Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Bread, the Butter and the Brioche

When I think of a classic British pudding, two spring to mind;  Bread and Butter pudding and Jam Roly Poly.

Tonight's dish is the classic Bread and Butter pudding because I had some Brioche I'd bought from Waitrose ages ago (I was going to make French Toast) and forgotten about.

Rather than sling it away I thought that it would make a great alternative to normal bread for a bread and butter pudding.  It turned out to be one hot pudding.  Stick a spoon in me, I'm done!

Now I have a problem, I am dedicating each blog post this week to a cartoon character.  And I had some trouble thinking of one that would go well with bread and butter pudding.  Until I remembered Spongebob Square Pants!  Yes, the bread in bread and butter pudding acts like a sponge, sucking up all the lovely creamy custard mixture making it like a pillow of fluffy, creamy, sweet spongecake.  Mmm

Ingredients for the 3 'B' Pudding (Bread, Butter and Brioche Pudding)

300ml Milk
300ml Cream (single or double, doesn't matter)
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out. (Discard pod)
2 eggs
125 vanilla sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Apricot jam
a good sprinkling of demerera sugar
Optional currents (I didn't use them as I hate the damn things)

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees

Put the Milk, Cream and vanilla seeds into a saucepan and heat until boiling.  Remove from pan.

In a separate bowl mix the eggs and sugar.

Butter each slice of bread and layer in a lasagna dish (type of thing)

When the milk and cream mixture has cooled a bit, slowly add a bit of a time to the egg mixture.  Stirring in slowly.  Making sure you don't scramble the eggs.

Then pour the mixture over the bread and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with demerera sugar and put into the oven to cook for 30 minutes or until the top is nice and golden and crisp.

Heat 2 tablespoons of apricot jam in a saucepan until it goes runny.

Take the bread and butter pudding out of the oven and spread with the jam mixture.

....Don't leave it unattended as this will happen --->

Monday, 19 March 2012

Carrot Cake for one hot bunny

Remember Bugs Bunny?  Wasn't he just awesome? I loved how cool and laid back old Bugs was.  He'd always have something dry and wise to say while munching on a carrot stick.  I'm sure that's why he was so slender.

I wonder where he is now?  Maybe he's got his feet up in an old people's home somewhere, playing chess with Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

So this week, you will probably not be surprised that there's a bit of a cartoon character theme to my posts. Yes ladies and gents, I have not gone loonie (you see what I did there?  Loonie Toons?)  I just think it would be cool to dedicate the posts this week to my favourite cartoon characters, that's all.

Bugs's Carrot Cake 

It's Dairy FREE too!

175g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
tiny pinch Ground Cloves (when I say a tiny pinch I mean less than a teaspoon, ok?)
tiny pinch Ground Nutmeg
200g Soft Light Brown Sugar (sometimes called Light Muscavado)
150ml Sunflower Oil
2 Large Eggs (room temp)
175g graded carrot (I used organic, because they're sweeter)

1. First of all pre heat your oven to 180 degrees.

2. Grate some carrots.  175g should do nicely.  But while you're there grating away, grate some more and save them for a healthy salad to eat later.  That's what I did.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.

4. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and Sunflower oil.  Then add the eggs one at a time mixing gently until combined.

5. Then add the carrot and spices.  Smells like a spice factory, no?  Mmmm

6. Then gently fold in the flour and mix into the gooey mixture that's created.

7. Pour into a cake tin and bake in the centre of your hot oven for around 45 minute (depending upon the side of the cake tin)  or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the OMG Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting...... Oh. my. gosh.

100g unsalted butter
200g cream cheese
125g icing sugar
teaspoon lemon zest

Make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temp.

1. Mix together (with the whisk attachment of your mixer) the butter and cream cheese.  Then add in two parts the icing sugar.  Dumping too much icing sugar into the bowl at one time will cause an icing sugar explosion.

2. Add in a teaspoon of lemon zest and mix in.

3. Pour over the top of the cake.

Slice yourself a big slice and watch your worries melt away into the cream cheese frosting.  Cheaper than therapy.

What's up Doc? :)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Gluten Free Beef Burgers

Just call me Ronald.  That's Ronald McDonald.

Yep, even the bun is gluten free.  

Unfortunately Beef Burgers get a bad wrap.  And I blame Ronald MacDonald.

Done properly, Beef Burgers are amazing.  Just try not to think about the M-word for a second.   Basically forget everything you know and associate with burgers and try this recipe; it’s so simple and the burgers are tastier than you can imagine and healthier than a yoga toned bendy gym instructor.

