15 August 2017

Classic Apple Pie / Pie clássica de Maçã.

A pie is nothing more than a baked dish of fruit, meat and/or vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.
Searching about the pie origins and its history, I found this amazing article that I think, is worth a good reading because it's very well written and also very interesting.
I truly adore savoury pies but, this is Sweet World and the challenge was to make a sweet pie...
Although I love all kinds of fruit pies, my kids are very picky "fruit pie wise".
I really, really wanted to make a cherry pie but, I didn't risk having to eat it all by myself (which wouldn't have been a problem by the way...) and so I decided to make a simple, classic but very delicious apple pie because it's a favourite here at home and I knew it would go down really happily and quick (which in fact did).
The recipe is from Hannah Miles "Sweetie Pie" gorgeous book.
Saying that, here it is, an Apple Pie for the 19th edition of the Sweet World challenge.

13 August 2017

Sweet World Round Up - Baked Alaska.

Back from my fabulous Summer holidays and ready for another season of cooking, blogging and sharing recipes and experiences.
The 18th edition of our Sweet World was fabulous and the theme, Baked Alaska, was very well received by all the participants.
A big thank you to everybody that embraced the theme and made us the pretty Baked Alaska's that you can admire in this post. It's always a joy to see your baking efforts month after month and edition after edition so, THANK YOU!

Após seis semanas fabulosas em Portugal, eis que estou de volta e pronta para continuar a cozinhar, escrever, comer e convosco partilhar as receitas que cá por casa se vão degustando.
Baked Alaska foi o tema da 18ª edição do nosso Sweet World e, uma vez mais, foi com enorme prazer e alegria que recebemos as propostas de todos os que nesta edição participaram.
Muito obrigada a todos os que mais uma vez nos acompanharam. É sempre um enorme prazer poder admirar as vossas participações e, mês após mês, edição após edição, constatar a vossa dedicação e talento e esta edição não foi excepção.
Assim sendo e excepcionalmente atrasado, aqui fica o round up desta deliciosa e fresca edição do Baked Alaska.

4 July 2017

Eton Mess Cheesecake.

This is my last recipe for you all before my, more than deserved, holidays!
This Eton mess cheesecake, that I made a couple of weeks ago, is an adaptation from the one I saw in the June issue of Olive Magazine.
Their original recipe called for raspberries but I used strawberries and lime in this one ant it turned out absolutely delightful and a real treat.
That will be all for now! I'll be back in approximately 6 weeks time.
Meanwhile, be happy, be kind and enjoy life!!

29 June 2017

Samphire and Prawns with butter and mace / Salicornia e camarão, com manteiga e macis.

The first time I came across Chef Gill Meller was on the River Cottage TV programs (a program that I have to say, I truly adore), alongside and in collaboration with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall .
I confess that I always loved Gill Meller way of talking about food, his innovative ideas about what and how to cook different and sometimes strange ingredients and, above all, the love and care he was always putting into every dish he created or the way he was taking about the ingredients. Always with lots of love, care and respect.
Actually, is that love, care and respect for produce, seasonality, foraging, local ingredients and cooking, that Chef Gill Meller share in his book and you can feel it in every page you flick through.
The whole book is a delight and you can breathe the love, care and attention to detail that went into every single page of that book.
From caption to recipe, to photos, every single page is a joy to read and to look at.
Gill Meller "Gather" is the book! A book that I truly adore and treasure and that is, in my honest opinion, the book of the year 2017!
The first recipe I cooked from this marvelous book is this one.
Samphire and prawns perfumed with fragrant mace and I'm not going to rave about how much we loved this meal because, truly?!! It was licking fingers delicious and... just wait until I post the Focaccia I made a few days ago and, you'll be amazed. Just by thinking of it, my mouth is watering already...

27 June 2017

Chocolate and Chilli Bread / Pão com Chocolate e Malagueta.

