Archive for Dessert

Lemon Posset

Lemon posset is a dessert consisting of cream set with lemon juice. I saw it on television, Tom Kerridge made it in his programme on Proper Pub food, and I immediately wanted to make it, it looked so good. Unfortunately, I found it a bit disappointing. It was really nice, creamy and sharp, but it wasn’t exceptional. And when eating a dessert consisting mainly of cream, I want it to be exceptional. I also misjudged how set it would get, so when I turned the posset out, it almost became a puddle instead of a pudding. I would suggest to serve it in cups or glasses, and not turned out of a mould. And maybe you do like it more than we did, or don’t have the same reservations about eating loads of cream that I have. I also expect the flavour to improve when you have real good cream, instead of the average supermarket cream that I used.

Lemon Posset

Lemon posset (serves 6)
From “Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food

425ml (double) cream
125g sugar
2 lemons, juice only

Bring the cream and sugar to the boil in a pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside to cool for five minutes. Skim off any air bubbles from the surface and pour into six serving glasses. Transfer to the fridge for at least two hours, or until set.

Crêpes

Recently I’ve bought a crêpe-pan, so of course I had to bake crêpes, and decided to use a real French crêpe recipe. They contain a lot more egg and sugar than the Dutch pancakes I’m used to, which gives them a completely different flavour and texture. They are quite chewy, but in a nice way, and quite sweet as well. They keep really well, they don’t turn soggy or anything.

Officially, you keep crêpes quite pale when baking, but I like them with a bit more colour. I used them to make a pancake-cake, with a filling made with equal amounts of sweetened crème de marrons from a can and whipped cream, stabilized with klopfix. But you can also serve them with jam, (powdered/brown) sugar, lemon, chocolate, nutella, cream, fruit compote, fresh fruit, maple syrup, or anything else you fancy.

Crepes

Crêpes (about 12, depending on the size of your pan and the thickness of the crêpes)
Slightly adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud

4 eggs
200 g flour
250 ml milk
60 g sugar
50 g butter, melted

Mix the eggs and flour really well to avoid lumps. Then add the milk, sugar and melted butter and whisk until combined. I like to heat the milk a little as well, to prevent the butter from getting hard again.
Heat a crêpe pan (or a frying pan) and oil lightly. Pour a little of the batter in the pan, spread out and fry on medium heat until the top is dry. Turn over, and cook the other side. Keep the colour very pale. Let the crêpe slide out onto a plate and repeat until all the batter is used.

Lemon yoghurt cake

This cake is extremely fast and simple to make, deliciously moist, tender and lemony, and a bit different than the standard (easy and fast) pound cake. It can be frozen very well (both whole and sliced), and I’ve even defrosted slices in the microwave (low wattage) successfully, while I normally let baked goods defrost at room temperature to prevent them getting dry. Or, keep it in the fridge and eat within a week. As a bonus, it is quite a light cake, while it doesn’t compromise on flavour.
If you want, you can ice the cake with an icing made with icing sugar and lemon juice, but I don’t think it is necessary. Also, freezing the cake with this icing will probably not work very well.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Lemon yoghurt cake (1 cake)
From “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

300 g sugar
50 g butter, soft
3 eggs, separated
225 g Greek yoghurt
grated zest of 1 lemon
175 g self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20 cm round cake tin.
Beat together sugar, butter and egg yolks. Add the yoghurt and lemon, and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the flour.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the cake is golden, feels firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Overnight Waffles

I love waffles for breakfast. My standard recipe is good, it’s tasty and fast, but sometimes I find it a bit boring. Making an overnight waffle recipe seemed like the perfect solution for that, yeast-raised things usually have more taste than recipes that use a chemical leavener, and a longer fermentation will give more flavour as well. The first time I made this recipe, it was nice, but I knew immediately that it could be much better. So I improved it, did a test run, and the result is below.

You need to start this recipe the day before, and either make it around dinner time and place it in the fridge before you go to bed, or make it before you go to bed and leave it on the counter. The recipe makes more batter than we need for one morning, so I divide it over 2 bowls and just leave the second bowl in the fridge for the second morning. I would not keep it longer than that. The amount of waffles it makes will greatly depend on the size of your waffle maker.

These waffles have an incredible and complex flavour. Even though they contain only a little sugar, they taste quite sweet (but not too sweet). They are crisp on the outside, and light, moist and fluffy on the inside. They are lovely with jam, fruit compote, maple syrup, (vanilla) yoghurt or nutella, perfect for an indulgent weekend breakfast. Or you could serve them as a luxurious dessert with warm cherries and whipped cream.

