RMS Whodunnit murder mystery evening suggested menu.

I am getting really excited about my forthcoming cruise on RMS Whodunnit. As your host may I offer you a few culinary suggestions for the finger buffet.  If you choose to bring any of these aboard please post on group ALL ABOARD  for your fellow passengers and crew to see. Further suggestions are also available on the Macmillan Website. Each passenger and/or suspect needs to bring a buffet item sufficient for 12 and a drink of their choice. Complimentary cocktails will be served throughout the evening but please supplement the bar so that it does not run dry!!

Suggested food items

 

Smokey Chilli & Lime Hummus Serves 12    The round warm spiciness of dried chillies combined with smokey tahini and sour lime juice makes for a stunning twist on classic hummus.     INGREDIENTS:    ·         2  can chickpeas, drained and rinsed  ·         5-6 dried chilies, soaked in 1/2 c boiling water (or to taste)  ·         2 garlic cloves, peeled  ·         6 Tbsp olive oil  ·         2 Tbsp tahini  ·         juice from 2  limes, approx 1 – 2 Tbsp  ·         big pinch sea salt  ·         4  tsp sweet smoked paprika   To serve   ·         chili flakes, lime wedges, olive oil    METHOD:    Pour boiling water over chillies, set aside to soften 10 mins. Drain and reserve soaking water, remove stems from chillies. Puree all ingredients, adding a bit of the chili soaking water to make a smoother puree if necessary.

Smokey Chilli & Lime Hummus Serves 12

The round warm spiciness of dried chillies combined with smokey tahini and sour lime juice makes for a stunning twist on classic hummus.

INGREDIENTS:

·         2  can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

·         5-6 dried chilies, soaked in 1/2 c boiling water (or to taste)

·         2 garlic cloves, peeled

·         6 Tbsp olive oil

·         2 Tbsp tahini

·         juice from 2  limes, approx 1 – 2 Tbsp

·         big pinch sea salt

·         4  tsp sweet smoked paprika

To serve

·         chili flakes, lime wedges, olive oil

METHOD:

Pour boiling water over chillies, set aside to soften 10 mins. Drain and reserve soaking water, remove stems from chillies. Puree all ingredients, adding a bit of the chili soaking water to make a smoother puree if necessary.

Serano Ham and Manchego Cheese Croquettes Serves 12   The croquette, or a crispy-fried bechamel ball with a savory filling is a playful appetizer with a sophisticated edge.    INGREDIENTS  2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup finely chopped onion Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping 3/4 cup whole milk 6 tablespoons finely chopped serrano ham 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces) 2 large eggs 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs Vegetable oil, for frying  METHOD  Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in ham and 1/3 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet, and let cool completely. Mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.Whisk together eggs in a shallow dish. Stir together breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup cheese in another shallow dish. Scoop tablespoons of cooled mixture, and shape with floured hands into 2-inch ovals. Working with 1 oval at a time, coat in beaten egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a large, heavy stockpot until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry croquettes, flipping once, until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Serve warm.

Serano Ham and Manchego Cheese Croquettes Serves 12

The croquette, or a crispy-fried bechamel ball with a savory filling is a playful appetizer with a sophisticated edge.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons finely chopped serrano ham
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

METHOD

Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in ham and 1/3 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet, and let cool completely. Mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.Whisk together eggs in a shallow dish. Stir together breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup cheese in another shallow dish. Scoop tablespoons of cooled mixture, and shape with floured hands into 2-inch ovals. Working with 1 oval at a time, coat in beaten egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a large, heavy stockpot until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry croquettes, flipping once, until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Serve warm.

