Monday, 9 April 2012

Crostata di Prugne Secche

Prunes are delicious. I know that in the UK they make people think of school dinners but a decent Agen prune cannot be beaten for flavour so when I was deciding on what to cook as a cake today I went for a prune filling for my pasta frolla. I did put a twist on it though so you will be delighted that it is not neat prunes, which it could well have been,

I started with the pasta frolla.  The recipe is so easy it is just the rolling out that you need to be careful with. It is a soft pastry that tends to break so I usually use cling film and roll it out on that. It is then easy to pick up and drapes over that cake tin.

150g butter
250 flour
grated rind of 1 lemon
Half a pack of lievito or two teaspoons of baking powder
2 egg yolks
150 sugar

Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy.
Beat in the egg and then fold in the flour and the baking powder until you have a soft dough. You can put it to rest in the fridge for about half an hour if you have the time.

Put a piece of cling film on the work surface and roll about two thirds of the pastry out on that. Make sure that it will cover the bottom and sides of the tin that you will be using.

For the prune filling

300g pitted prunes
100ml whipping cream
Brandy Use as much as you need to make a spreadable paste. I used about 100ml.
50g sugar

Put the prunes, brandy and sugar in the food processor and pulse until you have a thickish paste. It should still have bits in it . Too fine will be like baby food.
Turn it into a bowl and beat in the cream until you have a spreadable paste.

Spread over the pastry base and then roll out the remaining pastry and cover the filling. Trim and neaten the edges of the pastry.

Cook in a fairly hot oven for about 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool and dust the top with icing sugar.

This cake is quite rich so small pieces are perfect.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Saucy monkey Pudding

How many of you have over ripe bananas going to waste in your fruit bowl? You know as well as I do that there is only so much banana bread that you can make. So you'll be delighted with this pudding from Short and Sweet. This time it's for hot, buttered nutty bananas with a banana chocolate sponge. Serves four. As an aside, and an important one at that, I couldn't resist making a pudding with this name.

As this super scrumptious recipe has been published in the Guardian, you will have to go there for the details, but please leave a comment here.
Miraculously, I didn't change a thing!
I've been asked to direct you to the Guardian page for the recipe.

Dan Lepard's Rum Cake

Although this recipe was published in 'The Guardian', those of you who have seen the previous post will know that I have the wonderful book from Dan Lepard so I actually used that one. I also cooked it in a round thin in the shape of an 'O' as Dan suggested. I think that this helped as the cake cooked more quickly than if it was a traditional round cake. The moisture in the cake might have made it sink.

Please don't expect this to be a pretty cake but, what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste. I think that you will see that the cake is very moist. It could be the pineapple that is cooked in the mixture or the copious amounts of rum that were included in the ingredients and poured over it after cooking. Who cares really as the result was mouthwatering.

I did have to make some changes, not because I thought that the recipe needed it, but because I was missing a few ingredients and so I substituted, almonds for brazil nuts, raisins for dates and mixed spice for the spices. otherwise it was exactly as published and I must say, delicious. You will not regret making this cake. Your only regret will be in eating the last slice.
Recipe can be found here at the Guardian

Short and Sweet

I think that I've just bought the best cookery book ever and that it a statement that I don't bandy around without thought.

I bought this book despite the lack of pictures as the recipes and writing are so tempting that I couldn't resist.

I've already made a few things so as soon as the pictures are available --- problems with computers ---  don't ask, I will get them out to you.