Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Dubai 2018

As some of you may know, me and my husband went to the Maldives and Dubai for our honeymoon earlier on in the year but lucky us, we got food poisining. Yep, you can imagine after making a huge list of all of the places we could go and eat at in Dubai, boiled potatoes and rice as requested by the doctors wasn't quite what we thought we'd be eating! So, when my sister inlaw told me she wanted to go abroad for her 25th birthday I thought what better excuse to go Dubai again. This time when we visited, we rented an apartment on the marina called ‘Golden Stay Vacation Homes’ which was a five minute walk from JBR. The apartment was clean, hotel staff were attentive and I’d recommend it if you are looking for somewhere close by to the walk. Booking it early gets you a great deal too – we got flights and apartment for under £500 pp! I'll add a bunch of pictures so you can see what we got up to during our time there

Typical Dutch Pancakes - Dutch Pancakes being made from a simple batter of eggs, milk, flour and a touch of salt can be served both sweet and savoury - I obviously had to go for sweet option and got the pancake topped with fresh banana, strawberry sauce and whipped cream. 
SALT - Located on Kite Beach, SALT  is a food truck serving an urban food experience with the aim of bringing people together to enjoy a simple meal in the environment they love most and with stunning views of the beach and the mosque I couldn't agree more. We ordered the Chicken Cheetos Sliders which was deep fried chicken, topped with melted cheese and cheetos sandwiched between two soft buns and the Double Wagyu Burger which was 2oz Wagyu beef topped with melted cheese, lettuce and pickle. Both burgers tasted ever so fresh, juicy and flavourful. 

IHOP - Two fluffy Raspberry and White Chocolate Pancakes topped with a dollop of Cream Cheese frosting.  Although it doesn't look like much, they were quite filling and definitely for those with a sweet tooth. 
Chicken Benedict - Two poached eggs on grilled chicken. Gruyère cheese and toasted english muffin. Topped with their famous hollandaise sauce and served with lyonnaise style potaotes. 

Bvlgari Cafe at City Walk - Passionfruit & Pistachio mini gelatos + Italian Ice Coolers, A blend of Amarena Cherry, Apple, Vanilla and Lemon. Encased in a crisp white chocolate pistachio shell, the Passionfruit gelato was a light and refreshing option whilst the Pistachio gelato was smooth and creamy with hints of Almond.

Bombay Bungalow - The standout dish for me was the Burratta Butter Chicken. A different take on butter chicken,  this fenugreek tomato dish ties together both Indian and Italian influences. 
Huqqa - Located on the third floor of Dubai Mall, this shisha café/restaurant had stunning views of the dancing fountains and served the best mocktails of the trip - oh and they also serve selfie lattes, choose a picture of yourself and tada you'll be served a latte with a picture of you on top! This place was such a good find we headed back again for a second time before heading back home to England. 

Nikki Beach - One of the days, we decided to  make a trip to Nikki Beach for the day (Tuesday is Ladies Day and you get your ticket for half price) Here, we spent the majority of the day relaxing, going to the beach and using the pool. The Ladies Day offer also includes six drinks for free.



As you can see, Dubai is definitely the place to go if you're a foodie and a place I'd love to visit again!



















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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Pistachio & White Chocolate Lamingtons

Soft fluffy cakes dipped in a warm chocolatey icing and then rolled in coconut is what makes these Lamingtons truly delicious and addictive. Although I had eaten it many times before mainly during Eid, I hadn't really had a go at making them until recently when I tried the White Chocolate and Pistachio Lamingtons from Cocolicious. A unique take from the traditional Lamington but still just as delicious, these Lamingtons were dipped in a white chocolate pistachio icing with a hint of almond and then rolled in toasted pistachio and coconut. As both are equally delicious, I've decided to include both recipes down below. The cake recipe is the same for both however you can change the flavour of the icing to suit your preference. 



Sponge Cake 
  • 300g McDougalls Supreme Sponge Flour (This flour is what will give lots of rise and make your cakes super fluffly) 
  • 280g Caster Sugar
  • 300g Butter
  • 6 Eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • 2 tbsp Water

Chocolate Icing 
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 115g Butter
  • 3 cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 tsp Cocoa 

Pistachio Icing 
  • 115g Butter Softened
  • 60g Pistachio Paste (M&S do a really good one)
  • 150g Icing Sugar
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
Topping
  • 2 cups Dessicated Coconut 
  • For the Pistachio Lamingtons substitute 1/2 cup of coconut with 1/2 cup Pistachio 

