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5 Dishes, 3 Days, 2 Friends & 1 Amazing Cookbook

Good Hello Friends! Today one of my fave gal pal blog buddies, Elizabeth from Mother Hubbards Cupboard takes us on a sugary, calorie loaded 3 day bake up. Cronuts, pinecones, apple tart tartan, chocolate chip cookies AND a cotton soft creme brulee cheesecake recipe too.

This all started when I made the fatal mistake of buying ANOTHER cookbook, with the internet and such easy access to fantastic blogs, I  really should stop buying them. BUT…. there is something lovely about holding a hard copy book in your hot little hands, pouring over the glossy pages of food that makes it worthwhile parting with my hard earned cash.

I love this book so much I bought 2 copies. One for me, and one for my beautiful friend Sophia, bonus… her daughter Talah is an avid baker. “Um, Liz” said Sophia, “we need to make these recipes, but one of them takes 3 days”. Brainwave…. “How’s about a blogging adventure?” I suggest. We each picked our fave recipes – Cronut, Pinecones, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Creme Brulee Cheesecake and Apple Tart Tartan, four of which required days to prepare.

Day 1 – 8 hours of cooking and prep

The recipes in the book are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced, but as my Nana always said, “If you can read, then you can cook”, so I read, and re-read until I knew the recipe by memory. The wonderful thing about these recipes is not only do they supply you with a list of ingredients, there is a list of kitchen equipment required too. I think one of the coolest things to come out of this cooking adventure, was shopping for all the extra kitchen equipment. I now have everything I need to make these recipes again, especially the cheesecake, I’ve made it many times over, it’s the very best I have ever tasted and let me tell you, I have tasted many a cheesecake in my time.

Excitement levels were high at the thought of making these wonderful recipes. I had been shopping and bought a fleet of new kitchen tools and equipment, which was fun but actually cost more than the food ingredients I needed to buy. #firstworldfoodieproblems I now have all these fantastic new kitchen goodies…. don’t get me started on how I ever lived without an offset spatula!

My fleet of kitchen tools & equipment

We made the pastry, the butter block and the Champagne (I don’t need to tell you what we did with the leftover champagne at the end of day one!) ganache as that required 2 days so the flavour could infuse.

The pinecone recipe is 7 pages, 2 of those pages are the ingredients. There are 6 layers to this amazing dessert.

Pinecone – takes 3 days to prepare

We also had to make a feuilletine as I couldn’t buy it. A feuilletine is sort of like a ginger crisp, stay tuned for my recipe.

Day one pinecone prep we made the praline feuilletine, ginger cream, cinnamon ganache, and the pear and nutmeg biscuit.

Coating the Pinecones with tempered chocolate

This apple tartan is made in two parts, you have to make the base of the recipe and set aside to rest for the night.

Apple Tartan – takes 2 days to prepare

These biscuits are made, and then the torture begins because you have to leave them overnight! That’s right, you make this yummy chocolaty gooey mixture that you allow to sit overnight before cooking it.

Chocolate Pecan Cookies – takes 2 days to prepare

We made the Creme Brulee Cheesecake in one day, but didn’t brulee until after dinner.

Cotton Soft Creme Brulee Cheesecake – made and eaten in 1 day

One mouthful of this glorious cotton soft creme brulee cheesecake, and I was in heaven! Everyone that tries this cheesecake has a look of sheer delight on their faces. I have to say, that this cheesecake really is one of the best cheesecakes I have ever tasted. For the Thermomix version of the Creme Brulee Cheesecake recipe, read HERE
Tweet the world (and ME) about the best cheesecake you ever baked or ate!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:  15 minutes

  • 35g Castor Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 45g Almond Meal
  • 35g Plain Flour (Gluten Free works perfectly too)
  • 45g Icing Sugar
  • 4 Sheets of Gelatine or (2 teaspoons of gelatine powder dissolved in 15g of warm water and left to bloom for 15 minutes)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 200g Pure Cream
  • 160g Castor Sugar
  • 60g Lemon Juice
  • 1000g Fresh, Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese (DO NOT use the stuff out of the containers in the supermarket, it must be fresh and can be purchased from most delis included the supermarkets)
  • Extra Granulated (white) Sugar for the brûlée top.
  • 1 whole egg
  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and line the bottom of a 20 cm springform baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place 3 egg whites into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (optional) until they are light and fluffy, then gradually add castor sugar until all the ingredients are combine and you can not feel the sugar, rub it between your fingers until. Set the egg white mixture aside in a clean bowl for later.
  3. Add icing sugar, almond meal and whole egg into the mixing bowl and beat on a low speed until combined, scraping down the sides as you go. Then turn mixer onto high for 1 minute until mixture is a nice pale yellow colour.
  4. Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in flour, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Fold in a third of the meringue into the batter and once incorporated fold in the rest of the meringue, being careful not to over mix the batter.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared spring-form tin and bake for 10 -15 minutes until light brown. When finished the base should spring back when touched.
  7. When cooked leave in the tin to completely cool while preparing the cheesecake ingredients
  1. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it holds a stiff peak and set a side in the fridge until needed.
  2. Soak gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 15 – 20 minutes to allow it to bloom. If using powdered, mix the powder with 15g of water, stir so there are no lumps, then let sit for 15 – 20 minutes as well.
  3. Combine sugar and lemon in a small pan and heat to allow the sugar to dissolve, when sugar is fully dissolved, remove from the heat and add gelatin (make sure you squeeze out the excess water from the sheets)
  4. In large bowl gently whisk ricotta to break up large lumps and slowly whisk in warm lemon syrup until fully blended.
  5. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream until well combined, then gently fold in the rest of the cream. It should have the consistency of yogurt.
  6. Scoop/pour the cheese cake mixture into the cool base. Place cheesecake in to the freezer onto an even shelf for 8 hours or overnight.
  7. When the cheese cake is completely frozen, remove from freezer and run the blow torch around the edge of the spring form tin and then gently open it. Sprinkle a light layer of sugar of the top of the cheesecake and using a kitchen blow torch, melt the sugar until it bubbles.
  8. Repeat this 2 more times so that you have a good hard top with all the sugar dissolved. You need to be patient with this process and make sure that you dissolve all the sugar over the three times and you have covered the whole cake.

Day 2 – 7 hours of cooking and prep

We laminated the pastry  (which is a process of folding the pastry and and rolling it out with butter) today and set it aside to rest, it needs to rest between each step. The minimum amount of time it would take to prepare the pastry is 2 days, so be sure to make the pastry at the start of the day and do the first laminate at the end of the day, repeat these steps on the second day before cooking.

Cronut – Takes 3 days to prepare

We tempered the chocolate on acetate so it made it shiny and easier to cut the little petals, we had to cut about 300 medium and 300 small petals chocolate ganache. Today was also about the beginning of the assembly process. This was really fun as the very small beginnings of this pinecone got larger and larger as the day progress and it really turned into a life size pine cone!

Tempering Chocolate for the Pinecones

The caramel was made and the apple was placed and cooked in it. The tartan is then turned onto the base. I understand that it is the balance between the sweetness of the caramel and the saltiness of the base, the cream was really required to balance out the flavours. I have to say while the apple was delicious, I was a bit disappointed in the taste of the base as it was a bit too salty.

The finished product – Apple Tart Tartan

The choc chip cookies are very lightly cooked, when you bite into them, they are rich and gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Choc Chip Cookies – The Finished Product!

Next batch I will use milk chocolate as I’m not a big dark chocolate fan. These cookies could be made in a day if 6-8hrs rest is allowed, any kind of chocolate could be used too, even add some nuts for that “wow” factor.

Day 3 – 8 hours of cooking and prep

Feeling pretty tired at the start of day three gave me an appreciation for chefs and bakers who work day in, day out, and often work over 8 hours too. I really had had enough by the end of day two, but completing and eating the cronuts and pinecones inspired me to keep cooking.

We finished laminating the cronut pastry, cut them, let them prove, fried them, coated them in vanilla sugar, filled them with ganache, then glazed with the champagne glaze. I think they needed more laminating as they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked. They still tasted amazing.

Cronut – The Finished Product!

The Pinecone was assembled and looked way to good to eat, but what kind of a foodie lets something like that stop her from eating. It was like biting into Christmas! A labour of love, but the pains are already forgotten, they have made it to my Christmas baking list.

Pinecone – The Finished Product

Confessions and notes for next time …. Will I make the recipes again? Absolutely!!!!  If you have a Thermomix, use it. Mine came in handy as many of the ingredients like almond meal, I could mill in the Thermomix. I would suggest using the equipment they suggest the first time you prepare these recipes.

Also, thanks so much to the beautiful Anna for asking me to guest post on her blog. What a wonderful world our blogging community is, I’m so blessed to be a part of it! Don’t forget to pop on over to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and have a look at the Thermomix version of this amazing cheesecake recipe!

I would love to know, have you ever cooked anything that took more than one day to prepare?

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