Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Creamy Vanilla Fudge

I'm such a sucker for fudge. I love pretty much any kind of fudge, I just can't get enough. Except once I tried chilli chocolate fudge, but they had used the wrong kind of chilli, so it tasted a bit like a sweet curry. It was all kinds of funky and I most certainly could go without that one. But apart from that one instance, I don't think I've encountered a flavour of fudge that I don't love. Either way, here is a recipe for, what I think, is the best flavour fudge: Vanilla fudge.
Nb. This makes a LOT of fudge, so go ahead and halve it, or even quarter it!

Creamy Vanilla Fudge
Bare Necessities
10oz/280g/1 1/4cups Unsalted Butter
1tin (396g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
7fl.oz/220ml Whole Milk
1125g/40oz/5cups Granulated Sugar
1tsp Vanilla

This is what happens if
you don't use a big
enough pan at first!
1. Grease and line your tins.
2. In THE BIGGEST saucepan you have, combine the butter, condensed milk, milk and sugar, and put it on the heat.
3. Use a candy thermometer, and when the temperature reaches 115C, use a wooden spoon, and start stirring constantly until it reaches what's called the soft ball stage. This is where, if you drop a little drop of the mixture into a glass of cold water, and then dip your hand into the water, you can easily roll the mixture into a ball under the water.
4. Once you've reached this stage, remove the fudge from the heat, add the vanilla essence and beat constantly for about 7mins or until the mixture becomes tougher and more fudge-like.
5. Pour the fudge into your tins and pop in the fridge.
6. After about 1 and a half hours, take out the fudge and lightly score the lines which you'll cut along later.
7. Put the fudge back into the fridge and leave there until they are completely set. (If you take them out before then, they will be a NIGHTMARE to take out)
8. Once they are set, cut them up and put in an air-tight container. (I separated each layer with a sheet of grease-proof paper, so they don't all stick) You're not supposed to store fudge in the fridge, but my house if really warm, so I have to, but if you have somewhere cool in your house that isn't the fridge, store them there.
9. Enjoy!

Taking Flight

So I thought I'd share some of the drawings I've done recently:

I started by drawing this dragon, taking inspiration from an illustration that I came upon somewhere on the internet, but I think the back legs look like kangaroo legs.

Here is dragon pic #2. I think I definitely improved with this one, but as a friend rightly pointed out, the proportions are still a bit out on the hind legs.

Dragon pic #3! I liked his one a lot, especially how the wings were attached to the body by skin.

Last dragon picture! This is my fave one so far, I liked the scales, as well  as the all over posture and darkness of it.

Here are two of me just experimenting with form, just a few rough sketches that took all of about 5 minutes each.

I was quite chuffed with these ones here, I did the one of the two people kissing first as further experimentation with form, but then I did the two next to that one to look more in depth at hair styles.

So this one isn't exactly recent, it's actually about a year or so old, but I drew it as a present for my friend for her birthday, and It still remains on of my favourite drawings I've done to date.

Sorry if that was a bit boring! A recipe should be following shortly.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Dangerously Dark Yet Delightfully Delicious Chocolate Ice Cream

Well I think that kind of sums it up, doesn't it? And I'm warning you, when you come to eat it, don't think that you can sit with the tub and a spoon and only 'just have a little bit'. That just won't happen, and I think you know that. Another great thing about this? You can chop and change it as you wish! Well, not totally, but you can a little bit I guess...

Dangerously Dark Yet Delightfully Delicious Chocolate Ice Cream
Bare Necessities
1 Vanilla Pod
1-2packets/150-300g Oreos
550ml Double Cream
50g Cocoa Powder
200g Granulated Sugar
250ml Whole Milk
170g Dark Chocolate
1pinch Salt
75g Mini Marshmallows

1. In a large saucepan, whisk the cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
2. Heat the mixture, whilst constantly whisking until everything is mixed fully and it starts to foam up.
3. Take the saucepan off the heat, break up the chocolate, add it to the mixture and keep whisking.
4. When the chocolate is for the most part melted, mix in the marshmallows and keep whisking until the chocolate is completely melted.
5. In a sealed bag, crush up the oreos until they are in medium chunks.
6. Once the chocolate is completely melted, de-seed the vanilla pod and stir the seeds in along with the milk and crushed oreos.
7. Place the mixture in the fridge for about half an hour and then pop it in the ice-cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
8. Once the ice-cream is ready, serve it up, enjoy and TRY NOT TO EAT IT ALL IN ONE GO!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Deep Dish Cookies

Ok so I have few apologies about this one. Firstly, sorry that there aren't many photos, I kind of forgot to take them... and sorry that they are really crummy quality, I'm not sure why that is, but I'm working on it. Actually, I think that's it! So this recipe is kinda odd, but omg is it good. And for my last ramekin, I didn't even cook it, I just ate the dough raw! I did share it with friends though, so its not too bad...

