Thursday, 15 April 2010

Back to life

In my real life outside blogs, this first term of the year is a hectic one. I am a fortunate person as thanks to my work I get to travel a lot and meet the wonderful people I work with all around the world.

This also allows me to savour the foods and products of different countries. I have been to Shanghai where my friend M. took me to a wonderful restaurant called M on the Bundt and a new one that has just been opened for Shanghai's Expo called Shanghai Tang Café, the first cafe of this exotic chain of shops. I have also been to Panama where we celebrated the presentation of our office there and more memorable than the food we ate were the flower arrangements that we had in our presentation thanks to tia Cuchi, who is a wonderfull lady who made the most beautifull flower arrangements you can imagine all with different sizes of white orchids, then over to Berlin where we did not have much time to eat but my dear collegue S. took me for a wonderfull 2 hour walk from the Brandenburg door to the old city I can't remember the name of the area, but it was a lovely walk.

London was another of my destinations and I love that city, one of my favourite parts of it is Marylebone Highstreet quite near our office so I get to walk through it every time I go there and go for a nice meal at Fish Works or any of the other lovely restaurants. But believe it or not the place that has impressed me the most is Santander, one of the most beautifull spanish cities located in the north of Spain, famous foodwise for its wonderfull anchovies.

I am lucky. In between trips, work and teenagers exams I have been cooking a bit and making meringues for first communions, birthdays, as presents...

Today I am sharing with you my Meringue and lemon curd cake, the combination is a creation of my sister J. And it has a few regular fans among friends and clients. The citrus flavour is a wonderfull combination with the meringue, we know this from lemon meringue pie, but this cake is only meringue double cream and lemon curd in alternating layers. You leave it in the fridge for a few hours before eating it, all these flavours combined in your mouth are just lovely, not too sweet, not too heavy and not too filling!. Try and find it in the collage my son J. has made for me with all my cakes!!
Lemon curd
1 quantity of Delia's smith recipe. You can find it here

6 egg whites
300 gr of sugar

Cream filling
500 ml of double cream whipped

Preheat oven at 100 C
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form
Add the sugar gradually beating up after each addition
Continue whipping until the
Meringue is thick and glossy
Paint 3 21 cm circles in 3 sheets of baking paper
Divide the meringue mixture in 3 and cover the 3 circles, I use a pipe bag (manga pastelera)
Put in the oven on three baking trays for two hours.

When the meringue bases are cold alternate layers of meringue lemon curd and cream, finishing the last layer with the cream. I use either flaked toasted almonds or lemon zest to decorate it.


Sunday, 24 January 2010

The star of my show...Pavlova

Firs of all happy new year to my readers I am taking it easy coming into this 2010. No new years resolutions for now. I find its not making them unless you are really going to have a go at them ... so I'm still deciding which ones to choose!!!

Thanks a mill Lobstersquad for your entry, really nice of you. This entry is dedicated to you, and a real one will be waiting on your next trip to Sevilla.

As all of us foodies or at least all of the sweet tooth foodiesknow,
Pavlova is a meringue cake that was created to honour the visit of the russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in 1920. Where it was created and the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but research indicates New Zealand as the source.

The cake itself is a crunchie meringue base topped with cream and fresh fruit. The original recipe uses egg white, sugar, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and a few drops of vinegar. I use Delia's Smith recipe with only egg whites and sugar. You can find the recipe here.

For me its the queen of all meringues, and now that our wonderfull strawberrys from Lepe in Huelva are begining to come out, its a great time to make it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Seville Mess

This recipe is my local version of Eaton Mess. It was inspired by a chocolate meringue recipe by Donna Hay.

I have a beautiful orange tree at my front door on the street and it is full of oranges. Those of you who have visited Seville at this time of the year might have been impressed by all the orange trees full of fruit. These oranges are picked every year by the city hall and sold to make the famous Seville Orange Marmalade.

