Archive | May, 2014

Honeycomb Chocolate Fudge

17 May

Honeycomb FudgeIt’s ridiculous,  I know.  Two and a half (ish) years of recipe sharing under the name Fudgingood  and not a single fudge recipe.  It’s not that I don’t like fudge,  it’s just that it’s not really terribly cullinarily  (I love invented words) exciting,  is it?  It’s sweet with a uniform texture and the flavour is very samey.  Then a friend asked me to make some additions for the sweetie table table at her wedding.  She loves honeycomb and so boom – this was born.  A nice contrast of soft and crunchy with the honeycomb adding depth  to the chocolatey goodness.  A definite winner.

HC INGFor the Honeycomb take:

  • 200gm golden sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda

HC measureI must introduce my new favourite means of measuring out sticky substances,  like peanut butter, treacle and syrups.   This amazing plunger means that there is no scraping AND you never waste a single drop.  Check them out here.  So measure out your syrup and your honey.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

HC BubblingPlace the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan.  Add the honey and sugar and, without stirring,  bring to a boil.  Once the sugar has completely dissolved, allow it to boil for a further two or three minutes until it is a glorious amber colour.

HC SetQuickly stir in the bicarb and pour into your preprepared tin and leave to set for about an hour or two.   You can of course stop here and break off yummy bits of honeycomb OR you could move on to the next level.

HCF INGFor the Fudge take:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups golden sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup double cream
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 200 grams dark chocolate
  • your beautiful homemade honeycomb

HCF Chopped ChocolateBefore you begin,   you need to prep the following.  Have a large baking tray, a large bowl and a wooden spoon and the container you want to set your fudge in ready.  Once that’s all sorted out, chop your chocolate into small chunks.

HCF CombinedAdd all the ingredients except for the vanilla and the honeycomb to a heavy bottomed medium sized pot.  When choosing your pot,  remember fudge always bubbles up more than you think it will.

HCF BoilingPlace your mixture on a medium heat and,  stirring constantly, bring the mixture to between 115°C and 120°C depending on how firm you like your fudge.

HCF coolingCarefully. VERY CAREFULLY pour your mixture on to your large baking tray and leave to cool, undisturbed for twenty minutes.

HCF StirPour your mixture into a large bowl, add your vanilla and stir vigorously for about 4 to 6 minutes.  You want your mixture to  loose its shine and just start to thicken. Pour the mixture into the container you would like your fudge to set in.

HCF Chopped HoneycombChop up your honeycomb into tiny pieces. HCF toppedPress the honeycomb into the setting fudge and leave the fudge to set for about two or three hours.

HCF SlicedUsing a sharp,  oiled knife, cut your fudge into squares.

HCF SquaresEnjoy the delight of a fudge that has contrasting textures and flavours.

 

 

 

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Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

11 May

CCC Stew ServedI need to admit right away that there isn’t terribly much skill involved in this recipe.  In fact all you need to get it right are some chopping skills and a good dollop of patience. Although it’s an easy recipe, it’s not a quick one.  In fact it does take quite a bit of time, but when it’s a blustery, rainy day outside it is a recipe that is very soothing, both to prepare and to eat. You know how stress reliving punching a punching bag and imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face can be.  Well with this recipe there is an awful lot of chopping and trust me imagining the face of you boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work under your knife is ENORMOUSLY stress busting.

CCC Stew INGTo start take:

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • two small chorizo sausages
  • 2 tins of chopped tomato
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • a few garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-4 courgettes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper and smoked parika
  • Fresh Thyme (to taste) and a Bayleaf or two.

CCC Stew ChickenRub the olive oil into the chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper.  Heat your largest wok and place the the chicken skin side down in the pan.

CCC Stew Crisp ChickenCook on both sides for ten to fifteen minutes until the juices from the chicken clear and the skin is golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave the oil that has been rendered from the chicken in the pan.

