Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cakes & Bakes: Buttermilk scones

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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Home made buttermilk scones | H is for Home

These buttermilk scones are probably the quickest, easiest and perhaps cheapest recipe we’ve featured on Cakes & Bakes.

Buttermilk scones ingredients | H is for Home

There are only 2 ingredients; self-raising flour and buttermilk… Three, if you count the pinch of salt. And they take less than half an hour to make; from getting the ingredients out of the cupboard, to taking the scones out of the oven.

Buttermilk scones being cut and shaped | H is for Home

It’s a great beginner’s recipe or something to make with the kids. All you need is equal weights of flour and milk – simple to remember!

Scones being glazed with buttermilk | H is for Home

The scones make a great afternoon snack that can be put together in almost the same time as it might take to make a sandwich. Have them savoury with thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese, or go sweet with a fruit jam and clotted cream.

Home made buttermilk scones with cheese and a mug of tea | H is for Home

Pin the recipe for later.

Buttermilk scones
Yields 10
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g self-raising flour
  2. 250g buttermilk
  3. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 225ºC/440ºF/gas mark 7
  2. Line a large oven tray with parchment paper and set aside
  3. Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl
  4. Reserve about 2tbs of the buttermilk before adding the rest to the flour
  5. Bring together to form quite a wet dough, trying not to mix or knead too much
  6. Flour a work surface well before gently rolling the dough to about 2cm thick
  7. Form rounds using a medium-sized cookie/pastry cutter
  8. Place the rounds on the baking tray leaving a little space between
  9. Brush the top of each with the reserved buttermilk
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops have turned a light golden brown
  11. Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack
  12. Serve while still warm
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Luncheon seed cake

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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luncheon seed cake and mug of tea | H is for Home

I have a growing collection of vintage recipe books. The most recent addition is a copy of Borwick’s Cookery Book which looks to be from the 1920s or 30s.

luncheon seed cake ingredients | H is for Home

One of the recipes that jumped out at me was this one for luncheon seed cake. I love caraway seeds in bread but have never tried using them in a cake. I’d never heard of luncheon cake but, after some online detective work, I found that Mrs Beaton included a version which includes candied peel and currants in her famous Book of Household Management.

luncheon seed cake batter | H is for Home

It’s quite a substantial cake – only a small slice is needed. The caraway really works well, giving it a distinctive flavour.

Luncheon seed cake
A Victorian slab cake
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Ingredients
  1. 225g / ½lb flour
  2. 1tsp baking powder
  3. 85g / 3oz butter
  4. 85g / 3oz caster sugar
  5. ½tsp caraway seeds
  6. 2 eggs
  7. wine glassful of milk
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease a 15cm/6-inch loose-based cake tin
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder
  4. Rub in the butter
  5. Add sugar and caraway seeds
  6. Stir in the eggs and milk
  7. Pour the batter into the greased tin
  8. Bake for about an hour
  9. Remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack
Notes
  1. It works well with a scrape of butter and is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea
Adapted from Borwick's Cookery Book
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Cheese and celery pies

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

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Home made cheese & celery pies | H is for Home

National Pie Week is going from strength to strength here in the UK. It’s been talked about all over social media and in the traditional media too. Chris Evans and his team have been waxing lyrical about pies they’ve been sent by bakeries from all over the country.

Ingredients to make home made cheese & celery pies | H is for Home

Flour and cubes of butter in a food processor | H is for Home

 Last year for Pie Week I made a lovely butter pie; this year I wanted to keep with the theme of a vegetarian, rustic, humble pie. I turned to my copy of Pie by Genevieve Taylor that we reviewed last year. I found just the recipe – cheese and celery pies – but with a little twist.

Flour and cubes of butter blended in a food processor | H is for Home

Pastry crumbs poured out on to clingfilm | H is for Home

The original recipe is a single pie done in a shallow pie plate. I quite liked the idea of doing little individual hand pulled pies. I used a couple of cling film-wrapped jars in lieu of a pastry dolly.

Pastry wrapped in clingfilm | H is for Home

Veg stock | H is for Home

Pulled pies are usually made using hot water pastry, but I was being lazy and just whizzed up a quick batch of shortcrust pastry. I think it worked just fine, but I’m sure Paul Hollywood wouldn’t approve!

Cooked off onions and celery | H is for Home

Hand pulled pie cases | H is for Home

This recipe made 4 small pies but you can easily scale it up. We had one each so I put the other two in the freezer – pre-baked – so that they can be taken out and baked off the next time we fancy a pie.

Filling pulled pie cases | H is for Home

Making pie tops | H is for Home

There was a little bit of pastry left over – isn’t there always? I quite like rolling it out thinly, slicing it into long thin strips, sprinkling over with cheese and baking for 15 minutes. What do you do with yours?

Glazing pie tops | H is for Home

Sliced home made cheese & celery pies | H is for Home

I’ve already started thinking about what pie I’m going to make next year!

