Monday, 24 February 2014

We Should Cocoa Random Recipes: Magic Chocolate Mud Pudding

This month, We Should Cocoa has joined forces with Random Recipes.  

You can check out both challenges and how to enter here for We Should Cocoa and here for Random Recipes.  The premise is that you select a random cookbook, select a random page and cook it, this time with the added caveat of chocolate.  I divided mine between sweet and savoury and landed on this beast which I bought from an Oxfam bookshop in 2006.  You can see the last We Should Cocoa round up here.  

And subsequently landed on the offering of page 91 - Magic Chocolate Mud Pudding. 

Which is a lie.

There is nothing magical about this pudding. 

Maybe it could be renamed Hot Mess Pudding.  Because that is what I was left with after cooking it.

It doesn't have many redeeming features.  It's supposed to be one of those self saucing puddings but the sponge to sauce ratio is awful.  This a crime against my people.  

You find an adequately sized oven proof dish which you know is adequately sized because you actually bothered to measure it.  You then make a very liquidy batter made of butter, light brown sugar, milk, cocoa powder, flour and cinnamon and then sprinkle over a combination of cocoa powder mixed with more light brown sugar.  The last part of this is important to note.

We then stick on the rest of the milk and put it in the oven. 

The recommended cooking time for this is 45 to 50 minutes.  No lie. I actually cooked mine for less.

And I still ended up with this. 

I seriously want you to make eye contact with this.  Look at that delicious *gulp* looking monstrosity of burnt sugar mixed with cocoa on top. 

Look at how it has spewed over the edges of your oven proof dish despite it being adequately sized which you know because you measured it.  

Do you see sauce? No. No, you don't. The sauce is a lie. 

The recipe calls for one whole teaspoon of cinnamon. Which you think might give it some flavour but again, no. The sponge part could have been redeeming but it wasn't rich or even "luscious" as the book states.  I thought I had ballsed up* (*technical term) the recipe. Missed an egg or more butter but I genuinely didn't. 


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Seven on Sunday: Pinterest's Paul A Young Truffle Masterclass

Along with 30 other chocolate loving, food obsessed pinners were invited along to a truffle masterclass with Paul A Young hosted by Pinterest UK at Cookery School, Little Portland Street.  You can see Pinterest's blog post with link to their Facebook page and photos here.  You can also see some more photos I took on the Corner Cottage Bakery Facebook page here. Please drop it a like when you are there!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

London Fog

I have a list of commuter gripes, as long as both my arms.

Of all the sneezing, the pushing, the high-pitched giggling of a forty year old woman before 7am, the newspaper flapping, table hogging, crap drum and bass being played through tinny headphones, there is one time that I actually enjoy getting on the train.

And that is when it's foggy. 


The train shunts through a tunnel of grey mist and you can't see past the scraggly weeds that border the tracks.  Stations appear out of nowhere. You only know you're clattering over bridges by the sound and the rush of cars passing underneath.

Approaching the city, you can't see the tops of the buildings. Everything looks muffled and a bit quiet. It's lovely.

To satisfy my inner love of fog, I was googling pictures of a foggy London (this is the best list I found) and this "tea latte" appeared. And I have no idea these even existed but apparently its a thing in America. Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and sweetened with vanilla syrup. 

They are really simple to make.  You will need half a cup of strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea. I made mine in a small teapot with four tea bags, as the tea will go bitter if you brew it for too long.  Fill the cup up with steamed and frothed hot whole milk and stir vanilla syrup to taste. 
Just as a side note, it's a perfectly nice and tasty drink and I tried really hard to like it, but I just couldn't. It boils down to the simple fact that this goes against everything I know and like about tea.  
Who puts syrup in tea? 
I'm pretty sure I committed a crime doing this on English soil... 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Kentish Ale Doughnuts

Last year, I gave you Jasmine Green Tea Macarons for Valentine's Day. I talked about how it can all be a bit brash and over the top. I went delicate and about as fancy as I get. 

