I’ve never been a big meat-eater but as I’m pregnant I can’t possibly deny the little one the chance to taste as much as possible. This has pleased my husband Malcolm no end because he now gets to look forward to a proper Sunday dinner each weekend, something that we’ve never really indulged in before.
We were planning to try the recipe for seven-hour maple-mustard pulled pork (from BBC Good Food Magazine, November 2012) on Sunday but forgot to take the epic piece of pork shoulder that I’d ordered from Tesco out of the freezer in time. Given that I’ve now finished work and am on maternity leave, there was absolutely no reason for us to wait until Sunday to enjoy our treat. Wednesday it would be!
After 7 hours in the oven, the meat literally fell apart. It was divine! And thanks to my careless online ordering from Tesco, we’ve now got enough to do us for lunch tomorrow and for dinner another night. Pork anyone?
Continuing with the ridiculously easy but suitably decadent recipes, I recently opted to dig out a recipe that I got from an old fundraising cookbook that I think was sold to raise money for either my primary or secondary school. With only four ingredients, the After Eight Tart really can’t go wrong!
As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If that’s the case, my most recent attempt at this recipe definitely got my seal of approval. After treating my other half to a slice and dishing it up for a friend who came round for dinner earlier in the week, there was still a full quarter of the tart left. Unfortunately my intention to share the remaining tart with my neighbours was soon forgotten as I ended up devouring the entire slab myself!
75g butter, melted
300g box After Eights, or alternative mint-filled chocolates
150ml double cream
Milk and white chocolate to decorate
1. Crush the digestives in a food processor (or place them in a food bag and beat them with something heavy!) and mix with the melted butter in a large bowl. Press into an 8 inch greased flan tin and place in the fridge while you make the topping.
2. Melt the whole box of After Eights in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once melted, add the cream and stir until combined.
3. Pour over the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
4. Once set, grate equal amounts of milk and white chocolate over the top to decorate.
After months of disinterest and general lack of time, it seems that the baking bug has finally taken hold again. Fortunately it has reappeared at the same time as my love of all things smoked which resulted in an impressive craving for applewood smoked cheddar scones.
Delia to the rescue! I whipped up a quick batch (with double the amount of cheese recommended in Delia’s cheese scone recipe) on Sunday morning before heading out to Stirling to visit Malcolm’s gran. Not quite your typical Easter baking but they definitely satiated my craving!
“They’ve decided to visit today instead of tomorrow, is that ok?” Don’t go to too much trouble; it’s only Gary!”: my husband’s words the morning before one of his oldest friends and his girlfriend arrived for lunch.
When my husband Malcolm reminded me that we were having friends for lunch at the end of the week, I’d envisaged exactly how I was going to spend my Bank Holiday Friday: in the kitchen preparing. Being six and a half months pregnant and getting larger by the day I wasn’t planning anything too fancy but on Malcolm’s reaction when he saw the kitchen, it seems our interpretations of an informal lunch differ somewhat!
On the menu yesterday was:
Tortilla española (Spanish potato omelette)
Pan con tomate (our version of bruschetta)
Spinach and pine nut pasta salad
Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse with raspberries
Nigella’s chocolate mousse is a godsend for a pregnant woman who is also short of time. No raw eggs and barely any preparation or setting time (I stuck mine in the freezer for an hour to give it a quick blast) but it definitely satisfies that chocolate craving!
We certainly don’t do posh china or even ramekins in our house but we do know about whisky! And while I’m out of action as far as whisky drinking is concerned I think I’ve managed to find a suitable alternative use for our extensive collection of Glencairn glasses!
I’ve kind of neglected my blog of late but those who have seen me will realise why: I’m sporting an increasingly large baby bump and priorities (as well as my ability to bake) have changed.
Unfortunately the only time I seem to manifest symptoms of the “baby brain” phenomenon is when I’m in the kitchen. This has lead to me to forget a multitude of ingredients! A while back I ended up baking a lemon tart with no sugar in the filling (I only realised when I was packing it up to take to a friend’s house for dinner!). I’ve also made a pear tart with savoury instead of sweet pastry and have I accidentally omitted ingredients in many dinner time recipes.
I promise it’s not on purpose but my other half has now banned me from most of the cooking for fear that I forget an essential ingredient!
So when the opportunity to get involved in the newly renamed Edinburgh Bakers‘ Towers of Terrific Traybakes Take Two event came up, I jumped at the chance. It had been years since I’d made a traybake and how could it possibly go wrong? The answer is that it didn’t! Thank goodness.
I chose to recreate a recipe that one of my colleagues from the MS Society had introduced me to when I was working there: Rolo slice. It’s sweet, decadent and chocolatey, everything a traybake should be! Using a mere 9 packets of Rolos, the recipe is also (NOT) low calorie!! Nevertheless it got devoured!
I didn’t take my camera with me to the event but for more pictures of all the fabulous tray bakes check out the Edinburgh Bakers‘ blog.
I’ve been asked for the recipe for Rolo slice by a few people so here goes:
300g milk chocolate, plus 300g milk chocolate for the topping
6 tbsp Golden Syrup
450g Rolos (9-10 packets)
450g digestive biscuits, crushed
- Melt the margarine, 300g of the milk chocolate and the syrup in a heavy pan over a medium heat. Keep stirring to ensure that it doesn’t stick or burn.
- Add the biscuits and Rolos and stir through.
- Press into 3 greased 20cm (8 inch) cake tins and chill in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 300g of milk chocolate and spread evenly over the top of the three traybakes.
- Chill and slice into 8 slices each. Stack on top of each other as if creating a tower of terrific traybakes to serve!
Autumn is here and apples are in season so I’ve written a recipe for apple chutney and soda bread for the Broughton Spurtle. Check out the full recipe here.
I’ve written a recipe for fig tarte tatin for the Broughton Spurtle. Check out the full recipe here.
In my job I get to do a lot of travelling which can sometimes mean long, tiring days. Today however it meant a relaxing trip down to Peebles for a good chat and some even better food.
The view from my brother’s house just outside Peebles
A wee something to take home: chocolate from Cocoa Black
Not bad for an afternoon’s work!
Look what arrived in the post today!
Now all I need is the word dance and I’ll have a complete description of everything that happens in my kitchen!
I’ve written a recipe for blueberry and raspberry roulade for the Broughton Spurtle. Check out the full recipe here.