27 October 2011

Bangers and some rather gruesome looking mash!

Evening all, I've stopped laughing just about long enough to bring you this post! My dinner tonight was quite possibly the most ridiculous looking thing you've ever seen so here it is in all it's glory! It's all down to my latest discovery, Purple Majesty Potatoes grown by UK spud farmer, Albert Bartlett & bought from Sainsburys. Their natural purple colour is down to these particular spuds being high in anthocyanins, the same thing that gives blueberries & red cabbage their colour. This makes them rich in antioxidants & lets face it we all know they're good for us (even if no one I know really understands why??)

It was really tasty although I have to be honest, eating purple mash might take a bit of getting used to. They'd definitely make a great Halloween tea! Or, given they turned the water a bright shade of turquoise, might prove quite useful if tie-dying were ever to make a come back! Have a good evening, Rebecca x

20 October 2011

Chocolate week, baking week, is there any week that isn't a week, cookies!

Hello. You may remember a few weeks back was National Cupcake Week, in honour of which I created some peanut butter & jam cupcakes. Well I posted a piccie of said cupcakes on the Baking Mad Facebook page & ended up winning a pack of orange flavour buttons which I probably got a bit too excited about. If you're not a fan already I'd recommend joining, they often run giveaways & competitions. The Baking Mad website is also worth a look for all things related to baking & cupcake making!

So they are the inspiration for this weeks recipe, which I created to celebrate both Chocolate Week (last week) & Baking Week (this week) It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'weeks' we actually have, although I feel there's a critical one missing. I think we absolutely have to have a 'National Eat Crisps Week' where every meal has to be accompanied by a potato based snack! Who's with me??

The orange buttons are made from cocoa butter & made a great cookie topping, I also added some natural orange essence to the cookie dough mixture to create the perfect chocolate orange cookie.

100g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
1 egg
140g SR flour
25g cocoa powder
2tsps natural orange essence
Pack of Silver Spoon orange flavour buttons

1. Cream the butter & sugar until light & fluffy, then beat in the egg gradually until you have a lovely smooth batter.

2. Sift in the flour & cocoa powder & fold together, finally add the orange essence.

3. Place small dollops of cookie dough onto a baking sheet, add some buttons to the top. Don't worry it they look a bit squished, they'll spread out when the cook.

4. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 10-12 minutes. Leave to cool completely & crisp up.

Looking at the finished article they would probably be quite good for a Halloween party if you were that way inclined? As my friend pointed out, there were a few of them that ended up looking like something out of the Mighty Boosh, google it, you'll see! Enjoy, Rebecca x

3 October 2011

Fruit tarts - made with a little help!

Ok, so lets get the obvious out of the way...what is up with the weather!? It's usually around this time of year I'm dusting off my boots, adding an extra layer & wondering whether I really can get another season out of my coat? Instead, yesterday I was in shorts, barbecuing! I for one was very confused by it all. Anyway it was this impromptu BBQ that led me to making this dessert which I wanted to share with you.

Summery desserts in October - what's going on?

I was plodding around the aisles of Sainsburys looking for dessert inspiration when I came across their new range of chilled dessert ingredients. Ready made pastry, compotes, ganache, creme patisserie & the like. Now I make no secret of the fact that I can't make pastry, I always blamed it on the fact I have hot hands, but recently I was told that it could in fact be related to my hormones! Apparently the level of oestrogen you have in your body effects your ability to make pastry...I'm not sure that's ever been medically proven, or if it's simply an elaborate old wives tale, but I'll take it as an excuse!

So, grateful for a helping (non hot, low oestrogen) hand, I picked a pack of ready rolled dessert shortcrust pastry & a pouch of creme patisserie. I was given a set of individual loose bottom tart tins for Christmas, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out & make yummy fruit tarts.

I lined the tins with pastry & in the absence of baking beans prodded the bottom with a fork to stop it puffing up, then baked them for around 12 minutes. When they'd cooled completely I squished in the creme patisserie then topped them with sliced pineapple, grapes & strawberries.

As much as I consider myself a scratch cook, there are some things that I look at & think why bother when the convenient version is so good. The fruit tarts were absolutely delicious & at 45p per tart (excluding fruit which I was buying anyway), they were excellent value for money. Have a good week & enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Rebecca x

27 October 2011

Bangers and some rather gruesome looking mash!

