Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pad Thai - Guest blog for UK Handmade


Today's blog post is a bit of a cheat because I have written this already, click here to visit my guest post on UK Handmade for a summery vegetable pad thai.

Pin It

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Asparagus, Broad Bean & Feta Pesto Dip

Ok so that is a long title, but I did want to fit in all the yummy things I put in this.

I intended to make it a version of this Asparagus Pesto but I didn't have quite enough Asparagus and some broad beans, and some feta. So I whizzed it all up with some oil, garlic and pinenuts to make this delicious pesto/dip.

The asparagus season is nearly over, so you'll have to be quick to find some before it goes out of season. 

I served it stirred into spaghetti but I think it would make a really lovely dip, or an alternative to guacamole perhaps? It does have raw garlic in it so maybe if you are serving it for dipping a garlic oil or roasted garlic might take away the pungency a bit, it depends if you are in company afterwards.

This is quite a flexible recipe, you can add and take away things and work to the consistency you get as you make it.

Asparagus, Broad Bean and Feta Pesto Dip

5-6 stalks of Asparagus, cut into about 1 inch pieces.
about 5-6 broad bean pods, podded and shelled
approx 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil
50g pine nuts, toasted
about 2 inch piece of feta, crumbled
1 clove of garlic
splash of water
1/4 red chili with seeds

Toast your pinenuts in a dry pan. Then boil some water and cook your asparagus for just one minute at a rolling boil.
Whizz up all your ingredients in a food processor, add more oil if you need a looser mixture. Taste and season.

Stir into pasta, add to a sandwich, serve as a dip, whatever you can think of!

Yum. :)

Pin It

Thursday, 16 June 2011

25% off all weekend

I have decided to start the weekend a little earlier than usual. 

Happy Weekend everyone!

Pin It

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

wordless wednesday

Pin It

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Gooseberry Crumble Cake

I think gooseberries can be a bit daunting. They are all hairy and a bit weird looking when raw, not to mention sour. But add a bit of sugar, cook them for a while and they are gorgeous. I tend to treat them like rhubarb, and my favourite thing to make with rhubarb is a crumble cake.

Crumble cakes (or coffee cakes as they are known in the USA, though they have no coffee) are impressive looking and tasting but really easy to make as they just combine two very basic recipes. They work particularly well with rhubarb and gooseberries as the double blanket of sugariness, batter and crumble, will make sure your fruit isn’t too tart.

I have previously made a rhubarb crumble cake (with a really bad photograph) but it was huge so I have dialled back the quantities a bit to make a slightly smaller cake. This is still a generous cake so will serve 6 people easily!

I made this cake with lots of vanilla and swapped half the flour for ground almonds to add more taste to the cake part. The crumble top was the basic equal parts of sugar, flour and butter mixture, and I sprinkled some more ground almonds on before baking which made the top extra crunchy.

The gooseberries are prepared very simply, I just topped and tailed them and sprinkled them with sugar.

Gooseberry Crumble Cake

Makes one 9 inch round cake

For the cake:
100g of softened salted butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
50g of ground almonds
50g of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or equal of vanilla extract
Splash of milk.
125g fresh gooseberries

Cream your sugar and butter together until nice and fluffy, then add the eggs in one by one and mix together after adding each. Then put your vanilla in and then fold in the almonds and flour. Mix to combine and then add a small splash of milk to loosen the mixture.
Pour into a greased and linked cake in.

Preheat your oven whilst you prepare the crumble and fruit. 170c /  gas mark 4

Top and tail your gooseberries. Cut the bigger ones in half but leave the smaller ones whole. Arrange on top of the cake batter and sprinkle with tablespoon of sugar.

For the crumble top:
50g butter
50g sugar
50g flour
Sprinkle of ground almonds

Rub together your butter and flour til it resembles breadcrumbs, and then add in your sugar. Sprinkle over the gooseberries, make sure they are fairly well covered but it doesn’t matter if they are peeking out a bit. Sprinkle over the almonds.

Bake in the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown on top. It can be hard to tell if is done as the knife won’t come out clean, as long as it is cooked at a low temperature on a middle shelf it won’t burn.

Leave to cool, the cake will sink slightly. If you take it out the tin whilst it is warm it will collapse.

Slice and serve with custard, it is good with custard!

My gooseberries were from Walden Local Food, if you are nearby you must go and visit their market stall on a Saturday. I also came away with some fabulous plum tomatoes and some tender new season kale.

Pin It

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Giveaway Winner - Caramel Pearl Bracelet

The lucky winner of the Caramel Pearl bracelet is......


Please check your email!
Thank you to everyone for entering and tweeting and liking.

I have been making lots of wedding jewellery lately, there are some new pieces in my shops made with pearls and lovely vintage style bead caps. And I am having a 20% off sale today on Etsy!

Pin It

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Perfecting Meringues

I finally managed to make good meringues!

They are some that have eluded me for some time, due to bad technique, bad recipes, bad oven, and ok.. a bad baker.

If you know me well enough you know that I don't like Delia Smith. I find her recipes a bit overly fussy and mainly old fashioned, I guess I am not her target audience. But when talking about meringues everyone tells me that her recipe is the best recipe.

So I gave it a go and it did work. It helped having the timings in the recipe, I made them precise by using the oven timer, but she could have included the timings after you added the sugar, it went a bit vague after that. And you really do have to leave them til they are cold in the oven. It is hard to resist but that is how you get the crisp shell.

You may not want Delia to tell you how to make something from a tin of meat but she can tell how to cook a meringue properly.

P.S. On an unrelated note, have you entered my giveaway?

Pin It