End of week delicious desserts

End of week delicious desserts

Posted 9th Oct 2015

Currys have teamed up with Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano as part of a campaign to get people re-using their kitchen gadgets to cook and bake delicious food from scratch, so why not give these scrumptious dessert recipes a go?

Dark chocolate and hazelnut chocolate torte

150g 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
150g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs
150g ground hazelnuts
40g cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 80ml boiling water
½ teaspoon fine salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/320°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line an 8-inch springform cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.

2. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove and place to one side to cool slightly.

3. Put the sugars and eggs in your mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for 8 minutes until meringue-like.

4. Gently fold in the melted chocolate using a large metal spoon, be careful not to deflate the mixture.

5. Next gently fold in the ground hazelnuts, cocoa powder/coffee mixture and salt.

6. Pour the mixture very gently into the prepared cake tin and bake just below the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes.

7. The cake is ready when the centre feels just firm, the top has a slight crust and some cracks have appeared. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door until at least 30 minutes has gone by.

8. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.

Next decorate the cake:

Handful fresh raspberries
Handful fresh blueberries
20g chopped roasted hazelnuts
A few fresh mint leaves

1. Take the cake out of the tin and place on your presentation plate or stand. Arrange the raspberries and blueberries in the centre of the torte.

2. Next scatter the chopped roasted hazelnuts around the fruit but leave the outer edge of the torte exposed.

3. Pick some perfect mint leaves and use them to add a splash of colour around the fruits.


Spiced apple and pear chausson

For the Danish pastry dough (can be made a day or two in advance):
125ml whole milk
75ml boiling water
500g strong white bread flour
10g instant yeast
75g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon fine salt
250g cold unsalted butter

1. Put the milk in a heatproof jug and add the boiling water to give you a warm liquid.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients except the butter in the bowl of your mixer. When adding the yeast and salt, place them at opposite sides of the bowl.

3. Add two thirds of the liquid and begin to mix it all together on a slow setting using a dough hook. Add more liquid gradually until all the dry ingredients are picked up and you have a soft dough. You may not need all of the liquid.

4. Knead it for about 6 minutes using the mixer. You will work through the initial wet stage and eventually end up with a smooth, soft, silky dough.

5. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover it with clingfilm or a shower cap and place it in the fridge for 2 hours to prove.

6. While the dough is proving, place the cold butter between two pieces of non-stick baking parchment and flatten it out to a 33 x 19cm/13 x 7½ inch rectangle, using a rolling pin. Place it on a baking sheet and pop it in the fridge to harden again.

7. When the dough has proved, tip it out onto a floured surface and roll it out to a 50 x 20cm/20 x 8 inch rectangle.

8. With a short edge nearest to you, place the flattened butter on the lower two thirds of the dough. Fold the top third of dough over and then fold the bottom third upwards so all the butter is encased. Press the edges firmly to seal it in.

9. Turn the block of dough 90 degrees and roll it out again to a rectangle 50 x 20cm – use the rolling pin in a pressing action at first to make ridges and evenly distribute the butter inside. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to let the butter harden up again.

10. Repeat the rolling and folding process twice more, placing it in the fridge between folds.

11. After the last roll and fold let the dough chill in the fridge for an hour or preferably overnight.

Next make the chausson filling (can be made in advance and kept in the fridge once cooled):
3 Granny Smith apples
3 conference pears
20g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
50g sultanas
35g pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

1. Core and peel the apples and pears. Chop into 5mm chunks and place in a large heatproof bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover with clingfilm.

2. Place in a microwave on the highest setting for 6 minutes. Alternatively you can cook it slowly in a pan over a low heat with a lid on. Once cooked allow to cool completely before using.

Next assemble and bake the chausson:

1. Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut in half. Place one half back in the fridge.

2. Roll the half left out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of 4mm. Cut out six 11cm-12cm circles. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the centre of each circle.

3. Brush some whisked egg around the edge of each circle of pastry and fold half of each circle over to enclose the filling and press gently but firmly to seal.

4. Place each one on a baking tray lined with non-stick parchment paper well-spaced apart.

5. Place the tray with the six chausson in a large clear bag and leave on one side to prove for 40 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/350°F/Gas Mark 6.

6. Make another 6 chausson using the other half of the pastry and the remainder of the filling.

7. Take the first batch once proved and make 3 cuts in the top of each chausson to allow steam to escape and brush with egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes just below the centre of the oven until well risen and golden. Remove and place on a cooling rack when ready. Repeat for the second batch.

8. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve any leftover filling alongside the chaussons.


