Sunday, 28 November 2010

Chocolate Fudge Cake

I will post something that's not sweet soon but I just have to share this one with you all. It's currently in the oven and smelling oh so gorgeous so I will add pictures later. (EDIT: errr it all got eaten so quickly there were no pictures taken....Ooopsie!)

Chocolate Fudge Cake
(original recipe can be found here)

For the sponge...
85g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
115g light muscovado sugar (I used soft light brown sugar and it worked fine!)
115g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
2-3tbsp milk
For the sauce...
85g light muscovado/soft brown sugar
30g cocoa powder
225ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla essence.
4. Slowly add the egg mixture to the butter and mix together thoroughly.
5. Sift in the flour, cocoa and salt. Fold this in gently.
6. Line and grease a deep, round cake tin (this cake rose a heck of a lot more than I expected it to.)
7. Spoon in the cake mixture and roughly smooth the top.
8. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. (I found that whisking it quickly got rid of any lumps)
9. Pour this evenly over the top of the uncooked cake mixture and then bake in the oven for 40-60mins.
10. Eat hot, warm or cold with whatever you want!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Pre-Christmas Baking

So about a month ago myself and a couple of friends were feeling a bit down so we decided to indulge in one of my friend's traditions of having a pre-christmas party. I have to say it was possibly the best idea we've ever had!!! We all decided that we were going to bake something for the party so we spent a morning making a complete mess of my kitchen while listening to Christmas songs and wearing Santa hats!!....In October! :)

I decided to make some gingerbread snowflake biscuits. Have to say they were pretty delicious! I will definitely be using this recipe again and again, in fact I might make some in a minute... Anyway here's the recipe!

Gingerbread Biscuits
(original recipe can be found here)

350g plain flour
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g butter
175g soft brown sugar
1 egg
4tbsp golden syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix together the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda.
2. Rub in the butter (using your fingertips) until it looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Add the sugar and mix.
4. In a separate bowl mix together the egg and golden syrup.
5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a dough.
6. Tip this out on to a clean, floured work surface and knead it until it's smooth.
7. Roll out the dough until it is about 0.5cm thick and then cut it out using whatever cutter you want/have.
8. Put the biscuits on a greased baking tray (I like to put grease proof paper on my baking trays too) and then bake in the oven for 10-15mins.
9. Ice if you want to!

I iced mine using royal icing. There it a specific way to ice biscuits using 2 different thicknesses of icing however after 3 biscuits I gave up on this method and just slapped it on using a palette knife, which worked quite well!! I then added some edible glitter or lustre dust to them to make them sparkle and shimmer like real snowflakes! I'm so incredibly excited to have edible glitter I wouldn't be surprised if everything incorporates it from now on.... Hehe!

My friends also made brownies, mince pies, white chocolate tarts and rum balls!! Lets commence with the silly pictures!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Quick Update

I completely fail at updating this!! Uni has unfortunately robbed me of my free time yet again. I have been sitting on some pictures from a while ago though so I'll upload those later today :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Jammie goodness

I've always been curious about making jam but have heard so many different things about it from "Oh it's really easy!!" to "Aghhhhh it's so hard! I overcooked it and made toffee!!!" so I've always been a bit dubious about having a go. Add to that I have very expensive pans that my bf bought for me last Christmas so don't exactly want to go ruining them!
So when I saw a recipe which meant you could make jam in the microwave I just had to give it a go!!!

Raspberry Jam (made in the microwave!)
(original recipe can be found here Easy Microwave Jam)

500g raspberries
juice of 1 lemon
1lb jam sugar (this already has pectin in it, the stuff that makes it set, so there's no need to add any extra!)
(yes this recipe's measurements are totally weird.... sorry!)

1. Place a small saucer in the freezer (all will, hopefully, become clear later). Wash the raspberries and place them in a LARGE microwaveable bowl along with the lemon juice. (I used a large plastic one I bought from Asda for like £2 or something ridiculous like that).
2. Microwave on max for 4-5mins until the fruit is soft.
3. Stir in the sugar and microwave for a further 20mins stirring every 5mins or so.
4. Drop a small amount on to the cold saucer and check for the setting point. (It should wrinkle and be firm, however with this method will be more liquid than normal.)
5. Add 5 mins more cooking if necessary and test again.
6. Leave to stand for 5mins and then spoon into hot sterilised jars, seal and label.

The original recipe said that this would fill 2 normal jam jars however I think I could've done with 3 as I have some left over!!

