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Thursday 6 November 2014

Cheese and Pickle Vegetable Patties

 You all want to come over for breakfast, don't you? 

Given my recent praise of the weather for its hot breakfast facilitating benefits, I feel it might be time to let you in on another of my winter morning food pleasures. But before we go any further I feel I should say that I am someone who doesn't recognize certain foods as being just for breakfast.

Actually, no, that's not quite what I mean. What I am trying to get at is that I don't believe breakfast has to be made up of what is commonly thought of as 'breakfast food'. I think this is because I spent nearly eight years as a flight attendant, and would frequently find myself wanting a bowl of noodles, or a burger, at, say, seven a.m.

Thus I regularly feast (in cold weather) on these vegetable patties first thing in the morning, and I eat them with eggs (sometimes poached, sometimes - as today - fried) and Branston pickle. I actually put Branston in them as well, which I know will cause some people to class them firmly as 'not breakfast food'. To them I say: "Fine. Enjoy your cornflakes. But consider these for lunch or dinner at least."

My favourite thing about these patties is their crisp and golden crust. But my second favourite thing is that you make them with leftover vegetables. In fact, sometimes I cook extra carrots, potato and swede just to be able to make these. They seem like the sort of thing I should have been brought up eating (but wasn't - which I think might be because there were five of us in the house, so there was never leftover anything), yet are interesting enough to eat that I would happily serve them to guests.

You could vary these endlessly: add chopped leftover green beans; use different herbs; coat them in breadcrumbs if you don't have cornmeal.They are so simple to make that once you have, they will soon become a part of your regular meals.

Have you got any similar leftover-based dishes you recommend? Leave a comment and I'll try them out!

Cheese and Pickle Vegetable Patties

You will need:

About 750g (raw weight) of potato, carrot, swede, sweet potato etc., cooked and cooled
2 tbsp flour
2 heaped tbsp Branston pickle
75g grated cheddar
approx 3 tbsp chopped parsley
chopped red chilli, to taste
5 tbsp cornmeal (polenta)

  1. Put the cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the vegetables until smooth, though with a little texture remaining. Mix everything else in well, and season with salt and lots of pepper. 
  3. Form the mixture into thick patties - I make quite large ones - and dip each side into the cornmeal, coating the patties well.
  4. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the patties for about three minutes each side. Serve immediately with extra parsley and chopped chilli. Delicious!
Delicious Delicious Delicious was commissioned to create a recipe with Branston.. My opinions are, as always, my own. 

Thursday 30 October 2014

Breakfast and Multicookers

Breakfast does not get better than this!

I love this time of year for so much more besides the pumpkins and associated spiced lattes (pfft… whatever). Autumn is the time of year when breakfast gets interesting, and I start to fancy something other than the Bircher muesli my friend Clare has caused me to become slightly more than healthily addicted to. She calls it the 'summer porridge, breakfast of champions.' On the whole, I'd go along with that, except that compared to regular porridge, Bircher is like a bowl of nothing.

I love hot breakfasts! Or anything that isn't just plain cereal, which, though I love it, Bircher muesli kind of is. The only problem is that I don't always have time to make proper porridge in the morning, and even if I do, I can't always be bothered with the stirring. This is one of the reasons I have been loving tinkering with my newest bit of kitchen booty - the multicooker.

Whereas it looks like a rice cooker, the Redmond RMC-RM4502 actually does more than that. It bakes bread and cakes, fries, deep fries, stews and steams. Oh, and makes porridge - from oats, cornmeal, buckwheat, you name it, the Remond will cook it. I have really enjoyed using it in the kitchen because it has a time delay function, which means that I can go to bed knowing I'll wake up to a warming, healthy breakfast with no early morning prep. Doing my hair takes long enough, to be honest. As if I would be feasting on cornmeal and maple porridge of a morning if I had to actually cook it myself when I woke up!

(If only I had had one of these as a student! You know, I basically didn't eat breakfast for four years when I was at university. When you get up late and have to be in language lab for 9am, breakfast doesn't really feature in the day.)

I have also been baking in the Redmond. And eating the cakes for breakfast. I have found it makes really light and airy, yet moist, sponge cakes, like the ones Italians call 'pan di Spagna'. Perfect with a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. Or just the coffee.

In fact, as you can see, the multicooker has basically been my breakfast saviour for the past few weeks. I think it's a great machine and am planning on trying some bread in it this weekend. I gave our breadmaker away years ago, as a single function machine that takes up so much room just didn't seem worthwhile. The multicooker is here for keeps though!

Cake can be a breakfast food too!

If you have a Redmond multicooker as well, give my breakfast recipes a try (as well as some of the 100 recipes that come with it!). They will make autumn and winter that little bit more delicious!

Creamy Maple Cornmeal Porridge with Brazil Nuts and Sultanas

You will need:

75g cornmeal (polenta - I always buy the coarse ground one)
500ml full fat milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
a handful of Brazil nuts, chopped
a handful of sultanas
soft brown sugar (optional)

  1. Place the cornmeal, milk and maple syrup in the machine bowl and stir well. Cook for 35 minutes on the oatmeal setting. Stir well and serve topped with nuts, sultanas and a sprinkle of soft brown sugar. Gorgeous. 
  • You could also top with cinnamon and walnuts, or some frozen berries.

