Gastronomically Terrific

February 1, 2016

Tiramisu layer cake

Filed under: Cake, party, pudding, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 2:34 pm

To end my dinner party, I decided to make tiramisu for dessert. I’ve made tiramisu before a number of times, but I had never tried the one in Nigella’s Christmas cookbook. The majority of recipes from this book seem to come out well, and I knew that the likelihood of it being fairly alcoholic was relatively high.

Thankfully, nothing disappointed. The recipe was simple, there was plenty of alcohol, and it made for a great dessert.

I had bought a loaf cake to make this tiramisu with, but I was a little worried it was more coffee than chocolate flavoured, and I knew that without chocolate cake the coffee flavour was likely to be overwhelming. Luckily, earlier that week I had ended up making chocolate sponge traybake with my son, having failed to make sure I had the right ingredients to make apple crumble in the house (or rather, having had the ingredients but then somebody eating all the apples). So I used that in place of the shop-bought loaf I had.

Now, Nigella’s recipe states quite clearly that homemade sponge cake doesn’t tend to soak up the alcohol as well as shop-bought loaf cake. Not so my cake, which soaked up a lot of Kahlua… I had to use three times as much as suggested (I’m not sure what this says about my baking, but it meant extra booze, so I guess it’s a good thing). I was also using Kahlua rather than the suggested Tia Maria; simply because that’s what we had in the house. It seemed to work fine!

Making tiramisu is actually pretty easy – it’s mostly about creating layers. Other than beating together eggs, caster sugar, mascarpone, double cream and the Kahlua, all you need to do is layer up the cake.

Firstly, you soak the sponge in Kahlua. Then you add this to the bottom of a tin before adding a layer of the cream mixture. You basically keep going with soaked sponge and cream layers until you’re done, ensuring you end with a cream layer. It’s a good idea to use a spring-form tin because when you’re done the cream hasn’t set yet – it needs to go in the fridge for at least 12 hours for this to happen. Having a spring-form tin means the cream stays in one place – but once it has set, you can remove the sides and it looks pretty good around the edges. And tastes, hopefully, lovely and boozy!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 93-94

 

January 31, 2016

Baked salmon with parmesan crust

Baked salmonsOn to the main for my dinner party. This was even easier than the starter, but looked (and tasted) pretty good.

I seasoned four salmon fillets (one each) and put them on a roasting tin. I then made a white wine and mushroom sauce (by cooking the mushrooms in the wine, removing the mushrooms, boiling wine and cream together, then returning the mushrooms to the pan), and added a small amount of the sauce to the top of each salmon fillet.

Finally, I made a breadcrumb topping with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon and paprika. I sprinkled this topping over the salmon fillets, then baked them in the oven for 15 minutes.

I served the fillets with extra sauce over the top (saved and reheated from earlier), buttered and minted potatoes, and some rocket on the side. Whilst I wanted a decent meal, I didn’t want to stuff everybody before they had tried my tiramisu!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 76

Stilton and leek tarts

Filed under: starter, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 2:13 pm

And so, on to the three courses I made for my dinner party in mid January… I had to pick vegetarian or fish courses, and make sure everybody coming liked what was on offer! So, for starters I chose this stilton and leek tarts.

The hardest part of this starter was making the cheese pastry. Not that this was especially hard, as long as you are used to making pastry! It took me 20 minutes or so rub all the ingredients together, roll out the pastry and cut out circles to line a yorkshire pudding tin.

The topping for the tarts is fried leek, topped with grated cheese and chopped parsley. An egg, cream and nutmeg mixture is then poured into each tart before being baked for 20 minutes. When I first poured in the wet mixture it spilled out the side of each tart a little (I had to cut the pastry rounds slightly smaller than recommended as I didn’t have a big enough cutter), and I was worried that the mixture would spill out over the sides once baked and look awful. It turns out I needn’t have worried – the whole thing rose (upwards, rather than outwards) in the oven, and they looked pretty impressive once baked. They tasted pretty good too!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 39-40

June 8, 2015

Tiramisu

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:14 pm
Tiramisu

… nearly all gone.

I’ve made this before, a number of times, but not for a while now. I love tiramisu, and this is a really easy, cheat-type version – so I decided it was time to make it again.

To make it, you put together a coffee and marsala mixture, then tip some sponge fingers into this. This makes up the sponge layers of the tiramisu. You then beat together cream and icing sugar, and fold in some mascarpone cream and marsala. This is spread over the layers of sponge fingers, ensuring you end with a layer of the cream mixture. Finally, sprinkle some chocolate over the top and leave in the fridge for all the marsala to soak up into the pudding.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Cheesecakes pavlovas & trifles, Australian Women’s Weekly, pg. 51

May 12, 2015

Chocolate mallow cake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:22 am

Chocolate mousse cakeThis is an incredibly simple recipe that I found on The Teal Ribbon Girl’s blog (which they, in turn, found in a Sainsbury’s magazine). I wasn’t planning on doing any baking, but the recipe appealed to me not just because it was simple to make, but also because it used eggs, cream and chocolate, and little else. We just happened to have tons of eggs and cream to use up.

To make the cake, you beat together caster sugar and the yolks of five eggs. You then add dark cooking chocolate and whisk in hot water. You then need to fold in the five egg whites, which have to be whisked into soft peaks first. This cake mixture is then divided between two tins and baked for 20 minutes. Once the cake has been cooled in the fridge, you need to add the whipped cream and sandwich the two layers together. You can then dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.

