Friday, 22 August 2014

Strawberry Snow

This is a real 1970s retro treat - a chilled glass of VERY sweet strawberry snow (and I mean very sweet!).  It looks very pretty, and is very quick to make.  If you have a savoury tooth, it might be a little too much...
I always wanted to try this recipe, but somehow never got round to it, nor to its companion, Apple Snow.  Maybe I'll have to test that one next!   The trick is to keep the strawberries as dry as possible, otherwise the whole edifice sinks in a wet heap.

Strawberry Snow

Strawberry Snow

8oz/225g ripe strawberries
1 egg white
3oz/75g sifted icing sugar

Hull the strawberries, but do not wash them (wipe if necessary!).    Crush them in a large bowl, add the egg white and sugar and whisk with an electric whisk for approximately 10 minutes until it is very thick and frothy.   Tip it into approximately four to six glasses – it will sink slightly, so over-fill each one.   Chill for at least six hours before serving with cream.   

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fresh Kiwi Sorbet

Continuing the ice cream theme, I thought I'd try something new!  Kiwis are the kind of fruit which lurk in the fruit bowl, as you tend to buy them rock hard, and then discover that they have passed through the spectrum to inedible without stopping at "ripe".  My children called them "Dinosaur's Eyes", and I continue to buy them in the mistaken belief that I will eat them myself....  so when I saw a pack of 8 reduced for quick sale, I couldn't resist.   Sorbet is basically a sugar syrup, plus fruit.  You can make the syrup any time and keep it in the fridge for ages.  

This sorbet is a little soft, which I understand is as a result of too much sugar, but the sorbet was a great hit nonetheless with my oldest son, who found it while I was away... .

Fresh Kiwi Sorbet

Fresh Kiwi Sorbet

8 kiwis, preferably ripe!
8oz/225g sugar
½ pint of water
juice of ½ lemon

First make a sugar syrup by putting the water and sugar into a pan and heating until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for 5 -10 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to cool entirely (you can put it in the freezer!).  

Peel the kiwis and purée in a blender.   You could use it like this, but I prefer to sieve out the black pips, as it had more than a passing resemblance to frog spawn.

Mix together the syrup, lemon and purée and churn the mixture in an ice cream maker.   Alternatively, freeze in a shallow container in the freezer, breaking it up with a fork every hour or so to stop large crystals from forming.  This sorbet doesn’t set rock solid.

This makes enough for about 4, depending on greed. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

Why is lime and coconut such a delicious combination?  It's one of those made-in-heaven ones like chocolate and... well, chocolate and anything!  I tested this recipe on my TA friends the other day, and they rose to the challenge to demonstrate that the Army does, indeed, march on its stomach.

My TA pals and I had the privilege of taking part in the World War 1 Commemoration at Folkestone yesterday (with the added delight of meeting HRH Prince Harry!), and were marched down the route that more than ten million soldiers took to embark for France/Flanders.   There's a very steep hill, and the order is given to "step short" so you don't slip.  Going down the hill, we all felt a feeling of kinship with the millions of apprehensive young men who had made this journey before us, and I like to think that so many of them were carrying, in a small corner of their knapsacks, a cake as a reminder of home.   We will remember them.

Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

3 large fresh eggs
6oz/150g sieved self-raising flour, less 1 tbsp
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
6oz/150g caster sugar
6oz/150g butter or spread at room temperature
¾ tsp baking powder
Grated zest of 2 limes

2oz/50g granulated sugar
Juice of 2 limes
1oz/25g desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 180 deg C, and line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment.

In a food processor or Kenwood, blend the cake ingredients together and then beat until pale and fluffy.   Shove into the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven) until risen and golden brown.  To test, the cake should have come away from the edges slightly, and if you put a (heated) knife or skewer into the middle, it will come out clean.

Mix together the sugar, lime juice and coconut and, as soon as the cake has come out of the oven, stab it with a cocktail stick to make some deep holes and pour the mixture all over it slowly.  Rescue the coconut from tipping over the edges!  Leave in the tin until cool.