Friday, 30 March 2012

Rolls - Royce





Usually, the night before I blog my grub, I lay in bed thinking about what food I'd like to cook (and eat) the next day. Last night, blocked by thoughts of my previous Trout Parcel post, I decided that I would just have a little wander around my local area and see what took my fancy.

Now, for a while next to Catford Station there has been a little Chinese grocers. They sell all kinds of traditional and new age wonders, and I thought as I had a bit of time today, I'd pop in and see what they had to offer. For a while now, I've wanted to buy spring roll pastry- not necessarily to make spring rolls, but I've always loved their wafer thin crispy quality and I've always wanted to use them in some shape or form, so I thought I'd ask the shop owner is she stocked them. As luck would have it, she was an absolute gem and actually gave me a tutorial of how to make a proper spring roll- folding, cooking everything! Here she is below, and here are my little paper mock rolls- I'm keeping them as a memento!

The more I spoke to her, the more I couldn't wait to go home and give them a try- with my own little twist, of course! 

So here they are peeps- my Sheek Kebab Rolls. Crunch on.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Parcel Force



Now my memory's a bit like a sieve, and even though I love new cooking sensation Rachael Khoo, I keep forgetting when her show is on TV, so have been catching up on Iplayer. I really like this new kid on the block- she seems to know what she is talking about, but more importantly has fun with food. Yesterday I caught up with Monday's episode, and almost fell off my chair when she made my one of my favourite dishes- 'Truite en papillote' or Trout in a Parcel. 

Now, I'm a big fan of the parcel cooking- or cooking fish/ veg/ meat in wrapped foil or paper. I remember watching Jamie Oliver doing this back in his very early Naked Chef days and I've been hooked ever since. It is such a great way of retaining natural juices and allows the food to be massaged by heat rather than in a crazy attack of fire. 

Now Ms Khoo made a great little parcel, and I'm telling you I could practically taste the flavours through the TV- she just added a little lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Now, I'm spicing mine up a bit, but really go with with ever takes your fancy. In addition to those ingredients, I added some garlic and ginger powder, crushed coriander (only a handful so as not to over power the fish), a splash of fish sauce, chilli powder and a good squeeze of lemon juice. I then wrapped the fish in some foil and set in the oven for 20mins.

To go with these, I've got some beautiful pak choi. I've just slightly pan fried these leaves whole along with some quartered brussel sprouts. Also, not wanting to waste the heat of the oven, I've cut some aubergine up and bunged them and a few cherry tomatoes in with the fish. Now I'm not one for fussy food, but every so often I like to assemble and the sautéed pak choi, brussel sprouts and oven roasted aubergine and tomatoes stack really well and look fantastic against the splendour of the fish unveiling. 

It really is like opening a present when you open up that fish parcel. The aromas hit you and I can guarantee serious mouth watering, but nothing will compare to the feeling of that fish just melting in your mouth. That is what you call Parcel Force.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mini Vicky Sponges


The Victoria Sponge has been celebrated as one of the nation's most loved cakes. This simple sponge sandwich of jam and cream has won our hearts and it's easy to see why- easy to make and easy to eat!

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm quite partial to my tea (sadly my stained yellow teeth are testament to that), and on such a fantastically sunny day, I've decided to make a spot of tea with a slice of the Queen's finest. Now I'm all about Berry love, but on a day like today, I think a bit of golden delight wouldn't go amiss- so I'm filling my sponges with honeyed apricots, and to make them a bit more fun, I'm dishing them out mini style. Great for a dinner party, and actually a really great way to make a humble Victoria Sponge feel like royalty.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Chicken Tikkle


OK, I'm still down and out with the cold, but massively felt like having a good ol' Indian today. I know heading out to a restaurant is not going to do me any good and the idea of getting a take-away from one of our local's fills me with the dread of getting a (excuse my french) runny tummy- so I decided to DIY me a Tikka.

My mum has always encouraged me and my brother to try anything in the kitchen. When we were younger, we would ask for all kinds of things and my mum always gave it a go. More fantastically, she never let on that she sometimes really didn't have a clue about what she was doing but more often than not, the results were brilliant. My mum's always said that Chicken Tikka was very easy to make, but my goodness was she right! Here's a recipe for a truly simple Tikka dish. When you think that a standard portion of 5 pieces is about £5- I've managed to do an entire chicken for less than that. Invest in some chilli powder and turmeric, and you can eat 'til the cows come home! (Not really sure that makes sense, but you get my point!)

