Thursday, 24 February 2011

Carrot cupcake for Amani's Birthday

Following Amani’s birthday party “Barrio Latino@Minories” her birthday celebrations was not quite completed without the cake

On Tuesday (her actual birthday) I decided to surprise her by baking my most “famous” carrot cake (“famous” simply means everyone has heard me talking about it but no one has had it for at least the past 13 years) … after baking so many carrot cakes for a Brazilian cafĂ© I worked  when I first arrived in London, somehow I had a super block and could never bake it again

…Until I decided to leave my fears behind  and try again … this time I swapped the traditional round tray for cupcakes which was much more fun, I also changed the recipe slightly from the old one , and frankly it turned out much better, especially with the lighter icing with some twist on the original recipe, instead of full cream cheese you half the measures with yogurt …hmmm (see below full recipe)

So now I’m back in the game , I can officially bake carrot cakes again ...

Makes: 12

2 large eggs
175g golden caster sugar
150ml sunflower oil
200g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons  (save some for topping )

150g Light Soft Cheese
150g natural yogurt
100g icing sugar, sifted

Step 1.Preheat the oven to 180°C . Place 12 paper muffin cases in a  muffin tin
Step 2.Put the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy
Step 3.Using a baking spatula gently fold in the flour, spices, grated carrot, vanilla extract and the lemon zest, until thoroughly combined. Optional you can add some nuts of your choice
Step 4.Divide the mixture between the muffin cases then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

For the icing :
Beat together the soft cheese , yogurt and icing sugar until smooth. Chill for 10-15 min in the fridge until ready to use.
Using a food pipe spread the icing over the cooled cakes and top with the remaining zest and some nuts

Barrio Latino - A very hot Foodscape event!

Hello food lovers!

To celebrate Amani's birthday, Foodscape went on an exotic adventure and paid tribute to the entire Latin American continent. While salsa tunes mixed with hot cumbia grooves, people danced away until the early hours in what was probably the most exciting event of the year so far...

Guests enjoyed a little taste of Brazil and Mexico with delicious bite size food meticulously prepared by the Foodscape team. We would like to thank all our friends who joined us for the celebrations and hope they enjoyed the party just as much as we did!

Till the next event…

Potato, cheese & chorizo Quesadillas

Beef Empanadas & 3 Cheese Quesadillas
Sanduiche de Frango louco ( Chicken rolls )

pao de queijo

Romeu e Julieta ( Comte Cheese with Guava paste aka Goiabada)

Lime & Meringue tarts

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Happy Birthday Clemence!

With Clem’s birthday approaching and Valentine’s day last Monday, Paulo put his chef hat on and embarked on a mission to impress his Valentine and obviously all his guests too …
He started by arranging a surprise birthday lunch with the closest friends, unfortunately he failed miserably on the surprise part as Clem overheard the conversation he was having over the phone.  He thought it was safe to speak Portuguese but he totally underestimated her language skills as she understood everything!! Luckily for Paulo, otherwise the 8 hours “car wash” excuse would not have gone down too well …

Back in the kitchen, Paulo and Michelle got everything prepared the day before but the real action began on Sunday morning. By the time we all arrived for lunch, everything was beautifully done and we all sat around watching the platters being put together … the colors of the vegetables were so pretty and inspiring that we spent hours photographing them. Thank God our friends are very supportive of our obsession of taking pictures of food: they all patiently wait for us to finish taking shots before attacking the food. Obviously once the food is served, we have to act quickly so that nothing gets cold.

Roasted Vegetables

Starters including Bolinho de queijo , mini Kibe and  Coxinha

Roasted butternut squash, courgettes and aubergines

Roasted peppers, fennel and onions

Everything was amazing, the “Bife a role” was to die for, literally melting in your mouth in the first bite. This is a typical Brazilian dish made with thin beef steak rolled with bacon, carrots and onions on the inside, then slow cooked with beef stock. This recipe normally works best when you using a pressure cooker.

Bife a Role

Roasted vegetables and farofa

Michelle took care of the desserts and made a beautiful marble & chocolate cake with fresh strawberry cream inside and Cadbury's Fingers on the outside! Carol was so entertained with the cake, she couldn’t stop eating it... So she sat in front of it and decided to just eat it off the platter!

Chocolate Marble Cake

Happy people!

What a great way to impress your Valentine, well done Paulo for “surprising” Clem with such a lovely and delicious lunch!!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Smile ... It's Nutmeg !!!

Nutmeg and their first photo shoot with Alex Gavinho... they look happy ...

Nutmeg is a seed used as a spice in culinary dishes but it also has other properties such as medicinal. It is always used in ground or grated form and is best grated fresh. This spice has been flavoring many dishes in many countries from Indonesia to India, the Mediterranean and Europe ...It is predominantly used in baking sweets for example pies, milk custards, puddings, fruit dishes, biscuits, muffins, cakes and breads. It is also widely used for savory dishes, soups, stews, mash potatoes etc... It has a warm, spicy and sweet flavor… Great for winter dishes.

PS: Apparently they can be poisonous in very high quantities, specially the extracted oil, but not to worry, you're safe on the cooking side, since we are only talking about small quantities per dish. 


Friday, 11 February 2011

Get inspired ....

Good Morning All

Feeling inspired? Why not take a closer look around you...
We challenge you today to create something beautiful, whatever beautiful  is in your conception. 
We all can ... the magic is in your hands !!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Another Dinner Hit by Jad Fadl

There is no better day than Sunday to spend some time in the kitchen and get creative. Last Sunday however, I had the pleasure of being invited for dinner, for a change! It’s nice to actually have the chance to sit back, be served a glass of chilled white wine and watch while someone else prepares a meal for you. I really enjoy eating at Jad’s house because he never prepares the same meal twice. And this time I was in for a great surprise: an avocado humus for starters served with garlic bread and pan-fried sea bream with a sumac and toasted cumin-seed crust! His inspiration came from Silvena Rowe's Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfumes cook book - a must have for all Mediterranean food lovers with a twist.
Simply delicious - Thanks for dinner Jad, round two next Sunday?

Avocado Humus (serves 3-4 people)
2 ripe avocados
the juice of 1 lemon
3 x tablespoons of olive oil
4 x tablespoons of tahini
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
3 garlic cloves
1 fresh chili
Salt & Pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve with garlic bread - It doesn't get much easier than that!

Pan Fried, Spice-Crusted Sea Bream (serves 3-4 people)
4 x sea bream fillets, bones removed, skin on
2 x tablespoons olive oil
3 x tablespoons crushed cumin seeds
1 x teaspoon ground sumac
3 x shallots, chopped
100ml dry white wine
50g fresh chives
50g fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to season

1) Toast the cumin seeds on a pan until slightly darkened, crush with a mortar and pestle and set aside.
2) Chop the shallots, chives and parsley and set aside.
3) Rub the sumac, cumin seeds and salt & pepper on both sides of the sea breams. In a pan, heat the olive oil and sear for a couple of minutes on each side.
4) Once the fish is cooked, using the same pan, add the chopped shallots, chives and parsley in 100ml of dry white wine. Let it reduce to half and serve on top of the fish. Add the juice of a few lemon wedges and serve with a glass of white wine – Bon Apetit!