Gastronomically Terrific

January 28, 2016

Butterscotch Marshmallow Bars

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, Sweets — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 1:39 pm

I don’t have a photo of this bake. Trust me, you don’t mind. It looked rubbish. I had seen this in one of my cookbooks and thought it looked really tempting.  It also helpfully used up the left-over double cream I had lying around in the fridge.

These bars start with you making a dough to put on the bottom of a baking tray, before making a butterscotch sauce which you pour over the dough and marshmallows, and them leave the whole thing to set in the fridge.

Somehow, I managed to mess up every stage of this recipe. It didn’t feel right to have a dough on the base anyway, and I really messed up making the butterscotch sauce (I know I over-boiled it). I know the final result was bad, because nobody was willing to eat it – not even my dad. And he eats anything. Whilst the awful end result was partly my fault, I have a suspicion it was also partly the recipes fault – this isn’t something I’m inspired to try again!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days Recipes to Make Every Day Special, by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers, pg. 182-3


February 18, 2015

Strawberries and cream cheesecake

Filed under: Cake, pudding, Valentines Day — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:03 pm

Strawberries and cream cheesecake slice CUI haven’t done a lot of baking recently, but Valentines Day is generally an excuse for tasty cake in our house – and baked cheesecake is hubby’s favourite, so that’s what I made. Buying the ingredients and preparing the cake was, by necessity, all last minute – with a new baby due to arrive any day I didn’t want a bunch of ingredients sitting around in the fridge not being used because I was otherwise occupied. Luckily for hubby, baby did not make an appearance on Friday 13th.

This is a fairly easy cheesecake to make, although there are a few stages to it. For starters, you do the standard ‘melt butter/ bash up biscuits/ mix together and put in the fridge to set’.

Stage 2 is making the actual cheesecake mixture. Again, fairly simple – just mix together 600g cream cheese, an egg and 100g caster sugar. What you do need to do is add a boiled strawberry mixture to this. The strawberry mixture contains (funnily enough) 200g strawberries, 80g caster sugar and 30ml water. (Having said that, this nearly ended up being a cherry mixture because the first shop I went to had no strawberries. It probably would have worked, but I’m glad I found strawberries in the next shop because I don’t like messing up gift bakes)!  You boil all this together and then wait for the strawberries to go soft and the liquid to reduce by half. Once the strawberry mix is cool, add it to the cream cheese mixture. Then pour the whole shebang on top of the biscuit base and bake in the oven for about 30 mins on 160C.

Third stage: once the cheesecake is cool and has been in the fridge for a couple of hours, whip together 100g of mascarpone cheese and 20g of icing sugar. Then add in 100ml of whipped double cream, and cover the whole cheesecake with this topping. Pop it back in the fridge to set overnight.

Finally, decorate the cheesecake with strawberries (and, if you’re me and bought them in anticipation of having no strawberries, cherries as well). I was planning on writing out ‘LOVE’ in the middle of the cake because it was Valentines Day, but that didn’t really fit – so I went with a ring of chopped strawberries around the edge and the outline of a heart done with cherries in the middle. Although you could just chop and throw I guess! The end result wasn’t bad – it looks OK and between the two of us we’ve managed to eat almost the entire thing (it fitted in a 9 inch based tin) in about 4 days…

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, Tarek Malouf, pg. 120-121

December 22, 2014

Christmas chocolate log

Filed under: Cake, Christmas — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:15 pm

Christmas chocolate log wholeThis is the first of two chocolate logs I made for the Christmas period – this one for my parents-in-law, who were visiting a week or so before Christmas Day. I’ve made this before, and generally with a decent amount of success.

The recipe is actually a combination of three different chocolate log recipes; one for the swiss roll itself, one for the filling and one for the icing that covers the log.

The log is like a traditional buche de Noel, but incorporates a little flour, which means it rises more easily in the oven. The filling is a combination of double cream, creme fraiche and Morello cherry conserve, which gives a lovely rich flavour. The icing is melted double cream and dark chocolate, with Flakes sprinkled all over the top to give it a log-like appearance.

As with past attempts, this log didn’t disappoint. I wasn’t sure what effect freezing it would have, but it actually made very little difference and was still very tasty. The entire chocolate log had disappeared within 24 hours of it arriving on the table.

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


September 29, 2014

Chocolate and ginger banoffee pie

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:08 pm

Wanting to make a relatively easy-effort dessert for when my parents were here, I thought a banoffee pie might be a good choice. Now, the recipe I have lying around incorporates a ginger caramel syrup into the pie. I wouldn’t necessarily normally choose this, but I know my mum loves ginger, so I thought I’d give it a go.Basically you just add ginger conserve to the condensed milk for the caramel layer.

Other than this, the other elements of the pie are no different to a standard banoffee pie – you make a biscuit base with melted butter, add the caramel layer, add chopped banana, then whip double cream and layer this over the top. Finally, you melt some dark chocolate and drizzle this over the cream (obviously that stage isn’t compulsory, but I think it looks – and tastes- better with it. I would; it’s chocolate). All pretty easy and overall, it took me about half an hour to put together. Simple, looks fairly impressive and tastes good.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Co-Op food magazine

June 9, 2014

Piselli con panna e pancetta

Filed under: Christmas, side, vegetarian — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 12:46 pm

I’ve loved the picture of this in Nigella’s Christmas book now, but couldn’t really find a reason to make it previously. It is, after all, basically just a big bowl of peas. Enter my son. He doesn’t eat much. But he always eats peas. I have to admit, I wasn’t 100% sure how this would go down – whilst he loves peas, these are peas with a twist. If you speak Italian, you’ll know what the twist is. Basically they have spring onions and lardons added, and are then cooked in double cream.

Things went pretty well. My son was almost as enthusiastic about the lardons as the peas. He didn’t eat as many of these as he would have a normal, plain plate of peas – but then they are much richer. I can also see why they live in Nigella’s Christmas book. Whilst not part of her main Christmas meal (they’re in the soups and sides section), I think they’d make a perfect veggie addition to a Christmas roast. They don’t require any roasting (and our oven is always horrendously overstuffed at Christmas), and take all of about 5 minutes to cook – with not a lot of intervention. So you can get on with making the peas and brussel sprouts whilst somebody else is cajouled into making the gravy. And yes, I am now planning Christmas in May. At least it’s not February.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 63

NB: I wrote this post back in early May, when I actually cooked this dish. Presumably I was waiting to take a photo before I posted it. But that photo never got taken, and therefore this never got posted. So you’ll just have to imagine what peas and lardons covered in cream looks like!

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