Monday, January 22, 2007

Lean Cuisine

Swiss Roll:
3 eggs ,
3 oz caster sugar,
3 oz S.R.flour
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Carefully fold in the sieved flour. Pour into a greased and lined Swiss Roll tin and bake at 220C, 425F, gas 7, for about 10 minutes or until golden. Turn out onto a piece of paper that has been sprinkled with caster sugar. Cool slightly, peel off the base paper and trim the edges. Spread with jam and roll up.
Tip: Make a thicker cake by an extra egg and 1 oz extra of sugar and flour. For a chocolate version substitute 1/2 oz flour for 1/2 oz cocoa. This cake, sliced, can also be used to make trifles.

Chocolate and Orange Slices:
1 sponge cake, using above recipe
1 - 2 packets of orange jelly
melted chocolate
Make up the jelly using half the recommended amount of water. Pour this into the same sized baking tin used to make the cake, previously lined (base and sides) with clingfilm. When the jelly has set firmly, place the cake on this. Invert onto a cake airer. Peel off the clingfilm. Pour some melted (cooling) chocolate over the jelly and spread to cover. Before the chocolate is fully set, mark through into slices then cut through once the chocolate is firm.

Coconut Pyramids:
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten,
6 oz dessicated coconut
3 oz caster sugar
1 dessp. cornflour
Mix together the coconut, sugar and cornflour and add to the beaten egg whites stirring together until a firm mixture. If too soft add a little more coconut. Form into pyramids (use your fingers, the only way), and place on a well greased baking tin. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 until pale gold. Leave on the tin to get cold before removing (or they may collapse).
Tip: Add a bit of luxury by pouring some melted chocolate over each cooked and cooled pyramid and leave to set. Use the chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids which they say is not just the best for cooking, but is also good for you.

This recipe for low-fat pastry works very well as long as the pastry is baked as soon as it is made, and also eaten hot (preferably freshly baked) on the day it is cooked.
Make, Bake and Partake Pastry
8 oz plain flour plus 4 tsp baking powder
8 oz self-raising flour and 2 tsp baking powder
good pinch of salt
1 -2 oz fat, preferably vegetable shortening
(for a sweet pastry add 1 dessp. sugar).
Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in fat (add sugar if used). Mix to rolling consistency with cold water. This pastry should be rolled out as thinly as possible as it rises a lot. Bake in a very hot oven 22oC, 450F, Gas 7 for about 12 - 15 minutes or until browned.

Yesterday my casserole had the addition of dumplings on top, by special request of Beloved (who had seen a photo of them in a magazine). Luckily I had some suet in the fridge. Must have had it for some months but it still worked. Just mixed a good handful of self-raising flour with half its weight in suet, then added plenty of black pepper, added some dried thyme leaves and mixed to a soft, sticky dough with water. Made rough, flattish balls with my hands (messy job) then popped them on the top of the casserole, covered and cooked (which steamed them really) for half an hour.
Tonight, because my husband is working (never knows what time he finishes, as he has to keep delivering until all the orders are complete) tonight's meal will be Cold Meat Platter, with salad. Probably a hot pudding to follow such as TOPud, which is lasting well. I did say it made 12 portions and freezes well, so Beloved just cuts off a chunk when he chooses then pops it into the microwave for 1 minute. Cream on top of course.