Loved-up syllabubs!

Yay! Shiny chocolate hearts – nailed! Oh Mr Paul Hollywood I am in love with your method for tempering chocolate. So simple, so clear.

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Tempering chocolate

‘Break 150g/5½oz of the plain chocolate into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate reaches a melting temperature of 47C/115F (use a kitchen thermometer to check). Remove the bowl from the heat, add the remaining 50g/1¾oz of chocolate and stir until the chocolate has cooled to 31C/90F.’ From the Great British Bake Off, ‘Chocolate Creation Showstopper’ cake.

For Loved-up syllabubs:

Coat silicone heart moulds with tempered chocolate. Chill until set. Remove and fill with strawberry flavoured syllabub. Use a turkey baster to inject a little fruit coulis into the centre of each, cover with a little more strawberry syllabub. Invert and serve with a small glass of lemon syllabub and fresh strawberries. Decorate with fresh mint sprigs.

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#39 FOOD NEWS: Cup di plastica yogurt cake

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Italian houses love a bit of plastic tableware. During our recent visit-ette to Italy, my mother and sister in-law showed me the best use for it yet.

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This cake is pure genius. Simple measuring, no creaming and perfect results.

3 eggs
2 plastic cups sugar
3 plastic cups plain flour, sifted
1 plastic cup ‘seed’ oil such as sunflower, corn or maise
1 sachet Paneangeli lievito pane degli angeli (see GIVEAWAY!)
1 banana yogurt (or flavour of your choice)
Icing sugar, for dusting
Nutella/ strawberry jam, optional (see Britalian Tip)

1 Preheat the oven to 180’C, 160’C fan, gas 4. Grease and line a 23 cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

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2 Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk until well combined.

3 Add the flour and sachet of Leiveto. Whisk at a low speed until combined. Add the oil, whisk at a low speed until combined.

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4 Stir through the yogurt. Spoon into the lined cake tin.

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Bake for 20-25 mins, until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

5 Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

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Britalian Tip

Serve Romeo style, ‘as you wish’ with a jar of Nutella and a jar of strawberry jam. Guests can cut a slice and have it plain or decide how they fill it. My 9 year old nephew with an air of Italian sophistication went ‘solo torta’. I rammed mine with Nutella (it did go rather well with the banana).

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GIVEAWAY! (Offer ended) 

‘The yeast of bread angels’ I have 10 sachets to giveaway! I’ll pop a sachet in the post to the first 10 readers to email me, angela.romeo@britaliankitchen.com with the subject ‘I’m a bread Angel!’ Include address in body of email (available to UK addresses only I’m afraid).

#37 FOOD NEWS: Test shoot teaser

Lemoncello meringue cake

Test shoots are a great way to get experimenting! Baked alaska, come lemon meringue pie, come a cheeky dash of Italian Liqueur. This was one of those ideas that sounded great on paper but would it actually work?! The answer is thankfully, yes! The best bit is, you can prepare the sponge and lemon lemon layer way ahead. I can’t wait to see it when proper food photographer, Adrian Lawrence gets his hands on it!

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Serves: 8-10
Prep: 30 mins, plus chilling and cooling
Cook: 25 mins

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4 lemons, juice and zest
290g unsalted butter, cubed
465g caster sugar
6 large eggs, plus 3 large egg whites
6 gelatine leaves
45ml shot limoncello (optional)
1tsp vanilla extract
115g self-raising flour
3/4 tsp baking powder

1 Grease a 1L Pyrex bowl with oil, then line with cling film, so the edges hang over the sides. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small microwavable  bowl and add the lemon zest.

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Add 175g of the butter and 175g of the caster sugar. Mix well.

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2 Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins.

3 Meanwhile, heat the lemon mixture in the microwave on full power for 3 mins, stirring every 30 seconds, until the butter and sugar has melted.

4 Gradually add 4 beaten eggs, whisking continuously. Microwave on full power for a further 1 1/2 mins. Whisk well. Allow to cool for 1 minute, then return to the microwave and heat on full power for a further minute. Whisk well. Remove 3tbsp of the mixture, cover, and set aside.

5 Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine leaves and place in a measuring jug. Pour over 200ml of just boiled water. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Top up with 150ml cold water. Gradually pour into the lemon mix, whilst continuously stirring. Stir in the limoncello, if using. Pour into the lined Pyrex bowl. Chill for at least 4 hours, until set.

6 For the sponge base, preheat the oven to 170’C, 150’C fan, gas 3. Grease and line an 18cm loose-bottomed sandwich tin. Beat the remaining butter with 115g of the caster sugar. Add 2 eggs one at a time beating well in between each addition. Fold through the flour and baking powder. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 mins.

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Cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 mins. Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on the wire rack. Level the surface with a serrated knife.

7 For the meringue, using an electric hand whisk, whip the egg whites until medium peaks form. Gradually trickle in the remaining sugar whilst continuing to whisk until stiff glossy peaks form.

