12 February 09

quince_curd1

Quince Curd

Quinces are one of those rather romantic fruits, it’s speculated that these fruits were used as an aphrodisiac in the early days and with its appearance one could see why. What I love about them is the fragrance and the texture. Quinces have a subtle but distinctive perfume and the grainy gritty texture make them unique. Furthermore it does not matter how long you cook them for, the grittiness will remain.

For me the romance  is the fact that it’s so versatile and could be used in almost every course. In cooking terms it quite easily becomes the ‘ mistress ‘, as it does not belong to one eating occasion  but lends itself to a few. Wow is that some food for thought?

The most common use for quinces is Membrillio, made by the Spanish and served with cheese. However there are so many more uses for the humble quince.

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11 February 09

chocolate_and_hazelnut_cookies

Chocolate and Hazelnut Crackle Cookies

These Chocolate and Hazelnut crackle cookies are also known as our holiday cookies. Last Easter we went on another driving holiday to France. We rented a gite for a week in the gorgeous Dordogne region. As it was still cold and snow had been reported on the lower slopes we were not sure if it meant that we would have to be housebound for most of our stay. I thought that these Chocolate and Hazelnut Crackle Cookies might just be what we needed to help us through the cold evenings. And so they did, there were so many of them that Ross described them as the never ending tin of cookies that multiply every time you put the lid back on.

Well I must admit that I did make a few other recipes as well. They lasted the whole holiday and were much appreciated. The Gite was lovely, I took

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10 February 09

cinnamon_toast

Cinnamon Toast

My mother had this bizarre belief that if there is no fresh bread around it means there is no food in the house. For that reason we always had lots of  bits of bread in the bread bin going stale and sometimes mouldy. Mum used to make a special Sunday treat with the stale bread she called it eggy bread smothered with cinnamon sugar.

I also have a great love for bread but instead of letting it go stale and mouldy I would slice the bread  and freeze it on the same day that it was baked. One of my favourite breads is brioche which is ideal for making this delicious Cinnamon Toast, very indulging.

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09 February 09

spelt_shrot_bread

Spelt and Semolina Shortbread

I love the nutty sweet taste and aroma of spelt. It’s only recently that we have found spelt flour produced by Sharpham Park at Borough market and to my delight our local supermarket stocks it as well. I have chosen spelt flour for this recipe as I wanted to make a light ,crispy shortbread from whole grain flour. The spelt flour does just that, these shortbreads are light and crispy but  most importantly are packed with lots of character and unusual fragrance.

The semolina and dark brown sugar crunch make this recipe even more interesting. I serve these shortbreads with a delicious cup of freshly brewed Earl Grey tea or to accompany homemade stem ginger ice cream, either way it’s a treat!

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