Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gluten-Free Pear and Almond Tart

I'm on a bit of a gluten-free roll these days! Having discovered that gluten-free pastry isn't as tricky to make is one thing, but, more importantly, it tastes very good and still has a lovely crisp and crumbly texture. If you want to make this delicious tart with plain flour, by all means do. The pastry will work out just as well. I have always been a lover of pear and almond or frangipane tart. Believe me, with a dollop of freshly whipped vanilla cream, this is a real treat. The pastry, pears and frangipane mixture can also be prepared in advance, which is always a bonus for time saving, especially if it's something you would like to serve for dessert while entertaining. This recipe is inspired by Angela Hartnett's recipe, which I found on the Delicious Magazine website. The tart serves 8 generous portions and you will need a 24 - 26 cm diameter tart tin.
Gluten-free Pear and Almond Tart

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter in Prague

Prague is a European city that I have wanted to visit for quite some time. I can now say, with absolute certainty, I am so glad I have finally taken a trip to "The Golden City".

What would you tend to think of when you think of Prague? Beer, quite possibly. The Czechs are the second highest consumers of beer in the world! Pork knuckle, ham hock, Prague ham and various variations. The stunning beauty of the well preserved buildings, the 650 year old Charles Bridge, The Old Town Square with its majestic astronomical tower, the oldest medieval castle in the world?! Prague has so much to offer and as a foodie destination, it is a definite winner.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Hi all. I am off enjoying the sights (and food!) in Prague this Easter weekend. As Easter is synonymous with chocolate, which is one of my very favourite things, I must share with you one of the most glorious chocolate desserts - Nigella's instant chocolate mousse. Mmm! You can check out and try the recipe for yourself here. It would make a perfect Easter Sunday dessert. It is luscious and indulgent but the big home baker bonus is how easy it is to make. I wish one and all a very happy, relaxing and sweet Easter!

Na zdraví! - cheers, sláinte and bon app, from Praha. X

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Strawberry Victoria Sponge Cake

Sometimes, less is more and simplicity is the way forward. When it comes to cakes, as much as I adore triple chocolate lusciousness from time to time, or the stunning aesthetic of a rainbow cake, I very often return, with much joy, to the good old sponge! This recipe for Victoria sponge is taken from Lorraine Pascale's 'Baking Made Easy'. To me, it is perfectly simple and the result is a cake that rises beautifully and is springlike and light to eat. Now that strawberries are beginning to come into season, combining them with this cake as its filling, makes for a perfect match. Serve your friends or family a slice of this with a hot cup of tea from your best China teacup and you will surely be a truly impeccable afternoon tea host or hostess!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Black Pudding and Blue Cheese Quiche

This quiche is a real homage to some of the very best of Irish produce we have on offer to us and it includes two of my firm favourites - Black Pudding (sourced from the renowned and award-winning Kelly's Butchers of Newport, Co. Mayo) and Cashel Blue Cheese (now in its thirtieth year, this is arguably Ireland's greatest cheese export). So, a little bit of French traditional cooking (la quiche) combined with some delicious Irish flavour combinations, et violà, we have a delicious meal! This quiche is best served cold and is a fantastic, quick and easy breakfast option. It is also a perfect picnic treat and fingers crossed, there may be more occasions for picnicing as the spring rolls into the summer. You will need a 26 cm pie dish for this quiche. I made this quiche with gluten-free flour and although most Irish puddings contain gluten, both Clonakilty and Hogins now provide gluten-free versions. I had a little gander at the Coeliac Society of Ireland's forum, and the consensus is that the Clonakilty gluten-free is the best one to go for. Of course, this recipe can also be made with regular plain flour and regular pudding, such as the Kelly's one I used. Bon appétit!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Eton Mess with a French Twist

Since purchasing my Kenwood Chef, (yes, I know I've been mentioning it a lot, but it's my newest and most treasured possession!) I have wanted to try out meringues, specifically to make Eton Mess. I decided to add one of my favourite liqueurs, to give it that extra 'je ne sais quoi' and Creme de Cassis does just that. Married with the fact that it adds to an intense berry flavour through the dessert, the cute pink shade of the cream is just lovely. This would make a great dinner party dessert. It's light, yet really sweet and tasty and once you've your meringues made, it's a doddle to prepare! I adapted my meringue recipe from one of the culinary goddesses, Delia's recipe, on her website, which can be found here. Using all of the meringues, this would easily serve 8 people, but my recipe is to serve 4 people, so you can hold onto and store your leftover meringues for future sweet occasions.