nutella croissants

Puff pastry is one of those ingredients that i always have in my freezer. The store bought kind is perfect and fairly inexpensive. This buttery, flaky pastry is perfect for almost any sweet or savoury dish, from pies to galettes, pinwheels and tarts, there are so many options!
Breakfast is an important part of my day and I like to keep it interesting. These little croissants are so simple to make and can be made the night before and simply popped into the oven the next morning.
This may not be the healthiest of breakfast options but it sure is tasty and the kids will love it!! Everything in moderation, of course.

Ingredients | serves 4 | easy
2 rolls puff pastry, thawed
Nutella spread (almost 1 cup)
1 Egg, beaten
1T milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a baking tray with cooking spray.
Lightly flour the work surface and spread out the pastry. Roll the pastry out to ensure it is flat, smooth & even.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into three large rectangles. Then cut each rectangle into two long triangles. Each pastry sheet should give you 6 triangles.
Place a spoonful of Nutella on the widest end of the triangle and then spread it along the pastry, leaving a small border untouched.
Beginning at the wide end of the triangle, gently roll the pastry into a croissant shape,
Carefully place the croissants onto the baking tray and lightly tuck in the edges, forming the shape of a “U”.

Repeat this with the second sheet of pastry.
Beat the egg and milk together and lightly brush the top of the croissants.
Place the tray into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is beautifully golden and crisp.
Serve warm.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

chocolate crepes

i don’t usually celebrate valentine’s day. i feel love is meant to be celebrated every day, not only once a year. but this year is different. perhaps because now i have a little girl who loves food just as much as i do. and what better way to start my day than getting up early and baking crepes with my 9 month old!
these decadent little treats are very moreish indeed. the sweet syrup compliments the almost sour taste of the banana and the nuts add a lovely crunch. only after taking my pictures did i spoon some whipped cream on top. that made it even tastier. even more edible. even more enjoyable. even more rich.
i used lindt dark chocolate but any dark chocolate will do. you can whisk the mixture by hand but i found that a hand held mixer or blender works a little better as it breaks the chocolate down a little more.

makes about 12 crepes |
200g flour
40g dark chocolate, grated
1 egg
40g muscovado sugar
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp vanilla essence
pinch salt
250ml milk
liberal amount of butter
large bananas, thinly sliced diagonally
1/3c slivered almonds
whipped cream of double cream, optional
mint leaves, garnish

for the syrup
125ml maple syrup
125ml cream
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

how to do it
combine all of the ingredients, except the butter, in a mixing bowl or jug of your blender. blend until combined taking care not to over mix the batter. (if you feel you want a runnier batter, add an additional 50ml milk.)
heat about a tablespoon of butter in a non stick pan. spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan per crepe. cook until you notice bubbles on the surface. turn and cook for about 45 seconds more. set aside and repeat until you have used all of the batter.
in a small sauce pan, heat the cream and maple syrup together. once warm, pour the mixture over the chocolate. let stand for 3 minutes and then mix with a whisk until smooth.
pour a little of the sauce onto the plate. place one crepe on top of the sauce. top with 3 slices of banana and continue until you have three layers, ending with sliced banana.
pour a little more of the sauce over the side of the top crepe. sprinkle the crepes with nuts.
top with cream if using and garnish with mint leaves.
serve warm.

happy valentine’s day!
from my kitchen to yours, with love x

Rustic apple pie

This is a great way to use all of those apples you’re trying to eat your way through! A very easy but tasty apple pie drizzled with white chocolate and served with vanilla creme fraiche!!
It is a wow factor for very little effort.
And to make things even easier, the pastry is store bought. Saving you a lot of time!! For some colour, garnish with fresh mint leaves!