As soon as I read the theme, I knew straightaway the bread I was going to bake and it's this one that I'm leaving you today!
I was dying to try this Lakeland Magazine chocolate and chilli bread since the day I got the magazine but, for one reason or the other, it never happened so, this time was the time! I had no doubts whatsoever, that this would be the bread to bake this month.
I had to adapt the recipe because the original one is for a bread maker machine. Although I have a bread maker which I use sometimes for more hard work kneading processes, I don't like to make bread in the bread maker so, the method I writing down is the one I used. Saying that, if you want to use a bread maker, go ahead and just follow the machine manufacturer's instructions.
Here it is, for Ana and for this monthly challenge that I truly adore, a Chocolate and Chilli Bread!

25 June 2017

Pomegranate glazed Pork Skewers with Burhan’s Onion and Parsley Salad / Espetadas de Porco marinadas em Melaço de Romã e Salada de Cebola Roxa e Salsa.

This is the recipe Deborah chose as the second recipe challenge of the month for the Rainydaybites Cookbook Club.
Shame that I had no time to participate in the first recipe challenge of the month, which was a super gorgeous walnut roll cake but, for this second one, I made sure I wouldn't miss it.
As I told you here, this month we're cooking from Paula Wolfert books.
This recipe is from a book that I don't have, "Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life" but Deborah told me that I could find the recipe here at the Food and Wine website and I'm very glad I made it because it's truly delicious and the contrasting flavours are absolutely incredible.

22 June 2017

Fish Soup Basquaise / Sopa de Peixe Basca.

This month we are cooking from Paula Wolfert cook books for the Rainydaybites Cookbook Club.
The book Deborah chose was the "Unforgettable" but as it is a very difficult book to find, Deborah allowed us to cook from any of Paula's books.
I'm cooking from Paula Wolfert "The Cooking of South West France" book and this recipe is actually my first one for this month's cookbook club.
I can only compare Paula Wolfert book with Julia Child or Elizabeth David books, which, in my opinion, should be mandatory books for anyone that claims their love for cooking.
More than cooking books, they are reading books that show us their passion and deep knowledge for the cuisine and ingredients of the regions they're writing and cooking from.
To write this book, Paula Wolfert spent five years researching, investigating ingredients, origins of recipes and variations in techniques.
This recipe, a fish soup, not just is easy to make, but it's also fabulous and full of flavour.
According to the author, this soup is a modern interpretation of the classic onion and pepper fish soup of Bayonne.

20 June 2017

Neapolitan Baked Alaska.

18th edition of our Sweet World and here is the theme:
Baked Alaska!! It's Summer time and therefore, the theme had to be something light and refreshing and we thought, Susana and myself, that a Baked Alaska would be a wise choice.
After reading lots of controversial posts about the origins of Baked Alaska, I found this one very explanatory and thoughtful.
You can also read interesting posts about Baked Alaska here, here and here but, basically and despite all the invention and origin claims, a Baked Alaska is no more than a cake, topped with solidly frozen ice cream, the whole enveloped in meringue and then browned and served while still warm from the oven.
Want to participate? Here are the rules:
  1. You have until the 20th of July to make and publish your Baked Alaska. 
  2. That same day, 20th of July, Susana will let you know in her blog, the theme for the 19th edition of the Sweet World.
  3. You'll have to leave your Baked Alaska link here, in this post, in order to be featured in the monthly round up that, this time and exceptionally (because I'll be enjoying my more than deserved holidays), will be published here, on the 15th of August.

15 June 2017

Chocolate and Cherry Cake / Bolo de Chocolate e Cerejas.

Who doesn't love cherries?
I certainly love them and they are very highly positioned as one of my top, top favourite fruits.
Chocolate, cherries and cream are a combination made in heaven and this cake, that I wanted to try since last year, is one of the best cakes I ever had.
Actually, I love Simmone Logue cakes. They are always so moist, flavourful and balanced that I almost dare to say that this author is a "cake fairy".
This chocolate and cherry cake that I'm sharing today and this Victoria Sponge that I've already made twice are, until today, my favourite cakes of all times!
The recipe, of course, is from Simmone Logue "In the Kitchen" cookbook. A book that I treasure as one of the best books I have.
Forgive me the total lack of "cake slices" photos but, I took this cake to a party and before I noticed, there was only crumbs on the plate. YES! That's how good and delicious it is!
In case you want to try it and corroborate my opinion, here's the recipe.

