Sunday, 25 May 2014

Chocolate, Lime & Ginger Truffles

Readers, it’s yet another chocolate recipe! I had a busy old week of baking last week. We were organising a surprise tea party for one of the ladies involved in the charity I volunteer with.  As I couldn't make it to the event, my contribution was some home baking.  I made my Chocolate Honeycomb Traybake, some Orange and Cardamom Cupcakes (recipe coming soon) and these chocolate truffles.

I wanted to turn them into something more interesting than just chocolate and as I received a sample of Sugar and Crumbs new Chocolate Lime Cocoa Powder a couple of weeks back (yes…another amazing product to work with!) I wanted to try a recipe other than cupcakes this time around.
 
Image Source: Sugar and Crumbs
These truffles are easy to make but please adhere to the chilling time, as the ganache filling is quite soft.  Please also store these in the fridge right up to serving time, to ensure they retain their shape.

I also took some of the extras into my colleagues and they went down a treat.

Chocolate, Lime & Ginger Truffles


Prep Time: 4 hours + 30 mins to make and coat truffles


Ingredients (yield – 50 small truffles)

300g quality milk chocolate
Chocolate, Lime & Ginger Truffles
300ml double cream
50g butter (I used slightly salted for a stronger flavour)
2 heaped dessert spoons Lime & Ginger Marmalade (I use Mrs Bridges)
50 x small paper cases

Method

  1. Firstly spoon 2 heaped dessert spoons of Lime & Ginger Marmalade into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  The mix will appear a little frothy – that’s ok!
  2. Next, add the double cream and chopped butter to a non stick saucepan.  Heat over a low heat until the butter has melted and cream is beginning to simmer.  Whilst the mix is heating, break your chocolate into small pieces.
  3. Once the mix is simmering in the pan, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, handful by handful, mixing as you go, until all chocolate is incorporated and you have a smooth and creamy ganache.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours until the ganache is solid.
  5. Once your mix has fully chilled and a solid ganache has formed, use a small  melon baller to make each truffle.  Boil water in the kettle and transfer to a cup. Between each scoop, clean the melon baller in the hot water and shake off any excess water.  The hot temperature of the metal scoop helps the mix come away.
    Using a scoop makes the truffles much easier to shape
  6. Drop each truffle into a bowl of Sugar and Crumbs Chocolate Lime Cocoa Powder and move around the bowl to coat.
  7. Transfer to a paper case and store in a fridge until ready to eat.
    Chocolate, Lime & Ginger Truffles
Disclosure Statement: I received the samples from Sugar and Crumbs for free, to bake with.  Any opinions expressed are my own.
I'm also entering this post to #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week



Saturday, 17 May 2014

Oven Baked Cinnamon Sugar Churros

After seeing the amazing job of a fellow blogger who made churros IN THE OVEN, I started to do some research into how I could make these little doughy beauties myself.  I wish I could remember who the blogger was... We said hello on Twitter, then I couldn't find her again to see her recipe.  I looked at a few different recipes then put the best parts of each of them together to create mine, after a bit of a failed first attempt following a recipe.

There's lots of theories about the churros origin.  Some say Spain, some say South America.  Regardless, they are a delicious combination of pastry, sugar and cinnamon. And they smell great when the oven door is opened!

I have to confess.  This took two attempts.  The first time, I used three eggs, as the original recipe stated, but ended up with a mixture which was so sloppy it poured through my piping bag.  Nevertheless I continued on… Attempted to pipe it, baked it and ended up with an ├ęclair type pastry, cooked on the outside, raw on the middle, which collapsed when removed from the oven.  Needless to say batch one went into the bin.

I did some more research and decided to reduce the egg and let the mix cool a little before I attempted to transfer it to the piping bag. My second batch made 12 large churros, plus a big heart shaped one for Mr WhatClaireBaked, as I’m that kinda nice girl!

Once I got the hang of how the batter should be, it was fairly easy, although I would say, baking, rather than frying them did give a bit of a crusty exterior with a chewy, doughy interior.  It was less like a donut than I’d hoped – probably due to the lack of hot frying. But they were still yummy and were demolished.

I'm entering this post to #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week


CHURRRRRRROSSSS!


Next time, I may attempt to fry these… I’ll let you know how that goes!!!

