Afternoon. I trust you’re enjoying the sport-avalanche that is the Olympics. I mostly like the swimming and horse stuff (in the horse world we don’t actually called it ‘equestrian’ – it’s like a dead giveaway that you’re not horsey if you do). I’m watching a lot of cycling because the boyfriend loves lycra more than any man I thought I’d go out with ever would. The dog is mostly sleeping through it all, although I have plans to test her speed against Usain Bolt in real-time.
Cooking again from the newly-achieved Ottolenghi cookbook, the recipe this week the neighbour of that cooked last weekend, and somewhat related. Mr O describes these as ‘more than a snack but less than a proper cake’. No idea what that means. Cake is totally a snack. And a meal.
Raspberry & oat bars, ahoy.
120g plain flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder (have only just seen it was 1/3, I totally used 1/2)
100g unsalted butter, diced
60g caster sugar
80g whole rolled oats (mine weren’t whole, but they had been at some point in their life so I figured that’d do)
220g raspberry jam (O suggests homemade, rather foolishly, I used some french stuff I bought)
and for the topping:
70g flaked almonds
70g pecans, roughly chopped (totally forgot to buy these, am moron, so substituted with some dried cranberries, which are obviously EXACTLY the same)
70g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
70g Brazil nuts, also roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
40ml milk (I didn’t measure this, I just gave a generous gush, as it were)
1 tsp vanilla essence (as always, Good Stuff only)
Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 3, or about 170C.
Grease and line a slice tin. Ottolenghi says 20cm square, as seems his preference. This isn’t 20cm square at all. You’ll note in this photo a rather flash frying pan in the background – a gift from the boyfriend, it’s all a fancy Le Crueset thing which requires the combined strength of four muscle-men to lift and doesn’t fit in our oven or the cupboard. Looks nice, though.
Sift (or whisk) the flour and baking powder, add the sugar and salt and mix through, then add the diced butter and rub it all in using your fingers. Shouldn’t take too long, will be a pain in the arse to do. Add the oats and combine, then lightly press (not too much heavy petting here) into the tin and chuck it in the oven for 20 mins or until light brown.
Once out of the oven let it cool for 5 mins or so then spread over a thin layer of jam, as shown above. Jam is good.
We found this in our bed this morning. We think it might be fossilised.
Having melted the butter, milk, sugar and vanilla together in a small saucepan till the sugar’s dissolved, carefully pour the hot (and amazingly surprisingly delicious) stuff into the bowl of nuts you’ve collected. God it tastes good, kind of custardy (according to the boyfriend). Weird but good. Eat some but not too much.
Pack the nut mixture (or nut and cranberry if you’re me and totally messed up as usual) on top of the jam and press it down but again not too mental on the pressure here. Chuck it back in the oven for 30 mins or so, or until the nuts turn golden brown.
Golden brown nuts, my favourite kind. Much nicer than white and pale ones.
So many wrong places to go here, when talking about nuts.
Let it cool in the tin, then turn out.
Slice into whatever shape takes your fancy, once cool. Eat.
Below was sent to me by my personal trainer, a nice but serious Romanian man of short stature. He maintains it’s true. I am not sure but I must be somewhat wondering as I continue to pay him every week to make me cry.