Sunday, 10 December 2017

Proper orange hot chocolate

Great for winter nights!

Put 800ml whole milk in a pan and add a few strips of orange peel. Heat to just before boiling and then keep at that temperature. Chop up 100g very dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate. Remove milk from heat and take out the peel. Add the chocolate and stir until silky smooth. Stir in about 4 tbsp of thick double cream.

Pour into four small mugs and scatter over some mini marshmallows. Then grate over some chocolate (the one below was without the extra grated chocolate!)

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sausage plait

Very like sausage rolls just looks more impressive. Blitz together a skinned pack of sausages with an egg and some worcestershire sauce.

Roll out some ready rolled puff pastry and cut slits each side (equal amounts each side). Put the sausage meat in a roll down the centre and then plait the strips over the top.

 Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 45 minutes.

Roasted pumpkin soup

We got a lot of pumpkins just before halloween from a farm and they store well so I am still enjoying cooking with them.

A simple soup - take one edible pumpkin and cut into slices. Remove the stringy middle and the seeds but don't throw the seeds. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle over oil.

Roast the wedges in the oven for about 40 mins to an hour with a clove of garlic that you have chopped the head off and wrapped in foil and put with the wedges.

When they are starting to caramelise they are done. A good pumpkin roasted this way is lovely and great as an accompaniment to a main meal (could even replace roast potatoes). They can also be frozen at this point in little bags to be used at a later date very quickly (can cook straight from frozen).

Meanwhile fry a carrot and onion in some oil. Add a cup of washed red lentils and a pint of homemade chicken stock (or shop bought if you don't have any!)

Add the roasted pumpkin and squeeze out the garlic into the pan. Bubble away for 20 mins. Puree and top with creme fraiche (and some seeds from below!)

While the pumpkin is roasting, clean up the seeds and wash and dry them. Put on a single layer of a baking tray and spray with oil and sprinkle over a little salt. Roast in the oven for about 30 mins until they are browning. Great on salads, over this soup or even just as a snack (the girls have them as a school snack whenever I have made some).

Christmas cake

Again no recipe- just some ideas for decorations. A lot of people hate making cakes for school fairs etc. A good icing and fun decorations are usually all you need to transform a simple sandwich cake. And I love lustre shimmers that you paint on. Gold works well on chocolate.

40th cakes

No recipe just pictures for some decorating ideas

Chocolate covered strawberries and wafer fingers

These are good for decorations on cakes.

Cut your wafers to the same size if it is to edge a cake. Line up on trays and drizzle with different chocolate.

 Dip strawberries in chocolate and allow to cool. They can then be painted with edible gold lustre. Then dribble over another colour chocolate in an icing bag.

Party canapes

Very simple. Get some good quality filo pastry and line up several sheets with butter or oil in between and then cute into four. Top with your choice of toppings.

This is a mushroom one cooked in butter and topped with grated parmesan.

 Scrunch the filo around the topping, brush with egg and bake for about 15-20 minutes until cooked.

Or you can mix bacon, sundried tomato, feta and creme fraiche and a filling

For those wanting something more plain feta and cherry tomatoes.