31 Jul 2014

Strawberry Cake - Recipe

                                              Fantasy Cake - a recipe by Lisa Faulkner

I've been away from home this week and have indulged in some fabulous food, especially my treat of the week, which was an evening meal at Le Caprice. As regular readers know I love coffee, and I've had more than a few expertly made cups this week but the best was definitely at Le Caprice.

I made this cake a couple of weeks ago and have to say my strawberries have been amazing this year, I can't believe how many strawberries you can get off two rows. I've made a few strawberry cakes this year from them and these are now my favourite summer cakes, they're fabulous, especially if you serve them with cream.

I came across this recipe whilst browsing through some cookery books in the library, a quick search on the web and everyone agreed this cake is one of the best strawberry cakes ever.

The recipe can be found on the Waitrose website and they have a video on You Tube showing the cake being made -  I'd recommend using the method shown on the video and not the one on the website. My only comment regarding the recipe is the amount of strawberries used which is 400g, I used less and it was absolutely fine.

The cake keeps really well covered in cling wrap and stored in the fridge.

Make it before all the fresh strawberries disappear!

                                                       VIMTO SQUEEZY - REVIEW

I was delighted to be sent Vimto Original, Cherry and Strawberry to try, the weather has been hot and the timing was perfect.

The Vimto Squeezy is lighter than a cordial in taste, I'm not always very keen on cordials, some taste like boiled sweets - perhaps it's just me who thinks this, but these are excellent and definitely don't taste like boiled sweets!

These mini bottles are easily transportable to flavour bottles of water whilst you are out and about. Handily they will also fit into my handbag and take up no space at all.

The squeezy bottles come in a small 50ml bottle and are sugar free.  To flavour a 500ml bottle of water simply squirt in one teaspoon of Vimto.  There are approximately 25 servings in a bottle and at a RRP of just £2.49 they are very good value.  Available from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Co-op Stores.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the products for review, all thoughts are my own.

21 Jul 2014

Mini Raspberry Cream Brownies - Recipe

These petits fours are 'high faff' and take a bit of patience to make but they are well worth it. They're quite rich and I could only manage to eat one, which is no bad thing, because I really wouldn't want to know how calorific they are.

I've got a few raspberry canes at the bottom of the garden, there's nothing quite like home grown raspberries, they are in a league of their own.

My hob is induction and melting chocolate is a dream, it's possible to place the chocolate in a pan and melt it gently on the hob, it's so much easier than melting chocolate over a pan of water and I find the chocolate never overheats.

The cream is made from raspberry puree, cream and melted white chocolate, I added a little red food colouring to brighten up the raspberry cream to give it a pretty pink colour.

When I piped these I didn't let the raspberry cream chill down for long enough
I'm off for a week to eat at a few posh restaurants and some not so posh, drink coffee at some trendy coffee shops and some not so trendy.......but meanwhile I'll leave you with the recipe for these fabulous brownies.....

You will need:  22cm square baking tin, greased  and lined with baking parchment so the paper extends over all four sides.  4cm cutter.

80g salted butter
150g dark chocolate
115g caster sugar
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Raspberry Cream
250g raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar
60ml cream
125g white chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC.
2. Place the chocolate and butter into a bowl and place over a saucepan with gently simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate have melted. Remove the bowl and allow to cool.
3.Place the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and mix until pale and creamy.
4. Fold in the cooled chocolate.  Sift over the flour and cocoa powder.
5. Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15-20 minutes. Cool in the tin. Place in the fridge for an hour.
6. Raspberry Cream.  Place 125g raspberries with the icing sugar into a food processor and blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve. Add the raspberry puree to a small saucepan along with the cream and bring to the boil.  Add the pieces of white chocolate to the pan, remove from the heat and spoon the raspberry cream over the chocolate pieces.  Leave it for approximately 5 minutes and then whisk to a smooth glossy sauce.  Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge until chilled and set.
7. Take the cake out of the fridge, remove the cake from the tin.  Place on a board and cut out rounds using the cutter.
8. Place the chilled raspberry cream into a piping bag fitted with a 1M Wilton nozzle and pipe onto the brownie rounds, top with a fresh raspberry.

I'm submitting this post to the recipe linky #cookblogshare over at Supergolden Bakes.......

20 Jul 2014

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble - Recipe

One of my favourite fillings for crumble is strawberries and rhubarb - both the strawberries and rhubarb were picked from my garden and so it was more or less a free pudding.

The downside of this filling is that it looks more than a bit of a mess when it's served up and I think the filling is best suited to individual crumbles.  On a positive the filling is a glorious bright pink and tastes like heaven.  I like to let the crumble cool down for a while before I serve it with a dollop of ice cream.

I prefer to roast my rhubarb
The rhubarb is placed in the dish with the strawberries
A top tip is to combine the butter, flour and sugar with a fork -
 this method keeps hands and rings clean
The crumble rubble

For the filling:
6 sticks of rhubarb
4 tbsp water
8 tbsp caster sugar
250g strawberries

For the crumble:
110g butter
110g demerara sugar
200g flour

1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
2. Cut the rhubarb into sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and place the rhubarb without the juice into a greased ovenproof dish.  Add the strawberries to the dish.
4. To make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour and sugar. Cover the rhubarb and strawberries with the crumble mix and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the crumble is golden and the filling is bubbling over the crumble.