Monthly Archives: February 2013

Coconut Key Lime Pie.

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I have never made Key lime pie before and by Key lime pie I mean ‘lime pie’ as it’s pretty damn hard to get Key limes in Britain. I did, however, have an abundance of desiccated coconut. I love that the coconut is ‘desiccated’- it just sounds so extreme. If I make this again (and I probably will as it was so ridiculously simple it shouldn’t be classed as cooking) I would put coconut cream in the baked filling as the overall taste was not that ‘coconutty’. Would make a killer dinner party desert with minimal effort.

Coconut Key Lime Pie. (adapted from the bbcgoodfood website)

Ingredients:

300g digestive Biscuits
150g butter , melted
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
3 medium egg yolks
finely grated zest and juice of 4 limes
300ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
extra lime zest, to decorate

To make it coconut: 75g desiccated coconut, plus 10g more to toast for decoration.

Method:

(1) Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Crush your biscuits, this is easiest in a food processor, or you can adopt the old fashioned approach and bash them with a rolling pin.

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(2) Mix with the melted butter and then, using the back of a metal spoon, press into the base and up the sides of a loose-based tart tin (I used a 22cm tin) Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and leave to cool.

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(3) Place the egg yolks into a large mixing bowl and whisk for 3 minutes with an electric whisk. Then add the condensed milk, whisk for a further 3 mins, finally add the lime zest, juice and coconut and whisk for another 3 mins.

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(4) Pour this into your now cool base and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until set. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for a minimum of three hours.

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(5) To decorate: Lightly toast your desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan on a medium heat until golden brown, set aside to cool. Add the icing sugar to the double cream and whisk until soft peaks. Pile on top of the centre of the pie, sprinkle over the extra lime zest, some toasted coconut and some non-toasted and eat!

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It’s been such a beautiful day in Edinburgh today so I have spent the day soaking up as much sun as possible. I have to share this picture of my walk to Uni today as well as a song by The Lumineers, who make perfect sunshine soundtracks (and the song is so close to having my own name as the title)…

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Kale & Chilli English Muffins.

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I LOVE BRUNCH. Like seriously LOVE IT. It’s the joy of breakfast food but in bigger portions AND with a wider scope of ‘acceptable’ food options, what’s not to love. I saw this recipe on the little loaf’s blog a while back, and following my foray into the world of buckwheat flour I was keen to try some more recipes that used it. I found that I needed to cook the muffins for a lot longer than suggested on the little loaf’s blog, and I added/removed a few items from the ingredients list (mainly as I was too lazy to go and buy the correct ingredients). I also took a very lazy approach, using a food processor as much as possible, as no one needs to be chopping on a sunday morning, especially one that looks like this…

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Kale and Chilli English Muffins (adapted from thelittleloaf)

Ingredients:

(makes six)

5g butter
10g olive oil
1 tsp chilli powder
150ml semi skimmed milk
110g curly kale
5g dried yeast
150g strong white bread flour
75g buckwheat flour
Pinch sea salt
Polenta, cornmeal or semolina for dusting

Method:

1) Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the kale and fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the butter.

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2) Mix together the chilli powder and milk, pour over the kale and cook until wilted. Leave to cool for 5-10 mins then transfer into a food processor, draining some of the excess milk off. Blitz gently till finely chopped, but not pulp.

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3) In a large mixing bowl mix the bread flour, buckwheat flour, salt and yeast, ensuring you place the salt and yeast at opposite ends of the bowl (otherwise the salt will kill the yeast!) Add the now cooled down kale mixture then add enough tepid water to form a dough (the dough will be quite sticky)

4) On a lightly floured surface, knead your dough for 10-15 minutes until it feels more elastic and smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm or a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 30mins- 1 hour to rise.

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5) Place a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Then dust your work surface with polenta,semolina or cornmeal. Place your now risen dough on top and using your hands press out till around 2cm in thickness. Using a 7.5cm cookie cutter (or water glass) cut out your muffins, ensuring both outsides are covered with polenta/cornmeal/semolina.

IMG_09896) Place the muffins in the frying pan, leaving gaps in between them. Cook for 5-10 minutes before flipping (keep checking to make sure they’re not burning!) If you find they are taking a long time to cook, or are not convinced they are cooked all the way through you could pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7) Serve warm with lashings of butter, they’re even better when toasted.

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Sunday brunch cooking needs a soundtrack (as does pretty much every activity) so here’s a few of my current obsessions. I love a good cover song (note: a good one) and these are my current favourites…

 

 

 

Sourdough Update and a month of treats.

So my sourdough consumption has slowed down somewhat as dissertation and uni work has taken over my life. But the new addition to my baking cupboard, a banneton proving basket, is making my loaves look beautiful (even if I haven’t quite cracked the right crumb texture yet) I’ll keep you informed of my progress, in the meantime I will be spending my procrastination time searching bakery bits for more bread making accoutrements.

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This semester ‘Cake Dates’ have been replaced with ‘Sunday Brunch Dates’, where myself and my flatmate sample the delights of Edinburgh’s finest establishments, thought I’d share a few snaps of what these places have to offer, as well as few other home-made treats and café experiences.

