Spaghetti with Kale Pesto, Goat Cheese and Spicy Squid

IMG_4019Every season Tesco release a free Tesco Family Living Magazine. It a great magazine for inspiration. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. In the most recent one, one of their recipes stood out to me. It was the Kale Pesto. Kale is one these vegetable that I’ll like to eat more of but never really sure how to! However I found the original just lacked a big of punch. It was a little bland.

It need a bit more of a kick and when I come across some squid ring in the local fishmongers I know that I found what I needed. Unfortunately they did not have any whole squid. I would recommend whole squid with or with tentacles. For me the tentacles are the best bit!  I personal think that frozen peas are terrible! I have slightly altered  a recipe from Beyond Kimchee. I’ve used Harrissa Paste rather than Korean Chilli paste as I had this on hand. I have also swap the frozen pea for sugar-snap peas as they add a  nice crunch!

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 300g/10oz spaghetti
  • 150g/5oz sugar-snap peas (chopped in half)
  • 1 x 200g pack kale ( roughly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil leaves
  • 40g/ 1 ½oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 45g /1 ¾oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 100g/3 ½oz Goat Cheese
  • 4  small quid with tentacles, cleaned
  • 1-2 tbsp ground nut oil
  • 2 tbsp Harissa Pasta chili paste
  • 1½ tbsp Korean chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  1. In a mixing bow, mix Harissa Pasta chilli paste, chilli flakes, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper, and sesame oil until it becomes smooth paste.IMG_4011
  2. Add the squid and leave aside for 30 minutes for overnight. The longer the better!IMG_4012
  3. To make the pesto, whiz 100g Kale in a blender with the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, oil and garlic, until smooth.IMG_3951IMG_3952
  4. Bring two large pans of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghetti in one pan following the packet instructions, adding the peas and 100g (3,5 oz) Kale for the last 4 minutes. Drain the pasta and veg, reserving a little of the cooking water. Return to the pan.Cut the Goat Cheese into Bit size pieces.IMG_3955
  5. Add Ground nut oil to hot pan and cook squid for 2-3 mins. Place on some paper towel to adsorb any excess oil.IMG_4015
  6. Use some of the reserved water to loosen the Pesto a little if needed. Toss the pasta, peas and kale with the pesto, goat cheese and spicy squid. Divide between 4 plates and Serve and enjoy.IMG_4019
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Mini Chocolate Cakes with Blood Orange Syrup and Blood Orange Marmalade Rippled Cream filling.

IMG_3854For Fabian birthday a while back, I baked a Black Forest Gateau, however it was so extravagant that I end up with a extra layer. Yes you read that right! While searching for birthday cake idea I came across a James Martin receipt for a Chocolate and whisky Génoise sponge filled with marmalade cream.To be honest I was curious about the marmalade cream but was not sure about the whisky. Having made the marmalade cream I know must admit I will have to add this one to my growing this of thing to bake.

My leftover sponge was like the Génoise is quite dry, and I did need something to moisten it. As orange and chocolate are so good together originally I had intended to make a orange syrup, however they had some great blood orange that day, so I know  they would be wonderful in this and would perfectly with the blood orange marmalade I made previously.

I wanted these to be quite some and dainty, something that would fit in perfectly in a afternoon tea. This receipt would also work at well as a full cake, just remember to bake half the sponge recipe from the Black Forest Gateau. 

Ingredients-Make 11 Mini Sponge Cakes

For the marmalade cream

  • 88g/3oz coarse cut Blood Orange Marmalade
  • 150ml/5 fl oz Double Cream

Blood Orange Syrup

  • 236ml/1 cup water
  • 201g/ 1 cup White Sugar (granulated)
  • Zest and Juice of Blood Orange
  1. To make the blood orange syrup, put all ingredient into a large sauce pan and bring to boil. Stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Gently boil heat the mixture until it has reduced about by half and has a nice thick consistency.IMG_3840IMG_3841
  2. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut as many circles out as possible. I’ve half my again as otherwise they would be too big.IMG_3837IMG_3836
  3. Brush the orange syrup on to the cut side, i.e. leave your presentation side dry.IMG_3842
  4. For the marmalade cream, place the marmalade into a food processor and blend to a purée.IMG_3844IMG_3847
  5. Whip the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gently fold in the marmalade puree to create a marbling effect throughout the cream.IMG_3848IMG_3850
  6. Pipe the cream into half of the circle and press together. Light dust with icing sugar. Serve and Enjoy.IMG_3857

 

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Black Forest Gateau

IMG_3788Anyone who know me or has followed this blog for a while know that I don’t need much for excuse to bake something. So when Fabian come to Cork recently for a belated 30th birthday celebration I know I had to bake some spectacular and over the top. Fabian loves cherry however it so hard to find good one in Ireland, so when I came across some morello cherries. I know I had to do something with them for this birthday.

