Cookery book club - August - Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard and Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

(223 Posts)
Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 17:59:15

Welcome to the Mumsnet cookery bookclub! Each month we choose two cookery books. We cook a minimum of two recipes each - you choose the recipe, they just have to be ones you have never cooked before- which works out at four new recipes each month.Then we chat about them!

For July our books were:
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Veg Every Day
- Madhur Jaffrey Ultimate Curry Bible AND / OR madhur Jaffrey's Curry Easy AND / OR Hairy Bikers' Great Curries
And we posted here.

For August, our books are:
- Fuchsia Dunlop Every Grain of Rice
- Dan Lepard Short and Sweet

For September our books will be:
- Tessa Kiros Falling Cloudberries
- any book from the River Cafe books

We will always try to pick at least one book with recipes available on the Internet, and local libraries are great for cookbooks if you can order in advance. We pick books three months ahead so will be choosing October's books this month.

HuevosRancheros Mon 29-Jul-13 18:07:47

Marking my place!
Such pretty pretty books grin

Er- wasn't it the river cafe books? I have the river cottage books too, but just to be sure, which is itsmile ?

Nolda Mon 29-Jul-13 18:23:12

Short & Sweet has arrived and DD and I have been looking through it together. Yummy, can't wait for August!

HuevosRancheros Mon 29-Jul-13 18:23:32

Pregnant, you are so on the ball grin
Completely missed that!

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 19:17:59

Nooooo! I was typing while fending off a three year old! It is river cafe. I will see if mumsnet can change it for me...

Wearytiger

Nooooo! I was typing while fending off a three year old! It is river cafe. I will see if mumsnet can change it for me...

Done. Shh. Don't shout about it.
Happy cooking everyone.

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 19:42:42

Ok everyone nothing to see here, move along thank you Olivia!

Mmmmmmm.... Cake.....

Nice name change Tiger.wink

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 20:13:07

Thank you Pete. See earlier comment re three year old!

It does get better.

when they start school.

Pantah630 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:21:48

Signing in, well caught pregnant easily done tiger HFW worked at River Cafe grin

ELR Mon 29-Jul-13 20:27:26

Marking place and hoping for a better effort from myself in August!

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 20:40:41

Pete, my mum says it gets better when they leave school

Forgetfulmog Mon 29-Jul-13 20:43:06

Ooh can I join please? Love baking & cooking & I already have the Tessa Kiros book ready for next month. I think her books are amazing & her recipes always work.

Ill have to check out my library for this months cookbooks.

Exciting!! smile

ScienceRocks Mon 29-Jul-13 20:49:34

Thanks tiger (nice name change btw).

I have already started on dan Lepard, with vanilla cupcakes last week and walnut bread at the weekend. Both lovely. I used rose wine instead of red for the bread so it was a rather fetching pink hue instead of purple. I also used walnut oil instead of olive oil and cut down on the walnut quantity slightly due to a shortage at chez science.

Parsnipcake Mon 29-Jul-13 21:15:25

Just made the chocolate mint cookies from Dan. My autistic 12 year old weighed every one to the 15g suggestion which was painful. The biscuits and filling are delicious. I dyed the filling green to make it mintier smile

Every grain of rice looks very daunting. Pretty but haven't found much that the family will go for.

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 22:07:45

I made the carrot pistachio and tahini cake on the weekend. To be honest I didn't love the taste and my dd plaintively asked for 'another cake Mummy. Not that one.' But my four friends absolutely loved it and ate two large slices each. Technique wise I have to give it ten out of ten as well, I followed the instructions pretty strictly and it produced a beautiful high rise cake with lovely buttercream. The only change I made was to divide the cake into two cake tins not three as I don't have three 20cm cake tins (really, I don't think many people do, I thought that was a bit silly). I cooked it for five minutes more to compensate.

So overall I think it's a love it or hate it kind of cake and worth a try if you want a change from traditional carrot cake. Although I wouldn't personally make it again it made me really hopeful for the rest of the book.

Wearytiger Mon 29-Jul-13 22:09:03

Hi forgetfulmog!

glorious Tue 30-Jul-13 00:05:12

Hello all, excited about August books. I'll flick through Every Grain and make some recommendations.

bakerofcakes Tue 30-Jul-13 07:15:01

Hi, I'd love to join in this month. I have been lurking for weeks, but haven't had the right books. I managed to get Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet from the library, and have two weeks off work, so hopefully will have chance to try a few things.

HuevosRancheros Tue 30-Jul-13 17:12:38

Can I just say I love Fuchsia Dunlop already, purely for introducing me to the word 'mouthfeel'. Fab! smile
Will go through both books tomorrow and give you all my valuable opinion wink of what I have made
I would say that I think Dan's use of salt is quite high, even for my taste. And it's not possible to add salt at the end of a bread recipe sad

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Tue 30-Jul-13 19:55:47

Hello!!! Can I join in???

I have been an intermittent MN lurker, but have just settled into a new flat so finally having my own kitchen and able to build up a storecupboard for the first time in years, am very excited to get cooking!

I ordered Fuschia Dunlop but got it delivered to work and then stupidly left it there, doh, so I'll pick it up on Thursday. I can't do Dan Lepard as I'm both gluten-free and on a health kick at the moment sad but I will happily drool over everyone else's descriptions!!!

Forgetfulmog Tue 30-Jul-13 20:37:23

Oneday - there are gluten-free & healthy recipes in the Dan Lepard book if you do want to give it a go smile

Got Short & Sweet out of the library today & omg have just been drooling over the recipes! I love his writing style too, in particular the description of Brioche grin

Wearytiger Tue 30-Jul-13 20:44:32

Hi one day, glad that you're joining us!

slightlysoupstained Tue 30-Jul-13 21:25:24

Ooh, got Short & Sweet already (used to read his forum/website which seems to have disappeared now sad ).

I like it because I am an inveterate tweaker of recipes and he positively encourages this, giving you enough info about what various ingredients contribute to be able to modify amounts or substitute.

Agree with the poster who said he uses a lot of salt though - I made one of the rye bread recipes which asked for 3 tsp - seemed like a lot but as am not familiar with rye dough & know it's different from wheat dough didn't want to change stuff first time around. It was nice, but noticeably salty. I reduce all the salt amounts now and am happy.

HuevosRancheros Tue 30-Jul-13 21:31:45

Forgetfulmog, I love his writing style too, especially the bit at the beginning of the Sugar, Sugar section - [to paraphrase] confessing you love sugar is like admitting you love gin.... choose who you tell carefully, and make sure they will react in the right way.

But he is also incredibly good at explaining techniques and processes, and he positively encourages you to tweak the recipes to get something that is perfect for you. And he explains how to do it. Love him smile

Just made Gong Bao chicken (except we had quorn!) with peanuts from EGoR. Served with the Sichuanese Dry Fried Green beans (and plain rice). Excellent, to be added to my list of regular Chinese food. Only thing I did differently was not to use whole sichuan peppercorns, as I don't like biting into them, so I added ground sichuan pepper right at the end.

Yum smile

HuevosRancheros Tue 30-Jul-13 21:33:33

OK, slightlysoupstained, I promise I did not just copy what you said about tweaking recipes, it just takes me a long time to write a post!

blush grin

madamecake Tue 30-Jul-13 21:39:04

Picked short and sweet up from the library at the weekend and the recipes look so good I've ordered the book from amazon.
Made the butterscotch banana cake today, is delicious, although I left the mixed spice out by accident. The butterscotch bananas would be great without the cake and just eaten with a spoon!

Have no idea where to start with FD, so will wait for some recommendations.

Forgetfulmog Tue 30-Jul-13 21:53:48

Huevos - I forget the recipe but it was one of the tray bake ones & he said something about cutting out the sugar or you could just have a salad & stop to erupting yourself - I'm still laughing about it now grin

slightlysoupstained Tue 30-Jul-13 23:25:53

Huevos grin

snowlie Wed 31-Jul-13 09:29:51

So excited about finally giving proper Chinese Cooking a bash and I managed to get good info from a Vietnamese Dad a school who give me the heads up on a good local Chinese supermarket. Had Vietnamese at the weekend - it was amazing....somewhere between Chinese and Thai.

Forgetfulmog Wed 31-Jul-13 10:16:33

Does anyone know if Every Grain of Rice has any recipes online? I can't find it in my local library & funds are low so don't want to have to buy it

Hello! I was on the first thread (Feast/KD) a while ago but twin babies brought me to my knees for about 2 months. They are now nearly six months and I am just about getting some sleep and therefore ready to get cooking again!

I have short and sweet on kindle from earlier this year when it was on offer. Not sure i really need to eat more cake though! Anything v quick to make to get me started? my DTs are basically crawling already so my time is limited!

Will see how people get on with EGoR - I don't tend to do much Chinese cooking but if people love it, will do an amazon order.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 31-Jul-13 13:54:51

Short and Sweet - best baking book ever! I've tried quite a few recipes. Yesterday we did the tortilla wrap for lunch. So so so easy and so so so nice. smile The bread recipes are easy and nice. The cookies are great. The muffins too. There's also a shockingly easy apple pie.

Re: salt in Dan Lepard's bread - he concedes in Handmade Loaf that many people want to reduce salt intake and you can do so without harming the recipes. grin

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Wed 31-Jul-13 13:59:22

Thanks for the welcome :-) aargh don't tell me there's gluten free/healthy baking in short & sweet!!!

Are any of these in there? http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/14/dan-lepard-gluten-free-teatime-bakes

ELR Wed 31-Jul-13 14:42:48

Well so far I've flicked through EGoR and a few recipes look good but have to admit its not really doing it for me! I ordered the book as the books cover is beautiful.

HuevosRancheros Wed 31-Jul-13 15:07:27

OneDay....in a word, no! But there is, for example, a recipe for Rye Hazelnut brownies, where he says 'if you want to experiment with a gluten free version, try using two parts buckwheat flour to one part potato flour'. So he often gives options.

