Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Poached Pears

I love desserts and anyone who knows will vouch for that. But poached pears are not something I would choose form a selection. Too much fruit and not enough of the good stuff. This pear is poached in marsala and spices including cloves and cardamon. The best bit for me is the syrup that you make from the poaching liquer. Pour most of it away and them boil it and it reduces to this sticky sweet sauce. I would happily have that sauce over ice cream. Now don't get me wrong I did like the pudding. The pear was really soft and it tasted nice but it didn't give that MMmmmmm moment when you eat a really good pud.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Raspberry and brown sugar muffins.

Well it's been quite a while since I blogged about my baking but all will be revealed as to why very soon. Just to say I've been busy in the kitchen for lots of different reasons but I can't write about them just yet. Anyway, Raspberry muffins. I'm always wary about making muffins because they seem to have rules and I'm not good at following them. I was taught how to make them at teacher training college, very strange I know but it's the time that stands out. Once all the dry and wet ingredients are put together you should only stir the mixture so many times (the number eludes me but I know it's limited) I don't follow the rule. Mainly because I don't understand it and it's never completely mixed within that special number. If anyone has the answer please tell me. But that is beside the point, it's about the raspberry muffins. Any cake that involves fresh fruit is going to be moist and these are really good, a lovely caramel fruit flavour. The brown sugar on top gives them a slight crunch for a bit of texture, lovely.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Very naughty rocky road cake

What else do you do on a wet afternoon, make a cake. But this is not just any old cake, this is a heart attack inducing cake by the sheer amount of sugar and chocolate involved. It's a rocky road cake so it's a basic chocolate sponge (which I thin I'll try and make as a straight chocolate cake because it looked so good!) with rocky road addition, maltesers, marshmallows, white chocolate and digestive biscuits.

Zoe helped me make this cake so the digestive biscuits did get slightly pulverised so they weren't very obvious in the cake. The quantities for this cake are huge, the sandwich sections rise really well and came above the size of the tin so this cake was really tall, there was also more than enough chocolate buttercream. I could just dive into again. Thankfully now I'm back at work we didn't have to eat this all ourselves!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Minted lamb burger and homemade burger buns

You can't go far wrong with a decent burger. I'm quite a traditionalist and prefer beef with a bit of mustard and ketchup. This was lamb with coriander and a raita sauce. I didn't enjoy it, as usual easy to make etc etc but to me lamb should be enjoyed by itself. Don't get me wrong I like lamb curry but I wasn't keen on this one. Mark enjoyed it but I'm not in a rush to make it again, I think I'll stick to the good old british beefburger.

Now onto the bread rolls, these were meant to be the lovely soft rolls you get from the supermarket, perfect for a burger bun really. As usual with my bread efforts they were more like cannon balls. I don't think I kneaded them for long enough and I over cooked them. Whenever I make bread at the moment I always seem to be in such a rush, it's always last minute. My life is just too busy to spend time giving bread making the effort it deserves. I think I'll stick to cakes, much more rewarding, and soo much quicker!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Toffee Popcorn

I love love love popcorn, I'm quite happy to stick the machine on with a touch of salt, heaven. There were quite a few times at Uni when I would get back late having had a few drinks (ahh back in the day) and would make popcorn on the hob. Looking back it wasn't such a great idea, drunk student, gas hob. Well we all survived and I didn't burn the house down.

Well this one is slightly more complicated. You cook the popcorn as normal in a little oil, but in another pan you heat butter, light brown sugar and golden syrup. All bad things....... Once it's melted together mix into the popcorn a bit at a time. I made a couple of mistakes, first I put the popcorn into a cold bowl instead of leaving it in the pan and then stirred in the caramel, it went cold really quickly so everything got stuck to the bowl. The other was  not to listen to the advice in the book and let it cool down completely first. I was just to eager and burnt my mouth. But aside from the mistakes it was delicious. I also quartered the quantities, I am slowly learning that lorraine loves big portions and it was only me enjoying the popcorn so I was very good and made less than the 6 it serves!