Monthly Archives: October 2015

Gin Drizzle Cake

2015-07-05 17.18.35

Think lemon drizzle cake, but with added gin. Yes, it is as good as it sounds, and yes this cake is just for adults!

There have been a few articles in the news recently that gin actually has health benefits such as helps reduce wrinkles, fight cancer and is low in calories so is good for your waistline. I came across the recipe for this cake and although I never need an excuse for a little gin, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

This recipe is slightly different to usual cake recipes because it doesn’t have set weights for each ingredient. The weight of the eggs dictates the weight of the sugar, butter and flour so each cake will be slightly different. As it could be slightly different each time it is important to check the cake with a cocktail stick to make sure it is baked.

2015-07-05 17.19.20

I’ve made this cake a couple of times now; once for a family BBQ and another time when my Uni friends came to stay. Everyone has enjoyed it so far, although my Uni friends did find it a little strong at first. I think this was partly due to them wanting to eat it as soon as I had poured the drizzle on. When they had some more the following day, the gin had had time to seep into the cake so the flavour wasn’t as stong.

The recipe is from Truly Madly Kids. In the original recipe, they keep the cake in the tin when pouring the drizzle on. This would help keep all of the drizzle in the cake and not dripping off, but I was worried this would make the cake too saturated. Take your pick at which method you would like to try.

For the cake
4 medium eggs – weigh with their shells on
Caster sugar – the same weight as the eggs
butter – the same weight as the eggs
Self raising flour – the same weight as the eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
90ml gin

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 1kg loaf tin
  2. Cream together the sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on a high speed
  3. Add the flour and lemon zest and mix again until smooth. Add the gin and lemon juice and mix again

2015-07-05 10.33.41

  1. Pour the mix into the loaf tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean – test it after about 35-40 minutes. Mine took roughly 50 minutes

2015-07-05 10.41.12

  1. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the tin and leaving it to cool completely on a wire rack

2015-07-05 11.38.34

For the drizzle
110ml gin
150g granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Mix the gin, lemon juice together, I do this in a jug so it is easier to pour over the cake

2015-07-05 13.38.25

  1. Make holes in the cake with a skewer. Keeping the cake on the wire rack, but a baking try underneath the rack to catch any drizzle that doesn’t soak into the cake

2015-07-05 13.44.06

  1. Slowly pour the drizzle mixture over the cake

2015-07-05 15.01.30

The second time I made this cake, the sugar hardened on top a bit more so was more visible which I thought looked quite nice. Not quite sure why it did this time but not the first time!

2015-07-19 14.55.35

Gym Bunny Mummy

Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

 

Peppery rocket draped with flavoursome cured ham and sweet delicious figs, this salad is definitely something a little special. 

I am obsessed with figs. Not only are they delicious, they are really pretty too. I spend all year waiting for them to come into season and then eat as many of them as possible. I am always shocked by how many people have never seen them let alone tried them. My mother in law had only tried them dried in fig rolls before and two of my friends at work had no idea what it was when I brought them into work. 

I am making it my little mission to make as many people aware of figs as possible so I insisted that my friends tried them. You should have seen their faces, you would have thought I was asking them to try something really weird. They both thought the figs were alright which is a much better reaction than I thought I was going to get!

This is a great recipe to try if you haven’t eaten figs before because it is so easy and includes familiar ingredients too. Most people may associate figs with sweet dishes, like my Honey, Fig and Mascarpone Cupcakes. However figs go really well as part of a savoury dish and add a great sweetness. This salad makes a lovely starter or light lunch and is really healthy.

This salad is really simple and quick to whip up. I first made this just for myself thinking it wouldn’t be Mr Curly’s kind of thing. He had a little bit to give it a try and really liked it so ended up eating half of it! In the week since I made it, he has kept asking when I am going to make it again because he loved it.

I decided to use Prosciutto, but feel free to use Parma or Serano ham instead – just use whichever cured ham you fancy. With the dressing, you can either use balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze. This recipe is definitely not set in stone, the quantities below are just a guide so if you want more of one ingredient, go for it.

Updated October 2017

Serves 2 
1 bag of rocket 
3 – 4 figs 
4 slices of Prosciutto
20g Parmesan
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze  

  1. Rinse the rocket if it hasn’t already been washed and scatter over your serving plate or bowl
  2. Cut the figs into quarters or sixths depending on how big they are and add them to the rocket
  3. Drape slices of Prosciutto over the plate
  4. Grate the Parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler so you get curls of cheese
  5. Drizzle the salad with balsamic vinegar

2015-10-03 17.49.46

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2015-10-11 17.09.45

Moist cake with smooth cream cheese frosting, a true British Classic cake.

