Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

This cauliflower and smoky bacon soup is a bit different to the normal recipes I bring you. I really wanted to show you the versatility however of the Redmond RMC-M4502E Multicooker which I use for a lot of things in the kitchen.

I’ve previously made cakes, breads, fried food in it.  With it's 34 programs it can do much more, such as make stews, makes porridge, steams food and so on. This soup shows how it can be used in a couple of ways.


 Plus the soup itself is delicious and a great idea for this chilly time of year. I have also been experimenting with other soup recipes as we like to try different ones each year for the starter to our Christmas dinner.

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

I fried off cut up pieces of smoked back bacon in the Multi Cooker first and it got really crisp, rendering a lot of fat. This fat was then kept in the bowl of the Multi Cooker after I had removed the crisp bacon bits. 

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

I used this to fry my onion and garlic before I then added my chicken stock and cream. I chopped up the head of a large cauliflower and put that in the bowl of the Multi Cooker too. I set it to the soup function and left it alone for 30 minutes with the lid down.

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

I came back, popped the lid and the cauliflower was tender and the whole thing was gorgeous aroma. I turned off the cooker and let it cool a little before I took a stick blender and whizzed the whole thing up.

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

This made the mix a creamy colour and looked divine.

To serve, I spooned some into bowls and scattered over the remaining bits of bacon and some chopped spring onion.

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup

The Multi Cooker has a keep warm function, so if you are going back for seconds, or have prepared it slightly ahead of time, then this is a great way to keep it on low heat.


 I would recommend the soup for Christmas or anytime. And of course the multi cooker which is such a bonus in the kitchen. Ideal if you are short on space or not enough rings on the hob for example! 



print recipe

Cauliflower and Smoky Bacon Soup
A warming soup with smoky bacon goodness and cauliflower flavour.
Ingredients
  • 450 grams smoked back bacon
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250 ml single cream
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 spring onion
Instructions
Chop the bacon into pieces about one inch in size. Place into the multicooker without fat and set to fry for about 10 minutes.Remove the bacon from the multicooker leaving the rendered fat behind.Add the chopped onion and grate the cloves of garlic into the bowl with the hot bacon fat. Fry until the onion becomes translucent.Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, cream and cauliflower to the multicooker and set to soup setting for about 30 minutes. Close the lid.Check the cauliflower is tender and then turn off the multicooker. With a stick blender carefully blend the soup until smooth.Serve in bowls, with a scatter of the bacon and some chopped spring onions to garnish.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1.5 litres


Disclosure Statement: I received the multicooker free to review. I have been paid to develop this recipe using the multicooker. 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Spicy Apple Chutney

spicy apple chutney

We still had a shed load of apples in the garage (that should be garage load really), left from the trees in the garden. We’d already sickened ourselves of crumbles and pies, so I decided to make something savoury with them instead. And I thought that a chutney would be perfect.

spicy apple chutney


It’s thick consistency and sweet, savoury and warming taste is ideal for this time of year. It would make great gifts to hand out at Christmas (sorry for using the C word so soon) and also great for Christmas dinners and shindigs that you may have coming up.

spicy apple chutney


I used a basic apple chutney recipe but decided to tweak it to suit my taste. It’s called spicy and not spiced because I added chilli flakes to the mix and it really packs a hot punch. If you like it on the milder side though, add less chilli flakes or omit them altogether.

spicy apple chutney


The house becomes ‘aromatic’ shall we say when the chutney is cooking and does linger for a while. It's very vinegarry, but it’s so worth it. Once fully cooled, I transferred it to sterilised jars and popped them in the fridge until we are ready to use them. Gorgeous with some cheese and crackers, I never realised chutney was so easy.

spicy apple chutney


Here’s the recipe.



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Spicy Apple Chutney
A great way to use leftover apples. This sweet and savoury chutney packs a spicy punch.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Kilos Apples (any variety)
  • 750 grams light brown sugar
  • 500 grams raisins
  • 4 tablespoons mixed peel
  • 2 large white onions
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 700 ml malt vinegar
Instructions
Peel, core and chop the apples into cubes and place into a large pan with a thick base.Add the sugar, raisins and mixed peel.Chop the onions and add these too.Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.Place the pan over medium heat and cover. Bring to the boil.Once boiling, turn the heat down so the mix bubbles away, uncovered for around an hour.Stir frequently and when the mix is dark in colour, thick and syrupy the chutney is ready.Allow to cool fully, the chutney will thicken on standing.Place into sterilised jars, seal and fridge until ready to use.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: A few jars worth.

spicy apple chutney


Monday, 23 October 2017

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake

I cracked out my Redmond RMC-M4502E Multicooker again at the weekend. This is the one-stop cooking pot which does all manner of things in the kitchen such as baking, cooking, frying, sterilising, warming, proving dough, making soup, making cheese, you name it, it does it.



