Pancakes

I am one of those people who do not just reserve pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, but will eat them for breakfast on many times throughout the year.  You can fill them with the usual naughty items such as golden syrup, sugar, lemon etc or you could try Greek yoghurt with chopped fruit or a gorgeous warmed cherry compote.  Another lovely way is to get two tablespoons of lemon curd, add a slight splash of hot water from the kettle to loosen it, and drizzle over the pancakes.  I tend to have them like this over Easter weekend.

You can also watch a video clip of this recipe.

 

pancakes

Ingredients

110g plain flour
2 Large Eggs beaten
200ml of Milk
75ml of water
50g of butter

Makes about 6-8 depending on frying pan size.

In a bowl place the flour, make a well into the centre and add in the eggs, milk and water.  Mix together well with a hand whisk for a few minutes ensuring that you get all the flour from the edge.  It may look lumpy at first but bear with it, as it will get smooth eventually.

In a frying pan melt the butter.  Once melted add the butter to the pancake mix.  Mix well to combine.

Heat your frying pan on a medium to hot setting, then add some of the pancake mix.  Occasionally the first pancake might not turn out as well as expected, but as the pan gets good heat through it, they turn out well.

Turn over after a couple of minutes … or flip them if you want!

 

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Victoria Sandwich Cake

A traditional Victoria sandwich cake is only supposed to have a layer of jam.  However, like most people, I enjoy it better with both the jam, whipped cream or a buttercream layer.  This cake is one of the most made, as it can also be a birthday cake with either a buttercream and decorated topping or with a fondant icing layer on top.

 

sponge cake copy

 

Ingredients

4 eggs in a jug beaten (After you have weighed them see recipe below)
Caster Sugar (the same weight as the eggs)
Butter (softened and the same weight as the eggs)
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Self Raising Flour (the same weight as the eggs)
(Possibly a little milk)
A couple of tablespoons of icing sugar
Whipped cream & strawberry jam
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
Take a large spring formed, loose bottomed cake tin, grease and line it.

If you want to use buttercream you will need:-

400 g Icing Sugar
120 g of butter at room temperature
3 tbsp of luke warm water
1- 2drops of vanilla extract

Decorations and drops of food colouring and flavourings as you may require in substitution for vanilla icing or you could still use a couple of drops of vanilla extract.

Method

Weigh your 4 eggs – whatever the weight of the eggs, you need to use the same weight in flour, sugar and butter.

In a mixer or with an electric hand mixer whisk the butter and sugar.  Whisk until the mixture goes very white and creamy.  The temptation with a hand whisk is to give in when your arm aches, but trust me it needs to be going for about 4 minutes to achieve this white creamy texture, hence the reason why I use my beloved standalone mixer.

Once this is achieved you will need to add your beaten eggs bit by bit on a nice slow beat.  Go slow with this and do not rush it.  Add your vanilla extract and beat slow again for 3 seconds.

Then you need to add the flour to the mixture.  Sieve the flour over the mixture and gently fold the flour in.  I find my spatula is the best tool for this job as it ensures that no pockets of flour is left over.  If the mixture is too thick that you cannot get it reasonably easy from the bowl then add a tablespoon of milk to the mixture.  However this mix should not be at all over runny.

Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin.  Cook for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.  Wait for the cake to cool before turning out onto a wire rack for further cooling.

Once cooled properly, slice in half.  Its at this point once cool that you can add fresh cream or buttercream (see below) and jam.  Put both sponges together.  You can also decorate this cake for a birthday or other celebration, or simply sieve some icing sugar on top.

To make the buttercream simply whisk/beat the icing sugar, butter and water together.  To get a real good airy whip, make sure you whisk it for about 4 to 5 minutes.  If the buttercream is little stiff just add another drop or two of water a bit at a time.  You can also add a few drops of flavour, like vanilla, and any colouring to suit.

Colcannon

This goes great with things like toad in the hole and as a twist on a roast dinner…. that said, I could eat it just on its own!  Whenever I have any spare (wishful thinking) I also like to fry it up with a cooked breakfast instead of a hash brown.  Sorry if you are still dieting, you could add less butter … but it won’t taste as dreamy.   You can also remove the bacon and make a vegetarian version if you wish too, and fry the cabbage and onion off in a little butter/oil.

colcannon

 

 

Ingredients

1Kg potatoes (preferably red), peeled and cubed
2 rashers bacon diced.
1/4 small cabbage, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
60ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
30g butter.

Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil,
and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

Place the bacon in a large, frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until
evenly brown. Drain, reserving the fat, and set aside. In the reserved bacon
fat, gently fry the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Place a lid
on the pan so that the onion and cabbage steam.  If you need to, add a splash
of water.

Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with the milk and season with salt and
pepper.   Fold in the bacon, cabbage and onions, then transfer the mixture to
a large serving bowl. Make a well in the centre as is customary for this dish,
and place the butter on top. Serve.

Toad In the Hole

It’s jolly well freezing here in the UK, and so I wanted to give you a recipe that should warm you up, and which children love.  You could substitute meat sausages for vegetarian ones too.  Check out the next recipe for Colcannon which goes fabulously with this dish!

toad in the hole

 

Ingredients

8 pork sausages
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
225g plain flour
4 eggs
250ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

Pour the oil into the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the sausages over
in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs and half of the milk until smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until a smooth batter forms. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the sausages from the oven, and pour the batter over them until the sausages are 3/4 covered. Return to the oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the centre is risen and golden.

Great with onion gravy and colcannon.

 

Rhubarb Meringues

I just love it when rhubarb comes into season, and although one of my favourite desserts is rhubarb crumble, I enjoy it with others dishes too.  I always save a little of the stewed rhubarb and have it with yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and granola for breakfast.  Oh it is heavenly.  Technically rhubarb is a vegetable, but it’s sour taste goes so well with sugar, and weirdly enough also with oily fish such as mackerel!

 

rhubarb meringue

 

Ingredients

400g Rhubarb cut into 4cm chunks
110g Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
1 Tsp Cornflour
1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
2 Egg Whites

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.  Place the rhubarb, half of the sugar and orange zest into a ovenproof dish.  Stir to combine and then cover with foil.  Place in an oven for 35 minutes until the rhubarb is soft.  I like to stir it half way through the cooking process, and then remove the foil ten minutes before the end of cooking.  This helps to thicken the mixture.  If you find that the rhubarb mixture is still a little too runny, then add a heaped teaspoon of cornflour, and stir it in well and just place in the oven for a minute or two more.  One batch of rhubarb can be different from another, in that some contain more juice, so you can never tell whether you need the cornflour until this final stage.  Finally, add the vanilla extract and stir again.

Place the rhubarb mixture into four ramekin dishes and set to one side.  Still keep the oven on for the next part.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle over half of the remaining sugar and whisk again. Then gently fold in the rest of the sugar. Pile the meringue on top of the rhubarb to cover it completely. Place the ramekins in the oven for 10 minutes until the meringue is risen and golden. Serve immediately.