Posts Tagged ‘Fairtrade blog’

Recipe For Tea Infused Indian Rice Pudding

Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Indian Rice Pudding

Indian Rice Pudding

For pudding with my Imperial Korma, I made Indian Rice Pudding.  I love rice pudding and I love the Indian versions, especially Pal Payasam which is the traditional Keralan recipe; these use basmati rice which has a firmer mouth-feel than arborio rice, which is used for a typical English rice puds. 

In Kerala, you would flavour it with cashews as they are grown all over Kerala, including by my friends at Elements Homestead; however, the other day I did not have any cashews to hand so I used flaked almonds which worked really well (cashews are rarely in our storecupboard, but almonds always are).

As it is an Indian rice pudding, I wanted to add an extra flavour element to the rice pudding and decided to infuse the milk with tea and I actually used one of our chai teas, which I make using a Keralan black tea from the POABS Estates near Nelliyampathy together with Fairtrade spices that are indigenous to the region.  You do not need to use a chai tea (or tea at all for that matter), but I suggest you should use light and flowery teas rather than strong ones, so a Nilgiri Black Tea or a Fine Darjeeling would work well, but I do not think a malty Assam or Kenyan tea would be right as those flavours will come through too strongly.

Axel’s Tea Infused Indian Rice Pudding

½tsp green cardamom powder
2tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
2tbsp flaked almonds
2tbsp raisins
100g / 3½ oz basmati rice
600ml / 1 pint full fat milk
1tsp Indian tea (optional)
100g / 3½ oz light muscovado sugar

Heat the ghee/butter in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the almonds and raisins until the raisins have swollen up.  Remove from the hot oil and drain almonds and raisins on kitchen paper and keep to the side; keep the oil in the pan but off the heat.

In a milk pan, warm the milk to just below boiling point; you will see bubbles just appear at the edge of the milk just by the pan edge.  Take off the heat and add the tea to the milk, stir in and leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then strain out the tea leaves by pouring the milk through a sieve. 

Wash and drain the rice twice.  In the saucepan, reheat the ghee/butter and lightly fry the basmati rice for about 1 minute being careful not to let it stick or burn.  Add the tea-infused milk and stir into the rice; heat to just below boiling point, stirring all the time to stop it sticking on the base of the pan and so burning.

When the rice is nearly cooked with an al dente bite, add the sugar and stir it in until it has dissolved and the rice is throughly cooked.  Add the fried almonds, raisins and cardamom powder, stir right through and gently cook for about 2 minutes longer.

Serve hot, with cream or milk if you want.

Blending Christmas Tea

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

It is that time of year when customers are after our Christmas tea which is made to my own special recipe. 

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Christmas Tea

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Christmas Tea

We use a high grown organic Fairtrade from the POABS biodynamic tea estates in Kerala in Southern India as the base.  This is a lovely clean drinking black tea, while at the same time being mild in flavour without any maltiness or meadowy flavours coming through; therefore it is a wonderful base tea.

Whole Fairtrade Spices Ready For Grinding

Whole Fairtrade Spices Ready For Grinding

I take organic Fairtrade cardamom, organic Fairtrade cinnamon quills and organic Fairtrade cloves from the Small Organic Farmers’ Association in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka.  I then get some organic Fairtrade vanilla pods from the warehouse and chop these to about 1 cm in size.  All of these are mixed together and then ground down to a 1 – 2mm chop.  By grinding the whole spices in small batches, I can ensure that the quality of flavours is fresh and strong and that I am happy with their quality.

These are added to the tea together with some organic orange peel granules.

Cracked Spices And Black Tea

Cracked Spices And Black Tea

I mix it all together by hand, transfer it into sacks and leave to infuse with these gorgeous spicy flavours for a couple of weeks before testing and releasing for packing.

Christmas Tea All Mixed Up

Christmas Tea All Mixed Up

No additional flavours are added, no chemicals; it’s just tea and spices, blended by hand in North Yorkshire by me.  The final tea is a gently spiced, homely and warming for these darker evenings.

