My take on Jack Stein’s Chocolate Pavé

My take on Jack Stein’s Chocolate Pavé

Many of us have probably grown up hearing the name Rick Stein and perhaps flicking through his many recipe books. I would say he’s probably one of the first TV chefs I remember watching.  I love his passion for food and now as an adult (with a tad more food knowledge) I really appreciate and respect his simple style of cooking and his ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy. It’s great to now see one of his sons walking in his footsteps and working to keep his dad’s legacy alive. I’m not sure how many of you already know that his son Jack Stein is now on the TV cooking scene. Jack, who in recent years became executive chef directing the family’s nine restaurants in the UK, has his first very own TV series called Born to Cook: Jack Stein Down Under which is airing on Food Network over the next two weeks. I’m really looking forward to seeing this series, especially after watching him in a couple of episodes of his dad’s shows. When I recently read an article about the Born to Cook series, which explores the produce of the Margaret River region in South Western Australia, I did some foraging to find out more. I came across a number of his recipes and immediately I was drawn to his Chocolate Pavé with cherries recipe! Chocolate and cherries are one of my favourite dessert combos. Fresh cherries especially! But, unfortunately cherries are not in season at the moment (Jack filmed it last November) so instead I decided to take Jack’s recipe and put my own take on it, just in time for me to sit down and enjoy his...
EID Al-Fitr — Let’s Celebrate!

EID Al-Fitr — Let’s Celebrate!

Ramadan is over for another year. And Eid Al-Fitr is just a couple of days away. Eid Al-Fitr translates to ‘celebration or festival of breaking fast’ which you guessed it, is the celebration that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It’s a really special time of year. Perhaps a Muslim equivalent to having Christmas. For so many the day begins at local mosques with a prayer service and the act of alms-giving takes place. The rest of the day is then spent gathering to celebrate with family and friends. Every year at this time I try and make something sweet to celebrate the day because, let’s be honest, when we gather we spend the WHOLE. ENTIRE. TIME. Eating! Last year I made a Gingerbread Mosque (you can find the recipe via SBS Food here). The kids loved making this, in fact we made it a few times. This year I got a bit more ambitious and thought I would make a Mosque Cake. Something I had not tried before. Like usual I make big plans in my head. I visualise it. Decide on what’s needed & whilst in my head it all seems so easy peasy! I was planning on making all these cakes that I would layer and decorate to create this Mosque Cake creation. Unfortunately time has not been my friend (seriously, where has time disappeared this year!?) so I decided to go down the easy road. Instead I bought pre-made rectangle vanilla sponge slabs for the mosque and found a pack of round brioche buns that I thought would be perfect for the minaret. All...
Celebrating my first post with Baklawa Cake!

Celebrating my first post with Baklawa Cake!

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love Baklawa (or Baklava)! It is known worldwide for it’s indulgently sweet, spicy & nutty flavours that dance between layers & layers of crispy, buttery filo pastry. I’ve grown up with the Lebanese version, but there are certainly other Middle Eastern nations that have their own variations of Baklawa, as well as it being a popular treat over in Greece. I had always wanted to try making it at home, but then quite some time ago, I came across a Baklawa Cake via The Hungry Rabbit. From that moment I was mesmerised. Every now & then I would go back & admire this cake. I knew I had to make it! Months later I finally got around to actually giving it a go. And I must say it was worth the effort & super yum! I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee. I made my own variations using a different recipe for the sponge as well as adding more to the Baklawa layers. So here’s how to make it… Step 1: Start by making Nigella Lawson’s Custard Sponge. You’ll find the recipe here. There’s no need to make the icing found in this recipe. Just follow steps for the sponge and leave to cool. Step 2: Instead of icing, I used Custard to sandwich the layers together. You can make this from scratch (you’ll find a good recipe here) or just simply use custard powder and follow instructions on packet. Set aside to cool. Step 3:  Thick Sugar Syrup Combine 800g white sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 1/2 cups of water into a saucepan. Bring...
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