Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableI rather love September – not only because my favourite (!) son was born towards the latter end of the month but also because it’s full of new beginnings. A new school year begins with high hopes and  all the paraphernalia that goes with it – uniform, school shoes, pens and pencils, geometry sets, books, teachers and classmates. Only this year, as Jake enters what is known as Sixth Form (the last two years of school before University) there is no “uniform” other than the Sixth Form tie. All the boys must wear a suit (navy, charcoal or black), a white shirt and black shoes. He does go off to school looking terribly smart!

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableMeaning to make a crumble to showcase a pretty bowl (I know, how shallow am I?), I bought some lovely blackberries and raspberries from the market. But making a crumble seemed akin to admitting that the summer was over – which I am not quite ready to do! The weather has been warm in that September sort of way and the trees seem determined to hang onto their verdant hues though there are a few on the turn too.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableIt didn’t seem right somehow to be making a winteresque pudding so I adapted the Peach and Amaretti Crisp I made last week to make a Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp. I used a spicy biscuit called Speculoo, added some ground ginger and walnuts to the base and topping and included that gorgeous Japanese citrus flavour called Yuzu in the icing. I used a golden icing sugar which is unrefined – it gives the icing a gorgeous caramel colour and flavour too. Any spicy biscuit will do – by spicy I mean with ginger or cinnamon – not chilli!! And if you can’t get ahold of Yuzu seasoning (please do look out for it – it is amazing in dips and with fish as well as cocktails) then use a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice along with some zest.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableA quick word on preparing pans for baking. I don’t think that enough emphasis is placed on it but it is essential to do this well so that your delicious and lovingly prepared bakes are easy to turn out and present. If you bake frequently, it is completely worth buying pre-cut circles, strips and rolls of baking paper. In the UK, Lakeland and John Lewis are great resources as are eBay and Amazon. It’s not necessary to grease and paper the tins but do use a few dabs of butter so that the paper sticks to the tin and doesn’t move about.

How to line a baking tinAnd how to easily paper a square or rectangular tin? You can either cut out two long strips that are as wide as the tin so that they cover the base as well as the sides or you can do what I do which is to turn the tin over then drape and cut off enough paper to fit over it. Make a neat pleat at the corners- as if gift wrapping then turn the tin over and the paper should slip straight in. For a circular tin, cut out a strip which is a little longer than the length of the circumference. Then make a narrow fold along the length of it and snip along it at an angle. Dab a little butter along the sides of the tin and place the strip along it with the snipped section flat against the base of the pan. Place a circle of paper on the base on top of the snipped section and you are good to go.  I have lots of tips that you might find interesting on my TIps and Tricks page. If you go over and take a look, do leave your best tips in the comments box. I will include them with a credit to you.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableI’m taking my Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp along to Angie of the Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday #32 – the weekly virtual get-together where we share fabulous stories and recipes from all over the world. Please do join in by seeing what is on offer or sharing a post. This week (as well as last week) Hilda from Along the Grapevine is helping Angie as a co-host. Hilda lives on a rather idyllic 7 acre property in Ontario, where she shares her stories and recipes of all the things she grows and forages on her land – this week it’s her incredible tomatoes – sigh! And Angie has brought a delicious Chilli con Carne – one of my favourite dishes! A huge thanks to both Angie and Hilda for hosting!!

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableClick on the Fiesta Friday badge below to join the party – you can submit a post (be sure to include a link to Angie and Hilda’s FF#32 posts – it’s only polite and also ensures that you can be considered for a feature next week!)  or just take a look at others are up to!

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Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp

  • Servings: 16 pieces
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

For the base and topping:

  • 80 g Speculoo biscuits (a spicy biscuit)
  • 20 g walnuts
  • 190 g plain/AP flour
  • 50 g oats
  • 20 g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 150 g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50 g chopped walnuts – reserve for the topping

For the filling:

  • 275 – 300 g mixed soft berries I used raspberries and blackberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground almonds/almond meal

For the glaze:

  • ½ c golden icing/super fine sugar
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp Yuzu Citrus Seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C/350 F
  2. Line a 9 inch square tin with greaseproof paper so that the base and sides are covered – use a few dabs of butter to get the paper to stick to the pan.
  3. While the oven is heating up, place the 20 g of walnuts on a tray and toast for 5 – 8 minutes. Cool, then place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Don’t take it too far otherwise you will have a nut paste rather than a nut flour. Set aside.
  4. Place the Speculoo biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs.
  5. Add the flour, oats, ground almonds, the ground walnuts and ginger and pulse a couple of times to combine.
  6. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse, damp sand.
  7. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture for the topping and tip the rest into the prepared tin. Pat it level – don’t press down too hard or it will be tough – then bake for 15 minutes.
  8. While the base is baking, get the filling ready; sort through the fruit and discard any mouldy ones.
  9. Using an electric mixer and a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until coffee coloured and creamy – about 2 minutes. Then add the almond meal and salt and whisk again. Fold in the berries.
  10. After the base has been in the oven for 15 minutes, remove it and top with the filling – covering the hot base as evenly as you can with the fruit.
  11. Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and the reserved topping.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then using the lining paper as handles, lift out and place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
  14. Combine glaze ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the top.

