Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooktacular Halloween Brownies!!



These are cool! Nowadays things arent really 'cool'. But these are.
Imagine the reaction you would get when you put these out on a table for a halloween party, serve them up to a friend and show them to your kids! They really are 'cool'.
However, they are simple enough to make! Once you have the bases, its easy to put together. For the recipe I used my homemade  meringues, however you can just as easily use store-bought.

Ingredients:

Brownies:
150g Butter
320g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs
90g Plain Flour
70g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
100g Chopped Chocolate

Chocolate Icing:
80g Butter
250g Icing Sugar
40g Cocoa Powder

Tombstones:
4 Bourbon biscuits
1 Square Dark Chocolate
Red icing tube

Ghosts:
6-8 Meringues
1 square Dark Chocolate

Method:

Brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 180c. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add in the sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
2. Add in the eggs one by one. Mix well after each addition.
3. Sieve in all the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
4. Add in the chocolate and mix well. Pour into tin and place into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and springy to touch.

Icing:
5. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. If it is too stiff, add some milk. If it is too runny, add more icing sugar.

Tombstones:
6. Melt the square of chocolate.
7. Spread a thin layer over one side of each of the biscuits.
8. When dry, write 'RIP' onto each with the icing.


Ghosts:
9. Melt the square of chocolate.
10. Using a cocktail stick, dip one end into the chocolate and then dot two 'eyes' onto each Meringue.
Assembly:
11. Spread the icing over the surface of the brownies. Then add the Ghosts and tombstones randomly on the cake.


And that's it! A few components but nothing too hard!
Enjoy and have a fangtastic Halloween!


Siobhán
x

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Basic Meringues...



Today, I am coming to you with a very basic recipe for meringues! I call it basic, because it is the simplest of the lot. This recipe can be used in so many ways to create so many different products!

This can be used for basic meringues to serve with ice-cream, lemon meringue pie, baked Alaska,  Pavlova, chocolate meringues and so, so much more! 

They are really simple to make but oh so delicious! This method will provide a crunchy dry meringue. The lower the temperature, the longer they take, the crunchier they are. Simple!

The most important step when making meringues is to ensure that all utensils are spotlessly clean and dry. Even one drop of water can put the mixture off!



Ingredients:

4 Egg whites
225g Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 100c. Place the eggs in a spotlessly clean bowl. Whisk for 4-5 minutes until peaks form.

2. Then slowly add in the sugar and cream of tarter. Whisk for 3-4 minutes more, until soft peaks form and the mixture will not move, when the bowl is upturned.

3. Spoon or pipe the mixture onto the tray in your desired shapes.

4. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 -3 hours. The resulting meringues should be light and dry.

Siobhán
x

Friday, 25 October 2013

Homemade Yeast Pizza...

As much of a temptation that frozen pizza is, or calling up your local pizza delivery service to drop out your Margarita, a homemade pizza with a yeast base is the best of the lot!

Your own base, your own toppings and your own favourite combinations of flavors, what more could you want!

Although a scone based pizza is easier and faster, the yeast base is truly delicious and worth the effort. The different combinations are endless, you will never tire of this pizza!


This recipe makes two 12 inch pizzas.





Ingredients:

Base:
350g Strong Flour
Pinch Salt
2 tsp Sugar
7g Fast action Yeast
50g Butter
200ml Warm Water
150g Cheddar Cheese
100g Mozzarella

Tomato Sauce:
1 can Tomatoes
1 tsp Tomato Puree
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Mixed herbs
1 tbls Balsamic Vinegar

Toppings:
Ham
Chicken
Chorizo/Salami/Pepperoni
Peppers
Mushrooms
Pineapple
Red onions
and anything else you fancy!


Method:

Dough:
1. Preheat oven the 180c. Sieve the flour into a large bowl along with the salt. Rub in the butter with your fingertips.

2. Add the sugar and yeast and stir the mixture. Then add in the warm water slowly. Do not add it all at once.

3. Stir with a knife until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball.

4. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a floured board. The dough should be soft and springy to touch.

5. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put the bowl in a warm place for 2-3 hours for the dough to rise.

Sauce:
6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Blend the sauce and set aside.

Dough:
7. When the dough has risen, knock it back down. Divide the dough in two and roll each out into a 12 inch circle.

8. Dust each side with semolina if desired. Place the dough onto a tin. I used an upturned circular dish dusted with flour. (makes it easier to slide off after)

9. Place a few tablespoons of the sauce onto the pizza base and spread it out. Add enough so that it covers the base, put is not too thick.

10. Sprinkle half of each of the cheeses onto the bases. Then add the toppings of your choice. Then finish with the remaining cheeses.

11. Place the pizzas into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is lightly brown.

12. Remove once cooked and slide off the tin. Cut into slices and eat straight away.


Topping combinations:

  • Ham and cheese
  • Four types of different cheeses
  • Tuna and olives
  • Ham and pineapple
  • Chorizo and red onion
  • Chicken and peppers


Siobhán
x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Dinner bread buns..


What is it about yeast bread that people shy away from? I think people find it hard to knead and long to make!

But its not! You get to make it or a while, relax and then do a few more steps, relax and bake it! Easy peasy! And of course the result, a delicious bread that is light and airy and slightly addictive!

This is a new invention of the traditional yeast loafs! Little yeast buns, perfect for sharing. They are perfect for a party, simply with some butter before a meal or even just for an afternoon, to tear and devour.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a go. Trust me, you will make this more than once, because its so delicious!!


Ingredients:
500g Strong Flour
60g Butter
15g Sugar
10g Salt
7g Dried Yeast
60g Eggs
210ml Warm Water

Toppings:
You can chose from these, or include them all:
Poppy seeds
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Flax seeds
Linseeds
Flour
Semolina

Method:

1. Sieve the flour into a bowl and then add in the butter. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs,

2. Add the salt and sugar and stir the mixture.

3. In a small bowl, add the eggs, yeast and warm water. Stir together.

4. Make a well in the flour and add in the egg mixture. Stir with a knife to combine, until the dough comes together. 

5. Tip it out onto a flat, floured surface and begin to knead. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and will spring back when pressed. 

6. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Place it in a warm pace for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

7. Uncover the bowl and knock back down the dough. Divide the dough into 19 even pieces.To get the best look, you should weigh each ball (about 45grams) so they are even. However, you can judge with your eye if you like.

8. Roll the balls so they are circular and smooth. Dip each ball into water so the top is moistened. Then dip the ball into the topping of your choice. Then place in the prepared tin.

9. Cover the dish with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area for about 40 minutes.

10. Uncover and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack. 

Trust me, take one quick, they won't be around for long!


Siobhán
x