Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Pie and Cake

Food is comforting in the Tarts household and as we're dealing with post-holiday -oh dear god we're back in Britain-misery, I decided to cheer us up with a round of pie and brownies yesterday evening. Bacon, mushroom and cheese pie with lovely buttery shortcrust pastry. I've now taken to always using the Nigella Lawson pastry recipe from Feast. 450g plain flour, 225g butter (rubbing in the butter to this massive amount of flour would take ages so I just bung it in my food processor) and 3 eggs. Makes enough pastry to make 2 pies so I wrap one half up and store it in the freezer. Much cheaper and nicer than the ready made stuff and less hassle than walking to the shops to buy the damn stuff anyway. As for quantities for the filling, I just go by eye really. I always seem to make just the right amount. It's become quite a talent in a way.

Here be pie. No particular reason for the dinosaur decoration other than it makes us smile:

And for pudding: brownies and ice cream. I decided to use the blocks of Willie's Supreme 100% Cacao I bought from Waitrose a while ago. They are interestingly packaged, very tactile and aesthetically pleasing and reassuringly heavy. I tasted a little bit that broke off and can only equate it with eating a teaspoon of coffee granules. Intensely bitter and it dries your mouth. It certainly isn't chocolate to eat 'raw'.
I tried the brownie recipe from the chocolate maker's book Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook. I've never found a recipe for brownies that required so many eggs, 8 in total; 6 whole and 2 yolks. There is satisfaction to be had in using so many eggs, although I'm not entirely sure why that should be.
Brownie recipe:
250g cacao, grated
300g unsalted butter
6 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
300g golden caster sugar
80g plain flour, sifted
Preheat the over to 180 degrees C (fan oven) and line/grease a brownie pan
Melt the cacao and butter in a bowl over simmering water.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale.
After allowing the cacao and butter to cool slightly, pour into the eggs and sugar and mix, then fold in the flour.
Bake for 25-30 min
And then you get this:
My only complaint would be is that the brownies actually rose, rather than remaining intensely gooey. I would put this down to too many egg whites in the mix and the whisked mixture was certainly very frothy. Still delicious though.
And finally a pic of some of the goodies I brought back from Rome: Sombrero hat pasta, which I don't intend to eat but rather just display in a nice jar, Limoncello (of course), this variety is from Sorrento, and a big tin of tiny Amaretti biscuits that I'm trying to construct a cake recipe around. They are truly moreish. We also brought back packs of speciality Italian biscuits, but those have been largely scoffed. Shall have to go back to Rome to get some more.

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