Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Victoria Sandwich - Fit for a Royal Wedding


Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 175g (6oz) butter, softened
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • 142ml carton double cream
  • 4-6 level tablespoons raspberry jam
  • caster sugar, for dredging
  • 2 x 18cm (7in) round sandwich tins, greased and base lined with baking parchment

    Method

  • Tip all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. Divide mixture between the sandwich tins and level the surfaces.
  • Bake the cakes in the centre of a preheated oven – 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 mins, or until the cakes have risen and are golden, and spring back when lightly pressed in the centre.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for 5-10 mins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave them to cool completely.
  • Spread the jam over the base of one of the cakes. Lightly whip the double cream and spread it over the base of the other cake. Sandwich the two cakes together. Dredge with caster sugar before serving.
  • The unfilled Victoria sponge cakes can be packed in freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost before filling.



Monday, 26 March 2018


Best roast leg of lamb

WITH PROPER HOMEMADE MINT SAUCE
Ingredients
·         2 kg leg of lamb or hogget
·         1 bulb of garlic
·         ½ a bunch of fresh rosemary
·         1.5 kg potatoes
·         1 lemon
·         olive oil
·         MINT SAUCE
·         1 bunch of fresh mint
·         1 teaspoon sugar
·         3 tablespoons wine vinegar

 

Method

  1. Remove the lamb from the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºC/gas 6 and place a roasting dish for the potatoes on the bottom.
  3. Break the garlic bulb up into cloves, then peel 3, leaving the rest whole. Pick and roughly chop half the rosemary leaves. Peel and halve the potatoes.
  4. Crush the peeled garlic into a bowl, add the chopped rosemary, finely grate in the lemon zest and drizzle in a good lug of oil, then mix together.
  5. Season the lamb with sea salt and black pepper, then drizzle with the marinade and rub all over the meat. Place on the hot bars of the oven above the tray.
  6. Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and allow to steam dry. Gently toss the potatoes in the colander to scuff up the edges, then tip back into the pan.
  7. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle over a good lug of oil. Tip the potatoes into the hot tray and place back under the lamb to catch all the lovely juices.
  8. Cook the lamb for 1 hour 15 minutes if you want it pink, or 1 hour 30 minutes if you like it more well done.
  9. Meanwhile, make the mint sauce. Pick and finely chop the mint leaves, then place in a small bowl. Mix in the sugar, a good pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of hot water and the vinegar.
  10. When the lamb is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes or so. Carve and serve with the roast potatoes, mint sauce and some seasonal greens.

Tips

Try putting a few parsnips or carrots in with the roast potatoes.
--Jamie Oliver Recipe--


Hot Cross Buns

A sweet, spicy and fruity bun that is popular during the Easter festivities but can also be enjoyed with family and friends all year round. 

Ingredients

·         500g (16oz) quality strong bread flour and a little extra for dusting
·         7g sachet of dried yeast
·         1½tsp of salt
·         75g (3oz) caster sugar
·         315ml (11oz) mixed milk and warm water
·         170g (6oz) juicy sultanas
·         zest of two small oranges
·         60g (2oz) mixed peel
·         2tsp of ground cinnamon
For the cross piping
·         75g (3oz) plain flour
·         1tbsp of caster sugar
For the glaze
·         2tbsp of caster sugar

Method

Sift the bread flour, caster sugar and salt together in a bowl then mix in the yeast. Gradually add the mixed milk and warm water and mix to achieve a pliable dough. Lightly flour a work surface then tip out the dough and knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Carefully mix the peel, orange zest, sultanas and ground cinnamon into the dough and make sure they are evenly distributed. Then leave to rise in the bowl for an hour.
Lightly grease a large baking sheet and then pull off 85g pieces of the dough and make them into balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart and allow to prove for another hour.
Preheat the oven to gas 8, 230°C, fan 210°C.
Make the flour piping by combining the plain flour, tablespoon of caster sugar and 80ml of water and blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross over the top of the buns when they are ready for the oven.
Bake the buns for 15 minutes at 230°C then turn the oven down to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C, cover with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes
While the buns are cooking, heat 2tbsp of water and sugar for the glaze until all the sugar is dissolved. Brush over the buns when they are just out of the oven.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve warm. The buns can also be sliced in half, toasted and served with butter.

--Recipe taken from Tesco Real Food--

Thursday, 15 March 2018


Beef and Guinness stew
·         Serves 4
·         Hands-on time 30 min, 2 hours 30 min to cook

This classic beef stew recipe is a one-pot winner, plus it's easy to make and perfect for freezing.
INGREDIENTS
·         4 tbsp oil
·         1 large onion, finely chopped
·         150g streaky bacon, finely chopped
·         1.6kg shin of beef, cut into 5cm chunks
·         3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
·         600ml Guinness
·         500ml good-quality beef stock 
·         1 bouquet garni (we used fresh thyme and fresh flatleaf parsley tied together with 3 bay leaves)

METHOD
1.     Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole over a medium heat and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the bacon and fry for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and set aside.
2.     Dust the beef in the seasoned flour. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole over a high heat and fry the beef, in batches, for 3-4 minutes, until browned all over.
3.     Reduce the heat to medium, return the onion and bacon and all the beef to the casserole and add the Guinness, stock and herbs. Season well and bring to the boil.
4.     Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 2½ hours until the meat is meltingly tender. Season before serving half the stew with creamy mashed potato.

--Recipe taken from Delicious Magazine--