A Cornish girl's food adventures

Recent Posts

Banging Green Beans

Banging Green Beans

I think there’s a tendency, when you’re cooking for people who don’t eat meat, to feel like you have to ‘replace’ that element of a meal. I don’t agree, obviously I don’t want to lose the protein from my diet but there are plenty of […]

Pear and ginger pudding cake

Pear and ginger pudding cake

I’ve made this a few times now and it always gets a really warm welcome at the table. It’s what autumn puddings should be, rich and warming and packed with flavourful spices. The sponge is wonderfully light with a gloriously sticky crust, the pears are […]

Raspberry and Earl Grey Madeleines

Raspberry and Earl Grey Madeleines

Oops! Somehow another madeleine recipe has made it onto this blog… These are like my perfect Anglo-French treat. The floral earl grey tea goes really well with the sharp sweet raspberries and the little sponges have a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. There may have been an incident where I ate one of these with a little clotted cream, you know, just for research purposes, and it was pretty darned delicious.

Ingredients
makes 12

65g butter
50g sugar
1 egg
85g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp earl grey tea
punnet of fresh raspberries

Melt the butter and use a little of it to brush your madeleine tin. Dust the tin with a little flour too and shake out any excess. Put the tin in the fridge to chill. Set the remaining butter aside to cool.
Grind the tea a little in a pestle and mortar. Heat one tablespoon of the milk and steep the tea in this.
Beat the egg with the sugar until it is nicely thick, fluffy and pale in colour. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold this into the egg mixture.
Mix the tea and the remaining milk into the butter and then stir this into the batter and let it stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour but longer if you want to.
Towards the end of the resting time pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
Spoon the batter into each of the little shell shaped cavities of the chilled madeleine tin. You don’t need to worry too much about spreading it out to fill them, the batter will do this of its own accord once it hits the heat of the oven. Gently press one or two raspberries into the top of each madeleine. Bake them for three minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°c and leave them for a further five minutes.
Once the little cakes have risen and become golden brown take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack for a few minutes. When they’ve cooled a bit you can carefully lift them out of the tin and allow to cool completely on the rack before sprinkling them with a little icing sugar. These are best eaten on the same day, whilst the outsides are still crisp.

Cherry and mascarpone pasties

Cherry and mascarpone pasties

I think this post might be my biggest tribute to my Grandmas baking yet. She was a pretty decent cook, although she mostly stuck to the ‘meat and two veg’ type recipes of her era, but my goodness was she a good baker. This was […]

Blackcurrant and clotted cream cheesecake

Blackcurrant and clotted cream cheesecake

When I was little a battle would be waged every summer in our garden between my mum and the resident blackbirds over who was going to get to the blackcurrants first once they reached peak ripeness. On the occasions when my mum won the war […]

Chocolate and caramel fudge cake

Chocolate and caramel fudge cake

You know you’ve come up with a winning recipe when your brother sends you this message and tells you that he’s just polished off his third slice!


But really I can’t blame him for having thirds of this rich, delicious, sticky, gooey cake. The sponge is fluffy and full of flavour, the filling is sweet, salty and creamy and the topping is just downright decadent. I bet you can’t eat just one slice!

I’ve adapted the recipe from my malted mocha cupcakes for the sponge.

Ingredients
sponge
200g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
250g soft light brown sugar
100ml vegetable oil
100ml hot coffee
125ml milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
caramel
100g soft light brown sugar
70ml double cream
15g butter
1 tbsp shiro miso (you can just add a big pinch of seasalt if you prefer)
filling
150ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
ganache
75g dark chocolate
75ml double cream

little bit of fudge/chocolate shavings/sprinkles to decorate

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line two sandwich cake tins.
Sift the flour, raising agents, spices and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and then use a whisk to mix in the sugar and salt. Make sure that everything is well blended.
Lightly beat the eggs and then combine them with the oil, milk, coffee and vanilla extract. Mix this into the dry ingredients and then briefly beat it together to leave you with a smooth, fairly wet batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins (you can weigh them if you want to be super precise) and level off the tops. Bake the sponges for 30-35 minutes, they should be well risen and feel springy to the touch when they’re done. Leave the sponges on a wire rack to cool completely.


Whilst the sponges bake you can make the miso caramel . Simply combine the cream, sugar and butter in a pan and bring to boil. Turn the heat down and let it gently bubble for several minutes, it should deepen in colour a little and become a little thicker. Remove it from the heat and stir in the miso, ensuring that it blends in smoothly. Set it aside to cool.
Whip the cream with the vanilla and the sugar until it is thick and fluffy and set it aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
For the ganache topping chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Heat the cream until it is quite warm but don’t let it boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two before giving it a good stir. Leave to cool and thicken.


Trim the sponges to level them if you need to and place one of them on a serving plate. Spread a fairly generous amount of the caramel over the base and then pile on the cream, spreading it just shy of the edges. Drizzle a little more of the caramel over the cream and then gently place the second sponge on top. Spread the ganache over this sponge, swirling it a little for decoration and then scatter some crumbled fudge, sprinkles or chocolate shavings over the top to finish it off.

Lemon and eldeflower cupcakes

Lemon and eldeflower cupcakes

I haven’t baked cupcakes in forever. I’m not sure if it’s because they went out of style a little bit or because I’m a pretty greedy person and I’d rather bake one big cake that can be cut into generous slices! These aren’t as sweet […]

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so […]

Mango and passion fruit tarts

Mango and passion fruit tarts

Who says custard has to be vanilla flavoured? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good rich vanilla custard but I also like a change every now and again. Passion fruit works really well in these, it has a nice sharp tang to cut through the rich creamy custard. It’s so fragrant too and obviously mango and passion fruit make a wonderfully tropical pairing. This is such a lovely summer dessert and using pre-made puff pastry makes them pretty low effort too!

Ingredients
makes 6
320g sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
3 egg yolks
60g sugar
35g cornflour
300ml whole milk
4 ripe passion fruit
1/2 tin of mango

Start by making the passion fruit puree. Scrape the seeds from the fruit into a sieve over a bowl and push through as much of the pulp as possible but keep the seeds to decorate the tarts when they’re finished.
In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar until they are thick and pale. Heat the milk in a medium pan until it starts to simmer. Strain the hot milk through a fine sieve into a jug and rinse out the pan. Put the bowl with the egg mixture on a slightly damp tea towel to stop it from moving around. Whilst continuously whisking the eggs, pour in the hot milk in a steady stream. Put the mixture back in the pan and return it to the hob, over a low heat. Keep stirring the custard (making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan) until the custard becomes very thick and then remove it from the heat. Stir in the passion fruit puree and then cover the surface of the creme patissiere with cling-film to stop a skin forming whilst it cools.


Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the sheet of puff pastry into six squares. Fold each in half diagonally to create a triangle. With the folded edge towards you make a cut along each edge, about 15mm in, up towards the centre point of the triangle but making sure that they don’t meet. Unfold the triangle and then cross the cut sides over one another to create a little twist at each end. Prick the centre with a fork to stop it from puffing up as much as the sides. Place the pastry cases on the prepared tin, spacing them apart a little and bake them for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Once both the pastry cases and the creme patissiere are cool you can assemble the tarts. Pipe or spoon the custard into the centre of the puff pastry cases and top each one with a few slices of mango and then scatter on some of the passion fruit seeds.. Chill until serving.

Sour cherry and cinnamon jam

Sour cherry and cinnamon jam

I’ve told you before about how much I love cherries. I’ve probably mentioned the tears that ensued when I swallowed a cherry stone as a child and my dad told me a cherry tree would grow out of my head. Ordinarily cherries are far too […]