Monday, 25 June 2012

A little goes a long way.. Beetroot, Green bean, Roast tomato and feta salad

Home growing your vegetables. Sometimes you have so much of something that you don't know what to do with it, then there's that excitement of seeing your first tomato turn red or your first bean appear and your eagerness gets the better of you, you want it for lunch...today. So we pulled out 6 baby beetroot, like baby baby beetroot and 6 beans. We were laughing, was this crop cute or pitiful? It made the most delicious salad and we savoured every mouthful, knowing we would have to wait a week for a full plate.



Monday, 18 June 2012

Green tea and Jasmine Delice


I would love going to play with my friend Nell after school because we would sit and eat crumpets or bread with butter and jam and having something sweet in the afternoon was a real treat. Hen Party teas are a lovely way to kick off the celebrations before heading out for your night of messy debauchery. I made these Pistachio, Jasmine and Green tea Delice's for one a couple of weeks ago to ring the changes a bit (Claire Clark's recipe) They were velvety smooth, with white chocolate whipped through the mousse and not as faffy as they look. If you fancy making these I really would recommend using the silicilan or Iranian pistachios for the taste and colour and the best jasmine tea pearls and green tea macha powder to make it a stand out dessert/tea cake. I got to use my new white choc chips from Paris that my friend Hannah just bought me back too, but I think any good quality white chocolate would work chopped up quite finely. 

Pistachio Cake
80g Shelled pistachio nuts
80g Unsalted butter
75g Caster sugar
A pinch of salt
100g Eggs
10g Plain flour
10g Corn flour (cornstarch) 
Jasmine tea mousse
80ml Boiling water
15g Jasmine tea (pearls if poss)
200ml Whipping cream
1½ Gelatin leaves (about 2.5g)
1½ tbsp Corn syrup
100g White chocolate, chopped
Green tea mousse
45ml Boiling water
5g Green tea powder
200ml Whipping cream
1½ Gelatin leaves (about 2.5g)
1½ tbsp Corn syrup
100g White chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 170 °C
Line the base of 18x18cm pan with baking paper.
Process the pistachio nuts with plain flour and cornflour in the food processor until fine, then sift through a medium sieve. 
Beat the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy, put the egg into the butter and beat to combine. 
Fold the nut mixture into the batter.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
When the cake cool, cut into 15x15 cm square and place in the 15x15cm pan with removable bottom.
Make the Jasmine tea mousse:
Pour the hot water over the tea and let it steep for 10 minutes, then strain it to remove the leaves, you will need 45 ml tea.
Bloom the gelatin leaves in cold water.
Melt the white chocolate by placing the chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of hot water
Mix the tea with 50ml of whipping cream and corn syrup, heat the mixture in the microwave for 40-50 seconds or until almost boil, stir in the gelatin.
Pour the whipping cream mixture into the melted white chocolate, stir to combine.
Let the mixture cool completely.

Whip the rest of the whipping cream until soft peaks formed; fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture back into the whipped cream bowl and fold to combine.
Pour the mousse over the cake (keep 3tbsp of the mousse for decoration, over the counter not in the fridge).
Refrigerate for 45 or until the mousse set.

Pour the hot water over the green tea and stir until combine need.
Melt the white chocolate by placing the chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of hot water
Heat 50ml of whipping cream and corn syrup, in the microwave for 40-50 seconds or until almost boil, stir in the gelatin, then pour then mixture into the green tea bowl, stir to combine. 
Pour the whipping cream mixture into the melted white chocolate, stir to combine.
Let the mixture cool completely.

 Whip the rest of the whipping cream until soft peaks formed, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture back into the whipped cream bowl and fold to combine.
Pour the mousse over the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the mousse sets
Spread the jasmine mousse over the green tea mousse.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set.
Cut into whatever shape you wish and decorate with either a pistachio nut or I used fresh raspberries, crystalised rose petals, and a citron verte. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Chocolate chip cookies with buckwheat flour

There are so many talented people out there writing on blogs and websites, pinning things to Pinterest, sharing secrets on twitter and sometimes it's easy to absorb yummy ideas and not remember where you saw it. Well this is a wee thank you to Kathryn @Londonbakes for introducing me to Foodie PenPals and putting buckwheat flour into your cookies. 
I always have buckwheat flour in the cupboard because I'm always making blinis for catering jobs so I welcomed the idea for using it in something else for a change, and boy was I glad I tried it. 
My foodie pen pal this month has a few of these babies on the way to her. Last month Charlotte, a design student with the blog www.charlotterigby.blogspot.com sent me the cutest parcel with muesli from a local mill, a little chocolate robin hood, (she's from Nottingham) a stick of fudge, and addictive snacks. It's a bit like the opposite to those diet packages some people get sent, oops!

Here's my cookie recipe adapted from a hummingbird bakery recipe.

225g softened unsalted butter  
200g dark brown sugar
150g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
100g buckwheat flour
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons bicarb of soda
225g 66% Valhrona dark chocolate chips chopped into halves or smaller (70% lindt fine but maybe mix with some white or milk choc too)


175C Fan oven
Cream butter and sugar but no need to make fluffy like in cake baking.
Add eggs and vanilla
Sift in dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms (best results in a kitchen aid or similar)
Add 180g of the chocolate and using an ice cream scoop or maybe a 1/3rd cup measure, roll out balls of dough to equal size and place on greaseproof or even better, a silicone sheet with a couple of inches spaced apart to allow for spreading.
Bake middle of the oven for 10 minutes and take out. The edges should look crispy but the centre still soft which will result in a chewy texture when cold.
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT, drop the remaining chocolate chips on the cookies now whilst they are still hot. They will melt on the surface and gloss over making your cookies look the part, then you don't get that dry overcooked flecks on the top you sometimes find!
Now cool on a rack.
TIP I think the best cookies are baked from frozen so roll up the rest or all of it and cling film it in a fat log and store in the freezer for when you need a quick fix. Frozen dough to hot cookie in ten minutes. 
 
 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Colour your sponge!

I have been experimenting with colouring sponge. This is practice for the top tier of a wedding cake that the bride and groom will share on their wedding day this month, the graduation of colour makes it that wee bit extra special when cut! Will share pictures of the real thing in a few weeks.