Monday, 1 March 2010

what to do with your rollmop thanks to Hugh F-W

Herring, potato and watercress salad
This makes a delicious, punchy main-course salad; leftovers are good in a lunchbox the next day. Serves four to six.
400g small, waxy potatoes300g rollmop herring (see previous recipe)1 small shallot, peeled, halved and finely sliced1 tbsp dill fronds, chopped1 big handful watercress
For the dressing½ tbsp wholegrain mustard1 tsp freshly grated (or prepared) strong horseradish½ tsp dry mustard1 tbsp cider vinegar3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil, plus ½ tsp extra for the watercressA good pinch of sugarSalt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and add a little more sugar if necessary.
Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and, when cooled just enough to handle, halve and toss in the dressing. Set aside to cool.
Cut the rollmops into bite-sized pieces and mix gently with the ­potatoes, shallot and dill. Dress the watercress with oil, turning it with your hands, and season. Divide the salad between four plates and spoon the potatoes and herring on top.

Rollmops with thanks to Hugh F-W

Cider vinegar and orange rollmops
Some commercial rollmops are ­pickled in brutally acidic distilled vinegar, which obliterates their oily succulence and flavour. It's ­immensely satisfying to make your own – this brine mixture is the one we use at River Cottage, though ­experiment with the aromatics to create a blend that is your own. Makes three 500ml jars.
6 large, fresh herrings, descaled, gutted and filleted60g salt
For the marinade
500ml cider vinegar250ml cider12 allspice berries12 black peppercorns6 bay leaves1 tbsp light brown sugar1 tsp mustard seedsZest of 1 large orange, pared into wide strips with no white pith1 small onion (red or white), very thinly sliced
Check the herring fillets for any pin bones and remove as necessary. Dissolve the salt in 500ml cold water to make a brine, then add the fillets. Leave for two to three hours.
Meanwhile, make the marinade. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring slowly to a boil and simmer for a minute. Set aside to cool.
Drain the herring fillets from the brine and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Roll them up, skin side out, from tail end to head end, and pack the rolls into three sterilised 500ml preserving jars. Pour the ­marinade over the herrings, making sure you get some of the spices and zest in each jar, then seal.
Store in the fridge for at least three days before eating. They're best eaten five to 10 days from ­jarring, but will keep for up to a month. The longer you leave them, the softer and more pickled they'll get.
To serve, drain the fillets from their marinade and accompany with a little soured cream and slices of rye bread or country-style bread.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mullagatawny the worlds greatest Fridge Cleaner!!!

So empty the veg rack and clear out that half jar of Passatta
2 carrots
2 onions
some courgette
a lump of butternut
a chunk of swede
that half a parsnip at the back
any sweet poato or a potato
half a leek
2 lamb stock cubes
a good heaped teaspoon of curry powder
half a jar of passatta with garlic [or chuck some garlic in]
enough water to cover by about a couple of centimetres or 3

Dice or chop all the above veg...doesnt matter what size as you will blitz it when it is cooked.
Chuck all the above into a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30-40 minutes [whatever it takes to walk to the shop to buy a paper]

in a seperate pan cook 50 gram rice and 50 gram peas then drain.

When all the veg are cooked blitz till smooth then add the cooked rice and peas

Friday, 29 January 2010

'99' cupcakes

175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
55g ground almonds
150g self raising flour

buttercream icing
8 mini chocolate flakes
sugar sprinkles
seedless raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180°c. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with 8 paper cases.
Put the butter, sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in in the almonds and flour. Spoon the mixture into the cases.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Spoon the mixture on top once cool, in a heap like an ice cream cone. Press a flake into each cake, sprinkle with sprinkles and heat up the jam and drizzle on top.

Nannies' easy fruit cake

360g mixed fruit
120g sugar
120g butter
1/4 pint water
1 egg, beaten
240g self raising flour

Put fruit, sugar, butter and water in a pan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and add the beaten egg and then stir in the flour. Put into a greased tin. Bake for about 40 minutes at 130°c.

Chicken Teriyaki

4 chicken breasts, skin on
4 tbsp dry sherry
4 tbsp masala
3 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp dark soy sauce

Make 3 diagonal cuts into the skin of the chicken.
Heat a pan. Add chicken skin side down, fry for 3 minutes. Turn over and fry for another 4 minutes.Remove from the pan and discard any left over fat.
In the same pan bring the sherry, masala and sugar to a boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, bring back to the boil, cover and cook over a high heat 6 minutes. Turning the chicken until the sauce thickens.

Squidgy chocolate cake

125g ready to eat stoned prunes
100ml brandy
125g butter, cubed
150g dark chocolate
500g caster sugar
375g plain flour
60g self raising flour
75g cocoa powder
1 whole egg and 2 egg whites lightly beaten

Heat the oven to 160°c. Grease a tin and line with baking paper.
Puree prunes adding 1 tbsp of hot water for smoothness. Put in a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy, butter, chocolate, sugar and 250ml boiling water. Put the rest of the water in a saucepan and place the bowl on top until the chocolate melts. Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes.
Sift both flours and cocoa into a large bowl and make a well. Pour in the chocolate mixture then add the whole egg and the egg whites and best to a smooth batter. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Spiced pumpkin and bacon soup

1 tbsp olive oil
200g onions, sliced
1.3 kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped into chunks
125g extra trimmed, smoked back bacon, diced
1 tbsp ground cumin
750 ml vegetable stock
salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add pumpkin, bacon and cumin to the pan. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
add stock. Raise the heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Puree the soup and season to taste.

Fish crumble

4 people

4 tsp cornflour
300g-400g white fish
1 tsp dried tarragon
200g prawns and smoked salmon
4 tbsp peas
4 tbsp cooked carrot, diced
4 slices bread, breadcrumbs
3-4 cloves of garlic
100g parmesan
pint of milk

Dice the white fish and add to a pan with butter until its changed colour. Add 1 tsp dried tarragon. Add the peas and carrots. Pour over the milk and season. Bring to the boil.

Add the prawns and salmon.

Dissolve the cornflour and stir in until it forms a thick sauce.

Process the bread, garlic and cheese to fine breadcrumbs.
Put the fish mixture into a dish. Cover with the bread crumbs and bake at 180°x for 20 minutes.

Chicken Myers

For 4 people

4 chicken fillets
1 tin condensed chicken soup
3 tbsp mayonaise
4 tbsp cream
1 tbsp curry powder
grated cheese

Slice fillets into 4 or 5 pieces each and place in a casserole dish.
Combine soup, curry powder, mayonaise and cream. Pour over chicken.
Cover the casserole dish. Bake at 180°c for 35-40 minutes. Remove the lid and cover with grated cheese, cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Smoked salmon pasta

150-200g pasta
Quarter onion, very finely chopped
pack smoked salmon
small pot of single cream
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill
black pepper

Cook pasta.
Soften onion and garlic in butter. Stir in smoked salmon, cream, dill and pepper.
Drain pasta and combine. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

Thai fish cakes

Makes 12

1 slice bread, breadcrumbs
2 handful's fresh coriander
2 tsp thai spices
2 tsp sugar
400g white fish
2 fish stock cubes

Make breadcrumbs and remove.
Place coriander, spices, stockcube and sugar and process. Add about 4 tbsp breadcrumbs and chopped fish. Process. Add another 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs if sticky.

Shape into fishcakes.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan on a medium heat, fry for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Fidget pie

500g shortcrust pastry
3 tbsp semolina
450g potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
300g Bramley cooking apples, peeled and thickly sliced
2 onions, finely sliced
300g ham, thickly sliced
2-3 tbsp soft brown sugar
8 sprigs of sage, leaves chopped
110ml dry cider
1 egg, beaten

To prepare the pastry: Preheat the oven to 190°. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry to about 5mm and line a 23cm cake tin. Let the pastry hang over the edges of the tin. Cover with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, or rice.

Place the tin in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the baking parchment and beans or rice and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Remove, cool slightly and trim off any excess pastry. Sprinkle the semolina over the pastry to absorb excess moisture.

To make the pie: Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until just tender. drain and toss in with the flour, double cream and salt and pepper.

Layer the filling ingredients into the base. Start with a layer of apples, followed by potatoes, onions and ham, season as you go with sugar, sage and salt and pepper. Add the cider, pour carefully so it doesn't fizz.

Roll the remaining pastry into a disk that is big enough to cover the top of the pie. Brush the edges of the case with beaten egg and the lid, pinch the pastry to form a seal. Place the pie in the oven for an hour.

Basic sponge recipe

240g butter, room temperature
240g caster sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
240g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 160°c. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.

Beat the butter until soft, slowly add the sugar until combined and light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, and beat in until completely incorporated before adding the next egg. Once all the eggs are added, add the vanilla extract.
Sift in half the flour and the baking powder and slowly fold in using a metal spoon. Sift in the rest of the flour and fold in until completely mixed in. Add the milk and mix in. Pour into the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until, the top is golden and when pushed with fingers bounces back.

