Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Custard Creams. Part Two

I had so much fun making these custard creams, they were a big hit with the lovely man. I think they will become a regular make. They did not stay in the biscuit tin for very long; have a little look at the finished biscuit and you will understand.

I would offer you one but I just don't think my arm will reach though the internet!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Custard cream. Part one

Is too much Nigella a bad thing? I think not. I have just successfully made a chocolate meringue gooey stack from "How to be a domestic goddess", one of my favourite books. I have now bought "Nigella's Feast" which has many lovely recipes. The one which has really caught my eye is the valentines heart custard cream.

Some people would just go out and buy a nice packet of these biscuits, but it seems as time goes by and I get older, I find myself becoming more of what I like to call "a food snob" so the idea of making something as humble as a custard cream, with ingredients of my choosing really excites me.

I popped all the ingredients into the bowl of my food processor George, and in the blink of an eye it was done and in the fridge to chill. The dough was a bit sticky when I tried to roll it out so I sprinkled a bit more flour on the dough and then cut out the hearts. Into the oven they went until nicely golden. Then onto the wire rack to cool.

I went to get the ingredients for the filling and "oh no, I don't have any icing sugar" So my poor hearts are left on the rack until my lovely man gets home from work with some icing sugar. How sad.

It's time again

The time has come around again for full scale seed sowing. We are going to try and grow all of our own vegetables this year. I have even invested in the biggest chest freezer I could find to preserve the glut. To try and help keep the cost down (now I dont have any money left after buying my freezer) I have been saving the cardboard tubes from my toilet rolls, with the idea of using them to sow seeds in.

I have perfected the use of the humble tube by lightly crumpling some newspaper to use as a plug in the bottom of the tube. Last year the soil kept falling out of the bottom.

I found the use of a dibber helped push the paper down. With the paper in place its easy to fill them with soil. Once filled with soil you can then put whatever seeds you like in.

This method of sowing seeds would work particularly well with plants that don't like bare root planting like runner beans and beetroot. I have sown sunflowers, which bring in lots of valuable insects to the vegetable patch. I will keep some seeds for next year and the rest can be saved for the birds to eat over the winter. Not forgetting they are also such a lovely cheery flower to have growing in your garden.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Fear

There are many recipes that I would love to make, but many things seem to get in the way, whether it's fear of the recipe going wrong, time, or just waiting for the right occasion. I have decided to overcome my fear; I have found the time and have an occasion - good friends coming over for dinner.

The fear giving recipe I have challenged myself to make is from Nigella Lawson "How to be a domestic goddess", gooey chocolate stack. I was determined meringue and creme patisserie were not going to stop me. (If it all goes wrong I knew I had home made vanilla ice cream to fall back on, another first. Easy)

Here we go. Luckily for me on my 30th birthday last year, lovely man bought me Kenwood. My dream, he is like the George Clooney of my kitchen, smooth, grey, classic and very easy on the eye.

I decided to start with the meringue, thankfully I have a few hens (more on them another day) and lots of eggs that need using up. George and his ostrich egg sized whisk made very short work of my 6 egg whites; soft and peaky in seconds.

Once all the other ingredients were folded in, it was time for the oven. I followed Nigella's advice and left the meringue to cool in the oven over night. Come day break I was there, excitedly opening my oven door. (It was almost as exciting as Christmas day)

Wow, I had made meringue, and it was surprisingly easy, not scary and did not take up as much time as I thought it might. This left me one last task; the creme patisserie. The fear was back, but now I was determined this desert was going to be a great success. I am happy to report, it was!

This has taught me a great lesson, I can do things that I've convinced myself I can not do. I have now decided I should make a list of all those things I think I can not do, and do them!