Overnight Waffles

Overnight waffles (12-16 waffles)
Adapted from “USA kookboek – Sheila Lukins”

1 sachet dry yeast
500 ml lukewarm milk
60 g butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
250 g flour
2 eggs
pinch of baking soda

Mix a little of the milk with the yeast and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and whisk. Add the flour and mix to a smooth batter. Cover with cling film and leave overnight.
Heat your waffle iron. Add the egg and baking soda just before baking, and whisk well. Scoop some batter in your waffle iron (not too much, it will rise quite a bit, and you don’t want it to overflow) and bake until golden and crisp. I found that they take a bit longer than my normal waffle recipe, the exact time will depend on your waffle maker. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve immediately.

Warm apples with vanilla sauce, ice cream and chantilly cream

As with a lot of dishes, I got the idea for it when I saw something like it on the menu somewhere, and thought it was a great idea to try and make at home. Warm and sticky apples, a lovely rich vanilla sauce, contrasting cold vanilla or cinnamon ice-cream, finished with a generous dot of chantilly cream: a big bowl of comfort, indulgence and deliciousness. I cheated by buying a good ice-cream (my ice cream machine and I still don’t get along very well), but if you want to make it yourself, this is the thing to start with because it takes the longest. Next, make the vanilla sauce. You could either make a custard, or a pastry cream with a bit more milk to make it thinner. The custard will be thinner/runnier than the pastry cream, it is up to you which you prefer. Then, prepare your apples. Choose a variety of apple that will holds its shape when heated, I’ve done it successfully with jonagold, elstar, pink lady, royal gala, braeburn, jazz and granny smith, so basically it will work with most apples. This is a great way to use up apples that are a bit over their prime. Peel and core, then slice them either in wedges or in cubes. Heat a frying pan, throw in the apples, and fry until the apples have a nice golden colour. Stir regularly, because they tend to catch and burn quite quickly. Turn the heat down to soften the apples a bit further, and add a knob of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar to make them nice and sticky. Keep cooking until the apples are tender and the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, make the chantilly cream by whipping cream with some sugar (1-2 tbsp for 250 ml) and vanilla extract (1/2 tsp for 250 ml) or seeds from a vanilla bean (1/2 bean per 250 ml). Serve by scooping the apples into bowls, and topping them with a pouring of vanilla sauce, a scoop of ice-cream and a dollop of chantilly cream. Enjoy!

Liege waffles with warm cherry sauce and whipped cream

Liège waffles (Gaufres de Liège) are amazing. They are made with a batter similar to brioche dough, containing pearl sugar that caramelizes on the outside when baked. Inside, they are rich, thick, dense, sweet and chewy, with pockets of sugar. They can be made plain, with vanilla, or with cinnamon, and they can be served plain, with warm cherries and whipped cream, or with other sauces/garnishes. In Belgium (and sometimes in the Netherlands) you can buy these as street food. Because they are so rich, they are very filling. They are great as an indulgent lunch, as an afternoon snack after a long walk in the snow, or as dessert after a very light main. Or of course, when you fancy them.
Just as with a sugar loaf, you need pearl sugar for this recipe. It is available online and in some stores, if you can’t find it you can use tiny sugar cubes as substitute, or you can smash up normal sugar cubes. Also, making this recipe by hand is possible, but it takes lots of elbow grease and makes quite a mess (video which shows the technique of kneading wet/sticky dough), it is even worse than normal sticky dough (like ciabatta) because of the egg and the butter and the almost-batter consistency, so I use a mixer. It is best to use a real Liège waffle maker, which can be turned over, but I’ve made it in my standard waffle maker and it turned out fine. Your waffle maker does need to have enough space for the dough to get the thickness and chewiness it needs, so a waffle maker that makes thin waffles will not work.

Liege waffles with warm cherry sauce and whipped cream

Liege waffles with warm cherry sauce and whipped cream (serves 6, size and amound of waffles depends on your waffle maker – real Liège waffle makers usually make quite large waffles)
Adapted from Butter Baking

1/2 packet of dry yeast
1/6 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cups flour
2 eggs
110 g butter, softened
1/3 cup of pearl sugar

1 jar of pitted cherries on juice
corn starch (10 g per 400 ml juice)
250 ml whipping cream
1.5 tbsp sugar
vanilla (optional)

