Monday, 23 March 2009

The cat's whiskers

Aren't they just? There's something oddly comforting about that phrase. Like 'the bee's knees'. Both of which perfectly sum up the lovely 'Cats Whiskers' pansy from Mum yesterday. They are rather majestic, sitting proudly in one of Granny's old vases, and their timing was perfect as the primulas are almost past their best.

Hope you've all had a lovely Monday. It's been a blustery day in London along with a couple of spring showers thrown in for good measure. Blue found the catnip that my parents have given us, and decided to tell Grey all about it. The two little monkeys were caught just as they were about to launch a combined attack. Said plant is now locked in the shed until we can plant it out in an area of the garden that won't be destroyed by said monkeys rolling around in sheer delight.

On a different note, I thought you might like the recipe for the scrumptious Mother's Day tart.
It's based on Nigella's Black and White tart from How to be a Domestic Goddess. I chose not to include the citrus notes (citrus allergy) or the alcohol and went for raspberries instead of whitecurrants. The result? A quick and creamy alternative to a cheesecake, with a hint of vanilla.

250g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, separated
500g mascarpone
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
150g blackberries
150g raspberries

Nigella recommends a 25cm loose-based fluted flan tin, 3 1/2cm deep. I used my trusty glass crumble dish which is 22cm wide.

1. Break the biscuits into a food processor and blitz until they are reduced to fine crumbs.
2. Add the melted butter to the crumbs and combine.
3. Transfer the mixture to the dish and press into the base and sides with your fingers.
4. Pop in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
5. Whisk the egg white until it is stiff. Put to one side.
6. In a clean bowl, beat the egg yolk with the sugar until pale. [My mixture resembled a small ball of sugary dough].
7. Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Stir through the vanilla essence.
8. Fold in the egg white.
9. Dollop the mixture into the digestive base. Using a pallete knife or spatula, smooth the mixture out.
10. Add the fruit in an arty fashion and pop in the fridge until you want to make your grand entrance. Alternatively, grab a cake slice and a plate, and don't tell anyone that you've made it...


  1. Thank you for the recipe. It looks really pretty - almost too good to eat! I can see why you adapted it. For us city dwellers, when did they last have whitecurrants in Sainsburys?

  2. In our house we say the "D's-B's" (which stands for the Dogs-Bollocks, husband informs me it comes from Viz magazine and as it makes me howl with laughter we use it in preference to bees-knees or cats- whiskers.
    Sorry to lower the tone of your beautiful post cat...your flower and tart look divine :o)

  3. Oh that tart looks like one to try.

  4. Thankyou for sharing the recipe it looks so good. I like your grannys old vase. It's a shame you've had to hide it away from the cheeky monkeys.
    Bertie x

  5. I just discovered your blog, and that tart looks so lovely! K x

  6. Fantastic looking tart, sis. And, I have to say, Mum made a fabulous choice on that pansy - it certainly lives up to its whiskery name!

  7. Ooo - lots of lovely comments. Do try the tart, it is so easy to make.

    Jo - You're so right, I don't think I've ever seen whitecurrants in London, other than Borough Market and even then it was only for one week. I reckon Nigella gets them shipped in especially.

    Lucy - I was so very close to including D's-B's. You are more than welcome to lower the tone any time!

    Ali - it was scrummy!

    Bertie - Mum and I were discussing the lovely vase the other night - we've concluded that it might actually be an old knickerbockerglory glass charading as a vase! Good enough for me though.

    Kristina - bonjour, hope you enjoy it here!

    Stumpy - ha, ha, ha - still laughing over the name 'stumpy'. Hello little sis - welcome to the world of blogging. About bloggy time! xx

  8. Looks like a chocolate sundae with a pansy on the top! How wonderful! I love the idea of a chocolate sundae with a pansy on the top!
    Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)