Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Elvis' favourite type of pie, apparently. Good enough for me though, any excuse to make something stupidly calorie ridden. This is a super rich and decadent pud, perfect for a treat or a dinner party. You can make it way in advance (day before) and leave it in the fridge to set. It's soooo good.

What you'll need:

For the crust:
A packet of digestive/ hob nob biscuits. You could even use chocolate cookies or anything similar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 3/4 cups of heavy cream divided into 1 cup and 3/4 of a cup
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup of softened cream cheese
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp condensed milk

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker

What you need to do:

The recipe gives you the measurements in cups. Now I am guessing this is american cups as it's an american website but they are not the same as metric cups. I only realised this after I made this recipe and tonnes of other recipes and it turned out fine with metric cups. So you could convert US cups into g and try it that way or just use metric cups.

So lets get started, you will need to melt your butter in the microwave.
Now you need to either pop your biscuits in a food processor and blitz until they resemble bread crumbs. Or like me, you can smash the crap out of them with a rolling pin in a freezer bag. 

Now you need to mix them with your butter until they stick together, if they are too dry then add a touch more butter. They need to hold their shape to form the crust.

Now spread your biscuity mix over the bottom and sides of a 9inch loose bottomed tart tin leaving no gaps. Place it in the freezer whilst you crack on with the filling.

To make the filling you will need to place the peanut butter, cream cheese and condensed milk into a mixer with the paddle attachment. Or you could mix by hand or with an electric whisk.
Mix until incorporated by do not over mix or they will separate.

In a separate bowl whip 3/4 cup of cream until soft peaks. Now fold it into the peanut mixture by hand until incorporated.

Fill your cold crust with the mixture and spread evenly. Now whip up the remaining cup of cream and pile high on top of the pie. Now pop it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, top with nuts and shovel it in! Seriously!

I decided to take the rest into work as eating this entire pie would really not be a great idea for the pre wedding diet. They polished it off pretty well in the staff room and I had no complaints so go on, make it!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Waffle Duo

I am off for the summer! YES!
I know, it's unfair, my jobs easy bla bla bla. But I don't care. I plan to use my 6 weeks off to bake, cook and try not eat it all. I need to find someone to eat everything I cook. It's not good for the pre wedding waist line. I did eat these waffles though, as they were for dinner. Daniel loved them too.

My sister Kate bought me the waffle maker for my birthday, it is seriously good! And seriously dangerous as I cant stop using it.

I decided to make savoury and sweet waffles, the savoury ones are made from mashed potato. Heres how to make them.

What you need:
Adapted recipe from Joy the Baker

Serves 4

60ml buttermilk
4 tbsp butter
2 large eggs
About 200g mashed potatoes
64g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
100g cheddar cheese
Prosciutto ham
mozzarella cheese
Bacon lardons

What you need to do:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium- low heat. It will pop and splurt you but it's ok. Just stand back a bit. Let it do that and the butter should turn slightly brown and smell a tad nutty. This is good. Now transfer it to a medium bowl straight away, don't let it burn. 

Whisk in the buttermilk and eggs until combined. Add the mash and gently stir to combine.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix with a spoon until the flour is combined. 

Heat the waffle iron and grease it. I do this with a little veg oil on some kitchen paper. Dollop about a ladle full of batter into the machine one each side and close the lid. 
Cook until they are golden brown on both sides.

I decided to top mine with cooked bacon lardons and prosciutto ham and then melt some cheddar cheese and mozzarella on top. I did this by popping them in the oven for 10 mins, you could do it under the grill though. I then served them with a little salsa and some rocket.

They were seriously yum! Sort of like a potatoey pizza. Gooey and comforting. Go try it!

Now here is the recipe for my sweet waffles.

What you'll need:

250g plain flour
7g baking powder
20g caster sugar
5g salt
475ml milk
 2 eggs
30ml veg oil
2 bananas 
Maple syrup

What you need to do:

Firstly crack your eggs into a jug with your milk. Mix them up with a fork and place to one side.
Now mix together your dry ingredients and make a well in the middle. Now add your milk and mix until combined. There maybe a few lumps but thats ok, don't over mix.

