Sunday, 13 February 2011

Le Macaron!

Apparently maracroons/macarons are the new cupcakes so thought i had better jump on the bandwagon quick! These were surprisingly easy to make and i was nervous about it as not really worked with egg whites that much. However they were a doddle and tasted great. However, may have been some beginners luck as a second attemped was no where near as good. Too grainy.
175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
3 large egg whites
75g caster sugar
Food colouring and filling of your choice

Whizz the icing sugar and almonds in food processor until fine (i think this is an important stage my second attempt was grainy and i think i under whizzed the sugar and almonds). Sieve into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peakes. Then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until thick and glossy. At this point add any colouring or flavouring and mix.
Fold in half the almond/icing mix and mix well. Add the second half and use a spatula to fold until shiny and has thick ribobn like consistency.
Spoon into a piping bag. Prepare greased, lined trays. Pipe rounds onto the trays. Tap the trays on the surface and leave for 10-15 mins to form a slight skin.
Bake in 140 fan for 15 mins. Leave to cool before peeling away. Fill with preferred filling and sandwhich together.

Ginger biscuits with white chocolate

I discovered what a great combination white chocolate and ginger is at my nephew's birthday party. His mum had made a gingerbread house and used white chocolate to stick the smarties etc on with. As we were picking at it afterwards with both agreed white chocoate and ginger was divine!
So with Valentines day in mind (any excuse to bake) I decide to make these Ginger Biscuits drizzled with White Chocolate

Ginger Biscuits :
125g butter
100g dark muscavado
3.5 tbsp golden syrup
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarb. of soda
2tsp ground ginger

Melt the butter, muscavado and syrup in a pan. In a bowl mix the flour, bicarb and ginger. Pour the melted mixture into the flour mixture and form a stiff dough. Add more water or flour as necessary.
Roll out and cut into shapes.
Prepare greased, lined baking sheets. Place biscuits on baking tray and bake in 180 fan oven. Be careful over the cooking time if you over cook the biscuits will be extra crunchy (hard). 10 mins should do it but keep an eye on depending on how you like them.
Once the biscuits are out of the oven and cooled melt 100g bar of white chocolate in the microwave (don't over do it in the micro otherwise the choc will prove. When the bowl is hot take it out and stir and the chocoate will melt). Drizzle choc over biscuits and leave to set.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Chilli Jam

Although this is called Chilli Jam it is savoury not for toast! Goes well with cheese, cold meats or as a dipping sauce. You can can use any strength of chilli you like to suit your pallet!

150g Long Red chillies deeseeded and chopped
1 Red Bell pepper deseeded and chopped
1kg Jam Sugar
600ml Cider Vinegar

First task is to deseed the chillies - I would recommend wearing rubber gloves for this the chilli stays on your hands for a long time and rubbing eyes etc is very painful if you forget!
Next deseed and chop the bell pepper. Put the chilles and the pepper into a food processor and whiz until finely chopped.
Next pour the vinegar into a large pan and add the jam sugar. Jam sugar is essential for this recipe as it guarantees a set there wont be any pectin in chilli or pepper.
Warm the vinegar and sugar over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved try not to stir it too much.
Once the sugar has dissolved (it wont go completed clear but you will see when its more or less dissolved the colour will change and you wont really see the sugar but dont be too worried about this stage as when you boil the sugar will dissolve) add the chilli and pepper mix
Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes.
After ten mins turn off the heat and leave in the pan for 40 mins to cool. As it cools the chilli will start to be suspended in the jam rather than sitting on the top this confirms that its starting to solidify.
Whilst waiting for it to cool and set slightly prepare your glass jars as you would for jam (sterelise and keep warm in the oven)
When you are ready to pot use a jam funnel to fill your jars - this makes about 3 standard jam jars with a bit left over that you can eat straight away!
Once cool cover with wax discs, put on lids and store in cool dark place until you are ready to use. Can be stored unopened for up to a year but once opened keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks

Green Tomato Chutney

2.5kg Green Tomatoes roughly chopped
500g Onions sliced
4tsp Salt
1 Litre Malt Vinegar
500g Soft Brown Sugar
250 Saltanas roughly chopped

The day before you plan to make this you have to chop the tomatoes and onions. Put them in a large pan and add the 4 tsp of salt. Leave overnight. This method draws the liquid out of the tomatoes and onions and reduces the cooking time - even doing this it takes a good two hours to cook.
When you are ready to start put the vinegar and sugar in a large pan and warm over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then raise the heat a little so it is just simmering and add the roughly chopped sultanas. Bring to a gentle boil. Strain the tomatoes and onions - a fair amount of liquid should have been drawn out overnight. Add the tomatoes and onions to the vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-2.5 hours. The aim is to evaporate most of the liquid before potting.
To pot, steralise glass jars (quater fill with water and put in microwave until water boils. Remove, tip out water and put jars in a low oven so dry and keep warm) and tip in chutney. Leave to cool then cover with wax discs and put lids on. Best left 2-3 weeks before eating though can be used straight away. Perfect for cheese and biscuits or cold meats.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Christmas Cake Price List :

Round Tins :

23cm/9inch approx. 16 slices = £21.00

19/7.5 approx. 12 slices = £15.00

15/6 approx.10 slices = £10.00

11.5/4.5approx. 5 slices = £5.00

Square Tin

18/7 approx 14 slices = £18.00

Cup Cakes

10 Christmas Cake Cup Cakes = £10.00

All regular cakes topped with marzipan and royal icing and decorated with christmas ribbon and motif

Cupcakes topped with marzipan and royal icing

All cakes can be ordered without marzipan and most tastes/allergies etc catered for

Cakes will contain alcohol unless requested otherwise

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Elderflower Champagne

I had zero faith in this working and had nightmares about exploding bottles but it was really really easy and is totally delicious i will be making a lot more next year
I got this recipie from and its a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipie
Makes 6 litres
4 litres Hot Water
700g Sugar
Juice and Zest 4 Lemons
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
15 Elderflower Heads in full bloom (i used about double this)
I used a bucket to make mine. Put hot water and sugar into the bucket and stir until sugar dissolves. Top up with cold water so you have 6 litres in total. Add the lemon juice and zest, white wine vinegar and elderflowers and stir. Cover with muslin (i used pillowcase) and leave in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. The recipe says to check it after two days and its not foaming to add a pinch of yeast. To be honest mine wasnt foaming but when i shook the bucket i could hear it fizz so assumed it was alright. Leave again for another 4 days. Then strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into plastic fizzy drink bottles. I didnt have any glass and didnt want to risk the explosion with glass but the plastic bottle were perfect. Seal bottles and leave to ferment for at least a week before serving chilled.
I really didnt think this would work and would be left with flat scuzz but it really does work and was left with proper fizzy champagne!! (very, very low alcohol content) Lovely flavour and apparently keeps for several months so saving a bottle for christmas

Blackberry Crumble Cake - the last of last years blackberries!

115g Butter
175g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
280g Self Raising
125ml Milk
200g Blackberries
Crumble :
115g Caster Sugar
85g Plain Four
50g Butter

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with electric whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg and fold in the flour and milk. Spoon into tin - i used 9inch square tin. Sprinkle the blackberries over the cake mix. To make the crumble mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl and rub in the butter until you get breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the cake/blackberry mix and bake in oven 180/160/4 for 45 mins
It took longer than this for mine to cook through. There was too much cake mix really i would be tempted to halve the cake mix next time or use a larger, shallower tin. Cake itself is very good will definately make more when the blackberries are in season