Monday, 20 February 2012

Froggy Cake.

I am very proud of this cake.  I made it for our friend Leo who just turned 1!  It is a 12" cake and I have never made such a big cake.  I used the recipe from Lindy Smith's book - Cakes To Inspire and Desire.  The cakes in the book are all far too elaborate for me to ever attempt but I liked the first few chapters for all the advice and the charts with quantities and baking times for madeira, fruit and chocolate cakes of all different shapes and sizes.
The design I completely copied from an image on Google Images.  The original cake belongs to someone called Jen and can be seen on her website here.  It looks like she is a professional cake baker and I don't have permission from her to put my own version here so I just hope it is okay.  If she objects, I will remove it.  If anyone would like to tell me whether it is okay for me to display my copy of her design, I would appreciate the advice. 
My cake is madeira with a layer of raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Paella And Pudding.

Random Recipes is 1 year old!  I am proud to say that I have participated in every single one since Dom came up with the idea. 

Some of the more observant of you will have noticed that I have been struggling to find the time to update my blog.  Working more than usual at the moment but this should get back to normal at the end of this month.  However, I wouldn't want to miss a Random Recipe Challenge.  It is so easy and fun.  Dom sets us a challenge each month to choose a recipe from one of the many in the many cookbooks we already own.  It really is a winner of an idea.  You are likely to get something you would reasonably want to cook as you have chosen to have these books on your shelf.

For this challenge, Dom wanted us to go back and cook something from the same book as we cooked from for our first ever entry for Random Recipes.  My first entry was one I did for a "date night" along with Steve.  We both cooked something - Steve had to cook something from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark and I cooked something from "I Love Food" by Clare-MacPherson-Grant Russell. So, we went back to those books for a second lucky dip.

Steve picked Paella De Pollo Con Alcachofas Y Oloroso (Rice with chicken, artichokes and oloroso).  A regular recipe of Steve's from this book is the Pork, Chorizo and Spinach Paella which we both love so we were excited at the thought of a variation for him to add to his repertoire.

Here is the photo - the lack of colour is entirely my fault as I forgot to pick up the parsley.

We had this meal as a family on a Saturday night and it was very tasty and went down well with the boys.  This recipe was very flavoursome and a great excuse to buy a nice bottle of olorosso but I must say that if you are going to choose a Moro paella recipe to cook, I would recommend the pork, chorizo and spinach one over this one.  I think it has more flavour and much more punch.  I might suggest to Steve the next time he makes the pork one, though, to try adding some of the olorosso as he might be able to enhance it even more!

For pudding, I made the cold lemon souffles with almonds from "I Love To Cook".  I over whipped my cream so these weren't as smooth and light and pretty as they could have been.  They are really just a mousse but the way they are presented in the book makes them look like souffles and really rather impressive.  Alas my ones were not impressive at all and more faff than they were worth.  I would like to try them again, though, to see if they are worth the faff if I get it right.  They certainly had a sharp lemony taste and I do love lemon desserts.

Anyway, I would just like to say Happy Birthday to Random Recipes and a big congratulations to Dom for setting up such an enjoyable challenge, for keeping it going all year and for all his amazing work on the brilliant round ups.