Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cookie Inception

These past few weeks have been hectic. What with the loss of two years worth of geography work and my homework diary, along with the overload of work, it's safe to say that these haven't been the most fun or relaxing weeks. However, just when I was beginning to lose all hope and the holidays seemed ever far away, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel in the form of my friends and a crazy amount of cookie.

My friends, Sophie, Phillipa, Nicola and Lucille are some of the craziest bunch of people I know, and I can always count on them to lift my spirits. So you can imagine, when I suggested to them that we cook some food on the weekend, they leapt at the idea with suggestions of what to cook and kind offerings to chip in on the ingredients.

We had to choose a recipe that required limited utensils, as the kitchen in our boarding house, it's fair to say, isn't the most equipped kitchen in the world (it doesn't even have weighing scales!). Eventually, we found the perfect recipe that would lift our spirits on a Saturday afternoon when we were all stuck in at school-Cookie Inception. This recipe, I can safely say, is fool-proof, and even though we did many stupid things, (like melting the butter by accident when we just wanted to soften it, and putting the oven at the wrong temperature) we still managed to make some delicious cookies.

I would recommend this recipe to ANYONE (unless they didn't like cookies), as it is SO simple and quick to make and they taste sooo good!
Cookie inception

Bare Necessities
1cup Salted Butter
3/4cup Brown Sugar
1cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 1/2cups Self Raising Flour
2cups Chocolate Chips
2packets Oreos (in the recipe, you may only use 1 packet, or maybe just over, but you will probably eat some throughout)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/392F
2. Cream the butter and sugar together. When we did it, the butter was solid, so we put the pan on the radiator, and then the butter melted completely, which wasn't supposed to happen, but it worked out fine anyway.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla together.
4. Slowly add this to the butter and sugar whilst stirring constantly.
5. Mix the flour and chocolate chips together and then combine with the rest of the mixture.
7. Get a ball of the cookie dough and flatten it in your hands. Then place an Oreo into the centre and then fold the dough around it.
8. Grease two trays.
9. Place the cookie inception on the tray and continue this until all the dough is gone.
10. Put them in the oven and leave for 10 mins, or until golden on top.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mango Sorbet

Since I got my ice cream machine for Christmas, I haven't stopped making ice cream; vanilla, strawberry, baileys, nutella...But then I thought that maybe it was time to try something different, so I opened my recipe books and a page on Safari and got searching. I finally settled on a recipe from this book and wrote about it for all you out there!

I've always been a fan of sorbet. It has this magical property where, in the middle of a really posh meal, just when you think you are about to burst, along comes this little glass with an equally tiny scoop of sorbet; and then, as you groan and reluctantly take a bite of this golden orb, you suddenly feel rejuvenated, less full and ready to take on the next obscenely extravagant course!

So here I present to you:

Mango Sorbet

Bare Necessities:
2 Large Ripe Mangoes (or 1kg Chopped Mangoes)
130g Granulated Sugar
160ml Water
4tsp Lime Juice (plus more to taste)
1tbsp Rum (totally optional, or you could switch it with vodka, or go experimental and try something else!)
pinch Salt

1. Peel and chop the mangoes, cutting the flesh away from the stone. (skip this step if you already have chopped mango)
2. Add the sugar, water, lime juice, alcohol and salt and blend to a puree.
3. Taste a little bit and add more lime juice, salt, sugar or alcohol as needed. Remember, alcohol affects the freezing temperature, so the more you add, the softer it will be. Be careful not to add too much or it won't freeze at all!
4. Chill in the fridge for 5-10 mins and then put into your ice-cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
5. Serve up and enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sweet Sweet Potato Chips

Its that time of year, isn't it? Everyone's going back to work and school and all those new years resolutions are going out the window pretty fast. Well, rest assured, this recipe is perfect if you are one of those who vowed to eat healthier, cook more or snack less, or if you're just not quite ready to accept those school/work meals yet.

These are undeniably moreish, take no more than half an hour to make and are packed full of protein. (oh and did I mention how yummy they are?)

Sweet Sweet Potato Chips

Bare Necessities
2 Sweet Potatoes
25g Salted Butter (if you don't have salted butter, use unsalted and just add a pinch of salt, that's what I did)
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/392F.
2. Put the butter in a small saucepan and put on a low heat until melted.
3. Scrub the potatoes clean and then chop into random chunks. (try to keep them roughly the same size, though it doesn't really matter too much)
4. Put some grease-proof paper onto a baking tray and put the chopped potatoes on top.
5. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in with the sugar and stir until completely mixed.
6. Brush the mixture onto the potatoes, and try to get to every potato.
7. Chuck in the oven for 20-25 mins, or until they are all cooked through and a little crispy on the edges. To test if they are cooked through, get a fork and spear a couple of the thickest ones. If they are soft then they are cooked through.
8. Put them in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of salt on the top and enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Baileys Ice Cream

First post of 2012! I hope you all had a great Christmas and new year and that you have all fully recovered from your hangovers etc.

Until recently, I hadn't ever tried Baileys, but once I took my first sip, that was it. I was hooked. It's luscious beige cream enveloped my tasted buds in an exquisite experience of luxurious, sweet yumminess. Sadly, it wasn't my drink, it was my friends, so I was limited to a meagre sip and my memories to keep me going until I could get my hands on some of my own. I believe the first thing I said after taking that sip was "mmmm", but the second was "You know, It tastes a bit like ice cream!" and it was that sentence that spurred my imagination on to the idea of making Baileys ice cream; and believe me, it didn't disappoint... except for when it was finished.

I actually found this recipe here on a wonderful website called Yummly. It's a fantastic place to find any kind of recipe you can think of and, though some of them aren't amazingly written, most of them are pretty good and you'll be sure to find what you want.

Super simple, and you can replace the original Baileys with any kind of Baileys you fancy.

Baileys Ice Cream

Bare Necessities
250ml/1cup Water
125g/ 1/2cup Granulated Sugar
250g Mascarpone Cheese
100ml/ 2/5cups Baileys
142ml/(just over) 1/2cup Double Cream

1. Pour the water into a saucepans, stir in the sugar and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
2. Bring the water to the boil and leave to simmer for 5 mins.
3. Leave the water to cool.
4. Mix the mascarpone and the baileys until smooth.
5. Stir in the water-sugar mix and the cream and stir until its completely mixed.
6. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer instructions. (I did mine for about half an hour)
7. Keep in the freezer in a container until you want to eat it.