A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: nuts

Rhubarb & custard shortcakes

Rhubarb & custard shortcakes

I don’t actually think I can get enough of rhubarb. I bloomin’ love the stuff! The ancient plant in my garden is much happier this year than last year which means I have a small but steady supply of it too. This is a lovely […]

Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Since I changed the name of this blog I’ve been thinking about how it’s maybe a bit strange that there aren’t actually that many recipes on here that use coriander. It’s my name so I feel a little bit like it should be my trademark. […]

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Peanut butter millionaires shortbread

Soft tender peanut butter shortbread topped with crunchy peanuts, rich caramel and smooth creamy chocolate. What’s not to love? I can pretty much guarantee that I will never turn down a piece of caramel shortbread when it’s on offer and these are certainly no exception. I’m also a peanut butter fiend so these get a double thumbs-up from me. I was a little bit trepidatious about using it in the shortbread base at first, I wanted to be sure that I kept the crumbly texture and not end up with peanut butter cookies but I think it’s worked really well. And what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? Except maybe caramel….

Ingredients
makes a heap
base
120g softened butter
120g smooth peanut butter (use one without palm oil)
75g sugar
225g plain flour
30g cornflour
150g unsalted peanuts
caramel
1 tin condensed milk (about 400g)
200g butter
60g soft brown sugar
big pinch of seasalt
topping
300g chocolate (anything you like)

Pre-heat your oven to 150°c and lightly grease a baking tin. I have a 13″x 9″ tin which is fairly deep and is ideal for this but you can pretty much use any shape/size tin you like, it’ll only make a difference to the thickness of the layers.
Make sure that your butter is fairly soft and cream it together with the peanut butter and the sugar. Sift in the flour and cornflour and then rub it in with your finger tips to create a mixture like fine breadcrumbs. Press this firmly into the base of your prepared tin, prick it all over with a fork and bake it for 10 minutes. Scatter the peanuts over the surface and then return the shortbread to the oven for a further 10 minutes before leaving to cool.

For the caramel, combine the condensed milk, brown sugar, seasalt and butter in a medium, heavy-based pan and melt it all together over a low heat. Give it a stir and increase the heat a little to bring it to a gentle bubble. Let it continue to gently bubble away until it has thickened a little and darkened to a rich caramel colour.
Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread, spread it evenly and leave to set.
For the final layer simply melt the chocolate and then spread it over the caramel layer, marbling it if you’re using a few types. Leave to fully set before slicing.

Sultana & pine nut cake

Sultana & pine nut cake

I’ve never been much of one for rich dark fruit cake. I love dried fruit but I always find fruit cakes to be a bit too sweet and full-on. Something like this is much more my cup of tea, more cake than fruit and a […]

Banging Green Beans

Banging Green Beans

I think there’s a tendency, when you’re cooking for people who don’t eat meat, to feel like you have to ‘replace’ that element of a meal. I don’t agree, obviously I don’t want to lose the protein from my diet but there are plenty of […]

Petit praline tarts

Petit praline tarts

How about these for a sweet treat? Crisp little pastry shells filled to the brim with homemade chocolate and caramelised hazelnut ganache. You know you wouldn’t be able to say ‘no’ to one of these (or two, or three).
The trick with these is to roll the pastry as thin as possible so that you can maximise the amount of filling you can fit into them – it’s all about ratios!
Provided that you have a fairly robust food processor making your own ‘praline’ isn’t really that hard, although you do obviously need to be extremely careful with the hot caramel.

Ingredients
makes 15
pastry
125g plain flour
50g butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
splash of very cold water
filling
50g skinned hazelnuts
100g sugar
20ml water
100g milk chocolate
100ml double cream
pinch of sea salt

Kick things off by making the pastry. If you have a food processor then this can be made very quickly and easily. Just add the flour, sugar and butter to the food processor and whizz it up until it looks like ground almonds. With the food processor running at a slow speed add the egg yolk and just enough cold water to bring it all together to form a soft dough.
If you don’t have a food processor then gently rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and then mix through the sugar. Again use the egg yolk and a touch of water to bring the dough together.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and pop it in the fridge to chill for 20 to 30 minutes. Grease your mini tart tins and pre-heat your oven to 180°c.


Once the dough has rested unwrap it and gently roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is a few millimetres thick, try to get it as thin as possible. Use a cookie cutter to cut out discs the right size for your tart tins and gently press the pastry into the tins. Prick the bases of the tarts with a fork, cover each one with a small piece of greaseproof paper and then pile on some baking beans. Bake the pastry cases for 20 minutes and then uncover them and bake them for a further 10 minutes. Once the tart shells are nicely golden leave them to cool on a wire rack.


Either oil a baking sheet or cover one with a silicone mat and set it aside. Combine the sugar and water for the praline in a heavy frying pan and then put it over a gentle heat. Resist the urge to stir it and let it bubble away until the sugar becomes a lovely deep golden caramel. Carefully stir the hazelnuts through this and then immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave to cool and harden.
Once it’s cold and set firm break it into chunks and put it in a food processor. Grind it as finely as you can, ideally so it’s no more coarse than something like ground almonds. Roughly chop the chocolate and put it in a bowl. Heat the cream (in a pan or in the microwave) so that it’s quite hot but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two before stirring well, so that it’s combined into a smooth ganache. Fold the ground hazelnuts into this.
Use this hazelnut ganache to fill each of the tart cases, right up to the brim. Pop the tarts in the fridge so that the filling can set and become firm. Decorate with a little plain chocolate if you like.

Apricot, cardamom and honey ice cream (no-churn)

Apricot, cardamom and honey ice cream (no-churn)

These are flavours which are just made to go together. They’re fragrant and exotic and generally a delicious combination. Cardamom is one of my favourite spices. I do love a no-churn ice cream recipe too, they’re always so quick and easy to whip up (no […]

Praline and cream cake

Praline and cream cake

It wasn’t until I travelled to Charleston SC that I thought of praline being anything more than the chocolate seashells that Mr Colonial Cravings receives for Christmas every year. But in Charleston we tried some very tasty crunchy little clusters of caramelised pecans. I think […]

Cherry and pistachio muffins

Cherry and pistachio muffins

cherry and pistachio muffins

I think cherry and pistachio might be two of my favourite things. They’re delicious alone but even better together. Freshly baked muffins are always hard for me to resist too, they’re so warm and light and fluffy. They’re also really quick to make so my cravings can usually be satisfied within an hour of them occurring!

cherry and pistachio muffins

Ingredients
makes 10
120g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40g shelled unsalted pistachios
70g honey
40g butter, melted
1 egg
130ml buttermilk
100g frozen cherries

cherry and pistachio muffins

Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and line a muffin tin with wrappers.
Sift together the flour and raising agents. Put the pistachios into a small food processor and grind them up, they don’t have to be as fine as ground almonds, I like to leave mine a little chunky.
In a separate bowl or jug mix beat together the honey, butter, buttermilk and egg.

cherry and pistachio muffins
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then pour the wet ingredients into it. Very briefly fold the two together, you don’t want to over mix and it’s fine to have little pockets of dry ingredients. Fold in the frozen cherries.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they have risen and become golden brown. Enjoy warm or cold!

cherry and pistachio muffins

Raspberry mojito cake

Raspberry mojito cake

This amazing cake comes from Jax over at the Colonial Cravings facebook community and doesn’t it just look so good?! Jax is a dab hand when it comes to cake making and her decorating skills are second to none. Seriously you should see the things […]