Tuesday, 30 October 2012

random recipes #21 - the round-up




... another fine month and again you've done me proud... as expected - lot's of dried stuff... quite a bit of jam... a few freezer finds... and one or two really obscure ingredients, so i'm glad to have been of service... I know that I was a little disappointed with my dull as dish-water dried chickpeas but more than pleased with the final, if rather time consuming outcome... and so let's kick off with that one shall we...

here's my dried chickpeas and this really warming pot of Moreish Chickpea and Spinach Soup taken from the Moro Cookbook


the rest of your incredible entries can be found after the jump...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

bramble and liquorice jam tarts



... one of the good things I took away from my recent hideous television cooking 'show' experience was a pot of Braken Hill Bramble and Liquorice Jelly... I was totally enamoured with the combination and The Viking is a massive fan of liquorice so I knew i'd be on to a winner. We don't really eat a massive amount of jam here at Belleau Cottage, it tends instead to go into cakes and biscuits or is left folournly in the back of a cupboard waiting for guests who love their jam and toast in the morning so when Karen and Kate, the two tea time treats temptresses chose jam as the theme for this months challenge my thoughts went immediately to this little pot of jewelled loveliness...

... i've been experimenting with pastry quite a bit lately.  I think it's the influence of the brilliant Great British Bake Off and with the Masterclasses now on television with Paul and Mary making everything look so patronisingly easy i've been giving all kinds of things a chance... i'm even having a go at puff pastry this weekend... and so earlier this week I made a cream-cheese pastry for a sausage pie, the cream cheese makes the pastry very delicate, is not too overpowering and works very well will savoury and sweet dishes...I had quite a bit of straggly pastry left over and we all know what to make with left over pastry... jam tarts!


bramble and liquorice jam tarts
i'm very excited because for the first time ever I am attending the incredible Willow Manor Ball... The Viking and I are dressed and ready to go now... in fact, as I type this I can hear the Chinook helicopter circling above the cottage ready to whisk us off for a night of debauched revelry...and of course with the time difference between here and Ohio we shall arrive just as the party is in full swing.  As a special gift for all the glamorous guests I am taking a large wicker hamper full of these gloriously jewelled jam tarts which shall be handed around to each guest by my own personal valet... and what am I wearing to this incredible event... well we thought we'd go for the full traditional morning suit - in fact here's a little snap I took of us getting ready earlier today... champagne always in hand of course, darlings... won't you join us there...



can't believe i'm giving you a recipe for jam tarts but here goes...
for the pastry
8oz plain flour
4oz butter
2oz full fat cream cheese

for the filling
a jar of jam

- in a large bowl, crumble the flour and butter together with your hands until it forms fine crumbs, then add the cream cheese and bring together with a round-headed knife, you may need to add a drop or two of water to bind it into a dough but this should be added very sparingly and only if you need it

- wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins

- once chilled roll the pastry out out nice and thin and using a scone cutter, cut the dough into circles that are just larger than your tart tin

- place the cut circles into the tin, fill each one with a teaspoon of jam and bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes or until the jam has melted and the pastry is beginning to turn golden

- I crumbled some left-over carrot and coconut cake onto some of the tarts just before they came out of the oven, which added a lovely textured topping...

eat and of course go wild at willow manor!

Friday, 26 October 2012

lincolnshire pasta al gratin



... so a little weather update for those of you not native to the British Isles... most of the country has been shrouded in the most peculiar thick fog this week... something to do with the warm air on the land pulling the cool air in from the sea... but it has covered the whole country... and it's not been cold either but weirdly mild... talk about global weirding... and today suddenly the temperature dropped to proper winter cold, we've even been promised our first touch of snow this weekend... quite, quite peculiar...

