It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly time for the sixth and final episode of Summer Baking Secrets, set to air this Sunday. I had such a ball filming this series for you and we’ve saved some of our best baking secrets for last, so you won’t want to miss this last episode!
I’m starting this episode with one of my teatime favourites – a double chocolate shortbread biscuit with macadamias. To make this one extra “short” (rich and crumbly), I use a generous amount of butter and some rice flour to aid crispness. Then, to make consistently shaped biscuits, I’m using GLAD wrap to help me roll my biscuits, a little like when you make a compound (or flavoured) butter.
Simply lay out a sheet of GLAD wrap and put your biscuit dough on top. Tightly roll the GLAD wrap around the dough into a log shape. Roll the ends of the GLAD wrap in and squeeze tight and roll backwards and forwards a few times. Place in the fridge to rest until solid and ready for slicing. This is a great technique as you can make a large log of dough and bake biscuits as you like and store remaining dough in the freezer. For final touches, I’m dipping in some decadent melted chocolate, then into some finely chopped macadamia nuts. Yum.
Moving on to more savoury territory, I’m whipping up one of my special creations in the form of my Summer Chicken Chutney Roast using one of my favourite chutneys, Hanks Mango & Kaffir Lime Chutney. It’s made using real fruit and is 100% natural. I enjoy the flavour of this particular chutney so much, I decided to incorporate it into three levels of this particular roast – the stuffing, the glaze and the sauce. It’s also a great cheat’s short-cut to amping up the flavour in a simple way. The mango and kaffir lime flavours shine through in this simple but stylish roast. I always aim for low stress but high impress recipes and this fits the bill perfectly. I’m choosing chicken breast, as it is such an affordable and popular protein which cooks really quickly in the oven. To avoid the chicken breast drying out, I’m wrapping it in proscuitto and stuffing with additional chicken mince which helps keep the meat juicy and moist.
Finally, I’ll be sharing my secrets on how to make the best homemade reduction sauce to top your roast chicken with that also works for steaks and other roast recipes you make at home – definitely a tip you’ll be able to use time and time again!
Every good magazine Food Editor or Editor worth their salt knows that a good cheesecake cover shot will make sales! So with that in mind and my experience as the Australian Women’s Weekly Food Director for over 8 years, I couldn’t finish off this series without including at least one winning cheesecake recipe. Cheesecakes can be tricky to master with issues such as cracked tops or crumbly bases being some of the most common complaints. A large cheesecake baked in a springform pan can also take a long time to bake, which of course in summer is not always ideal. I’ve solved all these issues by creating single serve mini cheesecakes made with a base that is far less crumbly to work with than a more traditional blitzed biscuit version. My version comes out of the cupcake paper much cleaner and is much easier to present on a plate without crumbs going everywhere!
I’ll also be sharing my secrets on how to make the most light and airy cheesecake topping, how to keep your cheesecake bases from going soggy (and stay crisp) and how to prevent those dreaded cheesecake cracks.
I doubt there is anyone in Australia who hasn’t tasted pavlova and certainly it is a popular and perennial dessert! Australians and Kiwis have hotly contested the origins of this popular dessert for decades with evidence surfacing that could suggest the humble pav has English, American or even German beginnings. Perhaps we’ll never know where it first came from, but the most important thing is really making sure you get a piece the next time you are offered one! So with a nod to the pav, I’m creating another classic Layered Hazelnut Meringue Cake which is a bit more special than your average meringue cake. Hazelnut meal is folded into the meringue and slowly baked, but it’s all about the presentation so I added some pretty flourishes at the end to elevate this into a showstopper.
First off, I make three hazelnut meringue discs – with the help of GLAD bake, I draw three equal circles on three separate pieces of glad bake to get consistently sized discs. I then fill the layers with freshly whipped cream and then top off the cake with sugared mint leaves, pineapple flowers, edible fruit flowers and fresh fruit to finish off – how sweet! I’m also sharing great tips on how to get the best baked meringues at home on Summer Baking Secrets, so don’t forget your pen and notepad at home!
I hope you enjoy this last episode of Summer Baking Secrets,