I've recently started borrowing lots of recipe books from our local library. Our cookbook shelf is full, and I have far too many books that I haven't cooked enough from, so I'm trying a) not to buy any more, and b) to use the ones I've already got. But sometimes I feel the 'need' for a fresh crop of recipes to inspire me, so using the library is a perfect option.
Last week I picked up a really nice little book from the 'My Kitchen Table' series entitled '100 Foolproof Suppers' by Audrey-Hepburn-hairalike Gizzi Erskine. Lots of my foodie friends had been raving about her recipes recently so I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.
First impression? Brilliant! I found myself jotting down a long list of recipes that I'd like to try, which is always a great sign.
First off was the Nasi Goreng, or fried rice. We had been longing to try to recreate this at home as it was one of our very favourite dishes in Brunei. I don't actually think it's possible to replicate this exactly without a fierce gas-flame and a well-seasoned wok, but this recipe worked fantastically well with our crappy electric hob and a non-stick frying pan. We've copied out the recipe to keep, but if you fancy trying it it's online in the Amazon preview of this book.
Tomorrow I'm trying her Fish Goujons with Mushy Peas and Sweet Potato Wedges, and next week I'm having a go at the Aubergine, Artichoke and Lamb Bolognese (we had roast lamb at the weekend so I'm giving it a few days before we have lamb again)... but what I REALLY want to blog about is the most amazing pudding which I made last night:
The recipe is actually entitled Lemon and Passion Fruit Self-Saucing Pudding, but my search for passion fruit juice proved, er, fruitless. I did find a carton of it, but as it was only about 10% passion fruit juice, I thought it wasn't quite right. Instead I decided to replace the passion fruit juice with Elderflower Cordial. We've just made a batch of it, as we do most years, and as it's made with lemons I thought it would complement the lemon flavour of the pudding very well. And, well, I was right; it's perfect.
The recipe can be found on the My Kitchen Table website - just follow this link. I'm certain that the passion fruit version would be fabulous, but I can whole-heartedly recommend the elderflower. The only slight issue that I had was that after 45 minutes' cooking the pudding looked perfectly done, with the sponge topping lightly browned. However, when I dug beneath the surface the custardy sauce was still quite liquid, rather than the texture of lemon curd, as it should have been. Too impatient to put the whole pudding back in the oven, we simply spooned out portions into bowls and gave each one a minute in the microwave on high, and bingo, the sauce thickened beautifully.
Not exactly the most photogenic of desserts perhaps, but who cares. We served it with lashings of double cream. Thanks Gizzi.
Edit: Having polished off the final portion of this pudding last night, my husband announced that it was lovely, but 'a bit too sweet'. He probably has a point as the elderflower cordial is very sugary. Perhaps next time I'll cut the sugar in the pudding mix down (by a couple of tablespoons?) to compensate for the addition of the cordial.