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Tag Archives: Nigella Lawson

Banana, cherry and white-chocolate cupcakes/muffins, by Nigella Lawson

First of all, sorry I haven’t put a post on for a while, I’ve been very busy what with some exams coming up. I eventually found the time to make these lovely cupcakes, there was a discussion as to whether they are cupcakes or muffins. I think they are a cross, cuffins if you like ! These were so easy to make, and yet so delicious. They taste so much of banana and then occasionally you get a lovely burst of white chocolate or cherry in your mouth! I think that cranberries would be good instead of the cherries too.

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter

200g cater sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

60ml (4 tbls) sour cram

2 large eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

300g plain flour

40g dried cherries, chopped

50g white chocolate, chopped, or buttons

12-bun muffin tin with paper cases (although, I managed to get a good 18 out of the mixture)

Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then, off the heat, add the sugar, vanilla and soft bananas, mashing them with a fork in the pan (or before they go in the pan). Stir in the sour cram and the eggs and, still using your fork or wooden spoon, beat to mix. Add the bicarb and the baking powder, and stir it in as well, finally stir in the flour, cherries and chocolate.

3. When the mixture’s just blended, divide between the 12 muffin cases and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and springy on top. Remove the cupcakes in their papers to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Meggy x

A romantic night in

Valentine’s day was finally here for Moi and my boyfriend Gabriel, we decided to postpone Valentine’s day as he was still at school last week. I prepared my meal in my head again and again and hoped everything would go well… and it did! We had a lovely evening! The first course was roasted gnocci, the second course was a fabulous cornish pasty pie and the dessert was chocolate fondu (not really a proper dessert, I agree, but I don’t think we’d have been able to fit anything else in. Then we watched When Harry met Sally, which Gabriel was quite skeptical about at first because it’s a “girly film” but then he was laughing more than me when we watched it. The recipes that I used are a mix of Nigella Lawson, Delia Smith and me !

Rapid Roastini (or roasted gnocci), by Nigella Lawson

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 x 15 ml of regular olive oil

250 g of gnocci

Recipe

There are two ways to do this: you can either heat the oil in a large frying pan, put the gnocci in and fry for 4 minutes, turn them around and fry for another four minutes, OR you can bake them by preheating the oven to 200 C/gas mark 6, putting the gnocci in a roasting pan, add the oil and then bake for 20 minutes, stirring them after 10 minutes.

Voila, that’s it, simple!

Cornish pasty pie, by Delia Smith

Serves 6 people

I changed the ingredients a bit to make my pie as I didn’t have everything, I replaced the potato and turnip with 3 carrots. 

Ingredients

For the pastry

350 g plain flour

175 g lard

salt and pepper

cold water, to mix

For the filling

575 g chuck steak

1 large onion

1 medium to large potato

1 medium to large turnip

1 level tsp mixed herbs

To glaze

1 beaten egg

Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ gas mark 6 and grease a 10 inch (25.5) metal quiche tin.

2. Make the pastry first by cutting the lard up into small chunks and rubbing it into the flour, when the fat has been distributed evenly add the salt and pepper and some water to make it all stick together and make a ball. Stick it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

3. Slice the steak into very thin strips, about 5cm long. Place the meat in a mixing bowl with the chopped vegetables, if you have used any thick vegetables, like potatoes or turnips, slice these as thinly as possible.

4. Roll out half the pastry, large enough to line the tin with 1/2 inch overlapping. Then layer the filling ingredients in it (or just pour it in like me). Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of herbs and finally sprinkle in a tablespoon of water.

5. Roll out the other half of the pastry and fit it on top of the pie. Seal the edges and make a steam-hole in the centre. Go round the edge with a knife which will give you lots of excess pastry to decorate the pie with. When your done, brush the surface with the beaten egg and then bake it in the oven on a high shelf for 15 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to 180 C/gas mark 4 and continue to cook on the centre shelf for 1  1/2 hours.

This is still good cold so don’t throw it away!

Chocolate fondu

Chocolate, melt, marshmallow, yummy!

Meggy x

Blondies, by Nigella Lawson

You may have been expecting a Valentine’s day recipe but, due to my boyfriend not being on school holidays yet, I am celebrating it next week instead and I will be cooking a 3 course meal and lots and lots of cakey snacky things to eat in front of a nice romantic film. Be sure not to miss that future post, either everything will go wrong or only a few things will.

These little treats are simply divine. Think of a brownie, then imagine it not brown and with oats et voila! Les Blondies! Nigella Lawson says that she came up with the name after baking some brownies then, a few days later, some of these. When I first made these we were amazed at how tasty they are, they’re everyone’s favourite cakey snack, even better than brownies! I have been meaning to show them to you, dear readers, for a while but I kept getting sidetracked. Once, I even got all the ingredients out and started weighing them, before realising that I was 150 grams short of oats. So FINALLY I have managed to make a batch, I highly recommend these to everyone, they are just so gorgeous.

