20 February 2013

Breakfast Cuppa's

'When Fish Ride Bicycles' by The Cool Kids

 I discovered an old play list and have been refreshing my ears with the sound of hip hop for most of the day, then I had a Florence Welch break (pretty standard). While I was adjusting to hip hop lyrics in the kitchen there was an urge to bake. When there's no milk, fruit, toast, or even motivation to make eggs and pancakes for breakfast, I have to leave my cute little kitchen and buy something. It's a nightmare.
Those days are gone.
 Now, maybe your thinking the thought of eating a cupcake in the morning is mortifying and unhealthy - wrong, there's no butter cream in sight!  With this recipe you will see yourself adding goodness, fibre and even more goodness. 

Get the oven on and be a cool kid. These are perfect to store for a few days and top with yoghurt before serving.

 Makes 12 in muffin cases.


125g butter
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g oatbran

1 tbsp runny honey
50g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
25g poppy seeds
20g goji berries
2 tangerine zest (keep to one side to squeeze juice)


Greek yoghurt
Blackcurrant or strawberry jam


 Preheat oven 180°c and line cupcake tin with cases.
: Cream butter and sugar then whisk in eggs.
: Fold in everything else.
: Fill cases most of the way up and bake for 20 minutes.
: Once out the oven, prick each cake with a fork and squeeze tangerine juice on each one.
: Leave out to cool completely.
: Once you are ready to eat one or hand a few out, mix a teaspoon of jam with yoghurt and spoon two teaspoons on each cake. 

Drizzle a bit more honey and then your sorted!

Favourite songs
These have most definitely surged a complaint from the neighbours!
'Sour Apples'

One more tiny bit of detail:
I'm not pushing for everyone to eat cakes for breakfast, try these once in a while or pack them for a snack.

14 February 2013

Red Heart Cupcakes

'Is  Your Love Big Enough?' by Lianne La Havas

Anything in heart form will pull a few emotional tugs in those you love and adore. Imagine handing one of these to someone, you might even see tears of joy.
 I'm not a Valentine's day fan, but if there's an excuse to make cakes then I will totally embrace the theme! Yesterday I hosted a tutu/glitter party and turned out to be the wicked fairy, wearing a green crumpled witch wig, complimented with a fancy tutu from New York. A scene worthy of a comedy award!
I tend to make a party themed table and the centre piece has to be a cake or tier of cupcakes. With the theme being glitter, pink and anything little girls love, I decided to shape an average cupcake into a heart with baking beans.

As you can see I also made half of the cake mixture into a red velvet sponge so the finished cakes would be like this..

Recipe for 12 red heart cupcakes:

125g self raising flour
125g soft unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
Half a tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
20g cocoa powder
1 tbsp red food colouring
1 tsp vanilla essence

Icing sugar
Pink edible glitter


Preheat oven 180°c, line muffin/cupcake tin with red muffin cases.
: Whisk butter and sugar for 5 minutes until well combined.
: Add eggs one at a time and keep on whisking.
: Sift in flour and baking powder.
: In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and red colouring to form a smooth paste.
: Split cake mixture into another bowl, in one bowl add 1 tsp vanilla essence and in the other the cocoa paste. Mix well.
: Put teaspoons of each mixture into cases, preferably side by side not layering.
: To make a heart shape, use three baking beans for each cake and put them outside the case in a V shape.

: Bake for 20 minutes and take out to cool on a rack.
: Once cold, decorate with pink icing and glitter or leave plain so everyone can see the pretty red sponge.

I also made orange cupcakes without red sponge, they tasted and looked delicious.

Enjoy and big love from Mita.x

Favourite song
'Don't Wake Me Up'

12 February 2013

Wholemeal Banana Pancakes

♬ 'Speakerboxx/The Love Below' by Outkast

A great soundtrack for getting in the mood for pancakes. I made so many today, I think my tendonitis might have started up again from the flipping wrist action! The basic lemon and sugar pancakes went very quickly at the table, to be honest I find them too flimsy and weak, you know - like a crêpe.
For dessert I prepared American style pancakes. To be honest I'm a fluffy pancake girl at heart, they are bulky and always rising to occasion. 

Here's the recipe for the best banana pancakes, I used wholemeal self raising flour instead of plain, semi skimmed milk and also I found 400ml of milk was beneficial not 300ml. 
I was going to list the recipe etc, but the fact is, its not mine to reiterate! So a link will take you to the Hairy Bikers recipe. Instead I will fill this space with other ideas for sweet and savoury pancakes. The sweet suggestions will work well with fluffy banana flavoured pancakes, maybe switch to basic or plain fluffy for savoury. 

Sweet layer ideas:

Nutella and berries (shown above)
Strawberries and cream 
Lemon juice and poppy seeds mixed in vanilla yoghurt.
Greek yoghurt with honey and figs.
Satsuma and melted organic milk chocolate.
Lemon drizzle sauce (lemon mixed with granulated sugar)
Baileys cream
Banoffee style - whipped cream, melted chocolate and toffee sauce.
Apples covered in cinnamon with toffee sauce.
Marshmallows and chocolate sauce.
Honeycomb crunch (bits of honeycomb with double cream)
Fruit conserve, natural yoghurt, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Blueberry and maple syrup (New Yorker classic)

Savoury layer ideas:

Bacon and syrup
Brie and cranberry
Sliced sausages and fried mushrooms with ketchup.
Fromage frais, dill, smoked salmon and spinach.
Chorizo and rocket
Ricotta and spinach

I think that's about it for now, enjoy whatever idea you go for. Any of these ideas are perfect for a decadent treat and great for brunch.

