Monday, 20 April 2015

Baharat Chicken Skewers with Grilled Vegetables and Raita

Readers, this post has been a long time coming.  I’m reminded of it every time I open my spice cupboard and spot the little sachets with hand written labels.

The Spice Kitchen – a UK based online spice retailer got in touch recently, asking me to review some spices for them.  I still have some Gharam Masala to review but for this recipe, I used the simply stunning Baharat.  I had no idea what Baharat was – it came recommended from The Spice Kitchen, when I said I enjoyed working with meats.

Baharat contains: Allspice, Peppercorns, Cardamon, Cassia, Cloves, Coriander Seeds, Nutmeg and Paprika. It had a rich depth of flavour, but it’s by no means overpowering. 
The Spice Kitchen
Yay... spices!

I used this incredibly simply – a tablespoon of spice and a glug of sunflower oil, mix together and drop the chicken in to marinate for around half an hour. Then grill.  Easy.  

Enjoy! 

Baharat Chicken Skewers with Grilled Vegetables and Raita

Ingredients (serves two)
Ras El Hanout Chicken

2 chicken breasts, cut and put onto wooden skewers
1 tablespoon Baharat from The Spice Kitchen
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Vegetables

1 aubergine
2 peppers
10 cherry tomatoes
Olive oil to coat

Raita

Natural greek yoghurt
½ cucumber
1 teaspoon dried mint
Ground sea salt  

Method

  1. Prepare chicken.  Soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning.
  2. Prepare the marinade.   Add the Baharat and sunflower oil to a bowl and mix to combine.  Add the chicken and coat with the marinade.  Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.
    Prep the chicken
  3. Whilst chilling, prep the raita.  Grate half a cucumber into a bowl and squeeze out the excess water.  Discard excess water and return grated cucumber to the bowl. Add greek yoghurt until the cucumber is coated, but the mix should not be sloppy.  Add the mint and salt.  Stir to combine and refrigerate until serving.

    Prep the raita
  4. Preheat the grill to medium high. Next, prepare the vegetables.  Chop the pepper into large chunks and wash the tomatoes.  Cut up the aubergine last, otherwise it will go brown.
  5. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil.  Add the chicken onto the skewers.
    Prep the aubergine last
  6. Place chicken and vegetables under the grill for around 10 minutes, turning halfway through.  Cook chicken until the juices run clear and the meat is white throughout.
  7. Remove the raita from the fridge and plate up all three components of the dish. Serve immediately.
    chicken skewers
    Add caption

Disclaimer:  I received a selection of spices free from The Spice Kitchen to cook with. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

Readers, I’m back on the gluten free bandwagon again… my coeliac friend came over for dinner the other week, with some gluten loving buddies.  Not wanting to make two desserts, I made my first ever flourless cake for the squad.

This is not my recipe – I used one of my fellow bloggers recipes and wasn’t sure at first.  It uses A LOT of eggs.  Also, when it comes out of the oven it’s very wobbly.  Be patient, overnight in the fridge it sets to a gooey, delicious, fudgy chocolate cake.  Incredibly moreish and rich, you won’t need much to satisfy a chocolate craving.

Even the gluten lovers were convinced by this one.  You’ll also need a deep tin and lots of tinfoil to make this!

Original recipe found at Gimmie Some Oven

flourless chocolate cake

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 large eggs straight from the fridge
300g milk chocolate
225g unsalted butter
1 punnet raspberries
Icing sugar to decorate

Method

  1. Line the bottom of an 8in cake pan (loose bottomed) with parchment paper, then wrap the outside of the tin with two layers of tinfoil (to ensure water can’t get into the pan). Preheat the oven to 160c.
  2. Boil a kettle of water and set the cake pan into a bigger roasting pan.
  3. Add the eggs to a large bowl and mix using an electric whisk until light, fluffy and doubled in volume.   In the meantime, melt chocolate and butter in a microwave proof bowl, stirring at regular intervals until melted and combined. Cool slightly.
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the egg mix to the chocolate until almost fully combined.  Then, add the second third and do the same.  Add the last until fully combined.  Pour into the prepared cake tin.   Pour water into the roasting tin, to around halfway up the height of the cake pan. Be careful not to pour it into the cake batter!
    Adding the chocolate to the egg mix. 
  5. Transfer cake to the oven and bake for around 30 minutes, until the cake has a crust on top, the interior has reached 140c and it’s gone a bit brownie like.  IT WILL WOBBLE! Pop your raspberries lightly into the top of the cake.
  6. Cool at room temperature then transfer to the fridge overnight, to set.
  7. Before serving, turn out onto a cake plate.
  8. Dust with icing sugar, then cut into slices. 

