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Spiced Pear & Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Spiced Pear & Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

SERVES
16
COOK TIME
30
PREP TIME
30
DIFFICULTY
Easy
Tags Baking, Easter, Hot Cross Buns
Collections Special occasion

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 g sachet fast action dried yeast
  • ¼ cup raw caster sugar
  • 280 ml warm milk
  • 60 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 ½ cup strong bakers plain flour
  • 2 tspn mixed spice
  • 2 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 2 tspn ground ginger
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 260 g dried pear, chopped
  • 100 g chocolate chips
  • Flour paste for crosses
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tspn caster sugar
  • 2 tspn oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Glaze
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam, hot

METHOD

  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm milk together in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stirring to combine. Cover and allow to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture starts to froth. Add butter and egg, stirring to combine.
  2. Add flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the yeast mixture. Using an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, mix until dough comes together. Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and leave to stand in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and lightly grease a 23cm square or 28cm round cake tin.
  5. Turn dough onto a clean floured surface, knocking the air out of it and knead for a further 5 minutes or until smooth, working in the pear and chocolate; making sure they are well distributed through the dough.
  6. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place balls into prepared tin, cover and stand in warm place for 30 minutes or until balls have doubled in size.
  7. For the flour paste, combine flour, sugar, oil and water, stirring until smooth.  Place paste in a disposable piping bag or clean zip lock bag and snip the corner and pipe crosses on buns.
  8. Bake buns in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and turn buns out onto a wire rack. To double check they are cooked, the base should sound hollow when tapped. Brush tops of buns with hot apricot jam glaze and allow to cool on wire rack.

Print Recipe
Spiced Pear & Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Recipe Notes
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm milk together in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stirring to combine. Cover and allow to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture starts to froth. Add butter and egg, stirring to combine.
  2. Add flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the yeast mixture. Using an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, mix until dough comes together. Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and leave to stand in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and lightly grease a 23cm square or 28cm round cake tin.
  5. Turn dough onto a clean floured surface, knocking the air out of it and knead for a further 5 minutes or until smooth, working in the pear and chocolate; making sure they are well distributed through the dough.
  6. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place balls into prepared tin, cover and stand in warm place for 30 minutes or until balls have doubled in size.
  7. For the flour paste, combine flour, sugar, oil and water, stirring until smooth.  Place paste in a disposable piping bag or clean zip lock bag and snip the corner and pipe crosses on buns.
  8. Bake buns in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and turn buns out onto a wire rack. To double check they are cooked, the base should sound hollow when tapped. Brush tops of buns with hot apricot jam glaze and allow to cool on wire rack.
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Slow roasted quinces

Slow roasted quinces

SERVES
6
COOK TIME
3-4
PREP TIME
15
DIFFICULTY
Easy
Tags Quinces
Collections Winter

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg quinces
  • 750 ml water
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 250 ml lemon juice
  • peel of a lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced).
  2. For the spiced quinces, peel, core & quarter the quinces. Tie the peelings & cores together in a piece of muslin.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients together in a large ovenproof pot over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to the boil & cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Submerge the quince pieces & the muslin bag in the spiced syrup, adding extra water if required to cover quinces.
  6. Place a dampened piece of baking paper directly over the top of the quinces, (called a cartouche) which helps slow down the evaporation of moisture.
  7. Cover with a lid & place pot in preheated oven for 4 hours or until quinces have turned a deep ruby colour. Remove from heat & allow to cool.
  8. Serve quinces on top of porridge, with Greek yoghurt & pistachios or add them to a frangipane tart for something special.

three ways with quinces:

  1. A delicious addition to a lamb tagine is adding cubes of fresh quince at the same time you add the lamb. It adds sweetness & texture to the final dish.
  2. For a simple quince paste, peel & core 4 quinces, cover with water in large saucepan, bring to the boil & cook for 45 minutes until very tender. Drain well, weigh cooked quince to determine the equal amount of sugar. Place quince in food processor & puree until smooth. Return to pan with sugar over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until mixture has become a deep ruby colour. Pour into a lined 20cm x 30cm pan, smooth surface then place in 50°C oven for several hours or overnight to set.
  3. Quince paste makes a stunning glaze for meats, especially a baked Christmas ham. Place 125g chopped quince paste in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup each lemon juice & water over a low heat, stirring until paste dissolves. Brush or pour glaze over meat towards the end of cooking.

Print Recipe
Slow roasted quinces
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3-4 hours
Servings
people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3-4 hours
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced).
  2. For the spiced quinces, peel, core & quarter the quinces. Tie the peelings & cores together in a piece of muslin.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients together in a large ovenproof pot over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to the boil & cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Submerge the quince pieces & the muslin bag in the spiced syrup, adding extra water if required to cover quinces.
  6. Place a dampened piece of baking paper directly over the top of the quinces, (called a cartouche) which helps slow down the evaporation of moisture.
  7. Cover with a lid & place pot in preheated oven for 4 hours or until quinces have turned a deep ruby colour. Remove from heat & allow to cool.
  8. Serve quinces on top of porridge, with Greek yoghurt & pistachios or add them to a frangipane tart for something special.