Waldorf Kale Salad serves 12   Salads came into vogue in America in the late 1880s, and the Waldorf salad originated as a simple salad of just lettuce apples and celery dressed with mayonnaise. In the 1920s, this salad got a facelift with the addition of chopped walnuts and grapes.  This elegant kale version  coats a bed of fresh kale, walnuts, apples, grapes and currants with a light lemon mustard dressing for a refreshing party snack.  Ingredients  4  large apples 450g grapes, red, green or a mix 250 g  walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped 200g currants 4  tablespoons Dijon mustard 6  tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste 1  teaspoon salt 2 bunch of kale (roughly 450g)                                                                                     200g celery, diced   To make the dressing:  Slice one of the apples and core it (no need to peel). Roughly chop and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add 12 grapes to the food processor bowl,  65g  walnuts, 1 tablespoon currants, the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt to the food processor and puree until it forms a thick dressing. Set aside while you prepare the salad.   To assemble the salad:  Core and dice the other apples place in a serving bowl. Slice the remaining grapes in half and add to the bowl. Add the remaining chopped walnuts and currants, all of the kale and the celery. Gently toss to mix.  Pour the dressing over the salad. Since it is thick, I found it easiest to dress the salad with my hands. Gently toss the salad with your fingers until the kale is well coated. Taste for additional salt and lemon juice and add more if needed.  The salad can be made an hour before serving and kept in the fridge. Gently re-toss before serving.

Waldorf Kale Salad serves 12

Salads came into vogue in America in the late 1880s, and the Waldorf salad originated as a simple salad of just lettuce apples and celery dressed with mayonnaise. In the 1920s, this salad got a facelift with the addition of chopped walnuts and grapes. This elegant kale version coats a bed of fresh kale, walnuts, apples, grapes and currants with a light lemon mustard dressing for a refreshing party snack.

Ingredients

4  large apples
450g grapes, red, green or a mix
250 g  walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
200g currants
4  tablespoons Dijon mustard
6  tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1  teaspoon salt
2 bunch of kale (roughly 450g)                                                                                     200g celery, diced

To make the dressing:
Slice one of the apples and core it (no need to peel). Roughly chop and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add 12 grapes to the food processor bowl,  65g  walnuts, 1 tablespoon currants, the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt to the food processor and puree until it forms a thick dressing. Set aside while you prepare the salad.

To assemble the salad:
Core and dice the other apples place in a serving bowl. Slice the remaining grapes in half and add to the bowl. Add the remaining chopped walnuts and currants, all of the kale and the celery. Gently toss to mix.

Pour the dressing over the salad. Since it is thick, I found it easiest to dress the salad with my hands. Gently toss the salad with your fingers until the kale is well coated. Taste for additional salt and lemon juice and add more if needed.

The salad can be made an hour before serving and kept in the fridge. Gently re-toss before serving.

BACON BLUE DEVILED EGGS WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND ASPARAGUS    yield:   MAKES 18 DEVILED EGGS    total time:   2 HOURS (A LOT OF DOWN TIME)  INGREDIENTS:  2 heads garlic 18 large eggs 10 slices thick-cut bacon 10 asparagus spears, woody stems removed 1 pinch each of salt, pepper and garlic powder  1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (full fat!) 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper  2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 tablespoons fresh chives  DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the top off the heads of garlic and drizzle them with olive oil. Wrap them tightly in aluminium foil and place it in the oven to roast for 45 to 60 minutes. You want the cloves to be caramely and golden. Remove the garlic and unwrap it, allowing it to cool until you can touch it. You can do this a day or two ahead of time if you’d like!  To boil the perfect egg, place the eggs in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Bring it to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the pot sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the pot in the sink and fill it with cold water to cool the eggs down immediately. You want the eggs to sit in cold water for 30 minutes or so, so you will need to dump the water and refill with cold water a few times. You can add some ice cubes too!        BACON BLUE DEVILED EGGS WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND ASPARAGUS (cont.)  While the eggs are cooling, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the bacon until crisp and all the fat is rendered. Place the bacon on a paper towel to drain the grease. Keep 1 to 2 tablespoons of the grease in the skillet (reserve the rest!) and throw the asparagus in the skillet. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes, just until slightly softened. Turn off the heat.  After 30 minutes, peel the eggs and place them on a paper towel. Slice off a TINY piece of the fat bottom of the egg so it can “stand up.” Slice off the upper 1/2 of the egg to reveal the yolk (occasionally you might have to slice off more or less, it just depends). Gently scoop the yolk out of each egg with a small spoon, fork or knife, trying not to destroy the white in the process. This can be difficult, so do it patiently and gently.  Add the bacon slices to a food processor and pulse until it is in crumbles. It may stick together and be paste-like, which is fine because it will stick to the eggs better! Remove the bacon and place it in a bowl. Do NOT clean out the food processor! Add the egg yolks, mayo, yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper, and roasted garlic cloves (squeeze them out of the bulb) to the food processor. Add in a drizzle of reserved bacon grease if you have it, like 1 to 2 teaspoons. Blend until smooth and creamy and mousse-like. Scoop out the mixture and spoon it (or pipe it with a pastry bag) into the open egg whites. Top the yolk mixture with a sprinkle of the crumbled bacon, pressing it gently to adhere. Add some blue cheese crumbs. Slice the asparagus in half if needed (you’ll need to cut it to get 18 pieces and I recommend doing it AFTER cooking) and stick it down in the eggs. Sprinkle on smoked paprika! Sprinkle on chives! Serve it. Eat it. Done            

