Category: Prunes

B is for Baby Bundt, Bacon & Bay and Blonde Bombshells

B is also for Bozo, Blog and Birthday.

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt

As in guess which bozo forgot to celebrate her own blog’s 2nd birthday on May 25th?

So, today we’re having a Belated (don’t worry, I promise I won’t capitalise every word that starts with a B) Birthday, (no really, I won’t) celebrating my second annivesary with food using the second letter of the alphabet.  See what I did?  Second year, second letter? 

You’d think I planned it. 

Maybe you should keep thinking that….I”m all for anything that makes me look better!!!

So anyway, it’s my birthday so let’s get this party started.  And I’ve said it before, and no doubt I will say it again, (purely because I’ve got a bottle of the stuff that isn’t going to drink itself) a retro party isn’t a retro party without Parfait Amour. And any party is better with a blonde bombshell!

Nope not like this, the blonde bombshell I am referring too is a cocktail made with the aforementioned Parfait Amour. I’m not sure why it’s called a Blonde Bombshell as it comes out a gorgeous dusky pinky purple. 

First Course – The Birthday Blonde Bombshell

It’s my party…cocktails count as a course….in my perfect world, we would skip main meals altogether.  We would move from cocktails to fingerfood to dessert.  

Blonde Bombshell

Wow!!!  I think I may have found my Parfait Amour drink of choice.  This was lovely!!!  Sweet and florally and almost kind of musky…it reminded me a little bit of Turkish Delight…maybe it was the roses in the Parfait Amour. Very girly, very pretty. Easy to drink….hmmm….maybe getting rid of that bottle won’t be as hard as I previously thought! 

Second Course – Bay Wrapped Bacon and Prunes

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon3
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon3

This is basically a take on a Devils on Horseback.  But wrapped in a bayleaf. And I added a little smear of my Strawberry Habanero Sauce to the bacon before wrapping it around the prunes.

Note for the unwary – grilling bay leaves makes your entire kitchen smell like you’ve been smoking marijuana.  For about a week.  Which is fine until you have a plumber come to fix your leaking tap and they ask you if you can score them some bud.  

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon

 I barely even know what that means.

Despite that, you really can’t go wrong with these…salty, sweet, spicy, crispy…The bay leaves added a slight resiny flavour that was quite pleasant but prevented the bacon from getting really crispy which was slightly disappointing.

  I served it them with some more of the strawberry habenero sauce.  And the saltiness was a great foil to the sweetness of the Blonde Bombshell.

 

Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon2
Bay Wrapped Prunes in Bacon2

Delicious!

But now to the piece de resistance. The dessert.

So….what’s better than a triple chocolate baby bundt? 

A QUADRUPLE chocolate baby bundt. 

And what’s better than a quadruple chocolate Baby Bundt? 

A Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt!

Third Course – Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt

So, if you’re following me on Instagram you would have already seen me post my first experiment with the Spice Peddler’s Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix.  That was a Chili Chocolate Cupcake with a Chilli Toffee Shard topped with Vanilla Icecream and my Strawberry Habenero Sauce.  OMG, I thought this was the best thing ever…so, so good.  The cake was fudgy and spicy and delicious, the vanilla icecream and chilli sauce worked together perfectly and the chilli toffee was a cute and quirky touch.  Basically, this was me on a plate!!!!

Chocolate Chilli Cupcake with A Chilli Toffee Shard
Chocolate Chilli Cupcake with A Chilli Toffee Shard

 Gahhh….so how do you top that?  

Well, I found this recipe  for a cake called a Tyroler in a Delicious Magazine and I had a little play with it.  And came up with the the Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundt.   I used the Spice Peddler Mexican Chilli Chocolate Cake Mix as my base and it was super delicious!

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt 5
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt 5

This was really good.  Then again, how could it not be? 

It had quadruple chocolate. 

And a touch of chilli. 

And walnuts. 

And rum soaked sultanas. 

And did I mention quadruple chocolate?

Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt3
Quadruple Chocolate Baby Bundt3

So, it may have been belated but worth the wait because these were all awesome!!!!

I’ll try to be on time next year and if not, I can always repost this and rename it Birthday 3 – Cocktails, Canapés and Cake.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!!!!

(Recipes below)

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Blonde Bombshell
Serves 1
A delicious cocktail, perfect for a celebration.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 ounce Parfait Amour
  2. 1/2 ounce St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  3. Sparkling Wine, preferably pink, definitely chilled
Instructions
  1. Pour the Parfait Amour into a chilled champagne flute.
  2. Add the Elderflower Liqueur.
  3. Top with the sparkling wine.
Adapted from completecocktails.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Bay Wrapped Prunes In Bacon
Serves 5
A delicious salty, sweet, spicy modern take on a classic canape
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 rashers of streaky bacon
  2. 20 prunes
  3. 20 bay leaves, fresh if at all possible.
  4. Strawberry Habanero sauce or condiment of your choice (optional)
  5. 20 toothpicks
  6. Strawberry Habanero sauce or condiment of your choice to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 150°C.
  2. Lightly smear each rasher of bacon with some strawberry habanero sauce.
  3. Cut each rasher in half.
  4. Wrap each half rasher around a prune.
  5. Wrap a bay leaf around this.
  6. Secure with a toothpick.
  7. Repeat 19 times.
  8. Grill until bacon gets crispy.
  9. Serve with more strawberry habanero sauce.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine, January 2003
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Quadruple Chocolate Chilli Baby Bundts
Serves 4
A gorgeous Baby Bundy with quadruple chocolate and a slight chilli kick
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
For the Cake
  1. 1/2 quantity Spice Peddler Mexican Chocolate Chilli Mix
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 100g sultanas
  4. 2 tbsp rum
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 200g butter, very soft
  7. 100g dark chocolate chips
  8. 2 tbsp walnuts
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. 100g dark chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp cream
For the White Chocolate Ganache
  1. 100g White Chocolate
  2. 3 tbsp cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 Baby Bundt pans with melted butter.
  3. Chill, then lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Soak the sultanas in rum.
  5. Place butter, eggs and cake mix into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until well combined.
  6. Stir through chocolate chips, sultanas and any rum remaining in the bowl.
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pans and cook on the lower shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Chop and toast the walnuts.
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and the cream over a double boiler.
  2. Cool then pour over cake.
For the White Chocolate Drizzle
  1. Melt the white chocolate and cream over a double boiler.
  2. Cool.
  3. Drizzle over the cake.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.
  5. ENJOY!
Adapted from Delicious Magazine, August 2011
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

 
 
 

Holy Prune Kebabs Batman…It’s Cheesy Meaty Goodness on a Stick Part 3

So, we had our first bbq in the new house on the weekend.  And to celebrate, I made the Prune Kebabs from Nancy Spain’s All Colour Cookbook. Before we sail this ship we call the Titanic into that particular iceberg, let’s talk about kebabs.

Prune Kebabs
Prune Kebabs

There seems to have been no standard spelling for food before about 1980.  I’ve seen these things spelled Kebabs, Kebobs, Kabobs and even Kaboobs….

I’m actually a little disappointed we didn’t go with Kabobs.  It sounds likes something out of Batman.  KA-BOB!

Whereas kaboobs?  Another thing altogether.

But I digress.  Where were we?  Oh yeah,  Nancy’s kebabs…Nancy’s Prune Kebabs.  Jeez, Even I’m distracted by Dolly’s boobage….I can only  imagine what it’s like for all you boys….

Actually, one more. On a slightly more disturbing note, did you know if you Google image “kaboobs”  this ranks quite high in the list of hits:

google Images

WTF?  I don’t want to know.  Seriously I don’t. Please no one ever explain the link to me.  Ever.

