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My Golden Pear: April 2013

Monday, 29 April 2013


If I had to name my top guilty pleasure it would have to be dairy products.  From a simple cheese sandwich accompanied with a cold glass of milk to a fresh scone topped with jam and clotted cream and then of course there is hot toast dripping with salted butter.  I could go on and on...  I'm very much aware that these all have to be eaten in moderation but that is what a guilty pleasure is all about - you know it's bad for you but you just can't help yourself.  Well you can imagine my delight when I saw that the latest theme for Bake Along is Tres Leches cake. 
I had never heard of it before and on further reading discovered it to be a light sponge cake soaked in not one, not two but three different kinds of milk. I am not a fan of soggy desserts and couldn't imagine that this cake would not have a 'soggy bottom' and was intrigued enough to give it a go. You definitely have to leave it soaking overnight to avoid the soggy texture and even after that the ends were still a little wet BUT it was delicious. The final result is more sticky than wet and you will find yourself seeking out the wet bits because they are so moreish. As a family we very seldom finish off a whole cake but this one disappeared in a flash. I even discovered my hubby had had a sneaky slice and that is very unusual as he does not have a sweet tooth. Most of the recipes I had seen suggested serving with cream and fresh fruit and it was good this way but I think I preferred it just on its own.
A very delicious, sticky and surprisingly light Latin American treat.


Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes plus resting time
Total time: 1 hour plus resting time

Yield: 6 - 12 depending on size of slices

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g (½ standard tin) sweetened condensed milk
  • 200g (½ standard tin) evaporated milk
  • 200ml single cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Grease and line a 23cm/9in square cake tin.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with 2/3 of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale and creamy.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla extract and combine well.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder to your mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  6. Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff.
  7. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined.
  8. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.        
  9. While the cake is baking - combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream in a small bowl.
  10. As soon as the cake comes out the oven, prick all over with a skewer and slowly pour over your milk mixture. (I left my cake in the tin).
  11. Leave the cake overnight (in the fridge) to absorb all the liquid. (I turned my cake over once during this time so that any excess liquid drained back down into the cake).
  12. Decorate with whipped cream and fresh fruit or just serve as is.      

Adapted from BBC Food

I am very happy to finally be able to submit a post to Bake Along which is hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of My Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings.

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Monday, 15 April 2013


There was a palpable excitement in the air.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the air was warm.  The kids swapped their socks and trainers for flip flops, summer shorts were donned and the water pistols were dusted off.  My hubby retrieved the barbecue from the depths of the shed and spent a couple of hours cleaning it ready for his first barbie of the year.  The ice cream was in the freezer, the salad tossed, the meat sizzling and the wine poured.  This was what we had all been waiting for - the start of our long overdue summer.  We raised our glasses to toast a long, happy summer and that's when we felt it.  Rain - not just a few drops but enough that we had to abandon our barbecue and dash indoors - wet and miserable once more. 
 Oh the joys of a British summer!!
I had made this blueberry and lime ice cream as a treat for the kids and we still managed to enjoy it but probably not quite the same as if the sun had still been shining.  The addition of lime makes it deliciously refreshing and it really is a quick dessert if you have an ice cream maker.   If you don't have an ice cream maker then it is still possible to make - it just takes a bit longer.  All you need to do is place your bowl of mixture into the freezer for an hour, remove and whisk until smooth.  Return it to the freezer again for another hour, remove and whisk again.  Transfer the mixture to a rigid container and return to the freezer.  Before serving, move to the fridge for 30 minutes to soften.  I save all the soft and squidgy blueberries that the kids refuse to eat by storing them in the freezer until I have enough to make this ice cream.  For this reason I am going to submit this post to Turquoise Lemons - No Waste Food Challenge which has a theme of fruit this month and is being hosted by Elizabeth over at the lovely Elizabeth's Kitchen


Blueberry & Lime Ice Cream

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes plus freezing time

Yield: 4 - 6

  • 2 limes
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 150g blueberries
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 284ml double cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Finely grate the zest from 1 of the limes and squeeze the juice from both.
  2. Add the zest, juice and sugar to a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the blueberries to the pan and heat gently for a further couple of minutes.
  4. Leave mixture to cool.
  5. Stir in the coconut cream and blitz quickly with a hand blender to mix thoroughly.
  6. Whip the cream in a bowl until it just holds its shape.
  7. Stir the cream into the blueberry mixture.
  8. Churn in your ice cream maker until thick.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a container and freeze until required.
  10. Before serving, transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes to soften.
Written by Angela Darroch
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food - May 2003

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Friday, 5 April 2013


Many, many moons ago when I lived on my own I used to treat myself to some deliciously hot and spicy curries.  The kind of curry that clears your sinuses and leaves your mouth numb for hours after.  That all changed when I met my husband. He was a meat and two veg man and so as to not scare him off I toned down my taste for all things spicy.  Next came the kids and once again I have had to change the way I cook a curry.  There is now almost no heat, just the delicious mix of different spices.  How I love a curry takeaway these days when I can order my very own vindaloo. 
 This recipe for Kashmiri Chicken is one that we all love.  It is definitely not a hot curry but the combination of cardamom, chilli and paprika are delicious.  My 4 year old describes it as "the curry I can't get enough of."  As a Mum, that is music to my ears.
For the printable version - click here

Kashmiri Chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4
  • 25g ghee or butter
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • seeds from 10 cardamom pods, crushed
  • small cinnamon stick
  • small knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsps paprika
  • 600 g skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 250 ml natural yogurt
Cooking Directions
  1. Melt the ghee or butter in a wok.  Add the onions, peppercorns, crushed cardamom seeds and cinnamon and fry for about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli powder, paprika and salt to taste and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and fry until they are evenly browned and cooked through.
  4. Add the peas and fry until cooked.
  5. Gradually add the yogurt, stirring constantly until heated through.
  6. If sauce is too thick, add a touch of water to thin it out.
  7. Serve hot with rice and lime wedges.
** The curry does tend to curdle when adding the yogurt but I find if I leave it to cool down and then reheat again, the sauce blends together but you will need to add some water to thin it out a bit.       
    Written by : Angela Darroch

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