Monday, May 26, 2014

My Dark Red Drink

-1 1/2 beets
-1 1/2 cups of strawberries
-2 cups of orange juice
-pinch of salt
-2 handfuls of ice

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap 3 beets in aluminum foil with olive oil and put them on each corner of the edge of the pan (the edges get more hotter in the edges quicker than it does in the middle); roast for 30 minutes. Gently open the foil (carefully so you won't burn) and let cool until easy to manage. Rub with a paper towel to get rid of the skin before dicing it to put in the blender. Cut in half the 2nd beet and reserve the other beet and a half for another time.

In the blender: strawberries, orange juice, a pinch of salt and beets (after you diced them). Puree for a minute or two before adding the ice. Puree well so it's not chunky.

Pour in glass and serve

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sweet Tomato Ravioli

-1 small container of whole milk ricotta cheese
-a few basil leaves
-garlic, chopped
-a handful of parm cheese (romano cheese is also a good optional choice to use)
-about two handfuls of sundried tomatoes (don't get the ones packed in oil; I got the bag 'dry' kind)
-1 egg
combine all together in food processor until well mixed
-won ton wrappers
wet the sides with water to help seal and with a small spoon, put the filling in and seal it. Set aside to work on other raviolis until either the filling or the wrappers are gone. Cook the pasta in boiling water until they start to float on top.

-10 to 12 plum tomatoes, half seeded and pulp removed and the other half left alone
-1 clove of garlic
-1 cup of starchy pasta water
-some basil
Heat oven to 400 degrees and roast plum tomatoes (seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil) for about 30 minutes. In the food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil together and add water to help thin out the sauce to your preference.

In a serving bowl, put the sauce in and once the raviolis are finished cooking, add them into the sauce and mix together to coat the raviolis before adding in the parm cheese on top to serve.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Jane Asher's Soaked lemon cake

175g spreadable butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and the juice of 2 (about 3 tbsp)
175g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
3tbsp milk
50g granulated sugar
For the drizzle:
50g sieved icing sugar
A little lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/165C fan. Line the bottom and sides of a 900g (21 x 10 x 6cm) loaf tin with baking parchment or a liner, to come a couple of centimetres above the top edge.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until really pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs little by little, beating well all the time.
Add the grated lemon zest, then gently fold in the flour and salt.
Stir in the milk, then turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until springy to the touch and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven but leave in the tin.
Put the granulated sugar and lemon juice into a small pan and bring it to the boil, stirring all the time as the sugar dissolves. Boil strongly for about half a minute. Make several holes in the cake with a skewer, going right to the bottom of the tin. Pour the hot syrup all over the cake, letting it seep into the holes. Leave to cool.
Carefully lift the cake from the tin, by holding the edges of the paper or silicon. Gently peel away the paper or liner.
Add the lemon juice little by little to the icing sugar, beating well, until it's of pouring consistency but not too runny. Drizzle over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides.

Jane Asher's Devil's food cake

(Makes 12-14 slices)
250g light soft brown sugar
75g spreadable butter
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
175g plain flour
200ml milk
75g dark chocolate drops
1tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the butter icing:
50g spreadable butter
100g icing sugar, sieved
Warm water

For the chocolate frosting:
125g dark chocolate chips
300g icing sugar, sieved
1-2 tbsp hot water
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
50g butter, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 175C/160C fan. Prepare two 8-inch sandwich tins.
Cream the butter and sugar together and beat well. This will have a strange texture – not pale and fluffy like usual creaming – because of the high proportion of sugar to butter.
Add the egg, little by little, beating well all the time. Stir in the flour, very gently, bit by bit (or use the pulse setting on the mixer, and add the flour through the feed tube in spoonfuls). Stir the bicarbonate into the milk, then add it to the cake mix, stirring all the time.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water or in the microwave (this takes about two to two-and-a-half minutes on full power). Let it cool a little, then stir gently into the cake mix.
Turn the mix into the sandwich tins, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are springy or a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tins, then turn out on to a rack to cool completely.
To make the butter icing, put the 50g of butter and 100g of sieved icing sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together. Add a few drops of warm water to soften it if necessary, and keep beating until the mixture gets really light and fluffy.
To make the chocolate frosting, melt the 125g of chocolate in a bowl over hot water, or in the microwave. Stir in the 300g of icing sugar with a little hot water. This will be tricky and the texture will become very granular, but keep going until it's nearly mixed in, then, using an electric mixer if possible, gradually beat in the egg yolk and butter, adding a little more hot water as necessary, to reach a smooth, spreadable consistency.
Sandwich the cakes together with butter icing, then spread the entire cake with chocolate frosting.

Jane Asher's Chocolate fridge cake

(Makes nine or 16 servings, depending on size)
350g dark chocolate drops
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
450g cake crumbs (any leftovers, even stale, will do)
4 tbsp brandy
225g crushed digestive biscuits
50g glace cherries
Icing sugar, to serve
Grease and line an 8-inch square or rectangular tray bake tin.
Put the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into a large, heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until all is melted together (or melt it in the microwave).
Take the pan off the heat and stir in all the other ingredients.
Turn the mix into the prepared tin and chill until set (about two to three hours). Cut into nine or 16 squares, then dust the tops with sieved icing sugar.