Panna Cotta with Thyme, Lemon and Blueberries

This is one of the easiest recipe for creamy panna cotta, infused with thyme and lemon, and served with berry sauce.

Panna Cotta with Thyme, lemon and blueberries

PANNA COTTA WITH THYME, LEMON AND BLUEBERRY SAUCE

(Based on Simon Rimmer’s recipe)

For panna cotta:

3 gelatine leaves

250 ml milk

250 ml double cream

1/4 cup sugar

about 3-4 sprigs of thyme

1/2 lemon zest

For blueberry sauce:

1 cup blueberries

1/4 sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

water, if needed to thin out the sauce

Method:

  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water, set aside until soft.
  2. Place the milk, cream, sugar lemon zest and fresh thyme into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the thyme springs and discard.

  3. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

  4. Divide the mixture among four ramekins and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least an hour, until set.

  5. To make the sauce place the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries are hot and popped. Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Add water, if needed, to achieve the proper consistency. Allow to cool completely before topping the panna cotta.
  6. To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with more fresh blueberries.

Apple & Cheese Cobbler

Hello October! It’s getting noticeably cooler outside, it’s time for us to dust off the pie dishes and casseroles. Personally, I can think of nothing better what represent this time of year like apples, and this is one of my absolute favourite autumnal puddings.

This recipe was adapted from Simon Rimmer, via BBC Food.

Apple and Cheese Cobbler

APPLE & CHEESE COBBLER

Ingredients:

4-5 apples, depends on the size (Bramley or Cox work best),  cut into thick wedges

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

100g butter

For the topping:

225g plain flour

100g sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt

100g butter, cold, cut in cubes

175ml soured cream

150g Cheshire cheese, crumbled

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Peel and chop the apples, place them in a pan with sugar, butter and cinnamon, and cook gently until just tender and caramelised. Transfer the apples into the prepared pie dish.
  3. For the topping, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor or rub it with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the soured cream and pulse (or mix with the spoon) until the mixture comes together as a thick dough.
  5. Spoon the cobbler dough on top of the apples, then crumble the cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

 

 

 

No-bake Chocolate Cheesecake (winter edition)

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I found this recipe via Google search a couple years ago when I needed something chocolatey but not too heavy. After the first glance at the description and the amount of the reviews I decided to make it immediately. I wasn’t disappointed  and I never remember anyone disappointed with this cake ever since. Just recently, I made several variations of this cake for multiple gatherings and dinner parties with friends, the reviews were great each time, to the point that even our friends’ 9 years old daughter emailed me asking for this recipe.

Original recipe came from SUGAR.PLUM.FAIRY via allrecipes.co.uk

In my version of the recipe I use Bourbon Biscuits instead of Digestives, I don’t use sugar in a base and I increased the amount of dairy products (I like cheesecake to be a bit higher), I also choose to add different accents into the cake  by adding some alcohol to the mixture (it can be orange, mint, almond flavour), which completely changes the taste. You can adapt the flavouring and decoration depends on the season.

NO_BAKE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE (WINTER EDITION)

Ingredients

150g Bourbon biscuits (or Digestive biscuits)

45g butter

100g caster sugar

150ml whipping cream

150g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with a little hot water

300g cream cheese

shot of any flavoured alcohol (mint/amaretto/orange), optional

Method:

1. Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter. Press into a 18cm (7 in) cake tin and refrigerate.

2. Meanwhile, whip cream until soft peak stage. Add cooled melted chocolate, then the cocoa powder mix. Blend well and set aside.

3. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Fold in cream/chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. Spread into tin on top of crushed biscuits. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I chose to decorate with handmade chocolate mini trees and flaked coconut to recreate winter theme. Then serve. 🙂

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Rhubarb & Sour Cream Cake

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I still had plenty of rhubarb left after making the Lamb Meatballs the day before. But this time I definitely wanted something SWEET. When we were young, my Grandma baked this delicious Rhubarb Crumble Cake, which was my absolute favourite, but as Im still ‘mastering’ my yeast dough technique. I opted for an easier version, but still using another one of my favourite ingredients – sour cream! I am sure anyone who doesn’t like rhubarb will like this cake. It is not sour at all, it is just ‘hinting’ with rhubarb flavour, but because of the sour cream, the cake tastes so smooth, tender and creamy.

SOUR CREAM & RHUBARB CAKE

(based on a recipe by Belinda Jeffery)

Ingredients:

350g self-raising flour

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

60g butter, at room temperature

200 g brown sugar

1 large egg

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

250 ml sour cream

Approx 450g rhubarb, cut in chunks

150 caster sugar

25g flaked almonds for decoration on a top (optional)

Plus: cream, whipped cream or ice cream to serve

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix together flour, salt and cinnamon and set aside.

2. Put the butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl and beat together till the mixture will remind you of wet sand. Then add an egg and beat till mixture will become smooth and fluffy. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

3. Mix in the flour mixture, following by rhubarb. Mix everything, making sure that the rhubarb is completely coated in batter.

4. Once combined, transfer the mixture into prepared cake tin and spindle generously with the flaked almonds and caster sugar, if you wish. Bake it for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the wooden toothpick comes out clean. You can serve it warm or just wait until it is completely cool (I think when it is even better!) and drench it in a cream! 🙂

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Eat Cake for Breakfast

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Rich and buttery, yet light and airy, this wonderful loaf-cake captures the essence of the classic with an added twist. Adding cognac gives a depth of flavour should you feel you particularly adventurous. You can even soak the apricots in it too. Also it is one of those cakes which tastes much better next day after baking.

TEA LOAF WITH APRICOTS

Ingredients:

200g plain flour

170l butter room temperature

3 eggs

170g sugar

4 tablespoons cognac

170g dried apricots

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

Method:

1. Place dried apricots in a separate bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes, then tip the apricots into the colander and let them dry. When they are completely dry from water, chop them into cubes and toss in a little amount of flour – it will prevent the fruit from gathering in one area and distribute evenly throughout the cake. Leave aside until later.

2. Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter the loaf tin and line with the parchment paper.

3. Beat the butter for 5-6 minutes until it’s really fluffy, add sugar, beat another 5 minutes. Slightly beat the eggs with the fork and gradually add into the buttery mixture, along with the cognac, continue mixing
another 5 minutes.

4. In a separate bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the buttery one. The mass will increase in volume, becoming very soft and airy. At the end, add the apricots and carefully mix into the batter, pour into the prepared tin.

5. Bake it for about 55 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean. After the baking leave the cake to cool in the tin because this cake is very fragile. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

P.S: Please do not be confused by my pictures as it looks like the cake has raisins in it, where in my recipe I talk about apricots. The thing is I came across to the DARK variety of dried apricots which I have never tried before and I was keen to try them.  They are very dark and look like raisins when chopped  but I definitely recommend them if you have never tried/seen dark apricots.  Try them next time you see them because they are very soft, juicy and delicious. 🙂

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