Sunday, 14 February 2016

American-Style Pancakes



I have started a new obsession with pancakes. For ages I've had an amazing pancake recipe from Nigella Express (here) that gives you a jar of instant pancake mix to add milk and egg to whenever you want quick and easy squishy-yum pancakes. I forgot how amazing they were until I was in the Barbakan in York, and had the most amazing breakfast pancakes of joy (see above). So delicious and tonnes of food! (The fruit tea is also excellent and look how pretty everything is!) So that started me off on a pancake journey of yummy food parings.


Obviously, bacon and maple syrup is a classic, and it is the best breakfast/lunch/snack.


Dessert pancakes are always amazing. This is from-a-packet mix with cherries in liquor, clotted cream ice-cream, chocolate coated nuts, and maple syrup. Indulgent for the Pancakentines Day I had/invented this year (the beautiful pairing of pancake day and Valentines) I thoroughly recommend this as a holiday.

Other amazing combos are Nutella and peanut butter spread between two pancake layers, or chedder cheese and pepper, both of which are good on cold left over pancakes. As I need around 5,000,000 snacks a day, this is even great to take out. 

Go have pancakes. You won't be sorry. 



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Jam!









Making jam is probably my favourite form of cooking. Once you know how it is done, it is so easy, it makes everything smell amazing, the colours are beautiful, and most importantly, it tastes incredible.

The first one is Spiced Peach, inspired by the book Peaches for Monsieur le Cure by Joanne Harris. As soon as I read her description of this jam as a jar full of summer in the cold depths of winter, I didn't just want to taste it, I wanted to make it too. Jam making should be messy and delicious and fun, and that is exactly what she describes.




I particularly love the blushing peachy pink the bubbles turn when the jam is boiling, it looks so pretty!


Then eventually it turns into a rich, golden orange colour that looks like Autumn leaves

The second one I made was Blackberry and Apple, as we had some in the freezer that were left over from mine and Mum's Autumnal scrabblings around Rother Valley Country Park. I got covered in juice, scratched, and jumped on by an excitable chocolate brown Labrador (which was a highlight) but it was worth it for the taste.

The recipe comes courtesy of a Women's Own Australia Preserves cookbook my Mum bought from a charity shop. I can't help but imagine an excitable Australian women holding up a large jar saying 'This one's got a tarantula suspended in it!' Probably just me reading too much Terry Pratchett...



 

 

This mix turns a particularly delightful deep purpley-red colour, which doesn't show up in the jar, but looks fantastic in the pot and on toast.

It suddenly came to me once I had put this wonderful gloop into their jars that it would appear particularly fabulous and Christmasy if I had bought edible gold and silver glitter to add to them! It would make the peach look even more like an Autumn tree and the blackberry like a beautiful winter's night sky filled with stars. Maybe next time...






Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nigella Express Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies



I love these cookies, if I'm stressed or sad I can be completely distracted by baking these and eating them still warm, the chocolate chips melting in the middle, with a glass of milk (full fat, of course). They always go down really well with my friends also, so if you feel generous enough to share them you will be their favorite person for they day! The trick is the melted chocolate IN the batter...

You can find Nigella's recipe here,

You can also make this diabetic friendly by using 1tbsp of each of the sugars instead of the full amount and wholemeal flour, and they are still gorgeous.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Jammy Coconut Sponge

I made this for my Dad for father's day using this Jamie Oliver recipe :)


He's only had it for one day... :D



Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Chocolate Almond Loaf Cake

I got this from the back of a packet of Doves Farm Rye flour, and it is soooo good :) One slice is definitely not enough.



Ingredients

3 eggs
100g caster sugar
100g plain chocolate
75g butter
75g wholemeal rye flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
75g ground almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 180/Gas4
Beat the eggs and caster sugar together
Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
Beat this into the eggs and caster sugar
Mix in the flour and the cinnamon
Stir in the ground almonds
Tip into a 1kg loaf tin and bake for 45-50 mins


If you want to ice the loaf, you could use a mixture of;

15g butter
15g cocoa powder
50g caster sugar
2tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Blanched almonds

Heat the butter, cocoa, sugar and cream in a pan until it has all melted and dissolved together
Boil for 8mins
Cool for 10mins
Beat it smooth and spread over the cake
Scatter the almonds on top


Sunday, 31 May 2015

Black Forest Cupcakes



I made this for my friend Lauren's Coffee Morning for Race for Life (donate here). I had some frozen berries left over so I thought I would tweak a double chocolate muffins recipe from my Cupcakes book by Carol Pastor and make them into some gooey, chocolatey, fruity noms - all for a good cause!

Makes 16 large muffins

400g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2tbsp cocoa powder
115g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
150mlplain yoghurt
150ml milk
60ml sunflower or vegetable oil
175g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
Line a muffin tray with paper cases
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl
Stir in the sugar
Make a well in the centre
Separately, beat the eggs, yoghurt, milk and oil together
Add to the dry ingredients
Add the chocolate and berries
Fold in until just mixed
Spoon into the paper cases until almost to the top
Bake for 25-30 mins
Leave to stand and serve warm or cool on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container



   

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Spicy Meat Gumbo

I found this recipe in Jamie Oliver's Jamie's America, and it is now one of my favourites! It does take a long time, but it is definitely worth it. I did it for 3, and changed some of the ingredients based on what we had in, so buy the book for the original!

Serves 3

3 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
150g chorizo, thickly sliced
3 rashers of bacon, roughly chopped
1/2 a large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 sticks of celery trimmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 heaped tbsps plain flour
3 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
500g potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
750ml hot chicken stock
1tsp dried parsley

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper
Put a large pot on a high heat, add a little oil and fry the sausage, bacon and chicken for 15mins, until golden brown and crispy
Remove to a dish
Turn the heat down and add the onion, peppers and celery
Slowly stir and fry for 10mins until softened
Stir in the flour and cook for about 10mins, until it turns the colour of peanut butter
Add the garlic, potatoes, meats, thyme, parsley and bay leaves and stir and fry for 1min
Pour in the hot chicken stock
Bring everything to the boil
Turn down and simmer on a medium heat for 45mins
Cook some rice according to the packet instructions while it is simmering
Serve on a big plate and enjoy!