Marbled Toffee Bars

So from the ridiculous to the sublime. After last week’s glorious cock up we decided to try something out that would give both culinary and visual pleasure. I’ve made millionaire’s shortbread before but haven’t actually made it with shortbread. Usually I just crush up biscuits for the base. But seeing how Conor recreated a risotto recipe recently I felt I could get away with a favourite ‘creation re-creation’ too.

Now there are only so many ways you can combine chocolate, fat, sugar and…more chocolate – and come up with something different. In the end it comes down to aesthetics – how nice can you make it look?

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Chocolate, Pears and Pastry: When Puddings Go Bad.

‘What’s the prognosis Doctor?’

‘Well sir, it isn’t good.’

‘For heaven’s sake man, give it to me straight. I can take it.’

‘Well….you’re just shit at cooking with pastry.’

‘My God. I can’t believe this is happening.’

‘You’re not alone sir. Many, many good people have come to terms with this reality.’

‘But I just don’t think I can take this kind of rejection.’

‘It becomes easier…with time.’

And so on to my latest pastry-based culinary disaster. And I blame many, many things.

I blame the Hairy Bikers for a recipe that was never going to work.

I blame the tosspots who produce ready-rolled puff pastry. Have these morons ever actually cooked anything with this crap? Its so thin its useless.

And lastly I blame my hands – hot, sweaty bloody things that turn pastry to useless slippery mush in two seconds flat.

Even so it all started so promisingly – with a nice collection of ingredients all weighed out and ready to roll:

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Scouse!

‘A good blog has a theme’. That’s what WordPress says. This is supposed to be a food blog but it’s really quite difficult to come up with original food ideas that don’t a) require lots of expensive ingredients and b) require skills and patiences I don’t have (and don’t want) whilst c) keeping my BMI index below ‘super-fat-bastard-how-come-you’re-still-breathing’ levels.

So I have resorted to cooking things but not eating them. That’s easy enough because as my wife will tell you I have the willpower of an ox (do they have willpower?). I have also decided to explore dishes from yesteryear – simple things that your Granny would have made. Here we explore the delights of ‘Scouse’ a dish that was originally eaten by sailors across Northern Europe and lent its name to the locals of the port of Liverpool.

In every way it is effectively Irish Stew – and its dead easy, inoffensive even.

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Lightning Bolt v Mo Bot

Lets be honest. This bejeweled Isle of Greenery upon which the British reside would never have thought we’d be third in the Olympics table with one day to go (except if you’re American where for some reason we are fourth behind Russia). As I sit here with glass in hand I am watching some truely stunning athletics.

We have Usain Bolt. The guy is unbeatable. And GB has Mo Farah. Who? Mo is the man. He runs around in circles and just wipes the floor. All comers. 10000 metres – Gold. 5000 metres – Gold! And both these supermen of running have a signature ‘win pose’.

For Usain there is the ‘ Lightning Bolt’. For Mo there is the ‘ Mo Bot':

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White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cherries

Many moons ago a chap called Neil Diamond sang ‘Cherry, Cherry’. Before the comb-over. Or did he always have a comb-over? Anyway I was listening to that tune in the interminable jam on the A240 into South London when I decided to create a cheesecake with cherry influences.

That’s all bull – I found the recipe in a supermarket cookbook. I like the song though.

You can create two types of cheesecake – ones you bake and ones you don’t. I prefer the non-bake version as there is less to go wrong.

All you’ll need – except the cream. And the cheese…..

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