Thursday, June 26, 2008

GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH RUM SAUCE


My husband loves being 'BBQ Man' on Saturday evenings in the summer and last weekend he knew from Metcheck.com that the weather forecast was for rain and gale force winds, but he still insisted the weather would turn out OK.

We go through this nearly every weekend in the summer and then the planned outdoor BBQ ends up being cooked indoors. Although, to be fair, we have had a handful of BBQ's so far this year.

Last year he put his foul weather gear on, put the garden parasol up and proceeded to BBQ!!! How's that for sheer determination. I have to admit though we did have visitors, and he thought he would put on a 'bit of a show'.

The pineapple cooked really well on the grill pan! The sauce was delicious and not too rich. The pineapple was a little difficult to eat, and I think after cooking, the pineapple should be cut across the width down to the skin, then you won't have to fight with it so much!

Delia Smith has a wonderful recipe for coconut ice cream which would go very well with the pineapple.

EASY SUMMER FOOD

ISBN 1841728233 - Page 192

Serves: 6

For the rum butter sauce:

100g soft brown sugar, 100g unsalted butter, 100ml dark rum, 1 medium pineapple with leafy top if possible, cut length ways into wedges and core removed.

1. Put the sugar, butter and rum in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Brush a little of the mixture over the pineapple wedges, then cook them on a preheated barbecue or on a stove-top grill pan for 2 minutes on each side until charred and tender.
3. Serve with ice cream and remaining rum sauce.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

PASSION CAKE


I have no idea why this is called passion cake - can anyone help on this one?

In my previous post, I made mini coconut loaves with fresh coconut and after wading through countless recipes that needed coconut decided on this recipe, perhaps in part because it only needs 28g of my precious coconut!

The cake will cut much better straight from the fridge and can then be brought up to room temperature for eating. If you like lots of topping then I would double up on the ingredients. You can see from the photograph it looks as though I've been mean with the topping. Unfortunately, I didn't have any mascarpone cheese left to make more.

I'll definitely be making this cake again, it was crumbly, moist and full of flavour and the unusual topping went perfectly with the cake.


I made this cake especially for my son who came home for the weekend and he said he thought it was amazing. In fact, we all thought it was amazing!

Sue Lawrence, the author of this book, won Masterchef in 1991 and was the President of the Guild of Food Writers from 2004 to 2007.

SUE LAWRENCE ON BAKING

ISBN 1856262669 - Page 70

You will need: 18cm loose-bottomed, base-lined cake tin.

For the cake: 170g butter, softened, 170g soft light brown sugar, 3 medium eggs, 198g wholemeal self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 28g desiccated coconut, 57g raisins, 170g carrots (peeled weight) finely grated, 57g chopped walnuts.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer on low speed until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Using a metal spoon, gently fold into the creamed mixture, followed by the coconut, raisins, carrots and walnuts. Mix gently but thoroughly.
4. Turn into the tin and level the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a fine skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping: 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt, 2 teaspoons runny honey, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

1. To make the topping, beat together the mascarpone cheese, yoghurt and honey until smooth.
2. Spread over the top of the cold cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

The cake can be frozen completely iced. Store in the refrigerator after defrosting.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

MINI COCONUT CAKES WITH MALIBU ICING


I decided to make my own desiccated and shredded coconut, and after carrying out this laborious task, made these delightful little coconut cakes.

FRESH BAKED - LOUISE PICKFORD
ISBN 0600613569 - Page 56

Makes: 8 cakes

I have slightly adapted this recipe. The original recipe used passion fruit icing and the recipe for this is given below.

You will need: 125g softened unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 125g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 100g desiccated coconut, 2 tablespoons milk.

For the icing: 125g sifted icing sugar, 1-2 tablespoons passion fruit pulp.

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
2. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process for 1 minutes or until evenly blended.
3. Oil and base-line an 8-hole mini-loaf tin. or 12 hole muffin tray. Divide the mixture equally into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool.

To make the passion fruit icing:

Beat the ingredients together until smooth. Put the cakes, still on the wire rack, over a large plate and pour over the passion fruit icing, allowing it to drizzle down the sides of the cakes. Leave to set.

For the alternative icing:

1.250g instant royal icing, 1-2 tablespoon Malibu and enough water to make a smooth, runny paste that will ice the top of the cakes well.
2.Coat the cakes with icing and decorate with fresh shredded coconut.

FRESH COCONUT


Delia Smith on her website gives instructions for this 'operation'. It's definitely a job to do on a rainy day. A word of warning here, don't smash the coconut to within an inch of its life, or you will end up with small shards of coconut that take forever to peel (like I did!).

You will also need a fairly hardy food processor to make the shredded coconut because the coconut is quite tough.

After you have either desiccated or shredded the coconut, place in a ziplock bag and pop into the freezer. It freezes beautifully and takes only moments to defrost.

Never again after tasting fresh coconut will you ever be tempted to buy something out of a bag.
Another plus is that the coconut isn't 'sweetened' - pure bliss.


The coconut essence in the photograph can be purchased from Jane Asher and I use this in cake batter, icings etc.
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