cinnamon, Maple & Cranberry Biscotti. They looked amazing, but the judges felt there was too much going on in terms of flavour. Ian got glowing results for his addition of rosemary to his biscotti Dorret didn’t do too well as Paul said her biscotti had no flavour.

This week’s technical challenge was to make eight Arlettes. Of course, no one had heard of them! They are biscuits made from puff pastry and rolled to be wafer thin and create a pretty swirl. They originate from France and are cinnamon flavoured. Paul was rubbing his hands together and grinning quite wickedly at the thought of the bakers trying to make these!

The bakers struggled with time as they had to fold the dough and chill it several times, they also weren’t sure at which stage they should add the cinnamon, and which way to roll up the dough. Marie really struggled as her oven wasn’t set correctly and only presented four Arlette’s, which meant she came last. Paul and Nadiya didn’t do very well either. First place went to Dorret with Flora in second and Ian in third.

I was really excited by the showstopper this week as it sounded so fun and really opened up the opportunity to be creative. We have some really imaginative bakers on the show this year! They were asked to make 36 biscuits, presented in a box also made out of biscuit, but a different kind of biscuit. Mary wanted them to be ambitious, show a variety of techniques, and of course taste amazing!

For the box, most contestants went for gingerbread and shortbread as they are sturdy. For inside the box both Ian and Paul made pink macarons, both Flora and Mat made earl grey flavoured tea bag shaped biscuits, Alvin went for brandy snaps and Nadiya chose fortune cookies (pictured above). Ugne made some traditional Lithuanian biscuits, Tamal made checkerboard shortbread and Dorret made some green tea flavoured frog biscuits, although Paul Hollywood though using a cookie stamp was a ‘shortcut’. Not sure if I agree, surely he didn’t expect her to cut out 36 frogs by hand?! Oh wait, he probably did…!

Ian very cleverly made a cylindrical box using a tin he had made himself, which impressed the judges. Sandy was the only one to make a savoury biscuit box using sundried tomato and parmesan flavours. Mat made a fire engine box which I thought looked brilliant! And Paul agreed, calling it ‘fantastic’. Both Alvin and Nadiya didn’t manage to finished their boxes, with Alvin unable to construct his and Nadiya unable to decorate hers. Despite that, both their biscuits were really impressive and well made.

Marie left us this week, the judges felt her bakes were too simple and she wasn’t pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Ian won star baker, deservedly so! Next week it’s time for bread week, or as Mat would say, a doughverload!

I’m not a huge fan of biscotti, and I have made it once before, but I was a bit pushed for time this weekend as I went to Aberdeen to visit my brother. I would have liked to have given the biscuit box a try, maybe when I have more time! I loved how Tamal dipped his in chocolate so I decided to do the same as I think it improves the presentation and overall look of the biscotti.

I started by toasting 145g blanched almonds. I laid them out onto a lined baking tray and popped them in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 8 minutes.

Once they were toasted I left them to cool, then chopped them up.

For the biscuit dough I weighed out 260g plain flour, 150g granulated white sugar, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt. I mixed them together.

In a separate bowl I beat 3 eggs with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract. I also added the zest of 1 orange.

I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together, along with the chopped almonds, which made a very wet dough.

I carefully shaped it on the baking tray into a rectangle, it was approximately 35cm long and 10cm wide. I didn’t bother rolling it on the work top as it was far too wet.

I baked the dough on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 for 35 minutes. Depending on your oven it will take 30-40 minutes. I left it to cool for about 30 minutes.

I used a serrated knife to carefully slice the cooked dough. I baked the slices again for 20 minutes, turning them over at the 10 minutes mark. They were nice and crisp and when I pressed them in the middle there was no give.

For the final touch I melted 130g dark chocolate and dipped in one of the edges of each biscotti. I left them to set on some baking paper.

I was really pleased with my second attempt at biscotti! It went much better this time and I actually really liked them! So they must’ve been alright. The almond flavour was lovely and the orange came through, if you wanted a stronger orange flavour you could double up the zest quantity, but I was happy with how these turned out. They were just crunchy enough so no risk of any teeth breaking! I think I’m going to go and have one with a hot drink…

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.

