Thursday, 26 February 2009

all in a foodie week

So many many things have been happening over the last while and I have been absolutely crap at updating as a result. I wouldnt mind but just this weekend I made banoffee, the most amazingly easy and tasty chocolate cupcakes ever and a lemon meringue pie. I'm also back cooking Indian food as if I never had to go on antibiotics after my adventures over there. Time to update has been scarce though.

In the last very foodie week I have:
  • asked for a sabbatical from work (got a no)
  • handed in my notice after 6 years at work
  • baked for a birthday party
  • had brunch in Brasserie Sixty Six (poor - the cream on my waffles was sour!)
  • seen my reviews on cheapeats
  • filled in my form for Ballymaloe Cookery Schools twelve week course (starting in April) - eek!!
  • did a class in the Dublin Cookery School which was lovely and so much fun
  • had dinner in Cardiff and lunch in London with werk
  • had pancake Tuesday - my absolute favourite food day of the year
  • started planning my own birthday party
  • started packing for a weekend in paris to eat cake

Its all been very exciting and crazy recently. I promise normal programming will resume shortly.

Monday, 23 February 2009

My recommendations on

The lovely people at asked me for my recommendations for good value places to eat a few weeks ago but even still I was surprised to see them here this morning.

This is a great site with loads of ideas on how to eat decently without breaking the bank!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Flashback recipe - Baked Alaska

I think my Mom made Baked Alaska once when I was a kid and I was completely in awe of its apparent scientific miraculousness. Hot and cold, spongy and chewy at the same time - it seemed like it couldnt actually be physically possible.

My mom never made it again, probably because its a bit of a pain in the ass keeping 4 kids away from meringue and ice-cream for long enough for it to work. Its not really that much of a pain to make though and makes you feel like you are right back in the 80s (which is so terribly apt currently).
Theres quite a few bits to this but you can cheat a bit and it doesnt take too long to make at all. You have to eat it straight away once you have it made though, which if you have any sweet tooth should be no problem for you whatsoever.

Ingredients - Baked Alaska (taken from Odlums)

Sponge Base:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2oz Caster Sugar
  • 2oz self raising flour
  • pinch of salt


  • Ice Cream (I used about half a Haagen Daazs tub)
  • Fruit (optional - I used 2 good handfulls of rasberries)

Meringue Topping

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3oz caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a sandwich tin or a bread tin as I did.

Beat the eggs, sugar, salt and leftover egg yolks until thick and creamy. Sieve and fold in the flour using a metal spoon.

Bake for about 10 minutes until well risen and brown. Cool on a wire tray.

At this stage I recommend letting your ice cream soften a bit and then spoon it into the shape that you want for your Baked Alaska (or baby alaskas like mine). Put the ice-cream back into the freezer on a plate in the shape that you want.

Make the meringue by beating your egg whites and caster sugar until thick enough that you could turn the bowl upside down without them falling out.

Once the sponge is cooled place it on an ovenproof dish and put your fruit and then ice-cream on top. Plaster your meringue all over the ice-cream making sure to cover it completely down as far as the sponge. You can be as messy as you want at this stage and still get away with calling it a masterpiece when you finish.

Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Eat very quickly preferably with some Abba playing in the background.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Much better than roses for Valentines day - Baileys Chocolate Fondants

Im not a crazy Valentines day person, Im all about being nice to your loved one all the time. Id much rather sit in and make dinner together than go somewhere overly fancy for an overpriced Valentines Day special and Id much rather get this after my dinner than a bunch of roses (snowdrops are my flowers of choice)

There are a million versions of this recipe everywhere, probably because its dead easy to make and will get you loving from any chocolate lover out there. This version is a version I bastardised with Baileys from Gordon Ramsay.

Baileys Chocolate Fondants
50g unsalted butter
Cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate (minimum 70%)
1 egg
1 eggg yolk
60g caster sugar
50g plain flour
2 good tablespoons of Baileys (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter 2 large ramekins or 4 small ones if youre not so greedy and dust with cocoa powder.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of water and leave to cool as you get the rest of the ingredients ready

Whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale and thick. Mix in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and the Baileys.

Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in using a large metal spoon. Divide and bake for 12-14 minutes until the top is firm but you can tell that the middle is still soft.

Turn out into two bowls, eat (along with some baileys ice-cream if you have it) and fall into a lovely sugar coma.

The photos of this when cooked may be considered food porn so Ill just let you imagine!