Sunday, 22 February 2009

Orkney Fudge Cheesecake


Orkney Fudge Cheesecake

Sue Lawrence has long been one of my favourite food writers, she is a woman of great taste when it comes to good food. This recipe comes from her A Cooks Tour of Scotland cookbook, a book close to my heart, and one that I’ve found very interesting to read, a sort of short history of parts of eating in Scotland.
In 2006 when this book came out, it was clear to me that no diet or healthy eating regime was going to stop me trying this cheesecake. Sue says she would crawl oven broken glass for a slice, and that is definitely good enough recommendation for me! I’ve made it several times since 2006, once or twice a year, although not too often considering it’s calories and my Hubby’s penchant for it! I make it the day before to get the molten fudge bits. If you can’t lay your hands on Orkney fudge I’m sure any full flavoured fudge would be lovely. I do hope to get to Orkney one of these days, but in the meantime I’ll make their gorgeous, toffee, creamy, local speciality cheesecake.
You’ll find the recipe here at UKTV Food.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

When It’s Snowing Outside

Panforte
Well, I am a Nigella fan, and although I (obviously) have many other cookery writers that I much admire and enjoy their recipes, it is first and foremost Nigella books that it feels comfortable to come back to read and cook from. Although I’m so looking forward to new ones from Bill Granger’s Feed Me Now and David Lebowitz’s Paris book and Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes in April, May and June respectively.
I’m far from done with Nigella Christmas, so much of it is just perfectly suited to the Winter and colder Spring months that it wouldn’t feel right to confine it to the bookshelf just because it’s not December anymore. So here are a few more bits and pieces that I’ve cooked recently from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson.

Chocolate Pudding for Christmas Pudding Haters with Hot Chocolate Sauce
A deeply comforting pudding with lots of good chocolate sauce. I made this as our pudding on Christmas Eve.

Chargrilled Peppers with Pomegranate
Fast to put together, especailly if you get your peppers from a jar or deli counter. I liked this one a lot, and it’s colours are gorgeously Bollywood and pretty. I think this would be a lovely buffet salad or even BBQ if you can get the pomagranate seeds then.

Triple Cheese and Onion Strata
A baked savoury sort of bread pudding. I think I put in too much baguette as mine was a bit dry I thought. I’ll need to play about with it; it was still all eaten though!

Spruced Up Vanilla Cake
I think of this one as fir tree cake, for obvious reasons. It was very cold and snowy last weekend when I made this, and it’s shape and the icing sugar snow was just beautiful. A sort of dense, but light cake with the strong aroma and taste of vanilla.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote
This is an unusual recipe, but very worth trying. It’s basically forced rhubarb simmered in strawberry jam. It works so well, there is still a faint tartness from the fruit, but the jam offsets it beautifully. It makes a lot of compote, so I used the rest for a rhubarb fool, which was so good. I make a fool of rhubarb that has fresh strawberries sliced into it in the Summertime, if you think the two together are a bit odd; give it a go – match made in Heaven.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Fool

Choc Chip Chilli & Loaded Potato Skins
This is a good chilli. I halved the recipe, but it would be good for a party, the chunks of beef and chorizo makes a bit more of it. It’s spicy enough, but not too much for a chilli shy girl like me! It went really really well with the loaded potato skins suggested, I didn’t bother with the bacon, I have made them with the bacon, but I prefer them without. Great supper anyhow =)
Chocolate Convered Clementines as used in

Panforte
I’ve had it in mind to make my own panforte for a number of years now. Really since I saw one of the River CafĂ© ladies making it on TV. I have that book, but haven’t gotten around to trying their one yet, but I hope to eventually. You know the problem, so many recipes and not enough time / energy. Anyhow Nigella’s is wonderful, many of the bought ones I’ve tried would nearly break your teeth, but not this one – fortunately! It’s chewy, nutty, fruity a little chocolatey and a lot spicy. I put in a very small pinch of white pepper as I was a little scared to use more. I also used some pistachios, as didn't have quite enough of one of the other nuts - I forget which one now. It would be beautiful at Christmas time on a platter, I’m not sure why it looks so good, but it does!
I made the Christmas Spiced Chocolate cake this morning, looking forward to dinner tonight =) More about that next time.