Tis Nispero time….

Hola!!

Here in Spain the Nispero’s are now ready,  Nispero’s are a yellow fruit which I would say are similar to apricots.  They have a stone in the centre which actually smells like almonds.  They are not as sweet as apricots but are very juicy, they do not however last long when picked so you need to eat them straight away or preserve them.

Today I am having a go at making a spicy chutney with them, but here are some recipes from last years crop…..

April 2015

Chicken Tagine with Rosemary and Nispero’s

Once again we have some Nispero’s to use up, so after racking my brain for what to do I remembered a Tagine recipe I cooked for friends a while ago which had dried apricots in, I thought I would give this a go using Nispero’s replacing the Apricots. What I love about this Tagine is that it isn’t overloaded with spices yet it still tastes delicious. Sometimes less is more!!!
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White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

I use to make this cheesecake a lot for friends when they came over for dinner, it sounds really rich and sickly but actually is very light and also moreish.  I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth but I couldn’t stop eating this the other day!!

I make my base thicker than normal cheesecake bases and use Oreo cookies so it is a dark chocolate crunch to go along with the white chocolate cake.  The raspberries sweeten this nicely and also make it look really pretty.

The recipe is simple to make and yet a crowd pleaser….. give it a go!!

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Ingredients:

Base:

175g Oreo biscuits 

100g butter melted

Filling:

500g Mascarpone cheese

50g Caster Sugar

175ml Double Cream

125g punnet of raspberries

400g white chocolate

1 vanilla pod

A spring form cake tin about 9″

Method:

To make the base blitz the Oreo’s up in a blender to make crumbs them pulse in the butter until well combined.  Alternatively, pop biscuits into a clear bag and seal, then bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs then stir into the melted butter until combined.

Grease the base of your cake tin then press the biscuit crumbs evenly onto the bottom.  Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the filling.

Break the chocolate into even pieces and place in a glass heat proof bowl above a pan of boiling water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.  Halve the vanilla pod and place them into the bowl with the chocolate.  Let the chocolate melt.

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Once melted remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod, let the chocolate cool a little.

It is tricky to find double cream here in Spain, I can only find the long life stuff, which is fine but it does tend to whip up and react differently to fresh cream.  Therefore, if using this I would whisk this up a little first to thicken before adding the other ingredients. 

Once it is thick like whipping cream add the sugar and mascarpone and whisk until well combined.  If using fresh cream, you can just add the cream, sugar and cheese in together and whisk all at once.

Now pour in the cooled chocolate and gently stir.  Then add the raspberries and mix well, I squeezed a few in my hands first so that they split and coloured the mixture pink and streaky.

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Once all combined pour onto the base and even the top.  

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Place into the fridge for a few hours, but if possible I would do this the day before and let it stay in the fridge overnight.

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Once cooled and hardened carefully remove the cake tin, get a palette knife and run it between the cake tin base and biscuit base and it should then easily remove fully.  Serve up!!

cover

xxxx

PRINTER FRIENDLY OPTION

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

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by Lululemonandlace

Ingredients:

Base:

175g Oreo biscuits

100g butter melted

Filling:

500g Mascarpone cheese

50g Caster Sugar

175ml Double Cream

125g punnet of raspberries

400g white chocolate

1 vanilla pod

A spring form cake tin about 9″

Method:

To make the base blitz the Oreo’s up in a blender to make crumbs them pulse in the butter until well combined.  Alternatively, pop biscuits into a clear bag and seal, then bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs then stir into the melted butter until combined.

Grease the base of your cake tin then press the biscuit crumbs evenly onto the bottom.  Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the filling.

Break the chocolate into even pieces and place in a glass heat proof bowl above a pan of boiling water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.  Halve the vanilla pod and place them into the bowl with the chocolate.  Let the chocolate melt.

Once melted remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod, let the chocolate cool a little.

It is tricky to find double cream here in Spain, I can only find the long life stuff, which is fine but it does tend to whip up and react differently to fresh cream.  Therefore, if using this I would whisk this up a little first to thicken before adding the other ingredients.

Once it is thick like whipping cream add the sugar and mascarpone and whisk until well combined.  If using fresh cream, you can just add the cream, sugar and cheese in together and whisk all at once.

