Rum Babas

Rum babas are a bit of a labour of love but so worth it. A common supermarket dessert of the 80’s they have disappeared seemingly without trace these days so I had to start making them. This Phil Vickery recipe is no longer available online but it has given me failsafe babas for 6 or more years now and the splashed and stained print out is getting harder to read so I thought I’d better immortalise the recipe now.

Essentially rum babas are a sweetened bread dough bathed in a rum syrup until swollen and heavy. You can top them with plain or sweetened cream and I opted for juicy Kentish cherries over glace ones. I make the recipe below and freeze most of them before their rum bath then defrost them when required and make up the rum syrup and soak overnight ahead of the meal.

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Bacon and Leek Filo Tart

Last weekend I went to Faversham Night Market held just after the summer solstice and was inspired by all the wonderful tarts and savouries on sale. The following day I set about trying to make a healthier tart so made a few tweaks to cut calories from this googled recipe for Cheesy leek tart. I skipped the cream and used some creme fraiche left over from last weeks almond cake with milk and cut down the cheese quota by a third. 

The resulting tart was delicious even if I do say so myself and went rather well with a few jersey royals and salad. 

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Toasted Almond Madeira Cake

After the disaster that befell the UK on Friday, there was nothing else to do but bake. I had been meaning to try out this Dan Lepard recipe for toasted almond madeira cake for a while and the end of last week seemed like the right time to give what seemed a very comforting and wintery cake a try.

If I’m honest I thought it would be a bit moister and denser than it was so may try it with ground almonds instead of toasted flaked ones next time. It was still delicious with a cup of tea on a rainy summers afternoon. Dan said the method of mixing in half of the flour before adding the eggs results in a finer crumb texture and it definitely does make a difference.

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Mercado de Abastos – Santiago de Compostela

At the beginning of June I went over to Spain and spent a few days in the Galician region. One of the highlights for me was a visit to Mercado de Abastos, the food market in Santiago de Compostela. Being one of the few times I have taken my camera out of the house I know I need more practice at shooting food in the wild as it were but was quite pleased with the shots I captured. The market is housed in fabulous cool granite avenues which was built in 1873.

Last time I was in Galicia I was fascinated by the Pulpeira stands. A traditional Galician dish where octopus is boiled in large pots, fished out with a hook, cut into slices on a wooden serving plate and then seasoned with olive oil and paprika.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

Tetilla is a Galician artisan cheese made from cows milk. Tetilla is Galician for ‘small breast’ which describes the pear shaped cone of cheese. This cheese has a pale yellow, thin, natural rind or sometimes no rind can be seen at all. Its texture is soft, thick and smooth with scatterings of air pockets. Yellowish ivory in colour Tetilla has a creamy mouth feel with buttery, slightly bitter and tangy flavours surrounding the palate. The maturing, which takes place between 10 and 30 days, happens in the hot and humid climate of Galicia.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

With Galicia being positioned in the NW corner of Spain there is a lot of coastline so fish and seafood appear abundantly on menus. There is a huge selection of the freshest fish and seafood at the market.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

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Padrón peppers or pementos de Padrón are probably my favourite food from this region. They are a variety of pepper from the Padrón region in the province of A Coruña. The peppers are customarily fried in oil and sprinkled with sea salt and served as tapas.

They are small peppers (about 5 cm long), with a colour ranging from bright green to yellowish green, and occasionally red. While their taste is usually mild, a minority (10-25%) are particularly hot. Whether a given pepper ends up being hot or mild depends on the amount of water and sunlight it receives during its growth, in addition to temperature. There is a saying that ‘some are hot and some are not’ as you cannot tell from size or colour which are the hot ones.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

On the outside edge of the market is a huge range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia SpainMercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

One of the avenues in the food market built in 1873. It is the second most visited sight in the city after the cathedral.

Mercado de Abastos Santiago De Compostela Galicia Spain

After working up an appetite taking in the sights and smells, we enjoyed lunch at Abastos 2.0 who source all their ingredients from the market and change their menu daily based on what is available that day. Below is a seafood and salmon starter that was served with crackers and guacamole.

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Pork Kebabs

Last week I made these delicious pork kebabs with soy and ginger after stumbling across the recipe on the Asda website as I had some pork fillet to use up. Super easy to make but best marinated overnight if possible to really get the flavour into the meat. I served mine with a green salad and some boiled rice.

I have just got back from an amazing trip to Galicia in north Spain so hope to share some foodie images taken on the trip with you soon.

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Healthier Lemon Tart

My 2016 entry for the Eurovision party was this lower fat lemon tart on BBC Good Food, or tarte au citron seeing as I was bringing a French themed morsel to the party table. It uses low fat creme fraiche instead of cream but none of the party guests could tell it was a healthier take on the tart. I employed the services of Burford Brown eggs as I love the bright colour of their yolks and hope it produced a punchier looking dessert. I also increased the amount of pastry as in many of the comments people said they struggled to line the tart tin although I think my pastry could have been a little thinner.

 

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Overnight Oats

In my quest to lose some weight before the wedding at the end of May I turned to Madeline Shaw’s Get The Glow in the library. There she was smiling smugly on the cover with a bowl of something leafy so I guessed this Overnight Oats recipe that immediately caught my eye whilst flicking through would be super healthy.

Upon consulting friends on Slimming World this was not the case. I had raved to them about this luxurious tasting healthy breakfast which was tough to finish due to its size. Her recipe was for two portions which made each portion highly calorific so I have added a bit of extra almond milk and divided it into 3 portions, but you could probably whittle it down to 4 portions. I also sprinkle a pinch of seeds over the top and a teaspoon of yogurt rather than the suggested 25g of each.

By omitting the yogurt this recipe is dairy free and by omitting the honey also it would be vegan.

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