To sterilise the jars many people just wash them in hot soapy water and then place them in the oven to get hot (WARNING!!! Put them in when the oven is COLD otherwise you will probably end up with cracked jars!).

If you have no idea where to get jam jars or anything like that then I suggest having a google for a cookshop near you (not likely to be able to get these in your local supermarket). If that fails then there are some links below where you can get stuff from. :)
Jam Jars (they only come in packs of 12 but that means you can make jam as presents! Or just keep them as spares if you're clumsy like me.)
Waxed Circles (you'll need these unless you want to have moudly jam! Yum!)
Labels (any old label will do but I thought these were cute.)

N.B. I only just tried this recipe so I'm not sure if it works as my jam is setting as I type this!

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I love baking and recently I've been a little obsessed with it. I blame The Great British Bake Off for that!! (For those of you who didn't watch it it was a tv programme all about baking. I was in heaven for those 6 weeks it was on!)
So that pretty much inspired me to have a massive baking day last weekend and these are the results!!! :D

Cheese Scones
(original recipe can be found here BBC Good Food)*

500ml plain flour
3tsp baking powder
large pinch of salt
250ml grated cheddar cheese
3tsp sunflower/vegetable oil
125ml milk
1 egg
(it's weirdly measured in ml but I just measured everything in my measuring jug and it turned out fine!)

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese and mix this together.

2. Mix together the oil, milk and egg in a jug and add this to the dry mixture.
3. Mix everything together until it forms a dough. (If it's too dry add a little more milk, don't worry if you think it's too wet and sticky at the moment.)
4. Dust your worktop surface with flour and roughly press out the scone mixture using your hand until it's about 0.5cm thick. (Don't use a rolling pin as this will pop any air bubbles that are in the mixture.)

5. Fold this in half and press out until it's 0.5cm thick again. Then cut this out using a round cutter (a perfectly round one will help your scones to rise better, however I don't have one. Don't wiggle the cutter either!! That will also prevent your scones from rising properly)
6. Place them on to a greased baking tray (I like to put grease proof paper on mine as well but this isn't necessary). Bake in a preheated oven (180°C) for 15 minutes.

Basic Scones
(not sure where my Dad got this recipe from...)


350g self-raising flour , plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder
85g butter , cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
175ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
squeeze lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
2. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
3. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife - it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it's a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
4. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. By this point you'll probably need to press what's left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
5. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream.

This recipe worked reasonably well just don't use too much lemon juice otherwise it will make the milk curdle!! (I found out the hard way.)

Rice Krispie Treats
(original recipe Rice Krispie Website)*

3 tbsp butter
100g mini marshmallows
500g rice krispies

1. Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a pan on a low heat.

2. Mix in the rice krispies (if it's too marshmallowy just add more rice krispies until you're happy).
3. Put into a disposable foil baking tray (I find these best so you don't have to worry about scratching it when you're hacking away with a knife try to cut it up) add any decoration you want (marshmallows, sprinkles, chocolate) and then place into the fridge until its set.
4. Cut up into squares and eat!

*N.B. Incase you're wondering I've credited these recipes as they aren't ones I've made up. All the other recipes I've posted so far have been my own creation :)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Herbs and Spices!

These are some mixtures that will be popping up in my recipes quite a bit as they're pretty much in everything I make!! Get some jars (I use old coffee ones) and make these! All you need to do is mix them together and then you can make so many different dishes and it's SO much cheaper than buying the stuff from the supermarkets! I suggest going to your local market to buy the herbs and spices :)

Other than my Dad I have no idea where these recipes originally came from...sorry!

Fajita spice mix

3tbsp cornflower
2tbsp chilli powder
1tbsp salt
1tbsp paprika
1tbsp sugar
2 1/2tsp crushed chicken stock cube (I just crushed a few at the beginning and went from there)
1 1/2tsp onion powder (or dried flakes if you can't get powder)
1/2tsp garlic powder (or flakes/chips whatever is available!)
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
1/2tsp cumin

Put this into an air tight jar then repeat until the jar is full! (Or as full as you think you will need it to be) Now you never have to buy packets of fajita mix again!! If, like me, you really like the BBQ fajita mix just add some BBQ sauce while you're cooking the meat and vegetables.

