Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘enjoy’

Christmas Day Lunch

In drink, food, Food and Drink on December 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Check out my last post for The Wine Place…

Lots of great tips for the best roast potatoes and wine too match your turkey feast!

Read my blog here

 

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Autumn Leaf Cake

In Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Autumn Leaf Cake

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Here is a recent cake I made that was inspired by the falling autumn leaves. It was a time consuming cake but not difficult.

Make yourself a chocolate cake, there are enough recipes out there to suit you and coat the cake in two layers of chocolate buttercream. I made a chocolate ganache buttercream on this occasion.

You do need to buy fondant icing in at least two colours, here I chose pumpkin orange and caramel brown. You will also need some leaf cutters in at least three different shapes.

I used oak, maple and ash I believe!

Warm your fondant icing in your hand and kneed until pliable. You can then roll out a little sausage shaped length in two colours and twist together. Roll out to a good pound thickness and cut out your leaves. Do this in small batches so you get a range of marbled leaf shapes.

Leave to harden over a curved surface such as a rolling pin or wine bottle, leave some to dry flat.

When the leaves harden arrange at the base of the cake pushing into the icing to neaten the edge and in a pile on the top.

Enjoy!

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Christmas Pudding and Ginger Stout, Stir Up Sunday

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, drink, food, Food and Drink on November 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir Up Sunday

It’s the second of my recipe blog’s for the Wine Place in Wokingham. This week we’ve been looking at matching beer to your very own home made Christmas Pudding. This weekend it’s Stir Up Sunday and if you’ve never made your own Christmas pudding, now’s your chance.

Take a look at the blog and recipe here

 

Christmas English Bubbles and Cheesy Gougeres…

In drink, food, Food and Drink on November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

With the Christmas festivities just around the corner I’ve been looking into what party nibbles go best with a local English wine, Binfield Brut for The Wine Place.

Check out my recipe for Gruyere Gougeres….

In Search of Hot Chocolate

In food, Food and Drink on November 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Check out my latest blog for The Wokingham Times….

 

Perfect Pumpkin Paradise Soup

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on October 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

It’s my favourite time of year as Autumn’s glorious bounty of colours come into full flow what better way to celebrate this beautiful season than with a comforting, hot orange coloured bowl of pumpkin and chilli soup!

Quick, easy and a feast for the eyes this delicious soup will warm you to the bone and it’s cheerful demeanour will make you smile…

 

Ingredients

1 butternut squash or medium edible (not decorative pumpkin)

2 onions finely diced

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 red chillis deseeded and finely chopped

1 pint of vegetable stock

Olive oil

Soured cream (optional

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6

Peel and chop the squash or pumpkin into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Roast with a little olive oil in a roasting tray for thirty minutes, turning once during cooking.

In a large pan heat the olive oil and a little butter if you like and gently saute the onions until tender and soft.

Add the garlic and cook a little longer together with the chopped chilli.

Continue cooking on a medium heat adding the vegetable stock and cooked sqaush/beetroot.

Blitz in batches in a blender smooth or chunky. Add more stock or a little milk to thin if too thick.

This hot sweet, spicy soup is delicious with a swirl of soured cream and a chunk of warm  buttered soda bread.

Enjoy!

Wrap up warm with a hot chocolate…

In drink on September 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

My latest Wokingham Times blog sees me trotting out to the local forest for adventures amid the pine trees and a hot chocolate to celebrate the arrival of autumn…

Read it here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs Glorious Figs

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on September 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous fig season is upon us, and these sensual little bulbs of deep crimson deliciousness are one of my favourite indulgences.

For this recipe I used green figs which were in season in Italy at the time but the dark emperor style purple of our native figs would work just as well.

Ingredients

Serves 4

6 ripe figs firm to the touch but not overly mushy inside

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 cup caster sugar

A little honey for drizzling

Method

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan until the skin rubs off and they are a little golden in colour. Place to cool on one side

Next make the caramel, place the sugar in a heavy based frying pan and melt over a medium to high heat, as the sugar starts to melt and change colour swirl the pan gently to even out the colour. Once a medium caramel colour is achieved remove from the heat and throw in the hazelnuts.

Toss them in the caramel using a fork, don’t be tempted to put your fingers in, this is extremely hot!

Pour onto grease proof paper and leave to harden.

Heat up the grill and cut the top of the figs into a cross shape and squeeze to reveal their sumptuous insides.

Drizzle with a little honey and grill until they start to bubble and blister a little.

Break up the hazelnut caramel and sprinkle like a spiky golden crown in the centre.

Enjoy unadulterated or with a little creme fraiche for added mositure or serve alongside a plate of anti pasti meats.

Whatever the excuse get stuck into the figs while you can!

Beautiful Beetroot Bruschetta

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on August 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Beetroot Bruschetta

I was lucky enough to be given some home grown beetroot and little gem lettuce, and in order to enjoy both in their full glory I thought this excellent summer bruschetta dish was the perfect place to showcase their colour and flavour.

Ingredients

2-3 medium beetroots

1-2 packets good quality goats cheese

2 little gem/baby gem lettuce

1 can artichoke hearts

Bruschetta bread

Olive oil

Garlic

White wine vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Method

The beetroot can be a little fiddly but worth the effort after boiling for 20-30 minutes until tender. Then with gloves to avoid pink fingers peel when a little cooled and chop into nice chunky pieces. Marinade in a little white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

I bought some really good quality toasting bruschetta bread whic I grilled and rubbed with a little garlic and olive oil.

Wash the lettuce and cut into chunks, similar in size to the beetroot, arrange the with the beetroot, artichoke and some crumbled goats cheese onto the bruschetta and drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic to taste.

Tuck in and enjoy the summery vegetable delights!

Decadent Orange Polenta Cake

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food on August 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t like cake? Sorry, don’t answer that! Very few at any rate and for those who are looking for something a little different to a classic sponge then this rich, sumptuous, glossy orange cake might be just the ticket.

Dense and delicious, rich and yummy this is a serious cake from Ottolenghi the cookbook. It’s a little effort but worth it.

Ingredients

50g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

200g unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

3 free range eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp orange blossom water

240g ground almonds

120g quick cook polenta

Caramel Topping

90g caster sugar

2tbsp water

20g unsalted butter cut into cubes

2-3 oranges

Glaze (optional)

3tbsp orange marmalade (shredless)

1 tbsp water

Method

Preheat oven to 170 Gas Mark 3

Take an 8 inch cake tin, grease and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Place the sugar and the water for the caramel in a pan and bring gently to the boil, do not stir or the sugar will crystalise. After a few minutes the sugar will start to darken to a golden caramel. Remove from the heat and stepping back from the pan add the butter.

Pour the caramel into the base of your cake tin and swirl around so the base of the tin is fully covered.

Zest your oranges being careful not to remove the bitter pith and set to one side.

Carefully cut off the rind of the oranges and slice into 6 discs removing any seeds as you go along. Place the orange slices into the caramel and pack in tightly. Use an extra orange if necessary.

Start with the cake batter. With the help of a kitchen aid or electric beaters cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs, orange blossom water and zest.

Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour in the tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Leave to cool completely.

You can glaze the cake with some warmed shredless marmalade for extra shine. Serve with a little sweetened mascarpone for a sweet sharp twang.

Enjoy!