Posted in food

Chocolate Heaven Cake

Who doesn’t like a chocolate cake?

While we are stuck in another lock down, we need a pick me up, and this cake has definitely been that for us. It is very light, and moist, and the flavour is intense and just delicious. With a dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache to fill and top the cake, this cake really does hit the spot when you are in need of that sweet treat.

I have always loved a chocolate cake, and the best part was always that I would help my mum in the kitchen to make one. The recipe that I have used today is actually from Mary Berry, as I have lost my mums recipe and am in need of replacing it as soon as possible. (I haven’t got the heart to tell her I’ve lost it). What I think makes anything you cook and bake taste even better is when you make it with your mum, (or daughter/son), and I definitely think this cake tastes better for me and Isabelle compared to everyone else who has tried it.

So here is my take on the Mary Berry recipe that I have adapted for us, and made the only way I know how. (I only used the ingredients she gives, I didn’t follow her instructions).

Ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 250g Butter / Margarine
  • 250g Caster Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder (Isabelle did 6, I didn’t really mind, and it tasted great so she must know something)

For the Ganache’s

  • dark chocolate (we used the sharing bag of Bournville chocolate buttons)
  • White Chocolate (We used the sharing bag of dairy milk white chocolate buttons)
  • Single Cream (we were supposed to use double but single cream was all we had)
  • Icing sugar (I have no idea how much I just did it by eye)

When you cook and bake all the time, or a lot, measurements tend to go out the window. Usually I try to take a note of how much ingredients I am using but sometimes it is nearly impossible.

Method

  1. Line 2 cake tins with greased proof paper, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together
  3. Add in flour and mix
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the cocoa powder, and mix well. I use an electric whisk to do this to get as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and airy.
  6. split mixture into 2 and pour into lined cake tins.
  7. put into oven for 20-25 mins until cooked all the way through.

Tip: Don’t open the oven door until the cake is cooked as it will spoil the rise.

To Make the GANACHE

  1. Melt the chocolate (you are making 2 ganaches, one white chocolate and one dark chocolate so melt the chocolates separately)
  2. Mix in 2 tbsp of single cream. You are looking for a thick cream consistency, continue to add cream by tbsp until it reaches this consistency.
  3. Add in 2 tbsp of icing sugar.
  4. Mix well – this will cause the creamy texture to toughen a little.
  5. Decorate on cake. White chocolate in the centre of the sandwich and dark chocolate on the top.
  6. ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, if you have any questions feel free to contact me and ask me anything. I am always happy to help.

Much Love

If you wish to see my car crash of a tutorial please see my video below.

Posted in food

Potato Rosti

I came across this recipe by attempting to make a hash brown, instead we now have these with our fry ups or just an egg and beans. This is a wonderful alternative to a hash brown and are very filling, so we usually have them as a brunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 Med Potatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of chives
  • 1 handful grated cheese

How I made it

This is a really simple recipe to make, but a bit of practise will ensure that you get these perfect every time. It took me at least 4 attempts before I was happy with my creation.

  1. Boil the potatoes for 5-10 mins (whole)
  2. Take potatoes out of boiling water and leave to cool to room temp.
  3. Peel the potatoes to remove the skin
  4. Grate potatoes and place them onto a clean tea towel. Gently squeeze to remove excess liquid. This tip is absolutely vital as without this step you will end up with soft Rosti’s with no crunch.
  5. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix with hands
  6. Create small balls of the mixture and flatten slightly.
  7. place into the frying pan on a low/med heat until golden, then flip until golden on the other side (about 4-6 mins on each side)
  8. Serve.

There really isn’t a lot of skill in creating the potato rosti’s it is just about making sure that you do every step and are able to work out when they are cooked just right.

The more you try this recipe the easier it will become and soon you won’t need to even look at a recipe to make them.

I serve these with a fry up instead of a hash brown, or even just sausages and beans instead of mash. This makes the meals different and more interesting.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know how it goes.

Much love xx

Enjoy !!!

Posted in food

Perfect sausage rolls

Sausages rolls always go down well in my house. When we have visitors round I always make sure I have a fresh batch cooked ready for us to snack on. The children love them, and the adults love them even more, they are so easy to make that they literally take no time at all to make.

What I love about this recipe that I use is the versatility and thousands of adaptations you can make to make something individual and amazing. This is such an easy recipe that I even let my little girl help me make them as she loves to help me in the kitchen, she has now got to the point where she needs very little supervision to be able to put the sausage rolls together, and she absolutely loves it!

Ingredients

1 pack of ready to roll puff pastry (or make your own)

1lb Sausage meat – I got mine from the local butchers which he infused with herbs and spices to make the sausage rolls extra tasty.

1x egg beaten – for glazing the sausage rolls

Optional Ingredients

  • Grated Cheese
  • Grated Apple
  • Sage (fresh or dried)
  • Sesame Seeds (for topping)
  • Chilli Paste

You can literally add anything you like with your sausage meat to make something truly special. Theses are just a few examples of things we have tested in our kitchen. (not all ingredients at once). So experiment and have fun with it, even make a little competition with your children on who can come up with the best fillings for a Sausage Roll. I love to make cooking fun and involving my daughter and her friends in the baking and cooking which happens in my house.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Line baking tin with greaseproof paper
  3. roll out the puff pastry
  4. Place small amount of sausage meat (and any other ingredients desired), along the long edge of the pastry.
  5. gently roll the pastry and meat mixture to create the classic sausage roll shape.
  6. Cut remaining pastry to reuse later
  7. Slice the long sausage roll into desired lengths, I got 6 sausage rolls out of this first piece.
  8. Place onto baking tray
  9. repeat with left over pastry
  10. Slice the top of each sausage roll, to allow steam to escape (see picture for example)
  11. Brush each roll with egg (called egg wash) and place into oven

It usually takes about 20-30 mins to cook thoroughly.

