Sunday, 29 March 2009

Raspberry and Almond Cake

175g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
4 large eggs
75ml sour cream
125g ground almonds
115g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
200g fresh or frozen raspberries
25g flaked almonds
1tbsp caster sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to gas 4.
Grease a 20cm spring-form or loose bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the sour cream. The mixture may look as though it is curdling, but don't panic.
Add the almonds, flour and baking powder. You should now have a smooth, creamy batter.
Stir in three-quarters of the raspberries and spoon into the prepared tin. Scatter over the remaining raspberries, the flaked almonds and the extra tablespoon of caster sugar.
Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, testing it with a skewer after an hour. If the skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake, it is ready.
The top of the cake should be wonderfully golden, crispy and cracking slightly.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes before removing.
Cut into wedges and serve warm or cold, just as it is or with a spoonful of sour cream.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Chorizo with butter beans and peppers

So simple and delicious, that it can't even be called a recipe!
Soften 1 peeled, sliced red onion in olive oil and then set aside. Fry 200g sliced chorizo, then stir in the onion and 100g roasted red peppers (from a jar!!). Pour in 100ml of dry sherry and bubble for a minute. Stir in 410g tin of butter beans and 400ml vegetable stock. Simmer for 7-8 minutes until the liquid reduces by half. Serve with crusty bread.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Christmas Pudding

When I was a child the tradition at my school was for all the children to stand in line and take a turn in giving the Christmas pudding a stir, whilst all singing a rather repetative song about stirring a pudding. Thankfully times have changed and I have a mixer, so don't rely on child
labour for such things.....
100g ready-to-eat dried figs, roughly chopped
150g sultanas
150g raisins
150g currants
50g chopped mixed peel
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50ml Guinness
50ml brandy
150g self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
175g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
150g fresh white breadcrumbs
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
100g molasses sugar

Put the dried fruits, peel, apple, lemon zest, Guinness and brandy into a large bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, spices and a pinch of salt.

Melt the butter in a small pan, then allow to cool slightly. Pour over the dried fruit mixture, then add the breadcrumbs, eggs, molasses sugar and spiced flour. Mix well.
Grease and base line a 1.5 litre pudding basin. Tip in the pudding mixture and level the surface. Cut a circle of foil larger than the top of the pudding basin and make a pleat down the centre. Use to cover the pudding and secure in place with string – tie this around the basin rim, loop over the pudding and tie at the other side to make a handle.

Put an upturned saucer in the base of a deep saucepan. Sit the basin on top and fill the pan with boiling water to come halfway up the basin. Cover the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and steam the pudding for 5 hours, keeping the water level topped up. Using the tie-handle, carefully remove the basin from the saucepan. Set aside to cool. Cover with clean foil and store in a cool place for up to 6 months.

To reheat, place on an upturned saucer in a large saucepan of simmering water. Cook for 1 hour or until piping hot throughout.

Don't forget to add a silver charm for luck.....

Friday, 7 November 2008

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

150g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
75g rolled oats
125g butter
75g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
75g dried cranberries
150g whit choc chips
Preheat the oven to Gas 4 and grease a baking sheet.
Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl, beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the foulr, baking powder, salt, oats and fold in the cranberries and choclate chips.
Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten with a fork.
Cook for 15 minutes, until golden, and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Oven baked risotto

1tbsp oil
1 chopped onion
300g risotto rice
100ml white wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200g roasted peppers
500ml veg stock.
good hadnful of parsley chopped
Heat the oven to Gas6.
Heat the oil in an oven proof pan, fry the onion until soft. Turn up the heat, add the rice and stir in the wine until absorbed, then pour in the tomatoes, peppers and 440ml stock.
Cover and bake in the oven fr 25mins until the rice is tender and creamy.
Stir in the remaining stock, parsley and scatter with Parmesan.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Pea Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled and finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
About 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
8 oz shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Pour olive oil into a pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add onion and stir often until limp, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until opaque, about 3 minutes.
Add wine and stir until absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 5 1/2 cups stock, about a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until almost absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes total; stir in peas with the second cup of stock. If risotto is thicker than desired, stir in a little more broth. Stir in cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
To make this totally vegetarian use a good vegetable stock.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Sausage and Guinness casserole

1 tbsp vegetable oil
12 good-quality pork and herb sausages
2 large onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1/3 carton passata
330ml bottle Guinness
300ml beef stock, hot
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved

Heat the oil in a large casserole or deep, wide frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook for 6-8 minutes, until browned all over. Remove and set aside.
Add the onions, celery and bacon to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Stir in the flour and tomato passata and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the Guinness, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, until reduced. Add the stock, bring back to the boil, then return the sausages to the casserole with the mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and season to taste.
Not really what I was expecting to be making on a Sunday in August, but it was delicious and the accompanying vegetables were at least home grown!