Coffee Viennese Whirls

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Whilst I’ve been off work recovering from last Friday’s knee surgery for the last couple of days, boredom is taking its’ toll. I can’t stand for long periods.  I can’t drive, and can only walk very short distances. What I can do, though, is browse the internet for ideas from inspirational people.  My friend Lynn over on Ink Sugar Spice, shared a delicious recipe recently for Pistachio and Mascarpone Cream Viennese Sandwiches. I have no pistachio paste, but I do have (and love) Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract, and as well all love coffee in this house, it was a done deal!

Digging out my old trusty Be-Ro recipe book that my mum bought me many, many years ago (it was my first ever cook book). I know that this recipe works as I’ve used it lots in the past.  Just a tweak and a little twist was all it needed to produce these deliciously crumbly and delicately tasting biscuits.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Biscuits:

Filling:

  1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
  3. Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
  4. Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
  5. Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
  6. Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
  7. Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
  9. Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
  12. Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
  13. Transfer the filing mixture to a piping bag and pipe a circle on to half of the biscuits.  Sandwich the other half of the biscuits together.
  14. These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (store them there, due to the butter and Philadelphia), but allow them to come back to room temperature to improve the flavour and smooth texture of the filling.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.

Speculaas Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Cake

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Carrot cake is always a huge favourite in my household and, after being send a sample of vandotsch Speculaas Spice Mix to try, I thought I’d treat my husband today and make him his favourite cake but with this added flavour twist.

For those that don’t know what speculaas spice is; it’s a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and other spices originally from Dutch bakers that are traditionally used to flavour biscuits. Based on his Dutch grandmothers’ sweet tasting spice mix the founder of The Speculaas Spice Company has now developed his own unique blend in a powdered form which you can add to a variety of ingredients and drinks, which you can buy from their website.

I baked my cake in a Nordicware rose shaped bundt tin today.

For my speculaas spiced sweet potato and carrot cake, you’ll need:

200ml Farringtons cold pressed rapeseed oil

250g Soft brown sugar

3 Eggs, separated

100g Sweet potato, grated

50g Carrot, grated

10ml Lime juice

250g Self raising flour

2.5ml Bi-carbonate of soda

5ml Baking powder

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix

For the frosting:

175g Mascarpone cheese

150g Philadelphia cheese

100g Icing sugar

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

2 crushed biscuits, crushed, to decorate

 

1. Heat your oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.

2. Grease the inside of you bundt tin (I use my Homemade Cake Release recipe to grease mine, then lightly flour the tin, tapping out any excess.

3. In a large bowl, place your oil, sugar and the egg yolks and beat until well mixed.

4. Add the grated sweet potato and carrot along with the lime juice and mix thoroughly.

5. Sift in the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix and stir to combine.

6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

7. Fold the egg whites through the cake mix gently until no white areas remain.

8. Tip the cake mix into your prepared bundt tin, making sure you fill all the detail with cake mixture.

9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when tested in the deepest part of the cake.

10. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes to cool a little.

11. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.

12. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone and Philadelphia cream cheeses with the icing sugar and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

13. Spread the frosting over the cake.

14. Sprinkle with crushed biscuits and serve.

As this cake has a frosting made from mascarpone and cream cheese, the cake must be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh.  Remember to remove the cake from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to come back to room temperature.

The 25g refill of Vandotsch speculaas spice mix was sent to me free of charge.  I was under no obligation to produce or share a recipe using this product. No other payment has been received in respect of this recipe.

 

 

 

Quark Winterberry Wobbly Cheesecake

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I was invited to take part in a Mistletoe and Quark food blogger challenge to come up with a recipe using the Lake District Dairy Co. Quark.  Originally I intended to make a cheesecake but the final outcome is more like a pannecotta; with that hint of a wobble (a bit like my thighs, some may say!) and one which I’m very pleased with too.

As a lover of things tart and not too sweet, this is what I created:

150g Digestive biscuits
10ml Ground Cinnamon
90g   Butter
4       Gelatine leaves
60ml Orange juice
200g Light Philadephia
500g Quark
200g Icing sugar
5ml   Nielsen Massey Vanilla bean paste
250g Cranberries
1       Orange, grated zest and juice
75g   Caster sugar

1. Line a 20cm/8″ spring form tin with baking parchment.
2. Crush the Digestive biscuits and add the ground cinnamon.
3. Melt the butter, pour onto the biscuits and cinnamon then mix thoroughly.
4. Tip the biscuit and butter mix into your prepared tin and press well down into an even layer.
5. Place into the ‘fridge to chill.
6. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5-6 minutes until softened.
7. Heat the orange juice in a small saucepan until warm.
8. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and add to the warmed orange juice, then heat together gently until the gelatine has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
9. In a large bowl, whisk together the Philadelphia cheese, Quark, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste.
10. Gradually pour in the orange juice and gelatine mixture in a slow stream whilst continuing to whisk until combined.
11. Pour this Quark mixture over the chilled biscuit base, smooth the top and leave in the ‘fridge to set overnight.
12. In a saucepan, place the cranberries, orange zest and juice with the sugar.
13. Bring to the boil then continue to cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thick.
14. Pour this cranberry sauce into a bowl, cover and leave until cold.
15. Remove the cheesecake from the ‘fridge and pour over the cranberry sauce, spreading out to an even layer.

Serve chilled and enjoy the sharpness of my wobble!

I was sent a box of chilled Quark with which to create my low fat, tasty seasonal dessert to enable me to take part in the Food Blogger Challenge.  

Salmon en Croute

Quick and relatively simple to make when using bought puff pastry.  Light and fresh in taste.  Good for you too!

500g pack of fresh Puff Pastry
4 Salmon Steaks/a side of salmon, boned and skinned
350g Philadelphia cream cheese
Fresh Dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Fresh spinach
1 egg, beaten to seal & glaze

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C.
2. Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to come up to room temp for about 10 minutes.
3. Mix together the Philadelphia cheese, chopped dill, lemon zest and juice.
4. Cut the pastry into half.
5. Roll out one half to a rectangle about 5cm larger both ways than the salmon steaks/side of salmon.
6. Spread a layer of the fresh spinach over the base of the pastry, leaving a 2cm border all round the edge.
7. Place the salmon on top of the spinach.
8. Spread the cheese/dill/lemon juice paste over the top of the salmon.
9. Top with a thin layer of spinach.
10. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg.
11. Roll out the other half of the pastry and cover the salmon and spinach.
12. Seal the edges of the pastry together.
13. Brush the top with beaten egg and pierce a couple of holes in the top layer of pastry to allow the steam to escape.
14. Place onto a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked.

Serve with carrots and boiled potatoes.