Hello all! I know I have not posted in a couple of weeks, I have been a busy lady! But I am back now 🙂 Let’s see what’s cooking.
Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite flavour combinations and since we had a bowl full of oranges at home, I couldn’t help myself but to bake a cake. I have never tried to make a marble cake before but I thought it looked like fun. So I gave it a try.
I got the recipe from BBC Good Food and it worked perfectly. Its a simple cake batter that is divided into two, and then flavour one with cocoa powder. All you have to do is add a spoonful of each mixture into the tin, one after the other and then run a knife through the mixture to add the marble effect. Now I admit, my marbling skills need some work as I was too afraid to over mix it and lose the effect. But at least I tried! Next time I know that I can be a bit more adventurous when mixing. Ooh.
It took forever to bake but it was worth it in the end. A really soft and airy sponge with a lovely hint of orange coming through. I drizzled some good quality dark chocolate over the top and this finished it off perfectly. This one is going in the recipe book.
Have you got any ideas of what I can make next? All ideas welcome!
I love pancake day! Or Shrove Tuesday…I’ll be honest, I don’t really know the meaning behind it but if it means that I am socially encouraged to eat pancakes then so be it. I guess I am just a conformist.
I went for the sweet option this morning, with lemon, sugar and blueberries but you can put anything on these bad boys. Sweet, savoury or a bit of both. They are so versatile and can be filled with anything, whether its with ham and cheese, Nutella or maple syrup. But just not all together.
I only made four pancakes this morning (and no I didn’t eat them all) and for that I used 50g plain flour, 1 egg and 150ml of milk and a pinch of salt. It’s the perfect combination for two people or one greedy person. Whisk it all together and get cooking! I was too afraid to flip them but one of these days I will put my mind to it and achieve my goals. Anything is possible!
So go ahead, have a bit of fun in the kitchen today, whether it’s with your kids, partner or dog. Whip up a batch when you get in from work and treat yourself.
So you see the word ‘healthy’ before something that is supposed to be a treat, and you automatically think it is going to be horrible right? Wrong! I’ve never tried one of those recipes that replaces every normal ingredient for something exotic and hard to find because I simply can’t be bothered to look for these ingredients. Plus the staff in the supermarkets might think I’m weird if I start asking for agave nectar and egg substitutes.
But I found this recipe for carrot muffins on cookieandkate.com and they are absolutely delicious. Kate uses coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter and sweetens it with maple syrup and the natural sweetness from the carrots and the raisins. It even has yogurt in there!
What I loved about this recipe is that it used ingredients that you are bound to find in most homes. I didn’t have to go searching the aisles for any unusual ingredients and could whip them up really quickly.
It’s also great to give to children (or hungry husbands) and you don’t have to feel too guilty about it. Now I am all for a treat now and again, but I seem to crave it too often so this is a great alternative. Plus they taste really good!
Click on the link above to see the recipe and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed!
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!
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.
I went to Brixton yesterday and found myself in a small converted shipping container called ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’. A tiny restaurant with a big personality! Brixton is full of great pop up places to eat, from jerk chicken to fresh ramen, you are spoilt for choice.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is run by, guess who…Zoe! She cooks the most amazing Ghanian food like I have never tasted before. I tried the most succulent lamb chops marinated in a number of spices and served with a peanut sauce. Next, traditional fried chicken – Ghana style! The chicken was the crispiest chicken I have ever had with a wonderful blend of spices, including nutmeg. Delicious!
If this hadn’t filled me up already, I tried some plantain chips. Soft, sweet and flavourful served with some beans. A local ingredient that I’ve tried before, plantain can be baked, fried or made into chips. Its so yummy and very comforting. Lastly, Zoe made some Yam balls, she mashed the yams and mixed them with garlic and spices and then deep fried them. All served hot with a spicy dip and salsa.
I love this place, it is quirky, stylish and very welcoming. I can honestly say I will go back there for some more traditional home cooked food, or better yet I might go to Ghana! But I think a trip to Brixton might be cheaper.
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 recipe 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.