Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lucky 13 !!

I have a good feeling about this year! 13 has always been lucky for me....I lived in No 13 in my twenties and experienced some of the best times there.

My middle child came into the world on the 3rd and I stayed in Room NO 13 the night he was born, sharing with a wonderful first time new Mummy whose daughter was born the same day. We continued to share stories throughout the night filled with happy endorphins having just delivered our precious little babies. 

Hope 13 proves lucky for you too  ! Heres a lovely fudge cake recipe, now that we have got those New Year resolutions out of the way :)

Chocolate Fudge Gateau

150g dark chocolate
75g golden caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon runny honey
4 large eggs, separated
200g ground almonds
75 ml milk
cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius fan and butter a 20 cm cake tin 9 cm deep with a removeable base. Place the chocolate, sugar, buter and honey in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and gently mely, stirring frequently until everything is melted and amalgamated. Transfer to a large bowl and beat in the egg yolks and the ground almonds, then stir in the milk. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they are stiff then fold them in three goes into the cake mixture. Transfer it to the prepared tin, give it several sharp taps on the worktop to bring up air bubbles and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Run a knife around the collar of the cake to loosen it and leave it to cool.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One year on .....

I learned to laugh and squeal,
And sit and stand,
And I can walk now, if you hold my hand.
But the fun has only just begun,
Lookout world, I've just turned one!

Meringue Kisses for my Birthday Missus...

I love birthdays....for the kids, not so keen on my own . But First Birthdays are Special. Its a nice occasion for family to get together and celebrate the little ones place in the world. 

We chose to celebrate by having her christened the same weekend. Yes, we love to party !!

Our little darling has been such a little joy to behold this last year and has given so much love and happiness to us all and especially her two gorgeous big brothers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pretty in Pink!!

Passports, Check
Swimwear, Check
Goggles, Check
Flipflops, Check

Woohoo ...all set.....Lanzarote here we come!!!

Sooo excited, two weeks in the sun, can't wait. Now I know you are fretting...but don't worry your pretty little heads cos I couldn't leave without firstly presenting you with my latest creation of french prettiness..


This  is a Genoise sponge, named after the Italian city of Genoa as it happens but closely associated to Italian and French cuisine. It is in fact a cake used as a basis of most french patisserie. It is a whole egg cake which unlike other cakes which beat their eggs and yolks separately; the eggs are beaten with sugar over a bain-marie to a stage known to patissiers as the "ribbon stage".

Pour La Genoise

4 eggs
125g of sugar
70g of plain flour
60g of ground almonds
30 g of  melted butter and a pinch of salt.

Pour Le Sirop:

60g of sugar
50ml of grenadine

Pour La Garniture:

600 ml of whipping cream
15g of sugar
90g of broken white chocolate
250g of raspberries
Pink Food Colouring

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c
Butter and flour a 22cm round cake tin.

Sift together the flour, almonds and salt..
In a Bain-Marie, whip the eggs with the sugar until the mixture increases to three times its volume.
When the mixture is warm, take off heat and whip for 10 mins until cooled down. The mixture is ready when it forms a thick ribbon.

Incorporate little by little the dry ingredients , adding delicately so the genoise doesnt lose its volume.
Add the melted butter at the end.

Empty into the tin and bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 mins.

Take out of tin whilst the cake is warm and leave to cool down before cutting in two.

Prepare the syrup by heating 120ml of water and sugar. Add the grenadine and leave to cool.

Bring to boil 100ml of whipping cream. Empty it onto the white broken chocolate . Mix until the chocolate is melted and set aside.

Whip the remaining cream to a chantilly. Take out half and incorporate the preceding mixture.

In the other half of chantilly, add 15g of sugar and colourant and mix well.

Brush the bottom sponge with the syrup and layer with "la creme au chocolat blanc" and scatter with raspberries.

Cover with the rest of the white chocolate cream.

Brush the top sponge with the syrup and place over the the cream.

Cover with the pink chantilly and decorate with raspberries..

