Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Coconut and Lime Cake

Coconut and Lime Cake






I'm really proud of how well this turned out! It was a summery birthday cake for my younger sister Victoria but I only just got around to writing up the recipe. It not only looked good, but the coconut cream made it very moist. The lime and coconut flavours made this sponge much more of an occassion cake and the flavours complimented my sister's love of Malibu!

Coconut and Lime Cake

Ingredients
Cake
200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
zest and juice of two limes
100g block of creamed coconut

Frosting
2 egg whites
200g granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Dessicated coconut and lime zest to finish

Method
  1. Heat oven to 170C. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, smooth the surface to an even level, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and firm to the touch. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  3. Meanwhile make the frosting; whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Combine the sugar with 4 tbsp water and heat over a gentle heat until you reach a syrup consistency.
  4. Beat the slightly cooled syrup into the peaked whites with an electric whisk in a constant steady stream until completely combined and mallow. Refrigerate until your cake is cool enough to frost.
  5. Spread a little of the frosting mixture onto the top of one of the cakes and then sandwich the two together. The cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Gently press dessicated coconut all over the outside and grate lime zest over the top to finish!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Warm Puy Lentil Salad with Grilled Cod

Grilled Cod on a warm lentil salad

This is a delicious fish recipe and perfect for this time of year when something warm but fresh and light is definitely on the menu. Its also really easy and any left over lentils can be chilled and eaten cold or added to a delicious stock and blended into a soup!

Warm Puy Lentil Salad
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
175g Cooked Puy Lentils (To cook, rinse well and place in a large pan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Hold heat at a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for a further 30 minutes. Drain.)
4tsp olive oil
1 white onion diced
4 sticks celery finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 diced courgette
125g Green beans trimmed and halved
1 diced green pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
 1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and celery for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute
2. Add the courgette, pepper and beans until softened.
3. Stir in the mustard and balsamic and then pour the vegetable mixture over the warm lentils. Mix well and season.


Bread topped Cod 
Serves 4

Ingredients
30g brown bread crumbs
1tbsp copped parsley
2tbsp olive oil
4 fresh cod fillets
lemon wedge
Salt and pepper

Method
1. Preheat a medium grill
2. Mix together bread crumbs, parsley and olive oil.
3. Brush the fish with a little oil and seasoning. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and a squeeze of lemon.
4. Grill for 4-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Curious Australian Biscuit

Anzac biscuits

I recently blogged about a Brown Bread Frozen Yogurt I made. In the picture, I added a little something else which I had made with some curiosity. I stumbled across a recipe for Anzac biscuits in an old magazine and thought they sounded really delicious. Oats, coconut, honey... what more could you want from a biscuit! When I looked a little more into the history behind them, they really caught my interest and I couldn't resist a chance to literally taste history!
Anzac biscuits originate from the World War I era and more specifically belong to the history of the Australian troops (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who were at the time, fighting far away in Turkey. The troops were sent these chewy treats by their loved ones.The oat and coconut biscuit acted as a substitute for bread, or could be crumbled up and used to make porridge. Everyone knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. That is certainly true of my own man and he appreciated them very much. I can't comprehend the warmth they must have brought to those men at that time. Quite frankly, they are one of the most delicious biscuits I have ever had. They are still enjoyed in Australia and remain a part of the care packages sent to Australian and New Zealand troops today, which is a wonderful tradition and a true symbol of compassion for what they do. Anzac biscuits are particularly enjoyed on April 25th ANZAC Day, a memorial day for the men lost in the terrible war.

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients

125g Plain flour
100g oatmeal
100g soft brown sugar
50g desiccated coconut
100g unsalted butter
1tbsp honey
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 tbsp boiling water

Method

1. Grease and line a baking tray and preheat your oven to 170C.
2. Sift your flour and stir in the oatmeal, sugar, and coconut.
3. Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan on a low heat. Once melted, mix your water and bicarb in a cup and pour into your butter mixture. This will cause a reaction so you must mix them together quickly and then add to your dry ingredients.
4. Using a spoon mix everything together into a thick dough. Take spoons full and roll between your palms, then flatten onto your baking tray allowing enough room for the biscuits to grow during cooking.
5. Bake for 20mins, once golden remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to a container. They will keep for a long while, but may not make it that long in your biscuit tin!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Brown Bread Frozen Yogurt

