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Monday, 26 May 2008

Oranges and Lemons for SHF

Sugar High Friday logo

When I saw the theme of this month's Sugar High Friday was citrus, I was up for the challenge. But time skipped by, and things didn't go quite as I had planned.

Now, I could tell you that I had planned on turning the orange sponge into orange and lemon petits fours.

I could tell you about my daft decision to try and roll this cake (and filling) to make an orange/lemon roll.

I could tell you that my teenage son had the 'great idea' to cover his slice of cake in vanilla sugar and then set fire to it while trying to caramelize it with my blowtorch.

Instead, I'm just going to say that I ended up with an orange cake, brushed with a Cointreau syrup, which was then filled with Dorie Greenspan's extraordinary lemon cream, whipped double cream and topped off with an orange/blueberry sauce. All of which tasted really good, even if I did torture myself over it.

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I'm sending this over to Helen of Tartlette, who is the host of this month's Sugar High Friday.

Blueberry Sauce with Cointreau

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 fresh orange, zest and juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Cointreau

Grate or zest the rind of the orange and put into a small saucepan, along with the juice of the orange and the brown sugar.

Bring to a boil and add the blueberries. Turn the heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the berries are beginning to soften. Add the cornflour/water mixture, also the Cointreau, and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour into a small dish and leave to cool.

(Printable Recipe)

This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Waiter, there's something in my... malt loaf!

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How many times have you looked at a food blog and thought, I wish someone would make that for me. Or, why doesn't anything I make ever look like that?

While my husband is at work, he sometimes takes a sneaky peak at my blog. How do I know? Because he’ll come home and ask if anyone knows anything about a lemon cheesecake, or, what are macarons? - I've never seen any around here, where will I find one?

So, especially for him, I made a malt loaf - and I know he’s going to get it all, as he’s the only one who really likes it. Am I after something? That would be telling….

WTSIM logo

This is my entry for Waiter, There’s Something In My…. event, this month hosted by Andrew of Spittoon Extra. The theme is dried fruit and nuts.

Malt Loaf
Adapted from Gary Rhodes' New British Classics

This needs to be made at least 2-3 days in advance.

8 tablespoons malt extract
75ml/3fl oz hot strong tea
175g/6oz wholemeal self-raising flour
A good pinch ground mixed spice
75g/3oz raisins
75g/3oz sultanas
1 large egg

Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

Mix the malt extract together with the hot tea and leave to cool.

Put the flour, the mixed spice, raisins, sultanas, the egg and malty tea into a large mixing bowl. Mix well together before spooning into the lined loaf tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1¼-1½ hours. Test with a skewer or cake tester and, once it can be removed clean, the loaf is ready.

Leave to stand for ten minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

Once cold, wrap in baking parchment and keep for a minimum 2-3 days in an airtight container. It will then be ready to slice and serve with butter.

(Printable Recipe)

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This content belongs to Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Grilled Salmon With Raita for Taste & Create

Taste & Create logo

For this month's Taste & Create, I was paired with Shilpa from Passion + Love + Patience = Good Food. Shilpa is not one to write loads of waffle on her blog, she gets straight down to the nitty gritty of posting lovely, spicy, interesting recipes. I found it easy to choose something tasty and healthy, but after browsing her blog, I knew that she would probably have quite a hard time choosing something from my sugar laden pages.

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Grilled salmon with raita is a light, fresh tasting dish. The raita is healthy and delicious, bursting with spicy, crunchy flavours. I grilled the salmon with a little honey, olive oil, some chilli flakes, lemon juice and parsley. I followed the recipe exactly for the raita.

Thanks for the recipe Shilpa, and thanks to Nicole from For the Love of Food, for all the work she does in co-ordinating this fun event.

Here is the recipe for the raita:

Adapted from Passion + Love + Patience = Good Food

1 small pot natural yogurt
1/2 cucumber chopped into small pieces
1 small carrot grated
1 tomato chopped into small pieces
1 small green chilli, chopped finely

Mix all the ingredients for the raita in a bowl.

Serve with hot grilled salmon.


This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Chocolate Macarons with Caramel Cream

Macarons are popping up everywhere this month, as Minko from Couture Cupcakes is holding an event called Mad for Macarons in May.

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Now that I'm busy discovering the world of home-made ice cream, I seem to have plenty of egg whites left over. This is good news for macaron bakers!
For these chocolate ones, I used the same recipe that I used for my coffee ones - I just replaced the coffee powder with cocoa powder. While they didn't really taste that much of chocolate, they looked chocolatey.
The other minor change I made, was to sieve the ground almonds into the bowl with the icing sugar and cocoa powder. There was a tablespoon or so of ground almonds that were too large to go through the sieve, I ground these up finely and sieved again.

