Monthly Archives: September 2013

fu-fu-fu-fu-fu-fudge!

Fudge headerso I’ve been off for a bit and thought i’d make something quick and simple. For some reason chocolate was on my mind. god knows why and no not that time yet, but I was CRAVING it! And since Ajay was coming back from his first official week at uni (manchester). I thought it’d be nice for him to come home to some of my sweet treats. Brownies were my first intention, so i looked for my trusty brownie recipe from Nigella. But flicking through the pages I saw cookies. I’ve made them before and loved it. not sure if everyone else did. BUT then like fate, the page landed on FUDGE. I’ve had this on my list to make but I’ve always been abit umming and arring whether to or not.

Now this isn’t the typical creamy fudge we’re used, where it’ll melt like butter on your tongue. this is slightly more truffle like, but still just as yummy. The typical recipe is a chocolate and pistachio but my twist is chocolate, almond and sea salt fudge. sounds grown up right? I guess being 18 has matured my taste buds.  I have these craving where I like to mix sweet and savory in every dish, which just puts it up there.

I only used Almonds because i didn’t have enough pistachios. Sorry I know I am so lazy in that sort of sense. But it gives a big crunch into the fudge that breaks the texture and i reckon is better than pistachios.

So I made the fudgey little monsters on Tuesday and let it set all night and Wednesday I cut them up. when everyone came home on Wednesday they were going like gold dust. And this is unusual for my cooking.

Now look at the lovely easy recipe and my beautiful pictures i did with my lovely new camera!

RECIPE:

  • can of condensed milk
  • 350g of dark choclate (the proper stuff, 70%+)
  • 30g Butter
  • 1 heaped cup (200-250g) lightly crushed Almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Maldons flaked salt

so just start by melting the butter, milk, chocolate in a pot over the hob until all melted like a ganache.

melting cream and choc-fudge

In a dry frying pan, add the blanched Almonds into the pan and  gently wobbling the pan to prevent the burning. as you can see on my right they look abit like pine nuts. trut me it might be a little extra coloured BUT if gives this odd popcorn taste. RANDOM but nice. Anyway, Crush those beautiful TOASTED blanched almond the only way I can, old fashioned way with my trusty rolling pin and a tea towel. DO NOT over crush them because you want to bite into a few whole ones to give the extra crunch.

blanched Almonds-fudge

Add the salt once the ganache like fudge has cooled. you’d be surprised this gives the chocolate a coffee taste, which helps to enhance the chocolatey goodness.

Sea Salt and fudge

ADD the NUTS after the salt. Fold it mix, however you want. Just don’t over mix it, because you don’t want the salt to dissolve. remember you want whole bits of salts to melt on your tongue. the texture will be like brownie batter and trust me that’s good!

nuts and salt mixed in fudge

MAKE SURE YOU APPLY GREASE PROOF PAPER on the bottom so you wont struggle to get it out! And then just pour it in and bung it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Fudge in tin

after a few hours or until it feels rock solid, pick it out and cut into squares. Now my good friend Nigella, says it cuts into 36 pieces BUT i found its more. the smaller and bitesize piece you can cut the more you can eat! don’t you just love the way the nuts come through like in nougat. and you cant even see the speck of salt so its soo unexpected like a little surprise your hoping to get in each bite.

Cubed Fudge

please keep in the fridge as it tend to ‘melt’ and when i say melt i mean warm slightly. I guess that’s why i liked these, because they have this truffle like texture. HONESTLY these can be put in anything. melt a few chunks and pour over ice cream, add it to muffins, melt it to a ganache; ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. Hey if you want to use upstairs in the bedroom that’s entirely up to you, no ones judging you [WINK WINK].

Since Ajay came down for a few days from uni (Manchester). I thought i’d make breakfast, pancakes for him at 11.30 as you do. But Ajay had a bizarre idea to add them in the pancakes like chocolate chips. after you pour the pancake batter in, add sliced fudge on the batter and spoon little dribbles of batter on top. This helps to stop the BURNING from the chocolate. Don’t go there I’ve done that, made choc chip pancakes and burnt all the chips.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~GOOD LUCK and tell me how it goes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Apsley’s, a Heinz Beck Resturant

Mum Officially turned the BIG 40 over the weekend (well a couple of weeks ago!), and to celebrate we went out to a POSH restaurant. I’m not sure whether you’re like my family and I; who like to visit these fine dining places, for special occasions. I  guess with my family, when it’s a special birthday, we’d go all out for dinner and go some place real Fancy! Like for Ajay’s 18th we went to Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in the Mandarin Hotel in Knightsbridge. And that was AMAZING! Honestly I cant explain how cool the food was. Pate disguised a Mandarin fruit. It was hilarious when the waiter brought over an orange and some toast. The look on dad’s face, it wasn’t until 10 minutes later when we all realised the orange was really yellow fat (like the the butter on top of pate). It even had a leaf poking out of the top. I would have rated that 9 1/2 out of 10. Just my dessert was a down fall-summer fruit something. cant remember.

Then for Dad’s 40th a couple of years ago we went to the Ritz. Now that was more POSH. That was a bit too… i don’t know, I guess we’re not a quiet family, well dad isn’t anyway.  I would rate that a 7, just because of the toilets and the decor.So beautiful!!

