Sep 112011
 

Cinnamon Orange Brioche SliceThe smell of this bread when making, baking and eating is heady. It’s redolent of warm summer evenings in Morocco with spicy orange & sweet cinnamon. You’ll be hard pushed to leave it once it’s out of the oven for the crumb to mature. I think it must be mildly addictive.

I came by the recipe by a lucky accident. I ‘met’ Carla Tomasi on twitter and we started talking food & bread. Lucky for me because Carla is a former chef, restauranter and all round generous good egg. Even luckier for me because Carla is based over 2000km from me in Rome and we would never have had the chance to swap recipes if not for Twitter.

Carla’s brioche recipe is legendary amongst her friends and rightly so. She tells me that it originally came to her from a Swede living in Spain. So it’s truly an international recipe and Carla is keen for it to be more widely baked. So she kindly agreed to me posting it here.

The bread is lovely just sliced and by itself, butter is an additional bonus and it’s wonderful lightly toasted. Most brioche doughs have huge amounts of butter in them, this recipe has only a small amount for less fat worries.

Would you like to smell and taste this beautiful brioche? Read on…

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Aug 142011
 

Muesli BarWhen my son was a third of the size he is now, I wanted to be able to feed him a healthy snack bar. Most of the commercially available ones were stuffed full of sugar and/or additives. So I decided to invent my own.

My son is 16 now and much bigger and the recipe has gone through a few improvements. It’s naturally sweet, warmly spicy, and it’s got crunch & give.

It is filling. Ideal for a quick morning get-away, an afternoon snack or evening treat, it’s packed full of healthy ingredients. And you can add chocolate too…

The ingredients are infinitely variable depending on what you prefer, or have in the storecupboard. And even better, it’s a very quick and simple recipe to put together. And the cup of tea is included…

Fancy a go? Read on… Continue reading »

Apr 222011
 
Chocolate heart muffins baked

This recipe was inspired by my Twitter friend and genius chocolate baking blogger Choclette. Each month Choclette and baking friend Chele host We Should Cocoa – a chocolate challenge. The Challenge is to make something with chococlate and a special ingredient. For April 2011 the special ingredient was marzipan. I wanted to make a muffin that was like the traditional Easter Simnel Cake with marzipan in the middle. I also wanted to make the experience more delicious by using some favourite spices that were warm and cosy to enhance the chocolate. Finally, I needed a good name for the creation. My smallest biscuit cutter is heart shaped and these would fit nicely into the muffin cases. But you couldn’t be able to see the hearts because they’d be inside the muffin. ‘Hidden Hearts’ were born. I think they’d be good at Valentines with another heart on top. And I guess they’d be good with a little Amaretto in the mixture too.

Marzipan heartsIf you’d like to know how to make them, read on… Continue reading »
Apr 012011
 

When I posted this picture on Twitter, I really wasn’t ready for the reaction.
Rhubarb polenta cakeIt seemed that the idea and view of such a creation was quite attractive to many people. This made me laugh:

…god that cake looks good. I just licked the laptop screen…

I also had a fair few requests to post the recipe online.

I would love to read the whole thing on your blog, hint hint….

And after I posted this article things got better still.

This from international Chef & author Gregoire Michaud at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong:

…you should definitely try Carl’s rhubarb and ginger cake – if not THE one, it has to be one of the best recipe of what you can do with rhubarb: awesome!

And this from Sue Daws whose husband ‘doesn’t like’ rhubarb:

Cake was a big hit! OH ate rhubarb and loved it!

Lastly, one (of many more) from Jono Stevens:

OH reckons its ‘one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted’, so you earnt me some brownie points too. 🙂

So here we go, read on for the recipe… Continue reading »

Warm and spicy pot roast lamb with baby turnips

 Lamb  Comments Off on Warm and spicy pot roast lamb with baby turnips
Jan 052010
 

Pot roast lambThe backstory

I planted some turnips in August closely spaced to give us some young turnip tops for salads. They were yummy with a bitter, mustardy taste – as you’d expect from a brassica. As they got older I used the tops as a green veg with olive oil and garlic and stirred through pasta sauces. Now the tops are a bit too bitter and so I’m successively thinning them out to use the gently swelling bulbs. Having fixed on the turnips (navets if you’re feeling Francais about it) I needed the rest of the meal…

Lamb and turnips are a perfect partnership. The sweetness of the lamb compliments the slighty bitter touch of the turnips. And lamb and rosemary are made in foodie heaven. Fortunately, I’d picked a half leg of Welsh Anglesey Lamb (nice and local) from the supermarket close to sell by date. A 12GBP hunk reduced to 3GBP – bargain. So I had the skeleton of the meal. I picked the ingredients outisde so what happened next? Read on…

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