BACON BLUE DEVILED EGGS WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND ASPARAGUS

yield: MAKES 18 DEVILED EGGS

total time: 2 HOURS (A LOT OF DOWN TIME)

INGREDIENTS:

2 heads garlic
18 large eggs
10 slices thick-cut bacon
10 asparagus spears, woody stems removed
1 pinch each of salt, pepper and garlic powder

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (full fat!)
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons fresh chives

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the top off the heads of garlic and drizzle them with olive oil. Wrap them tightly in aluminium foil and place it in the oven to roast for 45 to 60 minutes. You want the cloves to be caramely and golden. Remove the garlic and unwrap it, allowing it to cool until you can touch it. You can do this a day or two ahead of time if you’d like!

To boil the perfect egg, place the eggs in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Bring it to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the pot sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the pot in the sink and fill it with cold water to cool the eggs down immediately. You want the eggs to sit in cold water for 30 minutes or so, so you will need to dump the water and refill with cold water a few times. You can add some ice cubes too!

 

 

BACON BLUE DEVILED EGGS WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND ASPARAGUS (cont.)

While the eggs are cooling, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the bacon until crisp and all the fat is rendered. Place the bacon on a paper towel to drain the grease. Keep 1 to 2 tablespoons of the grease in the skillet (reserve the rest!) and throw the asparagus in the skillet. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes, just until slightly softened. Turn off the heat.

After 30 minutes, peel the eggs and place them on a paper towel. Slice off a TINY piece of the fat bottom of the egg so it can “stand up.” Slice off the upper 1/2 of the egg to reveal the yolk (occasionally you might have to slice off more or less, it just depends). Gently scoop the yolk out of each egg with a small spoon, fork or knife, trying not to destroy the white in the process. This can be difficult, so do it patiently and gently.

Add the bacon slices to a food processor and pulse until it is in crumbles. It may stick together and be paste-like, which is fine because it will stick to the eggs better! Remove the bacon and place it in a bowl. Do NOT clean out the food processor! Add the egg yolks, mayo, yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper, and roasted garlic cloves (squeeze them out of the bulb) to the food processor. Add in a drizzle of reserved bacon grease if you have it, like 1 to 2 teaspoons. Blend until smooth and creamy and mousse-like. Scoop out the mixture and spoon it (or pipe it with a pastry bag) into the open egg whites. Top the yolk mixture with a sprinkle of the crumbled bacon, pressing it gently to adhere. Add some blue cheese crumbs. Slice the asparagus in half if needed (you’ll need to cut it to get 18 pieces and I recommend doing it AFTER cooking) and stick it down in the eggs. Sprinkle on smoked paprika! Sprinkle on chives! Serve it. Eat it. Done

 

 

 

 

Salmon mousse serves 12   Can be served in a bowl as a dip or spread for crackers.  An easy way to fancy it up is to pipe it onto crackers and garnish with fresh herbs,                    INGREDIENTS   Ingredients:  8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked with a fork 8 oz. cream cheese 1 tsp. dried dill weed Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 clove garlic, finely minced  DIRECTIONS  Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until all the ingredients are blended and smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.  (Alternatively, pipe the mixture onto crackers and garnish with fresh herbs.)      

Salmon mousse serves 12

Can be served in a bowl as a dip or spread for crackers.  An easy way to fancy it up is to pipe it onto crackers and garnish with fresh herbs,

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients:
8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked with a fork
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. dried dill weed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until all the ingredients are blended and smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.  (Alternatively, pipe the mixture onto crackers and garnish with fresh herbs.)

