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Week 35: Cardamom Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
27/Aug/2013

Earlier this year I bought the Hairy Bikers' baking book, and this is another of their recipes. This week's recipe was described as a coffee cake in the European tradition (a cake to go with coffee, not a cake containing coffee).

I scaled their recipe down slightly to fit our baking tin but otherwise followed the book closely. I didn't want the cardamom flavour to be too overpowering so I used slightly less than they did.

alt_text

It was an easy cake to make and turned out well. There are a few more recipes in the book which I want to try next, half of them cakes, the other half savoury.



Week 34: Pressure cooker pork casserole

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
18/Aug/2013

This recipe came about more or less by accident. I had planned to try a cake recipe but shortly after I had cooked and eaten this I realised it should probably count as this week's recipe. I wasn't following a recipe but simply threw together a one-pot meal based on what I had in the kitchen.

We have had a pressure cooker for several years but all I have used it for so far is to make soups or stocks. Until today I hadn't used it to cook an actual meal. I had recently bought some pork cheeks and thought a one pot pressure cooker meal might work.

I started by frying some red pepper, onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the cheeks. I then poured a tin of tomatoes into the pressure cooker and added some mixed herbs, a pinch of salt, a generous pinch of smoked paprika and a grind of black pepper. I put the lid on the pressure cooker, brought it up to pressure and cooked for half an hour. I turned the heat off and let the pan cool down enough to let me remove the lid. I added some tomato puree, a bit of cornflour for thickening and a tin of beans.

The meat had gone soft and tender and readily came apart, which was what I'd hoped would happen. The sauce tasted very familiar and after a couple of mouthfuls I realised it was very similar to a recipe from our old Floyd on Spain book: a stew using tomatoes, red peppers and chorizo. I had accidentally recreated something which tasted almost identical to a family favourite recipe which I hadn't had for years.



Week 33: Lemon Berry Pudding

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
16/Aug/2013

Every now and again I catch a programme on the Food Network. A couple of months ago I caught an episode of Baking with Anna Olson where she did upside down cakes. One of the recipes was Lemon Berry Saucing Cake. I decided to wait until the fruit in the garden was ripe before I gave it a go. I have managed to collect wild strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, red gooseberries and blackberries.

The dessert was surprisingly easy to make. I started by making a fairly runny batter which consisted of half a cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 1 egg yolk and 2/3 of a cup of semi-skimmed milk.

I took the egg white and whisked it until it started to form peaks. The white was actually quite runny, suggesting the egg was quite old, even though they were only bought a few days ago and still had 10 days until the 'Best Before' date.

I managed to find 4 mis-matched ramekin dishes which I buttered and coated with sugar. I put a layer of berries in the bottom of each, using different combinations of the ones I mentioned above.

Lemon Berry Saucing Cake
These were the only 2 matching ramekins. The puddings were baked at gas mark 4 for 35 minutes. The ramekins were in a bain marie to help them cook evenly.

Lemon Berry Saucing Cake
I was surprised at how well the puddings turned out. The one pictured here had mixed fruit in. The one I ate was mainly gooseberry with some blackcurrant and strawberry. The balance of sharp and sweet flavours was about right and the pudding had a good cakey texture with a good layer of sauce on top.



Godiva returns to Coventry

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
10/Aug/2013

Last year, in the run up to the Olympic Games, a giant statue of Lady Godiva left Coventry and travelled to London. Today the statue returned to Coventry and journeyed around the city.

Godiva Awakes



Week 32: False Economy Lime Curd

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
04/Aug/2013

A week or so ago I was in the supermarket and (as usual) had a rummage around the reduced and out of date fruit and veg fridge. There was a bag of limes for 30p so I decided to get them and worry about what I was going to do with them when I got home. Gin and tonic was sadly out of the question because I forgot to buy any tonic water.

I found several suitable cake recipes and ended up making some coconut and lime cupcakes. Sadly I seem to have eaten them all without taking any photographs, which is a bit poor and quite unlike me. The cakes were quite simple to make, being a basic pound cake recipe with added lime zest and juice and some grated coconut. After baking, they were sprinkled with toasted coconut and drizzled with a syrup made with lime juice and sugar.

After making the cupcakes I still had 2 limes left over so they sat in the fridge for a few days while I decided what to do with them. I thought I would have a go at making a lime curd in the microwave. It was very simple to make, a few minutes juicing the limes then 7 minutes in the microwave in 1 minute bursts.

If the lime curd was supposed to be a way of using up the limes and avoiding food wastage, it was probably a bit of a false economy. The two limes only cost me 10p but since I needed to add sugar, butter and 1 egg to the juice, the one egg alone cost me 17p so I ended up spending more money than I was saving/avoiding wasting.

Home made lime curd

The limes were fairly yellow with green patches so I shouldn't really be surprised that the curd came out much more yellow than green.

Home made lime curd

The curd was very sharp and sour. I probably needed to add a bit more sugar to the recipe but since limes vary a lot, I imagine it is quite difficult to publish a recipe which will give ideal results in all cases.