Well would Jubilee-ve it!

I thought it would be bad to not supply you with a totally simple gluten free recipe for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee festivities sooo huzzah! Here it is in all it’s glory; a gorgeous Fresh Raspberry and Vanilla Mascarpone Shortbread Tart.

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I’ve seen lots of recipes in food magazines over the past weeks, all very much trying to replicate the British flag in cake form, and while this is fantastic – and I love a good cooking challenge, I know some of us will just want to enjoy the extra day off we get rather than spend hours in the kitchen moulding icing in the shape of her majesty’s face.

Like most cheesecakey tarty things, the base and filling can be made in advance- and for the better even, as the base becomes much firmer after a good night in the fridge.

The shortbread biscuits I used were Sunstart one’s but I’m sure any would do the job, and if you can’t find any gluten free shortbread biscuits you can use what ever you can find really, I reckon using custard creams would make an unusual base, you would get a rather ice creamy taste. Yum.

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Simple Gluten Free Fresh Raspberry and Vanilla Mascarpone Shortbread Tart

If you do want it to be more like a cheesecake just double all amounts.

Base:

500g Gluten Free shortbread biscuits (about 18)

100g melted unsalted butter

Filling:

1 Vanilla Pod

250g mascarpone

100g cream cheese

1 tbsp of icing sugar

Topping:

300g Fresh Raspberries

Pop the shortbread biscuits into a hole-free plastic bag (I learnt the hard way) and smash them into tiny pieces. This is good for getting out any aggression.

Melt the butter and stir into the crumbly biscuit mixture in a big bowl, making sure all the crumbs are covered.

Pour the biscuit mixture into a 23” springform or loose tart or cake tin.

Pop in the fridge while you make the filling

Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrap the seeds out carefully with a knife.

Stir the vanilla seeds and the rest of the filling ingredients in a big bowl

Taste, if it’s not sweet enough for you add a tiny bit more icing sugar but bear in mind the shortbread base is very sweet.

Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and flatten with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Leave in the fridge to set (overnight does a good job but a couple of hours would be fine too)

Top with the fresh raspberries

Serve at your Jubilee afternoon tea! Enjoy J

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From Paris with … Chocolat Chaud

I’m back. ‘Finally’ – I hear you cry. Oh you guys!! *blushes* and I’m married –double yay! So no longer do I have to spell out my surname ‘Kreczmer’ numerous times to people I can now simply go ‘Carter’ and pretend I’m an American news reporter. Badass.

We went to Paris for our honeymoon and I have to be brutally honest and say, although it was lovely- we did have a few issues and in retrospect we wished we just went for a lazy beach scenario. Our first hotel although it was good for a base hotel, didn’t quite have the romantic charm or attentive service that we needed for our honeymoon so we did a swift move to another which was better located in the 1st arrondissment and near to Pierre Herme’, the latter pretty much sealed the deal for me.

It was an expensive holiday, and the most affordable (and most enjoyable) for me was going to the supermarket. Yes. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc d’Triomphe -forget it, the supermarkets is where it’s at. Particularly in the Galleries Lafayette Gourmet. It was foodie heaven. I could have spent hours trying all the delicious produce but alas we was on a tight schedule and I had a feeling the husband was getting nervous with the amount of money I was spending on chocolate. I seem to however go into this ‘money-no-object’ state when I’m in foreign supermarkets; I think it’s because you never really know what things cost unless you have an amazing ability to convert instantly.

My best purchase wasn’t found in the supermarket (although they also sold it there) but in one of the most famous tea rooms in Paris – Angelina. Their hot chocolate is arguably (but debated consistently on trip advisor) as one of the best in Paris. I bought a box then…naturally.

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My return home to England was depressing to say the least, we only had a 5 day honeymoon which went a bit fast (we hope to go somewhere longer next year) and I STILL didn’t think I bought enough food back with me. Disaster! On the upside though I’m now back to share with you this recipe, which I put together in my mind on the flight back. A bit weary of cooking cake with chocolat chaud but let me tell you…this did not disappoint.

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There’s something very child-like about messing around with hot chocolate in the kitchen, I remember mixing all kinds of cream/milk/caramel syrup concoctions when I was young. This went all through university as well. You just can’t grow out of that indulgent simplicity.

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This Hot chocolate maderia cake though is not recommended for children however, it involves Crème d’Abricot (Apricot Liqueur) and I did get drunk in the process of testing. You can use any Liqueur really but I found this one a bit different and it also gives it an almondy taste that is lovely with sweet chocolate.

Either put the icing on top or use it as a side cream- this cake is particularly nice when heated up! Either way Ash loved it.

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Hot Chocolate Maderia Cake with Creme d’Abricot Mascapone Icing

225g butter, softened

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g gluten free plain flour

25g Ground Almonds

2tsp of Xanthym Gum

2 tsp baking powder

50ml milk

100g hot chocolate powder (at least 50% cocoa)

2 Tablespoons of Apricot Liqueur (and a drizzle extra)

Mascapone  100g

Cream Cheese  200g

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Butter the sides of a loaf tin and grease well with butter.

Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light.

Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter mixture, beating all the time.

Sift in the flour, almond flour, Xyanthm gum, Baking powder, milk and mix slowly.

Fold in the sifted cocoa powder.

Place the mixture into the loaf tin

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn the cake out and leave to cool.

(Optional) Once cool, use a pastry brush and brush the top with liqueur evenly.

Top cake with icing :)

Icing:

Mix the Mascapone with the Cream Cheese and beat together.

Add the icing sugar.

Add the liqueur bit by bit till its to your taste.

Next blog post I’ll do something healthy :P Promise.

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