Tag Archives: Sweet

Baking Not Bad Brownies

24 Jun

The idea of a recipe that only need THREE INGREDIENTS appeals to me. Because there’s obviously a lot less chance of me mucking it up. And so I was keen to try these Nutella Brownies that only need: Nutella, Eggs and Flour – that’s right, just three things.

How hard could it be? Well not very is the answer, in fact even though they were rather basic they were easy and delicious and worked for me. So how did I manage to find a way to ruin it all? Read on…b1

Nutella, flour and eggs mixed in a bowl. I know – so far so good right?b2Mixture spread into a greased dish and baked for 15 minutes:b3Delicious brownies as a result. Soft and springy and edible.

I am QUEEN OF THE WORLD!

Buoyed up by my success and the surprise of my family who actually ate them. I made some more the very next day but – of course – thought I would add to them. Maybe try and make them a bit healthier. I replaced one of the eggs with mashed banana and some of the Nutella with oats.

Thinking I would still have the basic success and taste of the Nutella brownies but with a hint of oaty banana goodness I made this unappetising looking mix to start:

b4My son thought it looked like bird spit and I have to say I didn’t disagree with him. However I was still reasonably confident at this stage.

After 15minutes in the oven sadly I didn’t pull out the same sweet and delicious brownies I thought I had mastered and made my own. They were tasteless and damp and quite dense. How could such innocent tweaks make such a difference?

Well I suppose if you already have a recipe that’s as simple as only having three ingredients then maybe you shouldn’t muck about with it?

They’re still in the cake tin, no one wants them. I shall stick to the originals next time. If there is one.

 

 

 

 

Creme Brûlée Hooray!

2 Apr

Regular readers will know how much I love a cooking ‘kit’, those packets that give you all you need to create a specific dish. I know better cooks than me will obviously sniff at such things but hey – I’m a self confessed rubbish cook so I’ll take all the help I can get.

So… I was very pleased to try out the Creme Brûlée kit sent to me by Sainsbury’s to try out.

Creme Brûlée is one of those mystery puddings, if I was pushed I’d find it hard to describe what was in it or how to make it. I sure do love eating it though and so does my son and so he agreed to help me make it.

FullSizeRenderI agree this doesn’t look too inspiring. But to these two little packets you just add some double cream and semi-skimmed milk and you should end up with four little tasty puds.

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Put the main mix in a pan with the cream and milk and bring to the boil while stirring continuously. First job for the little lad to do.

This eventually turns into a thick custard and smells absolutely delicious!

You pour this unctuous stuff into four little ramekins (those little glass tubs you save up from the GU puds) and put them in the fridge for four hours or until set.

And here are mine going in – admittedly there are some little burnt bits from the bottom of the pan in here making them look a bit bumpy – but I figured it would all add to the flavour? Brûlée means ‘burnt’ right?

FullSizeRender[2]After a few hours take your firm puddings out of the fridge and sprinkle the dark sugar over the top and then grill them until the top crinkles and turns into a crust.

Now, I have to admit I do not have a working grill currently – the one in the oven and the one in the microwave are both so smoky when turned on it renders them useless. Don’t ask why I don’t clean them because I do but they then seem to end up more chemical and worse than ever. So we do not grill anything in my house.

Of course as I never read a recipe to the end before I embark on my cooking adventure I didn’t know a grill would be involved until I was already committed to the custard.

However ALL WAS NOT LOST because they were great just with some sugar sprinkled over the top – in fact they tasted absolutely lovely. And to make up the effect I did try and burn a bit of the sugar with a lighter but then I burnt my fingers so really DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME. See my efforts here:

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But I am totally chalking this one up as a success because:

  • My son and I got to do some simple cooking together
  • I never make puddings because I find them too mysterious
  • They tasted absolutely luscious and what’s not to like about sweet baked custard?
  • This is a cheap and easy way to make something that could be rather impressive – if you have a working grill of course

More Cooking Kits Successes:
Mary Berry’s Christmas Cupcake Mix
Witches Hats on Trial for Halloween 

Witches Hats on Trial for Halloween

1 Nov

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I love Halloween, I love it!

I probably love it more than the rest of the family sadly but they usually humour me. I’ll happily take on anything related to the season and so was happy to be sent these fun little Witches Hat Cake Pops by Asda. I have had great successes in the past with these baking kits (no really they work for those of us who aren’t natural bakers!) but was even more delighted to discover that no actual baking or cooking was involved. Nope, you didn’t even have to turn the oven on but you could still make something quite sweet and impressive and of course fun for the kids to make too.

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All these little hats needed was some butter from your own kitchen and you’re off. Mix the cocoa crumb with softened butter and then shape into the provided wafer cones. Fashion some of the mix into the hat brims (not as easy as described) and leave to set in the fridge with the little skewers inserted into them – the box is a handy holder here.

Then spread with melted chocolate before adding some little edible white stars and abracadabra – Halloween witch hats that taste surprisingly lovely and it looks like some actual effort went into them, when it didn’t.

Now that’s magic!

