20 Mar 2016

Bakewell Tarts

Mini Bakewell Tarts

I love a bit of nostalgia and I remember eating these Mini Bakewell Tarts when I was growing up, they were a favourite in our house on baking day.

The pastry is thin and crispy and a teaspoon of quality raspberry jam is placed in the base topped with a delicious almond frangipane filling and a scattering of flaked almonds. Ice them if you wish after they are baked and cooled.

Bakewell Tarts

Some time ago Aldi was selling Cotswold MaizeBite Flour and this makes the most delicious golden crispy pastry - here at Kitchen Delights we give this product 10/10.

I made the pastry and frangipane in the Thermomix, no surprise there then!  I'm still happy with my ridiculously expensive purchase. After reading countless reviews about similar machines I'd still say put your money into a Thermie, which means you won't get buyers regret, or carry on using your trusted food processor or mixer.  That said, there are some fabulous multifunction/multicookers around at the moment and these look like interesting pieces of kitchen kit, some are getting really good reviews and must be worth taking a look at.  I for one would love to know how well they perform.

You may also like:
Iced Bakewell Tart
Raspberry Bakewell Cake
Raspberry and Almond Cake

Conventional Recipe and Thermomix Method in Italics.

Makes: 12

You will need: a large deep bun tray or if shallow will make 18 small tarts.

Pastry
150g plain flour
75g butter, cut into cubes
35g icing sugar
1 egg beaten, you may only need 2 tbsps
to bring the mixture together

Frangipane
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs
100g ground almonds
1 tsp almond extract

Filling and Topping
Raspberry Jam
a few flaked almonds

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200ÂșC.
2. Add the flour, butter and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor, whiz until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Knead lightly, Wrap in clingwrap and chill for approximately 30 minutes.
Weigh all the pastry ingredients to the bowl 25 Secs/Speed 4. Remove from the bowl, wrap in clingwrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3. For the frangipane, place the butter and sugar into the food processor and blend until soft. Add the eggs and whiz again. Add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract and mix briefly.
Weigh the ingredients into the bowl TM 1 min/Speed 3.
4. Roll the pastry out thinly and cut out 12 x 8cm circles. Line the tin with the pastry rounds. Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam into each pastry circle and top with the frangipane mixture. Sprinkle over a few flaked almonds.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and cool for a while on a wire rack.

16 Mar 2016

Review: Marco’s New York Italian by Marco Pierre White

Marco New York Italian

When it comes to celebrity chefs, it seems there is no stopping them as they cash in on their names. Marco Pierre White is no stranger to this with a number of steakhouses, chophouses and Italian restaurants dotted around the UK and Ireland.

Last Wednesday we went to the Mercure Hotel on Southwark Street to check out his Italian. Is it me but having a restaurant like this in the Mecure is a slightly odd fit, but having said that, it did work because the Mecure brand is a lot more contemporary now than I can remember it being!

First impressions were positive. It’s a fairly easy going interior which is gentle on the eyes of bleary traveller's and a rest bite for Londoner’s with it’s soft lighting creating a cozy space. It was empty at 6.30pm and this meant we had attentive service right from the off.

Now at Kitchen Delights, we love nothing better than a knock-your-socks-off wine. On the menu, Marco has helpfully given a ‘MR’ seal of approval stamp next to his recommendations. In the reds was a Malbec, Salentein barrel selection from the Mendoza, Argentina. And by gosh - it was good! Any residue of our Winter colds were promptly forgotten with this amazingly deep spicy vino!!!

For our appetisers, we chose the grilled jumbo shrimps and then a calamari fritti.

A starter of shrimps

The shrimps were lovely and easy to eat with a smear of garlic butter and sea salt, these were the perfect starter.

The calamari, as nice as it was, just felt a bit old fashioned being the traditional rings.

Calamari starter

I’d love to see diners benefit from something a little more inspiring like a super healthy grilled calamari without the deep fried nonsense. A splash of lemon, some honey and paprika and boy that would be fabulous.

The options for mains were quite varied with burgers, meatballs, steaks, tuna steaks, pizzas and pastas. We dived into a 10oz ‘New Orleans’ cajun steak with bourbon and currants, alongside was a generous heap of buttered spinach with chilli and garlic served with sweet potato fries.

Rib Eye Steak

We also enjoyed the grandly titled Hickory smoked baby back ribs with fries accompanied by a Russian coleslaw (and no it wasn’t from Russia as the young waiter said at first, making us chuckle). Now this particular mains was HUGE so do arrive on a hungry stomach.

Overall, the menu was extensive and reasonably priced. All pizzas and pastas were around £10 and on a future visit I would try one of these as it seemed from peering at the plates of other diners that these were hitting the culinary spot.

If you’ve visited the restaurant, let everyone know what you think.

For more details visit: Marco Pierre White Restaurants

Disclaimer: We were guests of the restaurant. All thoughts are our own.