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Archive for the ‘Freezer-friendly’ Category

Hello folks! Just a quick announcement before getting on with this post. Food Magazine‘s 2013 Reader Awards are accepting nominations for your favourite West Country food producers, shops, chefs, cafes and restaurants and, for the first time, bloggers. If you have any favourites that you think deserve some recognition you can vote for them here. And if you’ve enjoyed reading this little blog I would be over the moon if you nominated it. #awkward! Thank you!

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I like a fancy cake as much as the next person, probably more so. Crumbly tops, fruity fillings, chocolate, they all float my boat. But so do basic, unassuming cakes, ones that seem almost dull in their simplicity. In fact, the more simple the cake, the better it has to be; there are no whistles or bells or, you know, lashings of frosting, to hide behind. It doesn’t get much more easy than this one-step cake and, to my mind, it doesn’t get much better. (more…)

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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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Can you tell I’ve been on a bread-making kick since my course with Emma? Every weekend I’ve been baking something new and sitting on my bedside table is Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery with tags sticking out left, right and centre. And despite flagging up so many recipes to try; last weekend I went ahead and made a loaf without following a recipe, just using my “bakers instinct”. It actually turned out really well, I’m so pleased I made a note of the ingredients as I went because I know I’m going to be making this again. It is superb with cheese and wine, alongside a salad or simply smeared with a little butter and devoured.

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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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I’ve been leafing through Dan Lepard’s wonderful book, Short and Sweet, ever since Christmas trying to decide what to make. The problem is there’s too much choice. Everything looks good. How do you pick between passion fruit melting moments, a chocolate cake that uses pears in place of butter or a gorgeous-looking double espresso brazil nut cake? Solution. Open up the book and ask someone else to pick for you. In this case my non-cake fan, but crumble-loving husband picked out a marble cake topped with crumble. Good work! He wins another chance to choose a recipe but I suspect next time he’ll ask to choose from the Hairy Bikers’ Pie Book. (more…)

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