Friday, 13 August 2010

New Baby Cake!!

This is an exciting post for me, because this is my first ever attempt at cake decoration in this way. I've always stuck to buttercream frosting and simple cakes, but this is a special occasion, so I tried my hand at something a little more detailed. The occasion in question is a beautiful baby boy, Mr. Colehill's new little nephew, and I wanted to do something special for the event. However, that is easier said than done because I've never done it before. This has been a week in the making in the evenings after work, starting with designing, making the sugarpaste decorations, baking the cake and finally assembling.

Anyway, here is the final product - The cake is layers of chocolate sponge and victoria sponge, with white chocolate buttercream between each layer. The building blocks are also cake, but the rest of the decorations are made out of sugarpaste.

I'd say this is my proudest achievement to date, I'm really pleased with the way it came out, but of course I'd love to hear ny tips and tricks you may have for cake decorating!!
P. S. excuse the milk bottle coming off at the side, it needs to be fixed on firmly before I give it to the new family!!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Julia Child's Quiche Lorraine

A rare savoury recipe has snuck on to Colehill Kitchen this week, a shock I'm sure, but at least it involves pastry!! Mr. Colehill is quite the quiche connoisseur, and while I was flicking through Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French cooking, which was a gift from him, he decided that the first recipe used from it should really be a 'gift' for him. I can hardly disagree. And so, a plan to make quiche was born.

I assumed it would be really time consuming for some reason, probably the notion of making pastry from scratch, but it was fairly simple quick and very simple to make. The pastry is a standard recipe, no surprises there. It's written in ounces so that's how I'll do it here:

5oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch sugar
4oz chilled butter, cubed.
4-4.5 tblsp cold water

Sieve the flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl, add the butter and rub together quickly until you get and oat flake texture, careful not to overdo it though.
Then add the water and blend quickly shaping into a ball, before tipping out onto a surface and make one kneading motion for the final blending of fat and flour, the fraisage.
Leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour, or until needed.
Roll out and lay in a greased tin, and blind bake for 8 to 10 minutes until it is becoming golden.

3 - 4 oz lean bacon
3 eggs
1/2 pint double cream
1/2 tsp salt
pinch pepper
1/2 - 1 oz butter cut in to little dots.

Cut the bacon in to bitesize pieces and blanch in fresh water for a couple of minutes, drain and pat dry. Fry in a pan until crispy and slightly golden - I was too impatient at this step and should have fried them longer. Then place in the pastry case.

Combine the eggs, cream and seasoning in a jug and pour over the bacon, and dot the top with the butter. Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is beginning to brown.

Although it isn't traditional, I added a handful of grated cheese into the egg and cream mix, yum!...we are lovers of cheese at Colehill Kitchen!

I have to say I would probably leave out the extra butter on top, as it resulted in a patchy surface to the quiche. As well as this, I think I would use half and half double and single cream next time too, as all double cream is just a tad too rich for my taste!

Leave to sink a little while it cools, and enjoy!! This of course is lovely cold too with salad and other chilled foods. Perfect for sitting in the garden sipping a cold glass of white wine!