Wednesday 27 August 2014

Tiramisu Cupcakes

What can I say? Who doesn't love tiramisu AND cupcakes?! Combine the two and I have a total winner! Seriously, I don’t know where my sweet tooth came from. I think it came from moving to the UK because I never had such a taste for sweets. I had some lady fingers in the cupboard that I as going to make a killer tiramisu recipe out of, but when I was looking at the ingredients, I just was thinking, “Why don’t I try to make cupcakes out of it?” Lately I’ve been on a cupcake kick. Any type of cupcake I want it. Since I’m still improving my baking skills it’s a bit of a hit or miss, but this certainly was a hit! I nearly ate all of the cupcakes I made, luckily I gave some away! There is some alcohol and coffee in this recipe so you can use it as a great excuse not to share any with the kids! This recipe makes 10. Enjoy!
tiramisu cupcakes
Delicious, and for more authentic look, dust with cocoa powder :)

150g butter soft room temperature
150g self-rising flour
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. strong espresso - cold
1 tbsp. marsala wine

125g mascarpone cheese room temperature
50g butter soft
1 tbsp. marsala wine
1 tsp. cocoa powder
300-500g icing sugar

To Start:
Heat oven to 180C
Cream together butter sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
Next add in the vanilla, espresso and marsala wine.
In another bowl sift together salt, baking powder and flour.
Mix in with the wet ingredients a little at a time until everything is incorporated.

To cook:
Bake the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted clean. Oven times vary so watch them closely.

For the icing:
Make sure that everything is room temperature.
First cream together the butter mascarpone cheese.
Sift in the cocoa and mix to combine.
Next add in the espresso and the marsala wine mix until creamy.
Add icing sugar a little at a time until it becomes a thick consistency that you would like to ice the cakes.
Ice and enjoy!

Friday 22 August 2014

Easy Fresh Panzanella with Mint and Marjoram

What is it? It’s an Italian bread salad, made with hot croutons freshly made, then sauced up with a delicious vinaigrette and fresh veggies and herbs. It’s absolutely delicious on a hot day or easily taken on a picnic. I bet it would even go nicely with a grilled piece of chicken or fish. I got the herbs from my garden but you traditionally use basil, but since I didn’t have any I just improvised and it was fantastic. It’s best when the croutons are fresh hot out of the oven, but just as delicious after resting at room temperature. This recipe makes about 4 servings but you can easily double it for 4 large portions. Enjoy!
italian panzanella with mint and marjoram
Fresh and healthy!

200g baguette (rustic baguette preferred and slightly stale)
2-3 medium tomatoes
1 small red onion sliced finely
½ yellow pepper sliced
½ red pepper sliced
½ long cucumber
4 tbsp. olive oil (1 for toasting, 3 for dressing)
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
Few sprigs mint and marjoram
Salt and pepper

To start:
Cut the baguette into 1x1inch cubes. Make sure your bread is crusty and stale if it isn’t cut into cubes and leave to rest for 1hr before toasting.
Drizzle 1 tbsp. of olive oil around and salt and pepper tossing it with your fingers to combine.
Put in a 200F oven for about 10 minutes, watch them so they don’t burn!

For the Salad:
Dice the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in nice big chunks.
Make sure the onions are sliced finely.
Finely chop the herbs
Salt and leave aside.

For the Dressing:
Whisk 3 tbsp. oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic until well combined.
Add the herbs and stir.

To Combine the Salad:
When the croutons are hot out of the oven mix them with the vegetables.
Next dress the salad with the dressing and stir to combine.
Stir well so that the dressing gets absorbed by all of the croutons.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Slow Cooker Spanish-Style Chorizo and Squid Stew

I bought a slow cooker a few months ago, and sometimes it comes in really handy! I prefer to cook things on my own, but when you’re going out and you just want to throw some dinner in a pot, it’s a great way to save some time! I knew that I wanted to use this method with this recipe in particular because I was using squid. I know that the rule with squid is to either cook it really fast or to cook it really slowly and for a long period. What better way to use the slow cooker then! I really enjoyed this stew, but my hub enjoyed it too! He’s not really a fish eater and kind of frowned when he found out it was chorizo AND squid. I cooked it all day for about 5-8hours and it had a really lovely depth of flavour. The one downside to this recipe is I used white wine which I had to cook out in the beginning of the cooking; if you don’t it probably will have a weird funky alcoholic taste so I decided to cook it off beforehand. Try it! In a medium slow cooker it serves about 5. Enjoy!
slow cooker chorizo and squid stew
Lovely with a bit of crusty bread.

