Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Buttercream icing

1/2 cup butter, softened

4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Yield: About 3 cups.
Easy Almond Buttercream Frosting: Prepare as directed above, use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon almond extract instead of the vanilla. Yield: about 3 cups. 

Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Prepare as directed above, except use 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup baking cocoa and 6-7 tablespoons milk. Yield: about 3 cups. 
Easy Lemon Buttercream Frosting: Prepare as directed above, except use 5-6 tablespoons lemon juice instead of the milk and 1 teaspoon grated peel. Yield: about 3 cups. 
Easy Orange Buttercream Frosting: Prepare as directed above, except use 5-6 tablespoons orange juice instead of the milk and add 1 teaspoon grated orange peel. Yield: about 3 cups. 
Easy Peanut Butter Frosting: Prepare as directed above, except use 1/2 cup peanut butter instead of the butter and use 6-8 tablespoons milk. Yield: about 3 cups. 
Easy Peppermint Buttercream Frosting: Prepare as directed above, except use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract instead of the vanilla. Yield: about 3 cups.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Hot dog inna a bun (or my organised disorganisation)

I'll let you into a secret - I LOVE children's films so if we are having a quiet day I like to pop on a film, today it's Tarzan and watch it with them while munching on hot dogs and popcorn. That is until I stumbled upon this recipe for sausages baked in buns
which produces fantastic hotdogs baked in the buns but takes ages and really needs to be prepared In advance. This requires organisation on my part (a rare and usual happening) and to find this out you have to read the recipe through to the end, which I didn't when I tried to make them last year. I missed 3 and 1/2 films while I struggled in the kitchen! Luckily the boys has opted to watch back to back herbie films so I wasn't missing much.. Unfortunately they we're absolutely de-ruddy-licious and so requested every other film evening. I caved and made them a few more times (all the time quietly cursing the preparation which I did simplify a bit but not enough to make these a viable regular recipe), but ever since I've been on the lookout for an easier alternative.

I have been using this recipe for quick rolls for a year or so - it's really quick and easy. It can be adapted by chucking herbs in, or popping cheese on top. I also add an egg wash on top which makes no difference to the taste but improves them aesthetically. Why I never thought to to combine the two until now, I'll never know!

Hotdog in a bun

1 batch of 40 minute hamburger bun dough
1 jar of 8 hot dogs
1 egg
Salt, seeds or other toppings

1. Heat oven  to 425 or 200 (sorry don't know the gas mark equivalent)
2. Tip the can of sausages into a colander and leave them to drain and dry out a bit. If the sausages are wet it's harder to wrap them in bread.
2. Pop oil, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your food processor and leave for 5 minutes
3. Add flour salt and egg and knead for around 5 minutes until a smooth dough has formed then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. At this point the recipe says to let it rise for 10 minutes but I found that it next step takes just over 10 minutes anyway so I just crack on. 
4.Form it into a ball and divide into 8. 
5. Form each section into a sausage roughly the same length as the sausages. Then squash until roughly twice as wide and the diameter of the sausage. Place the sausage in the middle of the dough and pull the sides up and fold the ends in. Pinch the seams to seal them, then place seam down on a baking sheet. If the sausages are still quite wet, this step is made easier by lightly coating them in flour. (This may not be a problem for others but slippery sausages and slippery dough is a bit of a juggling act when done one handed!)
6. Brush with beaten egg then sprinkle with a topping of your choice. My hubby and I like a sprinkle of each salt, the boys prefer poppy seeds.
7. Bake for around 12 minutes then serve straight out of the oven with ketchup/mustard to dip.

These are just delicious  and the bonus? When I made them today, the boys had only just decided on their choice of film as I was pulling them out if the oven! Of course, there is a downside - there were so yummy they were gone within minutes of the opening credits so I was then banished the kitchen fir popcorn...

I will certainly be making these again but I can think of several variations I'd like to try - lightly fried onion in with the sausage, grated cheese sprinkled on top, condiments inside and various com biting of those. I let you know how it turns out!

Pictures to follow once my laptop is fixed

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chicken and chorizo stew

Firstly I need to stress, this IS NOT my recipe but appeared in the Neff Bake it Yourself facebook group. If you belong to facebook clicking the below picture will take you straight to the recipe. I like this recipe but have adapted it for my very lazy level of cooking and my version appears below.

