Sunday, October 7, 2012

Custard Cream Horns

The famous Italian Cannoncini alla creme pasticcera. Otherwise known as the following; Custard Horns, Pastry Horns, Cream Horns, filled with either Italian cream, ricotta or custard. 

And I used prepared Puff Pastry (shop bought frozen in thin square sheets).

I bought my self around 2 dozen molds. (these can be bought online

There are many Youtube sites that demonstrate how these are baked. One important rule I found, was that never wash these moulds with soap and water. Once used, soak them in warm water and pop them back into the oven to dry.

This is one of the sites I found useful (but you can use shop bought puff pastry, found in your grocers freezer), and I filled my horns with fresh custard (not jam and cream as shown on this clip).

Lots of ways to make custard. I'm sticking to my recipe, as it has been trialed and tested on several occasions now. (or you can buy "Bingo" custard. Powder form is the best. Just add milk).

  • Castor Sugar - 110 grams
  • 3 egg Yolks
  • Corn Flour -  2 Tablespoons  
  • Milk - 170 ml
  • Double Cream - 60 ml
  • Vanilla Extract  - 2 Teaspoons ( or two vanilla beans)

Step 1

  1. Place egg yolks into mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add the caster sugar in, and begin to whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the Corn flour and continue to whisk until mixed well. (it may stick to your whisker tool, but that's fine).
  4. Transfer into a saucepan, then add the milk and cream, over medium heat, and continue to stir with your whisker. 
  5. Don't stop stirring. 
  6. Turn the heat down once you see your mixture starting to thicken. (5 - 7 minutes).
  7. Once thick and bubbly, take off the heat and add Vanilla Extract, and stir it in until mixed. 
  8. Transfer into cool bowl and cover with cling wrap until ready to use. (oh, try it first. YUM)


Line your baking tray with baking paper.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.

Molds - lightly grease the molds with butter.

Take one sheet of your shop bought pastry (lightly flour the bench).

Cut even strips roughly 20 to 25mm wide, and 400mm long, or as long as you think you need to cover a horn mold).

Wrap around each mould with one pastry strip. (refer to Youtube clip). (One pastry strip per mould)

Brush one side of the pastry with water.
Roll the watered side of the pastry over granulated sugar.
Sit on baking tray sugar side up.

Refer to the above Youtube clips that demonstrate how to wrap your pastry around the molds.

Bake for 10-15min (or keep an eye on them until golden)

Leave to cool then remove molds and place on tray ready to fill.

Fill with custard.
Dust some icing sugar to serve.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate & Berry Muffins from Bourke Street Bakery

I would normally try a new recipe atleast twice before I post it on my blog. These came out really nice, but I will try again, as they're not just 100% yet. 

Use a 12 hole muffin tray. (with large paper cases)
I used 2 x 12 hole large cupcake trays with the same batch.

• 400g (2 2/3 cups) plain flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 300g caster sugar
• 310g unsalted butter
• 480ml buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 eggs
• 225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
• 225g raspberries, fresh or frozen.
• raw sugar (keep a Tablespoon or so on the side ready to sprinkle on top)
• Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). 

2. Chop up your chocolate really rough and leave to the side. (you will mix this into the batter mix in point 6)

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, then remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk. Using a whisk stir the butter and milk. (it should change into one colour. Then whisk in the eggs to combine. (the colour of the mix should change to a more pale yellow)

4. Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl and add the sugar, mixing well to combine.

5. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. 

6. Add in the chocolate and berries. 
Use a large spoon to gently fold through the chocolate and raspberries.
For those in my family that dont like berries, I've mixed the chocolate into the batch without the berries first and made a tray of 12. Then mixed in 1/3 of the berries into the mixture, then made another 10. 

7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. (i have now learnt that you need to fill the muffin tins to the top)

8. Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 20-25 minutes. It may be necessary to drop the temperature about 10 minutes before the end of baking time if the muffins are starting to brown on top.

To test if the muffins are done, push the top gently to feel that it is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before eating. 

Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Drizzle some melted chocolate on top. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Plum jam ( from my tree)

Home Made Plum Jam from Home Grown plums

Once again this Summer my plum tree produced a great crop. 5 large ricotta baskets to be exact. A friend of mine suggested that I give him a basket so that his partner will make jam out of them. As so she did. 2 jars of this home made plum jam. I was overwhelmed. And today we tried it for the first time. I have asked her to email me he making process so I can post it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nigellas Chocolate Fruit Christmas Cake

Christmas 2011

This year I'm sticking to what I know best. More Chocolate and less fruit.

I added walnuts to this years cake, and added more chocolate.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2010

This is a cake I've made 3 times now. The first (in 2009), I soaked the fruit for 3 days in Wild Turkey Bourbon. Very strong and overpowering. The second (also in 2009) soaked in Tia Maria for 3 days and the result was much more edible. So my third attempt was to stick with the Tia Maria, and soak the fruit for only 1 day. And Yes "the best Christmas cake Ive had this Christmas" (as quoted by a good friend Agostino).

So Thanks to Nigella's Christmas recipe, this Chocolate Christmas Fruit Cake is a Success.

The recipe below is directly out from her Christmas Book. My only variation is that I added some extra cocoa, and reduced the amount of sultanas (as not many people I know like too many sultanas).


  •  - 350 grams dried soft prunes, chopped
  • 250 grams raisins
  • 125 grams currants
  • 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 grams dark brown sugar
  • 175 ml honey
  • 125 ml  coffee liqueur ( I used Tia Maria)
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150 grams plain flour
  •  75 grams ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For decoration:

  • 25 grams dark chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Edible glitter
  • Gold mini balls
  • About 10 edible gold stars
  • Or just dust the cake with icing sugar and cut out rolled icing with Christmas shapes