Recipe For Fruit Teabread Revisited

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

For whatever reasons, I have not been quite happy with the original teabread recipe that I created and posted a few weeks back, so I have been playing around with the recipe now and baking away.  Now several teabreads and a family of very happy tasters later, I think I have cracked it.

The key is still in the tea – the better the tea, the more interesting the tea, the better and more interesting the end result.  I have now made it with breakfast tea, Assam tea, Christmas chai tea and Redbush Chai tea and they all come out with slightly different flavours, but they are all great.  The tea should always be made with loose leaf tea as you lose that fustiness from the tea bag, plus why use good ingredients then spoil their subtleties with the imperfection of the flavour from a bag.  The other addition that I have made is I have substituted buttermilk for the butter, which adds a different richness to the cake that was not completely right beforehand, however you can either substitute this for a full fat milk or omit this ingredient but then add extra tea to compensate, otherwise the teabread loses some of its moistness, which is part of the joy and vital to the texture.

The other part that I have played with is to work on variations of the steeping of the fruits.  Firstly, I think it is better to boil the fruit for 10 – 15 minutes, then to leave the fruit to cool and steep in the brewed tea ideally overnight, but certainly until the fruit has cooled to a warm to the touch temperature.  The alternative of steeping in freshly brewed tea did not seem as successful, although fine; perhaps the initial boiling softens up and gets the fruit more receptive to taking up the flavours of the tea.

Finally, I have upped the quantities, the better to fit my loaf tin.  The end result is moist, rich and moreish, tasting great with butter.

Revised Ingredients And Recipe For Axel’s Teabread

175g / 6 oz / 1 cup sultanas
125g / 4½ oz / ¾ cup raisins
50g / 2oz / ¼ cup currants
175g / 6 oz / ¾ cup light brown muscovado sugar
250ml / 8 fl oz / 1 cup strong, freshly brewed tea
1 egg free-range, at room temperature and lightly beaten
50 ml / 3½ tbsp buttermilk
230g / 8 oz / 1 cups plain white flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp Fairtrade cinnamon powder
½ tsp Fairtrade nutmeg powder

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F.  Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Place the dried fruit and muscovado sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the strong tea, heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the fruit has plumped up.  Leave to cool in the pan, ideally overnight.

Sieve together the plain flour, baking powder, Fairtrade cinnamon and nutmeg powders.  Make a well in the centre of the flour, then add in the egg and stir thoroughly with a spatula.  Add the buttermilk and stir until you have a soft dough.  Add the fruits and throughly beat together with the silicone spatula.

Stirring Up The Fruit Bread Mix

Stirring Up The Fruit Bread Mix

Pour the fruit teabread mixture into the prepared loaf tin.  Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, remove from the oven then leave to stand in the tin for about 10 minutes, before turning out and leaving to cool on wire rack.  Start checking the consistency of the teabread towards the end – when it is springy to a light touch on the surface of the teabread, it is done.

Yorkshire Teabread

Yorkshire Teabread

You do not need to leave this to cool down completely as it is lovely eaten warm.

Vanilla – A Beautiful And Sensual Spice

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
Vanilla comes from the vanilla orchid, called Vanilla planifolia, which is native to Mexico, but is now indigenous in many tropical parts of the world, for example Madagascar and surrounding islands.  There is a second vanilla orchid called Vanilla tahitensis, which is native to Tahiti and Papua New Guinea, and has a slightly different flavour profile.  The vanilla orchid flower is a pretty, delicate light green colour.
Vanilla Orchid Flower

Vanilla Orchid Flower

In the wild, vanilla flowers are pollinated by the melipona bee, whereas outside of Mexico, it is pollinated by hand with a small wooden skewer to move the male pollen to the female stigma.  This process is sometimes called la marriage de vanille, or fécondation.
Fertilising The Vanilla Flowers

Fertilising The Vanilla Flowers

It is then a long careful process to tend the vines as they trail along little wires from post to post.  This tending period takes about 9 months.

