Friday, 25 February 2011

The Hairy Bikers

Last week, I was craving Breakfast Muffins! I wanted some…I really wanted some. I knew what I wanted: banana & blueberry muffins. They had to be healthy and easy to make as I didn't have any fancy ingredient in stock (aka buttermilk – do you find it difficult to find buttermilk??? I do!)
So I went through to my cookbooks in quest of the recipe but unfortunately didn't find the one.
Can you imagine that amongst my million cookbooks, there was no recipes I was inspired by???? crazy!
Then, I switched to my other cookbook, aka Internet and finally found the recipe I was after: Cinnamon, Banana and Blueberry Muffins, by The Hairy Bikers.
I'm sure you know The Hairy Bikers. Well, I don't…I didn't. I’d heard their name before but didn't know who they were. Weird? Well remember I'm French.
Anyway, I followed their recipe. Didn't change much, just added more bluebs (200g instead of 150g) and used 100g wholemeal flour + 150g plain flour instead of the 250g plain flour.
Also, after watching Baking Made Easy, I got the idea of sprinkling my muffins with the bran of the flour.
Sprinkled muffin
The recipe says we can make 8 muffins but I made 11 of them!
11 muffins
Usually when I follow a recipe, I get less that what it says so I was pleased to get more this time ;)
So hop in the oven and 20 mins later, I had 11 beautiful healthy muffins!
Muffins out of the oven
I let them cool down and then couldn't resist and ate one.
This was a mistake! I should have waited. As they were still warm, they stuck to the muffin case :( Despite my muffin being “broken”, it still tasted delicious.
Once they were completely cool, I put some in the freezer – which is actually a good idea as it avoids me eating them all at once ;)
I also had one the next day at work and this once was actually perfect. As it was completely cool, it didn't stick at all on the muffin case!
So, this was last week! This morning, I had another one (one I froze – you follow me?) and again, it was perfect! I was a bit worried as I've never put a cake in the freezer but it was as good as the 1st day…well the 2nd to be correct. This recipe is a winner!
Ok, back to The Hairy Bikers. Last night, I was watching TV and came across their program. Good timing for me to find out more about them. What did I think??? Well, to be honest, I find them a bit irritating :s I didn't really enjoy their program. Especially the bit where they were in a middle of a field, pretending they were in a house ?!?! Also, I found them quite difficult to understand.
Anyway, their Cinnamon, Banana and Blueberry Muffin recipe was really good! That’s all that matters to me ;)
Banana & Blueberries Muffin

Monday, 14 February 2011

Seduced by Chocolate

A while ago, Sarah posted the theme for the 2nd round of the Forever Nigella Challenge. The theme was Seduced by Chocolate.


And I can tell you as soon as I read it, I exactly knew what I was gonna make…

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Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake! from her book Kitchen.

This cake screams CHOCOLATE!!!! And what’s the best time of the year to be Seduced by Chocolate???? Valentines day of course!

There was no doubt. This cake was what the dessert I was gonna make my lovely Boyfriend.

So yesterday (Sunday), I made the cake and today (Monday), I made the frosting.

Day 1: The cake

As usual, I prepared my ingredients. I only swapped the muscovado sugar for light brown sugar. Don't think it made a huge difference.

Also, I halved the recipe as I was making it for just the 2 of us.

Nigella recommends to use a high quality cocoa powder. I only had the Asda one and it was actually really good ;)

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I followed the recipe and instead of pouring the cake in 2 tins, I poured it in a thin rectangular pan. You’ll see why later ;)

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Hop, in the oven for about 20 mins.

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And my new cake tester confirmed the cake was perfectly cooked.

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That’s it for day 1. Now you just have to leave the cake and try not to eat it. Not even a little piece of it.

I really found this cake easy to make. The only thing I would make different next time (because Yes, there will be a next time) is when mixing the chocolatey batter to the white batter, I think I will do it little by little.

Yesterday, I poured the chocolate mix all at once and it was a bit difficult to get it all incorporated so I ended up with some little white spots in my cake. Never mind, it still tasted really good.

Day 2: The sauce…or frosting. Whatever you want to call it ;)

Let me tell you, this is the most fantastic chocolate sauce I've ever made/eaten. It is not the lightest sauce in the world but It will be worst the weight I put on by drinking eating it ;)

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Once the sauce is made, you have to wait for it to chill and become less runny (sorry, I don't know the exact word).

So while you’re waiting, just prepare your cake.

A while ago, I watched a video on Youtube showing a lady making Valentines brownies so I decided to do the same with this cake.

I used my lovely cookie cutter – heart shaped of course – and cut my rectangle cake. See now why I made a thin rectangle cake????

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Isn't that lovely???? And I used the plates my parents got me for Christmas. I'm sure you’ve guessed it’s written “Dessert of the day” ;)

So, out of my thin rectangle cake, I made 6 heart shaped cakes. You know what I'm gonna do next. Don't you????

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Isn't that cute????

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Once my 3 layers were stuck together, it was time to cover it all.

This is my heart, just for you…

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And because we are better together…

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Happy Valentines


Saturday, 5 February 2011

World Nutella Day

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I love Nutella. If there was an adjective stronger than that, I would use it!

When I was little, my Mum didn't want to buy it as it was “not good for me” and also a bit expensive :s But my Grandma used to buy it so every time we went for the “goûter” (an afternoon snack eaten at 4pm) at hers, I'm sure you can guess what was topping my bread. Yes, Nutella.

