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Experimenting with crisps 

19 Oct

Despite having a MEGA sweet tooth, I have a real weakness for crisps, especially of the vegetable variety.

And with autumn having well and truly arrived I thought I’d have a go at making my own this weekend.

The instructions came courtesy of Asda magazine and were pretty simple; simply peel veg as thin as possible, dry with kitchen towel, season, pour over oil (or in my case, spray with fry light) and pop in the oven. 

   

The carrots were disappointing (they shrunk loads and weren’t as crispy as I hoped they’d be, despite drying them out as much as I could) but the parsnips were LOVELY! So much so I couldn’t possibly save them for work, try had to be eaten in one sitting!

I loved them so much I almost forgot to take a picture! They’d almost gone at this point…

 
I’d like to try beetroot next, and maybe butternut squash…

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Takeaway shmakeaway

5 Feb

The end of January may have meant I had been paid after a wait that felt like forever – but I’m still broke (and trying to be well behaved).

With this in mind, the boyfriend and I decided to ditch the takeaway menu and try making our own curry last weekend, with a little added help of our foodie penpal recipe 😊

It also gave us the perfect excuse to use our new mini chopper, which I bought the boyfriend for Christmas!

In went the garlic, ginger and onions, whizzed to a purée with the help of our new friend

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The mixture then went into the frying pan, before adding water and korma paste.
Almonds, sultanas, chicken stock and sugar followed closely behind the chicken and it started to look like this..

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While it was simmering, we decided to have a go at making chapattis using the recipe given to us by our lovely foodie penpal, Teresa. She’d packed it in our parcel after reading my naan bread post, which I thought was really sweet.
They were pretty easy to make too – just mix wholewheat flour, salt and water in a bowl until combined

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Then roll out into small balls

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And then flatten them with the palm of your hand and slap into a frying pan

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And this is what we ended up with:

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Pretty nice too! It was only halfway through though that I realised I’d missed a crucial ingredient – the yoghurt! Doh! Ah well, I’ll remember next time…

In case you want a go, the recipe can be found here.

New year bakes: Tetris cookies

2 Feb

Ok so I’m a bit late with this one but Happy New Year!

One of my New Years resolutions is to bake more – and actually post what I’m baking on here, something I kept forgetting to do last year.

That’s why, despite baking these cookies about three weeks ago, here’s my first post of 2014 🙂

My boyfriend bought me two fantastic presents for Christmas.
1. These awesome slippers

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2. Tetris cookie cutters

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Wow!

If I’m being honest I’m not great at cookies, my track record with them is far from perfect, but with these cutters I couldn’t wait to get started.

There’s a recipe on the back, which was really easy to use, and included lemon curd icing which I thought was a really good idea, and one I would never think to make.

The pack also has a colour guide to help you create the right colours for your Tetris shapes, however I wasn’t entirely prepared and only had pink and blue icing. That, and I couldn’t be bothered doing the white edging like it told me to.

Nevertheless, I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. And so were my friends 🙂

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I know they’re not the most romantic of gifts but if you’re looking for a valentines day gift for the baker in your life, you might want to give Firebox a try.

Home is where the heart is

14 Apr

What do you think of when you think of home?

For me it’s easy. My nan’s apple pie with custard.

But how to convert pie into a cake? That was today’s challenge as I dipped my toes into Derby Clandestine Cake Club.

After googling apple pie cake I only came across American recipes I couldn’t figure out how to change so I decided on an apple cake.

My first recipe was a disaster – an undercooked oily disaster to be precise. But as date night meant I didn’t have time to bake another last night, I went back to a recipe I tried in November for toffee apple cake, found on allrecipes.co.uk
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before to be honest, as yet again it worked perfectly.

I made several attempts at custard icing and failed miserably. If any of you have a recipe or an idea I would happily accept it 🙂

In the end, with just half an hour to go until the club, I decided just to use ready made custard. Bit of a cop out I know but I had no other option.

As always my cake was by far the most rustic looking but it tasted nice.

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In case you fancy having a go, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
3 eggs
200g caster sugar
375g self raising flour
280g vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
500g apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease 25cm cake tin
2. Beat eggs until foamy then gradually add sugar
3. Combine flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda then add to egg mixture
4. Stir in apples and transfer to tin
5. Bake for 1hr 10min or until a skewer comes out clean (mine needed an extra 10mins). Leave in tin for 10 mins and transfer to cooling rack.

And there we have it. Easy as (apple) pie!

The venue was the Aga shop in Derby which, aside from being boiling due to the Aga being on, was a lovely venue.

Aga’s have always fascinated me and I never knew how much they cost. I know I’ll never be able to afford one bit it was great to look. They also sell giant teapots which were perfect for the occasion!

I had a great time and will definitely be going to the next Derby event.

I forgot to take a picture while I was there but this gives you an idea of the yummy cakes on offer.

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Quick bakes: chocolate pudding

7 Apr

Despite a scrummy Sunday dinner this evening, I had a little bit of room left for pudding but no pudding to speak of.

Nonsense, I thought. I have a cupboard full of ingredients.

And so I turned to my Good Food app in the hope of it pointing me in the right direction.

I found chocolate muffins with hot chocolate custard.

Serves 6
Ingredients:
1tbsp cocoa powder
100g self raising flour
50g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
2tbsp sunflower oil (plus extra for greasing muffin tin)
100ml skimmed milk
2 pots low fat custard
25g dark chocolate, chopped

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan) and grease a six hole muffin tin.
2. Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together then form a well in the middle.
3. Mix milk, oil and egg in a jug then pour into the dry ingredients. Beat together until mixed then pour into muffin tin.
4. Bake for 15mins or until risen and firm to the touch (I took them out at 13 and they were perfect). Turn out on wire rack and transfer to bowl.
5. Heat custard in pan then mix in the chocolate until smooth. Pour over muffin and enjoy 🙂

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Surprisingly easy and completed in under 30 minutes! Oh and only 215kcal each too!

I’ll definitely be baking these again.

Baking with beetroot

28 Mar

I’ve been wanting to try out beetroot baking recipes for as long as I can remember, but it was a chance encounter at Brown and Green in Derby last weekend that provided that Eureka moment where I realised now was the time as, sitting by the door, was a tray full of the stuff.

Off home I skipped excited to get back into the kitchen but, once there, I discovered most recipes ask for cooked beetroot. Without having a clue how best to cool it I frantically searched through my books and finally came across Laura Key’s Chocolate Beetroot Cake from my trusty Clandestine Cake Club book.

Quite a time consuming recipe but lots of fun. However, one thing I didn’t think about was gloves! Definitely one to remember for next time. ..

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And here’s the finished article. I was quite proud of it to be honest, especially the glossy icing! Still not sure how I feel about beetroot in cakes though, it has a slight rooty aftertaste, although having said that my boyfriend’s been happily snacking away on it all week.

IMG_1397 And there’s something quite nice about eating veg in a cake, it makes you feel like                               you’re being healthy.

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Would I make it again though? I’m not sure to be honest. I really enjoyed baking it, and the recipe was really easy to follow, but for me it was more fun to bake than eat, which probably isn’t a sign of success.

 

 

 

I would definitely recommend having a go though. Loads of people love baking with beetroot.

If you want Laura’s recipe, I would highly recommend the Clandestine Cake Club book. But you already know that!