Tending The Vanilla Vine

Tending The Vanilla Vine

Green Vanilla On The Vine

Green Vanilla On The Vine

After about 9 months, the green vanilla beans are picked and taken to the nearest vanilla processing centre.  At this stage, the vanilla beans looks like French or runner beans.  The first thing to do is to “kill” the beans, which basically denatures the enzymes that would simply make the vanilla rot, but allows the enzymes that result in the curing process to start.

Killing The Green Vanilla Beans

Killing The Green Vanilla Beans

The curing process then takes  several weeks before the raw green beans have turned a deep, dark brown. The pods are laid out on mats in the sun to heat up for the hoursduring the day, where the workers handle the beans and turn them over.  Late in the afternoon, the baking hot beans are collected and wrapped in blankets and straw mats, then placed into air-tight wooden containers to “sweat” overnight.

Collecting Vanilla Beans For Sweating

Collecting Vanilla Beans For Sweating

The head curer checks the progress of the curing every day and assesses when the time is right to stop this curing stage.

Checking On Curing Process In Karnataka In Southern India

Checking On Curing Process In Karnataka In Southern India

Quality Control On Curing Vanilla Beans In Madagascar

Quality Control On Curing Vanilla Beans In Madagascar

The next stage is the conditioning phase when the vanilla pods are held in storage for 3 months to let the flavours develop and run through.  During this conditioning stage, the beans are handled regularly, softening and shaping them – in the Madagascar, they roll the beans between their fingers and so resulting in a rounded shape, while in India, they tend to flatten them between their fingers giving a flatter, longer shape.

Madagascan Vanilla With Their Individual Markings

Madagascan Vanilla With Their Individual Markings

Should We Encourage People From Countryside To Cities?

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

…Self doubt gets you thinking.  I am still thinking through my concerns about Fairtrade and I wonder whether I’ve got it arse over tip. 

People who live in the countryside are relatively poor compared to people who live in an urban environment, but is that because there are, firstly, too many people in the countryside trying to eke out an incremental profit from cash crops to keep themselves above water, and secondly you actually are richer and better off just by being in a city or town. 

There is a strong argument that workers shifting from rural Amazonia and moving to Manaus (the regional capital of the Amazon region) to carry out industrial activity have taken farmers out of Amazonia and so reduced pressure on deforestation, allowing those remaining in the countryside to farm more efficiently and spread their profits across fewer people, while simply the act of going to a city has improved their personal finances.  So rural-to-urban migration is good for everyone financially and great for the environment! 

There is a strong case (and made by people much cleverer and knowledgeable than me) that people living in the slums of big cities and the favelas of Latin America are one of the most dynamic and happening economies of the world.  These are people getting on with life, generating income and stepping up out of poverty.  These places are not the pits of despair that we all once thought and continue to be taught.  Okay, they’re not perfect but they’re significantly better than rural poverty.  And city dwellers have less children, so women are liberated from their historical rural position as child-bearing machines that must cook, fetch water and bring up children.  City life gives them freedom and the creative energy of the fairer sex is a massive force for good and economic improvement.

So should we be encouraging rural-to-urban migration rather than preserving current rural farming structures.  Urban living is better for the environment as it is more efficient on the world’s resources.  Urban living is better for women.  Urban living reduces overpopulation as people living in towns and cities have less children – overpopulation is effectively a rural problem.  Finally, when people move to the city it reduces the amount of people living in the countryside and so reduces the burden from humanity on the countryside and nature quickly recovers – yes, the rainforest does just simply regrow when people leave it be. 

