Well, maybe not the World! Just a little corner of Birmingham.
Today is my birthday.
I don’t know why my family would choose a cupcake charm for my bracelet?
Anyway, changing the subject…
I asked for some help deciding what to make with some chicken thighs on my facebook group:
There were some nice suggestions, but one really caught my eye. Chicken Satay.
I’ve never made chicken Satay before, but Billie who is a member there gave me a really nice recipe for it.
As per usual, I decided to play around with the recipe, googled.
And came up with my own recipe for it.
It was soooooo nice! Am I allowed to feel a teeny tiny bit of pride for creating it?
Would you like the recipe dear reader?
Chicken in Satay Sauce (Serves 3)
600g skinless, boneless chicken strips (I used thigh, because that is what I had at home, but I’m sure breast would be lovely too)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 heaped tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp coconut milk
half a pint of chicken stock (plain water would also be fine)
crushed chilli flakes (optional)
small handful of crushed peanuts
2 spring onions, finely sliced .
1. Marinate the chicken in the soy, garlic and sugar for at least an hour if you can.
2. Fry off the chicken, until beautifully golden and caramelised. Reserve the marinade.
3. In the reserved marinade also mix in the peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce, lime juice, coconut milk and stock, mix well.
4. Pour over the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Taste, and if you like things spicy, add more heat in the form of the crushed chillies flakes.
6. Serve over rice, garnish with the crushed peanuts and spring onions.
Keeping with the nutty theme I also made Carine Goren’s ‘Go Nuts pie’
A pastry shell filled with toffee and loooooads of salted peanuts and cashews.
A new take on the salty/sweet combo.
Going Nuts Pie
Adapted from Carine Goren’s amazing book ‘Sweet Secrets’
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar
3/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 egg, beaten.
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup double (heavy) cream
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups salted cashews, toasted.
9 inch square pie pan or 14×4 inch rectangular pie pan.
Make the pastry and bake:
1. Process the flour, salt, icing sugar and butter into coarse crumbs (I used my Kitchen Aid fitted with the beater)
2. Flatten the dough out, wrap with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
3. Roll into a rectangle on a floured sheet of parchment paper and transfer to the pie pan by flipping it over into the pan and then removing the paper.
4. Press the dough into the pan, going up the sides too, prick with a fork and freeze for 15 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 180 deg. C.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes until golden brown (mine needed 20 minutes)
Cool, while you make the filling.
Make the filling, assemble and bake:
6. Reduce the oven to 160 deg. C.
7. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and honey, stirring until the sugar melts. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the nuts.
8. Pour nut mixture into pie shell and bake for 10-15 minutes until filling is bubbling.
9. carefully remove pie from pan while filling is still hot, otherwise as it cools it will stick the pie to the pan. (I made mine in a pyrex dish, left it in there and it IS difficult, but not impossible to remove, so do as Corine says :-)))
10. Keep refrigerated and serve at room temperature.
Do try and get your hands on a copy of ‘Sweet Secrets’. It’s a fabulous book!
Well, where do I start?
This is supposed to be my first entry into Belleau Kitchen’s monthly bloggers challenge….
But I don’t know if it counts…
July’s challenge is to select a random recipe from your favourite cookbook.
This is where the problem begins….
I chose my favourite cookbook – Carine Goren’s ‘Sweet Secrets’…..
(Or second favourite if you count ‘Feast’ by Nigella Lawson)
But then I CHOSE a recipe, not randomly, but completely intentionally.
Against the rules.
Dom, send the blog fairy out!!
Is there a Bloggers court? Send me there too….I think we need a jury…..
Will this quick and easy chocolate cake appease the blog fairy?
Or this? (made previously)
|Dreamy, creamy vanilla cupcakes|
Or this? (Made previously)
|Better than store-bought Cinnamon rolls|
Next month I promise I’ll behave.
Quick n Easy Chocolate cake
Adapted from ‘Sweet Secrets’ by Corine Goren.
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate drink mix (eg Nesquick)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp BP
1/2 cup double cream
120g plain chocolate (I used a mix of milk and plain)
8 inch baking pan or 1 loaf pan.
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 170deg. C.
This is where the difficult bit begins…..
Mix the cake ingredients in a mixer.
Erm, that’s it.
Pour into an oiled pan and cook for 40 minutes.
40??? Mine took 70…..
I really don’t know why…could be I used a wrong sized tin (Too square)….it took ages for the middle to cook….by which time the edges had turned, shall we say, a tad too crispy?
