Monday, 15 June 2015

Monday Bake - Mini Gooseberry and Almond Cakes

Our little gooseberry bush in the garden has provided us with our best crop yet.  In this months Waitrose magazine there was a recipe for these little cakes.  This uses up the egg whites from last weeks icecream.  The original recipe stated 5 egg whites but I found this worked fine with 4.

175g butter - melted
36 gooseberries - topped and tailed
300g caster sugar
4 egg whites
60g plain flour
135g ground almonds
2 tbsp elderflower cordial

Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4, grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
Put the berries and 50g of the sugar in a pan with 2 tsp water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain the liquid and set the gooseberries aside.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy.   Mix the flour, almonds and remaining 250g of sugar in a bowl, beat into the egg whites, mix in the butter and divide between the muffin holes. Dot each with 3 berries.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Brush the tops with the cordial and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly - eat warm.

These are delicious - I did have a bit of trouble getting them out the tin so when I make them again I will put them in cases.   I might make these for cake club using gluten free flour.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Viva Forever - Spice Girls
2. Stop - Spice Girls
3. Wannabe - Spice Girls

Monday No Bake - Roasted Rhubarb Ice-cream

Another quick to make pudding this week.  Hubby came home with lots of rhubarb from the allotment and the same week my recipe card in my fruit box for was a rhubarb icecream - perfect.

2 sticks of rhubarb
4 tbsp honey
1/2 a vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
300g full fat creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6.  Place the rhubarb in a roasting tin and roast for 10-15 minutes until tender.
Put the honey in a medium sized pan and gently warm.  Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod, and whisk in the egg yolks for about 3 minutes until thickened.  Set aside to cool.
Whisk in the roasted rhubarb then whisk in the creme fraiche.  Spoon into a freezer safe tub, it should be frozen in 2 to 3 hours. 

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. Too Bad You're So Beautiful - Duran Duran
2. Being Followed - Duran Duran
3. Blame The Machines - Duran Duran

Monday No Bake - Chocolate Yoghurt Whip

I was looking for something fast for pudding and I saw this in a Sunday magazine.    I really liked it - the greek yoghurt gives it a nice tang, but Mini wasn't keen - I don't think it was sweet enough for her!

The recipe makes a lot - much more than 6 ramekins.   So I made 3 ramekins and then froze the rest to have as ice cream.   I just did the no churn way of freezing for a couple of hours, whisking, freezing again - and repeating once more.

50g cocoa
150ml freshly squeezed orange juice
500g tub greek yoghurt
4 medium egg whites
100g caster sugar
Finely grated chocolate

Place the cocoa and orange juice in a pan and bring to the boil, whisking until smooth, pour into a large bowl and cool.
Add the yoghurt to the bowl and combine.  Whip the egg whites until stiff and whisk in a couple of tablespoons of sugar at a time until you have a glossy meringue.  Fold this into the cocoa mixture.
Divide between the ramekins and cover with the grated chocolate - chill to set.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Scream and Shout - and Britney Spears
2. Porcelain - Moby
3. Teardrop - Massive Attack

Monday, 25 May 2015

Monday Review - London

On Saturday, with Minibakebakegirl at a sleepover, Hubby and I headed into London for a day/night away.  

In the afternoon after checking into our hotel near Marble Arch we headed down Park Lane to Wellington Arch.   This is owned by English Heritage.  You take a lift to the top and there are great views once up there - you can see the London Eye and The Shard in the distance and also some hideous concrete buildings!  There are two exhibitions on the first and second floors.  The building used to be a police station in the 50's complete with a station cat called Snook!

We then crossed the road to Apsley House which is also owned by English Heritage.   We took the audio tour,  this is a very glitzy and ornate house - full of paintings and dinner sets - amazing.  The dining room was particularly impressive with a table to seat 85 people!

On Saturday night we ate in the hotel.   Pudding for Hubby was a salted caramel cheesecake and I had the lemon tart - delicious.

On the Sunday morning the weather was beautiful and after a pastry and coffee at Paul's we went for a walk

We then walked over to Hyde Park and down to the Serpentine.  I hadn't been there since 2007 when me, Sister, Minibakebakegirl, Niece1 and Niece2 went on the solar powered boat.  It's still there but only runs from 12pm.   Hubby and I walked round the lake enjoying the warm sunshine.  Look at the colour of the sky compared to yesterdays pictures!!

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. Stand and Deliver - Adam and the Ants
2. Prince Charming - Adam and the Ants
3. Antmusic - Adam and the Ants

Monday, 18 May 2015

Monday Bake - Banana Waffles

I have labelled this post a bake but it is actually cooked on the hob in a griddle pan.   I spotted this recipe in the Tesco magazine and decided to try it for pudding as I don't have a waffle iron and its another use for brown bananas!

250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium eggs
300ml semi skimmed milk
100g butter - melted and cooled
1 large ripe banana - mashed
1 tbsp sunflower oil

Sift the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl - stir to combine.
In a jug, beat the eggs with the milk , butter and banana until just combined.  Pour the wet ingredients on the dry and fold in until just combined. Leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Put a non stick griddle pan over a medium high heat - add the sunflower oil and tilt to coat the pan.  Pour in the batter and reduce to a medium heat.   cook for 5 minutes until the underside is golden and the top in set.
Gently slide the waffle onto a place then put the pan upside down over the waffle. Carefully invert the plate to turn the waffle over in the pan.   If you don't feel confident about turning it (my griddle pan is really heavy - I did manage it but the waffle stuck a little to the plate)  pop it under a medium grill for 5 minutes until golden.

Turn out onto a serving plate and cut into 6 pieces. Serve with icecream/greek yoghurt and a drizzle of golden syrup.

This recipe worked really well (it got the thumbs up from all three of us!) and the recipe could be easily adapted by removing the banana - adding blueberries or lemon zest or chocolate chips or......I will be making these again - lots!  

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. My Type - Saint Motel
2. The Race - Yello
3. Geronimo - Sheppard

Monday No Bake - Lemon Yoghurt Mousse

I have spoken about pairs of recipes I make and after making the chocolate creme brulees I searches for a recipe to use up egg whites that wasn't meringues and then kind of adapted what I had in the fridge to make this mousse.

250g low fat greek yoghurt
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 medium egg whites
100g caster sugar
Raspberries to decorate

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks - keep whisking and gradually add the sugar until you have a glossy meringue.
Mix the lemon juice and zest with the yoghurt and fold in the meringue.  
Spoon into 4 glasses and top with as many raspberries as you like! Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Best eaten on the day as the  next day the fourth one had separated - was fine after a mix to combine again!

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra
2. Love Again - Rae Morris
3. Keep On Moving - Five

Monday Bake - Mocha Cake with Latte Icing

I love coffee cake - I could do endless blog posts with different coffee cakes!  This recipe was in this months Sainsburys magazine.   It's so easy to make - put all the cake ingredients in a bowl and mix together.   However, when I made this today it did spill over the sides of my loaf tin in a kind of molton lava volcanic eruption way.  

You can find the recipe here.  I would make this again but I would either put less mixture in the tin or I might try leaving out the bicarb as the recipe uses self raising flour.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. She's Not There - The Zombies
2. For Your Love - The Yardbirds
3. Little Things - Dave Berry

Monday, 4 May 2015

Monday No Bake - Chocolate Creme Brulees

Today is a bank holiday so the three of us went for a walk to see the bluebells in Pryors Wood, Stevenage. We are members of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and have previously been to these woods on an organised bug hunt which was great fun when Minibakebakegirl was a bit smaller.

The bluebells were so pretty, we did a bit of a circular walk - with Minibakebakegirl and I stopping to take photos every so often.   The sky was very blue and the sun quite warm - yesterday was so drizzly here and that is the usual bank holiday weather so this was a welcome change.

My usual creme brulee recipe is baked in the oven but this Rachel Allen recipe is a no bake one.  I made this in the afternoon to have for dinner, however it wasn't set properly - still yummy but I would make this the day before next time.  You can find the recipe here.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Kiss Kiss - Holly Valance
2. Bamboleo - Gipsy Kings
3. Kiss me - Sixpence None The Richer

Monday, 27 April 2015

Monday Inspiration - Whisky Tea Loaf

Sister and Nieces came to stay on the last weekend of the easter holidays.

Sister had watched a programme about Thomas Heatherwick.  He has designed things including the new London Routemaster buses and the Olympic Cauldron.  In the programme it showed his rolling bridge so we decided to go and watch it curl up!    The footbridge only curls up once a week at Midday on a Friday.   

It's at the Paddington Basin, so we got there in plenty of time to have a wander before joining the little crowd to watch it. We spotted one Shaun in The City.  

Afterwards we walked along the canal to Little Venice.  It's so pretty and it was such a lovely day.  

We then got the bus to Notting Hill to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.   This was a complete trip down memory lane for my Sister and I, especially the 1970's and 80's!!!  Full of old board games, chocolate bars and crisp packets.   This quirky little museum is definitely worth a visit - we spent the whole time saying "oh we had that" and "oh I loved those"!!!    

We then walked to Portobello Road and had a good wander round the stalls and shops.   

We ended up in Kensington Gardens and a well deserved sit down at Pizza Express for tea!

We also went to see Tom Stoppards new play The Hard Problem at the cinema through National Theatre Live.    Niece1 is a huge Damien Malony fan, they had tried to get tickets to see this at the National Theatre but they had sold out so she was able to see him on the big screen.   This is a great way for people outside of London to see plays.  There was a lovely introduction by Emma Freud and you could see the theatre filling up behind her. Having not seen a Tom Stoppard play before I didn't know what to expect but I enjoyed it, Sister wasn't sure and Niece1 only had eyes for Damien.....

I made a Whisky tea loaf - my recipe came from Stacey Bakes book, there are lots of different tea loaf recipes but the use of whisky in this one is amazing, everytime I opened the tin to have a piece the kitchen filled with the smell!

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. On Top of The World - Imagine Dragons
2. Whenever, Wherever - Shakira
3. Love Me Again - John Newman