Nigella Lawson’s florentines
That is the only recipe the usage of glacé cherries during which I gained’t beseech you to make use of the darkish natural-coloured ones; we wish that garish, chemical pink right here. I gained’t declare this isn’t a fiddly recipe, however you wish to have persistence quite than dexterity or experience, and they’re so excellent it could be a pity should you by no means discovered the calmness from which to supply them.
Makes roughly 30
entire, blanched almonds 100g
blended candied peel 90g, in entire chunks, no longer in a position chopped
glacé cherries 40g
unsalted butter 25g
caster sugar 90g
simple flour 15g
double cream 150ml
darkish chocolate 100g
white chocolate 100g
baking sheets 2, greased
Preheat the oven to 190C/gasoline mark 5. Chop the almonds so that you’ve got some positive items and a few chunks of nut. Chop the candied peel and cherries into quite small, even items. In a heavy-based saucepan, soften the butter and sugar with out letting it catch. Upload the flour quite as should you had been creating a roux for a white sauce; it will have to shape a ball of paste. Take off the warmth and whisk within the cream. The mix will have to be easy, so put it again at the warmth in short to overcome out any lumps. Stir within the fruit and almonds.
Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of this combination onto the greased or non-stick baking sheets. It’ll glance reasonably liquid and can unfold, so go away beneficiant area between the blobs. Position the sheets within the oven and prepare dinner for 10-12 mins. They’re in a position after they’ve unfold into greater circles and the sides are golden-brown. Take them out of the oven and go away for 2-Three mins to company up; at this level you’ll be able to ease them again into form if you wish to have to, as they’ll be very malleable. When you’re feeling they are able to be lifted, slip a steel spatula or palette knife beneath them and switch to a twine rack to chill, making sure you allow them flat.
Soften the darkish and white chocolate in separate bowls within the microwave, and paint the flat aspect of every florentine; I take advantage of a pastry brush for this. Be ready to color again and again to get a excellent thick coating. The usage of a fork, make wavy traces at the chocolate on every florentine, and go away to dry.
From How To Be A Home Goddess through Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, £26)
Giorgio Locatelli’s baci di dama
In Italy, we’ve got a convention of calling little candy issues baci (kisses). And I all the time beloved baci di dama (woman’s kisses), which our cousins, the Gnocchis, made at their pastry store in Gallarate. Historically they’re tiny hazelnut biscuits sandwiched at the side of chocolate, however we cause them to solely with chocolate.
Makes round 40 biscuits
simple flour 250g
unsalted butter 200g, softened
floor almonds 150g
caster sugar 200g
cocoa powder 20g
darkish chocolate 50g, minimal 70% cocoa solids, reduce into small items
In a bowl the usage of a picket spoon, or in a meals processor, cream in combination all of the elements, excluding for the chocolate, till easy.
Put into the refrigerator for 30 mins, lined with a blank material, to company up.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gasoline mark 4.
Take a teaspoon of the chilled dough at a time and roll into balls.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay the balls on most sensible, urgent them down flippantly to flatten them on the base. Position within the oven and bake for 20 mins till company. Take away from the oven and make allowance to chill down.
Put the chocolate right into a bowl and sit down it over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the ground of the bowl doesn’t contact the water.
When melted, switch it to a piping bag and make allowance it to chill right down to room temperature.
Take pairs of biscuits, pipe a bit chocolate directly to the bottom of 1 and sandwich the opposite on most sensible. The biscuits will stay for a couple of days in an hermetic tin.
From Made at House through Giorgio Locatelli (Harper Collins, £26)
Simon Hopkinson’s parmesan biscuits
I first tasted those extremely scrumptious biscuits at Rachel Cooke and her husband Tony’s north London house.
Makes about 25-30
unsalted butter 100g, chilly, reduce into chunks
simple flour 100g
salt a pinch
cayenne pepper a pinch
mustard powder ½ heaped tsp
mature cheddar 50g, finely grated
parmesan 50g, finely grated, plus a bit additional to complete
egg 1 massive, crushed
Preheat the oven to 180C/gasoline mark 4. Put the butter and flour right into a meals processor, at the side of the salt, cayenne pepper and mustard powder and cheeses. In short procedure all in combination to start with, after which, after all, pulse the combination briefly spurts as you realize the combination coming in combination – as pastry, should you like. As soon as the feel is obviously “clumpy”, tip all of it out onto a flippantly floured floor and deftly, however totally, knead it in combination till smartly combined and easy. Wrap in clingfilm and sit back within the refrigerator for no less than 30 mins.
