General Section

February 15th, 2010

Another Birthday Cake Category: General

This time for my Mums birthday.  Another madeira cake with white regalice and flower decoration.  I didn’t fancy a bow made out of icing (icing overload) so managed to find some wired organza ribbon. It was very tasty and has lasted a good week.

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February 8th, 2010

Review: 60 Hope Street, Liverpool Category: General, Reviews

We’d been meaning to eat at 60 Hope Street for a quite while and we’re not sure how we hadn’t managed to get there sooner.  The occasion that finally got us there, however, was my mums 60th birthday.  And on a recommendation from my brother we managed to book a table for what turned out to be a rather pleasant dining experience.  We only wish we’d taken the opportunity before!

On arriving we went downstairs to the Bistro/Bar area and ordered a drink, this was the only sneaky tactic I didn’t like as our table was ready and waiting when we arrived, but some restaurants do have a bad habit of getting you to order a drink before ordering wine for the table.

When we were eventually seated (we played a game of musical chairs first!) the Maître d’ came over and handed out the menu’s.  He then theatrically read aloud the days ‘specials’.  We’re not sure if he was new and performing with much enthusiasm or is always so entertaining, but with much gusto he detailed the dishes brilliantly.

It took us a while to eventually decide on what to order but I think between us we sampled quite a few of the dishes.  To start I ordered Scallops in pastry with red pepper & aioli and Anthony eventually decided on the Assiette of Duck.

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Carry on reading & leave a comment…

December 31st, 2009

Christmas Dinner 2009 Category: General, Recipes

Last night I made our customery Christmas dinner. Very similar to previous years we started with a simple bruschetta, followed by a traditional turkey Christmas dinner and this year we finished with a Baileys chocolate mousse. It wasn’t bad and for once I didn’t get flustered in the kitchen and the gravey turned out OK (slighty salty but for me thats good!)

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Baileys Chocolate Mousse Recipe (based on recipe from Waitrose)

175g Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
Knob of butter
5 large eggs, separated (3 yolks, 5 whites)
2 tbsp Baileys

Method
1. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to melt for 2-3 minutes – do not allow the bowl to touch the water. When it has all melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. Using a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks into the chocolate with the liqueur.
3. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated.
4. Divide the chocolate mousse between 4 glasses and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

November 6th, 2009

Anthonys 30th Birthday Cake Category: General, Other Foodiness

It was Anthonys 30th birthday last month so I planned to make a birthday cake for him. I wanted it to be themed with his present – a Mini Cooper Racing Experience.

After a few ideas (like making a cake model of a Mini!) I decided it was best to keep it simple. I already had a silicone rectangular cake tin, so based on that, I thought a simple sponge with white icing, a 30 in black icing which would be the track and a mini cooper cake topper. How easy…

First of all I needed to find a firm sponge so I tested out a Madeira recipe from a cake decorating book I have. It worked well and Anthony even did a taste test for me under the guise that it had come from my mums work! hehe…

Next, I wanted to make my own icing. So after taking over my mum and dads kitchen and covering it in icing sugar I came to the conclusions I wouldn’t be able to (a) make a piece big enough to cover the cake/roll it out to an even thickness or (b) get it from the worktop to the cake (it was rather sticky!). I decided quite quickly that I’d use a ready rolled fondant icing instead.

Making the cake
I made the madeira sponge 3 days before the big day and the sponge turned out well. After leaving it overnight I turned up at my mum and dads house (our kitchen is too small) ready for some cake decorating… with my mum looking after Elodie I set about triming the sponge (cakes in silicone tins splay out at the sides!). Triming the cake was a time consuming and delicate job as I was scared a huge chunk of cake would come off!

Once I’d managed to make the cake more rectangular I set about splitting it in half and filling it with a thin layer of raspberry jam and buttercream. With a little help from my mum we managed to put the cake back together in one piece.

Next, I covered the cake in a very small amount of warmed marmalade to allow the icing to stick and started to ice it… I have to admit at the point I was rather lucky with the ready roll icing – I could only get a circular one which just fitted over the rectangular cake with a little nip and tuck ;)

I had bought a block of pre-coloured black fondant icing. With some careful rolling out I cut out my 30 and with my mums help again, we transferred the numers to the cake (they were very flimsy!).

It had taken a few hours to get to this point! So I was relieved to put the finishing touches to the cake (white icing for road markings and a black ribbon to hide the bottom of the icing!) and we put it away in a cake tin until his birthday.

Anthony seemed to like his cake but I think he enjoyed the driving experience even more – I thought I was giving him something to pacify his love of Minis when all I seem to have done is make it worse :) Ah well…

Here are some pictures of the cake and one of Anthony enjoying his present…

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Anthony

August 10th, 2009

It’s dinner time… Category: General

July 6th, 2009

Getting back on the foodie wagon Category: General

As is becoming habit, its been a long time since I last posted.  I have had my hands slightly full but after our annual holiday in the Highlands and baking for the Zoe’s Place Summer Fair I feel ready to start cooking properly again.  I am also starting to wean Elodie so I think its about time I start again.

I haven’t much foodieness to write about just now (except the discovery of smoked brie – oh my goodness it tasted soooooooo nice) – so I shall share a few recent pictures including Elodie helping herself to my doughballs in Pizza Express :)

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