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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sweetcorn Fritters with Lime and Chilli



2 eggs
2 cups frozen sweetcorn (defrosted and drained of any water)
1 teaspoon Thai spice
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 small shallot, finely chopped
some fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 spring onions
low fat cooking spray
salt and pepper to season 

Add all ingredients, except the spring onions to a bowl  and roughly blend using a hand blender.

Spray a frying pan with frylite and spoon some of the mixture into the pan (mix should make 6 fritters in total).  Flatten out and then flip after a couple of minutes.  Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

serve on a bed of salad topped with chopped spring onions and dressing of choice.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Easy Bread


Recipe & image taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk

500g/1lb 1oz strong white bread flour, plus a little extra flour for finishing

40g/1½oz soft butter

12g/2 sachets fast-action dried yeast

2 tsp salt

about 300ml/10¾fl oz tepid water (warm not cold – about body temperature)

a little olive or sunflower oil


Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Add the yeast at one side of the bowl and add the salt at the other, otherwise the salt will kill the yeast. Stir all the ingredients with a spoon to combine.

Add half of the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add water a little at a time, combining well, until you’ve picked up all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all of the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want a dough that is well combined and soft, but not sticky or soggy. Mix with your fingers to make sure all of the ingredients are combined and use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl. Keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

Use about a teaspoon of oil to lightly grease a clean work surface (using oil instead of flour will keep the texture of the dough consistent). Turn out your dough onto the greased work surface (make sure you have plenty of space).

Fold the far edge of the dough into the middle of the dough, then turn the dough by 45 degrees and repeat. Do this several times until the dough is very lightly coated all over in olive oil.
Now use your hands to knead the dough: push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading in this way stretches the gluten and makes the dough elastic. Do this for about 4 or 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands – if it does get too sticky you can add a little flour to your hands.

Clean and lightly oil your mixing bowl and put the dough back into it. Cover with a damp tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and set it aside to prove. This gives the yeast time to work: the dough should double in size. This should take around one hour, but will vary depending on the temperature of your room (don’t put the bowl in a hot place or the yeast will work too quickly).
Line a baking tray with baking or silicone paper (not greaseproof).

Once the dough has doubled in size scrape it out of the bowl to shape it. The texture should be bouncy and shiny. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back by kneading it firmly to 'knock' out the air. Use your hand to roll the dough up, then turn by 45 degrees and roll it up again. Repeat several times. Gently turn and smooth the dough into a round loaf shape.

Place the loaf onto the lined baking tray, cover with a tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove until it’s doubled in size. This will take about an hour, but may be quicker or slower depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7. Put an old, empty roasting tin into the bottom of the oven.

After an hour the loaf should have proved (risen again). Sprinkle some flour on top and very gently rub it in. Use a large, sharp knife to make shallow cuts (about 1cm/½in deep) across the top of the loaf to create a diamond pattern.

Put the loaf (on its baking tray) into the middle of the oven. Pour cold water into the empty roasting tray at the bottom of the oven just before you shut the door – this creates steam which helps the loaf develop a crisp and shiny crust.

Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes.
The loaf is cooked when it’s risen and golden. To check, take it out of the oven and tap it gently underneath – it should sound hollow. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Coffee & Walnut Sponge



6oz self raising flour
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz margarine / butter
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp very strong black coffee

500g icing sugar
50g butter / margarine
2 tbsp very strong black coffee
2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Pre heat ove to 170 degrees C (fan assisted).  In a food mixer, wizz up all the cake ingredients until you have a smooth mixture.

Divide the mixture between two 7"round cake pans lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for approximately 18 minutes.

Allow too cool fully before icing.

When ready, mix together the icing sugar, butter & coffee and spread onto the middle and the top of the cake as desired before decorating with the nuts.

Bakewell tart


Recipe & Image taken from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com

For the pastry

125g plain flour
75g unsalted butter , cold and
diced
25g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 egg white

For the filling

2 heaped tbsp raspberry jam
150g unsalted butter , at room
temperature
150g caster sugar
3 eggs , beaten
egg yolk
150g ground almonds
lemon , zested
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp flaked almonds

To make the pastry, tip the flour, butter and sugar into a food
processor with a pinch of salt. Whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and 1 tsp of cold water and pulse until the dough comes together.

Flatten into a disc, cover with clingfilm and chill for no more than 1 hour.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Line a 25cm fluted tart tin, prick the base with a fork and chill for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.  Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Cook for about 20 minutes until the pastry is a pale golden colour.

Take out the beans, brush the inside of the pastry case with a little egg white and cook for a further 2 minutes.   Cool slightly.

Spread the jam in an even layer over the base of the pastry case. Cream together the butter and caster sugar.

Gradually add the beaten eggs and egg yolk.  Add the almond extract and fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Carefully spoon the mixture over the jam and spread level.

Bake for 20 minutes. Scatter with the flaked almonds and continue to cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden and set.

Cool to room temperature & dust with icing sugar before enjoying.

** The original recipe called for a 20cm tin & no almond extract, these are changes I made after reading various reviews**

Cupcakes


For the cupcakes

200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
200g butter / margarine
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

For the icing

300g icing sugar
150g butter / margarine
food colour


Pre heat oven to 170 degrees C (fan assisted).  Using a freestanding mixer or a hand whisk mix together all the cake ingredients until smooth.

Divide the mixture between 9 cupcake cases in a muffin tin and bake for approximately 18 minutes or until cooked through.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Once again using the mixer or hand whisk, mix together the butter & icing sugar and colour as required before piping onto the cakes.