Peach Melba Cheesecake

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Last week was Tom’s birthday and he placed a request for cheesecake. They are easily his favourite! I decided to make him a peach melba cheesecake, as the recipe I found seemed really easy to follow – I was hopeful I couldn’t mess this one up. Recently all of my cheesecakes have curdled, and even though Tom still eats them and says they’re nice (bless him!), I’m not so sure!

This was the recipe I used, the only bit I didn’t do was the raspberry coulis: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2320639/peach-melba-cheesecake

Peach Melba is a classic dessert, designed by French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, in honour of Nellie Melba. It is a combination of peaches and raspberries, served with vanilla ice cream. I love how raspberry ripple looks, the soft swirls of pink through creamy ice cream, it always looks so pretty! I love the colour combo of orangey yellow peach with the hot pink of raspberries – looks great, and tastes great. The cheesecake is a simple mix of soft cheese, icing sugar and double cream, with raspberries scooped through to get the ripple effect. Once the cheesecake mixture starts to set I laid slices of peach in a swirl in the centre of the cake, topped with a handful of raspberries.

For the biscuit base I would usually use plain old digestives as they’re a classic cheesecake base and always taste good but the recipe suggested butter biscuits so I managed to find some buttery crunch biscuits which added a bit more texture to the base, but also a bit more sweetness.

This was a delicious and easy recipe to make, we ate it when it hadn’t really set properly so it was more like an eton-mess-esque serving but I didn’t have enough time to wait for it to set. This didn’t affect the taste though, it was creamy, fruity and sweet – lovely for summer!

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Pissaladière

Pissaladière ~ a Provençal style onion tart (a bit like a pizza!)
Served with pan-fried mackerel fillets

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In today’s Emerald Street email there was a recipe for Pissaladière from BRUNO LOUBET and it looked delicious! Tom and I decided to make it for dinner, and it was nice to share the cooking – I made the dough and Tom marinated the mackerel fillets and caramelised the onions. The kitchen smelled so good while we were cooking: freshly baked bread, fried onions and garlic – amazing!

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Home grown Basil

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The recipe was really easy to follow and was surprisingly quick to put the whole meal together. I recently quizzed my friend on how she got her bread to bake so well and she said it really is down to how long you knead the dough for, so that’s what I did. I kneaded, and kneaded, and kneaded the dough, and I stretched and stretched it until it went smooth and elastic. it was so worth it and the bread had a really good texture.

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Rosè wine was recommended to go with the Pissaladière and we had some of my favourite Pinot Grigio blush wine in the fridge which went so nicely. I think we will definitely be making this again and there’s also plenty leftover for lunch. I think the nice thing about this meal is that you could swap in different fish, or add chorizo or Parma ham as the topping. I think next time I would use
chorizo to give it a bit more bite of flavour.

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Jess & Tom in Bruges…

This weekend Tom and I went on a mini-cruise to Bruges and St Peter’s Port with his family. I’ve never been on a cruise before and was pretty excited to see what it was like. I don’t think you can go wrong with a holiday where they serve afternoon tea every day! It was really nice to get to dress up in black tie for the posh dinner on board as well, everyone looked so glam and lobster was on the menu – just wonderful! The weather was amazing and it was a really relaxing mini-break, I think I would definitely go on a short cruise again.

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If you love chocolate you have to go to Bruges, there are so many gorgeous chocolatiers and I couldn’t stop taking photos of all the different truffles and pralines!

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Also, it turns out that chips with mayonnaise is classically Belgian – I love this country more and more!

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Three Ways With Lamb

This is a very delayed blog post about three recipes we made from a delicious leg of lamb.

We love cooking roasts in our house and when it’s just the two of us there’s always loads left over to make other tasty meals so today I’m finally putting up the pictures from the three different meals we made.

Roast Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

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This is a traditional Greek way of cooking roast lamb, poking and studding the meat with garlic cloves and rosemary. To go with the meat we made a stuffing of mixed bread crumbs, toasted pine nuts and apricots – these go so well with lamb! Serve the lamb with crispy roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a killer gravy – perfect!

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Chunky Shepherd’s Pie

Tom loves his hearty dishes, he’s a master chef of stews and casseroles and shepherd’s pie is another firm favourite! We had loads of leftover lamb so we decided to make a chunkier version of shepherd’s pie, instead of the usual minced lamb. We slow cooked the leftover meat with onions, carrots, chopped tomatoes, purée and stock until it became really rich. Then we covered it in fluffy mash potato and baked. It was delicious and so worth the slow cooking of the sauce first. We had shepherd’s pie at the Guinness factory last year and they served it with a slice of thick, guinnessy soda bread, next time I think I’ll make some as it’s perfect for mopping up all the juices of the pie!

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Lamb and Apricot Couscous

This was our final meal from the roast at the start of the week and it’s really simple. I like the fact that it’s a meal made up of different leftovers and larder essentials – such as couscous. I chopped up onions and garlic and gently fried before mixing with some chopped apricots and toasted pine nuts. To this I added some couscous and then shredded the leftover lamb. To serve I made a cucumber yoghurt dip – so good, and so simple!

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