Sunday, 10 June 2012

Roasted aubergines with pesto and goats cheese.

2 aubergines
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
30g fresh basil
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic
2 small goats cheese

Cut aubergines in half length ways. Criss-cross the flesh side, cutting into the flesh but not going through to the skin. Lay the aubergines in a roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season.

Put into hot oven 220C or top oven of the aga for 20-30 minutes until soft and lightly brown on top.

Put garlic, nuts, and basil in blender and blitz to a paste. Slowly add olive oil and stir in parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. This will keep in the fridge for three weeks with a film of oil.

Spread the pesto over the aubergines. Chop the cheese into chunks and put on top of the pesto. Place back into the oven at 200C for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted.

I have linked this up with Ren Behan's Simple and in season which is being hosted this month by Laura over at How to cook good food.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Elderflower liqueur.

This is something of a work in progress rather than a finished recipe. I would love to know your thoughts of ideas.

I have simply filled a jar with vodka and elderflower heads. It has been steeping for a week, but the top flowers simply float out of the vodka and go brown. I am slightly worried that this has ruined it as it is beginning to bubble. I have now placed a wax paper disc onto the top to attempt to weight the flowers down into the vodka. I am planning on straining it after a month and then adding sugar to taste.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Coffee and walnut cake.

This is my mother's favourite cake and such a classic that I thought it wise to have a fool proof recipe. I went with a Nigella one which worked beautifully, I particularly liked the addition of walnuts into the sponge as well as for decoration.

50g walnut pieces
225g caster sugar
225g soft butter
200g plain flour
4 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs
1 tbsp milk

Buttercream icing:
350g icing sugar
175g soft unsalted butter
2 1⁄2 tps instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
25g walnut halves, to decorate

2 x 20cm sandwich tins
Serves: 8

Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C in a fan oven. Butter the 2 sandwich tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.

Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine powder. Add the butter, flour, coffee, baking powder, bicarb and eggs and process to a smooth batter.

Add the milk next, it should end up at dropping consistency, this is where it liquid enough to dollop of a spoon but solid enough not to be considered a liquid. If it is very stiff add some more milk.

Divide the mixture between the 2 lined tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment. Make sure you do leave them in the tins as the sponge is very soft and is likely to crack.

Dissolve the instant coffee in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while still hot to the butter and icing sugar. Beat until you have a smooth paste.

I have linked this up to Forever Nigella over on Home made by fleur on behalf of Maison cupcake.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Butterflied leg of lamb.

If you have read this blog before you will probably have noticed that I like to bake once I have finished my academic work. So you can imagine that the list of things which I have been planning to bake post my last ever final was pretty long. However, low and behold, sods law and all, the day of my last exam and our oven breaks. This totally curtailed all my baking plans.

The only saving grace is that the weather has been beautiful, so we have been gardening. Ever since we moved in our garden has resembled something like jungle. Fed up of not being able to cook  'I do have such an expressive eyebrow don't I' and I went out and bought a BBQ. Predictably as we walked out of the shop as proud new owners of a BBQ it clouded over.

BBQ's and snow seem to bring out a cave man instinct in all men, 'I do have such an expressive eyebrow don't I' therefore insisted on assembling said BBQ. An hour and half later I was rather wishing I had done it myself.

Once said BBQ was assembled he insisted on being in charge of lighting it. This proved to be a bad idea as it swiftly went out, at which point I took over.

This is a recipe which my Father always cooks. It is not a very exact science.

A butterflied leg of lamb
zest of a lemon
1 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp olive oil
sprig rosemary
4 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

Marinade the leg of lamb in all of the ingredients. It needs at least an hour but over night is best. Cook it on a BBQ for 14 minutes on the first side and 12 on the second. Only put it onto the BBQ once the coals have stopped flaming and are grey. These timings will give you slightly pink lamb.

I have linked this up to Simple and in season over at How to cook good food.