Stores brilliantly, covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberriesWe’ve been having the most glorious summer weather here in London – this historic city is even more beautiful when the sun is shining and you can appreciate the architecture, gardens and cafe society in the golden glow of the summer sun rather than scurrying along under an umbrella, shoulders hunched, looking at the ground to avoid puddles. There is a wonderful campaign of sorts, called “Look up London” which exhorts us to look up and admire the amazing architecture – I always travel on the top decks of  buses just so that I have a better view of the upper sections of the buildings. In fact, when Jake was just a toddler, we used to spend the bus journeys into the West End, on the upper decks, gargoyle spotting. Such fun!

Last weekend, a friend organised a picnic in a private garden square off Sloane Street in Belgravia – the posh bit of Chelsea. “Simply bring yourself!” he exclaimed, when I asked what I should bring; “I just want you to relax and enjoy yourself.” Now, I have been on his picnics before – it’s all silver cutlery, china plates, crystal glasses, linen napkins, gorgeous throws to sit on and  really beautiful food. This picnic was no different – his “prep area” was an arbour set with wooden block seating where the hampers and bottles of wine where kept cool in the shade. Adjacent to this, in the sunshine and next to a lavender edged flower bed, he had spread out one of his enormous throws, scattered with large Indian carpet cushions. Along with a couple of deck chairs, a white linen covered occasional table set with a vase of flowers, a pile of the Sunday papers and a bronze Blackamoor holding out a box of marshmallows, it was akin to  something out of the Days of the Raj – all that was missing was the punkah-wallah to keep us cool!

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberriesAnd the food…poached salmon on watercress with an avocado sauce garnished with lemon, prawns and squid rings; a wild rice salad with orange and red peppers, cashew nuts and dried cranberries: a green bean and tomato salad and finally, a vodka marinated cucumber salad with a dill sauce – all immaculately presented, of course. We also had fabulously ripe cheeses brought along by one of the guests, macaroons, the aforementioned marshmallows and I took these Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries – because I was not going to be able to turn up empty handed! A really splendid afternoon, catching up with old friends and making some new ones, in these beautiful gardens far removed from the hoi-polloi of “barbaric” Chelsea!

These Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries are a modern, healthy and portable version of a Strawberry Cheesecake. Hollowed out strawberries are filed with a sweetened vanilla cream cheese then dipped in melted chocolate and coated with biscuit crumbs. I saw a version without the chocolate on Pinterest last year but when I made them I found that the biscuit crumbs got soggy from the strawberries as well as the cream cheese. The chocolate forms a barrier  and a really delicious one at that! Feel free to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate instead of dark if you prefer. I made two punnets for the picnic and one for this post. The strawberries for the picnic were much larger and the ones for this post were quite small – you will have to judge how much cream cheese, chocolate and crumbs you will need, depending on the size and amount of the fruit – the recipe below is what I used for the smaller berries. Remember that they don’t take much cream cheese to fill them. These are best at room temperature but do need to be kept in the fridge for the chocolate to firm up. These are perfect for picnics but they are also lovely as a sweet canapé at a summer party.

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberries

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberries

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberries

cheesecake-stuffed-chocolate-strawberriesI am taking these over to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #27 – that fabulous weekly party where you will leave completely inspired and blown away by the creativity out there. This week, Angie is ably helped by Aussie power duo,  Saucy @ Saucy Gander and Margot @ Gather and Graze who are in fancy dress – so I’ve come in flapper gear, doing the Charleston and handing out strawberries!

Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 g punnet of strawberries as even in size as possible
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract. or paste
  • 70 g of dark or semi sweet chocolate
  • 4 – 5 digestive biscuits or graham crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the biscuits in a sandwich bag and crush to fine crumbs with a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass. Place  the crumbs in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla – taste and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough. Taste your strawberries too – you don’t want an overly sweet stuffing if the berries are very sweet.
  3. Fit a large holed nozzle onto a piping bag and fill the bag with the cream cheese mixture. Or fill a sandwich bag with the cream cheese – you can snip off a small bit of the corner when you are ready to stuff the strawberries. Place the bag in the fridge while you get on with the strawberries.
  4. Rinse the strawberries and set aside any that have mushy spots. You can trim those and save them for smoothies, fruit salads etc.
  5. Using a small paring knife, slice off the strawberry hull or calyx – the leaves.
  6. Then, using the tip of the paring knife, hollow out from the base by twisting the knife around in a conical circle.
  7. Place the strawberries on a paper towel lined tray to drain.
  8. Once they are all hulled and hollowed out, pat the tops of the fruit with another paper towel to dry the surfaces.
  9. Fill the strawberries with the cream cheese, using the piping or sandwich bag to fill the fruit neatly.
  10. Either melt the chocolate (in a small bowl) on a low setting in the microwave for 30 second intervals or in a double boiler set-up (a pan of simmering water with the bowl of chocolate set on top but not touching the water). The chocolate should be just melted.
  11. Using a pickle fork or a toothpick or even your fingers if the strawberries are large enough to hold, dip the ends in the chocolate and then in the crumbs.
  12. Set on a tray and pop into the fridge for the chocolate to firm up.
  13. These are best enjoyed at room temperature so take them out at least half an hour before serving. If transporting for picnic then place in a suitable container, packing an icepack underneath the container.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

nutella_espresso_sticky_bunsIt’s Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and we are all invited! I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to bring to the party. A bright and cheeky salad with blood oranges and halloumi? A bold as you dare Thai curry? Perhaps a steady and comforting fish pie…. Nope, I’ve decided to take something tall, dark and handsome to prop me up and look and smell gorgeous while I mix and mingle with all the other party goers.

