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 :)
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