Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lime and coconut traybake

I love simple tray bakes, they are almost always easy and quick to make. I tend to make classic tray bakes when I am pressed on time but I still want a cake fix. I'm a fan of classic flavour combinations such as lime and coconut. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the coconut sprinkled on to, but not to worry you still should see how gorgeous this simple cake is, with the lime rind oozing out. This recipe is taken from the talented Jo Wheatley's Home Baking, which is one of my favourite baking books. I've never made a lime syrup before and wondered how it would take, it's very similar to a lemon syrup but with a sharper punch. This tray bake is very moreish and I will definitely will make this again.
Here is how my lime tray bake turned out:
Lime and coconut cake


Lime and coconut mixture

Lime and coconut pre bake

Ingredients
300g margarine or unsalted butter, softened
270g caster sugar
320g self-raising flour
5 large eggs
finely grated zest of 2 limes
50g desiccated coconut

Topping
75ml water
100g caster sugar
200g icing sugar
finely grates zest and juice of 2-4 limes
50g desiccated coconut

You will need a 20x 30 cm baking tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Method
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas mark 3
Tip all of the cake ingredients (except the lime) into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and beat for r2 minutes until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread level using a palette knife.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for above 50-60 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer inserted int the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make a lime syrup by bringing the water and caster sugar to the boil in a sauce pan. Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer until thickened and the back of a spoon. Add half the juice and zest and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Remove the cake from the over and pierce the top of the cake all over with a wooden skewer. Slowly drizzle over the syrup whiles the cake is still warm and in the tin but be careful not to flood it.
Make the icing by combining 3 tbsp of the remaining icing sugar. Set aside.
Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat until the coconut turns golden - this will happen quickly, so don;t leave the pan unattended.
Remove the cake from the tin, pour over the icing top with the toasted coconut ad remaining lime. Leave to set for half an hour and then slice into squares.

I'm sharing this recipe to Love Cake, hosted by Ness from JibberJabberUK. This months theme is Back to School and I'm sure these flavour combinations will go down well with teenagers in their packed lunch box.
xxx
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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Beef and mushroom stew with cheese scones

I recently fancied trying a dish that I would not ordinarily make, I often get these random urges to dust off neglected cookbooks and make a dish from the chosen book. It made sense for me to try several recipes on a bank holiday as I had a whole day to stretch my culinary to make list. Gino's Italian Diet is a cook book that I brought some years ago and like so many books I have, I have only cooked a handful of dishes from this book. But that was about to change when I decided to make the low calorie beef and mushroom stew. I usually eat beef in the form of steak and more specifically sirloin steak and have rarely eaten beef in a stew. What I liked about this beef stew is it absorbed all the flavours of the accompanying ingredients and the red wine infused the beef.  If I were to make this again, I would not use as many mushrooms as it made the beef very dark.  I am unsure what the usually pairing of beef stew, but I fancied serving this with cheese scones. Cheese scones with a beef stew may sound unusual but after trying cheese scones in a Cardiff cafe I thought it was necessary to make this at home asap. The recipe for the cheese scones come from the delightful Jo Wheatley's Home Baking which was found in the Baking with Children chapter and as such was super easy and quick.
Here is how my beef stew with cheese scones turned out:
Beef and mushroom stew

Beef and mushroom stew pre bake
Cheese and flour

Cheese scones ingredients

Cheese scone mixture rolled out

Cheese scones pre bake

Cheese scones baked

Recipe for beef and mushroom stew
Serves 4
400g lean rump steak, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200g onions
50g pancetta, diced
150g wild mushrooms (I used ordinary mushrooms, and added much more than 150g)
1 large carrot, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150 ml red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400ml beef stock
salt and freshly ground pepper

315 calories, 16 fat, 5.2 saturates, 6.3g sugars, 1.4g salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/ gas mark 6
Place the cubed beef in a large bowl and dust with flour
Heat the oil in a large non-stick flameproof casserole and gently fry the beef for 2-3 minutes until browned all over. Work in batches if necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and pancetta to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, carrot and garlic to continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil.
Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste and gently mix well. Pour in the stock a little at a time, stirring as you do so, to create a sauce. Bring to the boil.
Transfer to the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minute to allow the sauce to thicken.
Before serving, season with salt and pepper and allow the casserole to rest, out of the oven for 10 minutes.


