Thursday, 28 February 2013

St David's Day: Leek and Perl Wen Tart




Happy St David's Day!

I haven't participated in the tradition of eisteddfodau or worn the Welsh costume on this day since leaving primary school. Complete with long woollen skirt, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat, I've no idea what the patients of the large teaching hospital in London where I work would make of me if I were to stroll in this morning wearing such costume... 

Instead I'll celebrate the Patron Saint of Wales by (you guessed it!)... baking! 



This year, we're tucking into a Leek and Perl Wen Cheese Tart to celebrate. The subtle, sweet flavour of the national vegetable in combination with a creamy Brie-style Welsh cheese. 

If this was the eighteenth century however, not only would I be scribing with ink and parchment, but I'd probably be baking 'taffies'- gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat. Unfortunately, Lakeland has no such biscuits cutters in their arsenal.

A whole host of other Welsh bakes can be found right here on What Kate Baked. Including, of course, Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith.



For the pastry:

200g flour
100g butter
an egg yolk
a little cold water if needed

For the filling
25g butter
2 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
1 onion finely chopped
175g Perl Wen cheese [or French brie] thinly sliced
3 large eggs, beaten
150ml double cream
2 tbsps chopped fresh chive

1. For the pastry: put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can rub the butter into the flour using your fingers
2. Add the egg yolk and enough water and pulse just enough to bring the dough together. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for up to 1 hour to chill. Set the oven at 200C180C fan/Gas Mark 6.
3. Use the pastry to line a 22cm tart tine, making sure there are no tears or holes and trimming any overhanging pastry
4. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans and bake for twenty minutes before removing the foil and beans and setting aside
5. For the filling: melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat, add the leeks and onion and fry for 5-10 minutes or until nicely softened


7. Spoon the vegetables into the pastry case and add the sliced cheese on top. In a bowl mix together the eggs and double cream, add the chive and season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the tart


8. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 160C/140C fan/Gas Mark 3 until set and golden

Baker's notes...
  • Serve with a lush salad either warm or cold. You could also add in  handful of fried bacon with the leeks and onion
  • Happy St David's Day!

February Tea Time Treats Round-Up: Perfect Puddings

From comforting crumbles to terrific tarts to scrumptious sticky sponges... read on for a super selection of 'Perfect Puddings'- this month's Tea Time Treats blogging challenge theme!

Our first entry this month: what do you get if you cross the finest savoury pudding known to man (the Yorkshire Pud) with lashings of golden syrup and a generous scoop of icecream? Camilla from Fab Food 4 All's Yorkshire Pudding with Ice Cream and Golden Syrup! Camilla also baked us this Bacon Roly-Poly: an old fashioned British pud bought bang-up-to-date!

Yorkshire Pudding

Suet Crust Pastry

Choclette from Choc Log Blog has been meaning to make this next entry, a Mexican Chocolate Pudding, for three whole years! It was well worth the wait, complete with lime mango and chilli, you should read what CT, Choclette's partner had to say about it... And Choclette's second entry is this super stack of Chocolate Pancakes with Blackcurrent and Rose Compote




Victoria over at A Kick At The Pantry Door has set herself the most marvellous challenge- to bake, following the exact recipes, all of the technical challenges in the recent Great Comic Relief Bake Off. As well as eclairs, Victoria has also baked this brilliant Bakewell Tart - 'specially resonating with Victoria as she grew up just down the road from Bakewell! Now there's a mighty fine place to be growing up...


We feel very honoured that the very first thing Eira, aka Cookbooks Galore, baked in her new kitchen was for Tea Time Treats. And what a bake to christen the kitchen: this glorious Ginger and Chocolate Gooey Puddings

While for many, rice pudding may conjure up the thought of soggy school dinners, this fabulously flavoursome version from Turqouise Lemons is certain to banish any bad memories: Left Over Coconut Milk Pudding with Honey, Clementine and Cloves has 'A* pudding' written all over it!

Picture

Celebrating Bramley Apple week and the start of rhubarb season, How to Be a Gourmand has baked the Tea Time Treats table this Apple Rhubarb and Nut Crumble complete with a smashing stash of almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
A warm feel good pudding

Fancy a recipe for a super fast pudding? Look no further than My Golden Pear's Lemon Ping Pudding. In just 14 minutes flat you could be sitting down to this zesty, lemony sponge pud!