Now pour in the cooled chocolate and gently stir.  Then add the raspberries and mix well, I squeezed a few in my hands first so that they split and coloured the mixture pink and streaky.

Once all combined pour onto the base and even the top.  Place into the fridge for a few hours, but if possible I would do this the day before and let it stay in the fridge overnight.

Once cooled and hardened carefully remove the cake tin, get a palette knife and run it between the cake tin base and biscuit base and it should then easily remove fully.  Serve up!!

Lulu xxx

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SCONES!!!

Hola!

This is a re-blog, I made these scones at the beginning of last year and they are one of the first recipes on my blog.  These were delicious both savoury and sweet, I think it might be time to make them again.  Take a look…..

Fruit Scones

I have always wanted to have a go at making scones, I knew they were tricky to make as you have to be quick when mixing the dough otherwise they become heavy and dry.  I had a look at some recipes online and ended up doing a variation of two:

One was a Mary Berry recipe:

http://blog.lauraashley.com/make-and-do/mary-berry-fruity-scone-recipe/

The other was from the Good Food Mag:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream

My Recipe:

Ingredients:

Self Raising Flour 350g (plus extra for dusting/rolling)

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Caster Sugar 60g

Raisins or Sultanas 125g

Butter cold and cubed 75g

Milk 150 fl oz

Vanilla Extract 1tsp

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

2 Eggs (whisked)

I always measure ALL my ingredients out before I start it makes baking so much easier.

Method:

Heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a jug, pour and measure the milk add in the lemon juice and vanilla essence set aside.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, try to do this from a height it will make the dough lighter.  Add the butter and with fingertips only  rub together until it makes a fine breadcrumb like appearance…..

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Flour & Butter mix

Try do this as quick as possible as you need the mix to stay cold.

Stir in the sugar and the fruit. Then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture and most of the egg mix reserving about 2 spoonfuls for later.

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Liquid into centre of the flour mix

With a rounded knife quickly mix this to form a dough, I found if I turned the bowl whilst mixing it came together quicker. This is the hard bit as to over mix it at this point will result in solid scones.

Once the dough has come together empty onto a floured surface and  knead lightly a couple of times (it helped to have my hands floured too) until it looks like this:

You can use  floured rolling-pin but I found patting it down with my hands worked best; you don’t want to make it too thin about 2 inches. Then with a floured  2 1/2 ” cutter (mine was fluted as it was all I had but best to use plain) cut as many scones as possible from the mixture, re-moulding the dough each time to re-cut. Should make about 10.

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Place onto the prepared baking tray.

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Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved egg.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden….

Place on a wire rack to cool, or like me eat one fresh from the oven 🙂

I spread my Aunt’s homemade Damson Jam on but unfortunately its hard to get cream in Spain but it didn’t need it. These are the softest and lightest scones I’ve had, even if I say so myself :)…try them out!!

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Once cooled these can be frozen…if they make it that far! These were all eaten straight away!!

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Cheese Scones

After the success of the fruit scones, my Aunt asked if I could have a go at making them with cheese.  She had a work colleague once who she reckoned made the best cheese scones, and she would have them ready and hot for their break time…. so I had a lot to live up to ;)….I used the basis of my fruit scone recipe as it was so good but took away the sweet ingredients and added the savoury……

Ingredients:

350g Self Raising Flour

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Salt 1 Tsp

Pepper 1 Tsp

Mustard Powder 1 Tsp

Butter Cold and Cubed 75g

Milk 150 Fl Oz

Drop of Tobasco Sauce

2 Eggs Whisked

Cheese 160g  I used Gruyere as we had it in, you can use chedder

Method:

I popped the cheese in the freezer before grating so that it was extra cold and wouldn’t melt when making the dough.

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment.

In a large bowl sieve the flour and baking powder from a height, this is to make it light. Then put in the cubed butter and with fingertips only rub until it resemble fine breadcrumbs as we did with the fruit scones…

https://lululemonandlace.com/food-blog-2/fruit-scones/

Then add in the salt, pepper, mustard powder and the majority of the cheese, reserve a small handful of this to put on the top of the 10 scones…

Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour in the milk, tobasco and most of the egg. Keep about 2 spoonfuls of this for brushing on the top of scones….

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As we did with the fruit scones with a rounded knife quickly mix this to form a dough, I found if I turned the bowl whilst mixing it came together quicker.  This is the hard bit as to over mix it at this point will result in solid scones.