flourless chocolate cake

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Simple Easter Chocolate Nest Cakes

Readers, I’m a little late to the party seeing as it’s now the evening of Good Friday and I’m only just getting a post together and up online.  To be honest, Easter has creeped up on me this year.  With being away and busy with charity work (and day to day work) it’s arrived before I’m ready for it.  *Cue panic buying chocolate eggs.

Anyway, as I’m limited on time and my colleagues are requesting Easter baked goods, I’ve done what I can, in half an hour.  It has inspired me to put a quick post up tonight though.  These are so simple to make and would make a great gift for the kids to take to Grandma’s house on Easter Sunday.

Ready in 30 minutes and using only 4 ingredients, these are super simple for family baking.

Happy Easter!
chocolate easter nest cakes


Simple Easter Nest Cakes

Ingredients (makes 12 cakes)
300g milk chocolate
High Bran cereal (the one which looks like twigs!)
½ cup raisins or sultanas
2 packets Mini Eggs

Method
  1. Melt the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl for 1 min 40 secs (800w microwave).  Stir after 1 minute, then finish for 40 seconds.  Stir to ensure all chocolate is melted.
  2. Add enough bran cereal to coat fully with chocolate.  
  3. Add the raisins or sultanas and mix fully to integrate to the mix.
  4. Spoon the mix into 12 cupcake or muffin cases.  Put cases in a muffin tin, to ensure the nests hold their shape.
  5. Add 3 Mini Eggs in different colours and transfer to the fridge to set for several hours.
    easter chocolate nests
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days (if they last that long). 


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Cranberry & Peanut Protein Bites (No Bake)

Readers, I’ve entered into uncharted waters this week.  The fitness world.  Yes, I do occasionally go to the gym, but I’d hardly describe myself as on Olympic athlete.  Anyway, myprotein.com got in touch and I’ve spent my evenings this week researching baking healthy snacks.
Tonight's ingredient haul!
What I’ve ended up with is in fact, no bake.  Fantastic for those of you who are pushed for time after work, or when you’ve come in for the gym, shattered and want to crash.   I made these in 15 minutes, plus half an hour in the fridge to chill.  Take 5 minutes at the end to roll them into balls and you are done.   All in, less than an hour to create a clean snack.

This recipe uses peanut butter (with no added sugar), some oat bran to pull the protein content up a bit further and some dried cranberries to sweeten up slightly.   These are all available from MyProtein.com

I’ve been experimenting recently with healthier baking – getting rid of caster sugar and replacing it with natural alternatives including honey.  I did use a little honey in this recipe to sweeten and to bind the ingredients, but you could up the peanut butter and reduce the honey, if you don’t want the sweetness.

I’ve measured everything in cups, so if you don’t have scales, it’s fairly easy to make this recipe.  Cups are easily picked up in a homeware store or supermarket.

Happy healthy snacking!
 
Cranberry & Peanut Protein Bites
Cranberry & Peanut Protein Bites

Easy Cranberry & Peanut Protein Bites (No Bake)

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons oatbran
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup honey

Method

  1. Put the oatbran and rolled oats into a blender.  Blitz until a rough powder.
    blending
    Blend the oats and oatbran 
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add the cranberries.  Mix to coat the oats.
    mix oats and cranberries
  3. Add the peanut butter and mix with a spoon (use your hands if you are struggling, but it will get messy!)
  4. Add the honey and mix until a dough comes together in the bowl and the mix is fully combined.
  5. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the fridge and using your hands, mix into small, bite size portions.  3 pieces = 1 serving.  These can be stored in a cool place in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    Cranberry & Peanut Protein Bites
Disclaimer: I was provided a selection of ingredients free of charge from myprotein.com to use in creating some recipes.   Any opinions expressed are my own.