#FOODIE TIP FRIDAY…

Foodie Tip Friday …

Use a muslin instead of a sieve when dusting your cake with icing sugar as it looks really pretty.

 

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THE SECRET TO COOKING GREAT FOOD WITH LIMITED INGREDIENTS…

When you get home after a hard day at work, open the fridge and realise that there’s basically nothing in there, you’ve got two choices. You could go back out again and buy some ingredients or you can try to make do with what you’ve got. You can cook some pretty incredible meals with just a couple of ingredients but there is a certain art to it. Use these three simple tricks to master cooking with limited ingredients.

1. KNOW YOUR FLAVOUR PAIRINGS…

Strawberries and cream, cheese and tomato, lemon and garlic. Some flavours just go well together and they create such a delicious combination that you don’t need much else in your meal. Identifying the food pairings made in heaven is the key to cooking well with a small number of ingredients. You’re going to be experimenting with flavours a lot which is always a good thing, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you can end up with some disasters. If you just start throwing things together without some idea of whether they’ll taste good, you’re probably not going to end up with a nice meal. But if you find those flavour combinations, they’ll stand you in good stead.

2. MAKE USE OF SPICES…

Often, if you don’t have a lot of fresh ingredients to use, you need to rely on flavourings. If, for example, you’ve got a load of beans and pulses in the cupboard and not much else, you can still make a delicious meal out of them if you know how to use herbs and spices properly. The correct combination of a couple of spices can really elevate even the most boring of dishes. The staples that you need in your cupboard are cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, oregano, parsley and paprika. You can create all sorts of different flavours using different combinations of those. You should also keep a tub of curry powder in the cupboard, it’s a great shortcut that you can use to make a delicious curry in no time at all. You’ll also need to learn when spices should be added to the pot because some need to go in right at the start while others only need to be cooked for a few minutes to release their flavour. Over or under cooking spices can completely ruin the flavour.

3. BUY VERSATILE INGREDIENTS…

When you’re only working with a couple of ingredients, you want things that you can create lots of different flavours and textures. Buying these versatile ingredients and keeping them in the cupboard will allow you to create a meal out of anything. Eggs are a great one; you can put a boiled or poached egg on top of a meal to add extra protein and nutrients, you can use them in baking or make a sauce with them. Chickpeas are another great ingredient; they make a good substitute for meat in a curry or chilli, you can make them into hummus or you can drizzle them in a bit of oil and bake them for half an hour for a delicious crispy snack. Knowing how to use versatile ingredients will make life so much easier for you.

Follow these 3 tips and you’ll be able to cook amazing food with just a few ingredients.

 

2 FREE KINDLE RECIPE BOOKS WORTH READING OVER THE BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND…

  1. Gluten-Free Freezer Recipes and Gluten-free Recipes for Kids by Tamara Paul – The Going Gluten-Free Cookbooks provide you with everything you need to go Gluten-Free, stay Gluten-Free, and LOVE EATING GLUTEN-FREE:
  2. Vitamix Recipes – Soups, Smoothies, Juices, and Sauces – don’t have a Vitamix? A blender will do just fine!
  3. A Collection of Your Favoruite Foods (All Gluten-Free) – miss the pasta, pizza, burgers, and desserts from your diet? It’s all one click away!
  4. Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican recipes, and many more!
  5. Always on the go? Check out the On-The-Go Recipe Book or the Freezer Recipes Book to save time!
  6. On a budget? Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be more expensive than it already is – check out the Quick, Cheap, and Gluten-Free Recipes – with every recipe taking 10 minutes or less!
  7. Slow cookers, pressure cookers, and baking galore – you’l find it all with this amazing set of cookbooks!
  8. All recipes are family-friendly, and Tamara goes a step further by providing her very own set of Gluten-Free Kids Recipes – great for the whole family – even better for the little ones! 

Food on a Stick Cookbook: State Fair and Carnival Food on a Stick Recipes by Choose between sweet and savory food on a stick or even better prepare a real state fair meal from appetizers, sides, snacks, and main entrées to desserts!

Recipes include savory recipes like:
• Corn Dogs
• Pork Chops on a Stick
• Steak Taco on a Stick
• Cheese Meatballs on a Stick
• Tornado Potatoes
• Meatloaf on a Stick
• Caprese Kabob on a Stick
• Pizza on a Stick
• Lasagna Rolls on a Stick
• Thai Chicken Skewers

For the sweet tooth, some of the examples of recipes included in this collection are:
• Rainbow Cake Push Pops
• Mango-Strawberry Ice Pops
• Candy Bars on a Stick
• Caramel and Chocolate Apple on a Stick
• Cookie Pops
• Donut on a Stick
• Caramel Popcorn on a Stick
• Fruity Fun Skewers
• Cheesecake on a Stick
• Cupcake on a Stick   

 

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC LOAF CAKE FROM GOOD HOUSEKEEPING…

I am sure by now that my readers know that I love making my loaf cakes and the easier the recipe the more the cake is made. Last week I held a fund-raising coffee morning for Cancer Research and made two Soggy Orange Loaf Cakes and some homemade biscuits for the everyone to enjoy.

I had so many people asking for the recipe for the Soggy Orange Loaf Cake that I was told I should have printed the recipe off and charged for a copy of it and that way I could have made more money for the charity. I will remember that next time.

The recipe I am covering today was one a friend send me the link to on Facebook as she knows how much I love making my loaf cakes. Its’ a Good Housekeeping recipe and is available from their website but also on their Facebook page where you can also watch it being made. As like all my others, it’s very easy to make.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC CAKE…

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 200 g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200 g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest 1 pink grapefruit
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) gin

FOR THE SYRUP AND TOPPING

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 75 ml 1 pink grapefruit tonic water, we used Fentiman’s Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
  • 3 tbsp gin
  • 100 g (3 ½oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Red or pink food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment, making sure that the parchment comes up at about 4cm (11/2in) higher than the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 3min. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in flour, baking powder and grapefruit zest (reserve remaining grapefruit for later), followed by the gin. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 55min-1hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: Half the grapefruit and squeeze the juice from one half only. Gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1min. Remove from heat and mix in the gin and 1tbsp grapefruit juice.
  5. When the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and slowly drizzle over half the gin syrup mixture. Leave to soak in for 10min then drizzle with remaining syrup. Leave to cool in tin on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the remaining half the grapefruit in half again, then slice a couple of thin half-moons from one of the halves. Lay the slices flat on a board, and cut along the segment lines into small triangle shapes. Put the triangles on kitchen paper to dry.
  7. Using the tin as a guide, run a knife horizontally along the top of the loaf cake to cut off the rounded top. Invert the cake on to a serving plate and peel off the parchment. Mix the icing sugar with enough grapefruit juice (about 11/2tbsp), to make a slightly thick but pourable icing. Use a cocktail stick to add a very small amount of food colouring to the icing, to tinge it a pale pink (repeat if necessary until you get the desired shade). Spoon icing over the cake and decorate with the grapefruit triangles.To store

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days if without grapefruit decoration (or about 3 days with grapefruit slices).

     

     

#RECIPE OF THE WEEK – EASY CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE…

This week’s recipe of the week is Olive Magazine’s Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake…

Super easy and quick to make, this gooey chocolate cake number is perfect for when you need to bake a last-minute treat for a special occasion.

Ingredients…

  • self-raising flour 150g
  • cocoa 30g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • muscovado sugar 175g
  • butter 175g, softened
  • eggs 3
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • dark chocolate 50g, melted

FUDGE ICING

  • butter 200g, softened
  • icing sugar 200g
  • dark chocolate 200g, melted 

Method:

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/gas 4. Line and butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.

Put all cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth. If the mix is a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water and whizz again.

Divide between tins, level and bake for 30 minutes or until springy. Leave for 5 minutes then cool on a rack.

Clean the food processor. Whizz the butter and icing sugar, add the chocolate, whizz again, then sandwich and ice the cake.

Tadah…now pop the kettle on and enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee with a slice of this deeeelicious cake, Enjoy

TEN OF THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH CAKES……

1. Welsh cake – A traditional Welsh snack which is made from flour, sultanas, raisins and currants.


2. French Fancy – A very British iced sponge cake topped with buttercream and fondant icing.


3. Fat Rascal – A rough domed-shaped type of cake, similar to a scone, made with currants and candied peel.


4. The Victoria sponge – this was named after Queen Victoria who favoured a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea.


5. Lemon Drizzle – A classic sponge cake made in many parts of England for Easter Sunday.


6. Bakewell tart – Bakewell pudding (a puff pastry and almond paste delicacy) is thought to be made as a mistake by the cook of Derbyshire landlady Mrs. Greaves who misunderstood her instructions.


7. Battenburg – it has a distinctive check-patterned marzipan-covered cake is alternately coloured pink and yellow.


8. Eccles cake – A small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter and can sometimes be topped with demerara sugar named after the English town of Eccles in Manchester. (My Dad’s favourite) 🙂


9. Jaffa Cake  – An orange-flavoured snack which is either a cake or a biscuit.


10. Chelsea bun – Made of a rich dough flavoured with lemon and cinnamon and rolled into a square spiral shape, which was first created in the ’18th Century’, at a Bun House in London.

What’s your favourite British Cake?

 

HEART BISCUITS FOR VALENTINES DAY…

Gorgeous Valentine inspired biscuits from Biscuiteers – hand-iced biscuits are the perfect way to show that special someone that you love them this Valentine’s Day. Some of their Valentine’s collection can even be personalised with a love note of your choice.

personalised vintage love letter collection

This one is their personalised love letter collection at £35.00

flowers biscuit card

or this flower biscuit card for £9.00

little box love chocolates

or this little box of love chocolates for £11.95

 

Failing that have a go at your own with the recipe below…

Ingredients
115g butter
55g caster sugar
150g plain flour
25g cornflour
A couple of drops of Vanilla extract
250g Royal Icing Sugar
Food colouring to decorate

Method
Preheat up to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
Mix butter, caster sugar, and vanilla extract
Stir in the flour and cornflour
Wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes
Roll out to thickness of around a £1 coin
Cut different shapes of hearts
Bake for 10 minutes
Leave to cool on a wire rack
Decorate as you like

Heart Biscuits