Sunday, 31 March 2013

Lemon Cupcakes with lemon buttercream.

In light of my recent love for citrus inspired cakes, I made a batch of lemon cupcakes with lemon butter cream for Comic Relief. These were supereasy to make as most of the recipes from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, and the only laborious task was piping the cupcakes into swirls using my Witon 1M piping nozzle. Lemon cupcakes are always popular, and I am sure have lots of Vitamin C for us, so must be good for the body :-)
Here are how my Lemon Cupcakes turned out:
Lemon Cupcakes
I sprinkled citrus strands over my cupcakes for extra lemoniness.
The method to make these cupcakes were super easy, I first started by creaming the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Butter and sugar
I added the eggs, one a time to the butter and sugar mixture. I then combined the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) and in a separate jug, combine the lemon juice, zest and milk and stirred.
Flour

Grated zest of lemon
Lemon juice
I added a 1/3 of the flour to the butter, sugar and mixture and then also added some of the liquid mixture, ensuring the ingredients were combined.
Once the mixture was combined I placed in 12 cupcake cases and baked for 25 minutes.
Lemon cupcake mixture
Cupcakes pre bake
Once baked, I left to cool and began making the lemon buttercream. I follow a simple buttercream recipe 125g butter, whisked and 450g icing sugar and the juice of 1 lemon, to decorate 12 cupcakes.
Whisked butter for buttercream
Buttercream mixture

Recipe for Lemon Cupcakes, adapted from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.

Makes 12 regular cupcakes
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
pinch of baking powder
90ml semi-skimmed milk
juice of 2 lemons and their zest

For the butter cream
125 g butter, whisked
450g icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Citrus strands or hundreds and thousands to decorate.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcakes.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and combine the milk and lemon juice in a jug. Add one-third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added, incorporating the lemon zest with the last third of flour.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown.
Remove the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack yo cool. Once they are cool you can begin the with buttercream.
Whisk the butter until soft, and gradually add the icing sugar alongside the juice of a lemon. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or so and spoon into a piping bag with a large nozzle. Ice the cupcakes in a swirl.

xxx

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Monday, 25 March 2013

Coconut and Lime cupcakes revisited.

I love coconut and lime, it's a classic combination and one which goes down well on most palletes. I first made these cuppies last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. So when I decided to bake some cupcakes for Comic Relief, coconut and lime cupcakes were one out three flavours that I made. My cupcakes went down a storm at work, and were the fastest selling cupcakes at my cake sale. Although I posted the recipe last year, I have taken a whole load of new pics for my latest coconut and lime cupcakes, which I topped with coconut and lime buttercream, desiccated coconut and honeycomb pieces.
Here is how my coconut and lime cupcakes turned out:
Coconut and lime cupcakes

I first started by soakiing the coconut in hot water and placed aside.
Soaked coconut

I then creamed the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Butter and sugar
Butter and sugar

I then added one egg at a time and alternated this with the flour.
Mixture
Once all the ingredients were combined, I placed in 12 cupcake cases and baked for 20 minutes. Once baked, I left the cupcakes to cool and made the buttercream.
My previous blog post is much more in depth than this one, the recipe can be found here. The biggest difference is that with these cupcakes, I added the juice of 1/2 lime in the buttercream and topped with honeycomb, which gave my cakes a further flavour dimension.
xxx
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Thursday, 21 March 2013

London Burger

What is a London burger, you may ask yourself that, as I did when I stumbled against this recipe from my latest book The Burger. well the name I can only presume comes from the use of English muffins, and English mustard. I made this for my weekend breakfast last week, and made an alternative change to my usual fry up or Jamaican breakfast. What I liked about the recipe is that the burgers were super easy and quick to make and is on the table in 30 minutes.
Here is how my London Burgers turned out:
London Burger

I added a fried egg and good dollop of tomato ketchup to my weekend treat.

