Dads Birthday Trifle Cake

Harvest and my Dads birthday always clash so this year I decided to make a combine friendly version of his favourite dessert. A trifle cake. Admittedly, the finished product is still a little tricky to eat in a moving vehicle (let alone a combine) but he loved it! So layer them up and try this scrummy cake!
Ingredients for the cake:
  1. 400g butter
  2. 400g caster sugar
  3. 1tsp baking powder
  4. 8 eggs
  5. 4tbsp coconut cream*
  6. 400g self raising flour
* if you can’t find coconut cream (which I couldn’t) then use coconut milk. Open the tin but do not mix it together and scoop out the hardened milk.
Ingredients for the fillings and topping:
  1. 8tbsp icing sugar
  2. 500ml readymade custard
  3. 8tbsp white rum
  4. Juice and zest of 2 limes
  5. 400g raspberries
  6. 200g raspberry jam
  7. 150ml double cream
  8. Desiccated coconut for sprinkling on top (optional)
1. Heat oven to 180c and grease and line two 20cm cake tins (or bake one after the other).
2. Beat all the ingredients for the cake together, apart from the self raising flour. Once they are all combined and the mixture is smooth sift in the self raising flour and fold in.
3. Separate the mixture evenly into the two tins. Or you can halve the ingredients and make it in two batches to make it more manageable. Bake for around 40 minutes.
4. Whilst baking prepare the custard filling. Whisk together the remaining hardened coconut milk (discard the coconut water) and sifted icing sugar. Bring the custard to the boil and quickly whisk in the coconut mixture. Allow to thicken on the heat and then cool in the fridge.
5. To make the drizzle for the layers mix the white rum, lime zest and juice and 4 tbsp icing sugar.
6. Cut one of the cakes horizontally into two. These are your top two layers. Leave the remaining cake to be the base.
7. Line the cake tin with a little oil and cling film. Place the base cake into the tin and sprinkle with some of the rum mixture. Mix the jam and 150g of the raspberries together and spread on top of the base. Don’t let the name mixture go right to the edge.
8. Put in the next layer of cake and top with more of the rum mixture. Then spread over the custard.
9. Finally, add the last layer and sprinkle with the last of the rum mixture. Put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
10. When you are ready to serve, whisk the cream with 1tbsp of icing sugar. Allow to thicken so that it will spread onto the top of the cake and stay. Once the cream has been spread on top, add the raspberries and desiccated coconut.
image 3

Chilli and Garlic Prawns with Noodles

Chilli and Garlic Prawns with Noodles

Prawns are perfect on a warm, summery evening. This dish is fresh and crisp yet the noodles fill you up – just what you want from a supper.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 bunch of spring onions
200g of fresh bean sprouts
250g of cooked prawns (or raw if you prefer)
3 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp of groundnut oil
100g egg noodles


1. Begin my cooking the noodles (as instructed on the packaging). Once drained, run cold water over them and then set aside.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of groundnut oil and add the bean sprouts and the majority of spring onions. Cook until softened, at which point add in the noodles. Add a little extra oil if they need loosening.

3. Once the noodles are heated through remove them from the pan (or wok if you have one). Pop them onto a serving dish and wipe down the pan.

4. Return the pan to the heat and heat 1 tbsp of groundnut oil. Cook of the crushed garlic and chopped chilli for about a minute, take the pan off the heat and turn down the temperature if it browns too quickly.

5. Add the prawns and mix together. Add the light brown sugar and soy sauce. Allow the mixture to simmer lightly to heat the prawns through.

6. Put the prawn mixture on top of the noodles and sprinkle the remaining raw spring onions on top.

I have the leftover for my lunch tomorrow. I can’t wait to enjoy it in the sun.

Dill and Chilli Sea Bass with Asparagus and Sautéed Potatoes

Dill and Chilli Sea Bass with Asparagus and Sautéed Potatoes

On a recent trip to the Underground Cookery School in London I learnt to make this wonderful dish. Take the potatoes away and you have yourself a hearty starter, with the potatoes, a summery main. This was such a great dish, it must be shared!

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 whole, gutted sea bass (or 4 sea bass fillets)
1 bunch of asparagus
500g of new potatoes
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Lime juice

1. Begin by boiling the new potatoes until they have softened (around 10 mins) but not so much that they fall apart.
2. Meanwhile trim the asparagus stalks (about an inch off) so that the woody bit is removed. Using a potato peeler peel the skin off the ends of the stalks so it becomes light in colour (as pictured).
3. If you have bought whole sea bass then fillet. If they are ready filleted then score the skin lightly.
4. Prepare the dressing by roughly chopping a handful of dill (removing stalks). Add to olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, thinly chopped chilli and a teaspoon of mustard. Add in small quantities and keep tasting!
5. Heat a pan of oil and begin frying off the potatoes until they are crispy. When they are nearly done, boil the asparagus for 5 minutes.
6. Cook the sea bass by heating olive oil in a non-stick pan. Pop them in the pan, skin side down. Watch the fish and you will see white gradually rising as it cooks. Once the white has nearly risen to the opposite side of the skin, flip then over for a final minute.
7. Hopefully it’s all come together at the same time. Serve as pictured and drizzle with the prepared dressing!!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. A truly wonderful summer dish which is sure to wow everyone.

Falafel with Thai Red Curry Paste

Falafel with Thai Red Curry Paste

I went to a quiz a few weeks ago and one of the questions was: what is the main ingredient in falafel? We STUPIDLY opted for lentils because we eliminated chickpeas on the basis that hummus is made from chickpeas, I’m not sure where the logic was in that but we were furious with ourselves when they revealed the answer was in fact chickpeas. So, ever since, I have wanted to teach those pieces of falafel and lesson and EAT them. I’ve never had them before making them this evening and they lived up to expectations. We had some leftover Thai red curry paste in the fridge and I thought it would add a nice twist! So, without further ado:

Recipe: (serves 2/makes 10 ping pong sized balls)

1 tin of cooked, drained chickpeas (240g)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp of Thai red curry paste
1 tsp garam massala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp of plain flour
Pinch of salt

2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp olive oil
Lemon juice to taste
Pinch of salt
1 clove of garlic, crushed

Put all of the ingredients for the falafel into a food processor and whizz up until smooth, a few chunks are ok. Using your hands, roll into small, ping pong sized balls. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and brown off the falafel. Once browned, line a baking tray with tin foil and spray with FryLight (4-5 sprays). Add the falafel to the baking tray and bake for around 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees. Serve with salad and pita bread!

For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients above. I used roughly the juice from half a lemon, may be a little more. The tahini is quite strong so just keep tasting until the balance between lemon and tahini is right. Then, line the pitas with the dressing, add the salad and cram in the falafel and there you have it.

A delicious light meal. Polly 1, Falafel 1. We’re even now falafel.