Now heat up your waffle maker and grease it if you need to. Now add a ladle full of batter to each side and close the lid.

Cook until golden on both sides.

Serve them warm with a topping of your choice. I chose sliced bananas and warm maple syrup but I have also used melted chocolate and squirty cream. You could pop some summer berries on them with whipped cream or syrup.

I have tried to pop some blueberries into my batter too, they were really lovely but got a bit stuck to my waffle iron.

Give them a go, tell me what toppings you choose!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Cabbage & Bacon Soup

I have a little lunch recipe for you today. Doesn't sound very appetizing does it, cabbage. But I've become obsessed with it lately. I even replace pasta with white cabbage thanks to Rosie from The Londoner blog, I will pop that up on here soon for you to try.

This isn't a particularly glamorous post and it does send off a bit of a whiffy smell but it does taste great and it is pretty low in calories too. Perfect to take to work for lunch if you have access to a microwave.

All you need is:

1/2 a British Savoy Cabbage sliced
1 white onion diced
Garlic (minced or oil) 1 clove
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon cut up
1 litre chicken stock
pinch of S&P

All you need to do is:

This recipe is super easy you just heat up some oil and pop in your diced onion. If you are using garlic oil then just fry your onions in it. This is what I did, I love garlic oil, no more smelly hands.

You then pop in your minced garlic (not if your using garlic oil unless you love garlic LOADS)

Now cut up your bacon rashers (I use scissors over the pan) and let it cook until a bit crispy.

Now chop up your 1/2 cabbage and pop it in to fry for a few mins. Once it's wilted down a little add your 1 litre of chicken stock and leave to simmer until your cabbage is soft.

I left mine for around 15 minutes.

Now, without burning yourself and making a massive mess pop your soup into a blender add a pinch of S&P and whizz up until it is smooth. If you like it a little chunky then just don't blend for so long. It's up to you.

Once blended, return to the pan to cool and then store in an air tight container in the fridge. Don't put it in the fridge hot as it will lower your fridge temp. Bad move.

I am biased towards cabbage, I just really like it. I hope you do too, it's very filling and thick. 

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Cleaver & Elvis Live

I am so behind on blogging. I have about ten posts to edit etc, I just cant stop cooking! and eating, sadly.
Anyhoo, a few weeks back Daniel and I ventured to Oxford for his birthday to see Elvis Live. After a bit of a lengthy drive and ridiculously long search for a car park that wasn't a complete rip off (we failed and paid a fortune!) we ducked into the Cleaver and hoped for the best.

I loved the decor, not too polished but very clean with an industrial feel. Everything was reused too, scrap metal and wood from an old pier etc. My favourite was these mismatched lights.

The menu was very simple, which I like. I think having a few great dishes is so much better than a vast menu of crap. There were burgers, ribs and chicken to choose from. A few varieties of each and some sides.

Daniel went for a cheeseburger, fries and slaw and I went for a bowl of ribs and sweet potato fries. 

Everything was really great, melt in your mouth ribs, crunchy sweet potato fries and this cheesecake was the perfect mix of creamy and tart with its berry coulis.

I highly recommend The Cleaver if your ever in the Oxford area. They do take out too! How great is that! We wish we lived closer.

We are both big fans of The King and Elvis Live sounded great. I must admit I was a little disappointed to find that the hologram, Harry Potter's moving pictures style that I was expecting was actually just a projected video of Elvis' live performances. 
Maybe my expectations were too high, they usually are.

I quickly got over my disappointment though and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We both did. During the interval we moved to the balcony to stand as it was a tad squashed in our seats. There was much more room up high for dancing.

I do highly recommend both The Cleaver and Elvis Live. However I think you've missed your chance to see The King but have a little look just incase. Uh huh!