Thursday, 28 November 2013

Potato and Leek Soup..


Whats not to love about soup! I for one adore it. Its so so simple to make and very nutritious.

Aswell as that, you can literally throw anything int it. Leftover vegetables and half used onions and peppers are perfect for soups! As a result, the combinations for different tastes and textures are endless.

Today, I am sharing my simple and basic recipe for Potato and Leek soup. This is a very Irish soup as we are crazy for potatoes! However, it will be enjoyed all over the world. 

Recently, I've been trying to make healthier choices when it comes to preparing lunches and dinners for college. It is often very hard to buy a variety of ingredients aswell as judge portion size. It is impossible to have alot of flavourings, such as spices and herbs in the press, so simple, naturally tasty food is key.

In this recipe, I 'sweat' the vegetables. This step adds to the flavour, however it is not necessary.

                                          


Serves 2 large portions

Ingredients:

1/2 tbls Butter
1 Large Leek (Or 2 medium)
4 Medium Potato
1 clove of Garlic
1 Onion
1 litre Vegetable stock

Method:

1. On a low heat, add the butter to a saucepan. Prepare all vegetables by peeling and chopping into chunks.
2. When the butter is melted, add the vegetables to the pan and stir, until all are coated in the butter. Using a circle of parchment paper, place this onto the vegetables and cover with the lid. Allow to 'Sweat' for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This is an optional step. If desired, cook the veg on a high heat in the butter for 2-3 minutes before adding the stock.)

3. Remove the paper and change to a high heat. Add the stock. Add enough water to cover all vegetables. (Around 1 litre.)

4. Boil the mixture for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables become soft and break apart. Using a handheld blender, blend the soup until smooth. Taste and season if required.
Serve the soup with some bread or croutons and garnish with a sprig of parsley. Enjoy :)



Siobhán
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Friday, 22 November 2013

Battenberg with a twist!


This Battenberg certainly has a twist! With no marzipan and an extra layer of colour, it certainly draws attention to itself! 

Imagine delving into a bit of chocolate, vanilla and a pretty pink cake all at the same time? Now you can!

It is a very pretty cake to look at. When people first looked at it, they were taken back. They thought I had spent hours making it, when infact, it does not take long at all! I used three layers in my cake, by adding a chocolate layer. This is optional, but I certainly think it gives it an extra wow-factor!

Give this recipe a go! It won't disappoint! 

Ingredients:

Cakes:
200g Butter
180g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
250g Self-Raising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Chocolate Cake:
30g Cocoa Powder
1 tbls Milk

Pink Cake:
1/2 tsp Red food Colouring

Vanilla Cake:
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Icing:
25g Hot Chocolate Powder
65g Butter
150g Icing Sugar

200g Roll Out Icing

Method:

Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line three loaf tins. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together.

2. Gradually beat in the eggs, one by one. Ensure to beat well after each addition.

3. Then, using a sieve, sieve in the flour and baking powder. Beat well, until it is incorporated.

4. Then, divide the mixture amongst three bowls. Weigh the bowls to ensure the mixture is distributed equally.

5. Add the vanilla to one bowl, cocoa and milk to another and the food colouring to the last. Using three separate spoons, mix each bowl well.

6. Pour each mixture into the three prepared tins. Smoothen and place into the oven for 15-18 minutes.

Icing:

7. For this, add all the ingredients into the bowl and mix until the consistency is smooth.



Assembly:


8. Once cooled, cut the edges of each cake, so that all four edges are straight. Then, slice off the risen part horizontally, so that the surface is flat. Each cake should now have six straight sides and represent a cuboid.

9. Then, cut each cake into three narrow strips.

10. Align one strip of each cake in a row. Thinly, ice the sides of the cakes and sandwich them together. Then, ice the top. Repeat with each layer, adding the trio of iced  strips on top. Ensure the different colours are distributed evenly.

11. Once formed, thinly ice around three sides of the cake.

12. Roll out the icing in a rectangular shape. Ensure it the long enough to cover all four sides. Gently lift the cake onto the icing. Begin to roll, so that all four sides are covered. Trim off excess at ends.

