thinhungrygirl

Category: baking

simple sunday

things i have recently learnt – never leave your other half in front of saturday kitchen because you will end up making something.

most recently, it was this chocolate marshmallow brown sugar fudge.

fudge2confectionery making has always been a bit of a dream of mine but, as we all know, sugar can be a cruel mistress. this recipe and method however seemed to rely plenty on watching and guess work as opposed to sugar thermometers and precise temperatures, so we thought we’d give it a go.

we halved all ingredients to make sure the mixture would fit into our pans, but this is the original ingredient list.

ingredients:

butter = 70g

soft light brown sugar = 300g

evaporated milk = 125g

pink & white marshmallows = 1 pack

milk chocolate = 300g

dark chocolate = 75g

method:

– set up your tin by lining it with greaseproof paper

– put the butter, sugar and milk in a pan and melt gently; check to see if the sugar has dissolved by dipped the back of a teaspoon in the mix and seeing if there are any obvious sugar crystals left

– once the sugar has dissolved, add the marshmallows and turn up the heat to boil the mixture; stir occasionally, because it’s fun to see everything mixing together (this should take 5-6 minutes)

– take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate; leave this for a few minutes to let the chocolate melt in to the mix, then stir

– pour the mixture into your lined tin and leave for a few hours to set

– cut up and try a piece, for scientific reasons

– take some into work and feel smug when you can offer your colleagues a piece of homemade fudge

fudge

fudge5

fudge3

the result is crumbly, chocolatey and sugary – great in small doses, but don’t try to scoff the lot at once.

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feel good food

2013-05-31 22.22.28sometimes, i wonder where my love of food comes from. i was a fussy little eater when younger – i still wont touch butter or mayonnaise, but steak, spice and rice all seemed to be off my radar. then, a birthday or event rolls around and i remember! it’s because food makes everyone happy.

it was recently my brother’s birthday and i decided to take on a task i have never taken on before – making the birthday cake.

after much umming and aahing about making something magnificent and eye catching, i realised that all i needed to do was something that would make him happy. so, ta-da! the result was the above: a plain sponge base topped with nutella buttercream, chopped hazlenuts, ferrero rocher and gold stars.

why do you like food?

IMG_0038

tea & cake

cakehow very quaint!

tea & cake is one of those meals that defines the british. we love tucking in to cream filled cakes, hot buttered crumpets, and jam laden scones.

on a recent trip home, my mum introduced me to teacake¬†– a gorgeous little teashop in shepreth. the whole thing feels like it’s run in the front room of the owner. a little ‘provisions store’ is set up near the cake counter where you place your order, then your tea & cake is delivered in the room next door. there are literally 5 tables here, so choose your timing wisely.

i devoured the above victoria sponge and the scone below was up to my mum to finish. neither of us shared because we didn’t get the chance. the china is mismatching, which somehow makes it match, but the overall feel of teacake avoids being pretentious in any way.

after living in manchester for so many years, i’ve grown weary of places doleing out the¬†mistmatched china in order to seem different. but here it makes sense – you are surrounded by the countryside and in a pastel coloured house with a thatched roof.

it doesn’t get more british than this.

scone

simple sunday

2012-03-09 18.16.52

simple sunday baking; chewy oat cookies

here’s a confession – i find baking cookies really hard. i know they’re supposed to be the easiest thing in a baker’s book but there’s something i never quite get right.

these little treats (oats again!) allow for a different texture to your regular cookies, something more unusual than your regular chocolate chip, and you can even pretend that they’re a little bit healthy due to the addition of raisins. however i wholeheartedly encourage you to play around with the ingredients as the humble chocolate chip works really well.

chewy oat biscuits – makes 24 small or 12 large biscuits

margarine = 125g/4 1/2 oz

caster sugar = 200g/7oz

1 large egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

white plain flour = 115g/4oz

wholemeal plain flour = 115g/4oz

3/4 tsp bicarb of soda

porridge oats = 40g/1 1/2oz

raisins/chocolate chips/sultanas = 100g/3oz

– preheat your oven to 180 & lay greaseproof paper on your baking tray

– beat together your sugar & margarine until light & fluffly

– beat in your egg & add vanilla extract

– add your flour, slowly, & your bicarb then stir well

– add your oats & fruit or chocolate then keep stirring!

– time to get messy –

– use your hands to shape the dough into your desired shape

– flatten slightly & place on greaseproof paper with gaps between your cookies

– bake for around 12-14 minutes or until crispy at the edges

– try one while warm, what’s the harm?

– leave to cool or repeat the above step until full2012-03-09 15.32.23

simple sunday

raspberry/almond flapjacks

simple sunday baking; flapjacks

there’s almost nothing simpler than making flapjacks. perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea, or a lunchtime treat, these oaty beauties fit in to everyone’s life. they have, naturally, become a staple food in the diet of this thinhungrygirl.

never made flapjacks? why on earth not?

i always leave myself some of the sugary, buttery, oats in the pan after pouring the mix into the cake tin. you’re allowed to do this sort of thing when you’re the chef.

grab a pan, circle or square, grease it up, then follow this recipe for fool-proof flapjacks.

flapjacks – makes 1 standard cake tin

margarine = 8oz

sugar = 8oz (split this 4oz soft brown & 4oz white for an added treat)

oats = 12oz

golden syrup = 2 tablespoons

additions = chocolate chunks or chips, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

– preheat your oven to around 180

– melt your butter & sugar over a low heat until combined & easy to pour

– add your oats & golden syrup

– mix together

– add any tasty treats you fancy & stir well; chocolate helps to make these great for naughty afternoon tea or hot dessert bars whereas fruit gives them a jammy texture and are great for breakfast

– spoon your mixture into a greased cake tin, flattening down the top with either a fork or wooden spoon

– bake for around 30 minutes or until browned on the outside (though this can be altered for personal preference: i like mine gooey in the middle)

– slice while warm, leave to stand, then turn out onto a wire rack

– enjoy!

blueberry flapjacks