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Monthly Archives: March 2014
  • Posted on March 28, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    This weekend, why not treat yourself to a lovely lazy  brunch after a busy week at work? We’ve got two recipes for you, both from the fantastic new book by Hannah Miles, Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast, so you can choose between a vibrant and exciting savoury waffle or some luxuriously sweet French toast!

    huevos rancheros

    Huevos Rancheros or ‘ranch eggs’ are a traditional Mexican breakfast of spicy tomatoes with eggs served on corn tortillas. This version uses corn waffles in place of the tortillas. Although the tomatoes are traditionally cooked, I prefer tomato and avocado salsa as the taste is much fresher. Wake up your senses with a kick of piquant paprika and the delicate fragrance of coriander.

     

    160 g/ 1 1/3 cups self-raising/rising flour, sifted

    100 g/1 cup fine yellow cornflour/cornstarch

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

    1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar

    3 eggs, separated

    375 ml/1 1/2 cups milk

    60 g/5 tablespoons butter, melted

    1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

    8 eggs

    70 g/scant 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

    sour cream, to serve

    sea salt and freshly ground black

    pepper, to taste

    for the salsa

    4 large tomatoes, halved

    2 ripe avocados

    freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes

    2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

    1/2 teaspoon hot paprika, plus extra for sprinkling

    an electric or stove-top waffle iron

    a large frying pan/skillet or griddle

    serves 4

     

    To make the waffle batter, put the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda, caster/granulated sugar, egg yolks, milk and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then gently fold into the batter a third at a time.

    Preheat the waffle iron and grease with a little butter.

    Ladle some of the batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Keep the waffles warm while you cook the remaining batter and are ready to serve.

    For the salsa, remove the seeds from the halved tomatoes using a teaspoon and discard. Cut the hollowed out tomatoes into small pieces using a sharp knife. Prepare the avocado by removing the stones and skins and cutting the flesh into small pieces. Immediately mix the avocado with the lime juice and tomatoes so that it does not discolour. Add the coriander/cilantro, sprinkle over the paprika and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the 4 eggs for 2–3 minutes until the whites of the eggs are cooked but the yolks are still soft and runny.

    Place the waffles on plates and top with a generous portion of the salsa. Place the fried eggs on top and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream and a pinch of paprika, and serve straight away.

     

     

    pear and chocolate french toast

    Poached pears are easy to prepare and often served as a classic dessert, Belle Helene, with chocolate sauce and ice cream. That delicious dessert is the inspiration for these naughty, but very yummy, French toasts – bursting with soft pear and gooey chocolate which melts as the toasts are cooked.

     

    4 large thick slices of crusty white bread

    4 eggs

    120 ml/1/2 cup double/heavy cream

    2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

    1–2 tablespoons butter, for frying

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, fordusting (optional)

    crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, to serve

    for the filling

    1 ripe pear, peeled, quartered and cored

    100 g/2/3 cup chocolate chips (milkor plain)

    a large frying pan/skillet or griddle

    serves 4

    Begin by preparing the filling. Place the pear quarters in a saucepan or pot of boiling water set over a medium heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the pears are soft. Drain the pears, discarding the liquid, and set aside to cool. Chop the pear into small pieces once cool and mix with the chocolate chips.

    Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the top of each brioche slice to create a large cavity. Take care not to cut all the way through as it is this cavity which will hold your filling. Spoon a quarter of the filling into each slice and press the opening down to close the pocket.

    Whisk together the eggs, cream and caster/granulated sugar in a mixing bowl, transfer to a shallow dish and set aside. Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet set over a medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Soak each filled slice in the egg mixture on one side for a few seconds, then turn over and soak the other side. The slices should be fully coated in egg, but not too soggy – it is best to soak one slice at a time. Put each slice straight into the pan before soaking the next slice.

    Cook for 2 minutes until the underside of the brioche is golden brown. Sprinkle the top, uncooked side with a little caster/granulated sugar. Add a little extra butter to the pan and turn over and cook for a few minutes further until golden brown. Keep the cooked toast warm while you cook the remaining slices in the same way, adding a little butter to the pan each time, if required.

    Serve immediately, dusted with icing/confectioners’ sugar, with crème fraîche on the side and any leftover pear, glazed under the grill/broiler and placed on top.

    Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast by Hannah Miles is available here.

    More savoury, healthy or sweet delights? Try these books :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/easy-smoothies-juices

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-scandi-kitchen

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-cookie-jar

     

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, News, US, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Hannah Miles, recipe for the weekend, pancakes, waffles, huevos rancheros, salsa, griddle

  • Posted on March 28, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend (Mother's Day Special!)

    With Mother’s Day (UK) on Sunday we wanted to share a brunch recipe for this weekend, so that you can cook up a special late morning surprise for your mum! If you don’t live in the UK then why not treat yourself to a lovely brunch after a busy week at work? We’ve got two recipes for you, both from the fantastic new book by Hannah Miles, Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast, so you can choose between a vibrant and exciting savoury waffle or some luxuriously sweet French toast! And Dads, if you have younger kids who want to help you cook mum’s breakfast, then try the sweet recipe – there’s a nice amount of mixing for the kids to do while you do the chopping and the hot stuff!

    It’s still not too late to hand make your mum a gift too, so why not try this printed cafetière cozy to surprise her with some fresh coffee and your griddle cooked brunch!

    huevos rancheros

    Huevos Rancheros or ‘ranch eggs’ are a traditional Mexican breakfast of spicy tomatoes with eggs served on corn tortillas. This version uses corn waffles in place of the tortillas. Although the tomatoes are traditionally cooked, I prefer tomato and avocado salsa as the taste is much fresher. Wake up your senses with a kick of piquant paprika and the delicate fragrance of coriander.

     

    160 g/ 1 1/3 cups self-raising/rising flour, sifted

    100 g/1 cup fine yellow cornflour/cornstarch

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

    1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar

    3 eggs, separated

    375 ml/1 1/2 cups milk

    60 g/5 tablespoons butter, melted

    1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

    8 eggs

    70 g/scant 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

    sour cream, to serve

    sea salt and freshly ground black

    pepper, to taste

    for the salsa

    4 large tomatoes, halved

    2 ripe avocados

    freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes

    2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

    1/2 teaspoon hot paprika, plus extra for sprinkling

    an electric or stove-top waffle iron

    a large frying pan/skillet or griddle

    serves 4

     

    To make the waffle batter, put the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda, caster/granulated sugar, egg yolks, milk and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then gently fold into the batter a third at a time.

    Preheat the waffle iron and grease with a little butter.

    Ladle some of the batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Keep the waffles warm while you cook the remaining batter and are ready to serve.

    For the salsa, remove the seeds from the halved tomatoes using a teaspoon and discard. Cut the hollowed out tomatoes into small pieces using a sharp knife. Prepare the avocado by removing the stones and skins and cutting the flesh into small pieces. Immediately mix the avocado with the lime juice and tomatoes so that it does not discolour. Add the coriander/cilantro, sprinkle over the paprika and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the 4 eggs for 2–3 minutes until the whites of the eggs are cooked but the yolks are still soft and runny.

    Place the waffles on plates and top with a generous portion of the salsa. Place the fried eggs on top and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream and a pinch of paprika, and serve straight away.

     

     

    pear and chocolate french toast

    Poached pears are easy to prepare and often served as a classic dessert, Belle Helene, with chocolate sauce and ice cream. That delicious dessert is the inspiration for these naughty, but very yummy, French toasts – bursting with soft pear and gooey chocolate which melts as the toasts are cooked.

     

    4 large thick slices of crusty white bread

    4 eggs

    120 ml/1/2 cup double/heavy cream

    2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

    1–2 tablespoons butter, for frying

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, fordusting (optional)

    crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, to serve

    for the filling

    1 ripe pear, peeled, quartered and cored

    100 g/2/3 cup chocolate chips (milkor plain)

    a large frying pan/skillet or griddle

    serves 4

    Begin by preparing the filling. Place the pear quarters in a saucepan or pot of boiling water set over a medium heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the pears are soft. Drain the pears, discarding the liquid, and set aside to cool. Chop the pear into small pieces once cool and mix with the chocolate chips.

    Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the top of each brioche slice to create a large cavity. Take care not to cut all the way through as it is this cavity which will hold your filling. Spoon a quarter of the filling into each slice and press the opening down to close the pocket.

    Whisk together the eggs, cream and caster/granulated sugar in a mixing bowl, transfer to a shallow dish and set aside. Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet set over a medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Soak each filled slice in the egg mixture on one side for a few seconds, then turn over and soak the other side. The slices should be fully coated in egg, but not too soggy – it is best to soak one slice at a time. Put each slice straight into the pan before soaking the next slice.

    Cook for 2 minutes until the underside of the brioche is golden brown. Sprinkle the top, uncooked side with a little caster/granulated sugar. Add a little extra butter to the pan and turn over and cook for a few minutes further until golden brown. Keep the cooked toast warm while you cook the remaining slices in the same way, adding a little butter to the pan each time, if required.

    Serve immediately, dusted with icing/confectioners’ sugar, with crème fraîche on the side and any leftover pear, glazed under the grill/broiler and placed on top.

    Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast by Hannah Miles is available here.

    Happy Mother’s Day everyone, have a lovely weekend and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, savoury, Mother's Day, breakfast, brunch, happy mother's day, Hannah Miles, chocolate, Dad, kids, recipe for the weekend, dessert, pancakes, sweet, waffles, pears, Mexican, huevos rancheros

  • Posted on March 25, 2014

    Hand Print your Mother's Day Gift!

    With Mother’s Day on Sunday we wanted to share a great craft project for you to hand make a gift! This is one for all of the coffee loving mums out there and you can personalize it to make it the perfect present by picking the colour of your felt to match the kitchen or your mum’s favourite colour. This will make a lovely gift if your mum already has a cafetière or a thoughtful addition if you have bought her a new one! And why not take it up to her with some fresh coffee for a breakfast in bed on Sunday for an extra surprise?

    The project is taken from the brilliant new book by Jenny McCabe, The Hand Printed Home, and we have chosen it because it is one of the simplest to make, it looks really effective and you will already have most of the things you need in your home to make it. Happy printing everyone!

    cafetière cozy

    This is a smart way to keep your coffee warm for hours. Thick industrial felt is available from felt specialists online and you can buy small sheets, which are perfect for a few craft projects like this one.

    Printing technique

    Household item print (see below)

    Materials

    1/4in (5mm) thick felt: 16 x 7in (40 x 18cm)

    Leather strip or ribbon: 1/4 x 20in (6mm x 50cm)

    Paper

    Scissors

    Craft knife

    Printing tools

    Wooden block: approx. 2 1/2 x 1in (6 x 2.5cm)

    Masking tape

    Thin string or garden twine

    Sponge

    Fabric paint

    HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

    Think of the way a coffee cup leaves a ring on your table. That’s a print! Cardboard toilet-roll tubes, cookie cutters, and kitchen utensils like vegetable mashers or whisks all make interesting prints, too. Or you can use a wallpaper roller or rolling pin as your starting point.

    HOW TO PRINT WITH HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

    For a print from a household item that already has a sharp edge or a textured surface, simply dip the appropriate part of the item in fabric paint or apply the paint with a sponge, then you are ready to print. Clean the paint thoroughly off the household item after use.

    Alternatively, you can cover a roller with shapes cut from foam sheets with a peel-off sticky backing or you can wrap the roller in string. Apply the paint with a sponge and whizz the roller across the surface to create a random striped print or a pattern that’s a mesh of lines. Once again, this technique uses a relief printing technique. Experiment, play—and see what you can come up with.

     

    1. Measure the height and circumference of the glass part of your cafetière and cut out a paper pattern that will wrap around the cafetière and overlap slightly. Cut out your felt so it is a little larger than the pattern. It’s hard to print neatly over the edge of a piece of fabric: it’s far simpler to print first, then cut to size afterward. Lay your felt on a flat surface ready for printing. My suggested measurements should fit most eight-cup cafetières.

    2. The design is applied using the household item print technique (above). To make your printing block, use masking tape to attach one end of a piece of thin string or garden twine to one wide face of your block. Wrap the string tightly around the block till it is covered with a web of string, then attach the other end of the string to the face of the block where you started. You now have a printing block.

    3. Use a sponge to coat the string lightly with fabric paint on the wide face of the block that is free of masking tape. Practice first on a scrap of fabric until you are confident you can achieve a clean, clear print.

    4. Make your first print in the center of the fabric on a diagonal and build up the herringbone pattern from there, turning the printing block through 90 degrees after each print.

    5. Once you’ve covered the whole of the felt, iron it on a low heat to set the paint.

    6. Now you can cut out the cozy shape using the paper pattern. To form the overlapping tab that will keep your cozy closed, use a craft knife or scissors to cut away two rectangles from one short side, leaving a tab in the middle that is approximately 1 1/2in (4cm) deep by 3in (8cm) high.

    7. Cut 2 vertical slits in the tab approximately 3/4in (2cm) apart. Cut two matching slits along the other short side, approximately 1/2in (4cm) from the edge.

    8. Thread your leather strip or ribbon from the wrong side of the felt through the slits on the side of the cozy without the tab. Wrap the cozy around the cafetière, thread the leather strip or ribbon through the slits in the tab and tie the cozy closed.


    We hope you have fun hand making your mum a gift and you have a lovely day on Sunday! And don't forget, today is your last chance to enter our Mother's Day Competition - you could win a copy of Pink Drinks to give your mum on Sunday! For full details of how to enter, see here, or just head over to @RylandPeters on Twitter. Good luck everyone!

    The Hand Printed Home by Jenny McCabe is available here.

    More craft idea books here.


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, fabric, Mother's Day, gift, happy mother's day, Jenny McCabe, prints, felt

  • Posted on March 21, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Hurray! we’ve entered into spring in the UK and hasn't it been a long time coming? As we’re all looking forward to some warmer weather we thought it would be a good week to share a recipe from the beautiful new cookbook, Flavours of the Middle East by Ghillie Basan, which celebrates the delicious food from countries that have a lot more sun than we do!

    This dish is a fresh and zingy fish stew and will make a great meal for a dinner party if you fancy cooking up something a bit different, though you may need to pay a visit to a Middle Eastern store for some of the ingredients first. An afternoon stroll around a store full of fantastic flavours and an evening spent cooking up this tasty stew – now that’s a Saturday we’d definitely enjoy!

    fish stew with tamarind, hilbeh and dried limes

    This deliciously sour and spicy stew is most commonly found in Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait as both the sweet and sour limes grow in this region. The sour limes, ‘limun baladi’, are dried whole to impart a musty, tangy flavour to dishes, particularly fish stews and soups. The other flavours of this dish, which can be prepared with fish steaks or large prawns/shrimp, echo the history of trade between the Arabs and the Indians – tamarind, turmeric, fenugreek and fresh coriander/cilantro. Hilbeh is a distinctive paste from the Arabian Gulf made with fenugreek seeds that have been soaked in water until they form a jelly-like coating and are then pounded with garlic, chilli/chile and fresh coriander/cilantro. Dried tamarind pulp, dried limes or powdered dried lime and hilbeh are available in Middle Eastern stores.

    120 g/4 oz. dried tamarind pulp, soaked in 350 ml/11⁄2 cups hot water for 20 minutes

    1–2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 kg/2 lbs. 4oz. fish steaks, such as sea bream, grouper or sea bass

    1 onion, halved and sliced

    3–4 garlic cloves, chopped

    40 g/11⁄2 oz. piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

    2 teaspoons ground turmeric

    2–3 dried limes, pierced twice with a skewer

    1–2 teaspoons hilbeh paste roughly 12 small new potatoes, peeled and left whole

    a 400-g/14.5-oz. can plum tomatoes, drained of juice

    2 teaspoons granulated or palm sugar

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    a bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped

    1 unwaxed lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

    Serves 4–6

     

    Squeeze the tamarind pulp in your hand to separate the pulp from the seeds and stalks then strain the pulp through a sieve/strainer. Reserve the strained liquid.

    Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and sear the fish steaks for 1–2 minutes on each side then transfer them to a plate. Stir the onion, garlic and ginger into the pan until they begin to colour. Add the turmeric, dried limes and hilbeh then toss in the potatoes and cook for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with the sugar, pour in the strained tamarind liquid and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste then slip in the seared fish steaks. Cover the pan again and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Toss half the coriander/cilantro in the stew and use the rest to garnish the dish. Serve hot with rice and lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.

    Flavours of the Middle East by Ghillie Basan is available here.

    We have a great range of tagine books you will also love :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/easy-tagine

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/tagines-and-couscous-uk

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/tagine-uk

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/mezze

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!

     


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with dinner party, rice, recipe for the weekend, flavour, Middle East, Flavours of the Middle East

  • Posted on March 20, 2014

    Spring has sprung!

    Today is officially the first day of spring, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief and give three cheers for our old friend Sunshine!

    Why not celebrate the arrival of spring with some seaside themed crafting?  Here is a suitably cheering project from Elyse Major's new book, Seaside Tinkered Treasures.

    Breezy Sails Mobile

    Add jaunty flair to any spot with a fleet of floating sailboats crafted from colorful paint chips. Use the white margins between shades as masts as you snip simple sails to string along lengths of striped baker’s twine. Suspend indoors and keep watch as your vessels swirl with each gentle breath of wind.

    MATERIALS

    Assorted paper paint chip

    cards from your local

    paint seller

    Baker’s twine

    Embroidery hoop

    Pretty paper (see page 16)

    TOOLS

    Scissors

    Small hole punch

    Glue stick

    Small foam brush

    Decoupage medium (optional)

    1  Take a selection of paint chips and decide which colors you want to use.  Using the white lines between the colors as a “mast,” snip two diagonal lines to a point to form a sail. Use this first sail as a template to cut more. Each sail should be double-sided so trim pairs of matching sails.

    2  Trim a hull shape from a solid portion of the paint chip card and use it as a template to cut more—again, making sure you have two matching pieces for each boat. As you snip your sailboats, determine by size just how many you will want to make for your mobile. Consider how long you want each dangling string to be, how many boats per string, and how close together around the hoop base.

    3  Once all of your sails and hulls are complete, use a small hole punch to make two holes in the top and bottom of each piece. Thread baker’s twine through the holes—depending on the size of the hole and weight of the string, the pieces should stay put; if not, secure with a dab of glue.

    4  Cover the inner ring of an embroidery hoop with thin strips of pretty paper, cutting and folding them to fit. Use glue stick to stick them to the ring and then use a small foam brush to brush over the paper with a light coat of decoupage medium, if desired.

    5  Cut three long lengths of baker’s twine and knot them together close to the top. Tie the other ends of the three pieces to the hoop, spacing them equally apart. Hang the hoop and adjust the strings as needed so that it suspends horizontally and levelly. Tie on the prepared strings of sailboats.

    Seaside Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major (photography by Claire Richardson) is published by CICO Books and is available here.

    For those who are brave enough for some al-fresco dining to welcome in the new season, we have the perfect Spring recipe!

    Roasted figs with Parma ham, Gorgonzola & honey

    The Italians have long been advocates of pairing fruit with cheese. I can still remember my mother earnestly telling me al contadino non far sapere quant’è buono il cacio con le pere (‘don’t tell the farmer how good pecorino is with pears’). Why she had it in for the poor farmer is anybody’s guess, but she was right, it’s an amazing combination. This recipe shows off another stunning pairing of fruit and cheese, the crispy Parma ham acting as a corset that holds the little bundle together. The secret is to find figs that have just become ripe. Too early and they taste of nothing, too late and they disintegrate in the oven. You can double the quantities (as pictured) for larger groups or you might just need more for hungry couples.

    4 black or green figs, (whichever you prefer)

    125 g Gorgonzola cheese

    4 thin slices Parma ham

    1 tablespoon runny honey

    Reduced Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below)

     a baking sheet, lined with baking parchment

     serves 2 as a starter

     Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

    Cut a cross into the top of the figs, cutting until you’re about half way down. Squeeze the base of the figs so that they open like flowers.

    Stuff some Gorgonzola into each fig, and wrap each fig with slice of Parma ham around the middle. You can use a toothpick to hold it in place if necessary.

    Arrange the figs on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they have plenty of space between them for the heat to circulate and allow the ham to crisp up (there’s nothing worse than soggy, steamed Parma ham).

    Drizzle honey liberally over the figs, making sure you get some in the cavity.

    Roast in the oven for 6–8 minutes, until the Parma ham is crispy and the cheese has melted.

    Serve two baked figs per person, spooning over a few drops of Reduced Balsamic Vinaigrette and any leftover cooking juices.

    Friends Around the Table by Acland Geddes (photography by Kate Whitaker) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available here.

    Happy days!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, News, UK, What's new

  • Posted on March 19, 2014

    Choux Experiments!

    Last week we had a lovely lunchtime gathering with homemade choux treats from the stunning new book by Hannah Miles, Choux.

    A few of us had spent Sunday afternoon with our aprons on and the book open in front of us, trying (and on some attempts failing!) to create the beautiful little treats in Hannah’s recipes. We discovered that choux pastry might be a practice makes perfect type of thing, or if you’re lucky, it might simply work perfectly first time around, but when it does work it's one of the most satisfying baking experiments you will ever try!

