Winter warming apple crumble :)

I’m not sure about you but I am definitely feeling the cold! Dark mornings and frosty streets tells me that winter is upon us. I don’t mind the winter, as long as I am wrapped up at home with a blanket and a good book šŸ˜‰

Something else I like during this cold seasonĀ is a warm comforting dessert on a Sunday evening. Dessert after Sunday dinner is good for the soul, that’s what I think anyway.

Why not try a really simple dessert of apple crumble? Its something that can be whipped up in no time, or something that is good to get the kids involved with. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really use a recipe for this apple crumble because I only wanted to make enough for 3 people.

So all I did was chop up 3 small apples (with the skin left on) and put them in a pan with a knob of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and ginger powder. Put the pan on a low heat and stew the apples for a few minutes, not too long though or you will have apple mush. You can add any flavour you want to your fruit, so be creative! I added raisins to mine (doesn’t sound very creative but it tasted lovely). Place the apples in a oven proof dish and place aside.

Then all you need to do is make the crumble mix. You can find lots of recipes online or use equal quantities of flour, sugar and oats, and half the amount of butter. For example, I used 40g of flour, sugar and oats and 20g of butter. Rub all the ingredients together until you have a breadcrumb like consistency and scatter over the fruit mixture. And there you have it! Place the crumble in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Serve with either custard or vanilla ice cream. Ooh its yummy! What other combinations do you like?

Thanks for reading šŸ™‚ Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.ukĀ 

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Baba Ganoush and Flatbread

Baba Ganoush! Have you ever tried it? I think I just made it because I like to say it…Baba Ganoooooush. Go on say it with me, I can hear you trying to pronounce it.

Baba Ganoush is a mezze or dip that is made from roasted aubergines and it widely eaten in Lebanese cuisines. Now I know what you are thinking, it is not the most attractive looking dish, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up in flavour.

It is very easily made and you can whip it up in no time. Just roast an aubergine in the oven until dark and soft (don’t forget to prick the aubergine with a fork before roasting, otherwise it will explode and you will end up wearing it) and leave to cool afterwards. Then scoop out the flesh and roughly chop it up. After this, simply add 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste), 1 fresh garlic clove (minced), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can spice it up a bit with some cumin seeds if you want that extra flavour and it’s done!

It’s a great dip that can be eaten with flatbread, pitta bread, or veggies. Yes it is slightly unusual and people might frown at it, but my husband is known for loathing aubergines, and he happily lapped this up. I think the freshly baked bread helped though.

I made a flatbread called ‘Maneesh’ from Paul Hollywood’s recipes (click here for the recipe) and it is so delicious. Easy to make and soft and airy.

So next time you have some people over, why not give it a try? Thanks for reading!

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Garlic, Rosemary and Chilli Sausage Rolls :)

Have you ever tried making your own sausage rolls? They are so easy and a lot tastier than some of those ready made ones you find in the supermarkets. Making your own means you can add whatever flavour you want and you know what goes into them. No hidden nasty ingredients!

All you need is some lean pork mince (I bought the kind with very little fat) and some ready rolled puff pastry. Flavour the mince with whatever you have! I added fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and chilli and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. But you can add the classic combination of sage and onion, or some smoked paprika or fennel seeds. Get creative!

Cut the pastry into long strips (about 3 inches wide), place the pork mince in a long sausage shape in the middle and brush the edges with a beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the mince and seal with a fork. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Lastly, cut them into edible sizes and you are ready to bake! Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

They are so tasty and much better than those bland supermarket sausage rolls. Great for parties, picnics and more. The only problem is trying to not eat them all! Go on…give it a try. Yum.

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Sausage Rolls

Classic Victoria Sponge? Yes please.

I know I know, its January and we are all supposed to be super healthy, but life is too short. And what am I supposed to do when I have extra double cream in the fridge? I can’t let it go to waste. That would be wrong.

There is something very satisfying about a Victoria sponge. Two layers of light and fluffy sponge baked freshly at home, brought together with a layer of jam and cream. Mmm. I used Mary Berry’s recipeĀ for this cake and it works like a dream.

Although after baking this cake a few times, I have picked up a few tricks that have really helped me bake a beautiful light airy sponge. First of all I made sure that all my ingredients are at room temperature, so that my butter is nice and soft and easy to cream and my eggs are not too cold.

I use an electric hand mixer to whip up as much air into my butter and sugar because let’s be honest, my arms are just not cut out for the job. It really does make a difference and saves you a lot of time.

Lastly, I put both cake tins on the same shelf in the oven (luckily they fit) because then it ensures an even bake. And I was very careful to not over bake it. I hate a dry sponge don’t you?

Sandwich the two cakes with a layer of jam and whipped cream, of course the cream is optional, but when given the option why would you say no? And I know what you are thinking, why did I have double cream in my fridge in the first place? Well that’s another story.

Go on, treat yourself!

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Victoria Sponge

A Christmas treat…Gingerbread!

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.

Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.

I got this recipe from BBC Good FoodĀ and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.

They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?

Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!

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Gingerbread man 1 w

 

Why is baking so addictive?

I don’t know what it is but I will find any excuse to bake. I will happily admit that I am not the best baker in town but I like to give it a good go. I am guilty of changing recipes based on what I have in the house, which doesn’t always go my way. But I am a firm believer in having a well stocked cupboard and not running to the shops everyday. And I think my purse thanks me for it.

What is it about baking that is so much fun? Is it seeing a bunch of ingredients transform into something warm and delicious? Or is it the feeling of eating something afterwards that you know is slightly naughty? Yes that is probably it. We all have a dark side.

One of my (and my husbands) favourite biscuits are oatmeal and raisin cookies. I’m not sure if this is because the oats and raisins make us both feel like we are being slightly ‘healthy’, but then we are reminded by the butter and sugar in it and slowly come back to reality.

This is a very easy recipe that I got from one of Mary Berry‘s Bake Off books and it was delicious. A perfect combination of ingredients made the biscuit slightly soft and chewy rather than too crunchy.

The recipe is as follows: 125g softened butter, 150g muscovado sugar, 1 large free-range egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 100g self-raising flour, 75g raisins, 150g porridge oats.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, and then place the rest of the ingredients in and fold through. It’s as easy as that! I added a pinch of cinnamon too because I love it, but you don’t have to. Place small dollops (technical term there) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Let them cool properly on a rack if you can resist eating them straight away. Enjoy!

Baking is good the for soul…go on give it a try.

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The Comforts of Baking

I have to admit it, I have the baking bug. If everything I wanted to make wasn’t made from butter, cream or sugar, I would most likely bake everyday. But then again if I did this, baking wouldn’t be such a treat.

The nation has gone baking mad, with the rising popularity of The Great British Bake off (something I am obsessed about) and celebrity chefs. There is something very soothing about combining a bunch of ingredients, placing it in the oven and seeing it transform into something comforting and delicious.

Breads, cakes, pastries and more, baking has become an art form and a science. There are an endless amount of recipes out there, all so tempting to try! So why not get in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon and whip up something that will make the whole family happy. No need for any experience, everyone has to start somewhere! The feeling of seeing the finished result of something you made from scratch beats buying a factory made cake any day.

This was a coconut and lime tray bake that I adapted from Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle tray bake, and although I know I am not supposed to alter recipes, it was delicious! A great combination and a delicious afternoon treat. Happy baking!

Thanks for reading! Check out my website www.jbimagery.co.ukĀ and subscribe to read more!

Coconut cake

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