Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Masterchef Week: Mindy's Choc Mousse Tart

OK first thing is first. I have been slack posting new recipes but I have been sick for the past 6 or so weeks and unable to cook, talk about or even think about food. So big apologies for my slackness and hopefully things will start to get back to nromal soon. Until then, my posts may be a little scattered.

As soon as I saw this on the Magazine cover challenge I knew I had to try it. After my last disaster with chocolate pastry here I needed to redeem myself. I tried to do the pastry in the food processor like the recipe said but it didn't work (should have learnt my lesson from last time here and here). Second batch came out much better and this time I used the rub in method (for information and a video click here). Below are instructions based on how I did the recipe, for the original recipe visit here

What you will need for the Chocolate Pastry: 

100g / Plain Flour
70g Dutch Cocoa
20g Ground Almonds (I used almond meal)
60g Icing Sugar
90g Unsalted Butter, chilled and chopped
1 Egg, lightly beaten

Pastry Ingredients
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Choose the tart tin shape of your choice - I chose a rectangle tin. 

Place the  flour, cocoa, ground almonds, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process for 30 seconds or until well combined. Rub in the butter to the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. The butter will have to be relatively soft (not melted) for this. Add the egg and combine with a spatula until just combined. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When chilled, roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until about 4mm thick, making sure the pastry will easily cover your tart tin plus extra. 
Rolled out pastry
When you're satisfied line your tart tin. Using scissors, trim the pastry to 5mm above tart pan rim, then prick base with a fork. Freeze the tart shell for 15 minutes. 

Line the tart shell with baking paper and pastry balls, place the tart tin on an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes. 
With pastry balls
Remove paper and pastry balls carefully as the balls will be very hot to the touch, then bake pastry for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is dry. Cool for 10 minutes.
Cooked Pastry 

What you will need for the Chocolate Mousse filling:
275g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
140g Unsalted Butter, chopped
2 Eggs
3 Egg Yolks
110g / ½ Cup Caster Sugar
1 Orange, zested

Choc Mousse Ingredients
 To make the chocolate mousse filling, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir occasionally until smooth. 

Chocolate & Butter
Set aside to cool slightly. Reserve the pan of water on the stove.

Place the eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over the pan of simmering water. 
Eggs, Yolks & Caster Sugar
Using hand-held electric beaters, whisk on medium speed for 6 minutes or until nearly tripled in volume and mixture holds a trail. (Alternatively, using a balloon whisk, whisk for 10 minutes.) 

Egg mixture
Remove from the heat, add the orange zest.

Orange zest
Then fold into the chocolate mixture in 3 batches until just incorporated. 

Choc mixed with egg etc
Immediately pour mousse into tart shell and level with an offset spatula. Place the tart tin on an oven tray and bake for 18 minutes or until just set.

Mousse Tart ready for the oven 

Baked tart

What you will need for the Orange Caramel:
110g / ½ Cup Caster Sugar
100ml Orange Juice
3 Oranges, segmented

Orange Caramel ingredients

To make the orange caramel, place the caster sugar in a medium frying pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes or until sugar begins to melt. Swirl pan as sugar begins to caramelise, but do not stir. 

In a separate small saucepan, bring the orange juice to the boil. Once caramel is a deep golden, immediately pour in hot orange juice, taking care as mixture will splutter, and stir until smooth. Place the orange segments in a heatproof bowl and pour over the orange caramel. 

Orange Caramel
Drizzle the orange caramel over the hot tart and let set for 20 minutes. 

Baked tart with orange caramel drizzle
To assemble, use a slotted spoon and place a spoonful of orange segments over the centre of tart and drizzle with a little orange caramel. Serve with freshly whipped cream, additional orange segments and orange caramel sauce for extra drizzling. 

Choc Mousse Tart 
The wasn't too hard to make and the end result was lovely, but the husband and I have come to the conclusion we really don't like chocolate tarts that much. It will probably be a long time between this one and the next one. 

Choc Mousse Tart 
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday & Pies

I missed the Friday deadline for Foodie Friends Friday (from last week) but thought I would do the post anyway. This week I'm going to share a recent blogpost of mine for Beef and Guiness Pies. These were so delicious you have to try them. Check them out here

Beef and Guiness Pies

This week's sponsor was Bazor Designs - check out their website on Etsy here Note this is open to US and Canadian residents only.

This week's Hosts:
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Robyn at Robyn's View
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Keira at Luscious Delights
Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Ericka at Chef Picky Kid
Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Monday, September 3, 2012

Masterchef Week - Pork Lasagne

Masterchef Australia officially came to an end for 2012 the other week, and I have some serious withdrawal symptoms. For part 2 of my own Masterchef series, I really went out of my comfort zone. I don’t like lasagne. I don’t like the texture, the sloppiness of it. But maybe I’ve just never had a good one before. The husband’s been hassling me for weeks to make him lasagne so I finally relented (and I desperately wanted to try this Masterchef one) and made him Audra's Pork Lasagne. This lasagne featured on one of the Italian challenges in the last week’s of Masterchef when they had to cook lunch for 500 Barilla contestants and the owner of Barilla loved it.

What you will need:
250g Box Lasagne Sheets
250g Grated Parmesan Cheese

What you will need Meat Sauce:
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
500g Rindless Pork Belly, sliced into 2cm strips (ask the butcher to cut the rind off if you need to)
600g Italian Pork Sausages, skins removed
3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
6 Eschalots, finely chopped
800g Tinned Tomatoes (I used tinned whole tomatoes)
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. 

Pork Belly

 Cook the pork belly, in batches until caramelised.  

Caramelised pork belly
Remove from pan. Break the sausage meat into small pieces, and add to the hot pan and cook, stirring until it changes colour. 
Italian sausage meat
 Return the pork belly to the pan, add the garlic, eschalots and cook for 5 minutes. 
Pork belly returned to pan

Add tomatoes and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes or until sauce thickens. 
Everything in the pan 
Remove pork belly pieces and pass through a mincer, or chop finely.

Pork Belly being minced
 Return to pan, season and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Pork Belly returned to pan

What you will need Bechamel Sauce:
1 Litre Milk
2 Sage leaves
1 small bunch fresh Oregano, leaves picked
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
80g Butter, cubed
80g Plain Flour

Heat the milk with sage, oregano, garlic and peppercorns in a large saucepan until simmering.

Bechamel sauce ingredients to simmer
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, reduce heat to low and cook a further 5 minutes to cook out the flour. 

Butter and flour in separate pan
Remove the pan from the heat, strain the milk through a sieve into a jug and pour into the pan, whisking constantly to prevent lumps forming. 
Return to the heat, season with salt and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

Sauce thickening
To assemble the lasagne, lightly oil a 12-cup capacity rectangular baking dish. 

Greased pan 
Ladle a little meat sauce over the base of the dish.
Layer of meat
Cover with one layer of pasta sheets, breaking to fit if necessary. 

Layer of lasagne sheets
Top with one-third of remaining meat sauce and one-third bechamel sauce.
Layer of b├ęchamel sauce & repeat
Repeat the layers twice, finishing with bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Ready for the oven 
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until pasta is cooked. 
Fresh from the oven 
Set aside for 15 minutes before serving.
Pork Lasagne

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