Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pizza Party - Nectarine, Prosciutto and Radish Pizza

Pizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish PizzaPizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish Pizza

The pizza obsession I spoke of in my last post has created one of my favourite pizza flavour combinations so far - nectarine, prosciutto and radish. Sweet, salty and with a bite. Could there be a more perfect flavour combination? The nectarines go a little jammy on the bottom forming a lovely 'sauce'. For those of us who are in Perth, where nectarines (and stone fruit in general) aren't in season, this is also delicious with thinly sliced Beurre Bosc Pears, or Pink Lady or Fuji Apples. For those of you currently enjoying a Northern Summer - stone fruit away! As the prosciutto and capers are salty side, make sure your cheese is a less salty variety.


As with my last pizza post, this uses my chick-pea pizza dough, but use a pre-made base if you can't be bothered. The nuttiness of the chick-pea dough really does add a little something here.


Pizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish Pizza
Pizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish Pizza


Nectarine, Prosciutto and Radish Pizza

1 nectarine, sliced
6 thin slices Prosciutto, roughly torn
1 tsp capers
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
50g brie, sliced as best you can
half of this pizza dough (or your own bases)
1 tsp cornmeal
Basil leaves to serve

Preheat your oven to 170C and prepare your dough, leave to rest while you slice all the ingredients.

Sprinkle the cornmeal onto a baking tray to stop your pizza sticking.

Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle, to fit your baking tray. Spread the nectarine slices across the bottom of the dough, then layer the prosciutto, capers, radishes and brie over the top in a vaguely even kinda way.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the base are golden and the cheese melted.

Scatter basil leaves to serve.


Pizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish Pizza
Pizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish PizzaPizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish PizzaPizza Party - Nectarine, Proscuitto and Radish Pizza

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta

Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
 
 
Sometimes you need pizza. There’s no way around it. And it has to be real pizza. A real dough base, not just the usual cheat method of using a Lebanese loaf and spreading on your toppings. And then you need a beer and to sit outside in the fresh air and sunshine with your pizza and your husband and reflect on how good life can be. That despite being bone tired from a long and hard crabbing session that was mostly fruitless (although eating the crab hot out of the pot that night with fresh bread and butter still made it feel worthwhile), an afternoon of good food, good weather and good conversation is all it takes to get over the exhaustion.
 
This is a pretty simple dough that was made a bit more exciting (not to mention good-for-you) through the addition of two types of pulse flour. I had a little bit of lentil flour left over from my Secret Cake Club baking, and added some chick pea flour to total half the flour. You could use all chick pea flour seeing as that is pretty easy to get, but making your own lentil flour is pretty easy if you’ve got a coffee grinder. In which case, you could also use all lentil flour. As with my baking experimenting gone awry, the addition of a little arrowroot powder ensures the dough binds properly. The molasses in place of the normal sugar adds a smokey sweetness to the nuttiness that the beans bring. Leave it to proof for half an hour while you make the sauce and chop some veges and it’s a pretty quick way of getting a real pizza base in your life.
 
This makes two just-bigger-than single serve pizzas, by themselves enough for around 3 serves. Or 4 serves if you have a side salad. The toppings are fairly easy to change in and out of the sweet and spicy cream cheese sauce. Mine were what were to hand. Although the sauce and lentil base is flavoursome enough that the toppings play textural counterpoint as much as anything. Fresh greens on top are one of my favourite things to do with pizza, you could probably get away with just that.
 
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
 

Pulse Flour Pizza Base

½ cup lentil flour
½ cup chick pea flour (or one cup of chickpea flour)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp molasses
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cornmeal
 
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
 
 

Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta Sauce

150g smooth ricotta
1 mango
2 tsp ras el hanout
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp tamarind puree
 
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
 
 Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta

Toppings

¼ roast chicken, meat shredded
¼ zucchini sliced into thin rings
½ red capsicum, sliced into thin strips
Snow pea shoots
 
Mix the flours together in a large bowl with the salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil, warm water and molasses. Stir the liquids together first, then slowly bring in the flour until it becomes a shaggy mess. Knead for around 5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Pop in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to double in size.
 
