My own recipe, adapted from multiple sources with some, *ahem* suggestions from friends. Multiple flavourings are possible.

You will need:

10-12 small glass ramekins (you can buy these in department stores, I use the ones that come with Gu Puds, we've got about 30)
For the base:

1 200g(ish) box fine milled oatcakes (I use Nairns which is 218g, I don't personally need to worry about buying the guaranteed gluten free ones which are more expensive, these are made in a factory that also makes gluten products)
125g unsalted butter
some sugar: I recommend a couple teaspoons of molasses sugar with the lumps broken up as best as possible and a couple teaspoons caster sugar.
For the topping:

one 250g tub ricotta cheese
100g white chocolate (I've tried other chocolates, it tends to not work, plus [personal profile] miss_s_b can eat white chocolate without risk of dying, which is good). I recommend Sainsbury Belgian Cooking Chocolate for cost/benefit quality wise

Either 2 limes, zest and juice, with 2-4 teaspoons of ground ginger for taste (I think 4 is too much, others disagree)
or one large orange, zest and juice, 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
You could almost certainly try other fruit+spice combos, this is what I've done, successfully, so far.

First, make the base: crush the biscuits as much as possible, you want breadcrumb style crumbs. Melt the butter in the microwave, careful not to overheat it. Mix the butter and the sugars thoroughly through the crushed biscuits, you should end up with a very loose, crumbly dough. NB: You can use 200g of any biscuits for this, including standard sweet digestives, but if you use sweet biscuits omit the extra sugar.

Share the mix out amongst the ramekins and press it into the bases, you'll likely get just over 1cm depth per tub, don't worry about exactness here. Put them in the fridge to cool.

Whisk the ricotta in a glass bowl. Using a different glass bowl, break the chocolate up and carefully melt in the microwave, if you're not used to doing this, full power for 30 seconds, bring out stir thoroughly, repeat until it's all just melted, be careful not to over melt as the chocolate can crystallise or otherwise stop being nice.

Whisk the melted chocolate into the ricotta. Then whisk in the flavourings. Share the topping mix about the ramekins, you'll find the lime is a fairly tough mix, you might want to add some more lime juice to soften it further, the orange will likely be a fairly loose mix depending on size and juiciness of orange. Try to press the mix down and spread it out.

Put back into fridge to chill for a minimum of 2 hours (the topping really does need to set). Serve and enjoy.

I am grateful to [personal profile] hollymath and [ profile] A_C_McGregor for their assistance putting the ingredients together yesterday and their, um, help in choosing the spice quantities—I suspect both would've happily put even more ginger in, but I think 4 teaspoons is too much.
Made these to follow on from Jennie cooking a sausage casserole (separate Quorn for me) based on a Grauniad recipe from yesterday, as the oven was on I made pudding. They're very nice, and very sour, citrussy cakes. And I really do mean sour.

Theoretically, I bake these so we've something nice to finish and some left for the next day. 12 of them, 4 of us, 3 each, they're all gone almost immediately, every time...

  • 3 oz Butter/baking fat/margerine (softened if necessary)
  • 3 oz Caster Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1 oz dry Semolina (or ground almonds or rice flour, I'm allergic to almonds so I substitute)
  • Juice of 2 limes (or just pour in what looks like enough from a bottle of lime juice)

Plus, for the topping
  • Zest of one lime, pared using a zester
  • Juice of 2 limes (or see above)
  • 2 oz sugar (any, I used granulated)

Right, simple method. Preheat oven to 180oC, 12 cake cases in a tray ready for you.

Cream the fat and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, slowly beat in the egg in smallish amounts (if you've never done this before say in comments and I'll do more detail). Add the flour and semolina (sifted if necessary to get lumps out), folding in, then fold in the lime juice. Divide into the cases and put in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

In the meantime, make the topping, put your zest into a pan, add the juice and the sugar, mix it then put on the hob on a low heat, slowly bring it to the boil, stirring regularly. When it's boiling, lower the heat to minimum to simmer it until it turns into a nice sticky syrup, normally takes about 5 minutes. NB I did this bit while eating the main course, stirring regularly is not the same as stirring constantly.

Ideally, the syrup'll be ready just before the cakes are-they need to be a golden brown colour. Get them out of the oven, immediately prick the tops with a skewer or just a fork, then spoon some of the syrup (including zesty bits) over each cake, try to make sure most of it soaks into the cake not flowing over the side. It is a sugar syrup just off the heat, it will be HOT, bear that in mind.

When you've got all the syrup spread around the cakes, put them onto a wire rack and allow to cool until, ideally, actually room temperature, but normally they don't last long enough in our house. The syrup itself is very nice in small quantities on its own, but very sour. Which we like.

Right, job done. You can use the exact same recipt for oranges (one orange instead of two limes) or lemons (1 and a half lemons), and theoretically more sugar in the syrup'll reduce the sourness, but I wouldn't want to. You could also add a bit of ground ginger to the cake mix (for lime) or ground cinnamon if you're doing the orange variant.
Apparently, if I stop posting here, people will start ringing me to check I'm ok, or wondering what I'm up to, or other similar things. This is especially true if I just, y'know, stop writing stuff and stop commenting elsewhere.

Well, I did. It started as a weekend break from t'internet in which I didn't even look at my email, then it turned into a few months where I simply scanned my email for important stuff, occasionally checked into Twitter, but otherwise didn't read any of my reading, friends or feed pages and simply turned off. Honestly? It's been good.

So, what have I been doing instead? Well, making money definitely wasn't one of them. Ah well, that'll have to start changing. What I have been doing is enjoying life in many respects.

Learnt how to bake and cook

I've learnt, not just how to bake (which is quite easy), but also how to actually, y'know, properly cook. I am no longer scared by a recipe that requires I chop an onion. I know what a vichyssoise is (but not how to spell it), and have even made one. My carrot, cream and orange soup, adapted from Mary Berry's recipe, is quite simply gorgeous, and I successfully made baguettes yesterday.

I've been helping [personal profile] miss_s_b in the garden, in which we have potatoes, beetroot, oregano and even scented geraniums growing well. The newly planted garlic is already sprouting, so that'll be nice for next year.

Biggest bestest cake in the world

I've been spending time with [personal profile] amazing_holly, reading, playing games, cooking and having fun. I managed to get her to teach herself the basics of multiplication and division while baking a cake. I even, as a reward for her for sticking with learning to be good enough at Speed Racer to actually beat Mummy in a championship cooked, with her, the biggest bestest cake that Mister Mat has ever made! which has, somehow, now become the biggest bestest cake in the world. Well, she is 6. It was fun making it though, even if it was so big it had gone dry before we finished it.

But also? I've been playing games. A lot of games. For this you can mostly blame [personal profile] liadnan. Y'see, awhileback I had a catastrophic OS failure involving a critical Fx vulnerability and a dodgy porn site, and we gave up on fixing Windows and switched to Ubuntu for the main desktop. I had some problems getting a few things to work, and he pointed me at the wonder that is the world of Linux repositories. So I installed some, to see what I could find.

Open source, extendable games

Mostly, I found games. Open Source, extendable, games. Based on some wonderful classics like Elite, Civilisation, Sin City and similar. I will, I hope, write up the ones I enjoyed, just so I can have a record of them. I may even write up the ones I hated, to remind me not to install them again. In the meantime, I'm back. I've been reading, and even commenting on, most of my reading pages, and plan to completely reorganise them to keep my sanity in place.

In the meantime, enough about me, what've you guys been up to, have I missed much?
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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