ê Favorite songs

'Hey Ya!'
'So Fresh, So Clean'

9 February 2013

Lamb Lasagna

'The B Funk' by Beverly Knight

Lasagna has been through a culinary travesty this week. 

WHY ON EARTH would anyone want to add horse meat to a ready meal? Those two words should never be put together, maybe horse seeds, horse feed, anything but 'meat'. Don't get me started on 'ready-meal'!

I know to a certain extent pigs, cattle, sheep and other mammals that could be categorized as cute are in the food chain, and don't get me wrong, I've tasted many delicacies, like a kangaroo burger. However I knew what I was getting my teeth into. Imagine reading 'beef lasagna' then finding out that certain companies have been adding other bits of animals. 

Horses don’t belong in our lasagna. We should look after them.

I know sausages, seafood sticks and anything that doesn’t specify 'organic' or '99% meat content' to some extent contain water, and animal parts that we don’t want to fathom. In fact (it kills me to type this) ready meals are convenient and so many people rely on them.  Making lasagna from scratch every time won’t suit every household due to busy schedules, so what can be done?

The only thing TO DO is to make lasagna and make it well. Forget ready meals that incubate random meat. Buy your own mince, even buy your own sauces to make the dish as quick as you can if you have to. For those who have two and a half hours please read and try this gorgeous rich recipe...

After I put this in the oven I contacted Mr Portelli (Italian cooking bud) and asked for lasagna advice. I started the layering the incorrect way. I will give you both options anyway.

Luxury Lamb Lasagna 
Feeds 6.

Pasta sheets
Oven tray- deep and wide.



Organic lamb mince 500g
Tomato puree 2tbsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 aubergine
Italian sieved tomato passata 500g
1 small onion
fresh rosemary leaves 2 sprigs
fresh thyme leaves 3 sprigs
dried oregano 2 tsp
125g mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt and pepper
Black garlic (2 cloves)
1 bay leaf
Bacon lardons 20g
2 drops Tabasco


: Chop onion and put in a big pot with oil, let the onions soften. 
Meanwhile chop rosemary, thyme, mushrooms, and  crush fresh garlic.
: Once onions are soft tip in garlic and let this fry for a minute, then add mushrooms and chopped aubergine.
: After 5 minutes add lamb and let it brown. Time for herbs and bacon to get involved.
: Once you can smell the herbs, pour in passata with puree, black garlic and sundried tomato paste.
: Stir well then add 2 drops of tabasco and bay leaf.
: Simmer for 1 hour and season to taste.
: You will be left with a rich thick ragu sauce.

Preheat oven 180°c.

Béchamel Sauce by Delia Smith. I added my own pink peppercorn twist.


20g plain flour
425ml milk
Pink peppercorns (or black)
40g butter
1 crushed garlic
1 bay leaf


: Bring to the boil milk, 10 peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf. Put to one side to infuse.
: Melt butter and then add flour and whisk until a glossy dough. Turn off heat.   
:  Pour and sieve milk in four batches in this dough mixture and use a fork to start off with, then switch to whisk. Keep on going until it resembles thick cream. Discard peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf.
: Put back on heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisk every now and then to prevent lumps and a skin forming.

Now the layering part, I put ragu at the bottom then béchamel, pasta sheets, ragu, béchamel and so forth until pasta sheet on top with béchamel and parmesan to finish.

Mr Portelli advises:
Butter greased at the base of tray and start with pasta sheets, ragu, béchamel, parmesan, pasta sheets and so forth until pasta at the top with extra bit of butter for a crispy top.

Whichever way you want to go bake for an hour and serve with colourful salad.

Favourite song
'Flavour of the old school'

3 February 2013

Blackberry and Rose Cupcakes

'The Very Best Of Prince'

I've always wanted to use rose water in a recipe, the smell reminds me of Indian sweets. Mum is in the motherland and I'm incredibly jealous. She is most definitely surrounded by
sun, fresh curry, coconut water and alphonso mango pulp. 

I made these for a lovely bunch of gardeners planting plum and cherry trees near where I live. Everyone deserves a treat after a day's hard work.

One happy and content customer.

Recipe for 12 flavoursome cakes:

125g butter
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
2 tsp rose water or 1 tsp rose essence
1tsp vanilla essence
20g oatbran
2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
70g fresh blackberries (keep 12 to one side)

250g royal icing
Purple colouring
Raspberry jam
Pink glitter for that extra sparkle.


Preheat oven to 180°c, line 12 hole cupcake tin with cases.
: Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
: Add eggs, flour, baking powder, rose water, vanilla essence and continue whisking.
: Fold through oatbran, 50g of blackberries, making sure the blackberries have been mashed into the mixture. 
: Scoop into cases and bake for 20 minutes.
: Once springy to touch, take out to cool.
: Meanwhile roll out icing, knead until soft and add drops of colouring until you achieve a marbled effect (2 drops). Using a small scone cutter, cut 12 circles and put to one side.
Microwave one tablespoon of jam and spread onto each cupcake, top with icing and a fresh blackberry dipped in jam, so it doesn't fall off.

The taste?
Sweet, aromatic and wholesome.

ê Favourite song
'Diamonds and Pearls'