Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pecan Marsala Cake Recipe (GF) (LF)

Pecan Marsala Cake is a decadent 'grown-up' cake that I made for a dinner with a couple of friends; one of which is gluten intolerant, the other lactose intolerant - both seemed to enjoy this for dessert. Probably because this soft and moist cake comes with the comforting aromatics of Marsala. It is right at home as part of  afternoon tea or as treat with a cup of good coffee.

Pecan Marsala Cake


For Cake:
4 eggs, separated
1 egg white
140g caster sugar
200g pecans, chopped
4 heaped tbsp (GF) breadcrumbs
1/2 heaped tsp cream of tartar

For Icing:
225g margarine
255g icing sugar
10mL Marsala

Pecan halves and cocoa powder to decorate.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add nuts and breadcrumbs then mix briefly.
In another bowl, beat the 5 egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff.
Fold 2 tablespoons of egg whites into pecan mixture then gently fold in the rest.
Spoon into a 20cm, greased and lined, springform tin.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Leave to cool in tin for 20 miuntes, then turn out and remove lining.
Allow to cool on a cake rack
Beat margarine and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
Add Marsala, a little at a time.
Slice cake horizontally and when cold, sandwich together with about a third of the icing.
Cover top and sides of cake with icing.
Decorate cake with pecan halves and a dusting of cocoa powder

- Do not add too much or over beat when adding Marsala or the icing may separate.
- Can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until required. 
- Can add up to 75mL of Marsala to the icing if you want a more 'adult' cake.


Just desserts here

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Normandy Pear Tart recipe

Normandy Pear Tart originates from Normandy, France where the area is known for its pears. The following is the attempt I made a few months ago for the enjoyment of a group of friends. I assume the guests loved it as I had no leftovers to take home and the plate was spotless!

Normandy Pear Tart
For Pastry:
175g flour
3 size 6 egg yolks
60g sugar
pinch salt
75g butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla escence

For Frangipane/Filling:
125g ground almonds
125g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1 size 6 egg
1 size 6 egg yolk
1 tbsp brandy
4 ripe pears (I used packham)
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp flour

For Glaze:
150g apricot jam
3 tbsp water


For Pastry:
Sift Flour in to a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add egg yolks, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt to the well.
Mix well using your fingers until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
Knead dough for 2 minutes then wrap in clingfilm and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Grease a 24cm tart tin.
Roll dough out and line the tart tin.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

For Frangipane/Filling:
Beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes until fluffy.
Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
Add the brandy and round almonds then gently stir until well blended.
Peel and core the pears then cut into wedges abd toss with lemon juice.
Spoon and spread frangipane into the pastry shell.
Arrange the pears in a spiral on top of the frangipane.
Place tin onto a baking tray.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 180 degrees celcius and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the frangipane is set.
Cool and unmould the tart.
Brush with glaze.

For the glaze:
Melt jam with water then pass through a sieve.

Serve this at room temperature. It can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days but it is best when eaten the same day


Just desserts here