Monday, 22 April 2013

Gorgeous Winter Warmers

Roast leg of lamb
© The Bistro Cookbook/Love Food
Winter is here but it shouldn't get us down. Try this amazing recipe courtesy of The flavours are amazing and it's perfect for a warm night in.  Give it a try...

Roast Leg of Lamb with French Beans

Serves: 4–6
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus marinating and resting
Cooking time: 1–1½ hours


3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 leg of lamb portion, about
1.3 kg/3 lb, ideally raised on salt marshes (pré-salé),
thinly slit all over
olive oil, for rubbing
125 ml/4 fl oz water
2 tbsp capers in brine, rinsed
280 g/10 oz French beans, trimmed
30 g/1 oz butter
salt and pepper


Push the garlic into the slits in the lamb and rub the leg all over with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in a roasting tin, rub all over with oil and set aside for at least 1 hour for the garlic to penetrate.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8. Calculate the roasting time at 15 minutes per 500 g/1 lb 2 oz plus 15 minutes for medium, and 20 minutes per 500 g/1 lb 2 oz plus 20 minutes for well done.

Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and continue roasting for the calculated roasting time. Transfer the lamb to a carving dish, cover with a sheet of foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

While the lamb is resting, pour off any excess fat from the tin. Add the wine and water to the juices remaining in the tin and bring to the boil, scraping the sediment from base of the tin. Add the capers and heat through. Season this gravy to taste with salt and pepper.

Ten minutes before serving, bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the beans, bring back to the boil and cook for 5–8 minutes, or until tender.

Drain well and return to the pan. Add the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Carve the lamb and serve immediately with the French beans, alongside the gravy for spooning over.

Recipe taken from The Bistro Cookbook, part of Parragon Books' range of Love Food cookbooks. See www. for more information.


I absolutely adore chocolate and it's always a great joy in whooping up home made chocolate treats..
Quench your chocolate craving with these moist and morish homemade whoopies; they're so good they'll be gone before you know it! Whoopie Pies Love Food
© Mini Delights/Love Food

Double chocolate whoopie pies

Makes: 12–14
Prep: 25 minutes, plus cooling
Cook: 10 minutes


70 g/2½ oz lightly salted butter, softened
125 g/4½ oz light muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 g/4½ oz plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 g/1½ oz cocoa powder
150 ml/5 fl oz buttermilk

For the filling:

200 g/7 oz milk chocolate, roughly chopped
140 g/5 oz unsalted butter, softened
85 g/3 oz icing sugar
70 g/2½ oz plain chocolate, roughly chopped
chocolate sprinkles, optional


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the lightly salted butter, light muscovado sugar, egg and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat together with an electric handheld whisk until the mixture is thickened and pale.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a separate mixing bowl. Add half of this mixture and half the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Stir with a spatula or large metal spoon. Once combined, add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk and carefully stir again.

Put the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1-cm/½-inch plain nozzle (see page 8). Pipe small blobs onto the baking trays, slicing off the peaks with a small knife and spacing the blobs about 5 cm/2 inches apart to allow for expansion.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch, switching over the baking trays halfway through cooking. Leave on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the filling, put the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until melted. Leave to cool slightly. Put the unsalted butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric handheld whisk until light and fluffy. Stir the melted chocolate into the butter mixture until evenly combined.

Sandwich the whoopie pies together in pairs with the filling. Melt the plain chocolate as above, then drizzle a little of it over each whoopie pie. Scatter with the sprinkles, if using. Leave in a cool place to firm up for a couple of hours.

Recipe taken from Mini Delights, part of Parragon Books' range of Love Food cookbooks. See www. for more information.