Friday, 28 February 2014
I'm quite a recent convert to rhubarb and I think what's really got me into it is the colour. What a fantastic pink it is and the smell is lush too. It's the sourness that really puts me off but what I've realised is that if it's accompanied by something really sweet I can cope.
Last night I was at my friend Vicky's and she served us Rhubarb cooked in vanilla with gorgeously chewy meringue nests, spot on. I bought some beautiful scarlet rhubarb at my farmers market last weekend with no idea of what I might do with it.
I've used half of it for this cake that is almost a pudding. You could also add some crystallised ginger but that would be a step too far for me, I really don't like ginger and can't see me changing my mind in the way I have with rhubarb. This cake is also the perfect combination of sweet and sour with the sponge and the rhubarb compensating for each other.
300g Self Raising Flour
2 tbsp Demerara Sugar
Cream together the butter and sugar then add the flour and eggs. When they are well combined add the milk to loosen the mixture a little.
Chop the rhubarb into pieces half the size of your thumb and fold them into the mixture. Line a tin around 27cm x 18cm in size with parchment. Pour the batter in and level out the surface.
Roughly chop the pecans and scatter over the cake then sprinkle on the sugar to finish. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 160C Fan.
Monday, 24 February 2014
WOW! Look what I just got in the post from Abra ca Debora
and guess what, you can get one too, WooHoo!!
This wonderful hamper is packed with all the goodies you'll need to have the perfect pancake day with no effort. There are Original Dutch pancakes and their Diddy Dutch pancakes. All can be heated in the oven or microwave in just a few minutes ready to add your favourite topping.
All you have to do to win a hamper is tell me your favourite pancake topping, it's as easy as that.
Let me know by 6pm on Pancake Day - 4th March
and the lucky winner will be selected at random.
If you're not lucky enough to be chosen you could always pop along to your supermarket and find them in the chiller aisle.
Remember, pancakes aren't just for Shrove Tuesday
GOOD LUCK x
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
This is a sort of greek inspired pizza that came from what I had in the fridge when I first made it. It's now become a regular feature at dinner time in our house. I've replaced the tomato base with humous and finished it off with feta cheese instead of mozzarella.
You could also make it into calzone if you are using a proper pizza dough but for speed I'm going with Jo Wheatley's flat bread recipe. You really can't go wrong with this, I use it all the time.
For a bit of colour I've added some Roquito peppers so they add some heat too. I really love those, especially the ones you get stuffed with feta at the deli counter. I've just discovered these mini versions in Tesco. If you prefer less spice just swap them for chopped red peppers.
300g Natural Yoghurt
1 Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Oil
400g Lamb Mince
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
Large Bunch Fresh Coriander roughly chopped
2 tbsp Pinenuts
100g Feta Cheese
Mini Roquito Peppers to Finish
Make the bases first. Combine the flour and yoghurt in a bowl till it comes together to form a soft dough. Knead it a little so it becomes nice and smooth then divide it into 4 and roll each one out to the thickness of a pound coin. Place the bases onto baking sheets lined with parchment and leave to one side.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook till soft then add the minced lamb. Cook on a medium heat till it has just started to brown. Add the ground cumin and 2/3 of the coriander. Cook till the coriander has wilted.
Divide the humous between the bases and spread to cover leaving a slight crust. Now cover with the mince. Sprinkle on the pinenuts and dot with the peppers. Lastly crumble on lumps of the feta cheese.
Bake the pizza's at 160C for 20-30 minutes. Once the bases have cooked through, remove from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining coriander.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
A little late I know, I'm not very organised, sorry. I gave in and made a Valentine recipe. What can I say, I just love a theme. Of course they don't have to be just for valentines day and you don't really have to share them with your true love. In fact, if you eat all of them, it may well count as one of your 5 a day! Use cooked beetroot, the one you get in vacuum packs, not the stuff in vinegar in a jar.
150g Self Raising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
170g Cooked Beetroot finely grated
140g Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Red Colour Paste
I'm sure you can probably figure this out for yourself, but I'll tell you anyway if only to pad out this page a little more.
Line a muffin tray with 12 cake cases. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Apart from the colouring, whisk all the wet ingredients in a jug then pour them into the bowl. Stir everything gently till completely mixed. Now add the colouring till you get the depth of red that you are happy with.
Divide the mixture between the case and bake for 15-20 minutes till cooked through and the sponge springs back.
Decorate with buttercream, I stirred through a spoon of grated beetroot too and it gave it a lovely pink hue.
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Anyone who knows me well is aware of my love of ice-cream, I really can't get enough of it and it's something that features in my top 5 favourite foods, a list which isn't even complete yet.
Just like selecting my favourite foods, it's way too difficult to choose which would be my favourite flavour but coffee, coconut and brown bread, yes brown bread are all in there, oh and cherry and hazelnut and lemon meringue. You see, it's too hard. Anyway, another favourite flavour is butterscotch (like Angel Delight) and here is my version made with a traditional custard base.
I served it with an extra hit of butterscotch sauce. Just heat 100g Soft Brown Sugar with 25g Butter till melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in 300ml Double Cream. You can have it warm or leave it to chill and it will thicken.
180g Soft Brown Sugar
375ml Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
500ml Single Cream
6 Egg Yolks
Heat the sugar and butter in a pan till the sugar has dissolved and it starts the bubble. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and 125ml of the whipping cream.
In another pan heat the remaining whipping cream and the single cream. In a bowl whisk the eggs then stir in a ladle of the warmed cream. Return the cream and eggs to the pan and heat stirring all the while till it starts to thicken. This will just take about 3-4 minutes. As soon as it starts to get thick remove it from the heat and whisk in the butterscotch mixture.
Now leave to cool completely before pouring into your ice cream maker and churning. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour into a plastic container and freeze. Check after every hour and stir till it freezes.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
With all this horrible weather at the moment I keep craving soup, but I want soup with a bit of substance, a proper meal not just a warming drink. Minestrone is just the ticket, filling, comforting and healthy. You can make your vegetables as chunky or small as you like but they should all be evenly sized.
1 tbsp Oil
1 Onions chopped
1 Clove Garlic crushed
1 carrots finely chopped
1 Yellow Pepper finely chopped
1 Celery Stick finely chopped
400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 pt Vegetable Stock
30g Soup Pasta or Brocken Spaghetti
Now add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay, ketchup and stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes till all the veg is cooked.
Lastly add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes till the pasta has cooked and serve immediately.