Update – in a fit of Saturday night madness, I’ve made another batch, adjusted the recipe again and managed to come up with an much less stodgy version than previous.

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Churros

Ingredients

125g plain flour
110g salted butter
250ml water
2 heaped dessert spoons caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

To Coat -

2 dessert spoons caster sugar (transferred into a dish suitable for rolling)
½ teaspoon cinnamon (transferred into the same dish)

Method


  1. Preheat your oven to 180c. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a non stick saucepan melt together the butter and water, stirring to combine.  Bring to the boil. Stir in the vanilla essence. 
    Melt the butter and water together
  3. Remove from the heat, then stir in the flour.  The mix will come together and start to resemble mashed potatoes.  Keep mixing until combined and it comes away from the sides of the pan.  Stir in the caster sugar. 
  4. Break 1 egg into the mixture and stir to combine until the mix becomes thick and glossy. Add the second egg and mix until the batter goes back to mashed potato texture. Be cautious  - the mix must be thick enough to pipe.  If it’s too runny, it will fall out of the piping bag and won’t work.
    Adding the eggs one by one
  5. Allow the mix to cool in the pan, off the heat, for several moments.
    Correct consistency for the mix
  6. Prepare your piping bag with an open star nozzle, then pipe the churros onto the tray, to your desired size.
    Piped Churros
  7. Transfer to the oven and bake for around 15-20 mins until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the churros.  They should also be golden brown.
  8. Whilst the churros are baking in the oven, prepare your cinnamon sugar mix in a large flat container (Tupperware works well!)
  9. Remove the cooked churros from the oven and immediately one by one, roll in the cinnamon sugar mix, so it sticks to the churro.
  10. Eat and Enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Pancetta Wrapped Chicken with Mediterranean Vegetables

Readers,

It's been another busy week of guest posting!  Katie over at Be Nourishd was heading off on holiday and put a call out on Twitter for some guest posters, so I jumped at the chance.

Having a bit of a sweet tooth, my blog possibly doesn't automatically correspond with Katie's healthy living ways, so was determined to pull a recipe together which showed an oven BAKED dish which was healthy... See what I did there.

The result was Pancetta Wrapped Chicken with Mediterranean Vegetables which is hosted over at Be Nourished.  If' you'd like to try it for yourself, you'll find the recipe here.

Happy Cooking!

Claire

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Fresh Raspberry and Pink Lemonade Frosted Cupcakes

Readers, I had another moment of glee and delight this week.   The lovely people at Sugar and Crumbs posted out to Twitter that they were looking for bloggers to review their newly launched products.  Having worked with them before on the launch of previous flavours, I was delighted to be asked to take part again.

My first project is working with the new Sugar and Crumbs Pink Lemonade Icing Sugar.  I thought it sounded the really interesting summery concept.  Now, I’m fully aware we aren't there yet on summer weather, but in my mind we are!


I have to be honest; at first I was a little skeptical.  I tried a taste of the frosting on its own and it was a little sweet and unidentifiable… until the little pop of fizz hit me.  Yep, it’s definitely lemonade and I’m back to my childhood long summer holidays playing in the garden with friends.

I decided to pair the pink lemonade icing with fresh raspberry cupcakes for a full on summer vibe.  The whole batch was demolished by the office; with some saying these were the best effort.  So it looks like we have a new army of pink lemonade fans.

Sugar and Crumbs really are a fantastic company.  So far, I've only used their flavoured icing sugars but I can highly recommend the salted caramel, orange drizzle, lemon drizzle and the new pink lemonade varieties.

Sugar and Crumbs have also sent me some flavoured cocoa powder and another new icing sugar to try out, so watch this space!  For more info on their products, visit their website and read their blog: http://www.sugarandcrumbs.co.uk/blog/

And for now, transport yourself to a summer’s day, with my recipe!

