Monday, 27 February 2012

Chocoltae Truffle Cookies

Chocolate truffle cookies


  • 250g (9oz) continental plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken

  • 60g (2¼oz) cocoa powder, sifted

  • 110g (4oz) butter

  • 3 eggs

  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar

  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 75g (2¾oz) plain flour

  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder

  • 1⁄4 tsp salt

  • 150g (5½oz) continental plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped into small chunks

  • Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
    2. Combine the broken chocolate pieces, the cocoa powder and butter in a metal bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted.
    3. Remove from the heat, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
    4. Beat the eggs and sugar, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and chocolate mixture. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture together with the chopped chocolate and stir until just combined.
    5. Cover the dough and chill for at least 3 hours. Even after chilling, the dough will be quite soft.
    6. Quickly roll the dough into heaped teaspoon-sized balls (roughly 3cm/1in wide) and place 5cm (2in) apart on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops are crispy and the centres just set.
    7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Dust with cocoa powder to serve.
    Recipe taken from Cookies, Slices and Squares by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson (New Holland Publishers, £12.99)

    Tuesday, 21 February 2012

    Welsh Pancakes

    Welsh Cakes


    • 300g (10 oz) plain flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 120g (4 oz) sugar
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or allspice)
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 170g (6 oz) butter
    • 100g sultanas
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 60ml milk

    Blueberry Pancakes

    Serve warm with ice cream for a lovely pudding, or with honey or syrup for a breakfast
    Blueberry Pancakes


    • 2 large eggs, separated
    • 5 tablespoons milk
    • 100g (4 oz) self raising flour
    • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
    • pinch salt
    • 100g (4 oz) blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon

    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    Banana & Strawberry smoothie

    Banana and strawberry smoothie


    1 banana
    5 strawberries
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    250ml milk

    Preparation method

    Prep: 5 mins...easy 
    Combine the banana, strawberries, cinnamon and milk in a blender; blend until smooth; serve immediately.

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    Alisha's Dreamy Chocolate Cake

    This delicious recipe is from The Kids Cooking Company ......& its truly srumptious

    Serves 8
    Preparation 25 mins
    Cooking Time 25 mins

    6oz/175g self raising flour
    8oz/225g caster sugar
    8oz/225g margarine
    4 eggs beaten
    2oz/50g cocoa powder
    300ml double cream
    8oz/225g dark chocolate
    chocolate curls & mini marshmallows to decorate
    2 Mixing bowls plus one small bowl
    Mixing spoon
    2 x 9" cake tins
    Pre heat the oven to gas mark 5/200oc
    1 Put the sugar and margarine into a bowl and beat well until it is light and fluffy.
    2 Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into another bowl.
    3 Slowly add a little of the egg & flour to your sugar & margarine bowl, and mix well. Keep adding and beating until all the flour and egg is used up.
    4 Divide the mixture between your two greased and floured 9 inch sponge tins. Now pop the tins in the middle shelf and bake for about 20 mins or until the top springs up!
    5 Decoarte the sponge with the chocolate sauce and marshmallows...have fun!!

    ..... Watch out next week for an up coming competition, lets get the kids cooking & feature their recipes here for a chance to win a Kids Cooking Company chefs apron & hat!! so get cooking now & take plenty of pictures of your delicious delights :)

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    Animal Biscuits

    • 40g rolled oats
    • 100g plain flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 55g butter
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 60ml buttermilk
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6. Grind down the oats until fine
    2.  In a bowl mix together the blended oats, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Rub in the butter using your fingers (messy but the kids like this part) until the butter is in small lumps

    3.Stir in the buttermilk and honey to form a stiff dough.
    4. Lightly flour your work surface, then roll the dough out to 3mm in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with biscuit cutters.
    5. Place the biscuits 2 to 3cm apart onto your baking tray & bake for  5 to 7 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking trays to cool on wire racks.

