Sunday, 6 April 2008

Cock-a-Leekie Risotto and Raspberry Cupcakes

This week’s book is one that I’ve owned since 2006 when it came out in hardback. A Cook’s Tour of Scotland by Sue Lawrence. Sue is a first rate cookery writer, with both knowledge and enthusiasm for her subject. I have been to a cookery demonstration of hers too up at Baxters of Speyside, and she was very good. She has a couple of baking books, which I’m looking at covering in the future as well, and she is a superb baker!

I’ve cooked a few things from this book including Anta Bars (chocolate coconut bars), Orkney Fudge Cheesecake (a divine toffee cheesecake), Meg’s Shortbread which was a really delicious shortbread, and the following two dishes. Cock-a-leekie Risotto with Bacon and White Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing.

The savoury one here is an Italian / Scottish mix. The Italian part is obvious with the risotto, the Scottish part being the Cock-a-Leekie, the more usual dish being a cock-a-leekie soup – a clear chicken soup with chicken pieces, leeks and prunes floating in the broth.

A normal white wine and chicken stock risotto made in a pan where you have first cooked 200g chopped unsmoked back bacon and 2 diced skinless, boneless chicken breasts, remove the meat, and make a risotto with 2 leeks in place of the usual onion.

At the end add back in the still warm bacon and chicken along with 10 chopped prunes, Parmesan cheese and a good handful of chopped parsley. I do like fruit with meat, and this was completely up my street! In fact everyone I served it to liked it a lot, not quite the norm, but with bags of flavour in every bite.

Now, onto the sweet. Sue’s recipe in the book is suggested to make one 7 inch cake, or 8 cupcakes. I took the cupcake route. It’s an almondy raspberry and white chocolate cake with a raspberry icing made by pureeing raspberries and mixing in icing sugar. They are every bit as good as they sound! In the picture of these in the book I think Sue must have used brambles as the icing colour was somewhere between amethyst and claret, very pretty anyhow. Mine are more pink.

White Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing
From A Cook’s Tour Of Scotland by Sue Lawrence
Makes 8
100g good quality white chocolate, keep back a few squares for drizzling at the end
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar, preferably golden
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
a pink of salt
50g ground almonds
200g raspberries, divided into 2 x 100g lots
200g icing sugar (preferably golden) sifted
(1)Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF / Gas Mark 4. Line your muffin tin with 8 cupcakes.
(2) Melt the main part of the chocolate, in a bowl over hot water, leaving the few squares aside for the drizzle later. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add in the eggs one by one, beating well in between each one. Fold in the flour, salt and almonds, then when combined add in the melted chocolate. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases. Take one of the 100g lots of raspberries and poke these into the cake mixture, smooth the batter over a bit if you like. Bake for about 45 minutes, loosely covering with foil for the last 10 mins or so if you think they need it, a tester should come out clean after this time. Cool on a wire rack.
(3) To make the icing puree and sieve the remaining 100g raspberries, then beat in the sieved icing sugar. Spread the icing over the cakes. Melt the remaining white chocolate and drizzle over the tops of the cupcakes.

21 comments:

Rhyleysgranny said...

Kelly my mouth is watering so! I don't normally like risotto but like you I like fruit and meat together and I might just try this. The cupcakes are like heaven on a plate. You have them beautifully presented. Another must try
xxx

Rosie said...

Hi K J, I really like risotto so this would be a lovely one to try out! Now those cupcakes are stunning girl!! Just love the way you have decorated them - this is a MUST TRY asap!! Thanks for sharing with us.

Oh I do agree with you regarding Sue Lawrence great cook/baker :) Gosh how lucky to have been to one of her cookery demonstration K.J.

Rosie x

Journey_of_Life said...

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Deborah said...

I have never heard of Sue Lawrence, but I'm gonna be looking her up now! These both sound delicious!

Maria said...

Kelly your risotto looks delish and I adore the way you've decorated the cupcakes.

Maria
x

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Must try that risotto and your cupcakes look beautiful.

Peabody said...

Being of Scottish decent, I don't remember raspberry cupcakes as part of our heritage food but darn if they shouldn't be...those look good.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Both of those recipes look wonderful, but I'm sure I'll try the risotto first, while the weather is still cool and hearty warm dishes are perfect.

Aran said...

Risotto and cupcakes... can't beat that! What a great sunday!

Margaret said...

I love Sue Lawrence - I have got a couple of her books.
The risotto sounds very tasty.
The rapberry and chocolate cupcakes
are really pretty. I could eat one of those now.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I love risotto and this one sounds (and looks) like a must attempt. I have the Sue Lawrence book and must make more of an effort to cook from it.

Heavenly cupcakes too, gorgeous presentation as always.

xx

Cookie baker Lynn said...

All of those flavors in the cupcake are wonderful. I love the drizzling across the top, too.

Cynthia said...

I'm on a sugar high, pass me the cupcakes.

Kristen said...

Those cupcakes are beautiful!!!

Paola said...

It all looks fantastic, KJ! Especially the cupcakes....white chocolate and raspberry is such a perfect combination!

paola

Anonymous said...

I'd love thatb risotto, minus the prunes, and those naturally pink cupcakes look fantastic! Glad to see you back blogging!

Juliexx

Kelly-Jane said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Brenda, what a wonderful way you have with words! Thank you.

Rosie, thank you, let me know what you think if you try them!

Journey of Life, Thank you.

Deborah, Maria and Oh My Apple Pie, Thank you :)

Peabody, Thanks. Raspberries are very Scottish now probably because of the number of certral belt fruit farms that grow other soft fruits, but especially raspberries. I'm a bit further north, but we are lucky in that we have a fruit farm that grows raspberries close by :)

Lydia, you sure you won't try the cupcakes first? :) :)

Aran, Thank you.

Margaret, here is one down the lines...

George, thank you, I thought you might have it :)

Lynn, it's a pretty effect for a little teaspoon to make :)

Cynthia, here's one for you too...

Kristen, Paola and Julie, thank you! :)

KJxx

Susan said...

I just made paella for the first time yesterday. Must say there are vague similarities between it and this lovely risotto.

Those cupcakes! White chocolate, almond and raspberry? There ought to be a law about such decadence. : D

Linda F said...

Those cupcakes look so lovely!!

Sophie said...

That frosting looks perfect :). I can never get my frosting to look that clean and delicious. It's always gooey and it gets everywhere. Luv the pink color too :).

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