Lastly, is our nostalgic lova affair with the countryside and rural idyll and farming (I don’t know if it is just an English obsession, and I mean English in this case as I cannot speak for others here) simply wrong and something that just makes us look via rose tinted glasses at all rural farming, believing that this must be a great, wonderful and rewarding life for everyone in the countryside, rather than something most farmers just want to escape from, and be liberated from the back-breaking, never-ending drudgery of subsistence living and would rather become housekeepers, labourers, doctors and accountants or whatever is available in the nearest mega-city.  Who are we in the developed world to deny those in the developing world from wanting to live a better life with loads more consumer stuff to ease their daily grind?  Who are we (the great polluters and destroyers of the world) to deny the rural poor a new start and free women from the potential prison of a rural life?

I suppose what I am saying is that if farmers cannot make a living wage from growing sugar or tea or vanilla or fruits or rice, shouldn’t we encourage more of them to move to cities so then less people grow these crops, so then there is a relative shortage of supply over demand and then prices will go up until farmers can then earn a living wage or more.  Are we not just perpetuating an imbalance of excess supply over actual demand by offering a bit above market prices via Fairtrade?

In stark figures, a rural farming family in Madagascar earns $600 per annum, with Fairtrade vanilla they can earn $2000 per annum, but what could they earn were they to live and work in the capital city of, for example, Madagascar – Antananarivo – and perhaps their family size might also fall*.  So isn’t it better to get them to migrate to the cities where education and public services are better and they will have a lower impact on the environment?

I honestly don’t know the answer, but it remains a dilemma that is constantly fighting itself out between my heart that says “yes to fair trade and ethical food” and my head that says “yes to free trade” and reducing levels of rural farming and shifting population towards the cities.

As in everything in life, the answer I suggest is a fudge – we need to trade ethically to ensure that those farming now are not disadvantaged and abused hence Fairtrade, while at the same time providing incentives for people to move from the villages and rural economy into the nearest cities, and then to ensure that cities become as economically vibrant, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable as possible.  But I will probably never answer this quandary to my own personal satisfaction, so will remain racked by doubts and indecision.

* I asked The Foreign Office and World Bank for help on numbers here, but the former could not help and the latter never deigned to answer or acknowledge my request.  That is a worrying starting position for Madagascar.

Axel’s Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

My sister and her family came to visit at the weekend, so I was scrabbling around trying to come up with a summery pudding to create, while the rain was gushing down outside in torrents.  I decided that roast chicken with all the trimmings, followed by a cheesecake was the answer, but with some summer fruits inside the cheesecake and a bright red coulis drizzled over it. 

I toyed with the idea of making the raspberry coulis first, then mixing that into the cream and making a pink cheesecake, which would have gone down a storm with the girls, but wimped out as I preferred the idea of getting bites of tart raspberry in clusters of flavour and differing textures, running through the smoothness of the cream cheese filling. 

Cheesecakes are remarkably easy to make and seem to be generally popular with children, and homemade ones are much tastier than shop bought versions that always seem really heavy, then sit like a lump inside your tummy like a lead weight for hours afterwards. You do not need to use raspberries and can substitute them for other summer fruits, like blackcurrants, blackberries or strawberries, so adjust the recipe accordingly.  Similarly, you do not need the coulis and could just serve it naked and pure, or with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Axel Steenberg’s Summer Fruit Cheesecake Recipe

For the base:

150g / 5½ oz digestive biscuits (or in US, Graham cracker or Nilla wafer)
30g / 1oz pecan nuts
75g / 3oz unsalted butter
1 tsp Steenbergs organic Fairtrade pure vanilla extract (that’s the sales pitch done; or any other good quality vanilla extract)

For the cream cheese filling:

350g / 11oz full fat cream cheese
100g / 3½ oz soured cream
150g / 5oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1tsp pure natural vanilla extract
Juice from ½ lemon (rest is used in making raspberry coulis)
Zest from 1 lemon

Good sized handful of fresh raspberries
4 pinches of Steenbergs organic mixed spice

For the raspberry coulis
350g / 12oz fresh raspberries, picked over and washed
45g / 1½ oz granulated sugar
Juice from ½ lemon
70ml / 2½ oz water

1.  Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF.

2.  Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm / 8 inch round sandwich tin, that has a springform surround.  Place into a fridge to chill, whilst you prepare the biscuit crumb base.

