Monday, 26 May 2014

Monday Bake - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

This weekend Hubby and I visited George Bernard Shaw's house in Ayot St Lawrence, a small village in Hertfordshire. Shaw's Corner is a National Trust property. Before going, the only thing I knew about him was that he wrote Pygmalion.

The house is exactly as he left it when he died in the 1950's and bequeathed it to the Trust. The gardens are beautiful - even if it was a bit of a dreary day!  His writing hut is at the bottom of the garden.

Inside you can see his Nobel Prize and his Oscar that he used as a doorstop! He is the only person ever to have won both.

They have recently got the range cooker working again. Isn't it gorgeous?

For pudding yesterday I made another tart.  I made the same pastry as the lemon tart I made in March.

250g plain flour
150g cold cubed butter
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water

Put the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor, whizz until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and water, whizz again until it forms a dough.  
Cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 mins.  Dust your worktop with icing sugar and roll out the pastry and line a 23cm loose bottomed tin.  Chill for 30 mins. 
Preheat the oven to 200c/GM6.  Prick the base, line with greaseproof paper and baking beans, bake for 15mins, remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 15 mins. Leave to cool.  

170ml double cream
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g caster sugar
150g dark chocolate
20g butter.

Put the cream, milk, vanilla and sugar in a pan over a low heat and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate and butter and leave for a couple of minutes.  

To assemble spread a layer of caramel, then pour in the chocolate filling and leave to set in the fridge overnight. The next day cover the chocolate with another layer of caramel. Before serving put a few twists of rock salt over the top.  This is a really rich chocolate tart, best served with creme fraiche.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Islands In The Stream - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
2. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves - Cher
3. Hanging On The Telephone - Blondie

Monday, 19 May 2014

Monday Bake - Chocolate Lime Pie

Continuing with the retro sweet theme from last week, I thought I'd blog about a pudding I made over Easter, John Waite's chocolate lime pie.  The recipe was in a Saturday magazine and was very straight forward - you can find it hereIf you remember the chocolate lime sweets - this recipe is based on those!   We all really enjoyed it and I would definitely make it again. 

The weather this weekend has been gorgeous. Yesterday we went to Hertford, we had a picnic in Hartham Common under the shade of a tree.  We then walked along part of the River Beane, crossed over it and walked up to the Norman Church Of St Leonard.  It dates from about 1120 and is the oldest building in Hertford.  We walked back in to town passing where Captain W E Johns, writer of the Biggles books lived.  Hubby used to work in Hertford, the last time we went was when Minibakebakegirl was in the buggy!

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. D.I.Y- Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
2. You Keep It All In - The Beautiful South
3. Build - The Housemartins

Monday, 12 May 2014

Monday Bake - Rhubarb and Custard Cake

Hubby brought home some rhubarb from the allotment this week.  Last year I made Nigella's rhubarb polenta cake but this week's bake involved a trip to the sweet shop.  All those jars of sweets to choose from - but I was looking for one in particular - rhubarb and custard.

I did laugh, as the last time I bought sweets from a sweet shop like this I would have asked for a quarter, but I wasn't sure what to ask for. The lovely woman in the shop laughed and said I could still have a quarter!!  These sweets weren't for my recipe, just for a bit of nostalgia after seeing a recipe for a rhubarb and custard cake in this month's Good Food magazine.  I found a simpler recipe on their website

As quite a few people said in the comments it did take longer to bake than the time stated - probably about 20 minutes extra after being covered with foil.

With the extra rhubarb - once roasted and cooled I chopped it finely and used it as a base layer for creme brulee for pudding yesterday - any excuse to get out my cooks blowtorch - stand back everyone! But I forgot to take a photo - I will have to make it again!

Yesterday Hubby and I visited the Living Crafts at Hatfield House.  We went last year and the weather was pretty much the same this time - no rain but very windy and a bit chilly.  I think it was quieter this year - as some of the tents seemed quite empty of visitors.   There are so many lovely stands.  Lots of inspiration for future crafty projects.  

I did love this horseshoe horse - shame it wouldn't fit in my garden!  We walked through the stables on the way out - the wisteria is so pretty against the red brick.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. White Wedding - Billy Idol
2. Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
3. Digging Your Scene - The Blow Monkeys

Monday, 5 May 2014

Monday Review - St Albans

On Sunday, Hubby and I went shopping to St Albans.  We went here last August.

We went to Bakehouse St Albans for coffee.   We had a lovely corner window table with views of the cathedral through the trees.

I had lemon and blueberry drizzle cake and Hubby had Oreo brownie - you can see the whole oreo in my picture, we both had cappuccinos - very good cappuccinos. 

Hubby still hasn't learnt that he is not allowed to tuck in until I have taken my picture!

We walked through Verulanium park back to the car.  It was such a lovely day - look at that blue sky.

Hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed some blue sky wherever you were.


Today's top three Spotify songs:
1. Notorious - Duran Duran
2. This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us - Sparks
3. Love To Hate You - Erasure