Sunday, 24 February 2013

Elvis Presley's peanut butter and banana sandwich - Nigella Lawson recipe

This might not look like much, and its a very simple recipe that requires not skill whatsoever...but it tastes like heaven and if you have never made this please have a go. Just the once!

Its a recipe from Nigella Bites (by Nigella Lawson of course!) where she makes (in the trashy food chapter) Elvis Presley's peanut butter and banana sandwich... reknowned for being one of Elvis's favourite dishes this comes with a big health warning. As delicious as this sandwich is, it is (fried) cooked in butter which adds calories by the bucketful...correction... barrel full.

Not a recipe you want to indulge in all the time but for highdays and holidays its the one!

Nigella Bites is one of my favourite recipe books of all time, and I am always somehow drawn to the trashy section, the other fabulous tried and trusted trashy recipe in this book is for the fried chicken.

Making recipes from this book takes me back some years (over 14 years now in fact) to when I use to make this for a friend of mine (pictured), she would come and stay over at my house and we would eat it for breakfast, as a treat!

Happy memories of the laughs we had together and boy did we have some laughs!

To make this simply spread one slice of the white bread with peanut butter and add the banana either mashed or finely sliced. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Put the second slice of bread on top of the first and press down. Add to the pan of melted butter and cook gently for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve!

Once you have made this and enjoyed it by relishing every mouthful, and wiping the runny salty molten peanut butter/banana combo from your lips, and your digestive system has fully recovered, you will need to get your trainers and gym kit on and get yourself down to the gym...or go for a run...a good 3 hour work out or jog should do the trick. If you need a nudge to get moving, just remember what happened to Elvis!
I am entering this indulgence into Sarah at Maison Cupcake's Forever Nigella challenge, which for this months (February 2013) challenge #23 is all about NOSTALGIA and is hosted by Urvashi on her Botanical Baker Blog. Urvashi has written a lovely post about the chocolate cake she makes for her daughters birthday.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Lamb shanks braised in red wine - recipe

This week the hint of Spring we had recently has disappeared without a trace and a cold akin to Siberia has hit. Shame really as I was beginning to enjoy the sunshine in Lancashire and the Spring sights of daffodils pushing their green storks into the air.

Anyway, all this botanical talk is leading towards one thing and that is...a comfort food recipe. This is the type of dish you want to let braise for half a day, fill the house with lovely smells and to devour when the weather is as cold as it has been this weekend.

The key to this dish being a huge success is to use meat from a good local source, only use wine you would be happy to drink yourself and very sloooooow braising/cooking.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cake International is coming to Manchester - Ticket giveaway

The start of March is really exciting, the results of the National Marmalade awards are coming up *quivers* and Cake International comes to Manchester for 3 days from 8th to 10th March 2013! It's the first cake show to come to Manchester and its held at the Event City near the Trafford Centre. Each individual ticket is £12 to buy on the day (£10 in advance).

I have been to Cake International before in 2011, it has been held annually in Birmingham (and in London too), you can read about that visit here and here.

I enjoyed Cake International in Birmingham and its a very busy event, but it was a bit of a trek by car, Manchester is just 25 minutes away for me so...happy days! 

The event itself has a mixture of fantastic cake events entered into by both professional and novice cake makers plus a range of providers (from all over the world) with everything from cake lustres to cake boxes, from cake wrappers to every kind of fondant icing, tools to tips, its all here. 

In addition to the competitions, judging and over 80 stalls to buy things from there are the usual guest appearances by celebrities and this year the Great British Bake Off is well represented by Mary Berry and John Whaite (this years winner...a local lad you know). In addition there are other guest appearances from other well known bakers and sugarcrafters, such as Lindy Smith and Tracey Mann who makes stunning chocolate and choclate fondant designs.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Clandestine Cake Club Cookery Book - review

The Clandestine Cake Club founder Lynn Hill published her first book last week on Valentine's Day. The book is a combination of Lynn Hill's and cake club members recipes, a wide range of cakes are covered in the book, from Battenburg through to Bundts, from tea loaves to layer cakes.

The joy of this book for me is the fact that these recipes have been made by home cooks in their own kitchens; and that they are cakes that have stood up to being tested in ordinary homes and by people with a genuine love of baking.

A typical cake club can be quite varied with the range of cakes baked by the members and this book reflects the same. Its diverse and interesting, colourful and engaging, the recipes are clear and well laid out and there are hints and tips.

The photography and depiction of the cakes is a credit to the food stylists who worked on this book. The cakes really leap off the page!

