Rose and Pistachio Rice Pudding

Rice pudding has always been one of my favourite desert, a comfort food for all times but especially for when something simple but oh so good is needed. It took me a while to get the hang of it: too runny, too hard, too sweet, not sweet enough. It’s funny how some basic foods can be so difficult to manage successfully whilst more intricate deserts will be a breeze and work out beautifully.

I was cooking for friends and I wanted to make a desert that was had a comfort home feel. Most of them like rice pudding so I made the recipe I know with a twist or two.

I used rose-water, a vanilla pod, some almonds flakes, pistachios and strawberries. The strawberries gave the rice pudding a freshness and sweetness whilst adding a nice contrasting colour with the green of the pistachios and the white of the rice pudding.

Rose and Pistachio Rice Pudding

Ingredients

1 litre of whole milk

125 grams of rice pudding

1 vanilla pod

Almond flakes

Pistachios cut into small bits

Strawberries, halved

How to

Boil the milk with the vanilla pod and the drops of rose-water. When the milk has boiled, add the rice pudding. Stir continuously for 25 to 30 minutes on medium heat. Be careful as the mixture can quickly stick to the bottom of your sauce pan if you don’t stir regularly. Once cooked,  remove the vanilla pod and pour into a serving bowl of your choice. Let it cool down, completely.

Once your rice pudding has cooled down decorate the top as you wish with the fruits of your choice, the pistachio bits and the almond flakes.

Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.

Remember that rose-water can be quite strong and overtake the flavour and the taste of what you are making so it is good to not be too generous with it. In this recipe, I did not add any sugar because of the rose-water and the vanilla pod.

Enjoy!

Yoghurt Muffin

I first tasted these yoghurt muffins when I went to visit my mum and I just loved them. I may have been hungry but they were simply delicious and I couldn’t wait to bake them at home.

They are quite easy to make, quick to bake, and eaten in a second!

When I finally came round to baking them, they were meant to be filled with cherries but I didn’t have enough so I just put one on top. With almonds flakes spread all round the cherry, it make its effect.

For this recipe, you use the pot of yoghurt for quantities.

Yoghurt Muffins recipe

Ingredients

A pot of 500g of natural yoghurt (I don’t believe in low-fat but it is up to you)

Same pot filled with plain flour

Same pot filled with almond powder

Same pot filled with sugar

30g of vanilla sugar

1 tbsp of sifted baking powder

230g of melted salted butter

5 eggs

Pitted cherries

Flaked almonds to decorate top of muffins

How to

Pre heat your oven to a medium heat (180/6).

Mix the yoghurt with the flour, the almond powder, the plain sugar and the vanilla flavoured sugar, and the sifted baking powder.

Add the melted butter, mix, and then add the eggs one at a time.

Add the cherries, no cherries if you prefer the muffins plain or you can try something else like dried apricots, dried dates…….

Divide the mixture into muffin cases (I usually use an ice cream scoop), decorate with the fruit/filling of your choice and flaked almonds.

Baked them for approximately 20mns or until the muffins are golden on top, springy to the touch and  a toothpick or skewer comes out clean when inserted into the muffin.

Once taken out of the oven, let them cool down on a cake rack. If they last that long, they will keep well in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

Banana Cake

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This banana cake recipe has been in an old handwritten recipe book that I have had for literally most of my life and that is a lot of years!! I don’t remember where I got it from or if it was given to me.

A few weeks ago, I had a couple of bananas that were quite mature so I decided to use this banana cake recipe again and it has definitely come back to life. It will now be used on a regular basis.

When I first baked it again, I made a typical loaf shape but the second time, I baked it into muffins which ended up being very popular. You could make quite a few different variations: icing on top, insert some salted caramel inside…….. All up to your imagination and taste.

Banana Cake recipe

Ingredients (measurements are in cups):

1 3/4 flour (sifted)

1/2 sugar

1/2 butter

2 eggs (beaten)

2 ripe bananas (mashed)

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda dissolved in 3 tbsp of warm milk

How to

Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the 2 beaten eggs. Add the mashed bananas and the vanilla essence. Add the sifted flour and the milk, alternatively.

