I’ve got it written down on a piece of paper

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Bluebottle: What time is it Eccles?
Eccles: Err, just a minute. I’ve got it written down here on a piece of paper. A nice man wrote the time down for me this morning.

Eccles Cakes
Here is my tweaked Eccles cake recipe. It may require additional tweaking to get right – certainly, I intend to keep fiddling. * indicates things that I need to fiddle with.

makes 4 biiigg Eccles cakes

1/2 oz butter
1 oz light muscovado sugar (I like Billington’s)
2 oz mixed dried fruit (currants, mostly but I use a dry mincemeat mix)
1/4 tsp allspice*

1 x pack puff pastry
for a glaze
1 egg white, lightly beaten
a pinch of caster sugar

Melt the butter and sugar together, add the fruit and spices and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 220C (gas mark 7).

Roll out the puff pastry till it is 1/8th inch or so, maybe less*. Cut out four large circles – I used a bowl rim to mark them, then my little pastry knife to cut them out. You could make 8 or so smaller cakes, obviously.

Put a dollop of the fruit mix in the middle of each circle. Brush the edges of the circle with a little of the egg white and fold them over. I pinch two opposing sides together, then fold the other edges in so that I’ve used overlapping six folds. Er…I may need to take a photo of that… Make sure the edges of the folds are binding together.

Flip the cakes over so the folds are underneath and put them on a greased (or greaseproof papered) baking tray. Pat them down a little so that the filling has spread. It should feel solid. Cut three slashes into the top. Glaze with the egg white and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and yummy.

The recipe this was tweaked from also called for 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

Banananananana Cake

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

I really needed to use up some bananas tonight but I also really needed to use up an aubergine and some mozzerella. I wanted to make the layered aubergine/mozzerella bake but that would mean I couldn’t make the banana loaf cake due to them both using the same baking tin. After recalling the words of many a cook book, i.e. never tamper with a baking recipe, I decided to see what happened if I made the banana cake in muffin cases.
Mountains of banana cake Banana cake interior

Recipe notes:
This follows this recipe for banana cake from the Guardian. I used two very ripe bananas so increased the baking powder to 3 tsp. I also only sieved the flour, baking powder and spices once because I couldn’t be bothered and I used the all-purpose handblender rather than any whisk (attached or otherwise). The key difference, however, is in the actual “getting it into the oven” stage. In my version this reads:
Put the muffin cases into the muffin tray.
Spoon 6 tsp of the mix into each muffin case.
Bake at 200C for approx. 20 minutes.

I’m the first to admit that, technically, these are just more elaborate muffins than my usual rough muffin mix. I’m fairly sure this would also be an excellent light loaf cake as well. Now I need a recipe for Jamacian ginger cake…

Ale to the chef

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

There is one recipe which I tagged in moosifer_cooks which I am determined to try soon, before the proposed How To Cook Like a Grown Up course. It’s Courgettes in beer tempura. I mean, look how basic that is…surely within my capabilities? So I popped into my quality off-license tonight (as opposed to the pile-it-high offie directly across from my house) to get some Peroni Nastro Azzurro. I have done that twice before, but always ended up drinking the beer before getting around to making the tempura batter. As it was the last 4-pack of it he had in stock tonight, I must make the tempura, not just drink the beer. I look up the recipe.

Hmmm, how many does this serve? Do I need to divide the amount of flour by something to make the right amount for one? I can keep the batter overnight, right? I have vague memories of my mother making pancake batter and using it up the next day and that has eggs and stuff in it. I look at the amount of beer required, in order to see if it is one or two of the four bottles I have. I’m obviously hoping for one bottle’s worth because I want to have a beer whilst watching Lost later tonight. The recipe asks for 375ml. I look at the bottle. It’s 330ml. So now I have to reduce the amount of flour by, er, just over 10%. See? This is why I don’t like recipes and cookbooks and stuff! Unless…

…is it a cunning ploy by the cook so that they get to drink the already open second bottle of beer?

I began with this:
Cooking like a Grown Up 1 : prep
and ended with this:
Cooking like a Grown Up 3 : ta-da

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