Gillian Hegarty’s Home-made Pasta by Rachel Allen

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Gratin of haddock with Imokilly cheddar and mustard by Rachel Allen

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Rachel’s Warm winter green salad with Caesar dressing, smoked bacon and a poached egg

 

Rory O’Connell’s Tuscan Apple, Lemon & Almond Cake






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Crisp on top and full of plump, juicy apples, this Tuscan tart is simply delicious.

By Rory O’Connell

Celebrity Chef

I am never quite sure if I should be calling this a cake or a tart but in any event, it is delicious and quite easy to make.

Ingredients

I am never quite sure if I should be calling this a cake or a tart but in any event, it is delicious and quite easy to make.

The origins of the recipe are from Tuscany in Italy but I like to use highly perfumed Irish dessert apples when in season. Look out for some lesser known but very delicious Irish dessert apples such as Irish Peach and Ardcairn Russet. 
 
Serves
 

  • 10g butter melted for greasing the parchment paper 
  • 4 dessert apples 
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 250g caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 150ml cream 
  • 110g butter melted and cooled 
  • 125g whole almonds, blanched, peeled and ground to a fine powder in a food processer or ground almonds 
  • 110g plain flour sieved 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder sieved 
  •  100g of apricot jam 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, warmed and sieved 
  •  2 tablespoons of chopped sweet geranium leaves ( optional) 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c / 350 f / gas 4 
  2. Line a 28cm flan ring with a removable base with a disc of parchment paper. The paper should in one piece cover the base and sides of the tin and come up 1cm above the edge of the tin. Brush the paper with a little melted butter.
  3. Peel, core and quarter the apples and slice into c 3mm slices. Mix with the lemon zest. Whisk the vanilla, sugar, and eggs to a thick and light consistency similar to a batter. Whisk in the cream and cooled melted butter. Fold in the almonds, flour and baking powder. Add ¾ of the sliced apples, being careful not to break the apple slices.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared flan ring and gently smooth over the surface. Scatter the remaining apples over the surface and sprinkle with 1 dessertspoon of caster sugar.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160c etc and cook for a further 40 minutes by which time the tart will feel gently set. It may be necessary to cover the tart during the cooking with a sheet of parchment paper if the tart is getting too dark.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. While the tart is still warm, Paint the surfaced with the warm sieved apricot jam to achieve a glossy glaze and if using the chopped geranium, sprinkle on immediately after glazing the tart. 
  7.  Serve warm with softly whipped cream. 

Rachel Allen’s Divine Rich Chocolate Cake recipe


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Happy Sunday!
This Divine Rich Chocolate Cake recipe is from my 2nd cookbook, Rachel’s Favourite Food For Friends (published in 2005), that I come back to time & time again. This is a super quick to make and completely delicious cake that’s a bit brownie-like, a bit moussey-like, and can be made using ground almonds or flour, so super versatile. And, it keeps for ages, if you can keep it!
I made 2 this morning, one for home and one for a friend’s (belated) birthday!
Here’s the recipe below!
Serves 6-8
A little soft butter, for greasing the tin
150g dark chocolate, chopped
125g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, whisked to break up
50g ground almonds or plain flour

For the Chocolate Glaze:
110g dark chocolate , chopped
2 tbsp milk or cream
50g butter

Preheat the oven to 160’C/Fan 145.
Butter the sides of a 20cm round cake tin (or spring form tin ) and line the bottom with grease proof or parchment paper.
Place the chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water, and melt. Stir until smooth then beat in the eggs and fold in the ground almonds or sifted flour. Feel free to add orange zest, vanilla, sea salt, cardamom, ginger etc!
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 35-45 minutes until the centre feels just set in the centre, but it will still be gorgeously moist. Allow to cool in the tin .
To make the chocolate glaze , melt all the ingredients together and stir until smooth, allow to cool a little until it has thickened slightly ( about 10 minutes) but do not place in the fridge as it will lose it’s glossy sheen .
Take the cooled cake out of the tin and place on a plate or cake stand , and pour the glaze over the top , letting it drizzle down the sides.
#baking #rachelallencooks #chocolatecake #glutenfree1d

A Pancake Extravaganza by Rachel Allen

rachel pancakes

Tuesday is pancake time. In all their shapes and forms, they are a real favourite in our household. It isn’t just our children who get excited – I adore pancakes and love an excuse to make a real feast of them. There’s something so pleasingly simple, so supremely comforting about a perfectly browned pancake, unchallenging and uncomplicated, but always delicious.
We’ll make all different sorts of pancakes on different years, and often on the same day. I love thin pancakes – they’re called crepes in France, where they’re usually made with some buckwheat flour. I like to eat them rolled up with lemon and sugar, or the perennial favourite, Nutella! We like to make thin pancakes as a savoury treat too, omitting the sugar and making a creamy mushroom filling with bacon and perhaps some Gruyere cheese.
If you’d like to make your pancakes a little more elaborate than just a squeeze of lemon and sugar, you can try this divine orange butter recipe, opposite, that we often make at the cookery school.
At other times, we like to make big, fluffy American pancakes, served with rashers and plenty of maple syrup. I’ve written recipes for blueberry and lemon pancakes in these pages before, as well as in a number of my cookbooks.
The Italian recipe here is a totally different take on pancakes that I’ve made on Pancake Tuesday in previous years. It was inspired by a conversation I had with the great Italian chef, Aldo Zilli. He told me a wonderful story about his mother using light pancakes as an alternative to pasta in certain dishes, and I’ve discovered that they work wonderfully with rich tomato sauces. The Italian baked pancakes with tomato sauce recipe, opposite, uses the pancakes in place of lasagne sheets, which adds a fluffiness to the dish. It’s a perfect family dish and would make a great centrepiece to a Shrove Tuesday dinner table.
Tip
Adding melted butter to the pancake batter will make a real difference to the pancakes’ flavour and texture. It also makes it possible to cook them without having to grease the pan every time.

Pancake Recipes: