Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Rhubarb and Almond Cream Pasty Pie

With Easter fast approaching and any number of Easter bakes and posts to write, time was running out for this month's Random Recipes. Now it just so happens that RR has joined forces with the new round of AlphaBakes and it has been decided to start at the very beginning this time, with the letter A. Using my usual Eat Your Books method of selection I came out with the book Pasties by Lindsey Bareham. I must confess at this point that I felt a bit jittery. I may well come from the Land of Pasties, but my pasty making skills lean towards the imperfect end of the spectrum. I was hoping the book would fail to provide me with a suitable recipe, but in this I was foiled. A recipe for plum pasties with almond cream leapt up from the index and my heart skipped a beat.

OK, no need to panic. In my usual style, I would adapt the recipe. My mother had made a recent delivery of some rhubarb from her garden (for some reason our plot seems incapable of growing any), so I would substitute that for the plums. I would add some grated white chocolate to the pastry, some orange zest to the almond cream and most importantly of all I was going to make one large pie, not six individual pasties - I really just didn't have the time to faff around. My concession to the pasty would be to crimp the edges of the pie in true pasty style - hence the name pasty pie.

This is how I made:

Rhubarb and Almond Cream Pasty Pie

  • Cut 150g cold unsalted butter into 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white) with a knife then rubbed it between my fingers until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
  • Grated in 20g white chocolate.
  • Mixed in 2 tbsp Greek yogurt and 1 tbsp water with a knife, then brought the mixture together with my hands to form a ball. Covered with a plastic bag and placed in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Creamed 100g unsalted butter with 100g cardamom (caster) sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 1 tsp powdered orange rind (or zest of an orange).
  • Beat in a duck egg (or large hen's egg).
  • Stirred in 100g ground almonds.
  • Washed, trimmed and chopped 350g of rhubarb into smallish pieces.
  • Divided the pastry into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  • Rolled the larger portion out into a round to cover a deep 20 cm pie dish.
  • Covered the pastry bottom with the rhubarb, then covered the rhubarb with the almond cream.
  • Rolled out the smaller piece of pastry to cover the top of the pie.
  • Crimped the edges together, brushed on a little beaten egg mixed with milk and sprinkled about a dessertspoon of cardamom (caster) sugar over the top.
  • Baked at 200C for 15 minutes, then turned the oven down to 180C for a further 20 minutes until the top was nicely browned.
So how did it all work out? It was pure heaven and although you couldn't expect an angel to bring this down from on high during Lent, it sent CT and I into raptures. It was a truly indulgent dessert. I've not made pastry with white chocolate and yogurt before, but I will most certainly be doing it again. The rhubarb cut through the rich creamy filling and it all hung together very nicely.

It just so happened that I'd recently had delivery of a bag of Rodda's goodies which I'd won in their #crownyourpuds competition for my Chocolate Pots. So to crown my rhubarb and almond cream pasty pie, sat a dollop of Cornish clotted cream. Show me a pudding that isn't improved by clotted cream and I'll eat it, quipped CT - a man after my own heart.

So this Rhubarb and Almond Cream Pasty Pie is my entry to the joint Random Recipes and Alphabakes challenge with A for Almond. Dom of Belleau Kitchen, Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline of Caroline Makes have put their heads together this month and come up with this fun and clever challenge.

As everything is made from scratch, I'm sending this off to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Spicy Chocolate and Orange Easter Bundt Cake - We Should Cocoa #44

Easter Bundt Cake
Well I am pleased to report that the chocolate Easter bundt cake I made for friends on Good Friday, made it up to Dartmoor in one piece. The day was wonderfully sunny and I have no wish to complain about that. But I was concerned that the heat in the car would cause the chocolate to melt and the Easter eggs to slide off the top. I insulated the cake as best I could with blankets and all was well. We had it for tea, sitting out in the garden and it was glorious, all of it - the garden, the sun, the view, the company and the cake.