Years after years, my Sister and I convinced my Mum that Nutella was good for us. Haha, remind me of the episode of Wife swap, where the little boy tells the other mum “Bacon is good for me” really funny.

Anyway…my mum ended up buying Nutella and it was no biggie. It even became a kitchen staple. When living at my parents, I was quite reasonable with it and ate it on bread or other stuff we eat for breakfast (casse croûte, biscottes…). Things became a bit out of control when I went to uni and lived on my own. There, Nutella was just something I would eat in front of the TV…and yes, with a spoon, straight out of the tub. Thinking about it now, maybe my Mum was actually trying to prevent this type of behaviour haha ;)

Good News, this only lasted while I was a student. I can now control myself!

Hope you enjoyed my “Story with Nutella” ;)

This morning, when I went on Twitter, I found out it was World Nutella Day. Woaw, that is so cool. One of my favourite food (can we call it Food???) has got a special day! I knew I had to make something special. I obviously had Nutella on my toast at breakfast. Note that there’s no need a special day for that to happen. It actually happens every weekend.

So I needed something more special. I needed to make a Nutella Cake. I had never cooked with Nutella before. Eating it with a spoon from the tub was enough for me ;)

I then went on the web to find some recipes and came across this one from Cake or Death: Four-Ingredients Nutella Cupcakes. This was the one I was gonna make. The recipes looked so easy. I was sold!

I followed the recipe and was actually all excited about it. Once the ingredients all mixed up, I went to pour it in my cases. The recipe says you can make 9 cupcakes out of it. Well, I wasn't particularly generous and ended up with only 4 cupcakes :s Oh well, it didn't really matter as Boyfriend doesn't like Nutella (Yes I know…)

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After the 12 minutes in the oven, I used my new cookie tester to see it was cooked and it came out clean. Yeah.

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I let the cool down a bit and then finally, I was able to eat one.

Unfortunately that’s were the fun stopped. They came out really uncooked :( It felt like just hot dough and not really nice :( Quickly, I put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes but sadly it came out exactly the same.

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I don't know what happened there. Why did my cake not cook???? Any idea????

I still ate one but didn't enjoy it. What a shame! I hate kitchen disasters. Makes me sad :s


Thursday, 3 February 2011

It’s Thursday!

Yeah, it’s Thursday. I love Thursdays! Why you ask. Well because it means the weekend is just around the corner but also because it’s the day where Boyfriend goes to his French class, leaving me alone at home. And that only means 1 thing: BAKING!!!!! Yeah!
The other night (that was about 2 weeks ago), I watched one of my new favourite TV programme: Baking Made Easy. Love it, Love it, Love it. Lorraine Pascale really makes things look so easy. Straight after the programme, I went on Amazon to order her book but it was sold out. It’s back in stock now but I'm pacing myself as I have already a million cookbooks. I feel like an addict :s
So, anyway, since the show, Boyfriend hasn't stopped asking me for flapjacks so tonight, I've made him some.
Flapjacks are I think originally from the UK. That means, for a little Frenchie like me, it’s not something I make everyday. To be honest, before coming to the UK, I had never heard of it. Since then, I've obviously tried some but never made any. And to be honest, I'm actually not a big fan of it…but well, I love Boyfriend so…
So, for the recipe, I followed Lorraine’s. See the recipe Here.
Here is what came out of the oven…
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A beautiful golden flapjack. Doesn't it look delicious???
I didn't miss the “top recipe tip” at the bottom about putting some melted chocolate on top of it ;)
So here it is with its nice chocolate coating…
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Doesn't it look even more delicious???
Obviously I had to try a piece ;) and my verdict was Hmmm, so gooood. Oh hang on, did I not say earlier I wasn't a big fan of flapjacks???
Well, in France, we’ve got a saying: Only the fools don't change their mind ;) Does it make sense in English????
Anyway, I cut the whole thing in pieces (quite hard to cut by the way) and packed some for work tomorrow (we love baked goods at work…) and one for Boyfriend’s lunchbox ;)

Apart from making a yummy flapjack, tonight, I've also made some soup! Yes, I love soup. It’s a really easy lunch for me. I make a batch, divide it in small boxes, freeze them and just pick them up when I don't know what to have for lunch (usually twice a week).
So tonight, I made some Tomato soup from The Soup Book.
I'm a big fan of tomato soup and this one is just perfect!
Are you a big fan of soup? Which one is your favourite???

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Baking Made Easy

Let me tell you, I’m totally in love with this show! For those who don't know, Baking Made Easy is on every Monday at 20:30 on BBC2.
Every time I watch it, I just want to go in the kitchen and try out everything Lorraine does.
Last night, I actually made one of her recipe: Glam Mac & Cheese.
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of Mac & Cheese as I find it well…too cheesy :s but this one…hmmmm
The recipe was indeed really easy and it took me about 45 mins I’d say from start to finish.
I didn't exactly follow the recipe: a little bit more of this and a little bit less of that and it was perfect ;)
Here it is, just out of the oven
Sorry, no picture of my actual plate as I was in rush to eat it ;)
Doesn't it look good??? Boyfriend made some nice pleasure noise while eating it ;) and even went for a 2nd helping (well, I went for him). And as it was so good, I also put some in my lunch box for work today.
This will definitely go on my To Eat List ;)

Macaroni and Cheese on Foodista
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