This time I decided to make a cake for Halloween. It’s a basic sponge recipe, flavoured with coffee and orange. A strange combination I know, but it really works well, And with some additions of food colouring made for a perfect spooky looking treat.

I made the sponge batter, then divided this into 2. One half of the batter I added coffee to, with a bit of coffee extract and in the other half, some orange flavouring along with a large dollop of marmalade.


Now, this is when I added some colourings to the batter, but this is purely optional. The coffee batter will stay a pale brown, but I added black gel colouring. This didn’t go jet black, just a deep grey. I also added orange gel colouring to the orange flavoured batter. Add as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

In the bowl of the Multicooker, which I didn’t need to grease as the bowl is a super non-stick surface which items just glide out of, I added dollops of the batter in a random pattern and then with the end of a wooden spoon, I swirled the batters together to look sort of marbled.

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake

I put the bowl into the Multicooker and set it to the bake function for one hour. I checked half way through to see how it was getting on it needed a bit longer. I clicked down the lid again and baked for the remaining 30 minutes.

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake

The cake slid out onto the cooling rack after I had let it cool in the bowl for 5 minutes. I let it cool fully and I loved the swirled top of the cake. With the Multicooker, the top of the cake doesn’t brown too much, although it is cooked perfectly. This means the colours really stand out. In fact the grey batter got darker making it look even spookier.

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake


When cut into, the colours of the sponge really stand out. Now, this may sound gross, but it looks almost like mouldy cheese, which could be a great idea for a Halloween buffet.

The cake itself is moist and the flavours really complement each other well. It doesn’t need any additional garnishing like cream or frosting, but I did sprinkle a touch of icing sugar over the top.

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake


This would work well in the oven too, 180C for 25 minutes or so, but in the RMC-M4502E Multicooker it cooks perfectly on the worktop.

Redmond have a model on special offer at the moment. Check out the RMC-280E, available in 3 colours, only £59 for a limited time!


Here’s how I made the cake:



print recipe

Coffee and Orange Halloween Cake
Sponge cake flavoured with Coffee and Orange
Ingredients
  • 225 grams granulated sugar
  • 225 grams softened butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225 grams self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 sachet strong instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract
  • 1 heaped dessertspoon marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • black and orange food colouring
Instructions
Make the coffee with the boiling water and set aside to cool a little.In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Add the eggs, one at a time and incorporate into the batter after each addition.Add the flour and baking powder, stir this into the batter fully.Divide the batter into two and in one half add the coffee, and coffee extract, stirring this through. Add the black food colouring if using.Dollop large dessertspoonful’s of the mix randomly into the non-stick bowl of the multicooker and with the end of a wooden spoon, swirl these about.Set the multicooker to bake for one hour. Check half way through to make sure things are going okay inside and let cook for the remaining time.Let cool in the bowl for 5 minutes, removed from the multicooker and then transfer to cooling rack to cool fully.Sprinkle some icing sugar over the top if desired.Perfect with a spooky beverage!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 servings


Disclosure Statement: I received the multicooker free to review. I have been paid to develop this recipe using the multicooker. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

(Gruesome Green) Pandan Blondies

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring

I made these green Pandan Blondies after picking up some pandan flavouring in my local Chinese supermarket.
image source
Pandan is a plant grown in South Asia and the leaves are used in a variety of culinary ways. One of which is in pandan flavouring. It is commonly sold in small bottles with green food colouring mixed in with it.

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring

The flavour of pandan is like a buttery vanilla, if you can imagine that, with wafts of mild coconut in there too. It really is a gorgeous smell and I thought using the flavouring in blondies would be a great way to showcase the taste.

As I was making them, I suddenly realised what with Halloween coming up, the green hue of these would make them a perfect home baked treat for Trick or Treaters.

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring

I made a basic blondie batter and stirred in a tablespoon of the pandan flavouring. The green grew stronger and stronger as I mixed it in to the batter. Almost like the baking equivalent of the Hulk I suppose.

I also added chips to these for added flavour. I don’t specify which sort of chips, as any would work really well in these. I had some peanut butter chips and white and milk swirled chocolate chips, so chucked these in. But you could use butterscotch, plain chocolate, even some chopped nuts would be a great addition.

