The first tomato from the cottage garden, cuddling cats, blooming brambles, magic slippers, dogs on trains, gin, one of the most beautiful cookbooks.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Thursday, 22 August 2013
This months We Should Cocoa is hosted by Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary who has challenged us to make chocolates and truffles. Last month's ice cream challenge round up can be found on Choclette's blog here. You can learn more about We Should Cocoa on Choclette and Chele's blogs.
Peppermint creams get a bad rep for being banished to appearing with your bill at restaurants or in huge quantities at Christmas. Plus, it's near on impossible to buy Poppets now.
I've always had a soft spot for their minty goodness. Maybe it's because I grew up in a town housed a sweet factory and the air by the river was often perfumed with Eau de Trebor Mints.
However, it's summer and I just gorged on a packet of Clarnico Mint Creams that I found in the kitchen cupboard so it is time the sweet little fondants got a sunshiny makeover. And also a new chocolate coating.
1 medium egg white
350gr icing sugar (plus extra)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Lemon extract (to taste)
75gr melted dark chocolate for dipping
1, Whisk the egg whites to medium stiff peaks.
2, Slowly add in the icing sugar in batches with the lemon zest, juice and a couple of drops of extract. You can save a pinch of lemon zest for decorating the finished fondants.
3, You're aiming for a stiff fondant that could be rolled out. You might have to add more icing sugar but this depends on the size of your egg. Add more lemon extract to taste.
4, When you have a ball of stiff fondant, roll it out to a thickness of around 1cm and cut out shapes of your choice. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to dry for at least 12 hours or overnight.
5, Dip the dried fondants in chocolate. Either half or go hard and dip the whole thing. You might need more chocolate. Or sacrifice some of the plain ones to "taste testing"...
Friday, 9 August 2013
Sometimes, I feel like I spend a lot of time either trying to get warmer or cooler.
Tapping the buttons on the air conditioning at work furiously. Sliding on a pair of socks. Wrestling off a jumper. Wrapping my pashmina around my neck tighter. Fanning a leaflet. Turning the hot tap with my toes.
I flapped the lapels of my suit jacket the other day trying to combat the thick, sticky smell of a tube train in rush hour. It reminded me of hot summers and double glazed conservatories. The muggy, geranium scented air that sticks to your skin as you pass through. A rustle of a sun baked newspaper and the cooling promise of a small thick short French style cafe glasses filled with pink lemonade.
200grs fresh raspberries
Zest and juice of a small lemon
200ml of water
Ice, soda water and mint for serving
1, In a small saucepan, stir all the ingredients together and set over a medium heat. Bring up to a very gentle simmer.
2, Stirring occasionally, simmer until the raspberries have disintegrated and you have a pan of bright red liquid. Scoop off any scum.
3, Strain the syrup, preferably through a cloth, to get out all the raspberry solids and leave to cool.
4, Dilute with equal parts of soda water in a ice filled glass. Garnish with mint.