Sunday, 15 February 2015

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake

I really am not doing well with extending my baking repertoire beyond a cake. I have been meaning to diversify my sweet bakes this year and make more puddings, pies and crumbles, unfortunately this has not gone to plan as I expected. This, in part because I am regularly reminded and think off all the cakes I adore, the flavour combinations, the layers, the textures, the topping and the list goes on. I have not made a coffee cake for some time, nor have I made a rum cake for some time, so I when I saw this recipe from Levi Roots, last summer, for a Coffee and Rum cake, I promptly put this on my to bake list. I have tweaked this recipe slightly to add more rum (that can't be a bad thing really?), a tbsp of dark rum in the mixture and rum to make my rum butter cream, instead of the suggested whipped cream, taking the original coffee and rum cake to a Coffee and Triple Rum Cake. 
This cake was incredibly easy to make, there were no fancy layers, just a rum soaked sponge topped gloriously with rum butter cream. The cake was moist and the rum certainly cake through to give it a pleasant ferocious sensation with every bite. Warning: This cake is not suitable for munchkins :-) x 

Here is how my Coffee and Triple Rum Cake turned out:
Coffee and Triple Rum Cake.

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake.

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake. 

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake - slice.

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake in the making. 

Coffee and Triple Rum Cake in the making. 

Recipe for Coffee and Triple Rum Cake.
Serves 8
175g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin.
175g soft brown sugar.
3 eggs, lightly beaten.
175g self-raising flour, sifted.
Pinch of salt.
5 tbsp caster sugar.
80ml rum.
1 tbsp dark rum (I used Havana Club) 
300ml whipped cream
425ml very strong hot coffee.

Recipe for rum butter cream can be found when you click here.

1) Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5
2) Beat the butter and brown sugar, using an electric mixer or by hand, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then fold in the flour, salt and add the 1tbsp rum. Put in a greased (20cm) 8in cake tin, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
3) Add the caster sugar and rum to the coffee and taste - you may want more sugar or rum to taste.  Put the cake back in its tin and pierce it all over with a skewer, then pour the coffee slowly through the holes, soaking the sponge, and leave overnight.
4) Whip the cream into soft peaks. Turn out the cake and decorate with the cream and pecans. Alternatively, follow my recipe for rum butter cream.

I am sharing my Coffee and Triple Rum Cake to a  revered blogger Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes, monthly bookmarked recipes challenge. This month's theme is vegetarian bookmarked recipes, as I bookmarked this recipe from last summer, it qualifies for this challenge. 


Friday, 19 December 2014

BBC Good Food Show Winter (Part 2)

I had such a fantastic experience at the BBC Good Food Show, I could not possible share my highlights in one blog post. The winter show, I attended the show on Press Day, many thanks to Katy who organised the get together with the other bloggers. Many I knew via Twitter but in the press room there was: FreyaCob, Full to the Brum, The Foodie Couple, Munchies and Munchkins,  Jo's Kitchen and Helena Cookman. I also had a quick chat with fellow bloggers Carmelo Sereno and Julie from Angelina Cupcake who were busy on Julie's stall and had a quick chat with The Ginger Warrior.
The group of bloggers had the opportunity to go back stage meet & have a chat none other than Si and Dave of the Hairy Bikers.  We were even ask them a couple of questions, I bravely asked them whether they had any plans to have a similar series of their Mississippi road tour. I also had the opportunity to have excellent seats to watch the charismatic James Martin demonstration where he prepared the very healthy (writes with a smile :-) ) looking monkey bread alongside a mackerel and potato dish.

I also enjoyed visiting several stores, I hope you enjoy my collage of my favourite stalls from this wonderful show.

The Baking Housewife - Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of Caribbean food so was excited to discover this stall and meet the lovely person behind The Baking Housewife who specialises in artisan Caribeean fruit cakes, alongside marmalades and sorrel. I had to purchase the sorrel with rum which was heavenly divine.

Tan Rosie  - Another Caribbean stall headed by mother and daughter duo. They sold a range of Caribbean spices, Sauces, fudge, plantain chips and even a cookery book. I stocked up on plantain chips and chilli fudge.

Simply Vintage - specialises as the site says, everything vintage. I discovered this at the summer show, think rustic and beautiful cake knives, delicate tea sets and vintage milk bottles. These products are stunningly beautiful and their items are certainly welcome in my home.

5 Dimensions - asked the bloggers to say ola, was impressed by the flavour combinations such as the intriguing basil and lime.

