Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipe Wednesday - A Himalayan salted dulce de leche meringue

A good friend, Laura Solis, asked me to create a sweet for her. Laura runs 'Sol is you' where she offers some beautiful pampering services and also sells a range of Himalayan salts.  I made a variation of a dulce de leche meringue, with the added zing of her salt.  I love salted caramel like a boy loves his mother, I tell you.

This is, it must be said, a slightly epic recipe.  Set an afternoon aside, send the kids to a sitter, and prepare to create something amazing. Laura and I had a great time making these!



8 large egg whites
400 g caster sugar
1 ½ cocoa
1 block dark choc (grate and small chunks for texture)


380g Dulce de leche (Caramel)
½ tsp Himalayan salt
600ml cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 beurre bosc pears
2 cups water
2 tbsp brown sugar


100g caster sugar
Himalayan salt

Preheat the oven to 130°C
Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then with the mixer still running, very gradually add sugar. Turn to the highest setting and leave to mix for  6 minutes. Add cocoa powder, mix for another 2 minutes or until fully dissolved. Fold in the chocolate.

Line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper, then draw 24cm circle on each sheet of paper. Divide the mixture between 2 sheets and spread it out just inside your circles, then use the back of a spoon to flick up peaks and make troughes in the mixture to give your meringue a rustic look.

Bake  for 1 hour 20 minutes then turn the oven off, leaving the meringues in until the oven is cool.

Peel and cut the pears into halves then core with a teaspoon and cut into sixths, leaving some with the stem intact, set aside.

Combine water, sugar and cook in medium saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring until sugar dissolves, then add the pear and stir to combine. Cover for 10-­15 mins until the pear is tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove, set aside to cool.

Identify the prettiest meringue and set it aside (this will be for the top.) Spread the dulce de leche onto the swirly side of the other meringue and smooth it out right to the edge. Sprinkle the Himalayan salt over the dulce de leche.

In a mixing bowl whip cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form (making sure not to over whip). Dollop half of the cream over the dulce de leche place half of the pears (the ones without the stems) over the cream, bring some to the edge, so as they poke out when sandwiched with the top layer.

Place the second meringue on top, swirly side up. Spoon the remaining whipped cream over the top. Place the remaining pears with the stems if you have kept them intact, decoratively over the cream, make it look decadent and elegant.

For an extra wow factor, make the toffee floss. Melt the sugar in a medium pan with a splash of water over a medium heat until lightly golden-­don’t stir! Allow it to cool a minute till thick, using one or two forks flick the toffee over pears, the fine strands should look gorgeous, get as creative as you like.

Various sizes
Eat one, peel one
Skinning Naked pear
Apples.  Or maybe pears
A strong foundation
The best kind of sandwich
Top view of  Mount Delicious
Fancy top

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chickpea, buckwheat bread and it's gluten free.

I had posted up some photos of this loaf on facebook recently and requests came in for the recipe. This recipe is not my own but from a book called, Good without gluten.
I will warn you that you will need to visit a health food store and an Asian grocer and you may never have had the need for Tapioca or potato starch. in my house these things are just a part of my staples.
I don't suggest that you purchase the starches at a health food store as they are really pricey. I would also note that there is a difference between potato flour and potato starch, don't substitute. The Asian stores stock rice flour and the starches so try them first. Ohh and you may be asking what the heck is xanthan gum? It is a vegetable gum that will act like gluten so you cannot make this bread without it. Xanthum gum is available in the gluten free aisle in the supermarket or the health food store.

Chickpea-buckwheat bread.

Preparation time: 15 min
Resting time: 30 min

Cooking time: 35 min

435 ml (1 3/4 cups) water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 eggs
125g chickpea flour ( besan flour)
50g buckwheat flour
100g rice flour
125g tapioca starch
125g potato starch,( not potato flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp dried yeast.

Preheat oven to 180 deg c ( 350 deg f/ gas 4)

Mix together the water, oil, vinegar and eggs in a mixer.
In another bowl combine the flours, starches, salt, sugar, yeast and xanthan gum.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix for 2 minutes on a low speed.
Pour the dough into a greased loaf tin ( I use a large one)
Smooth it out with wet hands.
Cover with a dry cloth and let it proof for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, it should sound be golden and hollow sounding when tapped.
Turn the bread out immediately to prevent moisture condensing in the tin and making the loaf soggy. 
 As with any bread, the loaf should rest for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
This is so good eaten fresh, you can toast it too but you'll probably have none left.