Apple cake

I have been putting my new thermomix5 through its paces for three days now and have put any thought that it might be gimmeky to rest. The digital cookbook, the quieter motor, the increased capacity, the more reliable scale, the less demanding 'I'm finished!' tone are all a reality and make a difference. I loved my old model which I bought over four years ago and have blogging my recipe adaptations for a while now, but I am full of hope of anticipation that the new model whip better, and offer a greater range of temperatures.

The apple cake here is from the basic cook book. I substituted light muscovado sugar and glazed with warm sieved apricot jam just after cake was removed from oven.

Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F and prepare 26cm/10″ tin

You'll need

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 130g butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g sugar, I used muscovado
  • 30g brandy or calvados
  • 200g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 15 g baking powder
  • Sieved warm apricot jam to glaze and sieved icing sugar to dust.

Cut your apple quarters carefully in thin slices as in hassle back potatoes trying to avoid slicing all the way through. Set aside while you add the sponge ingredients in TM bowl. Put all the ingredient (apart from apricot jam) into bowl and mix on speed 6 for 20 seconds. Pour mixture into a prepared 26cm/10″ cake tin. Place sliced apple quarters, sliced side up, evenly around the tin and bake in a preheated 180°C/360°F oven / lower aga for 40 minutes.




Orange Chocolate ganache tarts

I can't let chocolate week 2014 pass without a chocolate post and this is one of the most delicious tarts ever!

The chocolate pastry is taken from the Thermomix book I love chocolate. You can of course make it in a food processor or by hand.

This quantity made 9 individual tarts. I love my new silicone tart tray (6 in a tray) the pastry crisps brilliantly and it cleans so much more easily than those individual metal tins. I bought mine from Lakeland.

For the pastry you'll need

  • 180g plain flour
  • 25g Cocoa powder
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 130g unsalted powder, cubed and popped in freezer for 20 minutes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons chilled water

Turbo pulse the flour and cocoa- this effectively sieves the ingredients! Add the sugar and chilled butter and turbo pulse until fine breadcrumb stage. Add the egg yolks and water and turbo pulse until just sticking together. Don't over process. Tip out onto cling film, press into a flat circular shape and chill in the fridge- about 20-30 minutes. Roll out and refrigerate again in the tin or tins before baking blind with baking beans.

On the GBBO masterclass last week Mary Berry used cling film instead of parchment or foil to cover the pastry cases before adding the baking beans or rice. This technique has been around a while but will now be popularised because Mary used it. Cling film is easier to use because it lets you get all the beans into the corners. Just be careful if it's the first time you have used this method, as the beans and cling film are hot and the cling film is less easy to remove than parchment.

Blind bake 180° for 15minutes, removes beans and bake for another 5. Keep a close eye, to avoid burning.

Leave on wire rack to cool before adding the Orange chocolate ganache.

For the ganache you'll need

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 80gdark chocolate
  • 300ml double or whipping cream
  • 100g praline paste
  • Zest of large orange- grated

This is the most perfect ganache and so easy in the Thermomix.

Melt chocolate callebauts and cream at 50° for 4 minutes sp2

Scrape down sides and mix again, no heat, sp3 for 3 minutes.

Add the praline paste and orange zest and mix on sp3 until blended.

You can make your own praline paste, but if you do want the most amazingly smooth paste with fabulous taste I recommend callebaut brand,widely available on the Internet.

Pour the cooled ganache into the cool pastry cases and decorate to your own preferences. I was a bit tight for time (it had been a major Christmas cake batch bake) so I melted some white chocolate and piped it on to each tart in different ways. I think edible gold leaf would look lovely and some kind of crystallised orange rind.

Chocolate week may be over, but don't let that stop you making these fabulous tarts.