Tag Archives: Sugar

Recipe: Apple Cake

Apple Cake
Apple Cake

Ingredients;

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 extra-large egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated apples
1/2 cup raisins

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Preheat your oven to 170 C.

Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt & all spice) in a large bowl.

In a measuring jug, mix together your vegetable oil, beaten egg and vanilla, then mix into the dry ingredients, until everything has been incorporated. Finally stir in your apples and raisins and mix through well.

Pour into a 9-inch cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins, until a toothpick inserted and wiggled around comes out clean.

Allow to cool fully before cutting.

You can also use this mix to make cupcakes / muffins, reduce the cooking time by approx 5 mins. I also like to soak my raisins in whisky overnight for extra flavour.

Recipe: Mango Muffins

Mango Muffins
Mango Muffins

Ingredients;

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and coarsely grated
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain flour

Makes approx 18 small cupcakes/muffins

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When I tried to make this, I discovered that the easiest way to get the flesh off the mango is to peel it with a potato peeler and then grate it on the coarse side of your grater, and then I chopped it lightly to make the pieces a little shorter. You can also substitute tinned mango if fresh is not available, in this case just mash the mango to a paste with your hands.

Cup measures can be bought in most large supermarkets or homeware stores these days and I find them much easier to use than having to weigh everything. A plastic set is best, as you can use them in the microwave if needed and they can also be cleaned in your dishwasher.

To melt butter, place it in a microwave proof container and heat for 20 secs on the lowest power setting (usually 30%), remove, stir and repeat until fully melted.

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Start by mixing your mangoes and melted butter.

Add in the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda & salt and mix well.

Finally, mix the flour in and stir until fully incorporated, the mix should be damp and very sticky.

Place paper muffin covers in your muffin pan and spoon in the mixture until it sits just below the top of the pan. These muffins won’t rise very much.

For small muffins, bake for approx 40 mins at 180 C, if you are using a large muffin pan, then increase the time to approx 50 mins.

To check that muffins are done, stick a cocktail stick into one, and swirl around. If it comes out clean or with just crumbs, then they are done. Remove from tins and leave to cool.

Will store for approx 5-7 days in an airtight box.

Recipe: Choconana Crumble & Berry ice-cream

Choconana crumble with the chocolate bubbling through the crumble
Choconana crumble: Photograph by Redmum

Ingredients;

225g Plain Flour
60g sugar
145g butter
a pinch of salt
195g Dark Chocolate
6 Tablespoons of cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of cognac
115ml Water
6 medium sized bananas

Serves 6

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Making the crumble

Take your flour, 60g of sugar, 115g of butter and a pinch of salt and place them in a bowl, simply scrunch the lot together with clean hands until it looks like breadcrumbs and put this to one side.

Making the chocolate sauce

Take a small saucepan and place it on a low heat, to this add 115ml of water and a tablespoon of sugar. Bring this to a low simmer while stirring. Keep it simmering until all the sugar has dissolved.

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and add 30g of butter and the dark chocolate while stirring constantly. It’s best to break the chocolate and butter up into small chunks as they will melt quicker this way. Keep stirring until all the chocolate and butter have melted completely.

Next, add the Vanilla essence, cognac and cream and keep stirring until they all combine to give a smooth looking sauce.

Assembly

Peel the bananas and split each of them lengthways into 3. This is done by gently pushing your finger into the end of the banana where that tough seed like lump has been removed and running your finger to the other end. This should leave you with 3 separate segments.

Arrange all the segments in a large oven-proof dish and pour the chocolate sauce over them, making sure that all the bananas are chocolate coated.

Unless you are planning on cooking and eating immediately stop at this point and cover both the crumble and the chocolate+banana and refrigerate until ready to cook.

When you are ready to cook, get your oven up to 200C. Sprinkle the crumble over the chocolate+banana making sure to spread it out evenly. Then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. If the crumble has not turned a golden brown at this point simply pop it under the grill for a minute or 2 to brown the top and let it stand for a few minutes before serving with a few scoops of berry ice-cream.

Berry Ice-cream

Berry ice-cream
Berry ice-cream

The Berry Ice-cream I make to go with this is based on Kieran’s Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings recipe over on Ice-cream Ireland. Many thanks for sharing this recipe Kieran, I would have given up on trying to making ice-cream myself long ago without this.

I follow this recipe exactly except for 3 things…

  1. I use 150g of Raspberries and 170g of Blackberries instead of the Bananas
  2. I mash the Rasperry & Blackberry mixture through a sieve as I add them to the custard
  3. I don’t add the chocolate shavings

This gives an ice-cream that while it is sweet and creamy, it is also tart enough to balance the sweetness of the rest of the dish.

Please give this a try, it’s a wonderful dessert. As always we’d love to here about your results and your thoughts on the dish as a whole.

Recipe: Pizza Base

A naked uncooked Pizza base

Ingredients;

1kg of strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 x 7g packets of dried yeast
1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
625ml of tepid water (tepid = 2 parts cold to one part boiling)
1 handful of cornmeal

Makes 6-8 Pizza bases

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Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl or onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle of it.

Mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork (or your hands) start to stir the liquid in the well while bringing in the flour until the dough starts to come together. Then work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Now place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and knead it around for a 2-3 minutes to push the air out. As you are doing this, work the dough into a giant sausage shape. Divide the dough into six or eight pieces (eight if you like a thin and crispy base) and put them to one side.

Take one of the portions and make it into a ball, then stretch that into a roundish shape about 3-4 inches across and place on a floured surface and grab your rolling pin. Rolling away from you and turning the pizza regularly, roll the pizza base out until it is thin (about an eighth of an inch or less) then flour the pizza base and place on a baking tray lined with cling film – if you don’t have a suitably-sized baking tray, you can substitute with a chopping board or any flat surface that will fit in your freezer.

Fold the cling-film back over the top of the pizza base ready for the next one to be placed on top and repeat until all the portions have been rolled out.

At this point, you can dress one of the pizza bases (simply using passata and cheese) on a baking tray or preferably a pizza stone, either way you will need to sprinkle some cornmeal on before placing the pizza on it to prevent it from sticking.

Then place in a hot oven (approx 220 degrees C) for about 8-10 minutes and enjoy.

You can wrap the cling-filmed pile of bases in tinfoil and put them flat in your freezer to be used later.  The bases, once dressed, will cook from frozen in 8-10 mins as well – perfect for a quick dinner when coming home late from work.