Gimme Five! Car lighter accessories

July 24th, 2015

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Selection of car lighter accessories via H is for Home

We’ve made a couple of long car journeys to London and Brighton recently. Various things pop into your thoughts as the miles pass by – “I wish I had this, I could do with that”. We’ve chosen a selection of items which plug into the car lighter socket that resolve potential problems and enhance the travelling experience; whether it be playing music, re-charging devices, giving you a back massage or providing emergency air for a flat tyre!

  1. 60w car charger power adapter for Apple MacBook Pro: £22.98, eBay
  2. REALMAX® car music FM transmitter: £7.99, Amazon
  3. Portable power pack with 200w inverter and USB charging socket: £59.99, Maplin
  4. Lifemax heated back and seat massager: £39.99, Amazon
  5. Halfords rapid digital tyre inflator: £34.99, Halfords

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

July 23rd, 2015

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Redcurrant mazarin tart
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For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . . Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Raija Uosikkinen lidded pot

July 22nd, 2015

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Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

We’ve selected this gorgeous little item for this week’s favourite buy.

Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

It’s from the Emilia range designed by Raija Uosikkinen for Arabia Pottery of Finland. She worked for the company from the 1960s onwards and produced some wonderful designs. The colourful preserve pots with stylised fruit decoration and the plates depicting the Kalevala legend also spring to mind.

Vintage Arabia lidded pot showing base stamp | H is for Home

This particular piece is a lidded sugar bowl… also perfect for jewellery, keys, loose change – or any small precious thing!

Detail from a  Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

We really don’t come across pieces from this range too often, so it’s lovely to handle them. They’re incredibly detailed, but also have a charming simplicity. Coming to the shop soon!