A TRULY BEAUTIFUL BAKING BOOK, chock full of recipes and the accumulated know-how of Allyson Gofton. This is a book to be kept and treasured. There are more than 100 recipes for cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, slices and brownies, quick bakes, puddings, pavlovas and meringues, bread and yeast baking, with how-tos and hints and tips throughout.
FRESH DATE, BANANA AND CARDAMOM TOFFEE TARTE TATIN
A sensual combination of ﬂavours, this tarte tatin is best served with coconut or ginger ice-cream.
SERVES 6 | PREP TIME 30mins | COOK TIME 25mins
- 1 rich sweet short pastry (see below)
- ¼ – ½ cup sugar
- 25-50 grams butter
- ½-1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 large firm bananas, peeled
- 20 fresh dates, stoned and halved
- pomegranate arils
- chopped pistachio nuts
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan bake). Set the rack in the centre of the oven.
- On a lightly ﬂoured bench, roll the pastry out to about 25cm round. Set aside to rest.
- Heat the sugar in a 23–24cm ovenproof frying pan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar melts. Increase the heat and cook until light caramel in colour. Stir in the butter and cardamom and remove from the heat.
- Cut the bananas on a slight angle into 3cm-thick slices. Working quickly, arrange the dates and bananas in the caramel and cook for 1 minute. Roll the pastry over the top of the fruit, tucking the pastry in around the edges.
- Transfer the frying pan to the preheated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked.
- Stand for 5 minutes before turning upside down onto a serving plate.
Be careful when turning out as the caramel is very hot. For a taste of the Middle East, decorate with pomegranate arils and chopped pistachio nuts. Serve with scoopfuls of ice-cream.
RICH SWEET SHORT PASTRY
Makes 500 grams (sufficient for a 24cm flan tin) | Prep time: 15mins
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup caster or icing sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
To make by hand: sift the flour and salt onto a bench and make a well in the centre. Add the sugar, egg yolks and butter to the centre of the well and, using the fingertips of one hand, work the ingredients together until well mixed. Then begin to bring in the flour from the inner-side edges of the circle. Continue using your fingertips. Once all the flour is incorporated and the pastry is smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour; this makes the dough far more manageable when rolling out.
To make using a food processor: put the sugar, egg yolks and butter into the food processor fitted with a plastic or metal blade and process for 1–2 minutes until well mixed. Sprinkle the flour evenly on top of the creamed mixture and pulse until just mixed. Do not over-process. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until required.
KASBAH DATE SCONES
Date scones are a perennial favourite. Here I’ve given them a make-over with an amazing spice blend with ﬂavours redolent of the markets of Fez, Morocco.
MAKES 8 | PREP TIME 20mins | COOK TIME 15-18mins
- 2 cups well-packed stoned dates, chopped
- grated rind of 1 orange
- ½ cup orange juice (or use water)
- 2 teaspoons kasbah fragrant spice blend (see below) or mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or dark or soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey, quince jam or apricot jam
- 25 grams butter
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 50 grams butter, cold, grated
- ¾-1 cup milk, plus extra to glaze
- 1 egg
- coarse sugar crystals to decorate, optional
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan bake). Set the rack in the centre of the oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- To make the ﬁlling, put the dates, orange rind and orange juice (or water), spices, sugar, honey or jam and butter into a saucepan over a moderate heat. Warm, stirring until the dates have become mushy. Set aside to cool.
- To make the dough, sift the ﬂour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles crumbs. Make a well in the centre.
- Mix ¾ cup milk and the egg together and pour into the well, stirring with a dinner knife or the handle of a wooden spoon to make a ﬁrm scone dough. Add extra milk if required.
- Turn out onto a ﬂoured bench and knead only to bring together. Roll out to a rectangle about 0.5cm thick. Spread the cooled date mixture over the scone dough. Beginning at the long edge, roll up. Brush the tops with milk to glaze. If wished, scatter over coarse sugar crystals to decorate.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15–18 minutes or until the roll is well browned and, when tapped underneath, sounds hollow. Remove from the oven, place a clean tea towel on top and allow the roll to steam for 3–5 minutes.
- Cut into slices and serve warm with plain yoghurt or butter.
KASBAH FRAGRANT SPICE BLEND
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cassia
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons dried rose petals, optional
- few drops orange oil or pure orange essence
Mix together and store in an airtight container.
Recipe extracted from The Baker’s Companion, by Allyson Gofton, published by Penguin NZ, RRP$55.00. Photography by Lottie Hedley.