Saturday, 30 January 2010

market and pizza

Early start today, my friend Natacha from really needed me to work her stall today. It's not something I've ever done before but I have wanted to have my own stall in Barnes for over a year now and love food markets and wanted to help out. Oh it was so much fun! Absolutely frozen but felt good, unpacked box after box of fresh cakes first thing and had sold out by lunch!

Got home and was too tired to pick up a pan... Nick to the rescue - he made a delicious chorizo and olive pizza, shared a beer, watched come dine with me :)

Friday, 29 January 2010


Went out for some local nosh last night with my dear friends Nell and Georgie, we hadn't seen eachother for so long and it was such a nice evening that it didn't seem to matter so much that the food wasn't great. We went to Hudson's on the Lower Richmond Road and the service was sooo slow and the food was warm and it wasn't fantastic..shame but saved some calories on pud and opted for the pub instead. (haha as if the pub has no calories!) Nell has kindly said she would do a little illustration for my blog on the weekend, so looking forward to that!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I'm in a calendar this year!

The calendars are selling in Paperchase and on the internet.. this is a pic of the back, hannah's features ;)

Well sort of.. my cupcakes are..

Chickpea and parmesan salad

Can you call this a salad? I saw this on another bloggers site and as I had everything in the kitchen I made it. Wow its yummy, I would definitely have this as an accompaniment to a meal and scoop it up with some toasted pitta. But I ate the whole thing on its own.. with a spoon.

Ottolenghi Chocolate Fudge Cake

Went to Rosita's last night for a lovely dinner - some home Italian cooking ;) I bought pud.. (below) and served it with chilled clotted cream, yum! If it wasn't for all the wine and cheese I would have finished it but it was reeeaallly rich. You bake in two stages with one cake mix, so once you've poured half in the tin and baked for 40 mins you give it another 25 and pour the rest on top. I would prefer this cake without the fudgy bit in it and next time will omit.. it will keep for days and these flourless cakes sometimes taste better the next day anyway once they've sort of set.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Little Lemon Drizzles

When you have a selection of cakes to make your way through, I think you need at least one that's zesty and sharp to cut through all the sugar and cream on offer!
These lemon drizzle cakes are the perfect size to pop in your mouth and are simple but delicious.

Pearly Queen Cake

Vicki asked me to make a cake for her Nan's 90th Birthday party. It's based on the Pearly Queen's coat, I hope I make it to my 90th for a cool cake!
Inside, a triple vanilla sponge, strawberry jam and buttercream...

Chicken and soba noodle salad with asian peanut dressing

Lucky Nicko... I made his lunch box today as I was feeling nice ;)
We had roast chicken salad last night so used the leftover chicken in a soba salad.

Chicken and soba noodle salad with asian peanut dressing

2 bundles of soba noodles
1/4 roast chicken (leg and thigh meat the best)
1/4 cucumber
1 baby gem
small handful of cashews
3 spring onions
pinch of shredded mint

dressing -
1 teaspoon of fresh chilli or harissa paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
freshly milled black pepper
juice of one lemon or 2 limes

  1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and check for seasoning
  2. Cook the soba noodles for approx 5 mins until tender then drain and chuck on the dressing so it absorbs into the noodles
  3. Mix in the chicken
  4. spoon over sliced cucumber and lettuce
  5. sprinkle over the spring onion, shredded mint and toasted cashews
This salad tastes better when cold but can't blame you for having a bit now when its all warm and smells so good!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Spinach and watercress soup with yogurt

Too much cake. Needed something super healthy for lunch, something warm as its cold outside!
I had a load of green leafy stuff that I bought with good intentions but must have been sitting in the salad drawer for best part of week so...

1 large white onion
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 knob of butter
1 pint of chicken or veg stock (I used turkey stock frozen from Christmas)
1 bag of spinach
2 handfuls of watercress
2 pinches of freshly ground nutmeg
black pepper
big dollop of natural yogurt

  1. Saute onions and garlic in heavy based saucepan in the butter. Stir for 5 minutes or so until soft.
  2. Add spinach and watercress and pour stock on top.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Add nutmeg and pepper and whizz and serve with a dollop of yogurt

Crystallising Rose Petals

This is easy peasy. If you have really small petals you can place them on top of little cakes or financiers. Mine were too big for that so I scattered them around the pile of mini lemon drizzles (yet to post). They also look lovely scattered over a silky buttercream iced sponge.

I ordered my roses from where they assured me on the phone these premium Ecuadorian roses are organic (thats what you want as they aren't sprayed with yukky stuff and therefore wont taste yucky) but I still advise giving them a rinse.

So after you've rinsed.. brush with a pastry brush a thin layer of egg white whisked with a little water on both sides. (I used pasteurised egg white)

Now just sprinkle with fine caster sugar until covered.

Lay on a piece of parchment paper and let dry for a good 10 hours. I actually put my oven on 100C whilst brushing, turned it off and then slipped in the tray of petals so you've got a guaranteed dry environment.

When dry keep in an air tight box and I reckon they'll keep for ages. Make now for Valentines day!?

Sunday, 24 January 2010


My life is complete now I have a new kitchen aid! Its all white and shiny so thought I'd make something white and shiny! Tested it out on meringues... add fresh cream and raspberries - heaven.

I go by the general rule of 60g of caster sugar to every 1 egg white.. use pasteurised egg white if for pregnant ladies or children. For mini meringues...
  1. Turn oven onto 180C
  2. Whisk egg whites in a really clean bowl until white and frothy
  3. Add sugar a little shake at a time
  4. Keep whisking high speed until glossy and stiff
  5. Spatula out into a piping bag (I use a jug for an extra hand)
  6. Pipe out onto a baking sheet (I spray mine lightly with bake spray)
  7. Turn oven down and Bake on 140C for 15 minutes and then switch your oven off and leave to dry overnight.
Best thing about meringues is they will keep for a long time in an airtight box ;)


Now I've made my first batch of ketchup there is no going back! It's absolutely yummy and fresh but rich in flavour. Next attempt ... HP?
I felt a bit sad after straining so I used all the pulpy stuff in a Moussaka.