Easter Bundt Cake
As this was an Easter cake, but going to be eaten on Good Friday, I wanted the flavours to reflect a hot cross bun. So I made two batters based on the first bundt I made: 1) chocolate and cinnamon and 2) blood orange (appropriate I thought), sultana and coriander. I'd recently been sent some Holy Lama cinnamon extract to try out, so I used this in the cake rather than ground cinnamon. I shall be reviewing the extract at a later date, but I can report it worked very well. The flavours were all there, but not overly strong, which is what I had wanted to achieve.

Creme Egg Cake
Ever since seeing half cut creme eggs with fillings oozing out all over the place at Belleau Kitchen and Lavender and Lovage, I knew I wanted to do something similar to decorate my Easter cake. I used a variety of mini eggs and was pleased with just how effective they were. I drizzled the bundt with a rich and glossy chocolate sauce which not only added to the flavour, but held the eggs in place too.

This is my entry to this month's We Should Cocoa challenge, which is kindly being guest hosted by Rachel Cotterill. She has chosen an Easter theme, so do please send anything chocolatey you've prepared which has a celebratory spring or Easter slant. Entries need to be with her by midnight on 25th April.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Easter is also the theme for Love Cake over at JibberJabberUK this month, so I'm sending it in that direction too.

Another suitable challenge this month is Lets Cook Sweet Treats for Easter over at Simply Food.

And I'm also sharing this with #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too.

Strangely Calendar Cakes over at Dolly Bakes also has the theme of Easter Bakes this month, so I'm entering this one too.

Well I couldn't really leave this out of the Super Mega Easter Round-Up over at Alice Megan could I?

print recipe

Chocolate Easter Egg Cake
Spicy Chocolate Orange Easter Bundt
A beautifully textured and delicious bundt cake subtly flavoured with Easter spices and containing a little dried fruit. The cake is swirled with two differently flavoured and coloured batters giving additional interest when the cake is cut.
  • 30g sultanas
  • 1 organic orange - zest & juice (I used a blood orange)
  • 240g unsalted butter
  • 260g caster sugar (I used cardamom flavoured sugar)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 230g flour - half wholemeal, half white
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (I used 1 drop cinnamon extract)
  • 1 heaped tbsp yogurt
  • 50g caster sugar ( I used cardamom flavoured sugar)
  • 50ml water
  • 60g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 8-16 chocolate mini eggs of choice for decoration
1. Grate the orange rind into a bowl.2. Place the sultanas in a small bowl and squeeze over the orange juice. Cover and leave for at least 20 minutes.3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a little of the flour if necessary to prevent curdling.4. Sieve in the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and bicarb and stir until just combined.5. Spoon half the mixture into the bowl with the orange rind. Add the coriander together with the sultanas and juice and stir until just combined.6. Mix the water and cocoa to make a paste and add to the remaining batter along with the cinnamon and yogurt. Stir until just incorporated.7. Spoon heaps of alternating batter into a greased bundt mould or tin. Bake at 180℃ for about 45 minutes or until the cake is well risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.8. Pace the 50 ml of water and 50g of sugar in a pan and place on a low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3 minutes then take off the heat and allow to cool a little. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted, then add the butter and stir until smooth.9. Place the cooled cake onto a serving plate. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the cake and decorate with the eggs, halved or whole.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 -16 slices

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Cakes

Gosh, it's nearly Easter and I haven't yet posted a cake recipe. What is going on you may well ask? I'm not sure, but it obviously needs to be remedied fast. Luckily, I have just made this rather special chocolate Easter bundt cake to take to some friends we are staying with tonight. In fact I've baked another set of Easter cakes for some friends we are visiting for lunch tomorrow, so it's been all go here in the Chocolate Log Blog Kitchen this morning.

We're just off out now. Recipes to follow later in the week.

I wish you all a Very Happy Easter Holiday.


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