Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
We just had a fantastic weekend with sunshine so I am not going to complain that we are back to rainy grey today. If you want to preserve some of that sunshine feeling, how about making your own ice cream. It will taste equally great eaten outside or in so don't worry if you have to assemble your deck chair in your living room for now. The recipe really couldn't be easier so don't worry if you haven't made it the night before. Just allow enough time for the ice lollies to set in the freezer and you're ready to go.
MANGO AND COCONUT ICE CREAM LOLLIES
1 ripe mango
For this recipe you won't need sugar as long as your fruit is juicy and ripe. You won't need cream either. Just use coconut milk with a very high coconut content. The one we use has around 80%. That way the ice cream will taste creamy and not watery. Puree the mango and add the juice of the lime. In ice cream moulds layer the fruit puree and the coconut milk and put upright in the freezer.
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Monday, 21 April 2014
Happy Easter everyone! Hope you all had a great time with your loved ones and since we had family around I only now get to post my Easter treats. The vanilla cupcakes are topped with a cream cheese icing adapted from the red velvet cupcakes by the Hummingbird Bakery but with much less sugar (which doesn't hurt at all), then piped with my trusted 1M nozzle, and decorated with chocolate eggs. They really take up no time to make but they taste great. For next year I have put a #233 decorating tip on my wish list so I can pipe my icing to look like grass.
125ml sunflower oil
250g self raising flour
6g baking powder
dash of vanilla essence
for the icing
200g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
dash of vanilla essence
chocolate eggs for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the oil, vanilla essence, sugar and the eggs. Beat until the mixture turns pale in colour. Mix the flour and baking powder and sift. Gently fold under the egg-sugar mix. Fill into muffin cases and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool down on a wire rack. In the meantime prepare the butter cream. Beat the butter until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla essence and cream cheese. Put in a piping bag and leave in the fridge to cool slightly. Once piped decorate the cupcakes with chocolate eggs.
Monday, 17 March 2014
I have never been a big fan of meringues until now. I just found them too sweet and there wasn't much else in flavour that could excite me.
Recently meringues seem to have a moment, overtaking my favourite, the macaron. They are not dissimilar when it comes down to the ingredients so I thought I will give it a try. Meringues are actually easier to make than macarons with just two main ingredients: egg whites and sugar. You can introduce flavour with freeze dried raspberries, cocoa or instant coffee powder and get quite creative with food colouring to make them look the part. Or make plain ones to be the base of some great desserts like Eton Mess or a classic pavlova. Quite a lot you can do with such a humble base recipe so no wonder it is exciting so many people.
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pink food colouring gel
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Whisk up the egg whites and the salt in a clean metal bowl. When the egg whites begin to stiffen, slowly beat in the caster sugar until shiny and silky. Stir in the vanilla essence and mix. To get the pink stripe effect put some food colouring gel as stripes on the inside of the piping bag from the nozzle up. Fill with the mixture and pipe onto a baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 min depending on size. Leave them in the oven to cool down so they can dry out completely.
Friday, 28 February 2014
Last week was my friend Nithra's birthday. Unlike me she doesn't have a sweet tooth though, so I was thinking cheese cake, literally. Stack a variety of cheese: goats cheese, Brie, flavoured cream cheese, blue cheese and hard cheese. Dress it all with fruit and nuts et voilà: ready is the non-bake savoury cheese cake. Just add some wine and Bon appétit!
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Happy new year to you all! I hope you had a great start in the new year and Hello to 2014! We finally have a kitchen as we have finished our extension and all building work is done so we are off to a good start. Hooray! We had to make do with a make shift kitchen in a section of the living room consisting of a camping cooker and the fridge freezer during the first stage of work. It was like camping with the plastic crockery, foldable chairs and one-pot-wonder-foods. well, minus the insect bites and the open fire (though we were close to using the fireplace to cook in...). We are quite keen campers so no hardship there but it was restrictive and baking certainly wasn't an option. So now having a kitchen again is such a luxury. I am still getting to grips with my new oven though. It doesn't seem to bake as evenly as I had hoped but I am glad to have an electric one again and bye bye to the gas oven. Hopefully no more burnt baking paper and chargrilled cakes.
I remember my grandma used to say that you will have a close relationship with your oven as a baker and now I know what she means. I am still figuring out which settings are best for what type of dish and if I can go with the recommended temperature in a recipe or if i should over or under compensate. So here is one of the first batches we made. Filo pastry with a nutty filling twisted to little roses and baked like a cake which you can serve individually.
FILO PASTRY ROSES
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter and brush some over one sheet of filo, then cover with a second sheet. Brush with a some more melted butter. Dust with icing sugar and ground hazelnuts. Squeeze some honey on top and fold over twice by a third, then roll up and twist to shape the roses. Repeat until all filo sheets have been used up. Place all roses next to one another in a round cake tin. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden and done. Finally dust with icing sugar and serve.