31 October 2011

Pie Principles


Crispy pastry, succulent filling, and lots of compliments from my dining companions. What more can you ask for? Especially, as this was my first attempt at using my latest kitchen gadget, the pie funnel. Now, don't despair if you don't have one, you can achieve the same result with a few well-placed cuts in the pastry top, to let steam escape.

30 September 2011

LIttle Party Pieces


Birthday cakes are VERY important to my children. Only, they never eat theirs. It's not that they don't like them, they're simply too excited on their big day to deal with a slice of cake. These, however, they will eat. Introducing the simplest mini muffins: 3 ingredients - 3 steps. Optional: decorating. Child's play, really. Less than 20 minutes from start to finish, you can even knock these up in the morning to take to school.

07 July 2011

A Different Lemon Cake


Browsing through Tamasin Day-Lewis' "Supper for a Song", I felt irresistably drawn to her recipe for a lemon drizzle cake with lemon curd filling. The lemon syrup used for drizzling is flavoured with bay leaves and honey, the curd brings to mind a perfect lemon tart, and the cake layers offer full-bodied flavour with almonds and whole grain spelt flour, yet are surprisingly light. Not to mention moist and sticky.... 

02 July 2011

Duck Breast & Cherries


Have you come across Harry Eastwood? Here latest cookery book, "The Skinny French Kitchen", Bantam Press 2011, is a real delight. Beautifully designed and full of deliciously tasty recipes. She aims to reduce the fat content of traditional French dishes without compromising the taste - and she achieves her mission! I'm won over by her tasty, well researched recipes, for instance her duck breast with cherry sauce. Easy, yummy, and lean - what more do you want?

02 June 2011

Luke Warm Pasta Salad


I've caught the Ottolenghi bug. Was there a life before his latest cookbook? I can scarcely remember. I've cooked my way through approximately a third of "Plenty", and I keep returning for more. For lunch, we had a small salad from our garden followed by this luke warm, sweet-and-sour pasta salad.

I used the recipe as a starting point but made a few changes. Ottolenghi's salad is intended as a cold starter, having marinated for several hours in the fridge. We simply couldn't wait, and it was delicious luke warm. I used a mixture of whole and ordinary wheat linguine instead of soba noodles, and roasted my aubergines as I don't wish to spend the summer looking like the Michelin man!

22 April 2011

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday: twelve buns for the twelve apostles (or Jesus and his apostles minus Judas, depending on whom you ask), decorated with the cross to symbolize the crucifixion. Folklore has it that buns baked on Good Friday will not spoil for an entire year but I see no reason to put this to the test. I'd much rather share and eat them, preferably straight from the oven, with a morsel of butter. And a nice, hot cup of tea.

16 April 2011

Mt. Vesuvius


My children love to hear about ancient Rome, the story of Romulus and Remus and the last days of Pompeii are amongst their favourites. So maybe it's not surprising that my daughter, when allowed to choose a project from a baking book, settled for an erupting volcano. Essentially, it's a marble cake turned red and baked in a bowl. The following recipe is adapted from Kreider-Stempfle and Frensemeier, "Das gro├če Buch vom Backen und Bauen", Gerstenberg 2008.