Sweet recipes, drool-on-the-keyboard photos, stories from kitchen and more from the Scottish hoose of sinful treats!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Honey Cake

All your friends will ask you for the recipe for this scrumptious cake and here it is.

250g butter
1 can of caramel or evaporated milk

100g chopped or grinned walnuts

For decoration:
14 - 15 pcs of walnuts

3 tb sp rum
5 tb sp strong filtered coffee

250g plain flour
1 egg
1 tb sp soda
30g butter
2 tb sp honey
100g icing sugar

Warm Butter, egg, sugar and honey in water bath. Add sieved flour and soda while mixing. Mix the ingredients together and make a dough. Leave to rest.

On floured surface we separate dough into 5 same sized pieces. Roll these thinly and cut to fit the cake baking tin. From the cut offs we make up sixth piece so we will have 6 thin slices in the end. We move these slices onto a baking paper. Bake on reverse side of the baking tray in preheated oven on 180 C 4-5 minutes.

For cream we will use the softened butter which we'll mix in electric mixed until white. We add boiled evaporated milk or caramel. If you are using evaporated milk then you'll need to boil it day before for 2 hours inside the can.
Once cool we'll spread each slice with black coffee and rum. Then we'll spread it with cream. Once all slices are spread and connected we'll spread the sides of the honey cake. Sprinkle the cake with walnuts including sides. We'll decorated the cake with walnut halves and we can sprinkle the middle of the cake with chocolate shavings or grated chocolate. Put some weight on top of the cake and leave in cool space to rest for 24 hrs. Once rested you can serve.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012



Makes about 72 macarons (or about 144 shells)

about 1 hour

about 25 minutes

30 minutes

2 hours + 24 hours

120g cacao pate (or dark chocolate 100% cocoa)
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
110g 'liquefied' egg whites*
4.5g carmine red food colouring (or cochineal)


300g caster sugar
75g mineral water
110g 'liquefied' egg whites*

400g liquied creme fraiche or whipping cream (35% fat)
360g Valrhona Guanaja couverture chocolate
40g cacao pate (or dark chocolate, 100% cocoa solids)
140g 'La Vietter' butter (sweet butter from Charentes) at room temperature (The butter is soft enough when you can dip a finger in without meeting any resistance. Make sure you take the butter out of the fridge several hours in advance.)

Cocoa Powder

Sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds. Chop up the cacao pate and melt it at 50ºC in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir the food colouring into the first portion of liquefied egg whites and add this to the bowl of icing sugar and ground almonds but do not stir.

Bring the water and sugar to boil to 118ºC. When the syrup reaches 115ºC, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of liquefied egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed. When the sugar reaches 118ºC, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50ºC, then add it to the bowl of icing sugar and ground almonds, stir, then fold in the melted cacao. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5 cm in diameter, spacing them 2 cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Using a sieve, sprinkle them with a light dusting of cocoa powder. Rap the baking trays on the work surgace covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for 30 minutes until a skin forms on the surface.

Preheat the fan oven to 180ºC. Put the baking trays in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes, briefly opening and shutting the oven door twice during cooking time. Take the shells out of the oven and slide them on to the work surface.

For chocolate ganache. Cut the butter into pieces. Chop up the chocolate and tip it into a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil. Pour it over the chopped chocolate a third at a time.
When mixture reaches 50ºC, add the pieces of butter a few at a time.
Whisk to obtain smooth ganache. Pour it into a gratin dish. Press clingfilm over the surface of the ganache and set aside in the fridge for the ganache to thicken.
Spoon the ganache into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mound of ganache on to half the shells. Top them with the remaining shells.
Store the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove from the fridge two hours before eating.

Bon Apetit!

* 'Liquefied' egg - Egg whites will liquefy if you sit them in the fridge for several days, preferably a week. During that tie, the egg whites lose their elasticity, the albumen breaks down and they will be much easier to whisk to soft peaks without the risk of turning 'grainy'. And you don't have to worry about bacteria because they will be cooked in the oven at a high temperature.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Cherry Brownies

300g unsalted butter
300g dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate, broken into pieces
5 large free-range eggs
450g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
50g cherries

Makes 24 brownies

Incredibly easy to make, decadently chocolatey, not too sweet, a light crust without and beautifully moist within with enough salt to cut through the richness. An easy clap!

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Line the baking tin 30x24x6cm with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until the mixture is thick and creamy and coats the back of a spoon. Once the butter and the chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and beat until smooth.

Pour into the baking tin, ensuring the mixture is evenly distributed in the tin and sprinkle with cherries which should nicely sink into the mixture. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the whole of the top has formed a light brown crust that has started to crack. This giant brownie should not wobble, but should remain gooey on the inside.

