Onion Focaccia

ONION FOCACCIA

Focaccia, with its characteristic texture and dimpled surface, has become hugely popular in recent years.   This version has a delectable red onion and fresh sage topping.

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 210ml / 1 cup of water
  • 15ml/1 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g/3 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 2.5ml/half a tsp salt
  • 5ml/1tsp easy-blend (rapid rise) yeast
  • 15ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 15ml/tbsp chopped red onion

For the topping:

  • 30ml/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • half a red onion thinly sliced
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 10ml/2 tsp course sea salt
  • coarsely ground black pepper

METHOD:

  1. Pour the water and oil into the bread pan.   Reverse the order in which you add the wet and dry ingredients, if necessary.
  2. Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that it covers the liquid.   Add the salt and sugar in separate corners, make a small indent in the flour and add the yeast.
  3. Set the bread machine to the dough setting.   If your machine has a choice of settings use the basic or pizza dough setting and press start.
  4. Lightly oil a 25cm-28cm/ 10-11in shallow round cake tin or pizza pan.   When the cycle has finished, remove the dough from the pan and place it on a surface lightly dusted with flour.
  5. Knock the dough back (punch it down) and flatten it slightly.   Sprinkle over the sage and chopped red onion and knead gently to incorporate.   Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it, then roll it into a round of about 25-28 cm/ 10-11 in.   Place in the prepared tin.   Cover with oiled clear film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degree C / 400 Degrees F / Gas 6.   Uncover the risen focaccia, and using your fingertips, poke the dough to make deep dimples over the surface.   Cover and leave to rise for 10-15 mins or until the dough has doubles in bulk.
  7. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle wih onion, sage leaves, sea salt and black pepper.   Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden.   Turn out on to a wire rack to cool slightly.   serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of the book “BREAD” by Christine ingram & Jennie Shapter – ISBN-10: 0-7548-1788-1

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Cupcake Addiction….?

I love being off work, I get to be with the kids, my pets and play in my kitchen till my heart is content..

This morning I made the kids pancakes for breakfast, they had maple syrup, homemade raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant jam on them, they were absolutely delicious (I must put my recipe on the blog).  

I also have my 14yr old niece staying with me for a month, she has travelled over from Greece, so I have 3 ravenous teenagers to feed 🙂

I also made some Salsa (cooked version) which I will put into a sterilised Kilner Jar, which will be used at the weekend for my daughters Cowgirl party, I have decided to do Tex-Mex food for it, and i’m making things piece by piece 🙂

The kids have just come back in from a bike ride along the local coastal path,  I have just finished Icing the cupcakes I made about an hour ago,  as soon as they came into the kitchen they homed in on the cupcakes I guess they won’t last very long!   I did however, manage to get some pictures of them before they disappear

Soooo I’m thinking I might just have a bit of an addiction where it comes to cupcakes/fairycakes, they are just easy to make, and I looove coming up with different toppings for them ..

All Occassion Cupcakes

I was flicking through some old magazines yesterday and came across this recipe for cupcakes/fairy cakes, the recipe itself is completely different, using Yoghurt and ground almonds, so I thought I would give them a try.

Recipe:

  • 150ml Natural Yoghurt
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  • 140g/5oz self raising flour
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, meltedMethod:

Method:

  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases (muffin sized ones) and heat oven to 190 degrees/gas 5.
  •  
  • In a jug mix the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract, put the dry ingredients, plus a pinch of salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Add the yoghurty mix and melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon – don’t overwork it.  
  • Spoon into the muffin cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to the touch.   Cool for a few mins, then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Decorate:

  • 1 batch white chocolate frosting (see recipe below)
  • 36 simple sugar roses and leaves
  • 2.5m thin ribbon (optional)

White Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt 100g white chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 1/2 mins, stirring halfway.   Leave to cool.
  • Beat 140g Unsalted butter and 140g Icing Sugar in a large bowl until creamy.
  • Beat in the chocolate.   Cover (can be chilled in the fridge for up to one month)
  • Up to 48 hours before serving (or the day before if its really hot, bring back to room temperature, then spread over the cakes.   Put the ribbon around the cakes now if you like, tying or glueing in place.  Keep cool and out of direct sunlight.

I made them this evening, and will decorate them tomorrow morning when they are completely cooled with the White Chocolate Frosting… providing there are any left!   I have had to throw one to the dogs already because Hovis our Birman cat decided he fancied one… cheeky bloomin cat!  

My son has polished off a couple too and he gave them a score of 10/10, result! .. they do taste good, would most definately make them again 🙂

They have now been put in a safe place 😉

Jam Making Day

We have been making Jam this afternoon… the whole house smells good enough to eat.

Here is the recipe…. Because we had more strawberries than raspberries, we only had enough rasps to make a small kilner jar of rasp jam.

I halved the quantities used below for the strawberry jam  when making the rasp jam and only used the juice of a quarter of a lemon.   Also a wee note, I used normal unrefined organic caster sugar that contained no pectin and got a good set.

Recipe for Scottish Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

770g Locally grown Scottish Strawberries

770g Organic Caster Sugar

Juice of Half a Lemon

Method:

  • Wash the fruit if necessary and drain well.
  • Put into a preserving/jam pan.
  • Simmer until some juice has been extracted.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice, stirring until it has dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes until the jam sets when tested.
  • Remove the scum and leave to cool slightly so that the fruit will not rise in the jars.
  • Pot and seal while still warm.

     

   

Makes enough for a large kilner jar

   

 

My mouth has been watering whilst making the jam this afternoon, and once I have cleared up the aftermath in the kitchen, I’ll make some freshly baked scones, just to make sure my jam tastes ok 🙂

Pink Fudge Topped Fairy Cakes

We had visitors round last night and cakes are always a favourite with the kids, especially when theyre pink, yummy and topped with soft fudge pieces.  

I love to make fairy cakes and try and come up with different toppings each time, so apologies for the overdose of fairy cakes if you follow my blog…

unable to help my self tho’ as they’re sooooo pretty 🙂

You can find the recipe for the basic fairy/cup cakes here..

Make your Own : Chinese 5 Spice Powder

Make your own : Chinese 5 Spice Powder.

I bought some pork belly strips with a view to sticking them onto the bbq this weekend, I thought I would give them a try instead of pork ribs, easier for the kids to eat (no bones) also it is a relatively cheaper cut of meat.. and tasty to boot!

I wanted a Marinade for them so scanned through my bookcase and found a book called “Barbeque” over 200 sizzling dishes for outdoor eating – ISBN 1-84038-260-0

Found a fab recipe on Page 32 – Five-Spice Rib-Stickers.. sounded fab so got stuck in and started to make it, only had one problem, I didnt have any Five Spice, so had to make my own from scratch, grinding the whole spices to powder in my pestle & mortar.

Five Spice Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. ground Szechwan pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground star anise
  • 1-1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

Combine all the spice powder together, use what you need and store the rest in an airtight container.

Marinade Recipe :

  • 2 tsp. Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh root ginger
  • half a teaspoon of chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. dark muscavado sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil

Mix all these ingredients into a bowl and add the pork belly/ribs and marinade overnight in the fridge.

Verdict : 10/10  – they tasted great and the kids loved them too! 🙂