Tiffin

It’s Tiffin time! Technically this does not count as a bake, it’s more of a smash and melt. Yum. To make these glorious beauties you need: 

  • Half a packet of digestive biscuits
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 big squeezes of golden syrup
  • 120g butter
  • Handful of sultanas
  • 200g dark chocolate

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa powder together to make a delicious chocolate butter. Smash the biscuits to within an inch of their being- but leave some big bits because everyone likes chunks. It’s just a fact. Mix the crushed biscuits into the chocolate butter and throw a handful of sultanas in. Mix and press into a shallow lined baking tin. Melt the chocolate and pour on top. Allow to cool at room temperature and then pop in the fridge to solidify properly. Using a sharp knife, divide the tiffin into yummy sized pieces. Takes about an hour to solidify. 

Happy Tiffin day people!!! It’s really nice on top of ice cream. 

Macaroon madness!


I felt like getting into a real project this evening. I followed the simplest recipe I could find online (delicious magazine) and it worked a treat. So few ingredients for such a sophisticated looking dessert, and tasty too. I’m thinking Mother’s Day present in a pretty little box with a ribbon on it.
Macaroons are essentially little meringues with ground almonds mixed in. Flavoured with whatever you like, I chose vanilla and then coloured them to make them super fancy. Piping bags are essential to get neat circles. A good tap of the baking tray before putting them in the oven is a very wise move (see recipe for details). No one wants a macaroon without a footing.


Pretty huh? I made some look funky by not mixing the food dye in fully and getting a swirl effect. I found a palette knife was the most effective way of filling them with buttercream without breaking them. If you just pop the broken ones in your mouth as you go along it avoids making a mess! 😛

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/multicoloured-macaroons/

Bread & butter pudding 

This takes me back to staying at my nana’s house on a school night. Good old nana.

 

Butter up and cut up whatever bread is hiding in your cupboard and drown it in vanilla custard. Sprinkle with currants, glacé cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Or whatever you have in, chocolate chips are a good shout too if you’re feeling it. Bake for 30 minutes on gas mark 4 until golden. Serve with a good dollop of pudding with lashings of double cream. 

Now that’s making memories or at least returning back to a favourite few. 

Vanilla custard :

  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 35g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Heat up the milk  and cream with the vanilla and add to the beaten egg yolks and sugar slowly. If you do it too quickly the eggs will scramble. Return the mixture to the pan and whisk constantly until slightly thickened. It’s so easy to curdle the custard, so heat slowly and never take your eyes off it.

Sticky toffee pudding

When I think of something as naughty as sticky toffee pudding, my mind wanders instantly to Nigella land. I followed her recipe which had a peculiar methodology. The pudding mixture is made first (makes senses) with an enormous amount of chopped dates in it. The toffee sauce is made next by dumping a load of dark brown sugar and butter on top of the uncooked pudding batter and then pouring boiling water over it… it looked very odd. I sort of whimpered as I poured the water on as it felt very unnatural to do!

  
Doesn’t that look a mess? Anyway, it turned out pretty well in the end. Good amount of sauce to pudding ratio although next time I think I’ll use less dates and add more butter. 

  

Bob on with a dollop of thick double cream. I think I’ll try Jamie Oliver’s recipe next.

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/easy-sticky-toffee-pudding-180

Grape Jelly

I was given a good harvest of British grapes so I decided to make grape jelly. 

  

  • Wash grapes and get rid of the bad ones
  • Weigh them (I had 500g)
  • Put in a pan and heat up until the juices run
  • Mash the grapes and continue to simmer for another ten minutes 
  • Drain the grapes overnight with some kitchen roll in a sieve

  

  • Add 250g jam sugar to the grape juice and the juice of half a lemon
  • Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 10 minutes
  • Blob a bit of the jelly on a cold plate and smudge your finger through it. It’s ready when it has started to set.
  • Pour into a sterile jar

  
‘I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly’ …

Smother generously on toast. I made this last year with caster sugar and it didn’t work very well so stick to jam sugar! I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow…..

  

Mango ice cream 

I’ve never made ice cream before but I thought now was the moment because I bought three mangoes on a whim and they all went ripe at once. 

  • Whip up 300ml double cream
  • Add 1tsp vanilla essence
  • Purée 3 ripe mangoes and mix carefully into the cream
  • Add caster sugar to taste
  • Pour into a shallow tin and pop some cling film onto the cream to prevent ice crystal formation
  • Freeze for 4.5 hours in some Tupperware 
  • Churn mixture by blending
  • Freeze again

And that’s it!

  
  
  

Tastes amazing! I put some on the meringues I made today. I did not regret it.

This recipe was taken from : http://www.spiceupthecurry.com/mango-ice-cream-recipe/

Meringue clouds 

I had a lot of egg white left over this weekend from making custard this week. My options were flavour-less egg white omelette or lovely meringues. No competiton. 

  
I whisked six egg whites together with a pinch of salt until it was almost forming stiff peaks. I added 250g of caster sugar slowly until the mixture was shiny and forming lots of lush stiff peaks. I popped it over my head for good measure. Excellent. Jobs a good ‘un. 

  
I blobbed the mixture onto two baking trays and baked them for 40 minutes at 140°C. 

 
They are crispy on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside. Not powdery like the supermarket ones that I always find disappointing. Can’t wait to pour cream on them and smother them with fruit. 

Delicious éclairs

I felt like making some choux pastry  so naturally éclairs came to mind. Not made these since my school days. I followed Paul Hollywood’s choux pastry recipe and used the crème pâtissière recipe from my apple & ginger crumble the other day. Making choux pastry is dead fun because it’s so different to making normal pastry and it’s always good to get the piping bag out. Choux pastry has a lovely shine and consistency to it before it’s baked. Here’s my army of piped éclairs….

  

….baked and filled with vanilla crème pâtissière …

  

…. and then dressed with dark chocolate.

  
Cup of tea and an éclair sounds bob on to me. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_chocolate_clairs_59944

Apple & Ginger Crumble

My boyfriend’s dad gave me another bucket of apples….. which can only mean one thing. It’s crumble time! I thought a bit of hearty ginger would be a perfect addition.

  • 3 apples
  • 25g brown sugar
  • Sprinkle of ground ginger
  • Chopped up stem ginger

Slice up the apples and put into a suitable crumble dish. Mix the sugar and ginger into the sliced apples. Next, crumble topping!

  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g oats

Rub the cold butter into the flour and cinnamon until they form breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and oats and spread onto the sugary apples. Pop in the oven for half an hour at 180°C.

  
Instead of returning to the natural GBBO baking position (demonstrated above) I decided to make a good old creme patisserie. 

  • 250ml milk (semi-skimmed)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 10g corn flour
  • 3 egg yolks

Bring the milk and vanilla essence to the boil and remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a separate bowl. Slowly add the milk to the eggs and whisk like mad. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil constantly stirring. Lovely. 

  
  

Slop the creme pat onto your crumble and hit the sofa. Happy windy November evening indeed.

Rum chocolate truffles

Oh yes. It’s chocolate time . Needless to say it’s all over my face as I write this. Chocolate truffles are incredibly easy to make and so satisfying!

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 300ml double cream
  • Some of your favourite alcohol

Melt all of the above in a pan. Excellent you’re half way there. Mix in some rum or whatever you like until it tastes right. Leave to cool in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours. Scoop chocolate mixture and roll into balls using cocoa powder to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Leave in a cool place. NOM. I think these will be featuring in many of my Christmas presents this year….. Enjoy!