Sunday, 24 August 2014

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie

This brownie encapsulates a lot of good things, brownies, red velvet and of course cheesecake. Each slice is a mouthful of food heaven and they are simple and fun to make.

The Ingredients:

Brownie Batter:
110g Butter
225g Silver Spoon® Caster Sugar
30g Cocoa Powder
1tbsp Red Food Colouring
1tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
1tsp White Vinegar
0.5tsp Salt
2 Eggs
100g NEILL'S® Plain Flour

Cheesecake Layer:
225g Cream Cheese
55g Silver Spoon® Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract

Recommended Equipment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale
James Martin Loose Bottomed Square Cake Tin.

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c.
Melt the butter and add this to a large mixing bowl.

Beat in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, food colouring, vinegar and salt.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.

Sieve in the flour and fold together until just combined, do not over mix.

Set this brownie batter aside.
Now to make the cheesecake layer.
In another large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar and egg together.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Prepare a square baking tin (8x8 inch is perfect size or equivalent) by lightly greasing it.
Pour 3/4 of the brownie batter into the into the cake tin and level out using a spatula.

Pour all of the cheesecake layer gently on top of the brownie batter.
Pour the remaining 1/4 of the brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer.

Using the handle end of a normal dinner knife create a swirl pattern in the batter. 

When you're satisfied with the effect you have created pop in the middle of the oven for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool before slicing.

You're Done!


Monday, 18 August 2014

Treacle Tart

Treacle Tart is one of the best known traditional British desserts. Harry Potter fans will know Harry Potter's favourite dessert at Hogwarts was indeed Treacle Tart. This wonderful dessert can be served hot of cold, on its own, with cream, ice cream or anything else you fancy. We really love the simplicity of this dessert yet its ability to please everyone. Its ok to cheat a little and use shop bought shortcrust pastry for this, after all it takes pastry chefs many years to master perfect pastry, you can leave it to the experts for this one unless you're happy with your own.

The Ingredients:
1 Pack of Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry
400g Golden Syrup
2 Eggs
150g Breadcrumbs
1tsp Lemon Zest
0.5tsp Ground Cinnamon

Recommended Equipment:
Food Mixer (Recommended Bosch MUM46A1)
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Precision Scale

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 160c.
Remove pack of ready rolled pastry from the fridge. Of course it is ok to use a block of pastry too and roll it out yourself or make your own.
Gently lay the pastry over a baking dish around 30cm in diameter. Gently press down the edges to mould to the sides of the baking dish.
Take a round piece of baking paper and scrunch up in a ball, this makes it fit the baking dish better and cover the pastry evenly.

Fill the baking dish with baking beans, or if you don't have any you can use coins!

Bake in the centre of the oven for 12 mins.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temp to 140c.
Gently heat the golden syrup in a small saucepan until warm but not boiling.

Remove the golden syrup into a mixing bowl.

Mix in the eggs until well combined.

Mix in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and cinnamon.

Mix well until all the ingredients come together.

Carefully remove the baking beans from the pastry case being careful as they will still be warm.
Remove the baking paper too.
Pour the treacle tart mixture into the pastry shell. It should even out on its own.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 60 mins.
Remove from the oven and all to cool for at least 20 mins before slicing. You can however leave it to cool completely.

You're Done!


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Hundred Foot Journey - Book Review

We don’t often write reviews for books but when we do they are nearly always recipe books, not novels. The Hundred Foot Journey written by Richard C. Morais is a wonderfully descriptive foodie novel. This is Mr Morais’s debut novel and has received international acclaim including being featured by Oprah’s magazine, ‘O’.

First of all we’ll give you a brief introduction on the author Richard Morais. Richard worked for the internationally known Forbes magazine for 25 years, mostly while living in London, where he was the magazine's European Bureau Chief. His brief at the magazine, for almost his entire career, allowed him to write on any subject he chose and to travel the world. He joined Forbes in 1984 as a Reporter in New York. An American born in Portugal and raised in Switzerland, Mr. Morais was stationed in London for 17 years as Forbes' European Correspondent. Well travelled and with a huge wealth of knowledge, Richard is well placed to write novels and we’re glad he decided to write The Hundred Foot Journey.

Some of you will notice that this was first published in 2011 so why have we decided to write a review about this now? Well the amazing news is that this book is being made into a Hollywood movie later this year starring none other than Dame Helen Mirren. If you haven’t watched the trailer for this yet you should, if anything it will make you want to rush out and read the book just before the movie gets released.

The story itself centres on an Indian boy named Hassan Haji and follows him and his family as they travel first to London, across Europe and then eventually settle in a remote and picturesque French village. They set up an Indian restaurant opposite from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred cordon bleu French restaurant. Madame Mallory believes in traditional French cooking. As you would expect a local restaurant war begins and rages until Madame Mallory, played by Dame Helen Mirren in the movie (when you read the book you’ll understand exactly why she is so perfect to play this character) soon realises that Hassan is actually a very good cook, and actually his natural talents are better than her own.

We’re always careful not to include any spoilers in our reviews as we know how horrible that is. The book follows this wonderful story, which I would actually prefer to call an adventure as that is how it seems when reading it. We really look forward to seeing the movie to see if it lives up to the expectations which the book sets, I’m confident it will.

You can buy the book now on Amazon to read before the movie comes out. 

Here's a trailer for the upcoming movie.

Keep tuned for a competition give-away soon where we will be giving you the chance to win yourself a copy of this wonderful book!