For the marinade (for one baby chicken):
1. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2. 1 tbsp chilli powder
3. 1 tsp garlic
4. 1 tsp root ginger
5. 2 tbsp yoghurt
6. 1 tsp salt
7. 4 tbsp lemon juice
8. Handful of coriander chopped fine

EXTRA. Now my recipe is for Chicken Tikkle- tickle meaning the extra kick, so if you're after a mild version, leave this step out, but if you don't mind your chicken packing a bit of a punch, then add a tsp of harissa paste. This will add to the colour, and heat!

You can then leave the mixture for about 2hrs, but if you're like me, I head straight to my griddle and got cooking.

Trust me, you'll never buy a sad ready made pastes ever again. Finger lickin' good!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mack Daddy

OK, it's finally happened- after about 6months of positively glowing health, I've been hit with what feels like the bubonic plague… in reality, it's known as the common cold…but nevertheless…damn you germs! I'm in desperate need of a feel good remedy, and I am reminded of the Sound of Music classic -

"When the dog bites, when the bees sting, when I'm feeling sad,  
I simply remember my favourite things, and then don't feel so bad"

Good ol' Julie Andrews- she really does know what she's talking about.

Now, what makes me feel better? Chocolate? Not quite. Soup? Come off it. To me, it's an obvious choice. The daddy of choices- the Mack daddy. King of the fishes- Mackerel. 

Fish, I know sounds like a weird choice, but for me, is always guaranteed to put a smile on my face. I got married about 2 years ago, and to this day whenever I head home for special home cooked meal, my mum and dad hook me up with Mackerel and an assortment of my favourite vegetable curries. People, you can't go far wrong with this combo.

Here's my feel good fishy treat with oven baked aubergine curry, coriander flavoured dhal and garlic broccoli. 

Have a look at those colours, and tell me it doesn't make you smile. 





Sunday, 25 March 2012

Best of British

It's about that time, when it's the weekend and the tiny glimpse of the sun drives everyone outdoors for barbecues, picnics and any kind of outside activity. Yesterday was one such day, and a house party at my hubbies' work colleagues new gaff drove me to my new found hobby- baking! Yes, this is my love- how did that happen? 

Anyone fancy some cupcakes à la strawberries and cream? Is there anything that epitomises summer than that splash of red and white? I set about collecting some cupcake memorabilia that conjured up the 'Best of British'- holders, sprinkles and the best dang strawberries I could lay my hands on and 2 hours later, cupcakes in hand (minus the couple that we had to 'crash taste')…we head out.



Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Griddle me this, griddle me that

After the chicken carnage of last night, the hubbie and I felt like eating something lighter today, but still riding the high of my new griddle, I wanted to cook something else on it. 

A couple of nights ago we had some cracking fried sardines at my mum's house and I when I woke up this morning, I had a sudden urge to make some of my own. Whenever I eat this I always think of my holidays in Trinidad when my grandma used to fry batches of fish and we would eat them with a simple bread bun and lashings of hot sauce. Hmm, hmm, hmm! 

I got me to a fishmonger quick snap, and marinated some sprats in lemon and garlic. Got the grill hot and 2mins later my baby sprats were ready- still shinning in their glorious silver coats.

Oh my word…the fish literally melts in your mouth. If you like fish, do this. If you don't like fish…you soon will.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Could you be…the most beautiful grill in the world?

Le Creuset makes the most beautiful pans in the world- I shouldn't even call them pans- somewhere there's a Le Creuset maker rolling his eyes, because these are models of beauty.

Today was the greatest day…ever. My husband, my absolute jewel of a husband went and surprised me with a cast iron Le Creuset griddle today. Quite embarrassingly I actually SOL'ed- screamed out loud- when I opened it! So what's cooking tonight? I'm grilling me a chicken…tamarind and pepper chicken to be exact.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Cookies and Cream

Well, all that Tea-Pot talk made me feel like a Coffee. I do love Tea, but I do likes ma coffee. White no sugar. About 6months ago, Cafe Nero started doing the best blended coffee drink ever- and I officially switched my regular Starbuck's coffee based blended cream Frappuccino (bit of a mouthful, I know) to Nero's triumphant 'Affogato'- 2 shots of espresso, blended ice and ice-cream- Yowsa- it's good. 

Sadly since Christmas, the Affogato has been removed from the Nero menu- Why, Nero, why? And have been forced to make my own…albeit tastier alternative; two heavy duty scoops of Cornish Ice-cream, a hit of some strong coffee and a couple of snaps of biscotti. Note I've replaced the blended ice with more ice-cream (who wouldn't, right?). 

Hello heaven.

Tea-pot Hot-spot!

Love my Grub is not only about getting all you gorgeous people to actually love MY grub, but also getting people chin wagging about lovely grub in general and one Grubber's paradise I'd like to introduce you to is, The Tea-Pot.

I've lived in South-East London all my life, and recently I've noticed a great influx of fantastic bistros and deli's open up. The Tea-Pot is one of these such places. But don't let the name fool ya- it's not just Tea that's on the menu- oh no. We're talking breakfast, lunch and generally delicious eating specials! The food is freshly made and locally sourced. Every time I have been inside, the food always looks so appetising- and whether it is the scrumptious pasta salad or more-ish Belgium Chocolate Shortbread, you'll certainly want to come back as soon as possible. Come June, it will have been trading for 2 years. Headed by Peter Yiannourkou, this Coffee Shop and Deli is a perfect marriage of care and craft. 

Peter prides himself on hand-selecting everything that goes into the shop- the staff included. As soon as I entered the shop, I was greeted with a warm smile and a sense of a proud team. I think there were at least 5 yummy mummy visits while I was there, and every pram visit was welcomed by one of the staff offering them help with their buggy or colouring pens for their toddlers. Couldn't ask for more could you? Not a yummy mummy, or even a mummy? Not to worry, Peter and his team seemed to know every customer in the shop- regular orders, a wave here, a smile there- you really will feel welcome.

Peter is a great leader, and if you visit the shop, you will see a well controlled and finely groomed establishment. The kitchen is open plan, and have a great view of the staff in action if you sit in the raised seating area. The walls look freshly painted and table tops are wiped immaculately clean, but grab a cup of tea and sit down and you'll feel like you're having a brew in a cosy little house. It feels clean but not clinical and functional but not formal, and it's a great balance. Framed artwork adorn the walls and collections of tea-pots and spoons make every inch of the shop look authentic and show the level of care that goes into the shop. 

A lovely bit of grub I can assure you.





Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bri-Nosh

After stumbling across some pictures of a recent trip to Paris, I remembered how amazing the open markets looked and how mouth-watering the food smelt. If I shut my eyes now, I can still hear the sizzle of the onions frying on the pans and the sweet charcoal scent of the sausages being freshly cooked. 

"Yes", I thought, "I need to bring a bit of Paris to Catford!" I quickly ran to my local deli and picked up some sausage and brioche and, just as quickly sat down to eat. 

Who needs the Eurostar eh? Catford to Kitchen in half an hr. Sausage to stomach…considerably less time.




Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Souper-douper

Last-night's ginger chicken went down a storm- but after such a heavy meal, I really wanted to eat something a bit lighter today. After opening my fridge and realising I had far too many vegetables near expiry, I decided to make a soup- but not just any soup, a super green soup. And because it was so delicious yesterday- I've added the chicken neck for flavour (yes, I know it sounds disgusting, but it makes the stock really juicy).

Guys, you have to try this. Broccoli, cabbage, peas, leeks, spring onions and a bit of diced potato (I know, it's not green, but I do love me potatoes!). Love vegetables, and you'll love this. Love chicken and you'll love this. It's a win win.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Please Malay have some more?

When I was about 15, my mum's best friend from Malaysia came to stay with us while she completed a nursing course. She was only with us for about a year, but she ended up changing the way that I cooked and saw food. She loved cooking and she loved fresh ingredients and eating freshly prepared food. I simply loved her. The aromas that would fill the kitchen while she busied herself with mounting the spices into a hot pot were electric. Malaysian food to this day is one of my favourite kinds of cuisines as it draws influence from its Tamil, Chinese, Thai and native Malay inhabitants. The result? Flavour on an epic scale.

Here's a recipe I remember my aunt cooking one lazy sunday- Ginger chicken.

Now, the way it was originally prepared was thinly slicing breast pieces of chicken, but something about eating the meat off the bone really awakens my carnivorous side and frankly love those dark pieces of the chicken! Fry up some onions, add as much ginger as you can possibly stand, lashings of oyster sauce and a touch of dark soya sauce and hey presto, you're done!