A Maltese inspired pudding, Puddina Chocolate Pudding comes from Cook With Kary who describes this perfect pud as 'dense on the inside and crusty outside, with all the crunch of the nuts and sweetness of the dried fruits adding to an overall satisfactory dessert'


Next up, a more traditional, warming, comfort pud I don't think you'll find. Say a big hello to Blue Kitchen Bake's Syrup Sponge Pudding!


Baked following a request for a 'Gruffolo Crumble' The Peachick's Bakery came up trumps with this sweet Peach and Pear Crumble


Recreating a dish enjoyed in Amsterdam, Caroline from Caroline Makes baked this Chocolate Mousse in a Chocolate Cup with a Biscuit Spoon. Woozas! an actual biscuit spoon!! Now that is one Valentine's Tea Time Treat!


Forget Lemsip and all the potions available in your local pharmacy- all your need is this humdinger of a pud to ward away any sniffles this February: Honey and Ginger Chocolate Steamed Pudding by the brilliant Belleau Kitchen


Baking her very first (hopefully of very many) steamed Treacle pudding is Leesa from Life of a Mother- thank you for your first TTT entry Leesa!


I love any recipe starting with the words 'Easy Peasy' but this next perfect pud also looks and sounds deliciously decadent: combining breakfast and pudding it is a Chocolate and Banana Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding baked by Anneli from Deliccieux

1-IMG_2528

This next dessert, an Ecclefechan Tart from Mainly Baking is a Scottish fruity classic- Suelle recommends serving with a lovely dollop of creme fraiche but I hear traditionally a little dram of whisky also makes the perfect accompaniment.... 


Chocolate and toffee? Now there's combination it would take all the willpower in the world to say 'no thanks' to a second serving! This Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding comes courtesy of Hungry Hinny who asks whether tourists to the UK tuck in with as much gusto to our puddings as we tuck into, say the Belgium chocolates or Italian gelatos. I say, with this perfect pudding, most definitely! 

Chocolate sticky toffee pudding

This next TTT entry has grand historical provenance- enjoyed by no less than Admiral Lord Nelson! Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen uncovered a teatowel at a local charity shop which revealed a recipe for Nelson's Slices


Our first crackin' cheesecake! And it comes courtesy of Kavey from Kavey Eats who has made these (No Bake) Mini Lemon Ricotta Cheesecakes 

LemonRicottaCheesecake-4757

The brilliantly named Coffee and Crumpets has baked Double Ka Meetha (Indian Rice Pudding) for this month's TTT table and provides a fascinating background and history of Indian desserts and puds in her post. 

meetha5 682x1024 Double Ka Meetha ~ Indian Bread Pudding

Check out what my Tea Time Treats buddy Karen has been busy baking: Chocolate Paradise Bread and Butter Pudding! A perfectly inspired storecupboard pudding and complete with pineapple, ginger and chocolate, Karen describes 'the pudding was like eating bananas and custard with tea cakes and marmalade, pretty lush'. Very lush I'd say!

The Weekend Pudding Club: Chocolate Paradise Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

One of the really fascinating aspects of this month's theme is the international interpretation of 'pudding'. For Kiki, from Kitchen of Kiki pudding means a powdered packet dessert! But Kiki has certainly come up trumps with this Apple and Oat Crumble with the inspired addition of chai powder



This next entry made me wish I lived right next door to Laura from How to Cook Good Food as Laura has been busy baking Ginger and Walnut Banoffee Pots- as Laura describes these pots are essentially nothing other than 'layers of heaven'!


This next entry brings to mind much, much warmer climes: Elderflower and Raspberry Bakewell Puddings. But that could well be because Claire from Under the Blue Gum Tree resides in South Africa where they are enjoying (not jealous. not jealous. not jealous) very balmy temperatures. A lovely addition of an elderflower cordial to a classic British dish.

Raspberry and Elderflower Bakewell Puddings via http://underthebluegumtree.com

Our next bake is from Nell from 'Living is a Great Adventure' who has baked a delicious Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble. Nell describes the crumble as her family's favourite pudding- I'm inclined to agree with you all Nell! 


Sophie from Totally Caked Out describes this next pudding as 'simple'- simply sensational I'd say with the classic combination of pear and ginger- deeelish!