 

 

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes serves 12    Ingredients   ·         125g finely grated Parmesan cheese with a sand consistency (don't use shredded or Microplaned Parmesan cheese)  ·         1 teaspoon garlic powder  ·         1/2 teaspoon paprika  ·         1 teaspoon dried oregano  ·         1 teaspoon salt  ·         1 ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  ·         4 tablespoons olive oil  ·         1 kg baby potatoes, halved (1.5-2 inch diameter; approx 20-22 potatoes)  ·         FOR DIPPING (optional)  ·         sour cream or Greek yogurt (or a half-and-half mixture)  ·         chopped scallions or chives   Directions  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In small bowl, combine grated cheese, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper, stirring with fork until mixed. Pour olive oil into 9x13 glass baking dish. Tilt dish around until olive oil evenly coats entire bottom.  Carefully and evenly sprinkle cheese mixture over bottom of pan. (Don't dump it in and then try to spread it out. Once it touches the olive oil, it becomes almost impossible to spread the cheese out evenly--it will clump. It works better to sprinkle slowly and evenly over the entire surface so that no spreading is necessary.) Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, on top of cheese mixture. Press down to insure potatoes are flat and in contact with cheese layer.      Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is browned and potatoes are soft when pressed or pierced with fork. Remove from oven and leave potatoes to rest in pan for 5 minutes. Remove potatoes from pan using a small spatula, being careful to keep the cheese layer intact on the cut side of potato. (Use a paring knife to cut cheese between the potatoes, if necessary.)   Arrange on serving platter cheese side up. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt, (or a half-and-half mixture) sprinkled with chopped scallions chives.

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes serves 12

Ingredients

·         125g finely grated Parmesan cheese with a sand consistency (don't use shredded or Microplaned Parmesan cheese)

·         1 teaspoon garlic powder

·         1/2 teaspoon paprika

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         1 teaspoon salt

·         1 ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         4 tablespoons olive oil

·         1 kg baby potatoes, halved (1.5-2 inch diameter; approx 20-22 potatoes)

·         FOR DIPPING (optional)

·         sour cream or Greek yogurt (or a half-and-half mixture)

·         chopped scallions or chives

Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
In small bowl, combine grated cheese, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper, stirring with fork until mixed.
Pour olive oil into 9x13 glass baking dish. Tilt dish around until olive oil evenly coats entire bottom. 
Carefully and evenly sprinkle cheese mixture over bottom of pan. (Don't dump it in and then try to spread it out. Once it touches the olive oil, it becomes almost impossible to spread the cheese out evenly--it will clump. It works better to sprinkle slowly and evenly over the entire surface so that no spreading is necessary.) Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, on top of cheese mixture. Press down to insure potatoes are flat and in contact with cheese layer. 

 

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is browned and potatoes are soft when pressed or pierced with fork. Remove from oven and leave potatoes to rest in pan for 5 minutes. Remove potatoes from pan using a small spatula, being careful to keep the cheese layer intact on the cut side of potato. (Use a paring knife to cut cheese between the potatoes, if necessary.) 

Arrange on serving platter cheese side up. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt, (or a half-and-half mixture) sprinkled with chopped scallions chives.

GRILLED VEGGIE HORS D’OEUVRE serves 12   prep  5 mins   cook  15 mins   total  20 mins  Ingredients  vegetables, cut lengthwise in 3-6" pieces. (Any combination of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, asparagus, hatch chiles, parsnips, carrots, or eggplant can be used.)  ·            ·         seasoning mix (below)  ·         olive oil  Seasoning Mix  ·         3 teaspoons salt  ·         1 teaspoon fresh black pepper  ·         1/2 teaspoon onion powder  ·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika  ·         1/2 teaspoon paprika  ·         1 teaspoon dried thyme  Instructions  1.     Preheat grill pan over medium heat.  2.     Toss vegetables with olive oil and seasoning mix with cut vegetables - roughly 1 Cup of vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 heaping teaspoon seasoning mix. (potatoes will require extra olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to flavour).  3.     Spray grill pan with non-stick spray.  4.     Place vegetables on grill pan perpendicular to grill lines. Flip after 4-6 minutes (check for grill marks).  5.     Cook other side for 4-6 minutes - check for doneness. Vegetables should be tender but not squishy.  6.     Remove to plate to cool. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

GRILLED VEGGIE HORS D’OEUVRE serves 12

prep 5 mins

cook 15 mins

total 20 mins

Ingredients

vegetables, cut lengthwise in 3-6" pieces. (Any combination of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, asparagus, hatch chiles, parsnips, carrots, or eggplant can be used.)

