Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Ginger & Pear Pudding


Sometimes a recipe just jumps out of the few things you’ve had around you in the kitchen for the last day or two. 

I baked sourdough croissants at the weekend, the few remaining ones have waited patiently whilst slightly drying out. Sylvia kindly brought some pears some time ago. I considered a bread & butter pudding that incorporated pear when suddenly stem ginger popped into my head. I always have a jar or two of stem ginger in syrup, one of the most useful store cupboard ingredients and one that keeps for ages. 

For this recipe you will need; 

3 or 4 day old croissants 

4 eggs

2 peeled pears

300ml of double cream

300ml of milk

220gm of stem ginger in syrup (drained & chopped) see note 

100gm of caster sugar 

Butter for greasing the ovenproof container  

A pinch of salt. 


Begin by cutting up the croissants into 6 to 8 pieces and placing into a buttered, ovenproof container. A lasagna dish is perfect. Slice up the pears and sprinkle amongst the croissant pieces, then sprinkle over the chopped ginger. 

Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream along with the pinch of salt. Pour over the croissants, pear and ginger and place in a low to moderate oven, 160C for an hour, when the custard mixture should be perfectly set. 

This is delicious served warm with a little pouring cream.



The amount of ginger I have used in this recipe makes it a ginger lover’s pudding, ginger is very much a major player and it get my vote but there is nothing to stop you reducing the amount or even leaving it out, but why would you. 

Amaretto Madeira Cake

During Lockdown, this has been my go to cake recipe. Easily digested, delicious with a cup of Russian Caravan tea and although it's the perfect cake to offer to visitors, it's nice enough to enjoy when common sense keeps visitors away from my door. I would say when loved ones cannot visit, then this cake is necessary snackage. 

For this recipe you will need;

250gm of unsalted butter
240gm of caster sugar
4 medium size eggs
200gm Self Raising flour
100gm of ground almonds
50ml of Amaretto liquor
a pinch of salt


Begin by creaming together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate. Finally add the flour, ground almonds, amaretto and salt and mix just well enough to fully incorporate. 
Transfer the cake batter to a lined 2 pound loaf tin and bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 55 minutes to an hour, a cocktail stick should come out clean when pushed into the centre. Allow to cool in the tin. 

Ovens vary, so if you find the top of the cake is browning a little too quickly or too much, simply slip a small sheet of kitchen foil over the top to protect it for the last 15 minutes. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Kashmiri Potatoes

I'm quite sure there are as many different recipes for dishes in India as there are households and eateries making them, it makes me feel a little bolder about offering my recipe for example for this potato dish.
There is virtually nothing about this recipe that resembles many other Indian dishes. No use of cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom for instance, apart from ginger, there is also an absence of familiar ingredients such as onion and garlic. The result, however, is a delightful dish which is unmistakably from that part of the world and in my opinion sits very well alongside other dishes we might be familiar with.
For this recipe you will need;  
500gm of potatoes, scrubbed or peeled, as you wish.
1 tablespoon of tomato oil Click here for the recipe
 If you don't wish to make the tomato oil, then substitute a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of tomato puree.
1 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
A thumb sized piece of  fresh ginger, finely chopped
150gm of fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
A handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
50ml of double cream.
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of Kashmiri chili powder, possibly less if you are using a different chili powder.

Begin by washing and peeling or scrubbing the potatoes before roughly cutting into small cube shapes, Place the oil, tomato puree (if using), salt, ground fennel and chili powder into a large bowl and add the potato cubes. Mix well to evenly cover the potatoes before transferring to a baking sheet and roasting in a moderate oven (180C) for 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender,

You will find the oil has separated from the potatoes to some extent, I drain this off and use it then to gently fry the chopped ginger for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the potatoes and the chopped tomatoes. Cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened, add the chopped mint and stir in the cream, Check the seasoning before serving.

 If you have a small spice grinder, it is well worthwhile grinding some Kashmiri chilies in order to make your own chili powder, Kashmiri chilies have a little less heat and have a wonderful flavour.