Tag Archives: Baking

10 of my favourite online recipes

I have recipes everywhere. In cookbooks, scribbled on pieces of paper, cut out from magazines and bookmarked online and then there’s the ones that just exist in my head. I subscribe to a ton of food blogs through Google Reader which I look over while I down my morning coffee. My favourite food blogs currently have to be:

Joy The Baker – the mother of all baking food blogs
The Pioneer Woman Cooks – delicious cowgirl food
The Pink Whisk – previous runner-up of Great British Bake Off, step my step recipes and techniques
Food Stories – makes food you really want to eat. Also has a separate sandwich rating blog
Domestic Diva M.D – super entertaining with recipes too
A Cozy Kitchen – awesome food photography and recipes

I’ve just been dribbling over the home pages of these whilst retrieving the links for you. Anyway, I find that subscribing to blogs is a great way of coming across yummy new recipes which you won’t find on websites like BBC food although they are great go to’s for recipes as well. Thanks to satellite television, I can also watch recipes being made at almost any hour of the day. And with the invention of Pinterest I can also be constantly looking at pictures of food. Frankly, it’s enough to make you fat.

Another great online tool is Delicious which is where I keep all my bookmarked recipes. You can tag links as you like and since they’re all stored on the web, you can access your bookmarks anywhere from any device. I have almost 500 recipe links saved and unlike a chef’s cookbook, all of the recipes are things I know I’ve seen and liked. Here are 10 of my favourite recipes which are available online and that I’ve previously bookmarked, cooked, eaten and LOVED then cooked, eaten and LOVED again!

1. Nigella’s Mexican Lasagne

A recent addition that’s already been made and enjoyed a few times! Absolutely scrumptious and innovative recipe which uses flour tortillas to create a Mexican lasagne. I adapt the recipe my adding beef mince before the canned tomatoes but the unadulterated recipe is great for vegetarians.

2. Joy The Baker’s Polenta

I’d never ever heard of adding milk to polenta until I’d seen this and now I always make it this way. Plus I love using American cup measures – so much easier.

3. Heston’s Ultimate Mashed Potato

There aren’t many Heston Blumenthal recipes you can make on a regular basis but here is one! I think I’ve mentioned this recipe at least twice on my blog already but it… is… goooooood! I don’t have a thermometer or a potato ricer (family take note, Christmas is coming :-)) but I can still make this easily. The amount of butter required is a little alarming, but one taste and you know it’s worth it.

4. Ottolenghi’s Vegetable Paella

Another vegetarian recipe which I’ve made meaty by adding fried chorizo in at the end! Great served with some olive bread and a platter of Manchego and Serrano ham.

5. BBC Good Food Chicken Cacciatore

A really quick and inexpensive midweek recipe of chicken in a tomato and mascarpone sauce. The simple sauce is tasty over pasta too.

6. Delia’s Dhal Curry

Super cheap, healthy and vegetarian (I haven’t added meat to this one!) recipe for a dhal curry. Mr B. even liked it despite the lack of meat which means it must be a good recipe. You can add a Nann bread on the side if you want to.

7. Antony Worrall-Thomspon Goat’s Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Terrine 

Unlike Antony I don’t thieve the cheese from my local Tesco to make this! A really nice make-ahead recipe which works well as a dinner-party starter. Looks pretty impressive when served as well.

8. Nigella’s Mustard Pork Chops 

Really easy and cheap midweek meal. I use honey mustard instead of wholegrain as I found that a bit too strong in taste. Goes really well with the gnocchi that Nigella recommends as well as some buttery spinach… which I recommend!

9. Joy The Baker’s Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread

I mean, just look at it! You’re in trouble of eating your laptop screen aren’t you? I’ve made it. It was amazing. When I went to bookmark it on a social media site, I saw that 2 million others had done so before me!

10. Lorraine Pascale’s Honeycomb

Simples. Tasty. Versatile. The recipe works every time.

Happy bookmarking and cooking.

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Herman the German Friendship Cake

Someone gave me a Herman. Nothing dodgy… it’s a sourdough mix which you ‘feed’ and stir over 10 days before using the mix to make a cake. You actually make a cake with just a ¼ of the mix and give the other ¾ to 3 friends for them to make their own Hermans. It’s the noughties answer to a chain letter!

When I first received Herman I wasn’t all too sure to be honest. He was exploding out of the Tupperware and they’d be a bit of leakage! Was this really going to end up a scrummy cake? And how much effort was this going to be?

True to my word I kept and fed my Herman with milk, sugar and flour and the end result was really moreish and although it took 10 days, it was minimal effort. I shared the cake with a group of friends who snaffled it in record time whilst referring to it as ‘love cake’!

You can read more about Herman on this website http://www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com/

Herman the German Friendship Cake
Don’t worry if you haven’t received a Herman mix as you can make your own really easily. Click here for instructions on how to make the starter mix and also how to grow your mix once you have received or made it!