Ingredients

200 g of oats, not instant

100 g of plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

150 g of soft, unsalted butter

100 g of light muscovado sugar

1 x 397 g of condensed milk (my boyfriend has a strange fetish for this ingredient and insists on licking the can out when I’ve finished with it, which I find quite disgusting as condensed milk is good but mixed with other things, not by itself)

1 egg

1 x 170 g packet dark choccy chips

Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a 23 cm cake tin or a foil tray, approximately 30 x 20 x 5 cm with foil.

2. Combine the oats, flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.

3. In another bowl, beat or mix the soft butter with sugar until pale and airily creamy, then beat in the condensed milk followed by the oats, flour and bicarb mixture.

4. When these are well mixed, beat in the egg, then fold in the choccy chips.

5. Pour, or spoon, the mixture into your tin or tray and smooth it down. Cook in the pre heated oven for about 35 mins. When it’s ready it will be dark gold around the edges and coming away from the tin. It might seem squidgy underneath but fear not, this is normal. Leave in the tin until it’s firm then put it on a wire rack to cool. When it’s cool cut it up into squares, then devour it.

By the way, this lovely cake stands can be found on the Etsy shop Tour de Force, click on the link or on the button in my sidebar.

Meggy x

Rice Krispie brownies

My friends 18th birthday was on friday and naturally I was excited for her, though she didn’t seem to be. She doesn’t have many friends and is an orphan that lives with her boyfriend so she wasn’t really expecting much out of it, although she did say she was  going to go hunting and then have a birthday dinner with the hunters which, by the way was not invited to (the dinner, not the hunting) even though I am one of her closest friends which everyone else found very strange but I’m sure she had her reasons. Anyway, bad luck struck and she injured her knee in our sports class and ended up with a cast around her knee so the hunting trip was nearly canceled, but she went and ended up lying in a bush with a gun for the entire thing. I felt sorry for her because you’re supposed to have a fuss made of you for your 18th so I asked our friends at school if they wanted to throw a little surprise party. Our master plan was that on monday when we came in to school we would pretend to forget it had been her birthday and act like normal then, at lunchtime, we go outside and surprise her with a cake, sweets and “Champomi” (fake champagne for kids, basically fizzy apple juice). I was of course in charge of the cake and I wanted to make a batch of Blondies, brownies but made with condensed milk and oats instead of chocolate, but unfortunately we had not got enough oats… What had we got then? Well my mum had bought 2 huge boxes of Rice Krispies even though no one in the house likes them and so I decided to some classic Rice Krispie Brownies.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter

5 x 15ml tablespoons (75g) golden syrup

150g good quality milk chocolate, chopped

50g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

150 g Rice Krispies

150g milk chocolate morsels or chips (or use half dark and half white choccy chips)

1 x 23cm square cake tin or 1 x foil tray approx 30 x 20 x 5cm

Preperation method

  • Line your tin with foil or get out a barbecue foil tray
  • Put the butter, golden syrup and chopped chocolates (not the chips) in a heavy based and fairly wide saucepan and melt over a low heat
  • Stir to mix the glossy mixture, take it of the heat, then quickly, pour and stir in the Rice Krispies
  • Still off the heat, quickly stir in the chocolate chips (I realised that you needed to do this very quickly so that they didn’t melt) and spoon the mixture into the tin.
  • Put in the fridge to set for about 4 hours before cutting

I didn’t have all the right chocolate for this but it was still absolutely gorgeous. I used 100g of dark chocolate, 100g of milk choccy chips, 100g of white choccy chips and some cocoa powder (not too much though I was scared it would make the mixture dry).

Everything went brilliantly until the next day when I triumphantly took the cake into school and then received a message from the birthday girl saying that she wasn’t coming in… Luckily I had put it in a Tupperware container but I was still worried as the Rice Krispie brownies should really be kept in the fridge. I left it in the locker overnight and the next day it was still there and hadn’t melted, but the (by now pretty annoying) birthday girl still wasn’t there, another day went by and in the end we decided to eat the cake and drink the fake champagne before they spoilt. Needless to say that my friend wasn’t very happy when she found out but hey, she shouldn’t’ have skipped school!

Meggy x

Coconut and cherry banana bread

This cake may not be the prettiest cake in the world but it sure tastes nice! As the chef, Nigella Lawson, herself says in the recipe book Kitchen “to look at, I grant you, this is not a joyous creation, but it’s damp and luscious taste is all the more heightened for being unforseen” I just love the way she talks, everything sounds so amazing! It is a very simple cake that has a brilliant taste and it also leaves hardly any washing up as everything is mixed in the same pan!

