Sunday, 6 April 2014

praline filling

for filling macarons, choux buns, sandwiching cakes...

praline filling

  • 200g praline paste
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 100g + 200g double cream
  • 15g butter
Put 100g cream in saucepan and bring to the boil, and simmer. take off the heat then add the broken chocolate. Whisk in furiously. Now add the praline paste. Put on a gentle heat and whisk together. Take off the heat, then add this sliver of butter. Beat in. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate large bowl beat the 200g cream until thick and peaks form. Now add 2 tablespoons of  the cream to the choc-praline mix, and whisk in. Now fold in the rest of the cream. Put in the fridge and chill. 

Praline paste

Surely there is no better way of eating eating hazelnuts than via praline?

the basis for all praline recipes is this paste:

praline paste

  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 100g granulated white sugar
Put the hazelnuts and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan, and gently heat. Don't stir. the sugar will melt and turn dark, and coat the nuts. ... about 5 minutes.... 

Pour the mixture onto a marble slab - or a sheet of greaseproof paper on your marble work surface, or a baking tray. Let it cool - it will set.

If you have a toffee hammer break it with this. If not, snap it into shards, then put it into 2-3 plastic bags. Then smash it up with a normal hammer - as crushed as it will go. Now you need to put this in a blender and blitz it - first it will go into a fine crumb. You can leave it at this stage if you need stuff for sprinkling over a dessert as garnish.

But generally you will want to continue blitzing for another 5 minutes until the hazelnut oils ooze out and bind the crumbs into a lovely shiny paste. 

This shiny paste is the basis for all praline recipes: such as praline to sandwich macarons together, or praline to fill choux buns with!!

quinoa salad with edamame, grated carrot, and a pomegranate vinaigraitte

quinoa salad with edamame, grated carrot, and pomegranate dressing

  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup edamame (I use Bird's Eye frozen soya beans)
  • 2 carrots

For the pomegranate dressing:
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper

In a medium saucepan cover the quinoa with water and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for approx. 15 minutes until they start to go clear but with a opaque dot in the middle.

Meanwhile bring a small pan of water to the boil, when boiling, add the edamame and leave to cook until done. 

Whilst the quinoa and edamame are cooking, make up the pomegranate dressing. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

When it is done, drain the quinoa and tip into a medium/large dish. Then pour the pomegranate dressing over straight away. Mix to coat more evenly. Now drain the edamame and add to the dish. Now peel your carrots if not organic, and then grate them straight into the dish, and lightly mix it all in together. Serve.

Or indeed put it in the fridge and then take it to work in the morning. This is excellent work fare.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

the ideal clock


This really is the clock of my dreams, but it's a bit pricey.

nevertheless Schoolhouse Electric is an excellent website for household dreaming

Friday, 21 March 2014

black-eyed bean salad with tomato and cucumber


  • tin of black-eyed beans
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers
  • a nice ripe tomato
  • mint leaves

Put the rinsed beans in a bowl - then squeeze lemon juice over, then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Chop the tomato and cucumber into cubes, and add to the beans. Chop the mint and add  - mix all together.

Biona are a good brand of beans.
I have on occasion found cheaper
brands undercooked or 'hard' and of low quality.