From left to right: Grapefruit Meringue Pie from ‘Lovecrumb’, a organic sausage sandwich and the best brown sauce I’ve ever had from ‘Earthy ‘at Causeway Side (the picture underneath is of some of the organic produce on sale at the market there), a slice of Victoria Sponge to celebrate Edinburgh Baking Society’s First Birthday, A midnight snack with my flatmates- a slice of Coffee Cake and  Gin & Tonic at ‘Bee’s Edinburgh’, home-made Olive and Spinach Pizza, French Toast and Bacon (a hell of a brunch) at ‘The Haven’ in Leith and finally some mini Victoria Sponges made by my flatmate Lizy (http://lizybakes.blogspot.co.uk)!

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Viennese Whirls

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I absolutely love these crumbly, buttery biscuits, but I’ve never attempted to make them before. I’m not sure why, as they’re very easy to make, they take barely any time to cook and they look amazing (even if I do say so myself) Another advantage is they use ingredients you’re bound to have lying around, and if you don’t they’re so cheap to pick up. I have to admit that I didn’t make the jam myself, despite spending my super stocking up on preserves, but I will endeavour to next time. I also want to try out some variations- lemon curd and fresh cream would be great.

Viennese Whirls (adapted from The Hairy Bikers)

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:

  • 250g/9oz very soft butter
  • 50g/2oz icing sugar
  • 50g/2oz cornflour
  • 250g/9oz plain flour.
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 100g/3½oz soft butter
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract
  • 75g/3oz raspberry jam (the hairy bikers use seedless, but I couldn’t think of anything worse than seedless raspberry jam)

You will also need a piping bag and a large star nozzle. Also, to be prepared, line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper, on one side of this draw circle guidelines for your biscuits, I made mine pretty big and would make them smaller next time, probably around 3inch diameter.

Makes about 18 biscuits, but this depends on how big your circles are.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Put the butter and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl, using an electric whisk beat until fluffy. Then beat in the plain flour, cornflour and vanilla extract. Make sure you scrape the sides of your bowl down to ensure everything is properly mixed together.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe rosettes using the circles on the greaseproof paper as a guide.
  4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes until pale golden-brown, they shouldn’t be golden brown as this will mean the IMG_0908biscuits won’t be as light and crumbly as you want them to be. Leave to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat until all your mixture has been used.
  5. For the filling, put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and smooth. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Put the jam in a bowl and beat until smooth.
  6. Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of half of the biscuits and place jam-side up on the cooling rack. Pipe the buttercream icing onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich with the jam. I just piped around the outside of the biscuits, rather than covering the entirety of the biscuits as otherwise they are very sweet.

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Dundee Cake.

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I am massively behind on my blogging so this cake at the time of baking was pretty seasonal, what with it being Burns Night the following day. Irrespective of timing this cake is brilliant, it combines my love of fruit cake and neat circles, it stores for AGES (seriously ages, Dan Lepard had kept his for a whole year), and makes such a huge cake so there’s definitely spare for sharing. I also got to use some of my marmalade from christmas, so it was completely homemade!

I used Dan Lepard’s recipe but found I had to cook it for a bit longer, maybe that’s because my oven isn’t the greatest, but as it cooks at such a low heat it’s very hard to burn, so don’t be too tentative to keep it in the oven for longer.

Dundee Cake (adapted from Dan Lepard)

Ingredients:

175g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar, plus extra to make the glaze
Finely grated zest of an orange
250g plain flour
3 large eggs
100g marmalade (It doesn’t need to expensive stuff)
100g ground almonds
375g mixed dried fruit
200g glacé peel or cherries (I used peel as I detest glacé cherries!)
1 tsp baking powder
100g blanched almonds for the top

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/335°F/gas 3. Place in a large mixing bowl the caster sugar and softened butter, with an electric whisk beat until pale and fluffy.

2) Add the orange zest and 75g of the plain flour, beat well. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Once mixed thoroughly. beat in the marmalade.

3) Beat in the ground almonds, add the remainder of the flour and the baking powder, ensuring to mix well.

4) Fold in the dried fruit. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. when lining the sides leave an excess of 10cm of parchment paper.

5) Pour the mixture into the tin, smoothing the top and making sure the mixture has no air pockets.

6) Scrunch a square of tin foil, unfold, and then sit on top of the tin (the excess parchment paper will hold it over the cake mixture, creating a lid to keep the steam in).

7) Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

8)Whilst the cake is baking, place the almonds in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes, drain and dry with a tea towel. This prevents them from browning too quickly when you put them on the cake.

9) After the 45minutes cooking time remove the cake from the oven, and lower the temperature 150°C/fan 130°C/300°F/gas 2. Place the almonds on the top in a circle pattern starting from the centre, with the flat side of the almonds facing down into the cake.

10) Return to the oven, with the foil now removed, for 60-90 minutes (mine needed the full 90 minutes). Place  a skewer into the cake, it should leave a few crumbs on your skewer as it’s not quite cooked yet. Remove from the oven and glaze with a mixture of milk and caster sugar. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. It keeps well if stored in brown parchment paper and a cake tin.

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