Once the dough has come together empty onto a floured surface and  knead lightly a couple of times (it helped to have my hands floured too). You can use  floured rolling pin but I found patting it down with my hands worked best; you don’t want to make it too thin about 2 inches. Then with a floured  2 1/2 ” cutter (mine was fluted as it was all I had but best to use plain) cut as many scones as possible from the mixture, re-moulding the dough each time to re-cut. Should make about 10.

Then brush the tops well with the reserved egg and then sprinkle with the cheese on top of each scone.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden, try not to over cook as you want them to be soft.

Remove and place on a baking rack to cool….or like we did eat hot from the oven and spread on.. as my Uncle would say…. ‘Best Butter!  🙂

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Cheesy Scones yummy…enjoy xxx

Have a good week!!

Lulu xxx

❤ ❤ ❤

It’s nearly Christmas!! Marzipan for your Christmas cake & a Beef Rendang for when you have eaten enough Turkey!!

Hola!! Feliz Navidad!!

It is my last day in Spain this year, I travel back to blighty tomorrow for Christmas….it is blazing sunshine outside today, tomorrow I am going to be freezing!!

Just two recipes to share, the first is my easy peasy marzipan. Which is great for your Christmas cake, or just to make the marzipan fruit for nice little gifts.

After that is my Beef and Potato Rendang, which would be a perfect dish between Christmas and New year.

Marzipan

I couldn’t get hold of Marzipan in the little town we live in here in Spain, so I decided to make a batch. It was so easy I just looked online at a few recipes, this one was the simplest and it works great!! I doubt I will buy it ever again 😉

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Ingredients:

175g icing sugar

175g ground almonds

1 egg

optional 1 tsp almond extract

Method:

Sift the icing sugar and almonds into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the egg (I whisked the egg in a cup first). Also add your almond extract if using.

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Mix it all together with a spoon, once it starts to all stick together get your hand in there and make a dough.  The bowl should be clean once it is ready to knead.

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Sift icing sugar onto a clean work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, this will not take long.  Viola you are done!! Simple.

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You can wrap this in cling film and place in the fridge if you do not need it straight away, as long as it is sealed well, it can also be frozen.  

To use on your Christmas cakes, you will need some Apricot jam (I used Nispero jam which I had made earlier in the year).

https://lululemonandlace.com/recipes/pickles-chutneys-jams-and-pastes/nispero-jam/

or try my Apricot Jam

https://lululemonandlace.com/recipes/pickles-chutneys-jams-and-pastes/apricot-jam/

Warm this in a pan.

Brush this over the top of your cake.  

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Roll the marzipan out to be slightly bigger then the cake top, thickness about a £ coin (or thicker if you love the stuff) then roll over the top of the cake and carefully cut away the edges.  You can place it over the full cake, that is up to you.

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Now roll out your fondant icing (I bought this).  brush a little water over the marzipan and place the icing over, again cut away.

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Now you can decorate, I made marzipan fruit, which I painted with food colouring.

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Using cocktail sticks arrange the fruit over the cake, I also used some real orange leaves to decorate.

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Marzipan heaven!!

Now for something a little different, a Beef and Potato Rendang, perfect dish for boxing day, or when you are at your wits end with the left over turkey ;-).  If you have beef on Christmas day this recipe could also use up the left over meat, you will not need to cook it for as long!

Beef and Potato Rendang

A Rendang is a Malaysian stew dish, which I think for me is a cross between an Indian and Thai curry.  The flavour has a sour and spicy taste, with zing from the lime zest and lemongrass, heat from the chillies and then a little creaminess from the coconut milk.  Slow cooking the beef so it is tender and melts in your mouth just makes it delicious.  This is not a saucy curry, and should be fairly dry, I do like to have a little bit of sauce with mine, but it should reduce down during the cooking time to be thick and coating the beef like a spicy warm blanket 🙂

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Ingredients:

700g stewing/braising Beef

Paste:

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 ½ tsp cumin

4 cardamom

4 cloves

4 garlic cloves

½ grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp of ground

50g ginger (reserve a slice of this skin on for curry)

2 chillies (I used Bishop crowns that we had in the freezer from this years crop!)

