Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is a very delicious dessert and we were inspired to make this recipe after our trip to Paris. We wanted to make crème brûlée but fancies making it with a twist so after some delving into Pinterest decided to make crème brûlée tarts.

The pastry is our classic pastry recipe that we swear by and the filling is a custard recipe. We then topped the tarts with sugar and used a blow torch to make the classic crème brûlée texture. These are great as you can make the pastry in advance and also make the custard in advance. If you are hosting a dinner party as these are ideal as all you need to do before serving is sprinkle on sugar and use the blow torch.

Enjoy!!

Ingredients
Pastry:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar

Filling:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2tbsp caster sugar

Granulated sugar

Method

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree and butter and line with grease proof mini tart tins
2) Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together (you may need to finish with your hands)
3) Pour onto a flour surface and roll out the dough until 1mm thick. Lay over the tart tins and press into the ridges, then leave the pastry hanging over the edge as pastry shrinks when cooked
4) Line with foil and pour in baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Take our the beans and finish off the pastry for 5 minutes
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 130 degrees
6) To make the custard filling, put the cream in a large pan with the vanilla and heat until bubbles form around the edge. Let to cool for 5 minutes.
7) Mix the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar with a hand mixer then add the cream
8) Pour the custard mixture into the pastry and cook for 18-20 minutes until almost set. They will be a little wobbly
9) Leave to cool
10) Sprinkle with granulated sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise/cook the sugar

Brunch Review 2: Sopwell House

Your country home from home- Sopwell House

sopwell-1

One Saturday we ventured out to the Hertfordshire countryside (which actually isn’t that far away from us) to enjoy a delicious breakfast at Sopwell House. Sopwell House is a luxury hotel that is set amongst 12 acres of countryside. They have over 100 rooms, two restaurants, bars and a health and wellbeing centre.

We were not able to book breakfast we were just told to turn up before ten o’clock as that is when it is their busiest time. We arrived a little before 9:30AM and were taken to the breakfast restaurant. We were able to pick the table of our choice and as soon as we were seated the impeccable table service began.

The service at Sopwell House was faultless. The waiters and waitresses were very efficient and incredibly polite they really did make our visit even more enjoyable. We were served tea and coffees and were told to help ourselves to the breakfast that was on display in front of us.

There was so much choice including; Yoghurt, berry compote, selection of cereals, dried fruit and seeds, assortment of pastries, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, full English breakfast, freshly baked bread to toast, jams and spreads and also an array of hams and cheeses.

As you can imagine we didn’t know where to start and we basically worked our way through the entire selection, we were one of the lasts ones in the restaurant when it reached 11oclock.

We thought the breakfast was charged fairly at £17.50 per person. The only thing we were slightly confused about was the fact you were allowed to dine in your robes but then again it is a spa hotel and they do want you to feel like you are home from home so we will let them off.

We would love to return to Sopwell House for a Spa weekend as we were blown away by the quality of the breakfast. we can only imagine how relaxed and refreshed we would feel after an entire weekend of pure relaxation.

BLOGMAS Day 9- Homemade Mince Pies

Mince Pies are traditionally served during the festive season, they are fruit based mini pies that the British eat millions of during November and December. We would compare mince pies to Marmite in the sense you ever love them or hate them! They are definitely something you learn to love as you get older and they taste especially nice with brandy butter!

Homemade mince pies (including the pastry) taste amazing straight out the oven, this year we decided to make ‘open mince pies’. Instead of covering the mince pies with a lid we cut out stars and placed them on top of the mince meat.

We didn’t have time to make our own mince meat so went to Waitrose and picked up one of their mince meats as we have heard it tastes amazing. To give it our own touch we also added some extra ingredients which you will find below!

Ingredients Pastry
350g Plain flour
250g Butter
1 Egg
100g Caster sugar
Dash of water

Ingredients Mince Meat
Waitrose Mince Meat
2 Tangerines flesh and Zest
1 Braburn Apple finely chopped

Method
1. Pre heat the oven to 180oc
2. Rub together the butter and flour using your finger tips
3. Mix in the sugar, egg and water
4. The mixture should now form a pastry, be careful not to over mix
5. Place the pastry in the fridge to chill
6. While the pastry is chilling chop the apple and place in a large mixing bowl
7. Grate the Tangerine zest and chop the flesh and add to the mixing bowl
8. Add the jar of mince meat to the mixing bowl and stir using a wooden spoon.
9. Roll the pastry and cut using a circle cutter (should be about 2cm thick)
10. Place the pastry into a baking tin and then add the mince meat.
11. You will then need to cut out the stars and place them on top of the pies
12. Cook the mince pies for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.