Cheese and celery pies
Yields 4
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for the pastry
  1. 360g/12½oz plain flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 180g/6⅓oz cold butter, cubed
  4. 6-8 tbsp cold water
for the filling
  1. 25g/1oz butter
  2. ½tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. ½ head celery, sliced
  5. 125ml/4 fl oz veg stock (or ½ veg stock cube + 125ml boiling water)
  6. 30g/1oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
  7. salt & ground black pepper to taste
  8. a little beaten egg to glaze
for the pastry
  1. Put the flour and salt into a food processor and whiz briefly together to mix
  2. Add the butter cubes and pulse briefly a dozen times or so until you have coarse crumbs
  3. Trickle in the water continuing to pulse until the mixture resembles rough lumps and looks a bit like overcooked and dry scrambled eggs. Add only as much water as you need
  4. Tip the clumped crumbs onto a sheet of cling film and gently squeeze together into a ball without pressing too hard
  5. Wrap & chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using
for the filling
  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan
  2. Add the onions and celery and cook over a medium-low heat for around 10 minutes or until they are just starting to soften
  3. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then pour in the stock
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for around 30 minutes or until the celery is really soft and the stock has virtually all evaporated, stirring every now and then
  5. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely
  6. Once the filling is cold, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
to make the pies
  1. Get the pastry out of the fridge, divide into two - ⅓ (for the pie lids) & ⅔ (for the pie cases). Put the smaller piece back into the fridge
  2. Divide the larger piece again into 4 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball
  3. Wrap four small, clean, empty, straight-sided jars with cling film (I used a couple of 90g Lidl Deluxe® french pâté selection jars.
  4. In turn, put each ball of pastry onto a lightly-floured work surface and place a jar on top of the pastry
  5. Sculpt the pastry around the jar, making sure the pastry is an even thickness all around. Make sure the bottom isn't too thick and that there are no holes in the pastry
  6. Once you've done them all, put the pie bases in the fridge for about 20 minutes
  7. Roll out the reserved ⅓ of pastry and, using a round cutter (slightly larger in circumference to the jar) cut out 4 circles. Make a hole in the centre of each and chill in the fridge.
  8. Remove the pastry cases from the fridge and carefully work the jars out of the cases. If they don't come away easily, pour hot water into each jam jar to soften the pastry slightly to release them
  9. Fill the pastry cases ⅔ of the way up with the cooked celery mixture and top each with a large pinch of grated cheese before pressing down gently and topping with a little more cheese
  10. Remove the pastry lids from the fridge, and one by one brush the outer circumference with a little water, lay on the filled case and crimp the edges to seal
  11. Brush each top with a little beaten egg to glaze
  12. Put the pies on a baking tray and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp & browned on top and sides
  13. Allow to cool on a wire rack before devouring! :-)
Adapted from Pie by Genevieve Taylor
Adapted from Pie by Genevieve Taylor
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut ladoo

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

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Coconut ladoo in a vintage tin

Justin cooked a curry for visitors between Christmas & New Year. We figured it would be the ideal flavour contrast to all the other seasonal fayre – and judging by the crowds we’ve noticed in our local curry house this week, we weren’t alone!! I usually make some type of cake for dessert, but following a hearty curry that option would likely prove too filling.

Coconut ladoo ingredients

Dainty Indian sweets would be the perfect end to the meal. I chose to make coconut ladoo (or laddu) because we already had all 3 ingredients in our store cupboard. 

Cardamom pods with a wooden mortar and pestle

It’s the flavour of the pungent ground cardamom which gives this sweet its Indian taste.

Coconut ladoo cooked mixture

There are other kinds made with chickpea flour or semolina instead of coconut and fried in ghee. They are also be made with the addition of dried fruit and/or nuts such as pistachios or cashews.

Rolling coconut ladoo balls

They’re make a great little alternative present to the more usual box of chocolates.

Coconut ladoo
Yields 30
A treat often served at celebratory events such as the Hindu festival of Diwali
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tin (397g) condensed milk
  2. 250g dessicated coconut
  3. 5 cardamom pods
Instructions
  1. Remove the cardamom seeds from their papery outer shell and grind finely using a pestle & mortar
  2. In a large saucepan add 220g of the dessicated coconut, condensed milk and powdered cardamom
  3. Heat over a medium flame stirring constantly until just before the mixture begins to colour (about 5 minutes) and most of the liquid has evaporated
  4. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before forming into balls the size of marbles using the palms of your hands
  5. Roll the balls in the reserved 30g of dessicated coconut
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Quick panna cotta

Friday, December 19th, 2014

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Quick panna cotta with blackcurrant preserve | @hisforhome

This panna cotta recipe has a very good effort versus reward ratio – it’s quick, easy and utterly delicious.

Pouring hot liquid mixture into glass bowls

We once read a great quote “panna cotta is just blancmange with a fancy accent”. That’s kind of true, but panna cotta does sound better doesn’t it? It’s the perfect dessert, particularly if you have to make something at short notice – or if you’re super busy with other jobs – Christmas week for example!!

blackcurrant preserve

You can eat it plain – but a quick fruit coulis, caramel sauce or chocolate shavings add a delicious extra dimension. For this batch we made a lovely topping from blackcurrants that we’d preserved in the summer. Honey can also be added to the cream mix which is a classic method in Italy.

Quick panna cotta
Yields 6
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 600ml double cream
  2. 1tsp Vege-gel (or any other agar agar powder)
  3. 50g caster sugar
  4. panna cotta ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour the double cream into a medium-sized saucepan
  2. Before heating, add the Vege-gel/agar agar powder and combine well with a whisk
  3. Add the sugar and heat on a medium flame stirring until the sugar has dissolved
  4. Bring to simmering and pour into heat proof glass coups or bowls
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before covering with cling film/Saran wrap and putting into the fridge for at least 2 hours
  6. Serve cold with fruit compote, preserve or coulis
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/