For the cheese scones
225 self-raising flour
1tsp cream of tartar
pinch of sea salt
50g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
50g cheddar, grated
130-150ml full fat milk
plain flour for dusting
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

Toppings
1tbsp cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Sift the flour, cream of tartar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine sand.
Add the cheese. Slowly add enough milk to bring the dough together, using a table knife to do so.
Turn the dough onto a flavoured surface and give it a little knead for about 20 seconds: don't overwork the dough, as this will make the scones heavy.
Roll out to a thickness of 2-3cm and cut into rounds using the cutter and place on the lined baking together tray, in two tight rows of 5 so that they are just touching. Brush the egg wash and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake for 12 minutes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven, until well risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

Enjoy
xxx
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Friday, 23 May 2014

BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show 25% discounts off show tickets.

I love all food and cake shows and am super excited this year as I am one of the BBC Good Food Show Summer bloggers and look forward to sharing my pictures with you. And, not only that but the fabulous brainchild or brainchildren from the BBC Good Food show series are introducing a new show, BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show based in London at the Business Design Centre, Islington. For those who have been to any other BBC Good Food Show or love cakes and bakes, this show date should be firmly placed in your diary, it's already in mine. The lovely organisers of the show have kindly offered readers of Food Glorious Food 25% off all show tickets. 


The BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show, sponsored by Lexus, launches at the beautiful Business Design Centre in Islington, London from 25-27 October 2014.   Bringing the popular BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes title to life, the show will be packed with baking, bread-making and cake-crafting demonstrations, free master classes, and hundreds of products to get you baking like a pro.



I love demonstrations and am looking forward to seeing the legendary baking national treasure demonstrating Mary Berry her lovely bakes at the Bakes and Cakes theatre. She makes everything look so simple on the tv, I'm looking forward to hearing all her baking and cake tips.

There are some more familiar famous faces at the show who will be demonstrating in live 30 minute baking and techniques demonstrations such as Mich Turner, Paul Hollywood, John Whaite, Jo Wheatley and Holly Bell. Every full day adult ticket includes a seat to the exciting theatres.



Whether you are new to baking and have recently caught on the baking bug, or a seasoned experienced baker, the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show is the perfect place to meet bakers, cake-crafters and confectioners, learn new skills and pick up all the essentials you need to develop your baking hobby.

Just quote EBPAR1 when purchasing to receive 25% off tickets.

Disclaimer: I am receiving a press pass to attend the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show, I received no payment for sharing the discount code. All opinions are my own.

xxx

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Monday, 19 May 2014

Pork Chop Bake

I'm so looking forward to Jo Wheatley's third book (I live in hope) as I have her two baking books, A Passion For Baking and Home Baking and both are comprehensive baking books with so many delicious recipes to try. Home Baking contains a chapter on supper bakes and I am pleasantly pleased as savoury recipes, are more to my pallete. I look forward to my evening meals every night and it's important for me that my last meal for the day is not only quick (mid-week) but also, substantial and flavoursome. Jo describes this dish as "Crisp crackiling, soft sticky apples: a real autumnal dish. The best thing is it only needs a very small amount of prep and then you pop it in the oven". I will also add that this dish is perfect all year around and the potatoes cook well and are given a golden tint when the pork chops are added to the potatoes, onions and apples. The subtle flavours come thorough in this dish and will be a winning meal for the whole family.
Here is how my pork chop bake turned out:

Pork chop bake

Pork chop bake pre bake

Recipe for Pork Chop Bake.
8 small potatoes
2 large red onions
2 eating apples ( I used granary smith)
4tbsp olive oil
4 pork chops
pinch of sea salt
1 bulb of fennel, trimmed

You will also need a large,  deep roasting tin and a griddle pan
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally, peel and chop the onions into quarters, and halve and core the eating apples. Put everything in the roasting tray, with half the olive oil and stir to coat. Place in the oven to roast for half an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the pork chops by snipping the rind at 1cm intervals with scissors - this will make it go crispy when cooking - and rubbing the meat with the remaining olive oil and salt. Chop the fennel into wedges.
After the vegetable have been roasting for 20 minutes, place a griddle pan over a high heat and add the chops and fennel. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, before placing in the oven to finish for a further 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the chop.
Enjoy.