    Friday, 10 February 2012

    hannah kitchen

    Local chef & patisserie queen Hannah Jones from Hannah's Buns stops by to share her weekly post with us. Sharing her tips, advice & her special recipes. For more of what Hannah has been up to visit her blog

     This week’s article is a dish I have made many times called Halloumi Bake.  I first found this recipe in a Nigella Lawson book and the picture looked so tasty I had to try it, and I must say it does taste as good as it looks.  I wanted to tell you a little about halloumi cheese as it comes from Cyprus where my Yiayia (that’s Nan in Greek) comes from making me about a quarter Greek Cypriot. The cheese was first made in Cyprus back in the Medieval Byzantine period. It is made using sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese has a very high melting point so it’s great for frying and grilling with.  The Cypriot people like to eat halloumi with water melon and also in salads and Greek kebabs.  For those of you that have not tried halloumi before, the cheese is white and the texture is similar to mozzarella. It is stored in its natural juices and has a salty taste to it.  Please have a look at the recipe below and also you can go on my website where you can find my link to my You Tube channel and see me making the dish.
    You will need
    1 Sweet potato (peeled)
    1 Desiree potato (Peeled)
    1 Red onion
    1 Red pepper, 1 yellow pepper
    Half a head of garlic
    Olive oil
    Black pepper
    1 pack halloumi cheese, sliced thinly
    Oven dish
    Preheat the oven to 200C
    1.       Cut the sweet potato into 4cm cubes, cut the Desiree into 2cm cubes
    2.       Peel the red onion and cut into 4 or 6 segments.
    3.       Deseed peppers and cut into 2cm squares and separate the garlic cloves.
    4.       Pour all ingredients into an oven proof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to coat the vegetable in the oil.
    5.       Season with a little black pepper. ( no salt as this will draw the water out of the vegetables)
    6.       Cook for 45minutes.
    7.       Then turn the heat right up to full and place your halloumi on top of the vegetables.
    8.       Cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese starts to go brown.

    Tuesday, 7 February 2012

    Banana & Blueberry French Toast

    This yummy recipe is from 'Jamie's Red Nose Recipes' its a great breakfast treat recipe & can also be used as a dessert. 


    2 slices of medium cut white bread
    a handful of mixed berries
    runny honey (or caster sugar) honeys a healthier option
    1/2 mashed banana (optional)
    2 large free range eggs
    a splash of milk
    icing sugar (for dusting)
    creme fraiche or cream or ice cream to serve


    1. Butter your slices of bread thinly on both sides. Toss your berries in a little honey (or sugar) just to sweeten them a bit. A little mashed banana holds it all together.

    2. Beat eggs together in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar & a splash of milk, then dip both slices of bread in the sweet egg mixture so its egged on both sides. Let the excess drip off, then smear the fruit mixture on one slice, leaving a slight space at the edges of the bread. Put the other slice on top & press down. The egg will help the fruit to stick.

    3. Fry in a little butter on both sides pushing down gently so that the fruit is pushed into the bread. Once the bread is golden & slightly crips dust with a little icing sugar & serve. 

    Sunday, 5 February 2012

    Strawberry Trifle


    500g (1lb) fresh strawberries
    pack of trifle sponges
    4 tablespoons of apple juice
    1 small lemon
    300ml (1/4 pint) double cream
    1/2 tsp of vanilla essence/ extract
    1 packet of ready made custard


    1. place trifle sponges into the bottom of a trifle bowl/glass bowl.
    2. Pull stalks from strawberries & cut them into halves. Place the pieces on top of the sponges in the bowl. 
    3. Trickle apple juice over & then cover the bowl & leave in the fridge for a couple of hours until sponges go soft. 
    4. Pour Custard over the sponges & strawberries & leave for 10 mins
    5. Grate the lemon then use a knife to scrape off the zest. 
    6. Whisk double cream in a bowl, adding the lemon zest & the vanilla extract.
    7. Spread creamy mixture over the custard & decorate with strawberries 
    (or you could sprinkle on hundreads & thousdands or chocolate sprinkles for a change)
    8. chill the trifle in the fridge until ready to serve

    Saturday, 4 February 2012

    Nan's Apple Crumble


    500g (1lb) eating apples
    6 table spoons of water
    ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon of cater sugar
    100g (4oz) plain flour
    100g (4oz) wholemeal flour
    100g (4oz) butter
    75g (3oz) light soft brown sugar