Brown Bread Frozen Yogurt

My friend Jenny was coming over for a girl's night the other week and I felt a little under pressure as she just got a job as a cookery tutor at the famous Bettys Cookery School! How could I possibly entertain such a lady with all her food knowledge! I had to think outside the box and I knew she has a love for all kinds of dessert like no other woman. I settled on a delicious combination of healthy and naturally sweet, with the hope that our guilt would not raise it's ugly head after we ate the whole lot! Last time I ate with Jenny, we had a huge amount of Italian food and then followed it up with a five dessert taster plate shocker. I knew it had to be something good.

I found a recipe for brown bread ice cream, but made with frozen Greek yogurt and I eliminated the sugar content in the hope that a drizzle of honey would be enough to sweeten the deal. It was indeed.

Brown Bread Frozen Yogurt.

Ingredients

175g wholemeal bread crumbs
25g chopped walnuts
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
Grated rind of one orange
450ml unsweetened Greek Yogurt
2 large egg whites

Method

1. Preheat a grill and place your bread crumbs and walnuts (Grated or blitzed) under the heat for 3-5 mins, ensuring to toss them and brown evenly.
2.When cool, transfer to a bowl with the ground nutmeg, yogurt, orange rind and yogurt. Combine thoroughly.
3. In a separate very clean bowl, whisk your egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold them into the yogurt mixture with a clean dry metal spoon in a cut and fold motion. Avoid beating the mixture and knocking the air out the egg whites.
4. Spoon the mixture into four containers of your choice, and freeze for 2 hours.
5. To serve, remove from the freezer 20mins before to allow a little time to thaw and release easily from the container.
6. Turn out onto a plate and garnish with some walnuts, orange slices or a drizzle of honey.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Picnic in the Dales! Beef Salad Wraps

Burnsall- Grassington Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is an area which never fails to charm me. Tom is from Skipton which is hailed as 'The Gateway to the Dales' and walking around this area, we chat about how much we missed the Great British outdoors while we lived abroad. Over the eight years I have traveled over to Skipton to visit Tom's family, we have covered a lot of ground but there is always somewhere else to explore and usually only a short drive from home. Now we live in Harrogate, we have Nidderdale on our doorstep, but we took a sideways step into Wharfedale and walked along the river, starting at Burnsall. There were loads of people parked up taking a dip, or admiring the view while having a glass of wine or pint of ale at The Red Lion.
It is an incredibly picturesque village and it's popularity during long hot summers stretch beyond Tom's school years as groups of lads, dressed in vest and shorts, come out to play and jump into the famous plunge pool.

People jumping into the plunge pool at Burnsall.


Walking along the River Wharfe

We followed a well trodden and fairly busy walk way towards Grassington which just bypasses Hebden.


Burnsall to Grassington

The warm weather made everything look even more' lovely and it was nice that everyone who walked by said hello or commented on the weather! Only in Yorkshire!


Crossing over the stepping stones.
When you reach the river, you have a choice of passage; via the suspension bridge which positively bounces, or over the stepping stones. We didn't walk all the way to Grassington, but stopped at Linton Falls and Tom showed me the weir where he used to slide down into the fast flowing river on his bum! The houses in Linton Falls are gorgeous and it was the perfect place to stop for a snack before we set off back again - this time over the suspension bridge. Those stepping stones were a bit mossy!

Picnic! The empty jars clattered around in the rucksack all the way back.

Beef salad wraps
We took a simple picnic of gorgeous sliced roast beef from Addyman's butchers in Harrogate (the best meat and most friendly service in town) and a jar of home grown leaves and mixed salad with balsamic dressing.

Beef wraps with mixed salad

Monday, 22 July 2013

Walnut Polvorones: Mexican Wedding Cookies

Walnut Polvorones

 I stumbled across this recipe when looking for something to do with a bag of walnuts I had in the cupboard. I have used ground almonds in loads of baking, but wondered if there was anything out there for a load of old walnuts!