Ingredients

125g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing

4 small-medium bananas (approx. 500g with the skin on)

150g of caster sugar

2 eggs

175g plain flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

100g of dried cherries

100g of desicated coconut

1 x 900g (2lb) loaf tin

Preperation

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C/gas mark 3. Put a loaf liner in your tin, or just line the bottom with baking parchment and grease the sides.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, take off the heat and leave to cool. Peel and mash the bananas in another bowl.

3. Beat the sugar into the cooled, melted butter, then beat in the bananas and the eggs. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and bicarb. Finally, add the dried cherries and coconut.

4. Fold well so that everthing is incorporated, then pour and scrape into the lined loaf tin and smooth the top.

5. Bake for 5o mins, but check after 45. When it’s ready, the cake will be coming away from the sides of the tin and will be bouncy on top. Leave it in the tin for 10 mins before transfering to a wire rack to cool.

Yummy yummy!

Meggy x

My cooking Christmas

What a lovely Christmas I’ve had! My grandparents are here and my mum and dad’s Christmas dinner was absolutely wonderful, as always! I didn’t want to try my hand at the Christmas dinner for fear of messing it up, maybe next year!

Guess what I got for Christmas then… 3 recipe books!!! Yes I’m going to be very busy this year! I got Kitchen by Nigella Lawson, How to be a domestic goddess by Nigella Lawson (finally I have some of my heroine’s cook books!) and Home cooking made easy by Lorraine Pascale.

You may be surprised that the first recipe I did was a Lorraine Pascale one and not Nigella, well, after promising my grandma that I’d make her something she spotted “Caramelised banana bread and butter pudding with toasted pecan nuts” in Lorraine’s recipe book and said how much she loved it so I said I’d make it for her! My dad is very sceptical about Lorraine Pascale because he says that somebody that young can’t cook well enough to have their own TV show, but as I pointed out he’s already had her Five spice baked ribs and I didn’t hear him complain about that! He’s also doesn’t like her because she was a model and then suddenly changed career paths and became a chef, he’s just upset his life isn’t that glamorous, but that’s just dad being dad. This was my chance to prove to him that Lorraine is a good cook so I concentrated very hard on the recipe to get it right…

I definitely proved him wrong! The bread and butter pudding was so gorgeous! Everybody loved it! So I am going to share it with you!

Caramelised banana bread and butter pudding with toasted pecans

Ingredients

75 g butter, at room temperature

1 medium loaf of crusty white bread, cut into 8-10 slices about 2cm thick

400ml double cream (I managed to substitute this with “creme epais” which is still a feeble replacement for double cream but better than nothing)

300 ml creme fraiche

75g soft light brown sugar, plus 25g extra for sprinkling

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod/vanilla extract

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

4 eggs

2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1cm slices

100g pecan nuts (I used brazil nuts which were yummy yummy!)

4-litre capacity baking dish, about 25 x 30cm

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease the ovenproof dish with some of the butter.

2. Using the remaining butter, butter the bread slices on one side and, them in half diagonally and arrange them any way you like in the prepared baking dish.

3. Put the cream, creme fraiche, the 75g sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs in a large jug and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and well mixed.

4. Now put the banana slices and pecans between the slices of bread, with a few landing on top. Pour the liquid over the bread and allow it to soak through for a few seconds, then use the back of a spoon to squidge everything down into the liquid. Finally scatter the remaining sugar over the top. Bake the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture has just set and looks nicely caramelised.

5. Serve at once. This is delicious with a little more fresh cream poured over it.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meggy x

Black Beer Gingerbread

Last night we saw my heroine, Nigella Lawson, on the TV and she was doing a Christmas episode! She was throwing a cocktail for her glamorous friends in her beautiful house that was covered in fairy lights, and was making lots of snacky things to serve. She also made candles out of apples and cucumber which was (as she admitted) quite crazy but I liked it. One of the snacks she made was Black beer gingerbread, it looked very nice and my mum and I were drooling in front of the screen, you could almost smell the spices… So I made decided to make it!

Of course nothing goes smoothly in my kitchen. The first thing that I had trouble with were the measurements, which is in cups, but I soon got used to it.  Then I NEARLY forgot the golden syrup, so mum, who had been waiting for my mistake, swooped in and tried to take over. But everything was soon under control and the mixture was put in the oven.

Here is a picture of my gingerbread (that I tried to make look just like Nigella’s with the reindeer, snow and trees)! It is very nice! Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like spices likes it!

 

Ingredients

10 tablespoons of butter, plus some for greasing

1 cup of golden syrup

1 cup of dark brown sugar (packed) + 2 tablespoons

1 cup of stout

2 teaspoons of ground ginger

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoons of ground cloves

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 ¼ cups of sour cream

2 eggs

1 rectangular aluminium foil pan, approximately 13 by 9 inches

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/ 325 Fahrenheit and grease your foil pan
  2. Put the butter, syrup, dark brown sugar, stout, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat
  3. Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and baking powder. You will need to get rid of any lumps
  4. Whisk the sour cream and eggs together then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again for a smooth batter.
  5. Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes, when it’s ready it will be gleamingly risen at the centre, and coming away from the pan at the sides.
  6. Let the gingerbread cool before cutting it into slices or squares.

Meggy x

Saying goodbye with Brownies

I have been doing some work experience in an office in my town, I’ve been there for 7 weeks and today was my last day! I was very sad to leave, I had thoroughly enjoyed my time there, everybody had been really nice and I learned more than I think I would have at school! This will sound quite childish but I don’t want to go back to school!!! I haven’t been to school since the week before the october holidays and when I go back it will be the New Year, because of my work experience,  so I’m going to need some time to adjust to the getting up at 6am, getting on the bus, having horrible school dinners yuck yuck… Anyway, to say thank you to my “tutrice”, who took me under her wing while I was in the office, I have bought her a box of Quality Street (the perfect gift), which she loves and I also made A LOT of brownies for everybody in the office.

This is a recipe from Chocolate : Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute, I wanted to use a Nigella Lawson recipe but I had the most horrible shock when I took a packet of flour out of the cupboard… Loads of tiny little mites were crawling around inside! It was so disgusting! My mum and I checked all the other packets of flour and they were all infected except one, which hadn’t been in the same place in the cupboard as the others. Luckily my neighbours lent me some flour, not the right kind for Nigella unfortunately, but I’m not complaining as everything was very rushed. Once the mixture was in the oven it took a lot longer to cook than it said in the recipe too so I was worried about that, but it turned out very nice.

This is a photo of the brownies that I finally managed to take into work, they were a big hit, everybody loved them and lots of people asked for the recipe! The gorgeous cake stand that I have used to model the brownies is a Vintage cake stand for sale on the Etsy shop Tour de Force http://www.etsy.com/shop/TourDeForce?ref=ss_profile just in case you are interested!

Ingredients :

150 g butter

50 g plain choc

200 g molasses sugar

2 eggs

A few drops of vanilla essence

Sift together 50 g of plain flour and a tsp of baking powder

150 g milk chocolate chopped into chunks

This makes 10 – 12 slices but I cut it up into chunks.

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/electric oven 180/fan oven 160

1. Melt the plain chocolate and the butter in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water

2. In a seperate bowl, mix the molasses sugar, eggs and vanilla essence together until foamy.

3. Add the plain flour and baking powder to  the mixture, mix, then stir in the plain chocolate

4. Fold in the milk chocolate chunks then pour the mixture into a 900 g loaf tin (Save the mixture left in the bowl as a chefs perk because it is delicious!) and put the tin in the oven for 4o to 55 minutes.

5. Take it out of the oven, leave it in the tin for 10 minuted then transfer it to a cooling rack.

6. Enjoy!

Meggy x

Intense chocolate cookies, by Nigella Lawson

I think that it is fitting to start my blog with a Nigella Lawson recipe since she is my favourite cook and is the one that inspired me to start cooking. I loved her Nigellas Kitchen and since that was on TV I have been in a cooking frenzy.

These cookies are simply heaven, the first time I made them I made burnt them slightly but even then they were still nice, I have made them again since and they are absolutely gorgeous. They are nice and crispy on the outside but the inside is so nice and soft, they melt in your mouth… I’m getting hungry just thinking about them!

Ingredients

  • 125g/4oz dark chocolate
  • 150g/5¼oz plain flour
  • 30g/1oz cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 125g/4oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 75g/2½oz light brown sugar
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 free-range egg, cold from the fridge
  • 350g/12¼oz dark chocolate chips ( I did this recipe with 100g of chocolate chips and it’s still gorgeous, so don’t worry if you don’t have enough)

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
  2. Break the 125g/4oz dark chocolate into pieces and place into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  3. Place the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and stir well. Beat in the vanilla extract and crack in the egg, then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop out 12 equal portions of the mixture – an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job – and place onto a lined baking sheet about 6cm/2½in apart (I didn’t realise how big they were going to be so I had to make all the portions smaller and use another baking sheet, so I got about 18 out of the mixture, and even though they were smaller than Nigella’s I can assure you that when they had grown into cookies I didn’t really want them bigger as they were so filling). Do not flatten them. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18 minutes, and during those 18 minutes enjoy the cookie dough left in the bowl! Then test with a skewer – it should come out semi-clean and not wet with batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
  6. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.

Here is a picture of my cookies! They are so fun to make and I hope you enjoy making them!

Meggy x