    1. Peel the skin from the apples,  I then use an apple chopper & corer but if you don't have one just cut up the apples into pieces. Put them into a pie dish.
    2. Add the water & sprinkle over cinnamon & a tablespoon of caster sugar.
    3. In a bowl mix the 2 types of flour. Then cut the butter into small pieces & add to the bowl.  Then rub the butter into the flour using your hands until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
    4. Mix in soft brown sugar again using your hands. 
    5. Sprinkle the mixture over the apple in the pie dish. Use a fork to smooth it out. 
    6. Bake the crumble for around 45 mins until the top of the crumble is golden & the apple is soft. 
    7. Serve with either custard, cream or ice cream.


    Friday, 3 February 2012

    Hannah's kitchen

    Local chef & patisserie queen Hannah Jones from Hannah's Buns stops by to share her weekly post with us. Sharing her tips, advice & her special recipes. For more of what Hannah has been up to visit her blog 

    This week I wanted to do my column on a budget night in for two.  This is a three course meal for 2 people for under £10.00. I know exactly what it is like to be on a low income. My partner lost his job a few years ago due to the recession. We found it really hard to go out for meals or even to buy meals for the week.  It was a struggle so we had to come up with affordable meals for our family to eat.  I know there are great bargain meals out there in the supermarkets that you can buy and they are good for what they are. But this is easy to make, affordable and all homemade, which will give you much more enjoyment than a take away meal.  If you make this for a loved one this week I can guarantee smiles all-round.  The carrot and coriander soup is lovely and hot, a great comfort food for this cold weather and really good for you. The chilli recipe I have used for years it’s a little different with the chorizo sausage. If you’re not keen you can always leave it out.  However, the spicy sausage gives an edge to the dish. This recipe is not particularly hot it will not blow your socks off!  But if you like a hot chilli you can always add some red hot chilli peppers, (so long as your partner is keen on hot food too!) There’s nothing better on a cold night than this dessert, apple crumble and Ice-cream. The hot and cold aspect of it goes so well together and this is one of my favourite desserts and trusts me I’ve tasted a lot.
    Carrot and Coriander Soup
    X1 Onion
    X4 Carrots
    Small bunch of fresh coriander
    A little double cream
    1.       Peel and chop the onions and sweat (on a low heat in a lidded pan until soft) in a saucepan.
    2.       Peel and chop the carrots and add to the onions sweat down for 10 minutes.
    3.       Then add the stock and simmer until the carrots are cooked. Add the coriander and season.
    4.       Blitz in a food processers or hand blender and add a little cream to give the soup more richness.
    5.       Serve with fresh bread or croutons. (Check out my blog for recipes).
    75g chorizo
    300g mince beef
    Quarter tsp of ground cumin
    Quarter tsp ground coriander
    Quarter tsp ground cinnamon
    X1 cardamom pod (Crushed)
    X1 jar tomato pasta sauce
    X1 tin of mixed spicy beans
    30ml sweet chilli sauce (found at any supermarket\0
    Fresh red chilli (As much as you can handle is optional)
    1.       Put the sliced chorizo in a hot heavy based pan. Cook until crisp then add your mince beef cook off for 5 minutes.
    2.       Stir in the spices then add your pasta sauce, mixed beans and sweet chilli.
    3.       Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
    4.        You can eat this with rice or jacket potatoes works really well. Also I like to have mine with some sour cream and scatter some fresh coriander on top.
    Apple crumble and Ice cream
    Shop bought vanilla ice-cream or you can make your own.
    X4 cooking apples
    125g caster sugar
    For the crumble:
    50g butter
    150g flour
    100g sugar
    1.       Peel, core and chop your apples into bite size pieces.
    2.       Put into a pan with a knob of butter and 125g of caster sugar.
    3.       Cook until soft but not pulp. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
    4.       In a bowl put the flour, butter and sugar and with your finger tips rub the fat into the flour.
    5.       Then put your apples in a bake-ware dish and scatter the crumble mix on top.
    6.       Put in a hot oven 180C for about 30 minutes.
    7.       Serve with ice-cream and enjoy.