Monday, 31 August 2009

The Seafood Restaurant - St Andrews

For my birthday I went out for a meal at The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews. I blogged this on my other blog Serial Crafter but Carol from UK Food Bloggers suggested that I create a link to the foodie pictures that I had posted there so if you would like to see the superb food created at this restaurant located right over the sea at St Andrews in Scotland, click right HERE

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Blackcurrant Swirl Cheesecake

Last weekend I made this cheesecake, it had a lovely texture, but I found the cheese mixture a bit thin for swirling the blackcurrant puree through and most of it sank to the bottom making the base a bit soggy. I didn't have any chocolate to flake onto it, it does need something as it doesn't look too exciting. I may try it with a topping of stewed blackcurrants, it tasted great though and everyone enjoyed it.

Ingredients


For the fruit puree
225g fresh or frozen blackcurrants
50g caster sugar

For the base
85g shortbread biscuits
50g ground almonds
45g butter melted

For the filling
600g cream cheese, softened
25ml Amaretto liquer
175ml soured cream
2 eggs
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp shavings dark chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas1. Puree the blackcurrants in a food processor
and strain through a sieve.
You should have about 100ml of puree. Place the puree and sugar in a small saucepan set over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until thickened, and set aside to cool.
To make the base, place the bisucuits in a food processor and process until crushed.

Add the ground almonds and butter and blend once more, until combined.
Grease a 20cm spring form tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Press the crumb mixture over the base and refrigerate until firm.
For the filling, blend the cream cheese and amaretto in a food processor until smooth.

Add the sour cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, and process until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the base. Drizzle the blackcurrant mixture over, and swirl lightly with a knife.
Bake for 1 hour, until firm to the touch.
Leave to cool at room temperature, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Decorate with chocolate shavings and serve in wedges.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Katiecakes Cook Book Giveaway!

Katiecakes is giving away this fabulous book, head over to her blog to find out how you can enter this cake candy lol! (UK only)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Moussaka

I made Moussaka the week before last, I was making a 'three portion' dish for my friend to serve to her sister and BIL and the rest I froze for our own consumption. As I was at the hairdressers today, and knew I wouldn't be back till after 4pm, I left this out to defrost. The recipe I used comes from the Good Housekeeping 50h Anniversary Edition, The Cooks Classic Companion.

60ml (4tbsp) sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
450g(1lb) minced lamb or beef
400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
1.25ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
5ml (1tsp) dried oregano
salt & pepper
900g (2lb) small or medium aubergines (eggplant) sliced
50g (2oz) butter
50g (2oz) plain white flour
600ml (1 pint) milk
25g (1oz) Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1 egg yolk
30 ml (2tbsp) fresh breadcrumbs


Aubergines, onion, minced lamb, rather battered old Le Creuset Casserole dish!

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan, add the onion and fry gently for about 10 minutes until soft.
Stir in the meat and cook until evenly browned stirring from time to time to break up the meat.
Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, oregano and seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile brush the aubergines with oil and grill until softened and golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper
3. Melt the butter In a pan stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring and cook, stirring for 3 - 4 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then beat in half of the cheese and the egg yolk: season. (NO PICTURE)

4. Arrange half of the aubergines over the base of a 2.8 litre (5 pint) shallow ovenproof dish. Spread the meat mixture on top and cover with the remaining aubergines. Spoon the suce over the top and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and reamining cheese.
Bake in the oven at 180C (350F) Mark 4 for about 45 minutes until golden. Serve accompanied by a crisp salad.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Beefy Pie!

At the beginning of the week, I asked my DH what he would like for his birthday meal. He wanted some kind of beef and mushroom thing, so I suggested this Beef, mushroom and red wine pie In the BBC Good Food blog the recipe is made as individual pies but I just made one great big one. The BP on the pie are my DH's initials but also stand for Beefy Pie, which is what my boys used to call anything like this, bit of a family joke. It was lovely and we had some of the meat (no pastry left) tonight and it was even better.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Peanut Butter (Snickers) Cake

It's my DH's birthday tomorrow and he loves Snickers and anything to do with peanuts, but as he works in a food factory he can't take any product with nuts in it into his work. When I saw this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine I knew I just had to save it to make for his birthday.
It was soooo easy to make, just throw all the cake ingredients in a bowl and whip them up with the electric mixer.

They came out beautifully
Errr, you might have noticed that these are cashew nuts rather than peanuts. Well I picked up the smallest pack of, what I thought were, peanuts but they turned out to be cashews (blush) anyhow I wasn't going back to the shops for more nuts, so they just had to do. The picture above shows them covered in icing sugar waiting to go in the oven to caramelise.

The cakes are sandwiched together with peanut butter and caramel sauce, then you melt 100g of milk chocolate with two tablespoons of milk, let it cool a little and spread on the top. Just the carmelised nuts to go on top and you're done.
Here's a closer look, no drooling lol! And before anyone asks, I wont be making this for the retreat next May!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Lemon Curd

I made Lemon Curd yesterday, using the recipe from Good Housekeeping, 50th Anniversary Cookbook, here is the recipe:

Makes 700g (1.5lb)

grated zest and juice of 4 medium ripe, juicy lemons
4 eggs, beaten
125g (4oz) butter, cut in small pieces
350g (12oz) caster sugar

1. Place all the ingredients in a double boiler or in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Sir until the sugar has dissolved and continue to heat gently, stirring, for about 20 minutes until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon; do not allow to boil or it will curdle.

2. Strain the lemon curd through a fine sieve. Pot and cover in the usual way. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 weeks.

It nearly went disastrously wrong as I had it in my head that you only used the egg yolks and couldn't quite work out why it wasn't thickening. Eventually I looked again at the recipe and realised that I should have used the whole eggs! I still had the egg whites in a bowl, so whisked them up a little, then added the warm lemon mixture one spoonful at a time, with lots of whisking. Fortunately, it didn't curdle and only took another five minutes to thicken.
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