Redcurrant Chocolate Puddings

Recipe taken from Hello Magazine many years ago.

Redcurrant Chocolate puddingServes : 10

Ingredients – Base sponge :
100g (4oz) butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
300g (11oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Juice of 2 medium oranges

Ingredients – Top sponge :
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
150g (5oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) butter, melted

To serve :
225ml (8 fl oz) chocolate sauce
Strawberries brushed with warmed redcurrant jelly

Step One : For the base sponge, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Stir in the eggs and egg yolk, then fold in the flour, baking powder and orange juice. Divide the mixture between 10 ramekin dishes.

Step Two : For the top sponge, whisk together the sugar, egg and egg yolk until thick and creamy. Carefully fold in the flour and melted butter and spoon into the ramekin dishes.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to 220oC / 425oF / Gas Mark 7 and bake for 10 minutes or until just firm when pressed. Turn out the sponges and serve with chocolate sauce and strawberries brushed with warmed redcurrant jelly.

Chelsea Buns

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from “All You Knead is Bread” by Jane Mason.

Chelsea bunsMakes : 8-10 buns

Ingredients :
300g all-purpose white wheat flour
200ml water
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp sugar

Filling :
75g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
25g mixed peel
50g soft brown sugar
25g butter, melted and cooled
2 big tblsp honey, melted to glaze

You will need a deep baking pan, about 25 cm wide, well-greased.

Step One : Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix together. Tip out and knead well for 10 minutes. Pop the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rest for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Meanwhile, mix the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar together to make the filling, then set aside.

Step Two : Pull the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about 30 x 23 cm. Brush the cooled, melted butter over it and scatter the fruit mixture evenly over the top.

Step Three : Roll up the rectangle, tugging it gently toward you at each roll to achieve a tight sausage. To make it easier to slice, cover it with clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Step Four : Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the sausage into 8-10 slices if you like your buns thin, or 6 if you like them really fat. Place them into the prepared baking pan and cover with a lightly floured tea towel. Allow to rest for 1 hour until doubled in size.

Step Five : Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas Mark 4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Brush with melted honey while they are still hot.

Salute the Salad : Poached Salmon, Almond and Grapefruit Couscous

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2016) and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

For this light, healthy meal, poach the salmon in a pan wide and deep enough to hold the pieces in one layer.  The couscous can also be served with other meats.

Poached salmonServes 2 as a main course

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients :
100g couscous
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (shredded)
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 spring onions
1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley, still on the stalk
1 grapefruit
2 salmon fillets (150-175g each), bones removed but skin left on
3 tblsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1 small handful salad leaves (perhaps use pea shoots)
1 lemon, halved

Step One : Mix the couscous with 100ml of tepid water and 1/4 tsp of salt, and leave for 5 minutes.  Mix in the grated carrot and olive oil and leave for 5 minutes.  Trim both ends from the spring onions.  Thinly slice the green parts and mix into the couscous.  Pick the parsley leaves from their stalks, coarsely shred and add to the couscous.  Put the parsley stalks and spring onion white ends in a separate pan.  Add water to a depth of 4 cm and 1 tsp of salt, bring to the boil then reduce to a rapid simmer.  Peel three strips of rind from the grapefruit, avoiding any white pith, add to this poaching stock as it heats up.

Step Two : Gently lower the salmon pieces into the stock, skin side facing down, and bring back to the boil.  Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for 8-10 minutes, by which time it will be cooked (if the salmon is thin, and submerged, leave it for no more than 4-5 minutes).

Step Three : Meanwhile, segment the grapefruit, cutting off the peel and pith.  Cut each segment into three or four pieces and mix into the couscous along with the almonds and any juice you can squeeze from the grapefruit core.

Step Four : To serve, divide the couscous among your plates and sit the salad leaves on top.  Remove the salmon carefully from the poaching liquid and lay on a plate, skin side facing up.  Peel off the skin and carefully scrape away any dark-coloured flesh (and blood line) under the skin using a teaspoon.  Break the salmon into flakes and sit it on top of the couscous.  Tuck in a lemon half and serve.

Salute the Salad : Grilled Carrots, Manchego, Orange, Agave, Pecans and Sultanas

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

This relatively simple salad will seem all the more fabulous if you use a few different colours of carrots.   I found the combination of just two colours worked well and decided against using purple ones.  I’ve also made this using baby carrots, which looks and works a treat.  Manchego is a fantastic ewes’ milk cheese from La Mancha, near Madrid, in Spain.  If you prefer, you can use British Wigmore or Berkswell, Italian Pecorino, or some other firm ewes’ milk cheese – something you can shave or slice over the top.  Agave syrup is a fabulous, earthy, sweet syrup, which complements the pecans – replace it with maple syrup if you can’t find it.

