Showing posts from July, 2011

Iced Carrot Cake and Almost Mr Grace

I promise that this post will be about food very shortly, but first I need to make my brief annual cricketing digression. So here goes - I met W.G. Grace at a bus stop in the early 1970s. (In case you’re unaware of the Great Man, W.G. Grace was the finest cricketer that ever lived – he certainly seemed to think so. ) It wasn’t really W.G. Grace that I met - after all he died in 1915 - but this man definitely looked a lot like him. It would have been the cricket season at the time because I’m sure it was summer. In fact nobody really bothered with winter back then – it just didn't seem necessary. We got talking. I probably said something witty like “Do you know that you look like W.G. Grace?” In return, he told me two things about food that I’ve sort of remembered ever since (I told you I’d get to the food bit eventually). First, he told me that there was a fish that nobody wanted to eat and so it cost next to nothing but was really tasty. One of these days it was going to b

Tomato and Chilli Jam - A Random Recipe

For this month’s Random Recipe Challenge Dom of Belleau Kitchen has asked us to select  a recipe (randomly, of course) from our favourite cookbook. Well, I’ve got a fair number of favourites, mostly made up of books that remind me of good times. It’s difficult to choose just one among those, so instead I’ve gone for my favourite practical cookbook. This is the one I reach for whenever I need to remind myself how to do something or when I need a reliable recipe in a hurry. That used to be Delia, but recently it’s been Darina Allen’s ‘Ballymaloe Cookery Course’.  (Not that I’ve got anything against Delia, I hasten to add). On opening this weighty tome I was faced with a page of chutney and relish recipes and, since I’m currently blessed with a generous harvest of chillies from the plants on my windowsills, I seized on a Tomato and Chilli Jam recipe. Once I started to make the jam, though, I felt a bit of a fraud since it’s very similar to the recipe that I usually use for chilli jam.

Lime and Basil Frozen Yogurt

I recently promised that I’d post a low-fat frozen yogurt recipe, so here goes. On a warm summer’s day when the need for cooling refreshment comes upon me like a thing that comes upon you, then that’s the time that I want something made with limes. I’ve recently seen a number of ices that combine lime with basil and I’m happy to confirm that it’s a combination that works. If you have an ice-cream maker, then this recipe is really simple but very refreshing. But first, a short digression on basil. There’s a temptation when writing down recipes to say something like “add two or three leaves of basil”. Well this year I've been growing Neapolitan basil and the leaves are huge as the following picture of an average-sized leaf reveals. I’ll never specify the number of basil leaves in a recipe again (probably). And now, finally, the recipe.... Zest of 1 lime Zest of ½ lemon 500 ml low-fat Greek yogurt (around 2%-3% fat, ideally) 110 ml agave nectar 2 tbsp lime juice 2 tsp ver

Apricotines with Yogurt and White Chocolate Filled Apricots

I intended these two little sweet treats to be served with coffee at the end of a meal but they could actually be used as a dessert in themselves – a sort of small café gourmand. (In case you haven’t come across it, the café gourmand consists of a few mini desserts served alongside a cup of coffee – it literally means a greedy coffee.) Apricotines Since I used it for last months Random Recipe challenge I've become slightly obsessed with the Constance Spry Cookery book which was published back in the 1950s. One of the biscuit recipes in this venerable tome is for Orangines, which are made with candied orange peel. I've adapted this to dried apricots and to the food processor which makes the recipe a lot easier to make by removing all that 1950s-style chopping. The biscuits manage to be chewy and crispy at the same time and, as well as being good for nibbling with coffee or tea, they would work well alongside creamy desserts or ice cream. Although I've decorated them

Gâteau de Savoie

In my random and seemingly unending tour de French cakes and biscuits we find ourselves this week wandering the mountains of the Savoie in search of this wonderfully light sponge. There are many versions of this ancient recipe, which is said to date back as far as the 14th century. Some recipes add less lemon, some add more and some versions are  flavoured with orange or lime. (I have to admit that vanilla isn't really traditional, but I add a little anyway). The big difference between versions of this cake is in the flour. Add more flour and the cake will be  more stable and less prone to collapse but will also be less light. You can also choose to use only plain flour, a mix of plain flour and cornflour or a mix of plain and potato flour as here. Anyway, this is the version I’ve evolved which is less stable but lighter. You could eat a small piece with a cup of tea though some prefer it with a glass of champagne. I've also seen people split and fill it with cream or jam