Things I have made from Short & Sweet:

Sour Cream Sandwich Loaf Fab, lovely soft crust that fussy DD will eat. But, far too much salt imo. 2 tsp salt to 550g flour is just far too much, I do it with 1. Also works well in a bread machine, I reduce salt to 1tsp and yeast to 1 1/2tsp..... otherwise it rises too much and sticks to the roof of the machine!

Simple Walnut Loaf Very good, looks great too.

Cider Vinegar Muffins. Hated these sad. Vinegar flavour was very strong despite me reducing the amount, and almost tasted cheesy, prob because of the yoghurt? I made the ones on the Smitten Kitchen site, they were delicious and much quicker!

Apple, Walnut and Custard cake. God, I had forgotten about this! Divine smile

Marbled Chocolate Crumble cake. Lovely

Chocolate Custard Muffins. Quite simply, the best muffins I have ever had. Like those from cafes, but better. Flavour and texture better the day after baking.

Banana Bran muffins. Good, but very sweet, I would leave out the caster sugar, just use the muscovado next time.

Toll house Yo-yos. Didn't really like these, an odd texture from the oats and custard powder.

Macarons. Very sweet, as you would expect, would need filling to counteract this i.e. a bitter chocolate one.

Malted chocolate and caramel tart. Heavenly.

Everyday shortcrust pastry. Works for me every time. I do it in a food processor though, just blitz everything except water to crumb stage, then add water til it comes together. Perfect.

Spiced aubergine and lentil pies. Very good, I made them as pasties instead of pies. Added some chopped fried onion and used lemon juice instead of zest.

Garlic butter and Cheddar scones. These were good, but too much cheese imo. Well, that's what I have written next to the recipe.

Sorry, quite a lot there. Will have a look through EGoR, but I've only had that a few weeks, so not made nearly so much from that!

Xiaoxiong Wed 31-Jul-13 15:09:09

Yay two of my favourite cookbooks in one month! I've made so much from both.

I have one wok, carbon steel - I bought it for £5 from a chinese supermarket but you can get a very similar one from Amazon. Apart from that I just use regular pots & pans.

Recipes we love:
Smacked cucumber in garlicky sauce
Spiced cucumber salad
Silken tofu with avocado
Cold chicken with spicy sichuanese sauce
Spinach in ginger sauce
Pockmarked old woman tofu (we add pork mince)
Bear paw tofu
Twice cooked pork (though a bit of a faff)
Any of the braised dishes - red braised beef, braised pork & potatoes
Gong bao chicken
Stirfried eggs and tomatoes
Broad beans and spring onions
Simple stirfried spinach
Broccoli with garlic
Fish fragrant aubergines (no fish, totally vegan)
Green peppers with pork slivers
Stirfried potato slivers with spring onions
Yangzhou fried rice
Dan dan noodles (we add pork mince to this too)
Fuschia's emergency midnight noodles

If I was going to start by cooking a family meal from this book I'd make the smacked cucumber and stick in fridge, put the rice on to steam, make the pockmarked old woman tofu in your wok and then decant into a pot to keep warm, and then finally the stir-fried eggs and tomatoes.

Also in terms of bare minimum of special ingredients to try out a few dishes, you can get away with:
- dark soy sauce
- light soy sauce
- Chinkiang vinegar
- sesame oil
- potato flour (I actually found this in Sainsbury's with the kosher foods the other day)

Pretty much everything else is wonderful (chili bean paste, black beans, chilies, sichuan pepper etc) and you can order from Wing Yip online, but if you just want to try out a few dishes, the ingredients above are really all you need.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 31-Jul-13 16:52:18

DS1 made the Marbled Chocolate Crumble cake. It's such a good cake in so many ways, not least the hidden surprise chunks of lovely dark chocolate. Yum yum yum.

We made the toll house yo-yo but with various types of gf flour (I think we used buckwheat instead of oats and various tail end of various bags of gf flour). It was very good. He did say cookies are forgiving with regards to gluten. We took it literally.

The sponge method of making bread is what I do for our regular everyday loaves. The milk loaf is heavenly and so easy.

The frying pan naan is very good and very easy. I've also made the pita, and the olive oil and potato flatbread, the spiced stout buns, the tea cakes, the brioche, the sourdough. They are all very good and very easy.

Cake-wise we've done the carrot cake, the butterscotch banana cake, the rye apple cake, the sticky lemon and poppy seed cake, the alchemist chocolate cake, the quinoa hazelnut cake (which the grownups like but not the kids) and the christmas caramel cake.

OMG when did I ever find time to do anything else! shock grin And I haven't even listed the small cakes and the cookies and the pies ...

Parsnipcake Wed 31-Jul-13 18:22:42

I have just made the sweet and sour fish tiles, they were lovely. The sauce was more caramelly than gloppy and went down well with everyone. My only issue is that I cooked the fish in my deep fat fryer and now I think the oil is tainted - I usuall y use it just for churros and doughnuts.

ZuleikaJambiere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:09:05

Just marking my place and hoping my copy of Every Grain of Rice is available from the library soon

Nolda Thu 01-Aug-13 09:22:21

I'm going to make vanilla cupcakes this am. Can anyone advise on egg sizes? It just says 2 eggs but I see in some other recipes he specifies large eggs. Do you think he means medium unless large are specified or that he generally uses large and forgot to write it down?

ELR Thu 01-Aug-13 09:39:33

I think generally its large eggs

mimolette Thu 01-Aug-13 14:28:24

Ooh very excited about prospect of cheesy scones - if others found them too cheesy, I am bound to love them smile Any other nice and easy savouries in there?

For recipes on Internet, quite often random bloggers repost them, so I find it easier to search by recipe name once it has been recommended by this good thread.

LeonardoAcropolis Thu 01-Aug-13 14:53:46

Hooray! I won't be able to join in until the middle of the month because i am getting Every Grain of Rice for my birthday, but I look forward to seeing your reviews.

May i be so bold as to suggest Raymond Blanc Kitchen Secrets for October?

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 01-Aug-13 15:24:36

mimolette These cheese and black pepper buttons are in Short and Sweet.

Xiaoxiong Thu 01-Aug-13 16:49:18

Uptoapoint those cheese and pepper buttons are delicious and perfect with a glass of wine, but I find they go stale really quickly, even stored in an airtight container.

Other things I've made -
the easy white bread
the farmhouse tin loaf
the multigrain and honey loaf (our standard loaf for breakfast toast here now, before it got really hot I was making 2 loaves a week!)
corn oil flour tortillas (SO much better than the store bought ones)
sticky lemon poppyseed cake (DIVINE)

The recipe for the lemon poppyseed cake appears to be all over the internet as well for those interested in giving it a go.

I notice in my lists that I haven't made any fish recipes from Fuchsia Dunlop, and almost nothing sweet from Dan Lepard! So that will be my cookery book club challenge this month.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 01-Aug-13 17:07:56

Xiaoxiong I freeze them. Seems to be ok.

I've baked the walnut loaf with red wine. Haven't sliced it yet though...

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 17:50:34

Leonardo - good point. Books for October anyone? Raymond Blanc is an unusual choice, I don't think I have any of his books (unless he wrote that one on sauces which I have? Might be Michel roux)

XBenedict Thu 01-Aug-13 17:56:05

Just ordered Every Grain of Rice with my nectar points! Already got the other one but as I'm about to start Weight Watchers tonight might not be cooking loads from it for myself!

snowlie Thu 01-Aug-13 18:29:02

Anyone have A year in the village of Eternity and we didn't settle on a fish book yet - Rick Stein and Hugh FW were mentioned.

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 18:49:11

Ok fish is an option. I've never heard of that book snowlie, pretty title.

Here are my suggestions:
Lorraine Pascale - fast fresh easy
Gwyneth's Paltrow - food from my father's table....I love this book! This may surprise you. I think it's really underrated.
Anything by barefoot contessa, I think I have the first one. In style I think she's similar to gwyneth's but gwyneth's food is much healthier
Anything by Anna del conte.

Pantah630 Thu 01-Aug-13 19:01:28

Ina Garten, I have about 5 of hers and never blush cooked from any. She's rerunning on the food network at the moment if anyone fancies a look see, Barefoot Contessa.

river Cottage Fish or Meat?

Rick Stein Meditteranean?

Carlucchios Complete Italian?

snowlie Thu 01-Aug-13 19:08:29

YY to the Lorraine Pascale, I have yet to cook one her dishes.

Or maybe a Fay Ripley book, more family friendly than foodie but that's not always a bad thing!

snowlie Thu 01-Aug-13 19:12:13

I watched BarefootContessa make a Borscht and a Caesar Salad sandwich yesterday with Peanutbutter cupcakes - I found her unbearable....very patronising, maybe it was because she was talking to an American market but I felt like she assumed her audience were completely and utterly clueless about food.

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 19:29:16

Snowlie I know what you mean. I did notice in one episode she got her husband to 'help'... Cue shots of him laboriously peeling carrots like an inept work experience pupil. Her husband was the US Undersecretary of Commerce for international trade!

Parsnipcake Thu 01-Aug-13 19:37:56

What about Gordon Ramsay ultimate cookery course? The couple of things I have done were fabulous. I would also be keen to to river cottage fish or meat. I usually start my Christmas baking in October so anything with a Christmas/ preserving section would work for me ( Nigella Feast?).

Forgetfulmog Thu 01-Aug-13 20:23:17

One of Rachel Allen's books?

Or we could go retro & do Mrs Beeton grin

Or what about Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs? grin

Sorry, not very helpful, but I do love some of the recipes in MTAOFC, especially her one for Boeuf Bourginion - divine!

madamecake Thu 01-Aug-13 21:20:04

Another vote here for Gordon Ramsey's cookery course. I've yet to cook anything from it, but DH (who rarely cooks) made a couple if dishes and they were fantastic.

I keep seeing Gwyneth Paltrow's book in the library, and I just assumed it wouldn't be very good, but I'm intrigued now!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 01-Aug-13 21:33:39

Just had a slice of the red wine walnut loaf. Wow. Is all I can say.