 
Polvorones are a melt in your mouth buttery sugar cookie. The name comes from ''polvo''meaning powder, as the dough is tossed in icing sugar once cooled. This creates a snowy Turkish delight powder on the outside of the one bite treats! The walnuts make them a little bitter which means they are not as more-ish as other biscuits, but if you dip them in your tea or coffee, you could be heading for danger! 
I have found recipes containing pecans, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate or Brazil nuts. The recipe is similar to others describing themselves as Russian tea cakes, and Greek celebration biscuits.
Although they are commonly called 'Mexican wedding cookies' in America, they appear to be a more common treat found in most bakeries in Mexico and served on a everyday basis rather than only on special occasions. Traditionally, they are served as wedding favours or at Christmas time, perhaps because of the snowy appearance!

 Mexican Wedding Cookies
 

 Ingredients
 
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
110g sugar
150g plain flour
60g ground walnuts
100g chopped walnuts
150g icing sugar
 
Method

1. Preheat your oven to 170C and grease and line your baking trays.
2. Beat the butter until light and fluffy and gradually beat in the caster sugar until thoroughly combined.
3. Add the flour and both kinds of nuts and bring together into a crumbly dough.
4. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins.
5. Remove from the fridge and using the palms of your hands, roll a tablespoon at a time into small balls. You should make around 24 cookies. Space them evenly apart and allow room for them to expand.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins or until slightly golden.
7. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 mins and then toss in a bowl of icing sugar before placing on a wire rack.
8. These cookies store well in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Nana's 80th birthday- Guinness and Chocolate Cake with Port Poached Pear

80th birthday cakes
 For my Nana's 80th birthday we decided to surprise her with a party at a local pub where we had all hidden in a back room with balloons, cake and an all you can eat carvery! Right up my Nana's street!
Everyone made loads of effort with gifts, secret family discussions, Chinese whispers invitations and and military operation all day diversions. It was great to see she looked so taken aback and she definitely appreciated all the effort. My cousin Mollie sang a few songs and played her guitar and I made a birthday cake I thought she would like. I couldn't choose between a ginger cake or something with Guinness as I thought she would like both flavours. I decided to make both; some stem ginger cup cakes and a Guinness, and Port poached pear cake and display them in an 80. That way there was plenty to go around.

Guinness and Port Poached Pear Cake



Nana's 80th Birthday surprise!

This recipe is a combination of two I found online, one from Nigella and the other from Women&Home. I chose to use pears instead of apples as that is what I had in the fridge. You can freeze this cake un-iced and keep fresh for 2 days. It is incredibly moist and the sugar counteracts any bitterness in the stout. You could use blackcurrants instead of pears or apples and this would bring about a nostalgic combination.

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Port Poached Pears

Ingredients

For the cake
250g butter
250ml Guinness or other stout
75g cocoa
350g caster sugar
150g  Sour Cream
2 large, free-range eggs
1tbsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda

for the port poached pear
300ml port
50g caster sugar
1 firm pear
for the filling and topping 
300g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125g whipped cream

Method 
1. Heat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan/ 350 F. Grease and line a 9in loose-bottomed cake tin. 
2. Melt the butter with the Guinness over a pan of hot water in a heatproof bowl. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
3. Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla until combined and add into the Guinness mix.
4. Stir through the flour and bicarb and once mixed thoroughly, transfer into the tin evenly and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack.
5. For the pear, heat the port and sugar in a pan with 300ml water. When the sugar has melted, add the pear and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the fruit to cool and reduce the remaining liquid rapidly until you have a syrup. Slice the fruit thinly, removing the core; leave the syrup to cool.
6. Whisk the cream until thick and then beat in the cream cheese with the icing sugar. Combine and chill.
7. Once chilled to room temp, cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread half the cream mix on to the base.
8. Carefully layer on the top half and cover the top with remaining cream. Arrange the fruit on top and drizzle on a bit of syrup as you desire.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Queen of Sheba -Chocolate Torte

Queen of Sheba- Chocolate cake

The Queen of Sheba was referred to in historical texts such as the Bible and QurĂ¡n. She was a monarch of the ancient kingdom of Sheba. The location of her kingdom is believed to have been in Ethiopia and Yemen and she journeyed from afar to offer gifts to the wise and bountiful King Solomon. In return, he offered to give her everything she desired. It is fitting that this cake is named after her and therefore indulgent and luxurious in both appearance and taste. Julia Child loved this French chocolate and almond recipe translated from the french Reine De Saba. The rich dark chocolate flavour and covering are a real treat. A hint of coffee makes this a more sophisticated chocolate cake for special occasions. As featured in The Great British Bake Off book by Linda Collister, this cake looked a little sorry for itself before being dressed with the chocolate icing. I sprinkled it with a dusting of cocoa powder to add a little finesse. I made this for a family get together celebrating both Father's Day and my cousin Sarah's birthday which called for an extra special cake.