Italian Seasoning

3tbsp dried basil
3tbsp dried thyme
2tbsp dried marjoram
2tbsp dried oregano
1tbsp dried sage
1tbsp dried garlic flakes (or powder)
1tbsp dried rosemary

Again put these into an air tight jar until it is full. A tsp of this mixture can replace the dried herbs in any of my previous recipes! However if I run out of this and can't make any more up I do resort back to my mixed herbs and dried basil.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Oh yes!! Remember that bolognese sauce recipe I posted a bit ago? Well here's something else that you can use it in!

Please don't be put off by how long this recipe is!!! It's really not difficult! :)

Lasagne (serves 3-4)

Bolognese Sauce
250g lean beef mince
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2tsp dried basil
1tbsp tomato puree
1 beef stock cube
salt and black pepper

Béchamel Sauce
50g butter
30g plain flour
450ml milk
salt and black pepper

Fresh/dried lasagne sheets (doesn't matter which but I tend to use dried)
Cheese! (whichever you like the most!)
A medium/large casserole dish to bake it in!


Preheat the over to 220°C

Bolognese sauce (incase you can't remember/be bothered looking at the other recipe)
1. Dry fry the mince until it's cooked.
2. Add the chopped onion and fry until it is soft, then add the garlic.
3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the herbs, basil, tomato puree and stock cube (and a little water if it's too thick).
4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Béchamel Sauce
1. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat.
2. Once melted add the flour and stir this to form a roux. (It should look glossy and I'll post a pic in here when I have one...)
3. Pour in the milk and bring the heat up a little.
4. Whisk the sauce until it thickens sufficiently. (Whisking disperses any lumps easier than stirring.)
5. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

1. Add a thin layer of the bolognese sauce to the bottom of the dish you're using.
2. Now add a layer of pasta sheets.
3. More bolognese sauce but this time add some béchamel before the pasta.
4. Repeat step 3! (Until you have no more sauce left...)
5. On the last layer don't put pasta on top of the béchamel. Instead sprinkle a little cheese over it (I've found it can go oily if you use a lot of cheese so be careful of this) and put it in the oven.
6. Leave it to bake for about half an hour and then serve!

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables (serves 2..unless you're me)

1 large red onion
2 peppers
6-8 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
dried mixed herbs

1. Chop the onions and the peppers roughly. (I normally chop the onion into 8ths and break it up and chop the peppers into rough bite size pieces)
2. Crush the garlic cloves and roughly chop.
3. Chuck all of this into a roasting dish along with the washed cherry tomatoes.
4. Drizzle some oil over (or spray some oil if you liked my last post!) and sprinkle over about 1tsp of the mixed herbs.
5. Make sure all the veg is evenly covered in the herbs and garlic.
6. Roast in a preheated oven (250°C) for about 40mins or until everything is cooked.
7. Serve and eat!

You can pretty much do the same thing with any vegetable you like. It's nice with courgettes in too!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Just a quick one...

No recipe in this post but I want to tell you all about a revelation I've had! :D

So I'm becoming more health conscious about the things I eat. Not because I want to diet to lose weight etc. but because I want to take care of the body I have as it's the only one I'm gonna get!!

This doesn't just mean eating more veg etc. which is obviously very good for you! But now I'm thinking about where the meat that I'm eating has come from so I'm going to make a conscious effort to go to the local butchers rather than the supermarkets. At least then I can know whether the animal has had a decent life and not feel guilty if it's been bred in poor conditions just so I can buy it at a cheaper price.

Also if you're looking to eat healthier think about how much oil you're putting in your food and cut it down! One easy way I've found of doing this is by buying this magical spray called Fry Light.

It's pretty magical stuff! I've found that if I'm cooking normal stuff I only need to use a couple of sprays in the bottom of the pan and it works great!! It's great for roasting too and in general you just use a lot less oil!

I'm so please with it that I'm going to buy a special oil spray that I can refill so I can continue to use just a tiny bit of oil rather than not really paying attention to how much I'm putting in! :D

Hmm...Time for Italian again?

I think so!!! So here's my basic recipe for a quick and easy bolognese sauce!! Don't feel like there are any limitations with this recipe though! If you want to try something with it go ahead! It's pretty much just some simple foundations for you to go and build a meal from :)

Bolognese Sauce

250g lean beef mince (or whatever meat you prefer)
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2tsp dried basil
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato puree
salt and black pepper

1. Dry fry the mince in a pan until it is thoroughly cooked. (There should be enough fat in the meat, if it's beef mince, so that you don't need to add any extra oil. If you're using a leaner meat, i.e. chicken or turkey, add a small amount of oil before you cook)
2. Chop the onion and garlic. Add the onion to the pan and fry until it is soft then add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock cube and a splash of water (if needed) and leave this to simmer for about 10mins.
4. Season to taste and serve however you want to!

