Thursday, 29 September 2011

Butternut Squash, Mushroom & Leek Pie

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Like I mentioned last week I have been craving the comfort food that comes with Autumn. So when it came to planning meals for the week I knew I wanted to make some sort of pie. I decided on this combination because.. well they're a bunch of my favourite things and they sum up Autumn for me. We both ate this pie in record time and both have burnt tongues to tell the tale. This is definitely a recipe that is going in my favourites list and I can't wait to make and eat it again!

Serves 2 - This recipe can very easily be doubled/tripled etc.

You will need-

For the pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 113g unsalted butter chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/8 cup ice water
Start by mixing together the flour and salt and then add the butter. I did this in a mini food processor as it takes half the time of doing it by hand. If doing it by hand rub the butter and flour together between your fingers until its resembles sand. Alternatively if do it in a blender till you achieve the same consistency. Pour the butter and flour mixture in a bowl and then slowly add the water and mix with your hands until the dough forms a ball. It should hold together when you squeeze it. You may need a little less or a little more water so add it it bit by bit. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for atleast an hour.

For the filling

  • 1 small or 1/2 large leek finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • Butter
  • 250g peeled and diced butternut squash (dice the rest up and freeze to use in other recipes)
  • 125g chesnut mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 2tbsp creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 200C. Heat a knob of butter in a saucepan on a medium low heat and cook the leek until it gets soft, around 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Finally add the butternut squash and cook for a minute before pour the vegetable stock in. Place a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes have passed take mixture off the heat and then add the creme fraiche. Season to taste and then pour the mixture into your pie dish or dishes.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and then place on top of the dishes. (I also cut out a little steam hole). Pinch the dough around the edges to seal it and then bake in the oven for 30minutes or until the top is golden. I also served the pies with some mash to soak up some of the juicy gravy that was inside. But it would be perfectly fine on its own or with a crisp salad.

Don't burn your tongue!

Enjoy x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Our Love Will Never Fade Anniversary Print

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You may remember me talking about Tim and I designing and making a screenprint to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary which was last month. Well finally got around to printing it up last week and I am so so chuffed with the outcome. 

We are just about to get our copy framed (its going above our bed) and have set a pile aside for when we have kiddos one day. But we have decided that we will stick the rest of the prints up for sale to help generate a little fund to help get us to Paris for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Its a trip we keep desperately wanting to make but circumstances just haven't allowed it just yet. I hope we finally make it! 

The prints are designed to fit in a standard frame and measure 50 x 70cm. They are available to buy from our BigCartel and Etsy shop for a rather reasonable £20

Week In Food - Week 6

Pin It This week has involved an extra helping of chilli sauce. I don't quite know why, but chilli sauce seems to have accompanied pretty much every meal this week!

36/365- 20/9/2011 Garlic Pizza Bread with plenty of Garlic sauce

37/365- 21/9/2011 Coffee

38/365- 22/9/2011 Buttermilk Pancakes and Chorizo scrambled eggs

39/365- 23/9/2011 Eggs in preparation

40/365- 24/9/2011 Single portion flourless chocolate cakes ready for the oven

41/365- 25/9/2011 Birthday Cake

41/365- 26/9/2011 Courgette, Sweetcorn, Chilli, Feta and Lime pizza

Monday, 26 September 2011

Chocolate and Banana Birthday Cake

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It was Tim's birthday on Sunday so we organized a big family meal at his parent's house (hi Jane and Kip!) I decided to make a big cake to end the meal so I spent the afternoon on Saturday making a Chocolate and Banana cake. As I made mine the day before, the cake had a slightly denser brownie feel to it. This cake was a bit of an experiment so I am happy to report that there were only a couple of crumbs left on the plate by the end of the evening.

You will need-

Banana Cake Layer
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 over ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp buttermilk

Start by preheating your oven to 160C and then butter and line a cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Next in a medium bowl mix together the flower, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together and then set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until it is light and fluffy then add the egg and mix until just combined. Mash the bananas and then add to the butter mixture along with the vanilla extract.

Starting and ending with the flour, beat the flour and buttermilk into the butter mixture. (I tried and failed to mix hundreds and thousands into the batter hence the picture below. Sadly they lost their colour straight away) Then add the batter to the tin and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or until its golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. After 10 minutes take out of the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

Next its time to start on the Chocolate cake part. You can start this whilst the banana cake is in the oven.

You will need-
  • 200g top quality dark chocolate (about 60%)
  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules mixed into 125ml cold water
  • 85g self-raising flor
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk

Butter and line the cake tin again and put to one side. Keep your oven on 160C. Break up the chocolate into pieces and add to a medium pan along with the butter and coffee. Melt everything together on a low heat.

Whilst the chocolate and butter is melting mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugars and cocoa in a large bowl and mix together and get rid of any lumps. In a little bowl beat together the eggs and then add the buttermilk. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate and whisk until its all really well combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Whilst the cakes are cooling make the 2 frostings.

Banana Frosting-

  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Mix all together until you get the desired consistancy. You may need to add a little more lemon juice or water to make it slightly more spreadable. If its too runny then add more sugar.

  • 100g of the same chocolate that you used above
  • 142ml double cream
  • 2tbsp golden caster sugar.
Break the chocolate up and place in a glass bowl. Meanwhile heat the cream and sugar in a pan and when it gets close to boil pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth mixture.

Cut the chocolate cake horizontally and spread the top of 1 pieces of the chocolate cake and the the top of the banana cake with the banana icing then sandwich the banana cake in between the two layers chocolate cake.

Spread the whole cake with the chocolate ganache using a spatula or a palette knife and leave to set.

The cake keeps well overnight in an airtight box.

Happy Birthday Darling Tim.x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Week in Food- Week 5

Pin It Another week of lots of cooking and finally a chance to do some more baking too. I don't know where these weeks are going. They seem to be flying by! It's going to be Christmas before I know it.

29/365- 13/9/2011 Mexican 'Pizza'
30/365- 14/9/2011 Cucumber sandwiches on homemade tear and share bread
31/365- 15/9/2011 Vietnamese Rice Noodles salad with grilled tofu
32/365- 16/9/2011 Prawn salad at Teri Aki
33/365- 17/9/2011 Baby Spinach, Giant Cous Cous and Chickpea salad
34/365- 18/9/2011 Lemon Meringue Cupcakes in the making
35/365- 19/9/2011 Peanut butter bagel

Monday, 19 September 2011

Teri Aki, Cambridge

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Soft shell crab rolls
If you live in or around Cambridge you're bound to know about and have an addiction to Teri Aki. Also, if you have ever visited me in Cambridge chances are I took you there. Teri Aki without doubt is one of my top 3 restaurants in Cambridge. If you've never been I thoroughly recommend it. The only problem I always have is working out what to order as everything is so tasty! 

The 'lightly' (very) spicy cucumber

Prawn salad

Vegetable Gyoza soup
I can't take him anywhere! :)
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