Posted in Baking Day

Rhubarb Crumble 2

Rhubarb crumble – scrumptious, simple to make and in-season now, treat yourself  –  it works strangely well with chocolate ice-cream.
Rhubarb Crumble 2
This time last year almost exactly to the day I posted a Rhubarb Crumble recipe but when I went to make it myself last weekend I didn’t have exactly the same ingredients and decided to just work with what I had to produce an equally good variation of rhubarb crumble.  The topping consists of butter worked into flour and porridge oats and then sweetened up with sugar.  The type of flour and proportion of flour to porridge oats is entirely up to you.  You can also healthy up your crumble with the addition of some crushed nuts or seeds.
Rhubarb Crumble
I picked up the organically grown rhubarb at Schull Farmer’s Market last weekend but I know that locally grown rhubarb is readily available in most Irish supermarkets too at this time of year.  Speaking of markets there is a massive farmer’s and country market taking place on Sunday 15th April as part of Waterford Festival of Food
In other  food news I’ll be signing and doing a demo of some recipes from ‘Gimme the Recipe’ this Saturday 14th April in Moycullen, Galway – for more information see  the gimmetherecipe facebook page
But for now I leave you with a ramekin of rhubarb crumble just begging for a dousing of custard or a blob of fresh cream.
Rhubarb Crumble RamekinRhubarb Crumble
You will need:
100g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
100g porridge oats
200g brown sugar
5 large stalks of rhubarb
50g brown sugar (for cooking the fruit)
Method: 
Preheat the fan oven to 170C /Gas Mark 5
Rinse and chop the rhubarb stalks into 1 cm width chunks and cook in a saucepan with a splash of water and the 50g brown sugar over a medium to high heat until softening (still bitey and not a pulp). Takes about 5 minutes.
Put the flour and oats in a mixing bowl and chop in the butter.
Use your finger tips to crumble the flour and butter together until it’s starting to resemble breadcrumbs.
Add the 200g brown sugar and mix well with a fork.
Place the softened rhubarb in a baking dish and scatter the crumble mixture on top, press it down lightly but don’t over compact it.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Enjoy.
Til next time, Sheila

Posted in Dinner Party

Black Forest Roulade – Christmas Log

This is a luxurious alternative to the traditional Christmas Chocolate Log.  A light spongey base gets rolled up and filled with liquor soaked black cherries, syrup and cream.  Don’t worry about any cracks that may appear as you roll up your sponge, these are merely gulleys where the  cherries, cream and syrup will snuggle and ooze.
For extra depth marinate the cherries in their syrup and 100ml of liquor overnight.
Christmas CrackersBlack Forest Roulade

You will need:
6 large eggs
75g caster sugar
75g light muscovado sugar
175g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tin pitted black cherries in syrup
100ml creme de cassis or kirsch
125g caster sugar (for syrup)
300ml tub whipping cream
Icing sugar & chocolate shavings to dust
Method:
Marinate the cherries in their syrup and the liquor overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Break up and melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave ( 1.5 to 2 minutes)
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
Beat the egg yolks and sugars together until thick and pale.
Separately use an electric whisk to beat the egg whites until thick and can stand in peaks.
Stir the melted chocolate into the egg yolk and sugar mix.
Use a metal spoon to fold the egg whites into the egg yolk and chocolate mix.  Stir gently to combine, do not overbeat.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cover with a clean sheet of parchment paper and a damp teatowel.  Leave to cool for 2 mins.
Take off the tea towel but leave the parchment and use a knife to loosen the edges around the tray.
Turn the tray over onto a board, remove the tray and peel away the parchment paper on the base.
Replace with a clean sheet of parchment paper and roll up the cake with the parchment paper inside.
Leave to cool completely, covered with the damp teatowel.
Make the syrup by straining off all the syrup and liquor from the cherries and into a saucepan with 125g of caster sugar.
Stir and bring to the boil until bubbling and thickening for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Whip the cream.
Fill the log by unrolling it and removing the parchment paper then drizzle the syrup, scatter the cherries and smooth over the cream. 
Gently roll up again and dust with icing sugar and grate chocolate.
Enjoy.
Black Forest Close-Up

This is a dessert that I am doing for a charity demonstration this Thursday.  I’ll be posting the mains and some photos from the night on Friday. Til next time, Sheila.