Category: Baking

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, photo by JMorton

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate soda
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) Sunflower oil
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) Semi skimmed milk
  • 2 Tbsp Golden syrup

For the Coating and filling

  • 75g Unsalted butter
  • 175g Icing Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • Drop of Milk

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well with electric whisk 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. To make your butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder then add enough milk to make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
  6. If the cake has risen a little to high then use a serrated knife to even off the top, now sandwich the two cakes together with the butter icing and cover the sides and the top of the cake with more butter icing.

Serve hot with a scoop or two of vanilla ice-cream.

Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomatoes, photo by PH Morton

Green Tomato Chutney

The origin of chutney comes from Hindi word chatni, which apparently means to lick and lick you shall with our green tomato chutney recipe.

Green tomato is not an offshoot species of the red fruit.  They belong to the same tree; just pick the tomatoes while still green prior to ripening.

Below is the easy and very straight-forward recipe:

Ingredients:

6 cups of sliced green tomatoes

4 cups of cooking apples (or the tart variety)

2 cups chopped onions

2 cloves garlic

1 cup raisins and sultanas mix

1 cup white wine vinegar

4 cups Demerara sugar

3 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves (use that mortar and pestle hiding at the back of the cupboard 🙂 )

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Using a heavy bottom large sauce pan, arrange the apple slices at the bottom, followed by the tomatoes, then onions.

Add the garlic, raisins and sultanas.

Pour in the vinegar.

Tip in the sugar and salt.  Add the mustard seed, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper.

Leave to simmer under very low heat.  Stir often to incorporate all the ingredients together; stirring will also prevent burning the bottom.  Cook until it is mushy and really syrupy.

Let it cool and store in distilled jar or lidded pyrex containers.

Enjoy with hot pitta bread or naan.

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

pickled radish, photo by jmortonn

pickled radish, photo by JMorton

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

Due to excessive, almost obsessive newly acquired habit of watching Korean dramas (Kdramas), Korean way of life as depicted on television has influenced how Peter and I eat our dinner.

Suddenly we are going to Korean restaurant to try Korean cuisine, which thankfully is rather good

Korean pickled radish is daikon radish

Ingredients
  • 1 large daikon (labanos) radish
  • 2 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 3 bay leaves
  • distilled tall pickling jar
Instructions
  1. Peel the daikon and cut in half lenghtwise; each half cut crosswise in two parts or 3 portions if radish is really long.
  2. Arrange the pieces standing up into the tall pickling jar.
  3. Make the pickling liquid by mixing the vinegar, sugar, salt turmeric, bay leaves and pepper corns together.
  4. Pour the spiced vinegar over the pieces of daikon.  Ensure that they are soaked through with the the pickling marinade.
  5. Cover the jar and leave overnight in the fridge.
  6. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Delicious as addition to grilled meat, fish and vegetables also as a side to a freshly made ramen soup.

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

The weather is getting colder, sooner or later all sorts of viruses will come a calling.  We do not need to welcome them with open arms and ,therefore, we need to prepare, after all prevention is better than a cure.

A bit of spice in our food can only be a good thing to build or immune system.  A recipe of spiced onion, which is very easy to make and can be made a few days before and  use as you want, is just the perfect cupboard food.

Spiced onion can be made to taste rather sweet or sour instead of sweet and sour.  I, myself, prefer it to be more on the sour side.

Anyway here are the ingredients:

1/2 caster sugar (or less if preferred, I would used just 1 heaped tablespoon)
1 cup white one vinegar (for a stronger taste, use red wine vinegar)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed finely
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed (cumin powder can also be used)
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 clove
1 heaped tsp salt
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced into rounds

Method of preparation:

Using a large pan, put the sugar, vinegar, spices and salt to boil.  Stir thoroughly to mix.  Leave to simmer for at least 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the onion slices on a clean glass pyrex dish or any heat resistant non-metallic covered container.  Pour in the hot spicy vinegar marinade onto the  onions.  Give a stir to ensure all the pieces are drenched with the marinade.

Cover and store in the fridge or pantry until needed.

Delicious with fried food, roasts and salad.

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, photo by JMorton

This is definitely one of the best cheesecakes that I have ever tasted and therefore, I am very passionate about it.

