Forgive me, dear readers, it’s been 4 months since my last post … wait, no. There’ll be none of that. No long-winded apologies. Or short ones for that matter.
I’ve been off doing other stuff, but it’s all good stuff. Well, mostly. I had surgery in September thanks to a long-standing hip injury and some time off from everything but otherwise, all good stuff. Plus, I’ve been recovering nicely although not training for three months nearly did my head in. Just getting back to it now so hopefully, tempers will adjust to normal. Mine, mostly 😀
Now the good stuff! I’ve put together my first cookbook. Yay! Assuming the printer is true to his word, and I get copies in my hot little hands by the end of this week, it will be out by next week. I’m very excited. This self publishing gig has been a long journey of discovery (and mistakes, mostly mine, but hey I learned a lot during the process). There are other things happening in the background on the site and I hope to have some really cool content starting to appear here to supplement the recipes and blog very soon.
The CCM kitchen has taken quite a beating over recent months. So much so, I am starting to wonder if it is cursed. Kitchen gadgets playing out dramatic death scenes all over the shop. My oven, which has not worked properly since the day it was first installed, decided to go completely feral just before Christmas. After a good deal of mucking about by the service guys, it appears there is not much anyone can do to save it. It’s a lemon. I haven’t been baking in the last month or so. Well, I have, but the outcomes have usually been complete disasters. This does not bode well, I hear you say. You would be correct. But I will find a way 🙂
So, it is with great pride that yesterday I managed to Mcgyver my way into baking some lovely Vanilla Almond Crumble for a dessert. It’s a small win but an operation that required several oven thermometers, yours truly squatting in front of the oven door for the entire time, adjusting the thermostat every few minutes, and trying not to break out into a sweat, and I kept some spare fishing wire and duct tape with me just in case. Because duct tape. The upside? Delicious, wonderfully aromatic crumble pastry and ten solid minutes of squat practice! I call that a win.
Otherwise, we’d be here celebrating jelly right now. I’ve eaten a lot of jelly lately. Lots of deconstructed cheesecakes and puddings. To be honest, I may just post a jelly dessert recipe next! Why not? For now, let’s start with a deconstructed tart featuring some beautifully fresh baby rhubarb, raspberries, rose-water, vanilla, and almonds. It makes me sigh happily just thinking about it.
This dessert is easy to make ahead so you can throw it together just before serving. Great for summer parties. Well, maybe don’t actually throw it together. Carefully arrange it in pretty glasses.
You can make the components of this recipe ahead of time and assemble it just before serving. Easy for summer!
You can also add raspberries or strawberries to the rhubarb as these will match the rose flavour very well. If you want a more substantial dessert, use a combination of half Greek yoghurt with mascarpone or thick cream. Whether you make this sugar free or sweeten it with sugar, the results are lovely either way.
Leftover crumble is great served with yoghurt, over other desserts, or just to nibble on, randomly.
325 grams rhubarb (washed, trimmed, and cut)*
65 grams stevia blend sweetener (e.g. Natvia Baking, or caster sugar)
15 grams rose water
60 grams water
50 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 grams stevia blend sweetener (e.g. Natvia Baking, or caster sugar)
30 grams 100% almond butter
50 grams oat flour
50 grams almond meal
5 grams baking powder
2 grams vanilla bean powder (or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
Thick Greek Yoghurt (plain or vanilla)
dash of vanilla powder or vanilla seeds
Stevia blend icing mix (e.g Natvia Icing, or icing sugar)**
*You can substitute 225 grams rhubarb plus 100 grams fresh raspberries for a beautiful variation.
** This is optional and depends on whether you like your yoghurt sweetened or not.
Combine the rhubarb, sweetener (or sugar), rose water, and water in a saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and cook just until the rhubarb breaks down and is soft.
Purée the rhurbarb compote, and set aside to cool.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator, until ready to use.
Pre heat the oven to 180℃.
Line a baking sheet with silicone paper and set aside.
Combine the butter, sweetener (or sugar), and almond butter in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth and blended.
Add the sifted oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, and vanilla.
Mix with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
Crumble the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
If making ahead, store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
Prepare your verrine glasses. Spoon some of the rhubarb compote into each glass and level the compote.
Place a layer of crumble pastry pieces on the compote.
Add a dash of vanilla powder, or seeds, to the Greek yoghurt. If you prefer, add a little sweetener or sugar to taste.
Spoon a layer of vanilla yoghurt over the crumble layer in each glass.
Top and decorate with extra almond crumble pieces and fresh raspberries.
Dust with a little stevia icing mix or icing sugar, and serve.
You can assemble the verrines up to 4 hours before serving.
Store in the refrigerator and decorate just before serving.