The first thing that come to mind is a black forest gateau. I know what you are thing…yuk!I hate these overly sweet British/American version for the 1980’s. This version is inspired by the traditional German Black Forest Cake Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen, however I must point out that it in not a authentic Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen.

My version rich, dense, indulgent chocolatey cake, filled boozy sour cherry and fresh cream. This cake also has a pastry base, which I found really helps when serving this cake! I taken the pastry base and filling recipes from Felicity Cloake, how to make the perfect blog and cake itself is from Gordon Ramsay’s. I have double Gordon recipes as I wanted three layer, however this will leave you with a extra layer. I will have post coming so to used this up!

The Kirsch is the one other ingredient that cannot be substituted with another alcohol, if you do not want to buy the kirsch than cherry juice will do fine. For the Garnish I have left it pretty simple. I find that the Black Forest Gateau cake that are covered all over in cream just have the wrong ratio of cake and cream. I also find it reminds me too much of the 80’s tacky.

IMG_3693Ingredients-Serves 16-20

Pastry Layer

  • 60g/2.1 oz plain flour
  • 5g/ 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 25g/0.9 oz caster sugar
  • 40g/1.4 oz butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon kirsch
  • Pinch of salt

Cakes

250g/8.8 oz self-raising flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoon cocoa powder
10 large eggs, separated
400g/14.1 oz unsalted butter, softened
300g/10.6 oz caster sugar
4 tablespoon cooled espresso or strong coffee
200g/7.1 oz dark chocolate (minimum 65% cocoa solids)

Fillings and Garnish

  • 700g/24.7 oz morello cherries in syrup
  • 100ml  kirsch
  • 500ml double cream
  • 50g/1.8g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g/10.6 oz morello cherry jam
  • 25g/0.9 oz dark chocolate

I’m entering this Black Forest Gateau into Baking with Spirits hosted by Cake Of The Week as I’ve used Kirsch. February theme is Fun and I cannot thing more fun this this boozy Black Forest Gateau.

As this was a labour of love for Fabian. I’m entering this into Love Cake hosted by Ness at Jibber Jabber. This month’s theme is ‘For the love of Cake’.

Love Cake logo

  1.  If you’re making the pastry layer, sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Whisk together.IMG_3696
  2. Then mix in the remaining ingredients to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.IMG_3708
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and grease the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and use to line the base of the tin. I have rolled mine out between two large pieces of clingfilm, as if you used flour you my end up lighter coloured pastry layer.IMG_3712
  4. Prick all over with a fork, then bake for 15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the tin and set aside on a wire rack to cool. Grease and line the tin.IMG_3717
  5. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas 2. Butter, line and butter again the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin. I have made my layer in two batches so remember to half your ingredient for the below steps. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together and set aside.IMG_3696
  6. In a large grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks using an electric beater.IMG_3739
  7. Beat the butter and sugar in another mixing bowl until pale and light. Beat in the yolks one at a time.IMG_3724
  8. Then fold the espresso through.IMG_3727
  9. Melt he chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the melted chocolate.IMG_3728IMG_3729
  10. In several batches, fold the sifted flour mixture and the beaten egg whites alternately into the butter mixture. Spread the combined batter over the base of the prepared tin and level with a spatula.IMG_3731IMG_3745
  11. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake emerges clean. Cool for 5 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment.IMG_3734
  12. Repeat step 5-12. This will give you 4 layer but there no real way to half an egg.
    IMG_3753IMG_3758
  13. Drain the cherries, retaining the syrup. Mix 50ml of it with 50ml of kirsch. Brush some of the syrup over the slices and leave to sink in; you can add more if it is all absorbed, but don’t overload it.IMG_3764
  14. Set aside 12 cherries and de-stone the fresh cherries, and put together with the drained cherry and jam. Add 50 ml Kirsch. Cook on medium heat for about 10 min until the mixture has thickened. Remember also that it will set a bit as it cool. If is it too thick once it has cooled than just add a little Kirsch. I would leave this to cool overnight if possible.
    IMG_3749IMG_3750IMG_3757IMG_3762
  15. Whip the cream until thick, then sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla extract.IMG_3763
  16. When you’re ready to assemble the cake, put the pastry layer on a cake stand or board. Spread with a quarter of the cheery jam mixture, a fifth of the cream.IMG_3766
  17. Spread with a quarter of the cheery jam mixture, a fifth of the cream on the sponge and gently layer on top of the pastry layer (be gentle as you lift it).IMG_3770
  18. Repeat again with the other two layers, and press down gently.IMG_3771
  19. Use a palette knife to spread the remaining cream on top. Grate chocolate curls generously over them, and arrange the remaining cherries in the middle.IMG_3774IMG_3772
  20. Chill for an hour before serving. This cake does keep well for several day in the fridge.IMG_3786
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Blood Orange Marmalade