Angelina Cupcake a fellow official blogger had her own stall this year selling her amazing cupcakes. Although I was trying to be relatively good, I had to purchase some oreo cupcakes.

Sponge Cakes 
As discussed in my part 1 review I absolutely adored this stall.

Delicious Alchemy 
As stated in my part 1 review I loved this stall.

Disclaimer:  I received a press pass to attend the Good Food Show, I was not obliged to write a positive review and as always my opinion is my own.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2014 (Part 1)

The nation's favourite food show returned to Birmingham from 27th - 30th November 2014. That show of course is BBC Good Food Show Winter. I have been a big fan of the BBC Good Food Show after first attending in 2011, little did I know back then, is that in a couple of years time I would become an official BBC Good Food Show Blogger. For those who do not know what that means, a selected group of bloggers in the Midlands share via social media the most up to date news and reviews from the show. There is usually a get together prior to the show which I unfortunately missed for the Summer show (as I was in Spain) and missed out on a fabulous opportunity to spend time at Brompton Cookery School held by the lovely Marcus Bean. For the Winter Show, there was no official pre-show get together, instead we were sent an array of samples from some of the food producers of the show. I'm pleased there was a mixture of sweet and savoury samples as my tastebuds can easily filter between the two. I was also  introduced to an array of talented artisan bakers and cooks who produce an array of delicious food. My excitement started prior to the show, shaving received all these fabulous products.

BBC Good Food Show samples.

Let's start with my favourite (although I really shouldn't have favourites) sample.
Delicious Alchemy specialise in gluten free products. I really don't know a lot about gluten free allergies as I do not have any, but what I do know is that I'm quite discerning on whether a product should be on par or expected, as stated on the tin. The Good Food Show Bloggers were sent a selection of Bread Mix, Chocolate Brownies and Cookie Mixture. I promptly made the gluten free Chocolate Brownies, which before I show you the picture, I pre warn you, I  added malteres which I know has gluten, but can be removed for those with the intolerance. I loved this mixture, it was incredibly easy to make (melt butter, add two eggs, mix in the packet, bake and eat) and it was demolished quickly in my house.
Delicious Alchemy

Delicious Alchemy

Baked In specialise in home baking kits, their mottos is making Home Baking Simple. They sell a range of chocolate brownies which can be superbly be made in a mug in 5 minutes. Using this fabulous kit, I was able to make brownies in three easy steps: melt butter, heat in the microwave for 1 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes. There are a range of flavours: chocolate orange, expresso and gluten free flavours. Baked in also sells cooke mixers and baking its. This a wonderful product for those who love baking but are incredibly pressed on time or for those who enjoy the fruits of baking but not the best baker. 
Baked In

Baked In

Ardens specialise in luxurious nibbles. I can certainly vouch for that as unfortunately me and my family demolished the lovely goodies before any photographs were taken. Ardens specialise in flaky and butter pastry twists, crunchy bites and slow cooked bread bakes. I loved the selection of products and the flavour combination were superb:cream cheese and spring onion melts, Italian pesto bakes and spinach gruyere twists. Any foodie would be satisfied with these goodies.

The Garlic Farm based on the Isle of Wight offer products, as the name states including garlic. This farm has been going for some time and the result is glorious; many different varieties of garlic infused in a range of products. The Pork Scratching was perfectly infused, the garlic paste was delightfully pungent and have used this when making homemade chips. I could instantly tell with the garlic paste that this product is not the standard garlic used in products as there was an enhanced flavour.  I have not yet tried the garlic beer, so I will have to keep you updated via social media sites with how this tastes. 

The Garlic Farm

Sponge Cakes is a brand that I discovered when I attended BBC Good Food Show Winter 2011. I brought several slices of their sponge cakes, so was incredibly pleased that they were giving 2 free mini sponge cakes to the Bloggers. Me and Laura from Full To The Brum were fortunate to be given a third free mini sponge from their new gluten free range. I was impressed that Sponge Cakes have expanded their range to include little morsels of deliciousness. I chose to sample the Coffee and Walnut cake, Bounty cake and Gluten Free Apple Crumble.

Sponge Cake

Sponge Cake.

Sponge Cake
Genius, is a company specialising in gluten free products. They have a range of products: bread, pastry and cakes. I was fortunate to receive the bread and blueberry muffins. I was impressed by the size of the gluten free brownies and the packaging. As an individual who does not have an allergy I can certainly say that this is the perfect muffin for those with allergies, there is a slight nutty texture, which I presume is due to the rice flour that may have been used. They stock their products at online and selected supermarket stores in the London area.

