Friday, 22 February 2013

Computer Says No...

Sincere apologies for lack of blogging/ tweeting etc - I am still here! Unfortunately my stupid pc has decided to go kaput (remind me never to buy a Dell again!) and I am currently sitting in my works library typing this! If anyone knows where it might find its operating system do drop me a line!

Food wise has been very exciting however I just can't share any pictures right now! We have been eating lots of delicious lamb via Farmison, recipes to which will follow when I have the technology. I've been baking a few treats, lncluding a slightly ugly but good pear and chocolate sort of brownie sponge and I also spent a very interesting evening last night at the British Library which involved lots of chocolate.....!

Back soon!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sticky Cornish Cake

I have always been a magpie for snipping recipes out from magazines. flyers etc (I have two ring binders and a file to be 'filed' full of them) and last week whilst staying with family in Devon, I found out where I get this from - my beloved auntie T! I think we had both already spotted this recipe in one of the weekly magazines on her coffee table and I was going to ask if I could steal the magazine to make this when I got home but auntie did one better by suggesting we actually might bake it whilst I was there..

Now I can't take any credit for this bake - I was merely merrily cooking our main course that night (a delicious veggie curry feast!), alongside my auntie in her lovely big kitchen over looking the sea (aka Heaven but with food) but auntie gave me full permission to post here for you all to drool over her super cake!

The cake has a surprising amount of ground ginger in - we both were a bit hmm is it a typo but went with it, and its perfect, a nice warming roundess without slapping you round the face gingeryness!

Its really moist, sticky, sweet and fruity. The topping reminded me of a softer version of those glorious florentines you tend to find around Christmas and are lucky if they make it past December in my home! Even a friends husband who claims not to like ginger ate a slice quite happily when I came back! The last piece disappeared yesterday.....but it won't be for long as I will definitely add this to the keepers list!

The original recipe was taken from You magazine and written by baking queen Mary Berry.

You will need a 2lb loaf tin, lined with baking parchment (or one of those super ready cut out ones!)

Fruity layer:
1 tablespoon golden syrup
50g butter
25g brown sugar
40g flaked almonds
40g glacé cherries, quartered
25g sultanas
25g stem ginger, finely chopped

Cakey bit:175g soft butter (auntie did half butter half stork)
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.

Start with making the fruit layer - put the syrup, butter and sugar into a saucepan and gently heat, stirring, until just melted. Add the almonds, cherries, sultanas and ginger pieces and stir until combined. Spoon into the base of the (lined!) tin. 

Then beat together all the cake ingredients until smooth and combined. Spoon over the fruit layer in the tin and spread out evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes until well risen and lightly golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then tip upside down and remove the paper*. Cut into slices to serve

*Optional - Get carried away chatting and remember after half about half an hour the cake is still in its tin, then attempt to gently prise off paper using fingers and a sharp knife. The first option is preferable however!

And question of the week - why do jars of stem ginger always seem way too large?...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Olive Pastry Swirls

I am on holiday this week in what I refer to as my second home aka my lovely Auntie T's house in Devon so will be a bit quiet on the blogging/ tweeting front whilst I relax back and either take the dogs walking on the beach or drinking beer. All good stuff :)

This was a rather frugal recipe which I made back at Christmas – I had some leftover puff pastry from making another dish, and half a jar of black olive pate lonely in the fridge…the mind put yum and yum together to equal:

Simply spread the pastry with the pate, and roll up tightly from one end to the other, bake in a hot oven around 200o for about 15 minutes or until golden and puffy

These make a great little canape, they also freeze beautifully so are handy to store in the freezer for unexpected guests! Simply warm through in hot oven to serve.

The olive pate was one of my 'whim' purchases, reduced to clear in the local supermarket for something like 70p from around £3, a great little bargain! I used it also making turkey roulade's which worked also really well.
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