3.  Place the biscuits and pecan nuts into a food processor and whizz until they reach a smallish crumb.  Take from the food processor, place into a bowl and then add the organic Fairtrade vanilla extract and melted butter.  Mix well until all the crumbs are decently coated with liquid – I use a knife for this stage.

Ingredients for cheesecake base

Ingredients for cheesecake base

Pour the melted butter into the crumb mix

Pour the melted butter into the crumb mix

4.  Get the lined cake tin from the fridge.  Tip the crumb mixture into the pan, then press the mix into the base and all the corners until even and nicely pressed down.  Put the lined tin into the fridge to harden.

Pressing cheesecake crumb mix into cake tin

Pressing cheesecake crumb mix into cake tin

5.  Now measure out all the ingredients for the filling except the raspberries or other fruit.  Put all of these into a mixing bowl or processor and mix/process until smooth and well mixed together.  It is worth scraping down the sides a couple of times with a spatula to make sure that everything has mixed thoroughly.

Ingredients for cheesecake filling

Ingredients for cheesecake filling

6.  Go and get the crumb base from the fridge, then evenly place a handful of fresh raspberries over the biscuity base.  Now pour over the cream cheese mix gently.  Afterwards, I then go over the raspberries to try and even them out a bit; do not overdo this tidying up, but you do not want someone to get all the raspberries, while someone else goes without – that would be really bad form.  Sprinkle delicately 4 pinches of mixed spice over the top of the cheesecake filling.

Pouring the cheesecake mix over crumb base and raspberries

Pouring the cheesecake mix over crumb base and raspberries

Cheesecake ready for baking with mixed spice sprinkled on top

Cheesecake ready for baking with mixed spice sprinkled on top

7.  Put centrally into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until just set.  Remove from oven and leave to cool completely, then remove the springform outside ring of the cake and place the cake (still on its base) into the fridge to chill through.

Baked cheesecake just out of oven

Baked cheesecake just out of oven

8.  While it is cooling, it is time to make the raspberry coulis.  Place the raspberries into a pan, together with the lemon juice, water and sugar.  Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.  Leave to cool thoroughly.  While it is cooling, check the sweetness of the raspberries and adjust sugar level if necessary as they can be really tart.

Ingredients for raspberry coulis

Ingredients for raspberry coulis

Lovely cooked raspberries

Lovely cooked raspberries

9.  Process the raspberries throughly to a smooth paste either with a hand held processor or in a larger processor.  Now sieve the raspberry paste into a jug or bowl to remove the seeds.  You will need to squish the juice through with a tablespoon.  Put into the fridge to cool.

Sieving raspberries for raspberry coulis

Sieving raspberries for raspberry coulis

10.  Before serving remove from the fridge to warm up a little.  Cut into smallish slices and place onto a plate, then drizzle over some of the raspberry coulis.  I served the cheesecake with some homemade shortbread for added texture.

Raspberry Cheesecake With Raspberry Coulis

Raspberry Cheesecake With Raspberry Coulis

Recipe For Almond Cake

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

This recipe began with a blog post from David Lebovitz, who wrote that his desert island food would be Almond Cake.  So with great anticipation, I tried his recipe several weeks back, but while Sophie and I loved the marzipan-almond luxury and the old style moist, fulsome texture, we both found the taste overpoweringly sweet; I do tend towards the puritan rather than one for luxury.  I checked the recipe, which I had got correct, so decided massively to reduce the sugar content from 415.75g to 262.5g (14.7oz to 9¼ oz), which still gives a balanced and sweet cake.

The glory of this cake rests with the use of almond paste or pre-made marzipan, which is then supplemented by adding extra almond extract and vanilla extract to bolster the volatiles in the flavour profile.  You need to use a shop-bought marzipan as the texture is much finer than a home-made version. 

It is also one of those cakes which matures with age, becoming moister and the aromas maturing nicely, rather than being one of those cakes that become dry and crumbly. 