Deep Dish Cookies
Bare Necessities
225g Butter (salted or unsalted)
114g Granulated Sugar
100g Brown Sugar
1 Egg
200g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
1/8tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
1-2packs Chocolate Chips

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/356F.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg.
4. Mix in the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and chocolate chips.
5. Fill the ramekins about 3/4 full and pop in the fridge to chill for a bit.
6. Put in the oven for about 20mins or until they have mostly cooked through (you want them to be a bit gooey though, so make your best judgement.
7. Serve up as is or with a scoop of ice-cream!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Crash Hot Potatoes

I've reached that stage now, where the revision for my looming GCSE's has yet to be done and all I want is comfort food to console me about the lack of summer that we're getting over here in England. I'm also kind of eating this comfort food as a way to procrastinate from revision, but I never seem to be actually getting up and doing some much needed exercise because 'I need to revise'. It's a bit of a vicious cycle that I think many in my situation or one similar to mine is experiencing. Either way, I figured it would be better to snack on something (reasonably) healthy and (completely) home made as opposed to the chemicals in our store bought food.

And so! I present to you: crash hot potatoes! I'm telling you, they're so quick and easy to make, you can't NOT do these when you're procrastinating or avoiding your revision/work in any form

Note: I haven't put any quantities in, because you just take as much as you want.

Crash Hot Potatoes
Bare Necessities
New Potatoes (the smaller the better, I think)
Mixed Herbs
Salted Butter
Olive Oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450F/230C.
2. Boil the potatoes in a pan until you can easily poke a fork through them.
3. Drain the potatoes.
4. On a baking tray, generously drizzle the oil. You don't want the potatoes to stick and burn, so don't skimp out on it, having said that, you don't want your potatoes swimming in oil either.
5. Scatter your potatoes onto the tray, spacing them out nicely. I did mine a bit too close, but they worked fine anyways.
6. Once you're happy with that, get a potato masher, and gently press down on each potato once or twice, you want them to squish a bit to expose their fluffy innards, but you don't want them to be too flat.
7. Put mini chunks of butter onto the potatoes, then generously sprinkle the salt, pepper and the mixed herbs.
8. Pop in the oven for about 25 mins or until crispy on the edges.
9. Serve up and enjoy!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Banana Cake And Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh my God. I cannot even begin to express how unbelievably good these are. MMMMMM. Actually, before you go and make it, I should warn you, it makes a LOT of batter, i had three very big layers, which meant I had one VERY big cake that came to school with me the next day. The cake lasted a while, actually, which is understanding, considering that is was a very big cake, but it was very good. I probably won't be making a cake in a while now because I ate so much of this one. Luckily, I did have my good friends in house to sit and devour it with me so that I didn't feel like tooo much of a fat pig. In all honesty though, if you don't have a big event to take this to or a large amount of people to share it with, I would advise you to half the mixture. Aside from that, I don't really have all that much to say, so whilst I go and work of some calories, or do some revision for my GCSEs, you guys get on with this recipe!

Banana Cake And Cream Cheese Frosting
Bare Necessities
For The Cake
3 medium to large Bananas
half a Lemon
3cups/300g Plain Flour
1 1/2tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda/Baking Soda
3/4cups/170g Butter
2 1/4cups/500g Sugar
3 Eggs
2tsp Vanilla Essence
1 1/2cups/375ml Milk

For The Frosting
1/2cup/112g Butter
1cup/225g Cream Cheese
1tsp Vanilla Essence
3 1/2cups/440g Icing Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 275F/135C.
2. Grease and line three cake tins.
3. Cream together the 3/4cups butter and 2 1/4cups sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time with the 2tsp vanilla essence.
5. Mix in half the flour and the bicarbonate of soda, followed by half the milk, then the remaining flour and milk.
6. In a separate bowl, blend up the bananas and mix with the juice of half a lemon.
7. Mix in the mushed up bananas with the rest of the batter.
8. Pour the batter into the cake tins and pop in the oven for an hour or until cooked through.
9. Once the cakes have cooked, take them out of the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
10. Blend together the remaining butter, the cream cheese, the remaining vanilla essence and the icing sugar and then beat until light and fluffy. Feel free to add more of any ingredient if needed.
11. Take one of the cakes and place it on a plate.
12. Then split the icing into four and spread one quarter of the icing on the top of the cake.
13. Put the second cake on top of it and repeat.
14. Put the last cake on top and spread one of the remaining quarters over the entire cake.
15. Now put the last quarter and the cake into the fridge to chill.
16. Once the cake is chilled, take it out and spread the rest of the icing over the cake.
17. Slice up and enjoy!