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

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 turrón lately either… Maybe time to dig out another recipe.

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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. ^^

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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.

Egg Yolk Cake. + Rhubarb Egg Tart.

Two recipes, because we need something to do with all those egg whites after the yolks are used up in the cake! All of this is absolutely terrible for you, whatever diet you are or aren’t on.

Yolk Cake.

Ingredients.

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 200ml extra thick double cream
  • 300g mixed white and icing sugar
  • 300g flour and raising agents
  • a dash of vanilla

Utensils.

  • mixing bowl and whisk
  • greased or nonstick cake tin

Recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, egg, sugar, cream and vanilla into a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Fold the flour in gently.
  4. Mix in any raising agents.
  5. Pour into the cake tin.
  6. Bake for 30min. A skewer should come out without residue, but still be sticky to touch.
  7. Leave to finish cooking in its own heat.
  8. Jon says that keeping it in a tupper is essential to preserving stickiness.

Rhubarb Tart.

Ingredients.

For the crust:

  • 150g flour
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • cinnamon to taste

For the filling:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 300g rhubarb stems
  • 250ml double cream
  • 5tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp thin vanilla extract

Utensils.

  • 2 mixing bowls with forks
  • whisk
  • greased or nonstick tart tin

Recipe.

  1. Mix the pastry ingredients into a firm dough.
  2. Press into a cake tin and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  5. Fold in the cream and whisk some more.
  6. Stir in the sugar and vanilla.
  7. Clean and chop the rhubarb stems.
  8. Place in the tart base.
  9. Pour the egg mix on top, ensure even and flat distribution.
  10. Bake at 160C until firm, puffed up, a little brown on top but still jiggly.
  11. Leave to cool before slicing.

It was a way of using up a few eggs and some cream, I suppose. Probably also two of the most fattening dishes I ever make. Oh well. At least they’re cheap. 😛

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.

“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.

Jon’s Quiche.

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Jon has changed his mind about quiche from when he insisted it was “an omelet for gay French people”. Apparently when they are homemade they taste better and are now suitable food for a straight English man. 😛

Anyway, here is a quiche made according to what Jon preferred, so maybe it will work for other pickier eaters who normally turn away from fancy food.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 quiches.

Pastry:

  • 500g flour
  • 300g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 2tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1tsp salt

Filling:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon or ham
  • 2 sweet onions
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2tsp salt
  • 2tsp crushed black pepper

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • frying pan
  • 2 greased or nonstick baking trays

Recipe:

  1. Mix together the pastry ingredients, crumbling in the cheese nearer the end.
  2. Mash half the mix into each pan and shape it to the pan, ensuring a robust crust at the corners. Put in the fridge and leave to chill.
  3. Chop the bacon, onions and green pepper and fry lightly. Stir in the salt and black pepper and leave to chill in the fridge.
  4. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  5. Once the pastry is set and the bacon is cold, whisk the milk and eggs together thoroughly. Stir in the bacon mix and pour evenly into both pans. Scooping with a spoon may work better for even distribution.
  6. Place in the oven and cook until the top of the quiche is puffed high and no longer jiggles when shaken.
  7. Leave aside to cool. The top will deflate a bit, but this is normal. It is cooking in its own heat and slowly setting into shape.
  8. Serve cold or hot.

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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.