While the cake is cooking melt the cream and chocolate together (I did it in the microwave)
Pour the topping over the hot cake, yum…..
Cool slightly and serve.
Marks out of ten? 7.
Would I make it again? Yes! Try again.
Would I do anything differently? I think I’d bake it in a narrower, longer loaf tin, mine is quite short and square-ish, so it takes longer for the middle to cook….
My friend Fran, who lives in Israel, has been kind enough to send me a box of foodie goodies, which I’m really excited about – spices, which are either unobtainable, or exorbitantly priced, over here – za’atar, baharat and hawaij.
Vanilla pudding mix, which is used in a few of Carine Goren’s recipes, is not really available here in the UK, unless I order online, or buy the American ‘Jello’ brand in the little box, from places with fancy food halls such as Selfridges or House of Fraser.
Fran also included some cute little disposable paper baking cases, some for cupcakes and some larger ones, suitable for making the chocolate pear puddings in Carine’s book. As soon as I can get my hot little hands on some tiny pears, I’ll be making these.
I had some kind of exuberant vision of making kibbe, a suitably Middle-Eastern dish, to kind of celebrate the arrival of my box of goodies, and as a virtual way of saying thank you to Fran for being so kind, but things didn’t work out quite as I’d planned…….
The kibbe are in the bin.
They were overwhelmingly greasy, crumbly and smelt heavily of lamb, which I hasten to add, I usually like the smell of.
My husband took one bite, pulled a face, which looked like he’d just stepped on, or tasted something very unpleasant, put his fork and plate down and refused to eat any more.
Kibbe are supposed to be a dish of layered bulgar wheat mixed with lamb mince and pounded (or processed) to a paste, with added spices, layered with a filling of, again, lamb mince, fried with chopped onions, pine nuts and spices, covered with lots of butter, fried in lots of butter and baked until golden brown.
They sound delicious…I don’t really know where I went wrong….
I should have realised when I was adding butter and more butter, with fatty lamb mince.
Well, as they say, you live and learn.
I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to make these again.
From Nadia Sawalha’s book ‘Stuffed vine leaves saved my life’.
Marks out of ten? 1.
Would I make them again? No, unless I found a very different recipe on personal recommendation!
Would I do anything differently? Can’t really answer my own question, as I’m not making them again.
Have a look at this old 2007 post – Coco, the burlesque wonder cake.
I’m on a bit of a roll with Carine Goren’s ‘Sweet Secrets’ book. The problem is that I just want to bake almost everything in it! This time it was the turn of the ‘Better-than-store-bought-cinnamon rolls’, and deliciously yummy they were too, definitely a recipe to be made time and time again….
Makes 12 Large Buns
4 cups Flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsps) instant yeast
1package (80g) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp Sugar
1 1/4 cups milk,lukewarm
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package cream cheese (250g)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,soft
1 2/3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the dough and prove:
1. In a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, yeast and instant pudding mix.
2. Add the sugar, milk, egg, butter and salt and knead for 5 mins until the dough is smooth, shiny and fairly soft.
3. Cover and leave to double in size.
Make the cinnamon filling:
4. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.Set aside.
Fill the dough, roll , leave to rise and bake:
5. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to a half inch thick rectangle.
6. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll into a long roll .Cut into 12 equal slices.
7. Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan (make sure they are spread out evenly with ample space in between) and leave to double in size: Tuck the edge under the roll to prevent the roll from unravelling during rising and baking.
8. Preheat the oven to 190 deg.C.
9. Brush the rolls with egg wash and bake for about 15 mins or until the buns are golden and still soft to the touch. Avoid over baking.
Frost and serve:
10. Cream together the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract to a smooth consistency.
11. Spread a tbsp full of the frosting on each bun while still warm. Let the frosting set ,and serve.
♦ I only used one sachet of instant yeast as that’s all I had at home, next time I’d definitely use 2 sachets (U.Kers only)
♦ I didn’t have any cream cheese at home, so I made a simple frosting to coat the buns using icing sugar and water (Glace icing) this worked well because I didn’t want the buns too sweet, but next time I’ll try the cream cheese frosting.
Marks Out Of Ten? 9.5 ( would probably have been ten if I’d stuck to the original recipe!)
Would I make them again? Again and again and again and again …..
Would I do anything differently? Yes, I’d add 2 sachets of yeast and stick to the original frosting.
