Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Romany Creams

Originating from South Africa, Romany Creams are the typical biscuits my family have every year for Eid. The original ones are two chocolate coconut biscuits sandwiched with a rich creamy chocolate layer but the ones I've made today have a couple drops of mint essence mixed into the melted chocolate to give it a minty flavour.




Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups coconut 
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 2 tsp cocoa 
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  • 3 eggs

Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 and get a few trays ready and greased
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and then add oil, baking powder, cocoa, flour and coconut
  • Mix until a soft dough is formed and chill for half an hour so the dough can firm up and is easier to roll
  • Dust the work top with plain flour and roll the dough into a £1 coin thickness
  • Using a fork, etch a rough pattern across the dough and cut into small circles using a cookie cutter. Bake for around 10-15 minutes until slighlty browned.
  • Allow to cool and sandwich with the melted chocolate. Allow to set and enjoy!

These are perfect with a cup of tea and keep well in an air tight containter for up to two weeks. If you do decide to give them a try let me know how they turn out! 







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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bourbon Biscuits

Bourbons are a classic. I've had it with a cup of tea for as long as I can remember yet I've never tried to bake them for myself. As I already had the biscuit stamp purchased from Sous Chef, I decided to give these a go. The result - A sweet chocolate butter icing sandwiched between two moreish and slightly bitter super chocolatey biscuits.



Chocolate biscuit
  • 275g plain flour
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 125g salted butter
  • 125g golden syrup
  • 1 large egg, beaten 

Chocolate Butter cream
  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method 
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 4 and line your baking trays with greasproof paper
  • Sift the flours. cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix well. 
  • Add the butter and rub with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs 
  • When all the butter is mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the syrup and egg. Mix well until a ball of dough has been formed. 
  • Place the dough into the fridge for 20 minutes for it to firm up and make the rolling process easier. Thereafter, dust the workbench with plain flour and roll the dough to roughly a pound thickness and stamp with your Bourbon biscuit stamp. 
  • Cut around each biscuit with a pizza cutter as it makes the process easier and bake at gas mark 4 for around 15 minutes. Leave to cool before icing 
  • For the icing, make sure the butter is at room temperature and place into a bowl. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl and whisk until fluffy. 
  • Pipe this mixture on the halves of your biscuits and enjoy! 



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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pear and Cardamom Caramel upside-down Cake

Pears are temperamental - It's hard to find a really GOOD Pear. You don't want one that's hard, dry and powdery and on the other hand, you don't want one that's too soft and mushy. It needs to be somewhere in between - firm, juicy and full of flavour.

As I had a few extra Pears lying around, I decided to pick up 'The Cardamom Trail' by Chetna Makan and flick through to find where I could put these fruits to use and hey the first recipe in the book was her 'Pear and Cardamom caramel upside-down cake'. Please remind me why I neglected this book for long - this recipe turned out delish! Although I mostly followed the recipe in the book, I used added a little fresh nutmeg to the caramel topping, and a couple drops of almond esscence in the cake batter to give it that little bit of almond flavour which I thought worked really well. 





Cake Batter 
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Butter
  • 150g Self-Raising Flour
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 10g Flaked Almonds
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges 
  • A few drops of Almond Essence 

Caramel Topping
  • 50g Butter
  • 100g Dark Muscavado Sugar
  • 1 tsp ground Cardamom
  • Half tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Pears peeled, cored and halved 

Method 
  • Preheat the oven to gas 4 and line a 23cm round springfrom cake tin with greaseproof paper
  • First, make the topping by gently heating the butter, sugar, cardamom and nutmeg until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Pour this caramel into your prepared cake tin making sure it's spread evenly over the base. Sit the halved pears over the caramel with the cut sides facing down. 
  • For the cake, place all the ingredients into a standing mixer and whisk for a 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Spoon this mixture carefully over the pears and bake for 1 hour or until the skewer comes out clean. Remember, the pears will be moist so to insert the skewer in the middle of the cake. I also placed a tray underneath my cake tin in the oven to catch any excess caramel whihc may drip out. 
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, turn out and enjoy. Paired with hot custard, this cake is even more delicious!



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Friday, 21 April 2017

Japanese Kit-Kat's

I admit, I'm not a huge fan of Kit-Kat's. I mean, if I've been given them, i'll eat it, but if it was left to me, would I rather pick up a Kit-Kat than a Kinder Bueno? Probably not. Having said this, after watching Fleur DeForce's Japan Haul where she raved about the Matcha Green Tea flavour Kit-Kat, I was dying to try it! 

A little later after a quick Google search, I came across this company based in London  www.japancentre.com where they stock all sorts of Japanese foods, drinks, utensils and most importantly - Kit-Kats. As it was my first time trying these out, I restricted myself to only a few and purchased four flavours - Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake, Amaou Strawberry, Kyoto Matcha Green Tea and Purple Sweet Potato. Each mini Kit-Kat was roughly £1.30 and shipping was an additional £3.45.  


These were SO cute and tiny - Smaller than my pinky finger!
Kyoto Matcha Green Tea - surrounded by white chocolate flavoured with matcha green tea straight from the Uji province in Kyoto, this Matcha Green Tea flavoured Kit-Kat had a much stronger Matcha flavour than I had expected but still sweet- Excellent for those who love their Matcha
Purple Sweet Potato- Supposed to be reminscient of the purple sweet potato that grows most famously in Okinawa, I found this flavour to be most disappointing. It tasted barely any different to a standard Kit-Kat covered in an overly sweet white chocolate.
Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake- This had a distinct 'cheesy' smell when removing the packaging but it surprisingly worked when you ate it - You first get the hint of the cream cheese from the Cream Cheese flavoured White Chocolate and then you get the sweet strawberry flavour from the sandwich filling
Amaou Strawberry- Flavoured with the intensely sweet, succulent Amaou strawberries that are grown in  Kyushu, this flavour had a stronger strawberry flavour than the previous one - albeit quite artificial


All in all, I enjoyed trying out the different flavours of Kit-Kat's as opposed to the standard one's you find in the UK but based on the size/price of these, I doubt I would re-purchase them as you get so little for what you pay for. For next time I'll be sure to try out some of the savoury items from the Japanese Centre. Have you tried any weird Kit-Kat flavours? Let me know! 


























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Friday, 27 January 2017

Northern Cobbler


Cute and cosy coffee shops are totally my thing and this one me and my friend at FatimaWrites decided to visit the other day did not disappoint. It's a quirky little cafe called the 'Northern Cobbler' on Queens Road and quite different to any others I've been to. If you're confused why a name of a cafe would be called the 'Northern Cobbler' it all makes sense once you walk in as they also sell handcrafted shoes - really unique ones too! 

As my friend frequently takes pictures for her blog, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get her to teach me how to use my new camera and try it out for myself. The pictures I took were with the Canon EOS 100d + 18-55mm IS STM Lens, and hers were with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens which I've added at the end of the post. And yep, if you're wondering, I am one of THOSE people who sit there taking x36584 pictures of their coffee and then start sipping it once it's gone lukewarm.. but hey, you get the perfect picture for the gram though right? 


Hot Chocolate topped with dark chocolate flakes - Loved this as it wasn't too sweet or sickly

Raspberry Frangipane Tart - I found the tartness of the berries to work well with the sweet almond filling.  This and the picture below were taken with the Canon  EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens














If you do decide to visit this place, let me know your thoughts! 






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