Monthly Archives: January 2018

Ma’amoul

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Maamoul

Ma’amoul are small shortbread pastries filled with pistachios, walnuts or dates. They are served all over the Arab world for Eid and Easter.

A special wooden mould is used to shape a ma’amoul, the round shallow molds are for dates, oval molds are for pistachios and deeper molds for walnuts. If you do not have the molds you can shape the ma’moul in your hand or use a small tart pan.
Makes 36

Pastry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2           cups all purpose flour
    1/2               lb unsalted butter
    1                  tbsp rosewater
    4                  tbsp milk
    icing sugar for dusting the pastries

Pistachio filling

  • 1               cup chopped pistachios
    1/2            cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1                tbsp rosewater

Walnuts Filling

  • 1           cup chopped nuts
    1/2        cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1/2        tsp cinnamon
    1           tbsp rosewater

Instructions

  1. Make the fillings. Chop the nuts and mix in the sugar. If you don’t like a grainy texture, you can use icing sugar. The tblsp of rosewater will make the nut mixture moist and easy to shape. Add cinnamon to the walnuts.
  2. In a large bowl add the flour.
    Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour(using the tip of your fingers)
  3. Add the rose water, followed by milk and make a soft dough.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each quarter into about 9 balls to make approximately 36 balls of dough-depending on the size of the mold.
  5. Fill the dough balls with a spoonful of nuts. First, flatten a ball of dough with your thumb and make a hollow. Place the nuts into the hollow. Be generous with the filling. Pinch the dough back over the nut filling, making a ball shape. Do this with the rest of the balls.
    Press the filled dough balls one by one into the ma’moul mold.
  6. To snap the dough out of the mold, tap the tip of the mold against the edge of the counter with a firm quick movement. With the other hand, catch the ma’moul and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dust some flour inside the mold if it’s sticking.

Cherry Winks

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Makes 5 doz

Ingredients

  • 2                jars(8 oz each) maraschino cherries
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 1                tsp baking powder
  • 1/2             tsp baking soda
  • 1/2             tsp salt
  • 3/4             cup butter, room tempreture
  • 1                 sugar
  • 2                 large eggs
  • 1                 tbsp milk
  • 1                 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1                 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4                 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets.  Finely chop 1/2 cup cherries and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a a large mixer bowl at medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla, until smooth.
  5. With mixture at low speed, beat dry ingredients just until blended.
  6. Stir in chopped cherries and nuts.
  7. Divide dough into quarters and shape into disks.  Wrap and refregerate overnight.
  8. Spread cornflakes on large plate.  Working with one disk at a time, divide dough and roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in cornflakes to coat.(Keep remaining rough refregerated.)
  9. Place 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Cut 30 cherries in half.  Gently press a cheery half onto centre of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, until browned.
  12. Transfer cookies to wire rach to cool.
  13. Repeat process with remaing douch, cornflakes and cherry halves.

Coconut Pecan Bars

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Makes 36

Ingredients

  • 1/3           cup butter
  • 3/4           cup all purpose flour
  • 1               tbsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 1               cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1               cup pecans
  • 2               egg
  • 1/2            cup packed brown sugar
  • 4               tsp all-purpose flour
  •                  pinch salt
  •                  tsp vanilla
  • 1/2            chopped dried sour cherries
  • 1/4            cup chopped bittersweet chocolate ot chocolate chips

Icing

  • 1-1/2         icing sugar
  • 3                tbsp butter softened
  • 2                tbsp milk
  • 1                tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or bowl, cut butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice, process just until mixture holds together when pressed.
  3. With floured hands press into parchment-paper-lined 8 inch Square metal pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until ligh golden, about 15 min.

Filling

  1. Meanwhile, spread coconut and pecans on baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly coloured, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla; stir in coconut mixture, dried cherries and chocolate.
  3. Spreed evenly over base, pressing lightly to smooth.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven until firm and golden, 25 minutes.
  5. Let it cool.

