Right. Recipes. I'm going to do my best to be all multinational and convert things, too. So...sorry if I get it wrong! Alert me to anything that looks ridiculous, or if I've named something that needs translating. But don't expect me to do anything about it until I'm back from dragging Danger into the countryside for some fun.
Custard Creams. (Easy - about 15 mins prep, ten mins in the oven, and a bit of cooling/construction time.)
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
200g (2 cups) self-raising flour
60g (1/2 cup) of custard powder
125g (1 cup) icing sugar
2 tablespoons custard powder
1 tablespoon orange rind (grated)
2 teaspoons orange juice
Cream together the butter/sugar. Beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and custard powder.
Spoon the mix onto a lightly greased tray (if it's stiff enough it's easy to shape with cutters, just throw the offcuts back in the mix. If it's not, just have round biscuits!)
Bake at 180 degrees C for 10-15 mins. Let them cool on a wire rack.
Add the filling:
Cream the butter, icing sugar and custard powder together, then add the orange juice and rind. Spread the cooled biscuits with the fill and squash together. Easy!
And Beef Wellington (serves four. Or one Sherlock.)
500g pack of ready made puff pastry (or make it if you want...)
20g dry porcini or morel mushrooms (and strong flavoured mushrooms, really.)
500g Chestnut mushrooms
splash of Vegetable oil.
4x180g beef fillet slices.
4 small shallots, chopped finely.
Bit of butter
Splash of sherry
Bit of egg
300ml double cream.
Scattering of flour.
So, chuck a bit of flour about (get some on your boyfriend's bum) and roll out the pastry into 4 squares, about 7inches square. Chill in the fridge. Rinse the dried mushrooms, put in a bowl and cover in hot water, leave to soak. Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan, season the beef with salt and pepper, fry the beef off for about a minute per side. Set aside. Fry off the shallots in the same pan until softened. Add in the butter and the chestnut mushrooms and cook for a few mins longer. Drain off the dried mushrooms, chop them finely, chuck them in the pan and glug some Sherry in. Cook off the alcohol. Chuck the thyme in, cook for a minute longer and season with salt/pepper.
Put the oven on to about 200 degrees C. Get your pastry out of the fridge again, spoon some mushroom mix on, about the same size blob as your steak is, and then put the steak on top of it. Brush the pastry edges with a bit of egg. fold in all the corner of the pastry, flip it over so the smooth side is up, neaten it up. Slash the tops with a knife and brush with egg. Bake for 12-14 mins, or a bit longer if you don't like medium/rare. About 5 mins before the wellingtons are due out of the oven heat up the rest of the mushroom mix again, once hot, add all the cream and cook high for about 2 mins. Season and use as a sauce over the wellingtons.