Dessert Five-hour Apple Cake with Orange Zest Serves 6 to 8 Ingredients: 1 cup/200 g plus 10 teaspoons/40 g granulated

sugar ¼ cup/55 ml water 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced on a mandoline into 1/8-inch-/3mm-thick slices 2 oranges (both zest and segments) Whipped cream Method: To make the caramel sauce: Place a heavy based medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add 1 cup/200 g of sugar and ¼ cup/55 ml of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer, then wipe down the sides of the pan with a moistened pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the sides of the pan. Cook the sugar syrup without stirring for about 8 minutes or until it is light brown, occasionally swirling the pan to ensure the sugar syrup browns evenly and wiping down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar crystals. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel into a large ceramic ovenproof soufflé-style dish with a 2-quart/2-liter capacity. Using pot holders, pick up the ceramic dish and swirl the caramel around the sides of the dish to coat. Set the dish aside for about 10 minutes or until the caramel is cool. Place the dish in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until the caramel hardens. To assemble the apple cake: Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C. Arrange a neat layer of apples over the caramel on the bottom of the dish, overlapping and forming concentric circles. Each layer will consist of the slices from 1 apple. Sprinkle the layer of apples with 1 teaspoon/4 g of sugar and grate a little orange zest over the apples. Repeat the layering process with the remaining apples, sugar and oranges until all the apples have been used, alternating the direction of the concentric circles to increase the stability of the cake. You should have about 10 layers of apples. The apples will extend slightly above the rim of the dish but they will sink back down into the dish as the cake bakes and the apples soften.

Cover the apple cake with aluminum foil. Place the dish in a roasting pan. Add enough warm water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake the apple cake for about 5 hours or until a skewer can be inserted easily through the middle of the cake. Remove the apple cake from the oven and allow it to cool, then place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until the cake is cold. To serve: Using a sharp knife, remove the white pith from the reserved oranges. Cut the oranges between the membranes to release the orange segments. Set the orange segments aside. Place the dish of apple cake in a bowl of very hot water for about 5 minutes to loosen the caramel from the bottom of the dish. Place a platter atop the apple cake in the dish. Holding the dish with one hand and the platter with the other hand, invert the apple cake onto the platter. Remove the dish. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream and the reserved orange segments. Pot of Melted Chocolate Serves 4 Ingredients: For the pot of melted chocolate: 2 cups/473 ml heavy whipping cream 10 ounces/300 g good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped Accompaniments: One 1-pound/454-g basket fresh strawberries with stems, halved lengthwise One 6-ounce/170-g basket fresh blackberries One 6-ounce/170-g basket fresh raspberries 2 bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into thick rounds 4 almond biscotti Method: Place the chocolate in a bowl and set the bowl of chocolate over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until the chocolate melts. Heat the cream in a small attractive sauce pan over a medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat. Add the melted chocolate to the cream and stir until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Arrange the fruit and biscotti on a platter and serve with the pot of chocolate,

allowing diners to skewer the fruit with a fork and dip the fruit and biscotti into the melted chocolate. Apple and Pear Upside-Down Caramel Tarts Serves 4 Ingredients: For the tarts: 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar 1/4 cup/60 ml water 4 ounces/113 g unsalted butter, room temperature ½ teaspoon/about 1 g ground cinnamon 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into ½-inch-/1-cm-thick wedges 2 Comice or Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into ½-inch-/1-cm-thick wedges 1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce/490-g package), thawed For the caramel sauce: 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar 2 tablespoons/30 ml water 1/2 cup/115 ml whipping cream Method: For the tarts: Stir the sugar and water in a heavy based medium sized saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side. The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening. Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown. You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon. Pour the caramel sauce into four 4inch-/10-cm-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-/4.5-cm-high sides, dividing equally. Allow the caramel to cool. Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel, then stack the

remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary. Cut out four 4-inch/10-cm rounds. Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans. Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife. Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230ºC. Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly. Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce: Stir the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side. Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown. Add the cream and stir to blend. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. To serve the upside-down tarts: Place a plate over each tart. In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate. Remove the pans. If the plate is a little messy, you may want to transfer the upside-down tarts to clean plates to serve. Drizzle some of the caramel sauce around the upside tarts and serve. Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use. Strawberries Dipped In Chocolate Makes about 2 dozen Ingredients: 1 pound/450 g fresh large strawberries with stems 8 ounces/225 g high quality dark chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet), chopped 2 ounces/55 g high quality white chocolate, chopped Method: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly rinse the strawberries with cold water and arrange them on paper towels. Pat each strawberry dry with dry paper towels to ensure no moisture remains on the strawberries. Be sure the strawberries are completely