Ok back to biz.  Which was Nancy Spain’s Prune Kebabs.  Nancy recommends these as being popular with  teenagers.  I find that hard to believe.  It’s not like McDonalds didn’t exist then.  Believe me, none of the cool kids were chomping on Nancy’s Prune Kebabs.  Not when there was even the remotest possibility of two all beef patties, special sauce etc.

Also, given their renowned laxative properties, I would have thought Prune Kebabs more suited to the older gen.

But what do I know?

Sweet FA apparently because this recipe just lurched from one disaster to the next.

Issue 1.

Doing my mise-en-place  I realised I had no apples. It must be the only time in the history off the world that we have not had an apple, any apple in the house.

Solution 1

Checked all the other ingredients just to be sure and went down to the shops. Bought apples.  Did not realise until a week later when I came to scan the recipe to post that it also needed tomatoes.  I swear I must have originally read this recipe in the dark. I didn’t miss them.  Use them if you got ’em, if not never mind.

Prune Kebabs Mise En Place
Prune Kebabs Mise En Place

Issue 2

Nancy suggests soaking the prunes over night which I forgot to do.  I also do not care for Mango Chutney so subbed in some caramelised onion relish. Maybe because I hadn’t soaked them, stuffing the prunes with the relish was nigh on impossible.

Creative Innovation #1

I smeared the bacon with the relish then wrapped the prunes up in the bacon.

Prunes and Bacon
Prunes and Bacon

Issue 3

There was a problem with the cheese.  A few problems actually.   First , Nancy suggests processed cheese.  I would rather eat my own snot.  I had some nice cheddar.

Issue 3.1

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, cheese melts. So, how do you cook a sausage and bacon on a bbq without having the cheese melt away to nothing? Also it kept breaking off the skewer. In retrospect, I should have bought some of that super delicious Greek frying cheese.

 Creative Innovation #2

I took the sausage out of its skin and made it into a little meatball and popped the cheese inside.  It still leaked a little bit but if it hadn’t been wrapped in the meat, you may as well not bother with it.

Prune Kebabs Cheese Meatball
Prune Kebabs Cheese Meatball

 Issue 4

I made two kebabs on my metal skewers then went the drawer to get the bamboo skewers. Only we had no bamboo skewers in the drawer. . .Or the pantry.  Or any other place in the house.  I can only think we left them at the old house .

So now we’re officially shit out of luck.

And skewers.

There’ no way I was getting in the car and driving to Safeway again.  It was as hot as hell out there.  In fact I’m blaming the heat on my utter scattiness – we had at least 6 days in a row over 40º.  (That”s over 100º for my American friends). My brain is melting.

 Creative Innovation #2

Brain melt or no, I may not have had skewers but I had rosemary. And you know what?  Those rosemary mini kebabs were not only as cute as hell, but they smelled crazy stupid good when being bbq’ed and gave an extra flavour boost to the kebabs.

Rosemary Mini  Kebabs
Rosemary Mini Kebabs

Finally, they were ready to go on the bbq.  Good thing I was also making the cocktail that will feature in my Valetines Day post at the same time because I needed a drink after all that!

Prune Kebabs
Prune Kebabs on bbq

Prunes and bacon are always good.  The onion relish was a nice addition as was the smoky flavour of the bbq.  The recipe called for chippoloatas, I couldn’t find any so I used a  spicy Italian fennel sausage from my local butcher.  This was really nice with the cheese that didn’t leak out all over the bbq.

Prune Kebabs 3
Prune Kebabs 3

The two revelations were the apple…who knew bbq’ed apple was so good?  It got a little bit charred and slightly soft but still crunchy, it soaked up the flavours of the bacon and the sausage, apples go fabulously with cheese…it was a real winner.  And the other thing I loved was the rosemary.  This was the opposite of the apple in that whilst the apple was busy soaking up all the flavours around it, the rosemary was just putting it all out there…the aroma as this cooked was awesome and the skewered items really did pick up some of the lovely rosemary flavour and aroma.

I have included both Nancy’s original and my adaptations below.