IMG_3809A few weeks ago before Christmas me and Fabian end up seeing Paddington (the movie). It was just amazing film so much fun. One of the opening scene is Paddington with this family making Marmalade. That scene just made it look for much fun, that when I saw the blood oranges in the supermarket I know what I had it make!

I will not lie to you, Marmalade does take some time and patience but is very much worth it. It is a beautiful tangy Marmalade.

Ingredients Makes 2 x 300g jar, 1 x 500g jar and 1 x 100g jar

Time:24 hours

  • 4 Blood oranges (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), scrubbed
  • 1.7L water
  • 1kg granulated sugar
  • Muslin cloth-food grade
  • Sugar thermometer (optional)
  • Sterilise jars
  • Jar lifter (optional)
  • Funnel (optional but really does help)
  1. Halve the oranges and squeeze the juice into a large stainless-steel pan. Scoop out the pulp into a sieve over the pan and squeeze out as much juice as possible.IMG_3789IMG_3790
  2. Cut the remaining peel by hand with a sharp knife or in a food processor (a food processor will give very fine flecks rather than strips of peel). Add the shredded peel and pulp to the muslin cloth and tie together. Than add to the pan along with the water. Leave to soak overnight. This helps to extract the maximum amount of pectin from the fruit pulp, which will give a better set. It also helps to soften the peel, which will reduce the amount of cooking needed.IMG_3791
  3. Put the pan over a medium heat, then bring up to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 1½-2 hrs, until the peel has become very soft. The thickly the peel the long the longer the cooking time.) To see if the peel is ready, pick out a thicker piece and press it between your thumb and finger. It should look slightly see-through and feel soft when you rub it.IMG_3798
  4. Carefully remove the muslin bag, allow to cool slightly, then, wearing the rubber gloves, squeeze out as much liquid as possible to extract the pectin from the fruit pulp. Add the sugar to the pan, then put over a low heat. Warm gently so that the sugar dissolves completely, stirring occasionally. Do not boil, before the sugar is dissolved.IMG_3799
  5. To sterilise the jars, place upright in cool oven, heat to 110C/225F/Gas 1/4 and bake for 30 minutes.Increase the heat and bring up to the boil but do not stir while the marmalade is boiling. If you had a sugar thermometer than you want a temperature of 105oC. Otherwise after about 5 mins the marmalade will start to rise up the pan (it may drop back and then rise again) and larger bubbles will cover the surface. After 8-10 mins boiling, test for setting point. Times will vary according to the size of the pan.IMG_3800
  6. Spoon a little liquid onto the plate, then place into a freezer for 1 min. Push the marmalade along the plate with your finger. If setting point has been reached then the marmalade surface will wrinkle slightly and the marmalade won’t run back straight away. If the set point has not been reached than repeat until it has reach it, but it 5-10 minutes. It can take anywhere for 10-5o minutes to reach this point.IMG_3801
  7. Allow the Marmalade and jars to cool a little, than transfer the marmalade to sterilised jars. Cover with a wax disc (wax side down) and seal. When cold, label the jars and store in a cool, dark cupboard. The marmalade should keep for up to a year.IMG_3804IMG_3830
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Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

IMG_3680Brownies are just one these easy and scrumptious dessert to make. Here the addition of the cheesecake layer add to this heavely mixture. These look amazing and are so easy to make but will still wow any guest! I’ve double the recipes from Sunny Anderson and also add lemon juice as I did not have the right vinegar when I was making these .

