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’s Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

 
Rachel shares the recipe for her mouth-watering Cookies and Cream Cheesecake from her show Rachel Allen’s Everyday Kitchen

 

Ingredients

  • For the double chocolate chip cookies
  • makes 20 large cookies
  • 225 g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 325 g (111/2oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g (8oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 175 g (6oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces, or dark chocolate chips
  • For the cheesecake
  • 15 g (1/2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 25 ml (1fl oz) strong coffee, such as espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500 g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
  • 400 ml (14fl oz) double or regular cream
  • 50 g (2oz) icing sugar
  • 50 g (2oz) dark chocolate (55–75% cocoa solids), grated, for sprinkling
  • 9-12 of the double chocolate chip cookies
  • 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Method

  • Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Crack in one egg at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then add the chocolate pieces/chips and fold in to combine. Alternatively, place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces/chips in a food processor and whiz briefly until they come together, then fold in the chocolate.
  • With wet hands, form the dough into balls each the size of a golf ball (or use two soup spoons to scoop up and shape the same amount of dough). Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, placing 6–7 balls of dough on each sheet and leaving space for the cookies to spread.
  • Bake for 10–14 minutes or until the cookies look slightly cracked on top. (With three baking sheets, you will need to cook them in three batches, or two batches in a fan oven.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the baking sheets using a palette knife or metal fish slice and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla extract, mascarpone, cream and icing sugar for 1–2 minutes or until thick.
  • Arrange one-third (3–4) of the cookies in the bottom of the cake tin, then spread over one-third of the chocolate cream mixture. Add a second layer of cookies, then another layer of chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of cookies and a final layer of chocolate cream.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the top layer of chocolate cream, then cover the tin with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for eight hours or overnight.
  • To remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, run a small, sharp knife around the cheesecake to loosen the edges, then unfasten the clip and lift away the sides of the tin. Using a palette knife or a metal fish slice, loosen the cheesecake from the base of the tin and carefully slide off onto a plate. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.

Rachel’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Screenshot_2020-01-14 Rachel Allen on Instagram “OHHH YESSSS These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are possibly up there as m[...](3)

rachelallen1's profile picture

rachelallen1

OHHH YESSSS….These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are possibly up there as my very favourites. This is a perfect day for some cosy baking. Let me know how you get on.. see Recipe below from my book Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen , @harpercollinsire @harpercollinsuk #baking #cosy #cosybakingday #doublechocolate #doublechocolatechip #doublechocolatechipcookies Makes 20 large cookies-never enough


225g butter, softened

325g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

225g flour

75g cocoa powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt 175g dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 175’C.
Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper .

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until very soft. Add in the sugar and beat to mix well. Continue to beat and add the eggs in one by one followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the sifted flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix in until combined.

With wet hands, form the dough into balls the size of a golf ball (or use 2 soup spoons to scoop onto the tray) . Arrange on the tray , about 6 or 7 on each tray, leaving space for the cookies to spread.

If you’re using a fan oven, cook all three trays at once (at 150’ FAN ‘C). Cook for 9-11 minutes until they look slightly cracked on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely. PS- You can just bake a few and keep the cookie dough in the fridge rolled up into a salami shape in parchment paper, then slice to bake when you fancy. 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

Gratin of haddock with Imokilly cheddar and mustard by Rachel Allen

fish-gratin_0

Rachel’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Screenshot_2020-01-14 Rachel Allen on Instagram “OHHH YESSSS These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are possibly up there as m[...](3)

rachelallen1's profile picture

rachelallen1

OHHH YESSSS….These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are possibly up there as my very favourites. This is a perfect day for some cosy baking. Let me know how you get on.. see Recipe below from my book Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen , @harpercollinsire @harpercollinsuk #baking #cosy #cosybakingday #doublechocolate #doublechocolatechip #doublechocolatechipcookies Makes 20 large cookies-never enough


225g butter, softened

325g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

225g flour

75g cocoa powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt 175g dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 175’C.
Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper .

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until very soft. Add in the sugar and beat to mix well. Continue to beat and add the eggs in one by one followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the sifted flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix in until combined.

With wet hands, form the dough into balls the size of a golf ball (or use 2 soup spoons to scoop onto the tray) . Arrange on the tray , about 6 or 7 on each tray, leaving space for the cookies to spread.

If you’re using a fan oven, cook all three trays at once (at 150’ FAN ‘C). Cook for 9-11 minutes until they look slightly cracked on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely. PS- You can just bake a few and keep the cookie dough in the fridge rolled up into a salami shape in parchment paper, then slice to bake when you fancy. 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

Rachel’s Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

 
Rachel shares the recipe for her mouth-watering Cookies and Cream Cheesecake from her show Rachel Allen’s Everyday Kitchen

 

Ingredients

  • For the double chocolate chip cookies
  • makes 20 large cookies
  • 225 g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 325 g (111/2oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g (8oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 175 g (6oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces, or dark chocolate chips
  • For the cheesecake
  • 15 g (1/2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 25 ml (1fl oz) strong coffee, such as espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500 g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
  • 400 ml (14fl oz) double or regular cream
  • 50 g (2oz) icing sugar
  • 50 g (2oz) dark chocolate (55–75% cocoa solids), grated, for sprinkling
  • 9-12 of the double chocolate chip cookies
  • 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Method

  • Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Crack in one egg at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then add the chocolate pieces/chips and fold in to combine. Alternatively, place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces/chips in a food processor and whiz briefly until they come together, then fold in the chocolate.
  • With wet hands, form the dough into balls each the size of a golf ball (or use two soup spoons to scoop up and shape the same amount of dough). Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, placing 6–7 balls of dough on each sheet and leaving space for the cookies to spread.
  • Bake for 10–14 minutes or until the cookies look slightly cracked on top. (With three baking sheets, you will need to cook them in three batches, or two batches in a fan oven.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the baking sheets using a palette knife or metal fish slice and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla extract, mascarpone, cream and icing sugar for 1–2 minutes or until thick.
  • Arrange one-third (3–4) of the cookies in the bottom of the cake tin, then spread over one-third of the chocolate cream mixture. Add a second layer of cookies, then another layer of chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of cookies and a final layer of chocolate cream.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the top layer of chocolate cream, then cover the tin with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for eight hours or overnight.
  • To remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, run a small, sharp knife around the cheesecake to loosen the edges, then unfasten the clip and lift away the sides of the tin. Using a palette knife or a metal fish slice, loosen the cheesecake from the base of the tin and carefully slide off onto a plate. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.

Rachel Allen’s Celeriac and roast hazelnut soup with soda bread

rachel taste of dublin

Ingredients

For the soda bread

For the soup

  • 30g/1oz butter
  • 110g/4oz onions, finely chipped
  • 140g/5oz potatoes, finely
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 425g/15oz celeriac, finely diced
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute with vegetable stock or water)
  • 170ml/6fl oz milk
  • 60ml/2fl oz cream (optional)
  • fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
  • 25g/1oz toasted hazelnuts, chopped for garnish