Cheer me up, marmalade cake

In the face of February storms and thwarted plans a cake bake brings a little cheer. Found this recipe in the manual for my elderly bread maker. I couldn’t take the paddle out of the bread maker so baked this in the air fryer instead. Delicious.

Ingredients: 200g plain flour, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp baking powder, 50g softened butter, 50g brown sugar, 4 tablespoons marmalade, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk.

Mix dry ingredients then rub in butter and add wet ingredients, mix well and spoon into small pan lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 30 mins at 170 degrees. If a knife blade comes out clean it might be ready, if not keep going for up to 50 mins (the bread maker timescale).

Hazelnut harvest

Hazelnut biscotti from bbc.co.uk/food – Paul Hollywood’s recipe, my photo!

How to use the hazelnuts that the French squirrels didn’t beat us to… a small harvest so I want to use them carefully. These biscotti will stretch and keep well so seem to fit the bill.

It is a recipe from the great British bake-off apparently but so easy that I would recommend it to anyone with a reliable kitchen timer. Half one batch shown here. Not as dry as the ones I have bought.

Their picture, can you tell the difference?

Easiest dinner menu …

Must remember how very easy this was to prepare so am posting …

Starter: Asparagus Spears wrapped in streaky bacon and oven baked, serve yourself butter and parmesan on the table

Main: Chicken and chorizo bake (thighs, chorizo slices, halved new potatoes, oregano, lemon and onion), green beans or salad on the table

Dessert: Affogato (expresso coffee shot over vanilla ice cream), ratafia biscuits optional

(pictures cobbled together as were the actual recipes I followed)

Grown up snowball

Screenshot 2018-12-23 at 12.24.42  yummy but dangerously strong …

 

Ingredients

6 egg yolks, 1 can condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 350 ml vodka (or brandy), lemonade

whisk the milk, then the essence then the vodka into the egg yolks – decant into small bottles and chill until ready to tipple

 

(this quantity made some little gifts but bear in  mind that without preservatives this has a limited life)

then pour a measure into a champagne glass and dilute with lemonade

Screenshot 2018-12-23 at 12.24.07snowballs from my childhood (we drank them made with Warninks which is 17.2% alcohol, really!? well it was only once a year…) were topped with a glace cherry on stick but a little grated nutmeg looks good

for a wicked version replace the lemonade with sparkling wine (don’t waste good stuff on this)

 

 

 

peppermint bites

Rather than go and buy some sweeties in case we get callers – we are a bit off the beaten track for most trick or treaters – I whipped up some peppermint bites that we can unwrap and  enjoy ourselves if not collected this weekend.

these are easy – about 5 mins once you have got the ingredients together, plus a couple of hours chilling time

3oz of Philadelphia type cream cheese, a tablespoon of softened butter, 3 cups of icing sugar (yes it is a lot), a drop or two of green colouring and a drop or two of peppermint oil

mix everything together and put teaspoons of the mix on a silicone or wax paper sheet – chill till firm

wrap in waxed paper and decorate for the season

apparently they will also freeze for a few months

Plumbrillo

A plum bonanza! Found this recipe by Jane Hornby on Good Food Magazine and it worked well (eventually after hours – literally – of boiling down). Below is my recipe adapted, based on comments on her recipe and my experience.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 13.43.26.png

How to;

Weigh and then halve the plums (no need to remove stones) and cover with water in a robust deep pan. Simmer for about 45 minutes until pulpy and deep red in colour.

Remove the stones and then whizz the pulp with a stick blender. Stir in half the weight of jam (preserving) sugar ie if 2 kilo of plums, add 1 kilo of sugar. Once dissolved heat on high for about 25 minutes  – be prepared for much longer if your plums are watery, it needs to be so thick that as you stir the spoon leaves a thick trail.  Take care not to let the mixture catch on the bottom of the pan so keep stirring as it thickens.

Decant into silicone moulds or ramekins and keep chilled until you next have a posh cheeseboard.

This was soooo much easier than membrillo made with quinces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

super quick mayonnaise

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.42.16I had to stand in and do a slot at our food event so I was given this ‘bombproof’ recipe to make good mayonnaise using an electric stick blender. It works (even on a hot day, in front of an audience) and is tasty too. Apparently it originated with Masterchef Australia’s Gary Mehigan

2 eggs
1 tbsp of mustard – I used dijon but recipes suggest wholegrain
2 tbsp of white vinegar – again some people say white balsamic
pinch of salt
500 ml sunflower oil (approximately)

Add mustard to eggs in bowl – no need to separate – add salt and vinegar plus a dash of oil then blend for about 10 seconds. (The beauty of this is that you don’t spend time trickling oil in gradually, it won’t split if you are generous with even the first dash of oil). Add further slugs of oil until the mayonnaise is the consistency you want. If it gets too thick you can thin it with lemon juice, vinegar or even water.

Option: add in chopped herbs or spices even sweet chili sauce etc.