Gastronomically Terrific

April 28, 2014

Easter biscuits

Filed under: biscuits, Easter — Tags: , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:22 pm

Easter biscuitsAn easy bake to use up ingredients I had been baking with over the past week or so, I admit I was a few days late with making my Easter biscuits. I make these biscuits most years, and know basically what I’m doing – although there are a number of variants to the recipe, and I don’t follow exactly the same one every year.

This year I chose to use caster sugar instead of soft light brown sugar (although I think, on the whole, I probably prefer brown sugar in these), and I used orange juice instead of lemon juice. I almost always use lemon juice, but I had an orange to use up in the fridge and no lemon. So that decision was made for me. The recipe is simple – cream together sugar and eggs, add the dry ingredients and juice, then add enough milk to make a dough.

This year, perhaps the most enjoyable part of the baking was letting my 20 month old son get involved in cutting out the shapes. I let him choose the biscuit cutters, then push them down into the dough. Admittedly, he picked completely inappropriate cutter shapes for Easter biscuits, and needed some help with the actual cutting, but overall we both really enjoyed the process. And I made sure I made some traditionally shaped ones too!

Who made it: Anna and Joe

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, pg. 22-23

March 12, 2014

Chocolate orange cake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:14 pm
Photo: 100 happy days, day #23: Cake. Made and eaten.

Happy Birthday Dan!

I’ve made this before, but not for some time (it was back in 2010 in fact, about 4 years ago now). So when Dan requested “some sort of orange cake” for his birthday this seemed like a good idea. I knew it tasted pretty good, and was also relatively easy to make.

The cake itself is just a basic sponge cake with orange zest and chocolate flavoured orange added to it. The topping is just buttercream, but with orange zest, orange juice and chocolate orange flavoured chunks added to it. What makes the whole thing look so impressive is that you put chocolate orange slices on the top, along with some orange jelly sweets (and in my case, some lemon ones as well because I ran out of orange).

The whole thing probably took about 30-40 minutes to make, and got eaten rather quickly. To add to the joy,  I added a photo of it to Facebook and got some very positive comments. Mostly along the lines of “I want one”, but hey, at least it looked good!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Halleujah! Chocolate by The Chocolate Squad, page 17

February 25, 2014

Fairy feather cakes

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:42 pm

P1040173The next thing I made was some fairy feather cakes, ready for when my parents visited towards the end of the weekend. I made them on Saturday morning just before some friends arrived – but the decorating happened when they were here, and took somewhat longer than anticipated.

The fairy cakes themselves were easy to make – just simple orange flavoured fairy cakes. I don’t make orange ones often, but I make fairy cakes all the time so that was no problem. The challenge here was the decoration. It involves covering each cake in jam, then a layer of buttercream (again, both things I do quite regularly). You then pipe circles of jam onto the still-wet buttercream, and use a toothpick to almost join the circles up. I wanted to try this because I had been bought a new piping set for Christmas (the kind where you throw the bag away after use, rather than the horrible plastic type). I admit that it was much, much easier to use than my old plastic tube, and I’d be willing to try a similar process in the future. It takes some time investment though!

The fairy cakes themselves tasted fine, but they were rather sweet. I suspect there were two reasons for this – I used orange juice to make the buttercream, and I think it would have tasted better if I had used just water. Also, I used redcurrant jam instead of strawberry or raspberry (as the recipe suggested), simply because this was what I had in the house. Raspberry would probably have worked a lot better.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Fairy Cakes, pg. 42

January 26, 2014

Pussyfoot

Filed under: cocktail — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 6:42 pm

27 Pussyfoot mocktail This is one of the mocktails from Nigella’s Christmas. As we were having our Christmas Day at home with our young son, we didn’t want to drink too much alcohol too soon. So a mocktail seemed like a good drink to go with our Christmas lunch.

Pussyfoot consists of pink grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice and Grenadine. Whilst it was fun to mix together, I can’t say I was overly keen on the taste. I’ve never been a big fan of grapefruit juice, and this didn’t really change my mind. The recipe book suggests adding vodka if you’re not particularly pro mocktails; I have a suspicion this would have improved the taste. But I’d still be much, much happier with a glass (or jug) of Poinsettia.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 12

November 26, 2013

Seasonal Breeze

Filed under: cocktail — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:30 pm
Seasonal Breeze mocktail

Seasonal Breeze mocktail

In an attempt to use up left-over cranberry juice, and because we had relatives visiting who we knew were unlikely to want to drink alcohol, we made this mocktail. A combination of cranberry juice, apple juice and orange juice, it’s tastes just like it sounds. Which wasn’t great news for me, as I’m not a massive fan of either apple juice or cranberry juice. It just all tasted a bit too sweet for my liking. Thankfully, the other 7 people drinking it seemed to enjoy it a lot more, so there weren’t too many problems filling off a pitcher of this.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg.11

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