14/03/2013 § Leave a comment
Now, I have 3 big loves in my life. That’s food, my beautiful girlfriend and good coffee. So you can imagine that when they all come together I am a very happy man. I had the pleasure of having a rather spontaneous coffee morning with my beloved a few days ago, but the problem was that there was no cake! That’s just not right is it folks? Coffee morning without cake?
Now the problem was I had no eggs at the time and really didn’t want to go to the shops to buy some, I was feeling very lazy OK! So I set myself the challenge of cooking a cake that was pleasant to eat, but one that also didn’t have any eggs. I have heard of recipes that didn’t use eggs but I had never tried one for myself so it was completely new ground. I found a few recipes to follow but some called for things I didn’t have and so forth so I decided to make one up. Living on the edge right 😉 « Read the rest of this entry »
04/01/2013 § Leave a comment
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! But let’s be honest, on their own, they are pretty boring. My honey apple crisps are my girlfriends favourite. She can’t get enough of them, and neither can I. After trying these simple but tasty little crisps, the doctor won’t be bothering you anymore.. but the dentist might pay you a visit if you gobble down too many, believe me, they ARE that tasty.
- 1 apple makes around 15-20 crisps depending on your knife skills.
- 1 teaspoon honey per apple
- sugar to dust (optional)
- First thing, pre heat your oven to 140C. Grab your apple(s) and slice as thin as you possibly can. I do suggest a mandolin for this, as it creates wafer thin slices that crisp up beautifully but be careful, they are SHARP! Don’t worry if you don’t have one though, they work fine when hand cut.
- Lay the slices on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Make sure none of them overlap each other. Heat the honey over a low heat until runny. Luckily I am blessed to have a local honey supplier, which in turn makes these that little bit more magical.
- ‘Paint’ your slices with the runny honey with a pastry brush, don’t worry if you don’t have one of these either, just drizzle over with a teaspoon, making sure not to over do it, as this will make the slices too ‘soggy’ and they wont crisp up.
- Pop them in the oven and wait.. around 20-30 minutes should do, depending on the thickness. Take them out when they are just starting to go slightly brown. If you are worried about them burning you can turn your oven down, if anything this will just make them more crispy, but I don’t want to wait too long for them! Place them on a cooling rack to rid any left over moisture, about 5 minutes should do.
- After they have cooled, sprinkle with sugar. Try adding some cinnamon to your sugar for a different twist. Of course you can skip this part, whatever you want to do, they will still be yummy! You can try whatever you fancy, they really are versatile, well, don’t put salt and vinegar on them..
- There you have it! My apple crisps. Keep them in an airtight container and they will last a couple of days.
Comment below, would be great to hear if you tried this. Any questions I would be happy to answer them.
04/01/2013 § 1 Comment
The Tarte Tatin, tasty, impressive and beautifully french. If you’re looking for an easy to follow and fool-proof recipe, look no further!
- 320g/11oz plain flour
- 225g/8oz butter (cubed and chilled)
- 110g/4oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6 apples (I prefer Cox apples as they hold their shape and flavour when cooked, Granny Smith also works well)
- 110g/4oz caster sugar
- 110g/4oz butter
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 250C/Gas 9.
- To make the pastry, sift flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it reaches a sandy texture. Don’t worry, it will happen! Add the eggs one at a time until the dough comes together. You can do this in a food processor, but where’s the fun in that!
- Remove the dough and flatten slightly, clingfilm tightly and allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Whilst the dough is chilling in the fridge, lets start on the filling! First peel and core the apples. Cut them into 8 wedges. Add the wedges to a bowl with the lemon juice (this is so they don’t go all brown and nasty).
- In a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat add 90g sugar and a couple of teaspoons of water. Cook the sugar until it reaches a pale golden colour but do not stir, as this will cause large sugar crystals forming and create a grainy textured caramel.
- Remove from the heat and add the drained apple pieces to the pan in a single layer. Try and create a spiral pattern for that extra special look but be careful as the caramel is VERY hot. Pop the apples in the oven for around 10-12 minutes, just until the apples have softened slightly.
- Whilst the apples are softening, it is time to roll out the pastry. Place a 40cm piece of greaseproof paper on the side, put the dough on top and cover with another piece of greaseproof. Roll the dough until it is around 1cm thick and using a sharp knife, cut a rough circle that is slightly bigger than the pan your apples are in.
- After your apples are cooked slightly, remove from the oven and cover them with the dough, tucking any excess dough into the sides using a spoon.
- Cook until the pastry is golden brown, around 25 minutes, but keep an eye on it!
- After it has cooked, get a plate that is larger than your pan by a few cm and place it on top of the pan. Get a dry tea towel and cover your hand with it and quickly but carefully flip the tart onto the plate. Voila! You have now made a Tarte Tatin, now cut yourself a big slice and serve warm with a good helping of vanilla cream.
Mine is served with some honey apple crisps and some hazelnut sugar decorations, recipes coming tomorrow!
Any questions please feel free to comment below, would be great to hear from you!