Tag Archives: dessert

Before the Cleanse…..

As I am now a qualified nutritionist, it seemed only right that I put myself on a cleanse so that I am best placed to give advice to people as and when life takes me there. 

The cleanse that I have chosen aims to nourish the tummy by repairing and rejuvinating the gut – taking out foods which are harmful to the digestive system and replacing them with foods which rebalance, replenish and nourish. My aim is not to lose weight but its to get my body to the best possible place to be fit, healthy and glowing! Anyway – more about that next week – for now I am sharing the recipe for Jamie Oliver’s Bustrengo which is a Bolognese Apple and Polenta Cake. Before the cleanse I am going out with a bang!

We ate similar cake in Bologna – its not too sweet – similar to bread and  butter pudding I suppose. Best served warm with either custard or creme freche.

Serves 10/fills a 28cm loose bottomed cake tin
Butter
100g Fine Polenta
200g Plain Flour
100g Breadcrumbs
100g Caster Sugar
500ml Milk
3 Eggs – beaten
100g Runny Honey
55ml Olive Oil
100g Dried Figs – chopped
100g Sultanas
500g (approx 2) Apples – peeled and diced
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Zest of an Orange
Zest of a Lemon

Pre-heat oven to 180 degs and grease the cakes tin.
Mix together the polenta, flour, breadcrumbs and sugar in a large
mixing bowl. In a seperate bowl beat together the milk, eggs, honey and olive oil. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together. Pop in the dried fruits, apples, zest and cinnamon and stir together.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes to an
hour or until a skewer comes out clean when poked through.
As i said earlier – devour whilst still warm with creme freche or custard and a glass of Italian red wine.


See you next week when I’ll be a week into the cleanse and on my way to a new, healthier self!

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My New Tiramisu

Earlier this year, at my dear friend Briony’s wedding in Mallorca, I tried my second ever, and Elix tried her first ever Tiramisu! Those who know me well, will know that I LOVE coffee and coffee flavoured things – especially cake, but after trying a terrible Tiramisu a few years ago I always avoided it; until Briony’s wedding and the Tiramisu was DELICIOUS! Elix liked it too and since then we have become somewhat a pair of Tiramisu fiends! The new meatball restaurant in Toots does a pretty good one if anyone is passing through! Anyway, I asked Elix what dessert she would like for her Birthday dinner (she turned 29 yesterday) and she requested Tiramisu.Having never made it, I researched a few recipes as I was keen to make an authentic one, bake my own sponge and ensure it wasn’t too boozy – I settled on a Rick Stein version to which I made a couple of Greedy Piglet tweaks. We all loved it at home, and despite Mum complaining that I had made too much, she never offered for us to bring the leftovers back to London when she was bombarding us with leftover ham, pork pies and potatoes from the farm – sneakily keeping the rest for them to finish today!

 

Serves 10

SPONGE

3 eggs – separated

75g Caster Sugar

75g Plain Flour

1/2tsp Baking Powder

375ml Strong Coffee – we used 3 espresso shots mixed with water

45ml Madeira Wine

CREAM

6 eggs – separated

6tbsp Icing Sugar

600g Mascarpone Cheese

1tsp Vanilla extract

TOPPING

75g Dark Chocolate – grated

 

Pre heat the oven to 180 degs.

To start the sponge, line a baking dish with greaseproof paper – I used a rectangular one (20cm x 25cm) the same size as my eventual serving dish. Whisk the eggs whites until just turning to stiffen and set to one side. Whisk the sugar with the yolks until light, whisk in a little egg white to loosen the mixture and then start to delicately fold in the flour, baking powder and egg whites a large spoonful at a time until all incorporated and light and fluffy. Slowly and carefully pour the sponge mixture into the sponge tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cook through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.

Mix together the coffee and madeira and leave to cool to room temperature.

Now for the cream – (don’t be concerned that the mixture contains eggs which do not get cooked – make sure you use fresh eggs) whisk the egg whites until just turning to stiffen and set to one side. Whisk the egg yolks with the icing sugar until mixed and creamy, add in the mascarpone cheese and vanilla and beat until smooth. Once again, delicately fold in the egg whites keeping the mixture as light and airy as possible.

Now for the assembly.

Layer the bottom of your serving dish (I used one large one, but you could use individual glasses or bowls for each serving) with a layer of cream and a little sprinkle of grated chocolate.

Carefully slice the sponge in half so that you end up with two layers, and cut each of these into 10. One by one, dip them in the coffee mixture and lay on top of the cream. When one layer is complete, layer over more cream and sprinkle a little more chocolate. Pop on a final layer of soaked sponge and the rest of the cream. Leave to set in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. I was in a rush when I did mine so popped in the freezer for 90 minutes and then left in the fridge to stay cool which achieved the same consistency – just make sure the tiramisu doesn’t completely freeze! Finally, when you are ready to serve sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate so that it’s completely covered with rich chocolatey flakes and devour!

Christmas Pudding

It’s October which means its time to make my annual Christmas Pudding! Making it now gives the pudding enough time for flavours to infuse and enrich ready for Christmas Day! Christmas pudding is my most favourite dessert ever, served with custard it would be the last (and best) part of my last meal. Dad loves Christmas pudding, everyone else isnt too fussed (usually i also make chocolate yule log or oreo cheesecake as a second Christmas dessert which are far more popular) so despite the fact that I doubt anyone would notice whether i made one or provided a shop bought one I love this so much that making my own each year makes Christmas even more special. Plus, this one serves 12 portions so Dad and I feast on this for days after Christmas!

For a pudding tin sized 800ml
1 small apple – grated
2 eggs
100g Plain Flour
50g Breadcrumbs
50g Dried Figs – chopped
50g Blanched Almonds
50g Brazil Nuts – chopped
100g Sultanas
150g Raisins
50g Currants
50ml Brandy
1.5tbsp Honey
2tsp Mixed Spice
Zest and Juice of one Lemon
50g Suet
100g Light Muscavado Sugar

Now for the easy part…mix everything together and pop into the greased pudding tin. Cover with foil and pop the lid on (if you dont have a lid, cover with an extra piece of foil and tie tightly with string). Place the pudding tin onto an upside down steamer basket or on a upside down plate in a large deep pan (anything so long as it isnt directly on the base of the pan). Fill the pan with water up to 2/3 the depth of the pudding tin. Pop a lid or secure some more foil onto the top of the pan.
Steam for 5hours and leave to cool.
On Christmas day, steam for another 2 hours and then serve with custard or cream or brandy sauce or ice cream – whatever you prefer!

My new Favourite Cake

I love cake and I love baking but need to rely on recipes as I am not as good at understanding textures and cooking times as I am with savoury food. 

I wanted to share a recipe from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana book for Spiced Carrot, Almond and Pistacio Cake. It was easy, gluten free and oh so delicious.

For a 23cm baking tin (lined on the base)

3 eggs
200g Caster Sugar
2tsp Vanilla Extract
100g Pistachios – chopped
200g Ground Almonds
150g Melted Butter
100g Dessicated Coconut
2 large Carrots – coarsely grated
2tsp Ground Cinnamon

In a food mixer whip together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined, pale and fluffy. Then stir in the almonds, coconut and cinammon until all mixed through. Finally add the carrots, pistachios and butter and give the mixture a final stir.
Pop into the cake tin and bake in a 180 degree oven for an hour (check after 40 minutes to make sure the top is colouring evenly).
As usual with cakes, it is cooked when a skewer poked through the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
As per the recipe I served with whipped rosewater cream (1tbsp rosewater, 180ml double cream and 1tbsp icing sugar whipped together) and sprinkled with pistachios.

Delightful!