dry before dipping them into the chocolate since any moisture on the strawberries will cause the chocolate to seize and become firm. Place the dark chocolate in a small bowl and set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat. Holding 1 strawberry by the green stem, dip the strawberry into the melted dark chocolate. Gently shake some of the excess chocolate back into the bowl. Place the strawberry on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strawberries and dark chocolate. Allow the dark chocolate to set. Place the white chocolate in another small bowl and set the bowl over the saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until the white chocolate melts. Pour the melted white chocolate onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Gather the sides of the plastic wrap and hold the pouch of white chocolate firmly. Twist the pouch. Pierce the bottom of the pouch with a sharp cocktail stick or skewer and drizzle the white chocolate decoratively over the chocolate-dipped strawberries. Reserve any remaining white chocolate in the pouch for another use. Let the white chocolate set. The strawberries can be prepared and refrigerated up to 8 hours ahead. Chocolate Dipped Peanut Brittle Makes about 2 pounds Ingredients: 2 cups/400 g granulated sugar 1/3 cup/80 ml water 2 cups/300 g roasted peanuts 8 ounces/225 g high quality dark chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet), chopped 2 ounces/55 g high quality white chocolate, chopped Method: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the sugar and water in a heavy based, medium sized saucepan over a medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar begins to dissolve and the mixture comes to a simmer. As the sugar mixture cooks, dip a pastry brush in a cup of water and wipe down the sides of the pan with the moistened pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals that are clinging to the sides of the pan. This will help ensure that the caramel does not crystallize. Cook without stirring for 12 minutes or until the syrup turns golden brown. While the syrup cooks, swirl the pan occasionally to ensure it browns evenly, and continue to wipe away any sugar crystals that cling to the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanuts. Stir to coat with the caramel. Immediately pour the peanut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Allow the brittle to cool completely (it will harden as it cools). Break the peanut brittle into irregularly shaped 2-inch/5-cm pieces. Meanwhile, line 2 more baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the dark chocolate in a small bowl and set the bowl over a small sauce pan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat. Dip the pieces of peanut brittle into the melted dark chocolate to coat them halfway, then place them on the prepared baking sheets. Allow the dark chocolate to set. Place the white chocolate in another small bowl and set the bowl over the saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until the white chocolate melts. Pour the melted white chocolate onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts) Makes about 30 Ingredients: 4 teaspoons/15 g active dry yeast 2 cups/450 ml lukewarm water (about 110°F/43°C) 4 cups/510 g all purpose flour 1 teaspoon/about 5 g salt Canola oil, for deep frying 1/3 cup/65 g granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon/about 2 g ground cinnamon 1/3 cup/110 g honey 1/3 cup/45 g hazelnuts, toasted, husked and finely crushed Method: Whisk the yeast and 1/2 cup/110 ml of lukewarm water in a medium bowl to blend. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the yeast dissolves. Whisk the remaining water into the yeast mixture. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until you have a well mixed batter. The batter will be thick and sticky. Cover the bowl of batter with a clean dish cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours or until the batter has risen and doubled in size and small bubbles form.

Add enough oil to a large, deep frying pan to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil over a medium heat to 375°F/190°C. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in another large bowl and set aside. Stir the batter to deflate it. Working in batches and using a tablespoon, spoon the batter one spoonful at a time into the hot oil (you can cook about 8 doughnuts at a time). The batter will still be thick and sticky so the tablespoon will not fill neatly but will help as a guide to ensure the proportions are similar in size. Fry for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the doughnuts puff and become golden brown, turning them occasionally to ensure they brown evenly. While frying, the batter will form round, puffy, irregularly shaped doughnuts. Remove the doughnuts with a meshed or slotted spoon once they are golden and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Immediately toss the hot doughnuts in the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Transfer the coated doughnuts to a warm platter. Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is hot. Drizzle the hot honey over the doughnuts. Sprinkle with the crushed hazelnuts and serve immediately. Birthday Brownie Cupcakes Makes 8 Ingredients: For the cupcakes: 6 ounces/170 g good quality dark chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), chopped 6 tablespoons/160 g unsalted butter 1 tablespoon/21 g Lyle's Golden Syrup or light corn syrup Pinch of salt 3/4 cup/160 g granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1/2 cup/75 g all purpose flour 1 teaspoon/about 5 g baking powder 2/3 cup/80 g coarsely chopped walnuts For the frosting: 4 ounces/120 g cream cheese, room temperature 1/3 cup/115 g Lyle's Golden Syrup or light corn syrup 4 ounces/120 g good quality dark chocolate (60% cacao), chopped 8 small fresh strawberries

Method: To make the cupcakes: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 8 standard cupcake molds with foil cupcake liners. Combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl and place the bowl over a small pot of boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the syrup and salt, and continue to stir to blend well. Remove the bowl of chocolate mixture from over the boiling water and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs in a bowl for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and light. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour and baking powder and stir just until blended, then stir in the walnuts. Divide the batter equally among the prepared cupcake molds. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cupcakes puff and crack on top and a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out with fudgy crumbs attached. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. To frost the cupcakes: Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until light and smooth. Beat in the syrup. Place the chocolate in another bowl and place the bowl over a small pot of boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and beat just until blended, stopping the machine and scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure the mixture is well blended. Spread the frosting generously over the top of the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve.

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