If you follow this blog you will know that I founded and still run the South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club along with Linzi at Lancashire Food.

Two of South Lancs Clandestine Cake Clubs members, Linzi and Carla both have recipes in the book, in fact Carla has two recipes! I have tried their cakes at our cake club events and know they both know a thing or two about baking, recipes and cakes. It was lovely to see their pride last week after the book was published (see picture bottom right above).

There are other cakes in this book that I have made myself and enjoyed in the past. Vanessa Kimbells' victoria sponge with cardomom, rose cream and rhubarb is a fabulous cake and I was so pleased to see Lynn Hill's own spiced pear cake recipe in the book as I adore that recipe (and haven't been able to find it anywhere).

If you buy this book do try these two recipes they do come highly recommended and were very quickly devoured when I made them. There are not many cake slices that come back from a cake club and last long here.

This is just the book you want to reach for when you feel like baking a 'proper' cake. If you cannot find inspiration in this book - I do not know where would you look next?

The Clandestine Cake Club Cookery Book is a great recipe book for anyone that likes to bake, it would make a great gift and with Easter coming up most bakers I know would rather have a copy of this than an Easter Egg, no matter how much they say they love chocolate!

Thanks to Lynn Hill and Quercus Books (the publishers) who sent me a copy but with no expectations for a positive review.

If you fancy joining a cake club and meeting like minded bakers in different locations, over drinks and lots of cakes, then hop along to the Clandestine Cake Club's site.
Our next event in South Lancashire is on 16th March 2013.

Here are some pictures (top and bottom of this post) from our last event when we went to meet a local WI group...just to give you more of insight and to whet your appetite  it was a great night with some amazing bakes...just a typical cake club really. Enjoy!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

'Dish of the month' February - Nigel Slaters Lemon Tart

For this months 'Dish of the Month' I have made Nigel Slaters Lemon Tart from his 'Kitchen Diaries II' book, yesterday was an ideal opportunity to make this as we had friends round for supper and I knew this would make a great dessert.

Now is a great time to make a dish like this as some fabulous lemons and oranges can be found on sale.

This was the first time I had made a lemon tart, the flavours of this were amazing, the zing of the lemon was slightly off set by the addition in the recipe of the juice and zest of a blood orange (I used half of a large orange...I'd eaten all our blood oranges!).

My pastry crust came out a lot darker than Nigel's and now I realise why in the recipe it instructs to line the pastry case with FOIL and then the baking beans to bake blind...I used bacoglide instead. I realise now the foil would have stopped the pastry from colouring as much as it did. If you follow the recipe correctly you should not have pastry shrinking when you make the tart base, the recipe says this will happen if you add too much water to the pastry. Mine shrunk in a couple of places, but when the tart was baked you would not have noticed.

I would definitely make this tart again it was a great success, everyone had seconds. On this occasion I served it with some fresh cream.

If you want to join Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and myself baking our way through Kitchen Diaires II in 2013 we would love to have you join us.

You can link up with either this blog or Janice's blog below this post. You can also see all the entires as they happen by following this challenge on Pinterest here.

  • Make a 'Dish of the Month' from ANY recipe by Nigel Slater
  • Link back to this blog or to 'Farmersgirl Kitchen' 
  • Use the Dish of the Month logo (above) in your post
  • If you use twitter, tweet your post with @Heavenona_Plate OR @serialcrafter and #DishoftheMonth hashtag and we will re-tweet it to our followers. 
  • If you own a copy of The Kitchen Diaries II please do not publish the recipes on your blog without permission, they are copyright.
  • If you are using any Nigel Slater recipes from the BBC Food website, please link to the recipe on BBC Food rather than publishing the recipe.  Likewise with any of Nigel's recipes on the Guardian website.
  • Only one entry per blog please.
  • Recipes must be added to the linky by the 28th of each month.
And remember to add your Dish of the Month to the linky below this post:

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Marmalade cake - Jamie Oliver recipe

This marmalade cake recipe is a great way to use up marmalade if you have made lots of it like I 'might' have or if you have marmalade that 'might' not have set too well either. OR you might just love the taste of citrus, oranges and marmalade flavours in cakes.

Either way this cake is lovely with a cuppa and just as nice with custard or cream or ice cream as a pudding. I liked it best the day it was baked when it was still warm.

The original recipe is from Jamie Oliver, I amended it slightly to suit our tastes, and the fact I only had 2 oranges and a vat of orange flower water to use up, you need 3 oranges to make the original recipe.