Farringtons  is the first seed to bottle producer whose range of products are featured in many shops around the UK. Faringtons specialise in their is sell a range of products including: rapeseed oil, dressing, mayonnaise and chilli oil. I received their rapeseed oil which has the lowest saturated fat when compared to other oil products and also has a subtle nutty flavour. I used the rapeseed oil when making my homemade chips, which was delectable. 

Disclaimer: I received all the above products to review, I was not required to write a positive view and as always, all opinions are my own. 



Sunday, 23 November 2014

MSC Divina and Caribbean islands

I love reminiscing about holidays and all the memories that I have, good and bad. I recently went on a cruise, this was my second cruise but my first big cruise. Back in 2012 I went on a mini P & O cruise to Belgium and Guernsey. But this cruise,  by MSC, for those who want to know stands for (Mediterranean Shipping Country) I visited numerous Caribbean islands. I said adios to the West Midlands and Ola to the East and West Caribbean islands: Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico, Bahamas, Miami, St Marten, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk. 
What I did not realise at the time of booking is that MSC cruises is an Italian cruise line, so there was lots of Italian food, which during week 1 is fabulous, not so great for week 2. There are seated allocation for the two main restaurants on board MSC Divina: The Black Crab and Le Muse. There were several other speciality restaurants including Eataly steakhouse and Ristourante Italia. These speciality restaurants came at a cost, the same as a normal a la carte restaurant so, in my opinion did not represent value for money.
As time is of the essence, I was in two minds on what to review on my blog, should I review every island and my experience there and bypass my experience on the cruise. Or should I share my experience on MSC cruise and limit the time given to the beautiful Caribbean islands. I've come up with a wonderful solution to this, which is share the food on the cruise ship, alongside food whilst visiting the islands. With the occasional beach snap just for good measure.
Here are some of my favourite dishes served on MSC Divina. These include: waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, spaghetti cabonara, chicken and ribs, smoked salmon and bagels.

Food MSC Divina

Food MSC Divina

Food MSC Divina

Of course, the whole idea of cruises is to visit different places during one holiday and on this cruise, wake up in a different place every day. I had to go traditional when in Jamaica and when I visited the popular fast food chain Island Grill ordered jerk chicken, rice and peas, fried festival and salad. A trip to the Grand Cayman, I decided to continue with somewhat of a traditional theme ordering jerk chicken wraps instead of the burgers that were on offer. 
Jerk chicken

Chicken wraps

Cayman coconuts
I've held a strong view of what Mexican food is like and what better way of trying traditional Mexican fare by ordering a Mexican platter in Mexico. My Mexican platter consisted of steak, chicken, fish, tortillas, guacamole and a spicy habernero sauce on the side.
Mexican platter

The Bahamas, Great Stirup Cay was a private island and the food served on this island was provided by the catering staff on the cruise ship. I do wish there was an opportunity to sample traditional Bahamian food, but unfortunately it was not to be.
The following day, I had a culinary delight in Miami. Visited a restaurant in Little Havana to have some cappuccino to keep up my strength, followed by a trip to Buba Gump shrimp company. Anyone who has watched Forest Grump will know the history of the link between Buba Gump shrimp company and the film.

Fried chicken, mash potato and corn on the cob.

Next up St Marteen the half French and half Dutch island. I visited Big Woodside Grill, beachfront restaurant. The restaurant menu consisted lots of lobster specials which as much as I love, felt was a bit too indulgent for lunch so I chose the more familiar BBQ chicken with rice and salad.

BBQ chicken with rice
The penultimate island stop was Puerto Rico. Due to a delay in the excursion times, there was insufficient time to visit a restaurant for lunch. I did manage to quickly buy the most amazing chicken empanada for 2 dollars.

Grand Turk Coconut

Grand Turk

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Burgers, Cool Layer Cakes and 1000 juices, Review and Giveaways

It certainly is cook book season with many new releases of many cookery genres being published in the Autumn months. That, of course is a delight to me. As many of you know I love reading new shiny cookery books  and with being fortunate to receive cookery books from publishers, alongside my impulsive purchases at well known book stores (plus one I just had to buy in Miami about Miami cuisine) I have amassed 10 books in a few weeks. I have chosen to share my review of three books that I received from the lovely people at Jacqui Small Publishing and Quarto Publishing group : Burgers by Paul Gayer, Cool Layer Cakes by Ceri Olofson and 1000 Juices by Deborah Gray.

