Monday, 9 December 2013

Gingerbread House

It doesn't get more Christmassy, than this. A little gingerbread house, covered in snow, with festive Christmas trees.This mixture is perfect for all ages, and incredibly moreish.Decoration is optional but looks great, and something the kids can do.

If you like it extra gingery; like me. then add more ground ginger, i also added a little bit of stem ginger syrup, be careful not to add too much because it could change ratio.
If you're going to do a multi coloured roof, then use supermarket branded buttons, because branded buttons are often different sizes. I would also recommend cutting a door out, just after its come out of the oven, when still soft.

 This recipe makes 2 gingerbread houses(possibly 4) and a lot of biscuits. If you don't want to eat it all, wrap it up in cellophane and tie with a bow,and give as gifts.

250g butter
200g dark brown sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb
4 tsp ground ginger

1.preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. 
2.Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan.
3.Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the wet mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water or stem ginger syrup.
4.on a floured surface, roll out.
5.cut out gingerbread house (templates are easily found) and shapes with Christmas themed cutters
6.bake for 12 mins, or until golden brown.
8. assemble and decorate.

To make the thick icing; add a tiny bit of water, to sifted icing sugar and mix until a "gloopy" consistency is formed.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Canapes: Chorizo sausage rolls

 If you thought the mini quiches were too much work: Try these. A simple twist on the traditional, quick to make, freezable and adaptable to any situation.

With only three ingredients, and changeable sausage meat to suit your tastes. These are perfect for party's, and just as quick, as cooking shop bought.
Feel free to change the meat to what ever sausages are your favourite. Just take the skin off, then roll out.For these ones make sure you have got cooking chorizo, otherwise it won't work. Feel free to change the size, as they would be a great for lunch.


200 g puff pastry
200 g sausage meat
1 egg

1. preheat oven, gas 6, 200 °c 

2. if using proper sausages, remove skins. season
3.roll pastry out on a floured surface. 
4.roll out sausage meat, to the same length on the pastry and fold over
6.brush the edges with water, seal with fork and make small slits on the top. on a baking tray
8.glaze with beaten egg
9. bake for 20 mins or until golden
10.serve hot or cold.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Canapes; Mini Quiches

So, its party season. That means pretty dresses, high heels and of course canapes. Supermarket alternatives are great, but homemade is the best. These can be made ahead, frozen and reheated easily.

These are traditionally made with bacon, but i find its quite rich. I like to use a strong ham, for example parma. If you don't like ham then you could swap it for smoked salmon and reduce the amount of onion and fill it up with broccoli.
To make a big quiche, double the recipe. when i tried it i didn't bake blind and the pastry was ok, but I would recommend putting it on top if a hot tray, so the base crisps up better.

Makes 12

100 g plain flour
25 g butter
25 g white fat(e.g trex)
cold water to mix

50 g grated cheese
2 eggs
50 g chopped bacon/ham
1 onion, chopped

1. preheat oven, gas mark 6
2.put flour and fat in bowl, rub until resembles breadcrumbs
3. add water, stir with knife, then bring together until soft dough is for,ed.
4.roll out dough, cut large circles out and line tin
5.put bacon, onion and cheese into a bowl.add beaten egg and milk,season.mix
6.bake until golden brown and egg has set.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

This month i'm loving : Borough Market

Here are some pictures of my favourite foodie market in the whole wide world, not that I've been to many (I'm only 15). Great at Christmas time for gifts, the salted caramels from artisan du chocolat are...well, heaven. I adore "the world famous brownies" and almost every time, pick one up.

I recommend going early, in the day but if you want lunch i recommend going at around 11, although still busy, not as manic as 12 or 1. 

For lunch: i love Roast, although i have only been to the stall not inside. I have had the pork crackling with apple sauce, at least twice because it's so good!

I also love the fish and chips both inside and the stall, there not really much different in price either, just the luxury of sitting down, is added inside! 

I have always been tempted by either the raclette or paella. Let me know in the comments below, if you have tried them, and what you thought.

Have you been to Borough market ? Do you love it as much as i do? What do you recommend ? 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Quick Carrot Cake- with cream cheese icing

As soon as i saw this recipe, i knew i just had to bake it. Lightly spiced, speckled with nuts and raisins, topped with cream cheese icing. It's also quick, shortening the time from bowl to mouth.Considering, I'm meant to be revising; That's a good thing.

For this recipe i have cut it into four, but i recommend if your not a fan, of too much icing, just keep it in two halves ; Which means you would have to halve the icing. I also added a bit of lemon juice to the icing, to cut through the sweetness and compliment the lemon in the cake.

220ml sunflower oil
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g grated carrot( with excess water squeezed out)
150g chopped mixed nuts
2 tsp mixed spice
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

1. preheat oven to 160°
2.put all of the ingredients into a bowl and combine until all the flour is incorporated
3.pop the mixture into cake tins and bake for 30-40 mins or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
4.allow to cool before slicing.

Ingredients for the cake
80g butter
450g icing sugar, sifted
400g cream cheese
zest of 2 oranges
walnut halves and ground cinnamon to finish

1. rub the butter into the icing sugar(just like you rub butter into flour for scones)
2. add cream cheese and zest, and mix until smooth.