Apple and Cinnamon Turkish Delight

Sweet chunks of Turkish delight, flavoured with sharp green apple and aromatic cinnamon.

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This month I’ve decided to do the Daring Cooks challenge, as well as the Daring Bakers Challenge, because I fancied trying my hand at both. So first up; the Daring Cooks challenge! For the Month of May, Rachael from Pizzarossa challenged us to make candy but not just any candy! She challenged us to make Turkish Delight, or Lokum.

I’ve made Turkish Delight before, but I wasn’t particularly pleased with the result, because I found that the pieces melted at room temperature, so this time I have added some gelatine, to help it form a more solid block.

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I decided to try a different flavour from the classic rose turkish delight. I had a look through Pinterest and saw that you could make apple turkish delight by using apple juice instead of water, so that’s what I have done. Just make sure that you use high quality apple juice, to get the best flavour. I followed the basic recipe from the daring cook page, but changed some of the water to apple juice and added the gelatine.

I am really really pleased with these turkish delight, and I will definitely be making some alternative flavours soon!

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Variations: You could use any fruit juice to flavour the Turkish delight, I think using orange juice would work well, and you could then dip them in dark chocolate!

Ingredients:

  • 400g Granulated Sugar
  • 330ml Apple Juice
  • 150ml water
  • 2tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 80g Cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • A few drops of green food colouring
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 sachet of powdered gelatine

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To Make:

Grease and line a small rectangular dish.

Combine 180ml of the Apple juice, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and the cinnamon stick with the sugar in a small pan, cook over a low heat until the temperature reaches 127C.

Meanwhile combine the cornflour, remaining apple juice and water in a large pan, and cook over a low heat, whisking continually until it forms a thick paste. Then remove from the heat and whisk in 1 sachet of powdered gelatin.

Once the apple syrup has reached 127C, remove from the heat and pour into the pan with the cornflour paste, whisking continually. Continue to cook over a low heat for around 30-40 minutes until the volume has reduced to about 1/3.

Stir through the green food colouring and pour into the prepared dish. Leave to cool to room temperature for a few hours, by which point it should be completely set.

Combine 3tbsp of cornflour and 3tbsp of icing sugar in a small bowl.Turn out the Turkish delight and cut into bite-sized chunks. Roll each piece in the sugar mixture and arrange on a platter the serve!

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Lamingtons – Trio of Flavours -Raffaello, Chocolate and Passion Fruit

Cubes of soft almond sponge, dipped in a sweet chocolate ganache and coated in toasted desiccated coconut.

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Time for the daring bakers challenge! For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant!

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If you’ve never heard of a lamington before, it is basically a square shaped piece of shaped of sponge, coated in icing or chocolate, then rolled in desiccated coconut. ¬†I initially just planned on making one flavour of lamington inspired by Raffaelo chocolates – ¬†almond sponge, coated in white chocolate and coconut. But I ran out of white chocolate after making 12 lamingtons, so I used¬†a dark chocolate ganache which made another 12 lamingtons, but after that I still had sponge left! The next day I made some passionfruit lamingtons as well.

So I ended up with three different lamingtons flavours:

  1. Raffaelo – white chocolate, almond and coconut
  2. Dark chocolate, almond and coconut
  3. Passionfruit and coconut

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I’d never actually eaten lamingtons before, but I really liked them, and they look really impressive too! I took a box into work and they went down really well, even though no one knew what they were! An excellent addition to a party, so I will be bringing them along to Fiesta Friday!

So if your feeling a bit adventurous, then give lamingtons a go!

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Variations:

If you don’t like coconut, you could use some coarsely ground hazelnut praline, or flaked almonds.

You can also fill the lamingtons with jam for extra flavour!

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Ingredients:

The Sponge:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g ground Almonds
  • 100g self raising flour

Ganache:

  • 200g white or dark chocolate
  • 100ml double cream

Passion Fruit icing:

  • juice of 3 passion fruits
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g icing sugar

Coating:

  • 200g desiccated coconut

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To Make:

The sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and line a rectangular baking dish.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then crack in the eggs, one at a time, with the ground almonds, mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the self raising flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and smooth out, bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into evenly sized cubes.

The Ganache:

Heat the cream in a small pan until almost boiling, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until completely melted.

The Passion Fruit Icing:

Strain the juice from the passion fruits, and combine with the lemon juice and icing sugar (adjust the liquid or sugar, until the icing is runny but still coats the back of a spoon).

The Coating:
Toast the coconut in a frying pan until just turning a golden brown colour.

Assembling:
Use two forks to dip the cubes of sponge into the ganache and coat completely.

Transfer the coated cube to the pan with the desiccated coconut, and press the coconut onto the outside of the cube by rolling it around. Once completely covered, transfer to a platter.

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Repeat until all the ganache is used up, serve and enjoy!

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Picante Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Soft, light focaccia, stuffed with sweet and spicy picante peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.

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I recently joined the Daring Kitchen, which is a group who challenge bloggers to bake or cook something adventurous and exciting every month. For the month of April, Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise, took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch!

I have only tried making focaccia once before, so I was excited to make it again, and try a different flavour combination!

I found the focaccia reasonably simple to make, the most important thing is to keep the dough wet and sticky, I usually find wet doughs a bit of a nightmare to knead, but this recipe suggests kneading it in the bowl for a while before turning it out, which really helped!

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You also need to make sure you give the dough enough time to rise and develop some unevenly distributed air bubbles, so don’t move onto the next stage unless the dough has at least doubled in size!

I have used a Paul Hollywood recipe, for a basic focaccia, but I have added some picante peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, for extra Italian flavour!

Variations: You could use whatever you want to flavour the bread, some olives would work well, or some toasted pine nuts!

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Ingredients: Makes Two Large Loaves

  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 sachets dried easy blend yeast

  • 2 tbsp

  • 400ml/14fl oz cold water

  • extra olive oil, for drizzling

  • 2 tbsp chopped picante peppers
  • 2 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • grated parmesan cheese

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To Make:

Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10¬Ĺfl oz of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with a wooden spoon to form a beat¬†the dough in the bowl with a wooden spoon for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.

Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes.

Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Fold in the chopped picante peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, then leave the dough to prove for a further hour.

Grease two large baking  sheets. and preheat the oven to 220C. Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.

Drizzle the loaves with oil, and press your fingers into the dough, to form lines of dimples. Then scatter over the fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot or warm.

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