31 Dec 2007



I'm guessing most of you would rather have a drink in a shot glass
in the lead up to 2008, but I used some of the glasses for these mini trifles.

The original recipe says to use Madeira cake but you could use a couple of trifle sponges and substitute the Cointreau for Disaronno an amaretto liqueur.
A couple of comments about the recipe. It is best to beat the mascarpone well before putting a dollop into the glasses. Also, I wouldn't leave them hanging around too long before serving, otherwise they will start to look a little tired!

I nearly forgot to say - one shot glass of this trifle is more than enough and they taste wonderful.

Olive Magazine - January 2007

Serves: 4

8 tablespoons mascarpone, 1 tablespoon icing sugar, cut 2 slices Madeira cake into small chunks, 100g fresh or frozen raspberries, 1 tablespoon flaked almonds.

1. Beat the mascarpone, icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of the Cointreau in a bowl. Divide the cake between 4 small glasses then drizzle over the rest of the Cointreau and spoon in a layer of mascarpone.
2. Gently crush the raspberries (save some for decoration) then divide between the glasses. Spoon the rest of the mascarpone over.
3. Decorate with raspberries and almonds.

16 Dec 2007


This years Christmas cake has now been iced with Regalice bought from my local sugarcraft shop. Star shapes have been cut from white icing and topped with gold stars bought from Jane Asher. A sprinkling of magic sparkles, and then to complete the look, a wired gold ribbon has been placed around the outside of the cake to match the gold stars.
The cake decoration is very simple but effective don't you think?
Please take a look at last years Christmas cake.

8 Dec 2007


I've made apple pie with so many twists in the past, I think I could write a book. I love apple pie with a top and bottom crust - with more satisfying pastry to eat, but then again......there is lots of apple filling when it is made in a deep dish with just a top crust!
I bought a collection of enamelled plates and dishes several years ago before they became popular with food stylists. If you go to the hardware shop you will be able to pick these up and they are relatively inexpensive.
Nora Sands came to the publics attention through Jamie Oliver's School Dinners Campaign and has now written her own cookery book. There are several tempting recipes - Sticky Messy Ribs, Stir-fry with Oodles of Noodles or how about Choca-block?
There is a section called 'Have you seen these vegetables'? or how about 'Make friends with your vegetables'.
It isn't easy finding time to cook with your children but the recipes in this book are fun, easy to make and it's good, honest family food.
Now, back to the apple pie. The cooking apples and granny smith apples combination worked well or you could use Cox's apples.

The pastry is buttery and crisp - unfortunately it doesn't cut very well without breaking up. Perhaps it would be better if the pastry is gently scored into portions before baking.
I've made this pie several times now and I can't make up my mind whether its the pastry I love, the apples or the cinnamon. Whatever it is, we just love it!


ISBN 0007206615 - Page 136

Serves: 4

400g plain flour, pinch of salt, 160g butter, 4 tablespoons cold water, 3 medium cooking apples, 4 granny smith apples, 160g caster sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, small amount of milk for brushing the pastry.
You will need: 23cm round baking dish.

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
2. Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour and salt until it looks like breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in the cold water. Bring together to make a ball of dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put into the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Peel and core the apples, slice the apple thinly.
4. Take pastry dough out of the fridge and roll into a circle a little bit bigger than the widest part of your dish. Use the excess pastry to make a rim around the edge of the baking dish. Brush this with cold water.
5. Put the sliced apples into the baking dish. Sprinkle the 160g sugar and the cinnamon over the top of the apples and mix it all in.
6. Lay your rolled pastry over the top and pinch the edges down around the edge of the baking dish. Cut away any excess pastry.
7. With a fork make some holes in the pastry so that the steam from the apples can escape during cooking.
8. Put the pie in the fridge for 20 minutes for the pastry to rest.
9. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
10.Bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 cook for another 30 minutes.
11. Serve with ice cream.