Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lemon Drizzle v.3

Delia Smith's cakes this time.

 175g self-raising flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 175g spreadable butter
 175g golden caster sugar
 3 large eggs
 grated zest of 3 large lemons
 juice of large lemon
 40g poppy seeds
For the syrup
 juice of 3 large lemons
 grated zest of 1 large lemon
 50g golden icing sugar, sifted
 100g golden granulated sugar
To finish:
 1 rounded teaspoon golden granulated sugar mixed with 1 rounded teaspoon poppy seeds
 1 rounded teaspoon poppy seeds
 Pre-heat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3
A 20cm loose-based round cake tin, greased and base lined

All in one method:

Start off by sifting the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, holding
the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down. Then add the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice and finally the poppy seeds.

Now, using an electric hand whisk, mix to a smooth creamy consistency for about one minute.

Spoon the mixture into the tin, levelling it with the back of the spoon, and bake near the centre of the oven for 40 minutes or until the centre feels springy.

When the cake is ready, remove the tin from the oven to a board, then straight away
mix together the syrup ingredients. 

Next stab the cake all over with a skewer and spoon the syrup evenly over the hot cake, then finally sprinkle with the sugar and poppy seed mixture.

After that the cake needs to cool in its tin before it can be removed and stored in an airtight container.

Note: this is equally good made without the poppy seeds if you prefer.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Low Fat Banana Muffins

Haven't tried these yet, so recipe just for reference. Will update or remove depending on results.

I make these banana muffins all the time and the kids love them. I had no idea they were only around 80 calories per muffin.

I fill 24 muffin compartments 2/3rds of the way with the mix. You don't have to use the spices I've added to this recipe. The original recipe doesn't have any spices in it but I love it with cinnamon and nutmeg and sometimes I add pumpkin spice. You can also substitute the eggs with egg beaters if thats your thing and the sugar you can substitute with splenda. My MIL is diabetic and would substitute 1/2 a cup of splenda for 1 cup of sugar since splenda is twice as sweet as sugar. That would also bring your calorie count down. But at only 80 calories per muffin who cares about a couple more calories. You can add a cup of raw oats and a cup of raisins as well. I usually double the recipe and make half without and the other half with the raisins and oats. Kids don't care for the oats or raisins but hubby and I do. But that does increase your calorie count. So run it through the recipe builder to get an accurate count if you add the raisins and oats.

Number of servings 24

Ingredients Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Egg - Large, Grade A, Raw, 2 egg 140 0 8 12
Sugars - Granulated (sucrose), 1 cup 774 200 0 0
Water - Bottled or Tap, 2.6 fl. oz. 0 0 0 0
Bananas - Raw, 3 medium (7" to 7-7/8" long) 315 81 1 4
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - Light, 2 Tbsp (14g) 90 0 10 0
All-Purpose Flour (32 oz), 1 1/3 cup (30g) 572 114 0 16
Baking Powder, 0.25 tsp 2 1 0 0
Baking soda, 0.5 tsp 0 0 0 0
Spices - Cinnamon, ground, 1 tsp 6 2 0 0
Spices - Nutmeg, ground, 1 tsp 12 1 1 0
Salt - Table , 0.5 teaspoon 0 0 0 0

Total calories: 1911
Calories Per Serving: 80
Edited by fit4lifeUcan2 On October 12, 2012 2:13 PM

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:From myfitness

Saturday, 29 March 2014


We first came upon this rib sticking delight when we camped in the garden of a cheese maker near the awe inspiring bridge at Millau, south of Clermont Ferrand.

The first time I had tried to use a machine to mash potatoes, in my very early days as a cook, they became gluey, but now I find that is a desirable quality in this lovely gooey cheesy potato dish from the south Central Massif region of France .
It is originally made with Tomme de Cantal cheese, and here in Savoie with local Tomme but research came up with a Delia version using Lancashire.

Wonderful with Toulouse sausages.

Aligot (Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese)

I first ate this mashed potato with cheese in southwest France, in the Tarn region, and it was, quite simply, the best mashed potato I've ever eaten. Research on my return revealed that it involved a special, lovely cheese called Cantal, not generally available – but after many experiments I have, I think, come up with something comparable, made with farmhouse Lancashire, which has a lovely, fresh, lactic flavour.

