Sunday, 9 October 2011

Family Veggie Lunch- Melanzane Parmigiana with Salad & THE BEST Lemon Meringue cupcakes.

Aubergine sliced, dipped in egg and then dipped in salt and peppered flour...then shallow fry a couple of minutes on each side or until golden and soft.

Simple Tomato, basil and garlic sauce, splash of white wine.
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tin of tomatoes 
Big splash of white wine
Salt & Pepper
Sprinkle of Sugar
Fresh Basil

Layer the aubergine with the tomato and mozzarella (You can also  FONTINA cheese instead-it's less watery)- Make sure everything is really well seasoned and make sure there's not too much juice (reduce the tomato sauce down so it's not too runny)

Tempura batter- I did this just coz I had it left over from making sushi and tempura the night before...

If there's excess water in the sides of the dish just spoon this out and put back in the oven for another 5/10mins. You should cook this at 190/200

Make sure you knock back and let the bread rolls rise for the second time, I rushed these a bit and it showed! :-(


500 g all purpose flour
7 g instant (dry) yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
60 ml warm milk
250 ml warm water
For the Garlic Butter:
40 g butter
1/2 tsp parsley
2 cloves garlic

1. Combine dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and knead until it forms into soft, elastic dough. Dough should be softer, but not too sticky. 
2. Transfer dough to a ligthly oiled bowl, turn once to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
3. Divide the dough into 15 equal balls. Shape each ball on floured surface into 10 inch long rope and tie into a knot. Take the end lying underneath the knot and bring it over the top, tucking it into the center. Take the end lying over the knot and tuck it underneath and into the center.
 cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes on an oiled tray.
4. Heat oven to 180 Celsius. Bake them for about 35-45 min.
5. Make the glaze: melt butter with some parsley and minced garlic (or press it through a garlic press). Brush the glaze onto the hot, baked knots.

Tempura Batter- Mix the following together and keep in the fridge
500g Plane Flour
500g Corn Flour
Dash of Salt
4 x Egg whites
250ml Soda Water
Use any type f veg you want, just make sure the you chop them up small enough so they cook through when you deep fry.
TIP: Make sure you let the oil get back hot enough between batches, give it a couple of minutes on high to reheat and test by dropping a piece in, it should fizz and float to the top. Equally watch its not too hot as will just burn everything and not cook it through!

Home made bread rolls..

Get a good crispy layer of grated parmesan on top.

Spring Onions
Grated parmesan
Grated radish -whole pack
A whole load of greens/lettuce whatever you fancy
Add pan fried asparagus /green beans
Dressing- Olive Oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, touch of dijon -mix up together really well- or shake it together in a jar.

I made a little soy chilli and coriander dipping sauce for the tempura (random I know but yum nevertheless)  Big glug of light soy sauce, handful of chopped coriander, squeeze of lime or lemon, sliced fresh red chilli (avoid adding seeds to reduce the heat) big glug of rice wine vinegar and a dash of fish sauce, dash of honey to add sweetness or sugar. Try it while making so you end up with a god balance of sweet and sour.

Family affair...while it was sunny!!

It was delicious despite it looking like I've regurgitated this plate full!!

Dad being casual...

Proof of empty plates

Mini lemon meringue - A present from the hummingbird bakery cook book- DELICIOUS 

Must learnt to make time, but here's the recipe and instructions.


These little cakes are squidgy and intensely lemony. They are very good with or without the frivolous meringue topping. If you do decide to gild the lily, be sure to use the shiny foil cake cases, since paper ones may singe when the meringue is being browned. Baked in tiny petit four cases, these are delicious after dinner with coffee.
  • 4oz/110g butter, at room temperature
  • 4oz/110g caster sugar
  • 2oz/60g ground almonds
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2oz/60g self-raising flour
  • 4oz/110g icing sugar
To decorate:
2 egg whites
  • 4oz/110g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with foil cases.
In the food processor or by hand, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Beat in the almonds and lemon zest, followed by the eggs a little at a time. Add the flour and pulse until just combined.
Divide the mixture between the foil cases. Bake for 20 minutes, until springy and touched with brown (they won't rise as much as regular cupcakes). Meanwhile mix the lemon juice and icing sugar to make a syrup. Spoon the syrup over the hot cakes, then leave to cool in the tin.
To decorate: beat the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the sugar a little at a time until stiff and smooth. Use this shaving foam-like mixture to fill a piping bag, and pipe over the cupcakes. Brown with a blow torch or under a preheated, fiercely hot grill.


Use paper cases that fit the cake tins snugly, or they'll either spread too much or wrinkle up. Annoyingly, sizes aren't standardised, so measure your tin's cup size before buying cases.
Use butter and eggs at room temperature for lighter cakes.
Don't get any mixture on the edges of the cupcake case: it will burn and may stop the cake rising evenly.
Turn the tin round after 12 minutes or so if your oven has hot spots.
If all else fails, buy ready-made and ice them yourself. (Best cheat: ready-made cupcakes that are not filled too high look most homemade when flooded with fondant icing - try Asda's cakes with Tate & Lyle fondant icing mix.)

Ted in agreement...

The BEST cakes...

Ted being handsome 

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