Posts tagged recipe
Posts tagged recipe
I love Annabel Langbein. How can you not? She’s an incredibly inspiring cook and a national treasure in the New Zealand foodie world. I love her natural approach to food and her passion for simple, homegrown, free range, organic produce. If you’re unfamiliar with her I highly recommend delving into her ‘The Free Range Cook’ book, or in the very least checking out her detailed website: http://www.annabel-langbein.com/
I follow her regularly on both Facebook and Twitter and drool over her Pinterest pictures. A most recent drooling episode occurred when I came across the picture of her Mini Passion Moments, which was published in the NZ Life & Leisure Magazine. I just had to make them. I’ve included her picture, as well as my own, so you can experience the same food crush as I did.
The filling stays reasonably soft, unlike your standard custard cream/melting moment type biscuit. I’m not sure if I prefer one to the other. All I know is that these are delicious.
The colour of the biscuit depends on the type of custard powder you use. I used Birds Custard Powder in original flavour.
Oh, and here’s the recipe. Go on, make them, and don’t forget to thank Annabel x
220g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1¼ cups plain flour
4 tablespoons custard powder
100g butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1½ cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp
Preheat oven to 150°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until pale and creamy. Sift in flour and custard powder and combine to form a very soft dough.
Roll small teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on prepared baking trays. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in flour. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
To make filling, beat butter and vanilla essence together with an electric beater until pale and creamy. Add icing sugar, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp and beat until smooth.
When biscuits are cold, sandwich together with passionfruit filling, using about 1 teaspoon of filling for each pair of biscuits. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I look back at previous blog posts and think “man, I talk about the weather a lot”, and then I vow not to do it in the next one.
But I always end up back there again. Like, right now.
I blame England. It’s all everyone talks about over here (it’s even a key feature in Olympic opening ceremonies!).
But I think the reason why we reference it so much here is because it’s such an enigma.
For example, we set out for beautiful beach-side Cornwall for August Bank Holiday weekend in summer (I bet you’ve got a really nice summer holiday picture in your head right now), and we end up with rain (…and that picture’s gone). ALL weekend rain. And wind. And cold.
But it’s okay, because it gave us an excuse to make it another food-oriented holiday, with plenty of time spent in pubs and cafes. My favourite. Definitely worth a mention is the Yacht Inn in Penzance for its incredibly fresh seafood and Rhubarb’s Cafe in St Ives for pretty much everything on their menu, but especially the portobello mushrooms stuffed with feta and sundried tomatoes.
A group of us went down together and stayed at a friend’s house in Penzance, and as per usual I arrived armed with treats. I went a step further this time and created my own original cupcake flavour.
How it came about is that I have a bit of a fascination with salted caramel at the moment (mostly in the form of macaroons) and because I had some uneaten pears sitting in the fruit basket. From there I adapted Hummingbird Bakery’s red velvet cake to make a vanilla velvet cake and voila: Honeyed Pear Velvet Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.
The recipe is all yours.
They take a bit of fiddling round but I can assure you, they’re well worth the effort.
Makes around 16 cupcakes.
Vanilla Velvet Cupcakes:
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
-300g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 320g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 240ml buttermilk
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the Honeyed Pears:
- 3 pears
- 20g unsalted butter
- 60g runny honey
- 40g caster sugar
Salted Caramel Frosting:
(If you’re not keen on “salted caramel”, opt for plain old caramel by using unsalted butter and cutting out the added salt).
- 125g white caster sugar
- 80ml double cream
-1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 160g salted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
Make the honeyed pears first. Peel and core the fruit and cut into small, bite sized pieces. Place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Add the pears and cook until the fruit is soft and golden, and it has soaked up all of the syrup. Cool completely - you can put them in the fridge while you make your cupcake batter.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sift the flour and salt together in another bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour/salt and 1/3 of the buttermilk and mix thoroughly. Repeat 2 more times. In another bowl, stir the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda together to cause its reaction. Once settled add it to the cake butter, mixing well. Lastly, gently fold in your honeyed pears.
Spoon the batter into cupcake cases - filling them 2/3rds of the way to the top. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Make the frosting. Heat the caster sugar and four tablespoons of water in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and cook the caramel for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the cream. Allow to cool completely.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together for at least 5 minutes, then beat in the caramel. When combined pipe or spread the icing over the cup cakes. I used a palette knife for mine.
Summer decided to visit London this weekend. Finally!
We’d already bought tickets to the Battersea Park Foodies Festival so we had our fingers crossed that, at the very least, it would not rain.
The weather gods pulled through and gave us 30 degree weather and clear skies. A perfect day for an outdoor food festival, so off we went, equipped with sunblock, sunglasses and rumbling stomachs.
Now, don’t you hate it when you go to these kinds of events and cave at the first sight of something delicious as soon as you walk in? Only thinking afterwards that perhaps you should have had a better look around at what was on offer?
Well, this time I did the exact opposite. Despite being tempted by food stalls as soon as I walked in, I decided to check out all the stalls before eating so I could make a fully informed decision.
2 hours, 20 tasters, a salted caramel cupcake, raspberry apple and mint juice, a few of Si’s garlic mussels and a fruit sorbet later, I still hadn’t had lunch. And I no longer had room for it.
But I had a whole lot of delicious things to take home with me, so I was happy.
My haul included a mature cheddar and chilli pork pie by the Posh Pork Pie Company, some vanilla and caramel fudge by the Fudge Kitchen and a delicious raspberry and mustard salad dressing by Cotswold Gold.
I couldn’t wait to try the dressing and it was a perfect coincidence that I still had some veg leftover from Thursday’s Riverford delivery. So on Sunday night we whipped up a summery salad for dinner.
For those of you who don’t know, Riverford is an all organic farm that delivers fresh, local fruit and veg to your door. It’s 20% cheaper than supermarket produce, and that’s without taking into account the free delivery.
I’m obsessed with them. Their produce is restaurant quality and tastes like it’s been picked fresh from the garden on the same day it’s delivered.
I usually order one of their vegetable boxes and a fruit bag. Both come with a few varieties of seasonal vegetables and recipes to give you ideas on what to do with them.
And the reason I love Riverford so much is because we can start with this:
And turn it into this:
An absolutely fresh, organic salad topped with Cotswold Gold’s Raspberry and Mustard Drizzle.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy x
(preferably from Riverford Farm, or at least high quality organic ingredients)
- 1 large kumara
- New potatoes
- A bunch of beetroot
- A bag of mixed salad leaves
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, in bite size chunks
- Garlic Aioli
- Cotswold Gold Raspberry and Mustard Drizzle
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Scrub dirt from beetroot, potatoes and kumara and chop into bite-sized chunks.
You’ll need two roasting trays - one for the beetroot and another for the potatoes/kumara. Lay the veg out on each tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and dried mixed herbs (if you have them). Toss gently to cover.
Roast at 180 for one hour or more - until cooked.
In the meantime, prepare the salad ingredients as advised above and toss together in a large bowl with the Raspberry and Mustard Drizzle.
When the vegetables are roasted, toss plenty of garlic aioli through the potatoes and kumara only. The heat of the vegetables will soak up the sauce quite quickly and you’ll get a soft, rich garlic flavour.
Add the vegetables to the green salad while still warm and serve immediately. Serve with some warm bread rolls.
Winston Churchill loved his food (one of many vices), and he once famously rejected a dessert saying “this pudding has no theme.”
I refuse to cast the same dire fate on you and instead I’ll give you a pudding with multiple themes.
It all started with a trip to Berlin where I met a very charming struesel at a bakery near our hotel. I haven’t been able to erase it from my mind since and haven’t been able to hunt down anything similar in London, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make something similar at home.
It was shortly after this that I discovered the Whittaker’s recipe competiton on Facebook and wanted to come up with something a little bit creative and original.
After giving it some thought, my third and final inspiration came from the fact that I really love brownie and Si really loves cheesecake and from all of this, a dessert collaboration was born.
Let me introduce you to: Fudge brownie with a caramel cheesecake layer and stuesel topping. It’s a very long name, so if you can come up with something a little bit more clever than I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please leave me a comment below.
Here’s the recipe debut! I hope you’ll make it, try it and enjoy eating it, at least in Churchill’s honour.
