Tiramisu Cake

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A delicious cake, inspired by a wonderful Italian dessert. Instead of using butter, I’ve used Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Coldpressed Rapeseed Oil.  You’ll have to keep this cake in the fridge as the frosting has mascarpone and cream in it, but let it come up to room temperature for a few minutes to enjoy it at its’ best though.

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280g Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Cold pressed rapeseed oil

20g Milk (not skimmed)

300g Soft brown sugar

300g Self raising flour

5 medium eggs

5ml Baking powder

15ml Camp coffee

2.5ml Beau cappuccino extract

250g Mascarpone Cheese

140ml Double cream

60ml Amaretto

4tbs Icing sugar

5ml Cocoa powder to decorate

 

1. Heat the oven to 180C.

2. Grease and line two 9″ cake tins.

3. Into a large bowl, place the oil, milk, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, Camp coffee and Cappuccino extract.

4. Beat together for 4-5 minutes until combined and creamy,

5. Divide equally between the two cake tins.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cakes are cooked and the tops are springy.

7. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.

8. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks and leave until cold.

9. For the filling and frosting, beat together the Mascarpone cheese and double cream until thick.

10. Beat in the amaretto and icing sugar.

11. Sandwich the cakes together using half of the amaretto icing.

12. Spread the other half of the amaretto icing over the top of the cake.

13. Sprinkle the frosting lightly with cocoa powder.

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14. Keep chilled due to the filling and frosting.

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15. Allow the slices of cake to come to room temperature prior to serving to allow the sponge to soften (cold sponge cake isn’t very nice, after all!)

Father’s Day Dinner with Central England Co-Operative

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This year, in the UK, we find Father’s Day being celebrated on Sunday 21st June. Personally for me and my family, this isn’t the easiest Father’s Day to celebrate as my own dad is in hospital and is currently very unwell. As a result, he won’t be at home with us to celebrate his special day, but will be visited by mum, my sisters, brother and myself as well as his grandchildren where we will tell him he’s loved and wish him a speedy recovery to come home again.

Dad loves what he calls a ‘proper dinner’ and I know he would love this one and that his plate would be empty after he’s enjoyed his dinner. In honour and to respect my dad, this one is for him, with love from his baby girl…

Serves 4

5 Medium potatoes
2 Sweet Potatoes
2 Red onions
25g Butter
8 Lamb leg steaks
Beef stock pot/cube
15ml Mint Sauce concentrate

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1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C (150˚C fan).
2. Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions and slice thinly into 2mm slices.

image3. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a dish with the butter.
4. Place the potatoes in layers in the bottom of the dish.
5. Top the potatoes with the sliced onions.

image6. Arrange a layer of the sweet potatoes on top of the potatoes and onions.

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7. Lay the lamb leg steaks on top of the sweet potatoes.image
8. Add a final layer of sweet potatoes on top of the lamb leg steaks.
9. Make the stock pot/cube up to 500ml with boiling water and stir until fully dissolved.
10. Add the mint sauce concentrate and stir to mix.
11. Pour the stock and mint sauce over the potatoes and lamb.

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12. Cover the dish with foil.

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12. Cook for 2 hours until the potatoes are cooked and the lamb is tender.

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12. Serve with steamed cauliflower and minted Yorkshire puddings and gravy.

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Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – 2014 Pinot Grigio

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Imagine this; you’ve had a busy and challenging week and an even more stressful weekend. You need deserve to relax and unwind. The sun is still shining at the end of what has been a wonderfully warm day, but sadly you haven’t seen much of it as you’ve been stuck indoors (out of necessity, not out of choice). In the fridge is a wonderfully chilled bottle of the Co-Operative’s 2014 Pinot Grigio, and in the cupboard are clean (large) wine glasses.

You put your favourite track of music on in the background, pour yourself a glass of wine, kick off your shoes, take a sip of the cold, refreshing liquid, then lean back and close your eyes as you lose yourself in the music and the beautiful wine you’re tasting. Sounds perfect doesn’t it? I can assure you it was, and indeed a much needed end to my week.

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The Co-Operative 2014 Pinot Grigio is a light and dry, very pale coloured white wine from Italy. It’s a blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay grapes that has a fresh taste. It needs to be served chilled, straight from the fridge; it’s perfect as an apéritif but goes equally well with chicken, salads and seafood.

This glass of wine was the prefect antidote to my week and to my weekend. So to that I’ll raise my glass to you and the Co-Operative, and say CHEERS!

I was sent a voucher from the Midlands Co-Operative to buy a bottle of wine to review. The choice of wine and the opinions stated above are my own and were not influenced by the provision of the voucher.

An evening with Lisa McGuigan Wines at the Goucho Restaurant

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There’s a new range of wine hitting the shores of the UK in 2015, courtesy of a very lovely lady called Lisa McGuigan.  Lisa is a fourth generation wine maker from one of Australia’s most famous winemaking dynasties.  The two wine ranges being introduced to the UK are her ‘Silver’ range comprising a robust Shiraz and a delicate Chardonnay along with her ‘Wilde Thing’ range which introduce us to her Cabernet Shiraz and her blend of Chardonnay with a Pinot Grigio.  All of Lisa’s inaugural wines are from the Southern Australian region.  They are blended with her innovative winemaking approach which she perfectly blends with her iconic style and design to bring you not just a beautiful looking bottle, but an incredible tasting wine.

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We were introduced to Lisa at the Goucho Restaurant in Charlotte Street, not far from the iconic BT Tower, in the Fitzrovia district of London.  Step inside to be surrounded by a calm atmosphere with chic and contemporary black and white styling; where you leave the hustle and bustle of the London street to continue outside whilst you enjoy all the styling of Buenos Aires.

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When you meet Lisa, you see the venue chosen to introduce the UK to her wines is a perfect match with her stylish appearance. She too is very chic and her personality is one that lights up a room with the warm welcome that she affords to all those there.

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The ‘Wilde Thing’ Range (RRP £7) takes its inspirational name from the ‘wild’ yeasts that are found on the skins of the grapes and introduced into the wines, and has been blended with the British palate firmly in mind. The pale coloured Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio was my favourite of the evening; a delicate white wine with just a touch of oak introduced on an element of the Chardonnay. The Cabernet Shiraz is a medium bodied, deep ruby red with silky tannins.  (I brought a bottle of this one home and it didn’t last long when my husband opened the bottle, I can tell you!).

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Lisa’s Silver Range (RRP £9) introduces us to a Chardonnay which is fermented for 20 days to add colour and flavour intensity, whilst her Shiraz is fermented with the skins on and has an oakiness introduced into it.  Both of these are incredible tasting wines and are very drinkable.

The wines were served in pairs along with a tasting menu, perfectly matched by Lisa and the Goucho Restaurant.

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A testament to Lisa’s hard work, skills as a winemaker, and her dedication to her art, sees her wines being served in Business Class and in Economy on both Jetstar and Quantas Airways in Australia.  She has won awards from Australia, London, Spain and France in recognition of what she is brining to the market.

Lisa’s wines are distributed in the UK by Copestick Murray Wine Solutions.

Lisa, thank you so much for letting me share your amazing wines.  I wish you so much success; you truly deserve it; Cheers!  (And yes, I did rather like the reds in the end!) xxx

The wines were so good that not only did I miss my first train home, but I then missed my second (and last train home) and had to catch the third alternative to a neighbouring town and ask my husband nicely to come and collect me from there! OOPS!)

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I was invited to Lisa’s wine launch in the UK by her PR company in the UK along with 9 other food bloggers.