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring


They baked for about 25 minutes. Obviously the outside of the baked blondies (I should really call them greenies, which sounds not quite so appetising) take a brownish tinge from being baked, but when cut into squares, the dark emerald tones are revealed.

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring


I dusted some icing sugar over the top of these beauties, but for added spooky flair, you could add a cobweb design in chocolate for example or whatever you fancy really.

You can purchase pandan in Asian supermarkets or online.


Here’s how I made them:


print recipe

(Gruesome Green) Pandan Blondies
Blondies flavoured with pandan
Ingredients
  • 115 grams melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 225 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pandan flavouring
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 grams baking chips or chopped nuts
  • To garnish icing sugar
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line a 9”x9” baking tin with greaseproof paper.In a large bowl stir together the melted butter, vegetable oil and dark brown sugar until smooth.Add the egg and pandan and beat this in until fully combined.Sift over the baking powder, bicarb, salt and flour and stir this into the mixture until incorporated.Stir in the chips (or nuts) until evenly distributed and then transfer the batter to the prepared tin.Smooth over with a palette knife and pop in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.Cut into 16 squares and dust some icing sugar over the top.These taste great when warm but keep for about a week, when cooled, in an airtight container.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 blondies

blondies flavoured with pandan the popular south asian flavouring

Monday, 2 October 2017

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling

I love the name of snickerdoodles, very quirky and nonsensical for such a lovely cookie. I hadn’t made them before, which I know is quite strange given my love of all things cinnamon.

To the uninitiated a snickerdoodle is a cookie flavoured with cinnamon, then rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking. They are classically a soft chewy cookie, which is just how I like them. They contain cream of tartar as a leavener which gives it a slight acidic tang, balanced well with the cinnamon sugar. Classically that have a cracked top, but mines didn't come out of the oven like that sadly. They still tasted smashing though.

Being me, I decided to amp them up a little and turn them into sandwich cookies with a filling made from maple and pecans, quite seasonal! (thanks to Val from last years GBBO for that one).

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling

The cookies were a (snicker)doddle to whip up in the mixer, roll into balls, dunk into cinna-sugar all before placing them on the baking sheet, spaced well apart as they do spread. They went slightly darker on the edges, so I knew they were baked perfectly at that point. You could stop at this point if you just wanted snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling


I let them cool however and in the meantime, chopped up some pecans, placed them in a high speed blender with butter, maple syrup and light brown sugar. This made for a spreadable paste which I could slather on one cookie before placing another on top.

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling


These are so warming and comforting with their cinnamon goodness plus the sweetness of the maple and slight nuttiness from the pecans just make these so good to eat with a cuppa. Here's the recipe...



print recipe

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling
Soft and chewy snickerdoodles sandwiched with a scrummy maple pecan filling.
Ingredients
  • 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 100 grams light brown sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or paste)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • Coating
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 75 grams pecans, roughly chopped
  • 40 grams light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 15 grams softened unsalted butter
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.In the bowl of a food mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes depending in whether you use an electric mixer or by hand.Add the eggs and vanilla and beat through until combined.Add the bicarb, tartar, salt and cinnamon and stir throughAdd the flour and beat until combined and no dry bits of flour can be seen.In a bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the coating.Take tablespoon sized amounts of the cookie dough and with your hands roll into a ball before tossing in the cinnamon sugar.Place the ball on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the cookie dough making sure to space the balls at least an inch apart as they do spread.Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for another 5 minutes.Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.Make the filling by placing the chopped pecans in a high speed blender with the softened butter, maple syrup and sugar. Blitz until a smooth(ish) paste is formed, add more syrup if needed to make it smoother.Spread a small amount on the underside of half the cooled cookies. Sandwich together with the other cookies.These cookies will store well in an air-tight container for up to a week, but I promise they won’t last that long. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 Sandwich Cookies approx.

Snickerdoodles with Maple Pecan Filling

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Hot Cross Tear and Share Bread

Hot Cross Tear and Share Bread

It’s almost Easter time. I’m loving the start of spring. Since moving into our home, I have become much more aware of the garden and seasons. I love seeing the flowers growing and the beautiful colours that spring up.

Hot Cross Tear and Share Bread


And as it’s Easter, I decided to make a traditional hot cross bun recipe but with a bit of a twist. I love the sweetly, spiced buns – perfect with a schmear of butter on top.

