Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mascarpone Lemon Mousse

This is very light and fluffy, I try to have a standby pot of mascarpone in the fridge. It is very quick and easy.
8oz/250g Mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar + 1/8 cup caster sugar for the egg whites
2 lemons
2 eggs, separated

serves 4

1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale.
2. Beat in the mascarpone cheese, the lemon juice and the lemon zest from one of the lemons until smooth.
3. In a clean bowl, with a clean whisk, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Add the 1/8 cup of sugar into the whites and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold the whites into the mascarpone/lemon mixture until no streaks remain.
6. Divide among 4 ramekins and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Orange Ricotta and Almond cake

250g butter
250g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
100g plain flour
1 pinch baking powder
4 large eggs, beaten
100g ricotta
the grated zest and the juice of unwaxed 2 oranges. ( I used blood oranges)
icing sugar
a shallow 23cm-9inch cake tin, greased and lined, or a similar silicon mould..

Preheat the oven to 180C

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Mix the almonds and flour together.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between. Add the orange zest from one of the oranges and a third of the almonds and flour, then beat slowly until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add the second, and then the third batch of almonds and flour, It is important to do this gradually, so that the cake is light.
Lastly, slowly mix in the juice of one of the oranges and the ricotta . Transfer the mixture with a rubber spatula to the lined cake tin and bake for 35 minutes. Run a palette knife around the edge of the tin and turn out on to a plate. Make up a runny icing with the juice and zest of the other orange, adding icing sugar until you get a consistancy you are happy with. My icing was an interesting day -glow pink from the bloody orange. Pour over the cake whilst still warm, making little holes with a fork so that it soaks in, then leave to cool.

Red Pepper Slice

I adapted this recipe from When I looked in the fridge, I didn't have any courgette, so I used a red pepper instead. It was lovely, but really needs to be eaten the same day, preferably warm. I used a silicon mould, but you could make it in a deep baking tray as well.

1 red pepper, finely chopped.
1 rasher of bacon, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, diced

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup self raising flour, sifted
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil

a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste
1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
2. Pour mixture into a greased baking tray or silicon mould.
3. Bake in a moderate oven (180C / 350F) for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
4. Remove from tin. Cut into slices. It is nicest served warm. Double quantities if desired.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quatre-quarts Cake

This is a traditional french cake from Brittany. I just wanted to simple cake without any flavouring or rich icing. The recipe is from . I think I'm going to be trying a lot of these recipes. The cake turned out really authentic...

Take 3 large eggs and weigh them. They should weigh about 2 oz. each (60 grams).
Weigh the same amount of self raising flour: 6 oz. (180 grams) or 1 1/4 cups
Weigh the same amount of sugar: 6 oz. (180 grams) or 3/4 cup
Weigh the same amount of butter: 6 oz. (180 grams) or 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks).You can use unsalted and salted butter (50-50), or unsalted butter alone with a good amount of salt (up to 1 teaspoon).

Pour the sugar in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter and blend it in with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside.
Add the egg yolks to the sugar-butter mix. Stir well (with the wooden spoon). The more energetically you beat, the fluffier the cake.
Slowly add the sifted flour and incorporate it gradually as it falls on the batter.
Add some salt (up to a whole teaspoon). This isn't needed if you are using salted butter.
Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks.

Incorporate the egg whites to the batter, one big spoonful at a time, very delicately, making under-and-over motions until evenly blended. The foam (air bubble) shouldn't "break". This is also a very important step in getting a fluffy cake.
Pour the batter in a buttered cake tin - I used a flower shaped silicon mould, which looked really pretty.
Bake at 350F (180C) for about 45 minutes or until baked (if you stick a knife in the center of the cake it should come out dry).