Saturday, 30 June 2012

Almond and Chocolate Tartlets

Last week I bought myself a Kenwood Chef. Not as good looking as a KitchenAid, but it's performance is better (I realise that may sound a bit bias). And, after giving it pride of place in my kitchen I was itching to use it.

Now, I've got loads of ground almonds in the cupboard, so the challenge was to find a recipe that meant I could use both the almonds and the Chef. Luckily, my Mum and sent me some food magazines that I subscribe to, but hadn't changed the delivery address yet. In Delicious., happened to be a recipe for Amandine Tart - basically a fancy Bakewell Tart without the jam.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Homemade Pizza

I definitely need to make pizza from scratch more often. Making pizza dough is just about as satisfactory as making bread, but without the long wait. As far as toppings go, you can pretty much choose what your heart desires. Next time, I thinking of cracking an egg into the middle.  

My recommendation for toppings? Keep it simple. Don't overload it. Use mozzarella. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

A quick Google search, during my lunch break at work, informs me that carrot cake has its origins in Medieval times. Perhaps this makes it the first vegetable to be used in sweet cookery, though I have no other basis for making this claim. Now you can find recipes for allsorts of desserts using vegetables: beetroot brownies; courgetter lemon sorbet... I forget what else. Oh, rhubarb (maybe that predates carrots).

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is a British classic. It was always had a place on dessert menus when I was working in restaurant kitchens, whether it was  the middle of a cold winter or a record breaking summer. 

I've come across a few variations on recipes that, inevitably, revolve around the key ingredient... dates. Some use black treacle, some, like mine, soak the dates in black tea, some use a selection of spices, and others keep it to the basics. 

Which ever way the recipe goes, you'll rarely find a sticky toffee pudding without butterscotch sauce.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

A couple of weeks ago I started working for kitchen appliance manufacturer Kenwood, as a home economist. It's been a fun and interesting two weeks. Aside from the performance testing of blenders and juicers, there's also been lots of food - cookies, chocolate mousse, carrot cake, curries, banana milkshakes... it's a tough job.

The new flat is also doing pretty well, except for a couple of issues involving the oven and shower, but the landlord is going to get me new ones.

I've got Billy staying with me for a few weeks. He came down last Friday, which meant we had our 2nd anniversary together on Saturday, and it's been great to finally have our own space. He also met my friend, Rachel, who came down to visit me on Sunday, along with her boyfriend and baby. She brought some presents for us both, including a Le Creuset salt crock (which looks awesome in my kitchen) and some food treats like posh Italian nougat and black olive pate. We also had a lovely meal at the Italian restaurant Zizzi.

So, on to the tomato sauce. At work, there were 5kg of tomatoes left over and, not wanting them to see the bottom of a bin, I brought them home. 2kg went into a beef curry, another 2kg were oven dried and are now stored in a kiln jar, topped up with olive oil, and the last 1kg went into making tomato sauce.