Friday, 25 July 2014

Violet Madeleines

Well, my plan to continue blogging didn't quite go to plan. I suffered quite badly during the first trimester (and some of the second) with sickness and extreme tiredness.

So, sadly the blog was left to gathering dust. I do miss it though, I have found myself planning recipes in my head more and more over the last few days, so thought I would kick things off with this recipe I made earlier in the year, but never got around to blogging.

Violet Madeleines. Lovely light and delicate cakes adapted from the Skinny French Kitchen by Harry Eastwood. I love this book by the way, makes french cooking easy and a little lighter on the waistline.

print recipe
Violet Madeleines
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • Half a teaspoon Salt
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Bakign Powder
  • 80g Ground Almonds
  • Half a teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Half a teaspoon Violet Essence
  • 50g Butter, Melted
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 200C and brush a little oil into the Madeleine moulds - I used coconut oil, but standard olive or vegetable would do.Whisk together the eggs, salt and sugar until bubbly, then add the remaining ingredients and mix into a batter.Gently spoon the mixture into the moulds, filling three quarters of the way to the top, be careful not to over fill.Next, put the filled tin into the freezer, ensuring it is lying flat. Leave it for 10 minutes, and put the remaining mixture in the fridge to keep cold.After the ten minutes, put them in the oven and cook for ten minutes.Repeat the oiling, filing, freezing process for each batch until the mixture is all gone.Dust the Madeleines with icing sugar and serve. They will keep for 2 days in an air tight container, although they taste best eaten fresh.

According to the book, its the shock from cold to hot which results in the signature little bump.

The recipe above is how you should do it, however, I skipped the freezer bit for my second batch and they turned out much the same, so if you, like me have no patience, a refrigerated batter will still give you the little bump.

Thinking of doing a few baby/pregnancy related posts, as its the biggest part of my life right now. What do you think? Would you be interested in non-food related content?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

News!

So, as you can probably tell from the above grainy picture of my uterus... I have some news!

In around six months time we will be welcoming a new little person into our family. It has been a very long couple of months of sickness and secret keeping but finally I can tell everyone. I partly haven't been baking and blogging due to feeling rubbish and steering clear of any interesting food, but also as I am a terrible secret keeper and I would have struggled to carry on blogging without blurting it out.

So, apologies for disappearing for the last few months, I am really looking forward to getting back to it and hopefully, sickness permitting, baking again!

Luckily I do have some posts from February that I didn't get around to finishing or publishing, so look out for some recipes very soon.

Hope you all had a lovely March/April, and I am looking forward to sharing some lovely summer recipes with you.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 10th March


My one and only picture from my day in the lakes on Saturday

You may have noticed that I didn't publish a meal plan last week, there is a reason for that. I didn't eat at home at all last week, I had one of those crazy busy weeks and while I had an absolute blast, I have missed cooking. So this week I plan on being a bit more of a homebody, or at least try.

Monday
It is mine and Paul's 8th Anniversary today! We are going for coffee at the place we had our very first date, then onto dinner. I can't quite believe its been 8 years, but I am excited to celebrate us.

Tuesday
I am off to the cinema to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, what was I saying about being a homebody? I'm a fan of Wes Anderson films so couldn't wait to see this one.

Wednesday
Homemade chicken pie with mash and veggies. I had pie at work on Friday, so promised Paul I would make one for him this week.

Thursday
Pasta bake, keeping it simple.

Friday
Gammon with homemade spicy potato wedges, fried egg and salad.

Still a bit of a busy week, but trying to get more balance.

Hope you all have a lovely week! Lookout for a recipe post for me later in the week. Here is a little sneak peak...

This post has been added to the Meal Planning Monday Linky, check it out for some other great meal plans!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Traditional English Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas (and a giveaway!)

We all know it is Shrove Tuesday on the 4th March in the UK. You would be hard pushed to find a bigger pancake lover than me, but I am not a fan of Shrove Tuesday. I know that doesn't make sense but allow me to explain;

Pancakes should not be limited to just one day a year, I feel like they get neglected 364 days of the year, pancakes are for life my friends, not just for Shrove Tuesday.

There are so many different style and flavour combinations you can give to your pancakes, fluffy american one, thin crepe ones, savoury, sweet, toppings, fillings... Seriously folks, they are the most versatile vehicles for all of the best flavours and ingredients.

I decided to keep my recipe simple for this post, as it IS Shrove Tuesday, I went for crepe-style. My go-to recipe is much more fluffy and american in style, so these felt a little more special. I steered clear of the traditional lemon and sugar and opted for a caramelised banana topping.

