This is one of those dishes that are used to deceive children (or men :)) into eating their vegetables. I had forgotten all about it, but now that I’ve rediscovered it, I had it again and again. It’s simple, fast and only requires 3 ingredients – cauliflower, fresh cream and cheese. Of course you may want to make the fresh cream yourself from scratch, in which case the recipe will take more time. You may also want to add other ingredients to make your meal more ‘complete’.

Wash the cauliflower and pat dry; chop up into florets. Boil in water for about 20 minutes until they start to soften. Poke them with a fork to check the consistency. Stop boiling when they are still slightly under-cooked as you will be cooking further in the oven. In the meantime heat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Drain the cauliflower and place in an oven dish. On each floret place a dollop of fresh cream or single cream. Cover in shredded cheddar or a mixture of soft cheeses such as Leicester, Gouda etc. Top up with freshly ground pepper. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese melts and just starts to brown.

I boiled some runner beans with the cauliflower and then served them with the extra sauce that was left at the bottom of the oven dish. I also added Pancetta cubes in the oven dish, but this is optional; the dish turns out just as good without it.

 



Candied peel is used very often in cakes and sweets, or can be eaten on its own. Traditionally, citrus fruit peel is used, mainly oranges and lemons. Whilst you can find this off the shelf at most supermarkets, it’s really easy to make, and the home-made variety always tastes better  🙂

Choose fruit with a thick peel and pith. Wash and remove the peel.  Place the peel in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil.

Once the water reaches the boil, take the pot off the heat, drain, and rinse the peel in cold water.   This procedure helps remove the bitterness of the white pith.  Taste the peel and if it is still bitter, repeat the procedure again. Don’t forget to start with cold water!

Let the peel drip dry for a few minutes on a rack or tissue paper.

In the meantime, prepare a pot with equal amounts of water and sugar. 1 cup of each is enough for the peel from 2 oranges. You can use brown or white sugar.

Gently drop in the pieces of peel, and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook the peel, stirring regularly.  As the water evaporates, you need to be very careful not to let the syrup burn.  Keep stirring and lower the heat further if necessary, until all the syrup has been absorbed by the pieces of peel.

Remove the peel and leave to cool on a baking sheet.

Once cooled, the peel will still be a little sticky. Dust them with icing sugar and store in an airtight container.  We dipped the pieces in molten chocolate for a simple but delicious sweet.

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