Malvern Pudding

I was given a bag of apples and wanted to make something different. Browsing through my recipe folder I found this recipe. It's an egg custard over apples, but the custard is made with cream.
Lovely to have as a pudding in this miserable weather.

For the apples:  50g butter, 1 kg cooking apples, 50g sugar and the zest of 2 lemons
For the custard topping: 825ml double cream, 50g sugar, 4 eggs plus 2 yolks, 50g demerara sugar and 1/2 tspn cinnamon

Heat a frying pan and add the butter and apples, peeled cored and sliced.  Cook for 6-7 mins till soft but still keeping shape. Add the sugar and zest and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
Pour into an ovenproof dish.
Beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together; warm the cream over a gentle heat then add to the eggs and gently mix in. Pour over the apples. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
Bake in preheated oven, 180C/gas 4 for about an hour, till set but still a bit wobbly.

It feeds about 8 people, and the next time I make it, will halve the recipe. It's really delicious, with the buttery cooked apples and the lovely creamy sauce. Love the 2 textures - the slightly tart apples and the creamy custard. I'll definitely make this again.


Toscakaka or Swedish Caramel Almond Cake

I love Scandinavian baking and have several Scandi baking books, but to honest, I've never baked from them. Reading an article recently on this type of baking, I thought I must use my books, so decided to make a caramel almond cake. I've adapted it from 'Scandilicious Baking'.

For the cake you need; 20ml milk, 1 tspn lemon juice [or 75ml buttermilk] 75g butter, 3 eggs, 150g caster sugar, 1 tspn vanilla extract, 150g plain flour, 1 tspn baking powder and a pinch of salt.

For the topping: 150g flaked almonds, 125g butter, 125g light brown sugar, 50ml milk and 1/2 tspn sea salt

 Preheat oven 160C/gas3                     Grease and base line a 23cm springform cake tin

Stir the lemon juice into the milk to sour it, or use 75ml buttermilk instead. Toast the almonds till they're a light golden colour [takes about 6 mins].
Melt the butter over a low heat then pour into a bowl and allow to cool. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until very thick and creamy - took about 5 mins in my stand mixer. 
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together then gently fold 1/3rd into the batter with a metal spoon. Gently pour half the milk into this and fold in. Fold in another 1/3rd of flour, the rest of the milk and then the rest of the flour. Drizzle in half the butter, fold in, then the other half. Scrape the bottom of the bowl gently to get all the flour.
Scoop into the tin and bake for 25-30 mins till golden and firm.
While it's in the oven, make the topping. Put the butter, sugar, milk and salt into the pan and stir till butter melts. Keep over low heat for a few mins to thicken then stir in the almonds.
When the cake is cooked, turn the oven up to 200C/gas6.
Spread the almond mixture over the cake, then put back in the oven for 8-10 mins till bubbling and darkened. Cool in the tin for 5 mins then loosen sides with a knife and put onto a rack to cool.

It's delicious, and great contrast of texture between the soft cake and the crunchy topping. We ate it cold, but could be a dessert with some cream or ice cream. A bit of a faff to make the cake, but the result is worth it!

Gratin de choux-fleur

 I was given a medium sized cauliflower and as it's not my favourite vegetable, struggled to know what to do with it. Have kept a few Fr...