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.

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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.

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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.

TNT-OFFER-2019

Strawberries & Cream Swiss Roll

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

There are only three ingredients in a classic Swiss roll : flour, sugar and eggs. It can be a dry cake, so compensate with fresh fruit and indulge in a little extra cream.

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Makes 1 roll

For the filling:
200g strawberries
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/2 tblsp caster sugar
150ml whipping cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 tblsp icing sugar

For the cake:
200g eggs, lightly whisked with 150g caster sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
150g plain flour
Icing sugar and fresh strawberries, to decorate

You will need:
45 x 30cm non-stick Swiss roll pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

Step One : Preheat the oven to 140oC / 280oF / Gas Mark 1. For the filling, hull and chop the strawberries. Put in a bowl and fold in the lemon juice and caster sugar. Leave for 30 minutes. Whip the cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar to a light, just setting, whipped cream. Chill in the fridge.

Step Two : For the cake, take the prepared Swiss roll pan, oil the top of the paper and lightly flour the paper and the sides. Put the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl and mix for at least 10 minutes with a hand-held electric whisk or in a stand mixer, until it has tripled in volume. Add the vanilla extract and whisk. Gently fold in the flour, one third at a time, until just combined.

Step Three : Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it into the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Check the cake is cooked by touch; it should bounce back when lightly pressed. If it is soft or it ‘crackles’ when touched, put it back in the oven for 2 minutes more.

Step Four : Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 minutes. Cover a wire rack with some oiled and floured baking parchment and turn the cake out onto the rack. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then peel off the baking parchment. Gently cut halfway through the cake, across the width on the short side, about 1cm from the edge to help it roll up.

Step Five : Starting from the side where you have made the cut, carefully roll up the cake and gently squeeze it to form the roll, before unrolling again in order to assemble the final cake.

Step Six : Finish the filling by folding together the whipped cream and strawberries. Plaster the mixture generously onto the cake, then roll up to make a Swiss roll. Trim the ends and dust with icing sugar.

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Chicken Stuffed with Mango & Ginger

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
6 chicken breasts
1 ripe mango, sliced
1 tsp root ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g butter
1 small carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225g crème fraiche
Salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.

Step Two : Slice the pockets of the chicken breasts to enlarge the cavities for stuffing, then season. Fill the cavities with slices of mango (reserving a little for garnishing) and half the ginger. Sprinkle lime juice over the chicken and bake in individual buttered tin foil parcels for 20 minutes.

Step Three
: Meanwhile, sweat the shallots in the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add carrot and garlic and remove from the heat.

Step Four
: In a grinder, crush the coriander seeds, the seeds from the cardamom pods, the cumin seeds and the cloves.

Step Five : Add this spice mixture, the cinnamon and the rest of the ginger to the pan. Stir well and then liquidise with the crème fraiche.

Step Six
: Return to the pan to gently reheat. Remove the chicken breasts from their parcels and pour over the spicy sauce.

Step Seven
: Garnish with mango, lime slices and coriander leaves.

Strawberry and Basil Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2015) and taken from The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White.

By loading more fresh veg and nuts into us ladies, we’ll arm our bodies against The Ageing Process. This cake should help. Avocados and almonds are drenched with helpful fats and nourishing minerals needed to keep our toes tapping and skin flowing. Remember, the skin is your largest excretory organ. If you’re eating garbage, you’ll end up wearing it on your face.

IMG_1820

Serves : 8

Ingredients for the base:
1 1/2 cups (180g) walnuts
6 Medjool or other sticky dates, stones removed
touch of sea salt flakes

For the creamy centre:
3 ripe avocados, stones and skin removed (240g)
25g packet of fresh basil, leaves only
juice of 3-4 limes
4-6 tblsp raw honey
3 tblsp unscented coconut oil, melted

For the topping:
1 punnet of fresh strawberries

Step One : To make the base, blend the walnuts, dates and sea salt in a food processor (not a blender) with a splash of water. When it starts clumping together into a cookie dough ball, you’re good to go. Press into a 20 x 25 cm loaf tin. Bring the dough up the sides like a posh flan, making sure you support the elbow of the base – the part where the base meets the sides. Freeze.

Step Two : Meanwhile, get going on your ‘cheesecake’ filling. Puree the avocado flesh, basil, lime juice, honey, melted coconut oil and some Frank Sinatra at full speed until savagely smooth. A blender can be used for this bit.

Step Three : Taste. If it needs more zing or kick, add another squeeze of lime juice to the mix. If you prefer more sweetness to rock your taste buds, then add an extra bit of honey. Spoon the filling over the frozen base and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. It will last for three days in the fridge like this.

Step Four : Just before serving, slice a handful of fresh strawberries and scatter them over the top along with any stray basil leaves you find loitering in your kitchen.

Lemon Verbena Possets

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

lemon verbena possets

Serves : 4

Ingredients :
2 lemons
125g caster sugar
6 lemon verbena leaves
425ml double cream

Step One : Grate the zest of the lemons into a saucepan, then squeeze out and add the juice, followed by the sugar and lemon verbena leaves. Place the pan over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the cream and cook for three minutes.

Step Two : Divide the mixture between four small glasses or ramekins. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for two hours until set. Remove the possets from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate, Pancetta and Brandy

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

This is a real showstopper, especially if you are generous with the brandy.  Serve with basmati rice steamed with cardamom pods to make the rice extra fragrant.

Chicken and pomegranate

Serves : 4

Ingredients:
3 tblsp olive oil
1 medium chicken, jointed into 8 pieces by a butcher
3 shallots (2 quartered, 1 chopped finely)
1 bunch fresh sage
4 garlic cloves
30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water, drained and chopped
4 medium pomegranates
25g butter
100g pancetta
generous splash of brandy
250ml double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
basmati rice, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas 4. Heat the oil in a cast-iron casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Season.

Step Two : Once browned, remove from the heat. Add the quartered shallots, half the sage, garlic and the liquid from the mushrooms. Replace the chicken, cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast in a preheated oven for 1 hour.

Step Three : Meanwhile, deseed the pomegranates by slicing them in half and bashing them with a wooden spoon over a bowl so that the seeds fall out. Crush the seeds slightly with a potato masher to release their juices.

Step Four : Take out the chicken and pour the pomegranate juices into the pan, reserving the seeds for later. Pop the chicken back into the oven.

Step Five : Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once it has melted, add the chopped shallot and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the sage and pancetta, and cook until the pancetta begins to crisp and the fat melts. Once the chicken is cooked, pour off its sauce into the mushrooms pan. Cover the chicken with foil to keep it warm.

Step Six : Add the brandy and the double cream to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, then pour it back over the chicken, sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately with bowls of hot basmati rice.