Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini Raspberry Cream Brownies - Recipe

These petits fours are 'high faff' and take a bit of patience to make but they are well worth it. They're quite rich and I could only manage to eat one, which is no bad thing, because I really wouldn't want to know how calorific they are.

I've got a few raspberry canes at the bottom of the garden, there's nothing quite like home grown raspberries, they are in a league of their own.

My hob is induction and melting chocolate is a dream, it's possible to place the chocolate in a pan and melt it gently on the hob, it's so much easier than melting chocolate over a pan of water and I find the chocolate never overheats.

The cream is made from raspberry puree, cream and melted white chocolate, I added a little red food colouring to brighten up the raspberry cream to give it a pretty pink colour.

When I piped these I didn't let the raspberry cream chill down for long enough
I'm off for a week to eat at a few posh restaurants and some not so posh, drink coffee at some trendy coffee shops and some not so trendy.......but meanwhile I'll leave you with the recipe for these fabulous brownies.....

You will need:  22cm square baking tin, greased  and lined with baking parchment so the paper extends over all four sides.  4cm cutter.

80g salted butter
150g dark chocolate
115g caster sugar
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Raspberry Cream
250g raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar
60ml cream
125g white chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC.
2. Place the chocolate and butter into a bowl and place over a saucepan with gently simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate have melted. Remove the bowl and allow to cool.
3.Place the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and mix until pale and creamy.
4. Fold in the cooled chocolate.  Sift over the flour and cocoa powder.
5. Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15-20 minutes. Cool in the tin. Place in the fridge for an hour.
6. Raspberry Cream.  Place 125g raspberries with the icing sugar into a food processor and blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve. Add the raspberry puree to a small saucepan along with the cream and bring to the boil.  Add the pieces of white chocolate to the pan, remove from the heat and spoon the raspberry cream over the chocolate pieces.  Leave it for approximately 5 minutes and then whisk to a smooth glossy sauce.  Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge until chilled and set.
7. Take the cake out of the fridge, remove the cake from the tin.  Place on a board and cut out rounds using the cutter.
8. Place the chilled raspberry cream into a piping bag fitted with a 1M Wilton nozzle and pipe onto the brownie rounds, top with a fresh raspberry.

I'm submitting this post to the recipe linky #cookblogshare over at Supergolden Bakes.......

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble - Recipe

One of my favourite fillings for crumble is strawberries and rhubarb - both the strawberries and rhubarb were picked from my garden and so it was more or less a free pudding.

The downside of this filling is that it looks more than a bit of a mess when it's served up and I think the filling is best suited to individual crumbles.  On a positive the filling is a glorious bright pink and tastes like heaven.  I like to let the crumble cool down for a while before I serve it with a dollop of ice cream.

I prefer to roast my rhubarb
The rhubarb is placed in the dish with the strawberries
A top tip is to combine the butter, flour and sugar with a fork -
 this method keeps hands and rings clean
The crumble rubble

For the filling:
6 sticks of rhubarb
4 tbsp water
8 tbsp caster sugar
250g strawberries

For the crumble:
110g butter
110g demerara sugar
200g flour

1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
2. Cut the rhubarb into sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and place the rhubarb without the juice into a greased ovenproof dish.  Add the strawberries to the dish.
4. To make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour and sugar. Cover the rhubarb and strawberries with the crumble mix and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the crumble is golden and the filling is bubbling over the crumble.

De'Longhi Multifry Extra and Recipe App Review

My De'Longhi #MultrifryChallenge was to make all my main or lunchtime meals using the product for one week.  I love new kitchen gadgets and couldn't wait to get started using the product and taking step by step photographs of how I went about the challenge.

The De'Longhi Multifry is an air fryer and multicooker and works with a surround heat system, the lid houses an element and fan, there is also an element in the base.  The options for cooking are either top heat only or bottom heat and top heat.

There is a removable cooking bowl and a paddle can be fitted for recipes which need constant stirring such as risotto or sauces. A thermostat dial is on the middle of the lid, it is adjustable from 1 to 4. There is also a digital timer which is removable for washing.  The lid is see through, which is great for peeking to see how the cooking is progressing, the bowl and paddle are removable for either hand washing or simply let the dishwasher do the work.  An oil measure is supplied and I often found that I could use less than recommended.

It takes only a few minutes to set up the appliance and because it is user friendly I very quickly learnt how I wanted to use it for various recipes. It is capable of cooking everything from starters to mains to dessert.

I used the product for a variety of cooking methods - frying chips, chicken and fish, and they all cooked well.  Mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery all sauteed without any problems. Sauces all cooked well too.

Frying in the bowl is particularly successful and it is surprising that in only 15 minutes or so we had a plate of chips.  If you, like me, don't own a deep fat fryer but long for the occasional chip butty (well who doesn't now and again), this machine is ideal. Everything I fried turned out really well, my chicken fillets cooked quickly and they were succulent too.

Fish cooks beautifully, it cooks from the bottom as well as the top and saves turning over delicate pieces of fish that would otherwise break up.

I had a couple of issues cooking risotto and a ragu sauce, this was mainly due to the thermostat being set at level 4, which is the highest setting, a lower setting would have produced a better result.

Uses a minimum of oil
Cooks quickly
The product is extremely well made
See through lid
Removable parts are easy to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher
User friendly
Those who have a limited cooking facility would find the product useful

The fan is noisy
The appliance has a large footprint


Recipe App
The dedicated recipe app for the De'Longhi Multifry/Multicooker is free and can be used on smartphones and tablets.

There are recipes for Starter/Finger Food, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Sauces and Desserts. Sub categories are potatoes, quiche/pizza, cake, poultry, meat, fish, rice, pasta, vegetables, cheese, eggs and fruit.  Or, Frozen, Fast, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Eggless and No Dairy.

The recipes give calories, ingredients, how many servings, preparation and cooking time, they can also be favourited and the app is very easy to navigate.

Surprisingly pizza can be cooked in the Multifry, I used the recipe on the app (which I slightly adapted), it cooked through but the pizza base was pale and not the usual golden colour.


Some of the recipes on the app aren't what I would choose to cook, but when I buy a cookery book the same applies, the app is very useful for guidance when I cook my own recipes.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product for review, all opinions are my own. Thank you De'Longhi.
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