Friday, 29 June 2007
I was introduced to the Baker's Edge brownie pan by Jonathan and Sarah of http://www.aroundbritainwithapaunch.blogspot.com/ - fellow foodie fanatics! Jonathan is Kathy Brown's son and we met at our supper there a few weeks ago. Jonathan's girlfriend Sarah made fantastic brownies in the pan (see below picture) which had arrived that day from the States. They were heavenly!
The idea of the pan (and it works perfectly) is that there is a lovely crusty edge on each brownie you make - therefore avoiding the really gooey middle brownie that invariably appears when brownies are made in a rectangular pan. I have to say it is simply genius! It would also make fantastically shaped jellies or mousses or a snake or maze (a la Harry Potter) cake. It set my brain whirring and I can't wait for mine to arrive!
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Preparation time 30mins plus baking time and overnight chilling
4oz caster sugar
4oz butter or margarine
2 large eggs
3 ½ oz self raising flour
1 oz cocoa
2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder
200ml boiling water
150ml Amaretto liquor
500ml crème fraiche
500 grams mascarpone cheese
3tbsp sifted icing sugar
cocoa powder for dusting
200gram bar of Toblerone coarsely chopped
Begin by making the Toblerone cupcakes. If you are short of time you can substitute these with shop bought trifle sponges or amaretti biscuits. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle add a spoonful of the flour. Sift in the flour and cocoa and fold gently to incorporate. Place 12 cupcake cases in a bun tin and half fill each with the cake mixture. Place a chunk of Toblerone in the centre of each and then cover with a spoonful of the remaining cake batter. Bake in the oven, Gas mark 5/180oC/Aga roasting oven below a cold shelf for 12-15 minutes until the cupcakes are firm to touch and bounce back when pressed with a finger. Leave aside to cool.
Dissolve the instant coffee in a jug with the boiling water. Pour in the amaretto and leave to cool. Whilst the coffee mixture is cooling, stir together the mascarpone, crème fraiche and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl. Soak the cupcakes in the coffee mixture for about a minute until they have soaked up some of the coffee mixture but are not too wet. Place half the cakes on the bottom of a trifle dish, pressing them down with a spoon so that the cake covers the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle over half the chopped Toblerone and dust with cocoa. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over the cupcake layer, dust with another layer of sifted cocoa and then repeat the layers again, ending with a cocoa dusted layer on top of the mascarpone. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight which will enable the flavours to develop.
Monday, 25 June 2007
Friday, 22 June 2007
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Monday, 18 June 2007
We celebrated yesterday at Paris House in Woburn (picture below) with a lovely dinner attended by my Grandma, Aunts and Uncles and my cousin Charles who has just returned from working in Ghana. Paris House was built for an exhibition in London many years ago and was then transported to Woburn Abbey where it was used as a hunting lodge. There are hundreds of deer in the surrounding parkland and it is very idyllic.
My mum loves sunflowers and last year made a sunflower "room" on her allotment. So this was the the perfect theme for her cake! It was a lemon drizzle cake with cherries and buttercream, sugar sunflowers and mini champagne truffles from Hotel Chocolat.
Friday, 15 June 2007
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
This was to serve 20 so you might want to scale it down a bit! Utterly calorific and not one for the faint hearted!
500grams cream cheese
500ml extra thick double cream
2 vanilla pods
50grams caster sugar
4 packets of chocolate coated ginger biscuit, blitz into crumbs
150 grams butter, melted
100grams plain chocolate, melted
10 Ferrero Roche, cut in half
Begin by making the vanilla syrup - remove the seeds from the vanilla pod and put both the pods and seeds in a small saucepan with the sugar and a small amount of water. Simmer until the mixture becomes very syrup. Remove the vanilla pods and leave to cool (you can speed the cooling process up by putting the bottom of the saucepan in a sink of cold water). Stir the butter through the ginger biscuit crumbs and press firmly into 2 10inch ring tins to form the cheesecake base.
Mix together the marscarpone, cream cheese and thick double cream. Stir through the vanilla syrup. Pour 3/4 of the melted chocolate mixture and stir through gently - you are aiming for a swirled effect so not too much stirring is needed! Spoon this mixture on top of the biscuit base, drizzle over the remaining chocolate with a fork and decorate with the ferrero roche. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour - longer if you have it - we didn't!!!
Sadly the photographic evidence is in London as I left my camera behind but for a quick last minute pudding with no recipe - it looked pretty good!
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Monday, 11 June 2007
Friday, 8 June 2007
Last night I had a lovely girlie evening with my friend Jess - a nice thai curry, a trashy chic flick and finished off with some experimental violet desserts! I have to admit that the chocolate violet tart did not work - it was far too sickly - you live and learn! However, the chocolate violet fondue was just delicious! Really chocolaty followed by a strong hint of violet - yum yum! You definitely need fruit to dunk as cake or marshmallows would just be too much I think!
Chocolate violet fondue (to serve 4 - it is very rich and you don't need much!)
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
200ml double cream
60ml violet liquor
1 tbsp violet syrup
red cherries to dunk
Melt the chocolate, cream and violet syrup and liquor in a saucepan, heating gently. When the chocolate has melted, pour into ramekin dishes and serve with the cherries - it's as easy as that!