For the Brownie:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa (preferably dutched but normal is fine)
- 200g butter
- 1 and 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 330g Whittaker’s Dark Block Chocolate (or any other good quality dark chocolate if you don’t live in New Zealand)
For the cheesecake filling:
- 300g cream cheese
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- Half a can of Nestle Caramel Condensed Milk (This is optional, if you’d like to give the cheesecake a caramel flavour)
For the chocolate streusel topping:
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 140g butter, softened
- 2 and 1/3 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa (preferably dutched, but normal is fine)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
(NB: This makes quite a lot of streusel so I used approx one third of it to sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake brownie and then froze the rest to use another time - it could be used a cheesecake base.)
Grease the sides and bottom of a large baking dish (I used a lasagna sized dish).
Melt butter and sugar in a pot over low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
Take off the heat, add chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
Add egg and vanilla and stir until well combined.
Sift in flour and cocoa. Mix well, until fully combined.
Pour mix into your baking dish and set aside.
Next, make your cheesecake layer by using an electric mixer/beater to combine all of the ingredients together in one large bowl.
Carefully pour the mixture over the top of your brownie.
Now is the time to preheat oven to 180.
Next, make your struesel topping.
Put all of the ingredients, except the egg, into a large bowl and use your hands to combine until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Add the egg and use your hands again to combine. The dough will come together to form larger crumbs, that look like those in the picture below.
Sprinkle these crumbs evenly over the top of your cheesecake layer in the baking dish.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven at 180 for 40 minutes. Insert a knife to check that it comes out clean - both the brownie and cheesecake layers should be cooked. If they’re not, increase the cooking time, inserting a knife to check the progress every five minutes.
Remove the brownie from the oven and allow to cool on the bench. Once it has cooled you can cover and store in the fridge. This is best after it has been in the fridge for a few hours and the cheesecake is completely cooled.
Nothing says you love someone like chocolate. It’s true - ask any woman (and possibly many men too). Usually I wouldn’t turn down a box of chocolates, especially on Valentine’s Day, but due to the truck load that we received at Christmas, I’ve enforced a chocolate ban in our household until further notice.
Which is fine, because we don’t really buy into the big commercial circus that is Valentine’s Day anyway. But, just so we don’t feel completely left out, we don’t let it go entirely unnoticed either. Si usually cooks me dinner, since that’s a rare occasion, and I take care of dessert. The problem this year though is that we’re both super duper busy this week. Social Media Week London is on which means I’ve been attending events and networking at all hours of the day and night. There’s no time for us to sit down together and eat a meal and dessert, let alone find the time to make them.
I couldn’t bring myself to sit by and do nothing though, so late Monday night I whipped up a batch of cookies that I knew would appeal to Si’s taste buds: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate, and sent him off to work with a lunch box full of them on Tuesday.
I may have snuck a couple for myself too and I have to say they were pretty good. I got the recipe from this month’s Good Food Magazine and the only change I made was doubling the amount of chocolate (a good move). I’m not going to proclaim they’re the best cookies ever, because it’s just not true, but they’re worth making if you like peanut butter and feel like something other than your usual choc chip. They were a little crumbly, so I’d maybe advise adding an extra egg. However, it was my first time making them so maybe it was just an off-batch. See the bottom of this post for the original recipe, and let me know your thoughts if you do make ‘em.
To accompany the cookies, I stopped off at Konditor and Cook and picked up two of their Mini Raspberry Fudge Tarts (Fudglets). A friend of mine introduced me to this adorable cake shop that has a cult following in London, which includes celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. As expected, it was bursting with people on Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t get to browse as much as I’d hoped to. No big deal - I’ll just make sure I go back again in the near future. The little tarts were delicious, with rich chocolate ganache atop fresh raspberries in a buttery, homemade pastry case. They were reasonably priced too, especially for central London, with two tarts for £2.50. The presentation wasn’t immaculate (I tidied them up a bit), but I’ll give them another chance considering it was probably their most busiest day of the year.
White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g crunchy peanut butter
- 50g soft brown sugar
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg (trial 2 if you choose, and let me know how it goes)
- 100g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 50g white chocolate chunks or buttons (I doubled it to 100g)
Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line or grease two baking trays.
