Four warming winter treats to bake now

Chocolate self-saucing pudding. Picture: Alan Benson

Chocolate self-saucing pudding. Picture: Alan Benson

Take a personalised master class with baking expert Anneka Manning. Whether you're a beginner or already baking with confidence, Anneka will guide you through a unique step-by-step lesson sequence to help you master the 10 fundamental mixing methods that provide the foundation for all baking recipes. BakeClass is a must-have reference that more than 90 sweet and savoury fail-safe recipes that will build your know-how and confidence in a progressive and practical way, and help you become the baker you want to be.

  • BakeClass Step by Step, by Anneka Manning, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books, $29.99.

Chocolate self-saucing pudding

It has always fascinated me how a sprinkling of cocoa and sugar followed by some boiling water poured over a pudding batter can magically form a deliciously rich chocolate sauce underneath the pudding when baked. No easy way of explaining - just watch in awe and enjoy!

Ingredients

melted butter, extra, to grease

150g self-raising flour

30g unsweetened cocoa powder

100g brown sugar

125ml milk

60g butter, melted and cooled

1 egg, at room temperature

icing sugar, to sprinkle (optional)

ice cream or cream, to serve

Chocolate sauce:

100g brown sugar

30g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

310ml boiling water

Method

BakeClass Step by Step, by Anneka Manning, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books, $29.99.

BakeClass Step by Step, by Anneka Manning, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books, $29.99.

1. Preheat the oven to 170C or 150C fan-forced. Brush a 1.5-litre capacity ovenproof dish with the extra melted butter to grease. Place the dish on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

2. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine evenly.

3. Put the milk, melted butter and egg in a separate medium bowl and use a fork to whisk until well combined. Add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until smooth and well combined. Pour the batter into the greased dish and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface.

4. To make the chocolate sauce, combine the sugar and cocoa powder. Sprinkle evenly over the surface of the batter in the dish. Gradually and carefully pour the boiling water evenly over the sugar and cocoa.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a cake-like topping forms over the top of a chocolate sauce. If you insert a skewer halfway down in the centre of the pudding it will come out clean when ready.

6. Remove the pudding from the oven and leave to stand for five minutes to settle before sprinkling with icing sugar, if desired. Serve with ice cream or cream.

Variations:

Double chocolate self-saucing pudding - add 100g chopped dark or milk chocolate with the sugar.

Chocolate and hazelnut self-saucing pudding - add 60g coarsely chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts with the sugar.

Individual chocolate self-saucing puddings - bake the mixture in six 185ml ovenproof dishes or ramekins or 250ml recycled jam jars. Bake at 170C or 150C fan-forced for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 6.

Apple, rhubarb and blackberry crumble

Apple, rhubarb and blackberry crumble. Picture: Alan Benson

Apple, rhubarb and blackberry crumble. Picture: Alan Benson

There's nothing better in winter than a soul-warming pudding for dessert. This delicious crumble brings together fresh apples and rhubarb with frozen blackberries - a memorable combination and a dessert you'll make often. The leftovers are pretty good for breakfast topped with natural yoghurt, too.

Ingredients

3 large cooking apples (about 600g in total), such as granny smith, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges

2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

11/2 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence

300g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm lengths

250g frozen blackberries

75g caster sugar

65g brown sugar

vanilla ice cream or cream, to serve

Crumble topping:

75g rolled oats

100g plain flour

110g brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed

80g flaked almonds

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.

2. Put the apple wedges in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and vanilla, and toss to coat the apple. Add the rhubarb, blackberries and the sugars, and toss to combine evenly. Transfer to a 2 litre capacity ovenproof dish.

3. To make the crumble topping, combine the rolled oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and, with your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until well combined. Stir through the flaked almonds. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture.

4. Place the dish on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the fruit is tender when tested with a skewer and the topping is golden and crisp.

5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cream.

Baker's tip: This crumble can also be cooked in eight 250ml capacity ovenproof dishes or ramekins. Bake at the same temperature for 35 minutes.

Variation: Apple, rhubarb and strawberry crumble - replace the frozen blackberries with 250g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved.

Serves 8.

Cinnamon and orange carrot cake

Cinnamon and orange carrot cake. Picture: Alan Benson

Cinnamon and orange carrot cake. Picture: Alan Benson

Satisfying and completely delicious, this cake has real substance. The combination of wholemeal flour, loads of carrot (which is the secret to its moist nature), cinnamon, orange zest and pecans for crunch is fabulous.

Ingredients

sunflower oil, extra, to grease

150g wholemeal plain flour (see tips)

120g plain flour (see tips)

21/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

11/2 tsp ground cinnamon

220g raw sugar or 200g brown sugar

100g pecans, coarsely chopped

3 eggs, at room temperature

250ml sunflower oil or light olive oil

500g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

finely grated zest of 2 oranges

fine orange rind strips, to decorate (optional)

Orange cream cheese frosting:

250g cream cheese

finely grated zest of 2 oranges

90g icing sugar, sifted

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. Brush a 20cm square cake tin with sunflower oil to grease. Line the base with baking paper.

2. Sift the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl, returning any husks left in the sieve to the bowl. Add the raw sugar and pecans and stir to combine.

3. Put the eggs and sunflower oil in a medium bowl and use a fork to whisk until well combined. Stir in the grated carrot and orange zest. Add to the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold together until just combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to stand in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely (this will take about one hour).

5. Meanwhile, to make the orange cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and orange zest until very smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined and very creamy. Spread the cooled cake with the frosting, decorate with orange rind strips, if using, and cut into portions to serve.

Baker's tips:

Both the wholemeal and white plain flours can be replaced with 300g plain wholemeal spelt flour.

The pecans can be replaced with 100g coarsely chopped walnuts or 85g seedless raisins.

The frosted cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Makes 1 cake.

Individual berry queen of puddings

Individual berry queen of puddings. Picture: Alan Benson

Individual berry queen of puddings. Picture: Alan Benson

I've taken the idea of the retro British queen of puddings - custard, cake and jam with meringue baked on top - but made individual ones and added fresh berries.

Method

250ml milk

250ml thin cream

1 vanilla bean, split lengthways

5 egg yolks, at room temperature

55g caster sugar

150g fresh white breadcrumbs

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

2 tbsp mixed berry jam

250g fresh mixed berries (such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)

Meringue topping:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

165g caster sugar

1 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C or 140C fan-forced. Place eight 185ml capacity ramekins or ovenproof dishes in a roasting tin.

2. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds and bean to the saucepan. Bring slowly to a simmer.

3. Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk or an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large heatproof bowl until pale and creamy. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk in the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Divide the custard evenly between the ramekins.

4. Add enough boiling water to the roasting tin to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins to create a water bath. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the custard has just set. Remove from the oven and transfer the ramekins to a wire rack. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cool.

5. Increase the oven temperature to 190C or 170C fan-forced.

6. To make the meringue topping, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, and whisk until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is thick and glossy. Whisk in the vanilla.

7. Warm the jam in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Carefully spread over the top of the custards then divide the berries evenly between the ramekins. Top with the meringue mixture, swirling as desired.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for eight to 10 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Baker's tips:

You can cover the bottom of the roasting tin with a folded tea towel to stop the ramekins sliding around when transferring them to and from the oven.

If you want to make the puddings ahead of time, follow the recipe to the end of Step 3 up to two days before serving. Leave the puddings to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing with the recipe.

You can caramelise the meringue topping with a blowtorch after baking, as we have, for a more "dramatic" effect.

Serves 8.

This story Baking winter warmers first appeared on The Canberra Times.