4 large shallots/ 6 small peeled & roughly chopped

1 tsp salt

Lime zest

1 Tbsp. tamarind

2” chunk creamed coconut

Curry:

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 lemongrass

6 dried lime leaves

1 tin coconut milk

5/6 new potatoes halved with skin on

Method:

Heat a little oil or butter in a pan and add the shallots, soften these a little and then set aside.

Dry fry the following paste spices; coriander, cumin, cardamom and cloves.

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Once you smell the aroma remove from the pan and grind in a pestle and mortar.

Pop the ground spices into a blender, along with the garlic, ginger, chillies, shallots, salt, lime zest, tamarind, turmeric, creamed coconut.  Blitz this up to create your rending paste.

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ground spices, chillies, garlic and ginger

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add in the shallots, coconut and lime zest

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Rendang paste

Heat some oil in a pan, pop in the star anise and cinnamon, fry for a few minutes to release the aroma.

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Add the paste to this pan.  Fry the paste for a few minutes to activate all of the spices, then add the beef, coat it in the paste and brown.

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Next bash the lemongrass and cut in halve.

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Add this to the pan along with the 1 slice of ginger, lime leaves give a good stir then pour in the coconut milk.

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You can cook this on the hob, but I prefer to slow cook this in the oven.

Place into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees with the lid on the pan and cook for around 45 minutes or until the beef is tender.

Once the beef is falling apart add the potatoes, remove the lid so the sauce can reduce, stir and pop back in the oven and cook until the potatoes are soft.

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Serve with rice and lime wedges, I also sprinkled some coriander over the top.

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It was delicious!!

I hope you are all excited and ready for Friday!!

Lots of love Lulu xx

Lulu’s Christmas part 4…Cranberry sauce, Sprouts with Pancetta and Boozey Chocolate log

Hola Amigos!!

I hope you are all looking forward to Christmas!

It has been a while since I blogged 😦  and I am sorry, it has been a very busy few weeks!

Lululemonandlace will now be featuring in B Magazine each month, you can locate this magazine in Gibraltar so if you are in the area please pick up a copy, my first article is in the December issue!!

To make up for my lack of recipe updates I am sharing 3 new recipes!!  All for Christmas as I know you will be thinking about what to eat and cook.

First is my Cranberry sauce, I make this with rosemary and port,  it really is a tasty side to your festive roast…..

Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Port

This recipe is so easy to make and quick, yet tastes delicious. I love to make a massive batch of this and jar it up to eat for a few months after Christmas. It is perfect with your Turkey, or with your cheese board.  I also use this in my chicken wrapped in pancetta recipe:

https://lululemonandlace.com/recipes/comfort-foods/chicken-stuffed-with-blue-cheese-cranberry-wrapped-in-pancetta/

It is a versatile sauce and can be eaten with almost anything……..this batch was eaten in one evening!

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This recipe made 1 jar!

Ingredients:

300g fresh Cranberries

250g sugar (granulated or caster is fine)

2 sprigs Rosemary

60ml Port

Method:

Pop everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

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Cook for around 5-8 minutes then remove the rosemary sprigs carefully.  You do not want to overpower the flavour of the cranberries.

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remove the rosemary sprigs carefully

Let this simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened.  That’s it!!

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Pop into sterilised jars if storing or into a nice dish if serving up right away.

cover 2

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and nearly gone!

Next is Sprouts!!!

I make this recipe every year at Christmas, this year as we have them growing, I added some pomegranate seeds for colour and sweetness, it tasted great!!  The sprouts here in Spain are HUGE, in England if bought from the supermarket they can be rather small so I would keep them whole, here they are almost like mini cabbages, so best to cut in half!

Sprouts with Pancetta, Chestnuts and Pomegranates

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Ingredients:

1 kilo Sprouts halved if large

Cooked Chestnuts, I used 2 packs of 180g

Pancetta diced small, you can use the pre-diced packs. Use both packs.

Parsley large handful chopped

50g Butter

1 Pomegranate seeds only

Method:

Prepare and wash the sprouts.

Pop into a large pan with salted water and bring to the boil and cook until they are tender but with a bite.

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In another pan fry the pancetta until crisp and brown.

Add the chestnuts, fry for a few minutes.

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Now add in the butter and sprouts, stir through until everything is well combined.

