Saturday, 16 April 2011

COOKING: Beef cobbler and Adam's birthday cake

Today I felt like sharing some receipes for delicious festive meals.

Beef cobbler


900g beef steak
3 tbsp plain flour
sea salt + black pepper
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove finely crushed
4 bacon rashers chopped
600ml red wine
2 carrots chopped
2 leeks chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
600 ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
few thyme sprigs

Scone topping
250g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
50g butter diced
150g cheddar, grated
150ml milk + extra to glaze

Cut the beef steak into bite-sized chunks, lightly coat the meat with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in batches on olive oil (2-3 min on each side). Transfer the beef to a plate.
Add more oil to the casserole and fry the onions, garlic and bacon until golden brown. Tip in any remaining seasoned flour and stir well. Pour in the wine and let it boil until reduced by a third. Add the carrots, leeks and celery and pour in the stock. Return the beef and add the herbs with some salt and pepper.
Bring to a low simmer, put the lid on and cook for abour 2 hours, until the meat is tender. If the sauce is a little too thin, strain the liquor into a pan and boil until reduced and thickened, then pour the liquor over the meat.
Preheat the oven to 200degreec C. To make the scone topping, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, add all but 2 tbsp of the cheese. Make a well in the centre, pour most of the milk and mix lightly to a dough, adding more milk if necessary. Knead gently until just smooth. Press the dough out to a 2 cm thickness and stamp out rounds using a glass. Put the dough rounds on top of the stew, brush them lightly with milk, sprinkle with the  remaining cheese. Bake for 20 min, until well risen and golden brown. 

Adam's birthday cake


4 eggs
1 tsp wanilla essence
125g sugar
60g flour
1tsp baking powder
60g maize flour
2 tbsp raspberry jam
200g mascarpone
50g icing sugar
100ml yoghurt
2 baking tins (20cm)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Beat the eggs together with the sugar and vanilla essence. Gently fold in the flour together with the baking powder. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 tins and bake for 20 min. Leave too cool. Mix the mascarpone cheese with the icing sugar and some yoghurt (to make the cream a bit less thick). Spread the jam over the base and follow with a coat of mascarpone cream. Cover with the remaining round. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top of the cake. This makes an ideal cake for young children as it contains no artificial or highly allergenic ingredients.

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