Leave to cool in the tins for a while and then turn out onto a wire rack.

Once completely cool, whisk up some double cream with two tbsp of icing sugar. Spread some raspberry jam on the bottom cake and put the cream on top and spread out. Leave about 2 cm around the edge for spreading. Place the other cake on top and sift over with icing sugar.

Pork pie


400g shoulder pork, finely chopped
55g fatty pork belly, minced
55g lean bacon, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp finely grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten


900g pork bones
2 pig's trotters
2 large carrots and 2 celery sticks
1 onion
1 bouquet garni
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns


150g lard
50ml full fat milk
50ml water
450g plain flour
1/2 tsp black pepper

To make the pastry: Best done a day ahead. Put the lard, milk and water into a small pan. Heat until the lard has melted and the mixture is warm. Sift the flour into a large bowl, season with pepper and salt and mix well. Mix the warm lard liquid into the flour and knead to form a ball. Leave to rest in the fridge.

To prepare the jelly: Put all the jelly ingredients into a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the bones. Slowly bring in the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Remove any scum that forms and continue to simmer for 3 hours. Strain through a sieve and pour into a clean pan and reduce the stock until about 600ml is left.

To make the pie: Preheat the oven to 180°c. Put all the meat, spices and seasoning for the filling into a large bowl and mix well together with hands. Take a small jam jar and rub in plain flour to stop the pastry sticking. Knead a piece of pastry into a circle about 3cm thick. Lay the jam jar on the disk and press the pastry up the sides of the jar, using thumbs to create the case. Gradually easy the pastry away from the sides of the jar and remove.

Roll some meat into a ball and carefully throw in the pastry case. Brush the top edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Cut a smaller circle of pastry to fit the top of the pie, place it on top and press the edges to seal them. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake for 45-60 mins. Once cool, cut 2 small holes in the top and pour in the liquid jelly and leave to cool again.

Trout baked in foil

2 trout fillets
bunch of parsley
bunch of thyme
1 lemon sliced
splash of white wine
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Make 2 bags out of foil and place 1 trout fillet in each. Top each fillet with some lemon, parsley and thyme. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add a little white wine and seal up the bag. Bake for around 10-12 minutes.

Cornish Pasty

450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
125g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
125ml cold water

450g potatoes finely diced
150g swede, finely diced
150g onions, finely chopped
300g beef skirt, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
40g butter
1 egg, beaten

To make the pastry: Place the flour, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and rub together until breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolks and water. Slowly add the liquids into the dry ingredients until the pastry comes together into a ball. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 180°c. Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Cut around a dinner plate to form pastry circles.
Separately season all the vegetables with salt and pepper. Put the beef into a bowl and mix with the flour and some salt and pepper.

Place some potatoes, swede, onions and beef on one half of the circle, leaving a gap around the edge. Then fold the pastry over the vegetables and meat and seal firmly. Starting at one side and crimp the edges over. Brush all over with beaten egg and then make a small hole in the top with a knife to let out steam. Repeat.

Put the pasties in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, until golden and the filling is cooked. Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Bread and butter Pudding

pack of normal brioche rolls
pack of chocolate chip brioche rolls
dried apricots, chopped
ground nutmeg
ground cinnamon

pint of milk
55ml single cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
30g sugar
2 tbsp cornflour

Slice and butter the normal brioche. Put one layer down in a large baking dish. On top sprinkle some of the chopped apricots, raisins, ground nutmeg and cinnamon. Repeat until all the brioche is used.
Slice and butter half of the pack of chocolate chip brioche, and use this as the last layer on the top.

For the custard: Bring the milk, cream and vanilla to the boil. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until well combined. Pour over the milk mixture and whisk constantly until well incorporated.
Pour back into the pan and slowly reheat. Once thickened a little pour over the bread and fruit. Leave to soak for 2 hours. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake in a preheated oven (180°) until the top is crisp, golden brown and caramelised.

Potato dauphinoise

500g potatoes
175ml double cream
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus one halved
100ml milk

Peel and finely slice the potatoes. Using a tea towel dry the potatoes, to remove excess starch. Put the potatoes in a large pan, and pour in the cream and milk. Bring to the boil, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Make sure the milk and cream doesn't burn. Add the garlic and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Rub the halved garlic around the baking dish.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and place in the garlic rubbed dish. Pour the cream, over the top until the potatoes are covered. Dot with butter. Bake until the top is golden.

