Friday, 29 August 2008

Strawberry & Chocolate Victoria Sponge

Recipe For the Sponge:
  • 220 grs butter, softened, plus extra for greasing.
  • 220 grs caster sugar.
  • 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten.
  • 220 grs self-raising flour.
  • Dash of vanilla essence
Recipe For the Filling & Topping:
  • 15 large Fresh strawberries.
  • One soup spoon of sugar.
  • 250 mls single fresh cream.
  • 1 bar of chocolate 60% cocoa.

Preheat your oven to 180°C, gas mark 4, Use a little butter to grease two 20cm-diameter sponge tins and also dust them with flour. The very important creaming method; that is, the fat and sugar are creamed or beaten together until very light and fluffy before other ingredients are added.
Beat the eggs lightly and add them to the mixture of fat and sugar bit by bit incorporating them each addition you make, continue this until all the egg is in, then the flour add a bit at the time as well and fold it in until it incorporates too with the mixture, keep repeating this until all is in, Finally add the vanilla essence (or lemon zest if you prefer).
Split the mixture between the two tins and bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes, prick them with a wooden tooth pick until the centre if tooth pick comes out clean then they are cooked.

Beat the cream and add as it starts to harden the sugar (also add a couple of lemon juice drops). Wash and slice the strawberries, once that is done fold them gently into the thickened cream, that is it filling is done.

Very simple for a hard set, just break chocolate into little squares into a glass bowl and melt them in bain marie, then you cover the cake with it which then goes hard when it is dry.
For a soft version I add a tea spoon of butter and an egg yolk mixing it well still in the bain marie, if you spread this one will not go hard should go semi-soft.


The easy bit, put one sponge in a plate, cover it thickly with the strawberry cream let it go out of the cake diameter a bit, lay the other sponge on top with it's base facing top (as is a flatter surfice) run a spatula all the way around the cake to push the excess cream in and make it a smooth surface, then finally coat the top with chocolate, (you can add more decorations if you want like sprinkles etc. its up to you.

The cake on the picture I made it for my niece who was just 1 year old last week, so I wanted a simple presentation, but nice looking at the same time.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Honey "Broas" Portuguese Cookies

(broas are kind of leaf shaped cookies)

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 500 grs sugar
  • 500 grs Flour
  • 125 grs butter
  • 125 grs lard (veg)
  • 2 soup spoons of honey
  • 1 tea spoon of sodium bicarbonate
  • zest of one lemon
Hehe! is very complicated....
Well put all ingredients together, kneed them really well and then roll it into small balls in your had to a longish egg shape place them in a previously greased and floured tray and sort of press them down with a fork (just a little to a fat leaf shape, place them in a preheated oven to 200 Celsius and bake them till golden brown about 25 minutes depending on oven. I was only scaring you ...see not complex at all.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Milk Tartlets

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 5 dl of full Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 130 grs of Flour
  • 30 grs Butter
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 Dash of Vanilla Essence

This is an easy one, Mix the flour and sugar together until well blended, the mix eggs one by one mixing in between until a smooth paste, heat the milk with the butter until this one melts, once that is achieved, pour slowly into the egg; flour & sugar mixture (always mixing) finally add the lemon zest and the Vanilla essence. let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. Then pour into silicone cups and bake in the oven in a "bain marie" 190 degrees, for 20 minutes until golden brown (see picture above) and enjoy them, let them cool before eating.

Butter Bean Cakes

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 500 grs Sugar
  • 2.5 dl Water
  • 250 grs Butter Beans (these can be from a can, but you must peel them)
  • A soup spoon full of Butter
  • 6 yolks and 2 full eggs
  • the zest of one Lemon
  • A dash of Vanilla Essence

Put in a pan the sugar and water boiling this until it reaches "pearl point" for you and me until when it drips from the spoon onto a surface forms like a pearl (it takes about 7 minutes boiling).
While that is going on after peeling beans mash them with a fork until a smooth paste, once the sugar reached the point take it off the fire and add the beans mixing well take it back to the fire for about 3-4 minutes so that it just thickens up a bit (always stirring) lastly add the butter until it melts. Once done take it of the fire and set it aside.
Let this mixture cool down a bit and then add the eggs (mixed) little by little always mixing it, then add the lemon zest and the dash of vanilla essence. Mixture done.

Dough Preparation:

In a bowl mix 1 cup of flour and a heaped spoon of baking margarine, mix it with your hands until resembles bread crumbs, then add a little water and continue mixing until a silky soft dough (like bread dough), let it rest for 15 minutes in the bowl with a cloth over it. After that cut a small piece and roll it with a rolling pin in a well floured table until about 2-3 millimetres thickens, cut round shapes (using a dough cutter) then lay it into aluminium cup cases that have been previously buttered. (the secret for a wafer thin dough is to stretch the circles inside the cup to cover it all. (well practice makes perfect...have fun).
Fill the cups with the mixture and oven bake them for about 25 - 30 minutes.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Pilau Rice (my way)

Put some water boiling in a pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, once boiling add some basmati rice, let this boil for five minutes. At this stage add 5 crushed cardoms, a cinamon stick, a tea spoon of ground cumin a three crushed garlic (skin and all) , also a couple of bay leaves and finally a soup spoon of turmeric. Let it boil until rice is cooked (just cooked not, overcooked) drain it in a sieve and pour some boiling water over it to remove starch, drizzle a little more olive oil over it and "voila" ready to serve with your favourite curry.
(Don't forget at the end to remove the garlic skins and the bay leaves, also some people like cloves while cooking the rice,,,your choice I don't like them)

Chinese Soup

Chinese Soup

This is a personal interpretation of Birds Nest Soup, I would say a Summer soup most adequate for this time of year, also is very quick to make.

For this
Recipe you will need:
  • 1- Onion
  • 1-Garlic
  • 1- Ginger (bit same size as garlic)
  • 8-Spring Onions
  • 1-Red Chilli (mild)
  • 2- Soup spoons of light Soya Sauce
  • 2- Eggs 1- Tea spoon of Chinese "Five Spice"
  • 2- Soup spoons of Arrow Root (alternatively one of corn starch).
Chop very finely the onion, the garlic and the Ginger. Put a large pan on the cooker with two large spoons of olive oil on a hot heat, once the oil starts to smoke a little chuck in the onion garlic and ginger stirring it, reduce it to a low heat and add the soya sauce the Chinese five spice a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper, and keep stirring it occasionally until the onion is virtually transparent. While the onion is cooking you can advance by slicing finely the spring onions and the chilli (not forgetting to de-seed and de-vein the chilli first).
Now that the onion is transparent add the water enough for about four people (about 2 litres) using a blender, blitz the onion until a smooth cloudy liquid, bring to the boil and at this point add the arrow root powder diluted in a little water (always stirring) this will thicken the soup just a little give the soup a couple of swirls and while the soup is still moving by itself in the pan put in the eggs (previously mixed) slowly , once they are all in add the spring onions and the chilli. Let it simmer for 5 minutes more and the soup is ready to serve....Bon Apetit

Alternatively if you like more substance, replace the spring onions and chilli by a couple of hands full of sweet corn and a couple of thin noodles blocks crushed.


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Rico - Tried and Tested Recipes

Hi my name is Rico (short for Ricardo) will regularly add more food content to this blog, all my recipes are tried and tested, as I make them and eat them as well as my family, so I wouldn't give you something that is not good.

Recipes published here, will try to conform to the following criteria:

-Easy to create or bake.
-Will be nutritious, wholesome and healthy as well as economical too.
- Will be varied and inventive, mostly created by me.
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