Tag Archives: woolworths

Pastéis de Nata

Can you resist a warm pastry? Neither can I… What about if it was filled with a smooth, vanilla-infused custard…I know! Impossible to resist. Well, his is the decadence that is the Portuguese Custard Pastry, the incredibly dreamy Pastéis de Nata!

I thought it would be intimidatingly difficult to create but nope, not when you have ready-made puff pastry and this is so easily available these days, introducing Woolworths and our wonderful smaller businesses like Farmstyle Pastry.

To create the custard, there are a few steps but they are easy enough to create, just prepare to create a few dishes. Trust me, for this delicious pastry, it’s totally worth it!

Try it out and let me know what you think! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar 
  • 375g all butter puff pastry (I used the ready made puff pastry from Woolworths)
  • 250g golden caster sugar (I use the Natura Sugars brand)
  • 200ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g cornflour (Maizena)
  • 500ml milk 
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod (try the vanilla seed tub from Cab Foods)

Method:

  1. Mix the flour and icing sugar, and use this to dust the work surface. Roll the puff pastry out to make a 45 x 30cm rectangle. Roll up lengthways to create a long sausage shape.
  2. Cut the pastry into 24 wheels, approximately 1-2cm thick. Roll each wheel with a rolling pin to fit 2 x 12-hole cupcake tins. Lightly grease the cupcake pans and press the pastry circles into the tins, moulding it into the tins to make thin pastry cases. Pop into the fridge to chill until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  4. Make a sugar syrup by bringing the sugar, water and cinnamon stick to the boil. Reduce until syrupy, then allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the cinnamon stick. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and cornflour until smooth in another saucepan.
  5. Heat the milk and vanilla pod seeds in a separate saucepan until just before it begins to boil. Gradually pour the hot milk over the eggs and cornflour, then cook on a low heat, continually whisking.
  6. Add the cooled sugar syrup to the eggs and milk mixture and whisk until slightly thickened.
  7. Pour the custard through a sieve to achieve a smooth texture. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is a lovely golden colour and the custard has darkened.
  8. Cool completely in the tins then remove and serve. You could serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Best to eat when it has been heated! Yum!

file-1

Hazelnut and a bit of everything cheesecake

Whenever I need to make a dessert, cheesecake always seems to pop in my head, it’s just one of those obvious choices and oh boy can I indulge in a good couple of slices myself.

For Eid (which was a few weeks ago) I decided to be really nice, I mean REALLY nice and make a hazelnut cheesecake. Anyone who know’s me will know that I can’t stand, very closely bordering hate nuts! With my family being huge nutty fans and me depriving them of nuts in chocolate brownies, trifle and every dessert involving nuts, I thought I’d do a good lil deed and spoil them with the hazelnut cheesecake.

You might be asking what this “…and a bit of everything…” means in the title of this post. Basically, the recipe requires hazelnut liquor, which obviously is not halaal, so I had to opt for an alternative. I could not for the life of me find a hazelnut syrup/extract and therefore decided to just chop up some bar one and caramel squares, I think it had to do with the fact that I was craving the bar-one cheesecake and caramel is just awesome 🙂 This clearly indicates that you can have complete fun with cheesecake, adding in whatever your heart desires – honeycomb, any type of chocolate, even some more…dare I say it…nuts 🙂

What makes this recipe unique is the flavour the vanilla pods bring to this classic recipe. On that note, here comes the recipe….

Ingredients:

For the base:

– 70ml whole hazelnuts

– 200g chocolate digestive biscuits

– 100g soft butter

For the cheesecake:

– 125ml water

– 20 ml powdered gelatin

– 500g cream cheese

– 250ml castor  sugar

– 2 Tablespoons Hazelnut syrup or anything your heart desires really

– 1 vanilla pod

– 250ml cream

For the topping:

– 8 blocks of chocolate (dark or milk depending on your preference)

Method:

1. Place the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan and toss for a minute or two over a medium flame, or until lightly toasted. Wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel and rub them between your palms to remove some of the skins. Or like me just get the fabulous Woolies hazelnuts which are skinless and beautiful 🙂

IMG_0156

2. Break up the digestive biscuits and place them, with the hazelnuts, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or a liquidiser. Process to coarse crumbs, but don’t over-process, which will make the chocolate sticky. Place in a bowl, add the soft butter and stir well to combine. Press the mixture evenly onto the base of a non-stick 24-cm springform cake tin. Place in the fridge while you make the topping.

IMG_0164

3. Put the water in a little heat-proof bowl or ramekin and sprinkle the gelatine on top. Set aside for a few minutes, or until the gelatine has sponged. Put the bowl in a pot of simmering water (the water should come half-way up the sides) and stir occasionally as the gelatine melts. When the liquid is clear, remove the bowl from the hot water and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

4. Combine the cream cheese, castor sugar and hazelnut syrup or extract (or whatever you choose to include, this is where I added the chopped up bar-one and caramel squares)  in a large bowl, using a whisk or hand beater.

IMG_0159

IMG_0161

5. Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the black seeds with the blade of a knife, and add to the mixture. Add the warm gelatine mixture and stir well to combine. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until it forms soft peaks. Fold half the cream into the cream cheese mixture, and then fold in the other half. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and tap the tin gently on the countertop to release any bubbles. Place in the fridge for four hours to set.

IMG_0166

Fluffy goodness…yum!

IMG_0169

 

6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Place in a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. I used the Lekue Decorating Pen which you can purchase from Yuppiechef to scribble the chocolate all over the cake. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is cold and set. Release the cake from its tin and voila!

This is the magical, easy to clean Lekue Decorating Pen

This is the magical, easy to clean Lekue Decorating Pen

IMG_0176

IMG_0184

 

%d bloggers like this: