Friday, 23 December 2016

Stressed spelt backwards ...

.. Is desserts & although tonights recipe post isn't a dessert it is a sweet treat so definitely belongs in here. I decided to give a go at some biscuits as they are one area of baking that I'm not overly confident with.. And this came about due to being a little stressed over the last couple of days, and when I'm stressed i do tend to find cooking & baking as my form of therapy. 

After trawling Pinterest I found a recipe for peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and after checking my kitchen cupboards i found i had enough ingredients  - i actually ended up with a batch of 20  

So to make these peanut butter cookies you will need :

130g good quality peanut butter
115g unsalted softened  butter
100g caster sugar
75g soft light brown sugar
1 medium egg (at room temp)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract / seeds of half a vanilla pod
150g porridge oats
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
100g chocolate chips / raisins

  • Start by combining the peanut butter, softened butter and both sugars in a bowl. Beat them together wth an electric hand whisk or with a freestanding mixer for a couple of minutes till the mixture is light fluffy and paler in colour.
  • Break the egg into a small plate and whisk together with the vanilla extract / seeds. Pour this into the peanut butter mixture and beat together with a wooden spoon.
  • Add in the oats, the flour and the soda and mix together . Add in the chocolate chips/ raisins and stir together until the chips/ raisins are evenly incorporated.Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for about 40-45 minutes. Towards the end of the chilling time preheat the oven to 180c/ gas mark 4 
  • Take a tablespoonful of dough, shape into a round ball and place onto a baking paper lined baking tray. Repeat with all of the dough, spacing the balls of dough out evenly. 
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15* minutes until golden brown- the edges will be slightly darker.
  • Leave to cool slightly and then remove carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

*Rotate the baking trays half way through the cooking time to help the cookies cook evenly

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Coconut Macaroons

My recipe post for these came about purely out of  finding myself very bored one evening as the kids were fast asleep in bed and the husband was working. So there i was riding my cupboards thinking what to make and found quite a bit of packed dessicated coconut tucked away so coconut macaroons came to mind and my GBBO Book came to the rescue.

This recipe uses cream patisserie and before you think, ' no way can i make creme pat '  honestly its a very little amount so its very quick and easy - a great way to practice for any recipes that require larger amounts of cream patisserie. 

To make about 20 macaroons you will need 

For the cream patisserie :
5 tbsp milk
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 medium egg yolk

For the coconut mixture:
3 medium egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g caster sugar 
200g desiccated coconut

For the chocolate glaze (optional)
100g good quality dark chocolate
2 tbsp sunflower / vegetable oil 

  • Start by making the creme patisserie, heat the milk in a small pan until it just comes to boil and remove from the heat. In a bowl, beat together the caster sugar, egg yolk and cornflour until pale and fluffy. 
  • Gradually stir in the milk and whisk together. Pour the mixture back into the pan, and over a low-medium heat, whisk together until it boils and begins to thicken. You should end up with a smooth paste- it shouldn't be thick and lumpy. Scrape the mixture out into a small plate or bowl, press and seal it with a piece of cling film directly on to it - this stops a skin forming whilst it cools.
  • Whilst the creme pat is cooling, Preheat your oven to 170c/gas mark 3. Add your egg whites to a bowl with the vanilla extract and beat till the egg whites become frothy. Add in the caster sugar and whisk together till the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in the coconut until completely coated in mixture, then add in the creme pat and again stirring through till all the coconut is evenly coated and there are no lumps 
  • Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper and using a teaspoon, scoop up the coconut mixture, making sure it's packed up tightly and place on to the baking tray and shape into a mound with your hands if you wish to. Repeat this with the rest of the mixture and you should end up with 20 macaroons.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and they should be golden in colour with slightly darker edges.
  • One they have completely cooled, melt the chocolate with the oil in a small heatproof bowl/plate in the microwave in 30 second bursts or in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Taking one macaroon at a time , dip the base into the chocolate, evenly coating it with the chocolate slightly coming up the sides. Place the coated macaroons on a clean sheet of baking paper and leave to set completely before serving.*

*alternatively you can drizzle the chocolate over the top of the macaroons using a teaspoon or leave them as they are without any chocolate at all.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Raffello fudge

Ferrero Rocher are definitely in my top ten of the yummiest chocolates ever and I think I love the white coconut version even more than the classic chocolate hazelnut version. Trawling pinterest the last few days for recipe inspiration and there seems to be a craze for fudge, from the classic vanilla fudge to new twists such as salted caramel.. The thought of making fudge with rafello pieces in it sounded absolute scrumptious so I gave it a go 

To make about 15-20 pieces of raffello fudge you will need:

1 x 379g carnation condensed milk
300g white chocolate
300g bounty spread*
25g butter
125g icing sugar 
Broke up pieces of coconut and white chocolate rochers 