These Sausage Rolls are best eaten when still warm, there is nothing quite like the taste of them warm compared to cold. They should last a couple of days in the fridge (although they don’t last 5 minutes in my house).

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (and my best friend), let me know how you get on if you do try it out!

Much Love xx

Enjoy!!

Posted in food

Creamy Leek and Kale Lasagne

A lasagne has been a family favourite for decades in my household, but I was beginning to get a little tired of having the same lasagne everytime. I decided to try and change it up a little, and this is the kind of lasagne that I created.

Ingredients

  • 300g Kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • juice of half lemon
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 200g ricotta
  • 150ml veg stock
  • 4 tbsp basil pesto
  • lasagne sheets
  • parmesan, grated

How I made it

  1. preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas mark 6. Grease baking dish with olive oil
  2. bring pan of salted water to boil. add kale. cook for 4-5 mins then drain. pat dry with kitchen paper
  3. heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. add leeks and season generously. cook for 8-10 mins
  4. add garlic and thyme and cook for 2 mins. add kale, lemon juice, mascarpone and ricotta (leave 4 tbsp for later. mix to combine well
  5. add veg stock to loosen into a thick sauce. remove from heat
  6. spread 1/4 of sauce into bottom of dish. dollop 1 tablespoon of pesto, then layer with lasagne sheets. do this until all sauce has been used. end with lasagne sheets.
  7. mix the last bits of ricotta with a splash of stock, spread over the top layer. add grated parmesan.
  8. bake for 20 mins until golden and bubbling.

There were mixed reviews about this dish, my little one decided it was “yucky” before even trying it but everyone else seemed to enjoy it as an alternative to the standard type.

Let me know what you think! Will you be trying this as well??

Enjoy xx

Posted in food

Chicken, Bacon and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta is such a simple dish to make, you can literally throw anything you like into it and it makes it something special.

I love to pack my pasta dishes full of veg and goodness, but sometimes I let us have a naughty binge with our pasta.

The Chicken Alfredo is my twist on a classic carbonara and is super delicious. Served with a side salad or a slice of garlic bread it is a wonderful treat for all.

Ingredients

  • 320g fettuccine or tagliatelle
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 6 streaky bacon rashers chopped
  • 4 chicken fillets
  • salt and black pepper
  • knob of butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 200g mushrooms sliced thickly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 220ml cream
  • 200ml whole milk
  • handful parsley
  • 100g spinach chopped
  1. Put the pasta on to cook according to package instructions
  2. heat olive oil in large pan over med heat, cook bacon until crisp and golden
  3. season chicken with salt and pepper add to pan which bacon was cooked in. cook for 3-4 mins each side until golden and just cooked through. transfer to plate with bacon, cover with foil to keep warm
  4. melt butter in same pan, add onion, cook for 3-4 mins until soft. add mushrooms and cook for 6-8 mins until golden. Add garlic and cook for around 30secs
  5. add cream and milk, summer for 8-10mins or until begins to thicken. add in chicken and bacon. season to taste.
  6. add cooked pasta, fresh parsley and spinach, stir to combine. warm through for 1-2mins.
  7. serve with parmesan

This is a really quick and simple dish that tastes amazing. My little girl didnt think so though! She much preferred the garlic bread, but you win some you lose some. X

Let me know what you think about this recipe and if you’re going to give it a try x

Enjoy! Xx

Posted in food

Tuna Pasta Bake

This is a dish that can be used as a packed lunch. I used to have Tuna Pasta Bake for lunch hundreds of times at school. It’s a sure fire way to make sure that little ones are getting a healthy meal, and is perfect for those busy days when school is over. On an evening when you have football, dance, piano, karate, anything that your children might do, giving them a meal at lunch means that they can have a lighter option for their dinner.

Nobody likes to have a hungry child.

As stated above, this is a recipe which I used when I was a child. My mum used to make it, and then she taught me.

That’s what cooking is about though, right? Finding a recipe which everyone likes and passing your version of it down generation after generation. You add in “secret ingredients” or you mix everything in a particular way to get the taste/texture etc, you desire.

Cooking is all about experimenting and that is what I do with my food everyday. I make sure to teach my little one (who’s only 3) the basics of cooking every time I make something, and as she gets older she will do more. Cooking is a fundamental skill which we all need in order to survive. It brings us joy, flavour, colour, and taste. It makes our lives brighter and better. More importantly, it keeps us alive.

So here is my recipe for a wonderful Tuna Pasta Bake.

Ingredients

  • Pasta (usually a cup of pasta per mouth, plus one for luck)
  • 2 tins of tuna
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 100ml milk (or more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • Cheese to serve
  • 1 packet of plain crisps crushed (optional)

you can also add peppers or mushrooms if you desire which makes a slightly different dish, just as delicious.

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. Put the pasta on to boil as per packet instructions.
  3. Melt the butter over a low heat, and add the flour in gradually. Heat through for around 3 mins.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer (but continuously stirring so the milk doesn’t burn) until a thick sauce has developed.
  5. Add in the tomato puree and heat through until completely mixed in.
  6. Add in Tuna and Sweetcorn until heated.
  7. Drain Pasta and mix into the sauce.
  8. Pour pasta into an oven proof dish. Top with Cheese and crushed crisps, place in oven for around 20 mins, or until golden and bubbling.
  9. Serve up with a salad.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. This is a super scrummy dish that I think is perfect for lunch, instead of always having sandwiches in different varieties.

Much Love xx

Emma x