Having filled most of Missy B’s weekend with cultural activities last week, I decided she need to get a bit of sleep last Saturday night.
So after I’d made a batch of pastry (using the tried and tested Bertinet method), I packed her off to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa Battenburg, while Mr B and I went to Soho House for a swanky belated birthday dinner for me, courtesy of our friend Joss. I resisted taking pics, but I had delicious smoked duck, followed by sea bass with king’s beard. I have googled this and I can’t find anything helpful, but our waitress told us it was a seaside grass – it was much more delicate than samphire and very tasty.
Anyway, I persuaded the grandparents to bring Missy B back to Battenburg Towers by offering a chicken and leek tart for lunch, with a fougasse bread from the freezer and a green salad. I’d poached a whole chicken the day before, using Felicity Cloake’s method from her “perfect chicken pie” recipe:
Put a whole chicken in a large pan with a carrot (cut into large pieces), and onion (quartered but not peeled), two celery sticks (cut into large pieces), a bay leaf, a few peppercorns and a few sprigs of tarragon. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then skim any scum off the surface. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. You could use other herbs and I also put some leek in with the other vegetables.
Mr B muttered quite a lot about how it was all wrong and it should be a pie and not a tart. I pointed out that a) it could be argued that a tart is simply and upside down pie and b) he was going to the rugby so it really didn’t matter what he thought. The rest of us very much enjoyed it. Missy B made a good attempt at picking out all the leeks, but she ate a large slice of the tart without a murmur.
Missy B asked very nicely for a chocolate-based dessert, so I was about to make a steamed pud, when I remembered there was half a carton of buttermilk in the fridge, so I made Nigella Lawson’s buttermilk birthday cake. It’s not compulsory to make it for birthdays and it’s delicious. In fact Missy B ate the last slice yesterday, so you can make it on Sunday and it will still be lovely on Wednesday. To satisfy the chocolate element of the brief, I did a chocolate ganache.
This did remind me of a cake tin mystery. I seem to have many many tins, but very few pairs. I only remember this when I make a cake, but I am going to buy a pair of small tins today. If any of my esteemed readers have “borrowed” a tin, there is an amnesty in place so you can return them without fear of retribution.