Pan di Spagna (Breakfast Sponge Cake), my way

You will need:

200g self raising flour
6 eggs
175g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. First, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and moussey. This will take ages, and you will feel like your arm is going to fall off, unless you have the common sense to use an electric whisk. 
  2. Still beating, add the lemon zest and vanilla, then gradually the flour.
  3. Pour into the greased machine bowl (I used vegetable oil - a baking spray would be fine, or butter). Bake for 40 minutes on cake setting.
  4. Cool on a rack as you would a regularly baked cake. 
  • I have made this twice so far in the multicooker. Once with plain flour, and once with self raising. I know everyone says that you should always use plain flour when there's no butter in the recipe, but honestly, with the self raising you get a much higher rise. Don't listen to the books, listen to me! :)

Delicious Delicious Delicious received a sample multicooker courtesy of Redmond and was commissioned to write a recipe. My opinions are, as always, my own.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cake

It's that time of year again. Everybody has started screaming about #PSLs being available at that coffee chain that we keep supporting even though they don't pay their corporation taxes. I'm so over it.

Don't get me wrong: I love pumpkin more than you could ever understand. When I first found out about pumpkin spice latte, my heart skipped a beat (though I did think the idea of pumpkin and coffee sounded rather on the not delicious side of delicious). But here's the thing…

THERE'S NO PUMPKIN IN THE DAMN THINGS! It's pumpkin spice in the sense of 'spices that you might put into a pumpkin pie', not actual pumpkin-infused coffee drink.

I thought it was awful. Misleading. Wrong. And then it dawned on me last week that I could use the widely accepted deceit to my advantage, since I didn't actually have any pumpkin in the house and I wanted to bust out the Nordic Ware pumpkin loaf pan. (And why wouldn't I? Have you seen how beautiful this cake is?)

So there we go: pumpkin spice cake, without an ounce of pumpkin in it. Well, if Starbucks can do it with their lattes…

Try it. I'm not saying don't cook with pumpkin at all, but if you have this tin, it's a shame not to use it at this time of year. (I actually also use it for lemon drizzle year-round, but don't tell anyone.)

By the way, the almond extract is optional, but I have been tinkering about with my bottle of it ever since Fuss Free Helen turned me onto the stuff made by Steenberg's. I love the extra marzipanny depth it gives everything, but I know that not everyone is an almond lover, so you might just want the vanilla. Your choice.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

You will need:

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
225g soft butter
4 egg whites (or 2 whole eggs, I just had whites to use!)
75ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a standard sized loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, or a stand mixer (which is what I used), mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the butter and milk and mix until well combined. Beat for two minutes.
  3. Add the egg whites and extracts and beat until smooth (about another minute).
  4. Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes. Rest for ten minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Delicious Delicious Delicious received three samples of extracts from Steenberg's Organic. No money changed hands, and my opinions are, as always, my own.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Pumpkin Roll Cake

I am not even going to apologise for the lack of updates since July. On that matter, I will say only the following: my life has changed unbelievably since that last update, and there just hasn't been a single moment in my new life when, much as I love doing it, I have thought; "You know what? I really feel like writing a blog post."


I quit flying!

I know. I can't quite believe it either, but it is true. I gave it up. It was one of the hardest, most horrendous decisions to make of my life. But, an amazing opportunity came my way, at a great organisation here in Cardiff, and I took it.

I work 9-5, in an office, and I have great co-workers. I am learning new things everyday, and I love it. I feel like my new employers took a huge chance on me, and I am determined to make sure they don't regret it!

The change was terrifying, but worth it. I'm stealing this next part from Niki Haris (you might need to Google her), but change is good: "Things that aren't changing aren't growing; things that aren't growing are dying."

So that's why I have been away. I've been busy changing. And it's been amazing.

Oh, and I made a pumpkin roll. Recipe here.

Be back soon. Promise!

Thursday 17 July 2014

El desayuno: Tostada con tomate

OK, OK, I think we have established in the past that I am not a Spanish speaker, but after my recent trip to Malaga I have been inspired to try and recreate the super sensational breakfast I ate there every single day. And it sounds better in the original language - 'tomato toasts' doesn't really make me feel the least bit hungry, and I doubt anybody is really going to search for that on Google either.

(Just saying.)

Here's the deal: warm toasted bread, drizzled with peppery olive oil and rubbed with juicy, red, sun-sweet tomato. It's so much more than it sounds, and I happen to think it sounds pretty good actually. The way it's served at Dulces Dreams, the place I stayed in (and recommend to all), the tomato comes pulped in a little dish, along with bread, oil and salt, so that's how I have been making it at home too. To be honest, you could probably just rub a cut tomato into the toast and it would be less of a production, but some of us live for the drama, so don't hate me for adding an extra step.

I do think that good extra virgin olive oil is essential. It needs to be peppery and make your mouth tingle, otherwise it's just... well, oil. I've been tinkering with the new Gran Cru range from Filippo Berio, and think their Toscano is just perfect here. I know it's Italian, and this is a Spanish recipe, but let's be honest: who's going to know when it's on the bread and tomato? Toscano has pep, a lovely grassy colour and a nice fragrance too. A little sprinkle of sea salt on the top and you have a seriously delicious breakfast.

