Thursday, 27 November 2014

HOMEMADE MACARONI CHEESE

250g macaroni
40g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
568ml semi-skimmed milk
150g mature cheddar cheese,grated,plus extra to sprinkle over
sprig of fresh basil,torn
4 tomatoes,sliced
50g grated parmesan

Cook the macaroni according to pack instructions.Meanwhile,melt the butter in a large saucepan.Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes to form a roux whisk in the milk a little at a time,stirring continuously until it's thick and smooth and has come up to boil.This will take about 10-15 mins.Preheat the grill.Remove the sauce from the hob,stir cheddar cheese until melted and season with salt and pepper.Then add to the cooked macaroni and basil,and mix well.Pour into a deep ovenproof dish.Top with the sliced tomatoes,sprinkle a little cheddar on top,along with the parmesan,and place under a hot grill for about 5-10 mins untill browned on top.Serve.





Saturday, 15 November 2014

BLACK FOREST GATEAU

For the cake
200g plain chocolate,broken into pieces
175g unsalted butter
300g light soft brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs,separated
300g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400ml semi skimmed milk,warmed
For the filling
2 x 425g tins black  cherries in syrup
4 tbsp kirsch
3 tbsp black cherry jam
For the icing
200g white chocolate,broken into pieces
568ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5.Grease and base line 3 x 20cm round sandwich tins then put the plain chocolate into a bowl over gently simmering water.Once melted,set aside to cool slightly.In a large bowl,beat together the butter,sugar and vanilla until creamy.Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl,add to the butter mixture and beat again.Add the cooled chocolate and beat again.Mix together the plain flour,cocoa powder,baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.Sieve half of this over the wet mixture,then add half the milk and gently fold together.Repeat with the remaining flour mix and milk.Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and fold into the mixture then pour the cake mix into the three lined tins.Bake for 20-25 mins until cooked then leave to cool.While the cakes cool,boil the cherries in syrup until reduced by half.Leave to cool.Add the kirsch and mix.Spoon some of the cherry juice over the cakes then leave the cherries to cool.Melt almost all of the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and leave to cool.Whip the cream to soft peaks,then add the cooled melted white choclate and gently stir to mix.Put one of the cakes on a plate then spread over a tbsp of black cherry jam,top with just less then a third of the cream and a third of the cherries.Repeat with another layer,then top with the third cake,jam,cream and cherries.Top with chocolate curls or grated chocolate and serve.




Saturday, 8 November 2014

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDINGS

75g pitted dried dates
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
75g unsalted butter,softened
115g caster sugar
few drops vanilla bean extract
1 large egg
75g self-raising flour,sifted
1tsp instant coffee,dissolved in 1tbsp boiling water
75g dark soft brown sugar
90ml evaporated milk

Preaheat oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4.Grease the inside  of a 6 hole muffin tin and line the bases with rounds of baking paper to cover.Cut the dates into raisin-sized pieces and put in a pan with 100ml cold water.Heat until boiling.Stir once,then bring to the boil again.Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda (it will foam up).Set aside for 30 mins.Beat 50g butter together with the caster sugar and vanilla until the mixture is light and creamy.Add the egg and 1 heaped tsp flour.Beat again.Add the rest of the four and the coffee and cooled dates.Mix well.Devide the mixture between the muffin holes and level the tops.Bake for 15-20 mins or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.Put remaining 25g butter in a pan and melt.Add the brown sugar and stir over a low heat for 2 mins.Add the evaporated milk,simmer for 1 min,then pour over the cooked puddings and serve.


COCONUT AND JAM PUDDINGS

200g flora original
200g caster sugar
4 med eggs
200g self-raising flour,sifted
4tbsp milk
80g desiccated coconut
16tbsp raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4.Grease 8 ramekins.Beat the flora and sugar until creamy.Beat in the eggs,one at a time,adding a spoonful of the flour after each one.Fold in the rest of the flour with the milk and coconut.Put 1tbsp of jam into the bottom of each ramekin.Spoon the pudding mixture on top and level out the tops.Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.Heat the rest of the jam in a pan with 1tbsp water,stirring all the time.Turn out puddings,pour over the jam and serve.


CHOCOLATE FONDANT PUDDING

115g unsalted butter,cut into small pieces(plus some for greasing)
2tbsp cocoa powder
125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids),broken into pieces
2 large eggs,plus 2 extra yolks
115g caster sugar
2tbsp plain flour

Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6.Butter the base and sides of 6 ramekins,then dust with the cocoa powder.Shake out any axcess.Put a baking tray in the oven.Put 115g butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stand it over a pan of simmering water,making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.Leave until melted,stirring occasionally.Remove the bowl and set aside for 15 mins to cool slightly.In another bowl,beat together the eggs,yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.Gently fold in chocolate and butter mixture,then the flour.Immediately divide between the ramekins-the mixture should come almost to the top.To cook,put ramekins on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 11 mins.The puddings are done when the tops are set and starting to come away from the sides of the dishes.Turn them out onto small plates and serve.
 

Easy Brownies

175g butter,plus extra for greasing 200g milk chocolate,broken into pieces 225g light soft brown sugar 2 eggs 1tsp vanilla extract 100...