Friday, 29 February 2008
1 tbsp olive oil
4 thick pork sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml/7fl oz medium white wine
1 tbsp tomato purée
400g can chopped tomatoes
500g pack rigatoni or penne
Handful of basil leaves, torn, (optional)
Parmesan, to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan (preferably not non-stick) and add the sausages. Fry for about 8 mins until golden and cooked through. Tip in the garlic and fry for 1 min. Pour in the white wine and boil until it has reduced by half.
2. Stir in the tomato purée and tomatoes, and season to taste. Simmer for 15 mins until the sauce is rich and thick.
3. While the sauce cooks, boil the pasta according to pack instructions and drain. Stir in the basil if using, and cooked pasta into the sauce, then serve in bowls with grated or shaved parmesan.
For the cake
175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
175g (6oz) butter, diced
175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
50g (2oz) sweetened and tenderised coconut (you can use dessicated coconut)
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1tsp baking powder
For the icing
125g (4oz) golden icing sugar, sifted
1tbsp sweetened and tenderised coconut (or dessicated coconut) to decorate
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with a greaseproof loaf liner.
2 Put the flour, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, coconut, lime zest and juice and baking powder in the bowl of a freestanding mixer, fitted with a K beater. Mix together slowly, gradually increasing the speed and mixing for 2min.
3 Pour the mixture (it'll be quite runny) into the tin and bake in the oven for 45-55min or until golden, well risen and cooked through - a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool for 10min then lift out the cake, keeping it in the liner.
4 To make the icing, finely grate the zest from the lime and cut away the white pith. Chop the lime flesh, then put in a mini processor with the zest and whiz for 1-2min until finely chopped. Add the icing sugar and blend until smooth. Pour over the cake then sprinkle the coconut on top to decorate.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Please feel free to attach this award to your blog ;o)
Thanks so much Rosie!
Dell from Cooking and the City has also kindly passed me the Nice Matters Award. Thanks so much sweetie, this really means a lot to me!
Blueberry and Lemon Muffins
175g plain flour
75g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Preheat oven to 200oC/180oC fan/gas 6. Grease or line 12 muffin tins.
Sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Lightly whisk the egss in another bowl, then add the melted butter, milk, vanilla and lemon rind and stir until combined.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon, stir until the flour is moistened and incorporated but not until the mixture is smooth.
Gently fold the blueberries into the mixture with a metal spoon until they are evenly distributed.
Spoon the mixture into the tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Carrot Cake recipe:
4 eggs, lightly beaten
250g caster sugar
185ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
400g carrots, peeled and grated
55g chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting:
180g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
180g cream cheese
3 drops vanilla extract
Walnut halves to decorate (optional)
Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas4. Grease and flour a 24 cm springform tin or bundt pan. Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy, then whisk in the oil. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add this to the eggs and whisk. Add the carrots and nuts and mix together. Scrape into tin and bake for an hour. Once the cake has cooled; For the icing whip the butter and icing sugar together until its stiff. Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla. Spread over the cake. And decorate with walnut halves.
The recipe is by Tessa Kiros and if you have never come across any of her books then you are missing out. Two of my favorite books by her are Apples for Jam and Falling Cloudberries, they are so beautifully illustrated and full of recipes inspired by her childhood and family.
I have my in laws over for Sunday lunch tomorrow and I have made this tart for dessert. I will be serving it with Crème fraîche and strawberries.
195g large all-butter sweet pastry case (M&S)
312g jar Tiptree lemon curd (or any good quality lemon curd)
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche
Unrefined icing sugar, for dusting
Pre-heat oven to 170oC/gas 3. In a large bowl, mix together the lemon curd, lemon zest, lemon juice, beaten egg and crème fraîche. Place the pastry case on a baking sheet, pour the lemon filling into the pastry case.
Bake the lemon tart for 20-25 minutes, until it is set and feels springy. Leave tart to cool, then chill in the fridge for 1 ½ hours. Lightly dust with icing sugar. Serve with crème fraîche.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
I am going to be a rebel here like my friend Rosie from Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake and not award this to just 5 people but to everyone who has a blog and shares the same passion for cooking and baking. There are so many wonderful foodie blogs out there that are deserving of this award of Excellence, so feel free to attach this award to your blog.
Btw both Dell and Rosie have excellent blogs and worthwhile visiting, if you haven't already ;o)
I've wanted to make this loaf for some time after spotting it in my Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes book and I bought the blackberries with the sole purpose of this recipe! I think blackberries and apple are the perfect marriage, whether in a crumble, pie or cake they bring out the best in each other. This loaf is the perfect example of that, with the added touch of cinnamon and orange zest, and the crumble topping finishes it off wonderfully. If you would like to re-create this yummy loaf I have added the link below.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ok well to start off I was still in my 20's. My son was 5 and at Primary school (gosh and now his towering over me and taking his GCSE's in May). I was preparing to say a sad goodbye to my parents who decided it was time to sell up and move back to Spain and retire. I was living in London and in a flat.
What were you doing 1 year ago?
Preparing to move the "beep" out of London flat and into a Surrey based house with a garden, garage and all the trimmings!
Five snacks you enjoy:
1) Fruit (who am I kidding)
3) Home-made bread with butter
5) Ice Cream
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Buy a huge house in the country with a huge kitchen
2) Buy my hubby an Aston Martin DB9
3) Give my family money and see them right
4) Take a world cruise
5) Become the next Imelda Marcus (my hubby claims I'm already there)
Five bad habits:
OK were moving into dangerous grounds here..hehehe
1) I suck my thumb to relax ("blush")
2) I'm true to my star sign (Virgo), a perfectionist
3) Must be the spanish in me but I have a fiery quick temper
4) Impulsive shopper
5) Lose patience with people who walk slow in front of me (aarrgggggg)
Five things you like doing:
2) Cooking and Baking
3) Listening to music
4) Did I mention shopping?? Ok, ok. Visiting National Trust places (yep were members)
5) Entertaining and eating out.
Five things you would never wear again:
1) Puff ball skirts, omg I think the 80's has to be the worse fashion era of my life-time.
2) The green manky school uniform, we couldn't wait to get to year 11 when it changed to black.
3) Bleached jeans and wait for it the ones with zips at the bottom!!!
4) White frilly ankle socks.
5) Anything neon, especially the tight lycra mini dresses, like the ones Whitney Houston wore in one of her music videos.
Five favorite toys:
1) Cupcake, my pink Kitchen Aid, I love her!
2) My computer
3) My ipod
4) My Treo PDA Phone
5) My Canon digital camera
The five people I am tagging are the following:
Indigo at Happy Loves Strawberry
Dell at Cooking and the City
Ruth at Ruth's Kitchen Experiments
Sandy at My Baking Blog
Janice at Farmer Girl Kitchen
Recipe for Praline Cake
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Cheese-Crusted Cottage Pie
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Recipe for Nut-Crusted Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake
Friday, 15 February 2008
Thursday, 14 February 2008
This morning I had to bake this Chocolate Heart Sponge Cake for a client who wanted this made for her husbands birthday tomorrow. The recipe is by Nigella Lawson but I have changed the filling. It is a gorgeous chocolate sponge, with whipped cream and strawberry filling and topped with a chocolate ganache and sugarcraft hearts.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Every Valentines I love to bake my hubby something special and as they say food is definitely a way to a man's heart! So after my rose hunt this morning I decided to bake up some of these gorgeous Little Mocha Kisses, filled with chocolate buttercream. These are perfect to serve with coffee after your Valentines meal. Hubby and I have a table booked at our local Italian for a Valentines meal tomorrow evening but these will be a lovely treat for when we get back!
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Who can resist a slice of decadent cheesecake? I certainly can not! I love cheesecake. It is the perfect dessert for entertaining guests or family and so easy to make. In celebration of the lovely spring-like weather we have had this weekend I thought what better choice of dessert than a cheesecake, so Chocolate Cheesecake it had to be. My son loves chocolate cheesecake and his been feeling unwell with a cold/sore throat for a few days, and what mother doesn't hate seeing her kid poorly, so I knew this would put a smile on his face :o). Lately with the cold weather, steamed puddings and crumbles with custard have graced our table after our Sunday meal but this cheesecake was a lovely change and a reminder of the eagerly awaited spring and summer.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
My boys are addicted to these flapjacks, they are quick to prepare and once baked you have an oaty, fruity, chewy and delish bar. Not to forget the added bonus of the white chocolate, perfect combination with cranberries. These are great to add to pack lunches, for morning's when your rushing out the door, or to accompany a cuppa. I have made these so many times and they fly out of the tin, but they do store well.
At the bottom of this post I have added the link to the recipe if anyone would like to re-create these highly addictive but healthy bars of deliciousness ;o)