Sunday, October 29, 2006

SULTANA LOAF CAKE





The hubby requested his favourite Delia fruit loaf – no fat required for this one.




DELIA SMITH’S BOOK OF CAKES

ISBN 0
340223766 – PAGE 54

Makes: A 2-lb loaf or two 1-lb loaves.

Skill Level – Easy

Taste Test: This loaf is very moist and has a slight crunch to it. It improves after keeping for a couple of days and becomes sticky in texture.

8 oz (225g) wholewheat self-raising flour (or white self-raising flour)
6 oz (175g) demerara sugar
6 fl oz cold tea
8 oz (225g) sultanas
1 large egg
pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4 (350°F) (180°C) at least twenty minutes before baking.

Use a very well greased (preferably lined) 2-lb(900g) loaf tin or two 1-lb(450g) loaf tins.

Place the sultanas in a basin and pour cold tea on them, leave to soak for about five hours or preferably, overnight. After soaking, the sultanas will have become large, plump and juicy. Then stir the flour, salt and sugar into the sultana mixture. Beat the egg and stir this in. Spoon into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly and bake the cake for 1 hour. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out. Cool and serve in slices spread with butter.

TIP 1: Buy cake liners to go inside the tins – this makes life much easier.
TIP 2: I make a little extra tea for this – sometimes the cake needs an extra tablespoon of liquid after mixing in all of the ingredients.
TIP 3: For the 2-lb loaf, if it isn't cooked after the 1 hour cooking, cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. The 1-lb loaves will only take 1 hour to cook.
TIP 4: It is easier to slice after being in the fridge for a few hours.
TIP 5: If you feel the top of the loaf is a little hard after cooking, cover with a teatowel whilst cooling and the steam from the loaf will soften the crust, although it will soften with keeping.
TIP 6: Slice the loaf and keep in the freezer, it will also improve whilst it is in there.
TIP 7: I like to make this loaf with white self-raising flour and also a mixture of currants, raisins and sultanas.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Loaf tin liners purchased from Lakeland Limited.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chocolate Choo Choo



I have a bag full of sweets, white chocolate buttons, chocolate bars, swiss rolls both large and small, Rice Krispies, liquorice catherine wheels, Rolos, Flake bars, coconut (and the list goes on…) that all go towards making a train cake for the Grandson who will be two years old. The six million dollar question is – will he recognise it as being a train…….I will let you know his reaction to my creative efforts!

TRADITIONAL LEMON MERINGUE PIE


We had a couple of beautiful lemons in the box scheme and these helped to make the best Traditional Lemon Meringue Pie ever. You can’t beat Delia’s recipe – the meringue topping is the best – try it and see!

DELIA’S HOW TO COOK – BOOK THREE


ISBN 0563534699 – PAGE 28

Serves: 6 people.

Taste Test: Good hit of lemon in the filling – the top of the meringue is crisp, and underneath a light cloud of soft meringue.

TIP 1: Try to buy organic lemons, or unwaxed lemons.

TIP 2: Drowning this in cream would be a sin.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Kenwood Food Mixer.

Friday, October 20, 2006

PORK BRAISED IN CIDER VINEGAR SAUCE

Pork and cider marry so well - how could I resist making up this recipe?

DELIA SMITH’S WINTER COLLECTION

ISBN 0563364777 – PAGE 109

Serves: 4 people.

Skill Level: Easy.

Taste Test: I found this to taste too acidic. In fairness to Delia she does say it’s important to use a good quality cider vinegar. I thought the vinegar I bought would be o.k. Maybe that was the problem with the end result.

TIP 1: Make sure you dry the pieces of meat before browning them, or they will not brown properly.

TIP 2: Use good quality cider vinegar.

TIP 3: Eat the next day to give the flavours time to develop.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Meyer shallow stainless steel casserole.

Monday, October 16, 2006

TRADITIONAL ROAST STUFFED CHICKEN WITH CRANBERRY,SAGE AND BALSAMIC SAUCE

I made this at the weekend for the hubby and myself – we love everything about this Delia dish.

DELIA SMITH’S WINTER COLLECTION

ISBN 0563364777 – PAGE 76

Serves: 8 people.

Skill Level: Moderate.

Taste Test: This recipe puts Sunday roast chicken dinner onto another level, and every mouthful is delicious.

TIP 1: This recipe can easily be halved i.e. only buy one chicken, to feed four people.

TIP 2: If your chicken comes without the livers for the stuffing it does not matter at all to leave them out.

