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Everything posted by Flossie

  1. I can't remember without looking it up but doesn't the finish of your baking tin affect the texture of the cookies? Also, whether or not you use baking parchment. Apologies if someone has mentioned this already.
  2. Naomi, I had both my Rankin experiences at Junction 1 and from what you say I'm glad I didn't venture into Rain City. Nice to meet another Norn Iron eGulleteer, BTW! Want to swap names of your favourite cafes here?
  3. Andy, If you're in Belfast on a Saturday, I believe the food market at St Georges is worth a visit. There's a free bus service from the centre of Belfast or take a taxi -it's not far. Edited to add: or you could visit my local butcher: www.mccartneysofmoira.co.uk I take your point about Rankin et al putting a lot of work into getting the new Roscoff right. But his name is very closely identified with the cafes and I think if I were in his position (ha! fat chance!) I'd want everything I did to be of a good standard. There isn't a strict division between people who eat only at Cafe Rankin and those who eat at the pricier restaurants - I've eaten at Cayenne and know it's good. I think you've got to value all your customers. Someone who's having a £1.50 cup of coffee today might be willing to spend a lot more in a restaurant next week. Or not.
  4. Andy, Do you know the address of the new Roscoff? I'm a bit concerned that Rankin is spreading himself too thinly. I've made two visits recently to his latest cafe and both were very disappointing. Grubby surroundings (this in a recently opened venue), stressed staff, 1 loo for the whole cafe, careless food. The coffee was bitter, the scone was inedible and the brownie was hard and dry. I filled in comment card but no response. Why am I surprised? I fill these things in all the time and no-one has ever responded.
  5. Flossie


    I like it mixed with an equal amount of whipped double cream and used as a filling for a strawberry or raspberry tart.
  6. Curds keep about a month or so in the fridge so they're not something you can make a long time ahead for gifts. If I'm making them for Christmas gifts I do it a week or so before Christmas and put a 'use by' date on them. I don't have a recipe handy but I think there's one in Sherry Yard's book and there's definitely one in Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'.
  7. If I had a plentiful supply of passion fruits I'd make curd instead of jam.
  8. Raspberry and white chocolate scones. Eton mess. Raspberry mousse. Raspberry ripple ice cream.
  9. In the end I made: 4 pounds of blackcurrant jam; 4 pounds of blackcurrant jelly; froze another 4 -5 pounds; made a blackcurrant mousse, served in tuiles d'amande with blackcurrant coulis; made a batch of creme de cassis; gave several pounds away. Thanks to everyone for their ideas, which I've noted carefully for next year when I'll hopefully be more agile.
  10. Nope, Fi, for Norn Iron we're having reasonably good weather. Dull, grey, overcast today, no rain and so far no locusts. Thanks for the great ideas - I like them all. I often make lemon surprise pud - it was a set piece for my Domestic Science 'O' level many years ago - and never thought of adding berries/currants to it. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. I've an American cousin-in-lawcoming to visit next week and the blackcurrants should be ripe by then so I'll try a few of your suggestions. I took Jane Grigson to bed last night (so to speak) and found that she has a recipe for creme de cassis so I'm definitely going to give that a whirl. Thanks again.
  11. Thanks for this, ewindels. I have a couple of Martha Stewart books so I'll have a look and see if she mentions this anywhere. I do a similar thing with sloes, gin and sugar and I had thought of trying blackcurrants instead. Today was beautifully dry and sunny - my husband and sister pulled 11 pounds of raspberries and 4 of gooseberries. The raspberries are all dealt with, the goosegogs will have to wait until tomorrow!
  12. Flossie


    Ron, Delia's choc, fruit & nut gives a 'cheesy' texture; you also get a good trayful for your work and you don't have to beat the mixture furiously. I think it would probably benefit from a drop or two of rum as well, which I must try next time I'm making it. Claire McDonald's recipe is a bit more granular but I'm very partial to it! All the best.
  13. Kit - I'm in Northern Ireland. Locally, it's very rare to have these berries uncooked - we like very sweet things here and add sugar to nearly everything! While I enjoy them uncooked, most people would turn up their noses if I served them 'raw'. Perhaps part of the reason for this is that we don't have very hot summers to sweeten fruit.
  14. Flossie