It's beatiful to look at in winter and in spring when the orange blossom "azahar" is in blooming it is just incredible the scent in all the town. It's undescribable you just have to come and experience it.

Ok so as I see the oranges every day decided I would make a dessert with oranges, chocolate meringue and cream.


Ingredients for the chocolate meringue

3 egg whites
150 gr. of sugar
100 gr. of 70% cocoa solid chocolate

Ingredients for the chocolate sponge
2 eggs
120 gr. of sugar
20 gr. of cocoan powder
100 gr. of self raising flower
120 gr. of butter

250 ml of double cream
1 large orange cut into segments

Method for the meringues

1.- Preheat oven to 100º centigrade
2.- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form
3.- add the sugar gradually a bit at a time beating after each addition
4.- with a metal spoon add the cooled melted chocolate. dont over work it ass we want to see chocolate ribbons.
5.- spoon even quantities of the meringue mixture on to a baking tray linned with baking parchment
6.- placce in the middle shelf of the oven for 2 hours.

Method for the sponge

Preheat oven at 180 º centigrade
1.- Put all the ingredients into a food processor and beat for 2 minutes.
2.- Pour into a swissroll tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Assemlying the Seville mess:
I made two different verssions one in a glass for this version I put some sponge on the base; I squezed some orange juice over it, put some orange segments, some cream on top of it and some broken meringues.

The second verssion vas made the same way but without the glass, so I used a metal ring mould to assemble the differnt layers.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The 3c`s Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This one is a favourite among friends it is a recipe that I got from one of my aunts at my Grandfather`s funeral. That is something very Irish and not very Spanish.

In Spain we don`t understand that for the Irish funerals are all about celebrating the live of the person that passes away, so for me and my father who were the only foreigners there it was an incredible experience.

I adored my grandfather, I had the priviledge of living two years with him while I was at university and he taught me many things.

And even from his funeral , where people came from all over Ireland and England to remember him with us I have a sweet memory.

One of the many cakes that were brought into the house that night was this carrot cake. I usually make is as a cake but yesterday I decided to make it into cupcakes. It makes about 30.


For the cake

240 gr of self raising flour
1 1/4 ts of cinamon
1/2 ts of baking soda
1/2 ts of salt
180 gr of sugar
60 gr of raisins
60 gr of walnuts
210 gr of grated carrots
6fl oz of olive oil

For the icing

200 gr of cream cheese
100 gr of soft butter
300 gr of icing sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence

Method for the cake

1.- Preheat oven at 210º C
2.- line two 20 cm sandwich tins
3.- Beat the eggs and sugar together until it becomes pale in colour add the oil little by little
4.- Sieve all the dry ingredientes together into a bow
5.- Begin folding in the dry ingredients and the grated carrots
6.- Mix in the walnuts and raisinspour into the two lined tins and bake por 30 minutes

Method for the icing

Mix together all the ingredientes, the icing sugar should be sieved before incorporating it.When the cakes are cold sandwich the two cakes with the icing and cover the top with the icing you have left. You can decorate it with walnuts or orange peel.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Thermomix, chocolate cupcakes

Carlos this entry is specially for you. Of course you can make gorgeus cakes with Thermomix. Just for those of you who are not Spanish and not so familiar with thermomix, I must tell you that this is a kitchen applience that heats, blends, mixes and many more things, you can find all about it here.

Well, this applience is wellcomed into newly weds homes with as much expectation as a new baby. And ... my friend Carlos is at this moment the proud father of a new thermomix. We were discussing today the capabilities of our gadget ( I also have one but mine is a teenager now, a bit rebel at times). As a matter of fact it will not beat up merengue to the soft peaks stage so it is impossible to make italian meringue with it. C. insisted in the different number of beatiful cakes he has made since he got his, and beeing a bit temperamental as a good spaniard I told him IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to make nice cakes in thermomix.

