A Cornish girl's food adventures

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Red pepper & feta dip

Red pepper & feta dip

This is a recipe for a thick, creamy, tangy dip that literally couldn’t be more quick and easy to make. Just wack everything into a food processor and away you go – an (almost) instant dip, ready for snacking or entertaining. You can either roast […]

Toffee apple filo pie

Toffee apple filo pie

This pie is a lovely thing to enjoy at this time of year, rich and warming and full of delicious autumnal flavours. It’s part apple pie, part strudel and part tarte tatin, what’s not to like? Rich, deep caramel sauce coated apples nestled beneath light […]

Pistachio and chocolate cheesecake

Pistachio and chocolate cheesecake

It wasn’t until I travelled to Sicily last year and happened upon the pistachio festival in Bronte that it occurred to me that something as decadent as pistachio paste could exist. But it does! Either as a thick nut butter or (even more gloriously) the pistachio version of nutella. I may or may not have demolished an entire jar of the latter during that trip.
This is a particularly luxurious, velvety baked cheesecake. Utterly delicious with rich chocolate and fragrant, sweet pistachios. It’s a truly delicious, indulgent dessert- perfect for special occasions.
You can easily make your own pistachio paste by shelling and skinning a bag of pistachios before grinding them to a paste in a food processor. You can skin the nuts very easily by letting them sit in hot water for a few minutes. The skins should then slip off quite easily.

Ingredients
base
200g digestive biscuits
80g butter
filling (make sure everything is at room temperature)
500g full fat cream cheese
200g sour cream
3 eggs
100g sugar
75g dark chocolate
150g pistachio paste

Lightly grease a spring-form cake tin and securely wrap the base with foil. Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Crush the biscuits, either in a food processor or by putting them in a plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and combine this with the biscuit crumbs before pressing the mixture firmly into the base and sides of the tin. Pop this in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling.


Melt the chocolate (in a double boiler or microwave) before leaving to cool a bit. Put the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth, creamy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in the sour cream and divide the batter in two. Mix the cooled melted chocolate into one half and the pistachio paste into the other. Make sure the flavourings are well combined into the batter, the pistachio paste may take a bit of stirring in. Pour the mixtures over the biscuit base, swirling and marbling them together. Give the tin a little shake and a tap to level things off and knock out any excess air bubbles. Put the tin in a bain-marie and bake the cheesecake for around 45 minutes. Once it’s done it should still be a little wobbly in the middle and be just starting to brown around the edges. Turn off the oven and take the cheesecake out of its water bath but leave it in the oven to cool. Once it’s room temperature move it to the fridge to chill totally before removing the tin and serving.

Chocolate and ginger ice cream (no-churn)

Chocolate and ginger ice cream (no-churn)

Just because the sunny and warm weather is far behind us doesn’t meant that I can’t still enjoy some cool creamy ice cream now and again. Okay, to be fair it’s more ‘now’ than ‘again’, in fact I’d probably eat it for breakfast if I […]

Spiced apple bread & butter pudding

Spiced apple bread & butter pudding

What’s not to love about this cosy autumn pudding? Richly spiced custard, crunchy, crisp buttery bread and soft sweet apple, this makes such a lovely change to the usual crumbles and pies that take centre stage once the cold weather sets in. This is also […]

Tomato & brie cobbler

Tomato & brie cobbler

I’ve spent what feels like forever waiting for my homegrown tomatoes to become deliciously ripe and ready to eat. They have, however, flatly refused to co-operate. I don’t know if it’s the weather or our shoddy light-weight greenhouse but they are not playing ball. I have a plan though. I’m going to cook the sweetness out of them. Roasting them in the oven with sweet red onions and plenty or aromatics before topping them with a rich golden crust has made me forget all about how insipid they were to start with.

Ingredients
serves 4-6
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion
400g tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
100g brie
240g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
120g butter
2 eggs
100ml milk

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and lightly grease a baking dish. Finely slice the onion and the garlic and chop the tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on how big they are. Toss all of this with the oil, herbs and salt and pepper in the baking dish. Roast the tomato mix for around 20 minutes until the onions are soft and the tomatoes are starting to caramelize around the edges.


To make the topping sift together the flour and baking powder before rubbing in the butter, lightly with your fingertips. Beat together the eggs and the milk and use this to bring the butter and flour together to form a soft, droppable dough.
Dice the brie and scatter half of it over the tomatoes before dolloping on the topping. Dot the remaining cheese over the top of this and bake for a further 20 minutes, by which time the topping should have puffed up, feel springy and light and be invitingly golden.

Apple and blackberry trifle

Apple and blackberry trifle

I know it’s bit old fashioned and kitsch but I really do love a trifle. I tend to think of them as either a summer or Christmas dessert though, probably because my Grandma (and now my mum) always made one for Christmas. I just love […]

Plum & pecan crostata

Plum & pecan crostata

This is such a wonderful bake, part cake, part tart – I love the crumbly, buttery pecan pastry on this, wrapped around the fluffy filling and sticky fruit. This is a lovely autumnal bake and you can easily adapt it to use different fruits and […]

Coconut & passionfruit ice cream (no churn)

Coconut & passionfruit ice cream (no churn)

Cool, creamy coconut ice cream that you can whip up in few minutes, rippled with fragrant passion fruit sounds pretty good to me. This is an exotic dessert that you can keep stashed in the freezer for dreary days that need perking up.

You can either use pre-made coulis or simply mix icing sugar and passion fruit pulp together to taste. It’s up to you if you wish to remove the seeds or not. You can also amp-up the coconut flavour with a touch of coconut extract if you like.

Ingredients

200ml double cream
150ml can coconut cream
175g condensed milk
100ml passion fruit coulis (see note)

Coconut extract to taste (optional)

Place everything except the passion fruit into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on full power until the mixture is thick and fluffy. This will take several minutes. Gently ripple through the passion fruit by hand before pouring the mixture into a freezer-proof lidded tub. Freeze until solid. Allow to defrost at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, with a little sprinkle of toasted coconut if you like.

Peach and strawberry jam

Peach and strawberry jam

It’s always nice to preserve some of the summer flavours for future days that perhaps aren’t so sunny and jam is a great way to use up a glut of fruit (or when you’ve found a special offer that you just couldn’t resist!) If I’m […]