Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

I fancied making something different today… something that would go nice with a cup of tea.   I had a rummage through the cupboards to see what ingredients I had then flicked through a few cookbooks… decided to make Flapjacks! 🙂

p.s. (Picture to follow soon – theyre in the oven as I type this)

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Ingredients :

  • 115g / 4oz butter, plus extra for greasing (I used Stork)
  • 60g / 2 1/4 oz Caster Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Golden syrup
  • 350g / 12oz rolled oats (I used Porridge Oats)
  • 85g / 3oz plain chocolate chips (I used a bar of plain chocolate chopped up)
  • 85g / 3oz sultanas (I left out the sultanas my lot wont eat them so doubled up on the chocolate)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 Degrees F / Gas Mark 4.   Lightly grease a shallow 20cm / 8inch square cake tin.
  2. Place the butter, caster sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until the butter and sugar melt and the mixture is well combined.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the rolled oats until they are well coated.   Add the chocolate chips and the sultanas and mix well to combine everything.
  4. Turn into the prepared tin and press down well.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.   Cool slightly, then mark into fingers.   When almost cold, cut into bars or squares and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Lemon & Poppy Seed Madeira Cake

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I had some lemons in the fridge that needed to get used up, so I had a browse through some recipe books and found this recipe from Nigella Lawson.

It is from her Book How to be a Domestic Goddess – isbn 0-701-16888-9

Ingredients:

  • 240g Softened unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 x 2lb loaf tin
  • 2 Tablespoons of Poppy Seeds

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / Gas Mark 3
  2. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest
  3. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  4. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally, the lemon juice.
  5. Sprinkle with caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons should do it) as it goes into the oven.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.
  8. Makes 8-10 slices.

I got distracted… and as a result I forgot to put the poppy seeds in 😀

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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

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 ..

Fresh Fruit Salad

We’re all having fresh fruit salad for after our tea this evening… my mouth was watering just making this today 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Red Gala Apple, Diced
  • Half a Galia Melon, Diced
  • A tub of Strawberries (we visited a pick your own shop)
  • A tub of Raspberies      ”               ”            ”              “
  • 4 Small Donut Nectarines
  • 1 small Pineapple, cubed
  • 1 small glass of fresh orange juice (to stop the apples discolouring)

Mix together, cling wrap and chill in the fridge until required.

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! 🙂