30 April 2011

Counselling the Cake

Album 'The Raw And The Cooked' by The Fine Young Cannibals.

It's not easy baking fold this whisk that, you might not be sure why you are doing it but the end result is what counts! Mistakes come and go and whether you fight or fly is something only you know!

When I started baking, most of the cakes I made turned out disastrous.

They had issues, and to avoid the damage being done again I'm going to try and address some of them.

Sit down cake and talk it out with me....

Dip Cake

DC "So I didn't rise and now I look weird"
Mita "First of all you don't look that weird, what happened was your baker opened the door too early and let cold air in.
DC "Can I rise after that?"
Mita "Unfortunately you can't, but how about covering up with some butter cream?
DC " I don't mind covering up but what should I do to stop it happening again?
Mita "What do you think your baker should do?"
DC "Be patient? Maybe not over whisk me or open the oven door before 30minutes!"
Mita "Cool, good plan I would still eat you!"
DC "Thanks....that's weird see you later"

Crunch Cake

CC "I got burnt at the side and was still nice and soft at the top"
Mita "Sorry to hear that, it sounds like you were baked under stress... what do you think?"
CC "Maybe...I normally take about 1 hour to a hour and a half on a medium heat. But I only took 50 minutes on a high heat!"
Mita "Wow only 50 minutes"
CC "50 minutes for a big cake is not long enough, my baker should be patient and bake when he/she has the time to do it"
Mita "You sound angry"
CC "I'm under a lot of pressure, especially if the tin has been greased."
Mita "This sounds rushed"
CC "Your right, not a way a cake should be baked. Anyway have to go and cover myself in chocolate, Bye!"

Hard Biscuit

HB " I'm too hard"
Mita " Well um...why do you think that is?"
HB "I was overcooked"
Mita "Right, you were overcooked"
HB "Yes, we get crunchier when left to cool"
Mita "I see"
HB "I wish others could see and not get scared that we will be raw! It's better to bake us for 20 minutes then take us out"
Mita "I understand, how are you feeling now?"
HB "Still hard"

Muffin Top

MT "I'm so big, I get stuck on the paper case, why is this happening to me?"
Mita "This sounds like it's making you feel sad, what do you think?"
MT "I get messy and cannot be enjoyed"
Mita "what do you think is happening?"
MT "I have to cool down completely. Or I don't need paper cases the tray can be greased. I better go and save my friends".

Shrink Cake

SC "Not sure why I have to see you, I know what the problem is"
Mita " What do you think it is?"
SC "I keep on shrinking because I am baked for too long"
Mita "so you keep on shrinking because you are baked for too long, what else?"
SC "is there more?"
Mita "yes, other possibilities are the oven is too hot or the baker used an improper mixing procedure"
SC "right...maybe I do need help, see you next week"

Brownie Problem

B "Sometimes I just don't turn out right. How can I be perfect?"
Mita " Well there is no such thing as the perfect brownie because everyone has a preference"
B "Oh I get it, so I'm never going to be perfect?"
Mita "You are already perfect for people who like you just as you are"
B "My best mate orange brownie says I am boring because I have no nuts"
Mita "Well most people I know love a brownie with no nuts, so Orange Brownie sounds like she is being unkind"
B "Maybe... she has a rep for being nutty"


27 April 2011

Mango and Orange Cake



And I think you strangely get one of your five a day...after two slices!

Album for today:

Mark Ronson Here Comes The Fuzz 2003

yum looking at the above pictures makes me want to run down stairs and cut another slice.

250g butter
300g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs

Whisk the above

250g wholemeal plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate soda
1tsp cream of tartar

whisk this in

1 ripe mango peeled and chopped finely
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange
zest of half an orange

whisk these in for 10 seconds, the mango can still be in chunky.

Mark Ronson if you ever read this you very talented.

Anyway pour in greased baking tin.

Bake for one hour, don't change the temperature.

Once it's done melt 100g G&B maya gold chocolate and stir into 100ml sour cream and 1 tbsp icing sugar.

Pour over the cake and put some dried mango and oranges on top.

I'm very proud of this cake, baking is a science and once you know what works you don't need to look in a recipe book or use google.

Have a great evening, I definately will.


25 April 2011

Park Life Easter

The start of my Bank Holiday Monday:

Woke up with sore head from lucky tequila shot

Went to bikram yoga without drinking enough water

Prepared 6 salads, one curry, baked two loaves, and made some prawns look pretty tasty.

All completed before 2:15pm.