  • Line a square 8 inch tin with greaseproof paper, I've found it helps if the paper comes out over the sides of the tin as it makes it easier to lift the fudge out once its set.
  • Pour the condensed milk, bounty spread and all the chocolate into a saucepan and melt on a low heat till all the mixture has combined. Make sure to stir continuously to stop the mixture sticking and burning.
  • Once its all melted, pour into a bowl, add the icing sugar and mix together well - it will take a bit of effort to get it all together but it will come together. 
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle over the broken pieces of white ferrero rocher and gently squash into the mixture.
  • Place into the fridge for at least 5 hours and cut up into squares and place back into the fridge for another couple of hours or even overnight if possible ... and devour 

*Bounty spread is divine and you'll find it in most of the large supermarkets 

Stuffed Karelay

This is one of my husbands absolute favourite but its a dish very much like liver curry .. You either love it or hate it - both the husband and I love it, but I hardly ever make it as it's a dish that my kids are guaranteed to turn their noses up at which to be fair this isn't a dish that many a child would like. 

Since i had a real craving for them the last couple of days I just had to make them and this time I even took step by step pictures which are up on my Facebook page @foodymama 

To serve 4 people you will need :

4 large karelay (1 per person)
1 lemon 
2 tsp salt 
6 large onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
3  green chillies
2 -3 tsp garlic paste/ 2 frozen cubes 
3-4 tsp ginger paste/ 4 frozen cubes 
1 tin chopped / plum tomatoes 
2 tsp curry powder 
Oil for shallow frying 

  • Start by taking one karaela at a time and with a knife lightly scrape off the outside skin. I don't tend to scrape it all off only bits that are really knobbly and lumpy. Then carefully slit each karela in half down the middle - you dont want to cut all the way through as you won't be abe to fill them.
  • Taking one karela at a time again, carefully open it up and remove the seeds and as much pith from the inside as you can. I find using a teaspoon makes it quick and easy and saves you getting bits of the pith stuck in your fingernails.
  • Place all the karelay in a bowl, squeeze over the juice of a whole lemon and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of salt all over. Mix the karelay together ensuring they are well coated with juice and the salt. Set aside
  • in a heavy based pan, slice the onions and cook in a little oil till soft, add in the garlic ginger and salt. Cook until the onions are golden brown, add in the chillies, curry powder and tomatoes
  • Continue cooking through until the chillies have softened and slightly darkened in colour- this way they will be cooked all the way through- and the oil separates from the masala. 
  • Set the masala aside to cool completely. While the masala is cooling, the karelay should have released all the bitter juice. You should be able to see the juice at the bottom of the bowl, remove them from the bowl but as you remove them, gently squeeze them to remove any juice that hasn't released, and fill the karelay once the masala has completely cooled.
  • To fill them, take teaspoonfuls of the masala and add to the inside of each karela being careful not to overfill as when you seal them with the toothpicks you'll find it will spill out.
  • Once they are all filled seal each one by pushing a tooth pick from one side through to the other, i found 4-5 toothpicks per karela was right. You can also use string to tie them up, simply tie it at one end, wind the string tightly all the way round and tie up at the other end.
  • You should find that you have some left over masala which will be used also- set it aside and next step is to fry the karelay.
  • Fill a large heavy based pan with oil.. I didn't really measure it out, i just filled my pan till it was about 2-3 inches fill. Heat up the oil on a medium heat and carefully place the karelay into the oil. I managed to fit all mine in at once, if not just add them in batches.
  • Fry the karelay till they are dark brown almost charred (but not black and burnt) all over. Carefully remove and place on a plate or dish with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
  • Drain all the oil from the pan that the karelay were fried in (if all your karelay don't fit you'll need a bigger pan ) and add in the left over masala. Carefully add the fried karelay back in, and on a medium heat, simmer the karelay and masala on a low for about 10-15 minutes just to ensure it  is heated up all the way through and serve. 
  • As an extra just before serving, garnish with fresh chopped coriander and crispy fried onion, remove all the toothpicks and place on to a serving dish . Serve 1 karela per person with the karela sitting ontop of the masala or serve as a main with chapatis.  

Monday, 5 December 2016

Chicken Khawse

This is one of those recipes where Ive only had the dish twice at the most but it's one that I love as it's a curry that's got depth with spices without being too hot as well as being light and refreshing with the addition of coconut milk and yogurt. 

I failed in my efforts searching Pinterest and Google to find the actual recipe since i couldn't remember what it was called, and thanks good old Facebook a friend knew what i was looking for an came to my rescue. 

This is a perfect dish for this time of year, when it's dark gloomy and freezing cold - a proper winter warmer of a dish.

To serve 4- 6 people you will need:

2 medium onions
3 chicken breasts (thinly sliced) 
2 x 500g tub natural yogurt
200ml tin coconut milk 
250ml chicken stock
2tbsp gram flour 
2-3 tsp ginger paste
2-3 tsp garlic paste
2 green birds eye chillies 
2 red bullet chillies (de seeded )
1 1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp garam masala 
1 bay leaf
1-2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds*
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder 
2-3 spring onions finely chopped 
fresh coriander chopped 
crisped fried onions
fresh finely sliced ginger 
200g egg noodles 
juice of a whole lime 
1-2 limes cut into quarters

  • Start by heating a little oil in a heavy based based pan, add in the onions finely sliced, and cook till the onions soften and just start to colour. Add in the garlic ginger salt and the 2 green birdseye chillies. Continue to cook on a medium heat until the chillies have slightly softened and the onions have gotten slightly golden brown.
  • Add in the chicken and continue to cook till the chicken just starts to colour, add in the curry powder, garam masala, bay and kaffir lime leaves and cumin seeds. Cook through until the chicken is almost completely cooked, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In a bowl mix the gram flour with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt to make a smooth paste, then add in the remaining yogurt, then the chicken stock and coconut milk. Stir it altogether till its all combined and there are no lumps
  • On a high heat, add the milk to the pan, continuously stirring till it reaches boiling point.* Reduce the heat, add the chicken to the pan along with the soy sauce. Leave to simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes
  • Add in the noodles and stir through. At this point i like to taste test to see if it needs more of either yogurt or coconut milk or wether it needs to simmer for longer. If it gets too thick for your liking, all you need to do is add a little fresh boiled water till its at the consistency you like.
  • Add the coriander and red bullet chilli just before serving, and as an extra serve the crisped fried onions, fresh ginger slices**, spring onions and lime wedges separatley and your guests can help themselves.

*stirring the milk until boiling point prevents the yogurt from splitting and ending up from looking like curds/ cottage cheese. I tend to stir in circular clockwise motions at a slow speed so i can see the bubbles form as it comes to boil

** for the ginger i use a vegetable peeler to get really thin slithers and that way it's perfect to bite straight into and gives a really nice kick

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Anyone that really knows me, will tell you that i LOVE baking cakes and i realised that Ive yet to share a cupcake recipe, There are a couple of cake posts up already such as my jam sponge or my banana cake but this is my first post for a cupcake recipe

Since a friend asked for my salted caramel recipe, I thought I would share my salted caramel cupcake recipe with you all. To make 12 cupcakes you will need: 

 175g Unsalted Butter, Softened
 175g Light Brown Sugar or golden caster sugar
 3 large eggs
 175g Self Raising Flour
 splash of milk
 12tsps Caramel*
 Pinch of Sea Salt
Salted Caramel Buttercream
150g Butter
350g Icing Sugar
100g Caramel*
70 -75ml Whole Milk
Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Start by preheating your oven to 170C/160C (Fan assisted) and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with  cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or freestanding mixer till smooth add in the eggs and flour and beat again for about about 20-30 seconds on a medium speed, add in the milk to loosen the mixture, and give it a final mix for about a minute
  •  Divide the batter evenly into the cases** and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they lightly spring back when gently pressed and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once they've cooled completely , mix the caramel for the cupcakes with a pinch of salt, make a hole in each of the cupcakes and fill with the caramel.
  • To make the salted caramel buttercream – Beat the butter with an electric mixer or in a free standing mixer until it becomes light and fluffy and paler in colour. Gradually add the icing sugar on a slow speed until it is combined then speed the mixer up again and beat for 3-4 minutes until all the icing sugar has incorporated.
  • Add the caramel to the buttercream and continue mixing, and gradually add the milk until you reach the desired texture – I usually add it all! Keep on beating for 5 minutes until whipped  
  • To decorate the Cupcakes fit a disposable piping bag with a 2d or star nozzle, fill the bag with the buttercream and pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes - point the nozzle in the middle of the cupcake and pipe in a clockwise motion. 
  • As an extra i like to drizzle a little caramel over each cupcake and then top with either a rolo or a piece of cadburys caramel chocolate 

* I use carnation caramel thats all ready made in tins.. no need to mess about with attempting to make your own
** I find filling my cases half way gives just the right size cupcake 

The Easiest shortbread in the world

This really is the easiest shortbread in the world, super quick to make, light and buttery and is so good with a big mug of tea. This version is a chocolate chip one but I love swapping regular caster sugar for lavender or vanilla infused sugar to make it that little bit more extravagant. 

To make 9 chunky squares or 12 ( almost ) bitesize pieces you will need 

250g unsalted softened butter 
125g caster sugar
250g plain flour
125g cornflour
50-75g chocolate  chips

  • Preheat your oven to 150c /300f and grease an 8 inch square tin
  • In a bowl cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Add in the plain flour, corn flour and chocolate chips and mix together with a wooden spoon till it just starts to come together. Use your hands to lightly press it all together*
  • Transfer the dough into the greased tin and gently press it out into the whole of the tin.
  • Prick it all over with a fork, and place in the oven for 50 -55 minutes till it's lightly golden all over.
  • Whilst its still a little warm (not hot) sprinkle a little caster sugar all over and once cooled, cut into 9 chunky pieces or 12 smaller almost bitesize pieces. 

* If you prefer you can wrap the dough in cling film, let it chill for about 10 minutes in the fridge, then on a lightly dusted surface, roll out to about an inch thick and transfer to the tin