·          

·         seasoning mix (below)

·         olive oil

Seasoning Mix

·         3 teaspoons salt

·         1 teaspoon fresh black pepper

·         1/2 teaspoon onion powder

·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika

·         1/2 teaspoon paprika

·         1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

1.     Preheat grill pan over medium heat.

2.     Toss vegetables with olive oil and seasoning mix with cut vegetables - roughly 1 Cup of vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 heaping teaspoon seasoning mix. (potatoes will require extra olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to flavour).

3.     Spray grill pan with non-stick spray.

4.     Place vegetables on grill pan perpendicular to grill lines. Flip after 4-6 minutes (check for grill marks).

5.     Cook other side for 4-6 minutes - check for doneness. Vegetables should be tender but not squishy.

6.     Remove to plate to cool. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Butter cream   When a lady has a cigarette extender in one hand and a glinting flask in the other, there’s few fingers left to grasp a bulky dessert  These little lemon cakes  are perfect for a pinkie-up Gatsby inspired soiree.   Yield:  about 50 baby cakes   Cook Time:  20 minutes  INGREDIENTS:  ·         440g all-purpose flour  ·         2-1/4 tsp. baking powder  ·         3/4 tsp. salt  ·         225g unsalted butter, at room temperature  ·         500g. sugar  ·         4 large eggs, at room temperature  ·         5 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice  ·         2 Tbs. finely grated lemon peel  ·         lemon yellow food colouring, if desired, to enhance the yellow colour  ·         1-1/2 c. buttermilk  ·         about 50 fresh raspberries  FOR THE FRESH RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM  ·         100g. unsalted butter, at room temperature  ·         340g. raspberries, fresh or frozen  ·         1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice  ·         1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Have you tried the wonderful extracts from  Penzeys ?!)  ·         400g. Icing sugar  ·         pinch of kosher salt  ·         1 to 2 Tbs. milk, if needed to thin out the frosting

Lemon Baby Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Butter cream

When a lady has a cigarette extender in one hand and a glinting flask in the other, there’s few fingers left to grasp a bulky dessert These little lemon cakes are perfect for a pinkie-up Gatsby inspired soiree.

Yield: about 50 baby cakes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

·         440g all-purpose flour

·         2-1/4 tsp. baking powder

·         3/4 tsp. salt

·         225g unsalted butter, at room temperature

·         500g. sugar

·         4 large eggs, at room temperature

·         5 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

·         2 Tbs. finely grated lemon peel

·         lemon yellow food colouring, if desired, to enhance the yellow colour

·         1-1/2 c. buttermilk

·         about 50 fresh raspberries

FOR THE FRESH RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM

·         100g. unsalted butter, at room temperature

·         340g. raspberries, fresh or frozen

·         1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

·         1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Have you tried the wonderful extracts from Penzeys?!)

·         400g. Icing sugar

·         pinch of kosher salt

·         1 to 2 Tbs. milk, if needed to thin out the frosting

   Macarons     What You'll Need      For the macaron    55 grams caster sugar                                                    For the filling:   1 cup/100 grams icing sugar                                      150 grams unsalted butter  1 cup/100 grams ground almonds                             75 grams icing sugar  2 medium free-range egg whites  Small pinch salt           How to Make It  Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly. Too high, and they quickly burn. Too little and they don't cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.  Preheat the oven to 300 F/140 C. If your oven happens to have a fan in it, we recommend  not  to use it if possible. But do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good!  1.     Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.  1.     In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form  soft peaks . Add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out - go on, we dare you!) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don't worry, this is the way it should be.  2.     Using a  piping bag  with a 1/3-inch (1 cm) nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.  3.     Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes - the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny  4.     Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 to 8 minutes open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 to 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.  5.     Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.  Macarons (cont.)   Make the Filling   1.     Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can add in any flavourings, you may choose. See examples below.  1.     Place approximately half a teaspoon of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.  2.     The macarons can be eaten immediately, but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that's if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.      Making Different Colored Macarons   This is the basic recipe for macarons, and you can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste, rather than liquid food colouring.    Filling Variations for Macarons   For pink macarons, raspberry and strawberry are good matches. For contrast add a little vanilla flavouring to the buttercream.  Green macarons work very well with a pistachio flavoured cream. You can use either food additive or finely ground, pistachio nuts.  If you would still like green, but want to add a little twist, we recommend adding a little coconut, fresh lime zest and a tiny squeeze of the juice for a zingy filling.  For creating a purple macaron, we find that blueberry flavor is perfect.  Craving a cream coloured  macaron? Vanilla extract makes for a wonderful cream colored macaron and provides for an extra creamy taste.  Want to brighten things up and create a yellow macaron? Lemon is a great solution for you!  Whichever flavour and colour you decide to make while baking, we're sure you'll fall in love with these macarons. 