If you want more cheesy meaty goodness on a stick, you can look at:

Part 1 Here

Part 2 Here  – this one also features prunes and bacon.

Here is the orginal Nancy Spain recipe:

Nancy Spain Recipe

Have a great week. We’ll talk cocktails soon.

 

 

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Retro Food For Modern Times: Good Cooking for (Almost) Everyone (1981)

Hello there, time to take a look into a new book.

Welcome to Mary Meredith’s Good Cooking for Everyone.

Good Cooking For Everyone by Mary Meredith 002

Let me just start with a little quibble.  When i think of 1981, I think of this:

1981’s finest.

And not so much this:

Mary Meredith 001

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at Mary here.  This book was first published in 1970 and this was a probably a perfectly acceptable photo back then.  Eleven years later, you’d think that maybe the publishers could have forked out for a new publicity photo.  Maybe one using that new technology of  colour.

The 500 “specially selected recipes” in this book do address a wide audience, if not exactly everyone.

In keeping with the Livvie theme above, there are sandwiches that would suit people watching their weight:

Lettuce and Lemon Sandwiches 001

And recipes for those who are most definitely not.

Mary calls this  “California Stuffed Forehock.” I prefer to think of it as “The Reason Elvis (Permanently) Left the Building”. The prunes in the recipe could explain why he was found on the toilet.

Californian Stuffed Forehock 001

Enough for 4 people or one bacon lovin’ popstar!

From The King, to proper royalty, Mary Meredith also provides us with a dainty dish to set before a king. Four and twenty blackbirds anyone?

Cutlet Pie

In fairness to Mary, it’s not actually blackbirds but a mix of lamb kidneys and cutlets.  In fairness to modern sensibility, I was staring at this picture wondering how to describe the sheer awfulness of a pie with bones in little bootees sticking out of it.  Mark looked at it over my shoulder. “You’re not making that are you?” he asked, sounding a little shaky.  I assured him I was not.  “Good” he said. “Because it looks fucking horrible.”  Description problem solved.

Then, there are recipes for people who want their cakes to look like footwear.  (Why? WHY???)

Shoe cake - who doesn't want to eat an old boot on their birthday!
Shoe cake – who doesn’t want to eat an old boot on their birthday!

And recipes for people who want to traumatise their children.  Never mind the chocolate-roll cats at the front, what are those weird shiny pink things with faces ? Apart from the stuff of nightmares?

Children's Party Food
Children’s Party Food

I did however manage to find one group of people for who Mary was not catering for.  I was searching the index of this book when, in the B’s,  I came across:

  • Baked Lemon Potatoes
  • Batch of scones

It’s an odd way of listing these items but there were corresponding entries under L, P and S so whilst kooky, they weren’t entirely random. (But again, maybe something that should have been corrected in the 1981 edition.)

I also noticed under M:

  • Making a jug of cocoa

Using this logic surely every recipe should be listed under M?

  • Making Lettuce and lemon sandwiches
  • Making Elvis Has Left The Building, etc.

And just to be really irritating there is no corresponding entry under C listing:

  • Cocoa, Making a jug of

I’m sorry cocoa drinkers of the world, I guess if you were of a logical mind in 1981 and wanted to find out how to make a jug of your favourite drink (without having to scan through 499 other recipes), you were S.O.L.

I’m spending the weekend with a jug of margaritas… it was going to be cocoa but the recipe was too damn hard to find!

So much for an alcohol free April!

Whatever your tipple, have a great week.

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Retro Food For Modern Times: Angels, Devils and Cheesy Devils on Horseback

No, it’s not my review of the new Dan Brown blockbuster, it’s bacon! Lovely, crispy, salty bacon wrapped around…stuff that isn’t bacon.

Angels, Devils and Cheesy Devils on Horseback
Angels, Devils and Cheesy Devils on Horseback

I love bacon even though it was my undoing.  I was a very happy vegetarian for two years in high school.  If my mother is reading this, right about now, she will be having a little snicker to herself and muttering “Huh…The only vegetarian in the world who didn’t eat vegetables.”  And there is a grain of truth in that.  I did spend two years eating not much more than tomato and cheese sandwiches and the occasional omelette.