It is creamily delicious with a sweetness that  is just right complemented by subtle delicacy of tanginess from the passion fruit 😉

This recipe involves minimal cooking, thus, it is pretty easy to make.  One can rally the children or hubby to help out 🙂

The beautiful orange passion fruit topping makes it look vibrant and exotic, which is not only pleasing to the eye but also a treat to the taste buds.

Here is a recipe based on Nigel Slater’s Recipe:

Ingredients:

THE BASE

  • 120 grams butter
  • 400 grams ginger biscuits or digestive biscuits (I prefer digestive because for some reason my stomach can’t take ginger biscuit, strange that!)

THE FILLING

  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 75 grams icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 400 ml creme fraiche
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 4 ripe passion fruit

Method of preparation

  • Melt the butter in a small pan.
  • Put the biscuits in a robust plastic sandwich bag and apply the rolling pin with gusto 🙂 Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs and stir them into the melted butter. Tip them into a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin and smooth them flat. Refrigerate for an hour or so until firm. You can speed the process up by putting them in the freezer if you wish.
  • Put the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar in a bowl of a food mixer and beat until smooth.  This can also be done manually by giving the pecs some healthy exercise.
  • Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod (or vanilla essence) and stir them into the mascarpone.  Add the creme fraiche. Transfer the mixture  into a clean container and set aside.
  • Whip the cream using the food mixer until it stands in soft folds, then stir it gently into the mascarpone/creme fraiche mixture.
  • Ladle in the mixture into the cake tin and cover with cling film. Leave to chill for a good hour.
  • To serve, remove the cake from the tin, cut the passion fruits in half and squeeze the seeds and juice over the cheesecake.

Now enjoy and share!

 

Jam & Peanut Butter Waffle Recipe

Waffling about waffles!

Peanut Butter Photo by JMorton

Peanut Butter Photo by JMorton

A waffle maker is en route from Amazon.co.uk, so I have been informed!, Therefore, it is time to collate recipes for waffles to astound the family 🙂 ; though pancake is a great favourite, a change now and again can only be a good thing! 😉

Fantastic news, there are plenty of recipes for waffles though of course good reliable maple syrup is still the staple.

The first recipe that I will be trying out is the

🙂 ….

Jam & Peanut Butter Waffle Recipe

F&M Strawberry Jam, Photo by Peter

F&M Strawberry Jam, Photo by Peter

Ingredients:

150g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
250ml milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp melted butter
sunflower or vegetable oil for greasing the waffle maker

For the filling:
4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
4 tbsp strawberry jam or raspberry jam
icing sugar, for dusting

Method of preparation:

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a mixing bowl.  (I have been told that sifting the flour and baking powder together is the best way to mix these ingredients together.)

Add the milk, egg and butter and whisk until the mixture turns into a smooth batter.  Leave for 5-10 minutes or so to allow the baking powder to work its wonder 🙂

Lightly grease the waffle maker and then heat until hot.  Important!

Pour in enough batter into the waffle maker and cook until the waffles are smelling of heaven and has turned golden brown.

Repeat until enough waffles have been made.  Excess batter will keep in the fridge for a day.

To add the fillings, spread a waffle with peanut butter and another one with the jam.  Make a sandwich with the fillings enclosed together in a sweet embrace. 🙂

Dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!

So yummy with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

 

Red Onion Pickle Recipe

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

This red onion pickle is a perfect accompaniment for barbecued o grilled fish.  And now that summer is almost upon us, it is time to bring out the charcoals and heat up the barbecue.  Yippeee 🙂

Red Onion Pickle Recipe

Ingredients:

500g red onions, sliced in rings
1 litre hot/boiling water
2½ tbsp sugar
100ml lukewarm water
100ml lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method of preparation:

Pour the hot or boiling water over the red onion rings, leave for 2-3 minutes and then drain. Transfer into a large clean sterilised covered jar. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar, salt, garlic powder and black pepper using the lukewarm water.  Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly to make a pickling brine.

Spoon in the pickling brine over the red onions.  Ensure that the onions are submerged in the brine.  Leave in the fridge overnight.

To serve, drain the onions by squeezing out the brine.  Delicious with fish, grilled pork and chicken.

This pickled onion can be left refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

 

Postulant Cook Does … Cottage Pie

Last week, I thought I will treat the husband with his favourite meal of all time, sorry.. I meant second favourite. His favourite of all time, the food that is guaranteed to bring him in a better state of mind or to my way of thinking is a good portion of Egg & Bacon. LOL So sorry, I digress. Anyway his second favourite is Shepherd pie/cottage pie.

