The Delia Smith Project: an update

Maybe some of you have been wondering where I’ve been? Or maybe not. This blog is read mainly by my close family and I’ve not had any blogging fame just yet ūüėČ

I wrapped up The Delia Project at the end of last year. I decided early on that I wouldn’t make it through the entire book. Delia’s recipes and my dairy intolerance were unfortunately not a perfect pair.

There are some recipes, though, that I’ve continued to make since the project finished. They are:

I’ll admit, it was a bit exhausting, making 4 or 5 recipes a week AND¬†photographing them, usually while dinner was supposed to be on the table.

So now, I’m cooking up a new project to keep me busy, which incidentally, has nothing to do with cooking! Back soon with the new project!

The Delia Project (#95): Hot Chocolate Rum Souffl√©

The Delia Smith Project: Hot Chocolate Rum Soufflé

This was my first attempt at making a soufflé. The recipe sounded promising, after all, how could you go wrong with chocolate, rum, egg yolks and egg whites?

For me, it all went wrong with the rum, but maybe because I’m not a rum lover. It was too overpowering, I would have preferred just the taste of chocolate. Or maybe one tablespoon of rum would have been enough instead of two? Anyhow, I wasn’t sold on it. If I needed a chocolate fix (which is daily actually) then I’d go for Delia’s Rich Chocolate Mousse.

Here’s Delia Smith’s recipe for Hot Chocolate Rum Souffl√© (though I see she’s reduced the brandy here to 1.5 tablespoons. Hmmm…)

The Delia Project (#94): Caramelised Apple Flan

The Delia Smith Project: Caramelised Apple Flan

This is like a Tarte Tatin, in that is it baked, chilled and served upside down. It’s easy enough to make: in a cake tin lined with greaseproof paper, you sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the base and arrange sliced apples on top. Then a shortcrust pastry is laid over the top. I had an issue with the amount of pastry being not enough to fill the tin and I’m still not sure what happened there.

But… it was eaten and was therefore a success.

Here’s Delia Smith’s recipe for Caramelised Apple Flan (though I realise that mine looks nothing like hers!)

The Delia Project (#93): Old-fashioned Bread Pudding

The Delia Smith Project: Old-Fashioned Bread (Panettone) Pudding

This recipe for bread pudding is in the leftovers category of Delia’s book, and since I had lots of leftover mini panettone that I baked last month, I decided to reinvent them into a pudding.

So this recipe is with panettone and coconut milk, instead of cow’s milk. The panettone is broken up into bite-sized pieces and soaked in the milk to soften it. You then add melted butter, brown sugar, mixed spice, an egg, mixed fruit and some orange rind. Bake in the oven and serve with cream, or in my case, more coconut milk!

The following recipe is almost the same as what I’ve made here, but includes brandy and lemon zest: Delia Smith’s Spiced Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream.

The Delia Project (#92): Eliza Acton’s Rich Rice Pudding

The Delia Smith Project: Eliza Acton's Rich Rice Pudding

I have made rice pudding before, but the oozy type, cooked in a saucepan. The one with a risotto-ish consistency.

This, however, is a baked rice pudding. Same ingredients as normal: short-grain rice, milk, sugar, butter, eggs and lemon rind. Grated nutmeg on top. Then the mixture is cooked in a baking dish for 30‚Äď40 minutes.

I am unfortunately a bit dairy-intolerant, so I had a small spoonful before handing it over to husband and 2 munchkins to devour. Otherwise I would have eaten the lot!

The Delia Project (#90): Mince Pies

The Delia Smith Project: Mince Pies

Mmmm…. mince pies. As I write this, I have just finished making our second batch of mince pies (each batch is 36 pies). They are basically a staple in our house for the whole of December.

I made the mincemeat a few weeks back, following Delia’s vegetarian mincemeat recipe. I consider it to be the BEST mincemeat recipe as it’s not rich and gooey, just nicely light and sweet.

However, I don’t follow Delia’s recipe for the pastry, not since one of our neighbours in England gave me the following recipe. I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s my go-to mince pie pastry recipe:

Orange Pastry for Mince Pies

  • 500¬†grams¬†plain flour
  • 175¬†grams¬†icing or caster sugar
  • 375¬†grams¬†butter
  • 1¬†orange, juiced and rind grated
  1. Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, stir these into the flour and then rub gently with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated orange rind.
  2. Then, using a knife, stir in the orange juice until the dough just begins to stick together. Gather up the dough and pat it into a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before using.

If you want to substitute some of the butter for margarine, go ahead. Just don’t tell me about it.

The Delia Project (#89): Rich Fruit Cake

The Delia Smith Project: Rich Fruit Cake

It’s a tradition in our house that we make the Christmas Cake towards the end of November and feed it spoonfuls of brandy at regular intervals during December, thereby ensuring that come Christmas Day the cake is nice and boozy moist.

My husband usually makes the Christmas Cake but this year he was too busy, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s not a difficult cake, but it is time consuming. At least 12 hours before you make the cake, you ¬†need to soak the dried fruit in brandy. Then it’s the normal flour, mixed spice, nutmeg, butter, brown sugar, eggs, treacle… all the good stuff. The cake then bakes for a little over 4 hours, so obviously you need to hang around for that time.

The photo above was taken just before the cake went into the oven and I need to remember to take another one on Christmas Day! We don’t do royal icing anymore; we used to, but found it too sweet. So we just serve it as it is and believe me, it’s good enough like that.

The Delia Project (#88): Vegetarian Mincemeat

The Delia Smith Project: Vegetarian Mincemeat

I’ve actually been making this mincemeat for the past ‚Äď I don’t know exactly ‚Äď 4/5 years? ¬†Most of the time we’ve been in Switzerland anyway, as mincemeat isn’t easy to come by. I can’t justify a trip to Zurich just to buy a jar of mincemeat.

The main reason I chose Delia’s vegetarian mincemeat is because it doesn’t contain suet, which I would happily use by the way, I just haven’t been able to find out the German word, so I can’t ask my butcher. This mincemeat uses a block of creamed coconut in place of the suet and is also unusual in that one of the main ingredients is chopped dried bananas. The other dried fruits are apricots, raisins and sultanas and there is no sugar added. I have sensitive teeth and for me, eating some mincemeat is downright painful, but not this one. It’s light and not too sweet.

I’ll update you when I bake the pies!

The Delia Project (#87): Lemon Souffl√© Omelette

The Delia Smith Project: Lemon Souffleé Omelette

I know, the picture ain’t pretty, it was made in a hurry and I don’t think the bottom was cooked enough. But… it tasted good. Reminiscent of the bottom layer of the Lemon Surprise Pudding, but much quicker to make.

Basically you whisk sugar, the rind of a lemon and its juice with 3 egg yolks. Whisk the egg white until stiff and fold them into the yolk mixture. Cook quickly in a hot pan, then cook the top under the grill. Ready!