I had a request for a frangipane based bake at the weekend, and I had a picture in my head of a flower shaped pastry so I thought I would try and recreate it!
To make the frangipan I used a recipe from Delicious Magazine which they used as a part of a tart, but I've included this in my recipe below.
500g block of puff pastry
2 tbsp caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 litre cold water
1 tbsp icing sugar, optional
For the frangipane
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
2 large eggs
1 tbsp flour
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in one egg at a time, and then fold in the flour and ground almonds until well combined.
Set aside in the fridge until needed.
To make the apple filling, quarter the apples, remove the cores, and slice thinly.
Add the apples, sugar, lemon juice and water to a pan and heat on a medium heat for around 8 minutes,
until the apples are softened and can be curled but are still holding their shape.
Drain and place on kitchen towel to absorb the excess moisture.
Roll out the pastry block until it is around ?cmx?cm. Spread the frangipan mixture over the pastry,
and then slice horizontally into 2cm wide strips.
For each strip, lay down the apple slices slightly overhanging the top of the pastry strip,
making sure to leave a small margin of pastry on the edge to stick it together later.
Roll up the strip as tightly as possible, and then place on a baking tray covered in baking paper.
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rank and then sprinkle with icing sugar.
I was so pleased with how these turned out, my boyfriend even said they were one of the best things I've baked.
I was slightly disappointed with how the apple skins lost their colour when softening them in the water,
as I thought they'd stay pink, but I think the pastries still look pretty.
I found they worked much better when I left a bit of pastry at the end of
each strip to stick down onto the pastry once rolled up, so it stayed together as a circle. The buttery frangipane against the slight tartness of the apple is such a great combination!
I had some old bananas left over but didn't want to make banana bread which is what I usually do, so google lead me to a recipe which uses bananas to make flapjacks.
I adapted a recipe I found on BBC Good Food to make use of what I had in the cupboard. I'm not usually one for trying to make a healthy alternative of something sweet, I'd rather eat the real deal, but these seemed like they were worth a go!
50g butter plus a little extra for greasing
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 apple, peeled and grated
250g porridge oats
85g apricots, chopped
85g sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
Heat the butter, peanut butter and honey in a pan until melted.
Take off the heat and add the mashed banana, apple and 100ml hot water, and mix to combine.
Add in the oats, the dried fruit and the seeds and stir until everything is combined.
Pour into the tin and flatten out the surface.
Bake for 55 minutes until golden, and leave to cool in the tin before cutting into 12 pieces.
For me, a flapjack should be soft and moist, and these definitely were. They were quite soft when they came out of the oven, so it's definitely best to leave them to cool for a while in the tin so they don't crumble up. I was intending on adding in some cinnamon, but although I forgot these were still great and full of flavour.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Butter two 9-by-13-inch baking pans, line the bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and then tap out the excess.
Cream together butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy (around 3 minutes). Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place in the oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into middles comes out clean (around 30 minutes). Cool slightly on wire racks before removing from the pans. Turn the cakes out onto racks and cool completely.
Spread one of the cooled cakes with the marmalade and place the other cake on top. Using a serrated knife, trim the edges of the cakes and cut into 24 squares.
To make the icing, place the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and heat until the butter is melted. Take off the heat and add the vanilla extract, icing sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir until combined.
Place the coconut in a medium bowl and set aside. Place a cake square
in the bowl of chocolate icing and using forks to turn the square, coat all of the sides.
Let the excess icing drip off, and transfer the square to the bowl of coconut. Turning the cake using forks, coat the squares with coconut. Transfer the coated square to wire rack to stand until coating has set, and continue until all squares have been coated.
I followed the quantities above but found that the amount of icing is WAY too much, you could make less than half and would still have enough.
It may seem annoying that the recipe is in cup measurements, but once you have some, it makes baking really simple. The sponge was nice and light and I really enjoyed this flavour combination. I would definitely make these again!