Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chocolate Fondant

Recipe from Masterchef season 2


Melted butter, for greasing
Cocoa powder, for dusting (approx ¼ cup)
200g dark couverture chocolate
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
100g butter, extra
vanilla ice cream and berries, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a small square of paper in the bottom of 6 ramekins and grease with melted butter and cocoa powder. Place ramekins on a baking tray.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water, turn off heat. In an electric mixer, add the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and mix on high speed until fluffy and white. Tip chocolate mixture into a large bowl, pour egg mixture into chocolate mixture and fold together. Fold in flour and mix until smooth. Spoon or pour mixture into ramekins and bake in oven for 8-9 minutes.
  3. place in fridge until ready to serve. When ready to serve, bake in oven for 8-9 minutes.
  4. To serve, gently run knife along outside of each ramekin and turn fondant out into serving bowls.
Notes & Tips

Fondant mixture can be prepared ahead of time. Place in fridge until ready to serve. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes
Serve chocolate fondants with vanilla ice cream and mixed berries

Berries in syrup:

2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen, thawed)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold. Combine mixed berries and syrup in a bowl. Stir gently to coat berries.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Beef Shakshuka with Smoked Eggplant

This is a modern take on the classic Middle Eastern breakfast dish, Shakshuka. It's a pretty impressive one-pan meal and really fills you up!

Recipe adapted from Yottam Ottolenghi


4 eggplants (aubergines) (1.1kg gross)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped (200g net)
6 garlic cloves, finely diced (20g net)
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (add up to ½ teaspoon for extra heat)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons tomato paste
300g beef mince
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (100g net)
2 teaspoons (15g) finely chopped preserved lemon
4 eggs
¾ teaspoon sumac
3 teaspoons chopped parsley

Tahini sauce
40g tahini paste
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons water


Use a sharp knife to pierce the eggplant in a few places and place each directly over a naked flame on the stovetop. Cook on medium heat, turning occasionally with metal tongs, for 20 minutes, or until outside is totally burnt and eggplant starts to collapse on itself.

Alternatively, place the pierced eggplant on baking tray lined with foil and place under a hot grill, turning every 20 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from tray and place in a colander. Cut a single slit in each eggplant, from top to base, and allow the juices to strain. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, avoiding all black skin, and set aside. You should have about 370 g eggplant flesh.

To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the ingredients until thick and rich. You may need to add a splash of water if it is stiff.

Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, cinnamon and cumin and sauté for 6 minutes, until softened and coloured a bit. Add the beef, salt and some black pepper. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, for 5–6 minutes, or until browned well. Mix in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, preserved lemon and eggplant flesh and cook for another 5 minutes. Add up to 90 ml of water if the sauce is becoming very thick. Make four small wells in the mix and break an egg into each. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the eggwhites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. Covering the pan with a lid will hasten the process but will make the yolks look a bit cloudy.

Remove from the heat and dot with dollops of tahini sauce, sprinkle with sumac and finish with the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake


200g butter, chopped
180g dark chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
4 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar, sifted
2 cups almond meal
Icing sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream and strawberries/raspberries, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Grease a 6cm deep, 20cm round (base) springform cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
  2. Place butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted and combined. Remove from heat. Transfer to bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick. Set aside
  4. Add chocolate mixture and almond meal to egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold half the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool cake completely in pan. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with cream and strawberries/raspberries.

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