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

When I first made this recipe I remember thinking what an inspired combination the flavours were – coffee and Nutella in a sticky bun! But when I made it, I felt that the dough wasn’t rich enough and well, I just had to tweak it here and there.

I have attached my C.V. and hope that you find that my experience is relevant for this role.  In my current role, I manage operations, oversee projects, run the office and support the Managing Director in both a private and business capacity. I have also worked in a private family office, supporting the Principal and his family. The majority of my experience has been in small offices. I have excellent interpersonal skills and am able to communicate with people at any level. As an experienced administrator, I am able to prioritise and manage my workload effectively and to deadline. I am organised and detail oriented; a team player, willing to support and pitch in as necessary to get a job done.  Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions about my experience and suitability for this role. I would also be grateful if you would keep me in mind for any other roles that you think I may be suitable for. I am available for interview at short notice and would relish the opportunity to discuss my experience with you. Sincerely Selma Jeevanjee Since then, I have taken a bread making class with Nina Oortman where she introduced me to fresh yeast. It doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks but it has no chemicals in it and is super easy to work with. In the UK, you can ask for it from the in-store bakeries or buy it in little blocks from the dairy section in Eastern European grocery shops. It’s called “Drozdze” in Polish.  Store opened packs of fresh yeast in an airtight container in the fridge as otherwise, the smell of yeast will permeate everything.

nutella_espresso_rolls

Fresh Yeast – 100g packet

To convert recipes which call for active dry yeast, multiply the number of grams by 3 to arrive at how much fresh yeast you will need.  There are 3.5g in a teaspoon. You need 20% more instant yeast than active dry.  (This site explains it in more detail – http://makebread.com.au/fresh-yeast-conversion/) I’ve given measurements and instructions for all three types of yeast in the recipe below.

Please don’t be afraid to work with yeast – it’s so easy that once you try it, you will wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. Kneading dough is actually quite easy – it’s more like stretching the dough. Keep one hand at the base of the dough, use the other to pull it away from you. Then bring it back over on itself, give it a quarter spin and keep going,  There are lots of videos on YouTube if you want a demonstration – as my son told me the other day, “YouTube is your friend, Mum…you should pay it a visit!”

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Cocoa Nibs

I’ve used cocao nibs to take the sweet edge off the sugar and the Nutella – and it’s good for you too. They have quite a bitter flavour and I think they would be wonderful in smoothies, shakes, granola, hot chocolate, biscuits and mole type sauces.

My recipe for Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns can be made in one go – I prefer to make the dough, fill and slice it and then prove it in the fridge overnight. A long, slow prove makes for a tastier dough. Then in the morning, pop them in the oven and hey presto, you have delicious, warm, gooey buns for a decadent mid-morning pick-me-up.

As I prepared the dough  in the evening, the lighting is not the best but the photos below give you an idea as to how easy it is.

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. Yeast mixed into water and milk
2. Butter, egg, sugar and espresso mix
3. Pour into yeast mix
4. Stir to blend together

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. Add wet ingredients to the dry
2. Mix in the bowl
3. Scrape onto floured board
4. Kneaded and ready for first proving.

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. Proved dough doubled in size   2. Without the cling film
3. Scraped out on the lightly floured board   4. Flouring the top

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. Dough rolled out
2. Covered in Nutella
3. Sprinkled with sugar espresso mix
4. Sprinkled with cocoa nibs

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Rolling up the filled dough

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Before and after the second proving

nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

1. After overnight proving in the fridge
2. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts
3.Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture

nutella_espresso_sticky_bunsnutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Click on the link to be taken to Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and join the party! Mix and mingle with the the guests – who knows who you might meet! http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/fiesta-friday-5/

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nutella_espresso_sticky_buns

Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

adapted from The Pastry Affair and Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:

  • 100ml luke warm milk
  • 50ml luke warm water
  • 15 g fresh yeast (or 5 g active dry yeast or 6 g instant yeast)
  • 60 g melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 45 g/3 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 30 g/ 2tsp espresso powder
  • 250 g plain flour plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • 30g/ 2 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 150g  Nutella
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • chopped roasted hazelnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

YEAST

  • Fresh yeast – place luke warm milk and water in a cereal sized bowl and crumble in the yeast. Stir until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • For active dry yeast – place milk and water in a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy
  • For instant yeast – add straight into dry ingredients