... and i've put it off for ages but I think now is finally the time to sort through the big basket of walking boots, summer sandals and light-weight rain-shower macs, pack them away for the winter and replace them with wooly hats, gloves and scarves... does this make me sound like i'm some kind of uber-organised domestic god, because i'm not. Basically I will empty the basket into a big zip-lock back and then empty another zip-lock back into the basket... I may make an initial thing of folding it all in neatly but that will last for a day, maybe two at the most... but oooh I do love the colder winter months, particularly the carbs...


lincolnshire pasta al gratin
this Macaroni Cheese is a classic Italian dish and in Northern Italy, Fontina and Parmesan cheeses would be used but obviously I’m giving it a Lincolnshire twist so am substituting the Parmesan with a vintage Lincolnshire Poacher and the Fontina for the Cote Hill Yellow which, with it’s creamy texture should add a wonderfully velvety texture to the final dish. The real trick to this however is making a rich bechamel sauce, if you’re patient with this and also ensure that you drain the pasta when it’s still slightly undercooked you will create a mac n cheese worthy of a chilly Autumn evening… 


Pasta al Gratin – adapted from an Anna del Conte recipe - serves 2 hungry belly’s

4oz Cote Hill Yellow – grated

4oz Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher – grated

350g penne or macaroni pasta

for the béchamel
750ml full fat milk
75g unsalted butter
2oz plain flour
salt and freshly ground pepper

to make the béchamel sauce, heat the milk until hot but not boiling, then remove from the heat

in another saucepan, melt the butter, then remove from the heat and stir in the flour.  Put the pan back on a gentle heat and cook the flour, stirring continuously for about a minute

take the pan off the heat again and add a little of the milk, continuing to stir. Adding the milk slowly and stirring like this will ensure no lumps form.  Continue to add the milk a little at a time until it is al encorporated, then return the pan to the heat and cook until the sauce comes to the boil, season and gently cook for a few minutes more

now’s the stage that you’re going to turn this from a regular béchamel into an incredible velvety sauce by placing the pan into a larger pan of boiling water, creating a ‘bain-marie’ and leaving the sauce to cook very, very gently for 30 minutes.

add the chesses and stir

cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until very al dente and then drain thoroughly

heat the oven to 180C

take a shallow baking dish and spread a little of the cheesy sauce on the bottom, then add the pasta and finally pour over the rest of the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes until the pasta at the top begin to brown

eat and of course, enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

carrot and coconut cake - an alphabake



...there's something wonderfully reassuring about baking on a Sunday isn't there... Sunday's can be a stressful day if i'm honest... even now i'm in my very late 30's I still get that Sunday night, going-back-to-school-but-I-haven't-done-my-homework dread and a good old-fashion cake baking in the oven makes it all melt away just a little...

...having recently been sent a selection of baking products as part of the Great British Bakeware range by George Wilkinson I thought it rude not to use one or two of the items to bake a cake... and even though i've been given strict instructions from The Viking not to bake anything until we both lose weight, I felt that if we look at this purely from a work/experiment/review point of view then the calories are simply a bi-product of a thriving business... I take it you're all with me 100% on this one...

... I used a 20cm square baking tin that has, like all the items in the range, an innovative coating called GlideX, which makes the products really easy to use... I did spray the tin with some fancy easy bake non-stick spray first, just to be fail-safe but I am assured I could have done just as well without it... also i'm not one for experimenting in these financially pressing times...


carrot and coconut cake
this is a classic carrot cake recipe into which i've thrown what I had laying about such as the desiccated coconut and the rolled oats which add a lovely texture and wedge the cake just a foot or more into heaven than your regular common or garden carrot cake...

for the cake
200g self raising flour (or plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
150g dark muscovado sugar
200ml vegetable oil
3 medium eggs
225g finely grated carrot
50g desiccated coconut
50g rolled oats

for the icing
175g cream cheese
125g icing sugar
the finely grated rind of one orange
the juice of one orange

- pre-heat the oven to 150C and lightly spray your cake tin

- sift the flour, spices and if using baking powder and bicarb together into a large bowl

- stir in the sugar and mix together well

- lightly whisk the eggs and the oil and then pour this into the flour/sugar mix and stir well together

- add the carrots, coconut and oats and stir in well

- pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until light and spongy and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean

- remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely

- to make the icing, combine all the ingredients into a smooth paste, pour into a piping bag and pipe elegantly on top

and so trying not to sound too much like a 1950's housewife, the baking tin was excellent, it baked the cake to perfection and the cake slid effortlessly and cleanly out... I spent barely a few seconds cleaning the tin... I will and of course, the cake tasted amazing!

once again i'm being as tenuous as physically possible as i'm linking this cake to the brilliant alphabakes challenge, hosted so spectacularly each month by Ros from The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes, which this month celebrates the letter 'N'.  I think you'll find that coconut is a nut and I thank you for not correcting me in any way... ;0)

SEO
and one final little thing... since changing my URL to belleaukitchen.com i've had a few SEO issues which I need to iron out.  If at some stage over the next few days you're feeling bored it would be great if you could change any links you have for me on your blogs to my new URL which is now http://www.belleaukitchen.com/ ... many thanks x

eat and of course, enjoy!


