Milk and Cookies <3

IMAG1210 I really become a hero to my children when I make these chocolate chip cookies for them – you will love them just as much. They are chewy and buttery and delicious… mmm!

It is so lovely to bake with your children and what better excuse than the Easter Holidays 🙂

Ingredients:

200 g butter

350 g light brown sugar

2 eggs

350 g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate (bread) soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

50 g chopped dark chocolate

Pre heat the oven to 180 C

Method:

Cream the butter in your mixer then add the sugar, mix until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one by one and continue to whisk.

At this stage I just throw everything else but the chocolate in together and mix!

Form the dough into little balls and pop a few pieces of the chopped chocolate into each one >> IMAG1203

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 8 minutes. You may need to reduce this to suit your own oven, as I have said in other recipes, mine tends to run hot.

IMAG1204  <<My children couldn’t resist sneaking a cookie or two while my back was turned!

Ah… its the simple, wholesome things in life 😉

IMAG1205 Enjoy!

 

 

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St Patricks Day Apple Cake

IMAG1163 <<<< Happy St Patricks Day Apple Cake

Apples were a staple in Irish cooking fado fado! Which is Irish for long ago, even still today apples play a big part in Irish cooking. Ingredients would have been limited to what grew easily in the locality also they didn’t spoil so quickly.

For the day that is in it tomorrow, I decided to praise the humble apple and make this traditional apple cake… I remember eating this in my Nana’s kitchen.  I have tried to replicate the recipe from taste! 

IMAG1161

Preheat the oven to 150 C

Ingredients:

2 eggs

150 g caster sugar

75 g  butter

75 g milk

125 g plain flour

1/2 tsp mixed spice

2 tsp baking powder

1 large granny smith apple or similar

1 tbsp granulated sugar to sprinkle over the top

Method:

Mix the eggs and sugar until pale, fluffy and quite thick

Melt the milk and butter and whisk into the egg mixture

Do this gradually as the milk and butter mixture will be hot.

Sieve the flour and mixed spice  and fold in gently.

Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, this needs to bake slowly. Allow to cool slightly. It tastes delicious warm.

IMAG1164

Enjoy with a cup of tea 😉

Chocolate Marbled Baked Cheesecake

IMAG1134 Do we need an excuse for cake? The midweek treat perhaps?!

Okay, okay, if we need an excuse here is one. The sly fox recently annihilated our beautiful hens 😦 We grieved for a considerable couple of months, but, on Sunday we replenished our stock and now have three wonderful birds. Fancy Nancy, Willy Wonka (yes!) and Pip!

It is so great to have fresh eggs again, so, in their honour we decided to make something spectacular! 

Well we think it is spectacular!

Ingredients:

400 g cream cheese

225 g caster sugar

200 ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cornflour

2 eggs

50 g  dark chocolate

Base:

200 g digestive biscuits

50 g melted butter (clarified)

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 160.  Fill a roasting tin half – way with water and pop this into the oven.

Whiz up the digestives with the butter in a processor. If you don’t have a food processor just bash your biscuits with a rolling pin in a paper bag, then mix with the melted butter.

Line the base of a spring form 9 inch tin with the biscuit mixture. IMAG1120

Pop into the fridge and whip up your filling!

Filling:

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. I do this in the kitchen aid but you can also do this by hand.

Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat. Gradually add the cream and mix some more. Finally add the eggs and cornflour and mix.

Melt the chocolate.

Pour half of the filling on top of the digestive mix. Add a few swirls of chocolate and make a marble pattern IMAG1122  <<<<It should look a little like this 

Add the other half of the mix and repeat the swirling pattern again.

Bake in the oven (in the bain marie) for 45 minutes.

Voila! IMAG1127 (2)

We Love Cake…. Swiss Roll

On a rainy afternoon, when all the indoor games have been exhausted and all the stories read, and the mood is low with the children, we bake a cake!

It was a case of mid week, what ingredients do we have in the larder to make a cake. Chocolate being an obvious choice from my darlings was out as that was eaten by Monday!  So our second choice was Swiss Roll! One of our favourites 😉

 IMAG1035 Swiss Roll

Ingredients:

150 g caster sugar

4 eggs

2 tbsp milk (at room temp)

1 tsp vanilla extract

150 g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp granulated sugar

200 ml fresh cream

Preheat the oven to 180 C (Mine is fan oven)

Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease with butter.

First step, whip up the eggs and caster sugar until thick and creamy        IMAG1029 mmmm this image reminds me of custard – might make some custard and stewed apple for dessert today……….. look at me, off on a tangent! Back to the recipe!

Once you have achieved this, stir in the milk and vanilla; gently!