Turn off the heat, taste and season if needed…remember the pancetta is very salty. I added a little pepper.

Now stir in the parsley and pomegranates.

Serve!!

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Lastly I would like to share my chocolate log recipe, it is the best Christmas day dessert…

I love chocolate desserts this one is similar to a gateau which is one of my favourites.  It has no flour in, so is gluten-free, and as one of my Aunts is lactose intolerant I made one of the logs dairy free too.

I have been baking this recipe for a few years now, it came originally from a Mary Berry Roulade recipe.  I love Mary Berry her recipes are always amazing.

Similar to an Angel cake method; the cake is made by folding in egg whites to create a bouncy, air packed batter, which makes the cake moist yet slightly chewy like a brownie and very delicious!

For me it has to be filled with fresh whipped cream and berries that have been soaked in booze.  I used a Spanish Orange Liquor, you can use Grand Marnier or Cointreau…or any alcohol really would do, perhaps brandy or rum could work!!

For the dairy free log, I use a pre-made chocolate fudge icing filling, I usually like to make my own fillings but my Aunt introduced me to Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Fudge icing, which not only is it dairy free it also tastes amazing.  I mean it is that good that I could literally eat it out of the tub like ice-cream!

You can decorate your logs however you wish, you could cover it in chocolate and draw a fork through it to create the tree textures or just leave it with all of its cracks and dust it with icing as I have.

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This recipe is for 2 logs, halve the ingredients if you are only making one log.

Cooking time 20-25 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Ingredients:

12 eggs at room temperature

12 oz. good quality dark chocolate at least 70% cocoa

12 oz. caster sugar

4 Tbsp. good quality cocoa powder

10fl oz. Double Cream

1 tub Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing

A punnet of the following berries; raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants.

Small glass of orange liquor

Icing sugar for dusting

Baking paper

Shallow baking tray approx. 9”x13”

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Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and prepare your baking tray with some baking paper.

Melt your chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of hot water, make sure the bowl does not touch the water.  I also try to break the chocolate into even bits so it melts at the same time.  Once melted set aside to cool a little.

Next separate your eggs.  As this recipe uses a lot of eggs crack them over a little bowl first to get your whites, then transfer the whites into your large mixing bowl, and yolks into another mixing bowl.  Just to be sure not to get any yolk in the white mix!!

Whisk the egg whites to have peaks, the whites should be able to be tipped upside down without falling out of the bowl.  Set aside.

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Get the bowl with the egg yolks and add the sugar and whisk on high until the mixture is thick and creamy.

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Pour the cooled chocolate into the yolk bowl and gently stir until well combined.

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Get the egg whites and using a large metal spoon stir a spoonful of this into the chocolate mix to loosen it up, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites spoonful by spoonful to create air, it will become almost like elastic and bouncy once folded in.

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Sift in the cocoa powder and again gently fold it in so you retain the air in the batter.

Pour into your prepared trays and move the tin around until the mixture is evenly spread.

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Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

When they are ready the top should be firm, mine cooked in exactly 22 minutes!

Once cooked remove from the oven and let them cool in the trays.

In the meantime, get your fruit in a bowl and pour over the booze, stir and set aside.

Whisk your cream up to be nice and thick but still spreadable.

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Now for the roll…

Take a piece of baking paper larger than the cake, place on your work surface and dust over some icing sugar.  Carefully place your cooled cake top side down onto the baking sheet.

Spread over the filling but try not to over fill, and keep it as even as possible.

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Next sprinkle the fruit over evenly, again do not put in too much as they will just fall out when you roll the cake.  I also like to drizzle a few spoons of the alcohol over the cake too.

Now to roll take a hold of the baking paper and carefully but firmly lift the cake at one end using the paper to create a first roll.

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Tuck and roll but do not touch the cake, only use the paper to roll.

You may lose some of the filling and it will also crumble/crack a little, this is fine do not worry.  It needs to have the cracks to look like a log.

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Once rolled wrap tightly in the baking paper, then some foil and pop in the fridge to set a little.

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You can make this the night before and then put the cake together on the day.

When ready to plate up, place your logs into your own design, I used a little of the fudge icing to stick them together, then gave it a light dust of icing and decorated with some redcurrants.

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YUMMY!!

Hope you like these recipes!

Love Lulu xx

❤ ❤ ❤