Recipe for London Burgers
Prep Time - 10 minutes Cook time - 20 minutes

Ingredients
Makes 4
450g fresh beef mince
2 tbsp worcester sauce
4 English muffins
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tsp English mustard
Dollop of tomato ketchup

Method
1) Combine the mince with half the Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into four equal - sized portions and shape each portion into a patty about 1cm/ 1/2 inch wider than the muffins, making a dimple in the centre of each patty.
2) Split the muffins and spread each half with butter
3) Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Place the muffins halves in the pan buttered side down and cook for about 2 minutes. Put two muffins halves on each of four plates.
4) Add the patties to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes until brown. Turn and cook on the other side for 4 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Place a burger on one of the muffin halves on each plate and drizzle with the remaining Worcestershire sauce.
5) Add the oil to the pan, swirling to coat. Add the eggs and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of English mustard. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are beginning to set at the edges. Top each burger with an egg and the top half with a muffin. Serve immediately.
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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Turkey and cranberry burgers

I certainly have posted many a burger recipe in my blog life time especially my low fat chicken burgers, my low fat turkey burgers, my mexican chicken burgers and my mushroom and chickpea burger. I also have made the classic beef burgers, but have not blogged about this. On my Facebook page, I have a whole album dedicated to burgers, which better shows my love for this dish.
This burger is quite unusual to my other burgers, as the recipe suggested to use rice in the ingredients. I can only suspect that the addition of 60g of rice is to add texture and to help bind the mixture together. It worked, and I would go far to say this is one of the best turkey burgers I have made. I decided to add the cranberry and burger sauce to the burger bun, as cranberry and turkey is not just for Christmas. This will be a definite flavour combination that I will be making time and time again in the future.
Here is how my turkey and cranberry burgers turned out:

I also added fries and jalapenos to my burgers, who would have thought my usual turkey and spring onion burgers could be transformed in such a beautiful way.
Recipe for turkey and cranberry burgers, adapted from my 1 Ingredient, 4 Ways cookbook (published by Marks and Spencers).
Ingredients - serves 4
55g rice
450g lean minced turkey
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and pepper
spring onion
cranberry sauce
burger sauce

Method
Cook the rice in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain rinse under cold running water then drain well again.
Put the cooked rice and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well. With wet hand, shape the mixture into four thick burgers.
Pour a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the burgers and cook for about 10 minutes, turning them over several times until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan, and place the burgers in a burger bun, and top with a dollop of burger ketchup and a tablespoon of cranberry sauce.

xxx


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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Chocolate and Orange cake

This is another one of my citrus bakes, my new found must ingredient when baking cakes. This time I have left alone my tried and tested use of lemons and decided I would try baking a cake using a different citrus fruit, this time in-cooperating an orange in my bake. Like so many recipes in my baking books, I have bookmarked this recipe for chocolate and orange cake from BBC Good Food Cakes and Bakes. The recipe in this book is actually for a dark chocolate and orange cake but I decided to adapt the recipe as am not a big fan of  dark chocolate, nor was I partciularly keen on the method of boiling an orange for half an hour then placing in a food processor to blend, as suggested in the baking book. My way of grating the orange zest and adding the squeezed juice of the orange, is easier, I can imagine, and the orange taste really comes through and I think this has helped the cake become less chocolatey. I defintiely will be making this again, as my family enjoyed this. I decorated the cake using a packet of Tesco's chocolate orange.
Here is how my chocolate and orange cake turned out:
Milk chocolate and orange cake


A slice of my chocolate and orange cake
Milk chocolate and orange cake


Inside my chocolate and orange cake:
Milk chocolate and orange cake

I first started by mixing the egg and sugar and oil together until combined.
Egg, sugar and oil

Eggs, sugar and oil mixed
I then grated the orange zest and squeezed the juice of the orange and placed to one side.
Grated orange zest.

I then added the zest to the liquid mixture before adding the self-raising flour to the mixture,
Orange zest added to the liquid mixture

Once the dry ingredients were added, I placed the cake mixture in a baking tin and placed in the oven on gas mark 4 for 55 minutes.
Cake mixture in tin.

After the cake was baked, I left to cool in the tin and then began to make the icing.
Baked cake

I tend to make a ganche not using double cream, instead by using the same amount of chocolate and butter, which is usually 250g of butter and 250g melted chocolate to cover a cake. However, I suggest perhaps using only 200g butter and 250g melted chocoalte as the added juice of an orange gave the cake a slightly salty taste, which only became noticable after several slices.
Melted butter and chocolate


I left the ganache to set for around an hour until set then began to spread it on the tops and sides of the cake and formed a crumb layer.
Crumb layer 

I then spread the remaining chocolate ganache over the cake.
Cake smoothed over

Here is the link for the recipe for the chocolate and orange cake

xxx
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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Fruity pork curry

This is one of the best, low fat curries I have ever made. The combination of sweet and fire, is one that i'm not used to, but it will be certainly made again and again and again. And the best thing about this curry, it's low fat and adapted from the most successful diet clubs of all time, Weight Watchers. I teamed this wonderful curry with low fat naan bread, raita and mango chutney and it was the perfect mid week supper. My dish had around 500 calories per serving, which I think is excellent for a low calorie (ish) feast.
Here is how my fruity pork curry turned out:
Fruity pork curry.

