Archive for the ‘pudding’ Category

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Blackberry and apple muffins

May 18, 2008

blackberry and apple

Muffins have been on my list of things to cook for a while, particularly as I have muffins in mind as a quick and tasty alternative to toast for breakfast in the morning. Many a time I have pictured myself grabbing a frozen muffin or two from the freezer as I run out of the door to work. I finally had a spare afternoon and managed to dig out the muffin recipe I had been saving for this very day. To top it all, I had also invested in some silicon muffin cases, mini and normal sized, so I really was all set to go…

Blackberry and apple is one of my favourite combinations, which harks back to my childhood and many memorable sunday teatimes eating blackberry and apple crumble. So I thought I would transfer this combination to muffins. And to make myself feel better that I was planning to eat these for my breakfasts, I thought I should inject some healthiness in the form of brown flour and oats, to up the protein and lower the glycaemic load. Luckily the combination works very well and they are delicious!

Recipe for blackberry and apple muffins
Dry ingredients
140g soft brown sugar
150g brown self-raising flour
100g rolled oats, blended until powdery
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Wet ingredients
85g butter, melted and just cooled
2 large eggs
200ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Filling
150g blackberries
1 eating apple, finely chopped

If you have silicon muffin cases, lay them out in muffin tins (this helps to keep their shape), or just place them close together on a baking tray. I used 12 mini muffin cases and 12 normal sized cases, and also needed to use a silicon muffin tray too. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix all the wet ingredients in a jug, making sure they are well combined. Then pour the wet into the dry and carefully fold in. When it’s about half combined, add the fruit chunks and continue to fold carefully until just combined. You have to be careful not to over-mix or this will make your muffins tough and flat – not so much fun than light and fluffy ones!

Spoon the mixture into all your muffin cases and tins and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They are ready when golden brown and springy to the touch. Let cool for a bit and then remove from the cases. If you want to freeze them, let them cool completely, then wrap individually in cling film and put in the freezer in a sealed freezer bag.

Tip: If you want to make them more fluffy and less health-conscious, substitute the brown flour and oats for all white flour. 

© Katheryn Rice 2008 

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Banana bread

April 21, 2008

Banana Bread

Wholesome comfort food.

Recipe for Banana Bread

4 bananas*
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml vegetable oil
180g wholemeal plain flour
100g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
85g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp clear honey
100g pumpkin & sunflower seeds

Mash the bananas add them to the bowl of a food mixer with the eggs, vanilla extract, honey and oil and beat until smooth. In another bowl, add the sifted flours, salt, baking powder and brown sugar and stir gently to combine. Then add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and fold carefully together. When it is almost combined, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and finish mixing.

Transfer to a lightly oiled 750g loaf tin and cook for 55-60 minutes at 160ºC. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Let rest for ten minutes, then run a knife around the edges and carefully turn out. Slice and eat warm or keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

It was a lucky coincidence that Mr Rice had just bought a tub of Nutella, so after we had feasted on a delicious, warm slice of the bread, we devoured another one, slathered with the rich, hazelnut chocolate spread – sunday afternoon perfection!

Banana bread with chocolate spread

*You can use defrosted frozen bananas in this recipe.

© Katheryn Rice 2008

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Chocolate Brownie Cake

April 12, 2008

Chocolate brownie cake

My lovely friend Estelle is having a baby in a couple of weeks, and last weekend was her Baby Shower. It was a lovely, chilled out afternoon with a cool bunch of girls, eating lovely food and talking about baby stuff, amongst other things. Estelle was suitably pampered and I treated her to this special Baby Shower Chocolate Brownie Cake.

Recipe for chocolate brownie cake
1 pack of dark chocolate drops
1 pack of white chocolate drops
100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
220g butter
4 medium-large eggs
100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
400g brown sugar
50g demerera sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tub of full fat cream cheese
200g icing sugar 

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl over a pan of hot water, or microwave it on high for 40 seconds at a time, stirring until it is all melted. Any longer than 40 seconds and the chocolate will burn and be unusable. Stir it together until it is all blended, then simply add all the other ingredients and stir again until completely mixed. Finally, add the chocolate drops, give a quick stir and then transfer to two 9 inch cake tins – silicon or greased and lined metal – and cook at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Be careful to leave an inch at the top of each tin, as the mixture will rise whilst cooking, and the first time I tried this recipe it overflowed onto the bottom of the oven. Mr Rice was not impressed when he had to clean it up.

