Spanish Pudding with Caramelized Sugar Topping

Ingredients

2 cups milk
pared rind of 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
4 egg yolks
7 tbsp caster sugar
1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Put the milk in a pan with the lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lemon rind and cinnamon. Place the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of the sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  3. Stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk, then add this mixture to the remaining milk.
  4. Return to the heat and cook gently, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Do not allow to boil.
  5. Pour the custard mixture into four shallow ovenproof dishes, about 5-inch in diameter. Leave to cool, then chill for a few hours, overnight if possible, until firm.
  6. Just before you are ready to serve, sprinkle each pudding with 1 tbsp sugar and a little grated nutmeg.
  7. Preheat the grill to high.
  8. Place the chilled puddings under the hot grill, on the highest shelf, and cook them until the sugar topping caramelizes by turning brown and crunchy. Leave the desserts to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Cook’s Tip

The dessert should be served very soon after the topping has caramelized. The caramel will stay hard for only about 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Best of Spain

Sweet Samosas with Chocolate

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 sheets of phyllo pastry
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Melt half the butter in a skillet, add the banana slices and sugar, and saute for about 4-5 minutes, or until the bananas have caramelized, turning them over halfway during cooking.
  2. Cut the pastry sheets in half. Place banana slices and a good sprinkling of chocolate and cinnamon toward one end of each pastry sheet, then fold up to resemble a triangular “samosa” shape.
  3. Heat the remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the pastries, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown all over. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 pieces.

Source: Chocolat

Thai-style Egg Custard Dessert

Ingredients

2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons whole cloves
300 ml cream
1 cup water
1/2 cup palm sugar, chopped
280 g can coconut milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to warm 160°C (315°F).
  2. Place spices, cream and water in a medium pan. Bring to simmering point. Reduce the heat to very low and leave for 5 minutes to allow the spices to flavour the liquid.
  3. Add the sugar and coconut milk to the pan. Return to low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the spiced mixture over the eggs and stir to combine. Strain into a jug and discard the whole spices. Pour the custard mixture into eight 1/2-cup ramakin.
  5. Place ramekins in a baking dish.Add hot water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  6. nsert a knife in the centre of one of the custards to check if they are set. The mixture should be only slightly wobbly. Carefully remove the custards from the baking dish. Serve hot or chilled with a little whipped cream and toasted coconut shreds.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Step-by-step Thai Cooking

Southern France-style Orange Sherbets Served in the Fruit Shell

Ingredients

2/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
14 medium oranges
8 fresh bay leaves, to decorate

Method

  1. put the sugar in a heavy-based pan. Add half the lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  2. Bring to a boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the syrup is clear. Allow to cool.
  3. Slice the tops off eight of the oranges, to make “hats.” Scoop out the flesh of the oranges, and reserve. Put the empty orange shells and “hats” on a tray and place in the freezer until needed.
  4. Grate the rind of the remaining oranges and add to the syrup. Squeeze the juice from the oranges, and from the reserved flesh. There should he 3 cups. Squeeze another orange or add bought orange juice, if necessary.
  5. Stir the orange juice and remaining lemon juice, with 6 tablespoons water into the syrup. Taste, adding more lemon juice or sugar, as desired. Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer container and freeze for 3 hours.
  6. Turn the mixture into a bowl, and whisk to break down the ice crystals. Freeze for 4 hours more, until firm, but not solid.
  7. Pack the mixture into the orange shells, mounding it up, and set the “hats” on top. Freeze until ready to serve. Just before serving, push a skewer into the tops of the “hats” and push in a bay leaf.

Cook’s Tip:

Use crumpled paper towels to keep the shells upright.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook

A Wheat-filled Sweet Treat with Dried Fruits

Ingredients

1/3 cup bulgur wheat
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/4 cup dried prune, seeded and pureed
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Method

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the bulgur wheat and water. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Into a medium bowl, sift together the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, and cinnamon.
  4. To the bulgur mixture, add the buttermilk, honey, egg, prune puree, and apricots and beat until blended.
  5. Stir in the combined dry ingredients. Spread in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving. Top with the lemon zest.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic