Thursday, 27 March 2008

Chocolate moussingues aka what to do with gone-wrong-meringue-mixture

What do you do when your meringue goes wrong? You got distracted and whisked the egg whites as if you were making royal icing instead of meringue. Now you've put the sugar in and it's a nice shiny white sloppy consistency. Bother.

Well, providing you still have eggs left, fear not.

1. Put the bowl of gone-wrong-meringue aside and cover. Wash your beaters.
2. Start your meringue again with fresh egg-whites and sugar, reserving the yolks for later, and beat the egg-whites properly this time.
3. When you have time e.g. the following morning, pre-heat the oven to gas 3 and return to the gone-wrong mixture and the egg-yolks left over from the new meringue. Find that scrap of cooking chocolate lurking in the cupboard because there isn't enough of it for any recipe, or mix equal weights of cocoa powder and melted butter. I think I used about 2oz chocolate for 2 egg yolk/white. Melt it in the microwave.
4. Stir the egg-yolks into the chocolate a bit at a time and beat with a fork or electric whisk until smooth.
5. Transfer the chocolate mixture into the ex-meringue mixture and mix well with electric whisk. You will get small air bubbles but it will still be runny.
6. Decant into 4 or so ramekins, filling each one about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Stand in a baking tray and place in centre of oven. Cook for 25 mins or so until set. Serve immediately for best puffed-up souffle-style effect but they taste good cold too.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Heather's Teriyake Chicken

5 floz soy sauce
6 tbsp white sugar
5 floz Sidney Sussex Fino sherry or other cheap dry sherry

approz 6 chicken pieces (thighs are best)

Mix soy sauce, sherry and sugar in saucepan, heating until sugar is dissolved. Either thicken to use as a glaze, or use as a marinade, or just pour over chicken in a large casserole dish and place in oven 180C/Gas 4 for 45 mins until chicken is cooked.

Serve with rice and green veg.

Thicken left-over sauce as a glaze for another meal, or use to flavour other dishes.

Vegetarian Pastitsio

6oz lentils
1 large aubergine
3 tsbp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 onions
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
8 medium tomatoes or 2lb can of tomatoes
8oz tomato puree
2-4oz grated parmesan
1lb noodles

Custard sauce:
3 tbsp butter
1 1/4 pints milk
3 eggs
3 tbsp flour

1. Wash lentils and soak in 1 1/4 pints boiling water.
2. Put in pot with salt and olive oil, cook 30-45 mins until the water is almost gone.
3. Heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan, add onions, aubergine, garlic and seasoning. Cover and saute for 10 mins.
4. Add tomatoes and lentils. Cook until thick, add tomato puree and check seasoning.
5. Boil noodles until still stiff (10-12 mins).
6. Layer noodles, parmesan and sauce in large greased dish.
7. Make custard sauce using roux method. Whisk in heated milk. Beat eggs in bowl and beat sauce in slowly.
8. Pour over casserole and allow it to soak to the bottom. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 1h at 400F/200C/Gas 6.

Savoury cheese and onion pie

Shortcrust pastry made with:
8oz plain flour
6oz butter
lemon juice

10oz cheese, (1/2 gruyere)
2 tbsp flour
2 large onions
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp chopped basil
2 large firm tomatoes
2 large eggs
1/4 pint cream

Line flan dish with shortcrust pastry. Grate cheese and toss with flour. Slice onions and saute in butter gently (1/2 hour). Spread 1/2 of cheese on bottom of pie dish, then spread onions over. Slice tomatoes and heat in butter. Arrange on top of onions. Cover with remaining cheese. Beat eggs with cream and pour over cheese. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 35-40 mins Gas 6/200C.


8oz lasagne pasta

1lb mince
1 large or two small onions
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
mushrooms and/or carrots optional
tomato puree
2 tins chopped tomatoes
basil and oregano
salt and pepper
soy sauce/yeast extract/red wine optional

Make the above ingredients into bolognese sauce and simmer for at least 20 mins.

Meanwhile, make cheese sauce using the following:
2oz butter
2oz plain flour
1/2 - 1 pint milk
6oz cheese, grated (include some parmesan)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour to make a roux. Fry for 1 min. Gradually mix in milk and bring back to boil.

