Sunday, 13 July 2014

Lime and Mango Panna Cotta

Last night I cooked a dinner party for 20 people and this Lime and mango panna cotta was definitely the star of the show. It was the first time I had followed this Jane Lovett recipe,  I saw and tasted this panna cotta prepared by Jane at one of her cooking demonstrations last month. You can prepare this pudding up to 3 days in advance which is helpful when cooking for a large crowd! I used ramekins to serve the panna cotta however you can also use martini glasses or one big bowl for people to help themselves to. The subtle lime flavour contrasts well with the sweet mango pulp topping; you can either buy the mango pulp in a tin or make your own from fresh mangos which is what I did.
To serve 8 you will need...
One 400ml tin of coconut milk
400ml double cream
5 tbsps caster sugar
3 limes
4 leaves of gelatine
1 ripe mango or 400ml of tinned mango pulp
1 tbsp icing sugar
Raspberries or strawberries and mint leaves to decorate
You will need to...
-Put the gelatine leaves into a large flat dish for five minutes to soften.
- Put the coconut milk, cream and sugar into a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil stirring occasionally and simmer for a minute or two. Add the juice of 3 and zest of  1 lime and remove from the heat.
- Remove the gelatine from the water squeeze out any excess water and add to the cream mixture, (do not boil the gelatine or it wont set) pour into ramekins, glasses or a bowl. Cool cover and refrigerate until set- it is best to leave them over night.
- To make the mango puree peel and slice a mango into a food processor, add icing sugar to taste and process until smooth.
- Decorate with strawberries or raspberries or lime zest.  

 Enjoy Z x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Elderflower Drizzle Cake

After a trip to Betty's famous tearoom in Harrogate last week I spotted an Elderflower Drizzle Cake on display and, as I have an abundance of home made elderflower cordial at home, I decided to give one a go. I based the recipe on a standard lemon drizzle cake recipe (you can see our version on our Instagram page) but substituted the lemon juice for elderflower cordial. The result was a subtle and soft elderflowery sponge, and although the flavour was not overpoweringly strong, the aftertaste had a delicate hint fresh elderflower that was very pleasant and perfectly appropriate for this time of year!

 You Will Need…

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
200g butter
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of one lemon
4 tbsp elderflower cordial

And for the drizzle…

4 tbsp elderflower cordial
2tsp caster sugar

 You Will Need To…

- Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter and line a regular sized loaf tin.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest.
- Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
- Once cooked and still warm, use a skewer to stab the cake all over. This will make holes for the drizzle to seep into and make the cake extra moist. 
- Mix together the elderflower cordial and caster sugar, then spoon on top of the cake.
- Allow to cool and serve in generous slices.

Enjoy! Z & C x

Friday, 4 July 2014

Strawberries & Cream Victoria Sponge

With the Wimbledon finals taking place this weekend, it seems very appropriate to bring out this classic Victoria Sponge filled with strawberries & cream. A pairing that has stood the test of time, you can't really go wrong with strawberries and cream, especially when the cream is laced with fragrant vanilla seeds. This would be an ideal centrepiece for any summer gathering, a welcome addition to an afternoon tea or a decadent way to round off a barbecue. It is also a good excuse to show off the latest addition to my kitchen - this beautiful vintage glass cake stand from RE in Corbridge, Northumberland. This hidden gem of a shop is well worth a visit if you like rooting through unusual and interesting bits and bobs, with their stock ranging from kitchenware to french soaps and gardening equipment. Here is the link to their website if you want to have a look:

You Will Need…

175g caster sugar
175g butter
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs

And for the filling…

200ml double cream
1 generous tsp vanilla bean paste or the scraped seeds from one vanilla pod
Half a punnet of strawberries
Icing sugar for for dusting

You Will Need To…

- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla essence, and then fold in the sieved flour and baking powder.
- Pour into two round, greased and lined cake tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool your sponges on a wire rack whilst you prepare the filling…
- Chop your strawberries into quarters, reserving a few for decoration if you like.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks, then fold in your vanilla paste.
- Spread your berries onto one of the sponges, top with the cream and then place the second sponge on top. 
- Serve on your prettiest plate and dust with icing sugar.

Enjoy! C x