Monday, 25 March 2013

Milk Bar Grasshopper Pie

This space has been quiet for a while. Real life has taken over this month and I feel very guilty about it, so here is a pic of the Brownie Pie that I made on Valentine's Day from the Milk Bar Book, to keep the blog breathing. 
My friend Hannah is making their 'crack pie' on Sunday... I. can't. wait. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


It was my niece Jasmine's 8th birthday last week. Holy Moly, where does the time go? 
I went to the trouble of making Amanda's super yummy and wholesome chocolate cake (I used wholemeal flour) and then covered the whole thing in little nuggets of dextrose, sugar and malic acid. OOPS! I hate to think what a mission it was to get the kids to sleep that night. 
I wanted to make Jasmine an awesome cake but didn't have time to do anything 'novelty'.. so I took a moment to think what I loved to eat at her age... NeRdS! NERDS AND POPPING CANDY! 
From the base to the top we have..
Grape-Wild Cherry-Strawberry-Peach-Amped Apple-Double dipped lemonade-lightening lemon. If that wasn't already a party for your mouth I chucked a load of popping candy on the top last minute. Fizztastic. 
This cake is seriously moist and tastes just how chocolate cake should and the bonus is, you can cut all the tops off and dip in left over soured cream icing (from that blueberry cake)
 Layer with a firm buttercream and plaster round the sides to stick in all those nerds. I used a spoon and didn't worry too much about where they were going, you could just mix them all up and throw them on, that would be fun.
 Layer up baby.
 Love you Jazzle Fizzle, here's to many more years of silly cakes and Jessie J sing offs. xxx

Monday, 4 March 2013

Spiced rack of Lamb with Persian Rice

A rack of lamb takes 25 minutes to cook (the same time as the rice), it's quick and easy to carve with no waste, I love it. Give your lamb some love by marinating it over night with a homemade rub and letting it REST after roasting, it's so important if you want juicy meat. See the juices creating a steady pool under the lamb, yeh, you want that!
You can put whatever you like in your marinade. I don't want you to look at my recipe and be put off by the number of ingredients. If you only have ginger, garlic and garam masala then that's enough to make a real difference but this marinade is seriously the bee's knees. Score the fat of the lamb (not too deep) and rub in the marinade, sit over night or at least 8 hours in the fridge.
I'll write the recipe at the bottom of the post, but here are the steps. You need to oil the lamb and bring to room temperature before searing.
Sealing and blackening the meat.
 Soaking the golden raisins and barberries
Putting together the ingredients for the rice whilst the lamb cooks.
Once the meat is sealed on all sides, pop it in the oven to roast for 15 minutes on 190C.
Take it out, pop it on a plate and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make your rice.
When the rice is ready, slice up the lamb and pile it on top. Easy Peasy.
Juice of 1 lime
Dried lime powder or the zest of the time
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 thumb of ginger, grated
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 black cardamon pods, bashed (or green, if you don't have black)
2 pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups Basmati rice (this make loads for 4 people, but trust me, this is magical rice, you'll want a mountain of it)
1 red onion, strips fried until crispy
Big pinch of saffron
2tbsp of the following-
toasted flaked almonds
chopped pistachios
dried barberries (soaked in water)
golden raisins (soaked in water)
Big pinch of dried rose petals
grated zest of 1 lemon
Cinnamon bark/ 1 tsp powdered 
knob of butter
1tsp sugar
Fresh coriander, chopped

To make the rice, and this is by no means authentic, just what I like to do..

Wash the rice 3 times in water. 
1.Cover the rice with water 1cm above the rice level and bring to the boil.
2.Quickly reduce the heat to a bare simmer and place a lid on the pan, leave for 10 minutes without checking/lifting the lid.
3. Lift the lid and stir in all the ingredients bar the coriander.
4. Mix and return to the heat with the lid on and after 3 minutes, turn the heat off and let steam away with no heat. This should provide a slightly crisp base (delicious)but the rice will be fluffy.
5. Season with a little salt, stir through coriander and serve with the lamb. 
I like to serve with a little salad and yogurt dip. Do you have any interesting ways with lamb?