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 21:45:04

Madamecake, I think GP is great (don't know about the second book). The first one is full of light healthy food and although the ingredients are sometimes a bit expensive I would be happy to eat those recipes every day, they're just refreshing somehow. She doesn't eat red meat and so it's all chicken, tuna, salmon, a bit of duck. Yum. Her tuna burgers are to die for!

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 21:46:52

Forgetfulmog, I do like the idea of MTAOFC. I suggest though that if we did pick that we pick an easy one to go alongside as probably not many people have it. Is the Julie and Julia blog still running as I guess that will have the recipes? (Goes off to google it)

Forgetfulmog Thu 01-Aug-13 21:50:21

There are quite a few recipes from MTAOFC online anyway - I remember googling them before I had the book.

Wearytiger Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:17

Oh ok great.i think the j&j blog has been taken down. parsnipcake we did feast in April! It was the inaugural cookbook club book, pantah chose it.

mimolette Fri 02-Aug-13 06:45:17

I also like the idea of going old school with Julia Childs or Mrs Beaton. Would also like to do Japanese at some point.

Made the cheese and pepper biscuits last night and had them for dinner as DH is away and I can be lazy. They were quick and nice, but a couple tasted a bit burnt without looking burnt. I've had that with biscuits before, not sure if it's something to do with the oven/temperature?

Planning to do one of the Chinese cucumber things today.

glorious Fri 02-Aug-13 09:06:01

Lots of good options for October smile

From Every Grain of Rice how about:
Red braised pork (sweetish fragrant stew, from memory few unusual ingredients needed. I sometimes struggle to thicken the sauce though and some people may not like the fatty pork belly)
Double cooked pork (yum yum yum! Spicy and rich and addictive)
Beef with cumin (Muslim food from the north, a sample of something that feels less 'Chinese')
Ma po tofu (top comfort food with or without the meat)

If you don't want to buy much some chilli bean sauce, some black beans and some Sichuan pepper would do a number of Sichuanese recipes from the book. Look at the pictures in the back to be sure you get the right thing. We use Lee Kum Kee chilli bean and Lao Gan Ma black beans. The chilli bean and Bart spices Sichuan peppers are available in Waitrose smile

Last night we had sour and hot silken tofu which was extremely easy and delicious. A nice zing to it while also being quite comforting with the tofu. The sour and hot is quite classic though possibly an acquired taste especially with the pickled veg.

We had some cabbage in sizzling oil to go with which was quite fun though we were too chicken to get the oil hot enough.

From Short and Sweet I'd recommend the marmalade flapjacks, they are much more sophisticated than normal flapjacks and very easy. I took some of them and some chocolate custard muffins to the birth centre where DD was born to say thank you and they rang me up afterwards to say how amazing the flapjacks were and to ask for the recipe.

Xiaoxiong Fri 02-Aug-13 11:07:32

I'd love to vote for October but as DS2 is due on Oct 7th I doubt I'll get much cooking in that month, so I don't feel I deserve a say grin

Going to make something from Short and Sweet with DS this weekend I think. The marmalade flapjacks sound perfect but I'll let DH have the veto as he's going to have to eat most of them!

Forgetfulmog Fri 02-Aug-13 13:54:32

Just made the Buttermilk Oat Biscuits from Short & Sweet. I left out the salt & halved the sugar as I wanted 10 mo dd to have them - she loved them! They tasted nice, but I think the sugar/salt combination would have made them tastier & more like digestives.

I'm very intrigued by the Wheetabix Muffins so may have to make them at some point.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 02-Aug-13 14:30:12

We are going to make the blueberry muffins the afternoon, if I can finish work and if DS1 stops bloody sulking.

As a fish substitute could I suggest Rick stiens coast to coast? Plenty of seafood recipes, but also non seafood mixed in. It's a very nice

madamecake Fri 02-Aug-13 19:15:34

Made the chocolate custard muffins from short and sweet today. Just one word - wow! They really are the best chocolate muffins I've eaten. I'm going to make some more tomorrow because there aren't many left. blush

Forgetfulmog Fri 02-Aug-13 20:04:25

Oh my life, I think I'm going to have to buy Short & Sweet. Great, another book to add to our collection grin. We've already run out of shelves (3 big shelves full of cookery books shock)

Parsnipcake Sat 03-Aug-13 10:28:40

I made the red wine and walnut bread yesterday. I had a hot slither ( delicious) and left it to cool while I fed the baby. I went back into the kitchen to find it gone, eaten by 2 hungover teenagers. They enjoyed it. I wept inside.

On another note, we are going to Tuscany next week. I am so excited to cook. Which recipe book should I take? I plan on getting lots of unusual bits but there is no point in buying a cookbook in Italy as I can't read the instructions! Silver spoon is too cumbersome. Are there any good Italian cookbooks for kindle?

I've got Rick Stein Coast to Coast which I have never used blush. Not sure if it passes the library test though?

Any chance of a Claudia Roden for October or should we choose something seasonal?

Sorry Pregnant just seen you suggested Coast to Coast.

Pantah630 Sat 03-Aug-13 12:57:32

Ooo good idea pete how about Delia's Winter Collection for November?

I'm not in so far with August, have a cousin staying from the States he's still in bed, am not bitter and frustrated that my day is ruined at all until midweek then we are off to Donnington till Sunday night. Will attempt to get back on track the following week.

I have gone back to Jerusalem and made the chicken with caramelised onions again though smile

Gordon's ultimate cookery course is £5 on amazon if that makes any difference to picking it?

I'm trying to think of an autumnal cookbook!

Some cheap Sophie Dahl books too. I've never tried any of her recipes though.

greensnail Sat 03-Aug-13 18:46:32

Hi everyone! I seemed to fall off the end of last month's thread as we had so many houseguests in July I was struggling to find time to cook anything new. I hope to do better this month. Had intended to do the twice cooked pork from every grain of rice this evening but wasn't able to get the ingredients I needed, so my pork was twice cooked and delicious but I had to make up my own sauce from what I could find in my cupboards. The pork was lovely though and I have frozen some extra pork belly that I had boiled so well be ready to try the recipe properly one I can sort out the ingredients.

Am planning to make tea cakes from short and sweet next week one day. Am planning on waiting for a rainy day to spend baking with my girls, but just lots of sunshine here at the moment!

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 03-Aug-13 19:36:36

We make those tea cakes quite often. I have also used the dough to make chelsea buns type things. If you use the white chocolate you get this fantastic fragrance when you bite into the bread.

greensnail Sat 03-Aug-13 19:54:27

Sounds great, I've bought dripping to use but might try white choc another time.

I'm struggling to find sweet fermented sauce for the Chinese cooking. Anyone have any ideas where I can find it? Does it go by another name??

HuevosRancheros Sat 03-Aug-13 20:01:49

Greensnail, sweet fermented sauce is just hoisin sauce smile
Have a look at the glossary at the back - the one I buy is actually the same brand as in her picture, but I'm sure any supermarket version will do smile

glorious Sat 03-Aug-13 20:05:35

snail have you seen the section at the back on ingredients? There are pictures, descriptions and Chinese characters. Sweet fermented sauce is most often called hoisin if you're in the supermarket, though I prefer the brands in Chinese places, e.g. we have mong lee shang.

glorious Sat 03-Aug-13 20:06:11

cross post smile

HuevosRancheros Sat 03-Aug-13 22:17:58

We are off on our hols tomorrow, so no cooking for me for a bit sad smile

What I love about Fuchsia Dunlop is that she has got me to buy fermented tofu! I never knew what those strange jars were in my Korean/Chinese grocers, and so I took the plunge and bought some - white and red.
Smells strange, and I guess it is, but no more so than say, stilton, or soy sauce or fish sauce..... any other fermented thing. I made the 'Tuzi's slow-cooked ribs with red fermented tofu', and it was amazing. Except.... I used quorn instead of ribs, as we're veggie! DH actually found it a bit meaty, it is quite a strong flavour, but he said he didn't dislike it, just that 'it took some getting used to' grin
I also tried to buy ya cai, but didn't get quite the right thing, but it was close enough for the dry fried beans, they were lovely.

So, as I thank Thomasina Miers for Chipotle en Adobo (which is still going into everything!), I thank Fuchsia Dunlop for stinky tofu! And I therefore thank whoever suggested these books smile. I had never heard of TM before, and I had not had much luck with a previous Fuchsia one (Sichuan cooking?), as it was so meat-based, not much veggie. This one has loads of tofu stuff which I love, and some adaptable meaty ones

Yay! grin

Xiaoxiong Sun 04-Aug-13 10:13:01

Ok - jersey milk and clotted cream loaf from short and sweet is coming together - just waiting for milk to cool to make the sponge. I'm going to make the cheese and pepper buttons again later today as we have friends round for a drink in the garden and they'll be perfect. Finally we have a half bottle of wine about to turn into vinegar so I'm going to freeze it and buy walnuts to make the red wine and walnut loaf later in the week.

Huevos having grown up in China it always makes me laugh that most English people's reaction to stinky tofu is identical to the Chinese reaction to Stilton or Roquefort ("eugh, why would anyone want to eat that, milk from an animal left to go mouldy till it's actually blue!??") grin

glorious Sun 04-Aug-13 16:23:10

Yes it's quite inconsistent of us isn't it xiao. When we were on holiday in Anhui our driver was extremely surprised we liked it because most tourists don't apparently. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to until it was too late grin

The loaf sounds yummy.

I made my first venture into every grain of rice today. We had a feast of sorts, the red braised pork which was soo aromatic and delicious, I had to restrain dh from eating the lot to himself. It smelt and tasted wonderful and was very easy to make. I really rate this recipe. Alongside we had the garlic broccoli, the bean sprouts with Chinese chives, and plain white rice. All very nice, particularly the bean sprouts.

I tried and failed to make the sticky dumplings, but was foiled by my scales breaking and my own inability to work out what 75g from 1.5kilo of flour is. I am sure there is a way, I seem to recall doing these sort of things in maths and physics in school, but I'm jiggered if I can figure it out. All baking/measuring in casa pp is therefore postponed until I acquire new scales.

