October, 2013


24
Oct 13

Almond Cannellé

Almond canelle

One of the most fun aspects about baking is experimentation. I love to try different cake tins and these are the best ones I’ve found recently. They are actually for Italian Pandoro or French Cannellé. They are made from silicone and are sold online through The Cook’s Kitchen.

Pandoro is a delicious light and sweet dough cake, not dissimilar to pannetone. Sadly, like any dough recipes, they are very hard to adapt to being gluten free. So, using the mould, I have come up with a delicious and easy version of French cannellé, which would be perfect at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas.

I should add that the mould does come with a recipe for traditional Pandoro, which I have made, and is delicious.

Almond Cannellé

Makes 6

Ingredients

150g butter or dairy-free spread

150g golden caster sugar

3 medium free-range eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

150g ground almonds

1 heaped tbsp. gluten free plain flour

4 tbsp honey, warmed until runny

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease your moulds as best you can. Quick release spray is a godsend here. Set the mould aside.

Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs gradually and beat well after each addition. Now, add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and beat well.

Finally, add the almonds and four and gently fold in. Carefully spoon the mixture into the moulds. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and risen.

Allow to cool in the mould for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool fully on a wire rack.

Drizzle with warmed honey and serve.


14
Oct 13

Autumn slaw

AS

Just because the summer’s over doesn’t mean salads have to be off the menu. This is one of my favourite salads. It’s crunchy, fresh and full of flavour. It’s also super healthy if you, like me, are looking for alternatives to winter stodge at this time of year.

The trick to making a really great slaw is to slice the vegetables really thinly. I mean so thin they are almost transparent. Fennel can be really tough, but thinly slicing it brings out its sweetness and much more tender to eat. A really sharp knife is what you need to use here. I have been loving these gorgeous knives made by Edge of Belgravia – a favourite of the Fabulous Baker Brothers. They make easy work of any tough vegetable and enable you to cut things really, really thinly.

Autumn slaw

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

For the slaw

1 bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 large eating apple, thinly sliced

75g walnuts

50g sultanas

1 tbsp freshly chopped mint

For the dressing

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Method

Place the slaw ingredients (except the mint) into a bowl and stir together well.

Mix they mayonnaise and mustard together until smooth and well-combined.

Stir the dressing evenly through the slaw. Serve on a plate topped generously with fresh mint. Serve and enjoy immediately, as the fennel and apple will brown quickly.


3
Oct 13

Pork and Fennel Ragu

Pork Fennel Ragu

When the days start to get shorter and the weather a touch cooler, there’s nothing like a warm, comforting meal in the evening.

If you’re busy, like me, and want something delicious for supper, but don’t have much time to spend cooking, allow me to introduce my new kitchen savior: the slow cooker.

For me, it is an absolute godsend, as it is just so easy to prepare a good meal in advance with the minimum amount of input. Not only that, but it’s great for batch cooking, which is a great way of saving time, as any extra portions can be individually frozen and reheated when you are in need of a quick meal.

I highly recommend my CrockPot digital slow cooker. It’s easily programmable for up to 20 hours, and has a digital timer, so if you’re at home, you can keep track of how long you have left. It also has a helpful keep warm function which would be great if you are cooking for guests.

I’m a total convert. Our favourite meals so far have included this Pulled Pork recipe which is ridiculously easy and delicious, and my Pork and Fennel Ragu. It makes a really interesting alternative to bolognaise sauce, and has very quickly become a firm favourite. Adjust the fennel and garlic to taste – we like both flavours to be very prominent in the dish.

Pork and Fennel Ragu

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1kg free-range pork, minced

1 bulb garlic

2 tbsp fennel seeds (adjust to taste)

1 x 400g tin chopped plum tomatoes

2 x tubes tomato purée

1 x tube sundried tomato purée

100ml water

1 large glass red wine

3 bay leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method 

Place the oil into a large pan. Add the pork and brown lightly. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for around 5 minutes until fragrant.

Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, followed by the remaining ingredients. Stir well and allow to cook for at least 3 hours until the ragù has become rich and thick. I have been known to cook this for 8 hours on a low heat.

Serve with your choice of pasta. I used pappardelle in the photo, but you can use any gluten free pasta or spaghetti.

It is lovely topped with some finely grated Parmesan cheese. And it tastes even better the next day!

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer