Friday, 21 June 2013

Lemon Berry Cake

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It's nearly the end of June, which in my annual calendar means saying farewell to my final year students and wishing them good luck for life after University. We had a little get together with drinks on Wednesday and I baked a cake.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013, BA (Hons) Photography, Manchester School of Art!

Some of them are having an exhibition in London in July, following on from their degree show. Have a look at their website and pop in if you're in the area.

Oh and the cake was good and well worth making! The recipe can be easily halved and made in a loaf tin or 20cm ring pan. That's what the original recipe was, but I doubled it to use my Gugelhupf pan.

Lemon Berry Cake (makes 1 cake)

250g butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar (I used light brown as I was out)
4 eggs
rind of 2 lemons
3 cups self-raising flour 
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
150gr blueberries/raspberries
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4/350 F. Grease a gugelhupf pan really well and dust with flour.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric beater until pale and creamy.

Beat in the eggs and  grated lemon rind. 

using a wooden spoon fold in the self-raising flour,  milk and lemon juice until well combined.

Spoon half the mixture into the pan. 

Scatter over the berries. 

Spoon over the remaining cake batter.

Bake for 50 minutes, check after 40 minutes and cover with baking parchment or tin foil if the top of the cake is getting too dark.

Insert a wooden skewer to check if the cake is cooked through. The skewer will come out clean if it is ready. If there is still batter clinging to the skewer, return the cake to the oven for 5 more minutes and test again.

Set aside for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. 

Serve dusted with icing sugar.


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Yotam Ottolenghi's Stuffed Aubergine with Lamb & Pine Nuts

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I know, I has been ages! So many things have happened in the last six months. Some good, some less so, some very happy times and also some sad stuff. All of it together meant that I didn't really feel like blogging about what was cooking in my kitchen.

But here's to hopefully finding my (blogging) mojo again. Thanks for still reading!

This is a recipe that I made a while agao. Easter Sunday to be more precise. I was spending Easter on my own this year and I didn't want to miss out on having lamb for Easter, but it seemed silly to do a whole roast for myself, so instead I just scaled down this wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook.

It was delicious and the only issue I had was there wasn't quite enough sauce for basting when adjusted for one serving rather than four. My conclusion is that I'll just make it for four people next time, because than there won't be any sauce issues and it's so good that it should be shared anyways!

(Sorry about the crappy picture, I couldn't wait to dig in!)

Yotam Ottolenghi's Stuffed Aubergine with Lamb & Pine Nuts (serves 4)

4 medium aubergines (about 1.2kg), halved lengthways
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
One and a half tablespoons sweet paprika
One and a half tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 medium onions (340g in total), finely chopped
500g minced lamb
50g pine nuts
20g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons tomato purée
3 teaspoons caster sugar
150ml water
One and a half tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
4 cinnamon sticks
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7. Place the aubergine halves, skin-side down, in a roasting tin large enough to accommodate them snugly. Brush the flesh with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While the aubergines are cooking, you can start making the stuffing by heating the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix the cumin, paprika and ground cinnamon and add half of this spice mix to the pan, along with the onion. Cook on a medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often, before adding the lamb, pine nuts, parsley, tomato purée, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Continue to cook and stir for another 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked. Place the remaining spice mix in a bowl and add the water, lemon juice, tamarind, remaining sugar, cinnamon sticks and half a teaspoon of salt; mix well.

Reduce the oven temperature to 195C/175C fan/gas mark 5 and a half. Pour the spice mix into the bottom of the aubergine roasting tin. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of each aubergine. Cover the tin tightly with foil, return to the oven and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes, by which point the aubergines should be completely soft and the sauce thick; twice through the cooking, remove the foil and baste the aubergines with the sauce, adding some water if the sauce dries out. Serve warm, not hot, or at room temperature.

Enjoy! (recipe taken from The Independent Online)