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8 To assemble, preheat the oven to 230’C, 210’C fan, gas 8. Spread the top of the cake with the 3 tbsp of the reserved lemon curd mixture. Then invert the bowl of set lemon jelly on top of the cake.

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Transfer to a flat baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Spoon over the meringue in swirling motions ensuring the jelly and sponge is completely enclosed. Bake for 4-6 mins until golden (for maximum control use a cooks blow-torch). Remove from the oven and chill for 20  mins to firm up before serving.

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33 FOOD NEWS: Theo Randall’s Croccante with mascarpone cream

So it’s December the 1st  – Christmas has officially started, the twinkly lights are appearing, festive food markets are popping up quicker than you can say, ‘two mulled wines and a mince pie’. And best of all, TV cookery has also been given its annual Christmassy seasoning (and by the taste of this dessert – I am most definitely not complaining!).

Delve into Theo Randall’s delicious alternative to Christmas pud from 12 Chefs of Christmas:

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200g whole blanched (skinned) almonds (See Britalian Tip)
200g caster sugar
200g mascarpone
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
50g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp Marsala or to taste
150ml double cream
3 punnets fresh raspberries

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1 For the Almond Croccante, preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan. Spread the almonds on a small baking tray and roast for 5 mins until they are a light golden colour. Leave to one side. Put the sugar in a saucepan and add 1 tbsp water.

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2 Cook, without stirring, on a medium heat until the sugar melts and turns a light golden colour. Add the almonds and carry on cooking for 1 min. Pour on to an oiled baking sheet and leave to cool and set. Roughly break up the croquante and put into a plastic bag. Bash with a rolling pin to break up. 

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3 To make the cream, beat the mascarpone with the vanilla seeds and icing sugar and then beat in the Marsala. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

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4 Spoon the crema di mascarpone on to a serving dish. Scatter over the raspberries and sprinkle with almond croccante. 

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12 Chefs of Christmas is sure to get you in the festive spirit! Everyday at 11am this December, Food Network UK (Freeview 41, Sky 248, Freesat 149/151, Virgin 287). For more Christmas recipes go to http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/

Britalian Tip 

If you haven’t got enough whole blanched almonds (as I didn’t!). After baking them, stir through the toasted nuts of your choice to make up to 200g – I used toasted flaked almonds but you could simply use your favourite type of nut.

#11 FOOD NEWS: World cake-in-a Cup; Italy vs England re-match, frozen yogurt & hello Moscow mule!

KEEPING AN EYE ON ALL THINGS BRITALIAN…
 Every monday

World cake-in-a Cup

Inspired by these fun flag mugs, it only one meant thing…an Italy vs England World cake-in-a Cup re-match! Using Sainsbury’s cake-in-a-cup recipe as the base, will my country-inspired additions make it a new winning recipe or as disappointing as an own goal?

Ingredients

To kick off, I start with a risky decision and take out solid performer; Vanilla Extract and for England add 2tsp Pimms and 2 Chopped Strawberries.  For Italy, I add 2tsp Limoncello – possibly a disastrous choice or it could be a touch of magic for the mix. Just before the second half (before putting in the microwave), I top off team Italia with 1 fine Lemon Slice.

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When the England team think they’re finished we’ll top them off with a fresh strawberry. Both teams will get a good shower of icing sugar before the next round.

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England: Not a great looker – a bit lumpy and bumpy, but Chopped Strawberries added a whole new dimension to the game.

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Italy: Rose to the occasion perfectly, an extremely slick performance, however Limoncello could have been slightly stronger up front.

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Final score….

1 – 1 

Personlised mugs from £8  http://www.moonpig.com, for Sainsbury’s original Cake in-a-cup recipe click here

Top theme

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The Wild West in Kent; The Garden of England. It may not be a combo that instantly springs to mind but as an advocate of having the best of both worlds it was the perfect location for one awesome party!  Two (very strong) Moscow mules, led me to constantly daydream (whilst attempting to dance like a cow-girl) about farming on the surrounding hop fields and orchards, then as dusk fell I put full attention into toasting marshmallows, eating popcorn and gorging on local and speciality cheese. Bliss.

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For a wonderful family run campsite in this beautiful tranquil spot (with lovely quirky touches such as a communal tipi and camp fire starter packs!) visit www.bedgeburycamping.co.uk

Frozen assets

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On honeymoon in Puglia I had the best gelato I’ve ever tasted; full-on creamy-dreamy satisfaction! The honeymoon/ holiday feeling probably added to the whole experience but I must say I did get a sweet little holiday feeling at Yog this week, a little stroll along Exmouth Market, nipping into the ice-cream parlour-style shop was a real treat. Going with the ‘healthier alternative to ice-cream’ idea my coconut, cherry and tropical fruit combo was delicious, but I think my friend Jen got it right loading her pomegranate frozen yogurt with Oreo cookies! Get experimenting and that holiday feeling at Yog http://www.yogyogurt.co.uk/

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Yog selfie – had to be done 

Top 2 Britalian frozen treats:

Britalian iced canapes

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Instant summer fruits ice-cream 

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