It is Mothers Day in the US on Sunday. While I am not one for Hallmark holidays, I do think its nice to remember every now and then how much our mothers do for us and show them that it doesn’t go un-noticed. As one might expect, celebrations in our house growing up always involved food! I remember mums birthday or mothers days toasted with brunches and bubbles! I may be on the opposite side of the world (and mothers day in Ireland was in March!) but I am still thinking about my mum and how much I would like to celebrate with her. Continue reading
Meyer lemon is not something I have ever tried before. Sweeter than a lemon with an almost tangerine flavor to them, they are an unusual taste that seems to work best for dessert dishes. They are coming to the end of their season and last week, I was lucky enough to acquire a big bag for $2. I snapped them up of course, but was left pondering as to what to make. Continue reading
Rhubarb seems to be a controversial fruit! I have met so many people who grew up on mushy, stewed, stringing rhubarb and now cannot stand the sight of it. Then there are those who count down the days until rhubarb season so they can use the pretty pink perfection in desserts, with salads and anything they can imagine. Continue reading
I love making desserts but I tend not to make them very often. I suppose that is how it should be, desserts are a treat. That doesn’t stop me dreaming about them however! I am one of those people who would rather a small taste of something decadent rather than an overflowing plate of sugar (which is often what arrives here in the US!) I first tasted this stunning dessert on our last night at Ballymaloe. Devised by the wonderful Rory O’Connell, who is all about refined simplicity, this dessert reflects that perfectly. The chocolate must be dark, as does the caramel, in order to ensure the flavors pop in a small portion. Since that evening, I have been dying to give it a try and finally I got around to it. Continue reading
Halloween is HUGE in the US! I mean, stores overflowing with decorations, costumes and sweets (sorry candy!) Since the leaves even had a tinge of orange, every house in the neighborhood has been decorated with wreaths and pumpkins. People really get stuck into holidays and festivals here and I am really enjoying the fun! Continue reading
Choux pastry is one of those things that strikes fear into most people! It can be tricky, I’ll admit but once you get the hang of it, its straightforward enough. This choux recipe works as well for eclairs but today you are getting profiteroles with a yummy chocolate and coffee sauce. These are slightly lightened up by reducing the amount of butter you use. Still not exactly healthy eating but you can’t be good all the time. Continue reading
This may be my favourite type of biscuit. When I was at school, there was a shop nearby that sold epic sized gooey caramel shortbread. They were devine!!! They are also probably the thing I feel most guilty about eating!! I decided to take a stab at this cake and bring the result into work so that I wouldn’t be tempted :). Its certainly not anything healthy but hey, we all deserve a treat every now and then!
- 225g Plain flour
- 375g unsalted butter
- 75g sugar
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
- 300g plain chocolate
- Line a tin with greaseproof paper. I used a silicone pie dish and this worked a treat. Preheat oven to 180.
- Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in 175 g. of butter, clumping the dough together to make a ball. I did this in a food processor.
- Press this mixture into the tin and flatten down. Prick it all over with a fork.
- Place this mixture into an oven preheated to 150 degrees and cook for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool.
- Melt the butter, stir in condensed milk and golden syrup. Bring to the boil and boil until it has turned a golden fudgy brown!
- Pour toffee mixture onto shortbread and allow to set.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Once the toffee is set, pour over chocolate. I refridgerated it overnight and served with tea!
Ok I have to admit, I may have a slight addiction to homewares! My favorite place in the world at the moment is the kitchen-wares section of TK Maxx. Its a veritable treasure trove of goodies! I took a wander in there yesterday to search for a little hand blender/ chopper/ whisk as my one has died a sad little death (who knew how much longer hand whisking would take!). No such luck in finding a new one but my oh my did they have exciting things. I had to settle myself as I could have gotten a little carried away! I decided I would allow myself one purchase! But was it a good one!
I love Le Crueset products. Growing up, our fab cast iron casserole was never off the hob at home, filled with stews, currys and soups on a regular basis! They truly are lifetime investments. I am currently lusting after the casserole below!
So when I stumbled upon a old fashioned deep Le Crueset Pie dish in TK Maxx, I could not turn away!
Key lime Pie is one of my regular desserts. Its quick, tasty and quite impressive. I love it in the summertime as it has that lovely freshness about it. I needed a dessert for a party I was headed to on saturday and so my new pie dish came to the rescue! Here it is!
Key Lime Pie
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 397g tins of condensed milk
- freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 5 limes
- 450ml whipped cream
- 500g digestive biscuits
- 200g unsalted butter, melted
- Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Put the crumbs in a large mixing bowl, and pour the melted butter in, and stir.
- Press the mixture into the base and neatly up the side of the prepared pie dish, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until deep golden and firm. Set aside to cool completely.
- Turn the oven down to 150 degrees.
- Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lime juice in a mixing bowl, and mix with a whisk until everything’s smooth. It will start to thicken as you mix it!
- Pour into the cold pie crust and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Take it out when it’s firm to the touch, and not at all wobbly. Leave to cool completely, and put in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Top with Whipped cream and enjoy! Yummy!
My favourite dessert in the world comes from a little gourmet store near where my parents live. It’s this cute little cottage, ages from the city and the food is to die for. Scrummy salads, fantastic brown bread and high quality “ready-meals”, though I would struggle to compare them with any supermarket ready meals, they are home cooked quality.
For me, their strong point is there beautiful desserts. From ice-creams and sorbet to divine tarts, they really have got it right! I have two favourites, both along the same lines. The first is their creamy and rich white chocolate and raspberry ice-cream. This provides the perfect accompaniment to the divine white chocolate and raspberry tart. This is a dish I have lusted over many a time and missed sorely since I moved to London.
In my cooking adventures, this is one I always hoped to recreate, but never dreamt Id get close. Today I tried it for the first time. It was tasty and quite similar but still needs a lot of work! I’m still very proud that I got even close to the right flavour! This does not come close to a healthy category but that’s not what it’s about. This is just for plain old food enjoyment!
White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
For this one I used a basic sweet short crust pastry recipe I found online but you can always buy short crust pastry or even a ready-made tart case
The recipe below is for the filling but if anyone wants the recipe for short crust I can post it!
- 250g tub mascarpone
- 200g bar good quality white chocolate
- 142 ml carton double cream
- 400g raspberries
- Melt the chocolate and mascarpone together in a double boiler until liquid. Do not stir as it will become too gooey
- Once melted remove from the heat and allow to cool
- Whip the cream until if forms soft peaks.
- Gently fold into chocolate mixture.
- Fold in raspberries until well-distributed
- Spoon into pastry case and refrigerate for several hours until set.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar or decorate with chocolate curls