Add in a carrot, some celery or some peppers for added flavour! Or add in any other veg you like! Pretty much anything works :) And if you've got a fussy eater to feed then you can grate pretty much any vegetable into this sauce and they won't have a clue it's there! ;)

Friday, 27 August 2010

Why are you still obsessing about soup you silly woman?!...

Because it's AWESOME that's why! :D

Seriously though you can pack so much good stuff into soup, stuff that you wouldn't normally eat, and it still tastes absolutely yummy!! I even got Dunc (the bf) to eat the following recipe which is a miracle in itself!!! And he had seconds!! (For those of you that don't know Dunc doesn't eat veg. Unless it's carrots or potatoes. Won't even look at any other veg!)
So on with the recipe!

Minestrone Soup Stew!

2 chicken breasts
4 rashers bacon
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large leek
2 carrots
3 sticks of celery
1 large potato
1 pint chicken stock
tomato puree
dried basil

1. Chop the chicken and bacon into bitesize pieces. Fry these in 1tbsp of oil in a large pan until the chicken is cooked and the bacon is crispy.
2. Chop the onion, leek and garlic. Then add these to the chicken and fry until the onion and leek are soft.
3. Grate the the celery and chop the carrots and potato.
4. Add these to the pan and pour in the chicken stock (add more water if you think it needs it).
5. Add 1tbsp of tomato puree and 2tsps of basil.
6. Leave this to simmer for as long as you can (it tastes better the longer you leave it!) but if you can't wait give it at least 20mins-half an hour.

If you want to bulk out this stew even more then just throw in a couple of handfuls of pasta before you leave it to simmer!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Even moar soup?!?!...

Leek and Potato Soup

2/3 large potatoes
1 clove of garlic
2 leeks
Dried mixed herbs
2 chicken stock cubes
salt and black pepper
50ml single cream

1. Fry the chopped leeks in a knob of butter until they have softened.
2. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Add 2 tsps of mixed herbs.
4. Add the stock cubes and a pint of hot water.
5. Put in the chopped potatoes and bring this to the boil. Simmer for about 20mins.
6. Blend roughly using a hand blender. Have it as smooth as you like but I like to leave so it's still quite lumpy.
7. Season to taste and stir in the single cream.
8. Serve immediately with some fresh bread.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

More soup...?!

Oh yes!! I'm having a bit of a soup phase! But it's really one of the most simple and easy things to make!

Onion Soup

Onions! (whichever variety you like best! Red, white, leeks, shallots, literally anything from the onion family. And use the equivalent of about 2/3 large onions per person)
1/2 pint beef stock per person
Salt and black pepper
Dried mixed herbs

1. Chop the onions and fry them in 1 tbsp of oil until they are golden. (For an even yummier soup add a small knob of butter and leave them to cook on a low heat for about 40mins, if you have the time!)
2. Pour in the beef stock and stir.
3. Season with salf and pepper and add 1 tsp of the mixed herbs.
4. Leave to simmer for about 10-20mins
5. Eat!

Rather than serving this with bread (as is traditional with soup) try having some cheese on toast with it!!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Soup soup glorious soup!

Tomato Soup (serves 2-3)

1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
1 large potato
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 tsp dried basil
2 red peppers (optional)

1. Roughly chop the onion and garlic then fry until the onions are soft.
2. Add the chopped peppers (if you want to add them) and fry for 2mins.
3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato puree and basil.
4. Chop the potato and add this to the mixture along with the chicken stock.
5. Simmer this for about 20mins until the potato is cooked.
6. Blend the soup using a handheld blender/food processor.
7. Add some chopped fresh basil just before serving (optional)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Homemade chips and the best jacket potatoes EVER!

So how many times have you bought oven chips and cooked them just as the packaging says yet they end up burnt, undercooked or both of these! (I don't know how it happens but it's happened to me a few times!) These homemade chips also taste way better!

Homemade Chips

1 baking potato per person
Olive/vegetable oil
Dried mixed herbs
Black pepper

1. Wash the potatoes and then chop them into wedges, leaving the skin on.
2. Place them on a baking tray with about 1tbsp of oil for every 2 potatoes. Make sure each wedge is evenly coated in oil. (I normally find 2 potatoes worth of wedges fits on to one baking tray nicely).
3. Season the wedges with salt and pepper. (I put a little more salt on as this makes them nice and crispy!) Then sprinkle 1tsp of dried mixed herbs over and make sure each wedge is covered evenly.
4. Bake in a preheated oven (200°C) for 30 mins. (Turning them over halfway through.)