THEN

  1. Melt the butter in a cereal sized  bowl and allow to cool a little; crack the egg into the butter, add the sugar and espresso powder and whisk well to blend. Scrape into the milk/water/yeast bowl and mix.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl and make a well in it.
  3. Pour in the yeast mixture and using the fingers of your dominant hand, stir in the flour, spinning the bowl round as you go. It is going to be a wet and sticky dough to begin with.
  4. Once the flour is incorporated, start stretching it in the bowl (to develop the gluten) by picking up a bit, stretching it out and then laying it on top. Spin the bowl a quarter turn and keep repeating this until the dough starts to feel like it’s coming together – this should take 4 or 5 minutes – keep going – it will come together!
  5. Scrape it out onto a well floured surface. Scrape all the bits off your fingers onto it. Start to gently knead the dough – it will be sticky and you may have to keep dusting it with small amounts of flour. Try to use as little as possible.  I used an additional 30g (2 Tbsp) of flour. Knead for another 5 minutes or so.
  6. When it feels nice and elastic, form it into a  tight ball,  pop it back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for  1- 2 hours (depending on how warm your kitchen is) to double in size. Mine took 2 hrs.
  7. Mix sugar and espresso powder for the filling and set aside
  8. Butter a 26cm/10″ cm round baking tin and set aside
  9. Lightly flour your work surface and  measure out 12″ x 16″ on it.
  10. Scrape out the dough onto it using a rubber spatula ad lightly flour the top.
  11. Roll it out gently and evenly, adding a little more flour if it gets stuck or is sticky – but it really won’t be. The dough is  soft and lovely to work with. I sort of  pat it out into a rectangle and then roll it out.
  12. Warm up the Nutella – 30 seconds or so in the microwave should do it. It should be soft enough to spread easily onto the soft dough.
  13. Spread it over the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edge.
  14. Sprinkle over ⅔ of the sugar and espresso mixture
  15. Sprinkle over the cocoa nibs
  16. Start rolling up, as tightly as you can, from the long side of the dough.
  17. Cut into 1 ½” slices – I got 11 because I didn’t trim off the ends – all that lovely dough!!.
  18. Arrange in the baking tin, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to prove overnight. Or you can leave the tin in  warm place for 45 – 60 mins to rise.
  19. Pre heat oven to 190C 375F
  20. Remove the tin from the fridge and sprinkle the top with some chopped hazelnuts and the remaining sugar mix.
  21. Bake for 15-20 minutes and enjoy them warm.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake

I don’t know about you but I can’t get used to these early evenings especially after the gorgeous summer we’ve had. As much as I love cold weather cooking I am finding myself drawn to sunny colours and citrus flavours in an effort to stretch out that summer feeling. Sunshine and light in a slice is what this Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake is and long may it shine!

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

It is a damp, dense, sticky cake redolent with intense lemon and warm saffron flavours. Don’t be put off by the soaking-it-in-syrup stage – it is supremely easy and lends itself to all sorts of riffs (a dash of limoncello or amaretto or some thyme leaves…)  and is just utterly delicious! I tend to have a little bag of fine semolina in the cupboards for dusting when I make pasta. It is really easy to find in even the smallest of ethnic (Indian or Mediterranean) food provision shops. This could also be made with 1 large juicy orange instead of 2 lemons.

To make it gluten free, use fine polenta or cornmeal instead of semolina and a gluten free baking powder too.

It is not a difficult cake to make and because of it’s weighty ingredients is quite forgiving.

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of kettle hot water

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Zest the unwaxed lemons finely

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Syrup soaked cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake

  • Servings: 12 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Lemon and Polenta Cake

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 200 g soft preferably unsalted butter (and a little smidgen  for greasing)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 100 g fine semolina  polenta or cornmeal will make it gluten free)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (save lemons to juice for the syrup)
  • pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 1 Tbsp of hot water

For the syrup:

  • juice of 2 lemons (put the whole, zested lemons in a microwave for about 75-90 seconds to maximise the juice output!)
  • 125 grams icing sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ 350°F and put the kettle on.
  2. In a little bowl/saucer (I used one one those tiny soy dipping dishes) place the saffron threads giving them a bit of a rub together as you do so. Pour over about 1 Tbsp of hot water from the kettle and leave to steep while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
  3. Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with a circle of baking paper and grease its sides lightly with butter.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy – this will take about 5 minutes depending on how soft the butter is. Don’t skimp on this step as this not only helps to aerate but also serves to somewhat dissolve the sugar.
  5. Mix together the almonds, semolina and baking powder in a medium sized bowl and beat 2 heaped Tbsp of it into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate with ⅓ of the dry ingredients and the 2 remaining eggs, finishing with the dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition.
  6. Beat in the lemon zest and saffron water and threads.
  7. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking after 30. Mine was done at 30 minutes but I have a very hot oven. The cake is done when a cake tester  comes out quite clean and the edges of the cake have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin even if it seems a bit tender.
  9. Place onto a wire cooling rack, but leave it in its tin.
  10. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan. When the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, it’s ready. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so.
  11. Prick the top of the warm cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick – don’t use anything too big like a skewer as it will punch too-large holes in the cake.
  12. Slowly pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.
  13. Eat as is or serve as a pudding with a spoonful of creme fraiche and a pretty dusting of icing sugar.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry TartA couple of times a year a four of us meet up at one of London’s food markets to browse the stalls, refreshments in hand, to decide on a menu for that evening, depending on what is available.

