Eat

Delectable recipes and nom related things.

A Very Pretty Failure | Lemon Raspberry Rosemary Muffins

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“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. ” – Julia Child

Some of my greatest cooking achievements have been experiments. This isn’t one of them.

This one goes on the list with the moonrock microwave muffins I made when I was seven, and the dissolving cheesecake I made at the age of twenty two. (Which coined the phrase ‘failcake’ to describe anything you expect will be amazing, but really isn’t).

Recipe testing for a post Miss Charlotte Cake and I are planning I thought I’d fiddle with my favourite lemon muffin recipe by Alison Holst. Let’s just say the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ phrase certainly has a point.

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Because I was frosting these citrus babies I omitted the usual syrupy glaze, thinking it would make the muffins go mushy once iced.

Bad idea.
I repeat BAD IDEA.

Unless you want little rubbery missiles, douse those suckers in syrup. Or add more moisture to the batter itself.

Failed experiment aside at least they look pretty! I’m no expert cake decorator so I kept it simple with lemon buttercream icing, berries and rosemary blossoms. The resulting fragrance and colour combination was absolutely lovely. (But didn’t quite make up for the gummy texture as I found out shortly after the photos below).

Surely I can’t be the only one to make ammunition instead of nutrition – have you made hilariously bad food recently? You know you want to tell me.

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Not quite so deliciously yours,

                                  Velvet

 

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Alice in Wonderland & The Easiest Chocolate Mousse

Alice in Wonderland & The Easiest Chocolate Mousse

When my darling friend Soda Fontaine announced her UK adventure I farewelled her the same way I mark most occasions – with copious amounts of food.

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m kinda a fan of themed stuff. Especially the kind of theme that allows for crafting, alcohol and dress-ups (I don’t even care if that makes me a dork) . Match that with a love of feeding people and you have a recipe for one excellent Alice In Wonderland farewell dinner party.

alice in wonderland tequila shots | Velvet Decollete

The evening began with Drink Me shots, served on an edition of Alice with the white rabbit embossed on the cover.  The bottles hold coloured tequila labeled with a lickable, salt crusted tag and accompanied by a lemon ice lolly on a flamingo shaped stick.

The entree and main course wandered through wonderland delights such as southern fried dodo, Queen of Hearts soup and the caterpillar’s garden salad (complete with edible toadstools). You can read it below in this lovely photo montage I stole borrowed from Soda’s instagram.

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All this lead to dessert, the most important course of any meal. Reading Alice in Wonderland as a child my favourite part was The Garden Of Live Flowers (That’s the bit where the flowers sing to Alice before deciding she’s a weed!)Inspired by this and Heston Blumenthal’s edible graveyard I decided to serve individual edible potted plants!

These were a hit. And deceptively easy.

Easy chocolate mousse

The chocolate mousse base was rich and smooth, topped with crunchy chocolate ‘soil’ and sprouting flowering mint. Read on to make your own…

Chocolate Mousse Potted Plants

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate
2 cups cream
100g chopped marshmallows
1 pack of chocolate Oreo cookies
Mint sprigs or other edible plants

Method

  1. Use the chocolate, cream and marshmallows to make Annabel Langbein’s easy chocolate mousse. Honestly it’s the simplest and best mousse I’ve ever had.
  2. Pour the chocolate mousse into individual dessert bowls and place in the fridge to set.
  3. Take your Oreos, split them in half and remove the cream filling. Put the Orea halves in a bowl and smash them into teeny tiny pieces using a can, rolling pin or your bludgeoning tool of choice. Set aside.
  4.  Trim any ugly bits off your mint sprigs. Gently wash them in cold water and spread them out on some paper towels to dry.
  5. Eat all remaining Oreo cookies and the leftover cream filling. You’ve earned it.
  6. Once the chocolate mousse is set, gently distribute your Oreo crumbs over the top of each bowl like dirt. Poke a sprig of mint into the centre of each ‘pot’ and voila! your very own edible chocolate garden!

I served my plants under a gnarly faux tree the Duke and I made as a jewellery display years ago, but you can display yours however you like.

easy chocolate mousse 2

The Duke and I thoroughly enjoy hosting dinner parties, and I thoroughly enjoy giving my guests an unexpected experience. Now to decide what my next dinner party theme should be! Any suggestions?

Deliciously yours,

                   Velvet

 

 

 

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Dairy Free Berry Lemon Curd

Okay so the scrumptious dairy free lemon curd from June was delicious right?
Right.
What could possibly compete with something so simple and tasty?
Berry lemon curd, that’s what.

dairy free berry lemon curd | Velvet DeCollete

Rich in colour, flavour and all the good nutrients associated with berries, this berry lemon curd is a super easy twist on our favourite citrus treat.

Berry Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 handful of fresh or frozen rasperries, boysenberries or blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 eggs

Method

  1. In a small pot, cook your chosen berries over a medium heat until they break down into a glorious berry goo. Allow to cool before squishing the berry goo through a fine sieve over a bowl. You should be left with a sieve full of berry skins and seeds, and a bowl of beautifully coloured thick berry juice.

  2.  Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Pop it on the stove to start heating to a simmer.

  3. In a bowl that fits on top of the pot combine the lemon juice and sugar, about 1/4 cup of the berry juice and finally the eggs. Whisk it all together until there’s no globs of egg floating around.  (You can add more berry juice if you’d like a stronger flavour, but you’ll have to cook it for longer, or have a runnier curd).

  4. Place the bowl on top of the pot, making sure it doesn’t touch the simmering water. Whisk your eggy lemon sugar mix for about 10 minutes until it’s nice and thick.  Don’t stop whisking or it might go lumpy!