Method 
  1. For the sponge cake, preheat oven to gas mark 4 and line a deep baking tray with greasproof paper 
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, vanilla and water with a little of the flour. Adding a little flour now to the mixture prevents the mixture from curdling. Gently fold the remaining flour until fully combined. 
  3. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for around 30 minutes until the golden and firm to the touch. Check if the cake is done by placing a skewer in the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.  
  4. For the icing, place all the ingredients into a pan on low heat whisking continuously. Thereafter, bring the icing to the boil until it thickens. Remove the pan off the stove and let cool slightly. 
  5. Cut the cake into 2"x2" squares and dip into the warm icing until all sides are covered and then roll in dessicated coconut. Let the cakes cool and enjoy! 
If you have a go at this recipe, tag me and let me know your thoughts! 













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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Fudgey Chocolate Brownies

The first time I tried these brownies was when my friend baked them for me for my 20th birthday and I was in love. They were possibly the best fudgiest brownies I've tried and trust me, I've tried A LOT. The one common mistake I make when baking brownies is keeping them in the oven too long which ends up in a more cakey texture rather than a soft gooey brownie - yummy nonetheless but not quite a brownie. So, keep your bakes in the middle shelf of the oven whilst baking and try not to over bake them - they should still be soft in the middle when taken out the oven.

Baked and drizzled with White Chocolate
Ingredients
  • 200g Dark Chocolate Bournville
  • 100g Milk Chocolate Dairymilk 
  • 220g Dark Muscavado Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 135g Plain Flour
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 250g Butter
Method
  1. Pre heat oven to gas 4/160℃. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt on low heat.  Add in the muscavado sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in your chocolate chunks stirring continuously until it's all melted.
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, let the mixture cool for a couple minutes and then whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Sieve the cocoa powder and plain flour into the chocolate mixture, stir and pour the mixture into a baking tin. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes for a soft fudgey texture or bake for 30 minutes for a firmer texture. 
  6. Once the brownies are cool, drizzle with white chocolate and enjoy!
If you have a go at this recipe, tag me and let me know your thoughts!
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Friday, 8 June 2018

Pistachio Bakewell Tart

Having had a slice of the Pistachio and Raspberry Bakwell Tart at Cona restaurant in Bradford, I knew I had to give it a go at home. Being quite sceptical if it would turn out the same, I was pleasantly suprised! The flavours were identical and the only difference was at Cona, the base of the tart was thinner (I cheated and bought a ready made tart case for this recipe but I'll include the recipe for it below) and it was served with rhubarb ice cream. 

Pistachio & Raspberry Bakwell Tart


Tart Base
  • 450g plain flour
  • 220g butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs 
Pistachio Frangipane
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs 
  • 100g pistachio paste/spread (M&S do a good quality spread)
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to gas mark 4/180℃ 
  2. For the base, mix together the flour, butter and sugar until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Then add in the eggs. Once the dough has come together, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove the dough an hour before use. 
  3. Roll dough out to the thickness of a pound coin, prick with a fork and place in the tart tin and blind bake for 8-10 mins. 
  4. For the frangipane, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add the eggs, pistachio paste, ground almonds and almond extract. 
  5. Once the tart base has partially cooked, spread 3 tbsp of raspberry jam on the base and add the frangipane mixture on top. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes at gas mark 3. 
  6. Once the frangipane is partially cooked, press in a couple raspberries into the mixture and bake for a further 15 minutes until slightly golden. Cool and serve with fresh raspberries and ice cream.
If you have a go at this recipe, tag me and let me know how it turned out! 
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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Chocolate Chunk & Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

Although these look like your average cookies, let me tell you they are quite different. Baked with butter, these cookies have the flavour of a shortbread biscuit but look like cookies. Hey, best of both right?


Ingredients
  • 250g cold sea salt butter
  • 100g granulated sugar 
  • 50g soft brown sugar 
  • 315g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 150g milk chocolate chunks 
  • 1 large egg beaten 
  • granulated sugar for rolling 
  • coarse sea salt 

Method 

  1. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, soft brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (around five minutes)
  2. Slowly add the flour mixing lightly and then add the chocolate chunks 
  3. Once the dough has been formed, roll the dough into a log shape (2" diameter), wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm. Remove the dough from the fridge 1/2 an hour before baking as it will be easier to slice. 
  4. Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and line the trays with baking parchement. Brush the outside of the logs with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. 
  5. Slice into 1cm thick rounds and place them on the baking tray a few cm's apart as they will spread. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown. 
  6. Let the cookies cool slightly before removing from the tray as they will be quite soft when warm. 


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