Monday, 22 October 2012

Chocolate cake eyeballs

100g madeira cake
100g Oreo cookies
100g bar milk chocolate,melted
200g bar milk chocolate,melted
few smarties and icing pens,to decorate
10 wooden skewers
1/2 small pumpkin,to stand pops in

Break the madeira cake and cookies into a bowl,pour in the melted milk chocolate and combine.Tip the mixture into a bowl,then use your hands to roll 10 walnut-sized balls.Chill for 2 hrs until really firm.Push a skewer into each ball,then carefully spoon the white chocolate over the cake balls to completely cover.Stand the cake pops in the pumpkin,then press a smartie onto the surface while wet.Chill again until chocolate as set.Before serving,using the icing pens,add a pupil to each smartie and wiggly red veins to the eyeballs.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Beef in ale

Bone in beef shin joint
2 bay leaves
2 springs fresh thyme,plus extra for serving
1 beef stock cube
400ml ale or beer
300g shallots,peeled
1tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms,halved
1tbsp cornflour

Preheat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3.Put the joint in a large roasting tin.Add the bay leaves and thyme.Dissolve the stock cube in 300ml boiling water and pour over the beef with the beer.Cover with a sheet of foil tucking in firmly.Cook for 3 hours 45 mins.15 mins before the cooking time is up,cook the shallots in the oil until lightly browned on all sides.Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins until the mushrooms start to colour.Remove the foil from the beef and baste with the juices.Add the veg and return to the oven,uncovered,for an hour,basting every 20 mins.Mix the cornflour with 2tbsp cold water and stir into the juices.Return to the oven for 15 mins.Remove the bay leaf and thyme.Garnish with a fresh thyme spring to serve.