Forgetfulmog Sun 04-Aug-13 20:06:46

I made the Toll House Cookies from Short & Sweet today - absolutely delicious! The cookie dough was yummy raw too blush. Also made the Wheetabix muffins for DH to take to work for breakfasts - he will let me know what they're like!

Forgetfulmog Sun 04-Aug-13 20:08:23

Oh one thing about the cookies - I found the dough very crumbly, even after chilling, & couldn't slice it as the recipe says to; I broke off small pieces & flattened them on the baking tray instead - they looked more rustic that way smile

ELR Mon 05-Aug-13 16:43:31

Hi all back from four days days away, so marking place and catching up on the thread. Bit late but just made the Kerala fish curry from hb from last month and it tastes yum.
I have ear marked a few recipes from EGoR and will pop into London on Wednesday morning and fit in a quick trip to china town.
Going to make the chocolate custard muffins and also the marmalade flapjacks and tgen will fi in a few bread recipes this weekend too.

minimuffin Mon 05-Aug-13 17:50:58

Hello I was on the thread in May but life got a bit hectic so I haven't been cooking and joining in, but following the thread avidly - I love it. I love the books being chosen too.

I had Short & Sweet anyway and I love it. I'm not generally a home bread maker but I had a go at the Easy White Bread recipe and it is just amazing. I thought the technique was interesting - no pummelling (which is the bit I quite like, but hey...) I really want to try the multigrain and honey bread on Xiaoxiong's recommendation.

I've also made the spelt & ginger cookies (gorgeous), sour cherry & oat cookies (gorgeous), marmalade flapjacks (gorgeous) banana bran muffins (good and I use for lunch boxes)

Bought the book for my brother's girlfriend and she made me the vanilla fudge and black russian caramels from it (gorgeous).

So I'm a fan. The one recipe I really want to try at some point is the pear mousse cake - anyone tried it? It looks to die for.

I will see if I can get EGOR from the library but we're off on hols on Friday so not sure I'm going to get much time to cook before August is out - it sounds promising though. I bought Jerusalem as a result of this thread and have been enjoying cooking from it. Also I discovered Tessa Kiros recently and bought Falling Cloudberries in June - everything I've tried from it (which isn't that much yet) has worked perfectly and been delicious so am delighted she is coming up in September

Lucas Hollweg Good Things to Eat might be a good autumn book - it's a lovely book but only downside is his recipes are only available online to Times subscribers

glorious Mon 05-Aug-13 18:51:59

pregnantpause your feast sounds great, and glad the red braised pork was a hit.

greensnail Mon 05-Aug-13 20:05:21

Thanks for the help with the sweet fermented sauce. Tried to say thanks they other night but mumsnet wouldn't let me post for some reason.

Made the tea cakes today, and they are so good. Am fasting tomorrow so hope there will be one left for me to eat on Wednesday.

Am waiting for my wing yip order to arrive before I crack on with more from egor so sticking to short and sweet at the moment. Am planning to try the spiced aubergine and lentil pies next (mainly because dd1 made me buy an aubergine and I have no idea what to do with it as none of us are that keen on them).

Xiaoxiong Mon 05-Aug-13 20:10:17

Uptoapoint thank you for recommending the jersey and clotted cream loaf - it is indeed divine!! The texture is just perfect for both sandwiches and toast and it goes this lovely creamy golden brown when toasted. Even DH who doesn't generally like white bread liked it!

Pantah630 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:20:40

Will have a look mini there needs to be more to my Times subscription than super fiendish suduko grin

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 05-Aug-13 21:45:28

smile XiaoXiong

All the sponge-method bread are easy and nice - it's our standard loaf. I start the sponge before going off to work and continue after coming home (part-timer. At work, that is. Very serious about my bread. grin) I've started customising them now, but mostly I coat them with black and white sesame seeds, or sometimes poppy seeds.

One of the Chinese cookbooks I use quite often is Classic Food of China by Yan Kit So. They have a recipe for Teochew braised duck/goose. Yum yum yum.

ScrambledSmegs Mon 05-Aug-13 22:27:27

Oh my stars I have Short & Sweet. And Falling Cloudberries. And I totally missed out on Veg Every Day. <kicks self>

Can I join? I've only made one thing from Short & Sweet so far <eyes non-sleeping baby resentfully> but it was good. Soya and Linseed bread. Very tasty, lasts for a while (had to refrigerate in the hot weather, that didn't do it much good) and not too faffy.

So much else I want to try. I may be back. If the baby deigns to sleep again...

Er, I'm going through a Claudia Roden phase at the moment. If you haven't already 'done' her books I would love any excuse to make more food from Arabesque. I think DH would like it too grin

ScienceRocks Tue 06-Aug-13 16:04:33

<marks spot>

No cooking from me at the moment as I am away from home sad

I made my first recipe this month. smile We had ham, egg and potato pie from Short and Sweet. It got a big thumbs up from everyone.

I just realised that this is the first time I've made pastry since secondary school. It still tastes the same. blush

Xiaoxiong Tue 06-Aug-13 19:09:20

Sh&Sw corn oil flour tortillas are mixed, lightly kneaded and now resting till DS is in bed. We'll eat them with refried beans and pulled pork currently in the slow cooker smile fresh tortillas are the best (and cheapest), I'll never buy them again.

maniacbug Tue 06-Aug-13 19:30:06

Hello everyone. Am back from a week in a ripped and leaky tent in the wild, wild west, having eaten my own body weight in scones, saffron buns and cheese + onion pasties... ready to eat my own body weight in Dan Lepard. And Fuchsia, of course. I love this month's books and the way both authors write. Also both books refreshingly free of mug shots. Am frantically scribbling down all the recommendations - keep 'em coming! There are so many things I want to try. I haven't cooked anything from EGoR yet but am looking forward to getting started. (Moving from an outbuilding into our main house has slightly got in the way, not to mention offspring underfoot.) I am intrigued by FD's use of potato flour as opposed to the usual cornflour, so need to get hold of some. Likewise the stinky tofu. I will not deep fry anything, so am going to try oven-roasting the aubergines for Fish-Fragrant and Hangzhou recipes.

Will pass the bread recommendations on to DH as that's his department.

Kids and I made DL's brown sugar chocolate cake earlier, minus the glycerine as mine was 4 years out of date shock, and it's amazing, really light and fluffy. (Any excuse to open a can of condensed milk gets my vote.) I have committed myself to making a wedding cake for SIL in Nov and may well play around with this recipe. Has anyone made it with the glycerine? I wonder what it adds. Would probably hold it together better for a tiered version. (Incidentally if anyone has a good choc wedding cake recipe they are willing to share I would be very grateful. Am panicking slightly as all my favourites have ground almonds in and they want to keep it nut-free.)

Have made the toll-house yo-yos before, which we loved, but had the same crumbly issue as Forgetfulmog. I have written a big cross next to banana fudge cookies and the comment 'not worth trying again'. Seem to remember they were a weird hybrid flavour, neither one thing nor the other. Got friends with teenage boys coming to stay this weekend so good excuse for extra baking. Might try the green fairy cakes for grown-ups.

One last thing, Xiao how do you actually turn wine into vinegar? Do you have to do anything to it or just let it sour?!

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 06-Aug-13 19:41:43

XiaoXiong I made the corn oil tortilla last week. They are so so much better than bought ones. The texture is just right.

maniacbug I made the toll-house yo-yo but with various gf flour instead of the oats and they were great. We like the banana fudge cookies. Baked a truckload and took them to a friend's and they were demolished in one sitting. Also freeze them for lunch boxes. Pseudo-healthy on account of the banana (and ignoring the mountain of sugar)...

maniacbug Tue 06-Aug-13 19:46:15

Hmm, Uptoapoint I'm really not sure why I didn't like them, as we regularly make banana and chocolate cake. Maybe the oats confused me? It might have been the texture more than the flavour. Looking again at the recipe am very tempted by the lemon curd cookies opposite!

Forgetfulmog Tue 06-Aug-13 21:12:37

I'm going to try the Banana Blondies, but with caramelised bananas instead of the pecans. They look bloody amazing!

glorious Thu 08-Aug-13 06:49:59

We had the zhe jiang noodles the other day. I really liked the rich, slightly sweet pork topping and it was very easy. We added too much water to the pork though so be careful on that if you make it.

I'm away for a few days now but planning to make the rocky road rock cakes when I get back.

Xiaoxiong Thu 08-Aug-13 08:00:27

Dinner last night was two new-to-me recipes from FD: tofu stir fried with black beans, peppers and celery - I added one small pork steak cut into strips as per the suggested variation below the main recipe - and potato slivers with spring onions and sesame oil to which I added a palmful of fresh peas from the garden. Both delicious and particularly good for using up little bits of things I had leftover in the fridge. I just used the regular cauldron brand tofu from sainsburys and it worked fine, though I did press out as much water as I could before slicing into strips.

Cocochops Thu 08-Aug-13 09:37:21

Just marking my place as I have yet to cook anything this month. My stumbling blocks are I have EGOR but no wok or basic Chinese ingredients and I don't have short and sweet.

I have found the lemon and poppyseed cake recipe online so I will make that later today. I M tempted to buy the book as the things you are all making from it sound delicious.

I will get organised and do and online Chinese supermarket order I think as really want to cook the twice cooked pork and some of the tofu recipes as I have never cooked with it before.

Xiaoxiong Thu 08-Aug-13 15:39:40

Well I've well and truly got the bit between my teeth now - on uptoapoint and parsnipcake's recommendation, Short and Sweet red wine and walnut bread has been mixed and is now resting before the first rise of 45 min. The dough seems really sticky compared to other DL breads I've made so far but maybe that's because it's not one of the half sponge method ones. Also I forgot to add the rest of the walnuts so when I gave it its first quick knead I kneaded them in and they kept pinging out of the dough into the tiled splashback - whoops!!

