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.

 

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.