Broccoli and Stilton Soup

019

I was in my local supermarket earlier and I picked up 2 heads of organic broccoli reduced to only £0.03 each!!  …. you know what it’s like, your head starts going through possible yummy recipes… my head was telling me soup! 😉    I nipped round to the cheese counter and picked up a bit of stilton.

|This recipe should serve six.

Ingredients:

  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 2 large heads of Broccoli
  • 2-3 oz of Stilton Cheese or adjust depending on your preference
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • 1-1.5 litres boiling water and a stock cube

Method :

  • Heat the Butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and leave to cook on a low-med heat for 8 mins until they become soft and clear
  • Whilst the onion and garlic are softening, chop the broccoli as finely as possible.   Add the chopped broccoli to the onions and pour in 1 litre of boiling water an a stock cube and bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When the broccoli is tender, add the stilton cheese.   Whizz the soup well in a liquidiser to give it a really smooth texture.
  • Check and adjust the seasoning and reheat if necessary.

010

Advertisements

Strawberry Sponge Cake

I made this cake yesterday, we had friends round for a spot of supper and this yummy cake and a nice pot of tea finished the evening off.

It is really easy to make…

For the Sponge:

  • 6oz Butter or Margarine
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 6oz Self Raising Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Method: ( I use my kitchenaid to mix mine)

  1. Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined
  3. Add the flour gradually and give it a good mix
  4. Beat in the teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  5. Take a 7-8in round sandwich tin and spoon in the mixture
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven  at 180 degrees C for 35 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 mins then turn out to cool firther on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the sponge has cooled completely slice the sponge in half to make 2 sponges, a top and bottom.

I used my homemade strawberry jam, and spread a layer evenly over the bottom half of the cut sponge cake, place the lid back on top.

Take a carton of double cream and beat until a nice smooth thick consistency is reached.

Spread the cream over the top of the sponge cake with a pallet knife.

Take a punnet of fresh strawberries remove the husk and slice each strawberry in half,  cover the top of the cream covered cake in the strawberry halves.

Just before serving put a teaspoon of icing sugar into a fine sieve and dust the icing sugar lightly over the cake.

Then Enjoy 🙂

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 ..

Orangic Blackcurrant Jam with Freshly Baked Scones

 

I Picked blackcurrants in my garden yesterday , this evening they became Jam…

Recipe :

  • 290g Blackcurrants
  • 290g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Juice of half an organic lemon
  • enough water to cover the blackcurrants in their pan.

Method:

  1. Wash the blackcurrants
  2. Place in a pan and cover with water
  3. gently bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins
  4. remove any scum
  5. add the sugar and bring to the boil again for 8-10 mins until a set is achieved
  6. allow to cool a little before ptting into a sterile jar

Scone Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 75g Icing Sugar
  • 25g Baking Powder
  • Half a teaspoon sea salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced.
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C fan/200 Degrees C/Gas 6
  2. Sift the flour, icing sugar and baking powder into a large bowl or food processor and add the salt.
  3. Rub in the butter, add the eggs and enough milk to bring the dough together.
  4. Roll the dough out 2cm thick on a floured surface and cut out 7 or 8 scones using a round 7cm cutter.
  5. Leave these to rest on a baking tray for 20 minutes then brush the tops with milk and bake for 17-20 minutes.

Mouthwateringly gorgeous 🙂

Scone Recipe courtesy of Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell ISBN 1-85626-614-1

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 😉

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..

Coffee Choc Chip Cookies

 

I made these tonight for my daughter, she had a few friends round 🙂 Needless to say, there are none left lol

Ingredients

 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) / 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 cup / 6 ounces light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups /  8.75 oz cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet white & Milk chocolate chips
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F / 150 degrees C / Gas Mark 2. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
       
    2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
       
    3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
       
    4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.
       
    Makes:   24 cookies

     

    Homemade Butter

     

    I made butter this afternoon and I cant believe how easy it is to do!

    All you need is one 600ml carton of double cream.. pour the cream into a food mixer with a whisk attachment…. turn on to med-high for around ten mins…

    1. First it turns to thick cream

    2. Then it goes like scrambled egg

    3. Then all of a sudden it comes together inside the ball whisk and seperates from the liquid, giving you butter and butter milk!

    4. I seperated the buttermilk into a small jug

    5. I turned out the butter onto a clean square of muslin and gave it a good squeeze, to remve the last of the buttermilk..

    6. Turned it out onto a wooden chopping board and took 2 large wooden spoons to pat it into shape.

    I will be using the buttermilk to make scones or muffins with later on today..