An Eighteenth Century Tart is our last, but by no means least entry to this month's TTT courtesy of Jean from Baking in Franglais - an orange curd tart with grated apple and a fascinating insight into bygone desserts. Jean also baked this wonderfully named Rhubarb and Orange Slump!

Eighteenth century tart1

slump1

Karen is hosting March's Tea Time Time Treats- pop along to Lavender and Lovage on 1st March for the details. Here's a little clue: the theme begins with ...'F'!

Thank you, as always to all the perfect 'perfect puddings'!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Giveaway: Mother's Day Hotel Chocolat Chocolates

With Mother's Day just eleven days away how about saying a great big 'thank you' to your Mum with this irresistible giveaway: a 'For My Mum' pocket selection of scrumptious chocolates from Hotel Chocolat


For My Mum Pocket Selection
Hotel Chocolat have a glamorous selection of gifts available to ensure every Mum feels well and truly pampered this Mother's Day.

It's super straightforward to enter, simply leave me a comment in the space below answering the following question:

'If money was absolutely no object how would you be treating your Mum this Mother's Day?'

The Small Print..

  • The giveaway will close 12:00 Wednesday 6th March 2013 in order for the prize to reach the winning Mum by Mother's Day on 10th March 2013
  • The winner will be chosen at random from the comments left below
  • All decisions are final, no correspondence will be entered into and there is no cash alternative
  • The winner will be contacted by email and the prize sent directly by Hotel Chocolat
  • Good Luck!

Meanwhile pop back in a few days time to see what I'll be baking this Mother's Day...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Outrageously Orange Loaf Cake and EXACTLY What To Bake When You're Ill



We health care professionals are possibly the worst patients.

The evidence M'Lord?

1. An itch (from a new mohair jumper or such like) and we're convinced we must have the tropical disease Leptospirosis

2. We're guaranteed to head straight to the 'complications' section of any health website

3. And personally I've spent the last few evenings unhealthily (cue this sound effect) obsessed with staring down the back of my throat at my developing tonsillitis

I've been on a self-imposed pureed diet since Wednesday (yep, Valentine's Day dinner was that little bit more romantic this year!) and making more jelly than the average harassed mother preparing for the onslaught of thirty excitable, hungry 5 year olds at her child's birthday party.

What has all this to do with cake I hear you cry? Well, in a bid to cheer me up (there are only so many wedding magazines I can tolerate in such a bid) I wanted to create the softest, most crumbly (tonsillitis friendly) cake. 

So I made this:




Outrageously Orange Loaf Cake

For the loaf:


  • 140g softened butter
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 3 large beaten eggs
  • 4 tbsp orange juice 
  • finely grated zest of one large orange
  • 1 tbsp pearl sugar
For the drizzle and decoration:

  Juice from half a large orange
  3 tbsps caster sugar


1. Heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ Gas Mark 4. Butter and line a 1.2 litre loaf tin. Pop all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Spoon into the tin and level. Sprinkle the pearl sugar over the mixture.
2. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Meanwhile, for the drizzle heat the juice and sugar in a small pan, stirring continuously until dissolved. 
3. Poke holes with a skewer all the way through the top of the warm cake and pour over the drizzle, waiting for the cake to absorb one lot before adding the next. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Baker's notes...
  • As well as being super soft and terrific for tonsillitis, this is a super simple recipe. Just three steps!
  • Rather than the pearl sugar, you can also drizzle the cake, once baked, with a little melted chocolate in the style of a massive loaf sized Jaffa Cake
  • The cake would work equally well with lemon, simply substitute the orange juice in the cake for milk, use lemon zest and in the drizzle substitute the orange juice for lemon juice

Monday, 11 February 2013

Flippin' heck! Its Pancake Day!



Yay!

Pancakes! The most fun to be had when preparing food EVER!

Here's the What Kate Baked Guide to Pancakes


Flipping...

When flipping the pancake think vertical Olympic discus thrower...


This was the best picture I could take of myself flipping in action:




This is what happened next:




Yes, that is the pancake on the floor. You don't need to see a picture it in our bin.

When it comes to finding your perfect pancake a partner...

