Saturday, 27 December 2014

Milli's Kitchen Spanish Supper Club

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! The treats don't stop until the tree comes down, and when it does we can start celebrating the New Year! I'm going to pop over to Spain mid January, but before I do, I thought I would cook up another Spanish feast in London. My brother kindly bought me home some cracking cheese and Jamon from Malaga for my Supper Club.
Here are some pics from my instagram to whet your appetite, if you fancy coming along, alone or with friends, book here and I look forward to meeting you! 
 Roast pepper salad

Jamon Iberico de Bellota

Gaspacho and ajo blanco
 Quails egg and lomo
Cheese and membrillo
 Chorizo and chickpea stew

 Pimientos de Padron, mushrooms


(Above, Helen Cathcart's beaut pic I pinched)


Chocolate mousse, with Malaga wine macerated prunes

Fig and almond tart

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Burnt Butter and Hazelnut Cake

Happy Birthday Mum! I took the day off on Friday, to cook a special lunch for my mum and the fam. We had fresh crab rolls and a Mexican seafood feast, it felt good splurging at the fishmonger knowing that lunch would still be less than eating out, so I picked up massive tiger prawns and juicy monkfish.
I wanted to make Mum a cake, but she's not keen on buttercream or sponge much so I had a flick through April's new book 'Decorated' and had my eyes fixed on her Burnt Butter Hazelnut cake with FRANGELICO, only my favourite liqueur.
Mum thought I had made her a massive cinnamon bun, as I didn't have a bundt tin, well I love cinnamon buns so, no offense taken. The cake is simply delicious, rich and nutty. I served it with creme fraiche, berries and or stewed pear. Thumbs up from us. I was lukcy enough to win April's book on instagram, but it's over on Amazon, and if you want to try your hand at some beautifully decorated cakes, it's a must have and everything is broken down in simple steps. Next on my list of things to try is her crystalised rosemary.

From 'Decorated' by April Carter (Hardie Grant, £20.00) Photography: Danielle Wood 
Burnt Butter Hazelnut Cake
The burnt butter in this cake contributes to the nutty flavour of the
toasted hazelnuts. Toasting nuts before baking with them is a great way to bring out their flavour. The rounded top that the bundt tin gives this cake is perfect for drizzling icing over and the pretty details mean that you don’t need to do too much in the way of decorating.
for the cake:
250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter
225 g (8 oz/scant 21⁄2 cups) soft light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for grinding the nuts
125 g (41⁄2 oz/scant cup) blanched hazelnuts
175 g (6 oz/scant 11⁄2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour 31⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
5 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the candied hazelnuts:
150 g (5 oz/2/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 300 ml (10 fl oz) water
50 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) blanched hazelnuts
for the icing:
250 g (9 oz/2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar 2–3 tablespoons Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (optional) 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
equipment \ 20 cm (8 inch) bundt tin or round, deep cake tin \ sugar thermometer
preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F/Gas 3) and grease the bundt or cake tin. Melt the butter over a medium heat and simmer until it turns a deep golden brown and starts to smell nutty. Pass the melted butter through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the sugar. Set aside to cool.
Spread the hazelnuts for the cake out on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5–8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly. Using a
food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts with
2 tablespoons of the soft light brown sugar – avoid over-processing as the mixture will become greasy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine. Gradually add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Finally, gently fold in the ground hazelnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the oven on for the candied hazelnuts. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the candied hazelnuts and the icing. To make the candied hazelnuts, gently heat the sugar and water in a medium pan with a
sugar thermometer attached and swirl until the
sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to 121°C (250°F) (this will take up to 10 minutes; remember to keep
an eye on the temperature as it will increase quite quickly towards the end). Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts out on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5–8 minutes until golden brown. Line another baking tray with baking parchment. As soon the sugar syrup has reached 121°C (250°F), turn off the heat and stir in the warm hazelnuts. Keep stirring until the clear syrup coats the nuts and turns crunchy and white.
Tip the hazelnuts onto the prepared baking tray and separate with fork.
To make the icing, beat the icing sugar, hazelnut liqueur or 2–3 tablespoons of water and butter in a bowl until smooth. The icing should be opaque but thin enough to run down the sides of the cake.
To assemble the cake, beat the icing until smooth again. With the cake on the wire rack, drizzle a generous amount of icing over the top. Decorate with the candied hazelnuts and transfer to a cake stand
or plate.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Rich Chocolate and Almond Torte

There is so much more to this torte than meets the eye. Yes, it's seriously tasty and rich, it's also gluten free. It is easy to make and keeps well, so you can make it a few days in advance.
You don't taste almonds, they are there more for texture, it's truffle like inside and squidgy.
Recipe below. I couldn't recommend cooking with Lindt 70% chocolate enough.

250g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla paste

Ganache (if required)

150g dark chocolate
150g double cream

Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy.
Pour into cooled melted chocolate and butter.  Add ground almonds, a pinch of salt and vanilla and stir through.
Whisk egg whites until soft peak stage and stir in a third thoroughly.  Now use a large metal spoon to lightly fold in the rest of the egg whites until just combined.
Pour into a lined and greased 23cm tin and bake for 25 minutes on 170C fan.It can have a slight wobble in the middle as it will continue to cook in the tin after you take it out of the oven.
Leave to cool in tin, then, dust with cocoa or cover in ganache.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a large bowl.
Gently heat the cream on the hob to the slightest simmer and take it off just before it bubbles/boils.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Whisk with a balloon whisk until combined and glossy. At this stage, pour over the cake for a smooth finish, or leave to cool and thicken and spread on later. 

I like mine with Kirsch cherries or with warm berry compote, both with creme fraiche.