COTM: Coffee Cream

“if a stranger offers you sweets, hold out for the coffee creams”

Does anyone remember this quote? Or indeed the Biederbecke Affair, a very English comedy from the eighties? You can rent or buy from Amazon.co.uk, I believe.

Coffee creams *sigh* Why are they so hard to get these days? Thornton’s used to do really nice ones, they were discontinued, then replaced by some kind of truffley thing which the lady in the shop assured me were exactly the same, They weren’t, I nearly cried!

My coffee cream cake however, is everything it promises to be. A light cream flavoured sponge, sandwiched with a coffee flavoured filling, crunchy meringue and drizzled with coffee glace icing.

coffee cream slice

I used a jar of coffee flavored spread that we picked up at the Ludlow food festival. If you can’t find anything similar, just use buttercream flavoured with strong coffee or coffee essence.

coffee spreadCoffee Cream Cake

for the cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 225g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • a tub of clotted cream (around 225g usually)
  • 200g self raising flour
  • a small jar of coffee flavoured spread or some coffee buttercream

Pre-heat the oven to 170°c/150 fan. Grease and line two sandwich cake tins.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and mousse like. Stir the cream until it becomes runny.

Add the cream and salt to the eggs and whisk until only just combined.

Fold in the flour with a metal spoon until just combined. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

For the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 5oz (150g) caster sugar

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking after each addition.

Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper (not greaseproof which is different) and divide the meringue between them, swirling it out with the back of a spoon to form a round roughly the size of your cake tin.

Bake at a low heat until crisp and very lightly coloured. Leaving them to cool in the oven until completely cold will help them to dry out a bit more.

 

When everything is cool, sandwich the cakes together with the coffee filling of your choice, reserving about 4 tbsp. Put 1 meringue round in the middle of the cake, and the other one on top, using the remaining coffee filling to stick it down.

Make some glace icing using 3oz (90g) of sifted icing sugar, with 1tsp of strong coffee and enough extra water (be careful!) to make a smooth but not too runny icing. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Use a very sharp knife to cut the cake, a serrated one will just crumble it to bits.

Enjoy!

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Ice Cream Of The Month: Creamy Peanut Butter

They say that everything is better with peanut butter, unless you’re allergic to peanuts of course.

Peanut butter cakes, ice cream and sweets abound, along with salted caramel, it seems to be a food trend that is here to stay. You can even get a peanut flavoured hot drink now! Peanut Hottie ( http://peanuthottie.com/), made with de-fatted , peanut flour, makes an interesting change to coffee or hot chocolate. I find the flavour a little too subtle though and would suggest using twice the recommened amount of powder.

Do you remember George the gall bladder?

georgeBecause of George I have to eat a fairly low fat diet these days, peanut butter is fairly high fat, so no more indulging in Reece’s peanut butter cups or PB brownies *sigh*. So, for a while I’ve been wondering if Peanut Hottie powder might be a subsitite for the real thing, and decided to have a go making some ice cream with it. It worked really well, though I still feel it could have a stronger flavour. At least the flavour is natural though, unlike a lot of American foods! The thickeners in the powder (guar gum and xanthan gum) give the ice cream a particularly voluptious “mouth feel”, and you could add whatever peanut butter candies you fancied; mini PB cups, Reece’s Pieces or M&M’s. Have a look in the American import section of the supermarket, nearly all the sweets and chocolate are peanut based!

Creamy Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp Peanut Hottie powder
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • a 150g bag of mini peanut butter cups (optional)

Whisk together the egg yolks, peanut hottie and sugar.

Heat the milk to boiling point. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolks, whisking the whole time.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened.

Pour into a jug. If you think the custard may be lumpy, pour it through a sieve. Add the cream, then leave to chill in the fridge.

Following the instruction for your machine, make the ice cream, remembering to add the PB cups at the appropriate time.

Spoon into a freezer proof container and pop in the freezer for a few hours to firm up.

 

 

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Korean Spiced Pork

Slow cooked, sweet and spicy. I don’t know how “authentic” this would be considered, but who cares, it’s so good we fight over the leftovers!

If you want to build up an appetite, try watching a Korean Drama first. Food plays a large part in the stories. What you eat, when you eat and who you eat it with is as important to Korean culture as it is in Italy, neither Nonna or Halmoni will ever let you go hungry. One traditional greeting, roughly translated as “How are you?” literally means “Have you eaten?” or rather “Have you eaten rice?” Watch out though, the food and the drama is highly addictive!

Really though, go and watch some Korean Drama, Netflix have a good selection at the moment. I recommend Beating Again (also known as Falling for Innocence), Playful Kiss, This is my Love (also known as My Love, Eun-Dong), Schoolgirl Detectives (also known as Seonam Girls High School Investigators) Tomorrow’s Cantible, Click Your Heart and Noble, My Love. Expect to laugh, cry, cheer, learn important life lessons and develop an insatiable desire to eat ramen, all in the course of one episode.

Back to the food….For me it’s tastier than Japanese cuisine and with a lighter, fresher taste than the Chinese food we are used to in the West. Use Gochujang chilli paste if you can get it. It’s available online or from Asian supermarkets. Sainsbury’s have a Gochujang sauce which works, otherwise use regular chilli paste, which comes in little jars in most supermarkets.

A typical Korean meal would involve sticky rice, marinated strips of meat and a variety of little vegetable side dishes known as banchan. Kimchi, a spicy fermented condiment made with cabbage and radish, recently took the world by storm, though I still had to travel to the nearest Chinese supermarket to find some!

I love my slow cooker, so I adapted the flavours of Bulgogi (marinated and barbecued beef) for a slow cooked shoulder of pork. Serve with sticky or normal rice. If you have enough time, you can prepare some vegetables on the side, carrots, beansprouts and so on. Otherwise you can pop some carrot strips in the slow cooker at the beginning.

Korean Spiced Pork

  • a large pork shoulder or rolled rib joint
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion or a bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a thumb sized chunk of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp (or more if you like it really spicy) gochujang or a couple of tsp chilli paste. Taste half way through cooking and add a little more if you need to.
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 pear, peeled and grated

My slow cooker has a sauté option, if yours doesn’t, start off the cooking in a large frying pan. Heat the olive and sesame oils in a large pan, brown the pork on all sides. Remove from the pan and put to one side.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and stir fry for about 3 or 4 mins. Add the sesame seeds and stir around till they start to pop.

Put everything, pork, onions and remaining ingredients, into the slow cooker. Add 120ml of water. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Taste the sauce, add a little more soy sauce, honey or chilli depending on what you think it needs. If necessary thicken the sauce with a little cornflour blended with cold water.

Eat up, and remember that sarangae!*

 

*I love you