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Bread cubes, sometimes dipped in olive oil, are nibbled, cheese is greedily sampled, vegetables are gently prodded, seafood is admired and appraised, meat is pondered and sometimes a little matchmaking is attempted. But that is another story!

Over more refreshments, the menu is finalised, purchases are made, wine is bought and we repair to one of our homes, usually M & B’s, to spend the rest of the afternoon prepping and cooking to produce a tasting menu of 6 – 8 dishes. One of my favourites is a seared scallop on small disc of crispy black pudding with a mustard and creme fraiche sauce. I think that N has made this every time now – it’s a regular on our “menu”.  We all have some idea of what we would like to cook before we get to the market and I usually bring something pre-made with me. Once I made pasta dough and brought my pasta roller because I wanted to make a ravioli – medley of mushroom as it turned out and once I made a mustard and rhubarb relish which I wanted to serve with mackerel but there were none to be had in the market that day. Sometimes we invite friends who arrive in the evening together with our family members and it is always a warm, convivial day finishing late into the night.

We never make a pudding as we would all much rather have a cheese course but once (3 years ago according to my notes), I made this Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart to have just incase anyone felt like a sliver of something sweet and I have been making it ever since.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

It takes minutes to blitz the pastry base and slice the plums and then it spends 3/4’s of an hour or so in the oven, with an irresistible smell wafting out of the kitchen for the duration.

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Tip into baking tin

Tip into baking tin

Pat very gently to form an even layer

Pat very gently and lightly to form an even layer

Plum carnage

Plum carnage…

Sliced plums laid on the base

Sliced plums laid on the base

Scattering of blueberries

Scattering of blueberries

Cooling on a rack

Cooling on a rack

For this tart to work, it is desirable to have a contrast of sweet biscuit-like pastry base and the sour plums – Victoria plums (the oval purplish ones) won’t work. Because the pastry base has a higher sugar content, it will colour to a gorgeous golden brown. I am battling with a really horrible oven – though not for much longer – which scorches everything so the fruit does look a little singed but this contrasts beautifully with the tart jammy interior of the fruit and the crumbly, nutty biscuit like base.  In the past I have added a few drops of almond extract to the base to boost the flavour and I have also added cinnamon to it. Once I didn’t have enough ground almonds and added flaked ones to bolster up the quantity. All were successful additions. There are lots of plums around at the moment so this is the perfect time to try this easy recipe.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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adapted slightly from the wonderful blog, Orangette by Molly Wizenberg

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g flour
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • 45g cool butter, cubed
  • 4-6 juicy slightly tart, juicy plums
  • 100g of blueberries (a handful really)

You will also need a 22 cm loose bottomed  or springform tin, the bottom lined with a parchment circle.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/375F
  2. Using a food processor; Place the flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Pour in the egg and butter cubes and process until it looks like damp sand. It takes about one minute!
  3. If you are making it by hand, place the  flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well to combine. Add the egg and butter and using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut the mixture together until it starts to clump and there is no flour showing.
  4. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and gently pat down to even out into one layer – you mustn’t compact it and nor should you pat it up the sides. it should just be one even layer.
  5. De-stone 4 of the plums by cutting in half and twisting. Depending on the size of the plums, slice each half into 3 or 4 slices and lay in two circles on top of the pastry. Leave a little margin of pastry between the edge of the tin and the fruit.  If you need more fruit then use the additional plums.  Scatter over the blueberries.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, checking after 40 minutes.
  7. The tart is ready when the pastry has puffed up a little around the fruit and has taken on a golden hue with a deeper colour to the edges.
  8. Cool in the tin, on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove the sides to finish cooling.
  9. Can be served warm or cold with a spoonful of creme fraiche or a scoop of ice-cream.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingA friend of mine has been planning to make a Chocolate and Beetroot Cake all spring and then all summer but circumstances conspired against him and he didn’t get a chance to make one.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingSo when he organised an intimate drinks party round his to celebrate his birthday earlier this week, I knew what I was going to make for him – Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes… He cooks the most delicious food, always beautifully presented and outdid himself with the gorgeous canapés that kept on coming that night. We rounded off the evening with a cupcake each and I was so pleased that they were just what he had been craving for the better part of this year!

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingThe beetroot keeps the cake moist and gives it a lovely deep red colour. I made another  batch of these today and took then as a reward for my friends who were cold water swimming at Tooting Bec Lido this morning and managed to convert someone’s husband who apparently can’t even look at beetroot. Admittedly he had no idea what he was eating until it was too late – he looked absolutely horrified at the thought of having eaten beetroot but then decided that it wasn’t so bad after all. You really cannot taste the beetroot.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingThe cream cheese frosting is one I have developed – it is not too sweet but nice and tangy which is as it should be.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I am entering this recipe in the Family Foodies January Challenge – Hidden Goodies. If you want to see how other clever parents are  hiding and incorporating nutrient dense vegetables, nuts and pulses in their children’s meals then  read all about it on the Bangers and Mash blog by clicking on the link.  Eat Your Veg is another great resource for feeding your children the good stuff, so do go over and take a look at what is happening there.

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I am linking this recipe to the Tasty Tuesdays Valentine’s Party hosted by the Anyonita Nibbles – go over and take a look at her amazing blog!