Pretty impressive I think.

Salad one:

salad potatoes
pine kernels
olive oil
lemon juice

Salad two:

On beetroot grate orange zest
top with mozzarella

Salad three:
cherry tomatoes

Salad four:

salad potatoes
sliced egg
cherry tomatoes

Salad five:

blackberries with sugar
raspberries on top with drizzle of honey
sliced strawberries on top with lemon juice

Salad six:

pineapple chunks
nigella seeds
white wine vinegar

Chicken curry:
chicken breast in slices fry with olive oil and cumin seeds
add spinach
2tsp turmeric
1tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
whole cherry tomatoes

Hot Prawns

chilli sauce
lemon juice
hazelnut oil

Indian Prawns:

1 tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp chilli powder
whole chilli pricked but not chopped

When the bbq is ready the prawns will take about 4 minutes on each side.

A great Monday which felt like a Sunday.x

Lamb Shanks with Chocolate and Wine

At Easter chocolate doesn't have to be in an egg mould...

I wanted to combine chocolate to these lamb shanks, and found out Green and Blacks have already covered something similar. They are too good!

Here is my version:

Get the oven on 200°C

2 lamb shanks

100g butter

50g wholemeal self raising flour

1 large red onion

olive oil

200ml red wine

1 tablespoon pomegranate sauce

300ml lamb stock

half teaspoon of mustard powder

100g dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids

4 cardamom pods

half tsp nutmeg

1 star anise

3 bay leaves

In a bowl add the flour, mustard powder, salt and pepper.

Cover the lamb shanks with this and put to one side.

With the rest of the flour mixture rub in 50g of butter.

Fry the cardamom and star anise in some olive oil, add the chopped red onion.

Using a slotted spoon take out the chopped onion and put in casserole dish.

Keep the heat on the frying pan and brown the lamb.

Put lamb in casserole dish

pour stock into same frying pan, add rest of butter, wine and flour mixture. whisk for a few minutes until it's thick.

pour over lamb and cook for one hour and a half.

once lamb falls off bone, stir in the chocolate.

serve with mash and salad.

I totally forgot to take a picture when I was serving, so did it when the plate got messy.

sorry, it was just so tasty we had to tuck in!

Hope you had a great weekend.x

22 April 2011

Open Tart

The Drifters are making me want to dance with someone.

Oven on low heat

Puff pastry packet (I'm working trying to make this on my own I promise)

6 cherry tomatoes


6 sun dried tomatoes

olive oil

fresh ginger chopped

goats cheese

roll quarter of packet and cut into two

roll into circles

drizzle oil on them, on each of them add one layer of spinach

then 3 sundried tomatoes

more spinach

cherry tomatoes


goats cheese

drizzle more oil

turn pastry sides in

bake for 20 minutes

enjoy, and dance with someone.x

Old School Hot Cross Buns

♬ 'The Very Best of Up On The Roof'  by The Drifters

Wow full on week, full of birthday, wedding and burnt cake drama.

What are you cooking this Easter weekend? The weather in London has been so good, been smelling BBQ food while cycling and it is making me excited about summer!

Fancy making some old school buns?

Here is a recipe that won't let you down...



500g wholemeal strong bread flour
2 tsp mixed spice
100g caster sugar
50g soft butter
100g raisins
7g sachet of easy blend dried yeast
150ml warm milk
2 eggs

3 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Bowl 1:
Flour, sugar, mixed spice, sugar, yeast.
Rub in butter.
Add warm milk and beaten eggs.

Mix with spoon til a dough forms.

Divide into 8 buns and put on baking tray covered in cling film.
Leave in a warm place for one hour.

Make the paste and put in piping bag.

Once buns have doubled in size, remove cling film and pipe cross on each of them. 

Bake for 20 minutes.

Brush with honey, serve with jam.

These can keep fresh for one day.

18 April 2011

Don't judge a fry up by its cover...

The boys had a late breakfast:

beans with teaspoon of mango chutney and half tsp turmeric

bacon fried with butter and paprika

poached egg

wholemeal bread toasted with chilli olive oil



Mine next month

Thankyou Jeremy Scott for showcasing this amazing collection on the catwalk in 2006.

Typical of me to find out about it in 2011......

Good Dhal Darl....