Let's start with the cookery book which is dedicated to one of my favourite food dishes of all times, Burgers. This book is designed in the shape of the burger which will make it stand out amongst the usual shaped cookery books in the bookshelf. There is no contents page, this book dives straight into the 25 burger recipes. What I like about this book, is that it if of a more gourmet burger book, rather than cooking the bog standard beef burgers (although they are some cracker beef burger recipes such as the Bloody Mary Burger and the Big Apple Deli Burger). There are more exotic and interesting burger recipes to recreate such as the Ploughman's burger and Lebanese Kitchen Burger. I decided to try a recipe which is based on the ingredients of my culture: Caribbean Pork Burger with barbecue jerk baste and calypso mojo. I am so glad I tried this recipe, it is a modern take on classic Caribbean flavours which brought a taste of sunshine and exotic spicy flavours in a plate.
I would recommend this book for all the burger lovers out there as you will be delighted with the gourmet burger recipes.
 Here is how my burgers turned out:

Caribbean Pork Burgers. 
Cool Layer Cakes is a wonderful comprehensive cake book from Ceri Olofson. With the baking trend in full force in the UK, this book is great for those who want to create an impressive, standout cake, or as a famous program would say a "show stopper". Never made a layer cake before? No worries, this book has a chapter on layer cake essentials which includes essential tools, essential decorating kit and special tools. The highlight of this book, is of course the recipes. Each recipe has an accompanying picture which I feel is vitally important for cakes and bakes. I made the lemon meringue cake for my nan's birthday which tasted heavenly: layers and layers of sponge cake, generous dollops of lemon curd topped with sweet meringue. Other recipes that I would like to try are the Strawberry Delight, Liquid Gold and Lady-In-Waiting Dome. I would certainly recommend this book for all the cake lovers out there, there is wonderful recipes out there for all occasions and especially for special occasions. 
Here is how my Lemon Meringue Cake turned out:

Lemon Meringue Cake

Last, but certainly not least 1000 Juices, Green Drinks and Smoothies by Deborah Gray.  A book that contains a whopping 1,000 recipes is a rarity, many books only contain 100 recipes, so this was a lovely treat. As I do not make juices or smoothies often, I was pleased that there was a thorough introduction which not explained the difference between the two, but also the different equipments and a fruit guide. As there are a number of recipes, there is also 8 chapters which split each recipe according to type. My favourite chapters include Breakfast Blends, Thirst Quenchers and Milkshakes and Frozen Drinks. There are so many juices and smoothies to try, I certainly want to make the Maple Banana Smoothie, Guava to Go Smoothie and Belgian Chocolate Shake. The recipe that I tried, Green Goddess which is described by the author as a "delicious and cleansing mix of fruits and vegetables that is great for digestion". I agree. I would recommend this book for those who want to have a healthier lifestyle. 
Here is how my Green Goddess drink turned out:

Green Goddess.

As I love sharing recipes, the recipe for the Caribbean pork burger is below. Continue to scroll down, as I have giveaways of these fabulous books.

Caribbean Pork Burger
450g well-trimmed, coarsely minced ground pork, chilled
100g good-quality sausage meat, chilled
1 onion, finely chopped
1tbsp chopped oregano
3tbsp prepared jerk baste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable or sunflower oil for brushing

For the Jerk Baste
3tbsp olive oil
2tbsp white wine vinegar
2tbsp hot pepper sauce
1tbsp tomato ketchup
1 garlic clove, crushed
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground all spice

1) For the jerk baste, place all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth.
2 ) Place the pork and sausage meat in a bowl. Next, add 3 tbsp of water, the onion, oregano and measured amount of jerk baste. Adjust the seasoning, cover with cling film and chill for at least 1 hour.
3) Divide the mix into 8 evenly sized patties and brush with oil.
4)  Heat a chargrill or pan until hot, grill the patties for 8 - 10 minutes until cooked through, brushing them during the process with more of the baste.
5)  Toast the buns; top the bases with slices of tomato, a few dressed leaves and then 2 burgers.
6)  Spoon the calypso mojo and top with coriander leaves o garnish.

I have one copy of burgers, three copies of Cool Layer Cakes and 5 copies of 1,000 Juices to giveaway, please follow the instructions below. Please answer all the three questions if you would like to enter the three giveaway. 

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  • For additional entries, leave a blog comment, like my Facebook Page, follow foodgloriousfoodx on Twitter, Add me in Google + The Quarto Group  and Jacqui Small Publishing.
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  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 01.11.14 - 30.11.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. 
  • Quarto Group will dispatch the book the the lucky winner. 
  • The competition is open to UK residences only. 
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