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and egg and beat until mixed in well.
Sift in the dry ingredients and carefully fold together until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chunks.
Place tablespoon sized dollops of cookie dough onto the baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Christmas has come and gone as quickly as it does every year and I’m now looking forlornly at the empty space where just days ago there was a pile of wrapped gifts, and at the ample and delicious Christmas day food that now only exists inside my digital camera (and perhaps my thighs).
This year was considerably different to previous Christmases for as far back as I can remember, in the sense that I didn’t get to do the traditional yearly get together with family. Instead, a bunch of us Kiwis (and one Argentinian) that are currently residing in London set off together for what we’ll call an Orphan’s Christmas in a quaint seaside town up North. We were lucky enough to be offered a beautiful, big house (previously known as The Ship Inn) right on the coast of Wells-Next-The-Sea in Norfolk. And after just two hours of trains, tubes and mini-vans we were there for four whole days.
So while our families were sunbathing, swimming, playing cricket and enjoying outdoor Kiwi barbecues in the Southern Hemisphere we were huddled around the fire with mulled wine, puzzles, Scrabble and plenty of comfort food for our very first “White Christmas”.
We divvied up the food duties and I was half responsible for dessert which suited me fine. In the theme of trying new things this Christmas I went with a recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake; something I hadn’t made before as I usually prefer fruit versions. Having watched some of Anne Thornton’s Dessert First TV show recently I decided to use her recipe for “Deepest Darkest Chocolate Cheesecake”. However, I did use my own base recipe (which can be found here) as I prefer a thick, crunchy cheesecake base. It was very, very chocolaty and rich - something I wouldn’t usually complain about - but I do love the taste of cream cheese that usually shines through in most traditional baked cheesecake recipes, and in this one I felt that was lacking. When I make it again I’ll experiment with the ratios of chocolate and cream cheese, and as it was quite dry I’ll perhaps add a cup of sour cream to the mix.
Also on dessert duty was Melina and between us we made sure the spread was plentiful. Melina brought to the table (pun intended) a traditional Argentinian dessert of baked shortcake tarts made with Dulche de Leche. And, oh man, it was so so good! She also had a couple of boxes of Havanna Alfajores to share around; a soft, cakey biscuit that I can’t quite describe and they were just as delicious (I actually managed to weasel a few more out of her for the trip home). They’re like nothing I’ve tried before and definitely something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. I’ve had a look online and it seems like you can order them internationally from Amigo Foods. Go on, dooooo it!
And because it’s the festive season; I love baking; I love to feed people; and I felt we needed more calorie-laden treats to get us through the days surrounding Christmas I also made Nigella’s Black Beer Gingerbread (recipe at the bottom of this post) and Pioneer Woman’s Cinamon Rolls. The gingerbread was a massive favourite (I even caught a few people sneaking pieces first thing in the morning) and as Nigella described, it was “like Christmas in a bowl”. Just like her Guinness Chocolate Cake it was very rich and very moist. I definitely recommend this for the next time you’re looking to make something to share at a morning/afternoon tea or picnic lunch. In comparison, the cinamon buns weren’t so great and I won’t bother making them again - I can think of much better ways to fill up my daily calorie quota.
To all ATK readers - a very Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Merry Secular Holiday… Regardless of your background or deity, I hope you all had fantastic Christmases and I wish each of you a happy and healthy 2012.
Nigella’s Black Beer Gingerbread
300g golden syrup
200g dark muscavado sugar
2tsp grounder ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
300g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml sour cream
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 170c.
Put the butter, syrup, muscavado sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pam and melt gently over a low heat.
Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and bicarb. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.
Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.
Pour this into a lined rectangle tin, or into a barbecue-type foil tray, and bake for about 45 minutes; when it’s ready it will be risen at the centre, and coming away from the tin at the sides.
Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.
For any foodie, Christmas, like all occasions, is all about the food. Loads and loads of scrumptious food.
And for me it’s not just about eating it - it’s creating it, turning it into gifts, and sharing it with friends and family on Christmas Day.
Homemade chocolate bark is such a cheap, easy way of making a fabulous gift and it’s so much more personal than handing over a box of chocolates.
