Only kidding. Obviously I don't live on cupcakes, brownies and pumpkin pie! Well, not all the time ...
Anyway, back to the point of this post. Does anyone watch 'Come Dine with Me'? If you don't (and you live in the UK),
The omnibus on Sundays is the reason why any of my ironing gets done. Sunday evenings finds me in the lounge with a pile of ironing and 'Come Dine with Me' on the TV.
Enough about my exciting life! Four friends from work and I decided to do our own 'Come Dine with me'. In the beginning, we were going to score but we decided it was too much pressure and stopped scoring. However Jo and Eleanor; who were the first two to go, were really good! So much for easing off on the pressure *sigh*.
My menu was:
Starter - Cherry tomato tarte tatin
Main - Pasticio with Greek Salad
Dessert - White chocolate and Raspberry Creme Brulee with Chocolate Macaroons
Over the next few posts, I'll share the recipes for my menu.
First off, cherry tomato tarte tatin - recipe from Lorraine Pascal's 'Baking Made Easy'. I hit a few road blocks with this - first off, I decided to make my own puff pastry (which tasted absolutely delicious raw - please don't ask what I was doing eating raw pastry) but it didn't puff as much as I would have liked and also didn't cook all the way through. So despite taking meticulous photos of my pastry making, I think I'll try to master it a bit more before sharing it.
Also, when I turned the tarte tatin over, some of the tomatoes stuck to the baking dish as did most of the bread crumbs. So I painstakingly put the tomatoes back in their place and distributed the moist breadcrumbs in bits over the pie. Just to recap, when you make it, it hopefully won't have those white blobs all over it like mine does.
However, despite my set backs, and apart from the not-entirely cooked pastry, I thought it was really nice and I'll definitely be making it again. The honey and breadcrumbs tasted amazing with the tomatoes. And if you use shop bought pastry (as I will next time), it's easy peasy!
500g ready-made puff pastry
40 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
plain flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten
small bunch fresh basil
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 - Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
2 - Place the tomatoes into a 20cm/8in oven proof frying pan (or round cake tin like I did) and sprinkle with the vegetable oil, salt and pepper and honey. Arrange together as tightly as possible and sprinkle with breadcrumbs
4 - Place the puff pastry over the tomatoes, tucking it around them so the tomatoes are encased.
5 - Brush the pastry with the lightly beaten egg on the top only
6 - Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is well puffed and golden brown.
7 - Remove from the oven and leave to sit for a few minutes, then tip away the excess liquid (if any) and put a large plate upside down on the frying pan. Using oven gloves, press the plate down hard and then quickly flip the whole thing so the frying pan is upside down and the plate is on the bottom (perhaps do this over the sink as there is sometimes some leakage).
8 - Remove the frying pan. Once the tart is cold, rip up some mint or basil leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.