Thursday, 28 July 2011
How are we all going with Masterchef this season? Or do you watch it at all...? I guess I can only speak for myself and what I've heard from my family and friends... It is great to have Masterchef back on again (and I never quite got into the whole celebrity/children's versions). However, I must say, I'm not enjoying it as much as I did the first season, even the second season.. I am no longer a 'religious' viewer, and nor do my family and friends follow it with the same fervour as they once did. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it seems to me that Masterchef has become a little larger than life, a little over-dramatic perhaps... At any rate, may the best cook win!
Regardless of your sentiments on the show, please allow me to take all you Masterchef fans on a nostalgic journey back to Season 1 in 2009. Do you remember the Sticky date pudding challenge?! How many of you bookmarked the recipe on the website and never got around to making it..? Anyone? Well, I know I did.. cleaning up my bookmarks recently I decided it was high time I got around to it making it!
This is a winter classic -absolutely wonderful :)
Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and almond praline
Recipe from Masterchef Australia (Season 1)
180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1¼ cups (310ml) water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
60g butter, softened and chopped
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
¼ cup (35g) slivered almonds
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan-forced). Lightly grease eight (½ cup capacity) metal dariole moulds.
2. Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat. Add bicarbonate of soda, stir until dates start to break down, set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
3. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl using a hand beater, gradually add eggs one at a time, beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add date mixture, stir to combine. Carefully fold through sifted flour, divide mixture evenly between the eight moulds, until 2/3 full.
5. Place moulds in a baking tray, carefully pour water in tray until it comes up 1/3 of the side of the moulds. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, for the almond praline, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Scatter almonds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray, pour over caramel and cool until set. Break praline into pieces.
7. For the butterscotch sauce, combine butter, sugar, cream and vanilla in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring sauce to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
8. To serve, invert the hot pudding onto a serving plate, top with butterscotch sauce and shards of praline.
As I only have 4 dariole moulds, I used the leftover pudding batter to make some delicious cupcakes!
Sticky date cupcakes with butterscotch buttercream and almond praline
makes 10-12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes, follow the above pudding recipe and divide among a cupcake paper lined muffin tin, filling each three-quarters. Bake at 180 degrees celsius on an upper shelf for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Sit in tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cream 125g softened unsalted butter, 1½ cups sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add 4-5 tablespoons cooled butterscotch sauce (recipe provided above) in an electric mixer until the desired consistency is achieved. Pipe or spread over the cooled cupcakes, and finish with a shard of the almond praline (recipe provided above).
So tell me, if you are a viewer, what are your thoughts on the current season of Masterchef Australia?