Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friends for Lunch... finally!
We had friends for lunch on Sunday – yes, the entertaining is starting to happen again! I just wanted to do something simple and ended up making pumpkin and cashew nut soup with home made soda bread. I also made the raspberry crumble cake above for afters.
I love pumpkin soup and I loved the look of this pumpkin soup which was in the “at your request” section of Cuisine magazine some time ago. The soup was a spicy one, (but not too spicy) with a base of onions, garlic, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. You then added pumpkin, sweet chilli sauce, water and coconut cream, simmering until the pumpkin was tender. The mixture was then pureed with toasted cashew nuts. Well, that is my simplified version anyway. The original had a much more complicated spice mix, but I found that what I did worked well.
I love home made brown bread and for quite a while I always used to have a loaf of brown bread, which I made from a recipe from a lady whose B & B we stayed in in Tipperary in Ireland, in the freezer. It is delicious with tomato relish and cheese. But I don’t seem to eat as much these days. On the first episode that I watched of Rachel Allen, Bake, which inspired me to buy her book, her cooking school students made soda bread. So I decided to use her recipe to make some brown bread to go with the soup. Soda bread is ridiculously easy to make and this recipe made a fabulous loaf. I used linseed instead of sesame seeds and they gave a wonderful nutty texture. You can find the recipe here.
And last, but definitely not least is the raspberry crumble cake. Another recipe fm Rachel Allen, Bake, this is the third thing I have made from this book and all have been successes. Her recipe is actually for a cherry crumble cake, but I think it is sacrilege to cook fresh cherries (despite the fact that they are out of season here) and it is really hard to find frozen ones – actually I have never been able to. So, I used frozen raspberries instead. This cake is so simple – an easy melt and mix one egg recipe, that results in a lovely not too light and not too heavy sponge, studded with raspberries and then topped with a light crumb. I served this slightly warm with thickened cream and loved it. This is a great make it fast, stand by cake which I thoroughly recommend.
Raspberry Crumble Cake (adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake)
150g self raising flour
½ tsp cinnamon
100g butter, melted
1 c frozen raspberries
• Combine flour, cinnamon and sugar.
• Whisk together egg, milk and butter and stir into dry ingredients
• Spoon batter into a lined 20cm round tin and scatter the raspberries over the top
• Make a crumble mixture by rubbing 25g butter into 25g flour, ¼ tsp cinnamon and 25g sugar
• Sprinkle crumble over the top and bake at 180c for 30-35 minutes