Carrot cake is hands down the most popular type of cake that I make. I’ve been making carrot cupcakes for ages now, but sometimes you just want a lovely big cake. I have made some very small changes to the recipe to adapt it to make a cake instead of cupcakes. This mix is perfect for making a two or three layer cake.

It is no secret that I really don’t like making carrot cake. The only reason for this is I really don’t like grating carrots (yes I realise that sounds lazy). However, as I am still borrowing (holding hostage) my Mum’s MagiMix, I used the grater attachment. Oh my goodness, I need to get myself a MagiMix! It made grating the carrots an absolute breeze, but not only that the carrot was quite a coarse grate which added a lovely texture to the cake. I should mention that I’m not being asked to rave about MagiMix’s in my last few blog posts, I am just genuinely excited by how great they are.

2015-10-11 12.36.16

I had big plans of how I was going to pipe little carrots onto this cake, but as you can see that never happened. As with most of my weekends I start off wanting to do loads of things and then realise weekends aren’t as long as I wish they were. So I decided to go with a simple decoration of bronze crunch around the edges.

I can’t believe GBBO is finished! At the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to be able to bake along until the end as I thought I would have either moved house or had everything packed ready to move. I am very pleased that Nadiya won and along with half of the UK, I teared up a little bit!

2015-10-11 16.59.10

For the cake:
150g light brown sugar
150g dark brown sugar
3 free range medium eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp (heaped) cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
300g grated carrot

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line two or three 8 inch cake tins
  2. Mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Before adding the sugar to the rest of the ingredients, try to break up any large lumps in the sugar
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together
  4. Gradually add the wet mix to the dry mix stirring as you go
  5. Add the carrots and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed

2015-10-11 13.00.50

  1. Split the mix between the prepared cake tins and smooth. Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes if you are using two tins or 20- – 25 minutes. Use a cocktail stick to test the cake, it is cooked when the stick comes out clean

2015-10-11 13.02.35

  1. Allow to cool slightly in the tins before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting

For the frosting:
75g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar
185g full fat cream cheese

  1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Beat it until it is softened

2015-10-11 15.52.59

  1. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined before adding the cream cheese. Mix until combined

2015-10-11 16.05.12

  1. Place one of the cakes upside down on your serving plate and put half of the frosting if you’ve made a two layer cake or one third if you’ve made three layers on top and spread out evenly

2015-10-11 16.06.52

  1. For the top layer, place it on top the right way up and smooth the remaining frosting

2015-10-11 16.57.20

Mummy Mishaps

Check out Mummy Mishaps and The Boy Who Cooked to see what other people have linked up to #GBBOBloggers2015 with

Ravioli Lasagne

2015-09-27 19.04.51

Rich bolognese packed with layers of tasty ravioli and melted cheese. Such a deliciously comforting dish with approximately 500 calories per portion makes it a healthier option without compromising on the taste.

This recipe was heavily influenced by a recipe my Mum made a few times when I was growing up. All I could remember was the recipe used ravioli instead of lasagne and had a bolognese style sauce. I’m pretty sure it had some form of white sauce as you would usually expect from a lasagne too but I can’t be sure. Instead of asking my Mum to hunt around for the recipe, I thought I would take elements of it and make my version of it. This also meant I could try and keep an eye on the calories in it too!

We have become a little bit too relaxed with healthy eating in my house recently so we decided enough was enough and are back on track trying to watch what we eat a bit more. This doesn’t mean I won’t have treats, but where I can I’ll try and make things a bit healthier.

This recipe is an example of this as I have used lean beef mince – although it won’t make a massive difference, every little helps! I’ve also used parmesan cheese and half – fat mozzarella. With parmesan, a small amount goes quite a long way and although the mozarella like all low-fat cheese options may not melt as seductively as normal cheese, it still tastes great and doesn’t make you feel as guilty! Obviously you do not need to use the low fat options, but in my opinion there really is no reason not to.

As well as making a very tasty dinner, we had plenty of leftovers for lunches which was equally as tasty. What this recipe lacks in prettiness, it definitely makes up for in flavour!

500g lean mince beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp rosemary, chopped
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 Oxo beef cubes
Spray oil
400g ravioli – I used beef and wine ravioli
225g half fat mozzarella
40g parmesan

  1. Put a pan on a medium heat and spray with oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften and go translucent, but not brown

2015-09-27 16.54.26

  1. Add the mince and using a wooden spoon, break the mince up into small pieces so you don’t get big lumps. Stir until all the meat is browned
  2. Once browned, add the celery and carrot. Add the tomato puree and stir before adding the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, salt and pepper

2015-09-27 17.10.40

  1. Add the tinned tomatoes and then fill the empty tin with water from a recently boiled kettle – be careful as the tin will be hot, add it to the pan and stir
  2. Crumble in the Oxo cubes and let is simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can leave it on a low heat to blip away for a few hours, just make sure you add some more water if it starts looking dry

