Isn’t it amazing that you can do things over and over again without a problem, but the minute you are asked to do something that you want to be extra special, everything turns to chaos. Our social media portrays a eutopian existence, with beautiful children playing on perfect white beaches, tables laid to precision and bedecked with the ultimate greenery display, and of course cakes that do not have a crumb out of place. But we all know that none of this is actually true, its just a ploy to make the next person envious of our “perfect” lives.
I bought Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s book “Sweet” for Christmas and have been toying with the idea of making this cake ever since, but when I saw him making it on Masterchef last week, I just knew that I couldn’t put it off any longer. It has everything that I love about a cake with a difference. Firstly rosewater which is my all time favourite flavouring, ground almonds and pistachios, lemon, and the surprising addition of semolina.
Micro greens have for a long time been the flourish that chefs and foodies have used to make an ordinary dish look more appealing. This year however, an extra panache will be added to plates with the addition of edible flowers, which are not only going to be a sophisticated garnish, but their flavours will be added as well. Taking centre stage will be Rose, Lavender, Elderflower and Hibiscus. But watch out for those forgotten favourites like Nasturtiums, violas , Angelica and Calendula. Although these floral infusions will be seen in teas, lattes, and cocktails both alcoholic and virgin, they will also be adding a sophisticated flavour to food.
What will be hitting the food fashion plates for 2018? I thought it fitting at the beginning of the year to start off with what the experts are predicting. Every year, like fashion, food has its fads which inevitably affect the way we think and see our food. Whether it is determined by environmental awareness, different cultural food, or just unique ingredients in a recipe, we are all looking for cleaner, healthier and interesting changes that will excite our senses.
If you are planning a party this festive season, make sure you cater for everyone , vegetarian, seafood lovers, meat and chicken eaters, and of course those of you addicted to delicious desserts and cakes. This is my “Best Ever” collection of Christmas Food and Drinks created by amazing Chefs and cooks from around the globe. Have yourselves a fabulous food filled Christmas.
The sweet smell of cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger are such a perfect complement to this vanilla butter cake. I love to make vanilla cakes, as the choice of frosting is endless and this beautiful chai spiced frosting is not only reminiscent of the festive season, but it enhances and improves the overall taste of this simple butter cake.
Meringues are such a deceptive dessert on so many levels, they seem so simple to make yet with their delicate crisp exterior you never know if you will be getting a gorgeous gooey centre or one that is dry. There are so many things that need to work together to get them to be just right. I personally love them to have a slightly chewy centre, and its still a bit of a guessing game for me as to how they turn out, but this is the recipe which I have found works the best for my taste.
These elegant Dark Chocolate Ganache Tartlets are my new “go to” for a luxury dessert that looks fabulous, yet is pretty easy to make. Once you have mastered a pastry crust, the rest is simple. I have chosen to top mine with Sea Salt Flakes which work so well with the dark chocolate. The tartlets can be filled with custard or pastry cream and topped with fruit or meringues as an alternate.