CCC Stew OnionsFinely slice the onion imagining your boss/landlord/noisy neighbour/the guy who cut you off on your way to work’s face under your knife.

CCC Stew GarlicChop the garlic into really fine pieces and then add both the onion and the garlic to the wok with the chicken oil and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent.  This should take about 5-10 minutes (Did I remember to mention the  patience as well as chopping skills needed for this ? )

CCC Stew Softened OnionsAdd the smoked paprika to the onions and leave to simmer and then chop the rest of the vegetables.

CCC Stew LeeksChop the leeks and celery into very fine pieces.

CCC Stew CarrotsDice the carrots.  Each of these ingredients adds a beautiful level of flavour to the dish, the carrots add a soft sweetness and the celery a delicious pepperiness.

CCC Stew with Bay LeafAdd these ingredients along with the bay leaf to the onion mix and allow it to all soften together.

CCC Stew ChorizoChop your chorizo, courgettes and red pepper and add to the vegetable mix in your wok and cook on a slow heat to let the flavours mingle (about 10 mins)

CCC Stew TomatoOpen your tins of tomato and your chickpeas, add them to your veggie mix.

CCC Stew BoilBring your stew to the boil and allow it to thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook over a low heat for about half an hour.

CCC Stew Served

Serve with rice, cous cous or mashed potato!  Enjoy.

 

Salted Caramel Marshmallow Pops

9 May

Food Gawker Submission 3Sometimes when browsing the supermarket shelves (fess up, we all do it) you spot an ingredient that makes you go Oooooh, and then Hmmmm and before you know it you’re that crazy lady standing still in the aisle muttering to yourself, envisioning all the things you’re going make with your amazing new find.  I do this more than I like to admit, but that’s not the point, the point is Oooooh, look what I found.

MP FlavourThat’s right SALTED caramel flavour.  Can we all say YUM!  So salted caramel . . .  salted caramel marshmallows . . . on a stick . . . covered in chocolate.

MP INGTo start take:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsps Salted Caramel Flavour
  • 400gms golden caster sugar ( you can use white, but golden will give a more caramelly flavour and yes, caramelly is a word.
  • 400 ml cold water
  • 36 gms powdered gelatine (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 20mls of golden syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • icing sugar and corn flour in equal measure to dust
  • 200 gms chocolate to coat
  • salt crystals to decorate

MP Sifted SugarLine a baking dish (mine was 29cm by 24cm) with parchment paper and sift some of the corn flour icing sugar mix on the bottom.

CM Egg WhiteIn a heat proof bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks.

MP GelatinPlace some water in the bottom of a small pot and then create a double boiler by placing a bowl in the pot.  Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.  Add 200mls of water to the bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatine on top of the water.  Set this aside.

MP MixutreAdd the sugar,  the syrup, the salt and the water to a medium sized pot and place over a medium heat.  Bring the sugar mix to a boil and cook until it reaches 130°C,  or 266°F for those of you across the pond.  A few minutes before the mixture reaches 130°C, place the pot with the bowl of gelatine on a medium heat and warm until the gelatine has completely dissolved.  Once you’ve reached 130°C, remove the sugar mix from the heat and add the gelatine mix to it.  Be careful, the mix WILL bubble up.

MP BeatenWhisk up your egg whites one more time and then, with the electric beater still whisking, slowly pour the sugar syrup on the egg whites until it has all been absorbed. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and resembles the mixture in the bowl above.  This should take about 7-8 minutes.

MP SettingPour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and leave to set (about 4 hours)

MP CubedSprinkle  a chopping board with your corn flour, icing sugar mix and turn your marshmallow slab onto the chopping board. Then using your sharpest knife (either oil it or coat it in your corn flour, icing sugar mix) cut your marshmallows into cubes.

MP Melted ChocolateMelt your chocolate, either in a microwave or in a bowl over a pot of just simmering water.

