Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Chocolate Meringue Pie

This is my updated classic Chocolate Meringue Pie.
I very much enjoyed the chocolate meringue pie which my friend baked as the finale of her Sunday lunch that she invited me to. For me, it was the first time that I tasted the velvety chocolate filling with a crunchy but "melting in your mouth" meringue combination. I just loved it.
Apparently, that was her mum's classic "Sunday dinner pudding" which she often requested when she was little. I realise how clever the recipe is as whole eggs are used in different components of one pudding.
No waste.
I was inspired by this lovely flavour and texture combo, so I created this even more chocolaty pie.
Chocolate pastry gives the pie a more sophisticated flair.


Chocolate Pastry: 
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 15 g cocoa powder
  • 20 g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 g butter, diced
  • 4–5 teaspoons cold water 
Chocolate Filling:
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 110 g caster sugar 
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon cornflour
  • pinch of salt
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange zest (optional)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour 
  • 40 g dark chocolate, grated, plus extra to decorate (optional)

Make the pastry
  1. Add the flour, cocoa, sugar and butter to a large bowl, then rub in with your fingertips or an electric mixer until you have fine crumbs. 
  2. Mix in enough water to form a soft but not sticky dough. Roll out on a floured surface to fit a fluted loose-bottomed tart tin, 20 cm in diameter, 5 cm deep. (I used two small tart dishes: 13 cm in diameter, 3.5 cm deep)
  3. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 15 minutes. Bake the tart blind for 10 minutes in a preheated 180°C fan oven. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Make the Chocolate Filling: 
  1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and cornflour together in a large bowl. 
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. 
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and then pour it back into the saucepan, whisking constantly until it thickens. Stir in the vanilla, (and zest of orange if you prefer) then pour into the tart case.

Make the Meringue
  1. Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until stiff, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar until it has all been added. 
  2. Add cornflour and keep whisking until the meringue is very thick. 
  3. Then fold in the grated chocolate for a chocolatey meringue (optional).

Spoon the meringue over the pie, shape into swirls, then bake at 140°C, for 40 minutes until the meringue is slightly golden and crispy on top. 
Cool slowly in the oven by leaving the oven door ajar at least for one hour. 

Before serving, sprinkle with grated chocolate to decorate.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

栗どら焼き Japanese mini pancakes with Sweet Chestnut Puree filling

It was such fun to make chestnut puree from the sweet chestnuts that I collected from the local woods. Although it was a bit of an effort to make smooth puree it was absolutely worth it.
So, I was wondering what else I could make with my lovely chestnut puree apart from Mont Blanc.
This year, I made dairy-free puree, so it's basically Japanese 栗あん (kiri-ann)or 栗きんとん(kuru-kinton) after all. Why not make a little 栗どら焼き for fun. どら焼き are mini pancakes with aduki puree filling. But chestnut puree filling is also very popular especially in autumn in Japan. It's a seasonal treat.  They are lovely little things to eat with some Japanese green tea.

Ingredients for mini pancakes (about 20 pancakes)

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  1. Put all the ingredients in a jug and mix well.
  2. Heat the frying pan with a little oil and make mini pancakes.
  3. Cool the pancakes on the rack.
  4. When they are cooled, sandwich the 2 pancakes with the chestnut puree filling.
Please see the recipe for making sweet chestnut puree on the "Mini Mont Blanc" post.