Album 'James Blake'


red split lentils 150g

water 300g

4 large tomatoes

1 tsp turmeric

1tsp garam masala

1 tsp chilli powder

1 clove garlic

vegetable oil

Boil lentils in water for 20 minutes.

then fry oil with tomatoes and everything else.

when tomatoes are soft add the cooked lentils and keep on a low heat for 10 minutes.

add 1 tsp of brown sugar.

sprinkle with coriander.

This album is intense and I don't think my housemate will appreciate the bass at 11:45pm.

My chick pea curry:

can of chick peas

chopped spring onions

100ml passata

two cloves garlic

cumin seeds


2 cardamom pods

veg oil

50ml water

fry spring onions with garlic and spices.

add chick peas and stir for one minute

pour in passata and water

cook for 20 minutes on a slow heat

Make some brown rice with cinnamon and cardamom.

Emily, Nick and I enjoyed this while chatting about Berlin and India.

17 April 2011


Oven on 200°C

You will need:
greased tin
good album on 'Loud' Rihanna

first cake:
225g butter melted
4 medium eggs
225g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g self raising flour

whisk butter and sugar then add everything else in until its a pale thick batter.

bake for 45 minutes.
let it cool.

Whisk the ingredients for the second cake using same ingredients.

When both cakes have cooled down slice horizontally so you have 4 divine smelling sponges.

100g butter
100g white chocolate melted
200g icing sugar

raspberry jam

100g butter melted
200g icing sugar

sandwich layers with cream,jam or both.

cover cake with more butter cream with a touch of pink colouring.

I ran to the shops, was going to pick up smarties but the M&M's were eyeing me up. It looks fun don't you think?

Tuna Sun Dried

Boil spaghetti

Then in a mini blender:

4 sun dried tomatoes
half teaspoon tapenade
20g sunflower seeds
1tbsp olive oil

When spaghetti nearly done throw in some broccoli.

Watch out for splash back.

Drain and leave in pot.

Drain one can of tuna chunks and mix the paste in this.

Add to spaghetti and serve immediately.

Your eyes will not leave the plate because it's so delicious :)

Bacon, Beetroot and Feta Bun.

Here is a delicious and quirky sandwich idea that welcomed me back home to London.

I fancied some bacon, but after the banana and prune combination it was time to try something different.

Try this:

Cooked beetroot
Feta cheese
Rocket leaves
Fried unsmoked bacon

Strangely I didn't reach out for the ketchup, because the beetroot and bacon hit the spot.

The beetroot and feta partnered fantastically, and I recently read that Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall makes a mean beetroot and feta soup!

Have a great day and let me know if you try any of the above combinations.x

13 April 2011

Cereal box NOT bar

Mornings can be tough. Maybe you just don’t want to get up and deal with work and certain people. Those extra few minutes in bed are wonderful.
When you do find the energy to get up, shower and dress, you still need to sort out the most important meal of the day!
In the week you might not have time for the full fry up, pancakes or delicious sandwiches.
So I rely on cereal. I understand if you don't, everyone fancies something they are comfortable with in the morning. Most importantly the intake of fibre and protein is essential.
Here are my favourite three cereal brands:
They are quick, tasty, can be healthy, and your left with a bowl and spoon to wash.

1. Weetabix
High in fibre, good for your heart, contains vitamins that support proper heart function and prevention of migraines.
Mita – fix
Splash of cold milk and:
Brown sugar
Banana and raspberries
Kiwi and banana
Blueberries and strawberries
Splash of cold milk and dollop of yoghurt with:
Chopped cherries
Banana chips
Fresh mango
Passion fruit and pomegranate
With dried fruits can be just as good if you like to chew on something in the morning...
Called in sick when you really are?
Try Weetabix with hot milk and sugar.
Or my gran used to pour chai over hers.
‘Porridge’ it in a pan and add cinnamon and honey
2. Bran Flakes
Very high in fibre and in iron. Very good for digestion and prevents stress and increases energy.
You can try some other fruits like the above but for me nearly every morning I have chopped banana on bran flakes.
It just goes; the crunchy taste of the bran combined with the soft banana is too good.
3. Special K red berries
The dried fruits are raspberry, cherry and strawberry. Not bad for the price when each of these dried fruits in packets are very expensive.
Contains 6 types of vitamins, low in fat and high in folic acid, no wonder everyone is trying the diet!
So with this cereal I have chopped banana (yes I love it)
Fresh strawberries
Green and red grapes
Dried mango
If you don’t have some of these things to hand make it part of your shopping trip. Keeping dried fruits or nuts in the cupboard and fresh fruit visible makes the little people in your house snack on something healthier than a packet of crisps.
Being around kids most of the time I’ve learnt that children copy and pick up your food habits – good and bad. So start adding something colourful to your bowl, you help yourself and the ones around you.
Two more things:
A bowl of fibre beats a bowl of sugar, coco pops rocks but not all the time.
I know a man who pours orange juice over his cereal not milk.