MP DippedStick a cake pop stick into your marshmallow and dunk it into the chocolate.  AVOID the temptation to pop the whole lot in your mouth at this stage.  Or maybe try just one . . . you know in the interests of quality control 😀

MP coolingOnce your pops have cooled slightly, but are still tacky, sprinkle a some salt crystals on top.  If you put them on while the chocolate is too warm they will dissolve.

MP BiteEnjoy the squishy awesomeness!

 

 

Vappumunkit/May Day doughnuts

5 May

What is it about other peoples’ food that is so much more exciting than your own?  In this spirit,  I have invited a guest blogger to share a little something from her native land.  So please rattle your keyboard keys together and give a warm welcome to Laura!

CD Finished

For whatever reason, there’s a tradition in Finland that we make doughnuts for May Day. In my family we made them ourselves every year and it was an integral part of the May Day celebrations. We followed a recipe cut from the food section of a Finnish Seura magazine, with a few tweaks of our own. I think the recipe must be at least 25 years old, maybe more. The doughnuts were often eaten with sima, a mead-like non-alcoholic drink we also made ourselves.

The recipe is easy to follow, but you should reserve about three hours to make these doughnuts, although that allows an hour for the dough to rise. It’s a big dough so you’ll get a lot of doughnuts out of it.

CD IngIngredients:

  • 5dl milk
  • 50g fresh yeast/20g dry yeast
  • 1 1/2dl granulated sugar
  • 2tsp salt
  • 8-16g ground cardamon (depending on how much you like cardamon)
  • 100g butter
  • 14-15dl plain flour
  • oil for frying the doughnuts.

Heat the milk to 37 Celsius if using dry yeast or 45 Celsius if using dry yeast. Add in the yeast, making sure that it is fully dissolved if using fresh yeast.

 

CD Warmed Milk

Whisk in eggs, sugar, salt and cardamon. Gradually add in about two thirds of the flour.

CD Mixture

Knead in softened butter and continue kneading while you add more flour.

CD Dough

The dough is done when it comes off your fingers rather than sticking to them. Cover the mixing bowl with cling film or a sheet of greaseproof paper and a kitchen towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for an hour. The dough should double in size.

CD Dough Risen

Once the dough has risen, sprinkle flour onto a clean surface or a baking mat. Scoop out some dough and cut with a knife dipped in flour to suitable chucks. Roll these into balls and set on a baking sheet to wait.

CD Dough Balls
Fill a pan with a flat base with the cooking oil and set to heat. The oil should ideally be about 2-3 inches deep. The oil is hot enough for the frying when a dollop of the dough rises to surface immediately. Depending on the size of the pan, you can cook 4-5 doughnuts at a time. To make ring doughnuts, push two fingers from opposite sides of the ball of dough to make a hole and widen it as desired. Gently lower the doughnuts into oil to avoid splashes. When the underside has turned golden brown, flip the doughnuts to cook the other side.

CD Frying

If the doughnuts begin turning dark too quickly, turn down the heat. Fish out the cooked doughnuts with a slotted spoon and set to drain on some kitchen roll. When the doughnuts have cooled for about a minute, roll them in a bowl with sugar and set them aside.

CD Golden Brown

If you’re not intending for all the doughnuts to be eaten immedialy, leave some unsugared. If you store sugared doughnuts in a plastic container, the sugar will melt. To sugar doughnuts after they’ve cooled down, pop them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to warm them slightly and then roll them in sugar.

CD End Pic

As a variation, you could make doughnuts filled with jam. To do this, make a depression in the dough balls before cooking, insert some jam and then pinch the edges close. Be sure to do this well, though, to prevent the seam from opening during the cooking. Alternatively, you can pipe jam into cooked doughnuts. If you make doughnuts with apple jam, try adding some cinnamon into the sugar you roll them in.

The cooled cooking oil can be sieved and re-used for similar purposes.

Thanks Laura,  these were AMAZING!  Please give them a bash and please enjoy!

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

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