Saturday, 25 February 2012

White chocolate, ginger and lemon mousse

Another easy peasy chocolate pudding from Lorraine. Even before I started cooking this I cut the quantities down as there was only three adults eating this, this was by half. But we still managed to have enough for four generous portions. This has to be one of the richest desserts I have ever eaten. If you make this don't be stingy with the ginger. I should have cut the pieces much smaller as they did spoil it a little but it would have cut through the chocolate a little more with extra ginger.

It was one of the very few occasions that I didn't manage to finish my portion of this dessert, and in fact it lasted me a few evening trying to get through it. If you love white chocolate you will love this, if you don't or only just like it a little then don't go there. Make a really nice dark chocolate mousse with the ginger instead.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Scotch Egg

I can't believe how quickly these weeks are going past, even with a weeks holiday this is the first chance I've had to sit down and update the blog. So, scotch eggs. It's been quite a few years since I had eaten a scotch egg and that was a ready made, multi pack from Tesco when I was about ten. Now when Lorraine describes these on her programme she makes such a big thing about journeys and having to buy a scotch egg. I couldn't quite believe this knowing what a shop bought scotch egg tastes like. Well, how things can change when you make it yourself. Yes they can be a bit of a faff but completely worth it.

I mean, just look at that egg, how yummy does it look!!!!  I spread the sausage meat out on some cling film and tried to draw it up around the egg, this is the messy bit and I did end up spreading to thin in places and thick in others.

Would I make them again? Probably not unless there was a specific call for scotch eggs but they filled a lunchtime hole nicely.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Gooey Pecan pie

Well it seems to have been ages since I wrote about something sweet. I find it so much easier talking about the sweet things I make, shows where my true passions lie I suppose. I love pecan pie, when I was young we used to get this fantastic pecan dessert with cinnamon, it was like a huge danish pastry. For years I've been trying to find that dessert which I think came from a freezer section of a supermarket but I've never found it or anything to match it. So the next best thing is pecan pie, although sadly lacking the cinnamon. This is a good one, especially as it is gooey. I'm quite proud of the pastry too, I'm still a bit hesitant when I make it but it turns out well more often than not these days. The practice is starting to pay off.

For some reason, in my pie all the pecans floated to the top, where as in Lorraines picture they are all spread out. Don't know why, but didn't really matter because it still tasted really good. Yum

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Cheese and Ham Bread

The great thing about cooking through Lorriaine book is the chance to make bread. I'm sure I've mentioned it before but I love making bread but never have the time. I made this loaf on a saturday morning for lunch. From watching the The Great British Bake Off there was a brilliant episode at the end where Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry gave lots of tips about some of the recipes. The tip I learnt was don't put the salt directly on yeast because it will die. So from then on I'm always really careful when I mix the dough. I'm still pretty lazy though and end up using the dough hook on my kitchen aid. This was quite a simple loaf to make and and because it includes cheese and ham you know it's going to be tasty.

As you can see from the picture I always seem to end up with quite stodgy bread, I'm not sure why, could be because I don't knead it for long enough or I don't let it prove for long nough or it isn't warm enough. Anyway, a lot of my bread comes out with the texture of a fudgey cake. Saying that though it does taste nice and was lovely with the big bowl of warm soup, especially with this freezing cold weather.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fish 'n' Chips

My goodness it seems ages since I made this. Every now and then we treat ourselves to a friday night dinner of take out fish and chips. But there it was in the book, so it had to be done. I'm not confident using the deep fat fryer so I had to have Mark on hand to help me out. I think I had too many safety films drummed into me while I was at primary school about chip fans going on fire and the firemen having to come out, along with the death scene at an electric station where the boy kicks his football in and dies trying to retrieve it. Well it worked for me, scared me out of using fryers for the rest of my life! Anyway, we have a deep fat fryer, Tesco Value, which doesn't fill you with confidence, but it does the job. It's a pretty simple dish to make up, mix up the batter dip in the fish and fry, alongside cooking your chips, also deep fried.

Of course, this would be no ordinary batter, we're talking about Lorraine here, so it's beer battered fish and chips. I do know that bubbles make a good batter, along with cold bubbles (mmm champagne batter??!!) but because of my fear of the fryer I don't think I cooked them for long enough. It still tasted nice but the batter was slightly soggy in places. But the most important part of this meal on this particular day was the lovely excuse to have a pint of cold beer to go with it, well I had to finish the bottle!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Mum's chilli con carne

Again, it's been quite a while since my last post. Our house seems to have been hit by the plague recently. I've basically been bed bound for a week and cooking has been non-existent. I did find time to make myself a birthday cake and a few cookies so it wasn't all bad.

So back to the cooking. This is called Mum's chilli con carne in the book. As far as chilli's go it's not out of the ordinary, no ingredients that are going to stand out as being different. We usually make chilli from any leftover bolognaise sauce, which is soo lazy so it was quite nice to have a sauce that was chilli specific. This has a few extra spices that I wouldn't use, such as cumin. But this is alongside the usual chilli and cayenne pepper. This is a really good chilli, with a nice warm heat that isn't overpowering. We'll be making a few adjustments to our usual sauce but we'll stick to our lazy ways.