11 June 2017

Spanische Windtorte.

Spanische Windtorte (Spanish wind torte) is an Austrian dessert and is one of the most complex to create and serve as it is composed mostly of meringue and whipped cream.
Often called "the fanciest cake in Vienna", it is a dessert that became popular during the Baroque period and the Austrian and the Spanish reference is due to the Austrian House of Habsburg and their fascination with Spain which was very similar to the Russian nobility's fascination with French culture.
A Spanische Windtorte consists of rings of meringue that have been baked into a cylindrical form with a bottom and a top lid. The piping of the meringue and the subsequent baking process require patience and careful attention to detail or the cake will not be symmetrical. When the shell of the torte is done it is then filled with whipped cream, fresh berries (usually strawberries), chocolate shavings and/or currants.
It was featured as the technical challenge in episode 4 of season 6 of The Great British Bake Off and is now the theme for the 17th edition of the Sweet World.
I confess that straight after we (Susana and myself) chose the theme, I started feeling very nervous and full of butterflies in my tummy..., Specially when I started reading the recipe.
The more I read it, the more nervous and confused I was so, I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos in order to understand the structure of this intricate dessert.
Even if I'm normally ok with meringue due to the amount of Pavlovas I make, this cake really got me all freaked out.
I remember watching the contestants making it on The Great British Bake Off, but I didn't remember the details, specially the part where it needs to go three times into the oven...
Anyway! I tackled it and I think it's an "ok" Spanische Windtorte. Not perfect, but acceptable and once more, I conclude that dainty and delicate bakes are not for me as I'm more of a rustic baker :))).
I admit that this is a real challenge and it requires patience and "meringue making" skills but, if you're like me and love a challenge, don't be scared and make a Spanische Windtorte!
This recipe is from my book, "The Great British Bake Off - Celebrations".
Just another detail...
Don't expect perfectly neat slices because, with meringue, you know that's not possible so, in this case, messy slices are synonymous of "perfection"... :))).

9 June 2017

Penne with Spinach, Peas and Gruyère / Penne com Espinafres, Ervilhas e queijo Gruyère.

Another fabulous Melissa Clark "Dinner: Changing the Game" book recipe!
This vegetarian pasta dish was our dinner a few weeks ago and, of course,  because it's so delicious and easy and quick to put together, I had to share the recipe with you all.
The original recipe calls for wholemeal or regular penne but as I had this absolutely fabulous red lentil penne here at home, that's the one I decided to use.

7 June 2017

Spiced Apple Cake with thick Vanilla Custard / Bolo de Maçã com Especiarias e Custard de Baunilha.

This cake, that is named a "cake" but for me, is more a cross between a tart and a pie, is one of the most beautifully delicious "cakes" we had later.
Everybody raved about how delicious it was and, certainly, it's a keeper and a recipe to make more often.
Darren Purchese (and pardon my ignorance), is a Chef that I truly admire but only came across, throughout my must beloved TV program, Masterchef Australia.
Chef Darren is one of the "bad guys", the one setting up the dreadful and very scary challenges for eliminations but the thing is...
OH LORD!!! His creations are pure pieces of art!!! and, who cares being eliminated from a competition over such gorgeous creations? I certainly wouldn't!
I didn't know anything about this gorgeous book until..., "this devilish (cook book addicted) girl" showed me the cover of "Lamingtons & Lemon Tart" on the Instagram "private messages". It was love at the first sight and I couldn't help but buy the book and I love it! Thank you so much Inês!!!
I told you already! Australia is my "dream Country" and everything that comes from there, I can't resist it. Specially if it's a book that is all about "Aussie" desserts and puddings but notched up by a great Chef - meaning - Chef Darren Purchese...
NO more talking...
Just a great and super delicious cake, filled with (for me), the best apples in the world: the Pink Lady Apples!