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Prep 15minBake 12-15minMakes about 20
These macaroons are commonly crumbled and used in the traditional Danish Lagkage (layer cake), a traditional Danish birthday cake. They are wonderfully crisp on the outside while being mor-ishly soft on the inside and are truly addictive as a ‘sweet’ treat. While not traditional, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a sprinkling of flaked almonds for extra texture.
100g almond meal 100g pure icing sugar, sifted Good pinch of bicarbonate of soda 2 egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 25g (¼ cup) flaked almonds, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Put the almond meal, icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and salt in a medium clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the almond meal and icing sugar mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until evenly combined.
Use two metal teaspoons to spoon slightly heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined tray about 4 cm apart to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and then bake in the third top of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and aromatic.
Cool the macaroons on the tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 20 macaroons in total.
These macaroons will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Danish pastries are possibly Denmark’s most well-recognized food specialty, even though it is Austria that should actually be credited for originally creating them! Traditionally based on a leaved pastry (basically a layered puff pastry made with a yeast dough) the making of them is quite an involved process. Luckily, the pastry used here is a short-cut one with chunks of butter already incorporated into the pastry when initially mixed which cuts out the process of interleaving it with the pastry dough as you fold it – if you haven’t made puff pastry before, this is a great recipe to start with.
125 ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
7 g (1 sachet) dried yeast
250 g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
185 g butter, chilled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 egg, at room temperature, lightly whisked
2 tbsp caster sugar
¼ tsp ground cardamom
5 tbsp good-quality raspberry jam
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate
125 g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
1 tbsp boiling water
¼ tsp natural almond extract
Put the milk in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse button to process until the butter is cut into 1 cm pieces (make sure your don’t process any further). Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the egg, sugar and cardamom to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and butter mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix until it is just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands. Knead for 30 seconds or until smooth. Shape into a rectangle and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the out until about 40 x 25 cm, keeping the edges as straight as possible. With a long side nearest to you, fold the right third of the dough in to cover the centre third and then fold the left side in also. Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Fold the dough into thirds as before to make a small rectangle. Flip the dough over on the bench and repeat the rolling and folding process again. You will finish with a small rectangle. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the pastry with a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about (30 x 35cm) cm and about 5 mm thick. Cut in half to make two 15 x 35 cm rectangles. Spread the raspberry jam down the centre to cover the centre third of both rectangles. Cut the pastry diagonally into 2cm-wide strips down both sides of the jam and then fold the strips, alternating form each side, into the centre over the jam. Transfer the pastries on the lined tray. Cover loosely with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 minutes or until the pastry is ‘puffy’.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on the tray.
To make the Icing, put the icing sugar in a medium bowl and stir in the water and almond extract to make a smooth pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cooled pastry and sprinkle with the almonds and set aside to set. Serve at room temperature cut into slices.
This Danish Pastry is best eaten the day it is baked but will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Whether it's the combination of warm spiced apple encased in buttery, crisp pastry layers or the fact they're the ultimate comfort food, there is no denying that apple turnovers are one of the simplest pastries to make (especially if you use purchased puff pastry like this recipe does).
4 sheets (24 x 24cm each) frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry (see Baker's Tips)
1 egg yolk whisked with 2 teaspoons water
icing sugar, to dust
whipped or thick cream (optional), to serve
2 large (about 200g each) apples (such as granny smith or golden delicious), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
85g (⅓ cup) raisins
50g (¼ cup) raw sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Lay the pastry on the bench and allow it to thaw while making the Filling.
To make the filling, put all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine evenly.
Use a small sharp knife and a 14 cm saucer as a guide to cut eight rounds from the pastry.
Brush the edges of the pastry rounds with a little of the egg wash. Divide the Filling mixture among the pastry rounds, placing it on one half and leaving a 1cm border. Fold the uncovered pastry of each round over the filling and press the edges to seal. Brush the tops with a little more egg wash.
Place the turnovers on the lined trays and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, swapping the trays after 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, crisp and cooked through.
Serve warm or at room temperature dusted liberally with icing sugar and accompanied by cream, if desired.
Good-quality puff pastry made with butter is key to these turnovers.
These turnovers are best served on the day they are baked either warm from the oven or at room temperature.
Reminiscent of the good old Digestives, these biscuits easily swing between savoury and sweet. Serve them with blue cheese or dip them in dark chocolate to give them the flavour preference you prefer.
150g wholemeal plain flour
130g (1 cup) oat bran
75g (⅓ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
60ml (¼ cup) milk
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Put the flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture with the milk and use the pulse button to process until the mixture starts to come together as a dough. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and bring it together with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out until about 5 mm thick. Use a 6 cm round cutter to cut the dough into discs and place them on the lined trays about 3 cm apart. Prick the tops of each biscuit twice with a fork. Reroll any off cuts and cut out more biscuits.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges, aromatic and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor (see Baker's tips) and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to form a dough – be careful not to over-mix.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, add the chocolate and bring together with your hands to combine evenly.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays about 5 cm apart. Flatten each with a fork so that they are about 1cm thick.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can make these shortbread by hand. Leave the butter at room temperature for a little while for it to soften slightly. Put the sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and hazelnut meal in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the vanilla and then use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients until it starts to come together and forms a dough. Continue the recipe from Step 2.
These shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Hailing from the 70s and reaching peak popularity in the 90s, sticky toffee pudding now sits alongside the likes of lemon delicious, rice pudding and chocolate fondants as a classic. Sweet, sticky and completely addictive, it is always a crowd pleaser.