Queen of Sheba
 Serves 8

Ingredients
For the sponge
100g dark chocolate (85% solids)
2 tbsp strong coffee
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs separated
pinch cream of tartar
pinch of salt
50g groud almods
65g plain flour

For the icing.
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp strong coffee
100g unsalted butter

Method
1. Preheat the oven 180C/350F. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.
2. Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and melt above some simmering water, keeping the bottom of your heat proof bowl away from the water and allowing the steam to create the heat. Melt to a liquid, remove and allow to cool.
3. Beat together the butter and all but 2 tbsp of the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg yolks one at a time until completely combined.
4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until bubbly. Add the pinches of cream of tartar and salt and whisk again into peaks. Add the remaining 2 tbsp sugar to the egg whites and beat into stiff peaks.
5. Gently fold the chocolate and ground almonds into the sugar and butter mixture with a metal spoon. Then very lightly, add one third of the egg white mixture.
6. Then add small quantities of alternate egg white and flour in until all is combined. Remember to cut and fold in order to avoid beating the air out of the mixture.
7. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared tin and level out. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm and moist.
Remove and cool in the tin on a wire rack, turn out after 5 minutes and cool to room temp.

To make the icing:
1. Melt the chocolate as before over a pan of hot steam. Once the chocolate has melted, add the coffee and stir in the butter a little at a time. Chill in the fridge or freezer until a thick paste is created.
2. Spread over the surface and edges of the cake before sprinkling with cocoa.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cafe Rita Harrogate - Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea for two at Cafe Rita, Harrogate
A recent treat came in the shape of Cafe Rita, located on Bower Street, Harrogate. As a group of guests with lofty expectations, my friends and I went with open but suspicious minds. Surely afternoon tea inclusive of a glass of bucks fizz all for 9.95 could not be up to much. But I was reasonably impressed!
The cafe is quite intimate, located near to the bus and train stations and slightly away from the main shopping thoroughfare. They have a very extensive menu, (I was glad I came specifically for the AT) and are open 7 days.

Afternoon Tea cakes, Cafe Rita, Harrogate
Delicate cake stands were grand and imposing, filled to the brim with generous portions of afternoon delights.

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches, Harrogate, Cafe Rita
The selection of sandwiches were standard, but neatly displayed and larger than you average finger sandwich! We asked for some changes for vegetarians or allergies and all our requests were met politely. Tea was also refilled on tap.

Scones in the afternoon, Cafe Rita
The scones were light and delicious and the miniature cakes were certainly adequate for the overall value of our experience. Thanks Rita, whoever you may be!

Lovely china, Cafe Rita, Harrogate

Sangria in Nicosia - Cyprus

Sangria in Nicosia

It's been long while since I saw any sunshine, so my recent trip to Cyprus was a real god send. My friend Ashleigh is lucky to have generous parents willing to let us go and stay in their beautiful apartment. Their second home is situated in the small town of Peyia, around 30mins drive from Paphos. This gorgeous place is a laid back cluster of local grocers, bakeries and bars including 'The Jail', a one time prison and more recent rustic looking public house where the expats like to meet and greet. The owner is forthcoming with stories, historical paperwork referencing his pub and a collection of British police constable hats behind the bar!

Now, a girl can while away a fair few hours around a pool with cocktails and snacks, but then you begin to feel a little guilty for not absorbing any local culture. So we took the Jimmy 4x4 two hours up the road to Nicosia - locally known as Lefkosia. Interestingly it is the only remaining divided capital city in the world. Halved between southern Greece and northern Turkey, it was once a controversial barbed and armed affair which has become much more relaxed in recent years. Once we arrived in the city and parked up we really just meandered around aimlessly, a little unprepared without a map. We found the old city wall bustling with people and public transport but safely headed into the old city streets. Much of this area is pedestrianised with high street names and food chains, but some boutique stores are mixed amongst. We walked through the souvenir and craft stalls right up to the passport control point without even realising. Strangely the atmosphere at the check point was like a queue in a theme park. One stamp in your passport by a jovial official and off you pop into Turkey. What an adventure!

