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Day 83 – Egg Custard Tart

One of my favourite cakes from the bakers is an egg custard start. The only problem I find is te pastry is always a bit mushy and I definitely prefer pastry to be crisp. So I thought it was high time I tried my ow  with homemade pastry.

I’ve never made my own custard but I have made my own pastry and its always come out well. Its an old recipe from a Marguerite Patton book and its the best I’ve ever tried compared to any newer ‘Celebrity Chef’ pastry.

The Pastry

* 75g lard
* 75g butter
* 150g plain flour
* Tsp salt
* 2 Tbsp Ice Water
* 1 Egg yolk

Crumb the fats and flour together. Lift to aerate.

Make a well in the centre and add the yolk and water.

Using a knife, mix the crumbs in to the liquid then pull together by hand to form a dough.

Chill in cling film for 30mins +

Line the tart tin and blind bake for 10 mins at 180° followed by 5 mins at 150°

The Egg Custard

* 100g sugar
* 4 eggs
* 300ml milk
* 300ml double cream
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring the milk and cream to the boil. Add the vanilla flavouring.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together.

Add the hot milk to the egg mix slowly while continuously whisking.

Fill the tart case and cool for 1 hour at 150°

Enjoy.

I added rose water and ginger to the mix instead of nutmeg. It was really fresh and offset the sweetness. I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg so it was a nice change and will be repeated.

Day 82 – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

So I was meant to make mince pies for work. For christmas. I forgot. Oops. So I’ve made this instead. I found a recipe on BBC Good Food which is quickly becoming a favourite.

It’s really simple to make but to bake I think it’s harder than I expected.

Ingredients

Topping ~
* Pineapple rings
* Glace cherries
* Butter
* Light Brown Soft Sugar

Cake ~
* 100g Self Raising Flour
* 100g Butter
* 100g Caster Sugar
* 1tsp Vanilla Extract
* 2 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
* Baking powder.

What To Do

Mix the butter and light brown sugar in to a paste.

Smear around the base and 1/2 in of the sides on an 8″ dish.

Place the pineapple rings in to the paste and a glance cherry in each ring centre.

Mix all the cake ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the pineapple. Bake at 180° for 35 mins until the butter paste has caramelised.

Mm it was yummy. The butter sugar paste didn’t caremelise but the cake was verging on over done. I did cook it in a tin and will try again in a shallower glass dish. Time to bake more pastries.

Day 55 – Chicken Ratatouille Stew

So its been a while. Every day will be complete before new years 2014 bit at the moment new house has taken over. Can’t wait to get cooking in the new kitchen. For now it will have to be when possible. Oh well.

Another resolution of mine was to get fit this year. We’ve got parties and weddings coming up and I want tiny clothes. So this week I stocked up the fridge with plenty of greenery. Today recipe is going to be made up by yours truly. Be nice.

Chicken Ratatouille Stew

2 pieces of chicken
1 pack of chunk med veg
Pasatta
Tomato puree
Pasta for two

What To Do

In a caserole dish put the med veg and chicken. Add a generous amount of tomato puree. Cover with passata.

Stick in the oven for 30-40 mins.

Cook up some pasta. Take out the chicken. Mix the pasta through the veg and sauce and put the chicken on top.

Enjoy.

Day 43 – Pancakes

So it is Shrove Tuesday. Also known as Pancake Day. I believe the idea was to clear out your ‘bread’ before fasting for Lent. Lent will hopefully feature a little more this moth as well as I’m making a foody change and will be experimenting in the kitchen. Today however I’m serving up good old pancakes.

Easy to prepare, hard to pull off with great skill. Here goes.

Ingredients

Flour

Eggs

Milk

Seasoning – sweet or savoury, I like both.

Toppings

And it is that simple. You can go down the traditional route of sugar and lemon or the increasingly popular chocolate spread. I love a savoury cheese – like you couldn’t guess.

How To

I don’t measure this, sorry. I just start with 2-3 eggs, whisked. Add milk and flour while continuing to whisk until you get a batter-ey consistency.

Butter a frying pan. I prefer the crisp it gives the edges compared to oil. Fry on one side, toss, fry on other side.

Fill, roll, eat.

And that’s pancakes over for another year. Don’t forget to try whipped cream and maple syrup either.

Day 30 – Tteok

Well things have been busy around here. I’ve been away. I’ve been lazy. Sorry. I promise I will fill in the gaps with lots of amazing food. Honest.

This weekend we went to Wembley to watch TNA Impact Wresting. Little did I know the hotel we were staying in was barely a step away from the biggest Oriental Supermarket I’ve ever seen. Suffice to say, I’ve stocked up. I was not going to pay a tenner postage on Amazon. Now I have my glutinous rice flour. It’s time to make Tteok.

Ingredients

– 1 cup glutinous rice flour

– 1/3 cup boiling water

– dash of sugar

– dash of salt

– potato starch or corn starch

Apart from the elusive glutinous rice flour, the rest of the ingredients are easy to get hold of. Definitely recommend hunting for an Oriental market as opposed to buying online.

What To Do

1. Mix together all dry ingredients. (NOT starch)

2. Boil water

3. Pour over the dry mix.

4. Working quickly, combine the ingredients to form a ball. It shouldn’t be sticky so you may have to add more rice flour.

5. Dust a waxed sheet with the starch. Roll out the Tteok into whatever shape you fancy. It seems standard tteoks are 2″ cylinders or balls with filling.

These are so lovely, though I think possibly an acquired taste. They’re not as sweet as you would expect a ‘sweet’ to be but amazing if you know what you’re expecting. Will make these again, with fillings – when I get to a good store again. Thanks to EatYourKimchi.com for the video inspiration.

Day 21 – Indian Barfi

Well I think it is high time I made a sweet rather than a savoury. And Barfi is one of my favourite sweets. Before I moved to Wales, there was a local-ish Indian sweet shop in Tooting in London. They sold every kind of Barfi you could imagine along with gelabi, gulab jum and baklava and halva I believe.

I thought I’d at least look up a recipe and see how complex it was. Turns out it’s not. In plain barfi all you need is evapourated milk, ground almonds and ground cashews – plus sugar and butter but these are usually in the house.

Ingredients

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup ground cashews

1 cup sugar

60g of butter

13oz evaporated milk

Steps

  • Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add milk. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil.
  • Low heat and cook until milk thickens. Add nuts and sugar. Stir. Cook for 10 mins. Turn off heat.
  • Pour mixture on to a flat dish and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Cool. Cut into small squares

Day 20 – Hungarian Dumplings

Well these seem simple enough, far easier than those fandagled suet ones.

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