Sunday, 21 October 2012

quick and easy ciabatta



... you know when you find a recipe for something and you simply don't believe that it would ever work or could possibly be that easy... well that is this recipe.  I was drifting through blogland the other day, browsing at the myriad pretty pictures of food when this post caught my eye over on the Cake Hunter blog... it was for a quick and easy ciabatta which I thought sounded really rather nice, after-all as Sophie says, to be able to come home from work and spend 5 minutes slapping some dough for you to have some incredible, warm and light ciabatta in just over an hour and a half, cannot be a bad thing...

... the recipe originally came from another excellent blog called Pease Pudding back in 2010... don't you just love the way this whole blogging world swings around and around and the comments on the post at the time were mostly of disbelief and then once tried, of compliments and thank-you's... so I knew I was on to a winner... and it really is a very simple recipe... i've made it twice now and each time I pay more attention to the 'slapping' method and each rise it get's better...


quick and easy ciabatta
follow the recipe and method exactly and you won't fail... next time i'll add some rosemary and olives to perk it up a bit and maybe some toasted pine nuts too.

500g strong white bread flour
450ml luke warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil

- preheat the oven to 200C

- in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and yeast

- pour in the water then add the salt and combine - I use a silicone spatula for this - and once combined get stuck in with your hands

- you want to beat the dough for 5 minutes - pulling and stretching the dough up high and then slapping it back down into the bowl - the dough will not be like any other dough you're used to, it's more like a thick pancake batter and is a bitch to get off your hands but you only have to slap it around for five minutes... and it's this stretching and slapping process that adds the air bubbles...

- pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the dough, cover with cling film and let it rise for about an hour or until doubled in size

- once it's risen, pour the dough out onto a well floured work surface and without kneading, fold it over 'envelope' style into a classic ciabatta shape

- swiftly transfer to an oven tray, dust with flour and bake for 30 minutes or until risen and golden

- I challenge you not to eat it warm!

eat and of course, enjoy

Friday, 19 October 2012

apple and cinnamon flapjacks



... isn't it funny how, as cooks, we go through life having never made certain foods... i've never cooked with polenta... i've never made samosa's... up until I started this blog 2 years ago, i'd never baked a loaf of bread... and until today i've never had rolled oats in the house, let alone made flapjacks... I know!

... neither The Viking or myself are fans of porridge so it goes without saying that we'd not go out of our way to purchase oats and so whenever i've had the impulse to make cookies, biscuits or flapjacks I'd have to find an alternative or just go without but my lovely neighbour Tracey bought me a book the other day - no, it's not my birthday, her motives are totally selfish... you see she thinks that if she buys me the book, i'll cook stuff for her... she's not wrong... and the book itself is called Biscuits, Baking and Cakes and is packed with absolute classics; tray-bakes, cookies, sponge-cakes... in fact it's perfect for making sharing-with-neighbours kind of food...

...the recipe on page 186 is for Fruit and Nut Flapjacks and I'm not sure what is was but I just really fancied making them... maybe it was the simple purity of it all and maybe it was the bowl-full of juicy apples that Sainsbury's recently sent me that inspired me but whatever it was i'm so glad I baked them.


apple and cinnamon flapjacks
you really can add any fruit to these and they'll work beautifully but it being apple and pear season I knew these would make a wonderful addition to the 'what to bake with all these apples' file... I used one Spartan and two Cox which came to the correct measurement... I think Russet's would work really well here too - all available as part of Sainsbury's whopping 52 varieties of apples and 10 varieties of pears that they currently have in-store.

makes 12 large flapjacks

6oz butter
8oz soft brown light sugar
6 tablespoons golden syrup
8oz grated apple (or same weight of other fruit)
12oz rolled oats
2 teaspoon cinnamon

- pre-heat the oven to 180C and lightly oil a traybake tin - I used a classic Swiss Roll tin.

- melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and then once melted take it off the heat and add the oats, cinnamon and grated apple and stir well

- pour into the baking tin and bake for 20-25 mins until golden

- cool on a wire rack but cut them into squares whilst they're still a little warm.

these flapjacks are also perfect for Homemade By Fleur's Challenge Flapjack which i'm entering this month...


eat and of course, enjoy!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

moorish chickpea and spinach soup - a random recipe




... down in the big smoke again this week and it's all just getting busier and busier for The Persuaders which I simply love... nothing makes me happier than being ruinously busy with stuff and though I may moan and groan about it, secretly I just love it...

... we had our first official meeting with the PR agency we've appointed to help us promote the Mums Show Live next year, which is so exciting as they seemed to really get us, which must be quite a daunting thing, as you'd know if you'd ever had to sit in the same room as me and my brother for more than ten minutes, so they pretty much won the job on that amazing feat alone...

... i'm also 'helping' mum organise her boyfriend's (god that sounds weird) 75th birthday party... 75 sounds relatively old doesn't it but apart from being the worlds biggest hypochondriac Eric could actually pass for a much younger man... both he and mum do more stuff in a week than The Viking and I do in a month - they're constantly off to the theatre, cinema, art galleries... if the government actually knew how much they abuse their OAP status they'd probably revoke them for the whole country... I'm hoping it's hereditary although I did do my fair share of partying when I was younger so my body is pretty much ruined now... the party is going to be quite a big affair and there's quite a bit to plan but mum seems to have thrown herself into with a relish, so it's bound to be spectacular... I may surprise him with a special cake but I better be careful what I say here, you never know who's reading...


sopa de garbanzos
who knew the humble chickpea could be so creative... I would never have made this glorious soup had it not been for the brilliant random recipes challenge, hosted so wonderfully by the charming and increasingly handsome Dom from Belleau Kitchen... a little bit laborious but what else have you got to do with your Wednesday's eh?

recipe adapted from Casa Moro - The Second Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark

450g dried chickpeas
150ml olive oil
300g spinach
75g white bread - crusts removed, cut into 2cm cubes
3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
1 small dried chilli - crumbled
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
700-800ml water or chickpea liquor
60 saffron threads - infused with 4 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
sea salt and black pepper

- place the dried chickpeas into bowl, add a pinch of bicarb and cover with plenty of water, leave to soak overnight

- when you're ready to cook, drain the chickpea well, place them in a pan with a head of garlic, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, skimming off any scum, for 1-2 hours or until soft and tender

- place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add some olive oil, when hot throw in the spinach with a pinch of salt, stir well and cook until the leaves are tender, cool, chop finely and set aside

- next fry the bread until golden, then add the garlic and cumin, when the garlic begin to colour add the oregano and chilli and continue to cook until the garlic is brown, add the vinegar and whizz with a stick blender until you have a paste

- add the drained chickpeas to the bread paste along with the water, saffron and paprikaand simmer for 10 minutes

- whizz the whole lot again until as smooth or lumpy as you like, stir in the spinach and simmer till it's all warm, check the seasoning and serve

eat and of course, enjoy!

Monday, 15 October 2012

belleau apple and pear cake




... one of the upsetting things about the past twelve months that make up my annus horribilis is that I don't get to reap the rewards that working at such a fine home as Gunby Hall brings... whilst the experience as a whole may have been revolting I cannot say the same for the produce grown in that stunning garden and this included the incredibly diverse variety of apples and pears.  I think on the last count it was over 60 and the apples ranged from the obscure Peasgood Nonsuch - bitter, teeny little things to the classic Cox's Orange Pippin - sweet and juicy...


... so it's lucky that from this week Sainsbury's are celebrating British apple and pear season in style by stocking 52 varieties of locally grown apples and 10 types of pears... and ok, whilst they won't stock the uber-obscure Lord Burgheley they are stocking some diverse and very tasty numbers such as the Cameo, Jonagold and Junami and i'm fortunate enough to have been sent a whole sack-load of apples to taste and to cook with...