In this case, I have added some pink macarons....cos I know how much you love them..

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Cherry on Top!!

I am so proud of this cake .... "Foret Blanche"

It is a simple variation on the retro classic Black Forest Gateau. I am proud of it for a number of reasons but firstly because it was inspired by a french recipe book "Mon cours de cuisine" kindly given to me recently by my sister who holidays in france and whom is also a fan of "toutes choses francaise".

Secondly, because it is a mousse cake, there was a little more faffing around with clingfilm than I am comfortable with , so when it  eventually came together, it was both a relief and a small personal victory. 

And thirdly, I guess, I feel this cake can go can be simply used as a centrepiece for a small family gathering or a small tweak here and there can create wonderful variations for many a celebration cake.

Now, this to me really is the Cherry on Top!!

Now I know what you're thinking....Wheres the Recipe??? are very good .....

Pour le biscuit:

6 eggs
120g caster sugar
50g cocoa
50g flour

Pour la mousse au chocolat:

200g of dark chocolate
100ml milk and 250ml of double cream

Pour la chantilly:

300ml double cream
30g of icing sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and add the flour and cocoa. 
Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and add to the mixture, carefully adding with a spatula.
Turn out onto a prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.

Leave to cool and turn out onto wire rack.
Refrigerate before cutting the biscuit into three slices.

Melt the chocolate and milk in a "bain-marie"
Whip the cream and add to the warm chocolate

Cover the cake tin with clingfilm and relayer as follows:

Insert one layer of biscuit followed by a layer of cherries . Empty half of the chocolate mousse on top.
Insert the second biscuit and repeat the process.

Whip together the creme and icing sugar and cover the assembled cake.

Decorate with piped roses and place the cherries on each delicately.

Leave to refrigerate for one hour before serving...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lightning McQueen

My eldest boy turned 7 on St John's Day, June 24th, and I promised him a Lightning McQueen cake for his party. He is a big Disney Cars 2 fan , loves all the characters but of course Lightning is his real hero.

As the date of his party drew nearer, I, of course grew more and more anxious that I had aimed a little too high in my aspirations for a cake this time. The whole thing made me nervous and it was very scary carving out the shape as you only really get one chance at it. I was however consoled by the fact that my engineer hubby was on standby if things went pear-shaped.

Once the cake is carved, that's nearly half the battle. But battles like these shouldn't on reflection be fought into the early hours of the morning.  It turned out to be a joint battle into the early hours too as my hubs helped insert the window panes with his fine motor skills. I had suggested slapping them on over the fondant but he won his argument for a more professional looking McQueen.

 And I'm glad he did as the birthday boys face the next morning was priceless....although he did point out that we "missed a spot"...of course, the SPOILER???!!!.....Ha,Ha...a "Stickers" for detail , like his Dad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Macaron Mania!!

Oh my Goodness, these Mint Chocolate Flavoured Macarons went down a treat with my Focus Group. I got a thumbs up response from these gorgeous kids and their parents alike. So, am very happy indeed....Maybe, I'll just continue with this craze!!

 Its very rude to leave just one, don't you know!!.......OK so, if you insist !!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Les Meilleures Macarons de 'Patricia's Patisserie'

French style fancies what a treat.
Sophisticated, cute, deliciously petite.
Enchanting, unique and full of cheer, 
delightful and perfect throughout the year.....

Love Food 

I didnt make that up myself I can assure you...a poet I'm not!!

As I delve more into the meringue / macaron world, I am presented with more and more styles of their making. Alors, J'ai un question pour vous....comment vous faites vous meme?? Do you  meaure out your egg whites in ounces ?  Do you rest your egg whites hours before to allow the moisture to evaporate  and what I really want to know is do you mess around with sugar thermometers and syrup or are you like me and take the shortest route possible to making these cute little gourmands by whisking the caster sugar directly into the meringue.

I really would like to know...Quelle est votre secret ?? S'il vous plait? ( pretty please ?? :)) )