Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Too Late for Valentines

Sweetie Pie, delicious Drunken Red Velvet Cupcakes, these were our new creation for today!

A generous splash of Whiskey replaced the standard white wine vinegar in my version of this American classic cupcake, and they taste devine!  There goes another half stone on the hips!  The fluffy cream cheese topping has been finished with a dusting of cocoa and glitter with a sprinkling of freeze dried raspberries.

I made these the modern way using food colouring, but want to try them the traditional way using beetroot, I am guessing I can use a recipe something like carrot cake, replacing the carrots with beetroot and the spices with cocoa, but will experiment and see what I come up with, though we are really enjoying the whiskey tang in these little beauties!

Must work on some savoury recipes, really looking forward to moving into our new house, with the better kitchen to get experimenting at home!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

All in a Froth!

And the award for the foamiest Latte in Belfast has to go to Wolffes in Dundonald!  Had a great Sunday morning brunch there with a really frothy latte - yum!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Oranges & Lemons

Say the Bells of St Clements!

New marmalade, made with bitter organges and lemons - I am always being asked for a marmalade with no alcohol in it and not everyone likes Cinnamon so I made this Orange & Lemon Marmalade.  Not exactly a new or ground breaking recipe, but I did use a new technique (big secret).....

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Ruby - here is the cute Dora Cake I baked for her, scrummy vanilla sponge and buttercream with fondant icing and a fondant Dora.

I think I am getting better at modelling icing - think each new cake is better than the last!

Ruby also got a plate, we painted it and baked it in our kiln.......

Friday, 11 February 2011

Tangy & Tasty!

We also have a new Chutney in the range, but I am starting to worry that I am going to burn myself out soon trying all these new recipes!  We made it with Mangoes, Limes and Ginger so it has just a nice kick to it, going to try it out in our regular range, so won't post the recipe here until I decide wether to sell it regularly or not.  Have received another recipe challenge for a chutney involving carrots, so will have to work on that over the weekend!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Have a bite of an Apple!

Baking, Baking, Baking, having lots of fun doing lots of baking at the minute!

Made Cornish Pasties for dinner last night and they were great - got a bit stressy trying to get the pastry sealed the right way, but must have managed OK because the pastry was lovely, buttery and crisp and nothing really leaked out, Keith and I munched them up, but of course the teenager didn't finish hers, suprise, suprise, so the dog enjoyed some too!

So something different to make today, flicking through some old magazines I found a recipe for Spiced Apple Cake made with sour cream, love all these things so thought I would give it a go, the result looks pretty impressive and can't wait to get tucked in!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Paint Some Pottery

Not really part of my cooking challenge, but thought I would mention that we are having a pottery painting evening in the shop on Wednesday 23rd February from 7pm if anyone wants to come along and get creative!

Have I been creative?  Today I have made cranberry oaties, which I will cover with white chocolate drizzle and maybe top with afew dried cranberries, plus we made all the usuals, brownies, cupcakes, scones etc, Oh and I made some Cornish Pasties for our dinner - looking forward to those!

Received a Challenge!

Only 3 days in and already received a challenge - yippeee!

Via our facebook page!/pages/Baked-in-Belfast/142734132433075 we received a request yesterday for a special diet, no gluten, diary, soya or egg, but wanted something sweet, so I had to scratch my head for a while to think up a recipe for this one!  Thankfully they are OK with nuts, so here is the recipe I came up with:

Fruit & Nut Cookies

3 Dried Figs (stalks removed and chopped)
6 Dried dates finely chopped
50g Dried & sweetened cranberries
2 really heaped teaspoons, about 60g Shazzam Cinnamon Marmalade
100g mixed Chopped Nuts
4 Glace Cherries halves
Icing, made with icing sugar and water

Place the dried fruit and marmalade in a sauce pan and heat slowly to melt the marmalade, then bubble, stirring all the time until you have a sticky goo!
Blitz using a hand blender to get a puree with afew bits left in, you could use a blender or food processor, but the mix is very sticky and messy, and the hand blender is easier to clean!
Gradually stir in 100g chopped mixed nuts, until you have a firm mixture, we kept the mixture in the pot and just used a wooden spoon to combine thoroughly, it takes a while and works the arm muscles!
You can add more nuts if you think the mixture is still too sticky
For the next part a pair of disposable gloves really helps, but if you don't have any you could try coating your hands with ground almonds.
Take desert spoons full of the mixture and roll into balls in your hands, we got 7 balls.
Double line a baking tray with baking parchment and press the balls onto this, flattening them to resemble cookies.
Drizzle each one with icing, and top with a glace cherry.
Set in a cool place to firm up, this should take overnight, but if you can't resist, just eat them sticky!

Really enjoyed working on this challenge, so am asking everyone to send me in there problems, queries and challenges and I will try to come up with some ideas - heres hoping anyway!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Warm Bowl of Soup

Bought BBC Good Food Magazine on the way home last night and started flicking through the recipes, saw some good ones I might try in the next few days, but all that yummy food started to make the old tummy rumble.

The good old Northern Ireland weather was not at its best and the baguettes I had bought to make a warm salad started to look a bit tame, a warm bowl of soup was definitely what was needed!  I found an old 1980's soup book and had a flick through for inspiration:  Moroccan Vegetable Soup!  The main ingredients of Carrot, Parsnip and Butternut Squash didn't sound overly Moroccan to me, but I decided to give it a go anyway.  We changed some of the ingredients to make it a bit more store-cupboardy and I didn't really fancy frying parsley in olive oil and garlic to drizzle over the top so here is the recipe I used to make a great big pot of soup.

500g Parsnip, peeled and sliced
500g Carrot, peeled and sliced
500g Butternut Squash (or pumpkin) peeled, deseeded and chopped
2 Medium Onions, peeled and chopped
1 Clove Garlic, peeled and crushed or chopped
pinch salt
pinch chilli flakes
1tsp Dried Parsley
1tsp Pink Peppercorns (I just love these but less cracked black ones would do)
1tsp Corriander seeds
Splash Olive Oil
Enough stock to cover generously

We fried the onions & garlic in olive oil, in the soup pan.
Once they started to sweat we added the rest of the veg and cooked through for about 10 mins, stirring regularly until they began to soften.
We generously covered with stock, added the salt, pepper, corriander and chilli, boiled it up and then just left it all to simmer - about 30 minutes did it.
I blitzed it using the hand blender and served with cheesey rolls!

That was it - Simples!
If I wanted to posh it up a bit, I would swirl a spoonful of sour cream/creme fraiche into each bowl and top with afew crispy onions (bought a tub in BM Bargains)

We were glad of our soup, when we went to pick up the trailer in Bangor, it hadn't been used in a while and it took us (well Keith) ages to get the lights sorted out - definitely provided some central heating inside us!

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Challenge

I have started this blog to record my new challenge!

For the next year I plan to make, bake, create or cook something new every day!

At some point last year, I considered taking my small food business down the factory production route, finding premises and subcontractors, before finally realizing, what I had been saying for years that I am a creative person and mass production would drive me round the bend.  So to flex the creative muscle I have decided to give myself this challenge.

I might cook or bake something for my little tearoom, devise and cook a new chutney, relish, jam or marmalade recipe or just make something delicious for the family, but I will be recording it here and on our facebook page hopefully with photo's galore!

Here we go.....