Next step is to sieve in the flour and baking powder, it is probably best to do this in two stages. Gently fold in the flour with a spatula or metal spoon

Pour the mix onto your pre lined tray and bake for 10 minutes (yes only 10 minutes!)

IMAG1032

Allow to cool in the tray for about 7 – 10 minutes. While it is cooling whip up your fresh cream and what ever filling takes your fancy. We sometimes use mandarin segments and dark chocolate or strawberries when in season.

Lay out some baking paper and sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Put the swiss roll face down onto the paper and gently peel away the baking paper from underneath. 

Spread with the filling of your choice, in our case it was strawberry jam and cream and then roll firmly and quickly.

IMAG1035Now that will brighten up any rainy afternoon 🙂

  

My Homemade Brown Soda Bread

IMAG0992 A few people have asked me for this recipe over the years and I have always found it difficult to give it to them; Not because I don’t want to share the recipe, but because I feel that bread is something that cannot be measured in exact quantities. Bread is all about feeling. The mixture cannot be too wet or the crust will be too crispy, too dry and the crust will be too soft!

So, I have tried to measure quantities for you. I hope that your bread will be a success and you enjoy making it and eating it 🙂

Ingredients:

400 g coarse wholemeal flour

200 g plain white flour

50 g wheatgerm

50 g linseeds

25 g  sesame seeds

1 tbsp unrefined caster sugar

1 tsp maldon salt (or any type of salt really)

1 level tsp bread soda

1 level tsp baking powder

350 ml buttermilk

25 g butter

Pre heat the oven to 150 C

Place the wholemeal flour and salt into a large bowl. Sieve the other ingredients in and mix together.

Measure your buttermilk and add the egg and beat both the buttermilk and egg mixture together.

Make a little well in the centre of the flour mix and pour almost all of the wet mix in. Mix together with your hand. If you feel you require more butter milk just add it a little at a time. Remember its all about the feeling!!

This bread can be baked in a buttered loaf tin or alternatively, shape into a round loaf as I have done here and cut a cross down the centre.

Bake for 45 minutes, but check with a skewer or knife to make sure it is cooked.

Bake it in the middle tray of your oven and once out of the oven, wrap in a clean towel and turn upside down!

Enjoy 🙂

Spelt Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream

photos of food 021

A Fancy Schmancy Afternoon; without the price tag!

Ingredients:

150 g butter

150 g sugar

2 eggs

200 g spelt flour

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

Topping:

100 ml cream

1 vanilla pod

1 tsp granulated sugar

revels sweets

Sometimes I feel like having an elegant afternoon, but I have two little darlings who may not have the same idea as myself! Although they love eating the treats, they may well prefer to eat them while running around outside instead! 

Cream the butter and sugar ( I use the kitchen aid, but you could easily use a hand held mixer or work those arms and whip it up by hand ;))

photos of food 011

Add the eggs one by one and then the vanilla

Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in.

Fill the muffin cases to halfway and bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes

Leave to cool on a wire tray and whip your cream. Split your vanilla pod length ways and scrape out the seeds, whip them into the cream and sugar mix. Beat until firm.

Pipe the cream around the cupcakes and add a revel or two on top – you never know which one you’ll get!

IMAG0984 Enjoy 😉

Super quick Spelt Quiche

IMAG0993I make this easy quiche maybe once per week or so. The children have it for supper and its really good picnic food and portable enough to take to work for lunch 🙂

Ingredients:

One Quantity Spelt Shortcrust Pastry:

200g spelt flour

100g cold butter

1 tsp salt

pepper

1 large egg

Whizz everything up in the food processor and then pop your pastry in the fridge for a short while.

Filling:

1 onion

2 small sweet peppers

5 button or chestnut mushroomsIMAG0999

1 courgette

5 cherry tomatoes

4 eggs

100mls milk or cream

25g Cheddar cheese

25g Parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

chopped parsley

Fry the onion, peppers and mushrooms in a little olive oil until softened. Set aside.

Chop the courgette into equal size pieces, I usually use a mandolin slicer for this as its quicker and my chopping skills are not so co- ordinated and I quite like my fingers!  

Half your tomatoes

Lightly beat the eggs and add the cream to this and beat a little again.

Roll out the pastry and line a tart dish. No need to grease the dish as there is quite a bit of butter in the pastry recipe, so it will not stick.

Spread the onion, pepper, and mushroom mix into the pie dish and add the courgette and tomatoes also. Pour over the egg mix and grate over the cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and bake in the pre heated oven for 15 – 17 minutes.

I serve this with some young spinach and rocket leaves from our poly tunnel. I dress them lightly with an olive oil, garlic and lemony dressing. 

2 parts oil

1/2 clove garlic minced

1 part lemon juice

black pepper

Enjoy 🙂