Grilled carrotsServes 4 as a starter

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients:
600g carrots, peeled, halved lengthways
3 tblsp olive oil
2 oranges, segmented
3 tblsp agave syrup (or use maple syrup)
50g sultanas (or golden raisins)
100g pecans, toasted and chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
handful salad leaves (perhaps rocket)
60g manchego

Step One : Steam or boil the carrots in salted water for 6 minutes.  If using baby carrots, cook for 4 minutes.  Tip into a colander and leave to drain.  Brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper, then cook in a heavy based pan until coloured on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes depending on their size.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Mix the orange segments with any of their juice you can squeeze from the ‘core’.  Add the agave syrup, sultanas and pecans.  Leave for 10 minutes, then mix in the remaining oil.  Leave for at least 20 minutes to allow the sultanas to soak up some of the liquid, tossing from time to time.  Just before serving, mix in the spring onion.

Step Three : To serve, lay the carrots on a platter or individual plates. Scatter on the salad leaves, then spoon on the orange, sultana and pecan mixture.  Thinly shave the manchego on top just before you serve it.

 

Fruit and Nut Couscous with Fresh Herbs

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2019) and taken from Summer Every Day by Acland Geddes and Pedro Da Silva.

Fruit and Nut couscous

Serves : 6 – 8

Ingredients :
500g couscous
Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
50g whole almonds
50g whole cashews
50g whole pecans
1 pomegranate
2 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
50g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50g raisins

Step One : Put the couscous in a serving bowl and add cold water until it is covered by about 2 cm of water. Leave until all the water is absorbed (about 10 minutes), then fluff it up with your hands.

Step Two : Put all the nuts in a pan with a splash of olive oil and toast over medium heat until they are nicely browned. Set aside to cool.

Step Three : Remove the pomegranate seeds by cutting the fruit in half, holding it over a bowl and bashing the outside with the back of a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall into the bowl.

Step Four : Stir the herbs, nuts, pomegranate seeds and dried apricots into the couscous. Add a little olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Orange and Almond Cake

A Gary Rhodes recipe

Makes : 3 x 2lb (900g) cakes

Ingredients:
3 whole oranges
12oz (350g) ground almonds
12oz (350g) caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
9 eggs, size 3, beaten

The quantities here are quite large but using 3 oranges gives a stronger finished taste. If you cut the recipe down to a third, the flavour isn’t as good. This recipe also works well using 4 lemons instead of the oranges or a combination of lemon and limes. The cake freezes for up to a month.

Step One : Place the unpeeled oranges in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 1 hour, topping up with water when necessary. Remove oranges from the pan and allow any excess water to drain off.  Cut into quarters.  Remove all pips the puree the oranges, including the pith and the zest, in a food processor.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  To make the sponge, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder.  Whisk the eggs until the mixture trails off the whisk in thick ribbons.  Fold in the almond and sugar mixture, then add the cooled orange puree.  Pour the mixture into 3 x 2lb (900g) loaf tins, filling them by about two-thirds.  Bake for 40-45 mins.

Step Three : The cakes are ready when they’re firm to the touch and if pierced with a knife, it comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the tins. If the cakes sink in the centre once they have cooled, this will have no effect on the finished result – they are still delicious. They will keep for several days in an airtight tin.
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Toffee Apple Pudding

Who can resist this indulgent sticky treat? The rich toffee sauce completely coats the apples and melts right through the delicious steamed sponge.

toffee appleServes : 4
Prep time : 20 mins
Cook time : 2 hours

Ingredients for the topping:
2 cox’s apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
50 g (2oz) butter
150g (5oz) caster sugar

For the sponge:
175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
250g (9oz) plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder

Step One : Toss the apple chunks in half of the lemon juice and put into a greased 1.1 litre/2 pint pudding basin. Warm the butter, sugar and remaining lemon juice in a heavy based pan. Stir the foamy mixture occasionally until it becomes a golden brown toffee colour and then pour the mixture over the apple chunks in the basin.

Step Two : Make the sponge mixture by creaming together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs – don’t worry if the mixture begins to curdle. Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder. Spoon the mixture over the toffee apples and smooth the top of the pudding with a palette knife.

Step Three : Cut out two circles larger than the basin, one from foil and the other from greaseproof paper. Pleat each one down the centre – this allows the pudding to rise. Use them to cover the basin, scrunching up the sides to form a seal or secure with string if you prefer. Place a folded strip of foil underneath basin to help lift it.

Step Four : Half fill a large pan (preferably with a steamer) with boiling water, lower in the pudding, cover and simmer for 1hr 45 mins – 2 hrs. Top the pan up with water as needed. Carefully remove the lid and pudding, put a plate on top and slowly turn the pudding over. Serve with ice cream, cream or custard.