It would be fabulous eaten with a cooked seasonal berries, or with a little amaretto drizzled onto it for a boozy alternative.  There’s a creamier alternative Almond Cake recipe at Chocolate & Zucchini that adds yoghurt or sour cream for further luxury.

(Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz)

Ingredients For Almond Cake

Ingredients For Almond Cake

Ingredients

150g / 5¼ oz Fairtrade caster sugar
150g / 5¼ oz marzipan (I used Crazy Jack Organic Marzipan)
75g / 2½ oz organic ground almonds
140g / 5 oz organic plain flour
225g / 8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature and chopped into cubes
1½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp sea salt
1 tsp natural vanilla extract (naturally, I used Steenbergs organic Fairtrade vanilla extract)
1 tsp natural almond extract (once again, I used Steenbergs natural almond extract)
6 large eggs, at room temperature and whisked gently

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.  Take a 23cm cake tin and lightly oil the tin, removing any excess oil then line the base with baking paper.

Sieve together the baking powder, plain flour and sea salt in a mixing bowl.

Separately, put the caster sugar, marzipan, ground almonds and a tablespoon of the plain flour into a food processor.  Grind the mixture until the almond has become finer and the marzipan is broken up further, so that it is all a fine breadcrumb texture.

Add the unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and natural almond extract and process until fluffy.

Pouring Eggs Into Batter For Almond Cake

Pouring Eggs Into Batter For Almond Cake

Add the blended eggs in stages – firstly add about a quarter and blitz until blended in then add a tablespoon of plain flour and mix, then add the next quarter, blend and add next tablespoon of plain  flour and so on.  Add the remaining plain flour and pulse a couple of times until it has just mixed together.

Pour the batter into the cake tin, scraping it all in.  Put cake mix into the oven and bake for 65 minutes or until the cake is brown on the top and set in the middle.

Almond Cake

Almond Cake

When you remove it, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, then leave to rest and cool completely in the tin.  Then remove the cake from the cake tin, take off the baking parchment on the base and dust with icing sugar, should you so wish.

A Slice Of Home Made Almond Cake

A Slice Of Home Made Almond Cake

Biodegradable Tea Bags

Friday, July 30th, 2010

It was brought to our attention recently that some tea bags are not really biodegradable as they use polypropylene glues to seal the edges of the tea bags.  This is only the case for tea bags that are heat sealed in the tea bagging process.  The tea bags used in Steenbergs bagged teas do not use polypropylene as they are crimped shut rather than heat sealed.  However, there is the metal staple in the tag which is not biodegradable on a short time frame.  The long and short of it is that you can chuck your tea bags onto your compost heap ithout any problem but you need to put your staples either into your recycling or in the bin.  In the future, we will remove the staple part of the tea bag.  Finally, you can use Steenbergs Loose Leaf Teas which comprise the majority of our range, which have no tea bags, but you have a nice tin that can be refilled with our refill tea packs that come in sizes up to 1kg, or can be recycled. 

On the downside, Steenbergs organic Fairtrade Mulling Wine sachets are heat sealed and so are not biodegradable easily as they used polypropylene in their manufacture.  We will now start looking into whether we can remove this without causing other issues, especially things that may use genetically modified corn starches.

Pierre Hermé’s Recipe For Raspberry And Chocolate Tart

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Pierre Hermé continues to inspire me. 

For me, I spent last Saturday in the perfect place – in the kitchen, listening to sport on BBC Radio 5 on our digital radio and baking.  It was the turn of Hermé’s Raspberry And Chocolate Tart.  The end result was sheer perfection – bittersweet flavours from 72% cocoa dark chocolate  from Trinatario cocoa beans (a natural cross between the traditional Criollo and Forasteros cocoa beans), with the succulent, melting richness of the chocolate filling that only just holds itself together; these are balanced against the tart, fruitiness of raspberries.  What is perhaps even more amazing is that it is actually really quite simple to make. 

