Posted on

Mexican Flan

Flan, also known as Crème Caramel, is a traditional Mexican dessert. It is creamy custard topped with caramel sauce, dates back to the Roman empire and was often made to use up extra milk and eggs. Flan can be made in individual serving dishes, or in one large dish and then sliced it into the desired portions sizes.  

Continue reading Mexican Flan
Posted on

French Toast

French toast is the champion of brunch. Nothing says “weekend” like tucking into crispy triangles of bread dripping with syrup or honey.  In France, French toast is referred to as “pain perdu”. It is referred to as “lost bread” because it is a way to reclaim stale or otherwise “lost” bread. The hard bread is softened by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs, and then pan-fried in butter.  It is served with a dusting of icing sugar and jam or syrup.  It is also known as eggy bread, gypsy toast or omelette bread.  In France, pain perdu is served as a dessert, a breakfast or an afternoon tea snack. Be sure to also try Carolié’s recipe for Baked Apple French Toast.

Continue reading French Toast
Posted on

Marvelous Meringues

Meringue, also known as “forgotten cookies” due to the fact that it is baked at a very low heat for a long time, is a type of dessert associated with French, Swiss and Italian cuisine.  It is made from whipped egg whites and sugar as well as some form of acid, such as lemon, vinegar or cream of tartar.  A binding agent such as salt, corn starch or gelatine may also be added to the eggs.  

French meringue is sometimes referred to as ordinary meringue at it is the most basic and the least stable until baked of all the meringues. Egg whites are beaten until they coagulate and form soft peaks, at which point sugar is slowly incorporated until the mixture has attained full volume; is soft, airy, and light; and stands at attention when the whip is lifted. French meringue is customarily spooned or piped into different forms, including dessert shells (such as vacherins) and cake layers (as in a dacquoise), and baked, later to be topped with fruit, mousse, or whipped cream. It is also often folded into batters (for lady fingers, sponge cakes, soufflés, and the like) and baked.

There are actually three basic techniques for making meringue and they are differentiated by the extent to which the egg white foam is heated and the resulting stability of the meringue.  The three styles are known as French, Swiss, and Italian meringues.

Meringue can be used as the basis for various desserts including Baked Alaska, Eton Mess, Floating Islands (aka snow eggs), Pavlova, as a topping for Lemon Meringue Pie, and many more.

Swiss meringue is prepared by gently beating egg whites and sugar in a pan that sits above boiling water, without touching it. When the mixture reaches 50°C and the sugar is completely dissolved, the mixture is pulled off the heat and beaten vigorously to increase and attain full volume and then at a lower speed until cool and very stiff. Swiss meringue is smoother, silkier, and somewhat denser than French meringue and is often used as a base for buttercream frostings.

Italian meringue is made with boiling sugar syrup, instead of caster sugar. This leads to a much more stable soft meringue which can be used in various pastries without collapsing. In an Italian meringue, a hot sugar syrup (115°C) is whipped into softly whipped egg whites till stiff. This type of meringue is safe to use without cooking. It will not deflate for a long while and can be either used on pies and Baked Alaska, or spread on a sheet and baked for meringues.

French Meringue

4 large egg whites
750 ml cups icing sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
Pink Gel Food Coloring
150 ml Nutella

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C and line baking trays with Wizbake sheets and set it aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use hand mixer and place in a large bowl.
  3. Beat until light and foamy on low speed. Turn off the mixer and add the vanilla extract.
  4. Carefully, add the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 20 minutes. The meringue will get thick.
  5. Add some pink food gel and fold the gel through to create a marbled effect.
  6. Spoon the meringue into a silicone piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  7. Pipe the meringues in circles starting in the center and swirling outward in a circular motion.  Repeat until all meringue is used.
  8. Turn the oven down to 100 °C and bake the meringues for 10 minutes.
  9. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out or at the lowest setting for 3 to 4 hours until completely dry.
  10. Remove the meringues from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  11. Spread 15 ml Nutella on the flat bottom of one meringue and cover with a 2nd meringue to make a sandwich.
  12. Transfer to a serving plate or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Posted on

Baked Apple French Toast

Apple and bread turned into a beautiful baked breakfast or brunch dish, popular with young and old and good enough to serve as a dessert with cream.

