Wednesday, 16 April 2014
I will only have butter on my toast. No jam, no marmalade, no Marmite or Nutella, no honey. I don’t know why, because I like most of these things in every other way (apart from Marmite), but I can’t stand them on toast. Really this just means that I have to get my honey fix in other, far more delicious, ways such as this summery torte… I don’t usually think of honey as a core flavour for a dessert. I’m sure I’ve added it to biscuits, cakes and flapjacks to add a bit of extra sweet and stickiness, but rarely used it as a main attraction. In this dessert blossom honey is combined with orange to make a really light version of a cheesecake – using just yoghurt and cream instead of any cream cheese. In my mind cheesecakes set with gelatine have a bad image of being overly firm and bouncy, but this is a really light set so it stays super creamy. Blanched almonds are added to the biscuit base (I used Nice biscuits because I thought the coconut would complement the other tropical flavours) which is such a simple idea but one I haven’t done before and was delicious – you know I’ll get almonds into anything somehow! My favourite part, however, was the accompanying fruit salad. Passion fruit instantly make me feel transported to a desert island and are without a doubt my favourite fruit. Combined with fresh mango and a sticky, ever so slightly spicy, ginger and lime syrup and I almost didn’t even need the torte. Almost. You can find the recipes here – enjoy!
Monday, 14 April 2014
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
The last week of our second term! After this Easter break only 10 more weeks stand in between me and the end of Leiths, a scary thought. It was difficult to concentrate this week with thoughts of impending exams on everybody’s minds, but still the cooking continued…With Easter rapidly approaching, it was only appropriate that our last baking task of the term was the classic hot cross buns. Or in my case, some hot cross and some hot stripy buns as I ran out of the paste mixture for the crosses halfway through, resulting in some slightly sad buns that were not photo worthy! Nevertheless they were fun to make and even more delicious to eat than normal, knowing the work that went into them.Our very last cooking session was spent cooking a Thai buffet in groups, hence the pile of som tam (papaya) salad above and roasted, marinaded salmon below. We proved just how much being a cookery school student has affected our appetite as we happily sat down to eat this full meal (which also included gyozas and a curry) at 3:30 in the afternoon. It was a really nice way to end the term – a relaxed cooking session and then getting to properly enjoy the meal afterwards, rather than everyone rushing off. The only downside was the extra washing up…but it was worth it!Boning a chicken, ice creams, sorbet, 3 types of soufflés, bavarois (I need a long break from bavarois’), turning vegetables, tunnel boning lamb, 4 new types of pastry, enriched breads, espagnole sauce, pasta from scratch, crème patissiere – just a few of the things I’ve learnt this term that I had no idea how to do 10 weeks ago. Two more weeks of Easter holidays to go, then back to the craziness of the cookery school bubble – bring on the Advanced term!
Sunday, 6 April 2014
After a brief break, I find the easiest way to get back my baking mojo is to look to favourites for inspiration. Favourite flavours – anything almond. Favourite bake for quickest gratification – cookies. Favourite author for recipes that always work – Nigel Slater. These shortbreads couldn’t fail!These may look like fairly standard cookies, but they’re hiding a fairly delicious secret in the form of a soft marzipan filling. I’ve seen this concept before with shortbreads stuffed with chocolate or caramel but visions of leaking biscuits and dough soldered to trays with mounds of burnt sugar meant I’d never tried it. However I trusted Nigel and figured that a firmer filling like marzipan at least would not be anywhere as messy if spillage did occur. Luckily the recipe didn’t let me down and the result was delicious! The filling was not massively distinguishable from the rest of the cookie but ensured they all had a really soft, almost cake like centre. The only changes I would make if I were to make these again would be to leave out the lemon and add a few drops of almond essence to the shortbread mixture so that the flavours weren’t competing and the almond could really shine. Other than that, I can’t complain as these were very moreish and did not last long! You can find the recipe here – enjoy!