Yorkshire Puddings

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There’s nothing quite so comforting as a good old fashioned home made Yorkshire pudding 🙂 (particularly in this horrible rainy weather!) This recipe is Jamie Oliver’s and ever since I found it I have always made my own from scratch. They are super easy to make so long as you stick to the three golden rules:

  1. Whack your oven up to its highest temperature to pre-heat the muffin tray and whilst they are cooking.
  2. Use vegetable or sun flower oil – NOT OLIVE OIL!
  3. Whatever you do…no matter how curious you are…DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN until the 10 minutes cooking time is up

If you follow these golden rules you will always have giant Yorkshire puds which are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside – delicious smothered in gravy!

When me and Tim were in New Zealand in 2011 we stayed with a lovely family in Havelock. They called Yorkshire puds Havelock dumplings and they were just as scrumptious as the English classic – so whatever you call them is fine … so long as you cook them from scratch! 🙂

Enjoy!

Holly xx

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 100 ml milk
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/gas 9.
2. Get yourself a cupcake tin and add a tiny splash of vegetable oil into each of the 12 compartments.
3. Pop into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes so the oil gets really hot.
4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a jug until light and smooth.
5. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, then confidently pour the batter evenly into the compartments.
6. Pop the tray back in the oven to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.

Mini French Baguettes

Bread week challenge number 2! Mini French baguettes – Paul Hollywood style!

Ingredients:

  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5g salt
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 180ml cool water
  • Olive oil for kneading

Method:

  1. Add the flour to a bowl and put the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Pour water in slowly and mix together using your hands.
  3. Knead dough until its elastic and can stretch to around 30cm long – this takes about 20 minutes
  4. Leave in an oiled bowl covered in cling film for around 2 hours.
  5. Tip the dough onto an floured and semolia’d surface and knock the air out of it using your knuckles.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening the dough out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Then roll each up into a sausage – the top should be smooth with ha join running along the length of the base. Now, beginning in the middle, roll each sausage with your hands.
  7. Place the baguettes on the baking tray. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for about 1 hour, until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.
  8. When your baguettes are risen and light, dust them lightly with flour. Then slash each one 3 times along its length on the diagonal, using a razor blade or a very sharp knife. Fill the roasting tray with hot water to create steam and put the bread into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the baguettes are golden brown and have a slight sheen. Cool on a wire rack.

These were surprisingly easy to make and super yummy straight from the oven! Enjoy! I’m slightly behind on my GBBO challenges so watch this space for crème brulees and even more! x

Cupcakes!

 

 

So last week Tim brought home the biggest cup cake holder you’ve ever seen. I was told that I could hold on to it provided I filled it with cupcakes to take back to his office. Good deal I think, I like to cook and I get to keep the giant cupcake box! So I did three types of cake: Lemon, chocolate and cherry topped lemon cake.

The basic recipe for the cake is:

  • 115g self raising flour
  • 115g marg
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

The great thing about this recipe is you literally chuck all the ingredients into a bowl at once and blitz with an electric whisk until smooth then pop in the cases and in a 190C oven for 15 minutes.

For the lemon cupcakes I added a tablespoon or two of lemon marmalade which made the cake so moist and zingy. I then decorated them with yellow butter cream and iced flower and hundreds and thousands. The chocolate ones got a sprinkle of mini smarties and the cherry cakes got a dollop of white icing and one solitary cherry – simplicity at it’s best.

English Muffins

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So for my mum’s 60th birthday we decided to treat her to a family outing of afternoon tea. To start the day off I hosted breakfast and served poached eggs on home made English muffins. The recipe is that of the lovely John Whaite whom I trust with all bread bakes!

I tweeted the lovely John and he tweeted back saying my English Muffins look spectacular! – I was a very happy bunny 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 500g Strong white bread flour
  • 50g butter
  • 10g fast action yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 50ml lager
  • 50ml milk
  • 170ml water
  • 30ml cider vinegar (I used white wine though and it tasted fine)

Method:

  1. Put the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the yeast and then the salt.
  2. Pour the lager, milk and water into a sauce pan and heat until luke warm but not hot. Add the vinegar then pour this into the dry ingredients. Bring together into a rough dough using a wooden spoon then turn out onto the worktop and knead until elastic (for around 10 minutes)
  3. Once kneaded place in an oiled bowl cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour
  4. Once risen, tip out and roll to around 1.5cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out 10-12 muffins. Put these on a floured worktop and leave under a damp tea towel for another hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6. Place a non stick frying pan on a medium heat. When the pan is hot place 3-4 muffins in without crowding. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining muffins.
  6. When you take the muffins out of the oven wrap them in a barely damp tea towel to soften them. Then enjoy with some butter and a cup of tea!

Vegetable Bake

Vegetarian Bake

Vegetarian Bake

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my own recipes that I invented to get rid of some of the left over Christmas goodies lying around the kitchen and in the fridge. Its tasty enough as it is but if you wanted you could always add some chicken into the mix to make it a bit more substantial.

Ingredients:

  • Red onion
  • Red pepper
  • Potato
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • White wine
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Crackers
  • Cream

Method:

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a ceramic pot and add the chopped onions
  2. When the onions are cooked, add the carrots. pepper and thinly sliced potato
  3. Add the garlic and cook off for a few minutes with a teaspoon of thyme and parsley
  4. Add a splosh of white wine and let this cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add a large splosh of cream and season
  6. Blitz some left over crackers for cheese in a blender
  7. Put all of the ingredients into a casserole dish and add a sprinkle of the cracker mix on the top.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

The bird

The bird

Merry Christmas to all! I thought I would do a quick update after we hosted Christmas dinner at our new home. We did a Turkey crown which was gorgeous and could have fed the 5000. My mum also bought me the Britain’s Best Bakeries cook book after we saw it at the Tettenhall Craft and Food Fair a few months ago. We also sampled Baked in Tettenhall’s chocolate scones which were absolutely gorgeous – a must find/try recipe. http://bakedit.co.uk/

So here’s to a few new recipes to be featured in the coming weeks!

xx

The Table

The Table

Tettenhall Fair

Tettenhall Fair

Chocolate Scones

Chocolate Scones

 

Vanilla Macaroons

First attempt macaroons!

First attempt macaroons!

So after my hen do back in June my lovely friend Nikki did a beautiful recipe reading as part of the cabaret night – long story! Anyway, she also bought with her a cooking magazine complete with a free macaroon silicone baking sheet which I quickly snapped up. So last night, I found an easy macaroon recipe and decided to give it a try for the first time. Here are the results – not bad for a first attempt! Next time I will definitely use more pink food colouring in the macaroon egg white mixture and not use a pronged piece for the piping bag as it gave the macaroons a prickly look. But onwards and upwards!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Macaroons:

  • 100g / 1 cup icing / powder sugar
  • 100g / 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 medium, free-range egg whites
  • Small pinch salt
  • 55g / ÂĽ cup caster / fine sugar

For the filling:

  • 150g / 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 75 g / 2/3 cup icing / powder sugar

Method:

  1. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together into a bowl and discard anything left in the sieve afterwards.
  2. In a very clean and dry bowl mix the salt and egg whites together, adding any food colouring at this stage before they are whipped.
  3. Then whip the eggs and salt together into soft peaks.
  4. Slowly add the caster sugar bit by bit until you have firm peaks – hold it over your head and it should stay in the bowl – go on I dare you!
  5. Slowly fold in the icing sugar and almond mix – the mixture will loose a little air but this is ok.
  6. Pipe the macaroons onto a silicone macaroon baking sheet or piece of baking paper. Less is more at this stage as they spread.
  7. Leave to dry out for around 20 minutes, the tops will look smooth after they have sat for a while.
  8. Bake at 140C for 7-8 minutes then open the oven door to release any steam, then bake for a further 7-8 minutes. They are ready when they are firm to the touch and have risen slightly.
  9. Take them out the oven and let them cool completely, if you move them before they are completely cool they will break.
  10. Mix all of the filling ingredients together and spoon half a teaspoon between two macaroons to make a lovely squidgy sarnie of sugar!