Tag Archives: mascarpone

Dreams around a cream-tea

>Yesterday afternoon, I set up a pretty table in the garden shade under the canvas sails we put up in the summer and served our family’s favourite meal at 4: A proper Devon cream tea. The sort of food that makes you grateful (for once) to live in a country that is still able to produce the kind of thick golden clotted cream  you long for at tea-time with a hot spelt and buttermilk scone and some light-infused strawberry jam.

But scones don’t always have to be sweet. They can be savoury and complement perfectly a round and rich champagne with a brioche hint or a lemony dry white. Last week at a tasting party, I served my usual scone recipe but put in the mix a sprinkle of Herbes de provence and some cracked pepper plus a chunk of grated mature cheddar. When the scones were baked, I sliced them in two and put a dollop of mascarpone inside. The two cheeses combine for a creamy, rustic taste and nobody can resist this duet! That was the only time I chose to be disloyal to English clotted cream with an italian contender. It was worth it.

My Carrot cake

Half-eaten already...

Half-eaten already…

The thought of carrot rarely raises lustful memories but as a humble winter vegetable it elevates itself to dizzying heights of seduction when baked into a spongy, moist and spicy cake… I made it as a treat last week-end for a posse of ravenous ten-year olds and I long for it again as a cold Friday closes in…

Shared with my beloved and a boiling cup of tea, it is my cake of choice on a dark evening! You can also use the mix in a muffin for a special treat…

Ingredients: For a large cake or 24 muffins

  • 370g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raising powder
  • 1 large spoon of cinnamon
  • 15 cl rapeseed oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 180g grated carrot
  • 1 grated apple – optional but it adds moisture

For the filling and topping:

1/2 small tub of cream cheese and ½ tub of mascarpone

Roughly same quantity of icing sugar.

A few drops of lemon juice  : I sometimes cut corners by using 2 spoonfuls of good lemon curd instead – and reducing the sugar.

I use roughly the same quantity of sugar than cream. This is not about skimping on calories ! Use  a hand whisk  and add spoonfuls of sugar until it is all used up.

Whisk it all together till you get a fluffy filling. Reserve in the fridge.

What to do next:

Warm the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Oil and line 2 sandwich tins. Grate the carrots and apple. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the oil, beaten eggs and vanilla. If the mix is on the dry side, add a little milk: It must nicely moist.

Fold in the grated carrots and coconut; apple optional. Bake for 35min at 180°.

Take the mix of mascarpone, cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice out of the fridge. Spread in between the two cakes and a layer on top. Decorate with coloured vermicelli or whole pecan nuts.

ENJOY…

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake...

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake…

© dianecomtefrost