Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A few recipes....

My apologies in the lack of recipe posting of late. Between a fair bit of recipe development work, some kind of lurgy/gross flu from hell and an obsession with the lords, ladies and dwarfs from Game of Thrones time has not been my friend. 

Below are a few catch up recipes from the column over on Daily Life.  Also there will be a new Kitchen Coquette magazine coming in the next few weeks with some bumper giveaways and plenty of recipes. For now these recipes are taking you the full gamut - lentils to nutella. Health to hedonism. Enjoy.

Tiramisu Meringue with Nutella Ganache

I love the flavours of a tiramisu. Unfortunately I’ve never loved the texture of the softened savoiardi (sponge fingers) so I have incorporated the concepts of this delightful Italian dessert using a meringue base so you can have the lovely boozy coffee, chocolaty flavours with the crisp edge of meringue.

I’ve left the quantities fairly large for the filling and coffee chocolate ganache, reason being their uses extend far beyond this recipe. The mascarpone is delightful smeared on toast. Ditto for the ganache which also works well over ice cream, chocolate pudding or anything that needs a touch of nutella…. in other words 85% of foods. You may find the consistency of these differs slightly to normal ganache and cream fillings, but don’t be concerned, its just the addition of lovely winter warming alcohol. To sustain the crispness of the meringue, don’t construct the layers until you are ready to serve.


150g eggwhite
225g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp dutch cocoa powder

250g mascarpone
250g crème fraiche
60g icing sugar, sifted
25ml amaretto

Coffee chocolate ganache
100g dark chocolate
4 tbsp nutella
50g glucose syrup
30ml espresso coffee (or more to taste)
50ml brandy
25ml amaretto

½ cup hazelnuts, roasted, roughly chopped to serve

Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and a pinch of sea salt until soft peaks form, then, with the motor running, gradually add caster sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated, then add lemon juice and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Make sure you beat for a sufficient amount of time so that the caster sugar and cocoa powder are properly incorporated, otherwise the meringue will crack and bleed in the oven.
Spoon the mixture onto 3 sheets of baking paper cut to a similar size. The key is to make 3 pieces of meringue relatively the same size – it won’t taste any different whether you make them circular or rectangular.
Reduce oven to 150C and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off oven and, leaving door ajar, stand the meringue in oven for at least 2 hours to cool. (These can be made one day ahead)
To make the mascarpone filling, whisk the mascarpone, crème fraiche, icing sugar and amaretto in a large bowl until incorporated. Set aside until serving.

For the coffee chocolate ganache, melt the chocolate and in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Add the nutella and glucose syrup and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and stir through espresso, brandy and amaretto until well combined.

To serve, spread the mascarpone filing over a meringue disk. Top with some chocolate ganache and hazelnuts and top with the second disk. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Puy lentil and slow roasted tomato salad with labne & fresh herbs

Serves 6

Lentils are a brilliant pulse. Uber healthy, a great source of protein and fibre and basically an all round great winter ingredient.The trick is to use puy lentils – they are the best in terms of keeping shape and texture. From the area of France to the north-west of Lyon, they retain their shape when cooked and have a brilliant nutty earthy sort of flavour. And they are low maintenance – no presoaking, only a low key simmer in liquid for 30 minutes or thereabouts. Then when warm tossed with whatever may take your fancy, absorbing their flavours to create an incredibly comforting and satisfying result.

375g Puy Lentils
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
Sea salt
5 tbsp chopped chervil
6 tbsp chopped chives
3 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup mint leaves pulled, loosely packed
120g labne
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
100g pancetta, chopped

600g plum tomatoes (about 20)
12 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp balsamic glaze
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 130C. Quarter the tomatoes vertically and place skin side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Top with the thyme. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until semi-dried. Discard thyme and allow to cool.
Place the red onion in a bowl, pour over the vinegar and sprinkle over salt. Stir and leave for five minutes so the onion softens. Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water and cook until tender (twenty – five to thirty minutes). Drain well and sieve. While still warm add to a large bowl with the sliced onion. Add the olive oil, garlic and season with pepper and stir to combine. Allow to cool slightly before adding the herbs and gently tossing the salad. Adjust the seasoning.
To serve pile up the lentils on a large plate or bowl, integrating the labhne, tomatoes and pancetta (if using). Drizzle the tomato cooking juices and dressing on top and serve.

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