Tag Archives: River Cottage

Cooking and baking weekend

On Sunday I really felt like baking and cooking all sorts of seasonal dishes. After a very long break I decided to give our farmers market another chance. As I mentioned earlier the Clapham farmers market went down hill and last time I went, it didn’t have any organic vegetables.

To my surprise there was a new stall selling all kinds of salad leaves, courgettes with the flowers on, cucumbers etc. There was also one supplier who only comes in the summer, they usually have summer fruit and veg, whatever is in season.

I got some peppery salad leaves, broad beans, new potatoes, black currants, gooseberries and strawberries – very very exciting for me, especially the gooseberries which are not a common sight in London.

On Sunday I made black currant upside down cakes which came out a little bit too buttery so this recipe is slightly revised.

125rg unsalted butter
115gr caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
200gr flour and 50gr ground almonds
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
a punnet of black currants – this can be replaced by any summer berries

Preheat the oven to 175C and grease the tins, you don’t need o do that to paper ones or silicone ones.

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and pale yellow and beat in the eggs until smooth, add vanilla. Now my butter, sugar and egg mixture split but after adding the flour and almonds all was good. Sift the flour and baking soda together, add almonds and then fold into the batter.

Place the fruit at the bottom of the cups and bake for 20-25 min in an oven until golden brown.

Easy peasy and delicious! Pictures to follow soon.

Then it was onto the gooseberries, I stewed them with a bit of sugar, then let it chill. This was served first with a savory dish – smoked mackerel and new potatoes, it worked very well together. I used the rest of it on my porridge, I really like the heat of the porridge with cold tart topping. On this occasion I must mention my beloved fishmonger, Moxon’s. They have shops in East Dulwich, South Kensington and next to my house in Clapham South just next to the tube station. They sell the freshest and most amazing fish, be it fresh, coooked or smoked. Everything I had from them was absolutely stunning and it’s not too pricey either. My favorite is the whole smoked mackerel which is not salty unlike the filets sold in the supermarkets. They also do wonderful smoked salmon filets.

Broad beans are still to be eaten. I think these will end up in a summer risotto.

I also got very inspired by a sourdough bread making which I saw on River Cottage last week, am on day 5 of making my own starter. All it takes is equal amounts of water and strong bread flour, I use rye flour. I started with one cup of each and keep adding half cup of each every day. You’ve got to stir it well and keep it in a warm environment covered with a clean tea towel. We will see what comes off it on Saturday. More comprehensible discription of the process to be found here.