This was easy, quick and fantastic for a cold winter’s day and it was surprisingly filling too!
1 large onion chopped
3 leeks sliced thinly
3 courgettes chopped
1 tin of cherry tomatoes
1 tin of water
Can of chick peas
1 tbs harissa paste
Any other vegetables lying around
Parmesan or strong cheddar
- Add onion and leeks to casserole dish with a little oil and fry until softened.
- Add courgettes, tin of cherry tomatoes, can of chick peas, can of water, 1 tbs harrisa and a pepper or other veg lying around and let it stew with the lid on for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings according to instructions but before adding wet ingredients add the cheese and mix
- Make small dumplings and ontop of stew
- Place in oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
What do you call a Mexican with a rubber toe?! ROBERTO!!!!
Baking these Mojito cupcakes was a bit of a surprise for me as I imagined my birthday cake to be a standard chocolate or vanilla sponge with my favourite toppings but as the venue for my birthday gathering ended up being a Mexican restaurant called Lupita I thought these cupcakes would actually work really well.
The reason for the surprise was that I don’t like Mexican food much and don’t drink Mojitos (I chose the restaurant as all my friends love Mexican but what’s the deal with refried beans, weren’t they right the first time?!) but these cupcakes were delicious and had a soft moist texture in the middle. The cream cheese added a bit of savoury to a sweet desert and actually complimented the rum and mint very well. I must say, the cupcakes did smell a bit off to me once I added the mint topping to cream cheese but the flavours worked really well and everyone devoured the cupcakes quickly.
|384g plain flour1 tbsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. salt113g unsalted butter, at room temperature400g sugar4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
250 ml buttermilk
2 tablespoon fresh mint chopped (use food processor of possible)
60 ml water
4 tablespoons butter
10 Mint Sprigs
224 g cream cheese, softened
56 g butter
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons lime zest
4 tablespoons chopped mint
2 teaspoon rum
625 g icing sugar
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.
- Line a cupcake tin with cases.
- In a bowl, combine and blend the dry ingredients.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the lime zest, lime juice, chopped mint and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
- Fill cases to ¾ full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and butter over medium-high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.
- When the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat.
- Carefully add rum and mix until incorporated. Add the zest of 1 lime and 3 sprigs of fresh mint, and let the syrup infuse for 5 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese, butter, lime juice, lime zest, and rum together until smooth and fluffy.
- Add icing sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.
Using a fork, poke holes in the top of each cupcake once cool. Dip the top of each cupcake in the rum syrup and allow to cool. Spread or pipe icing on as desired. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Inspiration: Martha Stewart, Baker Chick
Sometimes I feel like snails are faster than me! It has been a long time since my last post and last week for my birthday I made this deep filled, crunch cookie cake which was given to the law firm I am doing a 2 week placement in. I could have done something more adventurous but I didn’t have much time but still wanted to do something….fun!
We all loved the cake but trying to cut out even slices proved to be a challenge, but we all had fun grabbing ever y morsel. Next time, I think I wouldn’t bake the cookies as long as I did so they remain extra squidgy. What’s better than baked cookies? Unbaked cookie dough…..hhhhmmmmmmmmm.
Ingredients (this would make 2 large round cookies):
- 260 g plain flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 160 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
- 220 g brown sugar
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 270 g plain chocolate chips
- *optional- sea salt for sprinkling
- Adjust the oven shelves to upper and lower-middle positions.
- Preheat oven 325°. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.
- Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.
- Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Divide mixture into two and using fingers make each ball into large round circles.
- Sprinkle with sea salt. (optional) and bake 20-25 minutes.
- Halfway between baking rotate the cookies.
- Bake until light golden brown and outer edges firm while the centre remains soft and gooey.
- Allow to cool slightly before transferring to cooling rack.
- Stack up the cookies, adding a layer of frosting between each layer.
- Please see my recipe for chocolate frosting http://www.zachsbakery.co.uk/lava-cake-chocolate-blackout-cake/
Source: Baker Chick and Annie’s Eats, via Baking Illustrated
I know this is a small step for us but I live life with the belief that if it’s worth celebrating then CELEBRATE and I don’t just mean getting out a box of Celebrations.
Today we have 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook! Next year, hopefully it will be 1000 and then we can really party!
Thanks to everyone who are reading the website regularly and sending emails, it means a lot!!
Best and thanks again!
Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done! Why not do something better and make something chocolatey. This cake is to die for, it’s the best chocolate cake I have ever made and is rich beyond belief. The cake is simple to make and can last a week. A slice goes a long way and we still have half a cake left in the freezer for NYE! The filling and frosting is best chilled overnight before frosting the cake and the cake itself needs 4 hours in the fridge before serving so the cake firms up.
Filling and frosting
- 960 ml milk
- 340 g granulated sugar
- 6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tbs cornstarch
- 175 g unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 60 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tbs vanilla extract.
- 1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder
- 175 g unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 425 g plain flour
- 260 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbs baking powder
- 4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 760 g granulated sugar
- 540 ml buttermilk, cold
- 4 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- Combine all filling ingredients expect for the vanilla in a large saucepan and stir over a medium heat until melted and combined and then whisk until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Off the heat stir in vanilla.
- Place cling film directly over the frosting so that there is no air between the chocolate and Clingfilm – this will prevents a skin from forming.
- Let the frosting cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
- If there are lumps in the frosting, before refrigerating, whizz the frosting in a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4.
- Line three 9 inch round cake tins and dust sides with flour.
- Cake: dissolve the espresso powder in a 240 ml of boiling water. Set aside to cool. Add more water if some evaporates when cooling.
- Melt butter in a small pan and allow to cool slightly.
- Sift dry ingredients.
- Add buttermilk to espresso, add melted butter and vanilla. Whisk.
- With an electric mixture, whisk the eggs and add liquid and mix until combined. On low speed add flour mixture until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 tins and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until knife is inserted and comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in pans for 20 minute and turn out to cool completely on wire racks.
- To frost: slice of the domed tops and set aside.
- Slice each layer of cake in half or if you feel adventurous you may have thinner layers.
- Set aside 1 layer with the domed tops.
- Placing newspaper or baking paper around the cake stand as this is going to get messy, fill and stack the layers and cover the cake with frosting.
- Take the domed tops and reserved layer and crumble with your fingers until it’s even crumbs.
- Cover the cake with the crumbs.
- Refrigerate the cake for 4 hours before serving so it can set.