28 March 2008

Confessions of a recipe addict

I have a recipe 'habit', like most food lovers I have a large, ever growing collection of cookery books but I have a bigger collection of 'tear outs'. Recipes collected, over the past 5 years, from magazines, newspapers, food packets. In fact I can hardly leave a printed recipe alone, they are currently housed in a ring binder, so full it no longer closes and many times I have tried to organise and clear out the deadwood but it is such a mammoth task and to be honest I usually get distracted by a delicious sounding recipe and abandon the organising to cook it.

It was last week whilst searching for a granola recipe that I realised I hardly ever cook from this ever growing collection, flicking through the hundreds of recipes, ranging from puddings, cakes, pasta, fish I realised there must be some absolute gems of recipes amongst them, and probably a lot of not so good ones. Time to get cooking and clearing.

Meringue cupcakes:

How could I have not made these sooner, this recipe was folded up and stuck in the back of a plastic wallet when I pulled it out I gasped, just as I had when I ripped out the magazine years ago. 'Cupcakes' made from meringue, sliced in half and filled with a boozy mascarpone mixture. The magazine I ripped this from suggests serving these instead of a pavlova.

Meringue cupcakes

3 large egg whites
50g caster sugar
250g mascarpone
250ml double cream, lightly whipped
2 tbsp icing sugar
Splash of Marsala

Preheat oven to 130c/ gas mark 1/2
Line a muffin tin with 6 paper cases
In a bowl mix egg whites with a pinch of salt til they form soft peaks.
Whisk in sugar, spoon by spoon, until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
Spoon into muffin cases, cook for two hours and cool in the oven.
In a bowl mix mascarpone till softened, stir in whipped cream.
Into this mix the icing sugar and a splash of Marsala.
Split the meringue in half and fill with the mascarpone cream.

Pear and almond tart:
Another tear out, this tart is delicious and very simple to make, a digestive biscuit base topped with a almond sponge and studded with pears (I used tinned, oh the shame, lol) which made it even easier as it involved no peeling or blanching of the pears.

This tart was very light and the contrast of texture between crumbly biscuit base, light almond sponge and juicy pears was wonderful. Although next time I may omit the flour from the sponge and make a frangipane instead.

225g digestive biscuits, crushed
75g butter, melted
100g butter
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
100g S/R flour
100g ground almonds
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tin of pears (or 2 comice pears, pealed, chopped and blanched)
caster sugar to sprinkle.

Mix biscuit crumbs with butter and press into a 30cm flan tin. Chill.
To make the filling, beat the butter and sugar till pale and creamy, beat in eggs, one at a time, mix in flour, almonds, milk and vanilla extract.
Pour cake mix over the biscuit base and arrange pears around the outside of the tart. Sprinkle with caster sugar and bake, at 200c / gas mark 6, for 25 minutes.

Summer berry cheesecake:

One lot of recipes I have sorted is the cheesecake collection, strange really as I don't really make cheesecakes. I have a variety of recipes for baked, unbaked and diet versions, this one caught my eye, a unbaked summer berry cheesecake.

My son helped make this and it is surprising we had enough filling left as he found it delicious and ate most of it straight from the bowl. Usual biscuit base, a cream cheese and whipped cream filling and a summer berry topping, as we are only just in spring here I substituted fresh berries for summer fruit compote.


250g digestive biscuits, crushed into crumbs

75g melted butter


400g cream cheese

250ml double cream, lightly whipped

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp icing sugar

500g fruit compote

Mix biscuit crumbs with melted butter. Press into a 20cm spring form tin, chill.

Stir cream cheese till soften, stir in whipped cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar.

Spread over the base, chill for a few hours.

Before serving, unclip the tin and pour over the fruit compote.

The three recipes I cooked were all really simple and all made from my usual fridge and store cupboard ingredients, the meringue cupcakes were really good and looked impressive too, I enjoyed the pear tart but as I said, would try it with a frangipane topping next time, the cheesecake was delicious and very quick and easy to make, these recipes will go into a 'kept' folder, only a few hundred more to work my way through.....


Anonymous said...

They look lovely. I'm forever tearing recipes out of papers etc and keep all the foodie magazines I subscribe to but hardly ever go back to look at them. I really must make a point of doing so.

As for recipe books, just don't get me started; lol my collection is getting huge now.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

What beautiful baking. I must go back to my folder of torn-out magazine recipes and have a look through... thanks for the inspiration! :)

Linda F said...

Wow, you have been a busy bee, such a lovely selection of yummies!!!!! I have a huge ringbinder (that I have actually categorised-shock horror!) for all my tear outs, it is bursting and I use it all the time. I pop keeper recipes from the internet in it too for easy reference!

Kelly-Jane said...

Recipes have a habit of multiplying! All three puddings looks great :)

michelle @ TNS said...

booze? meringue? mascarpone? sign me up!

Rhyleysgranny said...

They all look wonderful. I really really like the look of those meringue cup cakes. Mmmmmmm
Your blog is coming on really well

Anonymous said...

I have only just found your blog. I will be browsing this again.

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