    Just watching the little dollops of pastry mixture rise into hollow balls through the oven window was exciting enough, but the real treat was squeezing the light, fluffy cream in through a little hole in the bottom and feeling the choux puff out like a full belly after a big dinner! And of course, eating them wasn’t so bad either!

    We had three different types of treats; Triple Chocolate Choux Buns, Peaches & Cream Choux Rings with Amaretti Crumble Topping, and Lemon Meringue Choux Buns (images from the book shown above). All of them tasted absolutely delicious and though they might not have looked exactly like the gorgeous creations of Hannah Miles, they weren’t far off and nobody complained once they had taken a bite!

    The book has a basic choux recipe which shows you step-by-step how to make the pastry, then the rest of the recipes in the book are variations on the basic choux with different flavours, fillings and toppings.The double chocolate buns were really rather simple; with the addition of some cocoa powder to the choux and a chocolate glaze coating, you had this tasty result!

    The peaches & cream rings were completely delicious, and with a couple more steps to the method (and a dash of the good stuff) you had these Amaretti topped treats that we could not stop eating!

    For the lemon meringue buns, Hannah shows you how to make your own lemon filling, meringues and lemon icing. The result is something truly scrumptious with a light lemony flavour to match the light, fluffy choux!

    As you can see, we had a great time making this lovely sweet feast for everyone in the office. If you fancy having a go then there is a profiterole recipe from the book that you can try here, or the book, Choux by Hannah Miles, is available here. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!

    Other delights for the sweet tooth :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/hot-chocolate

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/naked-cakes

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/sweetie-pie

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/pop-bakery


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with pastry, handmade, baking, Hannah Miles, treat, office lunch, bake

  • Posted on March 17, 2014

    St Patrick's Day Drinks

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! Today we’re sharing a couple of after-dinner drinks for those of you who are choosing a night in tonight rather than a trip to the pub, so that you can enjoy the Irish celebrations in your own home! Both recipes are taken from the handy book, Brown Booze, which will have you whipping up the most delicious drinks from just a few brown spirits hanging around in your cupboard!

    Honeyed Irish

    Irish whiskey is generally triple-distilled and unpeated, so the flavors are much softer than in other whiskeys. This old-fashioned variant tries to keep this delicacy, gently sweetening with honey. You can use any honey but I find for this and most other drinks a light, flowery style works best.

    5 parts Irish whiskey

    1 part honey syrup (see note)

    2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters

    Garnish: large lemon twist

    Honey syrup is much easier to mix in a cocktail than pure honey, which tends to stick to the glass. Stir all the ingredients over ice and strain over fresh ice into a whiskey glass. Garnish with a well-squeezed lemon twist.

    Honey: One of the sweetest natural products on earth, so sweet, in fact, that it is immune to microbial  infection and will last indefinitely in the store cupboard. The flavor of honey depends on which flowers the bees visit. Almost all styles will work in cocktails but for versatility I would choose a medium-bodied wild-flower honey. Because it is so sticky, it can be difficult to use neat in cocktails, so a good tip is to make a honey syrup. Simply mix two parts honey with one part hot water and stir until fully combined. Any unused syrup can be stored in the fridge for next time.

     

    Irish Coffee

    This drink was created at Shannon airport, which used to be a fueling stopover for transatlantic flights. It relies on the counterpoint between hot, sweet, boozy coffee and cold, unsweetened cream. Whipping the cream by hand gives you better control of the texture. Americano coffee (espresso and hot water) will make a more satisfying blend than cafetière coffee, as it is hotter. Anyone using squirty cream from a can should be shot on sight.

    4 parts whipping cream

    2 tsp sugar

    4 parts Irish whiskey

    9 parts strong coffee

    Garnish: none

    Lightly whip the cream until the bubbles on the surface no longer hold. Mix the sugar, whiskey, and coffee  together in a heatproof glass or wine goblet. Using a bar spoon, float the cream on the top.

    Brown Booze by Michael Butt is available here.

    Other drink books from us on our current list of publications include :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-pocket-homebrew-handbook

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-best-beer-in-the-world

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/white-spirits

    Have a great evening everyone!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US and was tagged with 2013, drinks, brown booze, celebrations, St Patrick's Day

  • Posted on March 13, 2014

    Mid-Week Chat with Charlotte White!

