27 October 2013

Baked Egg with Kale, Mushroom & Nettle.

Remember Egg Cupcake?

Time to re visit a classic and refresh the blog with flavours I'm loving at the moment. Kale and nettle rock! These greens are super foods and incredibly versatile.
This is really simple and takes no more than twenty minutes. You will need silicon cupcake cases or generously grease a muffin tin.
2 Eggs
8 Kale leaves
8 Stinging nettles leaves
3 medium mushrooms
1 tbsp Olive oil
Preheat oven to 180° c.
Chop mushrooms and fry in olive oil, add kale and nettles and cook for 5 minutes, keep to one side.
Meanwhile line cases in a cupcake tray or on a flat baking tray.
Put kale mixture in each cases, leaving space in the middle for the egg.
Crack 1 egg in each case, ensuring nothing spills out.
Bake for 8 minutes until white and serve with salad or dippy soldiers.
Nettles are the new spinach.
I'm going to be blogging loads about these powerful leaves over the next week. Meanwhile next time you see a bunch, pick them (wearing gloves) and wash ready for some extra special recipes on MixitCookit.

23 October 2013

Coriander, Chilli, Dill Linguine

Coriander and chilli are like my two sidekicks in the kitchen. Whenever I cook anything savoury they are my staple ingredients that bring fire and flavour to everything they touch. I wanted to share this really simple and quick dish which I love to make, it gives me a sense of being at home crossed with a pasta obsession during university.
For students this is cheap, cheerful and very tasty. Adding tuna, salmon or crab meat would compliment the dill wonderfully.
Ingredients for one:
1 small chilli, deseeded and chopped finely.
30g fresh coriander
20g fresh dill
Olive oil
Half a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Half a tsp of turmeric powder
100g linguine pasta
Chop chill and herbs and keep to one side.
Boil linguine according to packet instructions.
Drain and add 1 tbsp olive oil and turmeric, stir well and lastly add herbs and chilli.
Squeeze lemon juice over pasta before serving and add salt if you need it.

20 October 2013

Chocolate & Cherry Cake with Figs.

 I'm loving chocolate a lot more lately. Only the good stuff makes it into my baking cupboard, bars from small organic shops and anything injected with orange essence or zest. Dangerously in love with Green and Black's sea salt bar, have you tapped into it? It's the big sister of their collection, each square has the perfect amount of salt. Normally I  consume chocolate in a few seconds but with this bar I let each segment sit on my tongue and let the magic happen.
The power of chocolate over a women is pretty special. I always re iterate this message....
Why you say?
1. Dark chocolate is known to reduce stress levels.
2. Hot chocolate is great as cough medicine!
3. High cocoa in chocolate can lead to better focus for a few hours.
 4. Ladies you know spending a bit more on decent chocolate beats a cheap block and the difference is in the taste.
Here is a delectable cake that's easy to assemble and extremely tasty. Try to make sponges the night before, I find they are easier to handle. This chocolate cake recipe makes three even sponges in sandwich tins, which is better than baking the whole mixture then slicing it into three. Each sponge takes 20 minutes to bake.
Ingredients for sponges:
225g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
1 tsp cola essence
100ml milk
Cherry jam
250ml double cream
200g dark chocolate
284ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 large figs
Manuka honey
 Yellow edible glitter
Dr Oetker gold lustre spray

Preheat oven 180°c
Put all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk.
Grease and line two sandwich tins with removable bases (if you already have three then great!)
Fill each tin with even amounts of mixture and bake for 20 minutes each on the top shelf.
Keep out of tin and let them cool completely.
Meanwhile make ganache by boiling cream and sugar then pouring over cold chocolate. Stir well and leave to cool until spreadable.
Decide on which sponges will be best to go at the bottom and top, maybe slice a bit off the top if the rise wasn't even.
Whip double cream until stiff.
Spread cherry jam on top of one sponge and whipped cream underneath the middle sponge. Sandwich these two and do the same again but instead of cream use a bit of ganache underneath top sponge.
Cover the whole cake in ganache, leaving a tablespoon's worth in a bowl for the figs to sit on.
Lightly spray the top gold.
Before you serve:
Cut figs in quarters and roast them (15 mins) or grill (8 minutes) with a drizzle of Manuka honey. Sprinkle a bit of gold glitter on each one.
Add figs in the middle, using ganache as glue.

