Chocolate Meringue Layer
Granny liked a Meringue and the youngest is asking for a Meringue recipe for his contribution to tea. As it so happens he likes chocolate and got very excited about making layers.
Credit: Granny’s Recipe File
Prep: 3 Baking trays with grease proof paper, and a 20cm circle drawn on each. This needs a long lead in. Easy to make through the day, around the jobs.
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs – separated….the whites for the Meringue, keep the yolks for the filling
- 3 Yolks
- 50g Plain Chocolate
- 50g Sugar
- 125ml Milk
- 175g Butter, at room temperature
- 8+ Maltesers (Optional Topping)
The Cake Layers
- Separate the eggs reserving yolks for the filing. I do this into a jug one at a time, after each separation I put the egg white into a large clean bowl for whisking. I’ve had accidents in the past where I’ve been over zealous with the crack and broke a yoke contaminating the lot!
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff at which point gradually fold in the sugar
- Lay grease proof paper on 3 baking sheets and spread meringue in 20cm diameter circles
- Bake at 150c for 1 hour, leave to cool with the oven door open. Then peel off the paper.
- Put the milk, the sugar, the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. Melt the chocolate and stir
- Stir a little of the warm liquid into yolks and then pour back into the chocolate mixture
- Cook over simmering water. Stirring till thickened, patience is needed then remove and allow to become quite cold.
- Cream the butter by beating for a 2 mins, add the cold chocolate mixture till it becomes a soft cream….dare you not to have a taste!
- If using the maltesers, reserve 4 tablespoons of the chocolate cream for the top.
- Spread the rest on 2 meringues circles, then sandwich all three together
- Pipe reserved cream on the top circle in 8+ rosettes and top with Maltesers
Chicken Pot Roast
Chicken Pot Roast for 2
A dreich weekend, a head cold to boot and looking after our nephews called for a simple bang in the oven treat. Chicken was the staple of my youth, but there was not a herb in site let alone garlic, just bisto!
Credit: Granny’s Recipe File
Prep: You’ll need a large bowl for tossing the ingredients together and a lidded roasting dish. The recipe will scale easily, so chose an appropriate roasting dish. This is perfect for 2 in a small le Creuset
- 4 Chicken Thighs
- 3 medium roasting potatoes cut into chunks
- 100g Bacon Pieces/diced streaky
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, finely sliced
- 1 Onion Quartered and then chopped again
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary, or few sprigs of thyme
- Olive Oil
- Juice of a Lemon
- 2 tbsp Crème Fraiche
The recipe card recommends serving with a green salad, or braised cabbage like I did.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c
- In a large bowl, mix/turn over the potatoes with
- Chopped onions
- Diced bacon
- Finely sliced garlic
- Finely chopped rosemary or thyme
- Good glug of olive oil
- Once everything coated with the oil tip into the casserole dish
- Place the chicken pieces on top, brush with a little oil if you want the skin to colour
- Place in the oven with the lid on for 40 mins
- After this make a judgement call,
- I took the lid off and placed back in the oven to colour the skin
- Could have taken the chicken out and roasted separately if the veg was well on its way.
- Take the chicken out and place on a plate
- Add the lemon juice and the crème fraiche to the potatoes and turn over
Sunday and there are blue skies with a hint of warmth. We are in that snow drop daffodil cross over period. The sign that we a moving into longer days and happier times. We managed a lovely long walk from the door. Taking in braid hill which has an amazing 360 degree view of Edinburgh and the Pentlands.
With lungs full of fresh air we made it home for some free time and I decided it was time to tackle one of the recipes that I’d pulled out of the Black box. What is there not to like about millionaires shortbread, a biscuit covered with unctuous caramel, covered in chocolate. Not to be deterred by my wife saying I don’t remember having that as a child…..I ploughed on.
The recipe is nice and easy and broken down into 3 fairly obvious stages. The base, the middle and the end!
- 280g plain flour
- 170g butter
- 100g sugar
- 379g condensed milk
- 100g golden syrup
- 100g butter
Pre-heat the oven to 150C, and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with parchment.
- Rub the flour and butter together to form bread crumbs. A food processor is my saviour for this method. Really easy to pulse the butter and flour together.
- Pulse in the sugar
- Pour into the baking tin and press down using the back of a soup spoon.
- Place in the oven for 30 mins until it starts to turn colour
- Take out the oven to cool
- Melt the butter, condensed milk and syrup together until smooth
- Bring to the simmer for 5 mins, I found I had to stir it to stop it catching on the pan. It will thicken and turn golden
- Leave to cool slightly before pouring over the biscuit base and spread evenly. Leave to cool
- Time for chocolate…..usual melting chocolate rules apply, melt the broken chocolate pieces in a bowl set over (not touching) simmering water. Stir every now and agin and once the lumps have gone pour over the set caramel and spread evenly
- Leave to cool, chop into the desired squares and enjoy
I’ve had two black box’s in my life. The first, my first record player. A beast of a thing that no child could carry and sat in the corner of my room. I used to think little people lived in side. Amazingly for a 1950’s bit of kit (it would have been a good 30 years before I got my hands on it!) you could stack it with 6 records to play in a row. I’ve just found a you tube video and the clunk click as the record drops, and the needle moves into place takes me back.
The second an inherited black box of recipes from my mother in-law when she passed away. A treasure trove of recipes and notes that she’d meticulously copied for herself and recipes that had been written down on the same index cards passed on by friends.
The recipes really belong to my wife and food is a powerful thing in terms of evoking memories. At the time the box was too great to tackle, to have a look and explore would have been painful. Now a good few years on, the memories are of fond ones rather than sad. The box has sat by my desk for some time as I had the notion to transcribe them, modernise and bring into our way of cooking.
For some this box would just be a standard index card system with recipes that no doubt feature highly across the web if you were to search for them. For me though it’s a journey, the box wobbles and whispers. What will I find in there. Do I start at the beginning and work my way through or is there a method that I should apply. Deep down I’ll be looking for the baked Alaska recipe that was presented effortlessly when I met my future in-laws for the first time. Or the apple betty that is spoken about as legend between brother and sister.