    This week we are thrilled to be joined by Charlotte White, author of Burlesque Baking and ultra glamorous lady!

    Charlotte talks us through her love of burlesque, as well as her passion for the finer things in life and explains how she would be represented in cake form.

    Click here to watch an exclusive interview with Charlotte!

    Want to try to recreate Charlotte's favourite cake at home?  The recipe is below, so now you can get baking too!

    Miss Dita Von Teese Cake

    Designed for a powder puff pin-up, this cake is an intricate advocate of glamour at all times and in all things.

    1 kg white sugarpaste

    turquoise food colouring paste

    a 20-cm Cake in any flavour you wish (see Classic Victoria Sponge; Chocolate Mud Cake; Salted Caramel Cake below)

    1 quantity Buttercream (see below)

    cornflour, for dusting

    500 g royal icing sugar

    teal, creamy peach and hot pink food colouring pastes

    silver dragées

    Equipment:

    pink sequinned ribbon

    a cocktail stick

    3 parchment piping bags fitted with fine round nozzles

    a paintbrush

    Serves up to 20

    1 Begin by dyeing your sugarpaste a light blue shade with the turquoise food colouring paste. Cover your cake in buttercream and then the sugarpaste, using the same technique as we used in The Art of Covering Up (see below), finishing with a pink sequinned ribbon.

    2 Use a cocktail stick to score some swirling lines all over your cake. Think about having swirls coming out of other swirls and interconnecting all around the sides and over the top of your cake.

    3 Prepare your royal icing according to the packet instructions and divide it between 3 bowls. With the food colouring pastes, tint the first bowl teal, the second bowl peach and the final bowl hot pink. Fill each of the piping bags one-quarter full with one of the coloured icings.

    4 Choose a swirl line and pipe a line of dots in the teal-coloured royal icing. Dampen down any points on the pearls with a paintbrush and continue piping dots until your swirl comes to a natural end.

    5 Select a second swirl line and pipe a line of dots with your peach-coloured royal icing, again dampening down any points.

    6 Select a third swirl line and pipe a line of dots with your hot pink-coloured royal icing, again dampening down any points.

    7 Continue piping dots along the lines, changing betwen the three icing colours, until the cake is covered, so that you are left with swirls that are connected but in different colours (I am not going to lie, this design takes some time to complete. You may find that you are piping this cake for a couple of hours, but the finished article is very much worth your hard work.) Fill any conspicuous gaps in your decoration with silver dragées and leave the icing to dry.

    Enjoy!

    This recipe is taken from Burlesque Baking by Charlotte White (photography by Clare Winfield) and is published by Ryland Peters & Small.  Charlotte's book is available to purchase here.

    If you want other cake baking books, go here.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Interviews, Interviews, News, News, UK, US, Videos, Videos, What's new, What's new

  • Posted on March 10, 2014

    St Patrick's Day Cupcakes

    A guest post from Craft it Up, authors of Craft it Up Around the World.

    Here in the Craft It Up studio we need very little encouragement when it comes to cupcakes and baking with the kids! 

    This is such a great baking project where you can sneak in some colour mixing, weights and measurements and safety drills. At least that's what we're telling ourselves. Really, we just love cupcakes! And who wouldn't when each mouthful is a rainbow of cake?

    Happy St Patrick's Day!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, cupcakes, Libby Abadee, kids, craft it up, guest post, St Patrick's Day, project

  • Posted on March 10, 2014

    St Patrick's Day Competition!

    With St Patrick's Day a week today, we're all planning our celebrations and stocking up on Guinness, but nobody wants to be the one sprawled on the floor or wrapped around a toilet at the end of the night - or worse, at the beginning! So we've got three copies of How to Drink and Not Look Like an Idiot by drinks expert, Emily Miles, to giveaway!

    Would you like to win the book that will stop you looking like a drink idiot? Whether you need a helping hand to understand the different wines, beers, spirits and drinks you should know about, or a few words of witty wisdom about an all day drinking event, simply follow us on Twitter @DognBoneBooks and re-tweet any #stpatricksgiveaway tweet to enter! Three lucky winners will be announced on Thursday 13th March, so that we can post out the prizes in time for some pre-drinking advice for St Patrick's Day on Monday or for any weekend celebrations!

    Good luck everyone!


    This post was posted in Competitions, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with drinks, prize, Emily Miles, St Patrick's Day

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