Sticky Date and Coffee Cake 

It’s been far too long since I last shared a recipe with you. I could give you reasons and excuses as to why I have been too busy and distracted to write, but as you are probably aware I am not a fan of waffle so I will just get on with it and share my new favourite thing with you.

A friend and I had a sudden urge last weekend to make sticky toffee pud; mostly because we made a big pot of coffee which we then forgot about, and soaking dates in it seemed like as good a way as any not to waste it. A quick Internet search brought us to this recipe, which we then adapted to make this fabulous cake.

Sticky Coffee and Date Cake

What we changed…

Most importantly, the dates were soaked in coffee, not in water! We soaked them for rather longer than stated in the recipe (overnight is best), which meant that we didn’t need to use the very expensive and wonderfully gooyey Medjool dates; instead we used cheaper dates (no pun intended!) intended for baking instead.

The second adjustment was that rather than making a number of individual puddings we used two loaf tins. This did mean however that it took longer to cook; approximately 40 minutes. I suggest putting a skewer into the cakes at about 35 minutes; if it comes out clean it is cooked, if not put it back for five or ten minutes and then do the skewer test again.

Salmon Pinwheels

I have found that I am not very good at blogging in summer – I am too busy enjoying my garden! So I was rather chuffed when this little recipe dropped into my inbox from the fabulous Michelle, who has guest-blogged for me before and who coined the wonderful phrase ‘fridge gravel‘. This is a true storecupboard recipe and I will be giving these pinwheels a try next time I need to make canapés at short notice  (yes, that does happen).

Thanks Michelle!  wp-1470601800294.jpg

This is something I do when I fancy something a little different – salmon pinwheels.

It is quite a simple dish. The omelettes are just one egg, a little salt and pepper and a pinch of tarragon beaten together and cooked gently in a small egg pan in a knob of butter.

Spread the egg out until it covers the base of the frying pan and cook until set on one side, flip over and cook on the other side for about one minute.

Slide out of the pan onto a chopping board to cool.

Once cold, spread the omelette with a mix of tinned pink salmon that has been mixed with a bit of mayo and apple cider vinegar.

You could use any filling you like – chopped cooked chicken and mayo, leftover minced beef etc.

Roll up the omelettes into a cigar shape and slice into bite sized pieces. Delicious!

Adding the tarragon to the omelette works really well with fish, but that could be subbed for other herbs.

Simples!

 

 

Easter Nests

Easter nests; a firm family-favourite and as far as I am concerned the only good use of shredded wheat!2016-03-26-18.41.20.jpg.jpeg

This recipe made nine nests.

Ingredients
100 g bar 70% Dark chocolate
1 tablespoon Golden syrup
25 g Butter
150 g Shredded wheat

(at least) 16 ‘mini-eggs’ or similar – I used Traidcraft little speckled eggs which are delicious and ethically sourced.

20160326_171926.jpg

Method

Line a muffin tin with paper cases – pretty ones if you have them.

Slowly melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl over boiling water. The bowl shouldn’t touch the water.

When the above is melted and combined, crumble the shredded wheat into the bowl a bit at a time and stir in until well coated with the chocolate mixture.

Spoon into the paper-cases, making a little ‘well’ in the middle for the eggs.

Place in a cool place; try not to scoff them all immediately  so that the has time to chocolate set!

Roast new potatoes with garlic coconut dip (a sneaky Friday evening ‘snack’)

In (partial) obedience to a 10-year old who has the measure of me…

image

Ingredients:
New potatoes  (as many as you want to eat!)
1 small onion
Olive oil
Cumin seeds
Mustard seeds
Other dried herbs (I used some ‘Hierbas provenzales’ which my parents brought back for me from Mallorca)

2 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

Chop the onion into quarters and the potatoes in half. Put in a small roasting tin with oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and herbs and roast for approx 20 minutes.

Put the coconut yoghurt in a small bowl and mix in the garlic, cayenne pepper and salt. If you don’t like things too spicy, add a little bit of cayenne pepper at a time,  tasting in between.

Serve in a couple of bowls in the centre of the table with a fork per person. Dip the potatoes into the yoghurt dip, making sure to fight over the last one. Enjoy with a Friday glass of wine!

I will make soup later, thereby abiding by the above instructions. The soup will be pretty similar to the carrot, lentil and cider recipe shared previously, although I may substitute white wine in for the cider so as to more fully do as I have been told by said 10 year -old.

Happy Friday everyone!

Kitty x

p.s. In case you were wondering, the coconut yoghurt was gifted to me by a friend who brought me a pudding when she came to dinner. No cheating!

Store-cupboard cereal bar

As promised, here is a healthy-ish snack (‘healthy’ because it is full of oats and nuts which give nice slow-release energy, ‘-ish’ because of the sugar!);  it is based on a flapjack recipe but is slightly different every time (like the leftovers soup!) because it uses up odds & sods in my baking cupboard. So, not only is it healthy-ish but it is also pretty cheap and helps with the tidying up!

In this version I included prunes, pine kernels and the tail-end of some muesli; as mentioned previously I am not very good at breakfast so this recipe is rather good for using up cereal which I haven’t managed to get through.

wp-1452455857242.jpeg

Basic Recipe:

  • 6 oz /175g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 6 oz /175g Butter or margerine
  • 1 ½ dessert-spoons Golden Syrup
  • 9 oz /250g Oats
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Fruit and Nuts

Variations/ Substitutions:

The fruit and nuts can be pretty much anything you like; the joy of this recipe is that if you already have a few baking ingredients you don’t need to go shopping because you can use whatever dried fruit & nuts you happen to have in the cupboard. My particular favourite combination is date and walnut; however I have also been known to add sunflower seeds, pecans, crystallised ginger or, as in this example, prunes and pine kernels.

If you have cereal such as muesli that you want to use up I would suggest that you substitute it for about 1/3 of the oats; you may find that you need to then add a few more oats (~ a tablespoon) at the end so that the mixture isn’t too gooey.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 150oC. Line a 11″ x 7″ tin (or similar) with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter, syrup, sugar and ginger into a large saucepan and melt slowly over a low heat. When completely melted stir in all of the dry ingredients.

Transfer to the lined tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 – 45 minutes.

Lick the spoon.

Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before transferring it, still on the greaseproof paper, to a cooling rack. While it is still warm take a knife and score it into portions to make it easier to break up later on.