Unspoilt. Unadulterated.

The Gran Cru range also has oils from Sicily and Puglia, the different regions (goodness me, the temptation to use the word 'terroirs' runs high!) each offering something different in terms of flavour and colour. I recommend checking them out if you see them in your supermarket; the quality is really high, and good oil makes all the difference in your cooking.

Tostada con tomate

You will need:

(Per person)

1 white crusty bread roll
2 good sized ripe tomatoes
good extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

  1. Split the roll in half and toast the inside. I used my griddle, but the toaster would work as well. Obviously.
  2. While that's happening, either just slice the tomatoes to rub onto the toast later, or grate them using a box grater. 
  3. To serve, drizzle the toast generously with oil; top with tomato and sprinkle with salt. Eat. Repeat.

Delicious Delicious Delicious received a sample of oils from the Filippo Berio Gran Cru range.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Chocolate Cream Cake

 More deliciousness on Instagram.

There are times, despite the sunshine and good weather, that you just feel exhausted, grouchy and in need of the sort of food you never really need at all. I'm talking toasted cheese sandwiches,burgers and big slices of chocolate cake.

Like this one.

In the long-running battle of cake vs. frosting, I have always been, and remain, firmly entrenched behind the lines of cake. It's not that I hate icing, it's just that cake is better. Which is why this chocolatey little beast is exactly what I need a slice of right now. But after my grilled cheese. OK?

There's no typo with this recipe by the way: there is not meant to be any butter in it. The whipped cream acts as the shortening, and quite honestly, has enough butterfat in it (we're talking a whole pot's worth of cream here) that the cake tastes as if it were actually made by dairy cows themselves.

Which doesn't sound delicious, but trust me, this is.

You can also bake it in regular sandwich tins; they'll take about twenty minutes in the oven.

If you feel the need for more chocolate after enjoying this, try this flourless chocolate cake or even these fondants flavoured with orange. Maybe add cherries (this one also has no butter - score!).

Chocolate Cream Cake

You will need:

150g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
300ml double cream
225g caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease and flour a 25cm bundt tin.
  2. Using a whisk, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream until starting to form stiff peaks; then add the eggs and sugar and beat until airy and combined. 
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 30 minutes, or until well risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  5. Cool for ten minutes in the tin, and invert on to a wire wrack to finish cooling.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Malted Banana Ice-Cream

As I sit here, on standby (FML, as the youngsters seem to be saying these days), I realise that it is the first of the month.

Will July be when I start blogging with the increased frequency that I used to? Will I go back to being the kind of nice, friendly blogger who comments on others' posts and engages in conversations on Twitter and Facebook? Well, we can hope. There are going to be big changes coming up anyway, so you never know!

I am freshly back from holiday, and suffering from the associated exhaustion that such a state entails. Am I the only one who thinks we should be entitled to a post-holiday holiday to get over the first? Maybe it's my age (I turned 32 last week).

I spent a week in Malaga, visiting a former flyer friend who just opened a hotel in the old town there. In actual fact, he was in Ibiza for most of the time we were in town, but nonetheless, I took the opportunity to eat as many local treats as one possibly can without the help of a guide (I manage that rather well!) and am going to try to rustle up some of them for these very pages.

One of my favourite finds was a local heladeria, which had such wonderful ice-cream I can hardly bear thinking about it. Thus, I have been in full chilled dessert making mode since coming back home. I have turned out fairly decent strawberry gelato, but the way I do it uses raw eggs and I know what you lot are like about raw eggs in food, having received a raft of emails about leaving them out when I shared my Alphonso mango tiramisu recipe years ago. So I am giving you an egg free malted banana version (which is inspired by a dessert let down I had recently in Bill's - does anyone ever come away from there feeling satisfied? I find it all style and no substance). You don't need an ice-cream maker: this is no churn. Hurrah.


Malted Banana Ice-Cream

You will need:

1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
300ml double cream
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp Horlicks, or other malted milk powder
2 tbsp vodka (optional, but keeps texture smooth during long storage in freezer)
  1. Whisk everything together until thick and airily creamy. Freeze. That's it.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Cardamom Coffee Cake

I love Instagram filters. Is it cheating? Oh well. @peterdelicious

In keeping with my recent discovery of delicious Northern European baking, I am bringing you my adaptation of a Norwegian cake I have read about a few times and put off baking for no good reason at all.

I have never been to Norway: we flirt with the idea regularly, and good friends tease us by saying we should all go on a great escape to the fjords, but it hasn't happened and probably won't for ages as said friends have just had a baby. So I think it's OK to have made huge changes to what started off as a fairly trad and standard-looking recipe.

Some people get annoyingly OTT about authenticity. I just don't think it's important. Switch out brown sugar for white; use whole, skin-on almonds that have been roughly chopped instead of buying slivered and blanched ones: it's a cake at the end of the day. Calm down.

You might think this is not a seasonal offering, and you'd be right. But given that right now it is chucking it down outside and we are in the midst of a full on Indian mango ban, what is there to feel Summery about?

(I suppose you could add strawberries.)

Oh yeah, and this is coffee cake in the US sense: there isn't any coffee in it, it's the sort of thing you have alongside your cup of Java.