Thank you Zest magazine for chocolate facts.

This weekends special song and entering my running playlist...

ROAR by Katy Perry


11 October 2013

ULTIMATE Chocolate Cupcakes

For the past two weeks I've been thinking, focusing and working on a cake creation which I wanted to perfect. Creating a chocolate cupcake isn't as easy as it sounds; creating the ULTIMATE chocolate cupcake is a challenge. Last week I sieved through five recipes for the perfect chocolate sponge and still wasn't satisfied. With motivation about to fizzle out like cheap popping candy I cleared my head and went to yoga. As soon as I got home, the radio was switched on and my not so sexy union jack apron was ready to be stained with cocoa powder. As well as it being Chocolate Week 14-20th October, I'm also making these to win a trip to NYC courtesy of Dr. Oetker. Fingers crossed people!

Right, if you want to make these cupcakes let me give you a few home truths:

1. They contain a lot of chocolate, I tried to incorporate chocolate in every step.
2. Buy good quality chocolate when baking, it makes a massive difference to texture, taste and appearance. Also you might get people putting in orders once they taste these!
3. Focus and be a perfectionist when it comes to accuracy and appearance.
4. Think YES YES YES. Not only when you bake but anything you put your hand to. Don't give up or serve cakes you wouldn't eat.


 I've been loving Janet Jackson this week....

Ingredients for cake sponges.

150g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter
1 large egg at room temperature
20g cocoa powder
150g plain flour
100ml semi skimmed milk
Bottle of white wine vinegar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

Filling 1:
150g melted white chocolate 
50g milk chocolate chips

Topping 2:
Dark chocolate custard butter cream
60g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp custard powder
20g cocoa powder

Topping 3:
White chocolate salted butter cream
6og butter
125g icing sugar
50g melted white chocolate
Half a tsp of sea salt

Topping 4:
Milk chocolate cola butter cream
60g butter
125g icing sugar
1 tsp cola essence
20g cocoa powder

Chocolate Dust:
Milk chocolate chips
White chocolate chips
Edible lustre white hologram glitter

Blend milk chocolate chips with half a teaspoon of glitter until like dust and keep to one side in a small cup or bowl.
Repeat with white chocolate chips.

▶ Ready to bake?! 
We have bake off....

 Preheat oven 180°c.
First make the sponges by whisking butter and sugar until pale.
 In a jug add milk with two tablespoons of vinegar and let it rest for a while.
Add egg to butter and sugar and whisk until everything combined. 
Next add cocoa powder and flour.
Pour in milk and vinegar mixture, then baking powder and 2 tsp extra of vinegar.
Scoop into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes. 
Once well risen and smelling delicious keep out of the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack.

Once cakes have completely cooled, start measuring out all the other ingredients for toppings so you are prepared.
Filling 1: melt white chocolate in a bowl suspended over boiling water, let it cool for a few minutes.
Using an apple corer, make a hole in one cupcake and fill with half a teaspoon of white chocolate and four milk chocolate chips. Do this with all the other cakes and replace sponge lids from corer. 
Use any remaining white chocolate to pour over cakes. Then let them cool.

Make topping 2 by whisking all ingredients and pipe one circle only around each cupcake.

Make topping 3 exactly the same way but add melted white chocolate once its slightly cool not really hot. Pipe in the middle only.

Topping 4 is similar, add all those ingredients in a bowl and whisk away. I love cola essence. Once I found it I went back and filled my basket with 20 bottles. No joke.
Pipe this buttercream on top of white buttercream and add a white chocolate chip as a cute touch.

Now this part was really fun and my creative baking brain is incredibly happy with the outcome. In my opinion chocolate chips are great in cookies and thats about it. I put them in a blender with glitter and BOOM a wonderful dusty texture of magical choco dust is formed. Sprinkle on each cupcake for a bit of sparkle.

 Good luck and let me know what you have been mixing and cooking.

If you want to get involved with chocolate week, definitely submit your lovely creations to Dr Oetker's FB page.

Favourite song from Janet Jackson:

Got 'Til It's Gone'