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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Red, White & Blue - Summer Berry Pavlova

Berry Pavlova large 9118 R

We are out of the World Cup *sniff* but still have Andy Murray in the tournament at Wimbledon. I went last week and saw Rafael Nadal playing Kei Nishikori on centre court. The tennis wasn't the best, but the atmosphere, excitement and sunshine made up for it!

Vindee's vanilla pods 6465 R
Vanilla pods

I made a red, white and blue summer pavlova at the weekend, full of berries from the farmers' market, which are at their best right now and perfect for the heatwave. I flavoured the cream with vanilla seeds, which were scraped from beautiful fat pods, given to me by Deeba from Passionate About Baking when she came to London last November.

berry pavlova large 9137 R

Summer Berry Pavlova

Adapted from The Best of Sainsbury's Desserts

Makes one large or 6 mini pavlovas

4 large egg whites
250g/8oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
300ml/10fl oz double cream
Summer fruits of your choice - sliced if wanted

Using a clean, large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking until the meringue is very stiff.

Whisk in the cornflour, vinegar and the vanilla extract.

To make a large pavlova, pile the meringue onto a baking sheet that has been lined with non-stick baking parchment and spread into 23cm/9" round. Hollow out the centre slightly with a spoon.
For mini pavlovas, pile or pipe 6 small circles of meringue onto a lined baking sheet, making a dent in the middle of them.

Bake the meringue in a pre-heated oven 15oºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2, for about 1½ hours. Cool, remove the baking parchment and place onto a serving dish.

Whip the cream and fold in some of the fruit before spooning onto the meringue base. Decorate with the remaining fruit.

Printable Recipe

Rafael Nadal 7025 R
Rafael Nadal serving to win the match

royal box Wimbledon 9104 R
Being nosey - a quiet royal box, last year's was far more interesting as we went on 'Sporting Saturday'

flower baskets at Wimbledon 9091 R
Even the flowers are colour co-ordinated

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Recipes Using Bourbon!

Four Roses Bourbon 8905 R
Did you know, that when baking, if a recipe calls for vanilla extract you can substitute it with Bourbon for the same flavour!

If you like bourbon, I've got some recipes to share using a bottle of Four Roses single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, which was sent to me recently. Four Roses Bourbon are launching their Yellow Label, Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbons in the UK this summer. It's the only bourbon distillery in the world to combine 5 yeast strains with 2 separate mash bills to produce their 10 distinct bourbon recipes, each with a unique character, spiciness and rich fruit flavour.

Kentucky cream cocktail 9055 R sq
Kentucky Cream cocktail

I was really pleased to try this bourbon, as I like using different alcohols in my cooking, and my husband has a collection of whiskies and cognacs which I'm not allowed to touch! He was obviously very happy for me to be sent the bourbon and said it was probably the best thing I had ever received from blogging, ha!!

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Bourbon Mars bars dessert 8990 R

Four Roses Chocolate Toffee Dessert
The amounts make roughly 4 servings, depending on the size of your cake rings, mine were 70mm in diameter.
If you don't have cake rings, you can use ramekins or wine glasses. Break up the cake, sprinkle with bourbon and spoon it into the bottom of the ramekins or wine glasses. Pour on the bourbon/Mars cream and top with freshly whipped cream, see photo at end of recipe.

4 teaspoons Four Roses Bourbon to brush onto the cakes
Chocolate cake for the base (I made a Devil's Food cake from Zoe Bakes)
284ml pot of double cream
200g Mars bars, chopped
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Four Roses Bourbon
Whipping cream to decorate
Cocoa powder to dust

4 individual cake rings, about 70mm in diameter

Push the cake ring into the cake and cut out 4 circles, placing them into the bottom of the rings, which are then placed onto a small baking tray lined with baking parchment.
Brush or pour a teaspoon of the Four Roses Bourbon onto each of the cake circles.

To make the creamy filling, put the cream, chopped Mars bars and butter into a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring until the Mars pieces have melted. Remove from the heat and add the Four Roses Bourbon. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely, then using an electric hand whisk, whisk until pale and thickened. Pour this mixture evenly onto the cake bases and put into the fridge overnight.

To serve, place the desserts onto serving dishes and gently push them out of the rings, you may need to warm the rings up with your hands or waft very briefly with a cooks blowtorch to get them to come out. Whisk the whipping cream until firm and pipe or spoon onto the top of the desserts, dust with cocoa powder.