Chocolate bark is big in Europe and I have to say there’s something about it that’s just so appealing. Perhaps it’s because you can see all the mouth-watering goodness, that is usually hidden away inside chocolate bars, laid right out in front of you instead.
All you need is some good quality chocolate (I’ve used 80% cocoa dark chocolate, and white chocolate for my variations) and then anything you’d like to top it with - dried fruit, nuts, crushed biscuits, lollies… it’s entirely up to you.
I topped my dark chocolate with dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots and whole roast almonds. For the white chocolate I covered it with broken pieces of Oreo biscuits (mmm, just like cookies ‘n’ cream!). If you want yours to be just a little more Christmas-themed I suggest dark chocolate topped with crushed peppermint candy canes.
All you need to do is melt your chocolate in the microwave (be careful not to overheat or cook the chocolate or all it will be good for is the rubbish bin) and then pour it evenly over non-stick baking paper (make sure you’ve got something hard and flat underneath, such as a chopping board, so you can easily transfer it to the fridge later). Next, cover it with the toppings of your choice and then transfer it to the fridge to let it cool and harden. Once completely set (give it a few hours) you can simply use your hands to break it into pieces.
As you can see, I’ve wrapped mine in cellophane and tied it with ribbon. You could also fill gift boxes or cookie tins.
Do you think my friends will be pleased to see me arrive with these on Christmas Day? I do! Oh wait… that was a rhetorical question :)
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ~ Julia Child
1. It’s snowing! I know most of the UK doesn’t find this a cause for celebration, but I’m excited! It’s my first taste of falling snow; ever. It’s just so pretty. (PS. Type “let it snow” into Google for a lovely surprise on your browser).
2. It’s Friday! That’s definitely a cause to celebrate. It’s our first (and only) weekend at home for December but we’ve still got plenty to keep us busy - including both mine and Si’s first live Premier League game in Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Dinner: Homemade Chickpea burgers. These are a great, extremely tasty, healthy alternative to a takeaway meal. If you’re especially counting the calories you could ditch the burger idea altogether and serve the patties with fresh salad and a dollop of low-fat sour cream. The recipe made plenty and we’ve saved the rest of the patties to serve with salad inside tortilla wraps for a quick weekend lunch. The only criticism I have is that the patties were quite crumbly so when I make it again I’ll experiment with some egg and/or flour to make it bind together a bit better. The recipe below makes 6-8 burgers, depending on the size of your patties.
For the patties:
410g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
410g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, trimmed, peeled and finely grated
1 small onion, peeled and finely grated
50g sunflower seeds
2 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper, to season
Oil, for frying
For the burgers:
Large burger baps/buns
2x fresh tomatoes
2x slices of cheddar cheese per burger
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is fairly coarse (if you don’t have a food processor just mash the kidney beans and chickpeas together in a large bowl before mixing in the remaining ingredients).
Flour your hands and shape the mixture into burger-sized patties.
Grill patties in a frying pan on a high heat, in plenty of oil, until both sides are crispy and browned and thoroughly heated through - a few minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn.
Meanwhile, halve the burger buns and cover the bottom halves in tomato relish and cheddar cheese. Lightly grill both sides in the oven. When the cheese has melted, top with the chickpea patties, sour cream, sliced tomato and iceberg lettuce.
Today was all about Christmas!
1. I started making some of my edible Christmas goodies today. I usually make decorated shortbread cookies and my Mum’s recipe for homemade truffles but I’m living on basic kitchen utensils whilst in the UK so decided to make something a little easier. Keep a look out for future blog posts with more info!
2. Simon’s Christmas do. Due to my work company being Singapore-based I don’t get an office Christmas party. So, I was especially looking forward to Si’s one at Somerset House in London. It was a great night with berry margaritas, lobster and a string quartet - even if I did get car sick on the taxi ride home (sigh, I wonder if I’ll ever grow out it). I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’d rather catch the tube!
As we had the Christmas party I didn’t make dinner tonight. But here’s a recipe anyway - Ina Garten’s Mustard Chicken Salad. I tried this recently after seeing it on Barefoot Contessa’s Barefoot Classics and both Si and I really enjoyed it. It has a fantastic mix of sweet, savoury and tangy flavours.