I don’t have much more to say, except just make it for someone special and wow them, but make sure it is for someone you want to impress.

For the crust:

Prepare and bake a 22cm / 8¾ inch tart shell from Sweet Tart Dough, cooled to room temperature per previous blog

For the filling:

55g / ½ cup ripe raspberries
145g / 5oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Green & Black’s dark cooking chocolate)
115g / 4oz unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
1 large egg, at room temperature, stirred lightly with fork or whisk
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature, stirred with a fork
2 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat oven to 190oC / 375oF.

Sprinkle the raspberries into the cooked tart crust.

Baked Tart Pastry With Raspberries

Baked Tart Pastry With Raspberries

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and carefully melt the butter separately in a pan.  Allow them to cool to a touch warm temperature or 60oC / 104oF.

Using a small hand whisk, gently stir the egg into the melted chocolate; don’t be vigorous as you are not trying to get air in, just to mix thoroughly.

Pouring egg into melted chocolate

Pouring egg into melted chocolate

Mixing eggs into melted chocolate

Mixing eggs into melted chocolate

Next, add the caster sugar and stir that in.

Finally, work in the melted butter.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the raspberries in the tart shell.

Pouring chocolate ganache over raspberries

Pouring chocolate ganache over raspberries

Bake the tart for 11 minutes.  This gives you a tart that is still a bit wobbly in the centre.  Leave to cool on a rack.  Serve warm after settling for about 10 minutes or cool and have cold.  I actually prefer it cold and a bit more dense the next morning – great for breakfast on a Sunday morning!

Raspberry & chocolate tart just out the oven

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart Just Out The Oven

Serve with extra red raspberries and/or cream or crème anglaise.

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart With Raspberries & Cream

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart With Raspberries & Cream

Recipe – Sweet Barbecue Style Chicken Legs

Monday, June 21st, 2010

We are always looking for ways to liven up chicken to feed the kids – simple, tasty and quick & easy family food.  This recipe is something I devised for Sweet Barbecue Style Chicken Legs is so quick to make that our children both love to help to make it and then wolf it down when it has been made, making it into one of those really magic types of family food; and if you make extra, then you can take the remainder to work and eat as part of your packed lunch.  We actually just roast these in the oven, but you can barbecue them by part cooking them in the oven, then smoking them off for the last 10 minutes on the barbecue.

Flavour wise, this is honey sweet with a massive umami kick from the soy sauce, plus some savoury bite coming through from the Southern Fried Chicken Seasoning and grainy mustard.  I like to add beer or wine to the sauce to layer in an extra flavour to compound up the taste, but you could omit this should you wish. 

Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients:

10 chicken drumsticks (get the best quality you can afford as it really does make a difference)
2tbsp organic tomato ketchup
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2tbsp Fairtrade runny honey (this is quite sweet so you might want only 1tbsp)
2tbsp lager or white wine
1tbsp organic sunflower oil
1tsp Steenbergs organic onion granules (or quarter onion very finely chopped)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced and crushed
1tsp Steenbergs organic Southern fried chicken seasoning
1tsp grainy mustard (I used a balsamic mustard from Edinburgh Preserves

1.  Put all the marinade ingredients together in mixing bowl and whisk together.

2.  Cut a couple of slices into each of the chicken drumsticks and place onto a roasting tin.  Drizzle the marinade over each of the chicken drumsticks and twist them through the barbecue marinade.  Cover and then put into the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the flavours infuse through the chicken drumsticks; if you remember, twist them through the barbecue marinade part way through the marinading time.

Chicken Drumsticks Marinading

Marinading Chicken Drumsticks In Barbecue Sauce

3.  Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF.  Roast for 30 minutes; try and twist the drumsticks after about 20 minutes.  If barbecuing, cook for 20 minutes in the oven then brown off over the barbecue.

4.  Serve immediately.  We ate ours with saffron boiled rice and boiled broccoli and runner beans.  You could leave to cool and then enjoy cold in a picnic or for packed lunches.

Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks