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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Crunch Torte

Proper chocolate...  Delia wrote this recipe years ago and I made it for the first time too many years ago.  Let's not get into how many years I'm talking about but it's a classic recipe.  We have a similar recipe in the family since I was a child.  It is very easy to make, simply because there is no baking.  It can be easily done the night before if you have limited time on the day.  If you take out the rum, it's a perfect cake for a kids party.   You just need to find very good quality chocolate that has about 70% cocoa solids.
However, I have to warn you, it's a very rich chocolate cake so you may want to have small slices.

Chocolate Crunch Torte
(Serves about 12)

400 g dark chocolate with about 70-75% cocoa solids - broken into little pieces
150 g chopped or sliced almonds
100 g tinned sour cherries
60 g raisin- soaked in water a day before
1 tablespoon of rum
100 g butter
250 ml double cream - lightly whipped
250 g oat biscuits chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

about 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to dust

In a non-stick pan, roast the almonds for few minutes over medium heat.  Stir them often, otherwise they will burn really quickly.  When they are done, leave them to cool.
Start melting the chocolate and butter in a bowl that sits over a saucepan filled with simmering water.  Melt the chocolate with the butter until it's smooth. After that remove the chocolate bowl and set it aside to cool down for few minutes.  If the chocolate starts to get hard and not so glossy anymore, don't worry.  Next step will make it smooth again. 
Add the double cream, rum and vanilla sugar to the melted chocolate-butter mix and stir very well. 
Next, add the raisins, cherries, chopped biscuits and almonds into the mixture.
The best is to use a cake tin with a loose base (20 cm - 8''), that is lightly greased with butter.  Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin as evenly as possible.  
Cover it with a folio and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, preferable over the night. 
Take it out 15-20 minutes before you serve.  Dust over it with some cocoa powder.  
This rich cake is even more delicious when served with whipped cream.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Roasted Turkey

This had to go in before it's too late.  I've been asked the recipe for so many times and because I have only written it on a piece of newspaper clipping, I really need to write it down. I have to...although I didn't like the picture but... oh well.  This recipe is a mixture of a recipe I got from my dear friend F and a recipe I saw in a cooking magazine that I don't know anymore which magazine it was.  I have made this for every Christmas last three years and it's the best roasted turkey recipe I tried.  Most of all, the turkey tastes really good, very tender and juicy.   It can be served with some rice or roasted potatoes and you can use the vegetables as a side dish.

(Serves 6-8)

1 big turkey (about 4 kg)
3-4 leeks - chopped 
4 medium sized carrots - peeled and chopped
1 apple - peeled and chopped
300 ml apple cider or white wine
1 cube of vegetable or chicken stock
salt& pepper
olive oil

2-3 slices of day old bread -  crumbled
300 g minced beef
1 apple - peeled and chopped into little pieces
2-3 leaves of sage - roughly chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
1/2 teaspoon of grounded cumin
salt & pepper

A roasting tin 
Aluminum foil

Start, with rubbing the turkey inside and outside with some salt, pepper and olive oil.  You can use some other spices too if you prefer.  Set it aside and and start to prepare your filling. 
Mix the ingredients for the filling altogether and stuff the turkey with this delicious mixture. The juices will mix with the turkey and you can take out the filling later on and serve as a side dish as well.
Next, take out the roasting tin and place the chopped leeks, carrots and apples.  Take a measuring cup and pour the wine or cider that you will use.  Put the vegetable or chicken stock in the wine and try to dissolve it as much as you can.  Then pour it over the vegetables in the roasting tin.  
Put your turkey on top of the vegetables.  You can use a roasting grill if your roasting tin has one but I prefer to put it directly on the vegetables. 
When it's ready, cover it with an aluminum foil and put it in a preheated oven 190° C (375° F) - without fan 170° C (325° F) - with fan on.  Give about 40 minutes of cooking time for each kg of turkey.  Then take out the foil and give another 30-40 minutes to roast without the foil so it gets all nice and brown. 
If you are not sure and want to check if the turkey is cooked, just stab it with a knife then you should see a clear juice coming out. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pear Tart

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all had a good start to 2011.
Do you have some recipes that you cook every now and then? I have a few and I have already written some of those on this blog.  This is another one that I make very often.  It's a Swiss recipe and I learned this from my husband.  It's one of those easy dishes, where you can easily substitute the ingredients if you don't have everything listed.  If you buy the ready puff pastry as well or a ready tart base, then the dish becomes super practical.  You can also make this tart with apples, plums, apricots, different berries, etc.  Quark and yogurt can be replaced with cream or with each other, you can just use only yogurt or just quark.
This tart just taste delicious because it is a very light dessert. It shouldn't be too sweet but depending on the type of fruit you use, you may want to add another tablespoon of sugar to the filling if you'd like. 

(Makes 8 portions)

1 round fresh puff pastry (33cm - app 13'')
2 tablespoons of grounded hazelnuts

4 tablespoons of Yogurt
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of Quark
2+1 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
4 medium sized pears
1 egg

Start by putting your pastry in a tart tin, preferably over a baking sheet.  With the help of a fork make few holes on the pastry.  Spread the grounded nuts over the pastry and leave it aside. 
To prepare your filling,  mix the quark, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla sugar, flour and 1 egg in a bowl by using a whisker.  
Pour the filling in the tart base you have prepared before. 
Peel the pears, take the seeds out and slice them into 1/2 cm pieces. Arrange the pear slices over the filling. They will be a little bit dipped into the filling but that's alright. You can also spread them randomly over the filling if you prefer.  
Sprinkle the left over tablespoon of sugar over the pear slices.  Bake the tart in preheated oven 180° C(356° F) for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.