Gently roll out the pastry on a flippantly floured paintings floor to a couple of 2mm thickness. The usage of a 3-5cm pastry cutter, reduce out biscuits the scale you want for, relying at the instance. Lay them out on a greased baking tray about 2cm aside; it can be essential to bake them in 2 batches.
Sparsely brush the outside of every biscuit with crushed egg and sprinkle over a bit finely grated parmesan. Bake within the oven for 10 mins, or till an exquisite golden color is accomplished; the very good scent will even let you know that they’re in a position. Sparsely carry off the tray the usage of a palette knife and position on a cooling rack. Serve whilst nonetheless simply heat if imaginable.
From The Vegetarian Choice through Simon Hopkinson (Quadrille, £12.99)
Nigel Slater’s brandy snaps, apple and vanilla cream
For the brandy snaps
caster sugar 2 tbsp
golden syrup 2 heaped tbsp
simple flour Five heaped tbsp
floor ginger 1 tsp
brandy 1 tsp
sesame seeds Four tsp
For the filling
bramley apples 400g
sugar 1 tbsp
double cream 150ml
icing sugar 1 tbsp
vanilla extract a bit
Make the brandy snaps first. Set the oven at 150C/gasoline mark 2. Flippantly butter a baking sheet. In a small pan, heat the sugar, golden syrup and butter. As quickly because the butter has melted, take away from the warmth and stir within the flour and ginger after which the brandy.
Position heaped teaspoon-sized mounds of the combination at the baking sheet, leaving them a number of area to unfold. Scatter a excellent pinch of sesame seeds on every. Bake for approximately 10 mins till golden brown, then take away from the oven. Go away the snaps at the baking sheet for 5 mins, then sparsely slide a palette knife beneath every one to loosen it. When the snap is company sufficient, however smartly sooner than it has had time to chill and harden, carry it off the sheet directly to a cooling rack. Repeat the baking with extra of the combination. You are going to most probably finally end up with 12-15 little biscuits, relying at the generosity of your measurements.
Now make the filling. Peel, core and chop the apples then allow them to prepare dinner, with Three tablespoons of water and the cloves over a low to reasonable warmth till comfortable and fluffy. They are going to desire a lid and a typical stir to forestall them sticking. Upload the sugar and the sultanas as soon as the apples have began to melt, then put aside to chill.
Flippantly whip the cream till it’s thick and comfortable, however forestall sooner than it’s going to stand in peaks. Fold within the mascarpone, the icing sugar and a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.
To collect, position one snap on a plate, upload a spoonful of vanilla cream, then a spoonful of apple then some other biscuit, extra cream after which some other biscuit. Repeat with the remainder of the biscuits, cream and apple to make 4 layered muffins.
At first printed within the Observer. Nigel Slater is the Observer’s meals author
Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s chocolate and pistachio cookies
Makes 12 massive cookies (or 24 bite-sized ones)
chocolate 50g (we use a 60% cacao darkish chocolate)
unsalted butter 50g
gentle brown comfortable sugar 175g
sturdy white bread flour 60g
baking powder ½ tsp
desk salt a pinch
pistachios about 200g, very more or less chopped, to coat
Soften the chocolate and butter in combination in a bowl within the microwave or over a double steamer. Within the interim, whisk the eggs and sugar to a sabayon – this is, till the combination could be very thick and fluffy. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Fold the melted chocolate into the eggs. Upload the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold in combination till you have got a phenomenal even aggregate. Permit to leisure for approximately 30 mins in a groovy position or pop within the refrigerator for 10-15 mins (you wish to have the dough to be manageable however no longer set). In the event you disregard about it within the refrigerator and it units forged, you’ll have to carry it again as much as temperature in a heat position in an effort to care for it simply.
Divide the dough into 12 and, the usage of two spoons or a piping bag, form into balls of about 50g every. I generally use weighing scales, however you’ll be able to be extra comfy should you favor and simply estimate the scale.
Unfold the chopped pistachios on a flat tray and drop the balls of chocolate goodness onto them. Turn them to coat in all places, then switch to the baking trays, permitting about 5cm between them as they’ll unfold within the warmth of the oven.
You’ll be able to stay the unbaked cookies within the refrigerator till you’re ready to bake or, then again, freeze them for as much as 2 weeks and easily thaw sooner than baking.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gasoline mark 6. Position the trays within the centre of the oven for 8-Nine mins (permit 12 mins if the cookies were chilled). Take away and go away to chill at the trays whilst the chocolate units totally. As soon as the cookies are cool it is possible for you to to select them up reasonably simply, however the center will keep great and comfortable like a damp chewy brownie, so care for with care. Those stay smartly for as much as per week in an hermetic container or sealed bag.
From Honey & Co The Baking E book through Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (Headline House, £27)