Tuesday 13 March 2012

Mother's Day recipes from New Zealand chef Annabel Langbein

I have to admit, I'd never heard of New Zealand chef Annabel Langbein but her recipes seem wonderfully simple, sound absolutely delicious and are perfect for the whole family to get involved with for Mother’s Day. One of her most popular recipes is the ‘Busy People’s Bread’, a quick and simple recipe for all the family to get involved in baking. Or the kids could bake Mum a surprise Mother’s Day cake using Annabel’s ‘Ultimate Chocolate Cake’. The cake is an incredibly simple recipe, even for Dads, that results in a large, rich, moist cake that’s topped with chilled Chocolate Ganash and fresh raspberries. The same recipe can be varied to create little Chocolate Cupcakes.Enjoy !


Busy People’s Bread

A lot of people are put off making bread because they think of it as a time-consuming exercise. If you fall into that camp then give this super quick bread a whirl. It’s a simple one-mix dough that you don’t have to let rise because it rises in the oven during the first stage of low-temperature cooking.

Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 50–60 mins
Makes 2 loaves

500ml boiling water
4 tsp honey
500ml cold water
7 tsp dry yeast granules
400g strong (high-grade) white flour
400g wholemeal flour
3 tsp salt
250g sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to just 80oC and grease and line two 25 x 10cm loaf tins with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the boiling water with the honey to dissolve. Add the cold water and yeast and put to one side for 10 minutes.

Whisk the yeast mixture then add white and wholemeal flour, salt and sunflower seeds and mix with a large spoon until evenly combined. (The mixture will be a very loose, wet batter.)

Divide mixture between prepared loaf tins, spread evenly and flatten the top. Sprinkle 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds over the top of each loaf and, run a sharp knife through the top of each loaf in at least 3 or 4 places so it rises evenly without splitting.

Bake for 20 minutes at 80oC and then turn up the oven to 210 ̊C and bake for a further 30–40 minutes. When cooked, the loaves will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out of the tins while still hot and leave to cool. This bread stays fresh for several days and toasts well.


The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

This is the cake that will make you a star. It will become your secret weapon for dinner parties and special occasions and you’ll never look at another chocolate cake recipe again. It’s so incredibly simple – a magical conjuring up that results in a huge, rich, moist cake. Watch me make this recipe at thefreerangecook.co.uk.

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 1 hour
Serves 12–16
Makes 1 big cake or 2 smaller cakes

375g self-raising flour
500g sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200g butter, softened
250ml milk or unsweetened yoghurt
3 large eggs
250ml boiling hot coffee

To ice:
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (see below)
fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 160°C. Grease the sides and line the base of a 30cm round cake tin or 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.
Place all ingredients except Chocolate Ganache and raspberries in a bowl or food processor and mix or blitz until the ingredients are combined and the butter is fully incorporated.

Pour mixture into prepared tin or tins and smooth top. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin. If not using at once, the cake will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze it uniced.

When you are ready to ice the cake, slather chilled Chocolate Ganache over the top. Top with fresh raspberries and serve.

Chocolate Ganache

It’s hard to believe this luxurious chocolate sauce contains only two ingredients – equal quantities of cream and the best quality chocolate you can lay your hands on. I like to use chocolate containing at least 70 per cent cocoa solids.

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 5 mins + standing
Makes approx 1 litre

500ml cream
500g best quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Pour the cream into a medium pot and heat it until it is almost but not quite boiling. You’ll know it’s ready when bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream. Whisk until smooth and glossy. When you start to stir it, you think it won’t come together, but it will.

If you’re not using the ganache straight away, store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to serve it, gently warm in a pot or microwave to soften.


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  1. Lovely recipes!

  2. Any recipe with Ultimate Chocolate and Cake as the title words is bound to get my attention. Definitely a Mother's Day recipe.

  3. I've always wanted to try baking bread but have been put off my the faff. I'll give this recipe a go tho, it looks so easy and delicious

  4. the chocolate cake looks great, we have been thinking about trying to make bread so might give that a go too!

  5. The bread recipe looks great - I must try and adapt it for glutenfree.


  6. The chocolate cake looks indulgent, and the bread very healthy. What lovely recipes - thanks for sharing them.


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