Place flour in a large bowl, add the yeast, sugar, salt and water. Use a mixer with a dough hook to knead for 5 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Next, add the butter about 2 tbsp at a time, each time mixing until incorporated. Finally, mix for another 2 minutes to ensure that everything is mixed well. It should look like a quite liquid brioche dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size (about 1.5 hours).
Gently mix in the pearl sugar and let it rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your waffle maker.
Once the waffle maker is hot and the dough rested, scoop a couple of tablespoons of dough onto each waffle plate. Cook the waffles for about 5 minutes, until golden brown, crunchy and caramelized. Turn the waffle maker halfway if you have the real Liège waffle maker. Repeat to use up all the batter.
Meanwhile, separate the cherries and the juice and measure how much juice you have. Calculate how much corn starch you need (10 g per 400 ml juice), measure it out in a small cup, add a splash of the juice and mix well. Bring the rest of the juice to the boil, add the cornstarch in a small stream while mixing, add the cherries and bring to the boil again, then turn of the heat. Whip the cream with the sugar, and the vanilla if using.
Serve the waffles with a spoonful of cherry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. I like the waffles best when they are freshly baked and still warm, but they are still very delicious when cold.

Mango ice-cream

For once, Jamie Oliver is good for something (again). I loved him when he first started to do tv series, with dinner parties in his apartment, all kind of quirky and fun things. But things got out of hand, and although I admire some of the things he does (helping disadvantaged youth, promoting healthy school meals, cooking fast, cheap and healthy meals), it seems that Jamie nowadays is more a brand, created to make as much money as possible through all kinds of different channels (worldwide tv, his own magazines as well as guest articles in lots of other magazines, a pre-made food range, kitchenware, etc; some of them quite contradictory with each other and the other things he does), than the fun, quirky chef with original ideas that he was.
24Kitchen, a Dutch food channel, shows some of the tv series of Jamie Oliver, so sometimes when I’m zapping (channel surfing) I see a bit of his series. In this particular bit of episode I saw, he used frozen fruit and yoghurt to make ice-cream. I’ve seen this method before, for example on Saturday Kitchen (a BBC tv series), and in lots of magazines, but I never came around to making it. But this time I had a tiny bit of yoghurt left that needed using up, so this was the perfect moment for trying out this method of making ice-cream. I used 250 gram frozen mango and 50 ml yoghurt, but you can add a bit more yoghurt if you like. When you add too much the ice-cream will become too runny (which is also nice, then you can call it a smoothie). Alternatively you could make this with frozen banana, and maybe also with other fruit, but it should have enough flavour, because things tend to get a bit bland when they are frozen. The preparation is easy, just throw the frozen mango and a splosh of yoghurt in a food processor (if your food processor is small, do it in batches) and blitz until smooth and ice-creamy. You may need to scrape down the bowl once or twice and blitz again to make sure everything is processed. Serve immediately (you cannot store it).
I knew it was easy, but I was still surprised how easy, and how well it worked even in my small, not so powerful food processor. The flavour was lovely clean and mango-y, and if I hadn’t known the ingredients, I would have thought it was an Italian gelato (but it is much healthier than that). Just keep some frozen fruit in the freezer and yoghurt in the fridge (two things I usually do anyway) and voilà: instant dessert!

Far Breton

Far breton is a classic French dish from the region of Brittany. It is similar to a clafoutis or a flan, it is an eggs-and-milk custard with flour added, and usually prunes or raisins are added. It is quite dense and heavy, and therefore quite filling as well. I had it quite some years back, when I was on holiday in Brittany, and instantly liked it a lot. But it took me until now to make it at home… It is not traditional, but you can soak the prunes in rum before adding them to the dish.

Far breton avec pruneaux (serves 6-8)
From Cuisine et Vins de France

130 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
5 eggs
220 g flour
750 ml milk
pinch of salt
25 g butter, soft + 25 g butter, soft + extra to grease form
300 g dried plums/prunes (without stones)

Grease a spring-form (make sure it doesn’t leak) or baking dish. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Mix sugar, vanilla sugar and eggs together with a hand mixer. Gradually add the flour, the milk, a pinch of salt, and 25 g butter. Stop mixing when the mixture is a smooth batter.
Put the dried plums in the baking dish. Pour the batter over.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Divide the other 25 g of butter over the top of the far 5 minutes before the end of cooking time. Use a knife to check if the far is cooked, if it comes out barely humid it is cooked. If not, bake a little longer. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Raspberry Souffle

Lately I’ve been having a bit of a soufflé obsession. I mastered a cheese soufflé, but I wanted to make something sweet too. Usually you make sweet soufflés with a custard base, but I had some egg whites that I needed to use up, so I wanted a recipe that did not have any egg yolks in the base. Luckily, just that day a recipe like that was shown in “Saturday Kitchen Best Bites” (a BBC cooking show), which I adapted to my purposes. The soufflé is very airy and light, has the sharp and tangy flavour of raspberry and is barely sweet. If you like your desserts sweeter, add some more sugar.

