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Bye bye 2012, 52/52 Classic Sponge

31 Dec

So I wasn’t as good at keeping up my cake or bake weekly challenge as we were at making a monthly munching scheme happen! I have kept up the baking and a good deal of it has been sold for charity!

This year we have moved house, I got a pony, did a sports events that I would never have though possible and went on an amazing safari. Did I mention that the safari was on horseback? All in all an amazing year. So I don’t feel too bad about my baking lapses!

Just bad enough for one final post. A Victoria Sandwich with a recipe from the grand Dame of baking herself, Mary Berry. It’s nestling in my cake tin, waiting for tea time.

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Really pleased with its appearance, it’s glistening with caster sugar like a jewel. The ruby red of my home made strawberry jam peaks out from the sides and the cakes are a lovely gold. Hopefully the taste will live up to the looks!

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Roll on 2013 and some occasional blogs!

25/52 Rhubarb Merengue Pie

2 Jul

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Home made rhubarb curd, topped with a mountain of merengue and served to friends.  Yummy!

Sour cream and rhubarb cake 14/52

2 Jul

A really scrumptious cake from the excellent good Housekeeping 101 Cakes.

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A basic cake mix enhanced with sour cream combined with rhubarb and topped with a sweet and nutty crunch. Delicious and definable one I will be making again 🙂

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Sour cream and rhubarb cake 14/52

27 May

A really scrumptious cake from the excellent good Housekeeping 101 Cakes.

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A basic cake mix enhanced with sour cream combined with rhubarb and topped with a sweet and nutty crunch. Delicious and definable one I will be making again 🙂

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Scones 10/52

11 Mar

If you have ever made a homemade scone you will be amazed at how rewarding they are for something that requires so little effort! And you will never enjoy a shop bought one again!

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They take about 5 minutes to make and 10 to bake. Then if you are particularly greedy,  you can eat them hot from the oven dripping with cream and soaked with jam!

Simply rub some self raising flour, extra baking powder, salt and butter together with your finger tips. Once you have an even mix, stir in milk until you get a smooth dough. I use a knife for this part. Like pastry, scones dough is better if you touch it as little as possible.

Flour your surface and pop the dough on it. I don’t roll mine out I just beat it with the edge of my hand until it is about 2cm thick. Dip your cutter in flour between each slice. This helps your scones to rise.  Cut out as many thick rounds as you can, bake and enjoy!

As I have been a real bumpkin in the past few weeks I was able to serve these with homemade jam.

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I took advantage of a ridiculous offer of £4 for 2kg of cherries and made masses of cherry jam and conserve. The conserve benefited from a slug of damson gin and some vanilla.

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Rhubarb and vanilla is my favourite and made with early forced rhubarb its a delightful pink colour!  I have also finally sorted out a custom stamp so my baking creations can now be labelled up!

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And the winner is…

6 Jan

Lamb Dopiaza drawing with the ever versatile sandwich pies.

So whilst our blogging efforts for the last 2 months of 2011 were undoubtedly poor I’d like to reassure people that Mr M and I did perservere with the cooking and eating part of the challenge!

In conclusion I think our year of munching adventures has definitely opened our eyes to a wide variety of yummyness and ensured we got good use from our cook book collection (it might have grown slightly as a result)…

New Year so new challenge over and out Mrs M.

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A very late catch up; the end of British month

10 Nov

British month ended on a hale and hearty note.

On Friday night after a busy week at work we tucked into Sausage and Guiness casserole with mashed potatoes.

We had family up for the weekend so treated them to hone made butternut squash soup (with wine, garlic and rosemary flavours). This was served with puff pastry and goats cheese tarts.

For dinner we had a light salad with Mr M’s yummy sandwich pies with smoked ham, chicken, cheese and mustard filling. For the vegetarian we did a cheese and onion version. Our guests were very appreciative of the hand held food.

Tea and cake were served later and as it was haloween weekend we went with a toffee apple theme.  Good Food had a delicious recipes on their cover for a lightly spiced, date based cake, covered in slivers of apples and drizzled with toffee sauce. I was really pleased with how my version turned out. It was the first time a recipe I’ve used has asked for the dates to be warned in milk, left to cool and then pulsed before adding to the sponge mix. I think this really helped with the toffee flavour and helped to keep the cake moist.

On Monday night we chopped the mountain of swede, potatoes, onion and beef required for Cornish pasties. The filling was placed in rich buttery homemade pastries. Delicious golden pastry and tender meat made a yummy dinner and did us for 2 lunches as well!

An overall 9 for these efforts 🙂

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Pork and Leek Savory Crumble

27 Oct

Today’s dish was a WI recipe, not something that I had tried before, but we had pork mince in the freezer that needed using so it seemed like a good mid week meal choice. What’s more British than crumble?

A few leeks were softened in oil and then the pork mince was browned. After removing the excess fat, we stirred in tomato puree, a tin of chopped tomatoes, mustard and lots of seasoning. After ten minutes of cooking the meat mix was placed in a dish and covered with a crumble mix. The crumble was butter, flour, Cheddar and oats.

After 30 minutes in a hot oven the top was golden and crisp. This smelt delicious whilst it was cooking, wafts of leek and cheese came out of the oven. The crumble mix was quite dry and both Mr M and I thought that the meat mix could have been juicier to give a contrast. Overall a tasty and filling dinner, Mr M gave it 7.5, which I think was generous.

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Chicken tikka masala

25 Oct

Curry!

I’d been missing curry since the end of Indian month in January, but chicken tikka masala – sometimes referred to as the British national dish – gave us the opportunity to put curry back on the menu. Spurious claims and statistics aside, this was very tasty.

Chicken pieces marinated overnight in some ready made curry paste. Some green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, turmeric and cayenne was fried up in oil before the heat was turned down to soften some finely chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Once softened, this was joined by the chicken for that to fry as well. A tin of tomatoes some yogurt and some garam masala finished off the dish which simmered for 30 minutes or so.

Mrs M provided some rice and scored the dish 7.5 out of 10.

Mr M

Bread and butter pudding

24 Oct

I love this dish, it reminds me of being a kid and comes from the first cookbook I ever wanted – the dairy book of family cookery in case you were wondering. Multiple copies exist in my family and I remember been given my own copy just before I went to uni by my grandma.

Anyway I assembled bread, butter, sugar, raisins, milk and an egg. The butter was lavishly smeared onto the crust free bread and gently laid in an oven proof dish. Once the base of the dish was cover I adorned the bread with raisins,  a sprinkle of sugar and then tucked it in with more bread. The top layer of bread was sugared and then the whole thing was smothered with beaten egg and milk and left to soak for half an hour. About 40 mins in the oven until the top was golden, the raisins plump and the middle gooey.

Mr M enjoyed the retro pudding as much as me and gave it an 8.

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