Version of a Sussex Smokey

50g macaroni per person
2 peppered smoked mackerel fillets, flaked
75-100g cheddar cheese, grated
20g butter
4 tbsp horseradish sauce

Preheat the oven to 180°c.

Put a pan of water on to boil. Once boiling add the macaroni to the pan. Cook as per pack instructions.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan. Add enough flour to make a roux. Add enough milk to form a sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the cheese until the sauce is thick, shiny and smooth. Mix in the horseradish sauce.

Strain the pasta and put in a dish layering the flaked mackerel with it. Pour over the cheese sauce, top with more grated cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and golden.

Pumpkin gnocchi with butter and sage

1kg wedge of pumpkin, skin attached
350g peeled potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 whole Amaretti biscuits
50g freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
100-140g plain flour
100g butter
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
12 sage leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Cut the pumpkin into large rough cubes, skin on, and place in a baking tin. Cover with foil and bake for an hour. Switch off the oven, take off the foil and leave in the oven for 40 minutes to dry out. Meanwhile steam the potatoes. Mash and leave to dry out also.

Cut the skin off the pumpkin, put in a tea towel and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Place the flesh in a food processor with the Amaretti biscuits, parmesan and seasoning and blitz until smooth. Tip out onto a floured surface and add the potato. Put a large pan of water to boil.

Sift the flour a little at a time into the pumpkin/potato and work it into the mixture, kneading it until it feels like scone dough. Tear off large pieces and roll each into long sausage shapes. Cut off small chunks, using a sharp knife.

Drop the gnocchi into the pan, a dozen at a time. Once they float to the surface, allow another 30 seconds, remove and put on a plate, keep warm until all cooked.

Gently heat the butter with the garlic until light gold. Remove garlic and add sage leaves, fry until crisp until the butter is light brown.


8 small very ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp dried tamarind pulp
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
10 cloves of garlic
1 small red chilli
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp fresh coriander

Put the tomatoes in a large pot with 1 litre of water and boil until the tomatoes burst. Pick out the skins and put in the bin and then mash the tomatoes into the water.
Meanwhile break the tamarind into pieces and soak in 250ml of boiling water for 5 minutes. Massage the pieces to release juice, then strain the liquid into the tomato and water.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, cover, and cook over a high heat until the seeds pop. Add the onion, Add to the tomato, tamarind and water mixture.
Pulverise the garlic and chilli. Add to the soup along with the cumin and pepper. Boil for a few minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander.

Bean soup with rosemary and anchovy butter

75g butter
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
3 sticks celery, chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary
800g butter beans
750ml chicken stock
salt and pepper
150ml whipping cream

120g unsalted butter, softened
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
50g tin anchovies
juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a big pan melt the butter and fry the onions and celery until lightly coloured. add the rosemary and stir. Put in the beans undrained, add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove any scum. Gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add lots of pepper and check salt.
Meanwhile make the butter by combining all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Set aside until the soups ready.
Lift out the rosemary from the soup, and then blitz the soup until smooth. Stir in the cream and gently reheat without boiling.

Raspberry cheesecake brownie


200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
3 eggs
110g plain flour


400g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

cream topping

300ml whipping cream
100g icing sugar
150g raspberries plus a few
a 33 x 23 x 5 cm baking tray lined with greaseproof

Preheat the oven to 170°c.

For the brownie: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave until melted and smooth. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Gradually beat in the flour, mixing well after each addition, beat until smooth. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Pour into the baking tray and smooth over.

For the cheesecake: Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. The mixture should very very smooth and creamy. Spoon on top of the brownie mixture and smooth over. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm to the touch. Leave to cool completely, the cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the cream topping: Put the cream, sugar and raspberries in a bowl and whisk until firm but not too stiff. Turn the brownie out and turn the right way up. Spread the topping evenly over the brownie and decorate with more raspberries.

Blackout cake

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
260g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160ml milk

Chocolate custard

500g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
200g cornflour
85g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

three 20cm cake tins base lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat the oven to 170°c.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl. Slowly beat in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and salt until well mixed. Add half the flour, then all the milk, and finish with the rest of the flour, mix well until everything's combined. Pour the mixture into the cake tins, and smooth over. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool slightly in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack.

For the chocolate custard: Put the sugar, golden syrup, cocoa powder and 600ml water into a large saucepan, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Mix the cornflour with 120-200ml water, whisking as you add the water if its too thick add more water but no more than 250ml. Gradually whisk into the cocoa mixture in the pan over medium heat. Bring back to the boil, whisking constantly until quite thick.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until very firm.