– See more at: http://www.anyonita-nibbles.co.uk/2014/01/tasty-tuesdays-valentines.html#sthash.H0CR8tWe.dpuf

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • 120g flour
  • 60g cacao powder sifted
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 170g cooked beetroot (not pickled!)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 140ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 200g cold cream cheese
  • 100g soft butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g caster sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and line 12 muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Place a large mixing bowl directly on the scales and set the scales to zero.  One spoonful at a time, measure out the cacao powder into a sieve and sift it straight into the mixing bowl. Keep an eye the weight – 60g is usually about 4 tablespoonfuls. Then re-set the scales to zero and add the flour and then do the same for the sugar. Measure in the baking powder and salt then give everything a really good whisk to mix it well an also aerate it.
  3. Place the beetroot in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds or so. Scrape down the sides and add in the eggs and vanilla paste/extract and blitz again for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides again and with the motor running, pour in the oil and process for about one minute.
  4. Scrape out the beet mix onto the top of the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until it is just blended – do not overwork the batter.
  5. Evenly spoon the batter between the 12 paper cases.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray around half way through if you oven has hot spots like mine does. To check that it is done, poke a toothpick or wooden skewer into the centre of one of the middle cakes – it should not have any batter clinging to it. If it does, pop it back in for another 5 minutes and check again.
  7. FROSTING : Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy – probably 5 minutes or so. Add the vanilla and beat again. Finally add the cream cheese an beat until just combined. Do not over-beat the cream cheese as this will make the frosting runny.
  8. Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cakes or just smear it on with a spoon and knife.

Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares | Selma's Table

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

My recipe for  Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares was a Community Pick over on one of my favourite food sites – Food52!  This is what they said about it –

Food52 Review: This recipe takes the classic chocolate and peanut butter pairing and turns it into a no-bake bar cookie. It’s the perfect dessert recipe to have in your back pocket for bake sales, picnics, large gatherings of any kind, or just when you need a sugar fix — stat.– A&M

And it was so beautifully photographed by the amazing James Ransom too! Lots of lovely comments and helpful tips in the comment section as well.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate SquaresThese Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares are really quick to make and are delicious pick-me-up with a mid-morning espresso.  I think that they would be rather lovely with a glass of milk too. They are not too sweet, with that unmistakeable savoury peanut butter flavour; chocolatey with a little hit of  salt. The body is given by the Saltines which are an American cracker with a light sprinkling of salt on them. Saltines are very dry and very crisp –  in fact a Saltine Cracker Challenge exists, to eat 6 crackers in one minute without any water – easy to crunch up but very hard to swallow! I remember getting them, wrapped in their cellophane with a bowl of soup at The Hudson’s Bay in-store diner where I used to escape to during my lunch hour when I worked in retail. Saltines are available to buy on-line in the UK here but if you don’t want to wait, I have found that Sainsburys sell an Italian version called Doriano which is what I used for this recipe.

Saltine Cracker substitute

Saltine Cracker substitute

Bookmark my recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares, for the festive season if you have a peanut butter loving friend; popped into one of those cellophane bags, this makes a lovely gift with the added bonus of being quick to make during the time constrained weeks leading up to the big day!

PB and Choc Sqs

These are so simple to make; blitz the crackers, melt the butter with the sugar and milk; pour onto crackers and peanut butter; mix and pat into a pan; cool, then cover with melted chocolate and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares | Selma's Table

Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • 450 g/2 cups caster sugar
  • 12o ml/ ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons/45g butter
  • 240 g Doriano crackers/Saltine crackers, finely blitzed in a food processor or crushed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 340 g smooth peanut butter
  • 200g dark chocolate broken up into small pieces (use semi sweet or milk chocolate if making for children)
  • 45ml/3tbsp double cream
  • Flaky sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil. I have a really easy way to do this in Tips and Tricks – in the baking section. Leave a little overhang so that you can pull up on it later.
  2. Blitz or crush the crackers into fine crumbs, depending on how much texture you want in your squares. Doing this in a food processor took me about 2 minutes, pulsing for the last 30 seconds to check on progress.
  3. Empty into a large mixing bowl then scrape out the peanut butter and dump it on top of the crumbs.
  4. Place the sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring from time to time. It needs come to a boil slowly. Once it comes to a full boil, set the timer for 1 minute. The mixture will froth and foam so don’t panic and take it off the heat.
  5. When the minute is up, carefully pour the extremely hot sugar mixture over the crackers and peanut butter.
  6. Add the vanilla and then stir with a spatula until it is really well combined.
  7. Scrape it into the prepared pan, pat it in and smooth it out and leave it to cool for about an hour.
  8. Slowly heat the cream in a pan until it just comes to a boil. Take it off the heat and stir in the pieces of chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and it’s all looking lovely and glossy.  Pour onto cooled peanut butter mix and cover, using a spatula to even it out.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt while the chocolate is still warm.
  10. Pop into the fridge to allow it to set, then remove from the tin and using a large knife, cut into 16 squares  or whichever size you like.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

Garlic Confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Food matters. Where it comes from, what is in it and how it tastes. We don’t need to eat copious amounts of it neither do we need to throw away as much as we do – it is all about shopping wisely. I love finding new producers, makers and markets and when the chance came up to help with publicising our local food festival, I volunteered and I am so glad that I did. I met some wonderful local people and producers as well as the talented husband and wife team behind The Elephant Bakehouse. They ran a workshop as well as a stall and I am happy to say that the stall sold out well before the festival was over. They produce the most delicious varieties of artisan sourdough bread using local (as much as possible)  organic flour.

