Royal weddings app, out in English, and chocolate sauce

Hello dear readers. As promised, our royal weddings app is now out in English. As the world gears up for royal wedding madness, get ready with some brushing up on frivolous historical tidbits.
Also, a chocolate sauce to enhance your celebrations.
Chocolate sauce is one of those things you just have to know how to make. It´s part of being a civilized member of this planet. Life is simply much better when you know you can pour some hot sauce over ice cream .

The simplest is, of course, ganache. Cream and good chopped chocolate, there you go. The little black dress of sweet sauces, dark, elegant, restrained, classic, it goes with everything and gives it a touch of class.

Sure. However, it depends on your having cream in the house. I don´t have cream in the house. In Spain, yes, I always have those little cartons of UHT cream, but here in the UK cream is fresh, so I only buy it with specific dishes in mind. Or else. You know how it is with cream, specially when it´s as criminally good as British cream.

Enter the storecupboard solution.

Chocolate sauce needs only cocoa, fat and sugar. So to make a very very simple and very very quick one, you can skip several steps and use Nutella, which, however well it cloaks itself in wholesome nuttiness is basically oil and sugar.

Put a whopping big spoonful of Nutella in a coffee mug with a half teaspoonful of cocoa and a glug of milk, and give it thirty seconds in the microwave.

Beat it well with a spoon and watch the messy melted spread turn glossy, dark, wicked and even more irresistible.

It is the perfect sauce, at once grown-up and intense, yet fudgy and sweet, with a praline undertone. It is the goods, I´m telling you. Ice cream sundae has never been so perilously easy.

Pour that over vanilla ice cream as you watch the royal wedding, and if you´re a true fan, add Rich Tea biscuits, which the groom seems to favour.


Bodas Reales- Royal weddings app, by Terrier Digital

At last, at last, the fruit of all the labours of this winter and chunk of spring .

Ladies and gentlemen, followers, readers, lurkers, browsers, casual visitors…do you have an iPad?

If you do, then you must please rush to the AppStore to download our little brainchild, the Bodas Reales app.

Right now we only have the Spanish version, but the English one will be up as soon as those lovely folks in California give it the green light.

It´s the first app in the portfolio of Terrier Digital, our brand new e-publishing house. You can see all about us in the website, and check out upcoming apps.

Lobstersquad is going to get a beautiful iPad version, aren´t we lucky?

This first one is about royal weddings, so it´s all princesses and dresses and what not, a lot of fun, of course, but there´s also food, fear not. I wrote a piece about royal wedding menus, which, as you can imagine, are heavy on the lobster.

If you have no iPad yet, you can see a few screenshots in our Facebook page.

I´ll be back soon to remind you when the English version is up.


Pressure cooker flan

Dear 399 followers of Lobstersquad,
I´ve never told you, because I am a very slapdash blogger, but I´m sure you can guess; I love you, and I don´t say it enough. Likewise, dear readers. I´d love to give you all a great big hug.
I would also love to get down to tidying up this old blog, and use the new Blogger templates that allow the followers to show, and all those new bells and whistles. I promise you, it´s been on my list for long, and I hope to be able to do it soon, and make a proper links sidebar, and organize the tags. All those things.
There will also be a Lobstersquad surprise soon (and no, it´s not another baby). Three friends and I have teamed up to start up a little editorial project that we´re very excited about. The drawing above is part of it.
But for now, here´s a recipe I mentioned earlier, suitable for hectic lifestyles, and for celebrating eggy easter.

Pressure Cooker Flan

Take 3 eggs and 500 ml milk, 5 tbs sugar, and mix well, in a blender if you can.
Do the caramel trick with two tablespoonfuls of sugar in a soufflé dish that fits inside your pressure cooker, while you boil two cups of water in it (this is just to save time).

Cool the caramel a little by swirling it around, and pour the egg and milk mix in. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the steamer basket of the cooker. Bring up to pressure and count 15 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally for about five.
Let cool and unmold. Eat chilled.

This is it. The silky, smooth, elegant flan of dreams. It helps to use the oh-so-excellent Scottish milk I find here, but normal milk works well. If you´re feeling decadent, use half milk half cream. I like puddings to be not very sweet, so you might want to add sugar.
Serve on its own or with strawberries (or strawberries and cream).



Tabasco, originally uploaded by Lobstersquad.

All through my childhood there was a bottle of Tabasco in the pantry. The same bottle, for years and years, like an old friend with a yellowing label.
I don't consider myself a hot sauce fiend, of course, but somehow we've got through a bottle in the ten months we've been in Aberdeen.
Mysteries of the frozen north.


Lemon Muffin

Last weekend in Spain I saw my two friends called Paula. Both complained about recipes in this blog, which , as every blogger knows, is thrilling, since it means that your friends read your blog.

So, to start, I´ll try to address Paula F´s complaint first. The lemon muffins-cupcakes-madalenas, call them what you will.

It has been my arduous duty to make these winsome little cakes several times over the past few days, in different ovens, even, and all I can say is, I have no idea what can have gone wrong in Paula´s kitchen. These babies practically make themselves.
Maybe it was all due to The Fear. Cakes, like dogs, can smell it, and will bite given the chance, so here is some cake advice:

1- be confident but
2- be obedient. this is not where you splash merrily around and substitute ingredients and quantities to suit your prophetic soul.
3- this means, be attentive to measurements. I posted the recipe using volume measures, and they can be notoriously wayward, so here is one in grams, all nice and tidy. However, if you have no scales (though you should) and want to use cup measures, note that I use a set of cups that is marked 1 cup 250 ml, 1/2 cup 125 ml, etc.
4- do not overbeat. Be gentle. An unhurried few strokes, just enough to make the flour dissappear, even if there are lumps, will be enough.
5- if you have a muffin tin, then don´t bother with the paper. a little butter and flour will mean you don´t lose the crunchy outside.

These are the measurements in weight, which is more consistent and easier, if you have a scale.

Lemon Cupcakes

The measures are in cups, but for Spanish eyes, half a cup is 125 ml, or the size of a normal yogurt.

180 grams of flour
100 brown sugar
100 caster sugar
125 ml natural yogurt
1/2 teaspoonful baking powder
pinch of salt
zest and juice of one big lemon
2 eggs
75 gr. butter, melted or really really soft

Preheat oven to 180ºC and put muffin cases in tin (12)

Measure out the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in one bowl.
In a bigger one, mix the butter, eggs, yogurt and lemon.
Tip the dry stuff into the big bowl and mix, with a very light hand. Better have lumps than overbeat.

Spoon the mixture into the cups, and good luck to you if you think you can do it without spilling stuff between the paper and the tin. Don´t go above two thirds, although you won´t, if you´re dividing evenly.

Bake for 20 or so until golden and puffed up. They don´t rise an awful lot, and the texture is grainy and not feather light, but they are pretty awsome.

I usually sprinkle some icing sugar on top, but that is very much optional.



Idea, originally uploaded by Lobstersquad.

We had banana pancakes this morning, with warm maple syrup and bacon. In the interests of health and saftey, since Pia was perched on a stool beside me at the stove, I microwaved the bacon.
It goes on a plate between paper towels and is blasted on high for two minutes then one minute then half minute bursts until crispy, depending on how much you're doing. This is by far the best method when you only need a couple of rashers for a sandwich.