28 December 2012

over turkey, time for a gin and tonic?

These biscuits are delicious.  Thanks to Jamie Oliver for putting me onto them.  Quick to make too.  And the perfect treat for that post-Christmas lull.  His version has orange zest, but I prefer to use lime.  Lime reminds me of summer holidays, and cranberries of Christmas, so its the perfect combination.  Chocolate?  Reminds me that I want another one, please.  I think these would be pretty tasty with some slivered or broken up almonds in them too, perhaps reduce the cranberries and choc chips by a quarter each, and make up the weight in nuts?  Pistachios?  Go for gold, see what works! 
75 g butter
100 g castor sugar
1 egg
zest of one lime
160 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50 g dried cranberries
100 g dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. 
  2. Cream butter and sugar, then mix in the egg and zest.  Add dry ingredients and mix, before finally adding in the cranberries and chocolate and mixing through. 
  3. Place coin-sized dollops onto baking tray (I line mine with baking paper, but you could grease them with cooking oil or butter if you prefer), flatten and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. 
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling racks before eating with a gin and tonic (or a hot chocolate, if you're Christmasing in cooler climes). 

07 December 2012

Jamie's cobbler

A few weeks ago I borrowed the 2010/2011 Jamie Oliver Recipe Yearbook from Bates.  I think I've mentioned before that I've a bit of a weekness for flicking through recipe books, and particularly enjoy those from Jamie, Nigella and Rick Stein.  They're so full of colourful pictures, and useful tips, that even if you don't end up actually following any recipes they're well worth the peruse. 
Anyhoo, whilst perusing the 2010/2011 annual I came across a cherry cobbler recipe.  I'd never made a cobbler before (we don't really eat a lot of desserts), but it was so straitforward that I had to try it.  It is basically a crumble, but with sconey topping.  I made an apple cobbler, as those were in the fridge.  Apparantly the name 'cobbler' comes from the fact that the overall effect looks a bit like a cobbled street.  Hmmm.  Streetfood.  Yummy! 
500 g apple (either sliced up fresh, or stewed, or a tin from the supy)
squeeze of lemon/lime juice
225 g caster sugar
110 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
40 g butter, chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
50 ml buttermilk (you can make a substitute using normal milk with lemon juice)
handful flaked almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. 
  2. Mix fruit, lime juice, and 175 g sugar together in the base of a pie dish (mine was about 24 cm). 
  3. Beat egg yolk and buttermilk together.  In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and remaining sugar.  Rub in the butter until resembles breadcrumbs. 
  4. Pour egg mixture into flour and mix until you have a sticky dough. 
  5. Drop walnut-sized pieces on top of fruit, leaving some gaps for the scones to expand into.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling. 
  6. Serve warm with ice cream or cream. 
NB: The photo is not of my cobbler, as we devoured it before I thought about taking a picture.  But it gives an idea :)  Furthermore, I think this dessert would go well with a nice glass of single malt alongside - perhaps Talisker or Lagavulin?