When the cakes are cooked they will be springy to the touch, but remember that the skewer test does not apply here, as you want the end result to be sticky and moist, not clean and dry like a normal cake. They will be crispy on top and gooey inside. Let the cakes cool fully in the tin. With normal chocolate brownies there is no problem removing and cutting them into pieces when warm – even if a little breaks off. However, it is crucial that this version remains fully intact, and the cooler it is, the less fragile it will be.

While the cooling is taking place, make the filling. Simply place the tub of cream cheese and the icing sugar into a mini blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Then leave in the fridge to firm up.

Carefully remove the cakes from their tins and lining paper, if used, and choose the cake with the best-looking top, and place the other on a serving plate.

Then smear the filling all over the bottom cake, and sandwich the other on top. Carefully melt the white chocolate in a bain marie or in 30-second bursts in the microwave, and use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the cake in whatever style you like. Finally scatter the silver balls all over the cake – they will always land on the chocolate.

Leave to set for 30 minutes and serve. The filling makes the lower cake even more squidgy and gooey than normal…Enjoy!

© Katheryn Rice 2008

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Mikki’s Apple Creme Caramel

February 17, 2008

This is a bit of a departure for me – blogging about someone else’s cooking, but when my sister Mikki sent me the picture and recipe for Apple Creme Caramel I thought I had to share it.

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Mikki wrote, “I made this yesterday for Valentines, and I’m pretty sure its the best pudding I’ve ever made! Really! It’s so light and fresh, and only 200 calories! The apple gives it a lovely zing that is offset by the custard. The recipe sounds a bit odd, and I was sceptical to start with, but I made it anyway and it really works.”

Recipe for Apple Creme Caramel – serves 6

Caramel:
750ml clear apple juice
pinch of ground cinnamon
3tsp sugar

Custard:
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
2oz sugar
500ml clear apple juice

Garnish:
10oz blackberries

Preheat the oven to 160C

To make the caramel put the apple juice in a large, heavy pan with the cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then cook over a high heat for about 20mins or until reduced by half. Lower the heat to moderate, add the sugar and continue boiling down for a further 10mins or until thickened to a bubbling darkish syrup. Take care, as it burns very easily at this stage. The syrup will thicken as it cools, so don’t reduce it too much.
Remove from the heat and pour in to 6 ramekins (150ml / 5floz capacity). Swirl the apple caramel round the sides, or use a spoon and spread it around a bit. Make sure to keep some of the caramel to serve.

For the custard beat the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar until smooth. Heat the apple juice in a pan until it comes to the boil, then slowly stir in to the egg mixture, mixing well (this works honestly – it looks like it’s curdled, but it turns out fine). Pour the custard in to the caramel lined ramekins.

Set the ramekins in a roasting tin. Pour hot water in to the tin to come about halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 35-40 mins or until the custard has just set (mine took 45 to go golden on top). Remove the ramekins from the tin, leave to cool then chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve loosen each custard with a knife run round the edge, then turn out on to a plate (hold the plate on top of the ramekin then flip it over) where it will be surrounded by it’s own pool of apple caramel sauce. Serve with a drizzle of the thicker caramel and blackberries.

© Katheryn Rice 2008

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Victoria sandwich cake

January 31, 2008

victoria-sandwich-3.jpg 

Mr Rice’s favourite ever cake. A classic, guaranteed to warm the coldest of hearts. This recipe is so simple – equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour, and light, lovely butter cream melting into sweet strawberry jam.

I’ve changed the recipe a little to make it even more light and fluffy. Nigella Lawson recommends replacing 25g of flour with cornflour. And I’ve added my own touch – creme fraiche. It just gives the cake that extra lift. Try it, and you’ll you know exactly what I mean!

NB: it’s best made in a food mixer with a K beater

Recipe for Victoria sandwich cake:
225g unsalted butter
225g golden caster sugar
200g plain white flour
25g cornflour
4 eggs
3 tsps baking powder
2 tbsp creme fraiche
6 tbsps strawberry jam
Buttercream recipe
150g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line two loose-bottomed cake tins. Put the butter and sugar into the food mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, with a heaped spoonful of flour in between each one. When all the eggs are added, put the rest of the flour in, plus the cornflour and baking powder. Mix it all on a medium speed until it’s well combined, then add the vanilla and the creme fraiche and beat again until well mixed.