Ingredients-makes 25 squares

Red velet brownies part 2 001

Red Velvet Brownies

  • 4 large eggs
  • 230g/1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 400g/ 2 cup vanilla sugar
  • ½ cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder¼
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon liquid or gel red food coloring
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon Juice
  • 190g/ ½cup  plain/all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 450g/16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 10og/ ½ cup  vanilla sugar
  • 2 egg yolk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C/160 °C  fan oven or 350 °F.  Butter and line  a 9×13 inch pan with baking parchment. Set aside. Place the butter in bowl over a pan of simmering water , and leave for few minutes to melt.Red velet brownies part 2 003
  2. Once melted, add the sugar and stir. Red velet brownies part 2 004
  3. Sieve in the cocoa power and stir gentle. Than add the salt and stir to combine. Red velet brownies part 2 006
  4. Followed by the food colouring and mix to combine. Red velet brownies part 2 007
  5. Finally add the lemon juice.Whisk the eggs in bowl and add to the mixture. Sieve the flour and gentle fold in.Red velet brownies part 2 008
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, saving 4-5 tablespoon/¼ cup of the batter for the top.Red velet brownies part 2 009
  7. Now make the cheesecake layer, by mixing together the creamcheese, egg yolk and sugar.Red velet brownies part 2 011
  8. Spead over the top of the red velvet brownies layer. Now using the tip of the knife, make the cheesecake and brownies layer. Than add remainig brownies mixture in small bit over the top of the mixture. Red velet brownies part 2 012
  9. Bake for 45 min. Removed to a cooling rack. Cut the brownies when there completed cooled.Red velet brownies part 2 013
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Mince Pie Fudge

IMG_3575Mince Pie Fudge is a glorious creation. Whoever come up with idea well done, but I must admit it is not good for your healthy. I only make it once a year! It simple vanilla fudge with some broken up mince-pie. However you get the more subtle mince-pie spices taste coming through. Plus it is a great why to use up any mince-pies around the house.IMG_3563

Ingredients-makes

  1. Chopped the mince pies. Place the ingredients into a large non-stick saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.   IMG_3565
  2. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously and scraping the base of the pan. Take care while the mixture boils and during stirring as the fudge will be VERY hot! To test its ready drop a little of the mixture into a jug of ice-cold water. A soft ball of fudge should form. Or check with a sugar thermometer if you have one (approx 118°C). IMG_3566
  3. Stir in the chopped mince pies. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool before cutting into squares.Serve and enjoy.IMG_3572

 

 

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Mini Mince Pie

IMG_3556I must admit that I love anything in miniature form. Most desert or baking just look better in a small version, plus you do not feel quite as guilty with these ones! This is a slight alternation of this recipe. Christmas really is not complete until you had some hot homemade mince pies.IMG_3527

  • 250g plain flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Mincemeat
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.Make the pastry by putting all the ingredients, except the orange juice, into a food processor and whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now add 3 tablespoons of the orange juice and whizz until the dough comes together into a ball. Remove, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.IMG_3539
  2. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a floured board to a 3mm thickness. Cut 24 circles out with a cutter. An 8cm round circle fitted into my mini muffin tins. I cut 6mn out with a glass and rolled out to about 8cm. Gently press these into the holes of a mini muffin tim. The pastry should protrude above the holes slightly to allow for shrinkage when cooked.IMG_3542IMG_3540
  3. Spoon a little mincemeat into each pastry case, but don’t overfill them.IMG_3543IMG_3545
  4. Cover the tops with a pastry lid and bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown then sprinkle with icing sugar.IMG_3558

merry christmas isolated

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Chocolate Eclairs With Diplomatic Cream

IMG_3159So chocolate éclairs are one of these amazing bit of French baking! Somehow I never made shoe paste or choux pastry. Now I not going to lie to you, this does take some time and is not that easy but is worth the wait. Plus the satisfaction of baking your own éclairs  is great.