2015-09-27 17.16.00

  1. The liquid should have reduced so that it coats the meat but isn’t too wet – you don’t want too much liquid as it will be too wet when you bake it

2015-09-27 18.35.18

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC while you assemble the lasagne
  2. Using a large oven proof dish, layer the base with half of the ravioli and then cover with half of the meat mixture

2015-09-27 18.34.41

  1. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan over the meat and pasta and then repeat using up the rest of the ingredients

2015-09-27 18.38.03

  1. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted

2015-09-27 19.00.11

  1. Serve with a side salad or whatever else you fancy

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Milk Chocolate Tart

2015-10-04 16.40.55

Crisp shortcrust pastry filled with rich, soft and deliciously smooth chocolate. This tart is chocolate heaven!

This week was chocolate week on GBBO; always a good week in my opinion. The contestant’s made chocolate tarts, chocolate souffle and a chocolate sculpture. If you follow my blog you’ll know by now that I wasn’t ever going to attempt a chocolate sculpture and a souffle seemed too scary; so a tart it was!

My tart experience is extremely low. Last year when I was baking along to the Bake Off, I made a savoury tart and that was my first. Baking along this year has meant I have made my second tart! I would like to get more practice with tarts and pastry in general. As you can see from my photos, my pastry isn’t the neatest but I suppose that will improve with practice.

I had a look through some recipes and decided that I wanted to have a go at a milk chocolate tart with normal shortcrust pastry. On the show, most of the contestants used chocolate shortcrust pastry and mentioned that it was harder to work with so I thought I would keep it as simple as I could and find a recipe using normal shortcrust pastry. The recipe I found was by Andy Bates on the Food Network UK website (http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/milk-chocolate-tart.html). I only realised while I was writing up this recipe that there was a video as well as instructions (my iPad didn’t want to share this with me!). After watching the video, I think mine turned out quite well in comparison. I was pleased to see that his pastry was quite crumbly too – my crust in particular proved tricky to hold together when cutting.

2015-10-04 16.41.27

The recipe requires a 28cm tart tin, however mine was roughly 24cm and not quite the 4cm deep required. I had pastry and chocolate filing left over, so I made two mini tarts too. I used the same method and timings all the way through until when I baked them with the filling, the small tarts only needed 25 minutes.

My Mum has kindly lent me her food processor which her Mum bought for her years ago (possibly over 25 years ago). Since borrowing it I have used it when making chutney, buttercream and the pastry for this recipe. I thought using my K-Mix to make buttercream was fast but the MagiMix was something else – silky smooth buttercream in seconds! Making this pastry was also a breeze – add all the ingredients and pulse a few times and you’re done. I’ll definitely be adding one to my Christmas list!

The tart is very rich so I recommend a small slice. If you’re feeling really extravagant, you could serve the tart with some cream or ice cream. The chocolate filling is so soft and smooth it really does melt in your mouth.

For the shortcrust pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
150g butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk

By hand

  1. For the pastry, mix together the flour and sugar. Add the salt and butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Beat together the egg yolk and whole egg and gradually add these at the same time as bringing the dough together until a ball forms
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough

2015-10-04 11.30.56

  1. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC
  3. Lightly flour the surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2mm

2015-10-04 12.12.06

  1. Carefully line the tart tin (28cm) cutting off most of the excess, I leave a small amount hanging over to allow for any shrinkage during cooking

2015-10-04 12.57.23

  1. Put the tart tin on a baking tray and allow to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes
  2. Line the tart tin with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Make sure you get them as close to the edges of the tin as possible as this will help the pastry keep its shape. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes

2015-10-04 13.36.29

  1. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until the pastry starts to tun golden brown

2015-10-04 13.58.40

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the overhanging pastry

2015-10-04 14.15.30

  1. Turn the oven down to 140ºC

For the filling
450ml single cream
600g milk chocolate (over 35% cocoa)
150ml whole milk
3 eggs

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl

2015-10-04 14.15.40

  1. Bring the milk and cream to the boil and then pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined. It will look a little messy at first but keep stirring and it will come together

2015-10-04 14.16.26

  1. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes and then add the beaten eggs. Stir until the eggs are completely combined

2015-10-04 14.28.37

  1. Fill the tart with the chocolate filling. Carefully put the tart in the middle of the oven to bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the filling looks set but has a slight wobble when shook

2015-10-04 14.30.32

  1. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before serving

2015-10-04 15.16.38

Mummy Mishaps

pp

 

Please visit www.mummymishaps.co.uk and http://www.bakingqueen74.co.uk to check out what everyone else has been baking for #GBBOBloggers2015 and #PerfectingPatisserie