Sunday, 26 February 2012

Banana and coconut cake

3 over ripe bananas
200g plain flour
50g dessicated coconut
2 eggs
125g dark brown sugar
75g unsalted butter, softened
50g double cream
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp mixed spice
4 tbsps milk

115g unsalted butter
115g icing sugar
150g dark chocolate
3 tbsps milk
How to
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and add the cream.
Beat the eggs slowly into the butter-sugar-cream mixture.
Mash the banana and add to the mixture, beating until you have a smooth consitency.
Fold in all the dry ingredients until just mixed.
Then, add the milk so that the mixture is a bit thinner.
In a lined cake tin, pour the mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes (or until cooked.
When the mixture is cooked, turn onto a wire rack to cool.

As soon as your cake is about room temperature (BUT NOT HOT), you can make the butter icing.

In a bain marie, melt the chocolate.
In another bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract to the chocolate and beat in the butter-sugar paste until it is all mixed.
Beat in the  3 tbsps of milk so you have a smoother consistency, and then spread over the cake.

Leave the cake in the fridge so that the icing can set and firm up.
Serve with a banana or coffee milkshake.

Beat the eggs in slowly because you don't want the mixture to curdle.
Do not overmix your cake mixture because then it will be dry when cooked.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Engadiner Nusstorte

I'm in Germany's Black Forest, so it's only fair that I make a recipe from Switzerland.
Engadine Nusstorte translates as Engadine Nut-cake. Engadine is the area the cake is from.

300g plain flour
150g caster sugar
180g unsalted butter- cold and diced
1 egg + 1 yolk

200g granulated sugar (you could use muscavado or soft dark brown for a more chewy and bitter texture and taste)
225g walnuts- roughly chopped
110ml double cream
2-3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water

Firstly you need to make the pastry:
Rub the butter into the flour, and once you have breadcrumbs, mix in the sugar, egg and yolk.
Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for one hour.

Then heat the sugar with water.
When the syrup is completely melted, stir in the walnuts.
When the walnuts are completely mixed into the syrup, add the cream and honey and bring to the boil (to thicken it).

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a cake tin.
Roll 2/3 of the pastry out and lift onto the cake tin- the pastry should go up 2-3 cm on the side of the tin.
Prick the pastry which is in the base of the tin.
Pour the mixture evenly, and the roll out the rest of the pastry to create a pie lid which you lift on top of the mixture.
Press the two patry layers together and paint with milk or egg yolk for a glossy topping.
Cook in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.

NB: as with many other ingredients, local is best. The walnuts we used in the recipe were from the Rhine meadows.


I'm sorry for not posting for ages! However, my next recipe should more than make up for it...!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sticky ribs

Nothing like sticky ribs in the Winter to remind you of Summer!

800g pork ribs (most people tend to use baby pork as they're more tender)
5 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp reggae reggae sauce
3 crushed and finely sliced garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp herbs
4 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp chinese five spice
1 tsp crushed chillies (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
Rub the marinade all over the ribs and put in a hot baking tray.
Cook the ribs for an hour.

Try tea-smoking the ribs as well as using the marinade for a quirky flavour.
Put the ribs on a rack which is sitting on a baking tray with tea leaves. Rub the tea leaves before using.

Don't marinate the ribs overnight unless you have a subtle rub because there is not much meat on the bone, and the taste of the pork will be overridden.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Blueberry Tart

225g plain flour
110g soft brown sugar
110g cold unsalted butter
4 egg yolks

1 big tub of blueberries (I didn't have enough so I used some cherries too)

In a mixer, put in the butter, flour, sugar, yolks and mix until you have a dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a tart case.
In a saucepan, tip in the blueberries on medium heat. If they start to stick to the pan or dry, add a dash of water. Stir occassionaly.
When the blueberries have softened but are still whole, drain of water and take off the heat.
Roll out the pastry and line the tart case.
Spread ricotta over the base and tip the blueberries on to the ricotta-lined pastry evenly.
Cook for 40 minutes or until the pastry is completely cooked.
Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

Cheese and garlic mushrooms

You can use any kind of mushrooms for this, but I just used small ones so people can take a few as nibbles.

3/4 mushrooms per person OR 1 portobello mushroom per person
grated mozzarella
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
fresh basil pesto

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Peel the mushrooms and twist the stalks out. Put the stalks on the side to use later
Peel the garlic cloves, crush them, and chop finely.
In a bowl, furiously mix together the garlic, ricotta and mozzarella.
Drizzle the olive oil generously in a baking tray and add the mushroom bases.
Spoon the cheese mixture into the mushrooms and firmly press the mushroom stalk into the mixture.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
Spoon the pesto on plates and sit the mushrooms on top.
Serve immediately.

This is a simple yet impressive recipe.
You can vary it by changing the cheeses; i.e. stilton for a more pronounced flavour.
You could even marinate the mushrooms, or deep fry instead of oven cooking!