Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Egg-Free Honey Cake

As someone who grew up in a very Jewish community, I was used to having honey cake to celebrate Jewish New Year, so I was intrigued to find out what a Gentile take on this sweet dish would taste like. Well unsurprisingly, it tastes like honey. What did surprise me, though, was the ingredients. Not only does this have very little sugar in it, but it has absolutely no eggs! It is more like a loaf cake than a regular cake, but it was also very delicious! The original recipe says to add honey 'to taste', and I went for two and a half tablespoons, but feel free to adjust that to suit your personal preferences, but do be aware that this will probably affect the texture slightly.

Here's the original recipe that I was working with:

Egg-Free Honey Cake
Bare Necessities:
1/2cup/115g/4oz Sugar
1cup/250ml/8fl.oz Sour Cream
2cups/200g/8oz Flour
1/2tsp Baking Soda/Bicarbonate of Soda
2 1/2tbsp Honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
2. Grease and line a loaf tin.
3. Mix together the sugar, honey and sour cream.
4. Stir in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat until fully combined.
5. Pour the mixture into the tin and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the cake is golden-brown and cooked through.
6. Slice up and enjoy!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Small Gingerbread Cakes

Let me start by saying that, although these aren't as sweet as you might expect, they are incredibly moreish, and the keep surprisingly well. My mum liked them so much, in fact, that she put half of them in the freezer so that she could have them even when I'd gone back to uni! The eagle-eyed among you will notice that my measurements are twice what the original recipe called for. That's because I can't be dealing with half an egg, it's just too much of a faff. Also, I only made six of these, but I overfilled the muffin trays so I could easily have made eight. I'm not entirely sure of the purpose of the blanched almonds, but I rather like them!

Here's the recipe I was working with:

Small Gingerbread Cakes (makes 6-8)
Bare Necessities:
8oz Plain Flour
2oz Butter
2oz Sugar
1tsp Ground Ginger
1/8tsp Mixed Spice
1 Egg
1tsp Baking Soda(Bicarbonate of Soda)
2tbsp Treacle
70ml Milk
6-8 Blanched Almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place one blanched almond at the bottom of each slot.
3. Breadcrumb together the flour and bicarb with the butter.
4. Mix in the sugar and spices.
5. Beat in the treacle, egg and milk until fully combined.
6. Pour the mixture into the muffin tray.
7. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
8. Leave to cool and enjoy!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Almond Puffs

So this is a bit of a strange one. Honestly, I had never heard of these before, and looking at the recipe, I had no idea what to expect. Not only this, but there were no pictures, so I had no idea if they were supposed to do what they seemed to be doing. I did make them twice though because I overcooked the first batch so I'm fairly confident now. They're essentially mini Yorkshire Puddings in appearance, but macarons in taste. If you can imagine that. Either way, they're incredibly moreish, so you should give them a go!

Here is the recipe I was working with:

Almond Puffs
Bare Necessities:
2tbsp Plain Flour
2oz/58g Butter
2oz/58g Sugar
2oz/58g Ground Almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4
2. Melt the butter.
3. Mix together the butter with the flour, sugar and ground almonds until fully combined.
4. Place a small amount into each mini muffin slot and press down slightly.
5. Pop in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the puffs are a light golden colour.
6. Leave the puffs to cool in the tin.
7. Transfer them to a plate and enjoy!

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Down Under Honey Raisin Bars

I'm back! After a very long hiatus, I am back with a vengeance, thanks for bearing with me guys. So a little disclaimer, for my Final Major Project at uni, I'm focusing on 'forgotten' vintage recipes, so I've found a bunch of them from various sources and I'm going to share the recipes here with you guys. Enjoy!

I'm not exactly sure what makes these bars Australian per say, other than the original recipe calling for the use of Australian butter, honey and raisins (I just used the honey and raisins that I had at home) but nevertheless, they are delicious. They are soft and sweet, and have no added sugar in them (other than the honey), which I think makes them kind of healthy. Not only that, but they freeze really well and you can then heat them up in the microwave when you want another piece.

Here is the recipe I was working from:

Down Under Honey Raisin Bars (makes approximately 12 bars)
Bare Necessities:
3oz/85g Butter
6tbsp Honey
3 Eggs
6oz/170g Self-Raising Flour
1/2tsp Salt (alternatively, use salted butter)
6oz/170g Raisins
4oz/113g Chopped Walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C/Gas mark 4.
2. Grease and line a baking tin.
3. Mix together the butter and honey.
4. Gradually add the eggs.
5. Gently fold in the flour and salt.
6. Stir in the raisins and nuts.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Once cooled, cut into bars and enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Just a Small Favour...

Hello everyone!!

