Thursday, 25 October 2012

It begins

I'm setting myself a baking challenge, usually I just make whatever I have the ingredients, and if it's messy, slightly burnt, weird tasting it's no biggie, it gets eaten, but my challenge is to attempt to bake to the best of my ability and create food that I'm really proud of, and the hardest bit for me, looks beautiful! I've been stockpiling ingredients for a while, baking is so much more fun when you have different nuts nd seeds and decorations and flavours to improvise with. I'll be following some recipes but trying to add my own twist on them.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mozzarella, tomato and pesto tart


Ingredients

350g ready roll puff pastry
1 punnet of cherry plum tomatoes
1 ball of mozzarella
2/3 tbs pesto
Balsamic to drizzle
Sea salt and black pepper

Super easy and quick, preheat the oven the 200, roll the pastry out then leaving a 2 cm gap around the edge cover the base with the pesto.
Chop the tomatoes up and then sprinkle on top of the pesto, then drizzle some balsamic over the top of them.
Then cube the mozzarella and sprinkle that on top.
Grind some salt and pepper over to taste.
Oven cook for about twenty minutes :)

I had mine with a really simple green salad, but if you were hungrier or had guests a potato salad would be a nice addition.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Vanilla cupcakes


  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Half a teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons milk

METHOD

Serves: Makes 12
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line the tin with the muffin cases.
  2. It couldn't be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
  3. Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  4. Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  5. I know it looks as if you'll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack

Spinach and feta filo pie and mixed tomato salad


I'm adding spinach to everything at the moment in a desperate attempt to up my iron, this is one of my favourites :)

the pie

1 pack of ready made filo
1 large bag of spinach
1 pack of feta
a large handful of pecan nuts, crushed
the juice of half a lemon

the salad

mixed leaves
a selection of tomatoes, I had red and yellow cherries and baby plums

dressing

dijon mustard
balsamic
red wine vinegar
honey
olive oil
salt and pepper

Pan fry the spinach, then mix in a bowl with crumbled feta and the pecans and the lemon juice.
Criss cross the filo over a tart tray, place the filling in the middle and then fold the filo over the top, then brush the top of the pastry with olive oil.
Oven cook for twenty minutes at 200.

Salad, just chop all the tomatoes, mix the dressing to your taste.


Sunday, 30 November 2008

Warming Winter Stew


This is a bit of a chuck everything in recipe so no real skill involved. Still tastes yummy though :D




Ingredients

3 carrots sliced
1 courgette sliced
1 white onion diced
100g quorn mince
1 stock cube
1 tbs beef gravy granules (I use bisto as its vegetarian, but it makes the quorn taste a bit meatier)
8 dumplings (feel free to make from scratch, I went for packet mix cos this is a lazy dinner!)

Preheat the oven to 180c
Dissolve the stock cube and gravy granules in 500g of boiling water.
Chuck all of the ingredients (veg, dumplings and stock) into a casserole dish with a lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
I recommend serving with mash potato.

Can you get any easier? Perfect for warming up now the weathers turned icy.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

*~Fairy Cakes~*


Is there any food cuter and more kitch than the fairy cake? They are one of the first things I ever learned to bake and years later still hold the same charm.
The real fun is in the decoration though. I cant do anything that fancy (if you want to see some professional like cakes look at Nanci's on the intrepid fatty, wow!) but a little butter icing goes a long way :)

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
half teaspoon vanilla extract
12-bun cake tin lined with 12 cake cases

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using an electric whisk or food processor.
Spoon into 12 cake cases.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.

I separated my mixture before baking and added a teaspoon of coco powder for chocolate fairy cakes.
For the icing I mixed 50g of butter with 100g of icing sugar and a teaspoon of warm water.
I added half a teaspoon of vanilla extract for the vanilla fairy cakes. For the chocolate cakes I did the same again except I added a tablespoon of nutella instead of vanilla. For the bug cakes I did the same for a third time and added a teaspoon of green food colouring. I then decorated with icing bee's and ladybirds.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Mushroom and Ricotta Pie

Winter is here and to celebrate I'm bringing out the hearty food! I love pies, the possibility's are endless, yet manufacturers seem to think no meat must mean cheese and onion filling and nothing but?
I went for mushroom and ricotta this time. The mushrooms have quite a subtle taste, nothing like the earthy pocini's. This pie is creamy and rich but not overpoweringly so, I quite easily went for a second slice (as did my mum and cousin Martha who were over for dinner) :)

500g shortcrust pastry
200g ricotta
3 large free range eggs
1 punnet of button mushrooms sliced
1 small red onion diced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
cracked black pepper
a handful of mature cheddar

1.Roll out the pastry and line a medium sized cake tin (or whatever sort of dish you like to bake pies in). Then cook in a preheated oven at 200c for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile fry the onions over a medium heat for five minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further two minutes until all is soft.
3. In a bowl mix the eggs, ricotta, mushroom mixture and the season generously with black pepper.
4. Pour mixture into the pastry and sprinkle the cheddar over the top.
5. Cook in the oven (still at 200c) for 45 minutes.