Meanwhile, mince the garlic, dice the mango and mix all of the sauce ingredients together until well combine. Slice your toppings as desired. Heat your BBQ or oven to 160C
 
Punch down the dough to remove some of the air, then divide the dough into two. Roll the each ball of dough out to around 2cm thickness. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornmeal on two baking trays and lay the pizza bases on top. Cover with toppings and bake in the oven, or on a lidded BBQ for 15 minutes or until base is golden at the edges and the cheese mixture is browning.
 
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
Pizza Party - Pulse flour pizza with Ras el Hanout Mango Ricotta
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Secret Cake Club (Take Two) - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie


Secret Cake Club (Take Two) - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie
Secret Cake Club (Take Two) - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie


So, given that I don't bake a huge amount, I decided to bake a few things to take to the French Secret Cake Club. Just in case my cheesecake was a massive fail. It wasn't, but I still decided to take my back-up dish as well. Having a whole batch of profiteroles in the house just for Lance and I is never the best idea in the world.

My second French dish is an actual French pastry, with a Skamp-twist. Again, I stuck with the cheese theme, and made a Camembert Creme Patisserie to fill my profiteroles. Fragrancing it with a touch of cardamom and drizzling some dark chocolate ganache over the whole affair.

I remember my nanna making choux pastry when I was little. I didn't know back then that it WAS choux pastry, I just remember it being crazy. Pastry, cooked in a pot? What!? Then when it's baked it turns into Chocolate Dog Bones! Or at least, that's what my brother used to call Eclairs. Then when I was in my early twenties the croquembouche as birthday cake and wedding cake really took off in Perth. I know some people were paying $3.50 per profiterole on the cake, and I automatically assumed that must mean that it was difficult to make a profiterole. I know my nanna used to be a great cook, so it made sense that it was something she'd practiced and perfected. Turns out, profiteroles are actually easy. Like, really easy.

The way the pastry is made requires a little elbow grease, but it comes together pretty simply. Boil the water and butter. Stir in the flour. Cool briefly, stir in the eggs. The hardest part is that the eggs won't immediately want to combine, but they do with a bit of stirring. It takes around 5 minutes of stirring with a wooden spoon. The water in the dough does the rest of the work for you, puffing up the balls into lovely airy pillows.

Make the filling first, so it can cool.


Camembert Creme Patisserie

1 3/4 cups milk
3 cardamom pods
80g camembert, rind removed and chopped
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbsps corn flour, sifted

Warm milk and cardamom pods until a simmer, and add the camembert pieces, stirring to melt the cheese. Whisk yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Add the flour and whisk well.

Sieve the milk to remove the pods and any unmelted lumps of cheese. Pour over the egg mix in a thin stream, and whisk to combine.

Return the whole mix to the saucepan over a medium heat and stir for 5 minutes, until mixture thickens. Pour into a glass bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool in the fridge.


Secret Cake Club (Take Two) - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie
Secret Cake Club - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie


Profiteroles

(makes about 24)
100g butter, softened
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
4 eggs

Preheat  oven to 200C

Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to melt the butter.

Add the flour in one go. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate fully and continue beating mixture until it pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool 5 - 10 minutes.

One by one, beat the eggs into the mixture. Making sure the first egg is fully incorporated until you add the next.

If you'd like you can pipe the balls, but I just form balls with 2 tablespoons, rolling a bit of dough between the two, then placing on baking paper lined trays. Should make around 24 balls. Sprinkle a bit of water on the trays.

Bake for 15 minutes without opening the door. Then remove, pierce the bottom of each one with a knife or skewer to remove steam. Lower the oven temperature to 170C then bake an additional 5-10 minutes  until golden and dry.

Cool on wire racks before piping the filling in through the hole you made with the knife earlier.

Chocolate Ganache

50mL cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Heat the cream in a small pot to a simmer. Take off the heat, and drop the chocolate over the top. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir to a smooth mix. Drizzle over the top of your profiteroles.


