A Treat! To Prepare before you go…
Pistachio & Chocolate Battenburg
I dreamt up this combination while I was in France (and incidentally, couldn’t make it in my tiny kitchen there!) because I thought these flavours would be perfect together. It’s nice to cook up something a bit special, and it wasn’t difficult to adapt Mary Berry’s (originally coffee & walnut) battenburg to make the flavours a little more unsual! We munched up this cake in record time for us during our trip… why is it tea and cake reaches its peak enjoyment when you’re out in the open air?
For the cake:
Combine 100g butter, 100g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 100g self-raising flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder (yes, you need both), and 50g ground almonds, beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth & glossy.
Divide the mixture into 2 bowls. In each add 3 tsp milk. Finely chop 100g shelled pistachio nuts & add to one half along with a few drops of green food colouring. To the other, sieve in a spoon of cocoa powder. Place into two tins… instead of messing about with a paper divider, I just use bread loaf tins (with loaf liners) as they are the right shape to make two long rectangles! Bake for around 35 minutes at 160 degrees C.
When cool, trim the edges and cut each in half lengthways so you have two strips of each colour. Make up a buttercream (100g icing sugar, 40g butter, a little cocoa powder, 1 and half tsp milk) and sandwich everything together with it, leaving enough to coat each outside surface too. Roll out 225g white marzipan, to the same length as your cake & long enough to wrap around, and roll the cake tightly in it, coating each side with buttercream first. Make sure that your surface is clean & coated with plenty of icing sugar!
This cake is so delicious, that believe me… it won’t last long!
For dinner, simple and quick, but substantial…
This lovely dinner was inspired by my friend Nathan who recently cooked up a delicious birthday dinner. His version was lovingly made… a delicious salad with dressing (I really need to learn how to make good salads!!), beef kebabs marinated overnight, and home-made tzatziki. Well, this version is very much the camping version, but would work if you wanted a quick dinner or lunch anytime!
For the bread & salad you need a pack of pitta breads (or similar fill-able flat-bread), a couple of sliced up tomatoes, a salad (mine was £1 and has salad leaves, red onions & red peppers), cubes of cheese (like feta or here we used Aperino salad cheese) and some tzatziki for a dressing.
Fry up some beef stir-fry strips (only about half a pack) with Taco seasoning for a few minutes until tender. Then whack it all together, bish-bash-bosh, Jamie Oliver style! And be prepared to get a little messy too!
Well this isn’t exactly a recipe… but what better when you’re camping than something fried? And with a single pan & hob, we were a little limited. My recommendation with camping cooking is always take eggs with you! Especially for breakfast possibilities…. we liked ours scrambled, with lots of black pepper and a couple of pieces of fried bread. Plus a hot mug of tea each & some orange juice. Then you’re all set for a day of walking, sightseeing or chasing seagulls… each to their own!
On our way home in the car, we happened to be listening to Radio 4 and on came the Food Programme, which this week was on camping cooking! So give it a listen, it was interesting! (Here). Oh, I forgot to mention before… the reason for our extremely limited supplies & equipment was because we packed everything into the back of a smart-car! Quite a challenge, but good fun, and totally worth it when you can open the roof on a sunny day too 🙂