Thursday, 31 May 2007
I have to confess that I have developed a bit of a violet obsession - it all came about when my friend Jess and I were discussing different fillings for profiteroles after the white chocolate and lavender profiteroles and she wondered whether we could make rose and violet profiteroles like the chocolates - I know that rose and violet creams are a "love them or hate them" kind of thing but we are definitely in the love camp. I also had violet tea recently and it was just delicious. So I set about on the Internet and have now amassed quite a collection of culinary violet - violet syrup and jam from France, violet liquor from a company in Scotland and a giant bag of crystallised violets! In the process I also managed to find rose and gingerbread liquor too....can't wait to have time at the weekend to experiment. If anyone knows where you can buy violet tea I would love to know as I have failed to find any so far on my quest!
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
As requested, here is the recipe for tomato water from the Masterchef quarterfinals!
Serves 4 (very small portions - this is not a dish to serve to the very hungry!)
16 large and very ripe and juicy souping tomatoes
1 tbsp Caster sugar
Salt and pepper to season
1 glass white wine
Roughly chop the tomatoes and put with all juices in a pan with the sugar, lots of salt and pepper (as the seasoning will not be as strong when chilled) and the white wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Strain through muslin as many times as you can bear - I did about three strainings on the programme or ideally leave the mixture to drip through slowly overnight as this will give it a clearer colour. Pour into shot glasses and chill in the fridge.
This is yummy served with crackling straws (sadly mine burnt on Masterchef so I didn't serve them - clearly the oven's fault, not mine!) Remove all fat from a piece of pig skin (approx 30cm x 10cm - ask your butcher nicely, mine usually has some!). Cut into long thin strips with scissors. Lightly oil baking trays with some olive oil. Line up strips of fat on one of the trays and sprinkle over rock salt. Place the other tray on top and weigh down (a heavy casserole dish is ideal) so that the crackling bakes straight. Bake in a hot oven for approx 18 minutes until the crackling is golden brown. Serve a crackling straw in each glass.
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
Friday, 25 May 2007
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
OK, I know this picture has nothing to do with ginger but I like it so much that I didn't want to not post it. It was taken on a walk through the meadows in Cambridge last week.
Zabaglione is yummy and very quick to make. We used to eat it at an Italian restaurant when I worked in Canary Wharf as it was Sarra's (my old work colleague) favourite pudding.
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup ginger wine
Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size bowl and whisk. Add the ginger wine and transfer to double boiler and whisk until frothy and doubled in size. Serve immediately
Monday, 21 May 2007
A huge thank you to Penny, George, Gill, Tom and Pauline at Fitzbillies for such a wonderful time at their bakery. I learnt so much and am completely inspired to bake even more. The bakery was so homely, the air smelt of sugar and spices and I was so impressed that the original recipes are followed - such tradition is a rare find in these days of modern convenience. For me, it was the perfect way to spend a weekend and I can't wait to go back again soon.
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Joy of joys...I am off to Cambridge today to work at Fitzbillies bakery www.fitzbillies.co.uk for a few days and really can't wait. For those of you who don't know Fitzbillies - they make the best ever chelsea bun - see the photo (should I mention that they do mail order to any where in the world......best not!) I am really looking forward to learning from Gill and Penny and from Tom (their nearly 80 year old confectioner) and am sure that I will come back with lots of new baking skills. I know the days will be long but the thought of spending whole days baking is just heavenly and I am sooooooo excited!
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Monday, 14 May 2007
I have some exciting news - I have joined the writing team of Country Kitchen magazine (my favourite cookery magazine)! This month's edition has three of my pudding recipes (Toblerone tiramisu, peach and pistachio souffle and ginger treacle tart with stem ginger and clotted cream ice cream). My next article is on decorating cakes - very me - with quince recipes and damson recipes to follow soon!
Friday, 11 May 2007
Rain, Rain go away, come again another day or so the nursery rhyme goes...and that's exactly how I feel today. Clearly summer hasn't arrived (as I had convinced myself it had) as it has rained here for three days solid. I know the garden needs it but the lane to our house is now flooded and there is no alternative but to wear wellington boots to work - not an ideal start to the day!
In this sort of weather there is nothing for it but to eat comfort food and for me that is waffles and maple syrup (with bacon if you are feeling in need of an extra lift).
Vanilla waffles with maple syrup
8oz self raising flour
3 level tbsp caster sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have it)
3 eggs separated
100grams butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence (or if you are feeling very indulgent, seeds from a vanilla pod)
Lots and lots of maple syrup and whipped cream!
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, milk, egg yolks, vanilla and melted butter and whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peak and then gently fold into the batter mixture. Cook on a waffle iron brushed with a little melted butter (or a frying pan for American style pancakes if you don't have a waffle iron) until golden brown and serve with maple syrup and whipped cream....or ice cream, bacon, chocolate sauce, clotted cream and strawberries - I know I don't need to tell you that the possibilities are endless! See, I feel better already just thinking about it!
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Monday, 7 May 2007
Friday, 4 May 2007
Thursday, 3 May 2007
I have been tagged by Julia of www.asliceofcherrypie.blogspot.com for this meme so here you go:
1. I was President of the Winnie the Pooh Society at University and am a fine pooh stick player
2. I am allergic to white wine which is rather tragic
3. Reeses peanut butter cups are my all time favourite chocolate
4. I drive a blue and white nissan figaro (see photo)
5. I belong to our village sewing circle ("Stitch and Bitch") and sew a lot when I have time!
I tag my fellow Masterchefers: