Friday, 25 September 2015

Griddled Courgette with Mozzarella & Sweet Chilli Dressing

Sadly, the only courgette recipe this year (completely forgetting about this one). Unless you don't like courgettes, then "yay" for you!! Luckily for both my sisters, Dad only planted 2 plants, and this year wasn't a very good for year, for growing courgettes! Meaning it was a very sad year for me. Normally, we grow so many that we end up giving loads away, but this year we had to buy some, i know shock horror!
Since i love courgettes, and I'm always trying to find new recipes, when i came across this one, i did i little excited dance. Its fits my claim "i could eat mediterranean food every day, for the rest of my life" (not that i am) quite nicely. With several of my most loved ingredients, namely the mozzarella (of course, it's in the top 5 favourite cheeses list!!) and the basil.
The sauce is quite sweet on its own, but paired with the courgettes, it balances out. The sauce is also very versatile, and would work well with salmon and chicken, or if you reduce the sugar, it would make a great dipping sauce. 
Serve as a side dish, with fish or chicken, or as a light lunch with added salad  leaves to bulk it up a bit. We had it with grilled mackerel, and my quinoa salad, not the most well planned, and everything works together beautifully meal, but one of the tastiest. 
100g caster sugar
150ml rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
700g courgettes
1 ball of mozzarella
olive oil
basil leaves, to finish

1. In a small pan, heat the sugar and vinegar with 150ml water. once the sugar has dissolved, add in the garlic and the chilli. Simmer gently for 20mins until reduced and syrupy. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Slice the courgettes finely. Toss in oil and seasoning.
3. Heat the griddle pan or barbecue  to hot.Cook the courgettes, until tender and charred.
4. Arrange on a serving plate, tear over the mozzarella and drizzle with the dressing. Scattered with basil. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

I'm using the excuse that it wasn't my oven; As my defence, that the cake wasn't cooked enough; It obviously wasn't that, I didn't read the recipe properly, and the oven was supposed to be set at 160 instead of 180. That's also obviously, why the background has been occasionally changing recently, since I've been making full use of the house my mum house/dog sits for; by borrowing their kitchen of course! 
This is now the second citrus fruit, and poppy seed cake in a row, after this one. I do like them, I promise!(well it was my birthday cake) I'm not just trying to use the packet of poppy seeds up, like you all think. I love the slight crunch, and the nuttiness they give the cake. If your making the cake for a special occasion, then toasting the seeds will enhance their flavour.

If you don't like orange marmalade, then feel free to change it to a different marmalade, such as lime, or lemon. Also feel free to swap the marmalade top, with a sugar crust (just mix granulated sugar and orange juice together, use this recipe for it). If you don't like poppy seeds, then feel free to take them out.
3 tbsp thick cut marmalade
150g plain yogurt
3 eggs
175g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g butter
zest of orange
5 tsp poppy seeds

for the sticky top:
juice 1/2 orange

5 tbsp marmalade

1. preheat the oven to 160°c. 
2. butter and line a loaf tin 
3. melt the marmalade into a small pan or microwave, then beat in the yogurt and leave to cool
4. put the remaining cake ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth
5. quickly beat in the yogurt and marmalade mix, and pour into the tin( it will be quite runny).Don' smooth and level the top to encourage a crack in the middle.
6. bake for 1hr- 1hr 10mins, until golden and well risen, loosely cover if its getting too brown
7. meanwhile, while heat the orange juice and marmalade in a small pan, until combined and thick, but still runny glaze
8. spoon over the topping, while it's still warm 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Coconut and Apricot Slice

Writing about these is making me want one so badly, and yes, you probably here that a lot on blogs, but honestly this is one of my favourite bakes. Luckily for me; one sister didn't like it, the other was going through a vegan stage, my mum was away dog/house sitting, and my dad tends to forget about the things i bake, if they're in the cupboard. So as you can imagine, i had a lot to eat myself, not that i minded too much.
If you wanted something sweet, bite size and that pairs together so well, like carrot and cumin, apple and cinnamon, then look no further. The sweetness of the biscuit, and condensed milk, with the tartness of the apricot and then the lemon icing, topping off the perfect crunch, to chew ratio underneath. 
Personally, I love apricots and wouldn't change them, but if you don't, raisins would work just as well. I used digestive biscuits, but any plain, sweet biscuit would do the job. I also added lemon zest to the icing, and extra lemon juice because I love lemon, as you might know, if you've been reading my blog for a while. 
I don't particularly like super thick icing on slices, so i halved the original recipe, but feel free to double the one below, if you like thicker icing. I also pressed in extra coconut, to make it look pretty, since my icing lost its shine, as i kept touching it, but if your more skilled than me, and can create a flat and shiny surface, then go ahead!!


100g butter
3/4 cup condensed milk
375g digestives, crushed
150g dried apricots, finely chopped
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbsp lemon juice


25g butter
1.5 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 3/4  icing sugar

1. melt the butter and condensed milk. bring to the boil and simmer for 2 mins.Remove from the heat

2. Add the crushed biscuits, apricots, coconut and lemon juice. Mix well.
3. press into 30cm x 24 cm lined baking tin. Pop in the fridge until set, then ice.
4. For the icing: Melt butter and mix with the boiling water, icing sugar, lemon zest, and juice to a smooth consistency
5. Spread over base. Press into extra coconut if desired, and once set, cut into squares