Chocolate and Cinnamon Wontons

Ingredients

16 wonton wrappers
40 g butter, melted
16 small squares (120 g) dark chocolate
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Brush the edges of the wonton wrappers with a little butter and place a chocolate square on one half of each wrapper. Fold over the wrappers to enclose and press to seal. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Brush wontons with butter and sprinkle with combined cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Donna Hay


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Fresh Croissants

Ingredients

500 g white bread flour, plus extra for rolling
scant 1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups milk, heated until just warm to the touch
300 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for glazing

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients into a large bowl, make a well in the center, and add the milk. Mix to a soft dough, adding more milk if too dry.
  3. Knead on a lightly floured counter for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Let rise in a large greased bowl, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size.
  4. Flatten the butter with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of waxed paper to form a rectangle about 5 mm thick, then let chill.
  5. Knead the dough for 1 minute.
  6. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and let soften slightly.
  7. Roll out the dough on a well floured counter to 18 x 6-inches/ 46 x 15-cm. Place the butter in the center, folding up the sides and squeezing the edges together gently. With the short end of the dough toward you, fold the top third down toward the center, then fold the bottom third up. Rotate 90° clockwise so that the fold is to your left and the top flap toward your right. Roll out to a rectangle and fold again. If the butter feels soft, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let chill. Repeat the rolling process twice more. Cut the dough in half. Roll out one half into a triangle 5 mm thick (keep the other half refrigerated). Use a cardboard triangular template, base 18 cm and sides 20 cm, to cut out the croissants.
  8. Brush the triangles lightly with the glaze. Roll into croissant shapes, starting at the base and tucking the point underneath to prevent unrolling while cooking. Brush again with the glaze. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and let double in size. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 12 croissants.

Source: Brunch


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Lamington Cakes

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cooled, melted butter
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Chocolate Frosting

4 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1-1/2 tbsp sifted cocoa powder
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Butter an 8-inch square cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, butter again, and flour the pan.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale yellow and thick.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula. Add the melted butter in a thin, steady stream, mixing constantly with the spatula. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the blade of a paring knife comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing cake from pan. Peel off the parchment paper and cool another 30 minutes before slicing.
  6. With a serrated knife, slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread the bottom with raspberry jam and replace the top to create a sandwich.
  7. Trim the edges with the serrated knife and cut the cake into 16 equal squares, about 1-1/2 inches each. Freeze overnight.
  8. Prepare the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in the milk in a double-boiler (over, not in, hot water). Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Thin with a little boiling water if needed.
  9. With a fork, spear the bottom of one piece of cake. Use a knife to quickly apply a thin coat of frosting to the top, bottom and sides. With the cake still on the fork, gently press the top and sides into the coconut to cover. Slide the cake off the fork with the knife and use your hands to dip the bottom in the coconut.
  10. Place cakes on a wire rack and let sit until the frosting firms up a bit.
  11. Serve the cake at room temperature.

Makes 16 cakes.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada


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Tiny Meringues

Ingredients

2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30 small pieces of angelica or baby mint leaves to decorate

Filling

1/2 cup whipped cream
blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants or baby strawberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 30O°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff with salt and cream of tartar. Add 1/2 sugar and beat again. Add remainder of sugar and beat until very stiff. Add vanilla.
  3. Form teaspoonfuls of meringue into 30 small flat buttons on paper-lined baking sheet. Spoon remaining meringue into small pastry bag fitted with a small fluted nozzle. Pipe around edge of circles, keeping well inside bottom to form a casing.
  4. Bake meringues in preheated oven 10 minutes. Adjust oven temperature to 250°F (120°C). Bake until the meringues are crisp to touch and lightly colored. If meringues begin to darken, turn oven off and let stand to crisp. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack.
  5. Carefully remove cooled meringues from paper, store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
  6. To fill meringues, spoon cream into a small pastry bag fitted with a fluted nozzle. Pipe a small rosette ‘into the center of meringue. Top with blueberries, raspberries, red currants or a tiny strawberry. Decorate with angelica or mint leaves. Serve immediately

Makes 30 meringues.

Source: Chocolates and Petits Fours


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Vegetable Lasagne

Ingredients

2 carrots
2 sticks celery
2 courgettes
1 small aubergine
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
2 leeks
16 oz tomatoes
1/2 bunch thyme
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
chili powder
8 oz lasagne sheets
2 balls mozzarella
3-1/2 oz freshly grated parmesan or pecorino
olive oil for sprinkling

Béchamel Sauce

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables as appropriate for each type. Finely dice the carrots, celery, courgettes, aubergine and peppers.
  2. Cut the leeks into strips. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds, then skin and dice finely.
  3. Rinse the thyme, dry and strip the leaves from the stalks.
  4. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables (apart from the tomatoes) for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add the thyme and garlic and then the tomatoes. Season with salt and chili powder and simmer over a medium heat, without a lid, for about 15 minutes.
  6. Make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a pan. Sprinkle the flour and stir over a medium heat without browning. Now gradually whisk in the milk. Turn down the heat and simmer the sauce without a lid for 10 minutes, until it thickens. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  7. If the lasagne needs to be precooked, cook according to the instructions on the packet, drain in a sieve, refresh in cold water and drain thoroughly.
  8. Thinly slice the mozzarella.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  10. Take a large baking dish and build up the lasagne in layers: béchamel sauce, lasagne sheets, vegetables, mozzarella, parmesan, béchamel sauce, and so on until all the ingredients are used up. Finish with béchamel sauce and parmesan.
  11. Sprinkle the lasagne with a little oil and bake in the hot oven for about 45 minutes, until a nice golden brown crust has formed. Serve hot

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine


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