Secret Cake Club - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie
Secret Cake Club - Profiteroles with Camembert Creme Patisserie

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs

My first foray into cooking was through baking. I used to help mum bake biscuits and cakes all the time when I was little, then when I was old enough, I was off and running doing it by myself. I'd generally work my way through a well-used copy of the Australian Women's Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits. It remains one of my favourite baking books with simple, no-fail versions of a lot of classic cookies. I have yet to meet a better ANZAC biscuit recipe! As I got older and other things got in the way of baking as a hobby, my cookies skills were stretched in a more 'practical' way and meals have become my focus. But I still love baking, I just don't do it as often. And as such, I haven't experimented as much. I'm more a special occasions baker. Realistically, I'm more of a baked-goods eater, than a baker!

After hearing about the Secret Cake Club, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in. It was the perfect excuse to get my bake on, and dust off some skills. The theme for the one I scored a place in was French. Now, everything I know about French baking is that it's notoriously 'finicky'...and that it's delicious. People get extremely passionate about their patisseries and I wanted to make something worthy of the theme, and the event. I didn't have time to learn the secrets of a perfect macaron foot. And I didn't want to splurge and buy myself Madeleine or financier trays. And the only French things I've had experience with - souffles and French Toast - are best served immediately (although someone brought a French Toast that was fantastic!)

So, me being me, I thought I'd go a little bit out of the box and bake something "French", rather than a traditional French baked good that I probably wouldn't do justice. So, what's French? For me, that's cheese and wine. Specifically, soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert. And red wine, like a Cab Sauv, or a Burgundy. The idea for a French Cheese French Cheesecake was borne. It just needed a little fleshing out.

One of my other left-field ideas was to use French Lentils as my "Frenchness". I toasted (on a tray in an 165C oven for around 10 minutes) and ground some lentils into flour to experiment with and found they gave a lovely nutty flavour, but made for the crumbliest of biscuits. A little bit of reading informs me that pulse flours need to be used in combination with other flours because of the lack of gluten, and some arrowroot powder will help it 'stick' and bind together. Voila! Perfect. I changed a simple Sables Breton into an even more French Biscuit by adding French Lentils. The cheesecake was bake on top, and the crowning glory comes from Cabernet Sauvignon Caramel Figs. Traditional French? No. Skamp's French? Totally!

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs

French Lentil Sable Breton

makes a 23cm cheesecake -serves 10-12
(adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
240g butter, softened
6 egg yolks
260g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
105g french lentil flour
10g arrowroot powder
115g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 165C. Line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking powder and lightly grease the tin. 

In a small bowl with a handbeater,beat the butter until very fluffy and pale. This will take around 3 minutes. In a standmixer, whisk the egg yolks until creamy, slowly adding the caster sugar until it's all combined. Beat until this is also very light and fluffy. Add the butter in 3 batches, beating until smooth. Then beat in the ginger.

Turn the beater off, then sift the flours and baking powder over the top, then fold until just combined. Spoon the batter into the tin and smooth down the top. Baked until golden and puffed, around 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely in the tin.

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs

Brie Cheesecake

350g cream cheese, at room temperature
350g Brie cheese, at room temperature, rind removed.
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 165C

In a medium bowl with a handbeater, beat the brie until light and fluffy. This will alter in time, depending on the softness of the brie you bought, but it could take a few minutes.

In a standmixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the brie, then the eggs and cream. Make sure it's well-combined, but don't over beat because the cheese can separate.

Pour the cheesemix over the sable breton base and tap the container on your counter a few times to remove air bubbles.

Fill a roasting tray with boiling water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Pop the cheesecake on the middle rack. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set with a tiny amount of jiggle in the centre.

Set aside to cool to room temperature

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs


Cabernet Sauvignon Caramel Figs

150g sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon red wine
1 tsp water
6 figs, sliced into quarters

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then leave it to boil and become a lovely caramel colour. Stir via shaking the handle here and there to keep the liquid moving. And brush any sugar crystals that form down with a wet pastry brush.

When caramel coloured, very carefully add the red wine and extra teaspoon of water. It will fizz and spit at you. Stir through and mix until smooth. Using two forks, drop the fig slices in the caramel, then place on the cake. Drizzle the remaining caramel over the top. You can briefly reheat the caramel over a low heat if it starts getting too solid.

