Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack and a Stunning Blackberry Clafoutis Recipe

Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack by Miranda Gardiner. I stumbled across this book by accident online. I’m getting good at not buying absolutely every single cookbook that takes my eye now, but this one made me click the add to basket button. The cover to me is sort of serene, but still pretty with the fish drawings and also says fun with the cute moose and snail cookie cutters. There are two new designs to look out for! Image of book cover via courtesy of Amazon.co.uk
A few years ago I wouldn’t have been keen at all to admit I’d bought a book on the basis of it’s cover. As I’ve become older though, I’ve come to appreciate that a good cover, particularly on a book by an unknown author is key if the marketing department at the publishers is to entice the target audience.
It’s somehow a Summery book, even thought there are several recipes suited to colder weather cooking. The recipes I’ve been most drawn to so far are the baking and salad-y ones. Maybe that’s down to the time of year and warmer weather.
The book came into being when the author’s Mother passed away, leaving her Father widowed and not very able to feed himself. Miranda gathered together recipes to give to her Father, to help him look after his daily food needs, and so the book took shape.
The chapters are eclectic and include ‘Mid-week Morsels’ and ‘Well Loved Food’. Simple layout, the recipes are intercepted by text about life from the author, most of which is a pleasant enough read.
There are lots of very calming pictures of the food with pretty and atmospheric scenery. I like that there are some real time real cooking pictures too.
Some of the other recipes I’ve book-marked are: Beetroot, feta and clementine salad, Finnish salad with orange blossom dressing, Pumpkin soup with black olive and feta quesadillas, Mum’s Danish apple charlotte, Zesty pistachio & polenta cake and Rose petal and buttermilk cake.
As always here are some of the dishes I’ve cooked, I also made Jean-Christophe Novelli’s lemsip - it definitely helped the sniffles away!

First class porridge, I made it with Channel Island Jersey milk, and it was so good. Blueberries and honey or agave nectar – the best! I got this honey locally and it’s delicious.

Dreamy Prawn Gnocchi
An unusual prawn dish with the comfort of gnocchi and cream, but also interest from mixed seeds and spinach.

Naked Broad Bean Salad
A beautiful salad, both to eat and look at too.

Chocolate Caramel Muffins
Chocolate muffins made with ricotta and Cadburys caramel as the chunks. I wasn’t keen on these the day they were made, but the day after they were good – the tastes all melded together then.

Chewy Flapjack
An ultra sweet and chewy flapjack, the flapjack lover in my house was very pleased indeed!

Caramel Salties
Blondies with dulce de leche, white chocolate and sea salt. The smell in the kitchen was so delicious the day I baked these. I used less salt though – just a slight sprinkle of Maldon instead or the 2-3 teaspoons suggested in the recipe. Good the day made and the day after too.

Blackberry and Sour Cream Clafoutis
This is a seriously fabulous pudding, easy fruity and delicious. I’ve made clafoutis many times before, but this recipe is the keeper, and hands down the best of any I’ve made or tasted.

This is my slight reworking of Miranda Gardiner’s recipe from Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack, published by Hardie Grant Books (London) Limited in 2010.
Serves 4

350g blackberries
2 tablespoons plain flour, slightly rounded
4 good tablespoons caster sugar
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
125g sour cream (weighed)
icing sugar to decorate, optional
thick double cream to serve

1.Preheat the oven to 170oC fan/ 180oC/ gas mark 4.
2.You’ll need a round baking dish of about 20cm – 25cm. Butter the dish and arrange to fruit over the bottom of the dish.
3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, caster sugar, vanilla extract and sour cream to make a smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter carefully over the fruit, then bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until cooked. It should be golden, puffy and beautiful. I cook this in my fan oven for 20 minutes, your oven might need the longer cooking time, check after 20 minutes though. Dust with icing sugar if you like and serve with cream.


Homemade Heaven said...

This sounds like a gem of a book. Love the flapjacks, making my tummy growl!

Lisa said...

Mmm...you had me at caramel salties.

Brownieville Girl said...

Sounds really interesting Kelly-Jane.

Another one for the "wish-list"!

Jessica said...

Everything looks so delicious. I don't blame you for choosing the cookbook based on its cover.

Besides being a great resource for widowed men, it would be a good one for divorced ones as well.

Thanks for the delicious clafoutis recipe. It looks quite yummy!


Maria♥ said...

Sounds like another great book!

All the recipes look delish.


Helen said...


I've tagged you on an award on my blog : )


Larissa said...

Thanks for sharing. I just found your blog and LOVE it. I am an avid cookbook collector with, I suspect, some of the same tastes as you. I fell for flapjacks when we were in London for our honeymoon -- the picture of yours has given me such a craving for them!

Unknown said...

Some dads are into cooking these days. And even though they are busy with their work, they still want to take their time to learn how to cook. And it's so unbelievable because most dads and even respected people are enrolled into culinary schools. Like Michael Geffrard who really dedicated his time cooking and now has a passion for it also.