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 😉

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 SoufflĂ©

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 SoufflĂ© (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 30–40 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.