Tag: caster sugar

Passata

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This is a lovely thick and smooth sauce that is easily made from a glut of fresh ripe tomatoes. It’s great for pasta sauces but can also be used as a part of a marinade or to give a rich tomato flavour to curries, soups and stews. Once made, the cooled passata will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze away in smaller quantities for up to 2 months.

  • Makes: 1 litre

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cooking time: 50 mins

  • Total time: 1 hr

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Mid-price

That’s goodtoknow

For a richer tomato flavour add 1-2 tbsp sundried tomato paste to the pan with the vinegar and sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Few fresh basil leaves
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 mins until very soft. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil to the pan and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 20-25 mins until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Cool for 10 mins then push through a sieve to make a smooth tomato sauce.
  3. Return the onion paste and tomato sauce to the pan with the vinegar and sugar and simmer gently for 10-15 mins, stirring, until you have a thick passata. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool then store in clean jars or sealable containers in the fridge.

By Nichola Palmer

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Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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Tennis cupcakes

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Ingredients

For the cakes

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 130g self-raising flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 30ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the icing

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • Few drops of green food colouring
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp milk

For the toppers

  • 250g white ready-to-roll fondant
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Gumtragacanth or Tylo (optional)

You will also need:

  • 48mm circle cutter
  • Wilton Grass Nozzle, optional
  • Piping bag

That’s goodtoknow

Adding Gumtragacanth or Tylo thickens the fondant and helps set the shape. You will need to add Gumtragacanth the night before using, but Tylo works straight away.

Method

For the cakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3. Place 12 cases in your muffin tin.
  2. Beat the sugar and butter with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
  3. Add 1 egg, 1 third of the flour and a splash of milk and beat until just combined. Repeat until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack

For the buttercream

  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat until smooth and shiny.
  2. Once the cakes are cool, spread or pipe using the grass nozzle tip onto the tops of the cupcakes.
  3. To pipe the grass, hold the nozzle to the cupcake and pipe 2cm as you are lifting away from the cake, pull up quickly to stop piping, repeat until the whole cake is covered.

For the toppers

  1. Colour 220g of your ready to roll fondant yellow. Roll to 3mm thick and use the 48mm circle cutter to cut 12 circles. Leave to dry on greaseproof paper (Victoria used the ‘Purple Cupcakes Dome Kit’ to give the tennis balls a round shape.)
  2. Using the white fondant, roll long thin sausages. Brush with a touch of water and lay onto the yellow circles in tennis ball shapes. Cut the excess off with a sharp knife.
  3. Place the toppers on top of the grass buttercream on the cupcakes.

By Victoria Threader

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Gordon’s Indulgent Mini Chocolate Tarts Makes:…

Gordon’s Indulgent Mini Chocolate Tarts

Makes: 10
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

You will need:
Oil, for greasing
400g plain chocolate, broken up
8 tbsp double cream
60g butter, cubed
2 tbsp caster sugar (optional)

For the sweet pastry:
125g butter
90g caster sugar
1 egg
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the peanut brittle:
150g caster sugar
100g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method:

1. First make the pastry. Whiz the butter and sugar in a food processor until just combined. Add the egg and whiz for thirty seconds. Add the flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together (add 1 tablespoon of cold water if it seems too dry). Knead lightly on a floured surface, then shape into a flat disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for thirty minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Lightly grease ten 8cm fluted loose-bottomed mini tart tins. Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible on a floured work surface and cut out 10 small discs using an 11cm fluted cutter. Line the tins with the pastry, allowing it to overhang the edges, then prick the base with a fork and rest for twenty minutes in the fridge. (They should be really firm and cold so that you can avoid having to blind bake them.)

3. Bake the rested tart cases in the preheated oven for twelve minutes until golden. Use a sharp knife to trim off the excess pastry, then cool the cases in their tins on a wire rack.

4. While the tarts are cooking, make the peanut brittle. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or a lightly oiled sheet of foil. Put the sugar into a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat for three to four minutes and allow it to caramelise without stirring. Once the caramel begins to form, swirl it around the pan to ensure it colours evenly. After two to three minutes, when it’s beginning to turn light brown, add the peanuts and swirl to coat. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet, tilting it so that the peanut mixture spreads out thinly and evenly. It should harden almost immediately. Set aside for about ten minutes to cool.

5. Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache. Put the chocolate, cream, butter and sugar into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of gently boiling water for seven to eight minutes, stirring to combine once melted. (Taste and add a little sugar if you prefer a sweeter ganache.)

6. Spoon the ganache mix into the cooled tart cases and top with broken shards of peanut brittle. Chill for twenty minutes, then serve.

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