My Herman
I pimped my Herman slightly before baking. Here’s what I added:
– 200g Glace Cherries, halved (most delicious things EVER, why haven’t I used them before?!)
– Small handful of Hazlenuts
– 100g dark chocolate chips
– Small handful of Walnut halves

I also left the suggested apples out of the cake as I didn’t fancy them and I used Vanilla extract instead of essence. Finally, try and bake your Herman in a large cake tin. Since it’s such a moist mix Herman will take longer to cook in a deep tin.

Then simply share the love by passing Herman on!

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Valentine’s Day Red Velvets

To do:
Valentine’s Day Card
Valentine’s Day Present
Valentine’s Day Dinner
Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Hummingbird red velvet cupcakes. The perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Show your love with a batch of 12. Recipe available online here. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, 
?

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

This week I made lemon curd. It’s real easy to buy a jar of the stuff but it’s also easy to make it yourself. Use lemon curd to add some zing to your toast or in the recipes below. These little jars of sunshine also make great gifts… so go on, say it with lemon curd!

I became slightly addicted to lemons after a holiday to Sorrento, Italy, where lemons can be seen growing everywhere and some to the size of footballs! Naturally the lemons are used in the local specialities so I made my way through lots of ice cold lemon granita, plates of gooey, oozing grilled mozzarella and lemon leaves (my favourite), shots of alcoholic limoncello (my husband’s favourite!) and bowlfuls of lemon infused pasta and gnocchi. Every time I get a punchy hit of lemon now it sends me back to the pretty, sun-drenched and lemony town of Sorrento.

Lemon Curd
Makes 500ml

Ingredients
– 5 medium unwaxed lemons (Waitrose ones are particularly good)
– 5 eggs (4 eggs plus 1 egg yolk)
– 250g caser sugar
– 125g unsalted butter

If you plan to store your lemon curd for later use, sterilize your jam jars by putting them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and into a 180° oven (Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes. Carefully remove with oven gloves and cool.

Method
1. Zest and juice the lemons being careful not to grate the bitter pith of the lemon (or your fingers for that matter!).


2. You need to cook the ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water so find a suitable saucepan and bowl (big enough to fit all of the ingredients into). Weigh out the sugar and the butter and put into the bowl. Put the saucepan filled with some water on a medium heat.

3. Add the lemon zest and juice to the sugar and the butter. When the water starts simmering in the saucepan, put your bowl over the top and slowly mix everything with a wooden spoon or a whisk until the butter melts.

4. While the butter is melting, crack the eggs and the extra yolk into a jug. Whisk lightly. When the butter has melted, slowly add the eggs to the other ingredients, stirring slowly whilst you add them.

5. Now just keep the bowl over the pan, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes. Take off of the heat and allow it to cool. As it does so, it will thicken so don’t worry too much if it seems quite liquid still after 10 minutes. When it’s fully cooled, decant into your jam jars. I then decorated my jam jar lids by taking a pair of scissors to a Selfridges bag!

The curd will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let me know if it lasts that long!

Ways with curd

Lemon Cupcakes

Make up a batch of lemon cupcakes. Use an apple corer to hollow out some sponge and fill the gap with your lemon curd. A little ooze of lemon curd in a cupcake – Mmmmm. I used a Hummingbird Bakery lemon cupcake recipe.

Michelle’s Lemony Dessert

My friend Michelle taught me this lovely little lemony dessert. So easy but very yummy. Fold together equal amounts of lemon curd and natural yoghurt (I used Total 0% brand). Lightly mix the curd with the yoghurt so that you have ribbons of curd running through the yoghurt. Spoon into tumblers and top with raspberries (I found some yellow raspberries in my local supermarket). Chill for a couple of hours before serving. You’ll need around 150g of curd and 150g yoghurt per person.

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Tried and Tasted: Sweet Things

There’s a never-ending list of recipes I want to try. I’ve always got my head in cookbooks, magazines and blog posts looking for things that catch my eye. Near the top of my list was Joy the Baker’s Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread. You only need to look at the pictures to see why! I finally tried it out this week and it did not disappoint – nutty, sweet, warm and flavoursome, it was hard not to eat straight out of the oven. But I was patient… I let it cool a bit… I wrapped it up… I even took it round to my little brother’s as an extra house-warming gift. It didn’t last long! Next time I make this, I might add a dash more yeast/allow more rising time to get slightly thicker slabs of dough. If you’re in the U.K. and making this, you’ll find Delia’s online conversion tables will come in handy.

My sweet tooth was being a bit demanding last week so I also made Hummingbird Chocolate and Hazelnut cupcakes. They were so easy to make yet look pretty impressive (If I do say so myself!) I use an apple corer to hollow out a bit of the cupcake and fill with Nutella. There’s also Nutella in the frosting but as sweet and chocolatey as these cupcakes are, they’re not sickly. I’ll definitely be making them again. The recipe can be found in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook available here on Amazon.co.uk. And remember, the Hummingbird Bakery’s cupcake recipes are calculated for U.S. cupcake cases which are larger than U.K. ones… I always forget! Nothing wrong with an oversized cupcake though :-)

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