Until I was brought down by bacon.

(Cue dramatic music…wow, this could be turning into a Dan Brown novel).

Angels on Horseback
Angels on Horseback (picture from The Party Cookbook).

I used to have tennis lessons, very early, every Sunday morning.  The family that lived next door to the tennis courts would, without fail, have a fry up for breakfast every week.  The smell of bacon would drift out over the tennis court in a haze of mouth-watering deliciousness.  “Eat me, eat me, ” it taunted.

Over weeks of this, bacon came to represent so much more than a tasty breakfast dish, it became a symbol of a better life.  The kind of life where, on Sunday mornings, people had leisurely cooked breakfasts and listened to Mozart and spoke French whilst doing the Sunday crossword in less than twenty minutes.  It represented a glamour and sophistication utterly removed from my reality of huffing and puffing around a glorified field, still half asleep, wearing a polyester track suit that did not so much keep the cold out as keep the sweat in and having someone repeatedly yelling at me to hit a damn ball over a stupid net.  I began to yearn for bacon in the same way I yearned for Paris and champagne and pink Sobranie cigarettes in one of those long cigarette holders like Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I was a weird child.

Angels on Horseback - Ingredients
Angels on Horseback – Ingredients

I have no idea whether the neighbours were the glamorous types I imagined them to be or a bunch of suburban lard-arses who are now appearing on The Biggest Loser so that their fat-clogged arteries can be given a second lease of life. I suspect the latter.  If so, can I suggest that the producers of the show make them play tennis.  At seven.  On a Sunday morning.  In winter.  I’ll be lurking somewhere near by with a portable grill and a couple of rashers.  Let’s see how they like it.

Anyway, I lasted about three months before I caved.  One cold wintry morning I came home from said lesson.  Mum asked if I would like my tomato and cheese sandwich plain or toasted.

“I want bacon” I snapped in the snotty way only a 16-year-old can.  Then I stomped upstairs to my room and listened to The Smiths until mum called me back downstairs for a plate of lovely, lovely life-affirming B & E.

History lesson over.  And that’s about all the history I can give you because the reasons oysters are linked with angels, prunes with devils and either wrapped in bacon is termed “on horseback” are lost in time.  Maybe that could be the subject of the next Dan Brown… an obscure culinary term could lead Robert Langdon on a search that reveals the long hidden conspiracy behind whether Elvis really did die on his toilet. (If you’re reading this Brown, back off now.  I know what you’re like.   The Fried-Peanut-Butter and Bacon-Sandwich Code is mine.)

Angels on Horseback
Angels on Horseback

Inspired by the Angels on Horseback recipe in The Party Cookbook I recently went on a bacon rampage and made three versions of this classic hors d’œuvre.

Angels on horseback recipe 001

If you like it spicy, adding a dash of tabasco sauce to the Angels only makes them more delicious!

For Devils on Horseback, substitute Prunes for the Oysters above and leave out the paprika.

Devils on Horseback and Cheesy Devils on Horseback - Ingredients
Devils on Horseback and Cheesy Devils on Horseback – Ingredients

For Cheesy Devils, stuff the prunes with Goat’s Cheese before wrapping in the bacon.

Devils and Cheesy Devils
Devils and Cheesy Devils

Some people like to serve their Devils on Horseback with Mango Chutney.  I’m not a big fan but I did have some Kashmiri Date Chutney in the fridge and this was quite nice as a dip for the Cheesy Devils.

Devils on Horseback with Chutney
Devils on Horseback with Chutney

These were all delicious and I would make them all again.  In order my preference was  Angels on Horseback, Cheesy Devils, then Devils on Horseback but I would not discount any of them.

I no longer desire the Sobranies, but Angels on Horseback with a Glass of champagne and the Sunday Cryptic crossword?  C’est parfait!

Have a great week!
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