Buyuk Han - Great Inn, Nicosia.

Within the old crumbling buildings on the other side of the line, we found a beautiful courtyard known a Buyuk Han, or Great Inn. This place was once an 18th century Ottoman tradesman pit stop. It later served as a safe house for the homeless, and lent itself well as a prison. Now it simply offers great food, spirited service and handicrafts behind each quaint little doors. We panicked a little when we realised the currency had changed into Turkish Lira, but the friendly waitress explained the two currencies were interchangeable within such close proximity of the border. 

Ladies who lunch in Buyuk Han, Nicosia.

With the sun beating down and the atmosphere a quiet calm, we ordered a fresh jug of sangria and some alfresco lunch. One fresh a fruity cheese platter, a token portion of halloumi and pitta and some marinaded prawns. What a treat! Ash had made it her mission to eat halloumi everyday and to be honest Amy and I were not far behind. Halloumi is a Cypriot hard cheese made from goat and sheep's milk, sometimes cow's too. It is perfect grilled or barbecued as it retains it's firm texture when cooked.

Cheese board platter, Buyuk Han, Nicosia

Alfresco Halloumi, Buyuk Han, Nicosia

Lunch in Buyuk Han, Nicosia

Sangria in Nicosia

The friendly locals wanted to chat to us and ensure we were enjoying our surroundings. The waitress was most kind acting as interpreter with this fine fellow. What a magnificent moustache!


After lunch at the height of the afternoon sun, we browsed the handicrafts before hopping and skipping back across the border for a spot of shopping. We later found that the main shopping area we were perusing was the Lidras or Ledra Street, formerly linking north and south as the UN buffer zone. Further refreshment! We rested at Heraclis Cafe and Restaurant along the Lidras and shared a couple of ice cream sundaes. They have a wonderful choice of flavours and again offered a lovely outdoor table on the pedestrian street. We could people watch while enjoying the sunshine and even made a little friend who was pleased to greet those passing by.

Cherry ice cream sundae, Heraclis, Nicosia.

Chocolate ice cream sundae, Heraclis, Nicosia

Parrot friend, Heraclis, Nicosia.

Later in the afternoon we spotted a cafe offering flavoured shisha, it looked pretty chilled and seemed a nice way to end a day of relaxed indulgence.

Hookah, shisha cafe, Nicosia.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights - Cardamon Rice Pudding


'...Indulgent but balanced food that celebrates the simple joy of eating' - Sophie Dahl.


Cardamon Rice Pudding

Tom's mum sent us a copy of Sophie Dahl's cook book which was rather intriguing as I always think of her grandfather's characterisation of the little girl Sophie in The BFG. How such a girl can develop recipes to tempt and capture the imagination is a testament to old Roald.

The book looks at seasonal recipes for breakfast, lunch and supper, but I of course headed straight for the pudding section.

My Nana has her own legacy- rice pudding, so I was taken with this scented version. I adapted Sophie's recipe slightly to resemble my Nana's methods and polished it off with a spoon full of my friend Jenny's Rhubarb and Orange marmalade.

Cardamon Rice Pudding

Ingredients
1.4 litres Kara coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
300g pudding rice
8 cardamon pods deseeded and crushed
50g honey
4 knobs of butter

Method
1. Pour the milk and cinnamon into a heavy bottomed oven dish and stir in the rice.
2. Add the crushed cardamon seeds, butter and honey and stir.
3. Transfer to a preheated oven 200C and bake stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Add more milk if it begins to dry out.

My Nana uses condensed milk which creates the delicious caramel layer that rice pudding gets when baked, this didn't materialise when using coconut milk but it was obviously much healthier.

I also wanted to mention my new Hanson mechanical scales which Tom kindly bought me for Christmas! I love them. I was getting sick of replacing digital scale batteries so these work for me.

Hanson mechanical scales

Mini Yorkshire Apple Curd Tarts



Amongst the battered old cook books on my mums shelf above her kitchen door are a collection she was given by my Dad's mother, my grandma. My grandma was a Yorkshire housewife I never had the pleasure of knowing, but one I can learn from when referring to her hand written notes in the margins of her cookbooks.

