Saturday, 22 April 2017

Spiced Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake

Are we ready for some more chocolate after the indulgences of Easter?

I am always looking for a way to use interesting or unusual ingredients. You don’t see polenta around too much, but I really like using it in baking. It is kind of coarse and I like the very subtle crunch that it gives to baked goods. I am a fan.

Now, real talk, I poured the batter for this into a cake tin that was way too small and it never would have cooked. So I removed some of the batter for cupcakes, and ended up with a smaller cake than was intended and 6 delicious cupcakes. Still delicious.

This is a good cake. AND it's gluten free! You will enjoy.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Tear and Share Cheesy Garlic Bread

Okay, I know that it's Easter, which basically means chocolate season. And I am all about the chocolate. I don't do much sweet Easter baking because I'm too focused on yumming chocolate eggs into my face.

But if you're anything like my family, Easter is a time for people to come together and eat. So I've found the perfect side for your Easter buffet. Everyone does an Easter buffet, right?

It is an acknowledged truth that everyone loves garlic bread.

It’s like the universal amazing starter/side – carbohydrate-loaded, highly flavoured, a wee bit greasy.. It ticks all the boxes.

I'm literally salivating right now

But, like all awesome things, it is also ridiculously decadent and should really be saved for special occasions. Oh, hello, Easter.

I could eat all of these right now/

This bread is really really simple to whip up. It takes a little time while you’re allowing the dough to rise, but that’s good if you’re also cooking lots of other things at the same time. This is why it is the perfect dish for a party, imagine throwing this down in the centre of a table – people would be so happy.

Serves.. well, it makes about 24 individual garlic bread balls. So that could serve 2-12, depending on how much the people at your table love garlic bread. I'm not judging.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

I really need to get my blogging-self back into gear. I haven't had much time lately to cook, so the blog has kind of had a back seat because I haven't had the material to post. But I'm back, baby. I have found some recipes that I'm really excited about and I thought I'd start with one of my favourite styles of meal - homemade mid-week takeout!

Quick dinners are really important on days when you’ve been in work and all you actually want to do is bundle up on the sofa with Netflix and peanut butter.

Quick dinners that taste a bit like a Chinese takeaway are even more important!

I’m not a big veggie fan, but I do like broccoli and leeks, so I try to shoehorn them in wherever I can, and they really work here. It's a lovely plate of golden chicken and green veggies and it just tastes like a big hug of a dinner. Serve with noodles or rice, or whatever you fancy.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Orange Polenta Cake

Spring is in the air, and for me that means citrus cakes! I am super excited about this cake. For my birthday (way back last year), my lovely boyfriend was tasked with going out and getting me many slices of delicious cakes instead of one normal birthday cake. I don’t ask for much..

He got me a delicious and unusual selection, but our favourite was probably the orange and polenta cake. It wasn’t too sweet, but it was moist and a little crumbly and melt in the mouth delicious.
I’ve been on the hunt for polenta since then..

I cracked it the other day – the little Italian deli at the market, of course! They had it, and a ton of other absolutely delicious ingredients of which I picked up one or two.. or five..

This is a pretty simple little cake otherwise. I think I’ll play around with the proportions of polenta to flour to ground almonds, next time I might up the polenta and reduce the flour. I only have quite small and tall cake tins, so I divided the recipe into two. and got two flat but perfectly cooked cakes. Absolutely delicious!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Oh, hurry up Spring! Yes. technically it's March, but it's still cold.

This is the kind of dinner that is a great big hug on a plate. It’s healthy and wholesome and packed of lovely veggies. And the sauce! Amazing.

I really love finding new delicious things to make in my slow cooker. I made this a little while back. I put it in the slow cooker in the morning before getting into bed post-night shift. When I woke up at 6pm, my dinner was cooked and ready to eat, and that stuff matters when you’re running on 5 hours sleep – I could have cried with happiness!

This ticks all my boxes-  simple, quick (relatively speaking, the work/prep involved to make it only takes minutes), tasty and healthy. A total winner.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Shortbread - My Mum's Recipe

Lent is upon us once again. But, everyone knows that you can break your Lent on a Sunday.

And when you break your Lent, you need to do it in style. Forget a few squares of chocolate, you need something amazing.

Enter shortbread.

Shortbread is amazing. Shortbread also eluded me for many years. My mum makes amazing shortbread, and I basically rooted through her recipes until I found it this Christmas. Sharing is fun.

I think they key is the cornflour, it gives it a beautiful “snap” and makes the biscuit deliciously crumbly and crunchy.  The butter is incredible. It’s all working. AND it got the seal of approval from my little godson on Christmas day (he had one in his mouth and one in each hand and was anxiously checking the box to see how many were left).

Apart from being gorgeous and buttery and delicious AND easy to make, its also a fairly versatile recipe. I’ve made it with just plain sugar topping, with lemon zest in the biscuits, and (a personal favourite) with chocolate chips in the dough!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Coconut Tiffin

Soon after, I ate this

I'm currently post-nightshift. I'm very delicate right now after 4.5 hours sleep, and I don't know up from down. All I know is that tiffin is amazing. I'm holding on to that right now.

Tiffin is a real crowd pleaser. I just want to experiment with different tiffin flavours and never make anything else ever again. I don’t think anyone would fault that decision. Try it, and believe.

I didn't make enough to quite fit right to that last corner.,

So, with that in mind – coconut chocolate tiffin!

Traybakes are amazing, they’re quick and delicious and easy to transport. This one is all covered in chocolate and coconut and it really is incredible. I got a bar of white chocolate with coconut through it in Aldi, so I’ve used that because it fitted the theme, but you could just use plain white chocolate chips if that’s all you’ve got. The Aldi stuff is about 80p though, so if you’ve got one nearby, it’s worth a trip in – the Germans know chocolate.