….Is the title of a wonderful book which I received in the post this week. From my friend Francesca in Israel, it arrived carefully wrapped in cute cupcake paper, with a beautiful handwritten card telling me about some of the best recipes and tips.
I really appreciate this act of kindness, this pursuit of someone else’s happiness. Thank you Fran.
The book is by Carine Goren, First published in 2006 in Hebrew, then in English in 2010, Carine is apparently the “Baking Guru of Israel” if one is to believe the blurb on the back of the book. It’s not hard to see why – Ms. Goren has some amazing recipes in there, recipes I am really drawn to, probably because of my Cypriot background, recipes that are homely, delicious and one the whole don’t look too complicated, though there is a section in the book called ‘Show off’ for those who, er, want to, er, show off!
I can’t wait to try the two-toned chocolate spiral cheesecake in there and also the coffee cake which includes tahini and halva!
The first recipes I have tried however, are the ‘Heavenly rolls’ and the ‘Dreamy, creamy vanilla cupcakes’.
The heavenly rolls are egg and sugar enriched little, white, croissant-shaped rolls. Delicious and, yes, Heavenly!
|Just waiting to be punched down!|
|Cut into ‘pizza slices’ and roll from the outside in.|
|Rich, sweet and tender!|
I made the vanilla cupcakes as a surprise on my daughter’s birthday, they looked really pretty, with tiny gold and silver sprinkles and silver birthday candles, all lit up, and more importantly, I think I’ve found ‘THE’ cupcake recipe, you know, the one we’ve all been looking for?
|Pretty birthday cupcakes|
|Ready for lighting|
Sweet, tender crumbed, but substantial- and I don’t mean that in a stodgy way, but a good way! I could probably have got 14 cupcakes, not 12, from the mixture. They’re not flimsy little skinny Minnie cupcakes, but big, buxom, blondes!
Notice one huge difference between mine and the ones in the book? Yes, my frosting….
Note: Never, ever, try making a thick frosting using vanilla candy melts. It does not work! Don’t get me wrong, it was still deliciously vanilla-scented, but thin, really thin. I knew already that one shouldn’t let water anywhere near a candy melt, they are severely hydro (aqua?) phobic!!! But me, being me, had to try and figure a way round it. Can’t be done.
Heavenly Soft Rolls
3 and a half cups flour
2 and a quarter teaspoons instant yeast (1 sachet?) I used 2, as mine definitely didn’t contain that much yeast!
half cup lukewarm milk
quarter cup sugar
half cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
quarter cup vegetable oil
half tsp. salt
Glaze: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Makes 24 rolls.
1. In a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook,mix together the flour and yeast.
2. Add the milk, sugar, eggs, butter, oil and salt, and knead for 5 mins until the dough is smooth, even and not sticky
3. Cover and leave to double in size.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into three.
5. Roll out each piece to a quarter inch thick circle** and cut into 8 pizza style triangles.Roll up each triangle from the base to the tip and place on a parchment lined sheet pan (Make sure they are spread out with ample space in between)
6. Cover and leave to double in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 190 deg.C.
8. Brush with egg wash and bake for about 15 mins until the pastries are golden and still soft to the touch.
**Carine doesn’t actually state in the recipe how big to make the circle,so I just guessed!
Marks out of ten ? 9
Would I make them again? Definitely!
Would I do anything differently? No, the instructions were very clear.
Dreamy Creamy Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter,soft
1 cup Sugar
2 Tsps Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk ( I used a little yoghurt thinned down with milk)
250g Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup (half a stick) Unsalted butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
120g White chocolate (Not Candy Melts!)
Make the Cupcakes:
1.Preheat the oven to 180 deg.C
2.In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift together the flour, ,baking powder.baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk.Make 3 additions, starting and finishing with the flour.
4 .Pour the batter into the cupcake pan lined with baking cups, filling the cups 3/4 of the way up.
5. Bake for about 25 mins until golden.Cool thoroughly.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting:
6. In a bowl mix the cream cheese with the melted butter and vanilla.
7 .Melt the white chocolate, add to the cheese mixture and mix until smooth.
Frost and serve:
8. Spread a spoonful of frosting over each cupcake. Keep refrigerated and serve at room temperature.
Marks out of ten? 9.5
Would I make them again? You bet!
Would I do anything differently? I definitely wouldn’t use candy melts in the frosting! ( I need to start following instructions correctly don’t I?
Note: 3 days later, down to the last cupcake..and it’s still fresh and delicious!