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Some Summer Holiday Success

4 Sep

Thank goodness it’s all over, am I right mums?
Yes the little loves are finally back to school and no more days spent looking for something to do.
Of course some of those long summer days had to involve cooking – it’s a conspiracy, adverts everywhere talking about easy recipes you can make with the kids, bored children wanting to ‘make cakes with mummy’, it drives me mad but we did partake.

And so here I share with you two actual things that worked out for us this summer holiday!
First up we made these weird ice cream cone cupcakes that came from a £2.50 Asda ready made kit. The fun was more in the making of them because they actually tasted SO SWEET they were inedible. The dog however absolutely loved them:
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And then there was the advert on the TV suggesting we could freeze yogurt into cold, fruity treats, it seemed far too simple to be true, but it really was. My son and I spooned out little dollops of a rather boring strawberry yogurt onto some foil and popped them in the freezer with some toppings, he chose tic-tacs and I chose raspberries.
Going in:
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And here are they are after about an hour in the freezer:

 

 

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The tic tac ones worked better than the fruit ones because frozen raspberries aren’t great – who knew?

The process of freezing made a rather dull fat free yogurt taste weirdly luxurious and creamy.

I became so happy with my new simple summer holiday cooking (or freezing) that I went a bit mad and made loads. After the initial tasting session my son got a bit bored and declared he didn’t want them anymore and so I now have lots left over. Which reminds me I am glad once more the holidays have finished….

 

 

This is NOT ice-cream

19 Jul

I found a recipe on the internet that said you could make easy ice-cream just using some ‘on the turn’ bananas. Simply cut them into chunks and freeze them, and when you wanted some fruity ice-cream just push them through a blender and voila. Cold treats with ease.

I gave it a go, I had browning bananas which I froze ready for the big day – as the weather has been so hot I thought my son would appreciate some ice-cream and so into the bullet blender they went. (I love my bullet).

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Of course me being me I could’t resist adding a little something extra to it (also not believing frozen bananas ice cream make) and so a couple of strawberries, syrup and a squirt of squirty cream.

After what seemed like endless blending – frozen bananas do NOT give up to the blades that easily – I ended up with this:

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Watery pink liquid with a lump of frozen banana in the middle. Son didn’t like it, I didn’t like it. And it certainly wasn’t ice-cream. Sad face.

Predictable Pancake Night – a story told on Twitter

5 Mar

And here is how the story unfolded…

Thanks for reading.

Happy Halloween: Those Jelly Worms Don’t Work

31 Oct

I’ve been hearing a lot about these ‘Jelly Worms’ recently – a great looking pile of bloody worms that are really made from jelly shaped by bendy straws – it’s the sort of photo recipe that is shared on Facebook a lot. Oooh look at this simple, fun idea that anyone can do and will really make your Halloween go with a swing kind of thing…

It had been suggested to me by various people that I at least give it a go. And so I did, last night on the Eve of All Hallows Eve I prepped my items.
Sadly Toys R Us didn’t sell normal straws, they only had these massively long novelty neon ones which seemed a rather expensive investment for Jelly Worms, but beggars can’t be choosers etc.
As they were far too long for even the longest non-arthropod invertebrate I had to chop them all into three. And because it was nearly Halloween I DID IT WITH A BLUNT CLEAVER. Well this was only because my kitchen scissors were in the dishwasher but it did add a certain frisson to proceedings:
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Mummy Pig Bakes Cakes

13 May

I’m not a fan of Peppa Pig.
It’s nothing personal and I think Daddy Pig is quite cool, I just can’t bear her terribly squeaky voice and the fact I had to sit through hours of her shows for years. She’s no where near as bad as that awful Lola though from Charlie & Lola, what a selfish sister she is? Totally ruined Charlie’s birthday party.
Anyway, I digress, my son used to be a big fan of Peppa and her family, and as you know is also a big fan of making cupcakes, we do it often.  So when we saw this kit in the supermarket I thought it was worth a go:
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Surplus Chocolate Cupcakes Success

18 Apr

Sometimes things go right, but also sometimes too right…

We had loads of chocolate left over from Easter, and as none of us are great chocolate snackers so I thought I would make cupcakes out of the remaining eggs. Even if they were inedible at least my son and I would have some fun and he’d get to see the food being used up.

I used a basic cupcake recipe and because I was expecting the inevitable disaster (as can be seen here and here) decided to quarter the ingredients so we only had six to ruin.

I let my son scatter the mix with some buttons from his little kiddy eggs. I melted the rest of the chocolate into a liquid using my own cobbled together version of a bain-marie:
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Hot Cross Rock Cake Drop Scone Buns For Easter

2 Apr

Easter. Another excuse to make and eat lots of things that you wouldn’t any other week of the year.
Such as Mini Eggs, Simnel Cake (what is that anyway?)

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and hot cross buns!
I’ve never made hot cross buns before, and after this week I probably never will again…
I had seen others touting their seasonal wares on my various social media outlets and thought I should give it a go too. So Easter Saturday my son and I set to in the kitchen using a recipe posted by Nigella. I promised him by that afternoon we would have some lovely hot, fragrant steamy buns to break over our tea time drinks.

I started off following the recipe to the letter, infusing warm milk with cardamom and orange zest (although I had forgotten the cloves – so maybe not exactly to the letter) and then adding it to eggs, flour and dried fruit to make a dough.
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