Spicy Eggy Bread

Loving a kick start in the morning with a bit of masala mixed into your french toast? Sounds like a gastronomical disaster, but it's very tasty.



2 medium eggs
50-100ml milk
small garlic clove crushed and chopped finely.
bit of fresh ginger chopped.
half of small green chilli deseeded and chopped.
A bunch of coriander, chopped finely.


Whisk all the above in a plate, and pour milk until mixture is all combined and pale yellow.
Dip one medium sliced wholemeal bread in the mixture, cover both sides.
In a frying pan add one teaspoon of oil and fry each side until golden brown.
Once one is done put on a kitchen towel and add another teaspoon of oil for the next slice.
On the last slice pour the mixture on top.

This should make 3 generous slices.

Eat on its own or:
with beans
cherry tomatoes
dollop of ketchup



12 April 2011

Wholemeal Pancakes

I've probably mentioned this before BUT

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so sit down and make it an amazing one.

American style pancakes with fruit

Use whatever fruits you like, this is really nice for kids too.

150g plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
half teaspoon of mixed spice

1 large egg
130ml milk
2 tbsp soft butter

Whisk egg, butter and milk until foamy.

Add flour, baking powder,spice and sugar.

Whisk until a thick batter

Heat small frying pan with butter and use a ladle to spoon on batter.

Once bubbles start to appear flip over.

This mixture should make 4 medium pancakes.

Serve with strawberries and grapes in lemon juice.

drizzle honey.



10 April 2011

Park Life

When Hannah told me she would be sitting in the park with her disposable BBQ, plus soaking up the sun. My first thought was 'I better bake some bread and a cake'.

What went down:

Oven 180°C
grease square tin with removable base

200g self raising flour
370g caster sugar
180ml groundnut oil
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
80g G&B cocoa powder
200ml hot water
1 tsp almond essence
zest of 1 orange
4 medium eggs
100g G&B milk chocolate
1 tbsp milk

whisk hot water, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
leave to one side to cool down

meanwhile whisk eggs, sugar and oil
add flour, zest and essence
fold in all these ingredients then pour in cocoa solution
pour this into cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.

let it out and rest for 20 minutes.

melt chocolate with milk and cover top of cake.
add smarties

share and enjoy.

Ever had prunes wrapped in bacon at Christmas? Well banana wrapped in bacon just beat it.

Good shout Hannah!

Hello Mushroom and Halloumi

4 small white mushrooms
2 slices of light halloumi
two slices of bread
50g of baked beans with drop of hot sauce

fry mushrooms
then fry halloumi in same frying pan
toast bread
warm up beans

A well deserved breakfast after this morning's yoga class.


9 April 2011

Carrot- Hazelnut cake

Preheat oven 200°C

put 100g of hazelnuts in for 10minutes

bowl 1: 200g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
50g ground almonds

bowl 2: 175g dark brown sugar
180ml hazelnut oil
250g carrots grated
zest of one orange
3 large eggs

Whisk all the liquid ingredients in bowl 2 and to bowl 1.

chop half of the hazelnuts and add to bowl 1.

pour in greased baking tin about 23cm diameter.

Cream cheese topping:

500g full cream cheese

2tbsp icing sugar

juice of half orange

decorate with rest of hazelnuts.

Sorry this picture is not of full slice, I couldn't wait!


'The Very Best of Stevie Nicks'

Something green and on the side, great to serve at a garden party.

200g Bulgur wheat
1 litre of water
2 bunches of flat leaf parsley
chopped small bunch of mint leaves
chopped finely juice of one lemon
2 spring onions chopped
Cook Bulgur wheat in water for 20 minutes
drain add all the chopped stuff
squeeze lemon juice


7 April 2011

Tomato, Basil and Cucumber Soup

‘B Funk’ by Beverley Knight (she went to my high school)

So you have tomato and cucumber in cold salads and Gazpacho, but try it hot.

