• Maltesers Fudge

    1 large bag of Maltesers
    1 small bag of Maltesers (this ones for the chef!)
    350g granulated sugar
    25 g butter
    175ml evaporated milk
    300 g milk chocolate
    50 g white chocolate buttons

    Line a baking tray of about 7″ x 7″ with parchment
    Get a heavy saucepan heat sugar, butter and evaporated milk stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved.
    Increase heat and stir continuously until it boils. Once we’ve hit the boil reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minute precisely, yes set a timer. You don’t want to burn it!
    After the timer has binged add the milk chocolate…broken up into bits and all 300 g of it…no you can’t steal any, you won’t need to as you have the small bag of Maltesers for this purpose! Add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the large bag of Maltesers to the mix and stir until the chocolate has melted
    Pour into baking tin sharpish as it will thicken quickly. If its not spreading evenly enough tap the tin on the counter and it will encourage it to spread evenly.
    To finish it sprinkle your white chocolate buttons and the rest of the Maltesers evenly on the top.
    Chill the tray for at least 2 hours, longer if you can stay away from it.
    Might be good to go out so you can’t get to it.
    When chilled completely cut into squares and enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk!



  • Chocolate Cake

    225g butter
    225g good chocolate (don’t use the cheap supermarket chocolate, I know it’s tempting but the good stuff is worth it!) 70% Cocoa is best
    15 ml Instant coffee…as a coffee snob it’s hard to use this but I recomment Millicano as an instant
    450 g soft brown sugar
    150 ml water

    Melt all this in a medium saucepan, don’t use too high a heat as we don’t want burnt chocolate!
    Put aside to let cool…I know, being patient isn’t our strong point but it needs to be done.
    Preheat oven to 160 degrees

    Next part.

    4 eggs beaten
    35 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
    100 ml of creme fraiche (sour cream for our friends across the pond!don’t use soured cream, yuk. You can use plain yogurt if it’s all you have)
    Mix into the cooled mixture from above and mix.

    Yup…another part

    125g self raising flour
    125g plain flour
    50 g cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda

    Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, bigger the better, less mess! Pour the wet mix into the dry and mix by hand until smooth.
    Pour into a greased and lined deep 8″ pan and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    This cake is dark and rich and very stable for decorating and carving, it stays fresh for ages as well. This recipe was passed on to me by a good friend at Rainbow Cakes!



  • Honey, Rosemary and Thyme Dinner Rolls

    600 g plain flour
    7g dried active baking yeast (1 packet)
    5 tablespoons honey
    60 g butter
    1 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1 tsp rosemary
    1 tsp thyme

    Get a large mixer bowl, add 1/2 the flour and the yeast. Set aside.
    In a saucepan add the milk, honey butter and salt. Heat until warm and the butter is staring to melt, keep stirring until butter is melted.
    Turn your mixer on low and add the wet mixture to the flour and yeast, scrape the sides and mix for about 30 seconds.
    Add the rosemary and thyme to the rest of the flour and slowly mix in as much as you can with a spoon, yup by hand, no being lazy here, you’ve used the mixer now use your spoon!
    Now dump the dough out onto a floured counter top and knead in enough of the flour mix to make a reasonably stiff dough. the dough should end up smooth and elastic…this will be your daily workout and should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
    Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl,cover (we use cling film and a plastice grocery bag tied in a know) and let rise in a warm place until doubled. We use the airing cupboard (should take about an hour but can take longer…be patient!)
    Now, take out your frustration at having to wait and punch the dough down, split in half.
    Cover again and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    Cut each half of the dough into about 8 pieces each, roll them into clemetine sized balls.
    Place into a greased 9×9 tin, space as evenly as you can.
    Let rise until doubled…use the cling film plastci bag scenario again.
    Sprinkle with a mix of dried rosemary and thyme.
    Bake in a preheated 190 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
    They will bake all together and when baked remove from tin and let cool on a wire rack.
    These are a great tear and share addition to any meal!



  • Goats Cheese Bites

    1-2 discs of goats cheese per person
    1 piece parma ham per disc
    cracked black pepper
    salad greens (handful per person)…I like rocket, arugula, little gem lettuce, butter leaf lettuce
    balsamic dressing….go easy and buy or make your own (recipe to follow)

    Pop to you local grocery store and you can pick up some discs of goats cheese, they can be flavored or seasoned already (easier for you and we like easy!)
    Season the goats cheese with a little salt and pepper….or more if that’s what ya like!
    Wrap each disc with the parma ham and make into a little pillow.
    Pop onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes…the ham wil go crispy and the cheese will be lovely soft and gooey :)
    Get your side plate and place a nice bed of salad greens and pop your pillow of yumminess onto the pillow.
    Get all Masterchef and drizzle with balsamic dressing.



  • Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble

    1 lb fresh rhubarb maybe an extra stick for sugar dipping!
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 inch cube fresh ginger grated
    1 cup self raising flour
    1/2 cup caster sugar
    1/2 cup cold butter
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1 tbsp demerera sugar

    Preheat oven to 180° c.
    Rinse the rhubarb and chop all but one stick into 1 inch pieces.The extra stick is to dip in a little pot of sugar and eat raw. When I was young my Dad had a vegetable garden and when we were kids we used to steal stalks of rhubarb and sit and eat them dipping the ends into a little pot of sugar. Rhubarb now always reminds me of summertime when I was a kid!
    Put chopped rhubarb into and ovenproof dish with the grated ginger. Pour the granulated sugar over the rhubarb and toss gently to mix well.I used my hands, wash them first of course!
    In a separate bowl put the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk together.
    Handy tip for impatient people, use a grater and grate the cold butter into the dry mix as it mixes more evenly and rub together with your hands (or use a pastry cutter if you have one) until the butter is evenly distributed through the mix. Make sure none of the butter is bigger than the size of a pea or you will have greasy pockets of yuk.
    When mixed thoroughly, pour evenly over the rhubarb mixture and put into the oven uncovered for about 70 minutes.
    Check after 60 minutes and if the crumble is golden brown it’s good to go! Top with ice cream, custard or cream :) Or all of the above!



  • Custard

    4 egg yolks
    300 ml semi skimmed milk
    400 ml double cream
    2 tbsp Caster sugar
    1 tbsp cornstarch
    1 vanilla pod (madagascan is the best)
    1 tbsp vanilla extract

    In a medium saucepan put the milk, cream and vanilla pod (only the pod though).
    Heat to simmering point over low heat. Don’t allow the milk to boil or it will be rather horrible.
    Meanwhile in another bowl add the sugar,egg yolks and cornstarch and whisk until smooth and paste like.
    When the milk is at the right temperature add it slowly, a little at a time, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk, to the egg/sugar mixture. If you add the hot milk mixture too quickly you’ll get scrambled eggs!
    When all the hot milk is mixed into the sugar mix,give it a quick mix and return to the saucepan, heat over low until it starts to thicken.
    Whisk in the vanilla extract and serve with your choice of yummy desserts :) Any leftover (if there is any) use to make ice cream!



  • Kick Ass Chili

    500g lean minced beef
    1 onion (roughly chopped how big or small you chop it depends how rustic you like your chili)
    1 green pepper (roughly chopped, same deal as the onion)
    3 cloves garlic crushed
    1 tbsp oil
    1 can chopped tomatoes
    1 can baked beans, Im a baked bean snob, I only use Heinz..not sponsored by Heinz
    1 can kidney beans (drained)
    1 tsp chipotle chili and smoked paprika paste
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp smoked paprika or regular paprika if you don’t have smoked, smoked just tastes better
    2 tsp hot chili powder or mild if cooking for the masses, children or wussies.
    1 tsp Sriracha sauce leave out if cooking for the above group :)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat oil in large saucepan best to have deep sides, I use a dutch oven to save a bit of mess on the hob and saute onions until soft,not brown just soft.
    Add peppers, garlic, the mince and brown, stir often to get the mince evenly browned and stopping it from sticking to the pot.
    When the mince is nearly brown add your spices, pastes and Sriracha sauce.
    Turn heat down to low and add your chopped tomatoes, baked beans and kidney beans. Stir to make sure everything is evenly coated with all the yummy sauce.
    Stir occasionally testing spice level to see if you need to add more. Simmer for a minimum of 45 minutes.
    Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people!)
    Serve with a generous dollop of creme fraiche and some crusty bread! A cold beer goes down well with this.



  • Blueberry and Oat Muffins

    testmuffin

    Makes: 6 giant/12 normal

     

    Ingredients

    3/4 cup quick cooking oats

    3/4 cup orange juice

    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup white sugar

    1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon baking soda

    3/4 cup vegetable oil

    2 eggs, beaten

    2 teaspoons vanilla essence

    1 1/2cup fresh blueberries

    2 teaspoons white sugar

    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

     

    LET’S DO THIS:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 6 or 12 cup muffin pan (how many will depend n how big you likd your muffins – we likes ours BIG!) . In a small bowl, mix the oats and orange juice together. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Thoroughly blend in the oil and egg. Stir in the oat mixture, and fold in blueberries and add the vanilla. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.

    Mix 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins.

    Bake 23 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. 23 minutes is for large muffins in a fan assisted oven. If you are making smaller ones, cut the time down. If you are not using a fan oven, add a couple of minutes to the baking time. When the knife comes out clean, they are done. Leave to cool.