Tuesday 30 September 2014

Hazelnut Meringues with Drizzled Chocolate

I never really thought about making meringues before, I've made lemon meringue pie and things involving meringue but I never thought about making them to eat but this will definitely not be the last time. Give me a second to just drool over the flavour of hazelnut.... okay I'm good.

I am not the neatest person when it comes to food preparation, I always say I'm a little slap dash, I have the precision and creative ability in me to potentially make something look like it rolled out of a French patisserie with a gold halo surrounding it but I don't always have the patients and I'm much more interested in the flavours and getting to test it out after I'm done. I made these while a friend was over, mostly on purpose because although she barely bakes she loves piping, and me? depending on my mood I might just slap it on a tray and shove it in the oven....lovingly though. I'll just put a disclaimer here: be aware of piping these with a plain nozzle how you would typically ice a cupcake which is 50% icing, our first few attempts looked a little bit like a tray full of poop's, I suppose this disclaimer is also useful if you want your meringues to look like poo's.

Enough poo talk, these meringues are crunchy and chewy and the hazelnut, did I mention the hazelnut? If you think "ehh I'll just buy them" you need to make them anyway, once you've made them you'll be kicking yourself because you haven't done it till now, all those years with mediocre meringues that you'll never get back. I mainly made these to put in eton mess but with the leftovers we ate them with greek yogurt and fruit, all I can say is TASTE SENSATION and strawberries make everything taste better.

Friday 26 September 2014

Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney

Apple season is upon us and boy do I have a treat for you! My mum made this chutney a few years ago because we had apples coming out of our ears, sadly one of our apple trees died this summer, moment of silence please. I know that sounds odd, it was a combination of a great wind storm, it being covered in ivy, being planted next to a brick wall, although we think the brick wall was built after the tree was planted and the roots only having room to grow on one side of the wall. These apples were so addictive, I don't know what type they were and we mostly used them for cooking but apple crumble tasted 10 times better with those apples, I even ate a whole crumble in one sitting because they were so delicious.

I'm not sure where this recipe came from so I can't give credit, it probably came out of some old cook book or magazine. I used the apples off our other less appetising tree, no offense to the tree or the apples they just don't do it for me as much and sadly the plums were bought, but they were British. I did see some plum trees on the side of the road but we didn't have time to get out and pick them. When my mum made this I'm not sure if she doubled or tripled the recipe but it felt like we had jars of chutney everywhere, not that I'm complaining. It's good for BBQ's especially with sausages but one of my favourite ways to eat this is wensleydale and chutney sandwiches, I'm already mentally drooling about the idea of this sandwich and I still have to wait a few weeks till I can eat it.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Blackberry Muffins with Spiced Ginger Crumb Topping

Last week I had an exhausting day of chopping wood, painting and a lot of sanding directly in the sun. I came out of it with an aching arm and burnt shoulders. On the same day my mum and spontaneously I decided to go blackberry picking after dinner, this wasn't your usual drive to a place and mosey on down along the road filling your box. My mum had mentioned she kept seeing blackberries on her morning walk and even though it was a little early for blackberries we drove up to the usual place we pick them and they were miniature and mostly red. So our blackberry picking consisted of driving to a place spending a few minutes there picking the big ones then moving on, I finally had the idea to go look on the other side of town where we used to live and we hit the jackpot, well, mostly the jackpot, we filled an ice cream tub which is more than enough for what I wanted and at this point the sun was starting to set so we went home.

Is this tooting my own horn a little? I made these thinking well I've never had a blackberry muffin before I'm sure they'll be yummy but oh my damn these are good. I didn't think these muffins would taste better than my blueberry muffins but I stand corrected, the slight tartness of the blackberries balancing with the sweetness and the gingery topping my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

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