Ingredients | Serves 8
1 Roll puff pastry, at room temperature
1 Egg, beaten
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 C brown sugar
1 Tsp lemon juice
4 Tbs Butter
Pinch salt
1 Tub creme fraiche
1.5 Tbs Castor sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla essence
1/2 C flaked almonds, toasted
50g White chocolate, melted

Roll out pastry on a floured surface. Grease a loose bottom quiche pan with spray & cook. Place pastry into the pan, press into the sides and prick with a fork. Brush with beaten egg and set aside. Toss the sliced apple with the lemon juice.
Melt the butter and mix with the brown sugar & salt and coat the apples with this mixture. Arrange the apples over the puff pastry and pour remaining brown sugar mixture over the apples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until nicely browned and apples are soft.
Meanwhile, in a dry pan, toss the flaked almonds until fragrant and toasted. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave, stirring every 20 seconds.
Using a whisk, mix the castor sugar & vanilla essence into the creme fraiche.
Remove the pie from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes.
Slice the pie but keep its shape. Top with the toasted almonds and using a teaspoon, drizzle with the white chocolate. Top each slice with a tablespoon of creme fraiche and serve.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

My berry mille feuille

Dessert is usually a bit of a taboo for me as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, however, now that I am pregnant I cannot resist baking (or making) a sweet thing every other day. I love a good mille feuille as I can play around with various fillings and toppings, making them really versatile. They have a crunch, smoothness from the filling, sweetness and then the sour of the fruit. All combined into one dessert!!! And of course, it is always a show stopper!! Not much effort in exchange for a beautiful wow factor! The toughest part is probably making the creme patisserie…although difficult to mess up.

Ingredients (Makes 4)
Ready rolled puff pastry, thawed
2 Tbs Castor sugar
For the custard
300ml Milk
6 Tbs Castor sugar
2 Tbs Cornflour
1 Tbs Flour
3 Egg yolks
1/2 Vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons essence
1 Tsp Almond essence
Goose Berries
Fresh mint (garnish)
White chocolate
Icing sugar

How to do it
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and cover a baking tray with parchment paper and grease with non-stick spray.
Mix the egg yolks & castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornflour and flour and mix well. Set aside. Bring the milk, vanilla & almond to a gentle simmer but do not boil. Slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture, using a whisk to mix through. Pour the mixture back into the pot / skillet and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Place plastic wrap over the top of the custard to stop it from forming a skin. Leave to cool completely and then refrigerate to chill.
On a floured surface, gently roll out puff pastry, not making it much thinner than it is. Using a cutter, cut out 12 rounds of equal size. Place it on the parchment paper and sprinkle with the castor sugar. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and place a second oven tray on top, to serve as a weight. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Spoon the custard into a piping bag and pipe every pastry round individually. Place the pastry rounds on top of one another (3 per serving) and decorate with the sliced fruit. Melt the white chocolate.
Garnish the desserts with the mint, melted chocolate & icing sugar.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

Juicy fruit & spicy nut dessert

Stewed fruit is something that is so easy to make and can be used with and in so many different dishes. I also love it with a strong, wintery, warm curry and with breakfast I drizzle honey all over and top it with yogurt, nuts and seeds. I absolutely love ice-cream but these days I am trying to incorporate healthier alternatives into my diet, especially when it comes to dessert. This dish does not leave me feeling guilty and the flavours are beautifully creamy, silky, sour, sweet and spicy with an added crunch that the baked nuts provide. I served it with a very creamy coconut yogurt but you can use plain yogurt, ice-cream or even custard.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 Ripe nectarines, sliced
4 Ripe plums, sliced
4 Tbs Butter
4 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
Black pepper
Star anise
How to do it
Heat butter in a pan. Add the nectarines, plums & star anise and sauté for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add the honey, balsamic vinegar & black pepper and sauté for a further 8 minutes until the fruit has almost blackened on the skins, is nice and soft but still holds its shape. Set aside.
For the nuts
200g (1 Cup) Mixed nuts, unsalted
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla essence
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
How to do it
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Arrange nuts on the parchment paper and set aside. Melt butter, honey & vanilla essence together. Add the cinnamon & salt and mix. Drizzle the butter mixture over the nuts and toss through. Place in the preheated oven and bake until nicely browned and crispy, about 10 minutes, taking care that it does not burn.
Remove from the oven and move nuts closer together on a pile. Leave to cool. Using a fork, break up any lumps that may have formed.
The nuts will keep really well in air-tight container.

Serve the fruit and nuts with a good dollop of creamy yogurt, ice-cream or custard and fresh mint leaves.