So today, instead of a recipe, I'm going to do a shameless plug for a personal projects of mine. But first, a little bit of an explanation. A while ago, I applied for a exchange opportunity offered by my university which would allow me to study my subject abroad in another university of my choice for a term. I obviously jumped at the idea, especially when I found out that I could go and study in Japan; a country that I've wanted to visit for years! Thankfully, about a month ago, I got an email from the Nagoya University of Arts (NUA) accepting my application to study there from the beginning of April. Since then, not much has happened, because I've been waiting for various forms to go through before I can book any flights, but I have been frantically saving and earning every penny that I can to be able to pay for this trip.

This brings me to the subject of today's plea. Whilst I have managed to save up for my rend and flights, funds for my living costs are still looking pretty thin on the ground, so last week, I cam up with an enterprising idea. I have set up a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to raise the remaining funds needed. My goal is £500 and the pledges start at £5 for a handwritten postcard from me when I'm in Japan, and go all the way up to £40! Aside from the £5 pledge, all pledges offer some of my art (mostly dog related) as the reward, and all of them offer a handwritten postcard from Japan as well. Prints can be shipped to the UK for free, the EU for £1 and the US for £2, and the postcards can be sent anywhere in the world. Having said that, if you would like to pledge for a print, but you don't live in the UK, EU or US, please let me know and I will add your country to the mailing list.

So what are you waiting for?! Make my day, help me not starve when I get to Japan and get some handmade art all in one fell swoop! It's a win-win!

You can access my Kickstarter campaign by clicking here, and please share it around with anyone you know who might like my work, it would mean so much to me!

That's all the butt kissing for now, next time: food.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Classic Hot Chocolate

Nowadays, if someone suggests a hot chocolate to you, they most likely mean the kind where you use teaspoons upon teaspoons of sugary, bubbly 'chocolate' powder. As nice as that is, I have recently been converted. Following this recipe from my old school cookery book, not only is my hot chocolate
richer and creamier, but it has way less sugar in, so I can pile on the marshmallows without worrying about my sugar intake! Here is the recipe I was following:

In the recipe, it suggests on teaspoonful of castor sugar, but really, that's up to you. It totally depends on what kind of chocolate you are using and how sweet you like your hot chocolate to be. I was using dark cooking chocolate (54% cocoa solids) and I didn't feel the need to add any sugar, but I did have some marshmallows on the top.

Classic Hot Chocolate (makes one mug)
Bare Necessities:
1oz/28g Chocolate
1/2pint/285ml Milk
Sugar to taste (optional)
Marshmallows to top (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, put the milk, chocolate and sugar on a medium-low heat and stir slowly but continuously.
2. Once all of the chocolate has melted and the drink is piping hot, pour into a mug.
3. Top with marshmallows as desired.
4. Enjoy! (careful, it's very hot!!)

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Traditional Chocolate Cake

Let me just say something right off the bat. My Kitchenaid has made me lazy AF. I kind of knew this was the case, but it was really brought to light when I decided to make a chocolate cake from my old cookery book with nothing but a wooden spoon and a plastic bowl. Let's just say I really earned a slice of cake at the end of this.

As we all know, I have made many an endeavour down the chocolate cake path. It's a classic, and deserves to be given a twist every once in a while. So why not have a crack and an original? Here's the recipe I was working from:

My main difficulty here was that I was making this whilst at uni, so I didn't have a set of weighing scales, nor did I want to spend the money on some, so I had to get creative with my cups and spoons measuring. I was also a little confused when the recipe called for "sweet chocolate", so I went for a 52% cooks chocolate. When I was making the cake, I was a little unsure about the proportions. Usually with a sponge cake, there are more or less equal proportions of flour, butter and sugar, and I thought it odd that there was no cocoa powder involved. When I put the mixture into the tin it felt quite stiff, and I was worried that the cake would turn out to be dense and not that chocolatey. Luckily, I was wrong! I mean, it definitely would have been lighter had I used my electric mixer, and I'm probably going to come back to this recipe and mess around with it a little bit, but all in all, it was pretty yummy. I would recommend eating this when warm, but if it is cold, you can put a slice in the microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it up and serve with a dollop of cream - delicious!

Traditional Chocolate Cake (makes 1 large sponge)
Bare Necessities:
6oz/170g/1 1/2cups Plain Flour
4oz/115g/1/2cup Sugar
4oz/115g/1/2cup Butter
3oz/85g/~1/2cup Chocolate
3small Eggs
2tsp Baking Powder
dash Vanilla Essence
2tbsp Milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas Mark 4.
2. Grease and line one cake tin.

3. Break the chocolate up and put on a low heat with the milk.
4. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and then take off the heat.
5. Cream together the butter and sugar.
6. Slowly add the eggs, flour and baking powder, alternating between the wet and dry until fully combined.
7. Mix in the chocolate and vanilla, and stir until fully combined.
8. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and smooth over slightly.
9. Pop in the oven for 45mins or until cooked through.
10. Place on a rack to cool.
11. Serve up with a dollop of cream (or ice cream) and enjoy!