Thursday 23 February 2017

Gatherings by Flora Shedden

I didn’t mean to be gone so many days, but it was technical difficulties which the hubster has now managed to fix, after many a phone call to our provider. Will have to make him something special for being a star!
There has been much cooking going on from Mary Berry and Donal Skehan in my absence and also this new book out recently.
Gatherings recipes for feasts great and small by Flora Shedden. The much awaited debut cookbook from Flora Shedden, she of Bake Off fame. I loved Flora on Bake Off, she was full of character and produced terrific baking. I’ve read online that she is opening a bakery soon, be a definite place to visit for us.
Anyhow, it is a fabulous book, an eclectic mix of recipes with a writing style as readable as Nigella and recipes in the manner of Diana Henry. This is just to give you an idea of Flora’s style, because she is most definitely her own person.
The chapters are *Mornings Quick and Slow *Small Plates* Food to Fling Together* Everything Baked* Food to Take Your Time About* Drinks and Other Things to Celebrate With* Sweet Plates and Puds*  and *Essentials.  The style of the book is airy and natural. Some of my list of to make recipes are: toasted coconut oats, rye waffles, apple and celeriac soup with basil oil, pearl barley and mushroom risotto, speedy spicy tacos,  apple cheddar and oat scones, strawberry and hibiscus Victoria sponge, wardrobe cake, wedding parcels (tortellini piacentini), clementine and vanilla marmalade and rhubarb and honey compote. To name but a few!
The first two recipes I’ve tried both involve chocolate. No surprise there then, ahem. There were cocoa nib brownies, they come out very fudge like, and were really lovely warmed up for dessert. I liked the seeds on top, and didn’t add cocoa nibs as they give me migraines!
Second is hot chocolate, this should be chilli hot chocolate, but I omitted the chilli. The blueprint recipe is very good, just perfectly balanced, we as a family all liked it. Will be my go to one from now on.

Friday 10 February 2017

Toffee Cupcakes from Mary Berry

Toffee Cupcakes from Mary Berry’s Everyday. These are so good! I made half the recipe to make six, we were sad I didn’t make them all! So good. Even Missy who doesn’t like sticky toffee pudding liked these. Hubby and I loved them. Toffee flavoured cakes with buttercream icing which has toffee sauce added to it, then a drizzle of the same sauce on top. I think the amount of icing was just right, enough to be a treat, but not so much as to be over the top - a definite keeper. Recipe online here.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Scots Whisky Creams from Mary Berry

Scots Whisky Creams from Mary Berry Everyday. I would call these marmalade whisky creams or orange whisky creams, but then I am Scottish, so perhaps that would explain that! Not very sweet, but full of flavour. I made these for the Hubster and he liked them. The marmalade comes through, so choose a mild mannered jar if you don’t like a bitter tang! I used Bon Maman, which I think is in the middle flavour wise (no endorsement!). Best on the day I made them. :)

Thursday 2 February 2017

Malted Chocolate Cake from Mary Berry

Last weekend I had planned to make something cake-like from Mary Berry Everyday – toffee cupcakes, walnut brittle and coffee cake or orange drizzle (layered) cake anyone? However they will need to wait for another day, as I wanted to bake with my Missy and she chose this Malted Chocolate Cake from Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites by Mary Berry.
It was good too, I am used to making Nigella’s Malteser cake, and this one made with Ovaline (no endorsement, just what I used)  has slightly different flavours. First couple of bites I needed to get used to it, but after that it was lovely. Such is the nature of expecting one flavour in your mind and getting another. Anyhow, all gone now, and we had great fun making it.

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Penang Chicken and Rice Stir Fry (Mary Berry)

Supper a couple of nights ago was this, Penang Chicken and Rice Stir Fry. It comes from Mary Berry Everyday by Mary Berry, out last Thursday.
Very good it was too.  I followed the recipe, essentially honey chicken with a curried veggie laced rice, with the exception that I used low salt soy, which I do routinely now. Will make this one again, nice (and easy) for a flavourful everday supper.
It’s a good book, exactly what it says in the title, number of delicious looking cakes too! More from this one soon.

Friday 27 January 2017

Gizzi's A Kind of Tartiflette

Well, I don’t know about you, but January tends to see me attempting to use up the ingredients that I had bought in December for Festive Christmas and Holiday Cooking. The only problem being that often December supper times see me so exhausted that the said festive delight doesn’t make it to the table. Really though anything suitable for Christmas Time is a good dish for Wintertime too. So January usually sees some delicious cooking. Whislt feeling like good husbandry in terms of using up food that I already have in the pantry or Freezer.
This recipe is a case in point, I bought the cheese and bacon, which I subsequently popped in the freezer. Only to come back to life last night as kind of Tartiflette from Gizzi’s Season’s Eatings by Gizzi Erskine. Not as rich as some due to the use of crème fraiche and milk. SO good!

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Dark and Sumptuous Vegan Chocolate Cake

My ol' blog has been very neglected over the past couple of years, which has been mainly due to my Mum being very ill and eventually passing away last year. A heart wrenching life changing event. I now have more time on my hands again, and a few friends have said to me I must start blogging again. I pondered this for some time, but came to the conclusion “Why not?” I used to enjoy blogging.
So here I am, with my first tentative steps into the blogging world again. I’m going to start with a cake I made just after Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson came out. Her Dark and Sumptuous Vegan Chocolate Cake.  It is a truly fabulous dark chocolate cake, much loved by my daughter, so much so in fact that she asked for it for her recent birthday, with some alterations! See below.  I must tell you that both times I’ve made it the icing has gone fudgey, not ganache like in consistency as it was when Nigella made it on the TV. Though we as a family like fudgy, so no big issue there.
You can find the recipe from the book on Nigella’s website here.
The bespoke birthday cake, filled with a small jar of Nutella and topped with Ferrero Rochers!