Sunday, 23 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
100g dried ready-to-eat tropical medley or other mixed dried
100g porridge oats
50g puffed rice cereal , such as Rice Krispies
85g desiccated coconut
50g blanched hazelnuts or shelled peanuts or other
50g sunflower, sesame or pumpkin seeds
100g light muscovado sugar
125ml golden syrup
100g butter , chopped up
Chop the tropical medley into pieces using kitchen scissors. Tip
Put the sugar, syrup and butter in a small pan and heat gently,
Quickly stir the syrup into the dry mix, stirring until it all starts
Quickly tip into a 20cm square tin and press down with the
Yummmy yummy yummy
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
A coalition of delicious desserts - no wonder people have trouble deciding on one.
Election '10: historic events witnessed in the Keston Kitchen. Never before has there been such a coming together of different flavours; with such unpredictable results.
This was an election of ground-breaking moments. The first: the arrival of Newnham's famous Chocolate Yoghurt at Downing Street.
The occasion was the second of the live televised Leaders' debates. As the focus was foreign policy, it seemed only fitting for the team at work to watch it en masse in the boss's office. The Leaders performed pretty well, but let's face it, all eyes were on the cake.
The yoghurt lends this cake a light, moist texture. The mums of the shire will be pleased to know that this timeless classic went down a treat. We owe the recipe to Jacqui Vivian, who was an amazing cook. Also thanks to Val and Bev for ensuring it appeared at every birthday party I've ever been to in their homes.
Now, I did offend some of team because of the EU focus of my baking (we also cover 'Global Issues'). So, not to be outdone, the G8 / G 20 team baked these amazing cookies (with some outside help from enthusiastic family members, I believe).
Clare also made this amazing Election Cake-u-lator
Then Decision Day arrived (or so we thought). I was honoured to host the election party. Luckily for me, the coverage didn't start until 10pm - which gave me plenty of time to be characteristically late with the preparations and rope all my guests into helping.
The girls set to work on the red velvet Milibands.
Wishing to reflect the true impartiality of the civil service, I had a strict rule of one pudding per party (the big three). I also allowed a little homage to the greens (a big night for them too).
So the menu was:
Red Velvet Milibands (aka the cupcakes that have previously featured on Later with Jules)
Libdemon bars a delicious recipe, also from the hummingbird bakery
Eton Mess (with blueberries)
And Green Party Jelly
It was a night to remember, thanks to many contributions. Frances fashioned an incredible PM-0-meter (which had more mileage than anyone could have expected). Aurelia's election cocktails were an inspired, if dangerous, contribution to the party. The BBC's election party pack provided much entertainment (including election bingo). I have to congratulate Tess and Jess for still being there on the sofa (if snoring) when I got up in the morning. And finally, my housemates were remarkably unperturbed by the sudden influx of civil servants into the living room, and thoroughly embraced in the election excitement.
2010 will be a year to remember, If not for the politics, then for the puddings.
Chocolate Yoghurt Cake
250ml sunflower oil
250ml plain natural yogurt
4 tablespoons syrup
6 oz sugar
8oz SR flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 oz cocoa
Mix 1st 5 ingredients together then add rest and mix well
Cook for 45 mins – 1hour at 150 degrees
3 tablespoons milk
8oz sifted icing sugar
2 tablespoons sifted cocoa
Melt butter, add milk
Take off heat and add rest and mix well
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Multi Vegetable Paella by Charlotte
Yotam Ottolenghi's second cookbook Plenty is now out, on sale, up for grabs, available in many book stores. Following my personal success and obsession with the last Ottolenghi cookbook I will be purchasing this one. So far I have had a brief encounter with one recipe - the Multi Vegetable Paella; not any old paella but a multi vegetable dish of delicious meat free ingredients, almost certainly one of the most colourful things I have ever made.
It all came about 2 weekends ago when summer briefly arrived in London. Maxi dresses, guitars in the park, BBQs, sunhats and small dogs destroying picnics were out in force. An exciting arrival came on the Saturday with the Guardian – an exerpt from Plenty. This was music to my ears; I have so far failed to mention that this is a vegetarian cookbook, however, it is most certainly going to be a pleaser with everyone, including meat loving folk.
On the Sunday night, following a day of maximum relaxation and Ceri shouting to the world that she was going to start reading the gardening section of the weekend papers I decided to try out the vegetarian paella. This was the right thing to do, as was my error in over catering (over catering is an incredibly popular pastime in the Keston Kitchen). The paella was so colourful it was like carnival and it was super tasty, so much so that even the male diners were satisfied.
If you do attempt this dish then I can assure you that comments such as ‘What’s this? It must be some kind of fish or meaty product?’ will be heard.
‘No Jake it’s an olive. No again, that’s an artichoke’ will be the response.
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 small red and 1 small yellow pepper, cut into strips
1/2 fennel bulb, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
150g Calasparra (or other paella) rice
100ml good-quality medium sherry
1 tsp saffron threads
450ml boiling vegetable stock
200g shelled broad beans (fresh or frozen)
12 mini plum tomatoes, halved
5 small grilled artichokes in oil (from a jar), drained and quartered
15 pitted Kalamata olives, crushed
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges
Heat the oil in a paella pan or a large shallow frying pan, then gently fry the onion for five minutes. Add the peppers and fennel, and fry on a medium heat for six minutes, until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the bay, paprika, turmeric and cayenne, stir, then add the rice and stir thoroughly for two minutes before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil down for a minute, then add the stock and a third of a teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat as low as it will go and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan or stir the rice during this time.
Meanwhile, put the broad beans in a bowl, cover with plenty of boiling water, leave for a minute, drain and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze each bean gently to remove its papery skin.Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste, add more salt if needed, but without stirring the rice much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and broad beans over the rice, cover the pan tightly with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Take off the foil. Scatter the olives and parsley over the top of the paella and serve with lemon wedges.