Monthly Archives: February 2012

“No-Guilt-Friday” Cake

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Friday is always a good day… it’s the end of the work week and weekend festivities usually seem to brighten the office with a buzz… Yesterday,  a colleague brought in a cake that his girlfriend had baked for his birthday..

Although I don’t have the recipe, I thought I would share a few pics.

NOTE: The cake was just a vanilla sponge with a butter icing filling, melted chocolate on top with hundreds and thousands… I will be testing this recipe soon – pics to follow 🙂

Sneaky Prawn Pasta

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I am one of those people who the more hungry i get the more i crave starchy foods… There is nothing quite like a big bowl of pasta to end off a long day…. well, eating the pasta feels good at the time, its afterwards when i feel bloated and super tired that the meal idea doesn’t feel so great anymore…. Anyway, a few weeks ago one of my younger sisters (who always used to choose anything BUT pasta from a menu) shared a great pasta recipe with me.

Although I really love pasta, I know that it doesn’t react to well with my body. Recently, I have been watching my portion sizes especially with starchy foods lately so this is a great recipe that does just that. On this occasion, I decided to only used a bunch of spaghetti about the size of a 5p coin and then top it up with the chopped up chucks of aubergine to add more volume and it really worked. This recipe is adapted from my sisters recipe and I tend to use whatever I have in the fridge so i don’t really have a specific method and set of ingredients but i will do the best i can to explain below.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add your spaghetti. In a heavy based pan, add half a diced onion and a couple of crushed garlic cloves. Add half an aubergine chopped into chunks. Add half a teaspoon of fresh chopped chilli and a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes. Add prawns and allow to simmer (do not over cook though). By this time, your pasta should be almost al dente,  drain and toss into the sauce pan and mix with tongs. After a couple of minutes, add a bunch of rocket and toss some more…

Spoon into a bowl and eat immediately! Bon appetit!

NOTE: This recipe makes about two bowls… it is DELISH and really sorts out the pasta  craving! You can use any type of pasta too!

Chocolate Pot Plant Desserts

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A few weeks ago I decided to have a few friends over for a three course Sunday Lunch… I always find it difficult getting the timing right with courses while still enjoying time with your guests and having the wow factor. A friend has an incredible blog which i follow religiously and so I thought i would browse around to find a great dessert… Something that is not too much of a hassle, easy to prep beforehand for but would still blow my guests away. Believe me, this recipe does just that…..

For the complete recipe, please visit Phoodie’s AMAZING blog.

NOTE: I stayed with the vanilla extract over going the mint route and was equally delish 😉

Hummingbird Marshmallow Cupcakes

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I had been telling everyone at work how much I love to cook and kept promising to bring them something. So late one Thursday night I had the baking itch and decided to make a batch of Red Velvet cupcakes and these Marshmallow Cupcakes. They went down like a dream 🙂

Ingredients
cupcakes
– 120g plain flour
– 140g castor sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– pinch of salt
– 45g unsalted butter at room temperature
– 120ml whole milk
– 1 egg
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
– 12 medium pink marshmallows
– 200g mini marshmallows for icing
– edible glitter to decorate
icing:
– 250g icing sugar, sifted
– 80g unsalted butter
– 25ml whole milk
– a couple of drops of vanilla extract

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and mix with a hand held mixer and beat on a slow speed until things combine and become a sandy consistency.
3. Gradually add half the milk and beat until milk is just incorporated.
4. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue to beat until just incorporated.
5. Scoop any mixture that had strayed on the edges of the bowl and continue to mix until smooth but do not over mix.
6. Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.
7. Once golden, let the cupcakes cool slightly in the baking tray before putting on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Put the medium marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
9. Leave until melted an smooth.
10. When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one and fill with a dollop of melted marshmallows. Leave to cool.

Icing
Beat the icing sugar and butter together with a handheld mixer on a medium speed until the mixture comes together. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add the butter mixture a couple of table spoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, add a few drops of food colouring and beat at a high speed until light and fluffy.

Stir the mini marshmallows into the vanilla icing and spoon evenly onto each cupcake. Decorate each with sparkly edible glitter and enjoy…. 😉