Apple & crab cakes

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This recipe has become a fav recently, though it has taken me a little time to get the balance of taste and texture just right. The distinctive flavour of the crab, combined with the subtle sweetness of apple. It might sound a bit crazy but the two really do work well together.
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Kentish Cherry & Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream

The English cherry season is so very short,so I get really excited when the first of the Kent cherries start to make an appearance. Fat, juicy and the most beautiful deep red, they really are in a different league to the smaller, tasteless imports available all year round in supermarkets.

I invested in an ice-maker a few months ago. Just a cheap and cheerful one, nothing fancy. Not sure it was the wisest move in terms of keeping my waistline trim, but I’m trying to be really good and use only occasionally (by occasionally, read twice a week so far – eek! Excitement gets the better of me some times. Must do more cycling…). The difference a machine makes is quite remarkable: no crystals or lumps. I’m a very happy camper indeed.

My recipe is currently featured in Crumbs Magazine too, but I’ve slightly tweaked the cream/milk ratio here.

So, here’s my current seasonal fav. The combination of sweet cherries & bitter chocolate is pretty special.

You will need
250g fresh cherries

3 tbsp golden caster sugar

80g good quality dark chocolate (70%)

150ml semi skimmed milk

150ml double cream

50g caster sugar

Serves four
1.)  De-stone the cherries and cut into halves. Place in a saucepan with the caster sugar and cook over a low heat until softened. Set aside to cool.
2.) Once cool, blend in a food processor until you have smooth puree.
3.) Break your chocolate into tiny pieces (alternatively, place it in a sandwich bag and crush gently with a rolling pin if easier).
4.) In a large measuring jug, add the milk, cream and sugar and cherry puree and mix gently until combined.
5.) Pour the mixture into your ice–cream machine and allow it to churn for a few minutes before gradually adding your chocolate pieces, one spoonful at a time. Timings will vary depending on the type of machine you have.All photography © Heather Elizabeth Wilkinson 2012

 

Cooking from the book ‘Mighty Spice’ by John Gregory-Smith

Mighty Spice by John Gregory-Smith
Mighty Spice by John Gregory-Smith

All photographs copyright © Heather Wilkinson 2012

I was supposed to put up this post last week, but sadly it got eaten before I had time to photograph it (a good sign I think!) and I ended up having to make it again. 
 
I think I must have cooked almost all the recipes from John Gregory-Smith’s Mighty Spice book when I purchased it a few months ago. It really is a fantastic book, full of simple, honest, flavour-packed recipes – the type of food I could pretty much eat every day. I really enjoyed the introduction where John talks about the impact travel has had on his life and how it has influenced his cooking. 
 
For me, there were definitely a couple of standout recipes: Falafel Burgers with a Yogurt and Tahini Dip and the Bulgur Wheat Salad, (shown in the above pictures.) I’d never actually tried bulgur wheat before making this recipe, and I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to make – very similar to cous cous. I have to say that I did add make a couple of my own amendments of to the recipe: lemon zest and a huge handful of fresh mint.
 
I also made the mango, orange and nutmeg cheesecake. Sadly, this wasn’t very successful, hence I haven’t posted a picture. It wasn’t much of a looker, especially after I dropped it on the worktop while trying to get it out of the tin (whoops). It was supposed to have a delicate mango drizzle on the top of it, but I totally fudged it up and it ended up like mango mush that made the cheesecake a bit wet and sloppy. Not nice.
 
Anyway, I loved the book and I’m looking forward cooking many more meals from it. With any luck the weather will warm up here in the UK and we’ll be able to eat outside – yeah right, who am I kidding…
 
You can find a link to the book here.

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