13. To create a more attractive cake, any design can be done. I pressed an edge between my thumb and forefinger to create an impression. I also used a knife to form diagonals and placed a sugar bead at each angle.


That's it! It may be alot of steps but its sure to leave your guests gobsmacked!! Enjoy, and feel free to ask any questions.

Siobhán
x




Sunday, 17 November 2013

Carrot cake squares..



I'll admit, before making these slices, I wasn't a fan of carrot cake. I had tasted it several times before. It was either to nutty, too carrot-ty, had sultanas (which I dislike with a passion!), or the icing was too sour.

However, I managed to create slices that not only I like, but the family managed to gobble down the tray in a few hours. Always a good sign.

Another bonus is the fact its so simple to make! Simply add the dry ingredients to a bowl. Then throw in the carrots. Make sure to mix it up so the carrots are coated in flour. This will ensure they don't sink to the bottom.


Also, ensure you add the lemon to the icing. Otherwise it won't thicken and it will be too runny! 

This is definitely something ill be serving up for visitors over Christmas and may even make a staple in our house!


Ingredients:
Cake:
250g Self-Raising Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon 
1/8 tsp Ground Ginger
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
140g Brown Sugar
Zest 1/2 Orange Zest
170g Carrots-grated
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
160g Vegetable Oil

Icing:
120g Cream Cheese
30g Butter
juice 1/2 lemon
390g Icing Sugar

Method:

Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger. nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Mix in the sugar, zest and carrots. Stir until the carrots are distributed evenly. 

2. Then, add in the eggs, oil and vanilla and mix until fully combined. 

3. Then pour it into a tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden brown.

Icing:
4. Mix together all the ingredients and beat until smooth and thick.

5. When the cake is cool, spread the icing evenly over the top. 

6. In addition you can add fondant carrots. Shape orange icing into carrot shape and mark with a knife. Shape the green icing into a small rectangle and cut with a knife to make leaves. Stick the carrots and leaves together. Then place the carrots on the squares.

Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!


Siobhán
x

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Win a baking hamper!! *Closed*

The winner is....

ADRIANA!!! Congratulations Adriana on winning the hamper of goodies! Please contact me on: siobhan5454@hotmail.com  as soon as you can!!





Today, I am coming to you with a very exciting post! In case you haven't guessed, I am hosting a competition! Whoo!!

Infact, it is my very first competition on my blog! I am very excited about it and I hope you are too!!

The competition prize will contain many useful things for baking some nice treats! The winner will receive sprinkles, vanilla powder, measuring spoons, a dough cutter, muffin cases and a few more items!


Rules:

  • Comment below one request for a recipe post
  • You can only enter once
  • This competition is international
  • Winner will be chosen at random
  • Competition closes at 11.59pm 7th December 2013.


Happy Entering!! Any questions regarding this competition, feel free to contact me :)

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Siobhan
x

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Crunchy Apple Crumble..

One of my favourite desserts is anything with apple! Apple crumble, apple tart, apple slices, even plain stewed apple!


When in season, apples should definitely be used! From August on, we always have an abundance of tasty apples as we grow them ourselves.

The best thing about apples, is that they are extremely versatile! So many dishes can be made from this humble fruit! Enjoy :)




Ingredients:

200g Plain Flour
110g Butter
40g Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
4 Cooking Apples
50g Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Method:

Crumble:

1. Preheat oven to 190c. In a large bowl, sieve the flour. Then rub in the butter, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Add the sugar and cinnamon.

Apples:

3. Core, peel and dice the apples. Add the apples into the bottom of a 23cm circular dish (or similar size).

4. Sprinkle over the sugar evenly and the cinnamon.

5. Then, using your hand, spread the crumple topping evenly over the apple mixture, ensuring every part is covered.

6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until evenly browned.

And that's it! Enjoy :) This goes great with custard or ice cream, or even both! It stays well in the fridge for about 3 days.





*Raspberry crumble: Add 150g Raspberries to the apples at stage 4. This is an unusual, but sweet variation.

*Healthier version: Try replacing 50g flour with 50g porridge oats.

Siobhán
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