Coco you can get a wok when you order from the chinese supermarket! Even if you never cook chinese food again, I use mine for deep frying chips too as the shape of it means you don't have to use much oil.

maniac to answer your question way upthread I've found that wine does turn and go sour after a few days, but it's not nice like the stuff you buy - I think to make red wine vinegar at home you need a starter kind of like yoghurt, I've never tried though!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 08-Aug-13 16:49:48

coco - Short and Sweet is a collection of much of the stuff he wrote for the guardian so lots (if not most) of it are online. As for Chinese cooking I find that I don't stirfry as often as I do the braised and boil recipes. They are easy and can be left once set up. But a wok is a good thing. Cooks steak quite well too. grin

xiaoxiong we use cauldron tofu too. I find that they are quite good. I sometimes buy from the Chinese supermarket but mostly I just pick them up in our usual supermarket shop. It's our convenience food - DC will eat them plainly cooked.

Xiaoxiong Thu 08-Aug-13 17:16:04

I'm picky about tofu - in the past if I haven't been able to get it from a chinese supermarket I've made my own - so it was the first time I've tried the cauldron stuff. In fact - full disclosure - DH bought it not me. I was pleased that it was better than merely edible, I really need to stop being so snobby.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 08-Aug-13 17:22:25

I was also pleasantly surprised by cauldron tofu. Visiting relatives have also been pleasantly surprised by it. grin

madamecake Thu 08-Aug-13 17:51:54

Im sorry to report a failure from short and sweet, but it was my own fault. Made the black pepper rye bread and overcooked the coffee mixture but didn't realise until I came to knead it that it was far too dry, and consequently turned into a brick upon baking. Such a shame as the flavour was lovely.

I had more success with the banana fudge cookies. They were very nice, but agree with maniacbug about the texture. I think they would be better without oats and perhaps more flour instead.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 08-Aug-13 18:53:41

I made the black pepper rye bread too. Quite a dense bread. Quite a grown-up taste. Kids won't have it. I sliced and froze and had them for lunches. It was very nice.

ZuleikaJambiere Sat 10-Aug-13 13:10:23

Just picked up my copy of Every Grain of Rice from the library and wish I wasn't going out tonight, as I just want to curl up on the sofa and devour it. smile

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 10-Aug-13 13:42:43

We had the sticky toffee apple buns for breakfast this morning. Yum!

Cocochops Sun 11-Aug-13 11:41:19

Anyone got an recommendations for a dan lepard recipe thats online to go with early morning coffee? Have some friends coming round this week any good breakfast muffins or similar?

Made the lemon and poppyseed cake this week it was lovely. Just about todo my Chinese supermarket order the I can crack on with EGOR.

Brices Sun 11-Aug-13 12:09:04

I made the chocolate custard muffins after recommendation here and yes I agree very tasty. Never cooked muffins before, how are they different to cake? Tasted very similar to chocolate cake. I thought the initial stage would take ages of stirring in the pan waiting for the sauce to get thick, and then all at once from nothing to absolutely thick!! Guess this is corn flour for you will remember that in future

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 11-Aug-13 12:49:38

coco the chocolate custard muffin in online. Also:

banana bran muffins

honey nut banana muffin - not made this one.

blueberry muffins

I would be very happy with any of them (or all of them) for breakfast!

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 11-Aug-13 12:50:39

In fact you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another, the night before, and mix together the next morning and bake for your early morning coffee.

Xiaoxiong Sun 11-Aug-13 18:27:03

Red wine and walnut bread lasted less than 36 hours - we demolished the last of it as toast with honey for breakfast. Gorgeous taste and what a beautiful purple crumb too! Can't decide what to tackle next...we're going down to stay with MIL on Tues for a week and she uses a bread maker shockwink

Dinner tonight harks back to a previous month's cookbook club - bolognese from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries made 50/50 with beef and pork mince. Perfect for a lazy dinner with DH watching Firefly grin

Wearytiger Sun 11-Aug-13 20:42:02

xiao your night sounds shiny!

I made two DL cakes today: the first was the caramel and hazelnut cake. It was a good cake but somehow I felt it just needed a little something more. The cake itself was lovely and moist but I wasn't convinced by the icing. You are meant to use the same icing between the cake halves and on the top and I really think it would be better with a wetter icing to sandwich the layers together as it was quite dry (similar to the icing you get on cupcakes). So next time I would add more caramel to the sandwich icing. It was a great taste though.

The second cake was the peach and saffron cake which I made as I had all the ingredients anyway. I used a 23inch round tin rather than a 20inch square tin (he has a fondness for odd tin sizes, I think!) The round tin worked but if I'd had more peaches I could have covered the entire cake - instead I just had enough to go round the edges. That's probably my fault for changing the tin shape. I also didn't love the saffron taste ... My husband did, but I am coming to the conclusion that I'm not a fan of middle eastern-y type cake flavours (see my earlier post on the tahini carrot cake!) So I would make the first one again but not the second one, I think.

I made egor soup with vegetable and meatballs- I used carrot and spring greens as veg, and doubled all quantities to feed four. It was so, so so light. A lovely supper after a heavy meal earlier in the day. Even DC loved it. In sure it will become a regular at my house, very easy and really satisfying. Highly recommended.

HuevosRancheros Mon 12-Aug-13 09:49:15

Back from sunny Norfolk smile
Made the sour and hot tofu from EGoR last night, desperately needed after a week of pub grub and camping food. Lovely and refreshing, though I didn't have spring onions, which would have made it nicer, or Bombay Mix, which I didn't really feel I missed. Also had to make it with the longlife tofu that I keep in the cupboard for emergencies, as I didn't have any fresh silken tofu. Still yummy though smile

Xiaoxiong Mon 12-Aug-13 09:50:27

Weary it was indeed shiny grin (See this is why I love MN - on a thread about cookbooks people get my scifi references and make in-jokes back at me! Now we have watched Serenity and it's all over and I am sad)

I used to use a 23inch pan for the DL lemon and poppyseed cake and it always turned out a little thinner and flatter than the pictures - BUT I did stumble upon a 20inch square tin with a loose bottom at Sainsbury's the other day, so now at least I have the right shape for most of his recipes.

greensnail Mon 12-Aug-13 20:22:59

Made the special fried rice from egor end of last week (can't remember what the recipe was actually called), was lovely and everyone finished their portion so will definitely make it again.

Made the easy white loaf from short and sweet today with help from my four year old. Came out very well and dd1 was so impressed that she can make bread. She wants to try rolls next.

We were planning to do the toll house yoyo to take to a friend's house tomorrow but dd1 convinced me to buy some cupcakes instead (they are very pretty) so will do the biscuits later in the week to take to a different friend's house.

snowlie Tue 13-Aug-13 07:25:45

Have not made a single thing this month, too many visitors staying with us, so food has to be predictable and haven't dragged the dcs to the Chinese supermarket - that might be today's activity.

ScienceRocks Tue 13-Aug-13 07:35:33

Made the vanilla cupcakes and everyday scones from Short and Sweet yesterday (as part of an afternoon tea for MIL). Both excellent, though Dan says that the scone recipe makes six and I got 18 out of it shock

Made short and sweet blueberry muffins (uptoapoint linked them earlier) today, but substituted blueberries with wimberries as the mountain I live on is covered with them. Free fruit is the bestgrin
The muffins were wonderfully light, and for me, the first baking success since we did nigellas feast (baking is something of a challenge for me, I failed with Jerusalem, Nigel, Jamie, I really am awful at it.) But these will undoubtedly be the breakfast of choice until the wimberries are no more. So proud of myself. Dh hardly believes I made them.

Me and dh just had egor gong bao chicken with peanuts (too spicy for DC, so I halved quantities for two) like everything I have cooked from eogr it was lovely. Ten times nicer than a Chinese take out. Worth the effort, and it's cheap to make. I used a normal red chilli as have no sichaun chillis in. we had it with the stir fried broccoli and plain rice. Delicious.

HuevosRancheros Tue 13-Aug-13 20:39:25

Well, I am currently eating what is quite an adventurous dinner for me! From EGOR smile
Garlicky smacked cucumbers - delicious.

Stir fried potato slivers with chilli and sichuan pepper (I added spring onion too, merging two variations she suggested). Really good, except I forgot to add salt, which it needed. Saying that, it would go really well with a salty/soy dish that needed countering. We ate this a lot when we were in China, and I have to say, I think the one I've just cooked is better than what I ate there! I used new potatoes we just dug up smile

Vegetarian clay bowl chicken. My second attempt at using tofu 'bamboo'; previous efforts ended up in the bin. I cooked the tofu as for the Tofu Bamboo with Spring Onion Oil, as she suggests in the blurb, to give more flavour. The texture is a little odd, may not be for everyone, but as a veggie, I am always keen to have a variety of textures of tofu! The flavour was fantastic, so I assume the non-vegetarian version, on the next page, would be equally fantastic

Just as I was cooking, DH wandered in and said he wasn't hungry, so just me eating. So I didn't bother with any rice, which I would normally cook, and I can't say I missed it.

Damn it- I had everything for the smashed cucumber, but chickened out, and shoved it in my pimms instead (just the cucumber, not the garlic et al) I will add it to the next thing I try (potentially the clay bowl chicken now it's been given the MN cookbook approval)

glorious Wed 14-Aug-13 13:25:38

Rocky road rock cakes are cooling, awaiting their gooey topping. My hand slipped when adding the cinnamon so I think I may have to eat them all to protect others.

And in a hangover from a couple of months back I'm eating a bacon sarnie with chipotles en adobo and have black beans simmering for refried beans. Mmm.

houseelfine Wed 14-Aug-13 14:32:43

Dan's cheese chilli almond biscuits are amazing. His sour cherry cookies also work really well and as these are expensive, I replaced with cranberries. I do find his cakes rather heavy and dense though. Not really a fan... I am yet to try any of the bread recipes as they seem to need a lot of attention rather than mix, knead, prove, punch, prove, bake. There are about 3 reset and knead intervals where you have to wait for different resting times. It is a shame as this is the way for most bread recipes, rather than one or two.