TIP 3: If you do not have any sage leaves or parsley to hand, buy good quality herb pork sausage instead of the plain pork sausage.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Magimix Food Processor.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cappuccino to Go














Making a cappuccino is a labour of love. The whole process is prolonged and laborious. My Krups Espresso machine has served me well and we now get along just fine – we understand each other. OK its not the same as going out for a coffee – no people watching etc. but its got to be better than emptying a sachet of chemical cappuccino powder into a mug. Anyway, how does the froth get onto the top of the drink? That’s what I would like to know…

BEEF IN DESIGNER BEER

Beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike will want to make this simply because of the recipe’s name.

DELIA SMITH’S WINTER COLLECTION

ISBN 0563364777 – PAGE 124

Serves: 4-6 people.

Skill Level: Easy

Taste Test: The sauce in this was very bitter, this must have been because of the beer I chose. Don’t be tempted to leave out the croutons they are delicious.

TIP 1: Ask someone who drinks beer for some advice on which to buy for this dish.

TIP 2: Make sure you buy good quality braising steak.

TIP 3: The croutons are a must for this recipe.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Tefal non-stick frying pan.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Muffin Mania


Muffin mania has taken over my life in the kitchen. Everything muffin related captivates my interest. Books, muffin tins, muffin cases. A week doesn't pass before I need to cook yet another batch of muffins. Mixed berry, raspberry and coconut, double chocolate or marmalade muffins. Now which shall I cook next? Before obsession sets in I must move onto something else - cupcakes!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

HUNGARIAN GOULASH


A colourful and tasty one-pot dish to serve with lots of mashed potato and vegetables or perhaps just plain boiled rice.

DELIA SMITH’S COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED COOKERY COURSE – A NEW EDITION FOR THE 1990s.

ISBN780563214540 – PAGE 152.


Serves: 4 people.

Skill Level: Easy.

Taste Test: Eat this with your eyes – the sauce is a beautiful colour and tastes wonderful. A brilliant autumnal dish.

TIP 1: Use good quality beef from a reputable butcher.

TIP 2: If you can’t obtain soured cream – I have used natural yoghurt very successfully.

TIP 3: Make this in advance, refrigerate and eat the next day it will then taste even better.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Le Creuset Casserole Dish – this is enamelled cast ironware, comes in a range of colours and is very useful for making casseroles etc.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

BOEUF BOURGUIGNONNE


Another slow cooked dish with plenty of flavours.

DELIA SMITH’S COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED COOKERY COURSE – A NEW EDITION FOR THE 1990s.

ISBN780563214540 – PAGE 153.

Serves: 6 people.

Skill Level: Moderately Easy.

Taste Test: Excellent – the sauce is fabulous, it tastes as good as it looks.

TIP 1: To make this more economical, I use a small bottle of red wine and 5fl oz of beef stock.

TIP 2: I have used slices of streaky bacon and this is fine.

TIP 3: Dark flat mushrooms – sometimes called field mushrooms – must be used to give the sauce a good colour and flavour.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Meyer stainless steel casserole dish.

The Organic Challenge

Amazed by my daughter’s fruit and veg from the organic box scheme, and having admired what was in the box we thought we would also try this. The first week we were overwhelmed by the amount of fruit and veg we had delivered. We are now into our third delivery – has the box scheme become some sort of new sport? We now have to rise to the challenge of eating everything before the next one arrives even though the fridge is bursting at the seams. We used to like broccoli and sweetcorn – but this has been delivered for the third week in a row. We even had sweetcorn for a course in-between dinner and pudding!!At the moment we feel vegged out – perhaps we should just become vegetarians. To be continued……..

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

COQ AU VIN

A fairly economical but impressive dinner party dish.

DELIA SMITH’S COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED COOKERY COURSE – A NEW EDITION FOR THE 1990s.

ISBN780563214540 – PAGE 173.

Serves: 6 – 8 people.

Skill Level: Moderately Easy.

Taste Test: This looks and tastes delicious, well worth spending the time required to cook this.

TIP 1: This recipe can easily be halved.

TIP 2: Using streaky bacon is OK.

TIP 3: Dark flat mushrooms (field mushrooms) must be used for colour and flavour.

TIP 4: To make a more economical version of this recipe substitute half of the red wine for chicken stock.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Large Meyer Stainless Steel Casserole Dish with a wide base.

A Toaster fit for a Queen


A Dualit toaster should be arriving this week. My old toaster didn’t make toast – it just either burnt the bread or put a few uneven brown marks on it. Everyone is going to be jealous when they see it. When I put marmalade on my toast – made by none other than Prince Charles – my marmalade will be very grateful for top notch toast. I will keep you posted about my toast……
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