Friday, 17 July 2015

Salted Caramel Macaron's

Well, it's been an awful long time since I gave any love to my blog as I have spent the last couple of years devoting most of my time to my online jewellery shop, however, having just deactivated another squeeze on my time (namely FB ) here we go again - yipeee!!

I bought this lovely book a couple of months ago with the intention of baking LOADS - hmmm, great intentions but so far only only recipe attempted and it was this one for Macaron's.

Now, I have wanted to make these for the longest time but always been put off by the skill set needed as they look really tricky. They are tricky - but I was astonished at the result and this is how it went..

Makes 40 Macarons


195gms Ground Almonds
195gms Icing Sugar
75gms Egg White

Italian Meringue:

190gms Caster Sugar
50mls Water
75gms Egg White
Pinch Cream of Tartar

Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds together, beat in the egg white until a smooth paste is formed with no lumps.

Make an Italian meringue cooked to 121 c. ( Thanks to the food network for this )

Beat the Italian meringue into the almond mixture until shiny.

Place into a piping bag and pipe 1cm small rounds onto a non stick mat.

Tap the tray to even the mixture.

Leave to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to form a crust on the surface.

Bake at 150c for 10 minutes.

Not half bad for a first attempt - but - I have to admit, these started life as strawberry macaron's but I added far too little food colouring and they came out pale beige!! With a quickly added filling of dulce de leche mixed with a little cold butter they morphed into salted caramel macaron's.

They taste delicious!! However, I made rather too many so most of them were quickly transferred to the freezer to run by Sam when he next comes home ( for his valued cheffy opinion ).


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Jamie Oliver's life skills...

I still have a quick look here every now and again - I don't ever seem to have the time to post anymore - but came across this post from way back. I still think it's a great idea, especially for those youngsters heading off to college etc



Sunday, 7 December 2014

Spicy Aloo Tikki

2 Large potatoes boiled and mashed ( not too fine )
1/2 Cup boiled peas
1.5 Tbsp finely chopped coriander
2 Green/red chillies finely chopped
1/2 Ttsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 Ttsp lemon juice
1/2 Tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 Tsp chat masala
Salt to taste
1/4 Cup bread crumbs for coating
Oil to fry tikkis
Aloo tikki preparation:
Place all the ingredients ( with the exception of the oil and breadcrumbs ) into a bowl and mix until all combined.

 This mixture will make about 8 tikki's so form about 8 balls with your fingers and then flatten to make tikki shapes, roll gently into the breadcrumbs to cover and on a medium heat fry gently after drizzling on a little oil to each side. When they are golden brown serve with mint, green or tamarind chutney.

I made these yesterday and coated them in breadcrumbs - yup they were really good, the photo above was from today where I coated them in polenta - they were much better, nice and crunchy and much easier to fry!


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Little nuggets of useful information...

Simple but really useful!

Cooking Measurements

  • 1 cup = 250 ml = 16 Tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup = 125 ml = 8 Tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup = 83 ml = 5.3 Tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup = 62 ml = 4 Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon = 15 ml = 3 Teaspoons
  • 1/2 Tablespoon= 7.5 ml =1.5 Teaspoons
  • 1/3 Tablespoon = 5 ml = 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Pinch = 1/8 Teaspoon


Friday, 5 December 2014

Jamie Olivers Peanut Butter Jelly Brownies

I bought Jamies comfort food book about two weeks ago and have this recipe open on my  recipe stand since then - today was the day to try this one and this is how it went:

For the custard:

250ml  Semi-skimmed milk
1  Vanilla pod
2  Large egg yolks
50g  Golden caster sugar
1  Heaped tablespoon cornflour
20g  Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2  Heaped tablespoons smooth peanut butter
For the brownies:

230g  Uunsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g  Quality dark chocolate
230g  Golden caster sugar
4  Large eggs
150g  Plain flour
2  Tablespoons raspberry jam
75g  Fresh raspberries

Start by making the custard. Put the milk into a pan, halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then add both pod and seeds to the pan and lightly simmer on the hob, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflower and soft butter. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl until combined. Then return the custard mixture to the pan, place over a low heat and stir gently for 2-3 mins, or until thickened. Stir in the peanut butter and leave to cool completely ( it's not lumpy - I used crunchy peanut butter ).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Then grease and line a deep baking tray or dish (roughly 20cm/30cm). 

Melt the butter in a non stick pan on a low heat, then snap up and add the chocolate. Stir regularly with a spatula until melted and combined, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool slightly and then and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until silky. Sift in the flour and mix well.

Pour the brownie mix into the prepared tray/dish.
 Then swirl through the chilled nutty custard (discarding the vanilla pod). Erratically distribute little spoonfuls of jam over the surface and poke in the fresh raspberries too. 

Bake in the oven for around 25 mins, until cooked on the outside but still a little gooey on the inside.

 Leave to cool, cut into squares and serve.

These are huge!! Unexpected....

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Spicy Lamb Samosa's

I usually make vegetarian samosa's but thought I would probably need to offer a spicy lamb one to those who ( like Mr Debs ) actually have a need to eat meat at each meal :) I honestly cannot remember where I found this recipe as I have trawled so many in the last few weeks so I'll just post it and take ownership!

For me the actual forming of the samosa is the hardest part as I never get them to look lovely so with this recipe I formed them rather like a kachori or a flattened money bag and it saved me a lot of frustration and besides they taste exactly the same.

This recipe will make 20 little flattened samosa's:


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Medium onions finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic finely chopped
5cms fresh ginger grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
5 Green / Red chillies finely chopped
500gms Lean lamb mince
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Handful chopped corainder
Juice of one juicy lime


2 Cups plain flour
2 Tablespoons rice flour
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Cold water to knead
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil to fry

Fry onions in the oil really gently until soft - usually about 10 minutes - add the garlic, chillies and ginger and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the lamb mince to the frying pan and jiggle around to stop lumps - keep it moving until all nice and brown.

Add all the spices and cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through, place to one side to cool while you make the pastry.

Mix together the flour and rice flour and salt and rub in the oil gently to make breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to bring the dough together and knead until elastic - about 7-8 minutes, Place into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth - leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Once your lamb mixture is cool enough to form your samosa's, season with salt and pepper, a generous amount of lime juice ( it's quite strange but you often lose the lime juice in the finished product even if it tastes limey at this stage!! ) and your chopped coriander.

Pull off a ball of dough for each samosa - about a large walnut sized lump - and roll into a little circle, place  a generous spoonful of the mixture into the middle of the pastry and bring all the edges together to form a little bag. Squeeze together to seal and roll into a little disc shape, place on a plate covered with cling film until they are all made. At this point you can put them in the fridge for later or freeze to cook at a later date.

When you are ready to fry, place enough vegetable oil into a sturdy frying pan and fry in batches in oil thats not too hot - until golden brown.

These are best eaten warm rather than hot and on the same day - should they last that long!!


Rick Steins Chicken Pulao Rice

I used this lovely recipe to accompany the Chettinad Chicken just posted and it was really tasty - so much more interesting than plain rice. This recipe was easy to make and this one is going to be a family favourite I think!!

Although a good link to the recipe, I can't find any mention of the toasted cashews that I sprinkled over the top of my rice so - toast 150gms of cashews and sprinkle at will :)