150g chorizo (half of a ring)
200g fresh squid
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 chilli or two if you’re feeling spicy
1 400g tin chick peas
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 Knorr fish stock pot (use 4c. fish stock if you don’t have this)
1 large glass white wine (250ml)
1 can of water
Pinch saffron
1-2 cloves garlic
Green Spanish olives

To Start:
Slice the red pepper, chilli, fresh squid, and add to the slow cooker.
Add the chopped tomatoes and chick peas (undrained), along with an extra can of water.
Turn on the slow cooker to high.

For the Cooking Part:
Heat a frying pan until well hot.
Slice the chorizo and onion into thin slices and add to the hot pan.
Stir around until the chorizo renders some fat and smells fragrant.
Next add the white wine, stock cube and pinch of saffron, cook for about 5 minutes.
Add all of the chorizo onion and wine mixture to the slow cooker.
Finish in the slow cooker with a few cloves of garlic and green olives.
Put the lid on and leave for 1hr on high, then turn down to low for the remaining 5 hours of cooking.

Note: The cooking time is only dependent on what time you have. You can easily start this from low, I just wanted to get some heat going through before I left it alone.

The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog HopApril J Harris of the 21st Century Housewife

Friday 15 August 2014

Middle Eastern Style Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions

This is a recipe revamp from my old collection. I previously called them baba ghanoush veggie patties but I realized when I was retesting the patties that they’re much broader than that because they’ve got goats cheese in them. Regardless of that they still came out just as delicious as before. I also wanted to add some zing to them, and made some pickled onions to go with the patties. These are amazing and can go with anything. They’re much like the pickles you’d find in Texas on carnitas tacos. I also used them to serve alongside some pulled pork. They’re pretty versatile and really nice to snack on. The recipe for the burgers makes about 6.
Middle Eastern Style Veggie Burgers
Delicious in a burger or on it's own.

1 400g tin cannellini beans – drained and dried
1 medium aubergine
1 medium red pepper
125g goat cheese
50-75 bread crumbs (Or 2-3 slices of white bread whizzed up in the food processor)
1 egg
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼. tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. turmeric
Salt to taste
Handful of cilantro
Oil to fry

To start:
Slice the eggplant and red pepper in half, roast in the oven with a little oil until soft and mushy.
Drain the beans and rinse. Drain thoroughly.
In a food processor whiz the beans, goats cheese, roasted aubergine, red pepper and spices and half of the bread crumbs.
When combined add the egg and whiz again.
Depending on how wet this batter is adding some more breadcrumbs as needed. The consistency you’re looking for is of thick pancake batter.

To cook:
Heat a couple of tablespoons in a pan until very hot.
You’ll want to spoon the batter in the hot oil.
Make the patties the size you desire and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
These will be very delicate so take care when flipping.

For the pickled onions: (Note: Adapted recipe from here.)
100g thinly sliced red onions
1 medium cinnamon stick
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Juice of one lime – if it’s not juicy enough use two.
1 c. apple cider vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon salt

In a small saucepan bring all of the ingredients slowly up to a bowl so that the spices have time to steep and the sugar has time to dissolve.
Blanch the onions for 10 seconds with freshly boiled water and drain immediately.
Shove the onions into a jar.
When the sugar is dissolved in the brine pour carefully over the onions and let sit until room temperature.
When cool cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
After 10 minutes in brine it's ready!

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Flourless Chocolate Tart with Lindt Dark Chocolate and Mandarin Oranges

Baking is one of my new favourite things to do, except when it’s really hot in summer! Thankfully in the UK we’ve had a bit of fresh cool air stroll in so it’s not too bad having the oven on. I was looking for inspiration for some kind of chocolate tart when I came across something similar to this. I put my own stamp on it, using mandarin oranges and orange chocolate. It’s really decadent and delicious. The best part about it is it’s flourless so all those gluten free folks can enjoy it as well. There’s also a little bit of brandy in it to give it some richness. Try your hand at making it; it’s got the stamp of approval from the Brits. Makes about 8 slices.

Gluten free flourless chocolate tart with orange
Moist and lovely with a bit of cream.

100g Lindt dark chocolate orange
100g unsalted butter
100g ground almonds
3 eggs separated
1-2 tbsp. Gran Marnier
45g half spoon granulated sugar (*NOTE: If using regular sugar use 100grams)
200g tinned mandarin orange segments drained

To Start:
Heat your oven to 180C
Break the chocolate up and add with butter to a microwave safe bowl and melt.
Make sure to cover the bowl or else you’ll have butter all over the microwave!
Take out stir to combine and add the brandy and let cool.

Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the ground almonds and stir to combine.
By now the chocolate and butter should be cool enough to whisky
Next beat the egg whites until they reach soft fluffy peaks.
Carefully fold in half of the egg whites into the batter trying not to release all the air from the eggs.
Fold in the second half and set aside.

To Finish:
Butter and sugar a removable tart tin and place on a baking sheet
Pour the batter into the tart tin.
Take your mandarin oranges and place them in whatever pattern you’d like. Make sure they are thoroughly drained before doing so.
Bake for about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven, allow to cool before slicing.
Serve with cream or ice cream.

Friday 8 August 2014

Curried Piccalilli Scotch Eggs with Curry Ketchup

Who doesn’t love a scotch egg? I know I do! I have made a few attempts at making them but it always turned into a disaster. I watched a few videos on how to do the breading and I think I have it down! I wanted to incorporate the traditional dip ‘piccalilli’, that goes with scotch eggs, into the actual sausage meat. If you’re willing to take a little time to make these they make great picnic accompaniments. They’re rather large so you can assume it will fill you up! I could easily split one with someone else on a picnic. This recipe makes 4, and unfortunately it’s hard to make them any smaller because the eggs are quite large to begin with. It was a bit of a messy job making these so it was harder to photo the entire process, so I only have the end result. Enjoy!
Curried Piccalilli Scotch Eggs
Delicious oozy runny yolks :)

500g lean pork mince
200g piccalilli (chopped up very finely)
8 large eggs (4 for breading 4 for boiling)
2 tbsp. curry powder (reserve 1 tsp. for the curry ketchup)
4 large eggs
200g bread crumbs (or about 5 cups)
150g seasoned flour
Oil for frying
Cling film
½ c. ketchup to serve

To Start:
Get on a pot of water to boil.
When the water is boiling gently put the eggs in and boil for six minutes exactly. Take out and run under cold water; peel and set aside.

To Prep:
Pull out 4 large pieces of cling film; set aside.
Make breading stations, 3 bowls with b
Next chop the piccalilli as fine as you can and mix it with the pork mince.
Divide in four equal portions.
Place one portion on a piece of cling film and press out into a circle.
Place the egg in the middle and bring the cling film together, twisting tight and bring the meat to the egg covered completely.
Repeat for all eggs, and refrigerate for 1hr.

Take the chilled sausage and eggs out of the fridge, dip in the flour first, then into the egg, then into the bread crumbs.
From the bread crumbs, toss back into the egg to coat, and then back into the breadcrumbs.
Set aside while you do the others, and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

To Cook:
Heat your oil to about 180C – I did not have a temperature gadget so I just eyed it.
They should take about 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
When done remove and let sit on a paper towel for 20 minutes before digging in as they are hot!

For the curry ketchup:
In a small saucepan, heat up the ketchup and 1 tsp. of curry powder just until heated through.
Let cool and use for dipping the egg!

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Moist Raspberry Blueberry Bundt Cake with Lemon and Greek Yogurt

I made this cake last year and decided to tweak it a little to my needs. It was inspired by a blueberry bundt cake I found online and tweaked it then I tested it on my husband, and before he tasted it I gave some to my neighbour to taste. Both of them told me that they didn’t want to share it and that I should make more! It was by far the moistest cake I’ve ever made from scratch and I was really impressed at my own skills, which are completely null when baking! IF you want to impress your guests, or family, and are not an especially great baker this is the cake for you. It’s absolutely gorgeous with a cup of tea! Makes about 16 servings.
Rasberry Blueberry Bundt cake with Lemon and Greek Yogurt
Delicious and Moist!

300g self-rising flour
225g room temperature butter
200g dark brown sugar
100g Half spoon granulated sugar (**If using regular sugar use 200g)
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup zero fat Greek Yogurt
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Zest and juice of two lemons (one lemon if it’s big)
400g frozen berries (blueberry/raspberry)

To Start:
Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F)
Sift 275g flour, salt, baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy in a large bowl.
Zest and juice the lemon into a bowl, mix with yogurt and vanilla.
Next add the yogurt mixture to the butter and sugar and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
Follow by adding one egg at a time until completely combined.
When combined add half of the flour mixture and when combined add the rest until mixed.

To Finish:
Mix the berries with the remaining flour and fold them into the batter.
Pour into a greased bundt pan, and put into a hot oven.
Bake for 40-50 minutes. Every oven is different so after 40 minutes prick with a tooth pick.
You can top this with any kind of sugar glaze or eat on its own. I prefer it on its own!
Perfect and moist with a cup of tea!