Evening all, I've stopped laughing just about long enough to bring you this post! My dinner tonight was quite possibly the most ridiculous looking thing you've ever seen so here it is in all it's glory! It's all down to my latest discovery, Purple Majesty Potatoes grown by UK spud farmer, Albert Bartlett & bought from Sainsburys. Their natural purple colour is down to these particular spuds being high in anthocyanins, the same thing that gives blueberries & red cabbage their colour. This makes them rich in antioxidants & lets face it we all know they're good for us (even if no one I know really understands why??)

It was really tasty although I have to be honest, eating purple mash might take a bit of getting used to. They'd definitely make a great Halloween tea! Or, given they turned the water a bright shade of turquoise, might prove quite useful if tie-dying were ever to make a come back! Have a good evening, Rebecca x

20 October 2011

Chocolate week, baking week, is there any week that isn't a week, cookies!

Hello. You may remember a few weeks back was National Cupcake Week, in honour of which I created some peanut butter & jam cupcakes. Well I posted a piccie of said cupcakes on the Baking Mad Facebook page & ended up winning a pack of orange flavour buttons which I probably got a bit too excited about. If you're not a fan already I'd recommend joining, they often run giveaways & competitions. The Baking Mad website is also worth a look for all things related to baking & cupcake making!

So they are the inspiration for this weeks recipe, which I created to celebrate both Chocolate Week (last week) & Baking Week (this week) It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'weeks' we actually have, although I feel there's a critical one missing. I think we absolutely have to have a 'National Eat Crisps Week' where every meal has to be accompanied by a potato based snack! Who's with me??

The orange buttons are made from cocoa butter & made a great cookie topping, I also added some natural orange essence to the cookie dough mixture to create the perfect chocolate orange cookie.

100g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
1 egg
140g SR flour
25g cocoa powder
2tsps natural orange essence
Pack of Silver Spoon orange flavour buttons

1. Cream the butter & sugar until light & fluffy, then beat in the egg gradually until you have a lovely smooth batter.

2. Sift in the flour & cocoa powder & fold together, finally add the orange essence.

3. Place small dollops of cookie dough onto a baking sheet, add some buttons to the top. Don't worry it they look a bit squished, they'll spread out when the cook.

4. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 10-12 minutes. Leave to cool completely & crisp up.

Looking at the finished article they would probably be quite good for a Halloween party if you were that way inclined? As my friend pointed out, there were a few of them that ended up looking like something out of the Mighty Boosh, google it, you'll see! Enjoy, Rebecca x

3 October 2011

Fruit tarts - made with a little help!

Ok, so lets get the obvious out of the way...what is up with the weather!? It's usually around this time of year I'm dusting off my boots, adding an extra layer & wondering whether I really can get another season out of my coat? Instead, yesterday I was in shorts, barbecuing! I for one was very confused by it all. Anyway it was this impromptu BBQ that led me to making this dessert which I wanted to share with you.

Summery desserts in October - what's going on?

I was plodding around the aisles of Sainsburys looking for dessert inspiration when I came across their new range of chilled dessert ingredients. Ready made pastry, compotes, ganache, creme patisserie & the like. Now I make no secret of the fact that I can't make pastry, I always blamed it on the fact I have hot hands, but recently I was told that it could in fact be related to my hormones! Apparently the level of oestrogen you have in your body effects your ability to make pastry...I'm not sure that's ever been medically proven, or if it's simply an elaborate old wives tale, but I'll take it as an excuse!

So, grateful for a helping (non hot, low oestrogen) hand, I picked a pack of ready rolled dessert shortcrust pastry & a pouch of creme patisserie. I was given a set of individual loose bottom tart tins for Christmas, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out & make yummy fruit tarts.

I lined the tins with pastry & in the absence of baking beans prodded the bottom with a fork to stop it puffing up, then baked them for around 12 minutes. When they'd cooled completely I squished in the creme patisserie then topped them with sliced pineapple, grapes & strawberries.

As much as I consider myself a scratch cook, there are some things that I look at & think why bother when the convenient version is so good. The fruit tarts were absolutely delicious & at 45p per tart (excluding fruit which I was buying anyway), they were excellent value for money. Have a good week & enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Rebecca x
 

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