Cardamom Coffee Cake

You will need:

200g butter, melted
2 tsp ground cardamom
225g caster sugar
3 eggs
300g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200ml milk
3 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
3 tbsp almonds, chopped

  1. Heat the oven to190°C and grease and line a deep sided 20 x 20cm pan. Melt the butter and set it aside.
  2. Beat the caster sugar and eggs with an electric mixer for about five minutes until thick and creamy. 
  3. Add the flour, cardamom, baking powder and melted butter, and continue to whisk until smooth. Gradually add the milk, still whisking. The batter will have the texture of a thick soup.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the almonds and dark muscovado sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the tin and cut into squares before serving.

Monday 12 May 2014

Pumpkin Pie, Peter-fied


I am currently downloading the soundtrack to Disney's 'Frozen' and I can barely wait to start singing along. I'm getting the Japanese version of 'Let It Go' as well, which in my opinion has better lyrics, but whatever. I am late to this party and I know you all already have this song (in whatever language you want) on repeat in your cars and playing in your earphones as you commute. In fact, you probably had it in 2013. I just take a while sometimes.

(By the way, I don't normally do Disney. I have been corrupted by my niece. If you prefer the image of me listening to PJ Harvey, know that I was doing that last night. See - I'm still cool. Ish.)

Now: I made a pie recently and I wasn't sure if I was going to put it on here, because it's a pumpkin pie, and some people will say it's the wrong time of year for that. Also, I switched the pastry for a crumb crust (because we all know that pastry can be a disappointment), and there will be people who are offended at that as well.

BUT I CANNOT PLEASE YOU ALL. So here's pumpkin pie, my way. With treacly muscovado sugar and loads more spices than you're supposed to put in it.

What I really wanted to mention was the amazing silicone springform pan I used to make it in. It's by a company called Lékué - from what I gather they are Spanish. (Another thing for Spaniards everywhere to be proud of.) What is amazing about this pan is that the bottom is a ceramic plate. The silicone sides insulate the cake or pie while it is baking and, once cool, come away perfectly, leaving smooth edges and a cake that is ready to serve. It is literally genius.

You can get it here. I think Nigella used one of these on one of her TV programmes too, so you know it's good. The silicone insulates so gently that you could bake a cheesecake in this without all of that water bath tomfoolery.

I have so much more yumminess coming up, and I don't really know why I have been so lax about posting recently, but bear with. I'll get there. Meanwhile...

Pumpkin Pie, My Way

You will need:

250g digestive biscuits
75g butter

3/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
good grating nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Crush the biscuits. Melt the butter. Mix the two together and push this resulting sandy mixture into a 25cm springform pan. Try to raise the edges slightly, though if you want to go cheesecake style, this would still look beautiful with just a base. Chill in the fridge for ten minutes while you make the filling.
  2. Mix the other ingredients together until you have a smooth creamy filling. Pour over the base and bake for an hour or until a cocktail stick inserted near the centre comes out clean.
  3. Cool on a wire rack for a few hours and serve with crème fraïche.

Friday 25 April 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

I can't even deal with how delicious these are...

Here's the deal. You can't get a decent cinnamon bun where I live.

I know there's a time and place those pain aux raisins type things you can get in the supermarket, but they are nothing like the sticky, gooey, spicily sweet rolls I dream of. And we've just remortgaged, so it's not as though I can just up sticks and move.

Reader: I have decided to put an end to my suffering. I have learned how to make the very cinnamon rolls I thought I could only get in America. And, shockingly, they are ridiculously easy to make.  Easier than pie. (Which, actually, I don't find easy at all.)

I looked around at several different recipes and found that they were wildly different both in ingredients and in method, even down to the rolling. So, I took a rather devil-may-care approach and made up my own version, using different bits of each of the three recipes I liked best. My cinnamon rolls are buttery, sweet and frosted with cream cheese icing. They are heaven.

I am really pleased to have been asked to contribute a recipe for Macmillan's 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' fundraiser. I have been to a Macmillan Coffee Morning before and we all had a great time. I was going to submit one of my other recipes that are already on the blog, but have decided that these cinnamon rolls are perfectly suited to this type of event. They are inexpensive (actually, all I had to buy was cream cheese - you probably have the rest of the ingredients in your cupboard as well), easy to make, and taste sweet and comforting.

Besides, I think we're all over cupcakes and macaroons by now.

If you bake these, or if you hold a coffee morning to support Macmillan, or if you do both of those things, definitely leave a comment and let me know how it went. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls 

You will need:
600g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g fast action yeast (or whatever type you have)
80g caster sugar
250ml milk
80g unsalted butter
3 eggs

150g soft brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter
a little milk

50g unsalted butter
100g cream cheese
300g icing sugar

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl - you could also use an electric hand whisk), combine half of the flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar. Attach the paddle beater.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the flour mixture, along with the milk and eggs. Beat on low speed until smoothly incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again on high speed this time, for three minutes.
  3. Change to the dough hook. The mixture will be very liquid. Slowly knead in the remaining flour until you have a smooth dough. It will still be quite wet feeling, but it shouldn't be very sticky. If you need to, add a little extra flour. If you want to do this all by hand, I would just put everything in a bowl together, and mix well/knead until you have a smooth dough. Don't be put off by not having machinery!
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and chill in the fridge overnight. It will rise slowly in the cold of the fridge and double in size.
  5. Next morning, knock the dough back in the bowl and knead it again lightly. Roll it out on a floured surface. You want to aim for a rectangle of around 30 x 20 cm. Spread this generally with the soft butter (or melt the butter and brush the dough with it). Next sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll up the dough tightly, starting from the long edge. Cut the roll into eight slices.
  7. Place these slices on a baking sheet (I would grease it), and press down lightly. Leave to rise for a second time, for as long as it takes to heat the oven to 190°C. 
  8. Brush the rolls with milk (or melted butter if you have some leftover), and bake for 25 minutes. 
  9. Make the icing: beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and beat thoroughly.
  10. Cool for five minutes before slathering on the icing and serve warm.

