Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lush Vegetable Yellow Curry with Garlic Griddled Bread

Lush Vegetable Yellow Curry with Garlic Griddled Bread

This is such a simple recipe to make up, you can go to the bother of making your own curry paste if you like but I find that the shop bought jar works just as well here. 

Serves 4:         
2 tablespoons of yellow curry paste
2 onions roughly diced
1 medium butternut squash
500ml vegetable stock
200ml light coconut milk
75g red split lentils
2 yellow peppers deseeded and roughly chopped
140g frozen peas
100g bag of baby spinach
4 bread slices of your choosing
2 fat cloves of garlic

·         Prepare the butternut squash, you can peel the skin using a good peeler or carefully slice it off with a sharp knife. Cut down lengthways through the centre and using a dessert spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane, discard. Chop the squash into bite sized cubes and set aside.

·         In a large saucepan heat the curry paste on a medium/high heat, add a little water to stop it catching.
·         Add in the onions after a few mins and cook until softened. Add the butternut squash and cook for a further 5 mins (add a splash of water from time to time if needed).

·         To this add in the stock, coconut milk and lentils and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins until the lentils are tender. Add the peppers and cook for a further 8 mins.
·         Stir in the peas and add the spinach to the top, cover with a lid and allow the spinach to wilt for about 2 mins, remove the lid and gently stir the wilted spinach leaves into the curry. Take the curry off the heat and allow to stand for a few mins with the lid back on.

·         In the meantime heat a dry griddled pan up to full heat. Drizzle the bread with a little olive oil on the cut side and place them face down on the hot pan, allow them to toast for 2 mins and remove them when toasted and marked with the lines of the pan. Cut a fat clove of garlic in half and run the cut side on the toasted side of the bread.

·         Once all breads are toasted and flavoured, serve with the curry.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mini Coffee and Walnut Cakes

Ok, so we have been good and having our healthier options for January... using good ingredients and eating a clean varied diet. Well now here is an indulgent recipe to treat ourselves, inspired from the Queen of bakes Mary Berry.

Mini Coffee and Walnut Cakes
I am making these into small cake tins (3 inch diameter- it makes around 8 of them) alternately they can be made into 8 inch sandwich tins.

150g unsalted butter softened
150g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs & 1 egg white
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon coffee extract
60g chopped walnuts

For the buttercream:
150g unsalted butter softened
450g sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon coffee extract
2 tablespoons milk

200g chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180c. Line each tin with baking paper and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl add in the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and coffee extract and beat using an electric mixer until you have a smooth batter. Fold in the walnuts.
Pipe the batter into the cake tins, just over halfway full. Bake in the oven for about 18 mins until they have risen and the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger.

Leave the mini tins for a few mins until cool enough to handle, turn out each cake, remove the baking paper and place them onto a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, trim off the top neatly and slice each cake in half.
Make the buttercream by beating the butter until nice and fluffy then sift in the icing sugar, beat until you have a smooth consistency (scraping around the bowl a few times) and blend in the coffee extract until well combined.

To decorate, once the cakes have cooled fully, sandwich the halves together using the buttercream (about a quarter of it). Spread a thin coat around the sides and roll each cake in the chopped walnuts to give an even coat.
Spoon the remaining buttercream into a piping bag with a medium nozzle and pipe on swirls of you choosing on top to finish off the cakes

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