Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sweet Potato Galettes

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Whilst sitting on hold on the phone last night for what seemed like ages, I decided to have a skim through Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cookbook (again 🙂 )… And so this evening’s dinner inspiration was born 🙂 This recipe is actually a starter but we had it as a main with a salad which was a nice and light dinner… See the recipe below and enjoy, beware though… they have a little kick! 🙂

Ingredients: (serves 4)

3 sweet potatoes, weighing about 350g each (this was WAY too much for four – I went for 350g in total)
250g puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
100ml soured cream
100g goats cheese
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 medium hot chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tsp chopped parsley

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins for 35-45 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into thin slices. (I didn’t realise that you can peel these by hand once cooled – it’s really great).

2. Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry to about 2mm thick on a floured surface. Cut out rectangles of about 7cm × 14cm and prick them all over with a fork. Put the rectangles on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.


3. Take them out and brush with the beaten egg. Spread a thin layer of soured cream on the pastries, leaving a 5mm border around the edge.

4. Arrange the potato slices on the pastry on top of the cream.

5. Crumble on the goats cheese, sprinkle on the seeds and chilli and season with salt and pepper.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the underneath is golden brown.

7. While they are cooking, mix the olive oil, garlic, parsley and a pinch of salt. Brush this over the galettes when they come out of the oven. Serve immediately! 🙂

Angry Dark Chocolate & Muscovado Truffles

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After an extremely frustrating day yesterday, I was left in one of the maddest moods I have been in for a while so what better way to channel that anger than through my cooking..While searching for a recipe yesterday (I don’t want to give too much away as it is something special I will be making in the coming weeks) I came across this really stunning blog, Poires au Chocolat.  These Dark chocolate truffles (recipe here) were the perfect remedy.. Breaking up that chocolate was so liberating!!! And I am now left with the intense flavour of peruvian and belgium dark chocolate truffles waiting for me on my return home this evening… Something delish to follow what I will be making for dinner tonight! Watch this space! 🙂

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

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Those close to me will know how much I really love strawberries… It’s not just their taste but everything about them.. They bring happy thoughts to mind 🙂 With the miserable weather at the moment and a few other unfavourable elements I decided to bring some colour and happy thoughts into our home 🙂 This is a great recipe (hummingbird again 🙂 ) as it is quite light and filled with fresh strawberries.. I have made a few notes at the end of the post though that I would do the next time I make these… Yes, there will be quite a few next times with these bundles of happiness ♥

Ingredients:
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces
200g digestive biscuits (I used half of this)
12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases

For the frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 40g of the unsalted butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

2. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases.

4. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

6. Prepare the frosting by beating the icing sugar and the butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

7. Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor. Process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold, pipe the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits.

ABC…. A special cake for a very special occasion..

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I had the great honour recently of being asked by a dear friend to help her bake a cake for her sister’s babyshower. It was lots of fun putting this together.. The cake was half red velvet with cream cheese frosting with the other half being vanilla with vanilla icing and strawberry jam – both recipes are from the Hummingbird cookbook. The day before the shower, the mom-to-be found out the sex of the baby and wanted to share it with everyone on the day so we had fun dying the vanilla cake pink and concealing it with yellow icing. 🙂

3 minute Parma Ham, Avo and Rocket Pizza with Peach Meringue Nests

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With the weather being really bad at the moment, there’s no need for me to explain why I have been yurning for Cape Town and more sunny times… One of my favourite memories of saturday mornings in Cape Town would have to be The Old Biscuit Mill market where they serve the most incredible thin crust pizza’s with parma ham, rocket and balsamic reduction… They are heavenly and I haven’t been able to get them out of my head for the last few weeks. Tonight, I had a friend over for dinner and what better time to recreate something similar. This is probably one of the easiest dinners I have ever made but yet it is fresh, tasty and you get to chat with your guest as you prepare 🙂 I learnt a sneaky little trick about a year ago with regards to pizza bases… I have always loved pizza fillings but find the base a bit heavy especially in the evening, so, what i now do is substitute a pizza base with a tortilla wrap which I coat with tomato paste, place in the oven for a few minutes until the edges start to curl up and brown and literally start adding toppings to my hearts content. 🙂

I added the following; rocket, parma ham, avo, parmesan shavings, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and some amazing balsamic reduction (We also added some chilli flakes).

 

To follow this wonderful creation, we had meringue nests filled with lemon curd, topped with whipped cream, tinned peaches and raspberries. The tinned peaches were great but I would suggest using fresh raspberries or other berries 🙂

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Spinach Salad

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We went for brunch yesterday morning to a great place in Nottinghill called 202, if you get a chance, you really should try it out. Although it is a little on the steep side, the delicious organic food and atmosphere is totally worth it… A new haunt-to-be of mine… I had the eggs benedict and my friend ordered the sweet potato and chorizo hash brown with fried egg on top… I had a couple of tastes and “Oh my!” was it delish! So, this afternoon I was visiting my sister for lunch and wanted to improvise and try to create the same ideas in a salad… see below…. you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients

– 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled
– Chorizo, chopped and fried
– Baby spinach
– Cherry tomatoes, chopped
– a couple of spring onions chopped
– Red bell pepper
– Toasted pine nuts
– Fresh coriander, chopped
– Olive oil, salt and pepper
– Juice of half a lemon

Method

1. Peel, chop and boil the sweet potato.
2. Chop and fry the Chorizo

3. Place the spinach into a bowl and start to add the ingredients as and when it is ready

4. Dress the salad with a dash of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some salt an pepper!

5. Toss and it is ready to serve! Enjoy!

Banana Loaf with White Chocolate and Almond Flakes

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As per my previous post, this is my housemate’s friend’s banana loaf recipe! It is so moist and (luckily for us) we had half the loaf left over, put it in the fridge and had it chilled the following day – AMAZING! 🙂

Ingredients:

170g butter
170g caster sugar
170g self raising flour
2 bananas (mashed)
2 drops vanilla essence
2 eggs

Method

I wasn’t given the method for this one but I would suggest beating the sugar and butter, adding the eggs followed by the self-raising flour and vanilla essence and finally the banana. Fold in a handful of white chocolate chips (add a quantity of your discretion) and pour into a baking tin lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and place in the oven at 180C (Gas mark 3) for 1 hour.

I will definitely be making this soon! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Very exciting recipes coming next week! Watch this space! 😉