BAKEWELL TART

“Forget supermarket versions – home-made is the way to go with this popular tart. I’ve included fresh raspberries here for a sharp contrast to the sweetness of the frangipane. A teatime treat, it’s also lovely as a dessert with cream. I usually make it in an oblong tin to slice into fingers, but it works well in a 23-cm round tin too.” – Paul Hollywood

Bakewell Tart
Makes 8 to 10 slices
Bake 45 minutes

Equipment
A 36- x 12-cm rectangular tart tin (or 23-cm round tart tin)

Pastry
200 g plain flour
2 Tablespoons icing sugar
100 g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2–3 teaspoons ice-cold water

Frangipane filling
100 g unsalted butter
100 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
50 g plain flour
75 g round almonds
A drop of almond extract (optional)
100 g raspberry jam
100 g raspberries
20 g flaked almonds

To finish
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. To make the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons water. Stir into the mixture with a round-bladed knife, adding another 1 tsp water if necessary. (Alternatively you can make it in a food processor, blitzing the flour, icing sugar and butter together, then adding the liquid.)

2. As the dough comes together, gently knead it into a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 15 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3 mm thickness and use to line a 36 x 12 cm loose-bottomed tart tin (or a 23 cm round tin), leaving a little excess overhanging the edge.

4. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or dried beans. Bake blind for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is dry to the touch. Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for about 5 minutes until very lightly colored. Trim away excess pastry from the edge. Turn the oven down to 180°C/Gas 4.

5. For the frangipane filling, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour, ground almonds and the almond extract, if using.

6. Spread the jam over the base of the pastry case and scatter over the raspberries. Top with the frangipane and spread evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, then scatter the flaked almonds on top and cook for a further 15 minutes until the filling is golden. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Adapted from Paul Hollywood’s British Baking by Paul Hollywood with permission from Bloomsbury Publishing. Text © Paul Hollywood, 2014. Photographs © Peter Cassidy, 2014.

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TIRAMISU BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL

“Tiramisù is a classic Italian desert but there is nothing classic about my version which is served in clean flower pots and topped with edible soil and chocolate herbs. The soil is delicious (caramelized white chocolate tastes like Caramac bars) and kids love it because eating it looks so wrong but it tastes so right!” — Heston

Heston Blumenthal's tiramisu

Tiramisu
Freezing time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Makes 4 pots

For the crystallised dark chocolate
200 g white caster sugar
80 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the caramelized Grape Nuts
50 g Grape Nuts cereal
¼ tsp salt
15 g brown sugar

To finish the soil
60 g white chocolate
20 g cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
60 ml hazelnut oil

For the dark chocolate layers
250 g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the Marsala cream
3 large eggs
50 g unrefined caster sugar
300 g mascarpone
200 ml whipping cream
60 ml Marsala
1.5 g leaf gelatine, softened in a little cold water

For the sponge fingers
24 sponge fingers
150 ml ground coffee brewed in 400 ml water
100 ml Marsala

To serve
Basil and mint leaves, to garnish

For the crystallised dark chocolate, put 75 ml cold tap water and the sugar into a saucepan and place the pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the temperature of the liquid reaches 135ºC or until the syrup at the side of the pan begins to colour.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Whisk to incorporate the chocolate and continue to whisk until the liquid has completely crystallised.

Pour the chocolate crystals onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool. This can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To caramelise the Grape Nuts, place the cereal in a frying pan over a high heat and allow to toast for approximately 4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Add the salt and continue to toast for an additional minute.

Sprinkle the sugar over the surface of the Grape Nuts and stir with a spatula until the surface of the Grape Nuts is well caramelised.

Pour the caramelised Grape Nuts on to a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool at room temperature. Roughly chop and set aside.

To caramelize the white chocolate, preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Place the white chocolate on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, begin to stir the chocolate every couple of minutes until fully caramelised.

Mix the crystallised dark chocolate and caramelised white chocolate with the cocoa powder and chopped caramelised Grape Nuts, then add the salt and the hazelnut oil.

To make the dark chocolate layers, break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Pour the melted chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Place another sheet of acetate on top and then place a heavy chopping board on top to create a thin, even layer. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Using a pastry cutter roughly the size of the inside of the flower pots, cut out four discs of chocolate. Store in an airtight container in between sheets of parchment in the fridge.

To start the Marsala cream, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone, whipping cream and Marsala until soft peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the egg mixture in three batches.

Place 5 tablespoons of the cream mixture in a small saucepan. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine leaf, add it to the pan and warm up the mixture just enough to melt the gelatine. Whisk the mixture into the bulk of the Marsala cream.

