Tag Archives: recipes
This weekend I was all set to tackle the notorious French Macaroon. I had the ingredients ready, many blog readers asked me to give them ago. The problem I had with recipe was consistency. Firstly I tried one recipe over at the Daily Telegraph, everything was going well until the final stage of mixing the meringue and the almond mixture. So I tried a different recipe and the same thing happened. Instead I ended up with a runny gloop. Having battled with a cold this weekend I really did not even want to bother trying it for a third time. However thankfully, after calming down, I found a insightful video demonstration in French of how to make the perfect macaroon. My problem of texture is now solved, and the answer is powder food colouring, not liquid of gel. So next weekend I will hopefully be sharing with you a perfected macaroon.
Today before work i decided to do a little bread baking. Not sure where this sudden energy came from, but maybe I was paying for later whilst I was cycling to work. I also have a new obsession for rosemary and this bread smells so lovely!
What You Need:
250g White Bread Flour, 7g Dried Yeast, 7 sun dried tomatoes chopped, 50g parmesan cheese, 7 sprigs of rosemary, 200ml of warm water.
Preheat the oven to 230C.
Mix the flour, yeast and water in a bowl with a spoon to form a ball. Leave for 5 minutes to rest. Then take the dough to a floured surface and kneed for around 10-15 minutes until smooth. With the ball of dough roll out into a long rectangle shape. Sprinkle all the ingredients evenly over the dough, as if you are putting the toppings on a pizza. Then roll the dough up into a large sausage shape. Cut the sausage into six and arrange in a greased loaf tin, with the inside swirl facing up. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once done cool and then eat! (^-^)
Since watching Gone with The Wind and reading Cold Mountain for the first time last year the American South has become an intriguing obsession, especially when it comes to food. I have never been to the south but the romantic descriptions of sweet tea, salt pork, red eye gravy and fried chicken skins makes my mouth water. So today i decided to bake something I have never tried or made before, Pecan Pie. First of all finding dark corn syrup in rainy Cambridge was my first mission, which i failed and had to settle for golden syrup, corn syrup can only be bought in the UK online or in specialist stores. I used a mixture of different recipes I have picked up and tried to create my own… which turned out not so bad. (^-^)
What You Need:
Pastry: 1 egg, 175g butter, 250g plain flour, 20g caster sugar, 1 tbsp water
Filling: 100g pecans, 50g butter, 3 large eggs, grind of salt, 250ml golden syrup, 25ml apricot brandy, 200g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c.
In a mixing bowl sieve the flour and rub in the butter to create bread crumbs, then stir in the sugar. Add the egg and water and combine with a round edged knife in cutting motions. Once into a ball, kneed lightly on a floured surface and refrigerate for 10mins. Then roll out the pastry to fit the case and refrigerate for a further 20mins.
For the filling, add the syrup, sugar and salt to a pan and melt down and boil. Set aside. Whisk three eggs in a heatproof bowl and pour in the slightly cooled mixture. Over a tray of boiling water place the bowl of mixture into the bath and stir vigourously making sure it is combined well, then adding the butter and brandy. Place the chopped pecans into the refrigerated pastry case and pour over the warm mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mins or until dark brown. Then serve.
This month I decided to try the famous cupcake bakery which is in London and New York. The book is a joy to look at with delicious pictures and easy to follow instructions. I wanted to try the Key Lime Pie, as this is something I have never tried before and is not a popular treat in the UK, but is a traditional american dessert, naked after the Florida grown lime .also i had loads of limes left over from christmas (^-^) . I suppose a key lime pie is a cross between a cheesecake and a lemon meringue pie.
The natural green filing and the crunchy biscuit crust really compliment well, topped with fluffy meringue, or cream . I will definitely try this again as it is so easy to make, does not take much time and I think will suit well for summer BBQs and parties. The book helped me perfect my biscuit crust skill which before was hit and miss. You can find the book in all good bookstores, i got mine for christmas. Yum .
I remember eating cherries in cakes when I was young so a nostalgic throwback recipe was perfect on a very wet, cold and windy day in Cambridge. Simple and sweet, nice with a cup of tea.
What You Need:
500g self raising flour, 4 eggs, 150g butter, 230g caster sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 rind of orange, 2 drops of almond essence, 100g glace cherries, 250ml milk. (Makes 12 muffins)
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Take a small bowl and melt the butter. Now add to the melted butter the eggs, milk and almond extract. Whisk until light and frothy. In a separate mixing bowl add the rest of the ingredients, including the cherries roughly chopped. Mix together the dry ingredients and then make a well in the centre and add the butter batter. Beat vigourously trapping the air for 5mins. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake for 20-30mins. Cool and the eat!
Recently I bought an old recipe book off ebay for 50p, which I thought was a bargain. To my surprise inside someone had left their newspaper cut outs of Christmas Cake recipes. This included recipes on how make American frosting, almond paste, royal icing and rich fruit sponge. I wanted to share my find with you. I am unsure of the age of the second, but recipes both were published in the Daily Telegraph, and the first is from the 1940s, as on the back it talks about the premiere of Gone With The Wind in Leicester Square, London. The movie was released here in 1940 and ran for 4 years during The Blitz, bombing of London during WWII. This year we are having the christmas cake made as a present so i wont be trying the recipes out yet, but feel free to have a go and show me the results (^-^)
Overly indulgent, vintage delight.
There is nothing more yummy than a house full with the smell of freshly baked bread. The best thing about your own bread is that you have created it yourself, you know what’s in it and a feeling of accomplishment. Bread is one of my biggest vices, I remember when I was a student in Manchester there was a really great German bakery nearby and I would go there a buy a different type of bread each time and make a big chunky soup. However the bread was so delicious on many occasions I would seem to eat the whole loaf in one sitting (^-^)
What You need:
15g yeast, 570g wholemeal flour, 600ml warm water, 2 tablespoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
First place your flour in a container in the oven on a low heat for 5 minutes and let it warm up. Prepare your yeast if it is a dried yeast at this time. Now take the warm flour and add it to a mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and the salt evenly and then the yeast, followed by the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined well and transfer onto a floured surface. Spread the dough into a rectangle and then fold one side into the centre and the other side over. Now in a lightly oiled loaf tin place the dough inside and press down around the edges and then dust with flour. Cover over the loaf with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 40mins.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Once the dough has risen, place the loaf tin on the middle tray of the oven and bake for 40mins. Then turn out the bread and place back into the oven for 5 minutes upside down to crisp up the bottom and the sides. Cool on a rack and the serve.
Lashings of butter.
In winter the most wonderful thing is Cranberries, rich in colour and flavour, bitter yet sweet perfect for desserts and savoury dishes. What I love is a brie sandwich with a generous spread of cranberry jam. This is a very simple recipe you can find in many different cookbooks.
What You Need:
300g Fresh Cranberries, 300g Caster Sugar
Simple simmer the ingredients in a pan until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil for around 5 minutes or until jam consistency (105c). Jar straight away into a recycled sterilised jar and seal.
For you or as a gift.