Scarum Mount Wholemeal Bread

Scarum Mount Wholemeal Bread from The Elephant Bakehouse

I bought a loaf of Sun and Flowers which was delicious with poached eggs from my favourite supplier at our weekly farmers market and the Sarum Mount which is a triple wholemeal. They also produce a Wellfield Rye made with white and rye flours and a Hazy Raisin.  The flavours are complex and the texture dense, chewy and so, so satisfying – no comparison can be made to the flabby mass produced sliced loaves which have never been touched by human hand. Duncan makes the bread himself and his wife looks after the rest of the business – they are both really passionate about their bread and with every reason. They are having trouble finding local premises (everything they have seen has had mould issues – not great for a bakehouse as this would kill off the starter) but I am hoping that their overwhelming success at the festival is a sign that the stars are lining up for them!

Update Summer 2014 – Elephant Bakehouse have found premises in Gleneldon Mews in Streatham from where theyhave built a loyal following and can also be found at the weekly Streatham Food Market on Saturday.

Scarum Mount from The Elephant Bakehouse

Scarum Mount from The Elephant Bakehouse

We only have the Sarum Mount left and I am slicing that thinner than Fagin in order to make it last. A recent rummage on-line led me to a tomato tartine for which this gorgeous bread is the perfect vehicle. A tartine is essentially an open faced sandwich and is lovely for lunch or a light supper at this time of year.

Garlic confit

Garlic confit

The star of the show, however, is this garlic confit – spread it on a toasted slice of good bread or squash it into a salad dressing; melt it into a tomato sauce – it lends a mellow savoury depth that belies it’s origin. The resultant oil can be used where you might want a more subtle hint of garlic. It only takes about 15 – 20 minutes from start to finish, giving off a gorgeous aroma to boot.

Garlic cloves

Garlic cloves

Poke a sharp knife or a toothpick into the bases of unpeeled cloves from a couple of heads of garlic – this prevents them from exploding.

Simmering the garlic cloves

Simmering the garlic cloves

Place in a small pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and cover with olive oil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Cool, decant into a clean jar and refrigerate. That’s it. You now have a jar of umami which will add an evocative depth to your savoury concoctions.

Variety of tomatoes from the Farmers Market

Variety of tomatoes from the Farmers Market

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

For the delicious tomato tartines, make a dressing using olive oil,  pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar), salt and pepper. Slice up some tomatoes and chop some herbs and let these steep in the dressing while you get on with the rest.

Garlic confit on toasted bread

Garlic confit on toasted bread

Squeeze out the soft garlic confit from its skin and slather over a couple of slices of toasted bread.

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Top with the herby tangy sliced tomatoes and drizzle over some of the dressing. Pour yourself a little glass of rose and you could be in the South of France!

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Garlic Confit

Barely adapted from Food52

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • a few sprigs of rosemary
  • olive oil to cover (not virgin)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Break apart the heads of garlic and make a small slit or poke a hole into the bases of the unpeeled cloves to stop them from exploding.
  2. Place in a small pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and just cover with olive oil.
  3. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat very low, letting this putter away for 10 – 20 minutes depending on how thick the cloves are.
  4. They are ready when they yield easily to a knifepoint.
  5. Let cool and decant into a clean jar and refrigerate.

If you want to have more flavoured oil for dressings and drizzling, top up the jar with some extra virgin olive oil.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lime Ice Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

 

Lime Ice Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust | Selma's Table

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

We’ve been having a scorcher of a summer. Long, hot, sunny days and still, sticky nights punctuated by the odd thunderstorm; made bearable by the reassuring whirr of the electric fan. Not that I am complaining after the utterly miserable summers we have suffered in recent years but I have been making a LOT of ice-cream. Separating eggs, making custards, freezing egg-whites, planning on making meringues… But precisely because it has been so hot, I have been reluctant to switch on the oven and to be perfectly honest, mine is really playing up, which makes me even more reluctant to bake in it. And then I discovered that there is an ingredient which makes a rich tasting ice-cream, which yields easily under a greedy spoon; which does not involve custards, more freezing of egg whites or even churning. This magic ingredient is sweetened condensed milk – that stalwart of the banoffee pie. It is quite incredible and not a little dangerous because with a pot of double cream, a tin of condensed milk and some flavourings, you are only a couple of hours away from a gorgeous frozen nirvana.

Condensed milk (it is usually always sweetened) is essentially milk which has had water removed and sugar added to it. With an incredibly long shelf life, it and was ordered in great quantities as rations for American soldiers fighting the Civil War in the 1860’s. They spread the word on their return home which is when this ingredient was adopted into the mainstream. Now, of course, it is known everywhere; used for making sweet treats as well as for adding to coffee, tea and even stout.

