Happy Thanksgiving!

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©eleanorwright

Happy Thanksgiving! No I’m not American and no I don’t really have any American family, in all honesty I just want to make a pumpkin pie because I have never made one. Actually I have never eaten one either, until now. I must say I enjoyed it and definitely will make one again, they are surprisingly easy.

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©eleanorwright

This recipe I stole from the hummingbird bakery as I had no clue where to start, I had however brought a pumpkin.

Ingredients:

  • 260g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 110g butter

For the filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 425g pumpkin puree
  • 235ml evaporated milk
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3/4tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground ginger
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • lightly whipped cream to serve

Method:

  1. For the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and rub together until you get a breadcrumb consistency. Add a tablespoon of water one at a time beating well after each addition until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3.
  3. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Line the prepared pie dish with dough and trim the edges with a sharp knife.
  4. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the dough and pour in the baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the greaseproof and the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. The dough should still be pale and slightly raw.
  5. All the recipes I have found says to used a tin of pumpkin puree, I made mine by simply cutting the pumpkin up and roasting until it soften then blitz it in a food processor.
  6. Next put the egg, pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, cloves, salt, cinnamon, ginger and flour in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is well combine and there are no lumps.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set firm and doesn’t wobble when shaken.
  8. Leave to cool and serve with a dollop of lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

So that’s how you make a pumpkin pie. To make the recipe even easier simply buy a ready made pastry or even better a ready made pastry case (it means skipping steps 1-4).

 

 

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Bonfire Night!

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©eleanorwright

Where has the year gone? Bonfire Night already? I can’t quite believe it! I must say this is my favourite time year, mainly because there are so many celebrations (in which food plays a key part which is always a plus). As you may of guessed this blog post is about Bonfire Night. I have just the one recipe for you but trust me it’s a good one, a real showstopper, and as always I have a cheat to speed up the progress. So let’s get in to it!

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©eleanorwright

This recipe I got from my delicious magazine.

Toffee Apple Sticky Toffee Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 100g unsalted butter, plus a extra knob for frying the apples
  • 4 eating apples
  • 180g dates
  • 150g boiling water
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100ml milk

For the toffee sauce:

  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 275ml double cream
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 3 toffee apples

Method:

  1. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Core and slice the apples, then fry in the butter for 10-15 minutes until caramelised.
  2. Meanwhile put the dates in a bowl and soak in the boiling water.
  3. Heat the oven 170c/150c/gas 3. Beat together 100g butter and 150g of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then beat in the treacle and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift over the flour and bicarbonate of soda, gently fold in along with the milk. Stir in the dates and most of the fried apples (leave some for decoration).
  5. Pour the mix into a casserole dish, place the remaining apple on the top, then put into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the pudding is firm, and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean.
  6. To make the toffee sauce, put the 255g sugar, 100g butter and half of the cream and heat gently. Once the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and add the treacle. Let it bubble (stirring all the time) for 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns a rich toffee colour. Then take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream.
  7. To finish off pierce the pudding all over with a skewer and pour over some of the toffee sauce and then top with the toffee apples.

So you can make your own toffee apples (I will put the recipe below) however personally I brought toffee apples as they are just as good and are of course a lot quicker then making your own.

Toffee Apples:

Ingredients:

  • 8 apples
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 2tsp white wine vinegar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Push skewers or clean twigs into the centre of the apples.
  2. Put the sugar, vinegar, butter, syrup and 150ml of cold water in to a sauce pan and heat on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat  to medium-high and boil until the mixture turns golden brown in colour. Take the pan off the heat.
  3. Dip the apples into the toffee apples, turning to fully coat. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

 

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

This recipe deserves a whole blog post to itself. I love Terry’s choclate orange and it’s a shame they only tend to be around at christmas time, so this is a blog post for those who need a chocolate orange kick mid-summer. I most say these cupcakes are amazing!

