Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Yorkshire Puddings

145g plain flour
4 eggs
200ml milk

Preheat the oven to 220C and add a little oil (preferably not olive oil) to your baking tray/ tins/ holder of batter, and put the tin in the oven.
Whisk together the flour and eggs until you have a mixture with no lumps.
Add the milk and whisk until your batter becomes even thinner.
Take out the tin(/s) and pour your mixture in.
Leave the Yorkshire puddings in the oven for at least 30 minutes, or until the batter is cooked.

In my opinion, a Yorkshirte pudding is an oven-baked pancake, or a savoury and blander clafoutis.

You can add seasoning to your mix to go with your meal.

As Yorkshire puddings don't have any flavours in them, you could actually make them sweet OR savoury (although traditionally they are had with your Roast dinner). For instance, you could fill an individual one with creme patissier and strawberries for a Summer twist.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

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Chocolate & Pale Ale cake!

Light moist chocolatey cake-yum! The recipe is simple and the icing absolutely spectacular!
300ml pale ale
75g cocoa powder
270g plain flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
165g unsalted butter
400g DARK soft brown sugar
3 eggs
75g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of ale
2 tablespoons of milk
175g dark chocolate
170g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter and sugar in a food processor and blend.
Pour the mixture into 2 greased cake tins (23 cm) evenly, and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until it has shrunk from the sides of the tin and is springy to touch.
Take the cake out of the oven and let it stay in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Beat the butter and sugar together until a butter icing is made.
In a bain marie melt the chocolate.
When completely melted, take the chocolate out of the bain marie and add the butter icing and all of the liquid.
Fold the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
Spread over the cooled cake.
Leave the icing to firm up before you eat the cake (I know this will be hard!)
Use beer or stout for a richer, heavier and more decadent cake.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bechamel fish + mash + sautéed courgettes

This dish is a delicious quick supper. Just remember to take the fish out of the freezer at least 6 hours prior to serving.

You will need:
4 large potatoes (perhaps Maris Piper- light and fluffy)
4 frozen fish
anchovies (the kind you buy from the deli)
roasted peppers and roasted garlic cloves
a jar of bechamel sauce (you can make your own, but remember this was first made on a Wednesday night at 8 o'clock!)
2 courgettes
2 knobs of butter
dash of cream
pepper (as in salt and pepper)

30 minutes
preheat the oven to 180C
put the defrosted fish in a baking tray and season with pepper.
cover with the anchovies, capers, roasted peppers and garlic cloves.
cover the fish with bechamel sauce.
peel the potatoes and cut into relatively small chunks.
rinse the potatoes to get rid of the excess starch.
put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and put on the hob to boil.
put the fish in the oven.

10 minutes
put a pan on medium heat.
chop the courgettes with a diagonal slant (this will enable the courgette to take in more heat)
put a knob of butter in the pan with a little groundnut oil.
when the butter has melted and combined with the oil, add the courgettes, flipping them every 2 and a half minutes.
drain the potatoes and mash.
add the other knob of butter and a dash of cream and some pepper to the mash and mash.

0 minutes

The capers and anchovies contain a lot of salt, so this is why I haven't put in any additional salt in the recipe.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Coffee and walnut loaf cake

Simple yet yummy cake! This can easily not be a loaf cake, just cook it in a cylindrical tin.
250g self raising flour
250g soft brown sugar
225g soft unsalted butter
4 eggs
40ml very concentrated espresso coffee (about 1tsp ground espresso)
20ml whiskey - optional
handful of roughly chopped walnuts
250g icing sugar
25g soft unsalted butter
175g cream cheese
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a (loaf) tin.
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy, like a butter icing.
Add the eggs one at a time whilst constantly beating.
Pour in the coffee and whiskey and mix.
Fold in the flour and make sure the mixture is combined.
Add the walnuts and give a quick stir.
Pour the mixture in the tin and cook in the oven for at least 40 minutes.
When the cake mixture is cooked, turn out on a wire rack so that the air can get to it and the cake can cool down.
Beat the unsalted butter and cream cheese into a smooth paste.
Add the espresso mixture and icing sugar and beat until there are NO lumps.
Spread evenly/drizzle the mixture over the cake.
The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Well it might be gone before it reaches anywhere near three days...
If the butter is not soft, put it in the oven for 10-30 seconds, depending on how big the butter pieces are. REMEMBER, you don't want to melt the butter, just soften it.
Take the eggs out at leat 30 minutes prior to using so that the mixture doesn't curdle.
If you stick a fork into the sponge and it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cake is cooked.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bread and butter pudding

Our bread and butter puddings

Bread and butter pudding is a traditional British dessert that I have been keen to try for a while after being told it was not soggy bread as I had assumed.


A loaf of sliced plain white bread

Butter (I would use unsalted unless making a caramel sea salt flavour or chocolate and salt bread and butter pudding)


Cherries soaked in kirsch

5 eggs

200ml of milk (plus more if needed)

a tablespoon of soft brown sugar, or caster sugar

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease an ovenproof bowl or baking tray with butter.

Generously butter the bread and begin to tile around your baking dish. After you have done one layer, sprinkle on some raisins and some cherries.

Repeat this until you have filled up the dish.

Whisk the eggs and milk together until one liquid.