285g (10oz) pearl barley
4 chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in half
1 red onion, peeled and sliced into 2.5cm (1in) chunks
1 small bulb garlic, cloves peeled
220g chorizo sausage, thickly sliced
1 red, 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced into 2.5cm (1in) chunks
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 litre chicken stock, hot
3 carrots chunkily chopped
Handful of trimmed and chopped green beans

Chuck it all in your slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Had it for lunch today, with my parents and great gran and it was pronounce delicious!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yoghurt-pot cake (Nigella's breakfast chambella)

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 pot of yoghurt
  • 2 pots sugar
  • 1 pot of oil
  • 1 pot cornflower
  • 1/2 lemon 's worth of lemon zest
  • 2 caps of vanilla
  1. Whisk white until stiff and set aside
  2. To egg whites add the yoghurt and 2 yoghurt pots full of sugar and whisk add oil and cornflower while whisking
  3. Mix in lemon and vanilla. Fold in 1/3 of egg white vigorously then gently fold in the remaining 2/3
  4. Pour into ring tin (fill almost to the rim)
  5. 1.2 hour in moderate oven and once cooled dredge in icing sugar and serve

Saturday, August 18, 2012


50g rolled oats
50g golden linseed
100ml boiling water
275ml soya milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fast action yeast
325g strong white flour
50g rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
oil for kneading

Place rolled oats and linseed in large bowl and pour over the boiling water, and leave for ten minutes to soften. Add the warm soya milk and yeast and mix. Add the flours and salt then mix to a sticky dough. Cover and leave for ten minutes then knead briefly. Leave for another ten minutes then knead briefly again. Cover and leave for another ten minutes then knead briefly again, then leave covered for 45 mins.

Line a tray with non stick baking paper. Use a little flour and pat the dough into shape. Place on tray, cover with a cloth and leave until risen by half. Slash along the top then bake in 200 fan oven for about 45 mins.

When I made this the other day, I had no linseeds, so I left them out. I only put in a tiny amount of salt. And I read the recipe wrong and didn't leave it to increase in size once I had shaped it, I baked it immediately. Despite all this, it was lovely, and was still soft enough to make sandwiches with 24 hours later!


500g strong white
250g wholemeal or spelt (I've used rye)
250g plain white flour (this makes it nice and light)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp easy-blend yeast (I use 1 pkt of fast acting)
1.5 tsp of salt (I don't put this in as it is for baby)
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil (just noticed this I've never put it in)
625ml warm water

Mix all above together into a rough dough, it should feel sticky and squidgy between your fingers.

Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 mins. When it is smooth put in oiled bowl and cover bowl with clingfilm allow to double in size.

Knock back and split into 2 loaves (I get 4 small loaves) shape or put in loaf tin and prove until double the size again.

Instructions to cook are for 250oC for 10 mins and reduce to 200oC for 20 mins. I don't do that I do 200oC for 25 mins (or less for smaller loaves).

add herbs, olives, cubes of halloumi allways turned out nic

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mincemeat Flapjacks

Mincemeat Flapjacks

  • 4oz butter
  • 2 tblspn golden syrup
  • 2oz demerara (or soft dark brown sugar for a treaclely taste)
  • 5 heaped tblspn mincemeat
  • 5oz rolled oats
  1. Preheat oven 160c or 325F then grease and line 7 inch baking tin
  2. melt butter sugar & syrup together then stir in mincemeat and oats
  3. spread in tin (pressing down firmly)
  4. bake for around 1/2 hour until golden brown
  5. cool for 15 minutes then divide in slices or squares
  6. Store in airtight container

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Traditional flapjacks

Made these with Nate 10/1/12 to take to playgroup in order to use up the rolled oats that were bought for "magic reindeer food" but not used. Not an auspicious start - Nate fell off the stool and smacked his head on the wall on the way down but once bumps were all kissed it went well and he really enjoyed making them! They were so good we then had to make a second batch as the first lot was not going to make it to playgroup!

150g Marg or butter (I prefer salted butter personally)
75g Sugar
75g Golden Syrup
250g Oats
  1. Put the 150 g of margarine, 75 g of sugar & 75 g of golden syrup in saucepan (or microwaveable bowl if using a microwave oven) and heat until it is all liquid.
  2. Line the baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix in oats.
  4. Put the mixture into the baking tin and press down.
  5. Bake at 175 °C (Gas Mark 4) for 25 to 30 minutes. Warning: the timing is tolerant but accuracy in temperature is critical.
  6. Slice into chunks (around 16 ish depending on how large you like your flapjacks) before it sets with a plastic knife but leave in place in tin.
  7. Leave to cool and set.

Fruit Flapjack

As above but thrown in some raisins and/or sultanas and/or cherries before baking.

Chocolate Flapjack

a. As above but throw in choc chips before baking
b. As above but before slicing, make up chocolate ganache and pour on top. Slice once set
c. As above but dip slices in either melted chocolate or chocolate ganache

Jam Flapjack

Replace the golden syrup in the recipe with 100 g of low sugar jam and reduce the additional sugar from 75 g to 40 g. The result has a mild fruity flavour instead of a mild golden syrup flavour (and is slightly less sugary).

Honey Flapjack

Replace golden syrup with honey - gives a more suble flavour