Monday, 17 June 2013

Lemon meringue cupcakes

These were to good,  I ended up making 2 batches to deliver to 2 different people during course of the week . The base are just cupcake/fairy cake size so although they are rich and lemony with clouds of meringue they are not to much to get through. 

for the cakes
Oven was heated to gas mark 4/180 degrees
110g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
110g self raising flour
zest of one lemon

put 12 cupcake liners in 12 hoes in a cupcake tray
cream together the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated before adding the next egg.  Then sift in the flour and lemon zest and stir through until fully incorporated

Spoon mix into the cupcake liners evenly,  and bake for 15 minutes until they are cooked but testing with a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.  Leave to cool completely.

Then I used end of a piping nozzle to push through gently in the centre and then used a teaspoon to take this bit of cake out and filled it with half a teaspoon of good lemon curd.

for the meringue 

2 egg whites ( room temp)
110g caster sugar

Whisk up the egg whites until soft peak stage, then slowly add the caster sugar while still whisking until the egg whites are tick, glossy and hold a stiff peak.  I piped mine on top with a large star icing nozzle.  And then the fun bit.  I used my mini chefs blowtorch to gently and carefully caramelize the meringue on top to give it the cooked look.  You could also preheat a grill and pop under for a few minutes.

It's a very simple cake but it was I think the most talked about cake I have made lately :o) 

Here's an inner view

As these meringues are not 'cooked'  please be careful with the quality of the eggs you use and don't give these to any of the vulnerable groups to be on the safe side.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

soy glazed chicken salad

Yesterday I bought Delicious magazine. The past few months I haven't really bought or read many magazines but this one caught my eye.  Looking through I found this recipe and as a bonus I actually had everything for it, well almost. Will type it out with what I had and did, if you want the original recipe then go buy the magazine ;o) 

To generously serve 2

2 free range chicken breasts, skinless
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2/3 cucumber, halved deseeded and cut into half moon shapes
1 & 1/2 big carrots peeled, then sliced into finish strips
1/2 iceberg lettuce finely sliced or ideally 2 little gem lettuce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
juice 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
sesame seeds to serve

Directions also say large handful of mint and coriander with the leaves picked which I had but forgot to add. d'oh! Would of made this dish very special I think 

First thing first, had to put the chicken breasts between cling film and flatten a bit so they are about a cm thick. Turns out my chicken breasts were so big we ended up only using one of them after cooking them and have one left for dinner tonight :o)
Put the chicken in a dish, bowl or container and add the soy, honey and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil.  move the chicken around and make sure its all mixed and coated,  leave it to one side for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare your salad and place in a serving bowl along with your herbs. Set aside and warm up a frying pan over a fairly high heat.  When up to heat add the vegetable oil and cook the chicken breasts around 2 minutes per side until cooked and glaze a bit, Mine looked a little scorched in places but it wasn't and tasted great.  When it is cooked then put to one side to rest and cool before slicing into strips. 

For the dressing mix together the rest of the sesame oil, lime juice and fish sauce. Add the dressing and chicken into the salad and toss all together.  Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds if you have them and enjoy. 

This went down really well as it has a fair few contrasting tastes that really make this interesting to eat,  I was a little worried the dressing with the limes might of been a bit sharp for Luke but once it was all dressed and the flavours combined it wasn't to strong at all.  

Best of all from opening the cupboards and grabbing the ingredients to putting the salad on the table took 20 minutes.

Think I am going to try using the second breast I used with some egg fried rice tonight. With some veggies.  I bought 2 chicken breasts from the farm sop Sunday.  Once they were bashed out flat I could only fit one in my frying pan at a time, giant monster chickens on their farm I think.