CROISSANTS

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Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry. The yeast dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, a technique called laminating.

Croissant pastry can also be wrapped around any praline, almond paste or chocolate before it is baked (in the last case, it becomes like pain au chocolat, which has a different, non-crescent, shape), or sliced to admit sweet or savoury fillings. In France and Spain, croissants are generally sold without filling and eaten without added butter, but sometimes with almond filling

 

CROISSANTS

Flaky and flavourful, serves 10

 

Enjoy with sweet or savoury fillings!!
Ingredients:  
500 g flour

15g instant yeast

90 g sugar

15 g salt

300 ml warm milk

340 g butter , room temperature

1 egg , beaten with 2 Tbsp water

some extra flour

Method:

Step 1: Begin the dough

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar, milk and yeast. Mix and knead the dough until it has a smooth elastic consistency, about 15 – 20 minutes. (I find it is easier to knead the dough out of the bowl directly on the work surface) Dust the dough and a large bowl with flour. Transfer it into a bowl. Cover it with a towel and let it rise until it doubles in size. This should roughly, take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Step 2: Prepare the butter

Put a sheet of cling film onto your working surface. Place the butter on top and cover it with a second sheet of cling film. Flatten it with your hands, roll it into a rectangle of about 20 X 25 cm with your rolling pin and place it into the fridge to chill.

Step 3: Roll out dough

After the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle it with a little bit of flour. Punch out the air with your knuckles and place it onto a floured work surface. Dust the dough with flour and roll it out into a large rectangle that is big enough to hold the sheet of chilled butter. Move the dough around in the flour. You may have to dust the table again, if you need to.

Step 4: Fold in butter

Unwrap the chilled butter and place it onto the upper part of dough. Fold the dough around the butter to enclose it completely. Lift the dough and sprinkle the table with flour. Turn the dough around and roll it into another long rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, brushing off the excess flour as you go. This completes the first turn. Now wrap it in cling film and place it into the fridge for a minimum of 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 5: Turn the dough

At the end of the 30 minutes sprinkle your working surface with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it onto the work surface. Make sure that the dough has the seam vertically placed. Dust it with a sprinkling of flour and roll it out into another rectangle. Fold, brush and wrap, exactly as before. This now completes the second turn.

Step 6: Chill and turn again

Place it back into the fridge for another 30 minutes. Once removed, roll and fold for the third and final turn. Make sure that the dough is well wrapped before placing into the fridge once more to chill overnight.

Step 7: Shape the croissants

One chilled, cut the unwrapped dough into half, on a floured surface. Dust the dough with some flour and roll one half of the dough into a rectangle. Reflour the surface when necessary and continue to roll until the dough is roughly less than half a centimetre thick. Turn the rectangle around. Flour the surface and trim the edges of the dough neatly. Cut it into triangle shapes. Take the bottom of the triangle at its widest part and using your hands, tightly roll it up into a croissant shape. You can freeze the other half of the dough for use another time, or repeat the process and make more croissants.

Step 8: Allow to rise

Place the croissants onto a prelined baking tray. Cover them with a clean plastic bag and leave to double in size.

Step 9: Preheat the oven

Set the oven to 180ºC.

Step 10: Bake

Once the croissants have risen remove the plastic bag. Very gently brush them all over with the egg wash. Place them into the centre of the oven. Bake them for roughly 20 – 25 minutes. When they are a deep golden brown remove them from the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BANANA LOAF

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Banana Loaf

 

Ingredients:

125g butter

Extra butter for greasing the tins

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

500g selfraising flour

4 bananas, mashed

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 1 large loaf tin or 2 small loaf tins with the extra butter.

In a mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar and eggs.

Mix in mashed bananas. Add flour, bicarb and milk and mix to a thick batter. Pour into the prepared tins. Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes. To test if the cake is done insert a skewer in the middle of the cake, if it comes out dry the cake is done.

BANANA LOAF

PANCAKES

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Basic pancake mixture

 

Ingredients:

110g plain flour, sifted

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

200ml milk mixed with 75ml water

50g butter

 

Preparation method

1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

2. Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

3. Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

4. Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

Fill with coconut, lemon juice, or instant pudding with banana slices,etc

PANCAKES FILLED WITH CARAMEL CONDENSED MILK & BANANA SLICES

CHOCOLATE CAKE

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CHOCOLATE CAKE

Quick and economical to make!!