Friday 4 April 2014

UK Coffee Week (7-13 April)

So, next week, in the UK at least, is dedicated to that most heavenly of caffeinated beverages, coffee, and Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 50 coffee pods to celebrate.

More about that in a minute. First, what's this coffee week business? Well, the Fine Coffee Club (who are giving away the coffee) put it rather nicely:

UK Coffee Week really is for everyone who enjoys coffee and wants to give something back to the countries which produce the beans we love so much. It doesn't matter if you are an instant coffee drinker or an artisan roaster: everyone can support UK Coffee Week.

The Fine Coffee Company gives 20% of the cost of their Rwandan coffee direct to the farmers at The Rwandan Coffee Farmers Company (RFCC). The RFCC is right now building a coffee roasting and packaging plant that will provide an income for 50, 000 local coffee farmers and, of course, create jobs.

The pods the company make are compatible with Nespresso branded machines. And I know you want to get a hold of some.

Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 5 x 10 pod packs of the following coffees:

Dark Roast - A darkly roasted blend of premium Central American and African beans that delivers a full-bodied, well – rounded bold taste. Recommended drink: Latte

Light Roast - A mild, easy drinking espresso consisting of the finest beans from Colombia, Costa Rica and Africa, this blend has a fruity flavour with a softly rounded character. Recommended drink: Espresso

Lungo - best enjoyed as a longer shot. Hand selected coffees from South America and Africa result in full-bodied intensity and a lasting rich flavour. Recommended drink: Americano with a splash of cold milk

Guatemalan - Guatemala's rich volcanic earth has produced this rich Arabica with many layered flavours. Darkly roasted, with a medium body, bright acidity, floral aromas and dark fruit flavours, leaving you with a clean lingering after taste. Recommended drink: Americano

Rwandan - Our 100% single origin Rwandan coffee has a full body and strong acidity. This coffee is rich and smoky, there are brown sugar and bittersweet dark chocolate flavours alongside the black tea note that is characteristic of Rwandan coffees. Recommended drink: Americano or Espresso

How to win:

Simple. See up top there I have a photo of a latte with a flower on it? I love coffee art. In the past, I have had coffees with dogs, hearts and even Hello Kitty on the top. 

Leave a comment or tweet me @peterdelicious telling me what you'd love on top of your latte. I'll pick a winner at random next Friday.

Good luck! 

(For the record, and for equity, I would like Ewan McGregor's face on top of my latte.)

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Finnish Bilberry Cake

I have recently been obsessed with Finnish things. My offering Iittala glassware as a Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 prize shows that. I have also been obsessed with Willam Belli, but I don't think Delicious Delicious Delicious is the place to discuss that. (Godammit.)

I'm thinking that more Finnish baking will follow in coming weeks, because obsession is mind-occupying thing, but I'm kicking the game off with a completely self-imagined delicacy that I'm only calling Finnish because it contains cardamom (swoon) and bilberries, or what the Finns call mustikka.

Now, I don't want to get too over the top about these bilberries. They come dried, I buy them in Helsinki and I love them, but that's not to say that they aren't also somewhat unremarkable. I'm from the North West: we have winberries, which I am pretty sure are the same thing. We just don't dry them or grind them into a powder (that's coming in a later recipe.), or put them in coffee.

But nonetheless: there's something super charming about the packaging that these come in (bad photo coming up. Sorry!) which makes me want to buy them.

Let's put them in a cake!

You could replace the dried mustikka with whatever you like. You could chop up some of that dried kiwi fruit you can get in health food shops. Why not? (It would be green though.)

Finnish Bilberry Cake

You will need:

50ml milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from 10 cardamom pods, crushed
150g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g soft butter
50g dried bilberries

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a medium bowl, mix the milk, eggs, vanilla and cardamom.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (except the bilberries) and mix using a hand whisk until blended. This means no sifting: awesome. Add the butter, cubed, and half of the egg and milk mixture. Mix, with an electric hand mixer, on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the remaining egg mixture and beat for 40 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Fold in the dried bilberries using a spoon..
  4. Scrape the batter into a greased 6-cup bundt pan, or a loaf tin of the same size. Smooth the surface with a spatula. (If you prefer, use the batter for cupcakes. You should get around 14.)
  5. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. This took an hour for me. 
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn out to cool.

Monday 24 March 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014: The Winner

 One word: winner.

Oh boy, do I find choosing a winner difficult. Seriously, I take less time choosing which body butter (obsessed) to pick up when I am at The Body Shop, and that's pretty much like 'Sophie's Choice' for me anyway.