200g fresh dates, pitted and chopped 250ml (1 cup) water 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature 150g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar 2 eggs 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour Cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 18 x 28cm shallow cake tin with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with one piece of baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until pulpy. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and then set aside for 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the cooled date mixture and then the flour until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Meanwhile, to make the toffee sauce, put the butter, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the oven and pour a quarter of the hot toffee sauce over. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the warm pudding from the tin, cut into portions and serve drizzled with the remaining warm toffee sauce and accompanied by cream or ice-cream.
Any leftover pudding and sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat both separately in the microwave on medium in 1-minute bursts until warmed through.
Prep 15min (+20min chilling time)Makes: Enough for a 23cm round tart case, a 24cm square tart case, ten 6cm individual tart cases, a 31cm x 10cm tart case or 24 tartlet cases (1 tablespoon capacity)
Shortcrust pastry, when you have a good recipe, is one of the simplest and quickest pastries to make. Here I have given lots of making ahead and freezing tips as well as three great variations to use in a selection of both sweet and savoury tarts and pies.
225g (1½ cups) plain flour Good pinch salt 150g chilled unsalted butter, diced 3-3½ tablespoons iced water
Place the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the iced water over the flour and butter mixture. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers: if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water. If it doesn’t, add the remaining ½ tbsp water and combine. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool benchtop. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 30 seconds or until smooth and soft. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
This pastry (and all the variations below) can be made up to 3 days before using. Wrap well in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Stand at room temperature for 20-60 minutes (depending on the weather) until softened slightly, enough to roll easily.
Freezing uncooked pastry
Shape pastry into a disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap, then seal in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Transfer to the fridge to thaw completely (this will take about 1 day). Stand at room temperature for 20-60 minutes (depending on the weather) until softened slightly, enough to roll easily.
Freezing uncooked pastry case/s
Place the pastry cases, still in the tin/s in the freezer until frozen. Either leave in tin/s or remove and seal in freezer bag/s or airtight container/s. Freeze for up to 1 month. Cook directly from the freezer or transfer to the fridge to thaw completely (this will take about 1 day) and blind bake or cook as directed in the recipe.
Parmesan Shortcrust Pastry: Combine 40g (½ cup) finely grated Parmesan with the flour and salt before rubbing in the butter.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry: Add 2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar or caster sugar to the flour and salt before rubbing in the butter.
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry: Reduce the flour to 200g (1⅓ cups). Sift with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons icing sugar and the salt before rubbing in the butter.
Serve with milk and a dollop of Greek-style yoghurt for a satisfying and tasty breakfast that will take you through to lunchtime without the need to nibble.
300g (3 cups) rolled oats 75g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 75g (½ cup) sunflower seeds 65g (1 cup) shredded coconut 100g natural almonds, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 125ml (½ cup) unsweetened apple juice 2 tablespoons single-origin floral honey 90g (½ cup) dried blueberries (see Baker’s Tips) Milk, Greek-style yoghurt and coarsely grated apple or other fresh fruit of your choice
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour over the apple juice and stir until evenly combined. Spread evenly on the oven tray and then drizzle evenly with the honey.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until evenly toasted and crisp (the muesli will crispen further once cooled). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Stir in the blueberries.
Serve with milk, yoghurt and apple or fruit of your choice.
Store the toasted muesli in and airtight container or jar for up to 1 month.
You can use 75g (½ cup) currants in place of the dried blueberries.
This muesli (without the blueberries) makes a wonderful crumble topping. Reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.
Almond & Blueberry Bircher Muesli (for 3 serves): combine 1½ cups of Toasted Almond & Blueberry Muesli, 185ml (¾ cup) natural apple juice, 95g (⅓ cup) natural Greek-style yoghurt, and ½ large red apple (such as pink lady), coarsely grated. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the muesli has soaked up the liquid and is creamy. Serve topped with yoghurt, coarsely grated apple and coarsely chopped toasted almonds. Keep any remaining muesli covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
In my eyes, pears are the quintessential autumn fruit. The simplicity of this dish makes it so special. You could also serve these caramelised pears with vanilla bean ice cream (instead of yoghurt) and push it to the other end of the day for a divine dessert.
4 (about 200g each) firm but ripe pears (such as Williams or Beurre Bosc)
20g butter, softened
2½ tablespoons honey
Greek-style natural yoghurt, to serve
Almond seed bark
40g natural almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoonsunflower seeds
2 tablespoonsshredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoonhoney, warmed
Preheat oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan-forced). Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
To make the almond seed bark, combine the almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut and cinnamon in a bowl and toss well. Drizzle with the honey and toss well to coat evenly. Spread on the lined tray and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally or until golden and aromatic (it will become crisp on cooling). Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Break into large pieces.
To make the caramelised honey-roasted pears, increase the oven temperature to 200ºC (180ºC fan-forced). Peel and halve the pears. Use a teaspoon or a melon baller to remove the core from the pears. Rub the butter over the base of a shallow ovenproof dish just large enough to hold the pears in one layer. Place the pear halves in the dish cut side down. Drizzle with the honey and bake for 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the juices, or until the pears are just tender and caramelised underneath.
Serve the pears warm or at room temperature sprinkled with the Almond seed bark and accompanied by the yoghurt.
These pears will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
The Almond seed bark will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If it loses its crunch, place on a lined oven tray in a preheated 160°C oven (140°C fan-forced) for 10-12 minutes or until aromatic. Cool on tray.