Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bunting cake - for a Queen - recipe

Its been the Queen's diamond jubilee (just in case you slept through it all) and it was also my mums birthday on 3rd June too...and my auntie's birthday on the same day coooooeeeee *waves* to the very youthful Aunty Irene! My mothers not a twin by the way but her sister was born on the same day, they share a birthday.

So I made her a cake...not the queen...not the aunty...the queen mother of course! I made her a fruit cake, you know a proper one from scratch and covered it in marzipan and icing as she likes that particular kind of cake and when I made something similar last year she scoffed the lot the greedy so and so thought it was just delightful.

You really can use whichever cake recipe you like or one that is a particular favourite to make this cake. If a fruit cake is not for you then make any flavoured (vanilla, chocolate, lemon etc) sponge cake. A madeira recipe is quite a sturdy one to use for a decorated cake like this and it will withstand a bit of fondant icing on the top as its quite a dense textured cake.

If your cake of choice is NOT a fruit cake then you won't need any marzipan but you will need buttercream to help your fondant icing stick to your cake, and buttercream and possibly jam or a fruit curd to sandwich your cake together too.

The visual appeal with this cake is the bunting and the flowers...the flowers are quite easy to make with the right equipment (and there are lots of uses for these flowers once you make a batch). The bunting should have been very easy but the printed icing sheets I had proved to be a bit of a bugger hard in getting off the backing paper, one pattern was stuck on for grim life.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Rustic Cornish pastie pie - recipe

Cornish pasties, they've been done to death I know...so time for a slight variation in the mis shape of a rustic cornish pastie pie...thats pastie with an ie not a y...like Liza with a z not an s...as in Lisa....because this is multiple pasties...in one pie...anyway I digress. And that's rustic with an r...because I wasn't really bothered what shape this pie was when I was making it as I knew it would taste very good and I like it rough and hand made looking.

Because we are greedy so and so's here we do prefer a large pie to a single pasty...thats pasty with a y folks! I know all the old fables about pasties being taken down the Cornish mines and their portability as food on the go etc etc but we like things bigger in Lancashire...and we do like a pie or two up here and we do know our pies. We always have swede in our pastie pies without fail, and a lot of seasoning...yum!

This is a great family sized dish, smashing when its warm after resting from the oven and equally nice cold the day after for the likes of a picnic, or perfect as a wedge of pie in your lunchbox, it makes a lovely change from sandwiches.

Is fathers day this weekend...on Sunday you could do a lot worse than bake this pie, put 'happy fathers day dad your the best dad ever in the world!' on the top of it in pastry letters and you're sorted! Let dad take it to work the next day (if he can carry it) and you get double brownie points I reckon...

Whatever you do and however you eat this you will love it. There really is nothing like the aroma and flavour of a cornish pasty or cornish pastie pie...its one of the greats...even more so when eaten on holiday in Cornwall.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Blueberry muffins with lemon ricotta cheese - recipe

I have often been fascinated (whilst travelling in the USA I might add) by the way some people have a tendency to split and stuff sweet or savoury muffins at breakfast time. They put a dollop of either cream cheese or butter inside the muffin and then microwave them. It's not something that I have never tried myself, having been torn partway between thinking...its a bit of a strange thing to do with a muffin, but also wanting to try it too. I have often wondered how muffins taste like that and especially with a soft cheese centre...you can see where this is heading...right?

This recipe came about because of this moment of wondering or pondering and because this was one of those weekends where there were 'fresh things' to be used up in the fridge; so I decided to give these blueberry muffins with lemon cheese things a whirl.

They came out really well, and we really liked them, so much so that we gave most of them away to a bunch of teachers to try (its the calories folks we can only eat so much here!). These muffins were not too sweet and the soft sweet cheese centre scented with lemon gave a different texture. That centre with the lovely plump blueberries intertwined was a nice combination. They might not be exactly like the cream cheese stuffed American ones but they were pretty darn tasty!

Try these warm for breakfast if you dare, as they do in the USA, I don't think you'll be disappointed...we could all become converts!