Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Custard Muffins

I wanted to try out custard powder in a muffin to see if it would be as tasty as it is in a biscuit. Short answer, yes it is. My family ate them all in a matter of hours, although they are massive fatties so this is not necessarily helpful evidence. Personally I thought that they weren’t very sweet at all, which can sometimes be a bonus, but I think that they would be nicer with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or something. Frozen raspberries will work better for this recipe because they will hold their shape more but it’s no big deal if you use fresh.

250g self-raising flour
125g plain flour
90g soft light brown sugar
4tbsps custard powder
100g butter, melted
250ml milk
1 egg, beaten
125g white chocolate, roughly chopped
A few good handfuls of raspberries, frozen

Preheat the oven to 200⁰C and line a muffin tray with cases.

Sift both flours in a large mixing bowl.

Add the sugar and custard powder.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, milk and beaten egg. Fold everything in until just combined.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and raspberries.

Spoon large dollops of mixture into the muffins cases and make for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

These are delicious eaten warm.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Lemon Madeleines

My auntie bought me a madeleine pan for my birthday so I thought I’d give them a go with a classic recipe to begin with. The mixture is quite sloppy, almost like a pancake batter, but the end result is a fluffy little cake. These are great for afternoon tea, although be warned that you might end up eating two.

100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
100g butter, melted and cooled slightly

Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a medium-sized bowl until light and frothy.

Grate in the lemon zest.

Add the lemon juice, belted butter, flour and baking powder and whisk gently until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Cover the bowl in cling-film and pop into the fridge for an hour.

Just before the batter is ready pre-heat the oven to 200⁰C. Melt a little bit more butter and brush the madeleine tray lightly with it. Dust with some flour.

Pour the mixture into the tin, until level with the surface. Don’t worry if there’s mixture left over, just wash and dry the pan after the first round and make some more!

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until puffed up in the middle and golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Vegan Brown Betty

We had my sister’s American friend staying with us for a little while before she found a house in London, and she was not only lactose intolerant, but vegan as well. This was not a problem exactly, but it distresses me greatly when people can’t eat cake. Especially when there is so much of it around that she couldn’t eat. She had a vegan cookbook though, so I amalgamated a few recipes to make this pudding. It was pretty banging if I do say so myself, and with custard on (vegan or not) you could hardly notice that it didn’t have the usual large quantities of butter in it. The recipe is in cups which I apologise for; it’s some strange American thing, and quite possibly the least accurate way of measuring in the world. If you want to convert it, it can be quite confusing because it depends on what you’re weighing, but Delia has quite a good conversation table on her website.

1 2/3 cups self-raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
½ cup vegan margarine
1 cup of soya milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Enough stewed apples to cover the bottom of a pie dish

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C and butter a decent sized dish.

Line the bottom with a generous layer of stewed apples. We happened to have these in the fridge because of all the apples coming from the garden, but it’s really easy to make it you don’t have any pre-prepared. Just cut the apples into chunks and simmer with some sugar and water until they are tender. Then keep them in the fridge for up to a month.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugar and vegan margarine. I used Pure sunflower marg.

Add the soya milk and vanilla. The mixture will look really disgusting at this point, but don’t worry, it will soon transform.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. You’ll see how the texture of the batter is a little different, almost webby. I don’t know why this is, something to do with the soya. If someone could actually enlighten me on this, that would be cool.

Turn the mixture out into the dish, making sure to completely cover the apples. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean.

Serve warm, with custard, cream or ice-cream. Vegan things don’t seem to have the same longevity because there are no eggs, so this is best eaten on the day.