The filling was made from double cream, which had been whipped to firm peaks with a couple of tablespoons of dulce de leche, although any creamy firm caramel will do.

Chocolate Macarons with Caramel Cream
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

225 grams icing sugar
125 grams ground almonds
1 level tablespoon cocoa powder
110 grams egg whites (about 4), brought to room temperature
30 grams granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

1 small pot of double (heavy) cream
1-2 tablespoons dulce de leche

Sieve the ground almonds into a large bowl, any left in the sieve should be ground finely, if you have a grinder, and sieved again. This makes for a smoother macaron, but if you don't have a grinder, it doesn't really matter - it's just aesthetics. Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, then put to one side.

In a large clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they become foamy and stiff. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is stiff and shiny.

Gently fold in the almond mixture, using a large spoon or spatula, until incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and firm, but with a bit of 'flow' to it. Don't over-mix it or it will be too runny.

Fill a piping bag with a 1cm round tip and pipe the mixture onto Silpat or baking parchment. Tap the sheets gently to remove air bubbles and let dry at room temperature for about an hour or so before baking.

Bake in a preheated oven, 160º/325F for about 10-12 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to keep the door ajar slightly, and rotate the baking sheets after 5 minutes for more even baking.

Remove from the oven and leave to go cold. Peel off the Silpat or baking parchment.

Whip the cream to stiff peaks and gently fold in the dulce de leche to taste. Pipe or spoon onto half the macarons and top with the other half before serving.

Note: I didn't bother to keep the door ajar this time and they were fine.

(Printable Recipe)

Chocolate Macarons with Caramel Cream 3404 R

This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

2 Awards to pass on

I was thrilled to get a couple of awards from fellow food bloggers.
Firstly, Farida from Farida’s Azerbaijani Cookbook, gave me a 'You Make My Day' award - thank you so much, it did make my day.

You make  my day award logo

I'm passing it on to:
Rosie Bakes a 'Peace' of Cake
Technicolor Kitchen
Kitchen Delights
A Year From Oak Cottage
Tulip's Kitchen

Second was an 'Arte Y Pico' award, which is for creativity, design, interesting material and contribution to the blogging community. This came from Alfie, at Cabbage Roses and Cupcakes, and from Pixie at You Say Tomahto, I Say Tomayto. Thank you both, it was a lovely surprise.

My award winners are:
Cook sister
And then I do the dishes
Use Real Butter
Food Stories
Nina's Kitchen

Arte Y Pico logo


This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Lemon Cheesecake for Beautiful Bones

While perusing the latest posts from the UK Food Blogs, I came across a blog called What's the recipe today Jim? It's written by Rosie and she shares some fabulous recipes. One of these recipes is a lemon cheesecake, which is going to be on the menu for a wedding buffet that she is organising in August.

I made half the amount of the recipe and got 6 individual cheesecakes from the mixture, using small rings and tartlet tins. I also made my own lemon curd for use in the filling, but didn't put it on top. Instead I added fresh raspberries and served it with some raspberry sauce. The cheesecakes were lovely and creamy, with a nice lemon flavour. Thanks for sharing your recipe Rosie!

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This is my entry into an event called Beautiful Bones, being held by Susan at Food Blogga. Beautiful Bones is helping to highlight the potential risk of osteoporosis, and to encourage women to take steps to protect their bones at every age. You have the whole of May to participate in this important event.

Beautiful bones logo

Lemon Cheesecake

Adapted from What's the recipe today Jim?
Serves 10

250g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted

600g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon curd taken from a 411g jar, the rest is used for the topping
juice of 2 lemons
284ml pot double cream
grated zest of 2 lemons

Line a 23cm loose bottomed tin (or individual tins) with baking parchment.

Using a rolling pin, crush the biscuits in a large plastic bag until you have fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with the melted butter. Spoon into the prepared tin and press down evenly. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon curd and the lemon juice until smooth. I used an electric hand held whisk to do this. Add the cream and continue beating until all the ingredients are combined and thickened. Stir in the lemon zest.

Spoon the mixture onto the biscuit base and smooth evenly with a knife.
Rosie's recipe says to spread the remaining lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and put in the fridge to set overnight. The cheesecake can be frozen if wanted.

Note: I made half the amount of the above recipe and got 6 individual cheesecakes. I omitted the lemon curd topping and served with fresh raspberries and some raspberry sauce.

(Printable Recipe)

Lemon Cheesecake 3226

This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.