Here is my humble apology, I just made these beatiful and really nice chocolate cupcakes for my daughter M. and her 4 friends who came for tea today. They ate all of the 18 I had made with the help of ´J. and P. So now the recipe.

Thermomix Chocolate cupcakes
For the cupcakes
3 eggs
180 gr. of sugar
180 gr. of butter at room temperature (soft)
130 gr. of flour
50 gr. of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt

For the chocolate icing
60 gr. chocolate
120 gr. butter
1/4 cup of cream
1/2 cup of icing sugar
Preheat oven to 200º

Method for cupcakes in the Thermomix
1.- put the eggs and sugar in the Thermomix with the butterfly and beat for 3 minutes at speed 4 and temperatura 40 for 3 minutes.
2.- now put the butter into the Thermomix and beat for a further minute at speed 4
3.- Put all the dry ingredients into the thermomix and beat for 6 seconds

You have enough mixture for 18 cupcakes. put the mixture into 18 cupcake cases and bake for 10-15 minutes until well risen. Put on a wire rack and let them cool.

Method for the chocolate icing
1.- Put the cream and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, until the chocolate
melts .
2.- Using the butterfly beat the butter with the icing sugar in the thermomix at speed 3 for 2
minutes, you can add the chocolate sauce when it is cold and beat for a further minute. You
can now put the icing into a piping bag with a size 5 nozle and let it cool for a further 30
minutes .
3.- Decorate the cupcakes with a spiral of chocolate icing on top of each of them. For these ones I
put a few drops of mint essence into the chocolate icing .
If you don't have a Thermomix it doesn't matter beat with whatever gadget you got for your wedding!! And if your not married what you got from your mother when you moved out , and follow all the instructions. good luck!

J. thank you for the photos

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

My alter ego

Today I would like to share with you, just in case anyone apart from my family is reading, a company to which I profess great admiration. Its name is Chocolate Pancracio and from my point of view it has made a difference with its approach to creating, designing and selling high quality chocolate products from Spain to an increasing number of countries. You can read all about them here where if you like chocolate your mouth will turn into water.
I have tried several of their recipes and they always turn out right so I urge you to do the same.
Until I get more photos of my own that's all for today.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The recipes

I guess whats the point of having a food blogg if you don't share your recipe's? I would like to start with the recipe for what I call "The best chocolate cake in the world". As a matter of fact it is a versión of the 70's classic Gateau Diane, which you can find in a Cordon
Bleu recipe book from 1973.

I found the inspiration in a cake I tasted in Lisbon called "El meior bolo de chocolate du mondo". I like a challenge so I decided to contest the portuguese version for the world leadership in chocolate cakes.

So as I was begining with my meringue baking and selling adventure, I decided this should be one of the cakes to offer. And I must say it is working very well, even though I say so myself as M.Tabb says.

Th recipe

Chocolate Meringue base

6 eggs whites
300 gr. of sugar
50 gr. of cocoa powder

Chocolate cover

6 egg yolks
150 gr. of butter
200 gr. of milk
100 gr. of sugar
300 gr. of best quality 70% dark chocolate


For the meringue base
Preheat oven to 100 Centrigrade
Beat the egg whites until soft white peaks begin to form
Add the sugar and cocoa little by little, beating up after every addition.
Draw 3 23 cm diameter circles on baking parchment and with a piping bag make three "meringue" circles
Put them into the oven and bake for two hours

For the chocolate cover
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and milk, pour into a heavy based pan and bring to a simmer, ad the butter cut into pieces stirring continously, when you have a smooth custard turn of the heat. Brake the chocolate into small pieces and drop into the hot custard. Leave it for 5 minutes before stirring vigorously. You should have by now a shiny chocolate sauce. Let it cool.

To assemble the cake sandwich the 3 meringue circles with the chocolate filling, covering the top of the last circle aswell. If you wish you can also cover the sides. You can decorate it with little merigues.

I hope you like it as much as me and my friends do.