Sandwich and cover the cakes in the chocolate custard.

Carrot cake

300g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped

2 quantities Cream Cheese Frosting

three 20cm cake tins base lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat the oven to 170°c.

Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a bowl and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Slowly add the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.

Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts.

Pour the mixture into the tins and smooth over, bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

When the cakes are cold, sandwich them together and cover with the cream cheese frosting.

Green Tea Cupcakes

120ml milk
3 green tea bags
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

green tea frosting

250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
20g Matcha green tea powder
25ml milk

Put the milk and green tea bags in a jug, cover and refigerate for a few hours, or over night.

Preheat the oven to 170°c.

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat slowly until you get a sandy consistency.

Remove the green tea bags from the infused milk and combine with the egg and vanilla extract. Slowly pour half into the flour mixture, beating until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Beat until there are no lumps. Pour in the remaining milk mixture. Continue mixing until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.

For the green tea frosting: Beat together the icing sugar, butter, and Matcha powder and beat until the mixture comes together and well mixed. Slowly pour in the milk whilst beating slowly. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the frosting on top.

Black bottom cupcakes

1 quantity Cream Cheese frosting

chocolate sponge base

190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40ml sunflower oil
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

cheesecake filling

140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 170°c.

For the chocolate base: Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarb in a large bowl and mix until well incorporated.

Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 125ml water in a jug and whisk to combine. Whilst whisking the flour, slowly add the contents of the jug. Beat until well mixed.

Spoon into the paper cases until two-thirds full and put aside.

For the cheesecake filling: Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and salt until smooth and fluffy.

Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed. Don't over mix otherwise the cheese'll start to split.

Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture in the cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are firm too the touch and golden in colour. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the Cream Cheese Frosting on top.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces
200g digestive biscuits


300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat slowly until you get a sandy consistency and everything is mixed.

Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat until everything is well mixed.
Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes.

Divide the chopped strawberries between the cases. Spoon the cake mixture on top until two thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before turning out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and blend or bash them until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the frosting on top and sprinkle with crushed biscuits.

Cream cheese Frosting

Beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed, add the cream cheese in one go and beat until well incorporated. Beat hard until the frosting is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)

Rocky Road Bars

1.4kg milk chocolate, roughly chopped
8 regular sized chewy, filled chocolate bars like Snickers or Mars, roughly chopped
100g marshmallows
180g maltesers
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
100g raisins
100g cornflakes
100g chocolate sprinkles

a 33 x 23 x 5 cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof

Put the milk chocolate in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Put the chocolate bars, marshmallows, maltesers, apricots, raisins and cornflakes in a large bowl and pour in the melted chocolate. Mix with a wooden spoon until it's well mixed.

Press the mixture into the tray, and use a tablespoon to flatten. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles and leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.


200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line a baking tray.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir it. Add the flour and stir it. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the tray. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is flaky and the middle is soft.

Leave to cool before slicing.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

  • 175g Self-Raising Flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 medium sized eggs - beaten
  • 1/4pt sunflower oil
  • 1/4pt Milk
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 175g icing sugar (more if needed)
  • 2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • milk or warm water
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
  3. Add the sugar and mix well. make a well in centre and add the syrup,eggs,oil and milk. beat well until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. remove from oven,leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  5. Sandwich the two cakes together with butter cream icing, to make the icing place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft.
  6. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and then add enough milk/water until soft (if you add to much milk/water just sift some more icing sugar in) make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
  7. Finally sandwich the cakes together with the icing and the cover the cake in the rest of the icing. use a fork to put some patterns on the top if needed.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Granny's Cheese and Onion Pie

for a 7-8 inch pie dish you will need:
1 Packet of ready rolled short crust pastry or
200g self raising flour
100g marg or marg and lard mix
enough water to bind.
chill in fridge for an hour.

1 large onion peeled and thinly sliced
about 200-300 g strong cheddar [depends how much you nick as you make the pie]
2 large eggs beaten
salt and ground white pepper

here we go.

Heat oven 180' [now there's a surprise Grandad reckons I cook everything at 180!!!]
Roll out half the pastry and line the dish
place a layer of onion then a layer of cheese.
Season with the S&P
Now another layer of onion and then chesse. Season this layers.
Pour over the beaten eggs and top with the remaining pastry.
Brush with any egg left over or a bit of milk
bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until as they say the pie is golden.
Enjoy....brilliant hot or cold
bigger pie + more pastry, cheese onion and eggs you can work that out for yourselves.