This week I tried out hot water crust pastry for the first time, making mushroom pasties.
Mushroom and Tarragon Pasties
I used this recipe from Ruby Tandoh and reviewed it on the podcast!
I used my leftover rough puff/ flaky pastry from last week’s episode to make the most incredible bakewell pudding. I also did some goodbye baking as I’m changing jobs, including a chocolate sheet cake with a mascarpone icing and a vegan banana cake with pecans and chocolate. A vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe is being refined, I’m not 100% happy with it although it did please a lot of young people.
The Best Bakewell Pudding Recipe
This got RAVE reviews at work, from my partner, and I also thought this was one of the tastiest things I have ever made. I usually opt for a shortcrust pastry but the flaky pastry (which apparently makes this a pudding rather than a tart?!) was absolutely INCREDIBLE. So crisp and buttery. The fresh cherries also went jammy during baking and made the filling a little bit gooey. Trust me on this and see for yourself. Best eaten within 24 hours but my partner ate some the day after this and didn’t complain!
- 330g home made rough puff/ pastry flaky pastry (see last week’s recipe)
- 150g soft salted butter, plus some to grease the dish (if using unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
- 150g caster/ superfine sugar (granulated is probably fine!)
- 150g ground almonds
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 UK large egg (US extra large / c. 60g in weight)
- A handful of flaked almonds to decorate (optional)
- A few tbsp cherry preserve or cherry jam (I used Bonne Maman)
- About 100g fresh cherries, halved and pitted
- Flour, for dusting
- Butter a large pie dish. (Mine was a 27cm / 10.5 in Pyrex glass dish.) Lightly dust a clean work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the pastry to a few millimetres thick so it will fit inside the pie dish. Leave a couple of millimetres extra at the top of the sides as it will shrink when baking. Prick the bottom with a fork about 6 times. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/ 170 fan / 375F / gas 5. Scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper so it will completely cover the bottom and sides of the pastry with some overhang. Place over the pastry and then fill with baking beans or dried pulses. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully tip out the baking beans into a bowl. Return the pie crust to the oven to dry out for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. If the crust has any air bubbles, gently press them down with the back of a spoon.
- Turn the oven down to 180C / 160C fan / 350F / gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar for a minute. Add the egg and a spoon of the almonds and beat in. Add the remaining almonds, the almond extract and the baking powder and combine.
- Spread cherry jam over the bottom of the crust until there are no gaps (but you don’t want too thick a layer). Fill with the almond mixture. Place the cherries on top in an even manner. (They will sink but it’s easier to put them in at this point!) Bake for about 30 minutes, then check if it is done or needs longer by putting a skewer in the middle. Scatter over the flaked almonds, if using, and return for a further 10 minutes if it’s still liquidy. Check again. Mine needed 40-45 minutes if I remember correctly, but I baked it until just set, which gave a perfectly gooey filling. Leave to cool in the dish until almost room temperature, then place on a wire rack to cool further. Cooling it fully ensures a great texture, but you can warm slices in the oven before serving, if you like.
Feed-A-Crowd Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mascarpone Icing
I’m guessing most of us still aren’t baking for crowds, but maybe in the coming months or year we will be able to. This makes two sheet cakes in foil roasting tins 36x26cm / 15x10in, serving 24(!) people. Mine were a little too thin so I’ve upped the eggs to 6. For this amount of mixture I’d recommend using a stand mixer, if you have one. The icing got a lot of compliments and recipe requests. To me it had a mellow, not-too-sweet white chocolate kind of flavour, which I think must be the vanilla and the creaminess. This balances perfectly with the tartness of fresh raspberries!
- 6 UK large/ US extra large eggs (360g)
- 90g Dutch-processed, high quality cocoa (I use Green and Black’s)
- 270g plain/ AP flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 360g light brown sugar
- 360g soft salted butter (or unsalted with a pinch of salt)
- 150g double/ heavy cream
- 150g strong cold coffee
- 3 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
For the icing: 500g mascarpone, 125g icing sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
For the top: 300g fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350 F / gas 4. Line the foil roasting tins with baking paper. Some overhang is fine or even good.
- Beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and combine after each addition. Add the flour and combine. Add the cream, coffee and vanilla and combine.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, and then check to see if it’s set. If it’s still liquidy, return to the oven for 5 minutes or so, then check again. Mine took about 20-25 minutes.
To make the icing, simply plop all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Spread over completely cooled cakes. Just before serving, scatter over the raspberries.
Vegan Banana Cake with Dark Chocolate and Pecans
Adapted from a recipe in The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. This cake is much lighter than a classic banana bread and so low in refined sugar I ate it guilt-free for breakfast the next day. (Not sure anyone medically qualified would agree with this!)
- 300g banana flesh (about 3 medium bananas)
- 70g olive oil
- 80g light brown sugar
- 90g orange or clementine juice (you could also add the zest, if using fresh oranges)
- 250g plain / AP flour
- 4 tsp baking powder (I know it sounds like a lot but it didn’t turn out soapy)
- 100g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate (check it’s vegan if you need to), chopped or broken up
- 100g pecans, broken up
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F / gas 4. Line a small-ish roasting or baking dish (20x15cm / 8x6in) with baking paper, leaving some overhang.
- Break up the bananas into your mixing bowl. Whisk with the oil and sugar until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and combine.
- Tip into the roasting dish. Scatter over the chocolate then the pecans. Bake for 20 minutes, then check with the skewer test. If it’s still liquidy, pop back into the oven for a few minutes, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin for a good while before using the baking paper to transfer it to a wire rack to cool further. Keeps for a couple of days in an airtight container but probably would stale quickly after this.