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©eleanorwright

Ingredients:

  • 70g unsalted butter, softened
  • 210g caster sugar
  • 105g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp finely grated orange zest
  • 255g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 240ml whole milk

For the icing:

  • 600g icing sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 3tsp finely grated orange zest

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and fill the cupcake try with paper cases.
  2. Cream together the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla essence and the orange zest (I added some orange juice too).
  3. Sift together the remaining ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture with the milk and continue beating with your mixer until smooth.
  4. Divide the mixture between your paper cases, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes (depends on the size, we left ours in for only just 15) until the sponges spring back when you press them. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the frosting: whisk the icing sugar with the butter until crumbly and lumpless. Add the cream cheese, cocoa powder and continue to mix. Finally add the orange zest and stir in by hand (again I added some orange juice too).
  6. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with cake crumbs and orange zest.

I am going to reapeat it, these cupcakes are amazing!!

Watch that drip

This blog post is all about the drip cake. I have been practising and I would say I am yet to completely prefect the art that is needed for making a prefect drip cake but here are my recipes and tips so far.

With the ganache for the drips make sure it is not too firm that it is unable to run down the cake. Also make sure that whatever icing you have used on the cake is set, and cold as the cold temperature will stop the ganache running all the way down the cake.

This first recipe combines white chocolate and raspberries, a combination that I adore. Play around with the decorations, I hope you have as much fun as I did.

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©eleanorwright

White Chocolate and Raspberry Drip Cake

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 175g raspberries

For the white chocolate ganache:

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 350ml double cream

For dark chocolate ganache (for the drip):

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150g double cream

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tins.
  2. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1-2 mins, then beat in the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk. Fold in the flour and raspberries.
  4. Gently pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (the raspberries may leave a residue on the skewer, so don’t be fooled by their juiciness).
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.
  6. To make the ganache, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the white chocolate has melted into the cream and you are left with a smooth, glossy ganache.
  7. Leave the ganache to cool to room temperature, then beat in the rest of the cream.
  8. When the cakes have cooled, sandwich them together with the white chocolate ganache. Chill in the fridge until the ganache is set.
  9. Repeat for the dark chocolate ganache. Melting the chocolate with 50ml of the cream. Stir until all the chocolate has melted then leave to cool to room temperature, then add the remaining 100ml of cream. Place in the fridge to stiffen up.
  10. Once the cake and the white ganache has fully set and the dark chocolate ganache has thickened pour the dark chocolate ganache over the top, using a teaspoon to encourage it to drizzle down the sides or use a drip bottle. Then use the rest of the ganache to cover the top. Then decorate and serve.

Now for a recipe that I created at Easter time, the orginial recipe uses duck eggs but hen eggs are fine too. It is a beautifully light cake and great cake for a celebration.

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©eleanorwright

Easter Drip Cake

For the sponge:

  • 250g butter
  • 5 duck eggs or 250g weight of beaten hen’s eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • food colouring

For decoration

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
  • mini eggs
  • crème eggs

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line 2 x 20cm cake tins with baking parchment and grease the parchment too.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk for about 5 mins until pale and fluffy. Keep whisking as you add the melted butter, a little at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder with a large metal spoon until you can’t see any pockets of flour.
  4. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 35 mins or until bouncy to the touch and a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin, then turn out onto wire racks when cool enough to handle.
  5. To make the buttercream, tip the butter into a big bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk. Add the icing sugar, 2-3 tbsp at a time, until it’s all incorporated, adding the milk halfway through the process.
  6. Scrape the seeds out of a vanilla pod, add them in and whisk again. stir your food colouring into the mixtures.
  7. When the buttercream mixture is ready and the cake is cold, level the cakes with a bread knife, and stick all the layers together with the uncoloured buttercream.
  8. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of the coloured buttercream – this will seal in any crumbs. Chill the cake for 30 mins, then cover with the rest of the buttercream and use a palette knife or pastry scraper to make the buttercream flat.
  9. To make the ganache, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the white chocolate has melted into the cream and you are left with a smooth, glossy ganache.
  10. Chill the ganache until it thickens then pour the chocolate ganache over the top, using a teaspoon to encourage it to drizzle down the sides.
  11. To finish, sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder or grated chocolate onto the cake. top with a cluster of mini chocolate eggs and crème eggs, then serve.