I'd had this idea that I would get some friends of mine to do the judging and pick a winner, but it didn't work out. We're all in our thirties now, we're busy and who really has time to judge a lamington competition anyway?


So I relied on all of your comments and tweets (which, as a Twitter newbie, I still find exciting) to guide me. And they did. To Curtis and his Eurythmics inspired lamingtons.

Congrats to Curtis! Do you want to actually Fed-Ex me the lamingtons so I can make sure they're worthy? :)

The prize is on it's way.

And thanks to all who entered!

Stick around people, I have some awesome cake coming this week.

Ciao for now.

Monday 10 March 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014: The Round-Up!

I know. This is late. All I can say is that if you were me, and had my life (and more importantly, my lack of skill with an iPad Mini), you would also find blogging remotely in hotel rooms a nightmare.

I can only apologise for taking forever to get this post together. I get so jet lagged on layovers that it is really hard to motivate myself. But I am back home now, and making it happen. Rejoice.

I still don't know how to judge these (I love them all), but your comments or tweets will definitely help, so please let me know your thoughts. I hope to reach a decision by the end of the week.

I am always amazed by the entries I get for this competition, and also touched. I know that lamingtons make mess. Thanks to all who baked, or even just read along.

So, without further ado!

Jana blogs in German and English. (I know, right?) She made me think for a second that I should start publishing in Japanese as well, but then I thought about having to translate myself and it gave me a headache. Jana made Carrot Cake Guglhupf Lamingtons. I love these: read the post. They don't look like lamingtons, but they are super lamington-inspired.

Vivien Lloyd, she of preserving fame, made Marmalade Lamingtons. I bet they were moist and squishy and delicious! How beautiful is this picture by the way? Say hello to her on Twitter - @vivienlloyd. Hell, why not say hello to me as well? @peterdelicious

Michael Toa made lamingtons using Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise. I have to be honest, when I first heard about them I was pretty shocked. The mayo is actually in the cake though, as an ingredient, and the lamingtons are Chocolate and Passion Fruit. Score! Michael has a cute YouTube Channel by the way. Check it out!

Dom, he of Belleau and regular lamington re-invention, did not disappoint this year. He made a Green Tea, Lime and Coconut Lamington Cake. I have always resisted the matcha lamington, but I do not think I would turn his down. Look at those cake layers! Tell him you love them. Tweet @belleaukitchen.

Lou Lou made some Raspberry and Rose Lamingtons. These just look unbelievably perfect. I nearly screamed when I saw them. With joy. Deep joy.

These are Mardi's first entry. I do love a baker with a competitive edge! They are Lami-Choux, and are definitely what Parisians would call 'très choux!'. Up next we have her...

 ...Jaffington Cupcakes. I love the sound of these, and especially love the marmalade in the ganache. It's not just an orange cake with some chocolate on top. Mardi (@eatlivtravwrite) lives in Canada. Gutted it's too far to pop around for one.

Curtis came out of Blog Hibernation (tsk tsk) to post the most unique lamingtons I think I have ever seen. Yes, these are lamingtons inspired by the wonderful Annie Lennox. And Dave Stewart. You may balk at Eurythmics Lamingtons. I say, 'Bring them over here. Now.' That up there is a Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) Lamington, and here we have a There Must Be An Angel Lamington.

They are obviously made of angel food cake. :)

Lucy made Raw Raspberry Lamingtons. The title, when you look at the URL for the link alone, is 'Treat Me Raw Raspberry Lamingtons' - I think they sound pretty saucy!

So, that's it for this year's entrants. Let me know what you think of them - which is your favourite, etc. I have an idea anyway of how I am going to select someone, but decisions can always be informed.

Have a great week!

Monday 24 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Ten: Chocolate Hazelnut Lamingtons


Before this 2014 lamington shiz all began (not that long before, but more than a few days), I made Nigella's Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake.

Shopping for the ingredients made me feel guilty; it's an artery-clogging, sugar-loaded coronary waiting to happen. I didn't let that bother me too much, because I was making it for some boys who were coming over for dinner, and I'm trying to fatten them both up 'cause they're cuter than I am, godammit. In a further, entirely selfless act, I  gave them half of the leftovers. You might say this was uncharacteristiaclly generous, but I would call it sensible. Because my gosh, that cheesecake really is a thighsticker.

Anyway, whilst I was licking the mixer bowl (don't pretend you wouldn't), it hit me that chocolate and hazelnut is one of the great flavour combinations in life. People can bang on about chocolate and chilli, strawberries and balsamic vinegar and mangoes and soy sauce (maybe that last one is just my mum), but let's be real about it: Nutella is popular for a reason.

You can see where the thought process went.

These are not Nutella Lamingtons. Nutella will never work as a lamington glue (or rather, coating). It's too thick, too sticky. I did think, more than briefly, about sandwiching these with some Nutella à la Clotted Cream Lamingtons (sinful), but I couldn't because, uh, I'd actually eaten all of the Nutella.

I'm sorry. Don't look at me.

Anyway, you might say that I saved the best for last. I'm refusing to pick. My lamingtons are my babies, and this ain't 'Sophie's Choice.'

You still have time to Re-Invent the Lamington to try and win either the bundt pan or Iittala plate. The last date for entries is 28 February. I have had some great lamington submissions so far, but don't let the competition being fierce put you off. Be creative; this is just some fun.

