Saturday, 23 February 2013

February





London weather or the different shades of grey, waiting for spring and still time for some hearty food.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Almond and rose water bundt cake



With Valentine's day coming up and in honor of Saint Valentine I have baked a cake. It's a simple almond bundt cake but the rose water icing makes it special. I have used a small cake tin but if you want to use a regular sized tin just double the measurements and bake for longer.

ALMOND AND ROSE WATER BUNDT CAKE

100ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
dash of vanilla extract
50ml almond milk
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
rose water

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. With a hand held mixer whisk the oil, sugar and salt. Add the eggs and mix until pale in colour and well aerated. With a spatula fold in vanilla extract and almond milk. In another bowl sift the flour and baking powder and add the ground almonds. With the spatula gently incorporate the flour mixture, trying not to lose too much air. Grease the baking tin and dust lightly with flour. Fill the tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack. Now mix the icing sugar and slowly add some rose water. Mix well so you won't have lumps and don't make the mixture too runny. Drizzle over the cake and wait for it to set before serving.


The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Coconut pancake cake



Today is pancake day and I have made a cake. A pancake cake. Pancake Tuesday is the last day before Ash Wednesday when one would start the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, so last chance to live it up before going cold turkey. Well, no turkey.
Since I am off dairy for the time being I have used coconut cream instead of regular cream. You can whip it in the same fashion and it tastes brilliant. What a revelation! Just make sure you put your cans or cartons of coconut cream in the fridge overnight as it needs to be chilled so you can extract the solid cream from the liquid easily (if there is any liquid - it could be used in the batter instead of coconut milk). And it helps to freeze the bowl and the beaters for about 5 minutes before you get going.


COCONUT PANCAKE CAKE

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
2 eggs
vegetable oil

For the filling
500ml coconut cream
3 tbs caster sugar
vanilla essence to taste
desiccated coconut
fresh fruit like mango, pineapple, kiwi, papaya

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well to get an even batter. Brush a small pan with a little oil and cook the pancakes at medium heat about 2 minutes on each side. The batter should make about 12 pancakes. Leave them on greaseproof paper to cool down before assembling the cake. To make the filling whisk the chilled coconut cream at highest speed with a handheld mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla essence and whisk some more until soft and creamy. To assemble the cake spread some of the coconut cream over the first pancake, top with another pancake and keep alternating until all pancakes are used up. Top with some more coconut cream and sprinkle with desiccated coconut. Now peel, cut and arrange your fruit and you're ready to tuck in!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

January







Snow like icing on a cake, to track and me turning into a snow man.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Leek tarte tatin



I love how a coincidence can make for a creative outcome. Did you know the tarte tatin was actually an accident and should have turned out like a perfectly normal apple tart? The story goes the elderly St├ęphanie Tatin, who ran a hotel in France in the 1880s with her sister, got confused and put the pastry on the top of her apples rather than the bottom. An alternate story is that she was overworked and simply forgot the apples and sugar in the pan and when realising her mistake put the pastry on top and all quickly in the oven in order to rescue the dish. Either way it makes for a pretty tasty outcome.
My recipe involves baby leeks rather than apples but you could swap them for anything that is in season and takes your fancy, sweet or savoury. Just go easy on the salt and pepper. Or maybe not, could be a great new invention too and could turn our taste buds upside down.

LEEK TARTE TATIN

1 sheet puff pastry
150g baby leeks (6-8)
50g salted butter
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of nutmeg
twig of thyme or mixed herbs
cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Wash the baby leeks and cut to 2-3cm long wheelsIn a small pan melt the butter and sugar until it starts to caramelise. Add the nutmeg and herbs and arrange the leek wheels in the pan and turn temperature down to medium so the leeks won't burn but start to cook. Cut out a circle slightly larger than your pan and place on top of the leeks. Tuck under and pierce a hole in the center so steam can escape. Bake in the oven for 15-20min or until the pastry is golden brown in colour. Flip over onto a plate but be careful with the hot pan.