This year, I've steered away from the fancy. Doughnuts. Deep fried. Made with a comically named ale which I definitely picked for it's smooth malt flavour and not the fact it said Friggin on the bottle. Proper man doughnuts. 

Based on this recipe



340gr strong white bread flour
50gr caster sugar
1tsp table salt
1 x 7g fast action dried yeast (1 sachet)
190ml ale (I used Friggin in the Riggin from the Nelson Brewery in Kent) plus extra for the glaze (see below)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
65ml thick Greek yoghurt
60gr melted butter

100gr icing sugar, sifted
60ml ale

1, Sift the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Fit a dough hook attachment and give it a quick blend to mix it all together.  
2, In a small saucepan, heat the ale gently to body temperature. 
3, Turn the stand mixer on to a medium speed and then slowly pour in the ale.
4, Still with the mixer running add in the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the yoghurt and then the melted butter. 
5, This is a really wet dough and it needs to be "kneaded" until its springy and elastic. This is why I made mine in a stand mixer.  You probably could do this on the worktop with a dough scraper but it will be one hell of an arm work out.  It will lose some of the stickiness but not all of it. 
6, Transfer into an large oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave on your kitchen counter, at room temperature, until it rises and doubles in size.  

7, When the dough has risen, turn it out onto floured work top. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and flattened with your hands until it is just under an inch thick, you won't need a rolling pin as the dough is very soft.  Loosely cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes while we sort out the oil. 
8, Fill a wok, large saucepan or deep frying pan with about 2-3inches of flavourless cooking oil.  Clip on a thermometer because it's really important to keep the temperature of the oil constant, it heats up ridiculously quickly and if you cook a doughnut in it will brown up very quickly and still be raw in the middle. A crime against doughnuts. 
9, You need to bring the oil temperature up to 180o/c. Keep an eye on the thermometer, as you fry the amount of oil will decrease so will heat up faster.  You might need to top up the oil.
10, When you're ready start frying, uncover the dough, gently pat back down to just under an inch, cut out your shapes, I made rings and doughnut holes and fry on each side until golden brown.  Put straight onto a wire cooling rack covered with kitchen towels. 
11, Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and ale together until smooth and lump free.  When the doughnuts are completely cold, dip the top in the glaze, give it a little shake to remove the excess and place on a wire cooling rack so the rest of the excess can drip off.  You can double dip them after the first layer of glaze has dried a little. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Blueberry & Nutmeg Madeleines

I made a batch of madeleines the other day. They were nice. As was the brown butter apple and carrot cake with brown butter icing.

I also made a huge yoghurt and blueberry tray bake and that was, again, pretty lovely.

 But these, only these have been post worthy.  

I don't blog everything I bake. "The Unblogged"  are because I've snatched the recipe off a website, or someone else's blog. It might be a recipe from this blog but I don't want to bore you with the same thing.  It might just be vapid or boring (cough-victoria-cough-sponge-cough).  

Unless I've suitably messed around with it.  

Like these madeleines.

Makes 18

Based on this recipe

2 eggs
110gr caster sugar
100gr butter, melted cooled slightly
100gr plain flour
Small pinch of table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg
18 fat blueberries or 36 small ones

1, Preheat your oven to 190o/c and grease/flour/use copious amounts of cake release on two nine hole madeleine tins. 
2, Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale.  This will take a good three to five minutes. 
3, Fold in the butter gently.
4, Sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg and fold this through until smooth and combined. Be careful not to beat too much air in it. 
5, Divide the batter into the tins and place a fat blueberry (or two small ones) and gently press them in. They will sink down to the bottom and leave you with that lovely blueberry stain.  
6, Bake for around 10 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.  
9, Gently remove them from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack.  
10, Store in an airtight tin.  

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Seven on Sunday: 02.02.14

No reason fizz, contemplating if I'm too old to have my navel piercings still in (yes, plural, two piercings), creeping little cat and galaxy leggings, new books, snoozing big cat, more assignment writing and number 1.