Thanks for following along. Be sure to check back for the round up and winner!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x batch Coconut and Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

300g milk chocolate (or plain if you prefer)
250g hazelnuts

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into eight rectangles.These are big lamingtons!
  2. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan. This just means pushing them round in an oiless pan until they smell fragrant. Don't let them burn! Once cool, chop them finely. Set the chopped nuts aside in a dish.
  3. Melt the chocolate either over warm water or in the microwave.
  4. Dip the chunks of cake (I said they were big!) into the chocolate and coat well. Then turn and roll them in the chopped nuts. Set them aside to set firm and devour them with a cup of tea and joy in your heart.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Nine: Strawberry Jam Lamingtons

The pandas loved being on Instagram. It made them feel complete.

Inspired by my Seville Orange Lamingtons, what was there to stop me from repeating the process using some of my other homemade preserves? Really. What?

Truth told, I think it's nice to have a recipe like this to get me to use up what I stash in the cupboard upstairs. I have a bad habit of keeping the jams and chutneys I make because they are 'precious'. It's counter productive. The point of preserving is to put something away so you can actually enjoy it later, not watch it gather dust.

These lamingtons actually remind me of the old fashioned baker's madeleines you used to see all the time when I was little and which I haven't seen for years and years now that I sit and think about it. The closest you get, at least in the UK, is that rotten coconut and jam topped cake that they do in Starbucks.

No offense, Star-Bees, but my lamingtons school your rubbish loaf cake. Now go and pay your corporation taxes, dammit.

Maybe those madeleines will make a comeback. Stranger things have happened. Look at the resurgence of Tottenham Cake! It's everywhere. I hate it.

Until that day, I give you my Strawberry Jam Lamingtons. Enjoy. And don't forget to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself. I have had loads of great entries so far, judging is going to be a nightmare!

Strawberry Jam Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x batch Coconut and Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake

1 x jar (around 250g) strawberry jam (you can make your own)
100g dessicated coconut

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 24 cubes, or as many as you like/can.
  2. Make the jam glaze: mix the strawberry jam with a little hot water from a recently boiled kettle until smooth and glossy. Add the water a little at a time, because if you add too much, the glaze will thin out and become unusable. Set the coconut in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into the jammy glaze and then roll in the coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out. Plastic panda bears are an optional, but thrilling, extra.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Eight: Coconut Lamingtons

 I just freaking LOVE my hot pink background. Sorry not sorry if I overuse.

Some people call me Vanilla Boy, using the term in its modern slang sense. I say, 'If only they knew.'

But regardless, I thought a vanilla lamington might kick some ass. Imagine: fluffy vanilla scented sponge cake, dipped in a creamy white chocolate ganache and sprinkled with vanilla infused sugar crystals. Exciting, no?

Trouble is, as I got ready to make these vanilla lams, I lost interest. I didn't want to eat such a sweet and sickly sounding confection. I wanted coconut, and lots of it.

Now, you might say, looking at this blog, 'Wow. That's a lot of coconut! More than enough.' And you'd be absolutely right. But (and this is true of so many things in life), do you know what's better than just enough?


So we're having coconut lamingtons. They are my favourite of the 2014 batch of Re-Invented Lamingtons. At least, they are my favourites out of the ones I re-invented myself. The lamingtons you have been re-inventing and tweeting me about look pretty sensational as well to be honest. I love seeing your entries when I do this every year, it makes me want to bust out my Blogging Community apron and just weep with happiness.

Right now I have to finish this post though, so my tears are on standby. If you want to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself, I'm running a great giveaway. Details here. Get involved!

Coconut Lamingtons

You will need:

1 x half batch Victoria Sandwich

300g icing sugar, sifted
50ml Malibu (I'm not even embarrassed.) 
100g dessicated coconut 

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 12 cubes, or as many as you like/can.To be honest, with this cake (which I baked in a 20cm square tin), as opposed to the chiffon cake I used for the other lamingtons this year, crumbing and breaking is less of an issue, but I still like nice defined edges so recommend the overnight cold treatment.
  2. Make the glaze: mix the Malibu and icing sugar together until smooth. If you need to thin it down a little more, use a few drops of hot water from the kettle. Set the dessicated coconut in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into first the glaze and then cover generously in coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out. 
  4. We ate these with ice cream. I don't know why, but they felt much more like a dessert lamington than some of the others. 

Friday 21 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Seven: Coffee and Walnut Lamingtons

This lamington is inspired by Percy's mum: she makes the best coffee and walnut cake you've ever tasted. It dawned on me all of a sudden when I was having my lamington nightmare a week or so ago that this most wonderful of cakes (and one of England's best) deserved it's lamington equivalent, and what follows is just that. Except that I (once again) use a coffee liqueur glaze instead of the more traditional buttercream that you'd expect on a coffee and walnut cake.

(Oh come on - do you really think I have the time to coat cake cubes on all sides with frosting using a pallet knife? I'm not as patient as I was in 2010! Plus, I Tia Maria.)

Now: the more eagle-eyed (I nearly just typed that as aiguille-eyed, which I think would delight my French audience as needles do indeed have eyes) among you may have noticed that I skipped a day yesterday. Really, we should be on Day Eight by now. The reason for this is that I didn't get home until really late yesterday, so was too tired to post anything. Although I landed at Heathrow on time, there was a traffic accident on the motorway and we were delayed for HOURS.

