Saturday, 29 October 2011

Just one more bruschetta

If you liked the last bruschetta then you may also like this one which is yet more luscious and delicious.
To make this little beauty, Nigella's phrase I know but I think quite appropriate here, You will need to have some roasted peppers. These are really easy to do. Now I know that you may have seen them roasted over a  gas flame and charred until the skin comes off, but there is an easier way. Smear them with oil, put on a non stick baking sheet and cook in a very hot oven until the skin blisters and turns black. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. It make not one iota of difference if you cover them or not, the skin will come off if they have blistered and that is very important. When cool skin the peppers, remove the seeds and cut into strips.

Cook your bruscetta in the usual way, smear with garlic flavoured olive oil, top with rocket, pepper slices and then thin slices of taleggio. Flash under a hot grill to melt the cheese and enjoy.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake

This latest recipe is a real classic. The walnuts are ready and perfect for making this cake. I do believe that the fresher the walnuts the better the cake and this one was made with walnuts from the tree that overhangs the terrace in front of the house so you can't get any fresher or more local than that.

In essence the cake is a variation on a Victoria sandwich, the simple difference is that you add some ground walnuts to the cake mix befoer cooking. That is the walnut part. the second and most importand but is the coffee buttercream which is used to sandwich the layers together.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Fig and Ricotta Bruschetta

In June, we were luck enough to pick up a case of figs for E3. That really is the truth. There were about 40 figs in the case so we were able to gorge ourselves for a few days. One of the wonderful things about having a glut of figs is that it allows you to experiment on recipes that are usually too expensive to try out. So, as expense was no object, try out we did and we came up with this gem.

Cut the figs into quarters and toss in some balsamic vinagrette.
Toast your thickly cut slices of good quality Italian bread. Not ciabatta though. It is constantly touted as the Italian bread to use but quite honestly it is too full of holes to make bruschetta and good casareccio bread is far better. When the bread is toasted brush with a cut clove of garlic and some good olive oil.

Mash up the ricotta and spread on the bread add some peppery rocket and top with the figs. drizzle with balsamic vinegar and enjoy.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Amaretti and Chocolate Marble Cake

This post starts with a stern warning.

Hands off this cake until the day after you have made it!

Honestly, it will taste far better on the following day when the flavours have had the time to develop and the cake will soften up a bit.
Don't you love the fabulous yellow colour of the cake. It's made with Italian eggs. I made it in Italy and the eggs there are a wonderful yellow. Nigella always uses them but I have no idea how to get them in the Uk. More's the pity as would love to have that colour on my cakes here.

Tis cake is a simple creamed sponge cake, but what makes ir different is the addition of melted chocolate to one half of the mix and the amaretti soaked biscuits distributed throughout the mixture.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Rum Custard Tartlets

This little custard tart is deceptive. It is small and cute but it is packed full of flavour and delicious as only a classic tart can be. I wanted to make something like the Portugese custard tarts that look fantastic but when I make them the puff pastry push the filling out and ruins the effect. So I opted for a more classic tart and this is what I've come up with.
Sweet Pastry

150 g flour

½ teaspoon baking powder
75g softened butter
50g sugar

Make the pastry by rubbing the ingredients for the pastry together and add a little water to bind.

Roll out and line a greased, pastry shapes. As you may have guessed I used my silicone ones as I love them.
Bake the pasrty cases blind. You only need to colour them slightly. Not too brown. The oven should be about 180.

Now for the filling:
To make this good and rich you will need
4 egg yolks
3 tbs sugar
two tbs dark rum
250ml whipping cream I made these in Italy and there is cream period - and there is no distinction between double and whipping. I am guessing that what is available is only whipping.

Add the sugar, and rum to the egg yolks and, mix well to break down the yolks.
Warm the cream to just below boiling point and add to the egg mixture mixing well.
Pour the mixture in to the part cooked cases and return to a medium oven until they have taken on a golden tinged.

Cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Millefoligie of frutti di bosco

When I was in Italy this summer I did a lot of cooking but not a lot of blogging. I had to feed the family for much of the time so I sort of saved my posts up so that I could put them on the site in the autumn when I had the time. The time has arrived, but I won't inundate you with posts as I will save them up. One of the best things about cooking in Italy though is the light when taking the photographs. it is so much better to take a photograph on a sunny day than a dank day in the winter in Britain.

This pudding is so easy to make and I must admit that I did rather cheat as I used a bought puff pastry.
So, roll out your pastry or, if it is ready rolled place it on a baking sheet and prick well with a fork. Dust with icing sugar as this helps to disguise that it's not home made and makes it taste better too. Cook at about C200 for as long as it takes to brown well. I don't like flabby pastry so cook until nice and brown. Press it down if it has risen too much. When cool cut in half so that you have two long strips.

For the filling. Make up a packet of instant custard with about 2/3 of the water than it says on the packet. Stir in a level tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Leave to become completely cool.
Whisk up 250ml of whipping cream or double cream and when it is at the floppy stage stir into the cold custard. Spread over one half of the puff pastry and top with the remaining pastry.
Spoon the fruits of the forest over the top.

To make the fruits of the forest topping, I picked whatever I could fine and mixed it with as much sugar as I thought that it needed to make it acceptable. I like mine sharp. It also depends on the ripeness of the fruit. The ones that I used were fairly sharp. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and then set aside to cool. Store in the fridge if you are going to keep it for  awhile.
If you don't want to put the fruit on the top, you can serve it on the side. it will still bring a smile to a little girl's day.