5 large tomatoes
200ml passata
3 sundried tomatoes
150ml water
Quarter of large cucumber diced
3 basil leaves
1 tsp turmeric
Small clove of garlic
Pack of Wright’s ciabatta bread mix

Make – your ciabatta dough and leave to prove for 40 minutes
Mini blender – cucumber, basil, sundried tomatoes and garlic
Fry – tomatoes and turmeric for a few minutes.
Heat – medium pot, fry cucumber paste and add tomatoes.
Pour – water and passata
Leave – on a low heat

This album brings back the memories of the walk to school

Use hand blender – combine soup so it turns a healthy red.
Bake - your bread
Serve – in a bowl or big mug

“Can we keep the flavour of the old school?”


6 April 2011


A late night game of scrabble and a quick pudding.

Feeds two hard working ladies, scrambling their brains for decent 6 letter words!


 1 dssp HONEY





5 April 2011

Chocolate Cake

Album that was on this evening Katy B ‘On a Mission’

Flicking through G&B chocolate recipe book to see what I could do with my last bar of cherry chocolate.

Came across a recipe that sounded interesting and that’s been altered.

Oven 200°C

30cm diameter cake tin with greaseproof paper. Would be useful for tin to have removable sides.
500g wholemeal plain flour
500g caster sugar
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
200g G&B cocoa powder
150ml vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
200ml water

100g G&B cherry chocolate (might need 200g, to cover cake completely)
2 tbsp whole milk

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl, fold with big metal spoon. If its wood forget it...only joking!

Add wet ingredients and use an electric whisk, unless you want one arm like Madonna.

Pour in tin and bake on top shelf for one hour.
Leave out to rest and melt your chocolate.
Add milk until glossy.
Spread over top.
Eat it the way Bruce does...remember this:

4 April 2011

Gnocchi with Chorizo

Hi Monday you are probably the most hated day of the week.

EAT THIS and finish already.

Chorizo sausage, chop off how much you can handle

Spinach, same again. If your name is Popeye tip in the whole bag.

teaspoon of basil pesto

half teaspoon paprika

Asparagus (raw or slightly soft)

olive oil

teaspoon of lime pickle

bit of cheddar

Boil gnocchi until they float to the top

chop spinach finely and fry in another pan

stir in pesto, paprika and oil with gnocchi.

add spinach and lime pickle.

serve immediately with cheese and asparagus.

Hello Tuesday.


3 April 2011

Orange and Pomegranate Roast Chicken

A treat midweek as I fancied a crazy roast...

Recipe for a small chicken:


100g pomegranate seeds
3 tbsps hazelnut oil
1 large orange
Jar of sun dried tomatoes
Seasonal greens


Preheat oven 200°C.
In a small blender put the pomegranate and one tbsp of hazelnut oil, blend until a paste.
With the other two tablespoons of hazelnut oil, pour on the chicken.
Slice the orange in half and squeeze one half all over the chicken.
Place the slices in the cavity and around the dish.
This goes straight in the oven, and should take one hour.

Meanwhile in the final 20 minutes, prepare your vegetables, and stir through some sun dried tomatoes.



2 April 2011

Brownies at Broadway

I LOVE BROWNIES, so I cycled to Broadway Market in Hackney to see what the locals were offering.
£15 later, my jeans no longer fit and I can't look at chocolate for another day!

Here are my top 5 in descending order:

In at number 5

Brownie from a lady who looked like she can't smile.
Very cakey texture 
quite dry, I think slightly over done. Tasted like chocolate cake than brownie sip of tea...next please

Number 4:
Beverly Hills Walnut Brownie Was surprised to see only two stalls that offered brownies with nuts, and only walnuts.The nuts were too finely chopped, but a lovely moist texture Soft melt in the mouth feeling.
Gulp of tea...next please

Number 3:
Artisan brownie
slight crunch at the top, but a mousse and squidgy texture.

Not bad for £2, the size is generous too.

Number 2:

Brownie from Coco and Me. The pistachio, hazelnut and cranberry on this brownie looked nice. I ate more of this one, it was delicious.

The winner according to moi is:

Flour Power City Brownie
perfect texture!

big portion
no need for nuts
When I go back to Broadway I'm heading straight here.

And just buying ONE brownie!

Broadway Market

Today I cycled to Broadway market.

On a warm grey day like today the market was busy with families and creative looking shoreditch types.

The smell was amazing, from caribbean to indian curries it felt like I was abroad.

But got pushed by a twat in fake Ray Bans and skinny jeans...yeah still in Hackney.

I asked to take some pictures of the food stalls that were luring me in.

Budget £20. After brownie purchases and lunch: change left £3.

French and Creole cuisine, smelt and looked amazing.

Hmmm who is he? I think he could be quite fit.