18 Dec 2016

Plum Frangipane Tart with Crushed Amaretti

Plum Frangipane Tart

I bought these plums on a whim from the supermarket, they're what I call the dreaded 'ripen at home' which often translates to 'never will ripen at home'. Why do I do it? This time they were kind to me and ripened at home in a good 10 days after purchase without going mouldy which is a first.

Fortunately the plums were delicious, which is a blessing, especially after I had taken a fair amount of time making this fabulous tart which is topped with crushed Amaretti biscuits and flaked almonds.

I mainly buy Amaretti biscuits before Christmas and these together with flaked almonds make the most glorious crunchy topping for the ever popular frangipane bake.

A slice of plum frangipane tart with flaked almonds and crushed amaretti

Thermomix Instructions in Italics

You will need: Oblong tin deep fluted tart tin with loose base.35cmx10cmx3cm 

For the pastry:
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g cold butter, cubed
25g caster sugar
1 medium egg, beaten with a splash of water
For the filling:
75g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
75g ground almonds
2 tsp plain flour
½ tsp almond extract
6 plums halved and stoned
For the topping:
Crushed Amaretti biscuits
Flaked Almonds

1. Place the flour and butter in a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in briefly, then add 3 tablespoons of the egg and water mixture. Whiz until the dough just comes together.
Place the flour, butter, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the egg and water mixture into the TM jug 20 Secs/Speed 4.
2. Chill the pastry for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and line the tin,
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ Gas 5 and place a heavy baking sheet inside on the oven rack to heat up.
4. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork, now chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Line the pastry case with crumpled baking paper and spread over a layer of baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and beans. Return the part baked pastry case to the oven for 10 minutes until light golden brown.  Leave the pastry case in the tin to cool on a rack.
6. Now make the frangipane filling by placing the butter and caster sugar into the food processor, whiz briefly.  Add the ground almonds, flour, eggs and almond extract. Whiz again until smooth.
Add the butter, caster sugar, flour, ground almonds, almond extract and eggs to the TM jug 1 min/speed 3.
7. Reduce the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.  Pour the frangipane into the tin,  Arrange the plum halves cut down side on top of the filling. Scatter over crushed Amaretti biscuits and flaked almonds.
Bake for 45 minutes until the tart is golden brown. Cool on a rack.

14 Dec 2016

Judge Electric Carving Knife (JEA76) - Review

Judge Electric Carving Knife

I make most of my own bread, not by hand admitted. there's always a bread machine, food processor or food mixer busy making the dough and helping me out.  Once you get the bread making bug there's no turning back to supermarket sliced.  So far so good, but I'm fairly rubbish at cutting slices of bread, which is a great shame when you've spent valuable time in the kitchen turning out a loaf of bread.

I've been sent an electric knife to review and have never used one before, well until now that is. I have to admit I did find using it a little daunting at first but once I felt confident, and focused on keeping my fingers a safe distance away from the blades, I found after a little practise I improved.

The bread cut effortlessly without any dragging of the blade and my slices of bread weren't the usual doorsteps, so that's an improvement in itself!

The knife can be used for carving meat too, but as I write this review I've yet to use the knife for carving meat but know it will come in extremely handy for slicing meats over Christmas and the New Year.

Judge Electric Carving Knife cutting gammon
Brand Image

Tried and Tested:
We tested on a cooled seeded loaf of bread which had been made in the bread maker and had a very soft crumb and texture. The knife went through the bread effortlessly without squashing down the loaf of bread.


Large handle for safe handling
Dual serrated stainless steel blades
Blade Cover
On/off button
Blade release button
150-160w motor
Safety finger guards
Clear instructions and safety guidance provided
Judge two year guarantee
RRP £29.40

Disclosure: We were sent the product for review.

13 Dec 2016

Judge Thermal Gravy/Sauce Pot - Review

Judge Thermal Gravy Pot

The new design thermal jug from Judge Cookware is a winner on looks and versatility, and after reviewing the chrome version a while ago, I was really pleased to be asked to review the new design.

Here at Kitchen Delights we really like these jugs, they keep gravy and sauces hot, and hubby likes them because any extra custard can be kept on the table ready for seconds, they are easy to pour from and don't drip everywhere!

The inside of the Judge Thermal Gravy/Sauce Pot

The photographs show the custard after standing around in the jug for a while and as you can see the custard flows freely without any trace of skin or lumps.........

Pudding and custard

If custard isn't for you then cream can be kept cool in the jug ready for dessert. This jug is a multi-tasker and cold milk can easily be decanted from those huge plastic cartons ready for the breakfast table.

Tried and tested: Great for Christmas and New Year entertaining but also an all year round product which will be used time and again.

Capacity of 450ml
Thumb operated lid
Non drip spout
Temperatures can be maintained up to 4 hours
TC347 Thermal Pot
Price £14.38

Disclaimer: We were sent the product for review purposes.

4 Dec 2016

Christmas Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

Christmas Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

Christmas is coming! Wrapping presents, writing cards, shopping all to be done but there's always time to bake an easy marble loaf cake. This cake is a childhood favourite and one I never tire of. It's an easy bake simply topped with a delicious chocolate icing and a few sprinkles, what's not to like.

The cake will be a winner with children.........

A slice of chocolate marble loaf cake

50g butter, softened
75g soft tub margarine
125g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp orange juice
2 level tbsp cocoa powder

For the icing
50g unsalted butter
30g cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp milk
200g icing sugar, sifted
25g white chocolate, melted
white chocolate stars

You will need: Greased 450g loaf tin lined.

Thermomix Method in Italics

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line the tin with a wide strip of non-stick baking parchment to go up the wide sides and over the base.
2. Place the butter,  Stork SB, sugar, flour, baking powder,  pinch of salt, eggs and orange juice into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes. Spoon half the cake batter into another bowl.
Add the butter, soft tub margarine, sugar, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt, eggs and orange juice to the TM jug 20 Secs/Speed 5. Scrape down 5 Secs/Speed 5. Spoon half the cake mixture into a bowl.
3. Sift the cocoa powder into one half of the mixture and mix until evenly blended.
Sprinkle the cocoa powder over the cake batter in the TM jug - 10 Secs/Speed 5.
4. Spoon the plain and chocolate cake mixtures alternately into the loaf tin. Level the surface, swirl the cake batter gently with a skewer. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until well risen, and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
5. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.
6. To make the icing, melt the butter in a small pan, add the cocoa powder, stir to blend and cook over a low heat for one minute. Stir in the milk and icing sugar, remove from the heat and mix thoroughly. Spread the cold cake with the icing, blob the melted white chocolate over the top and swirl with a skewer. Decorate with chocolate stars and leave to set.