Sunday, 24 June 2012

Kentish Cider Fudge Cookies

It started with shoes.

These shoes to be precise.

(Wouldn't it be ace if all stories started like that?)

I ordered these white chocolate shoes as bridesmaids gifts from a local sweet shop - Bumbles Sweet Shop in Maidstone, Kent. Their facebook page is here. The recipients loved them although I'm unsure if anyone has actually managed to look past their beauty and eat one!

It's never a good idea to put someone who has a sweet tooth in a sweet shop though. I left clutching a slip of paper with my order details on it, a big box of nerds, a big box of bottle caps and a small black and white stripey bag containing fudge. I sneakily liberated a chunk from its paper prison into my mouth in the car. Then stopped. I knew I'd tear through the entire cargo in less than a minute. So with all my will power, I went home and silently baked cookies. Delayed gratification fudge.

A sweet buttery cookie that melts in your mouth with hefty chunks of fudge that caramalise into crunchy nirvana around the edges.

115gr butter
50gr icing sugar
150gr plain flour
Small pinch of salt
75gr cider fudge, chopped into small pieces

1, Rub the butter into the sifted icing sugar, plain flour and salt until it forms a dough.
2, Fold in the fudge pieces and shape into a sausage like log that is about 20cm or so long. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge until firm.
3, Remove the log from the fridge and preheat your oven to 175o/c. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
4, Slice your log into slices around 12 discs and lay onto your prepared baking sheet.
5, Bake for 12-15minutes or until golden brown. Leave them to cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before sliding onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before eating and store in airtight container.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

We Should Cocoa: Mocha Mousse Pots

This month's We Should Cocoa is guest hosted by Lucy at The Kitchenmaid and she has picked coffee as the pairing for all things chocolatey. Last month's almond round up, hosted by Laura of How to Cook Good Food can be seen here. You can read all about We Should Cocoa and how to enter on the founders blogs - Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot.

To be honest with you, I squeaked a little when coffee came up. Not because I had a good idea for it. Not because I like coffee. But rather that I finally got to use these. Use these in a blog post.

These caused unnecessary, unjustified and pointless heartache during the run up to our wedding. I'd occasionally get an email from Jim to say that someone had bought something off our wedding gift and I would frantically rush back a response that would say "Is it the ghetto espresso cups?!?!" (It often came out as "Is it ethe gett esppresso cips???" in my haste). No - was often the response.

I don't know why I am so deeply enamoured with them.

Makes six espresso sized pots

100gr plain chocolate
2 eggs, separated
1/2tsp good quality instant coffee
50ml double cream, lightly whipped
Small pinch of salt

1, Melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Remove from the heat to allow it to cool slightly.
2, Whilst the chocolate is cooling, separate two eggs and beat the whites until you have soft peaks.
3, Beat egg yolks into the melted chocolate with the instant coffee, cream and salt until smooth.
4, Add about a third of the egg whites and fold in to loosen the soon to be mousse.
5, Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently using a flexible spatula until all uniformly chocolaty with no egg white streaks.
6, Divide this between your six espresso cups and chill for at least two hours before serving.

I'm also entering this into Crunchy Creamy Sweet's Blue Ribbon Challenge - The first challenge being mousse!

Monday, 11 June 2012

19th May 2012

We said "I do"

Then ate some food.

(Canapés of Calamari a la Romana with Garlic Aioli, Vegetable Spring Rolls with Ginger, Bean Sprout and Spring Onion filling with a Spicy Sauce, Hot Roast Beef, Horseradish and Gravy in a Yorkshire Pudding, Oriental Spoons with a Thai Yellow King Prawn Curry and Malaysian Style Chicken Satay with Chilli Peanut Sauce.

Followed by
Crackling Roast Pork
From a whole Spit Roast Hog
Served with Bramley Apple Sauce and Dijon Mustard
Asparagus and Leek Risotto (vegan and gluten free)

Served with:
Classic Caesar Salad
Waldorf Salad
Traditional Garden Salad

And ended with a choice selection of desserts of Eton Mess, Fresh Fruit Salad and Chocolate Mousse).

And smiled 'til the sun went down.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Game of Thrones: A Feast for Kings and Queens

I crackled dyed some hard boiled eggs and then devilled them by scooping out the yolks and mixing with double cream, finely chopped parsley, mustard, chilli powder and seasoning before piping back in. Top with a sprinkle of chilli powder.

These beans were really tasty. Boil one can of haricot beans until cooked. Fry off four rashers of chopped streaky bacon until just crisp before adding two minced garlic cloves. Cook this until the garlic goes golden and the bacon is nice and crispy. Add the beans and then stir through seasoning, cream and a little chicken stock. Finish with a little chopped parsley.

Simple honey roast chicken thighs. In a large freezer bag add 8 boneless chicken thighs and bash with a rolling pin until all roughly the same thickness. Add in four tablespoons of honey, a quartered lemon, two tablespoons of rapeseed oil and three cloves of sliced garlic and some salt and pepper. Give the bag a good squeeze and a shake and leave to marinate in your fridge for four hours. When you're ready to cook them, preheat your oven to 190o/c, tip out into a large baking tin and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is nicely coloured.

So what did you think of the finale? Further Game of Thrones food puns also accepted.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Union Jack Spoons

I nearly bought a Union Jack gazebo. Apart from silly Union Jack trousers, I would happily have more jubilee memorabilia in my house if I had the space. But, sadly, as we already own a gazebo, it was unnecessary.

It got me thinking about what is stereotypically British. The Queen. Fish and chips. Real ale. Talking about the weather. Queuing.


And you can't stir your tea (which so happens to be in a commemorative cup and saucer) without a spoon.

40gr melted and cooled unsalted butter
65gr icing sugar
55gr plain flour
1 egg white
1/2tsp vanilla extract
Red and blue food colouring
1tbsp milk

1, Stir the butter into the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in the plain flour, egg white and vanilla extract until you are left with a smooth batter.
2, Take two small bowls and in each place 1 and a 1/2 tsp of the batter. Colour one red and one blue. I used three or four drops of red food colouring liquid and used a tiny blob of blue food colouring paste. You want them quite bright but the colour will intensify once cooked.
3, Place the coloured batters into two separate disposable icing bags and also put a table spoon or two of the uncoloured batter in another piping bag. Preheat your oven now to 200o/c - this next part may take a little time...
4, Take your spoon mould and pipe a union jack into the bowl part of the spoon moulds. I found it easiest to pipe all the red in a cross then add the diagonal stripes, then pipe the blue in between each gap, then fill in any gaps with the uncoloured batter. Use a cocktail stick to clean up any mistakes.

5, When you've finished piping, mix the milk with the remaining batter to make it looser. Spread gently over the union jack part and then fill the remaining spoon handle cavity. Slide the mould onto a baking tray and bake for 5-6 minutes or until just golden brown.
6, Leave the spoons in their moulds for a couple of minutes before removing and Serving. Store in an airtight container.

These are a cross between a biscuit and a cake, crunchy and cakey. Perfect for dunking! If I made these again, I would probably spend a little more time on the piping though...

I am entering my spoons in the Jubilee Baking Competition hosted by the very lovely Fleur of Homemade by Fleur. The competition is sponsored by Appliances Online and I am seriously looking forward to seeing the round up of all the great bakes and cakes!

Many, many, many thanks for everyone's lovely wishes and words for the wedding. It all went off without a hitch and will tell you all about it - and the honeymoon - when the professional shots come back from our lovely photographer. Thank you again!