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

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.

“Egg Cake” AKA Baked Omelet.

Jon’s expert analyses of these was “they are egg cakes” and that they were good with beans or salad, but he preferred them hot to cold. They’re a little based off spanish tortilla, only more layers and a bit slower and lazier for the cooking process.

No pictures because I kind of forgot them.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 150g potatoes
  • 100g broccoli
  • 100g bacon
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 crushed or minced garlic clove
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp salt – this may be a bit low for people who aren’t on restricted sodium!
  • dash of worcestershire sauce

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • small pot for boiling
  • pop-base cake tin, either greased, lined or nonstick, ours is about 4″ deep and 20″ across

Recipe:

  1. Wash and chop the potatoes and broccoli with a pinch of salt. Boil until fork-tender, but not too solid. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the milk and seasonings.
  4. Finely dice the bacon, bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle across the base of the tin.
  5. Add a layer of now-cool potatoes and broccoli.
  6. Give the eggs a final stir and pour over the vegetables.
  7. Bake in the oven until a skewer comes out clean and it no longer jiggles.
  8. Cool completely before reheating or serving cold.

The first beauty of this is that you can mix and match the fillers. As a rule of thumb: nonsweet fruits and scallions go in raw, starches are to be used sparsely and precooked, brassicas are to be precooked, cured meats and beef go in raw, seasoned and finely chopped, white meats and uncured pork need precooking.

The second beauty is that your total time used is around 5 minutes of chopping things, 5 whisking and 5 layering. The rest is all largely unsupervised.

A quality, high-protein, portable food you can make quickly and adjusted to your needs. I think it’s pretty awesome, anyway.

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.

WWW. BBQ “Fried” Chicken and Pumpkin Banana Cake.

Another skipped week for WWW and FitFriday. Oh well, if I’m going to be lazy with something it may as well be writing and not something with “work” in it, like work, housework or my actual workouts.

Anyway, back on track this week with the best recipes of the week: baked “fried” chicken and a pumpkin and banana cake.

Banana Pumpkin Cake 2

Recipe 1: Pumpkin Banana Cake.

Ingredients:

[Serves 8.]

-6 bananas

-400g pumpkin

-300g flour and raising agents

-1/2 cup chopped brazils

-8 whole brazils

-50g butter

-1 egg

-5tsp cinnamon

-1tsp nutmeg

-1tsp ginger

-1/4 tsp cloves

Utensils:

-mixing bowl

-blender

-greased or nonstick cake pan

Recipe:

1: Blend the bananas, pumpkin and butter in a bowl. You may need to cook or freeze and defrost the pumpkin first to soften it, depending on the variety. Ours was frozen from Autumn and needed using up badly.

2: Stir in the egg and spices until the consistency is smooth again.

3: Add the chopped brazils and stir through. Pour into the tray.

4: Carefully press the eight brazils into the cake mass at an even distance from each other. They need to be quite deep but not buried!

5: Bake at 200C until a knife comes out clear. How long will depend on your tray and oven, but probably no more than 45 minutes.

6: Serve with spiced cream, icing, butter or peanut butter.

Banana Pumpkin Cake.

Recipe 2: Baked BBQ “Fried” Chicken.

Ingredients:

[Serves 4.]

-8 chicken pieces

-1/2 cup eggs

-1/2 cup BBQ sauce

-200g flour

-3tbsp paprika

-1tbsp onion granules

-2tbsp salt

Utensils:

-two wide-edged mixing bowls

-fork

-greased or nonstick flat tray or grill

Recipe:

1: Mix the BBQ and eggs in one bowl.

2: Mix the flour and spices in another.

3: Dry each piece of chicken carefully.

4: Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mix first before rolling it in the flour. Set aside.

5: Once they’re all dipped, go through them again to give them a second coating. Place on the baking tray.

6: Bake at 200C for 35min, or until the skin is crispy. The chicken fat should fry the skin on its own for you.

Our first batch turned out a little floury, but it was so good we forgot to take a picture of the second batch!

BBQ Fried Chicken

And those were our two favourite recipes for the week!

What have you been cooking and/or eating lately?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Regal Bread and Butter Pudding. Lentil Lamb.

Time for this week’s WWW. And since Jon’s started his 10 day marathon, the best things we had were probably the greatest bread and butter pudding since the Supreme Bread and Butter Pudding and a hearty lentil stew.

Regal Bread And Butter Pudding.

This was basically bread and butter pudding, the cake version.

bbp1

bbp2

To make this you need stale bread, one savory, one sweet. We used leftover roscón and crusty rustic loaf that we’d frozen specifically to make bread and butter pudding with!

Ingredients:

-1/2 a loaf of savory bread

-1/2 a loaf of sweet bread or cake

-4 large eggs

-10 tbsp sugar

-1/2 cup dried fruit

-1 cup milk

-1tsp cinnamon

Utensils:

-chopping board and bread knife

-deep baking tray, cake or loaf tin preferably (lined, greased or non-stick)

-mixing jug and fork (for custard)

Recipe:

1: Slice the breads into more or less equal triangles.

2: Alternating the bread type, pack them into the tin very tightly.

3: Layer the remainder on top and compress with your hands.

4: Separate egg whites and yolks. Pour whites right over the pudding, yolks into the jug.

5: Leave the cake to soak up the egg, pouring the milk on little by little to ensure it’s soaking in.

6: Sprinkle dried fruit on top. Dust with 4tbsp sugar.

7: Bake at 160C until the sugar forms a crust on top. Cool before slicing. Lightly reheat before serving.

8: Mix the remaining sugar with the yolks and cinnamon and chill for custard.

bbp3

Ours wound up with very little sign it had started out life as stale bread!

bbp4

Lamb and Lentil Stew.

As you probably spied in the above photos, we have been soaking legumes in a pickles jar and using quite a lot of them lately, or at least of the ones we both tolerate. Largely because they cook quickly, fill you up well and cheaply and are pretty easy to transport and eat fast if you’re busy. This week’s best use of lentils was lamb and lentil stew.

Ingredients:

-450g lamb mince

-300g dry lentils and split peas, soaked back to life

-1 cup stewed vegetables (celeriac, carrot, cabbage)

-1tbsp onion granules

-1tbsp salt

-1tbsp pepper

Utensils:

-pot and stirring spoon

Recipe:

1: Place the legumes in the pot. Add boiling water and simmer until tender.

2: Add the vegetables and seasoning. Simmer.

3: Lastly, once the legumes have soaked up almost all the water, add the lamb and heat through until cooked.

So that’s what we enjoyed the most in the past week. I already have a feeling next week’s best food will include our various ice-creams, but we’ll have to have a proper taste of them to be sure!

What’s the best thing you had this week? And good tips or recipes to share?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Cheap to Glorious Burgers and Frozen Cakes.

Seeing as Jon’s work is now very different, the Wok will be a little different. Rather than making the nicest, most elaborate or most interesting meal on Wednesday, I will make them as and when he needs them and choose the best food of the week for the Wonderful Wednesday Wok instead.

This week, the main’s some burgers that I made turning cheap, value brand, reduced price beef mince into something with the bite and texture of steak mince and the flavour of a BBQ patty. And the pudding’s an ice-cream cake in a cup I made for Valentine’s day. There were five flavours: pear, blackberry, pear and currant, strawberry and peach. I had the pear and currant one as a carby treat on Valentine’s, but the rest were Jon’s for the week.

The rest of the Valentine's meal.

The rest of the Valentine’s meal.

Cheap to Glorious Burgers.

Ingredients:

-500g cheap mince; ground beef is not suitable, but cheap, unfrozen pork mince or turkey mince would work too

-1 egg

-2tsp herbs

-2tsp onion granules

-2tsp paprika

-2tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

-1tsp soy sauce

-butter or tallow for frying

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: With high quality beef you’re told not to overwork the mince or the burger will lose its consistency. With cheap mince you want to do the opposite. Mash it together before adding the spices and the egg. Mash thoroughly until everything is mixed in.

2: Form patties by making a ball, flattening it in the palms of your hands and pinching the middle so it’s got a little “bowl” at either side. This ensures good browning and even cooking.

3: Heat the fat in the pan at medium temperature until all melted. Add the burgers.

4: Cook for 5 minutes either side.

5: Serve with sides of choice. I went for salad, Jon went for beans and cheese.

The burger’s texture is firm and meaty, the taste is subtle, salty and very beefy, the grease levels are minimal and the crust on the outside tastes of soy sauce BBQ.

burgj

burga

Fruity Ice-Cream Cake in a Cup.

Ingredients:

-1 conference pear

-1 peach

-15 blackberries

-8 strawberries

-40g mixed currants

-150ml double cream

-50g 85% chocolate

-80g 55% chocolate

Utensils:

-microwaveable bowl and a fork (not to be put in microwave, obviously)

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl and blender / food processor

-jelly molds or other freezable cups/pots

Recipe:

1: Crush the 85% chocolate and share between the bases of the containers.

2: Cut up whatever mix of fruit you like and share between the bases of the containers, leaving room for the chocolate ice cream to drip through.

3: Microwave the cream and 55% chocolate together on medium until they form a smooth chocolate paste.

4: Share the paste between the containers, making sure to get it down into the chocolate later and to cover the fruit. Freeze.

5: Blend the remaining fruit into a smoothie-like paste.

6: Once the chocolate ice cream is frozen, add the fruit paste on top and refreeze.

7: To serve, gently warm the container’s sides only, turn it upside down and squeeze or tap until the cake is released. Leave a little to soften for easy eating.

Pear and currant version.

Pear and currant version.

So those were, in my opinion, the best meals we had this week. What was the best meal you had this week? Recipes, anyone? 🙂

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Cabbage-Wrapped Chicken and Sticky Spice Cake.

No photos and late post as we were too busy. We didn’t even eat our WWW meal together. 😦 On the plus side I’m definitely prepared to take care of the home finances, as I have turned my bad days into £50+ days and worked out how to get veg on the cheap. Not only did I save a bad day, I made around 4-8 servings of salad for 30p. I am a genius.

Anyway, bragging aside, here are the recipes.

Cabbage-Wrapped Chicken.

Ingredients:

(serves 2)

-2 cooked or uncooked chicken breasts

-12 large cabbage leaves from 2 or 3 varieties of cabbage

-200g peas

-40-60g cheese

-25g butter

-a bit of onion

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Place the roundest, deepest four leaves as the bases.

2: Chop the chicken, cheese and onion. Add to the base.

3: Add the peas and butter.

4: Wrap two more leaves around the first leaf. Secure with oven-safe string if you have any.

5: Bake at 140C for an hour.

Sticky Spice Cake.

Load this with fruit, ice it and you’ll have a brilliant Christmas cake.

Ingredients:

-500g flour and raising agents

-350ml single cream

-3 eggs

-5tbsp palm sugar

-5tbsp honey

-3tbsp cinnamon

-1tbsp ginger

-1tsp chilli powder

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased or nonstick bread tin

Recipe:

1: Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl.

2: Incorporate the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.

3: Add water to make up and pour into the tin.

4: Bake at 180C for 45 minutes.