Friday, 17 June 2011

courgette ribbons with pine nuts

This is the last, I swear. No more courgettes. Even I'm getting sick of them, although this light supper was the perfect match for a heavy pig-cheeks-filled lunch. Courgettes peeled into ribbons, sautéed with olive oil, garlic and a couple of mustard seeds for good luck, then dressed with a little lemon juice and seasoned well. A simple dish that allows for complete exhaustion and a long night of revision ahead. Sigh.

Cafe Andaluz - review

Cafe Andaluz, 77 George Street, Edinburgh

A tapas-style restaurant with a swoon-worthy interior. Ceramics and beautiful vases abound, and a skylight manages to capture the reticent Scottish sunlight to great effect. I went for lunch, which was £9.95 for 3 plates of tapas - more than enough for any glutton. Couscous-stuffed aubergine, seared scallops with creamed leeks and crisp serrano ham, braised pork cheeks in red wine - HEAVEN. I've never had pork cheeks before! Admittedly heavy fare for lunch, especially when paired with a large glass of wine, but the good thing about tapas is the variety available.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

grassy meadow cocktail

Gin, elderflower cordial, lemongrass syrup, rosewater and soda. GIN. GIN IS MY LIFE.

Recipe [of sorts] after the jump.

coconut and mango cupcakes

I'm a wreck. A wreck. Mainly because of wine and late nights. I suffer for my art, you know? The constant sugar highs, the occasional sugar lows. I brave it all, to bring you food. Coconut cake, mango curd, topped with coconut frosting and grated coconut. All spiked with Malibu, my childhood best friend.

Monday, 13 June 2011

chargrilled courgette and rocket bruschetta

You caught me, another courgette recipe. Well, I can hardly call it a recipe really, more an amalgamation of what I have left to eat. Tres chic. I've spent my day baking cupcakes and attempting to watch a bestiality documentary that my flatmate recommended - apparently it's squirmingly awful. What a life I lead!

Earl Grey & elderflower butterfly cupcakes

A little frivolity in a day otherwise filled with tedious revision [I joke, I've not even started for the day]. I don't normally like Earl Grey tea all that much, give me a cup of English breakfast any day, but it does lend itself well to this delicately scented combination.

Earl Grey tea was originally named after the 2nd Earl Grey, former British Prime minister, so it's no wonder really that it's long been associated with 'Britishness'. Elderflower cordial has a strong association with Victorian times, and has been reported to have been drunk as far back as during the Roman Empire - so I present to you an elegant, quintessentially British cupcake. With butterflies on.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

courgette pizzette with rocket salad

"A pizzette?" you say. Yes, a pizzette! Because it is indeed a pizza, but it is LIGHT and DINKY and what's more, one more courgette has bitten the dust. Two down, three to go. Sigh.

Don't let that sigh fool you, this is now one of my favourite summer meals. And as a rule, I look scornfully upon 'summer meals'. A thin pizza dough, brushed with garlicky-basil infused olive oil, with thin slices of courgette layered [somewhat artfully] on top. Sprinkle with more basil, top with mozzarella and bake. Serve with rocket dressed in a vinaigrette made with the infused oil. Then scoff it down. Relish the lack of guilt.

PB&J cupcakes

Ridiculously decadent, I know. I made up for it with a semi-light and healthy dinner [details to come - it was DIVINE.] It's also my victory cupcake, for my very successful car boot sale venture this morning. I went in with nowt but a few bob in my pockets, and came out with a a beautiful selection of antique cutlery - some of which I have no idea what it's used for - some scallop ramekins, a lovely little plate and some antique medicine bottles. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I guess.

This darling little cupcake [my decorating skills are improving, aren't they?] was inspired by my ever-patient flatmate. I say ever-patient because I am not the tidiest of cooks, as she well knows, so I tend to buy her off with cake. We'll see how long that lasts. PB&J is, of course, peanut butter and jam, a very common sandwich combo in the 'ole US of A, although I have no idea who first thought the two would go together.

This is a vanilla cupcake base, with bramble jelly filling and peanut butter frosting and chopped peanuts. The recipe will be in my upcoming app [which I will complete soon. I hope.]

Saturday, 11 June 2011

courgette fries with greek basil mayonnaise

Theoretically, I love courgettes. Much in the same way that I theoretically love mojitos, I tend to buy big bunches of them, thinking "I love courgettes! I'll eat courgettes all week long, so this massive bag of courgettes is a BARGAIN." And then I have no idea what to do with them. As you can imagine, I'm somewhat better at knowing what to do with mojitos [although there is such a thing as too much rum, people].

Friday, 10 June 2011

tom yum soup

I should probably say that tom yum soup reminds of my travels around Thailand, eating proper Thai streetfood and full moon parties etc etc etc but it doesn't. It reminds me of having my favourite Thai takeaway with friends, which is still a lovely nostalgia, right? I may have it again tonight, except with a bit of coconut milk to tame the heat down for my delicate English tastebuds.

chocolate orange cupcakes

Oh God I LOVE Terry's chocolate orange. I do. I've got a weird aversion to the pairing of chocolate and mint [although I'm not averse to the odd after eight if there's nothing else and I'm starving] but chocolate and orange is something I can really get behind.

I can also get behind spending my entire day baking. This seemingly simple cupcake has 4 different cooking processes involved in its creation [cake baking, orange curd making, ganache melting, orange peel candying] so I think you'll forgive me for pointing out all of these different processes. One must get proper appreciation for one's efforts, after all.

dinky raspberry and lemon sandwich cakes

 I was originally going to call this a mini Victoria sponge, but apparently there are all sorts of stringent rules about what may and may not be termed a Victoria sponge, and this beautiful little cupcake of sorts, may not.

Despite this affront to its sensibilities, this lemon raspberry sandwich cake manages to be both light and moist, and the lemon and raspberry cut through what might be an otherwise overly sweet cupcake. Not that you'll ever catch me calling something 'too sweet'.

A lemon cake base, with a layer of lemon curd, lemon cream cheese frosting and fresh raspberries.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

black forest cupcakes

Of course the first thing I do when I've got to revise is bake. I mean, I passed my end of year exams and all, but I've still got a resit from way back when I crippled myself with a sharp grapefruit tin. Standard.

Black Forest gateau isn't actually named after the Black Forest mountains in Germany, but after the kirsch that they make in that region. This all makes a lot more sense if you speak German, but to me, whose German extends to phrases not to be used in polite company, it's all Schwartzwalderthis and Schwartzwalderthat. 

These dinky little cupcakes [not actually that dinky when you try to fit one in your mouth - use a fork] are chocolate cupcakes, filled with Morello cherry jam, topped with Chantilly cream, chocolate shavings and a fresh cherry. The fruit content is maaaaaybe enough for you to justify it to yourself as healthy. Or not.

Friday, 3 June 2011

blueberry, pistachio and mint mille-feuille

Looks purdy, doesn't it? You'd never guess that mere minutes after this photo was taken, DISASTER STRUCK. Intrigued? Follow me.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Italian affogato

Affogato. Af-fo-ga-to. Sounds like an Italian swearword, doesn't it? It actually means "drowned", which would be morbid, were they not talking about ice cream drowned in coffee. Gelatocide, if you will.

And when the ice-cream in question is Ben and Jerry's Fairly Nuts [caramel ice-cream, almond praline clusters, caramel sauce] and the coffee is special maple walnut coffee, well. I think I deserve a treat the day before my exam, right?