HuevosRancheros Wed 14-Aug-13 14:44:53

Glad to hear that about the chilli and almond biscuits, as I have some flaked almonds in the cupboard, glaring at me. Think I bought them to make Smitten Kitchen's Beesting cake, but never got round to it. Been wanting to try the biscuits for a while, you have convinced me. As have all the rest of you who have made the black pepper cheese buttons, will have a go at those soon smile

Wearytiger Wed 14-Aug-13 15:36:33

Ooh huevos, I made the beesting cake twice. The first time was not brilliant (I posted about it) but the second time it was amazing, one of my best ever cakes! But yes, you should definitely stick to te thread and do some DL baking...

glorious Wed 14-Aug-13 19:32:45

Rocky road rock cakes are very chocolaty and have lots of exciting chunks. I'd probably use half milk chocolate on top next time as they're a touch too sophisticated with all plain for the kind of thing they are. That might just be me though. I used walnuts instead of peanuts.

They're extremely easy and I reckon would be good to make with DCs. It's just mixing and a bit of rubbing in for the cakes and you dollop them out. The topping is melt and mix but uses boiling water so a bit would be adult only. Mine's only 6 months though so what do I know!

HuevosRancheros Thu 15-Aug-13 09:11:49

Well, on looking at the chilli almond biscuit recipe, I see it calls for whole almonds. Normally wouldn't have any in, but Ocado randomly sent me some this week! We are off camping again on Saturday, so baking will have to wait a while. Besides, not convinced the kids would like them, and seems a little unfair to have them involved in the baking of something they won't like! So maybe once school starts again.....

Tiger, will have a look at your beesting comments; I forgot you did SK a while ago, it was before I 'joined'. I can't decide if I will love or hate the cake, and it looks like a massive thing to make and then not like! It's the custard filling I'm not sure about..... but it may be a little dull without it?

snowlie Thu 15-Aug-13 09:18:31

Took a trip to the local Chinese supermarket and came away with half the shop. wink Bought some fermented tofu which scares me a little - I remember how bad it smelled on the streets of Hong Kong but I will be brave, I have learned to love blue cheese so I can do anything. [Grin] Dcs chose some chopsticks and have been eagerly practicing the art since the very helpful shop assistant showed them the correct positioning.

Made my first dish from EGOR - General Tso's chicken. I roasted the chicken rather than fried it because I was drinking wine - hot fat and alcohol are not a good mix. It was lovely though, good flavours and pretty simple - served with greens and rice, dcs loved it too....so it most definitely has found a slot in the family cookbook.

I really fancy the smashed cucumbers and we just so happen to have a few extra in the fridge.

mignonette Thu 15-Aug-13 09:20:26

I regularly cook the Orange Cassata cake from Dan Lepard's book. It is wonderful but I have adapted it over time to omit the chocolate if baking it for DH who prefers more citrus and less chocolate. I like the fact that it is a recipe book by a serious, trained baker and is not glossy photo after glossy photo. You get real value for money and a writer who understands scientifically why a recipe should or should not work.

I have had the book for some time now and own all of Tess Kiros' books. They are visually beautiful albeit a bit food porn. Her 'Sipi's Strawberry Cake' sounds lovely and Tastes great. It has a less of a sponge texture and is almost shortcake like because of the milk in it.

HuevosRancheros Thu 15-Aug-13 09:33:03

snowlie, the smashed cucumbers are lovely smile

madamecake Thu 15-Aug-13 21:05:26

I really need to start cooking from EGoR, think I might do the tofu with chilli tomorrow.

Made the egg, ham and potato pie from DL yesterday. It was nice enough, but not nice enough to make again, DH thought it was a bit on the bland side.

DD (20 months) helped me make the lemon and poppyseed cake this afternoon! I'll be finding poppyseeds for years to come. It's delicious, not too soggy from the lemon syrup, and not too heavy.

Also, does anyone know if there are many recipes from falling cloudberries online? I can only find a couple and our library doesn't have the book.

glorious Mon 19-Aug-13 16:54:30

Fish fragrant sea bream and the smoked tofu, celery and peanut salad in progress. Have also bought wonton wrappers to have a go at the first one in the dumpling chapter, but probably later in the week.

Might make a DL cake or perhaps marmalade flapjacks for seeing my friend with a newborn later in the week smile

Cocochops Mon 19-Aug-13 21:00:06

My wok arrived so have made a few things from EGOR

Chicken in black bean sauce but made with prawns and not chicken. I think the flavour from using the fermented black beans was really lovely. I have a massive bag so need to cook lots more from EGOR. They came in a vacuum pack can I just reseal and put in the cupboard or do they need to go in the fridge?

Pock marked woman's tofu - first time I have cooked tofu was lovely. Even dh who I thought would turn his nose up at tofu liked it. I don't think I needed to add the extra dried chillies though as it was a bit too spicy as I think the chilli bean paste was fairly hot.

Smacked garlic cucumber nice and easy side dish. Would do it again if I had cucumber to use but didn't think it was amazing.

glorious where did you get your wonton wrappers? I wanted to buy some when I did my wing yip order but was surprised to see they didn't have them.

Was going to make DL honey banana muffins today but didn't have some of the ingredients so made some banana ones off the BBC website so easy and delicious.

ZuleikaJambiere Mon 19-Aug-13 22:36:30

I've done my first EGoR meal tonight - the Gong Bao chicken with peanuts, with blanched choy sum with sizzling oil and also stir-fried celery with macadamia nuts (I didn't have any lily bulb, well apart from those in pots on the patio, but suspect that isn't what FD has in mind). The chicken and celery were both delicious and I'd definitely do them again. The blanched choy sum was also tasty, but I don't think I did the sizzling oil thing right and therefore that didn't add anything extra to the dish.

Annoyingly, every other page of the meat and chicken chapters seem to be missing. One of the missing recipes is the general Tso's chicken that snowlie recommended, that I'd liked to have tried, so I'll have to google for it.

ZuleikaJambiere Mon 19-Aug-13 22:38:37

And, I've been meaning to ask about woks. Tonight I used my heavy based frying pan, and it was all v tasty, but probably not perfectly wokked. Do woks work on an Aga, does anyone know? I'm wondering whether its worth investing, or sticking with my much loved frying pan

glorious Tue 20-Aug-13 16:00:41

coco just a scruffy Chinese shop up the road (SE London). It took me a while to spot them, they were frozen and about I phone size or a bit bigger if that helps. And I'd put the beans in the fridge but I put everything in there grin

So the fish fragrant sea bream was lovely. The sauce is kind of like a mild sweet and sour but much more delicate and sophisticated than that sounds. We've had it with aubergine before which is a classic and I wasn't sure whether it'd overpower the fish but it absolutely didn't, it worked really well as you could still taste the fish perfectly.

The celery / tofu dish would've benefitted from the right tofu rather than my improvised substitute but was a nice enough starter/accompaniment and helped with the celery glut.

Forgetfulmog Tue 20-Aug-13 21:23:28

Well I appear to be making every cake & biscuit recipe from short & sweet! They just always work!

Made the choc chunk cookies yesterday, left out the egg & they were lovely & crunchy. Made the lemon & poppyseed cake today & it was gorgeous - v light & fluffy.

greensnail Wed 21-Aug-13 12:21:34

Hi everyone, I've been busy baking but rubbish about coming on mumsnet to tell you all about it.

Last week I made the spiced aubergine and lentil pie. The filing was nice, not amazing but a decent enough recipe to get aubergine into a family of aubergine haters. Only dd1 (who usually likes aubergine) wasn't too keen. The pastry was lovely though, I think I will be replacing my mum's shortcrust recipe with this one as my default shortcrust pastry.

Then we made the toll house yoyos to take to a friend's house. I was a bit disappointed when we tried them immediately as the vanilla flavour was very overwhelming but by the following day they were perfect although possibly not the best choice to take to my sugar phobic friend's house (her kids loved them grin )

Today we have done the lemon and poppy seed cake. Just waiting for it to cool before trying it.

Planning to make gong bao chicken tomorrow for tea, I'm very excited about that one

We're going camping at the weekend so no more baking and Chinese for a few days, don't fancy balancing the wok on a camp stove!

greensnail Wed 21-Aug-13 14:28:59

Lemon and poppy seed cake is nice but a little bit dry and I would prefer it a little more lemony. Maybe I should have poked more holes for the syrup.

Forgetfulmog Wed 21-Aug-13 21:37:44

Greensnail - that's strange, I made that cake yesterday & dry it certainly was not! Did you pour all of the syrup over?

ELR Thu 22-Aug-13 09:00:42

Hi just back from a few weeks in the alps so have done no cooking, baking or stir frying at all!!
Read through the thread and looks like there are a few good recipes to try so going to give it my best shot! Kids are going to grandparents today so will just be me and DH so am planning to try a few things from EGoR and then maybe a bread recipe from DL.

Cocochops Thu 22-Aug-13 16:15:17

Made Egor twice cooked pork belly and pak choi with sizzling oil both delicious. I am really enjoying the food from this book. The only thing is that you normally need to do a couple of dishes and then I get a bit stressed following 2 new recipes and getting them ready at the same time.

glorious am also in SE London will keep my eyes peeled for Chinese shops selling wontons!
The sea bream looks lovely want to try that next.

DL chic custard muffins cooling as I type. I wanted to bake with dd but they prob weren't the best choice as had to do some of the recipe on the stove then ds woke from his nap so they are a bit rushed.

When do we start talking books again ? I would be keen for a Thai or Vietnamese one if anyone has any good suggestions.

glorious Thu 22-Aug-13 18:11:37

coco this was on Lee High Road, the Lewisham end, just in case that's accessible for you. It's yellow. And 'chic custard', was it particularly sophisticated? ! wink

I've just made marmalade flapjacks for a friend. I had to test one of course and unfortunately a badly timed feed means they're slightly too hard and not as good as last time. Oh well. I'll also be making pizza for her as she has a newborn. So that's another DL planned.

I've also done DL tortillas as we're having TM steak burritos tonight. Like those of you who made TM tortillas I was surprised how easy they were. Wriggling 6mo on my back didn't much help though and they're a bit wonky. Hope they're nice.

greensnail Thu 22-Aug-13 21:27:06

Forgetfulmog - having sampled a few more pieces of the cake I've had some lovely moist lemony pieces and some that are dry so I think the problem definitely is not enough holes. I did use all the syrup but it's obviously not distributed thorough the cake enough.