I want to take a moment to talk about that actually. I was really annoyed about it when we were queueing for what seemed like decades, waiting for the traffic to clear. The inconvenience, the fact that I was tired and wanted to get home: it was all getting to me. Then we passed the accident site.

It made me sick to my stomach. No word of a lie, a supermarket truck had exploded in flames and had been reduced to mere cinders. I have no idea if the driver(s) got out ok or not, or if another vehicle was involved, but I can't get the image out of my head.

I know this is just a baking blog. But I want everyone to just take a moment and remind themselves to drive safely. Driving is something we do every day and rarely consider how dangerous it can be. Certainly I'm guilty of that. I need to change, and I dare say we all do. Take care. Be considerate. Give each other enough space. Because it can all turn nasty in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, back to the lamingtons. These were good! Highly recommended.

Remember that you still have time to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself, and win a beautiful prize. Get to it.

Coffee and Walnut Lamingtons
You will need:

300g icing sugar, sifted

50ml Tia Maria 
250g walnuts, chopped

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 12 cubes, or as many as you like/can.
  2. Make the glaze: mix the coffee liqueur and icing sugar together until smooth. If you need to thin it down a little more, use a few drops of hot water from the kettle. Set the walnut pieces in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into first the glaze and then roll in the nuts. Walnut pieces don't seem to adhere as readily as coconut, so you might have to take your time with this part. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2014 Day Six: Pink Grapefruit Lamingtons

Some people don't like grapefruit. I wouldn't trust them if I were you.

What is there not to like? Weirdos.

You can hopefully tell that these lamingtons are supposed to be heart shaped. Well, let me tell you that keeping them that way during the dipping and rolling stage of Lamington Production was almost impossible. Chiffon, though delicious, is rather soft for shaped lams. Stick to the cubes. A little tip from me to you.

Their shape hints at their purpose: Percy likes grapefruit and these were supposed to be valentine gifts. But the light was non existent, I had no choice but to take their photos anyway and I couldn't bear to start the 2014 lamingtons run with such a poor show.

They tasted great though!

Remember that you still have time to Re-Invent the Lamington yourself, and win a beautiful prize. Get to it.

Pink Grapefruit Lamingtons

You will need: 

300g icing sugar, sifted
Juice and zest of 1 pink grapefruit 
100g dessicated coconut

  1. To make slicing the cake into lamingtons easier, I wrap it in cling film and freeze overnight. Cut the frozen cake into 24 cubes, or as many as you like/can. Or try hearts, but don't say I didn't warn you.
  2. Make the glaze: mix the juice, zest and icing sugar together until smooth. If you need to thin it down a little more, use a few drops of hot water from the kettle. Set the coconut in a dish.
  3. Dip each cube of cake into first the glaze and then the coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry out.
  4. All campness aside, citrus works great as a glaze here. Feel free to experiment with other types. 

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Gizzi Erskine and Samsung Want YOU!

 Gizzi Erskine, one of the Mentors for Launching People.

We're interrupting the baking madness for a day at Delicious Delicious Delicious to let all of you out there know about an amazing opportunity to change your work, life and work life.

Four celebrities, well known in their fields for breaking new ground are teaming up with Samsung to mentor hopefuls launching new ideas. The project is called Launching People and is quite literally the chance of a lifetime. The four mentors are going to work with, coach and ultimately launch the hopefuls into the industries they lead in.

Obviously, I am guessing that my readers are most likely interested in working with Gizzi on a food-related idea, but this opportunity is not limited to the kitchen: award-winning actor and producer Idris Elba, singer-songwriter Paloma Faith and portrait and fashion photographer Rankin will also be nurturing candidates with a passion for film, music and photography. If you're creative, this is for you. 

Film: Idris Elba, award winning actor, producer, and DJ says: “I want a story that’s inspiring.”
Music: Paloma Faith, singer-songwriter, performer and actress says: “I’m really looking for something we’ve not seen in a British artist before.”
Food: Gizzi Erskine, leading pop up chef and food writer says: “The simple ideas can be the best. But a simple idea with a bit of glitter on it is far more exciting.”
Photography: Rankin, world famous portrait and fashion photographer says “I want to know what they do that’s different, that’s interesting.”

How can you get involved?
To apply you need to make a 2-minute video all about you and your ambition. Remember that you don't need to be perfect, but you need to be passionate. This is your chance to show off your personality and your project idea, to get the attention of the mentors. You'll also have to choose an image to represent the idea and scribble a bit of copy about what you plan to do. Get on it!

You can find out more and upload your submission at LaunchingPeople.co.uk

What's up for grabs?
The mentors will select four candidates with whom they’ll work one-to-one. The chosen protégés will spend 2-3 weeks together, working closely with their mentors in a house fully furnished with Samsung’s latest technology on their personal projects, building towards a grand launch event and making their ideas and ambitions a reality. 

In addition, the public will get to vote for one winner in each category to receive £500 for personal tuition and Samsung technology up to the value of £2000.

I think this is a seriously exciting project to get involved in. Heck, I might even apply.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, let me know if you decide to submit an application.

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