A pot of Caramel Sauce

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©eleanorwright

This blog post is about one of my favourite things, caramel sauce. That deliciously addictive taste so happened to become a theme in some of my recent work without fully knowing it, obviously I was fulfilling a subconscious want for caramel sauce.

 

Both recipes have a slight festive theme. The pumpkin and caramel cake, perfect for Halloween which I know seems so far away but believe me it will be here before you know it. Though this cake would work perfectly by simply swapping the pumpkin for apples, I couldn’t imagine a better fit.

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©eleanorwright

Pumpkin & Caramel Cake

 

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 80ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 210g pumpkin puree

For the filling:

  • 225g full-fat cream cheese
  • 125g icing sigar
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of cloves
  • 125g butter

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of two 23cm cake tins.
  2. Beat 200g caster sugar with 200g unsalted butter, then gradually beat in 4 large eggs.
  3. Mix together 200g self-raising flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp spices and fold into the cake batter. Gently fold in 2 tbsp full-fat milk and 210g pumpkin purée until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tins and bake for 22-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins while you make the filling.
  5. Beat the butter with the icing sugar and spices until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  6. When the cakes are cool, put the bottom layer on a plate, spread with 2tbsp of carnation caramel, then smooth over a 1/3 of the filling.
  7. Add the next layer and repeat until you have an amazing tower of pumpkin, cake, caramel and cream.

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©eleanorwright

The banana and walnut bundt cake maybe has less of a festive theme though to me a bundt cake reminds me of Christmas and though I am enjoying the heat wave we are experiencing at the moment, part of me longs for those shorter days curled up by the fire and putting up the Christmas tree.

 

Banana Date Bundt Cake with Walnuts and a Caramel Sauce

 

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3tbsp clear honey
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 100g dates
  • 50g chopped walnut

For the topping

  • 50g walnuts
  • 1 can of Carnation Caramel

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Butter and line the base of an 18cm Bundt mould or round cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the flour, cinnamon, butter, sugar, eggs and honey in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Mash the bananas and chop the dates. Stir into the cake mix with the walnuts
  4. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 mins until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (a round tin may take 10-20 mins more). Cool in the tin, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the topping, drizzle the caramel over the cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

 

This is one of my all time favourite recipes but I’m a sucker for a banana loaf and caramel sauce.

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©eleanorwright

Chocolate and a Little Coffee

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This blog post is all things chocolate, with an added bit of coffee at the end! I’m the biggest chocolate fan around and so it seemed only natural to devote a whole blog post to this love. So here we go!

My first recipe this week is chocolate macaroons (from the bbc good food website) and for those who saw my first attempts at these will agree, practise make perfect!

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Chocolate Macaroons:

Ingredients:

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 medium egg whites

For the filling:

  • 50g milk or dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp skimmed milk

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then stir in the ground almonds.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the dry ingredients.
  4. Fill an icing bag fitted with a plain nozzle with the mixture (or put in a large food bag and snip off the corner).
  5. Pipe 24 small blobs, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each.
  6. Smooth the surface with a wet finger, then leave for 15 mins to dry out. Bake for 15-20 mins until macaroons feel firm to the touch and peel easily off the paper. Cool on the paper, then peel off and store in a tin for up to 1 week.
  7. To make the filling, put chocolate into a heatproof bowl and gently melt over a pan of barely simmering water.
  8. Stir in the warm milk until smooth. Leave to cool and thicken a little, then use to sandwich the macaroons together.

So there you have it, chocolate macaroons, be aware that your first attempt may not go so well, and your second attempt even worse! Like I said practise makes perfect!