Tip: If you don’t have a steamer, use a large saucepan instead. Place the pudding on an inverted saucer and half fill the pan with boiling water. Put on a tight fitting lid and simmer for one and a half hours. When topping up the water during cooking, take care not to splash the pudding – or yourself.

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Apricot Cheesecake

Dried apricotsServes : 8
Cals per person : 350
Prep time : 25 mins (plus cooling)
Cook time : 45-50 mins

Ingredients:
175g (6oz) dried apricots
175ml (6 fl oz) orange juice
75g (3oz) butter
2 tblsp clear honey
225g (8 oz) muesli
600g (1 lb 5oz) natural 8% fat fromage frais
1 medium size egg, beaten

To decorate:
6 black and 6 green grapes, halved and deseeded
4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved and sliced
15g ( ½ oz) dried apricots, chopped
sprigs of fresh mint

Step One : Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5; 190oC; 375oF. Place the apricots in a saucepan with the orange juice, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins or until tender.

Step Two : Meanwhile, place the butter and 1 tbsp honey in a saucepan. Heat gently for 1-2 mins or until the butter has melted.

Step Three : Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and stir in the muesli. Stir until well mixed, then press into the base of a lightly greased and lined 20cm (8 in) round, loose-bottomed cake tin.

Step Four : Transfer the cooked apricots and any juice to a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Spread one third of the apricot puree over the muesli base.

Step Five : Stir the remaining apricot puree into 450g (1 lb) fromage-frais with the beaten egg and remaining honey. Spoon on top of the apricot layer in the cake tin and smooth over.

Step Six : Cook in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake comes away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tin before removing, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Step Seven : Top the cheesecake with a layer of the remaining fromage-frais, decorate with the fruit and sprigs of mint, and serve chilled.

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Lavender Mousse, Blackberry & Cinder Toffee Verrine

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2018) and taken from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas the winner of MasterChef in 2009.

This is a mini version of the pudding Mat cooked in the MasterChef final. The flavours work together beautifully; the sharp blackberries in the base, the summery aroma of the mousse and the caramel crunch of the toffee, which fizzes when you eat it with the berries.

IMG_1871

Makes 4

For the blackberry compote:
150g blackberries
3 1/4 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar

For the lavender mousse:
450ml double cream
50g icing sugar
Lavender extract

For the cinder toffee:
5 dessertspoons caster sugar
2 dessertspoons golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

You will need:
4 verrine glasses, approximately 200ml each, to serve

Step One : For the blackberry compote, heat the blackberries, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan until the blackberries just start to soften and break up. Mash them a little with a fork, then spoon into four verrine glasses. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Step Two : For the lavender mousse, in a mixing bowl, whisk the cream, icing sugar and a few drops of lavender extract. Taste it, you should be able to just taste the lavender, but not overpoweringly so. Add a few drop more, as needed. Finish whisking until the cream forms soft peaks. Pipe or spoon into the verrine glasses on top of the compote. Tap the glasses on a flat surface to level the top of the cream, then chill in the fridge.

Step Three : For the cinder toffee, cover a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and put it somewhere flat and stable to minimise the risk of spillage, as the toffee will be very hot when poured onto the sheet. In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, just cover the base with a little water, before adding the sugar and golden syrup. Have the bicarbonate of soda to hand and a whisk or silicone spatula. Melt on a medium heat until the mixture if turning a lovely caramel colour and smells of toffee. Add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk carefully, but quickly, to combine – the mixture will foam up to about five times its previous volume. Pour onto the greaseproof paper and leave to harden and cool.

Step Four : To serve, break up the cinder toffee – I place it in a resealable sandwich bag and whack it on a flat surface then sprinkle the shards over the tops of the verrines. Serve cool, but not cold.
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White Chocolate & Strawberry Tiffin

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2018) and taken from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas the winner of MasterChef in 2009.

Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

IMG_1870

Makes 18

Ingredients:
250g butter
120g caster sugar
6 tblsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
100g mixed dried fruit and nuts (such as almonds, sultanas and cherries)
100g fresh strawberries, chopped
450g digestive biscuits, crushed
450g white chocolate

You will need:
30 x 20cm non-stick brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

Step One : Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and warm on a low heat until melted, stirring to mix together.

Step Two : In a mixing bowl, grate 100g of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture and fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Step Three : Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three quarters of it in a microwave on high, using a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between, until it is all melted. Now, add the remaining quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

Step Four : Remove the tiffin base from the fridge and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even. Now, melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three quarters of it, then adding the final quarter at the end).

Step Five : Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines Use a toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form a pattern. Return to the fridge for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

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