Satisfy a sweet tooth with a Rocky Road Pancake: chocolate, marshmallow and crumbled biscuit. Or, with this being 'Pan-entine' week with Valentine's Day just 48 hours away, tie in your pancake with a treat for your special someone with a Pancake drizzled with a passionfruit sauce:




Or hows about Ginger, Clementine and Chocolate? Sure to warm the cockles this freezing February. I added a tsp of ground ginger to the flour and drizzled the pancakes with warm chocolate sauce and clementine segments:




A Pancake Party...

Planning a pancake party? Ask your guests to each bring a couple of ingredients and lay them out, conveyor belt style, for everyone to enjoy. Award prizes for the most innovative pancake toppings. And score the 'flipping' out of ten, Strictly Come Dancing style ('Seeeeeeeeeven!')

Basic Pancake Recipe

(Makes six-seven 8inch pancakes)

Ingredients

100g plain flour
2 beaten eggs
25g melted butter plus extra for greasing
260ml milk 

.... and a great big selection of sweet (and probably savoury) toppings! 

1. Place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre, add the eggs and melted butter and whisk together. 
2. Gradually add the milk, whisking until you have a nice smooth batter the consistency of double cream:





3. Melt a little of the extra butter in a frying pan on medium heat to ensure the pan is nicely greased. Carefully wipe clean with some kitchen towel
4. Place a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the pan, tip from side to side to cover the bottom of the pan. After 30-60 seconds use a spatula check to ensure the underside is nicely golden before…flipping! 
5. Cook on the other side until golden in colour and cooked through. Transfer to a warm plate and repeat. Seperate each pancake with a piece of baking parchment as you stack them.
6. Then flavour to your heart's content...

Baker's Flipper's notes..

  • Do you allow the batter to rest? You're in good company if you do- Nigel Slater and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall rest their batters for half an hour. The science bit? Resting helps the proteins relax and the starches expand. But Delia and Jamie don't appear to be fussed about chilled out proteins and fat starches- they get stuck straight into making their pancakes. Myself? I made a 'rested' batch and a 'non-rested' batch. In all honesty, to my under developed palate both batchs tasted just the same.
  • You can make the pancakes in advance. To reheat, cover the pancake stack loosely with foil and place in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 1/ 275°F /140°C for 10-15 minutes.
  • For more topping ideas here's What Kate Baked last year...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Valentine's Day Bakes: Rolo Caramel and Chocolate Heart Cakes


That ad for Rolos is one of my all time favourite romantic adverts.

It beat off stiff competition mind, from the likes of the Milk Tray Man and the awww John Lewis couple*.

Growing up I felt I knew exactly what real love was. And it wasn't from the pages of Just 17 or admiring Mark Owen in Smash Hits magazine. Yes, the first time round.

Real love was giving that someone your last Rolo. Which, being Valentine's Day this week, inspired this bake.

The irony of course is that the adverts were discontinued after twenty years because the slogan was felt to be too sentimental and in any case, apparently the British prefer humour rather than romance in our relationships.

These heart shaped caramel cakes, complete with a hidden Rolo baked right in the middle are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped, for extra romance, with a white chocolate heart.



Rolo Caramel and Chocolate Heart Cakes
(Makes twelve)

150g softened butter
100g caster sugar
2 large egg beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g self-raising flour
4 level tbsp caramel sauce
3-4 tbsps milk

12 Rolos (frozen)

50g dark chocolate, melted
12 Dr Oetker White Chocolate Heart decorations

Silicone heart shaped moulds x 12

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160Cfan/Gas Mark 4.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg and vanilla, continuing to beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the flour.
3. Stir in the caramel sauce and gradually add the milk until smooth and the mixture falls easily off the spoon. Place 1 tbsp of mixture at the bottom of each mould and add a Rolo to each. Divide the rest of the mixture between the 12 moulds and smooth the tops
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden
5. After a few minutes cooling in the moulds, remove and allow to cool fully on a wire rack
6. Drizzle the chocolate over each cake and top with a chocolate heart



Baker's notes...

  • Although tempted to smother these cakes in inches of chocolate buttercream I think my sweet tooth is getting marginally less sweet in its old age and I elected to drizzle with dark chocolate instead
  • Who will you be giving your last Rolo to this Valentines Day?
* The Eighties adverts rocked! Ad men and ladies, are you listening?!

Dr Oetker sent me a bunch of products to test out. I used their Chocolate Hearts to decorate these cakes.