In the final edition of our Backstage Baking Roster; Akiko Miyazawa, Alex Timcke and Louise Sandercock share their favourite recipes to enjoy with their colleagues during interval.
Akiko Miyazawa, Violin - Chocolate Truffles
- 226 grams of quality chocolate, finely chopped
- (use milk chocolate for sweeter truffles or dark chocolate for richer truffles)
- 2/3 (160mL) cup of heavy cream (only need ½ cup if using milk chocolate)
- 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter softened to room temperature (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Toppings: unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkles, crushed nuts, melted or tempered chocolate
- Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream until it is simmering. You can heat it on the stove or in the microwave.
- Add the butter, if using, to the chocolate and pour the heavy cream evenly on top. Let the warm cream and chocolate sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract then stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface (to avoid condensation) and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Tip: Pour into a flat, shallow dish such as a 20x20cm baking pan, so the mixture sets quickly and evenly.
- Scoop the set truffle mixture into two teaspoon sized mounds. For larger truffles, use tablespoon size mounds. Roll each into balls. This can get a little sticky so wearing gloves or covering hands in cocoa powder can be useful.
- Roll each into the toppings if desired.
- Cover tightly and store at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Note: Can be frozen for up to 3 months with or without the toppings.
- Instead of using vanilla extract, you could use ½ a teaspoon of raspberry, coconut, orange, peppermint or strawberry extract. Or leave out the extract and add 1-2 Tablespoons of your favourite liqueur.
If doubling the recipe, it is best to make it in two batches.
Alex Timcke, Timpani - Treacle Cookies
My daughter Molly’s contribution to her Year Five cookbook.
- 185g Margarine or soft butter
- 1 cup white sugar (extra white sugar for coating cookies)
- ¼ cup treacle
- 1 egg
- 2 cups plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Put margarine, sugar and treacle in a bowl and mix with an electric beater until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg. Sift in the flour, salt, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix together.
- Cover this bowl with glad wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 190⁰C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Roll teaspoons of the mixture into small balls (about 2-3cm wide). Roll these in the extra white sugar to cover all over.
- Place on prepared baking tray and cook in oven for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. (The cookies will seem soft when they first come out of the oven).
- Leave on baking tray to cool for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
Louise Sandercock, Violin - Lemon Lime Tart
- 1x Tart shell, baked blind (pastry recipe below)
- 340g caster sugar
- 8 large free-range eggs
- 350ml double cream
- 200ml lime juice
- 100ml lemon juice
- 1 tsp of grated lime rind (optional)
- NB: Can halve the amount of sugar and add a couple tablespoons of honey. The double cream can also be substituted with thickened cream or crème fraiche.
- Pastry (this will make 2 x 30cm/12-inch tarts)
- 250g butter
- 200g icing sugar
- a medium pinch of salt
- 500g flour (can substitute with rice flour for gluten free option)
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons cold milk/water
- Heat the oven to 180⁰C
- Blind bake the tart shell for 12 minutes so it is lightly browned but just cooked through. Allow to cool a little.
- In a bowl, beat or whisk the sugar and eggs together.
- Once the eggs and sugar are well mixed, stir in the cream and juices. The proportion of the juices used can be change according to taste preference. If the sugar has been reduced, a little less juice is needed.
- Pour mixture into the cooked tart shell and sprinkle with the grated lime rind.
- Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for around 40-45 minutes or until the middle of the filling is set, but still semi-wobbly. After cooling, the filling will have firmed to a perfect consistency.
- Serve with some cream and strawberries or raspberries.
- Making the dough: You can make this pastry by hand or in a food processor. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt and then rub or pulse in the flour (or rice flour) and egg yolks. Again, the sugar quantity can be reduced to 2-3 tablespoons if desired. When the mixture has come together, looking like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water. Pat and gently work together to form a ball of dough. Lightly flour and push, pat and squeeze into shape. Over kneading will cause the dough to become chewy.
- Allowing to rest: Roll the pastry into one or two sausage shaped lengths and wrap in glad wrap or baking paper. Place in the fridge for at least one hour. Lining the tart dish: Butter and lightly dust the tart dishes before lining with pastry. Cut slivers of pastry about 5mm/1/8inch thick and place them around the sides and bottom of the dish, moulding each piece together till the dish is covered. You can trim any excess off the sides later or leave with overhang if you like. After the dish has been lined, put it in the freezer to rest for one more hour before blind baking it.
Note - Since this tart has a moist filling, it is useful to egg-wash (with egg white) the uncooked tart shell before adding the filling. This adds a ‘water-proof’ layer keeping the pastry crisp before adding the filling.