FRENCH STRAWBERRY FLANS
French Strawberry Flans
These French Strawberry Flans are not the easiest recipe to make, but they are worth the effort. I love tarts but can usually only find them at my local bakery. It’s not often that you visit someone and they offer you a Strawberry Flan. They are just that little bit special, next time you are expecting a special visitor make the effort and present them with these French Strawberry Flans. Enjoy!
2 sheets shortcrust pastry, thawed
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon brandy
2 teaspoons arrowroot
2 punnets strawberries, halved
1 ¼ cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Grease 4 x 10 cm loose-based flan tins. Cut pastry sheets in half. Line tins with pastry; trim edges. Place tins onto an oven tray. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cover pastry with baking paper; fill with dried beans or rice. Cook in a moderately hot oven, 190°C for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned; cool.
Place egg in a bowl; beat in ¼ cup of milk using an electric mixer. Add yolks, flour, cornflour and sugar ; beat until thick. Place remaining milk in a pan, bring to boil. Remove from heat. Gradually beat hot milk into egg mixture until smooth. Return mixture to pan, whisk over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in essence. Cover with plastic wrap, cool.
Combine juice, brandy and arrowroot in a small pan, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
To serve, divide filling evenly among pastry cases, top with strawberries. Brush strawberries with warm orange glaze.
Flans are best assembled just before serving.
Best eaten fresh.
Will keep sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Loukoumathes otherwise known as Loukoumades
LOUKOUMATHES (GREEK HONEY PUFFS)
These sweet syrupy fried donuts remind me of Fritolli. Not only that, but these are also called Loukoumades as I discovered when doing some research. They are a bit fiddly to prepare and fry, but they are worth it. Just assemble everything beforehand and make sure that there are no distractions when frying. They are best eaten still warm but are ok even the next day, hot or cold. Enjoy!
Makes about 40
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1 ¼ cups warm water
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Cinnamon sticks for decoration
¾ cup honey
2 tablespoons water
2 strips orange rind
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the dried yeast, flour and sugar in a large bowl; stir in enough water to make a smooth, thick batter. Cover; stand batter in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until the batter has almost doubled in size.
Combine all ingredients in a small pan; stir over heat until almost boiling. Cover; keep warm.
Deep fry rounded teaspoons of batter in hot oil, in batches, until browned all over and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
Drizzle hot syrup over the hot Loukoumathes. Serve warm or cold; decorate with cinnamon sticks.
When spooning the mixture into hot oil, use two teaspoons, dipped in a glass of hot water between each one to prevent batter from sticking to the spoons.
I just love this Italian Tiramisu recipe. It is one of my favorite desserts. It’s not something that you would make often so when you have the chance to taste it, it’s special. I have to be honest, it is fiddly to make, but well worth it. Just assemble the ingredients to start off with and it doesn’t seem as difficult. It can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. This is handy if you are busy already doing preparations for another dish. You will also have to shop to get some of the ingredients, I know I don’t usually have Mascarpone lying around. However if you enjoy making this, you may like to try making your own Mascarpone one day. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 ½ cups boiling water
½ cup sweet Marsala wine
1 x 250 g packet sponge finger biscuits
½ cup thickened cream
¹⁄³ cup icing sugar mixture
2 cups Mascarpone cheese
50 g dark chocolate, grated
1 x 150 g punnet raspberries to serve
Dissolve coffee powder in water in a medium bowl. Stir in half the Marsala wine; cool.
Dip half the sponge finger biscuits, one at a time, into the coffee mixture; arrange in a single layer over the base of a serving dish (10-cup capacity).
Beat the cream and the icing sugar mixture in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold in the Mascarpone and remaining Marsala.
Spread half the cream mixture over biscuits in dish. Dip remaining biscuits in remaining coffee mixture; arrange over cream layer in dish. Top biscuit layer with remaining cream mixture; sprinkle with chocolate. Cover; refrigerate for about 6 hours, or overnight.
Slice chilled Tiramisu; serve with raspberries.
Tiramisu can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.