Benjamina Ebuehi’s Pastry Recipes for Coffee and Tea Breaks | Food


Coconut and hazelnut sandwich cookies

The only thing better than a cookie is two sandwiches with a creamy mascarpone filling. My favorite tea time treat.

Preperation 20 mins
to cook 15 minutes
Cool 1 hour
Makes 8

175g plain flour
75g oatmeal
90g grated coconut
50g toasted hazelnuts
, finely chopped
½ teaspoon of salt
150g unsalted butter
150 g soft brown sugar
70g golden syrup
1 teaspoon of baking soda

For filling
150g of mascarpone, cold
50g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200 ml double cream
, cold

Heat the oven to 190C (180C hot air) gas 6 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, coconut, hazelnuts and salt.

Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and heat until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the baking soda and stir continuously for about 30 seconds, until the mixture becomes frothy and light in color. Pour this directly over the dry ingredients and mix until there are no more traces of dry flour.

Make small balls of dough – about half a tablespoon – on the baking sheets, leaving at least an inch (2.5 cm) of space between them. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown and edges are set. (The centers will still be soft but will firm up as it cools).

To make the filling, place mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat briefly until smooth. Add the cream and beat on low speed until the cream has soft peaks. Pour the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle, or simply use a spoon to spread circles of cream on half of the cookies, before sandwiching them with the others.

Brioches with harissa, feta and olives

Benjamina Ebuehi’s Harissa, Olive and Feta Buns.

I’m not the type to shy away from chili; here, the spicy harissa brings to the soft rolls such fragrant warmth. They would also work well with pesto, if you prefer something sweeter.

Preperation 20 mins
To augment 1h45 +
to cook 20 mins
Makes ten

400 g strong white bread flour
1 packet of fast-acting yeast
½ teaspoon of salt
30g caster sugar
240 ml whole milk
, at room temperature
60 g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs

For filling
2½ tablespoons of rose harissa
100g of feta
, crumbled
75 g pitted green olives, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of black seed

For the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, butter and one of the eggs. Mix to form a shaggy dough.

Knead dough by hand or with a stand mixer until smooth and elastic. It will take between 10 and 15 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and let rise for one to two hours in a warm place, until it almost doubles in size.

Once risen, spread the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle of about 40 cm x 60 cm, with the shorter side facing you. Spread the harissa evenly over half of the dough and sprinkle with feta and sliced ​​olives. Fold the uncovered half of the dough over the filling and use a rolling pin to remove any air bubbles.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into strips about 3 cm wide. With each strip of dough, turn each end in opposite directions simultaneously, then roll the dough onto itself, folding the end down to finish.

Place each bun on a lined baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for another 30 to 45 minutes, until puffed. Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan) / gas 5.

Brush each brioche with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame and black cumin seeds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the base of each bun feels hollow when tapped. Let them cool completely before serving.

Cherry, ricotta and white chocolate cake

Every summer I feel like I end up with more cherries than I know what to do with, but this cake is a lovely way to use them. Ricotta guarantees a soft and incredibly moist sponge.

Preperation 20 mins
to cook 1 hour
Serves 10-12

150g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 medium eggs
200g plain flour
2½ teaspoons of baking powder
tsp of salt
250g ricotta
75g white chocolate
, coarsely chopped
200g cherries, smashed and cut in half
A handful of slivered almonds
Icing sugar
, to dust

Heat the oven to 180C (170C hot air) gas 3½. Butter and line a 23 cm springform pan.

Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together for three to five minutes until very pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter and stir until just combined. Stir in the ricotta, then the remaining flour, and beat briefly until smooth.

Incorporate 50 g of white chocolate, then pour the dough into the prepared mold. Spread the cherries on top, gently pressing a few into the dough. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and the remaining white chocolate.

Bake 50-60 minutes until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

Benjamina Ebuehi (@bakedbybenji) was a 2016 Great British Bake Off quarterfinalist and author of The New Way To Cake: Simple Recipes with Exceptional Flavor (Page Street).


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