    Ron, if you have access to Delia Smith's books, there is a very good recipe for chocolate, fruit and nut fudge. It's at the end of Book 3 in the How to Cook series and also in her new book in the Collection series. Also, Claire McDonald (Scottish cook and writer) has a good recipe for vanilla fudge in one of her books - I think it's 'Sweet Things'. I've used this recipe to make huge amounts of fudge, cut into heart shapes, to give as favours at weddings.
  15. Andisenji: this is great. Thank you so much. I have an Aga and it would probably be very good for the process you've described. Unfortunately we've turned it off for the summer.... I'm going to print this off and keep it for future reference and I'll certainly try it in the autumn with plums. Thanks again.
  16. Flossie


    I like blackberries paired with apples in a tart (and I echo Abra's disclaimer!) Or what about a blackberry bavarois?
  17. Thanks, Kit, I'll try this one soon. I really like lemon curd and it will make a lovely contrast to the berries. Where I live, people rarely eat these berries uncooked (raspberries, yes, but not the others). Perhaps I'll poach the fruit lightly first...
  18. Wendy - thanks for your thoughts. I do give a lot of stuff away - I grow raspberries, black, white and red currants, red and yellow gooseberries, etc, etc. But a lot of people look askance at me when I hand them a pile of produce and I just know that my beautiful fruit goes to waste. If I hand them a dessert, however, I know they will enjoy it and that the fruit will have been used to good effect. I usually make pounds of raspberry jam and freeze a lot as well but I don't have a huge freezer. The problem is this year that I'm recovering from a broken ankle and don't want to/can't stand for hours making preserves. I could make some blackcurrant jelly as then I wouldn't have to 'top-and-tail' the fruit. I don't think I need recipes as such - just need to get my head around a way of dealing with all this fruit efficiently and painlessly! And I like ALL the things you listed (and more!) Andiesenji - I like the idea of drying the fruit. I've never tried this - can you explain how I would do it, please? And your mention of Sweden reminds me: I have a book on Scandinavian baking, must have a look in there for ideas. Thanks, both!
  19. In about 2 weeks the blackcurrants on my 5 blackcurrant bushes will be ripe, yielding 20+ pounds of fruit. Can anyone please suggest some desserts to use these up? I will probably make one batch of jam and maybe some blackcurrant gin or vodka but I'm at a loss to know what to do with the rest. I can't make them all into jam as I've done in previous years. I will probably make a mousse and some ice cream but after that?
  20. Just had notification from Amazon that my book has been dispatched. So (hopefully!) a couple of weeks to peruse it then get this cast off my ankle, then into the kitchen. I like the sound of those croissants, DiH. Croissants are one of those things where I've been trying to track down the ultimate recipe - you know how every now and then you become fixated on finding or making the perfect example of whatever-it-is? Croissants, brownies, choux pastry, ice cream.....
  21. '....so will resume this blog after if there's still interest.' Yes please! I haven't been around for a while (broke my ankle, had to have an operation) and was delighted to find this thread when I came back today. I had just ordered Sherry Yard's book and I've always meant to try pecan pie (have a friend who loves it) so was fascinated by your reports. Nice dog, too. Some pictures of the cats would be good as well.....
  22. Reading this thread prompted me to try baking challah for the first time. I'm not Jewish but have respect for Jewish traditions and LOVE challah! I've made it twice now and have impressed myself! On the first occasion I made it I was short of time, but on the second occasion I gave the dough its second rising overnight rising in the fridge. The dough was much easier to handle. I had friends visiting the evening I baked the bread - one guy ate half of one loaf and took the other one home with him! I investigated buying items from Happy Home (incl. the oval pans) but the shipping costs were exorbitant. If anyone knows of a company who will ship items like these to the UK for a reasonable rate, I'd be interested in knowing about them. Thanks!
  23. I recently bought a jar of passion fruit curd and it was sensational. I'd thought I'd use it for cake fillings, etc., but I ended up eating most of it from the jar. I went to a small once-weekly food market near where I live the other day and bought some most unusual preserves including banana jam and Irish Coffee Preserve.
  24. Especially addictive when you put them on top of your mug of hot tea so the syrup just starts to go gooey. Stroopwaffels, mmmm!
  25. Heard Clarissa on 'The Food Programme' (Radio 4) on Sunday and it was so good I listened to the repeat on Monday. She's as wonderfully plummy as ever and superbly scathing of somebody-or-other's complicated vegetarian recipes.
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