Tag Archives: Edinburgh

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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Chestnut Brownies and another Cake Date.

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I have never roasted Chestnuts before. I know its a christmas traditions, well its part of a christmas song so it must be a big deal. But I have never done it before. So when I came across Dan Lepard’s Chestnut Brownie recipe that used pre-cooked Chestnuts I decided it was only fitting that I went the whole hog and roasted them myself, and it surprisingly wasn’t as laborious as I had envisaged. I did however, massively undercook the brownie mixture. I intended to double the recipe, and knew this would mean an extended cooking time, but clearly I didn’t add enough time. They tasted great, and the chestnuts and rum were a great addition, but they were hard to cut into pieces and didn’t retain their shape well at all. But you live and learn, and I will definitely try this recipe again (perhaps after christmas when the price of chestnuts have gone down!)

Chestnut Brownies (adapted from Dan Lepard)

Ingredients;

400g chestnutsIMG_0614
200g brown sugar
25ml dark rum
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs, separated
200g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
100g plain flour

Method;

To roast the chestnuts; cut cross shapes into the base of the chestnut in order to pierce the skin, this will mean steam will not get trapped in when they cook. Place on a roasting tray and cook at  200C /gas mark 6 for 30 mins, until the chestnut inside is soft. Leave to cool, remove the skins and cut into small pieces.

1)Line a deep, 20cm square tin with nonstick baking paper. In a bowl mix the chestnut pieces with 100g sugar, rum and vanilla.

2) In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft white peaks, slowly beat in 100g sugar until you have a soft meringue, then beat in the egg yolks. To ensure your bowl is clean and grease free, rub a lemon and dry with a paper towel.

3) Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and beat into the chestnuts and flour. Stir this into the meringue, then spoon into the prepared tin. Bake at 170C (150C fan-assisted)/335F/gas mark 3 for 20-25 minutes, until barely set in the middle, then leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting.

To make it a little festive I made a stencil out of paper in the shape of a snowflake and dusted icing sugar over, after all, its the closest thing you’d find in your kitchen to snow!

Cake Date Tuesdays

I am a little behind on my blogging, so a whole week has gone by since we visited French Fancies! This week’s cake date again took place in New Town. This time we headed to The Bakehouse on Broughton Street. It was rainy and miserable, and reasonably late in the day for cake, but that meant we had the run of the place and the full attention of the staff who were extremely friendly and helpful (not to mention enthusiastic, having made the products themselves they were more than happy to recommend their favourites). I settled for a chilli hot chocolate, perfect for a cold and dismal day, and we halved a scone and a lime and coconut slice. The coconut slice was crumbly, tangy and had a delicious icing. It was also the largest slice I have ever eaten, practically needing it’s own table. The scone was light, fluffy and lacked the bitter bicarbonate of soda aftertaste that some of its counterparts fall victim to. It’s a beautiful shop, conveniently located and very inexpensive, I thoroughly recommend you visit.

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Birthdays- Afternoon Tea and Rainbow Cakes.

This week has been a week of birthdays, which always means two things (and my two favourite things) – baking and eating. This week I baked something I wouldn’t normally choose to bake, but as it was a birthday cake I was making, I thought I would branch out. ‘Rainbow cakes’ fall into a category of baking I like to refer to as ‘American Showy Bakes’. I’m not a big fan of American baking blogs. That’s not to say I dislike them all, there are some fantastic ones (www.joythebaker.com being a perfect example of this). But a lot I have come across seem to put more effort into making their bakes look flashy than actually using good quality ingredients, any recipe that says ‘1 box of yellow food cake’ in the ingredients list I strike straight off my ‘to bake’ list. I think I am quite british with my baking, I would choose a Victoria Sponge over a Cupcake any day. So ‘Rainbow Cakes’ all seem a bit flashy for my taste. However, having recently received a copy of the new recipe book by Ed Kimber ( Winner of the first ever Great British Bake Off and all round nice guy) and seeing a rainbow cake with white chocolate meringue icing in it, I decided it would be a worthy endeavour, and it definitely was. It did, however, take an absolute age to make as I only have one 20 inch cake tin at my flat in Edinburgh, so I had to bake one layer at a time. I also only had standard food colouring, which meant the colouring of my cake was not as vivid as Ed’s beauty, but I think it was still pretty effective. I would 100 percent recommend Ed Kimber’s new book ‘Say it with Cake’ it has different chapters dedicated to events, seasons and celebrations (the tiny ghost cakes for halloween are too cute) and his recipes are thorough and easy to understand. Here’s a (rather poor quality) picture of the inside of my cake..

Also, as I am a MASSIVE cooking/Great British Bake Off nerd I tweeted a picture of my cake to the-boy-who-bakes himself, Mr Ed Kimber, he retweeted me and told me it looked fab (something I was super excited about but no one else, other than my fellow foodie flatmate, seemed to care about!)

The second instalment of Birthday celebrations came in the form of Afternoon Tea with my Mum at the very beautiful Dome on George Street, Edinburgh. It is absolute stunning, especially adorned with Christmas decorations, and is a truly special experience (not doing things by half, they actually have snow flakes falling from the top of the building) The cakes are delicious, the service is impeccable, and it is always a treat to spend an afternoon, once in a blue moon, pretending to part of high society!

Say Goodbye to Cockroach Pie – Book Launch.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the launch of a new student cook book- ‘Say Goodbye to Cockroach Pie’. Complied by two Edinburgh University Alumni and featuring recipes from their friends from all different universities, it’s the perfect combination of typical student grub and foodie delights. The launch took place upon a beautiful vintage London bus, which took us around Edinburgh’s highest hill ( I would argue mountain, having been slightly hungover when I first climbed it, it didn’t feel like a hill) Arthur’s Seat.

It stopped along route for a few canapés, glasses of wine and some delicious brownies, all enjoyed with a beautiful view of the city.

We also got a chance to chat with the two authors of the book-Rosanna Kelly and Casilda Grigg, who told us how this book has been twenty-five years in the making and shared some tales of their time spent at Edinburgh University in the 80’s.The cookbook ( priced at a very reasonable £9.99) not only shares pearls of wisdom regarding cheap eats and curing a hangover, but also has a variety of different cuisines from all over the world at student-friendly prices and without any hassle or skill required. To top it off its beautifully illustrated with quirky drawings depicting the dish, the inspiration behind it or sometimes a cheeky joke. Having been given numerous ‘student’ cookery books upon my move to University three years ago I have noticed a common theme among them is to present mundane, uninspiring dishes with almost patronisingly simple instruction, ‘Say Goodbye to Cockroach Pie’ couldn’t be more different. It’s unique style and quaint illustrations coupled with some intriguing recipes ( I can’t wait to try the Pão de Queijo- Brazillian Cheese Breads) has left me itching to get into the kitchen. Check out their publisher’s website and order yourself a copy, student or not, it’s a great addition to your cookery book shelf and a real bargain.goodbye-cockroach-pie

And many thanks must be extended to the Authors for the invitation to the launch, it was such a lovely event to be a part of.