Best Jacket Potatoes Ever!

1 jacket potato per person
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Whatever filling you want!

1. Wash the potatoes and dry them as best as possible.
2. Prick the skin with a fork.
3. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the potato then season with plenty of salt and pepper.
4. Rub this in to the skin of the potato making sure it is evenly coated.
5. Bake in a preheated oven (190°C) for an hour.
6. Add your filling and eat!

Spaghetti Carbonara

Now I don't know about you but whenever I go to an Italian restaurant with my friends it's guaranteed that at least one of them will order this! Little do they know it's dead simple and quick to make at home! (Though if like me you're a student and don't have much money you won't be making this that often but it's a great meal to make if you want to impress!)

Spaghetti Carbonara

250g Spaghetti (though it works well with whatever pasta you want, I tend to use fusilli rather than spaghetti)
Cooking oil (whatever one you have in the cupboard! Or butter if you're feeling rich!)
6 rashers of bacon
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
150ml single cream (usually the smallest carton in the shop thankfully!)
2 eggs
50g of parmesan (the first recipe I used for this said only 25g but I like mine extra cheesy! It all depends on how cheesy you like things to be)
Black pepper

1. Put a full kettle on to boil and make sure you have a large pan ready to cook the pasta in. (Pasta cooks better when you give it more room, don't ask me why!)
2. While the kettle is boiling chop up the bacon into small squares and finely chop the onion.
3. Fry these together, using the cooking oil/butter, until the bacon is crisp. (If you do want to use butter then I suggest adding a small amount of cooking oil anyway otherwise the butter will burn)
4. When the kettle has boiled pour it into the large pan you got out earlier, add a generous amount of salt and once this is boiling again put the pasta in to cook.
5. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat it gently. Then add the single cream and the parmesan and mix until it looks like a sauce! Add lots of pepper to this and stir that in. (Carbonara is traditionally a peppery sauce so I always add a little more than I think I need)
6. Once the pasta has cooked drain it and mix the bacon and onion into it.
7. Now you have to work quickly! While the pasta and bacon are still piping hot stir in the sauce until all the pasta is coated in it.
8. All you need to do now is put it on plates, put on some more parmesan if you want and eat!

Do not cook the sauce! If you do you will scramble the egg and you won't have a nice smooth creamy sauce!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Fancy a chinese? Why not try this instead...

Egg Fried Rice (serves 2-3)

3 medium eggs
1 large chopped onion
1 small mug of rice
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp of dark soy sauce

1. Wash the rice and put it into a pan of already boiling water to cook for about 10 mins
2. Fry the onion and garlic, using a little oil, in a separate pan until golden
3. Beat the eggs together in a bowl and add these to the onions
4. Stir this mixture together until the egg is cooked and forms clumps
5. Drain the cooked rice and add this to the egg mixture
6. Add the soy sauce and stir fry for a further 2 mins


I'm a student at university and it's annoying me how many students still refuse to cook decent meals, despite all of these new awesome websites like Student Recipes and the many student cookbooks that are around.

So I've decdied that I'm going to post all of the recipes of the meals I am making on here in the hope that some poor starving student who has eaten nothing but microwave meals for the past 6 months will stumble across this and be tempted to cook some proper food.

So to start off heres a recipe that I make at least once a week. If not twice, three times or daily!

Tuna Pasta (serves 3)

6 rashers of bacon
1 large onion
1 tin of tuna
2 cloves of garlic
i tbsp of tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp of dried mixed herbs
250g dried pasta

1. Chop the bacon and onions into 1cm squares
2. Finely chop the garlic
3. Fry the bacon on a high heat until it is crispy
4. Then add the onions and garlic and fry on a low heat until the onions are cooked and translucent.
5. Boil a pan of water and add the pasta and a pinch of salt (so the pasta doesn't stick together). Cook the pasta according to the packaging.
6. While the pasta is cooking add the mixed herbs, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to the bacon mixture.
7. Drain the tinned tuna and stire this into the sauce.
8. Simmer the sauce mixture gently until the pasta is cooked then toss the drained pasta in the sauce.

To turn this into a pasta bake just put it in a casserole dish, throw lots of grated cheese on top and bake it in an oven preheated to 190°C until the cheese is golden.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...