I was looking for a traditional cold sweet recipe to enter a competition at work, but nothing I found in these books sounded refined enough to grace the cake trolley at Bettys despite it's Yorkshire theme, more a mass of material worthy of farmers and millers and those fascinating dishes traditionally connected with Yorkshire. After trialing and failing one Wharfedale Orange Tart, it became obvious to me that some of the recipes were probably cooked on coal of wood stoves and cooking times in modern ovens probably are quite difficult to negotiate. One disastrous tart emerged slamming any confidence I had in entering a competition with any time soon. The other thing is that all the weights and measures appear in lbs and oz. which is a good test of my maths.

A curd tart recipe jumped out at me as it had a little twist of apple. Curd tart is a keen family favourite so I decided to bake some mini versions as another test case. They came out rather well and adding some berries made them appear slightly healthier despite all the butter. To me these are more of a custard and less a curd, but they are delicious!


Yorkshire Apple Curd Tarts

Ingredients
Sweet shortcrust pastry- makes 500g
500g plain flour
50g sugar
250g cold butter cubed
zest  of one lemon
2 large eggs
a splash of milk

(the additional pastry dough can be frozen to use later)

For the filling
60g butter
60g sugar
1 egg
1 Bramley cooking apple peeled and cored 

Method
1. Make the pastry. Rub the butter into the sifted flour using your finger tips. Once resembling bread crumbs, add the sugar, bind together with the lemon, eggs and milk until it is a soft sticky dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
2. Melt the butter ad sugar in a pan over a low heat.
2. Remove from the stove to cool a little and then add the beaten egg and grated apple.
3. Take the pastry out the fridge. Roll out on a floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin. Use a cutter to the desired size and fit the round discs into a patty or mini cake tray. I used a silicone cupcake tray.
4. Add spoons of the egg mixture to your pastry cases being careful not to overfill or splash as the mixture will catch in the oven.
5. Bake for 15-20 mins on 180C or until golden and the curd is set.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Nepalese Yak Yeti Yak - Bath

30th birthday cake

My sister is another year older and this year was a milestone. A special trip down to Bath was in order to celebrate and so the five hour drive had to be made worthwhile! Spending time with family on your birthday is important but choosing the right place to get together can turn a family reunion into an unforgettable evening for all the right reasons. Jen decided that she wanted to eat out somewhere she has enjoyed a few times now. Nepalese food is a bit off the beaten track and Yak Yeti Yak on Pierrepont Street, Bath is a great place to sample the subtle blends of flavour in a comfortable and relaxed basement restaurant. The music and incense catapult you to Nepal and the friendly service is a bonus. An extensive menu is made easier with the offer of a set meal menu, both meat and vegetarian options are both extensive.

Yak Yeti Yak - set menu

Maasko Dal -Split black lentil sauce

We all plumped for the set meat menu which included the all time classic Nepalese meal of rice, your choice of black or orange dal, aloo channa which is a potato and chickpea dish spiced with cumin, fresh crispy popadums, and delicious stone-ground chutney. With these side dishes you also get your choice of meat dish. I went for the lamb tamar; a slow cooked lamb with bamboo shoots, black-eye peas and potato finished with tomato and coriander. The food is cooked to order and we were asked to specify if we preferred to alter the spice levels. It was good to know that the food was sourced locally, to.
The two dal options were both delicious, the black tasted a little more earthy and the orange was a little sweeter. Musurko Dal- Split orange lentil sauce cooked with traditional spices and finished with garlic fried in vegan butter. Maasko Dal -Split black lentil sauce cooked with traditional spices and finished with Himalayan herbs fried in butter.

Nepalese dinner - Yak Yeti Yak
 
The food really was delicious and so different from either Indian or Asian tastes we are used to and you could taste the goodness in each dish. I was very impressed with everything!
 
Birthday cake
 
We asked the waiter to bring out a birthday cake after the meal and he was very obliging. I brought the cake on a piece of card wrapped in foil and he followed my lead wrapping the knife and box in foil too! 
 
As always, Tom being Tom decided to have a dessert as well! He opted for a sweetened spiced carrot tartlet, Yak Yeti Yak's contemporary version of a Kathmandu classic with ice-cream. The tart was not too sweet at all and clearly a healthy pudding if ever I tasted! 
 
Happy birthday!