... interestingly I went through a phase, back in my early twenties where I became allergic to apples and pears... my lips and throat would swell up, which was rather unpleasant and I actually didn't eat them for a good 10 years... after much research I discovered that I have something called Oral Allergy Syndrome which means I have a low immunity to any fruit or vegetables that have the ability to cross-polinate and this includes apples, nuts and potatoes... it tends to effect hay-fever sufferers and usually effects them in different ways with different fruit and veg... after 10 years on the Atkins Diet, cutting out apples and potatoes my tolerance levels seemed to have changed and I can now eat apples again, which I do with relish... I just love biting into a crisp, juicy apple that squirts out the side of my mouth... one of the varieties that Sainsbury's sent me, called Rubens was particularly juicy and it's also the fragrance that I particularly love, subtle in some varieties but really obviously appley in others...




belleau apple and pear cake

this is a classic cake that I have made plenty of times before here on the blog but it celebrates the apple so beautifully as it really packs them in... it's more apple and pear than cake in fact... and you can use any variety you wish... i'm using 3 varieties of apple and 2 of pear and i'm caramelising them first just for added depth... and what I love is that you can really feel the different textures of each fruit... as you can see i've also gone a little bundt crazy of late... it's just that they look so cool (and I spent a small fortune on a bundt tin...)

to caramelise

2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

for the cake 1lb apples and pears - peeled and diced
6oz Sugar (i used light brown sugar)
6oz softened butter or margarine at room temp
2 eggs - beaten
2 tablespoons milk
9oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon


you will also need some cream, extra cinnamon and icing sugar for the icing


- melt the butter and sugar and when hot add the apple and pear chunks and saute for 5 mins - drain the apples and pears and set aside the sauce for later
- cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, sprinkle in the cinnamon

- add one egg and whisk it into the batter, then add half the flour and whisk again, repeat with the other egg and the remainder of the flour

- add the milk to slacken the batter slightly.

- fold in the apple and pear chunks

- pour in to a greased and lined caked tin... I used a 25 inch bundt but any shape will work


- bake for 45 minutes at 170C

- to make the icing simply add a a tablespoon of icing sugar to the caramel then halve it into two portions, stirring cream into one and cinnamon into the other


- when cool, drizzle the icing on top


eat and of course, enjoy!


Saturday, 13 October 2012

spinach and cheese roulade - a book giveaway



... according to new research carried out by YouGov Plc the youth of today are growing up without knowing how to cook eggs... one imagines they don't even know where eggs come from but that's another matter entirely... just a little worrying if you ask me... not being able to boil an egg is tantamount to not being able to boil water and if you can't do that then there's little hope for you out there in the big bad world, although no doubt Cameron has plans to get someone else to do it for you in his scheming towards a big society... in fact you can probably now study a course on how to boil water and come away with a university degree in it...

... let's face it, eggs are about as basic as basic gets, they're a valued source of protein, vitamins and minerals, they are cheap, quick to prepare and now that the boffin scientist types have finally decided there is no limit on the number of eggs people should eat, they are healthy... I eat 2 eggs for breakfast most mornings, have done for years and on my most recent check-up I had no issues with cholesterol... eggs are amazing as a simple omelette... they are delightful in quiches... and they work their magic in cakes in ways that I still don't really understand...

... quite frankly if the youth of today stopped eating that revolting southern fried chicken crap and started eating eggs, we'd be in a better world...


... the beginning of October marked British Egg Week but in my opinion, every week is worth celebrating the genius of the egg and a new little book just out called Take A Box Of Eggs, written by Lucy Knox and part of the Dairy Cookbook series, does just that.  It's a tidy little book, packed with 100 recipes that cover everything from the basics to the more eggciting... and with plenty of pictures for each recipe it's a nice looking book too... each recipe has a handy little QR code so you can scan the ingredient list direct to your phone, which is just what I did to make this roulade... one criticism would be that I had to read the recipe quite a few times before I fully understood the process... the method seemed over-complicated and left me confused as to when I should add the spinach... but I coped...


spinach and cheese roulade
25g melted butter
275g spinach (i used frozen)
3 eggs - separated
275g Full Fat Cream Cheese
2tbsp plain yoghurt
4 spring onions - finely chopped
50g walnuts - chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

- pre-heat the oven to 190C and line a swiss-roll tin with greaseproof paper which you then brush with butter

- thaw the frozen spinach, drain and press out as much liquid as possible then place in a bowl along with the beaten egg yolks and 75g of the soft cheese, mix together and season to taste

- in a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks

- fold the egg whites into the egg yolk and spinach mixture and once fully encorporated pour out into the lined tin, smooth over and bake for 15 minutes until firm to the touch, then turn this over onto a piece of greaseproof paper to cool slightly

- peel away the top layer of paper and roll up gently with the bottom greaseproof paper in the roll and leave to cool entirely

- mix all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl, unroll the roulade and remove the paper.  Spread with the filling mixture and roll up once more.  Serve chilled.

