Monday, 24 September 2012

Chocolate Cookies with White Buttons & Mars Bars

I used the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook for my basic chocolate cookie recipe but decided to add large white chocolate buttons and melted a mars bar in the chocolate and butter mixture to make them extra amazing. But I made a stupid mistake when it was to late to do anything about it, I forgot to put the butter in..nooooooooo. They were already in the oven when I realised my mistake and it was to late to do anything it. They were surprisingly okay and had a strange chewy meringue texture, I defiantly recommend not forgetting the butter!

Makes 12 Cookies

50g Unsalted Butter
450g Dark Chocolate
170g Soft Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
85g Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 mars bar Chopped
1 Pack of Large White Buttons

Start by pre-heating your oven to gas mark 3 or 170c and then put your butter and half your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over gently boiling water to melt.

Put your eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until well mixed, and then in a separate bowl sift your flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add your chocolate mixture a small amount at a time until well combined. At this point stir in your chocolate buttons!

Get two baking trays and put baking paper on each one, I use a small amount of the cookie mixture in the corners of the tray to hold the paper down. Put 6 equal amount of the mixture on the trays and make sure you leave enough room for the cookies to spread.

The cookies need 10/15 minutes in the oven or until they look glossy and the surface has begun to crack, I forgot to add the butter to mine because I am a fool so they don't look as good as I was hoping but they worked very well broken into pieces over vanilla ice cream.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pulled Pork

I have been making pulled pork lot's recently, having been inspired by a place called 'BBQ Shack' in Brighton that does proper US barbecue food including ribs, brisket, burgers, chicken, mac n cheese and even something called an armadillo egg which is a cream-cheese stuffed jalapeƱo, wrapped in spiced sausage meat and then held together with bacon, it is so good! I love their pulled pork and really wanted to make it at home myself and the result was amazing, granted you have to marinade over night and then slow cook for as long as you possibly can but it is so worth it.
I bought something called 'Old Bay' seasoning which you can only get in the USA and it added a really nice flavour having not used it before but it is not something you have to use.

Bone in pork shoulder
Old Bay Seasoning
Smoked Paprika
Mustard Powder (Coleman's)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Crushed Chipotle chillis
Fresh ground black pepper
BBQ Sauce

Here's the Old Bay seasoning I used as part of my dry rub.

First I covered my pork shoulder in the dry rub and I know it's not traditional but I then smothered it in a really good BBQ sauce before covering in clingfilm and leaving to marinade in the fridge over night.

I cooked my pulled pork for nearly eight hours the next day on a really low heat in the bottom of the oven.

It literally fell off the bone and was so tender, I put some little yellow peppers in about halfway through cooking and they were a really tasty addition.
I served my pulled pork with macaroni cheese, jacket potatoes, coleslaw, salad and lot's of BBQ sauce.
I can't recommend doing this to a shoulder of pork enough, quick do it!!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Stuffed Butternut Squash

I always seem to make butternut squash into a soup with ginger and coconut or I roast it and mix it into a risotto, I never stuff it. I realised I had accidentally bought another pack of Feta cheese by mistake whilst already having a pack in the fridge and so thought a stuffed butternut squash with feta was in order.

One butternut squash
Large Red Chili
Pack of Feta cubed
One courgette
Field Mushroom
Yellow or Red Pepper
Thick bacon (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Salad to Serve

I started by slicing my butternut in half, chopping a chill and crushing some garlic which I spread on top and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled some salt.

I also chopped my veg and tossed in some olive oil and let that gently roast in the oven on a lower shelf and around 10mins  before it was due to come out I added my chopped field mushroom.

Near the end of the cooking time, I grilled my bacon and added that to the veg. I scooped out the flesh from the butternut squashes and mixed everything together including the feta and then put them back in the oven for around 15mins.

In an ideal world I would have sprinkled the top with Parmesan and breadcrumbs but I had neither so had to do without.

I ate it with salad and it was very filling, a great mid-week yummy dinner.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Cornflake Tart

I had never heard of Cornflake tart before but when my Boyfriends Auntie mentioned it, I had to make it.
I think it's a bit of a School dinner pudding but all I know is, it tastes amazing and I love it!
Your meant to use shortcrust pastry but I had a role of puff in my freezer so used that and it was very nice indeed!

Role of shortcrust/puff pastry
110g Golden Syrup
55g Butter
90g Cornflakes
25g Muscadova Sugar
100g Good quality Strawberry Jam
Pinch of salt

I started by blind baking my pastry using baking beans for 20mins in the oven and then when it was cooled slightly I spread the base with slightly warmed through jam.

To make the filling melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and salt together. Once the sugar has dissolved, fold in the cornflakes, making sure that all the cornflakes are coated in the syrup and put them in the pastry case.

I baked it in the oven for about 10mins and then left it to cool for about 15mins so the filling didn't melt out. Apparently your meant to serve it with custard but I chose vanilla ice cream instead, I do love hot and cold together!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Cheddar & Marmite Sausage Rolls

Oh the absolute joy of being able to blog again, it has been such a horrible two months trying to replace stolen items and have back and forth pointless exchanges with the police. The people who broke into our house have not been found and I'm guessing they never will be which I am not surprised about, the bastards, I hope their extremities drop off and they contract the black death..
Anyway enough of that it is done and you move on, I have been cooking and baking more than ever and I believe it to be because I am starting my 'Culinary Arts' degree in just a couple of weeks and am beyond excited, but this is not exactly a culinary masterpiece that I am giving a recipe for, but who doesn't like sausage rolls? And of course you can make your own puff pastry for this but I had ready made in the freezer so that is what I used. Also I am using an iphone to take these photo's so bare with me while I try to make them look half decent!

Role of shop bought puff pastry
Good quality pork sausages, skinned
Grated Cheddar
1 Egg beaten

I mixed my sausage meat with grated strong Cheddar and a rather large dessert spoon of Marmite as it looses a bit of it's flavour when cooked.

I spread a layer of Marmite on the pastry before laying my meat mixture on top.

I like my sausage rolls quite big but make them smaller if you like, I brushed them with beaten egg before putting in the over at around gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.

And here they are, the Marmite makes the pastry get a gorgeous sticky savoury goo around the edges and they were lovely. Great things to make with kids or for lunchboxes.