Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake - Baking For Sport Relief 2016

As any avid Bake-Off fans will be aware, this week sees the return of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, in which a handful of celebrity bakers will be taking to the tent in aid of Sport Relief 2016. This year, the 'Queen of Print' Orla Kiely has designed the limited edition aprons which the winning Star Bakers will be presented with, and as budding bakers ourselves, we have managed to get our hands on some! With our new look complete, it's time to get down to some baking - so here is our latest obsession - Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake. As it is in aid of Sport Relief, we have gone for something a tiny bit healthier than your average chocolate cake. With no flour, a whopping eight eggs and mainly natural sweetener, it's no wonder this cake has such a light, moussey and dreamy texture. It is ideal as a light dessert, alongside a dollop of smooth crème fraîche.

If you want to get baking for Sport Relief yourself, get your own lovely limited edition Orla Kiely Apron from TK Maxx, Homesense, or www.sportrelief.com. They retail at £12.99, with at least £5.25 going to Sport Relief, who use public donations to help people living incredibly difficult lives both in the UK and across the world.

Keep reading for our recipe and get baking yourself!

You will need...

200g 70% minimum dark chocolate
200g butter
Pinch of sea salt
8 eggs
100g maple syrup
50g caster sugar
Cacao/cocoa powder for dusting
Crème fraîche, to serve

You will need to...

- Grease and line a 24cm loose bottomed cake tin and preheat the oven to 160C.

- Break up the chocolate and cube the butter. Place both in a large bowl with a generous pinch of sea salt, and melt gently over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

- Meanwhile, separate the eggs and whisk the whites in a large clean bowl until thick and fluffy and will hold a peak. 

- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar and maple syrup until they are pale, thickened and fluffy (ribbon stage).

- Gently fold the yolky mixture through the chocolate, then fold through the egg whites as gently as you can!

-Pour the mixture into your tin, and set it inside a deep baking tray. Place this on the over shelf and pour an inch of boiling water into the tray around the cake.

- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, checking after 20. The cake should be just set with a slight wobble in the middle.

- Leave to cool on a wire rack before removing the tin. Dust with cacao powder before serving alongside a dollop of good crème fraîche.

Bake yourself proud!

C & Z x

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Lunch @ Cook House - Ouseburn, Newcastle

If you follow us on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen us raving about a new lunch spot we have discovered in Newcastle. Despite it having been open for over a year, it was only this week that we got round to making the trip, although we are definitely late to the party as the small kitchen is already racking up significant critical acclaim such as being listed as one of the '25 Coolest Restaurants in the UK' by The Times. The restaurant setting is undeniably cool and understated, tucked away in Newcastle's Ouseburn, and comprising of two inter-connecting shipping containers.

 The inside couldn't be a starker contrast from the industrial exterior however, with a cosy chiminea and completely open kitchen instantly making you feel at home. The place is impressively run by Anna Hedworth - not only a brilliant cook but also a food blogger who's recipes you can find on The Grazer. It really did feel like being in her home, and the frequently-changing chalkboard menu was stuffed with a tempting selection of her deliciously simple, fresh and wholesome lunch dishes.

We went for the Smoked Mackerel Pâté and Roast Ham, both served with a lovely simple dressed salad, sourdough toast and homemade pickles. A definite highlight was Zoe's pickled quince which was the perfect sweet/sour accompaniment to her ham, and something we are keen to recreate ourselves! Our dishes were washed down with Anna's homemade cloudy lemonade, and followed by a cup of tea, and slice of her dreamy apple and cinnamon cake.

It's safe to say that we both left feeling very happy and full, and are already planning our next visit! It is so refreshing to see somewhere so different and unique in Newcastle, and with such great food so reasonably priced, we can't recommend it highly enough - get yourself down there!

C & Z x

Cook House. Mon - Sat 8.30 - 3.30. Ouse Street - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. NE1 2PF

Friday, 25 December 2015

Festive Lemon Meringue Ice Cream

This Lemon Meringue Ice Cream is one for those of you who perhaps want a change from the filling mince pies and rich christmas puddings one tends to overindulge in at this time of year.  Another recipe to take the weight of your shoulders at christmas, you can prepare it well is advance leave it in the freezer and produce it as a refreshing alternative pudding over the festive period.

There is no need for an ice cream machine or even to mix twice, once its in the freezer the ice cream can stay there until served. Another short cut is to use shop bought meringues they don't seem to compromise the flavour or texture at all, in fact they are easier to break up than the slightly gooey home made ones.

The flavour is a good balance of sweet and sharp. I served the ice cream at a dinner party and this was a pudding that someone who doesn't normally like puddings devoured and then had second helpings of- so it is guaranteed to be a hit with hungry guests at christmas.

To serve six you will need...

-50g Meringue 
-300ml Double cream
-Zest and juice of one lemon
-Half a jar of home made or shop bought lemon curd
-One 900ml pudding basin or pyrex bowl and some cling film

You will need to...

-Line the pudding bowl with cling film so there is enough to cover the ice cream in the freezer
-Break the meringues into smallish chunks, I put them in a freezer bag and hit them with a rolling pin
-Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks
-Fold in the lemon juice, rind and lemon curd to the cream and pour into the lined pudding basin
- Cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer for at least six hours

Enjoy Z x