29 September 2009

How To Feed Your Friends With Relish

My friend Sandra made a quick trip across the pond, though she didn't make it to West Virginia, some books did. Sandra hauled several cookbooks with her from London and mailed them to me. It was the next best thing to a visit. On of the books was How To Feed Your Friends With Relish, by Joanna Weinberg.

It is a lovely book, filled with recipes and tips for entertaining. She begins the book as any good hostess might, by introducing us to all her friends and family. Not drawn to the domestic side of life as a child, no one is more surprised than Weinberg, herself, that she became the chronicler of entertaining.

It is that transition from having no desire to laying a table, to becoming the person that loves to entertain, that gives Weinberg her voice. He style of entertaining is simple and laid back, preferring to concentrate on the people around her and not the trappings of space. Her recipes are straightforward and simple, though not at all boring.

Check out this chocolate recipe:

Fresh chocolate orange turrón

500g blanched almonds
200g orange-flavoured dark chocolate, chopped
100g icing sugar
pared zest of 1 unwaxed orange, cut into fine strips
cocoa, for dusting

Line a baking sheet or tin with greaseproof paper.
Grind the blanched almonds in a blender or food processor until they are as fine as possible --this will take 4 or 5 minutes with it screaming full blast.
Add the chocolate, icing sugar and orange zest and whiz on until the chocolate is fully blended (you can see by the colour). It will probably ball up like pastry as it will get warm and soft from the heat of the blades, which is when you'll be done.
Spread the mixture out on the lined sheet so that it's about 1.5 -2cm thick, then leave it to cool in the fridge. Cut into 2cm squares and dust with a little cocoa before serving.

this is a great little party treat, or a treat in and of itself!

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