Saturday, 16 January 2010


Today, I made my first brownies ever. Triple chocolate, using 80% dark chocolate. You can find the recipe here. My plan is to make a batch of Nigella's walnut brownies, substituting half walnuts for some cherries, so as keeping with my becoming a domestic goddess. However, I couldn't forget my sister's batch of these wonderful, gooey brownies that I tasted a year or so ago. She pointed me in the direction of this recipe and now me, Rob and Arlo are in brownie heaven. A small square is literally enough at a time - it's so rich and flavoursome with chunks of the milk and white chocolate mingling with the dark chocolate and cocoa.


I also really liked the way the butter and sugar are creamed in this recipe. Using a mixer - or in my case a hand blender - adds air into it, meaning the whole mixture (provided you don't fold all the other ingredients in too hard) is fluffy and light. The mixture of this tasted wonderful in the bowl and the smell in my kitchen was so good. The smell intermingled a little with the chilli con carne I made only half an hour before that - which, for the record, is very good using quorn mince (what I had left in the cupboard) and a splosh of lea & perrins.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ah, whoops

Okay yes, I've let this slip a bit. Personally I think that tweeting has slightly taken over the blogging. Slightly.

Regardless I have made good headway on expanding my cooking skills, again slightly. Made my first hot pot, clafoutis, soups. Lots of new things. Which I promise there'll be pictures of. Probably.

Me and my flatmate, Rob, decided that rather than going for the healthy eating drive we'd been more talking about than actually undertaking, that I should try and work my way through Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess. This book, which I found in my previous student house on the kitchen window sill might I add, has roughly 250 recipes. I think I'm currently up to 15 fully completed, but I'm going to do a count off every time I do one.

Plus, I keep finding pictures of the things I've done so every time I find one, I'll post it up here.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Birthday Blueberry Treats

I'm about to blaspheme, but this blueberry pancake recipe is actually ... better than Nigella's. I have been using Nigella's American Pancake recipe for several years and always found the mix not quite right, though they tasted good. Perhaps just a bit too heavy. These little pancakes are excellent and light and fluffy. The best bit is the fact that the blueberries burst a little while cooking, and as you eat them, providing a wonderful juicy taste. I served them with maple syrup - didn't need that much which was nice - and the rest of the fresh blueberries. I bought far too many blueberries so I'm going to be eating them for days now, not that I'm complaining. They went down well with the birthday boy, and Rob joined us for a few too. Next time I'm going to try some raspberry ones or maybe even strawberry :D

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Happy birthday to you

May I present Arlo's birthday cake! A wonderful strawberries and cream concoction, which would be the perfect addition to a Wimbledon time tea party. Rob, my flatmate, and I shared the whisking task for the cream topping and filling, and was rewarded with the task of eating the remaining cream left in the bowl. 
The cake is, yes yet another, BBC Good Food recipe from Olive magazine. I couldn't find any of the pink sugar that it suggested you use, so I just adorned it with strawberries. Also, as someone else suggested, I have placed strawberries inside the cake. I'm hoping this turns out well! I had a little cream and jam explosion at one point due to being a bit to generous near the edges. I must recommend that if you try this recipe use a good fruity jam, especially if you are not adding the extra strawberries. Bonne Maman Strawberry is a personal favourite of mine and I have slathered the cake in it. Because I only had the one tin, I had to the make the halves one at a time. I simply used half the amounts it suggested for the full cake each time, rather than having to split the cake mix in half later on.
I can be - reasonably - safe in the knowledge that Arlo will not check anything online before he leaves thus ruining his cake based surprise. He is driving up to Liverpool as we speak. Tomorrow is a day of weddings and cake and new people to be friends with and looking attractive. I'm fairly sure cake and keeping trim do not go together well...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Veggie Fritters

Who said healthy food had to be boring or hard to make? Well, I don't know if anyone ever said that. But these are healthy and cheap and yummy.

Best veg to use are either fresh courgettes - have to be fresh or they start getting too watery - or a squash like this. If you use squash, be sure to remove all the pithy bit in the middle where all the seeds are. 
2 courgettes/half a squash
2-3 tbsp self raising flour
1 egg
25g of parmesan

Grate the vegetables up and then mix with the flour and parmesan. Leave this to stand for a few minutes until some of the liquid from the veg has been absorbed. Then add the egg and mix thoroughly. Put a wok/frying pan - preferably non stick - on maximum heat with a little oil. Once it is really hot, drop tablespoon fulls, or small shaped patties, of the mix into the frying pan. Fry on each side for 30seconds to a minute, until lightly browned, then reduce the heat and let them cook further for about another minute on top. Serve with hummous and fresh veg!

Monday, 24 August 2009

The second carrot cake this week

This is probably the point where I should stop making carrot cakes. But I had already peeled a carrot when I made one the other day and I had 4 eggs to use up... so yeah. Another one. This one is slightly different, in that I followed a different recipe - this one - but missed out the pineapple, lemon, orange and walnuts as I didn't have any (turns out I did have a few walnuts, grr), so added a tonnes of sultanas like in the original recipe I used. I used the icing style from that one too, as it was much more fun. Though just vanilla icing as I have no orange juice either. I hope this cake is nice. It looks good and has risen well. It only has taken an hour, and a tester comes out clean so I'm happy with that. This is the cake:

Update: This cake is so good. I don't think I want to share it, but I will.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Carrot Cake

This week I delved into the world of carrot cake. I had planned to make one earlier in the week as my flatmate, Rob, had mentioned something about leftover carrots. But long story short, work got in the way and I never got round to it. Until about 10.30pm last night. I was baking my usual Chocolate Coca Cola cake, thanks to Nigella naturally, for my friend's little sister who got 4 A's in her AS levels and was coming to stay that evening. While I was doing it I thought, right I have all the ingredients, let's get cracking.

The recipe I used was this one. I only used 100ml of olive oil, as that was all I had left, so I improvised with a little melted butter to help moisten it up. Also I didn't have any orange peel so I used a splash of orange juice, which has worked out quite nicely. I was going to ice the carrot cake, but once Arlo and I unwrapped it at his house and decided to "have a little nibble" that idea was thrown out the window. It works very nicely without the icing, which would have also had a splash of orange juice in it.

Here is the result:

I'm thinking of making ratatouille tonight for Arlo and myself - mostly because every time we come here we resort to easy food, like chips and tinned spaghetti and I eat too much and barf because of all the fats I'm not used to any more. The only thing that I am not susceptible to is McDonalds and that's because I've built up immunity to it from working there! Seems quite easy and all we need to find is an Aubergine and two little courgettes in Prestatyn. I'm hoping this is quite easy.

On another note, I'm doing more things to prevent revision from my maths exam, like trying to learn "But for Now" on the piano. Got all through the melody at the start and into the chorus, and my chords were keeping up. Once I got to the chorus however, my poor memory of reading music kicked in and it all went pear shaped.