Initially I wasn’t very impressed with the final result. I thought it looked a bit rubbish. This was entirely my own fault-I rushed baking the cake ad came very close to totally messing it up. Thankfully, once we had cut into and eaten the cake, it didn’t seem so bad after all. It looked a lot better on the inside and tasted pretty good too!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: From The Teal Ribbon Girl’s blog (originally from a Sainsbury’s magazine)

December 27, 2014

Parisienne potatoes

Filed under: Christmas, main, meat, salad, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 4:58 pm
These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

I decided to make these for our Christmas Eve tea (along with the aromatic Christmas ham and a salad), knowing that they would be a fairly simple dish to put together before the work of the Christmas Day roast).

I peeled and sliced the potatoes and onions Christmas Eve morning, so that all I needed to do when my family arrived was boil the potatoes, pop them in a roasting tin with cream and grated cheese and then cook them in the oven for 15 minutes. This worked well with reheating the Christmas ham, which needed about 5 minutes in the oven before the whole meal was ready.

The whole meal worked well, and was nice and easy to prepare. It was a great choice for an easy Christmas Eve meal, and the only thing left over was a bit of ham – which was great for a late, easy tea on Christmas Day evening.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 140-141

November 28, 2014

Grasshopper pie

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, Sweets, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 7:45 pm

Another Halloween treat, I wanted to make this for an event so that Dan and I wouldn’t be the only ones eating it. This was because a significant element of this pie is marshmallow, which Dan won’t eat as a pretty strict vegetarian. As it turned out, I ended up using vegetarian marshmallows anyway (which really don’t taste all that different), so Dan did get to try it. I have no idea why, but at the end of October normal marshmallows (and more specifically plain white ones, which is what I was after) disappeared from the shelves everywhere. We hunted in a number of shops before giving in and using a health food shop to buy the veggie version.

Anyway, onto the pie – which, by the way, tasted amazing! I will definitely be making this again. You begin by making a chocolate biscuit base (just like a cheesecake base). You then melt down your marshmallows, add a little green food colouring and some peppermint essence, and top the base with this. Chill this in the fridge before whipping cream and adding this to the top of the pie. Finally, because this was Halloween I endeavoured to make some chocolate bats by melting some dark chocolate, then cutting out bat shapes. They didn’t look great, but definitely added to the lovely minty taste of the pie. The pie went down really well with everybody who had some.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, pg. 45

August 13, 2014

Chocolate Christmas Log

Filed under: Cake, Christmas, Sweets — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 5:51 pm

Christmas chocolate logDon’t be fooled by the name, this chocolate log is good any time of the year. Although it does also work well at Christmas. This was the only proper ‘cake’ I made for the weekend my family was here, although I did do plenty of baking (see the gleaming maple cheesecake, savoury potato and cheese scones and scones of splendour).

I’ve made this before (or versions of it), with varying degrees of success. But when it works well, it works really, really well. And this time round, it worked well. The actual log isn’t chocolate, it’s vanilla with a cream, creme fraiche and morello cherry conserve filling. The topping, however, is a dark chocolate and double cream topping which is then covered with chopped-up Flakes. Finally, icing sugar is sifted over the top to give a snow-like effect.

It all tastes absolutely wonderful, and horribly unhealthy. But when things taste this good, I’m happy to die.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: My own, but it’s a combination of the Buche de Noel recipe from Simply Cadbury’s Chocolate, pg. 116, the Black Forest Chocolate Roulade from an old (Winter 2009) Co-Op magazine, pg. 34  and The Legend of the Poinsettia from Baking, Making and Sharing, pg. 66

February 28, 2011

Cheesecake of the heavens

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 7:27 pm

Otherwise known as “Caramel crunch Cheesecake”, this is heavenly in two ways:

  1. It tastes like it was made by angels singing hymns to chocolate in the temple of cheese.
  2. It will speed your ascent to the next world, to join the ranks of the chorus.

 

A little slice of heaven brings you little closer to it.

 

As discussed here, this cheesecake poses that age-old question, “cake and death?”  to which there is only one answer: “yes please!”.  You will note that the slice above is very, very small, as it leaves you very, very full and very, very happy. Despite this I still had to have another piece… oops.

There isn’t much to say except for the usual disclaimer:

Dan helped with the “cleaning the bowls” (no actual washing up was necessary, strangely…)

Who made it: Anna.

Recipe: Cheesecakes, Pavlovas & Trifles, by the Australian Women’s Weekly (!), page 8.

February 27, 2011

Creamy carrot and parsnip soup with orange

Filed under: starter — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:30 pm

Parsnip soup is always a good thing, but I really liked the creaminess and orange twang from this recipe.

 

Mmmm, oranges with cream.

 

There are two surprising flavours in here – orange, and ginger.  The soup is otherwise a fairly standard affair – stock and cream and vegetables all blended together – but it does taste quite distinctive and in a good way.  We would have this again.

Method (serves 2)

Melt a knob of butter and fry half a chopped onion with a clove of garlic until lightly browned.  Add 200g chopped carrots and 1 large parsnip and saute until softened.  Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1-2 tsp on freshly grated orange rind, and 300ml of vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.  Blend in a food processor until smooth, then return to the saucepan, reheat and mix in 60ml of double cream.

Serve with a drizzle of cream, and a sprig of coriander.  (OK, that is parsley in the picture… the supermarket was all out…)

Who made it: A joint effort.

Recipe: The Daily Cookbook by Love Food, February 22nd.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.