Gastronomically Terrific

August 29, 2010

Blueberry and lemon drizzle cake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:39 pm

I can’t recommend this cake strongly enough.  It is enough to turn even the most staunch chocolate lover.

The wicked witch would get a lot more takers if she was peddling this stuff. But she would no longer be wicked, she would be loved as the queen of all things beautiful.

I guess there isn’t anything too special about the ingredients of this.  Its simple, right?  A nice fluffy sponge, a lot of blueberries, and some lemon drizzle.  What is there to say?

More.

That is all you can say when you’ve had a bite of this traybake.   Somehow, it just works amazingly well together.

It helps that golden caster sugar is used instead of white.  It helps that the lemon flavouring is very, very intense.  It really helps that the drizzle is golden lemon flavoured.  It helps that the blueberries don’t all sink because a portion are dropped on top rather than mixed in (a great tip, by the way).  It helps that I gobbled nearly all of it on the day it was baked, although to be fair that was a compulsion rather than a strategy.

I just really like this cake.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, June 19th.

Roasted vegetables and pasta

Filed under: main — Tags: , , — thinkingdan @ 10:26 pm

The second course for our three course meal was “macaroni with roasted vegetables”.  I’m enough of a cook to know that you can replace macaroni with pasta, and not so greedy to want lots of pasta.  Hence my rearranged title, which I confess to having some reservations about when we started.  Far too often I’m offered pasta as a main in restaurants and it turns out to be exactly that, some pasta.  I’m pleased to say that this recipe did not disappoint.

Another small parsley forest felled for our enjoyment.

Basically, all there is to this is:

  1. Roast some vegetables in garlic and olive oil at a high temperature for about an hour.
  2. Boil some pasta.
  3. Throw the lot together with some passata and black olives, heat through and serve.

This is incredibly simple but does bring the best out of the natural flavours in the vegetables, and provides a well rounded meal.  I normally find that passata needs a lot of cooking to give an intense flavour, but here we roasted some tomatoes so they did the trick nicely, in fact complementing the vegetable flavours without overwhelming it.  The pasta provides a simple base, and I’d probably be happier with roasted potatoes, but this is one of the best ways to eat pasta and I will be repeating the experience!

Who made it: Dan and Anna jointly.

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, September 5th.

Mushroom and Sherry Soup

Filed under: starter — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:12 pm

This soup provided our starter for our monthly three course meal.

A small parsley forest was filled for this meal.

This soup promises an awful lot.  Butter fried onion, garlic provide the base, whilst a whole medley of different mushrooms (ceps, porcini and chestnut) are reduced into a stock, padded out with vegetable stock.  Then it is flavoured with sherry and parsley, a little milk and some soured cream.  All the mushroom flavouring should come out into the sauce and there are a lot of whole pieces for texture.  With all that intense flavouring in there, it came as a surprise that the end result was somewhat bland.  Not dull per se, just not as perky as we’d hoped.

We had a second portion the for lunch the following day and blended it – for me, this was better, because the mushroom flavour was more intense and I’m not too fond of mushroom texture in large doses anyway.  The soured cream really helped, and I think a good dose more of that and something flavoursome (more sherry?  Or perhaps a complimentary herb or spice?) would benefit it a lot.  This was not bad, and we may try it again, but with modifications.

Who made it: A joint effort by Anna and Dan.

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, for “September 30th”.

Truffles, Mark 2

Filed under: Sweets — Tags: , , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:52 pm

I claimed I would never make truffles as a present.  I lied.

Trufflicious, and beautiful. Score 1 for science.

These are the same recipe as the previous truffles, with only one difference: I used a chocolate mould.  (Actually an ice-cube mould, but who is to know?)  Instead of fighting the cooling of the mixture, simply pour some chocolate into a mould, smooth it around the edges, then leave to set.  Then pour in some truffle mixture and leave again.  Finally add a chocolate layer to seal the truffle inside.  The end result tastes the same as hand-crafted variety, but is infinitely easier to present well!

I also tried some variation here.  Notice that there are white and milk chocolate truffles.  Much to my dismay, the white chocolate ones were a little too sweet since the truffle mixture is also filled with condensed milk.  They weren’t bad, but not as good as the milk variety.  However, more successful was cherry brandy flavouring – a dash or two in the truffle mixture lead to a divine melting on the pallete, and Tia Maria worked as well.

Tasty yummy goodness, and I’m not even sad that I left it ages to blog about it – we had mixture left over and this evening another dozen truffles have mysteriously appeared.  I’m off now to eat them…

Who made it: Dan

Recipe: See my previous post.

Cakes Galore!

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:40 pm

These cakes were made by Anna for our anniversary.

See the cakes through my eyes!

This was so long ago that I’ve forgotten what went into them.  But I have not forgotten how delicious this smorgasboard of yumminess was.  The caramel slices were chocolately gooey heaven; the strawberry cream shortbread was luxurious; the raspberry caterpillar cakes were fresh and counted as a healthy snack.  Barely visible are chocolate cupcakes (they are chocolate cases filled with some manner of yumminess) and several other types of cupcake.  Awesome!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe:  a range of places…

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