Get some rice on the boil, crack out a few slices of bread or just plate up with some salad, and you'll soon see what I mean about Malaysian food!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cookie Monster

It was my brother-in-law's birthday this weekend (shout out to not-so-little Zayn!), and we all assembled to help celebrate his special day…and eat some cake! My sister-in-law, Eva did a righteous job with the birthday cake this year and also made some tasty little biscuits to accompany them. Having sufficiently stuffed my face all of saturday and…most of sunday with these, I returned home with a appetite for eating some more!

On the way home we made a pit stop at our beloved Turkish store, bought some bread and other goodies and found a great little offer for lemons. Come monday morning, I thought "I'm gonna make me some tangy lemon biscuits".

And here they are- soft and almost cake like in the middle with a crunchy edge. Oh man, knew I should have made a bigger batch...

Going, going, gone.



Friday, 9 March 2012

Chick Please

My first ever post on this blog spoke of my top five ingredients, here is one of my top five dishes. I truly wanted to make it sooner, but I did not think it fair to the other recipes! 

Today's been a bit of a weird day, and as the sun shows no sign of coming out day (I am clearly suffering from S.A.D- Seasonal Affective Disorder- aren't we all?), I really feel like eating something hearty and familiar. 

Introducing my coconut and crushed fennel seed rotis with aubergine and chick pea curry.

No other dish really embodies my melting-pot of influences better than this dish. It was something that my mum often made for us on the weekends, and was one of the first dishes I ever ate at my mother-in-laws house. The typical chick pea curry that my mum prepared was spicy and the chick pea curry that I later had at my in-laws used a lot of fresh coriander and was thicker in consistency. I loved the idea of fusing the two together and naturally over the years, I have adapted this to my own taste. To this day, is one of the few dishes that I could be utterly content eating everyday.

This is simple cooking at it's best. The chick pea curry is quite light in texture, but is packed with flavour. You just fry up some onions, garlic, fennel and cumin seeds until they are golden brown, and then add a tin of chick peas. Allow these to crisp up a bit then add some tomato puree, chilli and ground coriander powder. In a separate pan lightly sauté some diced aubergine pieces with fennel seeds and salt. Within about 5mins, they both should be done. A great tip I found when I added too much chill powder one time, was adding a spoonful of greek yoghurt really thickens up the mixture and now I always add a drop for a creamy finish. Garnish lavishly with coriander and keep warm. 

For the rotis- you need to finely chop onions and crush some roasted fennel seeds. Mix well and add your self raising flour. Then mix some coconut milk with water and need your dough. My mum is really the queen of kneading and shaping dough, and it always vexes her when I make my 'island rotis' instead of the circular shaped ones, but for me, there is nothing better than a rustically shaped roti! Whenever we used to make these together, I used to always stretch mine as far as they could go- trust me thin and crunchy definitely wins over soft and podgy! Plus, when these are fried, the little diced onions and fennel seed hit and fry in the oil, so you really get the best of your seasoning. 

Now for the best bit. Plate up and get down. Do the words scrum-dilly-umptous mean anything to you?



Thursday, 8 March 2012

Charlie Brownies


What a glorious day! The sun has decided to pop out for a while and even though it's not raining cats and dogs, I still feel like a treat (who needs an excuse?). I've had some mad cravings for brownies recently, and decided that today is the day to make them.

I've always steered away from baking. Not to say I don't eat baked goods, 'cos boy do I, but the task itself has always left me feeling a bit daunted. The problem is, I follow a recipe and it never seems to turn out like the picture. I hate that. I've never actually made brownies, but having eaten my share (and everyone else's share) of brownies over the years, I come to know what they should taste and feel like. My favourite kind of brownie is when it has that crusty, chewy first bite and soft marshmallowy inside. A hard brownie is a big no no for me. As with anything, it's got to evoke different sensations. 

Ok, so measuring- sigh, how I hate this part…but pretty essential to getting the right consistency:

250g of caster sugar
185g soft butter
185g plain chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
110g plain flour

Firstly, you need to melt the chocolate and butter, then allow to cool. In the meantime, whip up the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Once you are happy that the chocolate mix is cool, add to the egg mix. You now have a basic chocolate brownie mix, and you can add nuts, orange zest, crumbled biscuits- whatever you like! I have opted for toffee. Like, I said I've never tried it, but chocolate and toffee seem like a pretty good match. I then cut into very small pieces and add to the mixture. The toffee is heavy in weight so will sink down to the bottom, but as you bake will melt slightly and create a gooey area in the brownie.

