Friday, June 26, 2015

Raspberry, Almond and Custard Cake Recipe

Raspberry, Almond and Custard Cake fresh from the oven

The custard layer for this cake is made from Birds Custard Powder, in this house we love it. Posh custard out of a carton isn't suitable, neither is low fat, out of a can, ready made or a fancy version of home's just got to be yellow custard powder made with milk and cooked without any lumps!

Last time I made this cake I used frozen raspberries and they all sank to the bottom of the cake, so let's forget the fact that I ruined a perfectly good bake.  This time round I used fresh and they stayed on top of the cake.  I also baked the cake on a conventional setting rather than the fan setting and this allowed the cake to rise gently without the cake batter rising and burying the raspberries.

So, if you are looking for a large cake that's easy to make and love the bright yellow stuff, then maybe this recipe will be perfect for you too.

A slice of raspberry, almond and custard cake

It's best to make the custard the day before you make the cake.

You will need:  22cm deep springform tin greased and lined sides and base

250g salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind
330g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or from a carton
60g ground almonds
150g fresh
20g flaked almonds

For the Custard:
2 tablespoons custard powder
55g caster sugar
250ml milk
20g butter, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the custard: Place the custard powder and sugar in a small saucepan, gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Wet a  piece of clingwrap and press over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Place in the fridge until cold.
2. Preheat oven to 170°C.
3. Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Gradually fold in the flours, orange juice and ground almonds.
4. Spread two-thirds of the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Dollop small spoonfuls of custard over the cake batter. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over custard, carefully spread with a small spatula to completely cover the custard. Sprinkle over the raspberries followed by the flaked almonds.
5. Bake for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until cooked, if it shows signs of getting too brown cover the tin loosely with a piece of foil and bake for a few minutes longer until cooked.  Cool the cake in the tin.
6. Serve the cake with whipped cream just as it is.
7. Store in the fridge.
Adapted from an Australian Women's Weekly recipe.

Are you yay or nay when it comes to Birds Custard?

Bird's Custard is an egg free alternative to custard and The Black Country Bugle tells the story about the famous brand.

For more raspberry inspiration:
Raspberry, Chocolate and Almond Cake
The Perfect Raspberry and Almond Cake
Mini Raspberry Cream Brownies

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Taste of London Review

AEG Taste Theatre Taste of London

Phew. It was quite a weekend at Taste of London. Forgive me if I need a breather, but after so much food and drink it’s kinda needed.

The annual Taste festival in Regent’s Park has now been and gone. It was definitely bigger and better than ever with a mix of big name restaurants, a tasting theatre and cookery school with AEG plus lots of smaller independents sampling their wares.

The shows main partner AEG was showcasing live demonstrations by top international chefs using their latest appliances including Raymond Blanc - Le Manoir, Marcus Wareing - Tredwell's and Michel Roux Jnr.

This is what we feasted on…

The House of Ho
A bloomin’ amazing slow-cooked apple smoked pork belly with braised cabbage and quails egg. We will now be going to their London restaurant for one of their infamous Sunday brunches with bottomless bubbles.

Peckham’s most famous restaurant made a bold debut and pulled it out of the bag. We enjoyed octopus and potatoes with parsley! This was another stand out dish and cemented what I knew – this place is awesome! They also served their signature dish – ox tongue with salsa verde.

Artusi Restaurant Octopus, Potatoes and Parsley

Now I’ve heard this place has lively nights on London’s Rupert Street in Soho and can feel like a wild night out in Tel Aviv. We ate a magical polenta Jerusalem style with asparagus, mushroom ragout, parmesan and truffle oil.

Tredwell’s (Marcus Wareing)
Pulled pork, apple and ginger slider – beautifully presented and we saw the famous chef too!

Marcus Wareing Tredwell's Restaurant Pork, Ginger and Apple Slider

Chai Wu
The Chinese special - A mantou bun deep filled with roast duck.

Mantou Bun filled with roast duck

Sushi Samba
Shrimp tempura, quinoa and spicy mayo in an edible paper cone casing which looked stunning (I’m dying to visit this restaurant!)

We also had a nose at Asda’s BBQ stand and sampled some Asti whilst watching their BBQ demonstration. If you would like to take barbecuing to the next level, you may wish to watch the very hip DJ BBQ who has partnered up with the supermarket using some cool recipes.

Asda wine demonstration Taste of London

Asda Wine Experience Taste of London

Overall, it’s been another great year at the Taste of London festival. It's always great to eat food from the best restaurants and as some were so amazingly good, I will definitely be going back for the full experience.

Disclaimer:  We were invited guests, all thoughts are our own.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review East London Liquor Company and Fever Tree

East London Liquor Company Gin

The London reporter rolls up his sleeves for a serious night on the G&T’s.

If you hadn’t noticed, it was World Gin Day a few weeks back and the repercussions are still being felt!

I was recently a guest at a Zomato meet up for bloggers at the East London Liquor Company. It was a great opportunity to try their very own distilled gins with Fever Tree’s tonics.

The East London Liquor Company (ELLC) is in London’s hip East End and has a stunning bar with exposed brickwork and glass pieces, a copper distillery and boutique shop.

We kicked off the evening with a talk about tonic water and particularly the history.

Now, we all know that gin was big in the UK during the days of the empire but it wasn’t until the British in India discovered it went well with their medicinal quinine tonic that the humble gin and tonic was born and exported back to Britain (thank goodness!).

Foodbloggers Event with ZomatoUK at East London Liquor Company

We then had a tour of the distillery, which sits behind glass panels and forms a highly visual back drop to the bar. We tried two gins neat and got an insight into the creative process.

Guy explaining how Gin is made

The distillery East London Liquor Company

It was thirsty work as you can probably imagine so when we sat down again it was time to see which of their gins we preferred with a range of Fever Tree’s different tonics.

Tonic Water

The ELLC’s iconic drink is the London dry gin which uses British wheat, lemon & grapefruit peel, coriander, angelica root, juniper berries, cardamom and more.

Some of the fruits that go into the making of Gin

We even tried a British vodka with a Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water and the subtle flavours really complimented each other. So much so that it could catch on!

So with British gin, unique Fever Tree tonic waters and a steeped cup of ice – this really is the holy trinity for a long summer nights drink.

Find out how to make the perfect G&T this summer along with the full range of tonics at Fever-Tree.

Disclaimer:  I was a guest of ELLC and ZomatoUK