Pour the liquid evenly over the bread. If you don't have enough make and add more egg/milk mixture.

Squash down the bread with a spoon to compress it.

Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust in brown and hardened.

Eat 5 minutes after it has come out of the oven.

Bread and butter pudding is also nice for breakfast straight from the fridge.

Remember there's barely any sugar, and there is fruit in it (-and unless you alter it, NO cream!)


Replace some of the milk with cream, yoghurt or creme fraiche.

Add chocolate chips to the pudding before you cook it.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


For me, baguette is the best bread to use.

In a hot oven (about 180C) put in some sliced bread.
Meanwhile, chop up cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
When the bread has been nicely toasted/ crusty on top (normally about 5 minutes), rub garlic on them. By rubbing garlic on them, the garlic infuses the bread without being overpowering.
Drizzle olive oil over the bread, and top with the tomato salsa.

Variations/ additions
Just top the bread with whatever you like, but a few suggestions are:
Chorizo, shallots (finely sliced), buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil pesto.

This dish is really light, so perfect for a starter or light lunch. It's healthy and can be altered to many different tastes.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Azuki bean paste

What is it?
Azuki bean paste is more commonly known as red bean paste. It originated in China and is mostly used in South East Asian cooking (Chinese, Japanese and Korean). The beans are dark red.

What does it taste like?
Sweet but bland. Just like mashed red beans...

How do I make it?
Boil the red (azuki) beans and mash. To sweeten the taste (which the Japanese do because they tend to use the paste for sweet things,) you add either sugar or honey.

Anything I should know?
For a smoother taste, you should push the paste through a sieve just as you might push a raspberry coulis through a sieve to remove the seeds. Sieving the Azuki beans removes their husks.

Daifuku is my absolutely FAVOURITE Japanese dessert, I strongly recommend trying them!

Daifuku is also known as daifukumochi and translates as great luck. It is a 'glutinous' rice cake filled with the red bean paste.

Here is a recipe for Daifuku:

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Beef Rogan Josh

beef (I used stewing, but casserole is probably best)
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes (add more depending on your taste)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinammon
1 medium tomato (about half the size of your palm), chopped
4 tbsp vegetable oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
10 cardamom pods
150ml orangle juice
400ml water
How to make:
In a food processor, blitz the tomato, cumin, chilli, ginger, cinammon, garlic, salt and onion to a paste.
In a deep saucepan pour in the vegetable oil.
Whilst the oil is heating up, cut the beef into bitesize chunks, and lightly crush the cardamom pods.
Put the cardamom and beef into the pan and wait for the beef to brown.
When the beef has browned, add in the spice paste you made.
Constantly the beef and paste around the saucepan for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add in the orange juice and 150ml of water.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and leave to simmer for an hour.
Every 10 minutes, stir the curry, and if the sauce has reduced to much, add some of the remaining (250ml) water.
The beef should be tender when it has simmered for an hour on the hob. If it is not tender after and hour, give it an extra 15 minutes, but no more.
Serve with rice or naan (or in my case, Yorkshire puddings...)
Use lamb (which is the traditional meat used).
Replace the water and orange juice with beer for a more filling taste.


450g my muesli mix (oats, raisins, nuts)
40g dried fruits - optional
200g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
200g honey

How to make:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the honey, butter and sugar in a pan over a medium heat until it has become one joint liquid and all the sugar has dissolved.
Add all the rest of the ingredients into the pan and mix.
Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
When you take it out of the oven, cool in the tin and then cut into pieces.

This is the healthiest I can make it... If you want a good indulgent one, use 400g rolled oats, 150g unsalted butter, 50g salted butter, 200g caster/muscovado sugar, 200g golden syrup and follow the same instructions as above.
Dip the flapjacks into yoghurt (healthy) or chocolate (not healthy).
However, if you don't like my recipe, this website is absolutely foolproof. http://duramecho.com/Food/Flapjack/ The only change to it that I would make would be to use 100% rolled oats as they give a much better flavour and texture.

Monday, 2 January 2012

5 minute champagne breakfast!

You will need:
2 eggs
pepper (as in pepper and salt)
smoked salmon
a bottle of champagne
2 oranges

5 minutes:
put the champagne in the fridge
crack the eggs in a cup and beat furiously whilst adding pepper and salt to season
put the pan on the hob with a bit of butter and heat

4 minutes:
juice the oranges

3 minutes:
pour the egg into the pan
get the smoked salmon out of the fridge
stir the egg around the pan

2 minutes:
you can either chop up the salmon and add to the scrambled egg in the pan, or you can serve it on the side of your plate. I f you put the salmon into the egg, do it now!
stir the egg
open the champagne

1 minute:
pour the champagne into a glass and pour orange juice into it
put your egg (and smoked salmon onto a plate)

0 minute:

You can always leave out the juice or replace with a different juice- pineapple juice is especially tasty with it!
Replace smoked salmon with ham or bacon.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


My first (and quite possibly the only) healthy recipe of 2012.


500g large rolled oats
200g raisins
100g toasted hazlenuts
100g flaked almonds

Put all the ingredients into a box and shake.

This is only a basic recipe, so you can add whatever you like.

This muesli can be used as the base for a cheesecake (if you add a little melted butter).
With a little less raisins, you can use this with a mixture of breadcrumbs for the outside of a fish cake!