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Posts Tagged ‘butter’

It’s been a crazy few weeks around here with lots more work happening to the house (unfortunately not in the kitchen) and a big helping of overtime to help afford some of the new cabinets we need to order. Who knew that taking a week off work would actually entail more work than the office job? With all that’s been going on I’m afraid I’ve let my cooking go by the wayside reverting to simple, slightly boring dishes and whatever’s left in the freezer. So please forgive me for posting something I’ve had lurking around on my PC for a little while. It’s a lovely little recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s column in the Guardian which goes perfectly with barbequed meats or some simply baked fish, no fuss required. The only reason it’s been lurking so long is the frankly, pretty pathetic photos which do this salad no justice.

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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 expect a lot of people will have already seen recipes for this fabulous Estonian bread doing the rounds on the net. I first came across it on Pinterest and found the recipe on Romanian cooking blog Just Loves Cookin which has a great step-by-step photo guide on shaping . It’s such a pretty loaf that I couldn’t wait long before trying to make my own. As you can see from the pics, I need a little more practice shaping the ring but I’m still quite pleased with the result. The taste is, unsurprisingly, as good as any cinnamon roll – rich, buttery and caramelised. The layers you create by rolling the dough fan out as they bake and turn into crunchy, dark golden ridges hiding soft, sweet bread rippled with spice. (more…)

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Spring is in the air, daffodils are in bloom rubbing shoulders with crocuses, snowdrops and primroses. The birds are chirruping and there’s a warmth to the sun even if there is still a nip in the air. This weekend heralded the first spring-like day and as I walked home from a trip to the shops, I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my back and felt like I could have been on holiday. As I walked I nibbled on the crackly ‘quignon’ of a still-warm sourdough baguette I’d picked up at the Real Food Store which was intended to go with this simple fennel dish. Fortunately there was still enough left for lunch! (more…)

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Lots of the food blogs I like to read use wonderfully evocative titles that sum up the atmosphere or inspiration for a post. Unfortunately I’m not so much of the creative ilk so for consistency’s sake I stick to the recipe name. Otherwise this post would have been called something along the lines of “Memories of summers passed”. With that said, you can probably tell that this recipe is the result me pining for childhood summers spent camping in France and one particular holiday in beautiful Jersey.

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There are so many things I’ve been planning to make and blog about recently and for all sorts of reasons I’ve not made them. Instead, today I’m sharing a recipe I didn’t really intend to. I often find myself whipping up a quick cake or cookies on a whim, often before I’ve done the weekly shop which means making do with whatever ingredients I have and perhaps using up some things that are past their best.

Last night I fancied using up two slightly ‘mature’ eggs in something cakey and almondy. As usual I was fresh out of almonds so I turned to my standby block of marzipan – yes, there’s always one on hand for nibbling. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I was pleasantly surprised by how good these little madeleines were; the perfect balance between pillowy-light cake and moist, rich almond. 

Marzipan Madeleines

Makes about 16

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 40g sugar
  • 80g plain flour, plus extra for the tin
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the tin
  • 100g marzipan, grated or cut un finely

Brush a madeleine tin or small bun tin generously with melted butter and dust with flour, turn upside down and tap off the loose flour. Chill in the freezer.

Heat oven to 200°C.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy, they should be double or triple the starting volume.

Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour and salt. Fold together with a metal spoon.

Gradually add the melted butter, stirring well to incorporate. Finally, fold in the marzipan.

Remove the tin from the freezer and spoon in the batter. Fill each hole until almost full* and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins.

Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 1 minute before turning out onto a cooling rack.

If you have any extra batter, brush the still-hot tin with more butter, fill the holes and bake for 9 mins (the heat from the tin will kick-start the baking).

*About this full

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Lemon Curd

The sky is grey, the ground is covered in grey slush and quite frankly, if it wasn’t for Christmas presents and cold sausages in the fridge, I’d feel grey. I love sunny and crisp winter days where the sun glints off the frost and the grass crunches under your feet but this greyness is just so dull. I yearn for bright colours of summer, a little sunshine to perk up my day. So while the sun is being so recalcitrant I’ve injected a little sunshine into my breakfast.

Citrus fruit is so beautifully brazen with eye-popping colours and zingy taste. Winter and citrus are just meant to be, especially considering how many of us need a vitamin C boost to get over the snuffles. This lemon curd is the perfect pick-me-up, like sunshine in a jar. Enjoy it spread on toast or muffins, stirred into porridge or spooned over yoghurt. It is also fantastic blobbed into lemon sponge cake batter before baking or as a jam replacement in jam tarts.

I’ve never been very good at jam making, I inevitably overcook it or end up with a runny fruit syrup. Lemon curd is my saving grace, it’s so easy my mum let me make it by myself when I was little. Use real butter to get a good set and if you accidentally scramble the eggs you can salvage your work by passing it through a sieve.

Lemon Curd

Makes 1-2 jars

  • 3 lemons, unwaxed is possible
  • 150-200g sugar depending on how sweet you like things
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten

If you can only get waxed lemons give them a scrub and rinse. Most lemons have a very thin layer of edible wax to preserve them.

Zest the lemons and squeeze out the juice. In a heavy-based pan mix the butter, sugar and lemon juice and zest. Heat on a medium setting until the butter is melted.

Take off the heat and stir in the eggs. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly until the curd coats the back of the spoon.

Pour into sterilised jars, seal and leave to cool.

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