It was cottage pie that I cooked as I used minced beef.  To cook Shepherd pie, the main ingredient would entail the use of minced lamb.

I thought it was fairly easy to do as it was just minced topped with a good dollop of mash. Actually, it was really as easy as that.

It was really delicious too, even if I say so myself. I usually do not like Cottage Pie but this time, I ate as much as the hubby did who declared my effort as the best! Awww… love him!

To make the Cottage Pie, I used the following:

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For the  Mash Potato:

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut in half

1/4 cup milk

2g butter

Salt & Pepper to taste

To make:

Boil the potatoes.

Drain and then mash. (See photo above!)

Add the milk and the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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For the meaty bits:

3 good size carrots, chopped finely.

1 large onion, chopped finely.

1 red/yellow/green bell pepper, chopped finely.

3 sticks celery, chopped finely.

1 lb minced beef

3 cloves garlic, pulped

3 tbsp Bisto beef gravy granules

2 tbsp virgin olive oil

1 cup boiling water,

1/2 cup red wine

Salt

To make:

Heat a fairly large pan.

Add the oil, then the garlic and then the onion.

Add the ground beef.  When brown, add the carrot, stir.

Add the celery and the bell pepper. Stir fry some more.

In a pyrex or suitable container, put in the 3 tablespoons of the beef gravy granules.  Add a cup of boiling water and stir well so that granules are dissolved thoroughly.

Add this now liquid gravy into the pan of the minced beef.

Bring to the boil.

Now lower down the heat and add the red wine.

Cover the pan and simmer until the liquid has gone down.  It takes roughly about 20 minutes or so.

Taste test for saltiness as the gravy granules usually contain enough salt.  Just add slightly more salt if required.

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Put the meaty concoction in an oven-proof dish.

Top this with the mash potatoes.

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With a fork, scour the surface of the mash.  Be creative.  (I was just too hungry to do more that level the top, LOL)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

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In 20-30 minutes, you should have a delicious and filling cottage pie.

Ta Dah!!!!!

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The Engineering of Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolatechipcookies_72335_16x9

A Chemical Engineer’s Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Objective:
Household cooking involves chemistry. Here is a cooking experiment in which the product is edible.

Materials:
236.6 cm3 (500 mL) partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride (butter or margarine)
177.45 cm3 (177 mL) crystalline sucrose C12H22O11 (sugar)
177.45 cm3 (177 mL) unrefined sucrose C12H22O11 (brown sugar)
4.9 cm3 (5 mL) 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde (vanilla)
2 calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein (eggs)
532.35 cm3 (500 mL) gluten (flour)
4.9 cm3 (5 mL) sodium chloride NaCl (salt)
4.9 cm3 (5 mL) sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 (baking soda)
1 package of theobroma cacao (chocolate chips)
236.6 cm3 (250 mL) chopped de-encapsulated legume meats (nuts)
measuring spoons
measuring cups
mixing bowls
cookie sheets

Procedure:

Cream the partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride, methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde, crystalline and unrefined sucrose in a bowl.
Add the calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated proteins and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine the gluten, sodium chloride, and sodium bicarbonate. Add to creamed mixture.
Stir in theobroma cacao and de-encapsulated legume meats.
Place the final mixture piecemeal onto a cookie sheet.
Heat in an 463 K (190°C/ 375°F) oven for 8-10 minutes and allow the chemical reactions to take place.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.

http://ncwsnc.cheminst.ca/experiments/echocochip.html

………………………..
To prevent nosebleeds, trying to decipher the above complex cooking instruction above, let us follow a simpler recipe from Anthony Worral Thompson.

Chocolate chip cookies
Add “Chocolate chip cookies” to FavouritesAdd to Favourites Chocolate chip cookies
These are the ultimate gourmet cookies: crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, and really simple to make.
Ingredients
350g/12¼oz unsifted flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
225g/8oz butter
175g/6¼oz caster sugar
175g/6¼oz soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
350g/12¼oz dark chocolate, crumbled
Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in the eggs. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate.
Split the pliable dough into two halves, rolling each out into sausage shapes, approximately 5cm/2in in diameter. Wrap them in cling film and transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, simply cut the log into slices 2cm/¾in thick and lay on a baking tray, widely spaced apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
Serve.