Serves 2
1 lb (450 g) Desirée or King Edward potatoes
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
1 oz (25 g) butter
8 oz (225 g) Lancashire cheese, grated
salt and freshly milled black pepper

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and from Delia's Vegetarian Collection.


Begin this by placing the garlic in a small saucepan with the butter, then leave it on the gentlest heat possible to melt and infuse for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly pare and discard the skins of the potatoes and cut them into even-sized chunks, or cut any large potatoes into quarters and small ones into halves. Place the potatoes in a steamer, then pour some boiling water straight from the kettle into a saucepan. Fit the steamer over, sprinkle the potatoes with 1 level dessertspoon of salt, put a lid on and let them steam for 20-25 minutes, until tender in the centre when tested with a skewer. After this, remove them, transfer to a large bowl (preferably a warm one) and cover with a cloth to absorb some of the steam. Now, with an electric hand whisk, switch to slow and begin to break up the potatoes, then add the butter and garlic, some black pepper and a handful of the grated cheese. Now switch the speed to high and continue adding the cheese, a handful at a time, while you whisk. There's a lot of cheese, but what will happen is that, as you whisk it in, the potatoes will turn translucent and glossy and, as you lift and whisk, it will form stiff, glossy peaks. When all the cheese is in, serve very quickly. As the cheese goes in, the mixture becomes stiff and clings to the whisk, but keep going and it will part company with the whisk eventually. Also, if you want to keep it warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, but don't leave it too long.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I know how to make lasagne...

I make a mean lasagne, but always have issues with how much sauce to make. If I wing it then there is never enough, so this is here as a reminder to ME!

I prefer to omit the Worcester sauce from the meat, and add a final layer of white (homemade) breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan for a crunchy topping.
I also let the tomato and meat sauce cook out a while to intensify the flavour.

By Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay's easy lasagne recipe is a tried and tested favourite from Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong Live
Serves 4

Prep 40 mins
Cook 50 mins

2 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 pinches dried oregano
300g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato pureé
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
30ml (2 tbsp) red wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
50ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce

25g butter
25g flour
300ml milk (400ml better)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
60g cheddar cheese, grated
30g parmesan cheese, grated
6 sheets of 'non-cook' lasagne sheets
For the salad

1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 x round lettuce head, rinsed and dried

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan. Grate the onion and carrot and crush the garlic before frying together. Season with the bay leaf, a pinch of oregano, Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. Allow the onion to soften before making a well in the centre of the pan. Place the mince in the middle of the pan and stir to break it up. Add the tomato puree and allow to cook out for 30 seconds. Continue until all the meat has browned nicely. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol before adding the tomatoes. Leave to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Finally add the milk, turn off the heat and set aside.

To make the cheese sauce, first melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and using a wooden spoon, stir to form a paste. Over a gentle heat add a third of the milk, whisking to prevent any lumps forming. Add the rest of the milk a third at a time, whisking as you go. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Allow the sauce to cook out for another minute before adding the Cheddar cheese. Stir and remove from the heat.

Spoon half of the meat sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and place pasta sheets on top (break the sheets if necessary to avoid any overlapping). Next, pour in just under half of the cheese sauce, and spread evenly using a spatula before spooning the remaining meat on top. Add the final layer of pasta and use the spatula to pour over the remaining cheese sauce.

Finish with the grated Parmesan and sprinkle with another pinch of oregano. Add a light seasoning of salt and pepper before cleaning the edges of the dish and placing in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. ( I recon 40-45 mins although it depends on how deep the dish, and if it is cold when you put it in)

In the bottom of your salad bowl use a fork to whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully open the head of lettuce, season inside with salt and pepper. Upend the lettuce headfirst into the salad bowl. Holding the root, wipe the leaves around the bowl to coat in the vinaigrette. Twist the root and pull it out. Turn the dressed head of lettuce onto a large plate and gently open out.

Portion out the lasagne and serve alongside the salad.

© Gordon Ramsay

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

French bread

Being in France, being a Francophile and a lover of food, I love French bread, although I don't like getting out of my jim jams to go and collect a crusty fresh baguette first thing in the morning.  I have stuck to my favourite English loaf varieties from my breadmaker.
Yesterday I thought I would investigate the French Bread setting on my machine.  Sadly I don't have the original recipe book that came with the machine so I have to depend on the trusty internet, and the good supply of info therein for my model of machine.