three ways with quinces:

  1. A delicious addition to a lamb tagine is adding cubes of fresh quince at the same time you add the lamb. It adds sweetness & texture to the final dish.
  2. For a simple quince paste, peel & core
    4 quinces, cover with water in large saucepan, bring to the boil & cook for 45 minutes until very tender. Drain well, weigh cooked quince to determine the equal amount of sugar. Place quince in food processor & puree until smooth. Return to pan with sugar over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
    Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until mixture has become a deep ruby colour. Pour into a lined 20cm x 30cm pan, smooth surface then place in 50°C oven for several hours or overnight to set.
  3. Quince paste makes a stunning glaze for meats, especially a baked Christmas ham.
    Place 125g chopped quince paste in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup each lemon juice & water over a low heat, stirring until paste dissolves. Brush or pour glaze over meat towards the end of cooking.
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Sticky mandarin almond & poppy seed cakes

Sticky mandarin almond & poppy seed cakes

SERVES
12
COOK TIME
30
PREP TIME
25
DIFFICULTY
Easy
Tags Baking, Mandarin
Collections Autumn, Family

INGREDIENTS

Cakes
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 150 g butter
  • 3 tsp finely grated mandarin rind
  • 1 cup raw caster sugar 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup self-raising flour 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup mandarin juice
  • Sticky Mandarin Syrup
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • zest & juice of 3 mandarins

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan- forced). Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan & line the bases with baking paper rounds.
  2. Combine poppy seeds & milk in small bowl; stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat butter, rind & sugar with electric mixer until light & fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined between additions.
  4. Stir in sifted flour, almond meal, juice & poppy seed mixture.
  5. Place 1/4 cup of mixture into each prepared hole; smooth surface with metal spatula.
  6. Bake cakes in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile to make the sticky mandarin topping, place the sugar, water & vanilla bean in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Add the mandarin juice, zest & simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove cakes from oven & while cakes are still hot prick the top all over with a skewer.
  10. Drizzle the mandarin syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool slightly before serving with cream.

Print Recipe
Sticky mandarin & almond cakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan- forced). Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan & line the bases with baking paper rounds.
  2. Combine poppy seeds & milk in small bowl; stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat butter, rind & sugar with electric mixer until light & fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined between additions.
  4. Stir in sifted flour, almond meal, juice & poppy seed mixture.
  5. Place 1/4 cup of mixture into each prepared hole; smooth surface with metal spatula.
  6. Bake cakes in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile to make the sticky mandarin topping, place the sugar, water & vanilla bean in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Add the mandarin juice, zest & simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove cakes from oven & while cakes are still hot prick the top all over with a skewer.
  10. Drizzle the mandarin syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool slightly before serving with cream.
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Cherry & almond cheesecake

Cherry & almond cheesecake

SERVES
10
COOK TIME
30
PREP TIME
30
DIFFICULTY
Easy
Tags Baking, Cheesecake, Cherry
Collections Special occasion, Summer

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 g almond biscotti
  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 750 g full fat soft cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup raw caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 300 ml pure cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 10 g powdered gelatine

METHOD

  1. Lightly grease & line a deep 20cm spring- form pan with baking paper
  2. Place biscotti in a food processor & blitz until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Add melted butter & mix until well combined.
  4. Place in prepared pan, pressing mixture down to create a firm base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer beat soft cheese, sugar, vanilla, zests & juice until mixture is smooth.
  6. Place water in a small saucepan, sprinkle over gelatine & leave to sponge for 5 minutes.
  7. Place saucepan over a low heat, until mixture dissolves, making sure it does not boil. Add to cheese mixture, mixing until well combined.
  8. In a clean mixing bowl whip cream to soft peaks. Gently fold cream into cheese mixture until combined.
  9. Pour mixture over prepared base & refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  10. For the topping, heat a deep frying pan over a medium heat.
  11. Add cherries & sugar together, tossing to combine.
  12. Cover & cook for about 5 minutes, until juices are reduced & glossy. Allow to cool.
To serve, place cheesecake on a serving plate, top with cherries & sprinkle over almonds.

Print Recipe
Cherry & almond cheesecake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Lightly grease & line a deep 20cm spring- form pan with baking paper
  2. Place biscotti in a food processor & blitz until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Add melted butter & mix until well combined.
  4. Place in prepared pan, pressing mixture down to create a firm base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer beat soft cheese, sugar, vanilla, zests & juice until mixture is smooth.
  6. Place water in a small saucepan, sprinkle over gelatine & leave to sponge for 5 minutes.
  7. Place saucepan over a low heat, until mixture dissolves, making sure it does not boil. Add to cheese mixture, mixing until well combined.
  8. In a clean mixing bowl whip cream to soft peaks. Gently fold cream into cheese mixture until combined.
  9. Pour mixture over prepared base & refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  10. For the topping, heat a deep frying pan over a medium heat.
  11. Add cherries & sugar together, tossing to combine.
  12. Cover & cook for about 5 minutes, until juices are reduced & glossy. Allow to cool.

To serve, place cheesecake on a serving plate, top with cherries & sprinkle
over almonds.

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