Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Earl Grey and Honey Madeleines and a special delivery

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Ever since Tim designed some packaging for The Tea Shed we have been receiving special little packages every once in a while with lots of special treats. This time round we got a box of our favourite  Mr Grey's Tea, a gorgeous tea towel and some samples of some absolutely stunning chai. If you haven't tried any of the Tea Shed teas I thoroughly recommend you get sampling. The bags are filled with full leaves rather than dust so the flavour is tenfold better then your normal tea. There is a huge variety of teas from the 'Pick me up at 3' tea which has a little more caffine to help perk you up towards the end of your day to the 'Northern Brew' which is designed for places with hard water. There even is a 'Out of Milk Tea' which has a naturally milky taste which is perfect for those mornings when a run to the shop for milk just isn't an option. Perfect for students but also for anyone as forgetful as me! Go check out the Tea Shed shop, you won't be disappointed. 

I started racking my brain and the internet for a recipe I could use the tea with. At first I thought biscuits but after a quick search on the internet I realized that there were so many of the same recipe knocking about that I decided to go for something a little different. Thats when I discovered a recipe for Madeleines. The recipe looks a little tricky but let me assure you, as long as you stick to it they will be a success.

I don't have the madeleines baking trays so I used some metal cases, I imagine that you can buy them in most kitchen shops.

Recipe from Daily Delicious

You will need-
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 150g cake flour - I didn't have any so I took a tbsp of flour out and replaced it with a tbsp of cornflour and sifted it 5 times
  • 4g baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp early grey tea
Start by heating your butter on a medium heat in a saucepan until its close to boil and then add your tea and brew for 3-5 minutes depending on the strength you would like. Strain the butter and then put to 1 side to cool.

Next combine all your dry ingredients and also set to 1 side.

Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water and add your eggs & sugar. Whisk until it has tripled in size and you get long ribbons when you pull the whisk out. Next add the honey and mix until incorporated.

Remove the bowl from the heat and then slowly a quater of the dry ingredients, followed by the butter and repeat till everything had been added. Just be careful not to overmix. Cover the bowl and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

When the batter is ready butter your pan and then dust with flour. Make sure you do this well so the madeleines don't stick. Preheat your oven to 180C.

Add a generous tablespoon of batter to each case and then bake for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown and spring back when you touch the middles. Be careful not to over bake them as they will loose their delicious lightness. 

Tap the moulds till they fall out and then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool. Once cool dust with icing sugar. Be sure to dip them in your tea and don't think about the amount of butter in them whilst you nibble.

Enjoy x

Week in Food- Week 2

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A food related photo every day for a year. I struggled a little bit this week, I definitely need to practice more.

8/365- 16/7/2011 Cereal for breakfast

9/365- 17.8.2011 Spagetti with homegrown tomato sauce

10/365- 18/8/2011 Garlic

11/365- 19/8/2011 Polenta topped with creamy wild mushrooms & pancetta

12/365- 20/8/2011 Chickpea & Spinach curry

13/365- 21/8/2011 Earl Grey & Honey Madelines

14/365- 22/8/2011 Artichokes

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A Little Offering

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A big thank you for all the visits over the past few days its put a big smile on my face. 

Heres a little playlist of music that I've been listening to recently for you to enjoy on your wednesday afternoon. Half way mark to the weekend!

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

FoodCycle Cambridge

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Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going along to FoodCycle to volunteer and also document what they get up to. I have been aware of them for a few months as my sister-in-law by proxy is one of the FoodCycle 'Champions'. FoodCycle's mission is simple, they collect food from food retailers that would otherwise be thrown away and turn it into a delicious & nutritious 3 course meal for people in the community that do not have access to healthy food for a variety of reasons. The meals are always vegetarian and they never know exactly what they're getting until they have picked the food up.

On friday afternoon I organised to meet Jen at Sainsbury's who are one of the suppliers they regularly use. Before I set off I picked a big bags worth of plums from the trees outside the studio with the idea of make a plum clafoutis with them. In Sainsbury's they had about 6 boxes worth of fruit and vegetables waiting for us as well as lots of bread. Jen told me what to look for, best before and display until dates were fine as long as the food looks ok but if it was past its use before date then it was a no go. They never collect meat, fish or dairy. We ended up collecting about 5 big bags worth of food which Jen informed me was a lot more than normal.

We cycled back to St Pauls Centre and then Jen and Benji set off to Massaros and the Farmers Outlet on Regent Street and Lensfield Road and came back with even more goodies. Next it was time to put the thinking hats on and work out what should be made with all the food. Jen got a rough outline together and then set off to buy a few things to top up the ingredients.

On Saturday morning at 9.30 the volunteers all met in the kitchen. The first task was to discuss what was planned and to share the jobs. It was decided that we would make a Broccoli soup with garlic bread to start followed by a Ratatouille with a parsnip, suede and carrot mash, crispy potatoes and salad. Then for pudding there was a choice of Peach and Pear Crumble, Fruit Salad & my contribution of Plum Clafoutis. 

I started by greasing the base of a baking dish with butter and then sprinkled it with sugar. Next I halved and stoned the plums and place them cut down in the tray.

After that I combined eggs, milk, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a blender until smooth. You can also add vanilla extract and lemon zest but unfortunately I didn't have any to hand. I poured the mixture over the plums and baked in a preheated oven at 170C (fan assisted) for about 50 minutes.


Some of the lovely team

The delicious crumble.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with FoodCycle and will definitely be volunteering again. You can find out more about FoodCycle and a hub near you on their website . Thank you so much to Jen and the rest of the team for having me and see you all again soon!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Week in Food- Week 1

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I have decided to take inspiration from Shutterbean and start taking a food related photo every day for a year. A big commitment yes but I hope to improve my photo taking through it whilst also documenting what I eat.

1/365- 9.8.2011 Strawberry & Blueberry smoothie with Yogurt & Agave

2/365- 10.8.2011 Calamari Fritti

3/365- 11.08.2011 Charred Corn Tacos with Courgette & Raddish slaw & Feta

4/365- 12.8.2011 Kale Spagetti

5/365- 13.8.2011 Plum Clafoutis

6/365- 14.8.2011 Chargrilled Asparagus

7/365- 15.8.2011 Cooking Pad See Ew

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