Hence:  version 1 (which is delicious but in loaf form is impossible to cut into sandwich slices) I will try it as dough only next and bake it as a baguette in my oven.

White flour/wholemeal flour. Make bread with a crispy crust and texture.
'French@-'Bake@ (6h)
Yeast 1tsp
Strong white flour 400g (14oz)
Butter 15g (1/2 oz)
Salt 1tsp
Water 290ml.. 
Next one I haven't tried yet, but presumably will be the equivalent of Pain Rustique.

Settings as above
Yeast 1tsp
Strong Wholemeal Flour 75g (3oz)
Rye Flour 50g (2oz)
Butter 15g (1/2 oz)
Salt 1tsp
Water 310ml
Copied from p18 of the Panasonic SD-255 Recipe Book.
(E&O excepted ! ! !)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Poached pheasant breast with mushroom couscous

Poached breast of pheasant, mushroom and shallot couscous

This turned out to be rather dry and the couscous very plain.  Must look for another pheasant recipe.  If you have a good one please let me know!!

THE pheasant-shooting season is at its height, so if you have yet to discover what a simple and versatile bird this is, now's the time. Pheasant is high in protein but - thanks to all that flying around - low on fat, with a rich gamey flavour.

This recipe for poached breast of pheasant, mushroom and shallot couscous has been created by Ian McNaught, of the Roman Camp Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Callander. He says: "Pheasant is often underrated, but it's inexpensive and versatile. It's a great alternative to chicken." Once you have bagged your pheasant - or been to the supermarket - this recipe should take well under half an hour to make.

Poached breast of pheasant, mushroom and shallot couscous

Serves 4


• 8 shallots

• 1 litre fresh chicken stock

• 500g mixed mushrooms

• 200g couscous

• 4 pheasant breasts


Peel and slice the shallots and place them in a frying pan with a little chicken stock and cook for five minutes. Bring the remaining stock to the boil in another pan. Meanwhile, trim and chop the mushrooms, reserving the trimmings.

Put the mushrooms into the pan with the shallots and cook for a further five minutes. Put the couscous into a large bowl, add the mushroom and shallot mixture, pour over 400 ml (just under half) of the boiling chicken stock and leave for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a fork.

Season the pheasant breasts with salt and pepper and place them into the pan of stock along with the mushroom trimmings and poach gently for 7-12 minutes, then remove them from the stock and keep warm. Reduce the remaining stock to about 100-150ml until it is of sauce consistency, sieve it to remove the mushroom trimmings and check the seasoning. Check couscous for seasoning and place on to heated plates, top with the pheasant breasts, spoon the reduced chicken stock around.

Roman Camp Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Callander, Perthshire; 01877 330003,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Toffee apple crumble

Excellent variation on traditional apple crumble. Quantities seemed excessive so I made about 50% quantity of spice and dried fruit, 4 apples and about 75% crumble mix which provided 5 ample portions. I did over cook it a bit as it was in with the Yorkshire puds (too hot) so the sugars caramelised, which just added to it really.

Altogether more successful than last weeks miserable pork curry which has now been removed in the Hope of finding a tastier alternative,

For the apple layer
100g raisins
100g pitted soft dates, snipped into small pieces with scissors
85g light muscovado sugar
3 tbsp dark rum (or use orange juice)
25g unsalted butter
1 tsp mixed spice
zest and juice 1 lemon
4 Bramley apples, about 800g, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm rings

For the crumble
125g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
50g light muscovado sugar
3 tbsp jumbo oats
25g flaked almonds (or use other nuts if you like)
custard or ice cream, to serve


Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put everything for the apple layer, except the lemon juice and apples, into a bowl and microwave on High for 1½ mins until the butter has melted and the sugar is syrupy. Toss in the apples and lemon juice, then spoon into a medium baking dish, making sure the dried fruit is evenly distributed.
Rub the flour and butter together, first into fine crumbs, then keep going until the mix forms bigger clumps, a bit like a rough biscuit dough. Stir in the sugar, oats and almonds. Scatter over the fruit, then cover with foil and bake for 1 hr, removing the foil for the final 30 mins, until golden and bubbling. Rest for 10 mins, then serve with custard or ice cream.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2013

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:BBC good food