Mars bars chopped 8970 R Bourbon Mars dessert in glass 8993 R
You don't need cake rings, just make it in little glasses!

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Bourbon pecan sticky toffy pudding 9032 R

Sticky Toffee Puddings with Bourbon Pecan Sauce

Adapted from a Delia Smith recipe, I made half of her original recipe and added a tablespoon of Four Roses Bourbon to the dates, adjusting the amount of boiling water.

For the puddings:
3 oz stoned dates, finely chopped
3 fl oz - minus 1 tablespoon - boiling water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ oz butter, softened
2½ oz caster sugar
1 large egg
3 oz self-raising flour
1 tablespoon Four Roses Bourbon

For the sauce:
1 oz chopped pecans
3 oz soft brown sugar
2 oz butter
3 tablespoon double cream
1 tablespoon Four Roses Bourbon

Start by putting the chopped dates into a small bowl and pour over the boiling water (minus 1 tablespoon). Add the vanilla extract and the bicarbonate of soda and put to one side.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, using an electric hand whisk, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the 1 tablespoon of Four Roses Bourbon.
Carefully fold in the flour with a metal spoon, followed by the date mixture - including the liquid. Don't worry if the mixture looks a little runny at this stage.

Divide the mixture equally between 3-4 pudding basins or ramekins - the amount will depend on the size of your containers. Place them onto a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25-30 minutes.

While the puddings are in the oven, make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and then heat gently until the sugar has melted and dissolved.

When the puddings are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Using a cloth to protect your hands from burning, slide a small knife around each pudding and turn it out. If they have risen a little too much, you can slice a little off the tops of the pudding so they sit evenly on the serving plates.

When you are ready to serve the puddings, pre-heat the grill and pour the sauce evenly over the puddings, pushing any large nuts off the top to prevent them from burning. Let the puddings heat through for about 8 minutes, the tops will become brown and lightly crunchy an the sauce will be hot and bubbling.
Serve with fresh pouring cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if wanted.

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Kentucky cream cocktail 9061 R

Kentucky Cream Cocktail
Adapted from here, by Wayne Collins, BBC recipes
Delicious, but very strong, so please drink responsibly!

1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
35ml Four Roses Bourbon
2 teaspoons amaretto
2 teaspoons crème de cacao
1 tbsp finely chopped almonds
1 teaspoon grated chocolate for garnish

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz until well mixed. Pour into a glass and garnish with grated chocolate.

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If you were wondering how the name Four Roses came about, according to the Four Roses website, it began when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, became smitten by the beauty of a Southern belle. It is said that he sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were "Yes," she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited for her answer excitedly on that night of the grand ball… when she arrived in her beautiful gown, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his Bourbon "Four Roses" as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle, a passion he thereafter transferred to making his beloved Four Roses Bourbon!
You can buy Four Roses Bourbon online here.

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Thanks & Congrats!

Cherrapeno mug heart  9007 R 3
I my new mug

Food blogging can have many rewards - wonderful comments from readers, speciality food items to try, or even a trip to see product production.
One of the most thoughtful (& delightful) things I received recently was my own special Cherrapeño mug, printed with my banner. I LOVE IT!!

Miele Which cupcakes 8936 R
Special cupcakes

The mug was courtesy of Forever Better - thank you - and was accompanied by some lovely cupcakes, there was even one with Cherrapeño banner icing, unfortunately it had got so squashed in the post I was unable to take a photo. It was all part of celebrating Miele's recent award from Which? where they won the Best Domestic Appliance Brand Award for the 3rd time in 4 years!

Miele Which Awards 6997 R

I attended the champagne celebrations at the Miele showroom in London, with camera but minus battery which was still sitting at home on charge :( fortunately I did have a little back-up camera so you can see the award they received. It was a super evening and my first time at the London showroom, which is rather grand and in a great location, just off Regent Street.

Miele London showroom 6990 R
Inside the showroom

Miele are sponsoring the MasterChef Experience at this year's BBC Summer Good Food Show in Birmingham, 16-20th June 2010, where you can take part in the famous invention test and create a dish in front of a live audience, with the best dishes being tasted by John Torode and Gregg Wallace themselves!
Don't forget to pop by the Miele stand and say hello.

MasterChef Experience Sponsored by

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.