2 large or 3 smaller apples such as Granny Smith or Bramley
60 ml water
few drops lemon juice (optional)
30 ml sugar
8 large eggs
500 ml milk
few drops vanilla essence
15 ml melted butter or margarine to grease dish and coat top
12 thin slices white bread, crusts removed

Cinnamon Sugar
50 ml sugar
5 ml cinnamon (add more cinnamon to taste)

To serve
syrup to drizzle (any favourite)
yoghurt , Mascarpone cheese or whipped cream (optional)
grilled bacon (optional but good!)

  1. Peel and core the apples and cut into small chunks.
  2. Place into a saucepan with the water, lemon juice and sugar and bring to boil.
  3. Boil over moderate heat until the apples are just crisp-tender and most of the moisture has evaporated.
  4. Select a shallow rectangular ovenproof dish which will hold 6 slices snugly or use 6 individual dishes and brush with melted butter or margarine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Beat together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence.
  7. Place 6 of the slices into the greased dish and the other 6 slices into a similar dish for soaking.
  8. Pour about 1/3 of egg mixture over the slices in the baking dish and 1/3 over the remaining 6 slices.
  9. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and spoon the apple evenly over the bread.
  10. Cover with the remaining six slices, pour the remaining egg mixture over the top and brush with butter or margarine.
  11. Bake about 30 minutes or until set and golden on top.
  12. Serve with syrup and yoghurt, Mascarpone cheese or cream and grilled bacon on the side if used.

6 servings.

Recipe and photo by Carolié de Koster.

 

 

Posted on

Quick Creamy Curried Eggs

The humble boiled egg is elevated to an irresistible treat with this delicious sauce.  The sauce can also be served with cooked chicken or vegetables.

8 large eggs

Quick Creamy Curried Sauce
375 ml milk
30 ml cornflour (Maizena)
25 ml medium curry powder
10 ml sugar
15 ml white wine vinegar
2 ml salt

To serve
White, brown or wholewheat bread, toasted
Avocado slided thinly
chives, snipped

  1. To make the sauce, place 300 ml of the milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Mix the remaining milk with the cornflour and stir into the milk as soon as it starts boiling.
  3. Stir with a whisk until the sauce becomes smooth and thickened.
  4. Blend the remaining ingredients and stir a little of the hot sauce into the mixture.
  5. Add to the saucepan and bring the boil, stirring continuously.
  6. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve or allow to cool and reheat gently while stirring when required.
  7. To boil the eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water.
  8. Bring to the boil slowly and as soon as boiling is established, turn down the heat and simmer gently for the desired length of time (see notes below).
  9. Remove the eggs from the saucepan and rinse under cold running water.
  10. Peel the eggs and set it side.
  11. Serve the eggs on toast with the sauce on the side.

Cooking times for eggs
– 2 to 3 minutes for runny, soft-boiled eggs
– 4 to 5 minutes for set, soft-boiled eggs
– 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs

Variation for Quick Creamy Curried Sauce
– Add about 50 ml fried chopped onion or spring onion and 15 ml chutney.

CurryEggs1

Posted on

Low Carb Oopsies

Oopsie bread or Oopsies is all the rage these days due to the fact that it is low in carbs.  Nothing more than an improved version of the Atkins Revolution Roll, Oopsie bread provides a gluten-free alternative to bread and even to some types of cakes!  The texture is similar to choux pastry and the taste is neutral, not eggy at all as one would expect.  It can therefor be served with either sweet or savoury dishes.  I prefer to bake Oopsies in a muffin pan (or a swiss roll tin for roulade).  I have successfully used Philadelphia cream cheese, creamed cottage cheese and cream cheese.  By simply adding sweet or savoury ingredients Oopsies can easily be turned into classic sweet or savory recipes.  See my recipes for Low Carb Tuna Roulade and Low Carb Raspberry & Cream Roulade.

Continue reading Low Carb Oopsies