Friday, 14 March 2008

Big Brother Rocks!

Sorry not that big brother but my big brother (pictured with the lovely Lucy)! Hurrah I am going on holiday! Well I am going to Boulder to see my brother so leaving one damp, cold place for another cold place but I will get to see snow, drink Jamba Juice (god i miss it in the UK) and stroll round Wholefoods. I can't wait!
I had fantastic sushi last time I was there so I am looking forward to repeating that as well as the most wonderful hot beef Salvaggio's Sandwich Shop experience. We also had great BBQ, so great I am salivating at the thought!

Trouble is I am on a diet for his wedding in June (I ordered the bridesmaid dress a size too small as incentive) so I may have to stick to the salads or save for lipo...
Anyway I shall be baking hard this weekend to get my next Daring Bakers challenge done and photographed before I leave on Tuesday. I will also try to post some of the other bits and pieces I have cooked recently just in case anyone is reading!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Mothers Day Pudding Cake

Mothers day is on the first Sunday in March in the UK and since I have had my own house it is tradition for Mummy to come to us for the day. This year she and Pa slept the night much to Harry's delight - he loves his Auntie Mummy! For me it was a great excuse to pop out and buy new bedlinen, a new passion, as well as candles, nice soap, a mummy's day gift and best of all plan what we were going to eat.

We had turkey, an enormous monster I couldn't resist buying on Christmas Eve when they were all reduced. I braised peas and lettuce, made fab bread sauce, great gravy, sprouts, roast potatoes and yummy purple sprouting. Wonderful, just like Christmas without all the panic! Pudding was the most glorious light lemony cake courtesy of Nigella.

I love this cake it is meringue covered cake filled with whipped cream and lemon curd, what could be better? I love a lemon pudding and this one feels light and is easy to make ahead. Sorry about the photo but none of us could wait while I took one of the whole thing and this was all that was left over after 5 of us had attacked it...
Lemon Meringue Cake
(Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson)
125g v soft unsalted butter
4 eggs separated
30g caster sugar
100g plain flour
25g cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
zest of 1 lemon - I don't use this as I am not a fan of zest
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
150ml double cream
Large splosh Amaretto (about a single measure)
150g lemon curd

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Line and butter two 21cm sandwich tins.

Mix the egg yolks, 100g sugar, butter, flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarb and lemon zest in a processor. Add the lemon juice and milk and whizz again. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, there won't be much mixture but it will just go so spread it out as evenly as you can.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form then slowly whisk in 200g of sugar. Divide the mixture between the two tins, spreading the meringue mixture straight on top of the cake batter. Smooth one flat with a metal spatula and peak the other one using the back of a spoon. Put into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

With a cake tester, pierce the cake that has the flat meringue topping to check it’s cooked all the way through. Remove both cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely in the tins.

Unmould the flat-topped cake onto a cake plate, meringue side down. Whisk the double cream with the Amaretto until thick but not stiff then set aside. Spread the flat sponge surface of the first cake with the lemon curd, then spatula over the cream and gently put the other cake on top. Cut with a very sharp knife otherwise you can get sliding.