Gong bao chicken this evening from egor. Was absolutely delicious, despite a slightly dramatic kitchen accident where I managed to send the wok and its contents flying across the kitchen. Very glad there were no small people in the kitchen at the time. It was so yummy, will definitely make it again, in fact I'd love to eat it again right now!

glorious Fri 23-Aug-13 10:22:39

Mmmm tortillas are amazing! Never buying one again, they're always vile anyway.

maniacbug Fri 23-Aug-13 20:22:33

Chopstickable! My new favourite word. Haven't managed to cook anything from EGoR yet for various reasons, but have read it cover to cover and am planning on carrying it over to Sept as there are so many things I want to try.
More productive on the Dan Lepard front: the spelt & ginger cookies were delicious and looked exactly like the photo, which is always gratifying. I have tried various pizza doughs over the years and had settled on Jamie's (from Happy Days, I think?), but will be switching to Dan's in future. It was extremely easy (10 second kneadings, now that's my kind of bread), forgiveable (I left it more like 25 mins between kneadings), incredibly light at the final stage and deliciously crispy. Blueberry & almond bars were lovely but a bit of a faff and IMHO more of a pudding than a cake due to uber-sticky topping. Would have been nice warm with cream (I found the base a bit dry, but it did improve after 1-2 days). Away walking now for a few days but keen to try more of his savoury things when we get back.

glorious Sat 24-Aug-13 07:09:48

Agree with bug on the pizza dough, incredibly easy and very tasty. Pizzas went down very well yesterday.

Cantdothisagain Sat 24-Aug-13 07:29:04

I tried the pizza dough yesterday- agree its good! Though I actually found the ten minute interval kneading could actually be more work than just one off kneading and leaving- it would depend on what you had planned for the day, I think.
I fancy trying the bran muffins or the Weetabix ones- anyone made these?

Bumblebeefliesanyway Sat 24-Aug-13 07:45:46

Made the semolina and date bar things yesterday. They look like a dog's breakfast but tasted amazing! They also used up some of my vast stores of rose water. More rose water recipes, anyone?
I am loving egor so much that I have now bought Sichuan cookery as well. It is the first good chinese cookbook ive had. Noticed my Tesco seem to have stopped selling chiankiang vinegar though, and I'm running low!

Forgetfulmog Sat 24-Aug-13 08:07:49

Can'tdo - I've made the Wheetabix muffins - very tasty & filling smile

Cantdothisagain Sat 24-Aug-13 09:49:53

Thanks Mog. Have read through the thread - cant see any big failures- the marmalade flapjack sounds great and the lemon cake!

ELR Sat 24-Aug-13 12:49:33

Finally made something! Marmalade flapjacks in the oven! The mixture was delicious so can't wait for baked version.....
Dinner planned tonight is the chicken and peanut thing from EGoR , off to wing yip in a minute to stock up any recommendations?

ELR Sat 24-Aug-13 12:57:30

bumblebeef like the sound of semolina and date bars but can't find the recipe anywhere have the kindle version so maybe different but what page is it on?

LovingKent Sat 24-Aug-13 17:43:41

Hello. Great idea for a thread smile. Could do some new recipes! Managed to find EGoR in the library. DH in heaven (he is Malaysian Chinese so recognises a lot of the dishes). So far we have done the red braised pork (lovely, just melt in the mouth), pipa tofu (we both really liked this) and spinach and fermented tofu (accidentally used choi sum instead but it worked with this too). DS was less impressed but is often a bit wary of new food. This weekend we are planning tuzi slow cooked ribs, hangzhou aubergine and sweet and sour courgette. Haven't tried any Dan Lepard yet because unfortunately for him I managed to get a copy of the Pink Whisk guide to cake making also out of the library and have become somewhat obsessed baking my way through itgrin. I will try the marmalade flapjacks though as they sound delicious and I could do with more flapjack recipes (mine usually end up either hard or falling apart)
Look forward to hearing what is chosen for October. Our library is closing for refurb for 2 months sad so will be finding recipes online.

ELR Sat 24-Aug-13 20:44:50

Hello the gong bao chicken with peanuts was really good DH objected to the whole schichen peppers and the ginger slices but other than that really good. Also subbed the vinegar for balsamic and the wine for port!
The marmalade flapjacks were good but slightly undercooked them so a little crumbly.

HuevosRancheros Mon 26-Aug-13 08:33:54

ELR, they are not in S&S, but think they may have been in the Guardian recently, recipe here

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 26-Aug-13 08:47:16

Hello! Back from one week of no baking! Going to do the garlic and herb roti to accompany curry for lunch. But there seems to be misprints in the recipe - hence on here to look for online version to check.

HuevosRancheros Mon 26-Aug-13 09:05:40

Out of nosey interest, UpTo, what are the misprints? Just had a look through mine, looks fine, but maybe missing something confused

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 26-Aug-13 11:13:48

Mine had two lots of strong white flour - one lot of 375g and one lot of 200g. Odd. The internet version only had one lot of 250g.

HuevosRancheros Mon 26-Aug-13 11:54:34

In my book, it's 200g wholemeal and 325g strong white.

Cantdothisagain Mon 26-Aug-13 12:20:08

Weird! My book has 200gwholemeal flour and then 325g strong white flour and then again 250g strong white flour...

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 26-Aug-13 14:07:39

So roti made and eaten! They are nice, but I used only 275g whole meal and under
200g strong white. Something is weird about the ingredient list!

We will do the cinnamon cake with blackberry next week. smile

madamecake Mon 26-Aug-13 17:29:51

Made the blackbean and chilli tofu from EGoR this weekend, and it was delicious, will definitely make again. I couldn't get any of the blackbean paste in time though, so had to use a blackbean stir fry sauce instead!
Think I'll make the twice cooked pork next.

I have already sung the praises of this, but I made the gung boa chicken again yesterday, and it really is lovelygrin

Cocochops Tue 27-Aug-13 20:48:57

I too have just made gung boa chicken, I agree it was lovely. Didn't have whole dried chillies though so used flakes. 10 chilles sounds like a lot is it really hot when using them?

Cantdothisagain Tue 27-Aug-13 21:14:31

Did the beef in cumin tonight - it was hot! 2-4 teaspoons of chilli flakes for 250g beef certainly made themselves felt. I liked it as I like heat but it was too much for DH.

I've done the sweet and salty courgettes before, and did them again - they are very moreish!

Want to do lemon/poppy seed cake but not sure I've the right size square tin (20cm) - could I use a larger round one??

glorious Wed 28-Aug-13 07:55:29

It's not hugely hot coco as the chillies should be quite mild and you don't generally eat them. It would be very hot with the wrong kind though!

Pantah630 Wed 28-Aug-13 13:20:58

I have been very lax this month and made nothing. Have bookmarked the tortillas and garlic, lemon and thyme pittas to make over the next couple of evenings and will get round to making the pork belly recipe from egor, hopefully tomorrow. I do have an abundance of courgettes still so the sweet and salty one may get a road test tonight if I've any energy left smile

ELR Thu 29-Aug-13 19:59:33

Ooh thanks heuvous only just saw your post. As anyone started the September thread yet and what are we doing? I've lost track was it river cafe? And can't remember the other one.

Cantdothisagain Thu 29-Aug-13 22:15:29

Made the lemon poppy seed cake today for tomorrow- looks lovely and moist!

Pantah630 Fri 30-Aug-13 11:33:20

september thread here if anyone would like to sign in, I think Tiger may be away so have started thread for her. smile

LovingKent Fri 30-Aug-13 17:56:25

Sounds like the gong bao chicken is one to try smile. Did tuzi slow cooked ribs, the hangzhou aubergines and sweet and sour courgettes over bank holiday. We really liked them all. The flavours were more subtle than we thought they would be and the ribs made enough for 2 meals so the leftovers are currently in the freezer grin

Pantah630 Fri 30-Aug-13 18:26:56

I have red braised pork on the stove now and am planning the sweet and sour courgettes as a side. I have the chicken in the fridge to try the gong bao tomorrow and the steamed marrow. Just need to do S&S now but think will carry that own to Sept as well.

Pantah630 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:27:15

Success with the red braised pork and the courgettes, went down very well, all plates licked clean. The pork literally melted in your mouth. One to try again I think.

HuevosRancheros Fri 30-Aug-13 21:39:55

I have a slight gripe with the until-now faultless Fuchsia Dunlop.

Why does she choose to omit certain ingredients from the ingredients list, and only mention them in the recipe?
I admit, it is my fault, I skim-read recipes as I'm cooking. But if, for example, it says mix marinade ingredients together, then add chicken, I see that, and do it. It actually also says "adding 1 tablespoon of water". Which of course I don't see, as I'm skim-reading.
Why not just put the water in the ingredients list? This was the Gong Bao chicken, had a similar experience with the hot and sour tofu, where she added salt in the instructions rather than the ingredients list.

Confusing.

Pantah630 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:55:24

Thanks for the heads up huevos will try and remember to watch out or that. I seem to remember another cookbook that did that, bloody annoying.

LovingKent Sat 31-Aug-13 06:54:44

Agree about the ingredients list huevos. Have found that a bit annoying. We loved the red braised pork too pantah630. Will be making that again grin.

Cantdothisagain Sat 31-Aug-13 07:14:06

Lemon and poppy seed cake was absolutely delicious. Incredibly moist.

Not sure what to try next! Have got chicken breast, chicken thigh, lamb mince, to hand. Any recommendations from EGOR?

Can't- I failed miserably making the dough, but she says in the northern style dumplings you can use lamb mince, and dumplings are delicious (if you don't end up with sludge instead of dough like me)

The gung bao chicken is very nice too.

Cantdothisagain Sat 31-Aug-13 18:14:37

Thanks pregnant! Will check them out.

ScienceRocks Sun 01-Sep-13 11:15:48

I'm back! Wrong month though...

