My brother and sister-in-law got us a subscription to BBC Good Food for Christmas - great present - please repeat this year! In the April issue there is a fantastic Brilliant Bakes supplement and I found the recipe for this cake in there. This cake is just divine - the fresh ginger really cuts through the sticky sweetness of the sugar and dates. I made it as a cake but I think I would also try making it in individual loaves and serving it as a pudding, warm with ice-cream or creme fraiche. The recipe can be found here on the BBC Good Food website.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Scones are just something I don't really make but absolutely love eating, preferably with copious amounts of clotted cream and raspberry jam. I'm not sure why I don't really make them but they just don't spring to mind ever. I was therefore pleased to see that for this month's Tea Time Treats Challenge, Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked set us the task of making scones of any variety.
The ultimate scones I've ever eaten are the apple ones served at Claridge's. If you are ever in London and have the desire for a decadent afternoon tea then hot foot it to this Mayfair establishment and you won't be disappointed. Their apple scones are small, light and fluffy. So inspired by gluttonous memories I looked for some apple scone recipes and came across this one on Baking Mad (this post isn't sponsored by them btw). They turned out quite nicely and I liked the flavour and texture of the walnuts - I made them quite small but they definitely are nowhere near as fluffy as the ones at Claridge's. I served them with a blackberry compote. I think I do need a proper scone making lesson as the two times I've made them they have been slightly heavy. I'm luckily going home to my parents in a couple of weeks time so will put the request in for a tutorial from my Mum.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
This month Chele from Chocolate Teapot has chosen something 'green' for the We Should Cocoa Challenge. I'm not a big fan of making food a deliberate colour, especially a shade as bright as green, so that ruled that option out. I considered making something chocolately while wearing my birkenstocks but closer inspection of the rules showed that we weren't talking eco credentials for this challenge. So after a little deliberation I decided to make something containing pistachio nuts - the greenest ingredient that came to mind. After some Google research I came across this recipe for Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti from the Martha Stewart website.
I've never made biscotti before but was surprised firstly how quick they were to make and secondly how nicely they turned out. Mr CB maintains that they had a strange aftertaste but I really wasn't getting it. I then made a friend try one and she said they just tasted of chocolate and pistachio. They are still quite soft in the middle for biscotti but this is apparently how this version should be - not as dry as the true traditional Italian ones. I didn't have quite as many pistachios as the recipe stated hence why they could be slightly greener. The original recipe can be found here.
Saturday, 10 March 2012
This tart is based on one I saw in a copy of Jamie magazine last summer. The flavour combinations are delicious - the thick tomatoey sauce against the salty feta and anchovies. I know a lot of people have a marmite reaction to anchovies - I'm definitely in the love category to the point that I ask for extra ones on my pizza. If you don't share the anchovy love then you could easily not include them and substitute for something else. I think the original recipe used a shortcrust pastry but I used my usual spelt pizza dough pastry whose recipe can be found here. I love this pastry as it doesn't contain any butter and you don't need to blind bake it. The tart is lovely served warm with a nice green salad.
1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tin plum tomatoes
a sprinkle of thyme (preferably fresh but I had to use dried)
1 tbspn tomato puree
around half a block of feta
around 100g kalamata olives, stoned
tin of anchovy fillets
1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Make the spelt pastry and line a round or rectangular loose bottomed flan tin with it.
2. Fry the onion and garlic in some olive oil until softened. Add the tomatoes, thyme and puree and season with pepper. Don't add salt unless you really want to as the anchovies and feta are very salty. Simmer for around 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced down. Leave to cool slightly.
3. Place the tomato sauce over the base of the pastry. Crumble the feta over the tomatoes and then scatter over the olives. Finally place the anchovies over them. Finally drizzle with olive oil before baking for around 30 minutes.
Saturday, 3 March 2012
I tend to send anything I bake at the weekend off to Mr CB's workplace on a Monday morning. I would like to say this is because I'm a generous soul but it's mainly to stop me scoffing lots of cake come Monday night. They are also a great bunch at giving honest feedback and now it seems requests! While having a drink with them all on Friday night it was requested that I make an orange, as opposed to lemon, drizzle cake. That is fine with me as I quite like being given ideas for things to make. I have used a recipe I found in BBC Good Food magazine for a 'Lighter lemon drizzle cake' but substituted orange for its more bitter sister. This cake came under the healthy recipes section as it uses rapeseed oil instead of butter. It is a lovely light cake and the orange flavour has come through nicely.
75ml rapeseed oil
175g self raising flour
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
50g ground almonds
zest of 2 oranges
140g caster sugar
225g natural yoghurt
For the orange syrup
85g caster sugar
juice of 2 oranges
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, almonds, polenta, zest and sugar in a large bowl. Mix together and make a well in the centre.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and natural yoghurt and add to the well in the dry ingredients. Add the rapeseed oil and mix together lightly until just combined.
4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and after the cake has cooled a little allow to cool on a wire rack.
5. While the cake is baking make the syrup by putting the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan with a little water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to the boil to thicken up the syrup.
6. Before the cake fully cools make several holes in it with a skewer and pour over the orange syrup.