These ingredients makes a 20cm round cake. For a larger or square cake double the amounts and adjust your baking time accordingly.

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs separated (use the yolk)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup oil

Mix the above ingredients well.

ADD

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup flour

Whip egg whites until stiff. Fold into cake mixture. Divide into 2 well greased round (20cm) baking tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx 15-20 minutes. Decorate with cream, butter cream, icing sugar….

CONVERSIONS & EQUIVALENTS

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I love the fact that the site is a global community, but of course it does raise issues and problems and another thorny area is weights and measures. Obviously, when you move from one system of measurement to another, you are obliged to round up or down, so it’s always going to be an approximation, but here is a table of conversions and equivalents, which should at least help!

Equivalents

As we welcome such an international audience to this site you may not recognise some of the ingredients listed in the recipes section. Here is our UK / US equivalents guide to give you a helping hand…

 Double cream  Heavy cream
 Single cream  Light cream
 Cornflour  Corn starch
 Shortcrust  Pie crust
 Caster sugar  Superfine sugar
 Icing sugar  Confectioners’ sugar
 Grill  Broil
 Aubergine  Eggplant
 Courgette  Zucchini
 Mangetout  Snow peas
 Coriander  Cilantro
 Clingfilm  Saran wrap
 Beef mince  Ground beef
 Prawns  Shrimp
 Digestive biscuits  Graham crackers (substitute)
 Sultanas  Raisins
 Trifle sponges  Ladyfingers
 Spring onions  Scallions
 Semi-skimmed milk  2% milk
 Dark/plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)  Bittersweet chocolate
 Milk/plain chocolate (less than 70% cocoa solids)  Semi-sweet chocolate
Bicarbonate of soda  Baking soda
Horlicks UK brand of malted milk powder
Maltesers UK brand of malted milk balls

 

 

 

 

TEMPERATURES

Gas Mark 1 140C 275F Very cool
Gas Mark 2 150C 300F Cool
Gas Mark 3 160C 325F Warm
Gas Mark 4 180C 350F Moderate
Gas Mark 5 190C 375F Fairly Hot
Gas Mark 6 200C 400F Fairly Hot
Gas Mark 7 210C 425F Hot
Gas Mark 8 220C 450F Very Hot
Gas Mark 9 240C 475F Very Hot

VOLUME AND LIQUID MEASUREMENTS

5 ml one-sixth fl oz 1 teaspoon
15ml half fl oz 1 tablespoon (NOTE: Australian tablespoon = 20ml)
30ml 1 fl oz 2 tablespoons
45ml 1 and half fl oz 3 tablespoons
60ml 2 fl oz quarter cup
75ml 2 and half fl oz one-third cup
125ml 4 fl oz half cup
150ml 5 fl oz two-thirds cup
175ml 6 fl oz three-quarters cup
250ml 8 fl oz 1 cup
600ml 1 pint 2 and half cups
900ml 1 and half pints 3 and three-quarter cups
1 litre 1 and three-quarter pints 4 cups

SOME USEFUL CUP CONVERSIONS

Please note that these are approximations

1 cup sugar 200g
1 cup icing sugar 125g
1 cup flour 140g
1 cup rice 200g
1 cup frozen peas 125g
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 70g
1 cup grated cheese 100g
1 cup chocolate chips 175g
1 cup sultanas 150g
1 cup honey/syrup 300g
1 stick of butter 110g 4oz

 

 

WEIGHT CONVERSIONS

15g half oz
30g 1 oz
45g 1 and half oz
60g 2 oz
75g 2 and half oz
90g 3 oz
100g 3 and half oz
125g 4 oz
150g 5 oz
175g 6 oz
200g 7 oz
250g 8 oz
275g 9 oz
300g 10 oz
325g 11 oz
350g 12 oz
375g 13 oz
400g 14 oz
450g 15 oz
500g 1 lb

CAKE TINS SIZES

20cm 8 inch
23cm 9 inch
25cm 10 inch

LOAF TIN SIZES

450g 1lb
900g 2lb