Yoghurt Cake

Posted on Monday, 24th November, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |


Recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini. I cannot enthuse enough about this cake! Lately I’ve been finding most cakes too sweet and/or greasy to stomach (horrors!) but this deals with both of those problems nicely. I also always like to have standbys of very quick and easy recipes, and this is certainly both. The only alterations I made were to use self-raising flour (240g, it doesn’t give that conversion) and to bake it in a rectangular pan as my biggest round one is only eight inches and I didn’t want to mess about with extra depth affecting the timing of the baking and stuff – the rectangular one gives the same area as a ten-inch round tin. It’s moist and fluffy and only slightly sweet, and the weirdest but best thing is that it has an almost fruity flavour from the acidity of the yoghurt. It gives it a freshness that means you don’t suffer from the feeling of having eaten something heavy and rich after. Oh, I also used low-fat yoghurt as that’s what I had and it certainly did it no harm.

This is definitely going to become one of my regular recipes, I know it. I’m already thinking of a chocolate version… Clearly I’m more a Clotilde than a Maxence 😉

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Spiced Bean Pasties

Posted on Tuesday, 11th November, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

800g shortcrust pastry
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1-2tbsp olive oil
400g sweet potatoes
650g cooked pinto beans
1tspn coriander
1tspn paprika
1/2tspn cumin
1/2tspn mace
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onions and red pepper fairly finely and crush or chop the garlic. Put in a large pan with a splosh of olive oil and sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into small cubes, about 1cm or a little less. Add them to the pan along with another splosh of oil, the spices, and plenty of salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and cook for five minutes. Then add the beans and mix thoroughly, remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.

If you’re making your own pastry, now is the time to do it.

Roll the pastry out fairly thinly, but remembering it’s go to support a fair bit of substance. You’ll probably need to do only half at a time. Cut out 15cm circles from the pastry. Place a couple of dessertspoonfuls of the filling mixture just off the centre of each circle, wet the edges, fold over and seal thoroughly. Place onto lined baking trays, make a slit or two in the top of each pasty with a knife and brush with milk. Bake at 200C/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes, until turning golden brown at the edges.

Makes 12.

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Posted on Monday, 4th June, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For morris dancing, in my kit colours, with silver clog charms that were a great find on Etsy, and, of course, bells:

Morris dancing earrings

And just for being a bird obsessive:

Bird earrings

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Saffron buns

Posted on Tuesday, 29th May, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

 Very rich, somewhere between a cake and a bread.

Saffron bun I’ve had them come out much more yellow than that before, though I thought I used about the same amount of saffron, hmm. Look at those darker bits where the strands are, though! And when I was at the stage where I’d mixed together egg, butter and saffron the colour was just glorious.

Steep a large pinch of saffron in a little boiling water for at least twenty minutes – I usually try to leave it about an hour.

100g/4oz strong plain flour
150ml milk, slightly warmed
50ml sherry or brandy
7g dried yeast

Whisk together with a fork in a large bowl and leave to get frothy.

225g/8oz strong plain flour
½ tspn salt
50g/2oz caster sugar
75g/3oz currants
75g/3oz butter
1 egg
Egg and milk to glaze

Melt the butter, cool a little, and beat it together with the egg and saffron/water, then into the sponge mixture.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients to form a very soft dough. Turn onto a heavily floured surface and knead until smooth and springy. Oil the top, put it back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave until doubled in size.

Knock back the dough and give it a bit of a knead, just a few turns. Divide into twelve, form into rolls, and place on a baking sheet. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and milk and bake at 230C/Gas Mark 8 for 10 minutes or so, they should be well risen and browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Be gentle with them, with this rich dough they’re still very soft when they come out of the oven and you don’t want them squished out of shape. Cool on a wire rack, if you can resist that long.

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Waste Not Want Not

Posted on Saturday, 26th May, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I have two sets of five 8-inch 2.5mm bamboo double-pointed needles that I’m not using at all at the moment. One of them I, erm, bought accidently in Germany as I didn’t understand what the guy in the shop was saying. Anyway, I’d already stopped using them when I got a set of 6-inch (well, 16cm) ones, and now I’m tending to use needles smaller than 2.5, too. But now two of the needles are back in use! With some Fimo, glue and varnish, I have a diddy pair of straight needles:Customised knitting needles

All very straightforward, but I’m still rather proud of them. That’s a rather small version of Branching Out in progress on them, in a too-cheap-not-to-buy crochet cotton from Lidl, it seems as good quality as the branded stuff, pity this kind of thing is always a one-off in there. But it should keep me going a while, the pack of eight balls cost me as much as I usually pay for one! Anyway, the knitting… I’m not quite sure what the point of it is, I just felt like knitting something really lacy, I’d have gone onto finer thread and smaller needles if I could. I wanted to knit a doily, but after a few attempts at starting one and ending up with a tangle of needles and thread that I couldn’t make head nor tail of, I gave up. But that is what knitting on double-points in general looked like in my first attempts, so maybe one day… There seems to be a lot of starting needles with yarn overs as well, though, and I still haven’t got the hang of that.

I know I’m rambling a bit, it’s one of those days when I’ve had to resort to the painkillers, eek.

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Chocolate Crunchies

Posted on Friday, 18th May, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Or, the store cupboard chocolate fix. These are none of your school fete stuff of cheap milk chocolate, but satisfyingly dark and fudgy.

2oz/50g butter
2tbsp golden syrup
2oz/50g icing sugar
3tbsp cocoa (I like heaped tablespoons for a bitter edge)
3oz/75g cornflakes

Melt the butter, syrup, icing sugar and cocoa together over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflakes – it will take a while to get them thoroughly and evenly coated, just keep scraping the bottom of the pan and turning it over to the top as if you were folding in flour. Spoon into paper cake cases and leave to set. Yeah right. I’m usually eating them when they’re still hot enough for scooping up gooey pinches to be rather uncomfortable on my fingers.

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