Wednesday, May 25, 2011

EGGS AND BRADY'S. With relative ease

I realised two goals today. One ridiculous, and the other, an old time fantasy. I will start with the first: I've never really known how to boil and egg. It's embarrassing but true. I suppose I always rely on the internet or Delia, so have never cemented the process in my mind. Faced with 40 eggs to boil this morning for a catering job, I knew that my ignorant days were up. And by now, looking at my mountain of egg mayonnaise, I have truely mastered the art. It's not hard either. Here is a food proof method:

Place as many eggs as you like in a pan. Nearly cover entirely with water. Place the egg pan on a high heat and bring it to the boil. Time 3 minutes. Then immediately turn the heat off and fit a lid for 8 minutes. Then place the eggs under a running tap. Keep them covered with cold water until you want to peel. The shell will come away easily and no shredded edges will be in sight.

The second achievement of the day is less culinary, but may lead to some cooking. There is a derelict site in Brixton which has long been a fantasy of my imagination. Brady's is a pub with a beautiful clock tower covered in graffiti and tumbling with weeds, best seen from the train station. I have adored it on countless worse-for-wear mornings in bright sunlight. It must be my inner Marianne Faithful. Word on the street is that Jimmi Hendrix played his first gig here, and in the 80's it was a squat pub and there are still people in the neighbourhood with happy hazy memories of this hub. Stepping back in time and walking around the falling down bar and up the stairs to the mentally falling down rooms was an absolute delight. Hopefully some day soon everyone will be able to see this amazing old hang-out. And if I'm lucky I might get to do some cooking here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Surprisingly easy Chocolate Tart

Last summer I made quite a few chocolate tarts. They are killer dense and rich and actually very easy. All you do is blind bake your pastry and then filll with molten chocolate before letting it set. So you don't even need to do the whole back-in-the-oven to set bit. After a delicious run-in with a new orange and pistachio chocolate bar, I took it upon myself to emulate the moorish bar in a dense and decadent chocolate tart.

For the pastry I followed a recipe from Tamasin Day-Lewis' book, 'Art of the Tart' which is a great fall back for understanding each type of pastry tart and all the multifarious incarnations. For the chocolate filling, heat double cream until it is nearly at boiling point. Pour this over the same amount of broken chocolate and flavour with salt and orange zest. Pour this into the baked pastry case and scatter over crushed pistachio nuts. It's basically like making a massive truffle. Leave the tart to cool before refrigerating to fully set.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SCHOOL DISCO in the deli

I'm still writing away down here, trying to finish my next book, testing recipes and having a great time thinking about designs. But the deli is still pumping and today we cleared the tables aside and have a party session with my friends from Coldharbour Lane. They are utterly exhausting and the only thing for it was to try and distract them with some Toddla T. I haven't had so much fun in years.