Icing

  1. In a bowl, beat sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla; spread over filling.
  2. Refrigerate until icing is firm.  About an hour.
  3. Cut into squares.

 

 

 

Spumoni Slices

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Makes 7 doz.

Ingredients

  • 3          cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2       tsp baking powder
  • 1/4       tsp salt
  • 1          cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 2          tbsp milk
  • 1          tsp vanilla extract
  • 1          square unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 1/3       cup candied red cherries, finely chopped
  • 5          drops red food colouring
  • 1/2       cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • 1          tsp dark rum or 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5          drops green food colouring.

Instructions

  1. Combine flour. baking soda and salt to a bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix.
  4. With mixer at low speed, gradually add dry ingredients just until blende.
  5. Divide dough into thirds, placing each in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine one third dough with melted chocolate.
  7. Combine cherries and red colouring with the second one third of the dough.Stir nuts, rum and green food colouring into remaining dough.
  8. Line an 8 x 4 inch bread pan with plastic wrap.  Press green dough evenly into bottom of the pan.  Repeat layering with chocolate and cherry doughs.
  9. Cover and refregerate overnight.
  10. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Invert pan onto a cutting board.  Remove pan and peel of the plastic wrap.
  12. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds or quarters.
  13. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  14. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sticky Toffee and Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

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Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1                lb dried Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 -1/2        cups water
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 2                tsp baking powder
  • 1/4             tsp baking soda
  • 1                tsp salt
  • 3/4            cup unsalted butter
  • 1                cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3             cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2                tsp vanilla essence
  • 3                eggs
  • 1                cup chopped Lindt Excellence 85% Dark chocolate

Vanilla Meringue butter cream

  • 4              eggs white
  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1              tsp vanilla extract
  •                 Pinch salt
  • 3/4          cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Chocolate caramel drizzle

  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4           cup water
  • 3/4           cup 35% whipping cream
  • 80            g  Lindth Excellence 85% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/8           tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Lightly grease 3-7″ springform pans or 2-9″ springform pans.  Set aside.
  2. Combine dates and water in a small saucepan over medium-high-heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes or until dates are tender and about 1/3 cup liquid remains.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  6. Using electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in vanilla; stir in egges, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
  8. Stir in one-third of flour mixture; stir in half of date puree, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.  Repeat additions of flour and date puree; stir in remaining flour mixture.
  9. Stir in chopped chocolate.  Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, whisk egg whites with sugar until sugar has fully dissolved and instant-read thermometer reads 160 degree F(70degress F). Remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla and salt to egg white mixture, using electric mixer, whip until meringue holds stiff peaks and mixture is at room tempreture.  Add butter, one cube at a time, beating well after each addition.  (If mixture looks like it is separating, keep beating until it looks smooth again.)  When butter has incorporated, reduce to medium-high speed; beat for 2 minutes or until silky smooth.  (Use immediately, or refrigerate briefly if buttercream is too soft.)
  3. Spoon buttercream into piping bag fitted with large tip.

Drizzle

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has disolved.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, and boil without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sugar mixture is deep gold.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Working quickly and being careful not to splash, stir in cream.  Let cool slightly; add chocolate and salt, stirring until smooth.
  5. Let sauce cool to room tempreture.

Assembly

  1. Trim domed tops from cake layers.  Transfer one layer to cake board, plate or serving platter; drizzle with one third of the chocolate sauce.
  2. Pipe a circle of buttercream around cake, about 1/2 inch(1cm) from edge;  fill with more butter cream.
  3. Top with second cake layer, drizzle with sauce and pipe buttercream over top.
  4. Add final cake layer; pipe remaining buttercream over top and side of cake, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  5. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over top and side of cake.
  6. Top with lindt truffles and chocolate sauce.

Chocolatier Tip

The best way to add chocolate to an already sweet dessert is to use chocolate that has a higher percentage of cacoa.  This gives you all the bittersweet flavour without the extra sugar.