Monday, March 07, 2011

Favourite Foods

Made in Minutes Lemon Curd:
2 oz (50g) butter
5 oz (150g) caster sugar
zest and juice 2 (pref large) lemons
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten together
If the lemons are waxed, give them a good wash before using. If waxed, still give them a rinse, then pat dry.
Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a microwave bowl and cook on High for 1 - 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then stir in the eggs. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook on High for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Return to oven and repeat for a total of 3 - 4 minutes, until the curd has thickened, always giving it a good stir after each minute of cooking time. Then pot up into small, hot and sterilised jars, seal, cool and store in the fridge where it should be kept and eaten within 6 weeks of making.

For ease of making, the recipe has been divided into three. The first part being the preparation of the date mixture, the second the making of the pudding batter, the third is the caramel sauce. This name is what B calles this dish, of course it really it Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Ticket Office Pudding: serves 6 - 9
8 oz (225g) stoned dates, chopped
1 tblsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
half pint boiling water
Put the dates, coffee, vanilla and water into a bowl, give a good stir then add the bicarb. last. Set aside to cool slightly whilst making the cake batter.
4 oz (110g) butter, softened
6 oz (175g) caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, fold in the flour, and when combined carefully fold in the date mixture - this will cause the batter to be very runny which is how it should be.
Pour this into a greased and lined 8" (20cm) square cake tin, making sure the paper comes well above the sides of the tin if it is fairly shallow. Then bake for approx one and a half hours at 180C, 350F, gas 4 - it will be cooked when firm but still springy in the centre. Remove from oven and pour over the topping (recipe below)
caramel topping:
3 oz (75g) soft brown sugar
2 oz (25g) butter
3 tblsp double cream
Put the above ingredients into a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the hot pudding and (if wishing to eat now) return to oven or pop under the grill until the topping is bubbling, then slice and serve.
Alternatively, pour over the pudding and leave to get cold, when the topping will set to an almost fudge texture. This can then be cut into six or nine portions to reheat later in the microwave . This pudding freezes extremely well, with or without the topping, so wrap each portion separately. Reheat one portion at a time from frozen for one minute on High, or half a minute if thawed (slight adjustment of timings may be needed according to the size of portion and type of microwave oven used, err on the low side, and then heat for a little longer if necessary).
An optional extra is to make more fresh and hot caramel sauce to serve at the table. Believe me - it's worth it!