From picnic pies to wedding cakes, cheesecake sponges to summer berry tarts – baking is a timeless pursuit. However, the tantalizing ingredients available during the summer months make it ideal to play around with recipes. As you know, summer is usually associated with weddings, and there is no wedding that can take place without a cake! Creating a hoard fit for such an event is a challenging but rewarding undertaking. Since there will be fruits and vegetables in abundance, it is the best time of the year to reach for that mixing bowl you’ve been hiding in your pantry! And besides, you’ll need something to keep you occupied during those dolefully common rainy days…
#Saffron crème tart
For the pastry case
125g butter, lightly salted, chilled, and cut into small pieces
4 to 5 teaspoon of cold water
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
65g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
For the filling
100ml whole creamy milk
6 large free-range egg yolks
1 teaspoon of saffron strands
500ml double cream
50g of caster sugar, and additional 4 tablespoons for the topping
Loose-bottomed tart tin (23x4cm deep)
For the pastry
Combine the icing sugar, flour, and salt into a food processor, and then add the butter. Process until rough
and crispy. Blend the egg yolk with four teaspoons of water. Whisk the egg yolk mixture with the crumbled
mix in a medium bowl until you end up with thick dough, adding the extra teaspoon of cold water if the
mixture is too dry. Transfer onto a slightly floured workplace and knead the dough until smooth. Place in
the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes to chill, then remove and roll out into a thin circle. Line the tart tin
using the pastry, and then chill the pastry case for twenty minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, with a baking sheet placed onto the middle rack. Fill the uncooked
rice/baking beans into a foil-lined pastry case, and then bake for fifteen to twenty minutes on the hot
baking sheet, or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove the beans/rice and foil, cover the side of the
case using thin strips of foil, and then return into the oven for five more minutes or until the base turns
crisp and dark brown. Remove and set aside to cool. With the baking sheet still in the oven, lower the
temperature in the oven to 140 degrees C/120 degrees fan/gas 2.
For the filling
Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat, and then toss in the saffron strands until they turn slightly
darker. Transfer into a mortar, wait to cool and turn brittle before you grind them into fine powder using
the pestle. Pour the milk into a small pan and heat up to boiling point. Mix the milk with the saffron powder,
and leave to cool.
Put the double cream into another pan and bring to a boil. In the meantime, beat the egg yolk and fifty
grams of sugar together in small brown until just incorporated. Blend the hot cream with the egg yolks,
stirring lightly with a whisk. Add the saffron milk and stir briefly. Strain into a large jug using a fine sieve,
and then scrape off any froth on the top using a spoon.
Remove the rack from the oven and then place the pastry case over the hot baking sheet. Add the crème
mixture and then slide in the rack. Bake until the mixture is set softly, about twenty five to thirty minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool before placing in the refrigerator to chill for two hours at least.
Sprinkle the remaining four tablespoons of caster sugar over the custard mixture in a thick, flush layer.
Caramelize the sugar by holding a blow torch slightly above the surface, moving it around until it is
browned evenly. Set the caramel aside to cool before serving.
Servings: 8 to 10
#Moist Chocolate Cake
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of brewed coffee
2 large eggs
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of baking cocoa
1 cup of canola oil
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of shortening
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk,
coffee, and oil, and mix for one minute at medium speed. Stir in the vanilla and eggs, beating for two more
minutes or until the batter is thin.
Transfer into 2 greased and floured round baking pans (9”) and bake for twenty five to thirty minutes. Set
aside for ten minutes to cool and then remove the pans. Place on wire racks to cool off completely.
In the meantime, cook flour and milk in a saucepan until thick. Cover and slide into the refrigerator. Beat
the sugar, vanilla, shortening, and butter in a bowl until creamy. Add the chilled milk mixture, then continue
beating for ten minutes longer. Cool and frost the cake.
Servings : 12
#Caramelized apple tart
Pie Dough, or 1 unbaked, refrigerated pie crust (store-bought) – 7 1/2 ounces
1/2 cup of sugar
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
6 apples, peeled, cored, & cut into 8 wedges each (about 2 3/4 pounds)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll the pie dough onto a lightly floured work surface to make a 1/8” thick
circle. Press a nine-inch plate over the dough, and then use a sharp paring knife to cut off the edges and
produce the circular shape.
Combine the tart in a ten-inch cast iron skillet. Add softened butter into the bottom and then spread with
the sugar. Top with a circular layer of apple wedges, with the remaining pieces filling in the center. Cook over
medium high heat until the sugar mixture is bubbly and light amber, about 8-10 minutes.
Transfer into the preheated oven and cook for about thirty minutes or until the apples have softened.
Gently add the dough over the top and bake for fifteen more minutes, or until golden brown.
Set aside to cool, approximately twenty minutes. Transfer the tart onto a plate and drizzle over with the
remaining juices in the pan. Serve at room temperature or warm.