I used coconut oil to caramelise the bananas which lifted the whole dish to something pretty spectacular!

I also cooked the pancakes them selves using coconut oil, it gives a very subtle coconut flavour to the whole dish, not overpowering at all, just a little jazz hands to the dish on a whole.

print recipe
Traditional English Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas.
Ingredients
  • 300ml Milk
  • 1 Egg (medium)
  • 90g Flour
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Tablespoon (plus extra for the pan) Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Caster Sugar
Instructions
Whisk the egg into the milkSift in the flour and whisk until smoothMelt a small pea-sized amount of coconut oil in a frying panPour in some batter, not too much, you should slide the batter around to coat the pan. Don't be afraid to go for a thin pancake.I slide a silicone spatular around the edge of the pancake, and shake the pan until the pancake slides around freely.Once it is sliding freely, go for the flip! Once nicely browned on both sides, start on the next pancakeThis mixture made 6-7 thin pancakes, which was perfect for a Sunday brunch for one. Once all the pancakes are done, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and the tablespoon of sugar.Throw in the chopped coins of banana, cook for just 2 minutes, until softened, then pour the bananas and syrup over the pancakes.Scoff Immediately!

The one good thing about Shrove Tuesday is the amount of delicious pancakes toppings that are available in the shops.

So, as I love you all dearly, I wanted to give you the chance to win some delicious pancake related things, due to some TNT courier issues this is a little late for Shrove Tuesday, but hopefully my "pancakes fo' life" campaign has convinced you to eat them any day of the week.

So to win a wonderful hamper courtesy of Abra-ca-deborah, simply complete the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Vanilla & Chocolate Baked Doughnuts.

I finally did it. I bought a doughnut pan.

I've been contemplating it for a while, one has been in my amazon basket since Christmas. Finally during a late night trip to Sainsburys, I saw one, it was reduced, I couldn't not buy it. I decided to stay basic with the first recipe, keep it simple; vanilla, chocolate, BOOM!

I am not going to lie to you and tell you these taste just like Krispy Kreme, because they don't. they aren't the same, not even a little bit. You know what though? They are still pretty damn good.

I still want to tweak the recipe, try other flavour combinations, play with yeast... The possibilities are endless. Watch this space for further doughnut experiments.

This was the ideal starter recipe, a good place to start my slightly unhealthy doughnut obsession.

I'm going to be completely honest with you, I found these heart shaped sprinkles in my cupboard and thought to myself...

"These will make them valentines doughnuts, which will make me a proper blogger, blogging seasonally and all that".

I smugly sprinkled the hearts on, and then remembered it was the 23rd February and Valentines day has long gone. FAIL!

I may fail at being a proper blogger, but I win at doughnuts.

print recipe
Baked Vanilla Doughnut
This recipe is adapted from the Lakeland recipe here.
Ingredients
  • 155g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, medium
  • 1 tablespoon Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 80g Dark Chocolate
  • SPRINKLES!
Instructions
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.Add the wet to the dry and stir to form a smooth batter.Spoon the batter carefully into a ring doughnut pan, about 3/4 full (allow room to rise).Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180C.Once cooled, dip the tops into a bowl of melted chocolate, shake vigorously to get rid of excess and smooth out the chocolate.Sprinkle on sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet.Et voila! Super easy and basic oven baked doughnuts.

If you have any doughnut wisdom to share, or recipes for me to try please leave a comment below

Monday, 24 February 2014

Meal Planning Monday - 24th February.


Another adorbs Ruby picture for you

It's Monday, I know, it sucks. Lets get through it together, OK?

Monday
Mini roast chicken dinner - Chicken breast, potatoes, yorkshire puddings, veggies and gravy

Tuesday
I am out for dinner with my sister, still undecided where. If anyone has a North East based restaurant recommendation, let me know.

Wednesday
Spaghetti and Meatballs, I got some venison meatballs in Aldi, quite excited to see what they are like.

Thursday
Bangers and mash, I am out for drinks after work, waving farewell to a colleague. So Paul will be on cooking duty, his mash potato skills are top notch.

Friday
Both me and Paul are out after work, so no cooking once again.

It is a pretty busy week for us, so a quiet week for the kitchen. I found getting back to blogging my meal plan last week actually helped us stick to it, and remember to defrost things in time. Now, if I could just find a way to stay on top of the dishes situation, I feel like the dirty dishes in my kitchen are breeding! Its like tribbles, but way less cute.

Hope you all have a lovely week! Lookout for a recipe post for me later in the week. Here is a little sneak peak...

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