Thursday, 28 August 2014

Blackberry, Lime and Elderflower drizzle slice

For me the harvest of blackberries, usually signals the end of summer. As the the blue skies disappear, and the grey skies filled with rain, arrive.To be really honest, all i really feel like doing is snuggling into bed, but when there is a break in the weather i try to make the most of not being at school, or now college(man that sounds so weird!), and create something summery, to at least convince my taste buds that its still summer.

This was sooooo delicious, that i ate 6 slices in one day, and i never normally eat that much cake in one day. Its an interesting alternative to lemon drizzle, and doesn't dry out, due to the water content in the blackberries. Its a great edition to a picnic, as the sugar on top glistens in the sun, and is a lot easier to transport than a normal sized cake.
This recipe uses polenta, which gives it an interesting texture, that is quite crumbly, but moist at the same time,and lets the blackberries evenly disperse through the sponge. The drizzle part is the best, and marries everything together with the early spring flavours, from the elderflower, and the autumnal flavours, with the blackberries.

225g self-raising flour
75g polenta
250g butter
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 limes, zest and juice
2 tbsp milk
150g blackberries
100ml elderflower cordial
6 tbsp granulated sugar

1.beat butter and sugar together 
2.beat in eggs one at a time, adding in flour if it starts to curdle
3.fold in dry ingredients alternatively with the liquids. in a pre lined tin
5.scatter with blackberries in pre-heated oven at 180°, for 30mins
7.mix together the elderflower cordial, granulated sugar,and the zest of a lime and juice of half of lime. spoon over hot cake, cool in tin before serving.

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sarlat - Dordogne

So, apparently i haven't been blogging for over a month now. Apologies, though since i went on holiday i thought, i would share some pictures of a beautiful town, Sarlat.  
We went on market day, i recommend getting there early, like with most markets as the good stuff is the first to go! I also love the atmosphere french markets, with all the locals selling their fresh produce, yelling out their specialities for the day.
We also popped into the church there, which we didn't last year, and is a beautiful peaceful spot in comparison to the market, with the locals saying their prayers, away from all the tourists. 

One stand which i am always tempted by, is a local lady selling fresh vanilla pods, and they are the freshest looking vanilla pods i have ever seen. Unfortunately, i don't often use vanilla pods therefore, by the time i end up getting round to using them they won't be at their best.

Many small areas have several local specialities, and at the local bakeries and markets you'll find walnut caramel tart made with fresh walnuts grown near Perigueux. I would recommend it, as fresh walnuts are hard to beat and i love caramel, and with crisp pastry, it's very nice.

Very near Sarlat is the foie gras region, which is always highlighted in the local towns, with several market stalls and shops full of it. Although its not to everyone's taste, but many of the local producers do a mix with around 25% foie gras with the rest duck meat which is cheaper, and just as delicious, if not more. I recommend if you like duck but not too fond of foie gras.

Then there's the shop my Dad hates... Its a pottery shop which has beautiful, and very different plates and bowls, which my mum and i (i have to admit it!!), got drawn to last year, and in my Dad's eyes probably spent too much (but as generally our holidays fall after her birthday, she likes to treat herself).

After we did a full circuit of the town we spotted a stall, which drew us in by the smell, then looks, to delicious moist whole chickens and saute potatoes, which we took away and ate later ate by the Dordogne river for our lunch. Unfortunately, we had to agree that with a whole chicken and a large chip portion was enough, and the beautiful paella had to be left behind.

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