Saturday, 28 March 2015

Pecan, peanut and sultana fridge cake

Spring is finally making an appearance! Not quite small jacket weather but it is lovely to see some sunshine and all the trees in bud. And with it... the easter holidays! I will enjoy the time off much more when i have done some of my school reports, but still, I am very pleased to have a break from the busy term. 

This is one of my favourite lazy recipes. It is rich and delicious and can be changed every time you make it. It is chocolate fridge cake. This time I went for pecans, peanuts and raisins giving it a combination of crunch and chewiness. I have used Gordon Ramsey's recipe as a base and it works well every time. 

Makes 16 squares. 

 Ingredients: -
100g butter
300g milk chocolate (I used a milk chocolate bar and a fruit and nut bar)
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g digestive biscuits
75g salted peanuts
75g roughly chopped pecans
75g sultanas

1. Lightly grease a square tin (I used a brownie tin) and line with greaseproof paper. Allow extra paper to cover the mixture in the fridge (and help lift it out the tin!).
2. Melt the butter, golden syrup and broken up chocolate on a low heat. Stir gently to remove once it has all melted. 
3. Break the digestives into small pieces and add in the nuts and sultanas. Mix together then pour in the melted chocolate and mix until it is all combined. 
4. Pour the mixture into the tin and press down with a wooden spoon. Cover with the overhang of paper and put in the fridge until set. 
5. Pull on the paper to help remove the fridge cake form the tin and cut into 16 pieces. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Crosstown doughnuts

I was looking at a website for the top 5 doughnuts in London and discovered that there was one place I hadn't been to. I must have passed it loads of times but, in a rush for the station, not noticed it. 'Crosstown' donut shop is located in Piccadilly Circus station. It is a clam oasis amongst the hustle and bustle. I don't know how I haven't seen it before! The doughnuts are made fresh everyday and come in deliciously tempting flavours - it took a while to choose! You could have sea salt caramel and banana cream, creme brulee with vanilla cream, classic raspberry jam (oozing with fresh fruit), apple and pear crumble, Belgian chocolate truffle, rocky road... Not cheap at £3.50 each but they have a smooth creamy filling, bouncy soft dough and great flavour. The shop has some stalls inside and benches outside. The calming music blocks out the noise of the tube and, along with the trendy white victorian toilet tiles and wooden crates, it provides a perfect pit stop. Worth a visit!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

'Elk' bicuits

Disaster! The oven has broken! This seems to have put a hault to delicious treats but has made me creative with making dinner. It has been an interesting three weeks but I have found some dinner recipes that I will continue to use, including gumbo, potatas bravas (on the hob) and savoury pancakes filled with ricotta, leek and mushroom, filled then covered in breadcrumbs and fried.

These biscuits were so simple to make and delicious. They make look a little festive but I'm calling them 'elk' biscuits... ah hum. Ok I got this cutter from a Berlin Christmas market and hadn't had a chance to use it but i like the shape so much that calling them 'elk' makes them an all year round shape. Hehe. They make good dunkers in a cup of tea too.

Makes 20 (cutter size depending)

100g caster sugar
300g plain flour
2 eggs
2tbsp cinnamon
150g icing sugar
1/2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice

1. Preheat the oven to 180. Mix the sugar and flour in a bowl then add in the cinnamon and stir again.
2. Make a well in the middle an fold in the eggs until just combined.
3. Using your hands, press the mixture into a ball shape and warp in cling film. put in the fridge for 15minutes until firm.
4. Roll out the mixture onto a floured surface and cut out biscuits using your favourite cutter shape. Place the biscuits onto a greased tray and put in the oven for 15 - 20minutes.
5. When the biscuits are golden brown, remove form the oven. Put on a cooling rack.
6. When the biscuits are cool then make the icing. Mix the icing sugar with a the orange juice. Spoon over each biscuit.

Very simple and much healthier than shop bought biscuits.