Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines crumpet!

Happy Valentines day to you all ! Instead of chocolates I have a crumpet to share with you !

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Stephen is the king of mashed potatoes! He makes them so fluffy and smooth , his secret is lots of milk and butter and once mashed with a masher to use the hand mixer - they always come out divine! The only downside is that he manages to decorate the kitchen with potato!

I decided to have a go at making some fishcakes over the weekend and made more mashed potato than even Stephen could eat in preparation for the fishcake making. In the past when I have made them they have fallen apart and I think this is due to them not being wet enough, this time they turned out perfectly. I had bought some Salmon that needed eating up so grilled this and added them to the mashed potato along with spring onions, leftover green beans, sweetcorn, chives and feta cheese. once it was all mixed together I left it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Once they were chilled I neeed to coat them and couldn't remember which order to dip them in - was it egg first ? or flour? I turned to the trusty BBC food website (don't know what I would do without this!) It's Flour,egg then bread crumbs! I then shaped them into large patties ( making some teeny tiny ones for Molly) set up my 3 dishes of flour , egg and breadcrumbs.( In the breadcrumb mixture I also added some fresh grated pecorino cheese and a teaspoon of paprika for a bit of ooompf.) I used my hands to get really stuck in and ended up with mixture all over me - I looked like I had swollen fingers - bleughhh.
 These are them ready to be chilled again.
 A close up with a speck of chive poking through!
 another close up - you can never have too many!!
For Molly's little fishcakes I experimented and did a couple in the frying pan and a couple in the oven to see which came out better and the oven baked ones were the best - also they didn't smoke out the house which frying always does!
So the adult versions were drizzled in a little olive oil and put in the oven to brown and sizzle....
 They held  shape beautifully
 Another close up - this one bursting its seams with yumminess

Overall they were a definite success, they didn't collapse and weren't too dry - the paprika added a lovely smokiness to them , the feta cheese was a lovely surprise to bite into,  I made too many to eat in one go so have frozen some for another day ... Molly didn't like hers though and preferred a banana! Oh well you can't please everyone! Will make these again and play around with the fillings - sundried tomatoes, smoked fish, sweet potato are possibilities as well as adding some cheesy filling.
I am going to enter some blogging challenges this month so shall be entering this into Lavendar and Loveage February challenge which is to cook with herbs and this months theme of Chinese and romantic inspired recipes with herbs - although this isn't Chinese it was for a romantic dinner with Stephen! To see the other entries click here.
Cooking with Herbs

Monday, 10 February 2014

Frangipan mince pies

Another delayed post from December ! I don't really like the mince pies that you can buy as there is too much pastry and it gets stuck to the roof of your mouth ( Too much info??) however I make an exception for the mini mince pies that you can get as there is just enough not to make you feel like you have overdone it ..again.. I saw this recipe in Decembers Waitrose magazine and it didn't sound too difficult - there are a lot of stages to it which I like because it means I can do a bit and then leave it a while to play with Molly. So although these took me all day to make you could do them in an evening. They were delicious - maybe next time I will make my own mincemeat ... Truly Scrumptious!!

Taken from Waitrose December 2013 magazine
Frangipane Mince Pies
Makes about 24
150g Plain Flour ( plus extra for rolling)
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter , diced and chilled
75g Philidelphia soft cheese
50g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
410g mincemeat
50g flaked almonds
icing sugar for dusting
150g ground almonds
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
25g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lemon zest grated
·         For the pastry, tip the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the mixture resembles fine sand. Add the soft cheese, ground almonds, egg yolk and 1tbsp cold water and blitz again until the dough starts to come together. Use your hands to bring the dough together to form a neat ball, ensuring you don't overwork the pastry. Flatten into a disc, cover with cling film and chill for at least an hour.
·         Lightly flour a work surface. Halve the dough and roll out one piece to a circle about 0.2cm thick. Using a 8cm fluted cutter stamp out as many circles as you can and use to line a shallow 12 hole bun tin, or you could use a muffin tin ( bigger ones!) gently pressing the dough into the holes. Repeat with the second half of the dough - you should aim for about 24 pastry discs in total. Chill the pastry cases for about 20 - 30 mins.
·         Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4. For the frangipan whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
·         put 1sp of mincemeat into the bottom of each pastry case and top each with 1-2 tsp of frangipan, spreading it to cover the mincemeat. Scatter with flaked almonds and bake for about 20 mins until puffed up and golden brown. You may need to swap the trays over halfway so that they all brown evenly.
·         Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their tins for 4-5 mins. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack until they are at room temp and to make them look professional dust with icing powder!
·         enjoy!