I am sharing this recipe to Simple and in Season blogging challenge hosted by Ren from renbehan blog, this months theme is any seasonal Spring fruit and vegetables, as I have used Granary Smith apples I have met the challenge criteria.

xxx
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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sweetie Spectacular cake

I love sweets, I love cake and I love chocolate. You see, I'm a big child at heart and have such a sweet tooth, regularly devouring a packet of haribos, refreshers, and jelly babies. So after having a flick through Jo Wheatley's second book Home Baking, under the chapter "Baking with Kids" is this sugar filled, sweetie spectacular cake perfect for little ones and grown ups alike. I decided I must bake this straight away.  Jo states "Cake, sweets, icing - what more can I say? You'll be the greatest". I agree, this cake is a combination of three favourite sweet treats and what's even better is that the cake is very easy and simple to make. The cake is a simple sponge cake topped with a buttery buttericing and topped with whatever sweets you like.
Here is how my sweetie spectacular cake turned out:



Ingredients
340g unsalted butter, softened
340g caster sugar
5 large eggs
340g self-raising flout
50ml milk
1tbsp vanilla essence

Topping
400g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
2tbsp water
400g old-fashioned sweets such as flying saucers, foam shrimps, Jelly Tots, jelly babies, jelly snakes, Smarties, lolly pops

You will also need a 30 x 23 cm sandwich tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy in a free-standing mixer or with an electric hand-held whisk. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Sift in the flour and mix to combine. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix again until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using palette knife.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until well risen golden and springy to touch, or when skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
Make the butter icing by whipping the butter, icing sugar and water together in a free-standing machine or with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Use a palette knife to spread the buttercream, over the cooled cake. Pile on a mixture of the sweets and slice into small squares.

I'm sharing this recipe to two blogging challenges this month. The first is The Spice Trail hosted by http://www.pebblesoup.co.uk/ and by http://bangers-and-mash.com/, this months theme is vanilla my cake is suitable to enter.

Also to Calendar Cakes hosted by the lovely Rachel from http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/. This months theme is Bank Holiday Bakes, bakes that we share with our family or friends. I shared this bake with family munchkins who thoroughly enjoyed this cake.

xxx
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Friday, 14 February 2014

Wholemeal focaccia bread

One of my new years resolution this year was to make more bread. I succeeded in the month of January with this wholemeal foccacia bread and hope to bake a quick and easy loaf from one of Lorraine Pascale's book. I find making bread therapeutic but, for me, can only be made and baked on a lazy weekend. Foccocia bread is one of the first breads that I learnt to make back in 2012 and I wanted to recreate this Italian delight.  The accompanying picture to this recipe from Jo Wheatlety's Home Baking looked so delicious, tempting and moist, I promptly set about on making this. Whilst getting all the ingredients out, I realised I hardly had any white bread flour, but had a bag full of wholemeal flour. I was left with two choices, either go to the shop and buy white flour (and possibly lose momentum) or attempt to make this bread with 50g white flour and brown flour: I went with the latter option. This bread is easy to make, especially as I used a bread hook with a free standing mixture. I wish i used fresh rosemary to really enhance the flavour of the bread.
Wholemeal focaccia bread.


Underneath my bread


This bread was super simple to make.

Flour, yeast and salt

Add water and knead

Leave to rise

Roll out and bake.
Recipe for Focaccia
50 g white bread flour,
250g wholemeal flour, plus extra for kneading
7g easy-blend/fast action yeast
10g sea salt
olive oil for kneading
rosemary sprigs (I used dried rosemary)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method
In the bowl of a free-standing mixture, or a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and 6g of salt. Slowly add the water, a third at a time. The dough will be very wet, almost the consistency of thick wallpaper paste, so don't be alarmed.
Turn it out onto a well-oiled work surface. Oil your hands and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If you are using a machine fitted with a dough hook, reduce the time to 3 minutes.
Put the dough back into the cleaned, lightly oiled bowl, cover the cling film and leave to prove for 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
Tip out onto the work surface and knead for 30 seconds to knock back the dough.
Using your hands press the dough into a swiss roll tin to a thickness of about 1cm. Use your fingers to make small indentations in the dough. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for a further.
Preheat the oven to 220c/425F/Gas Mark 7
Bake for 30 minutes in the centre of the oven, then remove and sprinkle over the remaining salt; press in the rosemary sprigs and drizzle with the rosemary oil. Return to the oven for a final 5 minutes.
Cool the bread in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack.

xx
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