When I started researching the éclairs there seen to be quite a bit of variation in the filling, one of the easiest ways is to pipe whipped cream, but I’m not a fan of this way, too much cream to pasty and the cream can go everywhere. Some French recipes call for Crème Pâtissière but I decided on diplomatic cream (which is mixture of both). I’ve top my éclairs with a dark chocolate ganache, as milk chocolate is just too sweet!

Ingredients-makes

Total time  approx. 4 hours

Diplomatic Cream

  • 300 mL Crème Pâtissière
  • 300 mL Double Cream (whipped)
  • Little vanilla extract

Crème Pâtissière

  • 4 medium free-range egg yolks (preferably organic)
  • 65g/2½oz caster sugar
  • 15g/½oz plain flour
  • 15g/½oz cornflour
  • 350ml/12fl oz whole milk
  •  ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

Choux pastry.

  • 250mL/1 cup water
  • 120/ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7.5g / 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 140/ 1 cup all-purpose flour.
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 extra, if needed

Chocolate ganache

  • 120 ml/ 1/2 cup double cream
  • 115g  ounces dark chocolate , coarsely chopped

 

  1. First off we need to make the Crème Pâtissière. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour.IMG_3083
  2. Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.IMG_3086
  3. Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.IMG_3091
  4. Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan. It is important to slowly pour the hot milk onto the cold eggs before you return the mixture to the pan to prevent the eggs from scrambling.IMG_3093
  5. Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer until thickened. One thing to note is that longer you leave it the more like you are to cook the eggs in the mixture. So stir the mixture at all time. Do not stop of anything.IMG_3101
  6. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and cover with cling film, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.IMG_3099IMG_3105
  7.  Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 oC/ 180 oC fan oven. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.IMG_3113IMG_3116
  8. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated,  this should take 30 to 60 seconds.IMG_3117
  9. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or this step can be done by hand). Mix at medium speed or leave to cool at little. IMG_3118
  10. With the mixer running, add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Stop mixing after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix until incorporated. I left my mixture cool in the pan off the heat and add the eggs one at the time. IMG_3123
  11. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe fat lengths of dough (about the size and shape of a jumbo hot dog) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. IMG_3115IMG_3124IMG_3125
  12. In a bowl, whisk the 1 egg and 1½ tablespoon of  water together. Brush the surface of each éclair with the egg wash. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of points of dough that remain on the surface.IMG_3125
  13. Bake the éclairs for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 F/ 190 oC/ 170 oC Fan oven and continue to bake for about 15 more minutes until they are a rich golden brown colour and are very light. Allow the pastries to cool completely before filling.IMG_3130
  14. Whip 300ml of double cream with little vanilla extract. Mix 300mL of whipped double cream with 300 mL of Crème Pâtissière.IMG_3134IMG_3133
  15.  Fit a medium-size plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole in the top of each éclair (or just use your fingertip). Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip, gently pipe the cream into the éclairs, using only just enough to fill the inside. You cover these hole later with your glaze. IMG_3139
  16. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils. Immediately turn off the heat. Put the chopped  chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm. The glaze can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewarm in a microwave or over hot water when ready to use.IMG_3140
  17. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the warm chocolate glaze and set on a sheet pan. Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze. Serve chilled.IMG_3141IMG_3143

 

 

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Monster Macarons-Almonds Macarons and White Chocolate Ganache with Popping Candy

IMG_3298Halloween is one of my favourite holidays! I know some people think Halloween as a very American holiday but I really think it is one of the most fun, stress-free holidays of the year!  I love baking Macarons and I don’t need much of an excuse to the bake them. Here I wanted to capture if the excitement of childhood as I really loved popping candy as a child.  IMG_3272

Ingredients-makes 15 macarons sandwich

Macarons

  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 180 grams icing (confectioner/powdered) sugar*
  • 100 grams “aged” egg whites, at room temperature**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
  • 35 grams superfine or castor white sugar***
  • Sugarflair colours-pasta paste concentrate-orange

Chocolate ganache

  • 230 g/8 ounces of white chocolate,
  • 180 ml/3/4 cup of double cream (heaving whipping cream),
  • 2 tablespoon/30 g of unsalted butter,
  • Rainbow popping candy-55g
  • 4 x 12.5g sachets  fizz wizz popping candy
  • Green food colouring

* Use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch (corn flour).