Cook in a moderate oven for 45mns. Remember that if you are making muffins instead of a loaf, the cooking time will be less, around 15mns.

This cake keeps very well. Best to keep in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

 

A rabbit and a bear

White tulle and beads2

I remember that when I was a child, maybe four, I was given this larger than life bear as a Christmas present. It was literally bigger than me. I remember that it had orange checked clothes. It was love at first sight. It may have had a name. I don’t remember. I just know that I loved it and that it followed me everywhere. I also remember the day it died. So used and damaged that it could not be repaired. What a sad, sad day.

Still, like many things,  life goes on and what is lost is often replaced even if never forgotten.

So when my mother started giving a new lease of life to abandoned teddies, giving them a new identity, I loved the idea. I also loved all the teddies she created.

I do like this one very much. It always has a smile and if I was a child again I would take it everywhere with me and hold it tight when going to sleep at night.

There is nothing like a teddy with personality!

FISH, CHOCOLATE AND SMARTIES

P1010685Ok, so I think that this fish has got a big mouth but it was a big cake! We had a dinner evening planned with friends and I was to make a desert. We often think of what would adults like best but this time, I thought of the children and it was a hit!! I am sure that the combination of smarties, chocolate and a funny shape helped.

This is such an easy cake to make though in all honesty, laying the smarties one by one was a tiny bit tedious!

This is a plain home-made sponge cake. The combination of chocolate and smarties to cover the cake provided more than enough flavours though you could flavour the sponge with vanilla, lemon or orange essence if you wanted to.

To make the tail of the fish, you need to cut a slice of cake, position it opposite the cut you have made and voila: you have the shape of a fish. Cover it all with melted milk chocolate and add the smarties one by one whilst the chocolate was not yet dry.

This is a fun, easy to make cake which I am sure will be enjoyed by all either for an afternoon tea, a birthday celebration or just for something simple but a bit different.

 

A DEER AND A SNOWFLAKE

Well, it has been a very very long time since I posted something but…………life has been busy with so many many things. I haven’t been able to spend time doing what I love or want but I am finally getting myself back on top of things. Such is life.

This cake should have been posted around the end of December which is about three months ago but inspiration is always on the move and welcomed.

In our family, we have stopped doing traditional Christmas dinners a long time ago. We tend to either go with a theme or each be responsible for a dish. This cake was a last-minute inspiration for our Christmas meal.  

It is three thin sponge cakes with colorants added to them. They are divided with a mascarpone and salted caramel filling which I have also used to ice the cake with.

It turned out to be simply delicious. The flavours worked beautifully together. I would definitely make it again as it can be adapted for any occasion. 

 

Madeleines

madeleines

Now, this is one of my favorite recipes. If you are looking for a treat that is quick to make, delicious to taste, versatile and for which you will always have the necessary ingredients in your cupboard, this is for you. These madeleines will always go down like a treat both with young and old and they will always come back for more.

To make the madeleines

ingredients:

  • 150g of plain flour
  • 150g of softened butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • flavoring such as vanilla or lemon essence (optional)
  • little extras such as chocolate chips or glace cherries (optional)

how to:

Mix the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, the softened butter and your flavoring and little extras if you have opted for some.

Place the mixture in baking molds for madeleines and bake in hot oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. I use silicone molds and they can be bought online or in any major department stores.

Enjoy!

Market day

market Day 1I really like this hessian bag. It is ideal for going to your local market to buy your fresh fruits and vegs. I can just see myself in Provence, with a white sun hat and sandals, buying fresh local produce going bonjour and merci! However, if you are not in a region where the sun is shining and the crickets are singing, well, you can still enjoy your grocery shop with this gorgeous bag.

You can also use it for the beach, for going to classes, for all occasions when when you don’t want to be using your usual plastic bag with advertisement for your local shop all over it or simply if you want to hold something unique that will not be seen in every street corner.

You can go to shop cecileandgisele on Etsy  to find it.