Friday, 27 June 2014

Chocolate and White Chocolate Fudge Cakes Recipe

After some lovely feedback from the School Fete last week, I thought I would share the recipe for those fudge cupcakes. I used a recipe from a little book called Cupcakes & Muffins, 100 everyday recipes, by Love Food - I've had this in my cupboard for years and dip into occasionally, for just such occasions. As always I changed a few things to suit myself and what I had to hand. Interestingly, this recipe has no eggs which was one of the reasons I chose to make them, as Himself had decided to have French toast for breakfast...


Makes ~20

200 ml water
85 g butter
85 g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225 g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa


50 g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
4 tbsp water
50 g butter
50 g white chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Godiva callets)
350 g icing sugar (I used Sugar&Crumbs Peach Melba flavoured icing sugar)
sprinkles or chocolate shavings, to decorate


Line your muffin tin with paper cases, and heat the oven to 180 C/gas 4.

Place the water, butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

Place the milk and vanilla extract in a bowl and dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in this. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and cocoa, and then add the cooled syrup mixture. Stir in the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Spoon the batter into the paper cases.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until risen and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

For the topping, melt the plain chocolate with half the water and half the butter, in a Bain Marie. Stir until smooth, then leave to stand.
Repeat with the white chocolate, and remaining water and butter.
Sift half the icing sugar into each bowl and beat until smooth and thick.

When the cupcakes are cold, top alternately with each icing and leave to set. Decorate with sprinkles or chocolate shavings.

Monday, 23 June 2014

School Fete Baking and a Meringue Mission

The Squids had their school fete on Saturday - raising money for new equipment and building work for the school. A great opportunity to de-clutter their room! And a wonderful excuse to bake, bake, bake. Sugar & Crumbs sent me some Peach Melba flavoured icing sugar recently and I've been waiting for a chance to try it out on people.

I only kept one for myself...

Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peach Melba Frosting (50p each)

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Peach Melba Frosting (£1 each)


Also at the fete, I bumped into Felicity, food editor of Woman, who was selling a huge range of beautifully flavoured meringues, made by her own fair hand, to raise money for Mission Direct in order to help the people of the Dominican Republic rebuild their homes and their lives after the Haiti earthquake. She is travelling there in August with her children, so if you can, please help her on her Meringue Mission.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Spice Tailor Chicken Korma

The Spice Tailor's sauce range come with a sachet of dried spices, a marinade and a sauce. Anjum Anand is a well known Indian chef - you may have seen her on BBC 2's Indian Food Made Easy based on her cookbook - and has now launched a range of sauces which you can cook at home for easy results and restaurant-quality dishes.

"Sauces so tasty and authentic, you'll think you've died and gone to India!"

They sent me their Korma Curry to try, in return for leaving some feedback on their website, which I have done. I'm not usually a huge fan of Korma, as I like my curry HOT, but recently the kids have given into their fear of spice, and have actually started eating Korma. I will always remember the day I got in from work and they came running to tell me in delight that they were eating chicken curry! Finally! Himself had made some with a jar of Sharwoods and some coconut milk, and they actually loved it.

So I thought I'd try this on them. I marinaded the chicken for about an hour, cooked off the spices as instructed, and added in the marinated chicken for a few minutes, followed by the sauce for a few more, and served it up with rice and peas. I told them it's not the same as the one Daddy makes, so that they were a little hesitant, but try it they did, and they scoffed the lot. They did say it tasted different, but still good!

The Spice Tailor Korma Curry 
Kids' version at it's simplest.
Of course I had to spice it up for my own dinner, so I added two Bird's Eye chillies and some dessicated coconut, with fresh coriander. I even attempted homemade chapatis! Which are surprisingly easy, and went with the Korma really well. 

I would certainly buy this again for the kids, and it would certainly be nice to have some of the other curry sauces in the range as a fall back for a quick curry when grinding spices, marinading meat and simmering for hours just isn't feasible. Washed down with a couple of Cobra beers -  the perfect Friday!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Spicy Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas - Recipe

A quick and spicy recipe for Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas - not all that authentic I don't think but it got a 10 out of 10 from Himself...

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2


2 chicken breasts, cubed,
3-4 tsp jerk seasoning (a mixture of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, onion, thyme, and salt)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 fresh Bird's Eye chillies (or Scotch Bonnets), chopped
Fresh coriander, chopped,
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tsp runny honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pepper
6-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup rice
3 tbsp frozen peas
1 small stick cinnamon 


Marinade the chicken in the jerk seasoning, coriander, white wine vinegar, honey, garlic, chilli, and olive oil.
Prepare the rice by placing in a saucepan in 2 cups of water with the cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat.
Stir fry the peppers for 3-4 minutes, then throw in the chopped tomatoes and the marinated chicken, with the marinade.
Stir fry until the chicken is cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Make sure the white wine vinegar has cooked off and the sauce thickened a little.
Towards the end of cooking add the peas to the rice.

Once the rice is cooked, serve with the chicken in its sauce.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Bar Pepito

It's London Wine Week! The inaugural LWW celebrating all things wine, with three central wine hubs where you can collect your wristbands (thank you Fabric!). Armed with these, and a handy guide, you can mull around the hubs, sample wine flights (tasters of three or more wines) or premium wines for £5, or attend any of the events going on in over 120 venues all around the capital.

It runs from 2-8 June, and on Wednesday evening I popped into the Riedel Hub in Kingly Court to collect my wristbands, and have a browse around. Next I headed to King's Cross to meet my sherry- and wine-loving friend, and we popped into Bar Pepito in Varnisher's Yard, just off Pentonville Road. Right across the courtyard from Camino, we nabbed a barrel to sit at, and ordered a sherry flight for £5 (Five Pounds!). Sherry, yes, is usually an Emily Bishop drink, but it's always good to acquire new tastes. We had Los Tres Pueblos, which consisted of a dry, a medium and a slightly sweet sherry. My favourite was the Puerto Fina Reserve, it seemed to have a lot more legs than the other two!

bar pepito
Sherry flights at Bar Pepito

 A great sherry deserves some accompanying tapas, and the menu recommends a matching tapas dish for each flight. We decided to ignore this wisdom, however, and chose a range of dishes which took our fancy:

Chorizo Morcón 
Gildas: Salty anchovies, pickled chilli, gordal olive and cherry tomato skewer

Soon we moved onto a glass of the premium wine on offer - they have an Albarino, a crisp white fruity number, and an elegant Rioja with a spicy cherry flavour. With this we ordered some more tapas:
Tortilla del Siglo XXI: Free-range egg and potato tortilla, Pepito style
Pate de pato: Duck liver paté with Amontillado jelly
bar pepito 
Cecina de Leon: Cured beef from Léon, Manchego, truffle oil

Tapas is one of my favourite kinds of food, and this menu was probably the best I've tasted in London. Served in a cosy, traditionally Spanish setting, on a sunny afternoon you'd feel as though you were in Barcelona. As the office people teetered away after their post-work swift one, the evening was relaxing, utterly delicioso, and all the more enjoyable for our special LWW treatment!

Bar Pepito
3 Varnishers Yard
The Regent’s Quarter,
King’s Cross, N1 9FD
020 7841 7331

Monday – Friday: 5pm – Midnight
Saturday: 6pm – Midnight

Square Meal Bar Pepito on Urbanspoon