"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch."

Month: February, 2013

Galette de Rois

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My French is coming on leaps and bounds with the help of my new colleague. By this, i mean she seems to have learnt to humour my “Cute” interpretation of her mother tongue.

Last week she treated the office to a typical French dessert, the history buff in me took to wikipedia to find its traditionally a twelfth night treat, called Galette de Rois. Usually a surprise can be found in the centre and the procurer of said surprise gets the honour of wearing a gold crown for the remainder of the day.

For our first galette we had no surprise and no crown; we are all adults after all and that would be foolish. I sulked silently.

Anyways its a puff pastry pie filled with frangipane and apricot jam. It looked beautiful with its herringbone scoring and egg wash glaze.

I wanted to recreate it at home as Celine insisted it was barely cooking. Hmm, well as you can tell my attempt was no where near your average French patissieres perfection. Saying this i have pretty much demolished it so… bon appetit. You can see the recipe i used (from good food) here.

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What to wear and where… Franco Manca

what to wear and where...Jeans from Topshop T-shirt from Mango Shoes from Asos Necklace from H&M

Mum jeans and a casual t-shirt make for the perfect pizza eating outfit, lots of room ready for the bloat. Metallic shoes and a gem necklace make this outfit ready to move from bench to bar (you only need to stumble next door). Don’t forget a jacket though as Brixton Market can get pretty draughty.

Lemon drizzle Loaf

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170g Golden Caster Sugar 170g Butter 3 Eggs 170g Plain Flour 3/4tsp Baking Powder 1 Lemon 2tbsp Icing sugar

Preheat the oven at 180degrees.

Cream the butter (make sure it’s at room temperature to avoid it flying out the bowl) with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Slowly sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the zest of the lemon and squeeze in half of the lemon juice.

Place the mixture into a lined loaf tin (baking paper is the best but buttered can work too, if like me you find your out) bake for 40 mins or until golden and springy to the touch.

Leave in the tin to cool. Mix the icing sugar and the rest of the lemon juice to create the icing. Using a cocktail stick, stick holes in the cake, maybe 8? this will let the icing run down into the cake to make it gooey. Pour over the icing and let the cake fully cool until turning it out of the tin onto a cooling wire.

Bakewell tart – what did you say?

Naturally I am referring to the cakey, pastry, almondy goodness rather than demanding a lady with few morals to whip up a perfect cake.

Bakewell Tart

Admittedly Martha made this not me but it looked too good to not post it. So all applause to her.

Martha bought a pre-made base to speed along the process.

To make the frangipane:
Cream together 150g unsalted butter and 150g of caster sugar. Then gradually add three beaten eggs. Then fold in 150g ground almonds and a the zest of one lemon.

Then take your pastry tart, spread the base with around 2 tbsp of good jam and pour the frangipane on top. Don’t overfill!

Bake for 20 minutes then take out of the oven and scatter the flaked almonds on top and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and set.

Bakewell Tart 2

She then drizzled some icing over the top to finish and voilá, something to shame Mr Kipling with. Perfect dessert for when friends visit for dinner or in my case this mornings breakfast.

Oh, Hello Friend

You Are Loved from Oh, Hello FriendVinyl Decal from oh hello friendPress On from Oh, Hello FriendI am totally obsessed with Oh, Hello Friends online shop. It’s full of rubber stamps wishing you a nice day, bright washi tape and these brilliant decals which have been popped onto glass jars, plates and clipboards above.

Crabtree’s Citrus Vodka

Crabtree's Citrus Vodka

Happy 23rd Birthday to one of my oldest friends Amy Crabtree!

I made her some flavoured vodka for her birthday and presented it in a glass decanter. She seemed to love it but I didn’t want to tell her quite how easy it was to do.

I took two lemons and two limes, cut them into slices and pushed them into the decanter. I then added a tablespoon of sugar and poured in the vodka. Making sure it was closed securely I gave it a good shake (100 actually because I wanted to see if I could keep going). Then I just fashioned a label out of an old ribbon, a piece of card and in gold lettering wrote on it “Crabtree’s Citrus Vodka”. Done.

You can get amazing cut glass at charity shops too so it doesn’t need to cost the earth either.

Fill up ma cup

Fill up ma cup

Water Jug Boutique Provencale, Moomin Mug Cloudberry Living, Enamel Cups Seld, Bubbles Tumbler Oliver Bonas

Beetroot Brownies

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200g grated beetroot, 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), 200g unsalted butter, 200g caster sugar, 100g self raising flour, pinch of salt, pinch of coffee. To ice: beetroot juice and icing sugar.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. I melt the cubed butter and chocolate in an oven proof bowl but you could do it over water. 

In a bowl whisk the egg and sugar together. Then pour in the chocolate and butter mix and stir until it has all combined into a glossy mixture.

Sieve the flour and salt onto the top of this mixture, then with a metal spoon gently fold the flour into the mixture. Then fold in the beetroot and coffee. Do not over fold as it will make the brownies more dense and heavy.

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Place into either mushy-sickly-sweet heart moulds as I did or a greased tin. Cook for 25 mins. When you take it of the oven, let the mixture cool for a good few minutes then turn over onto a cooling wire.

Mix a little beetroot juice with sieved icing sugar to make a soft pink topping and spoon onto the brownie bites when they are cooled.

How do you like your eggs in the morning?


eggy

What to wear & where… Valentines

what to wear and wear...

Jumper from Diane von Furstenberg at net-a-porter, Skirt from Warehouse, Shoes from Topshop, Bracelet from Etsy

This year why not ditch the V-day dinner date at some snooty restaurant? We only struggle trying to pronounce the wine list properly anyways. Instead go to Byron’s Earls Court Road restaurant for something a little more light hearted. The vintage interior is fun and you could share a milkshake like in the movies. Or not.