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Biscotti February 21, 2010

Posted by Helen in cookies.

What good is coffee without biscotti?

This delicious magazine recipe is great! I didn’t have any pistachios, so I used all almonds and the biscotti are still very nice. But I think the pistachios would have pushed them from nice to stupendous. Next time.












50g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g whole blanched almonds
115g caster sugar
1 egg
15ml Grand Marnier liqueur
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
175g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground coriander
40g polenta
50g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan150°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Roast the almonds in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Cool and chop roughly.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg, Grand Marnier and orange zest. Add the flour, baking powder, coriander and polenta. Mix until it forms a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the almonds and pistachios throughout. Halve the mix and shape each half into a 2-inch wide, ¾-inch deep sausage.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until just firm. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut into slices. Lay the biscotti flat on the baking sheet and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until crisp. Cool.


Tiramisu February 19, 2010

Posted by Helen in dessert.
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Another recipe from good old Gordon. This is an easy (i.e., cheat) tiramisu recipe, but it still tastes positively decadent and is definitely not light on calories either. But I think it’s well worth it.













250g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Marsala (or brandy or Tia Maria)
150ml strong coffee or espresso, cooled to room temperature
150ml single cream
4 tbsp icing sugar
16 sponge fingers (savoiardi) 
Chocolate (at least 70%), to grate
Cocoa powder, to dust

Whisk the mascarpone with the vanilla and Marsala and 50ml coffee, until everything is thoroughly mixed together.

Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until smooth, then fold in the mascarpone mix.

Pour the remaining coffee into a bowl (sweeten with more icing sugar if you like). Take one sponge finger at a time and dip it in to the coffee. Set it to one side and continue with the remaining biscuits

Line 4 serving glasses or bowls with 4 sponge fingers, breaking them in half if you need to. Spoon the mascarpone mix in until you reach the top of the glass. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Remove the tiramisu from the fridge. Grate a little chocolate over the top of each one. Finally, dust with sifted cocoa powder to serve.

Potatoes dauphinoise February 17, 2010

Posted by Helen in potatoes, side dishes.

These potatoes gave me a chance to try out my new mandolin, which was loads of fun! I’m now searching for recipes that involve slicing things thinly. Suggestions are welcome. This was also an incredibly easy recipe, though the results looked (and tasted) really impressive. It’s definitely one I’ll be using again. Thank you, Good Food.










1 clove garlic, halved
50g butter
500g waxy potatoes, thinly sliced
Grated nutmeg
300ml milk
300ml double cream
Grated Gruyère cheese for sprinkling (optional)

Set the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Rub the cut sides of the garlic all over the insides of an ovenproof dish, then grease the dish with butter.

Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg. Add another layer of potato, season again and press down on the potatoes (the dauphinoise should be dense). Continue building up the layers until you reach the top of the dish, patting down each time.

Mix the milk and cream together and pour over the potatoes, making sure the liquid just covers the surface. Sprinkle the top with cheese, if liked.

Bake for 2 hours. Serve when the potatoes have softened and turned golden brown on top, while the cream is still bubbling.

Sticky lemon chicken with champ February 2, 2010

Posted by Helen in chicken, Uncategorized.
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As much as I hate to admit it, Gordon Ramsay is pretty good. This was a perfect weeknight supper. Not too heavy (unless, of course, you eat as much champ as my husband does), and lovely served with steamed green beans. The recipe below serves 4, so I halved it. Rather than using a whole chicken, I used a breast and two thighs (something that seems to work well for us since I prefer white meat).











Lemon chicken:
1 large chicken, jointed into 8-10 pieces
Salt and pepper
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
A few thyme sprigs
A splash of sherry vinegar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 lemon, finely sliced
Bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped

1 kg floury potatoes (e.g., King Edward), peeled
Salt and pepper
30g butter
Bunch of spring onions (8-10), trimmed and chopped
100ml double cream
100ml whole milk

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.

Cut the potatoes into similar-sized chunks and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain well.

Mash the potatoes while still hot, using a potato ricer if you have one, then stir through the butter and spring onions.

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and gradually pour on to the potatoes, mixing well. If the mash is too thick, add a little extra milk. Season generously.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley, serve with the champ and green beans.