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Showing posts from August, 2010

Raspberry and White Chocolate Tiramisu

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This is my entry in the September “We Should Cocoa” chocolate challenge hosted by Chocolate Teapot and Chocolate Log Blog. The challenge this month is to combine raspberries and chocolate. That's particularly convenient since we planted some canes of a variety of raspberry called 'Polka' in the garden last year and we're currently harvesting plenty of beautifully flavoured raspberries.

Adding chocolate to mascarpone will lose some of the silky smoothness of classic tiramisu but it does add a depth of flavour as compensation. What makes a real difference to tiramisu in my opinion is using freshly baked savoiardi, so I've included my recipe for these at the end of this post.

When making this I used an excellent English raspberry liqueur from Fonthill Glebe , which has the added advantage of sounding like a character from Dickens: 'Ah, Miss Crumhornly,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'allow me to introduce my very particular friend, Mr. Fonthill Glebe.' But I digr…

Lamb Meatball Pilaf

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I’ve just been reading a disappointing new cookbook (no names, no packed lunch) by an author so full of himself that it's a wonder he has any space left for food. The author gives his readers the familiar lecture on authenticity and how we should know the origins of a recipe and never use any ingredient not available to the cook who might have created it. That’s not really my cup of authentic British tea. It made me want to cook something as inauthentic as possible at the earliest opportunity.

This recipe is about as inauthentic as it gets. It's based on a dish that I remember seeing made many years ago although I didn't get the recipe at the time. This is very much my own inauthentic recreation of the dish and should serve 4 people
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For the meatballs:
   1 onion, finely chopped
   30 g breadcrumbs
   1 egg, beaten
   Zest of ½ lemon
   30 g sultanas
   3 dried apricots
   ½ tsp dried lime, ground
   2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
   500 g minced lamb

For the rice mixture:
   1…

Risotto with Courgettes and Basil and Mint Pesto

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We have a new restaurant in the Carluccio's chain coming to our High Street and I'm certainly not complaining about that, but for some reason there are a lot of places to get Italian food in this area . I felt I ought to try to reduce my carbonara footprint and avoid cooking anything with even a vaguely Italian pedigree for a week or two. I failed miserably thanks to my risotto craving.

I remember many years ago shopping in Mr Carluccio's original Neal Street deli and on a couple of occasions the man himself was there. At the time I'd never made a risotto but he told me that there was nothing to be afraid of and many hundreds of risottos later I can confirm that he was right.

Plenty of people far better qualified than I have described the process of adding hot stock to rice to make risotto, so I don't think it's worth me repeating it, but it might be worth passing on a tip I was given some time ago (not by Mr Carluccio, I hasten to add). If you need to prepare…

Lemon Madeleines

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As the sun blazes high in the sky over the English countryside my thoughts inevitably turn to cricket and, of course, what to eat and drink while watching the noble game. Sadly I rarely watch cricket any more. Gone is the deeply satisfying experience of the last day of a thoroughly pointless draw against the Minor Counties. These days people seem to care about who wins and I can’t see the point of that myself.

In my youth refreshments while watching cricket consisted mostly of strong cider and anything resembling a Cornish pasty but in my more reflective, some might say wistful, advancing years I'm more likely to be drawn to a cup of Assam tea and a small cake. Should you have a spare week or two, then you only have to read the first few sentences of 'Du côté de chez Swann' to realise that Marcel Proust was an accomplished and resourceful leg spinner. So what better offering to accompany a slow left armer bowling a maiden over to a number 11 than a madeleine?

A word of war…