Food and drink

Chocolate Eclairs

More baking! This post was inspired by an invitation to a new baking club in Aberdeen. It’s an invitation I sadly couldn’t take up as I’m too caught up in bits and pieces for my wedding but it put the idea into my head to bake something sweet for the weekend.

I think everyone’s got fond memories of chocolate eclairs filled with cream don’t they? The soft choux pastry filled with rich cream that goes everywhere when you bite into it. Topped with delicious chocolate. Yum. I consulted my pastry bible – Michelle Roux’s Pastry and found a couple of recipes for choux pastry and eclairs. I won’t post the full recipes here as they’re straight out of the book. In future I’m just going to post recipes that I feel are my own or I’ve jumbled together from enough sources to make them my own. Continue reading “Chocolate Eclairs”

Food and drink

Strawberry Souffle

I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not much of a baker. Nor do I spend much time making desserts (although I spend a fair bit of time eating them). So it was with some trepidation I decided to chance my arm at that famously tricky creation – the soufflĂ©. Continue reading “Strawberry Souffle”

Food and drink

Panna Cotta

Time for another dessert post! It’s been a while.

Some of the best puddings are the most simple and Panna Cotta is about as simple as it gets. Essentially just warm cream, set with gelatine and usually flavoured with vanilla. For the recipe I had a look around the internet and my books for some good examples then cobbled together something I figured would work for the quantity I wanted to make. This is mostly based on the always excellent Felicity Cloake “Perfect Panna Cotta” recipe in the Guardian but I left out the buttermilk (didn’t have any or wanted to try to find any) and used semi-skimmed instead of full-fat milk. Continue reading “Panna Cotta”

Recipe

Tarte Tatin

You know a few years ago I hardly ever ate dessert. It just wasn’t something I was into. I never saw the appeal of ice cream, tarts or cooked fruit. Exceptions were made for chocolate based desserts of course. Over the last couple of years I’ve been slowly converted to the dessert cause and now its one of the main reasons I have to do so much exercise!

I absolutely adore warm apple tarts with cold vanilla ice cream. A great tarte tatin with caramelised apples and crisp pastry is a cause of much delight especially when it’s served hot with a great big lump of ice cream melting all over it. When I received a copy of Michelle Roux’s Pastry for my birthday recently this had to be the first recipe I tried. Continue reading “Tarte Tatin”

Food and drink, Thoughts

Bramble Pie Fail

With my newfound grasp of shortcrust pastry I’m filled with grand ideas of what I can do with it. Unfortunately they don’t always work out as I hoped. This was supposed to be a bramble pie covered in golden, sweet pastry which I could perch some cold vanilla ice cream on. Then I would crack it open to reveal steaming brambles in their syrupy sauce inside with the ice cream melting all over it.

What actually happened was that the sauce from the brambles made the pie sides and bottom a soggy lump of stodge and they never cooked properly. While I had achieved a lovely golden pastry on top the sides were a mess. It was still edible and tasted great but a sad failure for what was a great idea. To add insult to injury the next day I was watching Saturday Kitchen and James Martin did exactly the same pie but made it perfectly. The git.

I’m not going to give you a proper recipe for this. If you really want to try it just add some sugar to a standard shortcrust pastry recipe. For the filling you just need to gently heat the brambles in a pan and add sugar to help break the berries down. Taste the sauce until it’s sweet enough and then take it off the heat.

Recipe

Chocolate hazelnut fondant

I’m on a Stephane Reynaud roll it seems. While looking for the recipe for yesterday’s post on Osso Bucco I noticed a picture of a chocolate hazelnut fondant. I haven’t done a dessert blog post yet and this seemed quite simple (oops) so I gave it a go.

Now not only do I not make many desserts but I also don’t do much baking. Which probably meant this was a bad idea on two fronts. Still you don’t learn if you don’t try do you? Continue reading “Chocolate hazelnut fondant”