The inspiration behind these burgers came from Western Australia, which really does have the best burger cafes I’ve ever come across.  There was a particular burger bar called Flipside that was in North Fremantle.

Whenever I needed cheering up, a Flipside burger would make the world great again.  My choice was the basic burger but with a fried egg on top.   I’ve salivating just thinking about it!

So my task today was to create a Beef Burger that was not only delicious, but also healthy and gluten free too.  And I must say that the result was so good, I'll be making more of these beefy guys tomorrow!

225g Waitrose Angus Minced Beef
2 teaspoons of Tomato Ketchup
3 teaspoons of Worcester Sauce
2 teaspoons dry mixed herbs
2 tablespoons of Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (I used Crimbles)

Gluten free buns, I got Freefrom from Sainsburys.

My filling ingredients
Mayo or garlic aioli
Tomato sauce or Tomato Relish
Avocado, sliced
Tomato, sliced
Iceberg lettuce

Put the mince into a bowl, add the herbs, ketchup, Worcester sauce and breadcrumbs and mash it all up together well – use a fork to break up all the mince, I found this worked well.

Shape into burgers about the same size of a Tuna tin (I think the size of a can of Tuna is a good measure!)

Pop on a plate and cover with cling.  Pop in the fridge and chill for 1 hour.

When you’re ready, heat up a griddle pan (or BBQ if it’s sunny … not chance at the moment in the UK, but if you’re lucky and in sunnier climates, go for it!)  Once it’s real hot, pop the burgers on and cook for 4 – 5 minutes on each side, or until there’s no pink in the middle.

On another griddle pan, heat up some oil.  Grab a ciabatta roll and drizzle with oil both sides, pop onto the griddle pan and toast up each side. 

Take off the heat; spread one side with Mayonnaise and the other with Tomato Ketchup or Tomato Relish.  Pop the lettuce and tomato on the mayo side and top with Avocado.  Then pop on the burger and sandwich between the other piece of bread.  And there you have it – You can pop a lolly stick or kebab stick through the centre to serve (to keep all the middle together) or just grab it in your hands and eat it quick before someone else does!   … or the middle starts to fall out!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros is a traditional Mexican Breakfast (pronounched H'wey-vos Ran-cheey-vos)  - Yep, you try saying that with a mouth full of food!

I'm sorry for the delay in this post!  But I typed it out earlier and my computer crashed.  Yes, I banged my fists hard into the air; 'That's it, I'm going back to my typewriter!'

So without further ado, here's my Huevos Rancheros Adventure!

Remember when you first tried fajitas?  Well, get this new guy; golden soft eggs, mingling with tomatos, green chilies, guacamole, sour cream and the zing of coriander and cool iceberg lettuce.  And all soaked up on a fried corn tortilla...  Sound good?  

People used to come from far and wide to get one of these from the cafĂ© I used to work at.  I used to wonder why until I tried one for myself!

Pretty low fat, naturally gluten free and vegetarian all in one mouthful. Gimme gimme gimme!

    1/2 tsp oil
    3 medium tomatos chopped small or minced
    2 tbsp chopped green chilies (I used Old El Paso)
    Couple of dashes of Worcester Sauce
    salt and pepper
    2 large eggs
    1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
    4 chopped spring onions
    2 tsp chopped cilantro
    olive oil spray (I used my trusty Fry Light)
    2 corn tortillas (I used Old El Paso)
Equipment: A saucepan, A frying pan and a preheated oven(about 180 degrees C)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped tomatos, chilies, a couple of dashes of Worcester Sauce, salt and pepper and cook another few minutes until these guys soften up. Set aside and pop the lid on to keep warm.  Smelling good!

In a frying pan spray some fry light and place a tortilla in the pan, heat one side for a few minutes, then flip.  Now do the other tortilla, and then pop the tortillas into the warm oven to keep warm while you fry the eggs.

In the same frying pan, heat up some oil.  Wait until the pan is hot then crack the eggs into the pan sunny side up. Salt and Pepper the tops. When they start cooking, spoon some of the oil in the pan over the top of the egg to cook the yolks a bit.

To serve, place a tortilla onto a plate, spread the tomato chili mixture on top (a bit like a pizza) then top with shredded lettuce, the spring onion, the egg and finish with a sprinkling of cilantro (coriander) and a spoonful of guacamole and sour cream on the side.  Salt and Pepper and maybe a dash of Tabasco sauce if you like it hot!

Serve them up to the line of people who have congregated at your door wondering where the delicious smell is coming from!