Raspberry Souffle

Raspberry soufflés (serves 2)
Adapted from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

125 g raspberries (thawed if using frozen)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour

butter and sugar for greasing and dusting the ramekins

2 egg whites
1 tbsp sugar

Purée the raspberries and pour through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Pour most of the raspberry purée into a small pan, add the sugar and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the remaining raspberry purée, making sure there are no lumps. Add the cornflour-raspberry mix to the hot raspberry while stirring, keep stirring on the heat until the mixture has thickened and just comes to the boil. Take from the heat, pour into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease two ramekins with butter and dust them with sugar.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is glossy. Whisk the cold raspberry mix to ensure it is smooth. Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and mix through well (this lightens up the mixture), then fold in the remaining egg whites. Fill the ramekins with the soufflé mix, smooth the top, then run your thumb around the rim of the ramekin (this ensures good rising). Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until risen and slightly golden on top. Serve immediately.

Dutch food: Stroopwafelarretjescake

Why would you make something with dry, plain and boring biscuits if you can make it with rich, caramelly, flavoursome stroopwafels? Arretjescake is a traditional Dutch treat, originally made with biscuits, sugar, fat for deep-frying (either beef fat or something plant-based) and cocoa powder, although the exact ingredients are different according to the region, and the same kind of cakes are made in other countries as well. It is not a cake in the traditional sense of the word, and it has to firm in the fridge instead of being baked. It became popular in the Netherlands after the recipe was in a promotional booklet from an oil/fat/margarine factory. The “Nederlandsche Oliefabrieken (NOF) Calvé-Delft” used the booklet, made in comic book style and figuring Arretje Nof as the main character, to promote the use of their products (hence the name of the cake).

I had to search quite a bit for a recipe, because I wanted one that used real chocolate for taste. I also wanted it to contain no eggs, because I was to serve it to a company with some kids present (which can’t safely eat raw eggs, just as pregnant woman, the elderly and immunocompromised people cannot). I also did not want to use beef fat because I was not sure if there would be any vegetarians present, and I dislike the use of margarine-like products so I did not want to use plant-based hard fat for deep-frying as well. But to keep it authentic I wanted to use some kind of hard fat, so I used extra virgin coconut oil. It worked great and gave the whole thing a tiny, mild flavour of coconut. I loved this, and haven’t heard from anyone that didn’t like it, but when you are an intense coconut hater I can imagine that even this tiny bit of coconut flavour is too much. Futhermore I chose a recipe that did not use extra sugar, because using stroopwafels instead of biscuits makes it already sweeter than it would normally be.

It is definitely best to serve this cake in tiny portions because it is so rich, and either directly from the fridge or only about 15 minutes left on room temperature, because it tends to melt quite fast. The fast melting can be a nuisance, but also makes it extra tasty because it makes the cake extra melt-in-the-mouth. Because of the liquid in the chocolate mixture, the stroopwafels get softer and almost melt into the chocolate mixture, and the sweet and creamy chocolate and the caramelly stroopwafels combine perfectly. If you want to make this in advance, you can. Just make sure you cover it well and keep it in the fridge, it should last for a few days.

Stroopwafelarretjescake

Stroopwafelarretjescake
Inspired on a recipe from Dr. Oetker 1000 Die besten Backrezepte

100 g dark chocolate
200 g milk chocolate
75 g coconut oil
100 g cream
8 g (1 packet) vanilla sugar
400 g (1 packet) stroopwafels

Prepare a muffin tin (20×26) or a cake tin (25×11) by lining it with cling film. Use a muffin tin when you want to serve the arretjescake in small squares (as I did), use a cake tin when you want to serve it in slices.
Chop both chocolates and place it with the coconut oil and the cream in a heat-proof bowl. Place this above a pan with boiling water to melt everything au bain marie. Stir occasionally and take from the heat when molten. Add the sugar and mix well.
Start by placing a layer of stroopwafels in the tin. Cut them according to the size of your tin, I used 2 stroopwafels cut in halve and a whole one placed in the middle. Alternatively you can use mini-stroopwafels or chop up the stroopwafels and place a layer of this in the bottom of the tin. Pour over a thin layer of the chocolate mixture. Place another layer of stroopwafels, then again pour a thin layer of chocolate on top. Repeat until you’ve used up both the stroopwafels and the chocolate mixture.
Place the stroopwafelarretjescake for at least 5 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight. Use the cling film to release it from the tin after cooling, cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.