Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chocolate beetroot brownies

I was dismayed to find some beetroot in my veg box this week (as well as some cabbage...bleugh!) So searched the internet to find a cake recipe that could disguise the taste of them. I found a Chocolate Beetroot Brownie recipe on the good old BBC good food website.
One of the main things that I find unpleasant about beetroot apart from the taste , is the smell of them when cooking! Reminds me of school dinners although I'm not sure that we had them at school!
This recipe requires little handling of them just a blast in the microwave and then a blitz in the food processor. There wasn't too much of an aroma and it wasn't as offensive as I remember!

I deviated slightly from the original recipe by adding less beetroot than stated as that is all I had and was certainly not buying more ! I also added some walnuts that I had.
I didn't think I would be licking the bowl ( cooks prerogative) as the thought of them wasn't appealing but I couldn't help myself and I was excited to find that it wasn't horrid!!
I used a couple of heart silicone moulds for a change

But the main bit of the cake was in a Pampered Chef dish that my mum gave me which I adore and use all the time.

The finished brownies have a slight purplish tint to them , I nervously tasted them and to my surprise they are gorgeous! They aren't too sweet and have a lovely cake texture to them, you can tell that there is a mystery ingredient which isn't unpleasant and unless someone told you you'd never know it was there!

 Definitely worth adding walnuts for the texture. They were delicious warm and would be great with vanilla ice cream.
I would  make these again and I have found a carrot cake recipe that uses beetroot too so I won't be alarmed if they are in my veg box next time.... Now what to do to disguise my cabbage....cabbage cake??

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Friday, 6 September 2013

Cheats Caramel Cupcakes

Always one to cut corners! I bought some fairy cake mix  - I know they are easy to make but they were on offer and I can't resist a bargain! All I did was add an egg , splash of water and a little bit of butter -there wasn't a lot of mixture and the cake cases that came with it were tiny but they came out ok. The icing that came in the packet was just icing sugar so I added some butter and a little milk to make a buttercream and then some Carnation Caramel.
 I am useless at piping and making the icing look lovely but am getting a little better ( these ones were the best of the bunch!) I am going on a cupcake decorating course in October so maybe can pick up some hints and tips!

I added some chocolate cherubs that had gold glitter on that I bought from Sainsburys.

The sponge tasted fine and I am glad that I added the caramel and chocolate to the top of them - turning boring packet mix into something that looks like you have spent a lot of time on - my kind of baking!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


I made some lovely ice cream recently and was left with lots of egg whites so thought I would again tackle making merengues. I have only ever made one big one so thought now was the time to have a go at some smaller ones. I used the Jamie Oliver recipe that can be found here and it is also in his 'Cook With Jamie' book ( a bargain £2  purchase from the charity shop!! )
I whipped the egg whites into a frenzy ( using the electric whisk! My poor arms wouldn't be able to do that!) and added the sugar until lovely and glossy and then swirled bits onto grease proof paper ...easy peasy!

They came out beautifully,

Perfectly crispy on the outside and lovely and chewy in the middle.
We had them with raspberries, crème fraiche and a grating of chocolate my favourite dessert....

Monday, 2 September 2013

Meal planning Monday

September already! Even though it is still sunny there is a little autumnal chill in the mornings which is lovely. Can't wait to wear lots of layers again!
I had a RIVERFORD box delivered last week which was exciting as it made me use different vegetables, I only had the small box but there are lots still left that I will use this week. The website has some great uses of the veg too and I will be using that this week.
Monday - Butternut squash tagine
Tuesday - Fishpie
Wednesday - Greek style vegetable bake
Thursday - Ratatouille with creamy Salmon
Friday - Quorn fajitas
If you would like to take part in Meal Planning Mondays or would like a look at what everyone else is making this week, head over to AT HOME WITH MRS M.