Chocolate tart

DSC_6863 DSC_6867 DSC_6873

160g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g icing sugar, sifted
75g chopped hazelnuts
200g plain flour
large egg
Zest of two oranges grated finely
large pinch salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of finely-ground black pepper
splash of milk.

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg, salt, peppers and orange zest, then mix in the flour and chopped nuts. Add milk if required to loosen mix if it is too dry. Form into flat discs (this makes two 8 inch tarts) and press into a lined loose-bottomed flan dish or spring cake tin.  Glaze with eggwash mixed with a little milk. Bake for 15 mins at 180C until golden.  Allow to cool thoroughly in the tin.

.Melt 375g of good quality 70% chocolate in a bain-marie with 60g of butter and 30g of honey. Beat in about 400ml of double cream or whipping cream. Using a palette knife, fill the flan dishes and make the surface smooth and flat. Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the fridge.  Grate chocolate (dark, milk or white) evenly over the tart using a fine microplane.  Chill for at least 4 hours.  Cut using a hot knife.

Served with ripe sweet grapes, a piece of candied orange peel, ice cream, blueberries and cream – should have had pomegranate as well…

Slightly adapted from the very wonderful http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/chocolate-tart-recipe

Raspberry and mulberry honey snap

Brandy snap basket made with honey (50g flour, 50g butter, 50g honey, 25g white sugar, 25g soft brown sugar, chopped crystallised ginger, ground ginger, juice of a lemon, spooned on to a Silpat and baked 7 mins at 180C) then draped over a non-stick tart dish until cooled. Filled with fresh Autumn raspberries, ice cream, grated dark chocolate and cream. Served wth a slice of honey-glazed pear (cut on a mandoline) with fresh mulberries.

Apple and blackberry flapjack crumble

Dessert apples, chopped roughly and sprinkled with the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of honey and three of strawberry jam. Simmered for a few minutes with frozen blackberries.

Crumble made with 75g flour, 60g soft brown sugar, 75g butter, 120g rolled jumbo oats, 20g or so of golden syrup, teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a handful of chopped walnuts.

Rubbed in flour, butter, cinnamon and oats, added sugar, rubbed in more, then stirred in walnuts and finally the syrup. Fruit and juice put into a ceramic dish and levelled.  Crumble mix sprinkled on top.  Baked 35 mins at 190C.  Rested for 10 mins.

Roast nectarines

Roasted nectarines, drizzled with honey and caramelised for 25 mins at 200C.. Served with halved, stoned black cherries, fresh raspberries and loganberries, a raspberry coulis made with overripe fruit and honey, simmered for ten mins, then pushed through a chinois.  Topped with fromage frais and orange and lime zest.

Redcurrant jelly

Fresh redcurrants from Caroline’s fabulous bird-proof fruit cage, simmered with sugar, then drained. Syrup mixed with gelatine powder and poured into bowls with the fruit and left to set to a glass-clear, densely-coloured and brittle jelly

Raspberry rum baba

250g flour
30g honey
6 eggs
150g melted unsalted butter
10g dried yeast
pinch of salt

Make a batter from all ingredients apart from the butter, then beat in the butter.  Fill tart tins or savarin moulds about half full, leave to rise until doubled in size then cook 11 mins at 180C.

Dissolve 250g Muscovado sugar in a third of a bottle or dark rum.  I used cheap dark rum and added a bit of extra rum flavouring.  Grate the zest of an orange and some vanilla, add about half a.litre of boiling water and bring to a simmer, until most of the alcohol has gone.

Once the cakes are cool, dip in the hot liquor for half a minute.  I took off the top of the cakes to make them more absorbent. Stand on a shallow tray and allow to soak up the remaining syrup.  When cold, serve upside down, surrounded by a pool of cream flavoured with a little orange juice. Put some whipped, sweetened cream on top and stick as many freshly-picked raspberries as possible to the top.  Dredge with icing sugar, and sprinkle finely-shredded mint leaves on the pool of cream.  Serves at least 12 (I made 15 from that quantity)

Based on a recipe by Martin Wishart

Caramelised bananas with blackcurrant compote

Bananas, halved lengthways and across, fried gently in butter until golden on the round side, sprinkled with brown sugar on the cut side, then fried fast for a minute or so until the sugar caramelised and went crunchy.  Blackcurrants simmered with strawberry jam, ground ginger and a little honey.  Served with a smear of honey sprinkled with confectioners sugar, shredded garden mint and a drizzle of cream