Back to Mum’s birthday Meal, oh just look at the Pictures! The decor of this restaurant is just WOW. seriously I don’t know how to describe it. almost like a movie scene; grand and majestic. i know it may sound a little over exaggerated BUT it was truly beautiful. Let’s start right from the Beginning: somehow we ended up being half an hour late, since dad was determined to drive since he’s a snob to public transport. But the Hotel/Restaurant is like a minute away from Hyde Park. The staff were really considerate and moved our booking to eight, which was really nice of them, since other places would have warned us the table will reserved for 15 minutes. so yeah when we finally did reach Lanesborough Hotel which is all slim and quite grand looking. It was abit awkward because usually when you come to a hotel you’re greeted with the reception desk. instead we got slightly lost and had to ask the doorman where the restaurant was, since it was like gully (sorry the closest i can describe it- but a very sublime one).Turned out it was right down the other end of the hall. So when we actually reached the restaurant, we were told to wait at the bar, since our table was getting ready.

Now the bar was really cool. Well would have been if it weren’t for Arji, since he is only 14, there’s a rule where you cant be in the bar after half 6 if your under 16. So we waited outside of the bar area into, i’m not sure what you would call it, a lounge maybe? I thinks its where like all the afternoon teas are held and that kind of thing.  where the rich people would ‘hang and chat’. Hah, I actually sound like a commoner. you know when you know somethings RICH and POSH when drinks are £15. seriously a cocktail was £15 and lemonade was £9. But since dad was paying mum treated herself to a little cocktail since it was her birthday. I guess you can say Dad weren’t too pleased but he enjoyed himself. In the End. Now the thing Which wowed me was this:

The bar snacksExcuse the poorly taken Picture BUT this was given to us whilst we was waiting for our drinks. Now on the top tray (sorry you can’t see ’em, but its actually homemade Pretzels. I can’t explain what it was about them, but they tasted yum, almost like it was fresh! And then on the second tray it’s your typical Nuts. like freshly roasted, where they have a crunch to’em.  And now we get to the Best bit. if you can see through the poor camera with trying to eat the lovely big fresh and tasty olives. See i’m not a olive fan, but these were just soo NICE. Like you don’t get that normal tangy after taste from the brine or oil. It has this almost sweet taste but i definitely give it 2 thumbs up. the chandeler Bare in mind this is a fancy place and i was a little embarrassed to take pictures I thought i’d had to get a few sneak peaks for you all. This place honestly seemed like something out of a film. The waiting staff we’re lovely especially the bread man. He walked around our table 4 times with different selections of breads. the one i remembered was this thin Sicilian bread. it was so thin and crispy and so light. we all took our order and the first dish brought out was this:

This was an apatizer- chicken liver spring Roll

photo 4 (2)This was something Arji ordered, Carbonara Fagottelli. I think that’s what it was called. it was basically inside out Carbonara- egg yolk ravioli with Parmesan gratings and sprinklings of crispy pork cheek. YUM, no? we ended up swapping since Arji freaked out with the smell of Parmesan. Like the better older sister i am, i opted to swap dishes. To be fare this dish was better. This dish was rich and slightly heavy but soo cool. like you have to have each pasta bit in a whole mouthful. so once you bite into it, egg yolk would bust out in my mouth. oh it was soo good, a little cheesey but GOOD.

photo 5

This was MY dish I had picked out. I cant exactly remember what exactly it tasted like but all i can remember is that the Duck was moist. i think it was a little boring but to be honest i just wanted to show you how pretty it looked.

Now the Main I can not remember what I had and I didn’t really take a picture so I am sorry!

Now below was my dessert: Chocolate and passion fruit. so i’m thinking when I read the menu, hmm i guess it might a chocolate bar with some sauce on the side or something like that. Instead they bring this out. Now i am really sorry, the waiter come out explaining each of our dishes,like what flavors they used; a proper foodies talk. And well I’ve completely forgotten what it was he said. Apart from chocolate sorbet. SORRY i guess this’ll punish me for not writing this sooner. But at least the pictures look alright. REMEMBER they are all sneaky shots me and Arji took! photo 1des

Now this was DEFINITELY something I remembered. The PRE DESSERT. Yes there is such thing as that. It apparently is known to cleanse the palette so you can really taste the flavors of the dessert. But again i’m gonna be straight with you, I think this WAS my dessert. Lime cheesecake and banana ice cream. The lime was so Tense and strong, that it really did clean my palette, i definitely recommend the restaurant just for the cheesecake.

photo 2 (3)

YUMM!

photo 3 (1) named

AFTER dessert. i love this when after your meal, dessert, you get the little treats at the end with teas and coffees. Oh it was so pretty and cute. Top to bottom: Hazelnut and Praline, Almond shortbread (moon shaped), Apricot centered Bomb, toasted almonds and shortbread based truffle, Raspberry Jelly (made in Sicily)

And Last but not least the manager I guess of the restaurant knew it was one of our birthdays (Dad told him, but won’t admit to it). So he came over with a little dessert dotted with candle in the center. It was too cute. And after that, the head chef walked over to each table asking how the dinner was. I thought that was really polite and sweet. he also gave dad a tip on how to get the lamb so tender (cook it with love). He was quite funny how he was so quiet and shy, but during the dinner we could hear the chefs shouting, well “talking more abrupt” with each other, which was funny!

photo (9)Happy 40th Birthday Mum! xx

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