This recipe is based on using an 8 inch round tin. Butter and line the tin.
Mix the coffee, cocoa and two tablespoons of hot water to form a chocolately/coffee paste.
Put the butter, eggs, sugar, syrup, flour, milk and cocoa paste in a bowl and mix with a mixer (or by hand). Add in the caramel chocolate pieces.
Add the mixture to the tin and bake in the oven for about 50 – 60 minutes.
To check that it’s ready I use a skewer which I poke into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it’s ready.
Once it’s ready leave it for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Whilst it’s cooling, make the icing.
Put the caramel chocolate pieces into a pan and heat gently so that it melts, add in the butter and milk and stir until all melted (make sure you stir all the time). Remove from the heat and add in the sifted icing sugar.
Leave to cool whilst the cake is cooling.
Once the cake is cooled, spread over the icing and your good to go.
We decorated ours as it was for Daddy’s birthday which we took to the Donkey Sanctuary. We did have some spare caramel chocolate buttons, but these disappeared!!
Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe – As a mum I love to keep things simple, and as a family we’re quite good at making meals that double up into a couple of meals or more.
Cooking a chicken as a roast, making a pasta dish the next day and a stirfry for the following day is quite a usual occurance and is great for us as working parents.
I have to confess that Daddy is the main meal maker in our family and has a far better eye for making a meal from anything and everything, including whipping up a meal on the day before shopping day from the randoms left if the fridge/cupboard.
I will share some of these recipes with you as well as our firm family favourites.
One of my fave meals at the moment is mackerel salad. It’s really easy and quick to make. We usually buy the peppered mackerel fillets and grill them to make them extra crispy. We make a salad with lettuce leaves, rocket, red peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and beetroot and top it off with a side helping of potato salad (will share the recipe at some point).
Anyway, I always save some of the mackerel fillets to make Mackerel Pate for me and Belle the following day.
How to make
So to make the pate, you have to add mackerel fillets (we normally save 2 – 3) and put in the whizzer (aka blender), whiz it through for about 30 seconds, add a good squeeze of lemon and then about 3 good tablespoons of mayonnaise.
If you don’t have a whizzer you can mash up the fillets with a fork which makes it slightly chunkier, but Isabelle prefers the smoother version.
Strawberry and Raspberry Lemonade Recipe – This is the perfect recipe for my daughter as it involves Strawberries (she’s a total Fruit Bat) and fizzy drinks (what kid doesn’t).
Difficulty Rating: Easy Squeezy and great to do with the little ones.
What you will need:
2 Cups of Strawberries (maybe a few extra as they get stolen) 1 Cup of Raspberries 1/2 a Cup of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice 3/4 Cup of Caster Sugar 4 Cups of Water (Still or Sparkling) 1 Cup of water Ice Cubes to Serve
Puree the strawberries and raspberries in a blender and put through a sieve to get rid of the little pips.
Put the cup of water and caster sugar in a pan and heat until the caster sugar melts and leave to cool until room temperature.
Once cooled, mix the strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice and 4 cups of water.
Chill in the fridge and serve with ice cubes.
The lemonade was perfect to have alongside dinner in the lovely sunshine and we’ve also put some into ice lolly trays as it made quite a bit.
I’ve been so slack on the cooking front this week and Chris hasn’t really done any either. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a really lazy recipe which has a big effect. All of us love the kind of meal where you stick it all in the middle of the table and help yourself.
Even better is that you put it all in the slow cooker in the morning and hey presto it’s all done in time for dinner later on.
What you will need:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ)
3 medium red onions, grated
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
What to do:
Pop the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken.
With a five year old and a seventeen year old we have to keep the fridge and cupboards full of ready to eat snacks. They both get bored of the same stuff day in day out so after a quick look around Pinterest I found a recipe for Blueberry Yoghurt Bites.
What you need:
Blueberries – you can use as few or as many as you want to make
Natural Greek Yoghurt (I’ve used Honey & Apricot and Strawberry)
You need to:
Wash the blueberries. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (making sure that it will fit flat in your freezer). Using a cocktail stick to pick up a blueberry, dip in the yoghurt to that the blueberry is completely covered in yoghurt and then put on the baking tray.
Once you’ve dipped all the blueberries, but the tray into the freezer and leave to freeze for a couple of hours.
You should try them this Bank Holiday weekend. My two have decided that they both LOVE them. Next time we’re going to try blueberries as well as raspberries and strawberries.
Easter is upon us and everywhere you look there is chocolate to be seen.
I love chocolate with dark chocolate being my favourite and when I was given the opportunity to try some Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle recipes I jumped at the chance. The flavours we’re going to make are:
Miso Caramel – think salted caramel with a twist
Shaoxing Rice Wine – a warm, boozy hit
Wasabi Furikake – milder than chilli with the added crunch of sesame
Pickled Sushi Ginger – chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle
Yuzu – a hint of citrus
I have to be honest when I received a box of ingredients I was hard-pushed to imagine them paired with chocolate but here goes.
This is the list of items needed to make the truffles:
Good quality Dark Chocolate
Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Yutaka sushi ginger
Pink salt crystals
Quite an interesting list of items, but this is to make five different flavoured truffles and will make approximately 30 – 36.
Chocolate Easter Truffles Recipe
200g dark good quality chocolate
60ml double cream
80g unsalted butter
Method for all truffles
In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set – overnight if possible.
Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keeping the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.
Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring
2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli for coating
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake flavouring
2 tbs Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Drinking chocolate for coating
Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger flavouring
2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa for coating
Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases. Roll the Wasabi Furikake in drinking chocolate and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.
Yutaka Yuzu flavouring
2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu
100g white chocolate – gently melted for coating
Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the white chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over Yuzu truffles until coated. You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. This needs patience! Leave them to set on a plate.
Miso caramel sauce filling
50ml double cream
1 tbs Yutaka Miso
100g dark chocolate – gently melted for coating
Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top
Miso caramel flavouring method
Put sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture. The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.
Melt the dark chocolate and coat the Miso caramel truffles using a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.
We made up the five different flavours and left them in the fridge whilst we went out for the day. Three of them were fairly easy to mould into ball shapes, but the Shaoxing rice wine flavour and the Pickled Sushi Ginger were quite tacky still.
We thought it was quite fun smelling all of the ingredients and wondering how the truffles were going to taste. I thought that the Shaoxing rice wine smelt quite nice. We all agreed that the Wasabi Furikake smelt awful and Daddy and I had a taste of it neat which was a bit of an experience for the tastebuds.
These are our lovely looking truffles all ready to be tried.
Miso Caramel – We all agreed that it was quite salty, but not in a bad way so this one gets the thumbs up.
Shaoxing Rice Wine – This one was up there as one of our favourites.
Wasabi Furikake – We were all very nervous about this one. We gave it to Ryan without telling him what it was which he wasn’t impressed by. For me this felt like attempting a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ so I only had a very little taste. Now that we’ve ticked this off our list of tried and tested I don’t think we would go for this one again. Daddy is very keen to use this in savoury cooking though.
Pickled Sushi Ginger – I wasn’t too sure that I would like this one as it seemed like a lot of ginger, but surprisingly it was a nice hit of ginger.
Yuzu – This was up there as our other favourite. I think the white chocolate made this the prettiest one as well.
This was definitely a taste experience for us all which we enjoyed.
*We were gifted the ingredients by Yutaka for the purpose of this review but all the opinions are our own.
White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups – What’s better than a recipe that you don’t have to cook. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like cheesecake or if I do they haven’t mentioned it. What’s not to like, Yummy creamy topping on an even yummier biscuity base (which if you’re the one serving you get to have extra – servers rights) and fruit. Fab combination!
For the base, put the biscuits in a freezer bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter.
Put 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray and add a spoonful of biscuit base to each case. Put into the fridge to chill whilst you prepare the topping.
Melt the white chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once all the ingredients are melted, take off the heat and stir to make a smooth mixture and set aside to cool.
In another bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar (sifted) and cream until smooth.
Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture.
Take about half the punnet of strawberries, wash and chop off the tops and cut into very small pieces before adding them to the cream cheese mixture.
Top the biscuit base cases with the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Top each cheesecake cup with a quartered strawberry and serve.
And there you have lovely little scrummy White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups.
It’s that time of the month when the big shop is due so all you’ve got left is odds and ends. This is the time when having a kitchen know-it-all comes in handy and makes a Breakfast Mash-up.
I look in the fridge and see nothing.
Chris looks in the fridge and then hey presto we’re eating something scrummy and he’s basking in his culinary expertise.
Looks pretty good doesn’t it!
This is what he used:
Chorizo cut into small pieces
4 New potatoes cut into small pieces
A pack of bacon lardons
1 Tin of Baked Beans
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
4 Spring Onions (sliced, separating the white from the green)
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper
Cook the bacon lardons in a frying pan (no oil needed) and set to one side.
In the same pan cook the chorizo and then put to the side with the bacon lardons.
Add to the pan the cubed new potatoes, garlic with a sprinkle of thyme and salt and pepper. Once fried off remove from the pan with the rest of the cooked bits.
Put the white spring onion, tomatoes and the baked beans into the pan and heat through. Season to taste.
Add in the paprika, a squirt of barbeque sauce and a sprinkle of oregano.
Add in all the cooked items and keep on the hob for a few minutes, mixing through.
Put in a large oven proof dish and make some wells where you will crack in the eggs and add the green of the spring onion.
Crack the eggs and season again (I know).
Bake in the Oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
These little pancakes are so cute. You can make a batch up and freeze, and then you can take a few out the night before for breakfast.
Pancake Kebab Recipe
Isabelle had her friend over to play today so it was the perfect time to test these out. Apologies for my none too professional maple syrup drizzle. I think I need a bit more practice!
To make the pancakes you will need:
135g Plain flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
130ml/ 4 1/2 fluid oz milk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp melted butter, plus extra for cooking
You will also need:
Short Wooden kebab sticks
2 Kiwi fruits
A few Blueberries
Approx 8 Strawberries
Maple Syrup to serve
Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and add the salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and melted butter.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together then lightly whisk until well combined and lump free.
Make this mixture a little in advance as it works best if you put it into the fridge for a while.
Melt some butter in a frying pan and if you’re confident put a small amount of mixture in small blobs to make small bitesized pancakes. If not you can either use a squirty bottle or a round biscuit cutter to get the correct size.
Slice the fruit ready for construction.
Once all the pancakes are made you can make up the kebabs alternating pancakes and fruit or you could give them to the kids to make how they like.