So at the weekend I was all set to bake a cake when a trip to the supermarket saw me walk away with a nice big jar of mincemeat and a bag of ground almonds. I knew in my heart they should be together. I’d had a craving for frangipane since an episode of Masterchef so I decided to stick it all together into one magical almondy mince pie. It’s been done before I admit but that doesn’t stop it from being amazing. Continue reading
Éclairs always remind me of our “female” family gets togethers. Auntie A is on her way round, then maybe auntie B will follow suit an hour or so later and she’ll bring the custard tarts from Tesco’s whilst we might provide the fresh cream and jam doughnuts from Morrison’s. Auntie A will be pouring the stovetop Turkish Tea into our tiny glass vessels in abundance and there will always be a whiff of brewed cloves to be smelt in the air. Continue reading
I’m really bad for avoiding pastry and it’s so so easy that every time I make it I wonder why I avoid it. I think most bakers have something that they avoid making for no reason. To be honest, there are many many things I avoid doing for no reason 🙂 Continue reading
I forgot how easy it is to make choux pastry actually. I think it can seem scary but it’s not, as long as your have everything set out ready because the main thing is that you need to work quickly. Continue reading
That’s right – vol au vents. We’ve done some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff and landed squarely in the ’70s.
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t around for their orange-tinted heyday that I have a soft spot for a bite-size foods. Or it could be that they leave your other hand free for a drink. The actual reason I like canapés? There’s a lot of scope for using cheese, in more ways than you could with one of those cheese boards that only feature as many varieties as cheese knives in that long-abandoned box (four).
It’s the tooth-squeak of a grilled halloumi skewer. The tongue-tingle of a good quality cheddar paired with pineapple. The nutty quality of an aged Comté. The soft ooze of burrata. If it came to it, I could give up steak, or bread, or pasta. Just don’t torture me, alone(y) without torta mascarpone.*
The cheese of the hour is goats cheese. To some people, it tastes “like a farm”. (When and why and where have all these people been licking barnyards?) But truly, it delivers an unbeatable tang that sits so wonderfully alongside sweet fruits and honey. Here, a soft goats cheese nestles with lightly honeyed caramelised onions and jammy fig to make a vol au vent that’s very much for the modern age. Continue reading
ou know what’s a great idea in 30C summer heat? Laying around in the sun with a good supply of drinks. You know what’s not such a great idea? Making pastry.
So naturally, on Saturday afternoon/evening, the scene was me standing in my kitchen, swearing at an uncooperatively melty pastry case while I desperately tried to cool myself and it with a standing fan positioned next to us. Continue reading