Leave it to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into large squares while still in the tin. The greaseproof paper or baking parchment should peel off easily.

- Always taste the mixture raw to check for your preferred vanilla and salt levels, ensuring you leave some of the mixture to bake, of course.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Angels with Bagpipes

You might think we won a lottery having to visit two posh restaurants in one day but the fact is that we just had to do it as we had a free babysitter and we will be so busy till Christmas we won't have the time to do anything like this. Also this was a late celebration of our 5 year wedding anniversary which with busy chef schedule had to wait till last night and was more than worth it!

As you might expect in a building that dates back to the sixteenth century, Angels with Bagpipes has plenty of old world character. But its historical charms are complemented by a 21st century approach to style and comfort.

Pride in fresh, seasonal, Scottish ingredients is what defines Angels with Bagpipes and makes them one of the top Scottish restaurants in Edinburgh. Open through the day, Angels with Bagpipes is the perfect spot for a quick lunch, a relaxing dinner or just a quick bite and drink.

Angels with Bagpipes is not only one of the best Scottish restaurants in Edinburgh, it also reflects many of the city’s most defining features. For example, just like its Old Town home, Angels with Bagpipes has plenty of unexpected nooks and crannies.

We were grandly welcomed by the staff and management and this is what we were spoilt with. Just as we set down, two glasses of champagne and bread basket arrived.

Next came juicy tasting, melt on the tongue PORK, (AYRSHIRE), belly, cheek, carrot, marjoram
followed by Chef's Best our favourite, fantastically textured and flavoured SCALLOP (ORKNEY), apple, radish
Recommended for our choice of main courses was a Argentinian red “PASSO DOBLE” Masi, 2009 which well balanced both meals. I chose fabulous LAMB (HIGHLAND), peas, broad beans, lettuce, polenta
and my husband had DUCK, breast, foie gras, beetroot, mandarin, lentils

For dessert I had this wonderful eye catching taste buds tickling TIRAMISU, parfait, Tia Maria, coffee, caramel, orange & espresso soil
David's expert eye was caught by an exclusive and only, I'm sure, in Edinburgh FIG, tart-fine, vanilla pod ice cream, tobacco syrup accompanied by “LOS PECADILLOS” Glotonia dessert vine

We finished this masterpiece of a dinner with a cheese plate. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very relaxed. I couldn't take my eyes off the massive orchids that decorated every window smaller or large, I even heard people asking if they are live flowers. Very luxury experience with a fairly friendly price tag and top of the class service I would thoroughly recommend this Royal Mile dining jewel to everyone!

343 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1PW
tel +44 (0) 131 220 1111 | fax +44 (0) 131 220 1111

The Paper Mill

My husband's mum is visiting us this week and after a long illness we decided to treat her by taking her out for a family lunch to newly opened The Paper Mill brasserie in picturesque village of Lasswade.

The Paper Mill is somewhere that locals and visitors alike can pop in throughout the day to enjoy a fresh coffee and some home baked cakes, Sunday brunch with the papers, or a leisurely carafe of wine out on the terrace. Although we decided to dine in the view was wonderful.

With over two decades of experience, owners David Johnston and Karen Calvert have built up strong links with acclaimed artisan producers. Vegetables are sourced locally, and they are committed to buying free range and organic produce wherever possible.

We were welcomed by a lovely looking and great tasting "bread basket"

So what we ate? With price-friendly menu we didn't hold back and ordered three courses starting with Roast tomato soup, mascarpone, basil.
The soup was made with fresh organic tomatoes and was sweet and full of flavour. Loved it!

The staff was very attentive and even when busy they were always there to bring us sauces, toys to entertain our hyper offspring or check us out.

Next we decided to go two different ways. Me and my husband we ordered Glazed smoked Scrabster haddock, poached egg, mixed salad leaves

and my mum-in-law had Beer battered coley & chips, mushy peas, home made tartare sauce.
The haddock was very well seasoned, the salad was fabulously dressed and the beef was crumbling at a slightest touch.

We finished off with Chocolate & orange torte, crème fraîche which was well balanced, a perfect end to this trio!

The Paper Mill 
T — 0131 663 1412
E — info@thepapermill@lasswade.co.uk

The Paper Mill At Night

In addition to our first visit, we decided to walk the 2.5 miles there and back to enjoy cold bear in a nice atmosphere. What we didn't expect was the place to be so charming and warm the way it was at night. Magic even. I will let the photos speak for themselves ...

Monday, 10 September 2012

Strawberry Dumplings

One summer's day we went to Cragie's farm to pick our own berries. As a result we've arrived home with nearly 4 pounds of strawberries! We froze some, made jam and a lunch in form of dumplings filled with the strawberries and a strawberry sauce on side! Yummy