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My second recipe this week is called chocolate pots, it is a really easy recipe, unlike the macaroons no practise is required!

Chocolate Pots:

Ingredients:

  • 200g good-quality chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 medium egg yolks

Method:

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just boils, then pour it over the chocolate.
  3. Stir until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks.
  4. Tip the mixture into a jug, then pour into four individual pots and put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hrs.

Done! Yes it is that easy! And my god they taste good!

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©eleanorwright

This week I wanted to do a little extra on my blog post and show some work from a commission that I did for my uncle and his partner for their cafe in Turkey.

They asked for some more arty food photographs to fill what then was a blank space on a wall in the cafe, here is the outcome.

 

©eleanorwright

I had so much fun shooting these images that I found it really inspiring so maybe you will see more of this style from me in the future we will just have to wait and see!

Rhubarb

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©eleanorwright

With spring on the way, I got inspired! With forced rhubarb in season at the moment, I decided it was going to be the theme for this week’s blog post.

I have loved rhubarb since, well I can’t remember, my gran grew it in her garden and would make rhubarb jam and make other delights as well. Forced rhubarb has it’s own tale, sweeter in taste, forced to grow in the dark and picked by candle light.

Normally I blog one sweet and one savoury recipe but this week I have decided to treat you all to two sweet recipes (because this month, I have given up chocolate for lent so I’m craving sweet things). So the first recipe this week is a rhubarb cheesecake, to me this recipe screams spring with it’s refreshing taste.

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©eleanorwright

Rhubarb Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 400g full-fat soft cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 100g Greek yogurt
  • roasted rhubarb, for the topping

Method:

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits in a sealed bag until you get fine crumbs.
  2. Gently melt the butter, then mix into the crumbs.
  3. Press evenly into a 20cm loosebottomed round cake tin. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
  4. Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix together until smooth. Spread over the base, then smooth the top with a knife.
  5. Leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  6. Meanwhile, trim 400g rhubarb into 2.5cm pieces. Place in a roasting dish.
  7. Sprinkle with zest and juice of 1 orange and 3 tbsp caster sugar.
  8. Cook for 10-15 mins in a 220C/fan 200C/ gas 7 oven until just soft. Leave to cool.
  9. Remove the cake from the tin and top with roasted rhubarb.

This is a delicious, light and refreshing recipe, the essence of spring to me!

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©eleanorwright

Now this recipe is a little bit more long winded than the last one, but if you are a fan of rhubarb and custard then this is a recipe for you!

Rhubarb and Custard Tart

Ingredients:

For Pastry:

  • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg yolk, plus 1 medium egg yolk beaten, for glazing

For Vanilla Custard:

  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

For Roasted Rhubarb:

  • 700g thin forced rhubarb (about 5 stalks), trimmed, rinsed and cut into 9cm long pieces
  • 175g golden caster sugar

Method:

  1. Put the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix together until it just starts to come together as a dough.
  2. Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface, knead together, then wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr before rolling out.
  3. Put the vanilla beans scraped from the pod in a pan over a medium heat, add the milk and bring to the boil.
  4. Meanwhile, tip the egg, yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  5. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 mins until thickened.
  6. Scrape into a bowl and add the butter, mixing until melted and combine, then chill for 3hrs.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle big enough to line a 30 x 20cm rectangular tart tin. Carefully drape the pastry into the tin, pressing into the corners and edges, then cut off the remaining edges. Chill for 30 mins or until the pastry is firm.
  8. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 30 mins, then remove the parchment and the beans, and return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the base is golden brown. Brush the inside of the tart with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 min to set (this creates a seal, meaning the pastry won’t become soggy, hopefully). Set aside to cool.
  9. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the rhubarb in a small roasting tin and sprinkle over the sugar    . Roast for 15-20 mins, or until the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.
  10. Remove the custard from the fridge, beat to loosen, then pour over the pastry and smooth with a spatula and then top with the roasted rhubarb. Best eaten on the day its made.