24 September 2008

Store Cupboard Pancakes

Had a craving for pancakes, had the ingredients on hand and a half hour to spare :) This recipe makes 7 - 8 large pancakes, or enough for 3 - 4 people.

Ingredients :

400 ml milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
2 drops vanilla essence
200g flour
butter or oil for frying

Method :

1. Place all the ingredients except 100g flour in a mixing bowl.

2. Whisk until smooth, the consistency of milk.

3. Add in remaining flour, and whisk again until smooth.

4. Leave the batter to rest for 10 - 15 mins at room temperature.

5. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat, with a little oil/butter.

6. When the pan is hot pour a ladle full of batter in.

7. Swirl the batter to cover the base of the pan.

8. Leave on the heat until the top of the pancake is firming.

9. Flip the pancake and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute (until it no longer sticks to the pan)

10. Repeat until all the batter is gone. :D

Serving :

A few suggestions for topping, my favourite is sugar and lemon juice as it keeps the pancakes light. Other nice toppings are ice cream, toffee syrup or other flavours of jam.

23 September 2008

Dinner for One

Tonight's cooking adventure - dinner for one :) I like to treat myself to a nice meal every now and then, one that requires some work, but is deeply delicious and rewarding. On the menu : Steak burger fried with onion, mushrooms and garlic, individual gratin dauphinois and vegetable mash.

Steak burger Fry (serves 2)

Ingredients :

10 - 15 mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
Knob of unsalted butter
2 steak burgers

Method :

1. Chop garlic into small pieces.

2. Chop onion into small pieces.

3. Chop mushrooms into medium slices.

4. Put small frying pan on ring on medium heat with a dash of oil.

5. Add in onions and burgers.

6. Flip burgers and onions after 3 mins, and continue until burgers are cooked through.

7. In a large frying pan, heat some butter and oil on a low heat, and add the garlic.

8. Add mushrooms to the large pan.

9. Cook until mushrooms have softened.

10. Add burgers and onions from small pan to the large pan and heat on low until rest of meal is ready.

Individual Gratin Dauphinois (serves 2)

Ingredients :

1 large potatoe (I used Queens)
1 clove garlic
Knob butter
200ml cream
2 slices of a small onion

Method :

1. Slice the potato into 3mm slices, preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Put butter in saucepan, and melt.

3. Add chopped garlic, cream and sliced potato.

3. Slowly bring to the boil.

4. Spoon into 2" ramakins, with cream up to the rim.

5. Cover in tinfoil and place in the oven for 30 mins.

6. Remove foil and bake for another 10 mins to brown tops.

7. Save leftover cream mix for mash in next part.

Vegetable Mash
(serves 3)

Ingredients :

Garlic cream left over from gratin above
3 potatoes
1 sweet potato
1 carrot

Method :

1. Peel and chop the vegetables, and place in a saucepan, cover the vegetables in water.

2. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 30 mins.

3. Mash the cooked veg with the leftover cream until smooth.


Plate everything up. :D

With the gratin...

And since I'm cooking for one, here's the leftovers for tomorrow!

17 September 2008

Raspberry Cheesecake

Today's a non-bake baking day :) to make my favourite Irish cheesecake. This is a relatively easy recipe that requires only setting time in the fridge, none of the long hours on a low heat, all of the taste. The texture of this cheesecake is fabulously creamy and smooth.

Ingredients :

For the base :
200g digestive biscuits (14)
200g ginger nut biscuits (19)
160g unsalted butter

For the topping :
450g cream cheese
100ml milk
150g castor sugar
100ml cream
1 packet of sugar free jelly crystals dissolved in 150ml boiling water and cooled

Tools :

You'll need a large mixing bowl, and a bowl for whipping cream, a whisk, scales, jug, food processor and spring form round cake tin.

Method :

For the base :

1. Blend all the biscuits in a food processor.

2. Melt butter over a low heat, and stir in biscuit mix.

3. Line spring form tin with greaseproof paper.

4. Pour in biscuit base and push down into flat surface with back of a spoon.

5. Put in the fridge to cool and set while making the topping.

For the topping :

1. Whip the cream until getting stiff.

2. Set aside the cooling jelly and the whipped cream.

3. Put softened cream cheese (I find it softens enough after 2 hours out of the fridge), milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

4. Pour in cream and jelly to above mix.

5. Whisk until smooth and all jelly is incorporated.

6. Take base out of the fridge and pour on base.

7. Smooth out topping with the back of a spoon.

8. Put cheesecake back in the fridge until it sets. (You know it's set when you can put a spoon on top of the mix and it doesn't sink.)

How does it taste? Amazingly fabulous :D Not too cheesy, not too fruity, just a perfect medium. I love the slight spiceyness in the base that the ginger nuts give, digestives are too plain, by themselves and all ginger nuts is too overpowering alone.

Possible Variations :

1. Use any flavour jelly you like

2. Add fruit on top of the base before pouring on the topping, or on top just before it sets

3. Chocolate cheesecake : base with chocolate chip cookies, use a gelatin sheet dissolved in 150ml boiling water to replace flavoured jelly, replace 50g of the sugar with 2 tbsp cocoa powder, top with chocolate sprinkles

11 September 2008

Store Cupboard Scones

So, had the urge to bake today to curb a bad mood, and I love the smell of freshly baked scones (not to mention the taste). Looked around online for a good recipe, and in the end combined a few together to get this one. I liked the fact that I could make them from only ingredients that I already had, and didn't need any that weren't in my cupboards/fridge on a day to day basis. I used golden syrup instead of sugar as it kept the scones moister. :)

Ingredients :

250g 00 flour (plain will do, but for self raising leave out baking powder)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
75g softened butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
140ml semi-skimmed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method :

Preheat fan oven to 200 degrees

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

2. Whisk all wet ingredients together in another bowl until smooth.

3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and bring together with hands.

Note : if you use a food processor or over work the ingredients you're scones will be flat and hard!

4. Tip dough onto a floured surface and roll to about 2cm thick.

5. Cut out with a pastry cutter, in any shape you wish.

6. Place in parchment paper on a baking tray.

7. Brush the top of each scone with a little milk.

8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

9. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire tray.

Serve with butter, jam, cream or any filling you like! I had mine with butter and tea, they were soft and fluffy inside, but still moist, and a little crunchy on the outside. I think next time I make them I'll add some fruit for an extra kick.

Possible Variations :

1. For wholemeal scones use 100g plain flour and 150g wholemeal flour.

2. Add in 100g fruit, such as raisins, blueberries, raspberries or grated apple.

02 September 2008

A Brief Introduction

Hi, I'm Emma, a statistician, a baker, a dieter, and now, a blogger.

Mostly I'm interested in food blogging, talking about what I've made, how I made it, how I might have improved or tweaked a recipe to my own personal tastes, and how dieting is affecting my creations. Of course, not forgetting the obligatory pictures of the finished product.

So join me as I journey through the world of baking, of blogging and of food photography. Please excuse my poor writing to begin with, the world of blogging is one that I am much too unfamiliar with.