Ingredients for fruity pork curry - adapted from my Weight Watchers Nice and Spicy
1 tbsp garam masala
1tbsp garlic powder
1tbsp chilli powder
1tbsp crushed chillies
1tbsp salt
2tbsp curry powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 x 150g lean pork steak - fat removed and cubed
low fat cooking spray
2 tbsp oil
1 red pepper
200ml hot chicken stock
300g passata
4 fresh or canned pineapple rings cut into pieces.

Method
Chop the onion, and pork into bite size pieces. Apply the seasoning to the pork and onion mixture and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Heat a wide non stick pan with the oil and cook the pork for around 6 minutes, stirring. Add the stock, passata and pineapple and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes on a low heat until the stock has thickened.
Serve with rice, naan bread or chappatis.
xxx
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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lemon layer cake

I stated in my one of my previous that I have been recently baking more non chocolate cake recipes, and this, is yet another one non chocolate cake bake. My previous lemon drizzle cake was not as lemony as I liked so I thought i'd try a new recipe from my latest book, Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. I have to say this is THE Lemon cake recipe I will be following from now on. The cake was extremley moist and light and the buttercream enhanced the cake, it was love at first bite!
Here is how my luscious, lemon layer cake turned out:
Lemon layer cake

From the top.
Lemon layer cake
This cake is very simple and easy to make, and I think is the perfect cake for all those that do not like overly rich cakes. I first started by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and smooth.
Butter and sugar creamed
I then combined the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl and added the eggs to the cream mixture, one at a time, and then alternated with the dry ingredients.
Dry ingredients

Eggs added to dry mixture

I then grated the zest of two lemons and added the zest alongside the juice to the mixture.
Lemon zest
Lemon juice
Lemon cake mixture combined

Once everything was combined I divided the mixture between two cake tins and spread evenly.
Cakes pre bake
The cakes take around 30 minutes to bake, and when baked leave to cool and get started on the lemon buttercream. I used my trusted buttercream recipe from The Great British Book of Baking and just added the grated zest of 1 lemon and 5 tablespoon of lemon juice to 125g butter beaten and then add 450g icing sugar.

Recipe for Lemon Layer Cake
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

Method
Preheat the oven to 170 C (gas mark 5). Grease and baseline two 20cm cake tins.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the miture is pale and smooth. Combine the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition, alternating with the dry ingredients, and finally the grated zest and lemonjuice. Beat well after each addition, but again do not overbeat.
Divind the mixture evenly between the tinss and bake for about 25-30 minutes until raised and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave in their tins about 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cook. 
Once the cakes are cool, sandwich the layers together with the lemon buttercream icing and cover the top and sides with the buttercream icing. 

xxx

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Louisiana chicken

Having recently read Maya's Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, I have had a desire to make and recreate foods of the Deep South. I've never been to Louisiana, I've never even been to America, but I hope the Deep South have visited me in good, ol cold England with this sunny dish. I've watched an episode of Man vs Food recently and Louisiana chicken featured in an episode, I remember  the celery, green pepper and chillies were referred to the "Holy Trinity" in this dish in order for it's distinctive taste. The recipe for this comes from my Everyday Chicken cookbook, which is currently available in Asda for £2.
Here is how my Louisiana chicken turned out:
Louisiana Chicken

 If you like tomato based curries, heat and flavour this dish is for you :-)

Recipe for Louisiana Chicken
Serves 4
5tbsp vegetable oil
4 chicken portions
6tbsp plain flour
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
400g canned chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
salt and pepper.
Rice to serve.

Method
1) Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the chicken and cook over a medium heat, stirring for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a perforated spoon.
2) Stir the flour into the oil and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes, or until light golden. Do not let it burn. Add the onion, celery and green pepper and cook, stirring constatnly for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and chillies and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
3) Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, then gradually stir in the stock. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, cover and simmer for 45 minites, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to warmed serving plates and serve immediatly with boiled rice.

XXX
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