Now, you just bake for 20 mins. You'll know when the brownies are done as they will still have a bit of movement when you shake the tin. You then allow them to cool for another 20mins and in the meantime, get some ice-cream out. 

Phones off, feet up. Hot brownie, cold ice-cream. Yes, yes and yes.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Argi Bhaji


Now customarily, these little mouthfuls of heaven are reserved for special occasions- parties, weddings, etc, but on a day like today when the weather is miserable to say the least, I say "bring on the bhajis!", I need me a treat!

My mum has been making these for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember I would stand by the frying pan and inhale the first batch as they came off the fire (yes, I was a chunky monkey child). The best thing about this dish is that it is so versatile and as it's completely dependent on what you like, you can just adjust the 'recipe' as you go along. My favourite kind of cooking.

Here's my spin on the classic onion bhaji: Spinach and broccoli bhajis with mint raita. 

1. Let's begin with the mint raita. This just consists of chopped mint, onions, and Greek yoghurt. Make sure you use a thick based yoghurt (at least 10% fat), and keep the mixture cool until ready to dish out. We really want the mint raita to be as cold as possible when we serve with these hot bites. 

2. Now for the fun part: the bhajis. So, these are so simple to make. To make the batter, you just need to finely dice some onions, garlic and chilli. I usually say cut as preferred, but these really do need to be fine as we are making tiny little fritters and there's nothing worse than getting a whole chunk of onion or ending up with a bad case of garlic breath. 

3. The next step is to add the vegetables. Quite frankly you can make bhajis with whatever you like- the usual marriage is onion or potato, but I think a bit of colour always looks delicious in a bhaji. I've chosen spinach and broccoli, but you could use peppers, aubergine, carrots or even sweetcorn. I then slice the stem of the broccoli (you can also use the florets as well, but I like the particularly crunchy part of the stem), and then some baby spinach. You can use fresh or frozen, but if you go for fresh, do not cook the leafs as they will cook in the oil when we fry them later, and if you use frozen, make sure you fully defrost and remove as much water as possible as this will cause the oil to spit during frying. 

4. Now for the aromatics. Add crushed fennel and cumin seeds. If you have a bit of extra time, you could roast these- the extra flavour is well worth the extra time. Also add chilli powder and ground coriander powder. Now add gram and self-raising flour and mix well before adding some water and mixing again. Here comes the science: you need the gram flour to keep the mixture thick, but never make a bhaji with just gram flour- I did it once when I was 11 and was like eating rocks! The self raising flour will act to keep the mixture light and fluffy, so you should be going for 1 part gram flour and 2 parts self-raising. After you've mixed this all together you should be left with a thick consistency, so don't go crazy on the water weight. 

5. Heat up a pan of oil and get to frying. Use a small tea spoon to transfer to the pan- and keep the bhajis as small and rough around the edges as possible- this way you will ensure that they cook properly in the middle and will have that killer crunch. 

I am yet to find a method of not eating while I fry, but I'll keep you posted.





Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I feel like chicken tonight…

Yes, I do love chicken. Cheap to buy, quick to make and lean to eat. Unless you're a vegetarian, you'd better have a good reason not to eat it. 

Introducing one of my favourite dishes: peanut coated chicken with sweet and sour sauce, served with rice.

Ok, now this really is a 30minute makeover; so if you're returning from work and need to turn over a quick meal or are having guests around and are really short on time, then this is ideal.

The longest part of this dish is the cooking of the rice, so you should start with this. Get a kettle boiling and in the meantime wash your rice. Then once the kettles boiled, add your water to the pan, and leave to cook. 

Now to parboil your chicken; as we are going to oven cook the chicken, we need to make sure that the chicken is properly cooked, plus it is a great way to lock in the flavours. The time for cooking will depend on the size of the chicken, but for a baby chicken cut to medium size you should need about 15mins. Add some soya sauce, ginger and garlic to your chicken and allow to cook. Once this has cooked, you should see that the chicken has expelled some of its juices, which will now be enriched with the extra flavourings you have added. Then a great tip for extra crunchy coated chicken with a bit of colour is to add some tomato puree and self raising flour. To be honest, it was a bit of a fluke discovery, but have never cooked crispy chicken any other way since then. You then turn the chicken until its covered fully in the flour and tomato puree paste, then add some crushed nuts, turn again and put into the oven for about 10mins.

Now for your sauce. Simply cut some onions, peppers, carrots and water chestnuts. Typically this recipe calls for large slices of each, but I'm not a big fan of the wide set onions, so I've opted for smaller cuts, but horses for courses- so go for whatever you like! Then add some standard sweet and sour sauce (no shame in this people), and further top up with spring onions and finely diced peppers. 

