Canada was incredible and beautiful and just an excellent holiday all round. We saw the best of what South Saskatchewan had to offer, spent time in Banff National Park (amazing), and most importantly got to see our friends Jordi and Robbie and their ADORABLE baby Leo. He is so lovely. I really miss him :(.
I got back to England early on Monday morning, and then spent two days getting over the most horrible jet lag, which meant I didn’t really do much apart from watch the West Wing and go food shopping. Now I am finally back to normal, only to prepare myself for the next adventure, which is moving house. This will probably involve me having to do another spate of baking which I will then post over several weeks, as I haven’t worked out when I’ll be in Cambridge and when I’ll be in Norwich, and most importantly, when I’m moving my kitchen stuff.
One of the benefits of moving is that it gives you the opportunity to clear out your cupboards and get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore – this applies to food as much books, DVDs and clothes. So this week I made blackberry cordial from some blackberries and strawberries that I had left in the freezer.
Cordial is really straightforward to make – boil fruit with water, add sugar, dilute when you drink it (I recommend with lemonade). I managed to spill a lot of it over my kitchen when I tried to put more liquid into the bottle than it would actually hold. Genius. But I’m looking forward to drinking the stuff that didn’t end up on the floor.
Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday, so I made him honey and pistachio semolina cake. I was hoping the cake would turn out more green inside than it actually did, but it still tasted pretty good, although the syrup didn’t make it quite as moist as I was hoping, and it wasn’t really thick enough either, and no matter how long I boiled it for it didn’t seem to reduce quite enough. Oh well, these things happen.
Next week: Plum Cupcakes
Semolina Cake with Honey and Pistachio (from ‘Homemade’ by Clodagh McKenna)
4 large eggs
150g caster sugar
125ml vegetable oil
110g plain flour
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g pistachios, finely ground
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
for the syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, and beat together with an electric mixer on high speed for about 5 mins. Reduce the speed and slowly pour in the vegetable oil.
2. Tip in the flour, semolina, baking powder and salt and mix well until it comes together. Fold in the ground pistachios and lemon zest. Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm tin and bake in the oven for 30-35mins.
3. Meanwhile, make the syrup by stirring the honey, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and place over a high heat. Leave the syrup to boil and reduce by half, which takes about 10 mins. Use a skewer to poke deep holes in the cake whilst it’s hot. Drizzle half of the syrup evenly over the top, allowing it to be absorbed, then pour over the remaining syrup. Leave to cool completely, then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone cream.