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Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 145 g Blanched almonds
  • 260 g Plain flour
  • 150 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 Orange
  • 130 g Dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Lay the almonds out onto a lined baking tray and pop them in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 8 minutes. Once they are toasted leave them to cool, then chop them up
  2. For the biscuit dough mix together the plain flour, granulated white sugar, baking powder and salt
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Then add the zest of the orange
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, along with the chopped almonds, to make a wet dough
  5. Carefully shape the dough on the baking tray into a rectangle, approximately 35cm long and 10cm wide
  6. Bake the dough on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 for 35 minutes. Leave it to cool for about 30 minutes
  7. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the cooked dough. Bake the slices again for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through
  8. Melt the dark chocolate and dip in one of the edges of each biscotti. Leave to set on some baking paper
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Orange 5-Spice Cake

Orange 5-Spice Cake

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and this year it is the year of the Sheep (or Goat in some cases). There’s a bit of confusion over which animal it actually is this year because the Chinese symbol that represents it is used to describe a variety of sheep/goat type animals. People born in the year of the Sheep are believed to be gentle and mild mannered, and do not like to be the centre of attention. I’m not sure how much I believe in the personality types, but I love Chinese culture and I find it so interesting. I decided to make this cake using the well known Chinese 5 spice and orange as it’s a flavour often used in Chinese cooking.

I started by creaming together 400g caster sugar and 115g butter. I then added 3 eggs and whisked in. Then I added 480ml fresh orange juice and mixed in.

In a seperate bowl I weighed out 560g plain flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp 5 spice mix, 1/2 tsp mixed spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp cardamom. I mixed it into the batter and then poured it into a lined baking tray.

I baked it on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Then I turned it down to 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3 for a further 20 minutes until a skewer came out clean.

While the cake was still hot I brushed melted butter over the top and sprinkled on a topping made from 25g golden caster sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp mixed spice mixed together.

The cake was lovely and light with a great spicy flavour. I do think the orange flavour could’ve been stronger, but I was using up some zested oranges. I’d definitely recommend adding the zest of one orange for a stronger punch of orange! It takes great with custard too (not sure how Chinese that is!) I hope you enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations in your city this weekend!

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Orange 5-Spice Cake

Ingredients

  • 400 g Caster sugar
  • 115 g Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 480 ml Orange juice
  • 560 g Plain flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp 5 Spice
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 25 g Golden caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream together the caster sugar and butter. Add the eggs and whisk in. Then add the orange juice and mix in
  2. In a separate bowl stir together the plain flour, baking powder, 5 spice, 1/2 tsp of the mixed spice 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, the ground ginger and cardamom. Mix it into the wet ingredients to make a batter, then pour into a lined baking tray
  3. Bake on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes, then on 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3 for a further 20 minutes
  4. Mix together the golden caster sugar, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of the mixed spice
  5. While the cake is still hot brush the melted butter over the cake and sprinkle the sugar mixture all over the cake too
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Things To Do With… Zested Lemons, Limes & Oranges

Things To Do With… Zested Lemons, Limes & Oranges

I often find myself with naked lemons, limes and oranges after zesting them for a recipe and I never know what to do with them. I always seems like recipes call for zest only, or more zest than juice, so I imagine this is a common problem for bakers! In order to resolve this problem and avoid food waste guilt I’ve had a scout around and collected together some recipes that use only the juice of citrus fruits. It took me a while to find recipes that don’t need zest at all, but I’ve found a good selection. Let me know if you make any and how they turn out!

Index

There is approx 30ml juice in a Lemon
There is approx 30ml juice in a Lime
There is approx 80ml juice in an Orange

Lemons

 

Lemon Meringue Pie – Uses 250ml Lemon Juice
This gorgeous pie has a melt in the mouth tangy lemon filling, a fluffy meringue topping and crisp pastry.

Other idea from around the web:

Lemon Curd – Uses 125ml Lemon Juice
Probably the most obvious use for citrus juice, you could also make Lime or Orange curd from this recipe too.

Freezable Lemon Bars – Uses the Juice of 2 Lemons
Biscuit crust, lemon filling and topped with whipped cream. These look so good! Almost like an easier version of lemon meringue pie that’s bitesize too.

Lemon Vinaigrette – Uses 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
A good salad dressing can turn a boring pile of lettuce into a tasty and exciting meal. Lemon juice will add a fantastic zing to your usual lunch fare.

Lemon Sugar Cookies – Uses the Juice of 1 Lemon
A very simple recipe to follow with a delicious result!

Lemon Cream Pie – Uses 210ml Lemon Juice
A perfect summer dessert, you can replace the graham crackers with digestive biscuits for the pie crust.

Limes

Key Lime Cheesecake – Uses 175ml Lime Juice (about 3 Limes)
This is an American recipe so it is in cups. You can use digestive biscuits for the base instead of graham crackers as they are very similar.