Now dish up, and dig in.



Monday, 5 March 2012

Prawn Crackers


Having satisfied my sweet tooth, I thought it wise to head back to the savoury dishes while my sugar levels have a chance to reduce.

Despite dreaming about trout last night, a rather disappointing trip to my local Sainsbury's (in which I found out they had discontinued the line), meant that I had to rethink my plans. After wandering the aisles for…well…far too long, I decided to go for prawns. I pictured my ingredients and after convincing my taste-buds that there was a new dream dish, I paid and head home.

A few days ago I made some Thai cupcakes, but frankly after smelling that hit of lime, I knew I'd have to make another Thai dish very soon. I bought a fresh batch of limes, coriander and ginger, and this time also bought some coconut milk, lemon grass, fish sauce and aubergine- all key and frequent Thai ingredients. To be honest, the next 40mins was free-fall, as this is not a dish that I have made or prepared myself to make, but I guess that's the fun of cooking- Que sera sera! 

I put my rice on the boil and set to work on my greens. Having also run out of Pak Choi-(I know…what's that about?!), I bought some Ung Choi, and simply washed and tossed with onions and garlic. I then began my coconut and aubergine sauce. After frying some onions with lemongrass, I added my aubergine slices, coconut milk, squeeze of lime and a few drops of fish sauce. Let this come to the boil and you're done. Now for the prawns, I bought some fresh raw prawns, but peeled and cooked prawns will be fine- just make sure they are cleaned and washed. I then coat them in ginger powder, soya sauce, fish sauce and dust with self raising flour. You then just heat a pan with oil and pan fry. The prawns need relatively no time to cook, and you will know when they are done as they turn from a translucent grey to an opaque coral pink. Take them off the heat and squeeze the juice of a lime and sprinkle with magic sesame seeds. Yes, they are magic, as the flavour they set upon the prawns is nothing short of transcendent.

Serve quick, and enjoy slowly.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Crunchy nutter

So while I've got my sweet tooth out, I thought I'd make an old favourite- 
Chocolate Clusters. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Now, I'm a bit of a coffee and nut lover, so I've decided to make my mix with a little kick and crunch. If you're not a fan, or have any nut allergies, you can add marshmallows, biscuits, honeycomb, toffee, or orange- really any combination works a treat here. 

All I've done is make a strong brew of coffee and add to melted milk chocolate. Then simply pour onto some honey nut cornflakes and turn the cornflakes until they are all coated with the chocolate coffee mix. I guess you can use uncoated cornflakes, but when making clusters, I say the more the merrier! Then I've added a selection of crushed sugared nuts- pecan, cashew and walnuts. Make sure you leave a handful so that you can garnish at the end. Pop into the fridge for a couple of hours to cool and harden, and that's all folks!

It is really is as easy as that. Pour yourself a nice tall glass of ice cold milk, put your tired feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labour! 



Friday, 2 March 2012

Thai these!

Having watched Masterchef last night and reaffirmed my love of Thai food, I wanted to make something Thai inspired.

Thai cuisine is fantastic as it strives for balance in flavour in every dish. It is best known for it's composition of four fundamental taste senses: sour, sweet, salty and even bitter. No easy task!

When I first experienced Thai food, I knew instantly it was 'love at at first bite', as some of it's key ingredients include lemongrass, ginger, coconut, chilli, kaffir lime and of course my beloved coriander. 

However, although I really fancy eating a massive plate of Pad Thai, I've been having some mad cupcake cravings for days, so thought I might combine the two ideas. Introducing my Thai inspired cupcakes…

Coconut, Lime and chocolate chilli cupcakes.

As I mentioned before, I really hate to measure stuff out, but when it comes to baking, I do like to be precise. So I weighed the classic 4/4/4/2- i.e 4oz flour, butter and sugar and beaten two eggs. This is a standard sponge mix, and I then divide into three parts. One section is then mixed with the zest and juice of half a lime, the second is folded with desiccated coconut and the third is mixed with a bit of chilli flakes and chocolate chips (you can also add some flakes to the chocolate icing).

Now these aren't exactly revolutionary, as we essentially have lime, coconut and chocolate chilli cupcakes- I'm certainly not the first to make these, but bake and serve them together, and they make for a beautiful medley of flavours and colours, not to mention a great conversation starter!