25 May 2015

Crème Brûlée with Shortbread Spoons Recipe

Creme Brulee with Shortbread Spoons

Whilst we were in Paris I couldn't resist ordering crème brûlée for dessert but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations and when I returned home I decided to make my own.  I chose a recipe by Delia Smith which isn't the usual oven cooked version but a quick method where everything is cooked in one pan and produces a rich and creamy dessert.

Delia makes a caramel and pours this over the chilled desserts but I always like to top mine with demerara sugar and then use a blow torch to brown and caramelise the sugar.

I love breaking into the topping with a spoon and if the shortbread spoon breaks then this just adds to the fun!

Having made this version I still prefer the oven cooked version which I find is lighter and not quite so rich.

If you prefer more custard than topping then narrow deep ramekins are best but if you, like me, love the topping and prefer a shallow custard layer, then these shallow gratin dishes are ideal.

570ml double cream
6 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
a few drops pure vanilla extract
demerara sugar

You will need: 6 small ramekins or 4 large ramekins - the dessert requires making a day in advance to give the custard a chance to chill down and set.

1.  Mix the egg yolks, cornflour, caster sugar and vanilla extract together.
2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches boiling point and then pour it over the egg yolks whilst beating with a whisk. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
3. Place the saucepan back onto a medium heat. Whisk until the sauce has thickened - which should only take a minute or two.
4.  Pour the custard into the ramekins and leave to cool. Cover each ramekin with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
5. Remove the ramekins from the fridge and cover each one with 1½ teaspoons of demerara sugar. Spray with a little water and then using a blow torch caramelise the sugar by moving the flame around until the sugar is caramelised.

If you fancy making the shortbread spoons........

Shortbread Spoons

You will need: a silicone spoon mould that is suitable for oven use
175g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g salted butter, at room temperature
75g fine semolina
extra caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and rub together until it resembles large breadcrumbs. Bring together to form a dough.
3. Take small pieces of the dough and press into the spoon moulds.  Place the mould on a metal tray.
4. Bake for approximately 1 hour until pale golden.
5. Place the mould onto a wire rack to cool. Remove the spoons carefully, any that break are the cooks treat.

11 May 2015

Malted and White Bread Rolls

Salmon and Rocket Bread Roll
Salmon and Rocket Bread Roll
I'm in bread making mode at the moment and for me it doesn't matter a jot whether the dough is made in my breadmaker or in the food mixer, there's one thing for sure it won't be me kneading the dough for 10 minutes my arms just aren't strong enough!

I bought an artisan malted wheat flour from one of the discount stores, it was an amazing find, a bag of artisan 'OO' flour found it's way into my trolley too and I'm feeling pretty chuffed with my supermarket finds.

Baked Malted and White Bread Rolls
The baked rolls
The recipe I've used is for a breadmaker but it can be followed and adapted for a mixer using the dough hook. Just be sure to give the dough a first rise until doubled in size before shaping the bread rolls.

A reusable non-stick tray liner, also a find at the discount supermarket, is really useful it saves greasing an oven tray and then the dreaded washing up.

Makes: 12
1 tsp easy blend yeast
350g strong white bread flour
150g strong malted bread flour
1 tsp sea salt
15g butter
300ml water

1. Place the ingredients into the bread pan as per the instructions for your breadmaker.
2. Select the white dough option.
3. When the dough is ready turn out onto a silicone mat and knead to knock out the air.
4. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and shape into rolls.
5. Place them onto either a greased, floured or lined baking tray to prove.  I like to place mine fairly close together so they join up when they bake.

Dough rolls ready for rising

6. Cover the rolls with oiled clingwrap and leave to rise until double in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 220oC.
8. Remove the clingwrap and sprinkle some malted flour over each roll.

The risen bread rolls dough

  9. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
10. Place the rolls onto a wire rack to cool.

Malted and White Bread Rolls cooling

More bread inspiration:
Sunburst Rolls
Feta, Tomato and Rosemary Flowerpot Breads
Italian Style Bread