Pina Colada Fruit Jellies – Uses 3 tsp Lime Juice
These look so yummy, and would be great for a gift or party treat.

Banana Mango Muffins with Lime Glaze – Uses 1/2 a Lime Juice plus 1 tsp
These sounds really tropical, tasty and full of nutritious fruit!

Chocolate Covered Lime Cheesecake Bites – Uses 60ml Lime Juice
Cheesecake covered in chocolate – such an awesome idea!

Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars – Uses 4 tbsp Lime Juice
Coconut and lime go so well together in these tasty looking bars.

Oranges

Cinnamon Orange Juice Cake – Uses 250ml Orange Juice
This looks so delicious, cinnamon and orange make a great flavour pairing and this recipe is very easy to follow.

Blueberry Orange Juice Bread – Uses 175ml Orange Juice
I love the sound of blueberries and orange together, this bread looks so fresh and fruity.

Apple Crepes with Orange Sauce – Uses 175ml Orange Juice (plus 2 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice!)
Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast treat, I would be very happy with these for my weekend breakfast and I’d know I was getting some fruit goodness at the same time.

Peach Romanoff – Uses 6 tbsp Orange Juice
A really simple no-bake (you only need to use the stove top) recipe that sounds superb.

Sicilian Orange Almond Cake – Uses 75ml Orange Juice
A very warming tasty cake, I think adding some spices would be a great addition to this recipe. You can replace the curds in this recipe with natural yoghurt.

Other ideas for leftover citrus fruits…

– Squeeze some lemon over chicken before roasting
– Or squeeze lime over fish and prawns
– Pop a wedge or slice into your drink, or get cocktail making!
– Mix any citrus juice with icing sugar and drizzle over a cake
– You can freeze the juice in ice cube trays

NB. Image Source for the main image

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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

After last week’s Great British Bake Off episode I found it hard to choose just one thing to make as pies and tarts are so damn delicious. So as well as the savoury Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie I made at the weekend, I also decided to make a sweet custard tart. Orange is my partner’s favourite citrus fruit, and I’ve not made a chocolate shortcrust pastry before, so I thought they would go together perfectly. Apologies for the bad photography, it had gone dark by the time the tart was ready and there was no way I could protect it from consumption before I got some natural light!

To make the pastry I rubbed 125g butter into a mixture of 225g plain flour, 25g cocoa powder and 80g golden caster sugar.

I added one egg and formed it into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

When the hour was up I rolled out the pastry onto some cling film. This makes it really easy to lift the pastry into the tin.

 

I used a 25cm tin, lined it with the pastry, smoothing it out around the bottom and side. I gently pricked the bottom with a fork.

I lined the pastry with foil and poured in some baking beans. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.

I took it out of the oven, removed the beans and foil, and used a knife to trim the edges. Some of the pastry did break a little more than I would have liked. I returned it to the oven for 10 minutes.

To make the custard filling I started by whisking up 6 eggs. I added in 150g caster sugar, the juice of 3 large oranges and 50ml orange liquor.

Finally I whisked in 200ml double cream and the zest of the 3 oranges.

I put the pastry case in the oven and poured the custard into it. This ensures it doesn’t spill!

I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. the custard puffs up a lot, but sinks back down as it cools.

I dusted with a little icing sugar before serving. The pastry baked really well, I may use this recipe again without the cocoa powder for regular shortcrust pastry. The custard tart had a great chocolate flavour which matched really well with the fruity custard filling. You can really taste the orange liquor and it is rather moreish! I was quite happy to have a couple of slices of this, as was everyone else!

Pastry recipe from Sweet Cook. Filling recipe adapted from Drink Society.

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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Ingredients

  • 125 g Butter
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 80 g Golden caster sugar
  • 7 Eggs
  • 150 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Large oranges
  • 50 ml Orange liquor
  • 200 ml Double Cream

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour, cocoa powder and golden caster sugar until it resembles bread crumbs.
  2. Add the egg and form into a dough.
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the pastry out to bigger than a 25cm tin onto some cling film.
  5. Use the cling film to lift the pastry into the tin.
  6. Smooth the pastry out in the tin and gently prick the bottom with a fork.
  7. Line the pastry with foil and pour in some baking beans.
  8. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and baking beans.
  10. Use a knife to trim the edges of the pastry and neaten it up.
  11. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. To make the custard filling whisk up the remaining 6 eggs, add the caster sugar, the juice of the oranges and the orange liquor. Mix well.
  13. Then whisk in the double cream and the orange zest.
  14. Put the pastry case on the oven shelf first, then pour the filling in using a jug.
  15. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes
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