... Take A Box Of Eggs can be ordered from your milkman or by clicking on the link above but I have one copy of the book to give away... all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to leave a comment on this post ... and you can use this natty rafflecopter widget to do just that...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 11 October 2012

pumpkin, walnut and white chocolate loaf cake - we should cocoa




... another week and another event goes flying by and last nights was a Korean themed event for an international Gas company (it's not all glamorous you know...) and sometimes i'm not quite sure I remember where I left toothbrush... and i know I shouldn't complain because we're busy but I tell you now, I cannot wait to get my head onto my own pillow, in my own bed... 

... and it's all a little confusing because i'm supposed to be posting about British Egg Week but that was last week and I ran out of time... and this week is supposed to be British Chocolate Week... and i'm sure next week is British Something Else Week but i've no doubt miss-placed my weeks... i'd quite like a British Dom Can Sleep For A Week, Week... but i doubt that's going to happen any time soon... i'd probably have to lobby those big-wigs in Brussels to get that one passed anyway...


Pumpkin, Walnut and White Chocolate Loaf Cake
not only is it Halloween at the end of the month but it’s National Baking Week 15th – 21st October so I thought I’d take this opportunity to combine the two with this delicious, if a little unusual, loaf cake.

i know i've written about this recently but one of the ironic things about living in the middle of the beautiful Lincolnshire Countryside is that whilst I may be surrounded by nature’s bounty and that at this time of year, there may be pumpkins growing in the field next door, if I wanted to pop out to purchase a tin of pumpkin puree - something that’s readily available in every corner store in America, I’d find it rather hard to track down without travelling miles.  With the popularity for celebrating Halloween here in the UK ever growing and demand for Lincolnshire pumpkins going through the roof you’d have thought that some of the American baking traditions would have crossed the Atlantic too.  Pumpkin puree is used as regularly as we use carrots for carrot cake in the US and makes a wonderfully velvet addition to cakes, loaves and traybakes.  You can purchase it in some of the bigger supermarkets and of course you can order it on-line but failing that it’s pretty simple to make your own from fresh, which I did for this wonderfully moist and rich pumpkin loaf cake.


 For the pumpkin puree
1 medium pumpkin

For the cake
8oz self-raising flour
4oz butter or margarine
2oz ground almonds
2oz chopped walnuts
2oz white chocolate chunks
4oz dark brown sugar
2 eggs
4oz pumpkin puree

For the Cream-cheese Icing
200g full fat cream cheese
100ml whipping cream
5 tablespoons icing sugar
a little food colouring

- take your pumpkin, cut the top off and then cut it in half across the middle and scoop out the seeds
and the pith, then cut it into quarters

- lay the quarters, flesh side down, onto a baking tray with a little water in
-         cover with foil and bake for 1 hour on 200C 
-     
      - once they are soft, take them out of the oven, allow them to cool and scoop out the flesh
-         puree with a hand-held blender or a fork

      - place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter, crumble it together with your hands
-         add the chopped walnuts, chocolate, sugar and almonds and stir in

      - beat the eggs with the pumpkin puree then add this to the bowl – beat well together
-         pour into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake on 190C for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean

      -  cool on a wire rack before icing

      - for the icing whisk the cream cheese, sugar and cream together till stiff, then add any food colouring  of your choice - I’ve gone for a subtle pale orange but you could go as garish as you like – it is Halloween after-all!

For more info on National Baking Week go to here and for the best Lincolnshire pumpkins go to www.david-bowman.co.uk

i'm entering this beautiful cake into one of my favourite monthly blog challenges we should cocoa... usually hosted so beautifully by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog but this month is guest hosted by The Hungry Hinny as the theme is pumpkin...


eat and of course, enjoy!

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