Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24th 2008

Honest I have been cooking. LOL Just been really busy with things here this past few weeks. Gardening mainly and crafting. Have had some friends' birthdays this past month too. I have been experimenting with a cake for one of them and trying hard to see if I can get it right. This was my first attempt. And though it was nice it needed a bit of work. But my other friend who took this photo after I sent this half home with her would like this for her Birthday next week. I am working on perfecting a coffee cake. This one is a Bailey's Coffee cake. The Bailey's overpowering the coffee flavour. Very nice and very light too. My friend enjoyed it so much she had to have two pieces!!!!

My Bailey's Coffee cake Recipe well sort of....
100 g/1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
100g/ 1/2 cup caster(superfine) sugar
100g/ 1 cup self raising flour
2.5ml /1/2 stp baking powder
15 ml/1 Tablespoon of instant coffee powder dissolved in 10 ml/2 tsp hot water **see note
2 eggs
(**Note- I used about 3 tablespoons of coffee and about 3 Tablespoons of baileys to dissolve it in. The 1 tablespoon of coffee isn't strong enough.)
Blend together the butter and sugar and add the eggs and whip one at a time. Then blend in the dissolved coffee and then stir in the flour and sieved baking powder until well mixed. Spoon into two well greased and floured 8 inch cake tins. Bake in a preheated 180 C/350F/Gas mark 4 oven for 30 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch. I baked mine for 20 minutes and tested it with a toothpick first.
Now I tried this recipe again. Using the coffee and water, but also added in 1 Tablespoon of very very finely ground coffee beans. This definately gives the coffee flavour I am after.
The frosting is easy and one I just made up on my own.
Take one pot of whipping cream and whip to almost stiff. Start adding in some coffee about 3 tablespoons dissolved in 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Baileys. Now start beating again with an elextric mixer on high and add some icing/powdered sugar. I used about 1/2 small box/about 1 to 2 cups. This won't be a stiff frosting but a really light and fluffy one.
Frost bottom layer and then place next layer ontop and then frost the remaining cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts. You can even put the chopped walnuts in the cake mix or on the first layer. Oh almost forgot. Before I started frosting I used a little Baileys to moisten the cake layers. I had to use up one of the small bottles that I bought. Didn't want to waste it. Keep this one in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!!! It was really yummy!!!! And I am glad I sent the other half home as I am still trying hard to loose some weight here!!!! Now I have two to bake this next week. I hope I have strong will power. LOL

I have tried to make this for ages now and not been very successful at making them. The pasta dough just doesn't come out right and most are too thick and split when cooking. I used the recipe from Angela Hartnett's cookbook that I got from the library. And it worked beautifully!!!

I used my pasta machine and it rolled out really thin. Angela has a brillant tip that she doesn't really mention in her book for making Raviolli. She has really wide pasta that you brush with egg wash first then put the filling down the middle in little mounds. Fold over 1/2 and then fold over the second half. Push down between the little mounds and then cut with your knife or pastry wheel. No splitting when boiling!!!!!

I used spinach, ricotta, bread crumbs, parmesan, pine nuts and some chopped walnuts for the filling. You can add some sauteed finely chopped onion and garlic too.

Then I served them up with a nice pasta sauce and some more pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

This is the absolute best raviolli I have ever eaten!!!!! I must get her cookbook!!!!

My Stepson and Partner came for a visit last weekend and that always gives me a chance to try new recipes out and try to show off a little. LOL
They really enjoy my chili prawns so those I made for a starter with some of our home grown lettuce. They were really tasty.

And I made my Onion Rosemary Foccacia to go with the meal.

And we tried the Halibut recipe from Angela's Cookbook the one I did the recipe book tag last post. It looked really good and tasted even better.

I for one can definately recommend you try the local library for some yummy cook books. I now have three new ones that I got out this past week and yes another one is by Angela Hartnett.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

May 4th, 2008

I have been tagged by Fiona over at The Cottage Smallholder. I read Fiona's blog just about every day to see what she is up to there at the lovely Cottage. I enjoy the recipes, money saving tips and especially the escapades of the lovely hens and Guinea fowl, oh and can't forget the Min Pins that she writes about. And her recipe for Yorkshire puds is about the best around!!! Anyway, she has tagged me for this Literary Meme and I think possibly she is getting to know me rather well and just knew I would have a cookbook close to hand.

Angela Hartnett's book Cucina is the book I have nearest. Be thankful it wasn't the second nearest or I would be giving the recipe for Green Eggs and Ham. Angela's book is one I have borrowed from our local library. I have been watching her lately on the telly and was curious to try some of her recipes. I too have some Italian blood in my veins and so wanted to see what this Michelin starred chef has written. There are loads of lovely dishes in this book and it will be one I will be buying to add to my collection of cookbooks.
Okay I am supposed to pick out the 5th, 6th, and 7th sentences on page 123 so here they are....

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Put the Peppers in a roasting tin and pour over 100 ml of the olive oil, rubbing it all over the skins of the peppers. Toss in 3 sprigs of the thyme, the rosemary, 2 garlic cloves and a pinch of salt.

The recipe is for Halibut with Pepper Confit and fennel salad. It looks rather yummy and I think it will be a recipe I will be trying soon once I find some lovely Halibut at my local fish mongers.

Now I need to tag 5 more blogs for this fun Literary meme... and my choices are....
David Hall at Book the Cook
Kelly-Jane at Cooking the Books
Katie at Thyme For Cooking
Patricia at Technicolor Kitchen
And Wendy at A Wee Bit of Cooking
All of these are some of the lovely blogs I visit on a regular basis.

The tag is this...
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

It has started out as any book I think, but Fiona and I have taken this to a foodie slant. So if possible make it a cook book as I am always in search of new cookbooks to try.