Transfer equal amounts of the mixture into each cake tin and place both tins on the centre shelf of the oven. Cook for 25 minutes at 180ºC. Be careful not to open the oven before 25 minutes or they might sink in the middle.

victoria-sandwich-1.jpg

When the cakes are golden brown and springy to the touch, remove from the oven. Run a knife run the edge of the tin to loosen the cake, then carefully remove the cake and lay on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the loose bottom, then even more carefully peel away the paper.

To make the buttercream beat the butter and icing sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. It’s up to you how you put the cakes together. I put both tops facing inwards, which gives  perfectly flat top, plus if the cakes have sunk in the middle you can disguise this by filling up the gap with jam and buttercream, which is never a bad thing! So, spread a good dollop of jam on each cake, then spread the buttercream all over one side, as close to the edge as you can. Then sandwich the two cakes together, and finally dust with icing sugar. Irresistible!

victoria-sandwich-2.jpg

©2007 Katheryn Rice

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Mince pie tarts

December 17, 2007

mince-pie-tarts-2.jpg

For me, mince pies are more about the mincemeat than the pastry, so I thought it best to come up with an alternative to the traditional shortcrust-heavy version. These mince pie tarts use puff pastry, which may be just as calorific, but less heavy than shortcrust. And of course tarts have no lids, so the pastry to filling ratio ends up being about 50/50.

Making mince pie tarts instead of mince pies also gives you more scope for different shapes and sizes too. Make them as big or small as you like, but remember that the small ones might not last very long. No sooner had I put this lot down on the table had Mr Rice eaten nearly all of them. They are delicious, and so easy to make, but the making is much longer than the eating.

Recipe for Mince Pie Tarts
1 medium jar of mincemeat
100g glace cherries, roughly chopped
50g pecans, roughly chopped
50g flaked almonds
150ml Disarronno Amaretto
100g ground almonds
200g puff pastry
50 ml milk

Mix together all the ingredients except the milk, ground almonds and the pastry in a bowl and leave to stand. Sprinkle your working surface with flour to prevent the pastry from sticking, then roll out until 3-5mm thick. Choose the size/s you would like to make and cut these shapes out of the pastry, then move them to a floured and lined baking tray. Carefully brush each piece with milk, then sprinkle on a light layer of ground almonds.

If you want the edges of the tarts to rise up around the filling, carefully score a line all the way round each one, about 1 cm from the edge, and carefully spoon the filling inside this area. You can skip this bit if you like and just carefully spoon the mincement mixture into the centre of each tart, and the tarts will just rise a little less, but be just as delicious.

Cook at 180ºC for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is turning golden brown. Leave to cool for ten minutes, then carefully remove from the baking tray onto a cooling rack. Serve on their own or with cream or ice cream.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Yes, you can freeze bananas

December 8, 2007

We’ve all done it. You get carried away planning your five a day and end up buying too much fruit, some of which will sit in the fruit bowl until it’s time to throw it away. Bananas go from green, to yellow, to brown, to the bin. But it doesn’t have to be this way. They freeze brilliantly.

Bananas are best frozen when they are ripe. Just put them straight into the freezer with their skins on. The skin will go a very dark brown, but don’t worry about this, because the flesh stays a lovely yellow colour and the flavour intensifies.

frozen-banana.jpg

Frozen bananas take about 2 hours to defrost properly, then carefully score the skin lengthways with a sharp knife and pull apart to reveal delicate, glossy and soft banana flesh.

So what do you do with them? Frozen bananas can be added to smoothies without even being defrosted. Banana bread and Banana cake are both excellent with defrosted frozen bananas, and the soft flesh is perfect for banana icing.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Banana and chocolate chip cakes

November 27, 2007

I was in a bit of a quandry about how to approach this recipe. There are quite a few healthy cake recipes on She Likes Her Food, such as courgette and ginger muffins and healthy chocolate brownies. So, do I add to that collection or go the way of the sticky ginger cake instead? I decided to meet in the middle. Brown flour (good), ground seeds (good), bananas (quite good) and chocolate chips (not so good). There are definitely enough good ingredients in these cakes for you enjoy them without feeling too guilty.

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Recipe for Banana and chocolate chip cakes
50g wholemeal plain flour
150g ground almonds
3 medium bananas, mashed*
120ml vegetable oil
240ml honey
2 eggs, beaten
100g white chocolate drops
10g dark chocolate drops
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp linseeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder

Icing
200g cream cheese
1 banana, mashed
50g icing sugar

Grind the seeds together to a chunky consistency in a spice grinder or food blender. In a medium sized bowl mix together the seeds, flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. In larger bowl, combine the vegetable oil, honey and eggs and stir thoroughly until combined, then add the mashed bananas and mix well, then add to the flour mixture. Stir carefully until everything is properly combined, and transfer straight to your cooking tins. These quantities make a fair amount of mixture, and it’s up to you what kind of tins you use. I use a combination of large and small muffin tins, and a flat tray-bake style tin as well.

banana-choc-chip-1.jpg

Cook in the oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes, until golden and a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for a while before removing them from the tins to a cooling rack.

Whilst the muffins are cooking, make the icing. Mix all the ingredients together, using an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale and fluffy, then cool in the fridge until needed. Smooth the icing generously over the muffins and chill until the icing is set. They are lovely and moist, so will not dry out in the fridge or freezer, in fact the cakes actually end up even more moist if they have been frozen.

* You can freeze bananas if you have a surplus, and frozen bananas work really well in this recipe. When frozen the skins go dark brown, but the flesh retains its pale yellow colour. They need about 30 minutes to defrost, and when you peel them you will find soft, glossy flesh that is slightly mushy and allows very easy mashing. You never have to let bananas go brown again – just freeze them! Read more about freezing bananas.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Coconut Yoghurt Eton Mess

November 4, 2007

It’s amazing what you can do with storecupboard ingredients when you’ve got a real craving for something sweet. It definitely brings out my creative side. Maybe I’m making a virtue of necessity, but it doesn’t matter because I’ve discovered a wicked, reasonably low fat pudding, and of course it’s super-easy to make.

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Recipe for Coconut Yoghurt Eton Mess
2 meringues
5 tbsps coconut yoghurt
a sprinkling of chocolate coated seeds

Put one of the meringues into a bowl. Spoon the yoghurt into another bowl and crumble the meringues into it. Combine the mixture, then pile it on top of the first meringue and then sprinkle the chocolate seeds on top and eat. It might remind you of a certain exotic chocolate bar.

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Sticky Ginger Cake

October 31, 2007

ginger-cake.jpg

I used to love Jamaica Ginger Cake when I was little – moist, sticky, rich and gingery, and believe it or not, it can be recreated at home. It takes a little bit of effort, but it’s so worth it. A word of warning though, there’s a lot of sugar and butter in this recipe, and not a great deal of redeeming healthy ingredients, so I have included some ground seeds and nuts to help you to justify eating it.

Recipe for Ginger Cake
250g butter
250g black treacle
250g soft dark brown sugar
300ml milk
2 eggs
100g stem ginger
300g wholemeal plain flour
100g sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp allspice
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp ginger syrup
5 tbsp icing sugar

Melt together the butter, treacle and sugar by heating gently in a pan for a few minutes, stirring constantly. When it’s smooth, add the milk and stir until combined, and the mixture is just warm. Leave it to cool a little.

Chop the ginger finely and mix with the flour, baking soda, allspice and ground ginger. Grind the mixed seeds and nuts together into a fine powder and add to the bowl. Make a well in the middle. Gently beat the eggs and add to the melted ingredients, then carefully pour this into the well, stirring from the middle to bring the mixture in from the edges and combine to create a thick, smooth mix.

Pour the batter into a square cake tin (buttered and lines if not silicon), and cook at 160°C for 1 hour, until it’s risen and a knife comes out clean. Leave it to cool before you take it out of the tin.

This cake freezes really well, so if you’re going to freeze it, don’t ice it, just wrap it tightly in cling film and freeze until you need it. If you’re going to ice it straight away, put the icing sugar and ginger syrup in a mini blender and whizz together until smooth, then drizzle over the cake and leave to set – delicious!

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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