Will read the thread and bookmark some recipes to do and may well post back here as I did with previous month's when I hadn't got my finger out.

glorious Sun 01-Sep-13 19:49:41

Hi science, I'm still here as we're doing Sichuanese wontons tonight. Shaping them was fun but a bit worried they'll fall apart when boiled and we'll starve...

Cantdothisagain Sun 01-Sep-13 19:55:05

I'm here too, eager to try more August too!

Cantdothisagain Sun 01-Sep-13 19:55:24

Ps how we're wontons?

Pantah630 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:07:56

Finally got the gung bao chicken done with dried fried green beans....was scrummy and I got to use some more of the dried chillies I got for the Mexican cooking....thanks for all the recommendations.

glorious Mon 02-Sep-13 06:15:27

They were great! No falling apart and pretty tasty. Just mainly excited we made them. We also had some dry fried green beans smile

Cantdothisagain Mon 02-Sep-13 12:53:23

Mmm all sound good! Chocolate muffins from DL here- very good! I recommend them heartily.

LovingKent Fri 06-Sep-13 07:42:54

Mmm wontons grin. Made emergency noodles the other night. Very tasty. Managed to get hold of some chiangkiang vinegar at the weekend. Really like the flavour it adds.

Cantdothisagain Fri 06-Sep-13 10:28:06

Anyone here still? Made the Weetabix muffins - very filling and dense. Probably good in depths of winter!

minimuffin Fri 06-Sep-13 11:17:06

Wasn't sure if anyone would still be around but just to say that I made DL's pear mousse cake for my birthday this week (as you do!) and it was good - not quite as divine as I thought it sounded but really nice, and DH likes it even though he's not a cake person. It's more a dessert than a cake. It was fiddly in that I had to keep coming back to it all afternoon to do the next stage, but it wasn't difficult. I'm not sure about his method with adding the gelatine in though, it didn't dissolve completely but it didn't spoil it as you whizz it all in the food processor. If I made it again I might try putting it the mousse on a ginger biscuit base as the flavour is really delicate, and I'd also be able to dodge the baking a sponge and cutting it in half bit. I'm appallingly bad at slicing things so my cake wasn't as even as it should have been - it looked like a bit like a huge version of one of those childrens cakes you fill with buttercream and plonk the bit of sponge you've cut out on top. It kept well and got better after a couple of days too which I wasn't expecting, the sponge was a bit less dry.

I have some birthday money and am thinking of getting EGOR as it seems to have had really positive feedback on here. Was the verdict on Thomasina Miers good too (better go and find the thread hadn't I?)

ScienceRocks Fri 06-Sep-13 12:09:07

I'm still here mini muffin! I love Thomasina, so would definitely recommend her book. I still haven't cooked from egor, alas sad

HuevosRancheros Fri 06-Sep-13 14:16:34

I'm still here, and would thoroughly recommend both of those books smile

glorious Fri 06-Sep-13 16:04:48

yes the vinegar is delicious isn't it love

I like both books too though we do more Chinese but that's probably because we've been there and loved the food then whereas we haven't been to Mexico.

The pear cake sounds good.

HuevosRancheros Sat 07-Sep-13 08:49:45

I made the fish fragranced aubergine from EGoR last night.
Quite a lot of faff with the salting and frying of the aubergines, but quick and easy after that.
But, the aubergines were meltingly tender and the flavour delicious, so probably would do it again.
Problem is, DH doesnt like aubergines, so I would do it just for me. Which sadly makes it less likely that I will do it again.

glorious Sat 07-Sep-13 18:50:38

huevos we loved the fish fragrant sea bream too which might work for your DH (unless you're veggie, I have a feeling you might be but possibly I'm thinking of someone else)

Had a laugh in the library today, they had Short and Sweet under Healthy Living! hmm

HuevosRancheros Sat 07-Sep-13 21:12:13

Thanks for thinking of me, glorious, but yes, we're veggie.

DH is away for a few days at the end of the week, so think I will do the aubergine again then! Also going to have a go at the Sichuanese wontons, if I have the time. Oh, and I'm going to make the chilli oil, as I don't have any, and so many recipes call for it, and its sediment. Bought a thermometer especially grin blush Figured it tied in with both books though, as S&S calls for one when doing caramels etc. Well, that's my excuse, anyway smile

maniacbug Sat 07-Sep-13 21:26:49

Hello, hello to any late loiterers... I've belatedly cooked a number of things from both Aug books in the last 10 days, so just thought I'd report back. Most recent was DL's marmalade layer cake, which wasn't even on my list to try - I had the oven on earlier and felt like making a cake but was a bit low on butter, so it jumped out at me and: wow! Amazing. I make my own marmalade but don't actually like it (labour of love for DH and best friend), so it was great to use up half a jar like this, along with a pot of cream lurking in the back of the fridge. DS2 'helped' me with the icing, so we ended up putting all the cream in the middle, and it really was delicious - if anyone is still after suggestions, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Really moist, subtle orange flavour, worked well for pudding and would be great for afternoon tea.

Other things...

Fish-fragrant aubergine: seriously lush. Huevos I oven-roasted mine while I was getting on with other prep, which seemed to work OK (even though I forgot about them so left them in for longer than intended); a few stuck to the pan, but the rest held their shape and were meltingly soft in the sauce. I could have eaten the entire pot of them myself.
Another convert to gong bao chicken too. Less struck on the red-braised pork, which we had tonight, but I used belly rather than ribs so maybe that had something to do with it. Chicken in black bean sauce was v. tasty but DCs picked out all the black beans so dinner time took forever.
Am sending DH to Chinatown for wonton wrappers so we will (hopefully) but trying out the Sichuanese wontons next w/e.

DH made DL's top tea cakes (with white choc rather than dripping), which were incredible, but he found the multiple steps a bit tiresome. Poor thing almost needed a lie down afterwards. But I think the rest of us will be insisting on a repeat performance so I hope he is not scarred for life.
I was expecting great things of the butterscotch banana cake, but thought it was... OK. (Not as good as Nigel's muscovado choc/banana cake, but it made a change.) Rocky road rock cakes were a big hit with the DCs, but I didn't like the combination of hard cake/soft icing. Think I prefer it the other way round. Made the cream cheese pastry to go on top of the 'big match' pie filling, and it was great. Will definitely use that recipe again - really workable texture, and cooked up nicely, not too dense.

Right, now, September books....

maniacbug Sat 07-Sep-13 21:29:53

Ha, cross-post Huevos! I skipped the salting stage with the aubergines too and it didn't seem to do any harm.
Hope your wontons turn out well!

glorious Sat 07-Sep-13 21:40:28

Perhaps not the fish then huevos!. Good plan to scoff aubergines when DH is away grin

You've been busy maniacbug. I know what you mean about the rock cakes.

The wontons aren't too bad as you just mix the filling, fold and boil. The folding is the worst bit but you get the knack after a while.

Cantdothisagain Sun 08-Sep-13 21:59:06

I've got wonton wrappers in the freezer... Next weekend will give them a try.

Made Dan's brazilnut espresso cake today. I don't like coffee cake but DH said it was delicious and it had a lovely moist crumb so it certainly looked good!

glorious Mon 09-Sep-13 20:47:31

mmm just had the numbing and hot beef slices and spicy buckwheat noodles. Amazing. Light and zingy with incredibly tender beef. Reminded me a bit of Thai/Vietnamese beef salads.

LovingKent Wed 11-Sep-13 14:58:30

Had Egor emergency noodles last week for dinner. Tasty and quick. Will be putting that on the menu again. Thinking of maybe gung bao chicken this weekend or maybe braised chicken with dried shittake.

Might have to give the wontons a go at some point although we usually make them at Chinese New Year (hubby is Malaysian Chinese). Might save them til then when there are lots of us to help fold them grin

ScienceRocks Wed 11-Sep-13 19:18:24

Just made DL crumble mix (the one with oats and nuts) to top apples and blackberries. A very very good recipe, though it makes masses so I have frozen the surplus and can now look forward to superior crumble in 30 minutes whenever the urge strikes me grin

maniacbug Thu 12-Sep-13 19:54:17

The plums on one of our trees is just ripe enough for a crumble, so I shall be trying that this weekend Science. Great idea to keep surplus in freezer.

maniacbug Thu 12-Sep-13 19:54:55

are ripe enough, of course...

LovingKent Sat 14-Sep-13 14:51:18

Mmmm crumble. Will have a look at the recipe Science as it sounds really good.
Thanks to all who recommended gung bao chicken. Had it for lunch today alongside spinach with fermented tofu and chinese chives with pork slivers. Really loved it. A mushroom dish of some kind would go really well with it.

HuevosRancheros Sat 28-Sep-13 09:28:49

In case anyone still looks in here.....
Just made S&S Breakfast Soda Bread. Was so looking forward making them, and am so disappointed sad
They were far too large (he specifies the weight of dough per roll) to fit into the muffin tin, and they were undercooked at the allocated time. So I took them out of the muffin tin and put them on a baking tray to cook a bit more. Still not done, in my opinion. Stodgy, heavy, dense.... sad

Pantah630 Sun 29-Sep-13 13:24:51

I'm still making the gung bao chicken, sweet and sour courgettes and red braised pork on a biweekly basis. EGOR is a hit in our house but I still haven't cooked anything from S&S blush

HuevosRancheros Sun 29-Sep-13 15:05:54

I feel like I am living on Hot and Sour Silken Tofu, from EGoR.
If DH ever isn't hungry, or is out, it is what I will make.
It takes less than 5 minutes to make and is so so tasty smile

Am in love!

HuevosRancheros Sun 29-Sep-13 15:08:51

Pantah, if you have S&S, do go back to it at some point, it has some fab stuff in there.

Pantah630 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:12:06

If anyone is still watching this thread, my favourite dish at our local Chinese takeaway is Salt and Pepper Prawns and S&P Squid. Didn't have any squid in the freezer, Waitrose seemed to have stopped selling frozen packs of it in our store, but had a bag of raw prawns. Followed the recipe for the squid substituting the prawns and it was delicious, even better than our takeaway and quicker to cook, than phoning through an order....whoever was responsible for recommending EGOR, I'm forever in your debt. grin

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