Fresh Raspberry and Pink Lemonade Cupcakes


Ingredients – makes 12 large cupcakes

150g fresh raspberries (set aside 36 whole berries for topping)
175g self raising flour
175g slightly softened butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs

Filling

4 heaped teaspoons Mrs Bridges Raspberry Curd (in piping bag with filling nozzle)

Topping

125g Sugar and Crumbs Pink Lemonade Icing Sugar
125g softened unsalted butter
250g plain icing sugar
36 whole raspberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/ Fan 170c/ Gas 5.  Fill a muffin tin with 12 large cupcake cases.
  2. Firstly set aside 36 whole berries for the topping.  Then place the remaining berries in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
    Blended berries!
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the fresh raspberries and mix together with an electric mixer.
  4. Next add two eggs and sift in the flour. Mix with an electric mixer until combined.  If your mix is fairly wet, you won’t need the third egg. (I did!)
  5. Then add in the final egg and mix until your cake batter comes together.
    Finished cake batter

  6. Spoon the mix into the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 17-18 minutes until golden on top and a metal skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
    Before...

    ...after
  7. Remove from the oven, remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

Filling

  1. Transfer 4 heaped teaspoons of raspberry curd to a disposable piping bag fitted with a cupcake filler long nozzle (I got one in The Range).  If your curd has been in the fridge, once inside the bag, loosen it with warm hands to make it easier to pipe. 
    Filling nozzle with raspberry curd on left
  2. Check cakes are fully cooled.
  3. Insert the nozzle into the top of each cake and with a small, light squeeze, fill the cake with a little curd.  Remove the nozzle and ensure that the filling doesn’t come out of the top of the cake.

Decorating

  1. Chop 125g of unsalted butter and add to a clean bowl. Using an electric mixer, soften the butter until it becomes light and creamy.
  2. Slowly add in the 125g of Sugar and Crumbs Pink Lemonade icing sugar and beat into the mixture. Then add in the rest of the icing sugar and beat until all the icing sugar in incorporated and a smooth buttercream is formed.
  3. Add in some pink food colouring and beat to incorporate.  Keep adding until you reach your desired colour.
  4. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle.
  5. Pipe a swirl onto the top of each cake and then top with three fresh raspberries.
Pink Lemonade Raspberry Cupcake


Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days or serve immediately.

I'm entering this post into Treat Petite this month, hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer.  Stuart at Cakeyboi hosts on alternate months!

I'm also entering this post to #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week

Disclosure Statement: I received the samples from Sugar and Crumbs for free, to bake with.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Oven Baked Vine Tomato, White Wine and Pancetta Risotto

Readers, I was absolutely delighted to be approached by Claire at Scot Bloggers who asked me to write a guest blog for her blog, which promotes the wealth of blogging talent out there in Scotland.  From fashion to food and lifestyle, Scot Bloggers has it covered.

I decided to create a savoury recipe for Scot Bloggers, which resulted in a baked risotto. 

If you'd like to try it for yourself, the recipe is hosted here!

Happy Cooking!

Claire 


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Home-Made Sesame Seed Loaf

Readers, last Sunday night I had a notion for home-made bread.  The plan was to have a carb loaded home-made lasagne for dinner and sometimes, you need bread to mop up the sauce.

I absolutely love the smell of bread cooking in the oven and whilst it can be a bit of a pain, proving and the rest, this simple bread recipe makes a decent sized loaf.  It lasted us a dinner and a couple of days accompanying home-made soup for lunches. 

It’s also a recipe that can be made fairly easily using the contents of your store cupboard, even using plain flour, as opposed to strong white bread flour (although in future, I’d probably use this, as the texture was a little dense) and it can be made with one proving session rather than two.

It's also an ideal one to try baking with children.  They can easily help stir, knead and shape the bread.  So here goes! 

I'm also entering it into #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week

Sesame Seed Bread


Ingredients

Sesame Seed Loaf

500g plain flour
7g sachet fast action yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
300ml warm water

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast.
  2. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in the olive oil and sesame oil, then slowly add 300ml warm water until the dough comes together.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled board and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes airy and stretchy.  Shape into an oval.
  4. Transfer to oiled baking tray and set aside in a warm place to prove for around 40 minutes. Cover with a warm, damp tea towel during proving.
    Ready for proving

    Things the boiler cupboard is useful for - proving bread
  5. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c Fan/Gas 7.
  6. Uncover the bread and make deep slashes in the loaf. Baste the top with milk for a soft crust and sprinkle with more sesame seeds.
    Baste top with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through.  Test by tapping the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready.

    Straight from the oven
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool, before slicing and serving.
  9. Store in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.  As the loaf contains no preservatives, it will quickly go mouldy, if not eaten.
    And serve!