Serve!

Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs
Secret Cake Club - Brie Cheesecake with Red Wine Caramel Figs


Monday, October 13, 2014

Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream


Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream

I had a dream in which I was at a cafĂ© and I was eating an apple pie with goat’s cheese ice cream. A lot of other random stuff happened in the dream, but when I woke up I had this strong sense of needing to make goat’s cheese ice cream. My mind started churning (not unlike an ice cream maker) and I decided to make the pie to go with it, and as a whole, the dessert was going to be an homage to a cheese platter. I am a huge cheese fan, so I was already drooling over the concept. 

So the ingredients in this pie are all things that you might typically find on a cheese platter, there’s crisp buerre bosc pears, balsamic vinegar and hazelnuts. Then there is three types of cheese – cream cheese in the pastry, a soft stracchino cheese as part of the pie filling and the goat’s cheese in the ice cream. I decided to go with the rustic galette form of tart, rather than a more formal tart or pie – because that’s more what a cheese platter is for me. Rustic. You can change the stracchino out for a sharper style of cheese – I have also made it with an Emmenthal to great effect, or a basic sharp chedder. I like the stracchino best.


This is currently my favourite ice cream. I've made litres and litres of it. It is creamy and rich, with the subtlest hint of tanginess from the goat’s cheese. It’s perfect by itself, and is the perfect accompaniment to the galette. But even if you don’t want to make the pear galette or make the hazelnut dough to go with it – I really urge you to try just the ice cream. Maybe serve it with some balsamic roasted strawberries!


Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream

Goat Cheese Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk

1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey

¼ tsp salt
½ tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
200g goat cheese, broken up into small crumbles


Set a large fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set the bowl in larger bowl of ice water.

Add the sugar, salt, honey and balsamic vinegar to a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir briskly to mix well. The honey mixture will lighten in colour as the sugar starts dissolving into the honey. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the milk, cream and scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds and pods to the pot. Heat the milk mixture until sugar and honey are completely dissolved and small bubbles start to appear.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and slowly stream in 2 ladles full of the milk mixture, whisking constantly as you pour. This tempers the eggs and stops them scrambling. Add the eggs/milk mixture slowly to the pot with the milk mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, around 4-5 minutes. Strain the ice cream into the bowl set over the ice water bath.

Add the goat cheese to the sauce and whisk until melted and incorporated. Keep stirring for a further 4-5 minutes to help the custard mixture cool down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the surface to stop a skin from forming.

Refrigerate until completely cold – at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. Pour into your ice cream making and churn according to directions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer until hardened, around 4 hours.


Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream

Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galettes

1 cup spelt flour
¾ cup hazelnut meal
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
60g butter cold and cubed
60g cream cheese, cold and cubed
2-3 tablespoons cold water
2 buerre bosc pears, quartered, cored, sliced thinly
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp water
50g Stracchino cheese, as finely sliced as possible
1 tbsp Milk for brushing galettes
2-3 tsps Raw sugar for sprinkling

In a food processor, pulse the spelt flour, hazelnut meal and sugar until combined. Pulse in the butter and cream cheese until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Tablespoon by tablespoon, add in water pulse until dough only just comes together. Take out of the processor and form into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 15 minutes (or the fridge for an hour).

While dough is chilling, combine water, vinegar and brown sugar. Then add the pear slices and stir until coated. Let sit until dough is done chilling.

Preheat oven to 180C

Remove dough from freezer and roll out into 30cm circle or divide dough into quarters and roll out into smaller circles for individual galettes. Place gently on baking trays covered with baking paper. Leaving a 3cm ring on the edge free, cover the pastry with slices of stracchino and top with slices of pear in a swirling pattern. Fold the edges up and over, pinching together to hold the pears in place and form the crust. Brush galettes with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes until crust is golden and pears are softened. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving with the ice cream


Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream
Dream Inspiration - Cheese Platter Pie Hazelnut and Balsamic Pear Galette with Goat's Cheese Ice Cream