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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

I’ve been wanting to make ice cream for weeks now and have finally made enough room in the freezer to warrant a batch. But when it came to it I struggled to pick from a plethora of delicious recipes. I should just declare this the summer of ice cream and make a different recipe each week. In fact,  I’m seriously tempted to take up the challenge. I don’t know how I settled on marmalade ice cream but I couldn’t wait to make it and ended up starting the process on Friday night so I could churn my ice cream the next morning and have a taste before lunch. I get very impatient when I have to wait for a taste so it’s something of an achievement that I actually waited until my ice cream was frozen! The scent of the custard as it was cooking was mouth-wateringly good and I was seriously tempted to stop the recipe right there – just think of how good a creamy, thick, orange custard would be with a slice of chocolate cake. (more…)

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More Italian-inspired food today, this time in the form of a cool, fruity frozen dessert that’s lighter than ice cream but far more rich and creamy than sorbet. It’s also much easier to make than those other two treats – no fancy-schmancy churns needed here but I was glad to be in possession of an electric whisk, I tell you. That’s the secret of a good semifreddo – whisking in air, and lots of it. By trapping as much air as possible in whipped yolks, whites and cream you create a fluffy mousse-like confection (and a lot of washing up!) that stays smooth once frozen. Being a ‘semi’ freddo, or half cold, you need to take your dessert out of the freezer a good half hour before serving to let it start to melt (or in my case, having what we affectionately call the ‘absolute-zero freezer’, a full hour). (more…)

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On a recent trip to Rome we rented an apartment just outside of the historic centre and a stone’s throw away from the famed Bar Pompi, renowned for its tiramisù. The classic Italian dessert comes in a variety of sizes from dinky single-serving boxes to giant take-away slabs for dinner parties. Their excellent tiramisù also comes in all manner of flavours: there’s the classic coffee, nutella, chocolate and banana, pistachio, strawberry, forest fruits and this summer’s limited edition piña colada! I didn’t happen to see a cherry version but I’m certain it’s been done before. Inspired by the delicious Italian amarena ice cream and all the fresh cherries appearing in the shops I decided that it was time to make a tribute to Bar Pompi. (more…)

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Hmm, for a blog with cake in the title it feels like it’s been a while since I posted a cake recipe. It’s been a whole seven weeks since the Portuguese orange cake and my afternoon mug of tea has been missing its usual partner in crime. I’m nibbling on the last slice of this most recent cake and sipping a giant mug of Yorkshire tea as I write and trying in vain not to get too many crumbs over the desk, the keyboard and myself. It’s not a massively crumbly cake, the moist apricots help hold things together but I’m genetically destined to be a messy eater, just ask my mother. As a child I had cake crumbs in my tummy button more often than not. (more…)

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Happy Easter!

Come Easter I suspect that many of us have a little bit of chocolate and other various goodies stashed away for the occasional treat (or all-out indulgence). In our house it usually gets scoffed pretty quickly but if you have any leftovers tiffin (or rocky road) is a fun way to use it up. Admittedly I went out and deliberately stocked up on tiffin ingredients but we are rather partial to a sweet treat round here and there’s been some very labour-intensive DIY (I have my very own mini-wrecking bar and hard hat!) going on over recent weekends that’s necessitated a few extra calories. (more…)

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Bread making has always been something I’ve enjoyed but not been particularly good at; I think it all stems from the dismal cookery lessons I had at school where our teacher instructed us to knead rock-solid little balls of dough that baked up so dense not even the park ducks would touch it. Salvation came in March when I finally got to go on an eagerly anticipated bread making course at the Real Food Store in Exeter.

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Every so often I find myself craving a particular food after reading a (non-cook) book. Joanne Harris’ Five Quarters of the Orange made me yearn for fruit tarts and cherry liqueur and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson brought on a porridge fest. From a very early age I found recipe inspiration from literature; I remember asking my mum to let me make stone soup and trying my hardest to imagine what the Hot-Cold Goodies in Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree tasted like. I wonder how many foodies start off this way, obsessing about food before they even start school? I even used to get excited by pictures of food; I adored the idea of the Very Hungry Caterpillar munching his way through fruit, ice cream and cake. (more…)

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