Potato Dauphinoise

I’d find it difficult to completely cut carbohydrates from my diet and my own personal philosophy in life is a little bit of everything (that you’re not severely allergic to) can’t do you any harm.  I find it sad that so many people profess to be allergic or intolerant to so many foods when really they just don’t know for sure and are just guessing at what is upsetting their digestion.  I can speak from experience here as I was advised that I was wheat intolerant for over 5 years, removed it from my diet completely, but still suffered.  Only upon proper medical food allergy testing did they actually find out that my demon food was to be egg white, and on cutting that out of my diet, my life and health improved significantly.  But I digress, this is about a recipe not me on a soapbox, so here it is…

Serves 4

Little knob of butter to grease your dish
200ml Double cream
250ml Milk
2.5ml Nutmeg, freshly grated
1 Garlic clove, peeled and flattened (not crushed)
4 Large potatoes
100g Gruyere or Cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the oven to 190℃.
2. Butter the inside of a 20cm deep square dish.
3. Add the cream, milk, nutmeg and garlic clove into a large saucepan until boiling.
4. Meanwhile peel the potatoes, and using a mandolin (I thoroughly recommend the Oxo Good Grips Hand Held Mandoline), slice into 3-4mm thicknesses.
5. Reduce the heat under the cream and milk to a simmer and add the sliced potatoes.
6. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to prevent the slices sticking together or catching on the bottom of the pan.
7. Remove the potato slices with a slotted spoon to the buttered dish to create a relatively level surface covering the whole of the dish.
8. Remove and discard the crushed garlic clove.
9. Pour the milk and cream mixture over the potatoes.
10. Sprinkle with cheese.
11. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on top and the potatoes are cooked.
12. Serve sliced into portions.

A wonderful, creamy and rich vegetable dish to serve with so many meals.  If you’re watching you calories, then reduce the cream and replace this with milk, but be prepared to lose some of the taste if you do!

Serve this with my Fillet Steak in a Worcestershire Cream Sauce recipe for a decadent meal.

Mincemeat from mum’s 1958 book

This recipe comes from one of the two recipe books my mum has given to me recently.

It was originally gifted to her and dad in 1958.  I aim to try many of these tried and tested recipes in an attempt to bring back good, old fashioned, baking.  As this is a vintage recipe, I’ve chosen to use imperial measurements first with the metric equivalent bracketed afterwards.
1lb Raisins (450g)
1lb Currants (450g)
1lb Sultanas (450g)
1lb Apples (450g)
1/2lb Candied peel (225g)
1/2lb Suet (225g)
Pinch salt
1/2lb Demerara sugar (225g)
1tsp Cinnamon (5ml)
2 Lemons, rind and juice
2tbs Orange marmalade (30ml)
1/4 pint Rum (125ml)
1. Coarsely chop the dried fruit and place into a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel and core the apples then chop finely. Add to the bowl.
3. Add the candied peel, suet, salt, sugar, cinnamon, rind and juice of the lemons, the marmalade and the rum.
4. Mix thoroughly together.

5. Place into sterilised jars and seal.
6. Store in a cool, dark place.
This recipe will make approx. 6lb of mincemeat and if kept in the right conditions should keep for a year.
Brandy may be used instead of rum.

Carrot Cake with lime & walnuts with an orange & mascarpone frosting

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It’s is a cake recipe that I’ve made many a time, but tonight I decided to make it with a bit of a twist on the method & a couple of the ingredients, (just because I can & I wanted to see how it turned out). It’s a belated (3week late) birthday cake for my hubby, who I might add thought it tasted devine (as did the kids).
200ml Farringtons Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
250g Light soft brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
150g Carrots, grated
10ml (2tbs) Lime juice
100g Walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves for decoration
250g Self Raising flour
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
5ml (1tsp) Baking powder
5ml (1tsp) Ground Cinnamon
5ml (1tsp) Ground Nutmeg
250g Mascarpone cheese
200g Philadelphia cheese
150g Icing sugar
1 Orange, zested
1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
2. Grease & line the base of 2 x 20cm (8″) round tins.
3. Whisk the oil sugar & egg yolks together until smooth.
4. Add the grated carrot, lime juice & chopped walnuts. Mix thoroughly.
5. Sieve the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon & nutmeg together.
6. Fold the flour mix into the oil & egg mix until thoroughly combined.
7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
8. GENTLY fold the egg whites into the flour & oil mixture, being careful not to knock the air out of it.
9. Divide between your two tins.
10. Place on the centre shelf of your oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean & the cake has started to come away from the sides of the tin.
11. Leave to cool in the tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
12. Whisk together the mascarpone cheese, Philadelphia cheese, icing sugar and orange zest until thoroughly combined.
13. When the cakes are cool sandwich together with 1/3 of the frosting.
14. Smooth the remaining 2/3 of the frosting over the top & sides of the cake.
15. Decorate with halved walnuts as desired.
16. Keep cool due to the cheese frosting.
By separating the eggs and folding in the whisked egg whites, it will give you a lighter, larger variation on a normal carrot cake.
The Farrington cold pressed rapeseed oil is produced locally to me in Northamptonshire & adds the most amazing taste, as well as being healthy (NOTE: I was not sponsored by, or provided with a sample of Farrington Cold Pressed Oil. The opinion stated is purely my own and is totally unbiased towards them).
The lime juice can be changed to lemon juice if you wish.
Walnuts are optional, both in the cake and also as decoration.
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