Make up lasagne in large flat dish, layering bolognese sauce and lasagne pasta. No need to pre-cook the pasta even if the packet claims you should. Add cheese and seasoning to the sauce and pour over the top layer of pasta. Sprinkle any remaining cheese on top. Bake at Gas 6/200C for 30-35 mins until browned and bubbling on top. Serve immediately.

Yoghurt liver

8oz pig's liver
2 rashers bacon
1 large tbsp plain (set) yoghurt
Flour or oatmeal

Cut pig's liver and bacon into small pieces. Roll in seasoned flour or oatmeal. Fry in hot fat 2-3 mins until done, then stir in yoghurt.

Old Testament Pudding

1 1/2-2lb cooking apples
1 tbsp seedless raisins
2-3 dried figs, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
3oz margarine
4oz sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
5oz rolled oats

Melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a pan. Add the oats and stir. Peel, core and slice the apples, place in a 2 pint pie dish with dried fruit and spice. Spread oaty mixture on top. Bake 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 35 mins.

Chocolate squidgey cake

6oz SR flour
6oz sugar
6oz margarine or butter
4 tsp cocoa
2 eggs
2 tbsp golden syrup

Melt syrup, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Add flour and cocoa and stir well, removing from heat. Add egg (ensure mixture has cooled a little) and mix well. Pour into 2 greased and lined 8" sandwich tins and cook for 20 mins at Gas 5.

When cooled, sandwich together with butter icing. Good with coffee-flavoured butter icing too.

Chocolate sauce for ice-cream

The recipe from the little scrap of green paper in the recipe folder.

Makes plenty for 4!

3 level dsp cocoa
1 rounded tsp cornflour
2 1/2 floz water
5 oz sugar

Put cocoa, cornflour and water in a saucepan. Bring carefuly to the boil, mixing well. Add sugar. Reboil when required, adding a knob of butter.

Super-fudge (choc) brownies (made with cocoa)

7oz butter
2oz cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup chopped nuts or mini-marshmallows (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Take a 9"x13" baking/roasting dish. Cut a piece of foil, mould to shape of dish, then place in dish and spray or grease foil.
2. Melt butter in saucepan or bowl. Stir in cocoa.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.
4. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder, then add vanilla essence, nuts etc.
5. Pour into tin, spreading evenly. Bake 25-30 mins until moist and fudgy. Test with cake tester or fork - it should come out with sticky crumbs attached.
6. Remove from pan when cool. Cut into squares. Decorate with melted white chocolate if desired.

NB These freeze well.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Kentish Lenten Pies

8 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 oz butter
6 oz lard

1 pint milk
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp ground rice
4 oz sugar
2 oz butter
pinch of mixed spice
1 egg
Oven 375ºF, 190C, Gas mark 5, Fan oven 170º.

  1. Reserve a small amount of the milk, and boil the rest with the bay leaf.
  2. Mix the remaining milk with the ground rice, and add this mixture to the boiling milk.
  3. Cook for three minutes.
  4. Add the sugar, butter and spice and leave to cool to lukewarm.
  5. When it is cool, add the beaten eggs. But meanwhile, make the pastry:
  6. Make pastry with the flour, baking powder, butter and lard, and enough cold water to make a firm dough.
  7. Line some large patty tins with the pastry.
  8. Pour the milk mixture into the pastry-lined tins.
  9. Sprinkle with currants.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Eat, hot or cold.

Roast Chicken

  1. Weigh the chicken, after removing any bag of giblets from the cavity.
  2. Calculate the cooking time on the basis of 20 minutes per lb plus 20 minutes. Allow extra time if it is to be stuffed.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 375º F, 190º C, Gas mark 5, or Fan oven 170º C
  4. Wash out the inside of the chicken under running water. Stuff it if desired, or rub it with garlic, and sprinkle it with thyme and lemon juice.
  5. Place in an enamel roasting pan, and cover with the lid. Roast in the oven for the specified time.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking drain off some or all of the liquid from the pan and separate the fat from the meat juices to make gravy ad lib.
  7. Serve with roast or boiled potatoes and some colourful vegetables, such as carrots, peas or swede.