First Snowfall Chocolate Mud Cake.

Made last week, but writing it up now because all cooking has become very simple due to Jon’s dentist appointment.

The icing turned out delicious and quite cute and snow-like with the split between icing sugar and cocoa and the sparkles of plain sugar, though it was far too runny and looks more messy than anything. Need to work on my cake decorating skills!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 700g flour and raising agents
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped brazils
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped into chips
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp plain cocoa powder
  • 5tbsp sweetened cocoa powder, milk or white
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coffee granules

For decorating:

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate powder
  • water as needed
  • whole brazils
  • white grain sugar

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • small mixing bowl and whisk
  • greased, nonstick, lined cake tin

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Mix the dry cake ingredients.
  3. Stir in the egg and honey.
  4. Add water until a batter forms.
  5. Pour into the tin. Bake until a skewer comes out with sticky crumbs on it: not dry, but firm.
  6. Put aside to cool.
  7. Mix the icing sugar and white chocolate powder. Add water a few drops at a time and stir into a thick paste. I’m not too impressed with the melting snowfall look, so just blend it thoroughly and set aside to cool a little.
  8. Pour the cool-ish icing over the cold cake.
  9. Stick whole brazils on it.
  10. Sprinkle with white sugar before it completely sets.

snow-cake

All The Pigs Winter Stew.

Because it’s simple, easy and hearty.

Ingredients:

  • 300g cooked gammon
  • 200g cooked herby sausages
  • 150g smoked sausages
  • random pork, we used some bacon rashers and I throw black pudding into mine
  • red, green and yellow bell peppers
  • a bunch of spring onions
  • 2 large courgettes
  • 500g cooked chickpeas
  • vegetable stock

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • large pot

Recipe:

  1. Roughly chop the meat and vegetables.
  2. Mix with chickpeas in the pot and half fill with water.
  3. Add stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Serve with bread and butter.

I have a feeling with Winter and the baby due any time between the start of December and the start of January, we’ll be having a lot more stews.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Sticky Spicy Coffee Cake.

Yes, coffee cake. Yes, sticky and spiced.

Not much more explaining needed.

Ingredients:

  • 500g flour and raising agents
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp coffee granules
  • 1tbsp cocoa mix
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1tsp allspice

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and fork
  • greased, lined or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in the eggs, vanilla and honey.
  4. Add water and keep stirring until a mass is formed.
  5. Pour into the baking tray and bake until a skewer comes out with a few sticky, but firm, crumbs holding onto it.
  6. Cool fully.
  7. Serve with cream. Or butter, if you’re more like Jon and need the savoury edge.

20160313_230341

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Lebkuchen. German Xmas gingerbreads to practise.

There are some great recipes for Lebkuchen out there, but this is the one that works best for us. I decided to start practising making them when I found out ALDI may not have them this year and panicked. They have them now, but tbh I prefer the homemade ones.

Ingredients.

For the cakes:

  • 500g wholemeal flour and raising agents
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar, brown or cane
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4tbsp honey or 1tbsp molasses
  • 2tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp allspice
  • 1/2tsp paprika

For the frosting:

  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 20g salted butter
  • 2tbsp chocolate sauce
  • 2tbsp honey

Utensils.

  • mixing bowl and fork
  • large ceramic bowl, small ceramic bowl and spoon
  • small pot
  • greased, lined or nonstick baking tray

Recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place chopped ginger, half the sugar and the lemon juice in the small pot and cook on a very low heat until the sting is gone from the ginger. Add a little water if it starts to dry.
  3. Mix all the dry cake ingredients.
  4. Incorporate the eggs, lemon and water until the dough is stringy, pourable, but retains some firmness.
  5. Pour into a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake until a skewer comes out clean. At 1″ thick, ours took 40 minutes.
  7. Leave the cake to cool.
  8. Once cool, pour boiling water into the large ceramic bowl and place the small ceramic bowl inside it.
  9. Put the chocolate in the small bowl and stir as it melts. Replace the hot water as required to keep the chocolate melty.
  10. Stir in the other ingredients.
  11. Pour over the cake.
  12. Leave the cake to cool.
  13. Slice and serve.

I’m starting to worry I haven’t seen any turrĂ³n lately either… Maybe time to dig out another recipe.

20160223_023309

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Seeded Autumn Loaf.

Because however much I’m eating low-GI foods, there’s no way I’m going low carb with this appetite. :p And who doesn’t love a warm slice of bread and butter when the weather starts to turn cold? Just need to top it with some elderberry jam and pair it with a nice hot choc…

spiced autumn bread recipe

Ingredients.

  • 500g/17.5oz wholegrain flour
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1-1.5 cups of nuts and seeds (I used walnuts, brazils, sunflower seeds and pinenuts in equal porportions]
  • 2 eggs
  • water as needed
  • 2tbsp honey (optional]
  • seeds for topping (optional]

Utensils.

  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • loaf tin

Recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly together.
  3. Mash in the egg and honey.
  4. Slowly incorporate cold water until the mix is a batter.
  5. Pour into a cake tin. Top with seeds.
  6. Bake until a skewer comes out clean. Ours took 45min, but it depends on how deep your cake tin is, how heavy your flour and how runny your batter. Far more variable than other loaves I have made!

Serve with butter and either cold cuts or jam. Or both.

Bonus: the last scraps from the garden. ^^

20160203_200737

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Dwarf Damson Tarts.

Called “dwarf” because this is the shortest pastry you can make without it being a crumble!

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 200g sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 300g flour
  • 1 egg
  • cinnamon to taste

For the filling:

  • 300g damsons
  • 200g sugar

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and fork
  • small pot and wooden spoon
  • tart tray, greased or nonstick

Recipe:

  1. Thoroughly blend the sugar and butter. Leave to rest.
  2. Stone and dice the damsons and put them in a pot on a low heat. Wait until they release some juice before turning the heat up. Stew them down as much as possible, and remember to keep stirring.
  3. When the damsons are fully softened, add the sugar and bring the mix to a boil. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix the flour and egg into the sugar and butter. Divide evenly between 12 tart spaces and make sure the walls are reasonably high.
  5. Spoon some warm damson mix into each casing. Don’t overfill as any bubbling will make the tarts impossible to remove from the tray. They are far too short to withstand rought handling!
  6. Bake at 160C for 25 minutes. The casings should still be soft, but should not dent too easily.
  7. Fully cool before removing and serving.

These were awesome to eat and have motivated me to try and use up all my jam and pie-filling jars this year. Wish me luck! ^^

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Oat Pudding.

Unsure what to call it. Not rice pudding as it was made with oat groats, but not porridge as it contained wholegrain oats. But it was nice.

Sort of fitting that an oats recipe goes up on Jon’s birthday. But I’m making a cake instead today. :p

Ingredients.

For the oats.

  • 2 cups oat groats
  • 1 cup porridge oats
  • milk to cover
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp sugar

For the jam.

  • 3 cups raspberries
  • 10 plums
  • 1 stem rhubarb
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp paprika

Utensils.

  • large pot and spoon
  • chopping board and knife
  • small pot and spoon

Recipe.

  1. Soak the oat groats in milk with sugar.
  2. Chop the plums and rhubarb and mix with the raspberries. Put on a low heat to cook down.
  3. Slowly heat the oat groats to a boil and allow to cook.
  4. Mix the porridge oats into the groats and stir as they soak the remaining milk. You want a little bit of excess liquid when you turn the heat off.
  5. Add the butter on top of the oats and set aside to finish cooking in its own heat.
  6. Once the fruit is soft, add the spices and sugar and simmer, continually stirring, until the jam is thick.
  7. Serve the oats with a dollop of jam.

Oat pudding.

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.