** Separate eggs at least 24 hours before using (or up to five days). Cover with paper towel and place in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

*** Make superfine sugar by processing regular granulated white sugar in your food processor for about 30 seconds or until sugar is ground very fine.

  1.  First off, if your like me and terrible at piping consistently you need a make a template as guide. A good size for me is the top off a milk bottle. Draw around a clean on parchment paper with bright colour paper and flip over. On side no make sure the baking pan has flat bottoms.IMG_3273
  2. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground (about 1 – 2 minutes). Sift the mixture to remove any lumps.IMG_0532IMG_0535
  3. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, in a electric mixer if using, and on a low-speed until foamy.IMG_3277
  4. Gradually add the sugar, and continue to beat, on medium speed,until the meringue reaches a soft peaks stage (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue has a droop, called a ‘beak’ present). At this if want some favour or colour you can add them, however use the most concentrated form you can find.IMG_3280
  5. Now continue to beat until the meringue just holds stiff peaks (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue is straight up, no drooping, called a ‘beak’) (but do not over mix the meringue or it will ‘break’). I stop mind machine every 30 seconds to check, to be on safe side.IMG_3282
  6. If like me you have inclosed electric mixer for the next stage move to a large bowl. Then, in three additions, sift the ground almond/sugar mixture over the meringue. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Once the almond mixture is completely folded into the meringue, the batter will fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon, it is time to pipe the Macarons.IMG_3283IMG_3284
  7. Place your pastry bag fitted with 1cm/1/2 inch tip in tall glass and fill with about half the batter. Pipe rounds circles onto the parchment paper, using the template as a guide. Then gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles (can also break air bubbles with the end of a toothpick). Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen) or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky.IMG_3285
  8. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 160 oC/ 325 oF. Bake the cookies (two sheets at a time) for about 14 – 16 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom, front to back, about halfway through baking. The Macarons are done when you can just barely separate the cookies from the parchment paper. Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack.IMG_3288
  9. Heat the cream, butter and chopped chocolate in bowl over a pan of simmering water , and leave for few minutes to melt. Add some green food colouring and leave to cool. Pop into your fridge to cool a little. Once it ready to pip onto the macarons add the popping candy and mix. Than put into a piping bag.IMG_3293IMG_3295
  10. To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with your filling (place filling on flat side of cookie). These are best serve the day of the macarons they are made. Serve and enjoy!IMG_3296IMG_3298
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ambul thiyal-Sour Fish Curry

IMG_3223One of favourite curry to cook is Kukul Mas Curry, every since I first discover it I’ve add a bit of obsession with Sri Lanka food. So the other week when I wanted to cook a fish curry I turn to the Complete Asian cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. When I spotted the Ambul Thiyal-Sour curry of fish, I know I had a winner as the sour notes in the Kukul Mas Curry is one of my favourite elements! Traditionally, this dish uses ‘goraka’ which is a bright orange fruit divided in segments, which are than dried, but as I cannot find them tamarind but if can find he goraka grind four segments into a pulp.  One of the great things about this curry if that it keep for days! One note is that this is a dry curry hence there is very little sauce.

Serves 6

  • 500g skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp/paste*
  • 60ml vinegar
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed,
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 stem lemongrass, bruised
  • 2.5cm cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon fengreek seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoon oil

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*I had trouble find tamarind pulp so here I have used paste instead

  1. Chop the onion and crush the garlic. Bruise the lemongrass.IMG_3203
  2. I have grounded the fungreek seeds, add than added the curry leaves to fully maximum there favour. Add the salt and chilli and mix.IMG_3211
  3. If you have found tamarind pulp, soak in the vinegar for 10 mins, if very dry, heat in a saucepan for few minutes. add some water, when it cool enough to handle squeeze to dissolve, than strain out the seeds and fibre. Add oil and onion to a large pan cook until golden brown, than add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add  the fish, tamarind and the rest of the ingredients along with 375 ml of water.IMG_3217
  4. Bring to the boil, than simmer and cook until the fish is cooked thought and the sauce has thickened, remember is stir every so often. Serve with your favourite rice and enjoy.IMG_3220
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