Monday, 25 January 2010

Cappuccino creams


550g/11⁄4lb fromage frais

2 tablespoons finely ground espresso coffee

1 tablespoon icing sugar

17g/6oz dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids), grated

Ways of Working

  1. Mix the fromage frais with the coffee and icing sugar. Spoon half of the mixture into eight individual ramekins or glass dishes.

  2. Sprinkle over most of the grated chocolate, and top with the remaining fromage frais mixture, sprinkling the last of the grated chocolate over the top. Chill until ready to serve.

Serves 8

Orange ice cream


8 oranges

1 lemon

200g/7oz caster sugar

500ml/18fl oz double cream

4 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Ways of Working

  1. Finely grate the zest of the oranges and the lemon, and put in a bowl. Add the juice of 2 oranges, and leave to steep while preparing the other ingredients.

  2. Squeeze the juice of the remaining oranges, combine with the sugar and cook to reduce to a thick syrup.

  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Stir the steeped juice and zest into the syrup. Add the juice of the lemon, then stir the syrup into the cream, which will immediately thicken. Add the Grand Marnier.

  4. Freeze in a shallow container, stirring every 30 minutes for 4 hours, then leave overnight to freeze before serving.

Serves 4

Crab & ginger soup


1 carrot, chopped

1 leek, chopped

1 bay leaf

900ml/11⁄2pt fish stock

2 medium cooked crabs

2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon ground star anise

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ways of Working

  1. Put the carrot and leek in a large heavy saucepan with the bay leaf and the fish stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are nearly tender.

  2. Remove all of the meat from the crabs. Break off and reserve the claws; break the joints and remove the meat using a fork.

  3. Add the crabmeat to the pan together with the ginger, soy sauce and star anise, and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the crab is heated through.

  4. Season the soup with salt and pepper, then ladle into warm individual serving bowls and garnish with the crab claws. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Mini mushroom quiches


4 slices wholewheat bread, crusts removed

2 teaspoons butter

225g/8oz mushrooms, wiped with damp kitchen paper and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

4 eggs

100g/4oz Emmental cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ways of Working

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.

  2. Roll each slice of bread with a rolling pin until flat, halve each slice and arrange in a greased muffin tray, pressing each slice into the cake mould. While the oven warms, bake the bread cups at a low heat until crisp and dry. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  3. In a small frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté, stirring regularly, for 3–5 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Break the eggs in a bowl, piercing the yolks with a small sharp knife. Pour the eggs over the bread cups, dividing the mixture evenly. Top with the mushroom mixture, and sprinkle with the cheese.

  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Serves 6

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Sticky toffee pudding


100g/4oz butter

50g/2oz caster sugar

150ml/5fl oz double cream

100g/4oz muscovado sugar

4 eggs, separated

150g/5oz plain flour

11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

Ways of Working

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Grease four moulds measuring 300ml/10fl oz.

  2. In a saucepan, dissolve the caster sugar in 2 tablespoons water over a low heat. Warm the double cream in another pan. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat under that pan, and boil until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the hot cream, stirring. Pour equally between the moulds.

  3. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and muscovado sugar until off-white, then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.

  4. In a glass bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and reserve.

  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then whisk into the butter cream. Fold the whisked egg whites into the mixture.

  6. Spoon into the moulds, and cover the tops with buttered rounds of baking parchment. Put into a roasting tin, and pour in enough hot water from the kettle to come halfway up the moulds. Bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes. Serve hot on their own, or with cream or ice cream.

Serves 4

Yogurt Flapjacks


700g/11⁄2lb vanilla yogurt

50g/2oz maple syrup

1 egg

350g/12oz pancake mix

450g/1lb chopped fresh fruit such as strawberries, grapes, blueberries, peaches, etc

Ways of Working

  1. Combine 350g/12oz yogurt with the maple syrup and set aside.

  2. Combine the remaining yogurt with the egg, and beat well. Add the pancake mix and blend to combine.

  3. Heat a greased 20cm/8in frying pan over a medium heat. Spoon 50ml/2floz of the batter into the hot pan, and gently spread out. Cook until the edges are firm and the underside is golden. Flip over using a spatula or palette knife, and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  4. Serve warm with the chopped fruit and maple yogurt sauce.

Serves 4

Simple bean salad


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 x 400g/14oz cans flageolet beans, drained and rinsed

extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

2 tablespoons basil pesto

freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

small handful of fresh basil leaves

Ways of Working

  1. Heat the oil in a small heavy pan. Sauté the garlic until golden but not scorched. Stir in the beans, then leave to marinate in the oil for 10–15 minutes.

  2. When ready to serve, drizzle a little oil over until the beans are generously coated, then add the pesto sauce and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the basil leaves. Serve straight away.

Serves 6


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