Indeed, my first foray in the kitchen was as a toddler and involved my granny slicing up stale white bread into fingers and laying out separate bowls of condensed milk and coconut flakes in which to dip and roll the slices. Oh! It was sweet, sticky heaven for a child! These, I would place haphazardly on the baking tray and watch with growing anticipation as they turned a toasty brown in the oven, filling the air with the sweet comforting aroma of baking. I was only ever allowed to have two and now find myself wondering what happened to the rest.

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

I have tweaked the original recipe quite a lot. I don’t see the point of using 3/4’s of a cup of condensed milk, leaving behind a less than a quarter cup in the tin. What is to be done with such a small amount, since my son is no longer a toddler and would not have the slightest interest in dipping and rolling stale bread. Ditto the double cream. I stand firmly in the camp of Nigella Lawson on this point, who rather sensibly advocates using up ingredients in the measures in which they come – in as much as it is possible of course. We don’t really do graham crackers in the UK – I always use digestives instead but I quite liked the idea of a ginger biscuit base with lime. If I was making this for a dinner party, I would consider the addition of a layer of dark chocolate between the base and the cream, a delicious must.

I have been working on my photo taking skills – hope you can see an improvement! After a little research I have started using the Snapseed App to gussy up the shots! Let me know what you think.

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

Blitzing the biscuits to a fine crumb

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Looking like damp sand after the addition of butter

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Ginger crust ready for the oven

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Grated lime zest

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Lime juice

When buying limes, give them a little squeeze – you want limes which yield a little, not rock hard balls which will have little juice.

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Thickened cream and lime juice mixture

This really is chemistry at work in the kitchen – the addition of lime juice to the condensed milk magically thickening the cream with no need to whip at all.

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Baked ginger crust (burnt edges trimmed)

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Ready for the freezer

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

Lime Ice-Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

With temperatures set to rise again you may find find yourself very glad to happen upon this the freezer. It is sweet, tart and creamy with a pleasing warmth from the ginger snap biscuit base. I find that the addition of raspberries goes very nicely with a slice.

I am adding this recipe  to the Family Foodies challenge which is “Chill Out” for July hosted by Vanesther @ Bangers and Mash and Lou @ Eat Your Veg.

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I’m also taking this over to Love in the Kitchen Tasty Tuesday for their Summer Ice-cream Social

Lime Ice Cream in a Ginger Snap Crust

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Serious Eats

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 ginger biscuits
  • 4 digestive biscuits or graham crackers
  • 75g butter at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest which was the zest from 3 limes which were very well washed first.
  • 1/2 cup lime juice – in this case it was the juice of 3 juicy limes
  • 1 can (397g) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 300ml tub of double cream
  • A few raspberries to serve – optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F
  2. Prepare your tin (a loose bottomed or springform one is best and if it isn’t non-stick then butter and flour it) I use a 9″/23cm loose bottomed non-stick one and like to put a circle of parchement paper on the base to make it really easy to slide onto a serving plate.
  3. Tip the biscuits into a food processor and blitz – you don’t want it to be powdery but neither should it be lumpy. Toss in the softened butter and blitz for a few moments until the mix resembles damp clumpy sand.
  4. Scrape out into the tin and pat the mix gently and evenly up the sides and on the base. Tamp it down gently with the bottom of a glass if you need to but don’t compact it too much. Pop it into the fridge for 15 mins then bake on the middle shelf for 15 minutes. Please check after 10 minutes – there is a lot of sugar in ginger biscuits which burns rather quickly. I found that the edges of the crust had caught but rescued the situation with a little judicious trimming once the shell had cooled. Place in the freezer while you get the filling ready.
  5. Zest the limes. Then put them on your work surface, lean on them a little and roll them back and forth a few times. This really helps to release the juice. Cut in half and juice them. I use a lovely olive wood reamer that I have had for years and no longer remember where I got it from. Pour the condensed milk and the double cream into a mixing bowl and hand whisk to mix the two together. Add the zest and the lime juice and continue mixing – it magically thickens in a couple of minutes.
  6. Dollop it into the cold shell, spreading it out with a spatula.
  7. Freeze for a couple of hours or longer, removing from freezer for 20 mins to 1/2 an hour before you want to eat.
  8. Dip your knife in hot water and slice, serving with raspberries or just as it is.

NOTES

If alcohol is added to the mixture, it lowers the freezing point making for a real soft serve ice-cream. If you don’t want to taste the alcohol, use a tablespoon or two of vodka otherwise use tequila. It will only require 10 minutes or so to soften out of the freezer if alcohol is added.

If you want to change the flavour of the biscuit base, lay the whole biscuits of your choice in a layer on the bottom of a tin and then add 2 or 3 more (depending on how big they are) to allow for the sides, before blitzing.

As a variation, try espresso powder and Tia Maria or cocoa powder and Creme de Cacao (instead of the lime zest and juice) and freeze in an appropriate 500ml container. I have made both and they are absolutely delicious. Either would be nice on a chocolate biscuit base or in a cone. Because of the alcohol this will only need 10 minutes or so, out of the freezer, to soften.

Warning -do not buy more than 2 tins of condensed milk at a time as this is just temptation at its very worst!

Copyright – © Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.