   Macarons

 

What You'll Need

 

For the macaron

55 grams caster sugar                                                   For the filling:

1 cup/100 grams icing sugar                                      150 grams unsalted butter

1 cup/100 grams ground almonds                             75 grams icing sugar

2 medium free-range egg whites

Small pinch salt

 

 

 

How to Make It

Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly. Too high, and they quickly burn. Too little and they don't cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.

Preheat the oven to 300 F/140 C. If your oven happens to have a fan in it, we recommend not to use it if possible. But do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good!

1.     Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.

1.     In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out - go on, we dare you!) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don't worry, this is the way it should be.

2.     Using a piping bag with a 1/3-inch (1 cm) nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.

3.     Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes - the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny

4.     Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 to 8 minutes open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 to 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.

5.     Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.

Macarons (cont.)

Make the Filling

1.     Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can add in any flavourings, you may choose. See examples below.

1.     Place approximately half a teaspoon of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.

2.     The macarons can be eaten immediately, but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that's if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.

 

Making Different Colored Macarons

This is the basic recipe for macarons, and you can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste, rather than liquid food colouring. 

Filling Variations for Macarons

For pink macarons, raspberry and strawberry are good matches. For contrast add a little vanilla flavouring to the buttercream.

Green macarons work very well with a pistachio flavoured cream. You can use either food additive or finely ground, pistachio nuts.

If you would still like green, but want to add a little twist, we recommend adding a little coconut, fresh lime zest and a tiny squeeze of the juice for a zingy filling.

For creating a purple macaron, we find that blueberry flavor is perfect.

Craving a cream coloured  macaron? Vanilla extract makes for a wonderful cream colored macaron and provides for an extra creamy taste.

Want to brighten things up and create a yellow macaron? Lemon is a great solution for you!

Whichever flavour and colour you decide to make while baking, we're sure you'll fall in love with these macarons. 

Chilli Chocolate Truffles           INGREDIENTS  ·         125 g semisweet chocolate, finely chopped  ·         125 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped  ·         1 tablespoon unsalted butter  ·         80 ml heavy (whipping) cream  ·         1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder  ·         1/4 teaspoon sea salt  ·         Coco powder to dust     DIRECTIONS makes 24  ·    STEP ONE  Place chocolate and butter in 8x8-inch microwave safe baking dish. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds; stir. Microwave an additional 30 seconds.     ·    STEP TWO  Microwave heavy cream on HIGH 45 seconds; stir in chili powder and salt. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.     ·    STEP THREE  Use a melon baller to scoop chocolate mixture and shape into 1-inch balls. Roll each truffle in cocoa.      Serve truffles at room temperature.   

Chilli Chocolate Truffles

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

·         125 g semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

·         125 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

·         1 tablespoon unsalted butter

·         80 ml heavy (whipping) cream

·         1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

·         1/4 teaspoon sea salt

·         Coco powder to dust

 

DIRECTIONS makes 24

·    STEP ONE

Place chocolate and butter in 8x8-inch microwave safe baking dish. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds; stir. Microwave an additional 30 seconds.

 

·    STEP TWO

Microwave heavy cream on HIGH 45 seconds; stir in chili powder and salt. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

 

·    STEP THREE

Use a melon baller to scoop chocolate mixture and shape into 1-inch balls. Roll each truffle in cocoa.

 

 Serve truffles at room temperature.