Baklava

Ingredients

2 cups finely ground almonds
1 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
16 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
1 cup butter, melted

Syrup

3 cups superfine (caster) sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece orange or lemon zest
1 tablespoon honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C)
  2. Mix the almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Brush a 10-inch square pan with the butter.
  4. Cut the sheets of phyllo to the size of the baking pan.
  5. Brush a sheet of phyllo with butter and place in the prepared pan. Brush with more butter. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Sprinkle with the nut mixture. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo and nuts until all the ingredients are used, making sure the top sheet is well buttered.
  6. Cut the top layers of pastry lengthwise into parallel strips. Then cut into diamond shapes about 2 inches in length. Cut through all the layers to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Lower the oven to 300°F (150°C) and bake for 1 hour.
  9. To make the syrup, bring the superfine sugar, water, cinnamon, orange zest, and honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Pour the hot syrup over the baklava. Let cool.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Chocolate Sponge Pudding

Ingredients

4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3 oz self-raising floor
pinch of salt
1/2 oz cornstarch
1/2 oz cocoa powder
2 oz plain chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon warm milk

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale in colour. Add the eggs, a little at a time.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, cornstarch and cocoa powder. Fold into the creamed mixture. Add the melted chocolate and milk mixture and stir to make a soft mixture that will fall easily from a spoon.
  3. Grease a 1-lb foil pudding basin and spoon in the mixture. Cover with buttered heavy duty foil with a pleat in the centre to allow for expansion. Secure the foil around the rim of-the basin with string. Stand the basin in a saucepan with boiling water one third up the sides of the basin and steam for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Serve with hot chocolate sauce.
  5. To freeze: Cool quickly, place in a plastic bag, seal and freeze.
  6. To serve: Thaw at room temperature for 4 hours. Reheat by steaming for 45 minutes as above.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Freezer Cookery Book

Orange Syllabub with Crunchy Orange Sprinkle

Ingredients

2/3 cup southern French Muscat or other strong sweet white wine
1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange liqueur
finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed oranges
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar
1-3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

Method

  1. Pour the wine into a bowl, add the Cointreau or orange liqueur, half the grated orange zest, the orange and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  2. Mix the remaining orange zest and sugar in a bowl. Spread it over a plate and leave for a couple of hours to crisp up. Store it in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  3. Strain the wine mixture through a fine, non-metallic sieve. Pour the cream into the large chilled bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the orange-flavored wine, beating well after each addition, until the cream thickens again—you want a thick pouring consistency. When the final addition of wine has been incorporated the mixture should hold a trail when you lift out the beaters, but it shouldn’t be stiff. (Don’t overbear it, or it will separate.)
  4. Ladle the mixture into 6 individual glass dishes and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle the orange sugar over the top of each syllabub.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Chocolate Swirl Gingerbread

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cloves.
  3. Melt the butter in 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth.
  4. Stir in the molasses and lightly beaten egg.
  5. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. With a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top, and drizzle the remaining chocolate over the batter in a decorative pattern.
  6. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes 1 cake.

Source: Great Food Fast

Broiled Glazed Peaches Stuffed with Blueberry Compote and Cream Cheese

Ingredients

1 pint blueberries (divided)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese
5 teaspoons lemon juice (divided)
1 tablespoon finely chopped nuts like pistachios, walnuts, or almonds
4 firm but ripe peaches (around 1 pound), halved and pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute (divided)
1 cup non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt (optional

Method

  1. Preheat the broiler on high.
  2. Add half the blueberries to a small nonstick pan. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until blueberries begin to burst, about 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium; add in remaining blueberries, ¼ cup sugar substitute, cream cheese, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Stir constantly until cream cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, coat a large baking dish with cooking spray. Halve each peach; remove and discard the pits. Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, remove 1 teaspoon of peach flesh from the middle of each peach so each peach can hold more filling. Place each peach half cut-side-up in the baking dish.
  4. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, add ¼ cup sugar substitute, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch; stir in enough teaspoons of lemon juice to create a glaze consistency, about 2 to 3 teaspoons. Use a spoon to spread the glaze on the top of each peach half.
  5. Broil peaches about 3 to 4 inches from heat until peaches are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove dish from the broiler. Divide blueberry mixture between each peach, filling each peach cavity. Place in broiler for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from boiler again. Top with nuts, using your fingers to press nuts into blueberry compote, if needed. Use a spatula to transfer 2 peach halves to each plate. Top each one with 2 tablespoons frozen yogurt, if desired. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: American Heart Association