Redmond Multicooker


To change things up however, I cracked out my RMC-M4502E Multicooker from Redmond. This is a great device to have in a kitchen. You can bake, cook, steam, fry almost anything in the multicooker. Take a look at the table below which shows the multitude of features of the multicooker.



I made small buns from the hot cross dough and popped these into the non-stick bowl which comes with the multicooker. I stuck them in, in a haphazard way, a bit like monkey bread.



 I had made small crosses in the buns, with a paste made from flour and water, but sadly these disappeared whilst cooking.


I set the multicooker to bake and it took around 50 minutes. The kitchen smelled beautiful whilst it was baking away.

Redmond Multicooker


The resultant big bun which slid easily out of the bowl when baked, was well coloured on the sides and had a good colour on top, but I wanted to add a bit of icing on top, just to pretty it up a bit. I also took some micro eggs and crushed these to sprinkle into the wet icing.

Redmond Multicooker

The giant bun looked delicious and it was good fun to grab handfuls of the hot cross bun, to devour. It would be perfect for an Easter buffet.

Hot Cross Tear and Share Bread


The RMC-M4502E Multicooker from Redmond made this recipe so easy to knock up. The bowl was the perfect shape to place the balls of dough in, and also ideal for letting the dough rise before cooking. With the non-stick coating I knew it would slide out easily.


Here’s the recipe.




print recipe

Hot Cross Tear and Share Bread
Hot Cross Bun flavoured tear and share bread
Ingredients
  • 500 grams self-raising flour
  • 150 ml warm milk (I used soya)
  • 150 ml warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • 2 packets of active dried yeast (about 14 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams raisins
  • 50 grams mixed peel
  • 10 -20 grams crushed micro chocolate eggs
  • Icing sugar
Instructions
In a bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, salt, yeast (keeping it away from the salt), cinnamon, all spice and sugar.Give this a mix with a whisk then add the milk, warm water and egg and give this a good mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough.Add the raisins and mixed peel and stir through.With the dough hook attachment, mix the dough for five minutes until the glutens develop and dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl.Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove in a warm place for 2 hours. After this time, punch the air out and place the dough onto a floured surface.With floured hands, pinch into little balls, rolling between your hands. I made the balls about two tablespoons worth.In the bowl of the multi cooker, place the balls in a random fashion and cover the bowl with more clingfilm and allow to prove for about 1 hour.Place the bowl into the multi cooker and bake for 1 hour.After this time, remove the giant bun from the multi cooker and allow to cool slightly.Make a simple icing from water and icing sugar and drizzle this over the big bun, then top with some crushed chocolate micro eggs.Let everyone get stuck in, tearing chunks from the bun and enjoy.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: I loaf.


Disclosure Statement: I received the multicooker free to review. I have been paid to develop this recipe using the multicooker.

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Delicake Master


I was recently sent a new product to try out in the kitchen. From Australia, the Delicake Master is from a range of no-bake cakeware, now available in the UK.




If you want to be make a no bake cake, such as a cheesecake, or a mousse cake, something like that, then the Delicake Master ensures an easy way to add your ingredients and display them also.

For Mother's Day, mum came up and I made her a coconut and pineapple no bake cheesecake, as she adores pineapple. I made this in the Delicake master and it was so easy.

I made the usual biscuit base then pressed this into the base of the Delicake Master and chilled it in the fridge.


I then set about making the coconut cheesecake filling, which was lots of cream cheese, coconut cream and double cream. This was then spooned on top of the filling and smoothed over. I placed the lid of the Delicake Master on top and chilled this for a couple of hours.


Lastly I made a pineapple topping from a can of crushed pineapple, some cornflour and sugar. I boiled this on the hob then when it had cooled slightly I poured the pineapple on top of the cheesecake and spread this out, topping with some toasted coconut.

I chilled the dessert until the evening when Mum came up and it was time to eat.

The Delicake Master is see through, so you can see exactly what is inside. I removed the lid, then the  sleeve to reveal the cheesecake which was on the base part.


We didn't eat it all, so I just had to pop the sleeve back over and pop the lid back on.

This really is a great invention. It can be used for all sorts of no-bake desserts and comes apart easily for washing up. There are no leaks if you are making something liquid which has to set up.

I was sent the round Delicake Master which is 230mm diameter by 95.1mm high and comes in at £30.45. You can also buy a rectangle version which is 200mm by 300mm at £36.55.

Disclosure Statement: I was sent the Delicake master free to review. Any opinions are entirely my own.
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