21 Sep 2014

Plum Cobbler - Recipe

The hot pudding is fabulous served with ice cream
The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the nights are drawing in and Plum Cobbler is one of those comforting puddings we will soon be craving for.

This cobbler topping is beautifully light and airy, it is quick and easy to make and is a great alternative to a crumble topped pudding.

The recipe from Baking Mad's Autumn Recipes uses damsons but where I live they are ridiculously expensive and I used red plums with great success, but they must be ripe, otherwise they'll have to be pre-cooked for longer than the recipe suggests.

I placed the cobbler onto the plums in craggy blobs to make the pudding look lovely and homely or instead of one large pudding it can also be cooked in individual ramekins.

It's quite a large pudding and once cooled it can be cut into individual portions and frozen.

Disclaimer:  BakingMad.com have sent me a selection of products for this posting.

17 Sep 2014

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes - National Cupcake Week 2014

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes
I doubt anyone could eat more than one of these super indulgent cupcakes, they must be one of the richest cupcakes I have ever made.  Fortunately, I can freeze them and take one out of the freezer to thaw for those days when I need chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

It's National Cupcake Week and for once I managed to make some cupcakes and have posted them on the blog midweek - well done me!

My local Italian restaurant posted a Ferrero Rocher Cake on their Facebook page and it prompted me to make these cupcakes.  I know these Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes have been 'out there' for a long time but somehow I have never got round to making them.

The cupcakes I've seen posted on Facebook this year are truly amazing and inspirational works of creativity.

Here's the recipe to make 12

85g self-raising flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
110g caster sugar
110g softened salted butter
2 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
2tsp milk

You will need:  12 hole muffin tin and cupcake cases

1. Preheat the oven to 150ÂșC Fan.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk for a good couple of minutes.
3. Using an ice cream scoop place balls of the batter into the 12 cupcake cases.
4. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked.  Remove from the oven and cool.

For the Nutella Buttercream
225g sifted icing sugar
100g softened unsalted butter
2 heaped tablespoons Nutella
2 tsp milk

To decorate: 4 cubes of dark chocolate melted

1. Beat everything together for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add more milk if the mixture is too stiff.
2. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1M nozzle and pipe onto the cupcakes.  Top with a Ferrero Rocher.
3. Drizzle over melted chocolate using a teaspoon.

12 Sep 2014

Mary Berry's Spiced Dorset Apple Traybake - Recipe

The traybake is spiced with cinnamon
This is a cake-cum-pudding - according to my hubby it needs a large bowl of 'Birds Custard' - there isn't a cure for his love of Bird's Custard, it comes from his school days. In fact he often boasts that he introduced an American businessman to custard and told him that English puddings have to be served with the pudding floating in custard!

Yes, I did give him a chunk of the cake with his beloved custard - I had a piece with a dollop of cream but creme fraiche would cut through the sweetness of the cake and for me it would be the best choice.

Mary Berry is the queen of the traybake and I don't think I had ever heard of a 'traybake' until many, many years ago when I bought her Ultimate Cake Book.  This book is very well thumbed and is getting a bit tatty but it is a turn to book when I'm in need of baking inspiration.

Part of my collection of Mary Berry cookery books
Adapted recipe and method:

You will need: 30cm x 23cm x 4cm greased and lined with baking parchment.

225g butter softened
550g Bramley cooking apples
1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
225g light brown sugar
300g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, place them into a dish. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and toss gently together.
3. Put the butter, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, eggs and milk into a large bowl. Beat with a hand held electric whisk for 2 minutes.
4. Dollop half the cake batter into the tin and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Place half the apple slices on top and sprinkle over the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Spoon the remaining cake batter on top in blobs and level the surface. Scatter the rest of the apple slices over the cake mixture and press them lightly into the surface.
5. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Test the cake is cooked through with a skewer and the apples are soft and cooked. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Remove the cake using the lining paper.

The original recipe, method and video how to make the cake is on the Daily Mail website.

11 Sep 2014

The Prince Albert, Notting Hill, London - Review

@PaulFoodie enjoys classic American food at The Prince Albert....

Notting Hill in London is famous! Whether it's for the eclectic carnival in August, the uber-cool vibe of Portobello street market or even the film which goes by the same name - Notting Hill is well and truly on the map!

The Prince Albert is bang in the heart of Notting Hill. It has a reputation for being loud and popular with the after work crowd and when I visited, it was certainly that!

As you walk in, you'll notice weathered looking shutters in various shades of pastel and high seating near to the main bar.

Interior view 
If you venture to the back of the pub, you'll also come across the not so secret garden where you can sit and relax.....

The secret garden
The Prince Albert is pushing out classic American food, so think fried chicken and an abundance of burgers and you're there.

Vegetarian Sharing Platter
For starters we chose the vegetarian sharing platter. It consisted of 3 mini burgers (or sliders as they're called). I wasn't really fussed about these, unfortunately the veggie pate was bland and fell apart before it even reached my mouth. There were also tempura vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers which were okay but the giant tempura cauliflower would have been far better if it had been broken down into small florets. The quantity of food was generous however, and we had to move on to leave space for the star of the show - the burger.

Burger and fries anyone?
I had a beef burger with avocado, bacon and blue cheese served with a side portion of double cooked chips. It was nice but it didn't feel particularly special. I think I should have opted for the make your own option where you choose the base and then add your toppings and sauces, building it up to your hearts content.

When we looked at the menu for dessert there were a couple of corkers. The chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream was unfortunately sold out and so we shared the choc chip cookie and ice cream sandwich.
The choc chip cookie and ice cream sandwich
is certainly a conversation stopper
Overall, if you are after a drink and a bite to eat in lively surroundings, this place will tick the rock'n'roll box.

The Prince Albert, 11 Pembridge Road,
Notting Hill, London, W11 3HQ

Disclaimer:  I was invited to review The Prince Albert, all thoughts are my own.