  5. Once your berry lemon mix is nice and thick plonk the bowl on the counter and throw in your coconut oil and lemon rind. Keep whisking until it’s all melted and mixed in. (I like to whisk mine lots to make it light and creamy)

  6. carefully pour your berry lemon curd into a jar and you’re done! Remember to store your lemon curd in the fridge if you don’t use it all at once.

dairy free berry lemon curd | Velvet DeColletedairy free berry lemon curd | Velvet DeCollete

I really enjoy this lushly coloured curd on top of icecream, sponge cakes and muesli.
If you’ve got a favourite curd recipe, go ahead and post a link in the comments, I’d love to try it!

Deliciously yours,
          Velvet

 

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Scrumptious Dairy Free Lemon Curd

Scrumptious Dairy Free Lemon Curd

dairy free lemon curd | The Beckoning Blog

We have a lot of lemon trees. Lemons are freakin’ delicious. Lemon curd is really freakin’ delicious. However lemon curd also contains butter or cream, which is not so freakin’ delicious for people who can’t eat milk products .

I am not one of those people, but my friend Pixie Twist is. I didn’t want her to miss out when she visited last summer so I swapped butter for coconut oil and BOOM … scrumptious tangy dairy free lemon curd!

This zingy citrus spread is mouthwatering on toast, meringues, cakes, ice cream and just about everything else. Plus it’s super easy to make!

Scrumptious Dairy Free Lemon Curd
(Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 eggs

Method

  1.  Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Pop it on the stove to start heating to a simmer.
  2. In a bowl that fits on top of the pot combine the lemon juice and sugar, then the eggs. Whisk it all together until there’s no globs of egg floating around.
  3. Place the bowl on top of the pot, making sure it doesn’t touch the simmering water. Whisk your eggy lemon sugar mix for about 10 minutes until it’s nice and thick.  Don’t stop whisking or it might go lumpy!
  4. Once your lemony mix is nice and thick plonk the bowl on the counter and throw in your coconut oil and lemon rind. Keep whisking until it’s all melted and mixed in. (I like to whisk mine lots to make it light and creamy)
  5. carefully pour your lemon curd into a jar and you’re done! Remember to store your lemon curd in the fridge if you don’t use it all at once.

Let me know how you use your lemon curd, I’m always looking for tasty new ideas!

 

Deliciously yours,

Velvet x

 

 

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Banana Muffins Two Ways

Banana Muffins Two Ways

Making tasty food for your loved ones is a simple pleasure. Something you’ve made with your own hands that brings comfort and instant gratification should never be underestimated.

Personally I like simple baking – thrown together in ten minutes and ready to eat in twenty on a rainy day. Which is exactly where this recipe came from!
A cold rainy morning had me hankering for something warm and sweet. Bananas needed using but without enough chocolate for a whole batch of banana choc  I decided to make a new flavour as well. Thus Banana Muffins Two Ways was born.

24 hours later there’s only two left so I figure that’s a success!

banana chocolate muffins | The Beckoning Blog

A Banana, Coconut & Raisin muffin and a Banana Chocolate muffin

Banana Muffins Two Ways
This recipe starts as one batch, and is split into two – Banana Chocolate and Banana, Coconut and Raisin. This recipe makes about twenty regular size muffins.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup chopped chocolate – I use Whittakers 72% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 large handful raisins

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c
  2. Sift flour and mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl melt the butter and add the milk, egg and vanilla essence. Beat well.
  4. Mash bananas ( I bash them into submission with a fork in the measuring jug ) and stir into the liquid mix.
  5. Pour liquid mix into dry ingredients and fold with a metal spoon until just combined. Never over mix muffins or they’ll end up dense and heavy.– Now comes the Two Ways part –
  6. Split half your muffin batter into a separate bowl. Throw in the chopped chocolate and stir through very gently. 3/4 fill greased muffin trays and pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes while you prep the second batch.
  7. Add the coconut and raisins to the remaining half of the batter and mix gently. 3/4 fill greased muffins trays and sprinkle a little extra coconut on top of each one. (The coconut sprinkle ends up all toasted and delicious!)
  8. Both batches will be a golden brown colour when cooked and will spring back when touched. Turn muffins out onto a cooling rack and enjoy warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

banana coconut muffins | The Beckoning Blogbanana muffins two ways | The Beckoning Blog

Optional Chocolate Icing
I was in the mood for a ton of chocolatey goodness so my banana chocolate muffins got icing. All available chocolate was used in the batter so here’s my surprisingly rich and decadent improvised chocolate icing recipe!

Ingredients

  • 25g softened butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Delmaine chocolate sauce.

Method

  • sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into a small bowl.
  • slowly add water while stirring with a fork to avoid clumps.
  • once you have a thick paste, stir in chocolate sauce until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
  • Spread over cooled muffins with a warm knife.
  • Eat all the leftover icing with a spoon while no one’s looking.

chocolate icing | The Beckoning Blog

 

Bon Appetit!

Velvet x

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Hello Homemade Lemonade!

Hello Homemade Lemonade!

Oh summer you sweet thing!

This weekend was the start of the golden weather. I wore short shorts, lay in the sun, and made homemade lemonade with this easy recipe from For The Love of the South.

Sweet and tangy, I’m pretty sure this old fashioned lemonade is the nectar of the gods. Garnish with some mint leaves to bring out the freshness (or a dash of citrus vodka to bring out your freshness!) and top with ice for a perfect sunny afternoon.

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Our lemon tree grows a variety called ‘Lemonades’, which are sweeter than regular lemons. If you can beg, borrow or grow some, I highly recommend it! Their lush mellow flavour means you can halve the sugar used in this recipe.

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