To soak the sponge fingers, place them in a flat tray. Mix the coffee with the Marsala, and drizzle some of this over the top. Allow to soak for approximately 1 minute, then turn the sponge fingers over and drizzle with the remaining coffee mixture.

To assemble the tiramisù, place a chocolate disc on the bottom of each pot, then add some sponge fingers soaked in coffee and Marsala. Next add some Marsala cream. Place another chocolate disc on top then some more Marsala cream, one more disc and a final layer of cream. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle the soil on top of each tiramisu flower pot to cover the surface.

To finish the tiramisù, brush some melted chocolate underneath mint and basil leaves and, when dry, ‘plant’ them in the edible soil.

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ROSE RED VELVET CAKE

“I long resisted the charms of Rose Red Velvet Cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color. This beloved southern cake is traditionally prepared with oil, a mere suspicion of cocoa, and a teaspoon of white vinegar, which raises the acidity of the batter and intensifies its color. The liquid component is usually buttermilk, which is thought to raise the acidity as well, although the baking soda normally used neutralizes most of the acidity and makes the crumb more coarse and the color darker. So, when I created my version of this classic, I used only baking powder to employ the full acidity of the buttermilk, making vinegar unnecessary. I also used half oil and half butter for the flavor-enhancing qualities of butter and the moist, softening quality of the oil. The resulting cake is as flavorful and tender as you can hope for and stays soft enough to eat even straight from the fridge. A heart-shape pan is perfect for Valentine’s Day. And the contrast of the white chocolate cream cheese buttercream against the red cake is alluring.” – Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose Red Velvet Cake recipe

Rose’s Red Velvet Cake
Serves 8 to 10

3 large egg whites, at room temperature (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons 3 fluid ounces, 90 grams)
1 bottle red food color (2 tablespoons, 1 fluid ounce, 30 grams)
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (or 1¾ cups) cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour), sifted into the cup and leveled off (7 ounces, 200 grams)
1 cup superfine sugar (7 ounces, 200 grams)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup safflower oil, at room temperature (2 fluid ounces, 58 grams)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)(½ stick, 2 ounces, 57 grams)
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (4 fluid ounces, 121 grams)

Special Equipment: One 9 by 2-inch heart-shape or round cake pan (8 to 8 2/3 cups), encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment cut to shape, then coated with baking spray with flour.

Preheat the oven
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Mix the Liquid
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites, red food color, and vanilla just until lightly combined. (Caution: Be careful with the red food color: it stains effectively, but also unmercifully.)

Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.

Make the Batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the oil and butter on medium speed for 1 minute. It will not be completely smooth. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.

Bake the Cake
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.

Cool and Unmold the Cake
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up. Cool completely.

Notes
Some people have a problem with the idea of using red food color and use beet juice in its place. In recipes using baking soda, the beet juice would turn brown, but with this highly acidic batter, the crumb will stay red, though not as pretty a red as offered by the food color. The best way to harvest beet juice is to roast the well-washed beets in their skins, leaving an inch of root and stems, in an aluminum foil package at 350º/175ºC for about 45 minutes for medium beets, up to about 1 hour and 15 minutes for large ones. Remove the beets and use the foil to pour the beet juice into a small container. For a distinct chocolate flavor, you can use up to ¼ cup cocoa/0.7 ounce/21 grams, sifted before measuring, but decrease the flour by the same amount. The color will be a much darker red.

Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting
Makes almost 1 cup (7.6 ounces/216 grams)

3 ounces white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped (85 grams)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool (113 grams)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (65°F/19°C) (1 ounce, 28 grams)
1/2 Tablespoon crème fraîche or sour cream (0.2 ounces, 7 grams)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Melt the White Chocolate
Heat the chocolate until almost completely melted. Use a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or use the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often—do not let the bottom of the container touch the water).

Remove the white chocolate from the heat and, with the silicone spatula, stir until fully melted. Allow it to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

Make the Frosting
In a food processor, process the cream cheese, butter, and crème fraîche for a few seconds until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides. Add the cooled melted white chocolate and pulse it in a few times until it is smoothly incorporated. Add the almond extract and pulse it in.

Highlights for Success
Use white chocolate containing cocoa butter, such as Green & Black’s with vanilla seeds or Valrhona. The frosting becomes more firm in the refrigerator.

For a whiter frosting without the subtle flavor of the white chocolate, you can replace the white chocolate with 1 cup (lightly spooned into the cup)/4 ounces/115 grams powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Compose the Cake
When the cake is completely cool, set it on a serving plate. Frost the top with swirls of buttercream.

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