French rose and fruit tart

First make the sweet shortcrust pastry (or you could also use 300g of ready-made):
215g plain flour
30g icing sugar
120g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm/½ inch cubes
2 medium egg yolks
2 tablespoons fridge-cold water

1. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of your food processor fitted with a blade and give them a quick pulse.

2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the egg and water.

4. Bring together with your hands and then gently knead the mixture a couple of times to make a smooth pastry. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge until required. Make sure you take it out of the fridge 45 minutes before you want to use it to make it easier to roll (do the same for ready-made).

5. Grease a 25cm tart tin before lining it. Line the bottom of the tin with a round piece of non-stick baking parchment, drawing around the loose bottom as a guide. Leave a small tab of parchment sticking out of the side of the circle – this will give you something to hold as you slide the tart from the parchment.

7. Pre-heat the oven to 210°C/190°C Fan/375°F/Gas Mark 6½. Flour your work surface lightly but evenly with plain flour. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm. Keep lifting and rotating the pastry to stop it sticking to your work surface. Use more flour as required. I sprinkle some on the pastry and rub it across the surface to keep it non-stick.

8. Place your tin gently on the pastry and cut around it, about 6cm/2½ inches larger than the tin.

9. Sprinkle the surface of the pastry with a little flour and rub it in gently with your hand. Fold the pastry gently and loosely over on itself twice so you end up with a quarter wedge. Place the point of the wedge in the centre of the tin and simply unfold it. Keep an offcut of pastry to one side.

10. Gently ease the pastry into the sides of the tin. Dip the offcut of pastry in flour and use it to gently press the pastry into the sides of the tin. Do not trim off the overhanging pastry. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork.

11. Forget baking parchment and ceramic beans for blind baking; use a good-quality clingfilm and rice or mung beans instead. The clingfilm does not melt in the oven and filling it with rice or mung beans gets into every nook and cranny. The clingfilm is non-stick too; you can just lift it out after blind baking with the rice or beans. Place four sheets of clingfilm loosely over the tart tin, and press them down together into the pastry. Gather the excess clingfilm around the tin. Fill the tin with rice or mung beans and bake for 25 minutes.

12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Gently lift out the clingfilm with the rice or beans and put them into a large bowl to cool before you store them.

13. Put the tart tin back in the oven and bake for a further 6-8 minutes until the pastry base looks dry and pale golden. Sometimes the base of the pastry will inflate during this phase of baking. If you see this happening, open the oven and prick the base in the centre with a toothpick to let the air escape. Plug that hole with a small ball of raw pastry as soon as the pastry comes out of the oven.

14. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes. Trim off the excess pastry by running a sharp smooth knife around the top of the tin. Leave the case in the tin while you assemble the tart.

15. Next take 60g of dark chocolate and melt it in a microwave or a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Using a pastry brush apply a layer of the melted chocolate evenly over the base of the pastry case but not up the sides. Place in the fridge to set.

Next make the rose-flavoured crème pâtissière (can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until needed):
550ml whole milk
2 medium eggs
2 medium egg yolks
70g caster sugar
70g cornflour
1½ teaspoons rose water

1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan.

2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and use an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Then whisk in the cornflour and rose water.

3. Heat the milk until just boiling. Pour slowly into the egg mixture while whisking all the time with a balloon whisk until well mixed and smooth.

4. Return the mixture to the saucepan over a medium heat, whisk continuously for 3 minutes while the mixture bubbles.

5. Pour back into the heatproof bowl and cover with clingfilm, making sure the clingfilm is touching the surface of the crème pâtissière to prevent a skin forming. Leave to one side until cold.

Finally assemble and top the tart using your choice of sliced and peeled fruits and arrange them in the shape of a flower:
5 yellow kiwi fruit
5 green kiwi fruit
Handful strawberries
Handful blueberries
Handful raspberries
1 fresh fig
5 sprigs of mint
4 tablespoons smooth apricot jam

1. Leave the pastry case in the tin to support it while you fill and decorate it.

2. Take the cold crème pâtissière and whisk it using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy or use your worktop mixer. Fill the pastry case evenly with it.

3. Place in the fridge to set slightly while you prepare the fruits.

4. Peel and slice the fruits and then arrange on top of the crème pâtissière to look like a flower. Use some mint leaves too for a splash of extra colour.

5. Add a tablespoon of water to the apricot jam and warm gently to make it runny. Brush an even layer gently over all the fruit.

Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano is encouraging the nation to bake with these stunning desserts that are easy to recreate at home. Visit www.currys.co.uk/baking for all your baking needs.


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