Saturday, 31 May 2008
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
the most time-consuming part is of course the coconut custard...but then you have to figure that in for any custard you make. but it definitely tastes better when you do it yourself. this custard turned out light and creamy.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
some time ago i discovered the most wonderful blend of tea by Twinings...camomile, honey and vanilla tea. this stuff is pure calmness in a cup and the smell of those three flavours together is enough to send you into a meditative state simply by inhaling the aroma.then recently i managed to pick up some camomile chocolate...and i figured i'd like to incorporate it into the cupcake...a perfect garnish! so let's talk about the benefits of camomile...
Health benefits are:
1. Help induce sleep.
2. Calm nervous stomach and improve digestion.
3. Soothe skin irritations, including sunburn, heat rash and haemorrhoids.
4. Relieve toothache.
5. Improve bronchitis.
6. Help with bladder troubles.
7. Treat eye inflammation and infection
8. Heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease
9. Treat irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints
10. Help regulate menstrual periods.
11. Reduce menstrual cramps.
12. Good for the kidneys and spleen health.
13. Help alleviate symptoms of the common cold.
14. Promote relaxation and alleviate stress.
15. Help to expel worms and other parasites.
16. Improve liver function and relieve jaundice.
17. Help prevent gangrene.
18. Relieve back pain.
19. Improve rheumatism.
i iced the cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream flavoured with a tablespoon of honey, and again the combination was perfect and just brought out those flavours in the cupcake. the whole cupcake was then garnished with a triangle of camomile chocolate. could you possible think of anything more relaxing than that?
my great taste-tester, my brother, immediately gobbled down three. he is a big fan of the tea and said the whole experience was like eating the tea in a cupcake. i did my usual one cupcake taste test and yes...it was sublime. mouthful after mouthful of absolute calm and serenity. i just loved it.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
the inside of the rice pudding - i have tried this with all different kinds of grains of rice. here in Ireland you can buy such a thing as 'pudding rice' which obviously is perfect because it is very short grain and white in colour, but any short grain rice will suffice. i used basmati rice for this version and it worked fine.
all served up in the bowl and almost ready to be eaten...photographing the pudding was quite a challenge as inbetween photos my brother was digging into the pudding and devouring it at a speed that one might consider to be well above the average rate of eating.
and finally, in my family, baked rice pudding has always been eaten with milk poured over it. does that seem strange? well, it's just how we've always done it. it's a perfect contrast - the hot rice pudding just out of the oven and the cold, fresh milk. yummy!
and now for the recipe...
choose a pie dish and cover the bottom with uncooked rice. wash the rice until the water runs clear. cover the rice with milk and put in the oven for about 20 minutes until the top of the rice is lightly browned and the skin has burst (my grandma called this stage the bursting the rice stage!) remove from the oven and scrape the rice from side of the dish and break it up. put about 3 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar and half a cup of raisins into the rice. mix it up. pour in enough milk to cover the rice and sprinkle a generous amount of nutmeg on the top. bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the milk has all been absorbed and pudding is firm. remove...don't bother cooling, eat immediately with cold milk straight from the fridge.
there really is nothing better than recipes your grandma taught you...not written down but passed down through the generations by word of mouth. hence the amounts in the above recipe are guestimates.
enjoy a little bit of old-fashioned tummy-warming love courtesy of the loveliest nana in the world!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
now who shall i pass it on to...well for starters it must go to Not Quite Nigella who i think must be currently buried under mounds of bananas as she bakes as much banana bread as she can possible stand to select her winner for the Banana Bread Bake-off! what a task...but can't wait to see the results!
and the other blog i'd like to give it to is Fifi la Cupcakes, who is a relatively new food blogger and i really wanna send her some cupcake-y love and support in her baking ventures. i'm enjoying reading her adventures.
that's it for now...
Friday, 16 May 2008
so it seems the friends at work also wanted to taste the magnificent, diva-licious banoffi cupcakes and so i set to work yesterday making them using the same recipe as before which you can find here. these really are easy to make...the cupcake recipe doesn't involve any of that creaming butter shenanigans and the most time consuming part is actually cutting the cone and filling with toffee sauce. there's no icing as i prefer to use cream to make it more like a real banoffi pie so you just have to whip up the cream in the mixer and pipe it on. and yes, this time i did pipe it on (as opposed to last time when i just kind elegantly dumped it on!) and it did look so much nicer...like a 99 ice-cream that i used to buy here when i was on holidays in the summer months (maybe i need to make a tribute to one of those!)
well, hubby has just sent a message and said that his colleagues all had to take one out and share so they could do a taste test..they couldn't wait for break time and they absolutely loved it. just the kind of feedback i like to hear!
i'm still waiting for my amano chocolate to arrive so hopefully it hasn't melted en route...and hopefully will have something nice and chocolate-y to brew up with that. plus i recently managed to pick up some chamomile infused chocolate and am mulling ideas for a chamomile inspired cupcake.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
blogger will apparently post a message to let all those know to follow me there, so don't get left behind now!
on another note, i just found out that i won another treat courtesy of BlakeMakes and Amano Chocolate yup, yup, i won chocolate! my favourite creation...the very substance that i could quite happily walk around with being fed into me by an iv drip! might get some looks, mind you, but if it meant that i would forever be high on chocolate for the rest of my life, well what better thing than that! i won 3 bars of Amano chocolate and it should be on its way pretty soon so again i shall be checking the post box regularly to make sure that the current heat wave we are experiencing here doesn't melt it away before i get to it! and of course, shall be scratching my head and thinking about what to make and trying not to think about eating it all instead!
and while we are on the subject of chocolate, the reason i'm away from the kitchen for so long is because i am in the midst of helping out with a production of none other than...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. i do some part-time work with a drama school here and they are performing their end-of-year production at the Civic in Tallaght. so anyone in the area...get on down and check it out. last night was opening night, and though i spent it all back stage, controlling packs of oompa-loompas. i believe it went really well! the perfect play to get me in the mood for my soon to be arriving chocolate, no?