Raspberry and Rose Cake

raspberry rosewater cakeMy daughter has really got into the idea of baking. She sees both my wife and myself cooking and is pretty into the culinary exploits of the contestants on the Bake Off. Recently she decided she should have a go making a cake by herself (well the placing in the oven bit aside). This recipe is adapted from one in the cookbook of Bill’s Restaurant; for those of you unaware of this small chain of restaurants which started in Lewes, they produce good seasonal food with an emphasis on fresh fruit and veg. The resulting cake is a bit of a show stopper, perfect for a summer tea party.
You will need
Cake
225g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter, softened
4!medium eggs, beaten
1 knife tip of vanilla paste
1.5 tsp baking powder
225g self-raising flour, sifted
Rose cream filling
150ml double cream
1/2 tsp rosewater
4 tbsp raspberry jam
150g fresh raspberries
Rose glacé icing
175g icing sugar
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp rose water

This makes a two-tier cake, but Matilda made a three tier version by using half as much ingredients again.

Preheat oven to 180°C, lightly butter two cake tins 20cm in diameter and line with baking parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together till they are pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste before slowly adding the beaten egg a little at a time. The mixture may start to curdle, but if you add a teaspoon of flour, it should bring it back together. Mix in the baking powder and half the flour, then fold in the rest. Share out the batter between the cake tins. Smooth the tops, then bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden, risen and have shrunk away slightly from the sides of the tin. Leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire cooling rack.

Whilst you wait, whisk the double cream until it stands in soft peaks, adding the small amount of rosewater as you go. Fold in the raspberry jam, and when the cakes are completely cool, turn one of them flat base uppermost, spread with the cream mixture and scatter with slightly crushed raspberries. Top with the second cake. If you’ve made three cakes, spread more cream and raspberries over the second layer and top with the third.

For the pink glacé icing, mix together the icing sugar, water and rosewater, and stir in the juice from a few crushed raspberries. Drizzle the icing across the cake and top with roses, rose petals and the remaining raspberries.

From the Bill’s Produce cookbook, Cook, Eat Smile.
28198-cookblogshare

Cheesy Feet

For quite a while now we have made cheese biscuits based on a River Cottage recipe (adapted below). Biscuits are always popular in our house, and in making cheese ones we hope to reduce our sweet intake a little. The idea of adapting the idea to create ‘cheesy feet’ came from a trip to Bradford on Avon – where (in desperate need of a snack) we bought some cheesy feet from the baker at the weekly Farmers’ Market. For months we’ve looked out for a foot cutter to create our own version, finally finding one the other week.

With Halloween coming up, the children and I decided to make some cheesy feet with added gruesomeness – hence the addition of dodgy looking nails in the form of pistachios. You could use flaked almonds, but the green and brown tinge to pistachios seemed to fit the Halloween theme best.

20131024-140636.jpg
What you will need (Makes 20-24)
125g unsalted butter, cubed
125g cheddar, grated
4 tbsp grated parmesan
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
2 tsp yogurt
A few grinds of black pepper
Pistachio nuts – halved

This is a really easy recipe, as all you need to do is whizz everything in a food processor until it comes together into a ball, then remove the dough and knead for a minute or so. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

20131024-140922.jpg
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 3-4mm thick, then use your foot cutter (or any other shape you want) to cut out the biscuits. Place five of the halved pistachios on each foot to resemble nails, then move the biscuits onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment and bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose

The kids both love the books of Julia Donaldson and the illustrations of Nick Sharratt, and so really enjoyed Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose. The title of this book has led to all chocolate mousse in our family being referred to as “chocolate mousse for greedy goose”. Yesterday, asked what he wanted for pudding, he asked for the aforementioned mousse – so I got about finding a recipe.

Whilst searching around for a quick and easy mousse, I came across the blog of Nick Coffer – My Daddy Cooks. This is a man after my own heart, enjoying time spent cooking with his young kids. What’s more, he had a recipe for chocolate mousse (using yoghurt instead of the egg yolks often found in recipes). The recipe really is quick and easy – there is even a video to show the process (although the video is clearly sponsored by a well known Greek Yoghurt brand). I actually used homemade yoghurt, as I find it cheaper to make my own yoghurt.

Anyway, they went down well judging by the chocolate faces that greeted me across the kitchen table. Perhaps next time we’ll experiment with flavoured chocolate.